PDA

View Full Version : The Carpenter's Chapel (7)


Pages : [1] 2

DHK
10-25-2005, 12:57 PM
Originally posted by Watchman:
Tuesday October 25, 2005

"And satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel"
(1Chronicles 21:1)
One might think that Satan would have left David alone after he had brought him to such utter defeat a number of years before when he sinned with Bathsheba. But no, he's after him again. This time he prods or goads David to number the people-to see how strong he was in military might-to put pride in numbers.
David, of all people should have understood that his power came from God, and not how many soldiers he had. When David commanded the census to be taken, Joab replied, "The Lord make His people an hundred times so many as they be: but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord's servants? Why then doth my lord require this thing? Why will he be a cause to trespass to Israel? (v.3). Joab rebuked the king because he understood that to do something in pride would be a great sin, and would bring upon Israel disastrous results.
It was God's grace that sent Joab to David, to endeavor to stop him on the path to sin. We should also be thankful when a parent, pastor, youth director, or friend comes to us and clearly shows the sinful direction we are taking.
David did not listen to the voice of the Lord through Joab, and he once again received God's displeasure and judgement. In fact, 70,000 men died as a direct result of David's pride (v.14). God showed David how quickly He could take numbers from him. He had forgotten that one could "chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight" (Deuteronomy 32:30). David didn't need numbers; he just needed the Lord.
In his farewell address, Joshua put it all in perspective when he said, "One of you shall chase a thousand: for the Lord your God, He it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you" (Joshua 23:10). How important are numbers to you? Carry on Gentlemen

C4K
10-26-2005, 01:05 AM
Wednesday, 26th October, 2005

Choices

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD swore unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” - Deuteronomy 30v19-20

From the very start God has given man choices. Eve had a choice, obey God or obey the serpent. Adam had a choice, obey God or listen to his wife. Cain had a choice, give an offering by faith, or based on his works. And so it goes, choice after choice.

The time for crossing into Canaan was close. God lays it all out before them. “You have a choose,” He says, “I lay before you life and death, blessing and cursing.” Then He leaves the choice up to them.

Of course choices always have consequences. God says that choosing His way is the sure way to blessing. When we choose His way we choose to love Him, obey Him, and cleave to Him. The reason? Because when we choose Him He becomes our very life! Our life is no longer ours when we make Him our life.

When we face choices as Christians the proper choice should be clear enough. Christ is our life, let every choice we make honour His as such.

Watchman
10-26-2005, 06:13 AM
Excellent point Roger and, somewhat, what I have for tomorrow.

C4K
10-26-2005, 06:22 AM
smile.gif - What do they say about great minds ;) ?

Watchman
10-27-2005, 02:07 AM
Thursday October 27, 2005

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths (2Timothy 4:3-4). NIV

Roger just spoke of choices people make, today I would like to speak on what one chooses to believe.
Ever since I first read the New International Version, I thought of what an interesting twist the translators put on this passage, “…not put up with…” Certainly there has been a time in our lives we have seen someone with a disgusted look on their face, perhaps with hands on hips, exclaim, “I’m not putting up with this anymore!” But, sadly, I am not talking about someone who has been subjected to abuse, or who has been taken advantage of, but of all those who absolutely refuse to hear, much less obey, the clear teachings of God’s word.
The latter half of Romans chapter one speaks, in graphic terms, what the result of this rebellion will be.
God’s wrath:
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness” (Romans 1:18)
Falling into idolatry:
“…exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.” (Romans 1:23)
God gives them over to sinful desires:
“… for the degrading of their bodies with one another.” (Romans 1:24)
Lastly, they are given over to desires that are even against nature (Romans 1:26-27). Notice homosexual acts are not only against God’s law, but it says it is even against nature. It is not an alternative lifestyle, it is sin.
Also, such a person, in rejecting the truth, sets himself up for whatever lie that comes along, and we know that the enemies of the true gospel are more than eager to spread their lies. The J.W’s , Mormons, or whoever, are quite adapt at planting falsehood into a mind that void of the truth.
How important it is that we spread the truth.

C4K
10-28-2005, 05:51 AM
Friday, 28th October, 2005

You’ve never been this way before

“Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.” - Joshua 3v4

We all have many times in our lives when we face the unknown. Going off to college, marriage, moving house, job changes, new ministries and many other times we are in situation similar to Israel on the Jordan River.

God did not want Israel to rush pell-mell across the Jordan to conquer the land. He wanted them to follow His leadership. He wanted the ark ready to go, but the people we stay about a kilometre back to watch how God would lead. The reason for this observance? “You have not passed this way before.” They did not know what was going to happen or what kind of situations were going to face. God told them to step back and watch to see how to follow.

God also told them to sanctify themselves before the task. A “setting apart” was required before the task was begun. This was going to be a long arduous task which could only be accomplished as they set themselves apart and followed Him.

The next time you face a situation when you have “not passed this way before” remember to sit back and see how the Lord will lead as you sanctify yourself to Him.

Watchman
10-30-2005, 11:01 PM
Monday October 30, 2005

Prophecy

How should the prophecies of the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ be interpreted? Allegorically, or literally? Perhaps we should look at His first coming and compare the prophecies of this event to what actually happened.

(Gen 49:10) The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
Would be from the tribe of Judah.
(Luk 3:33) Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda,
Fulfilled litterally.

(Isa 9:7) Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Would be descended from David.
(Mat 1:1) The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Fulfilled litterally.

(Mic 5:2) But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
Would be from Bethlehem.
(Mat 2:1) Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Fulfilled litterally.

(Isa 7:14) Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Would be virgin born.
(Mat 1:18) Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Fulfilled litterally.

(Zec 9:9) Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
Would ride into Jerusalem on an ass.
(Joh 12:13) Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.
(Joh 12:14) And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,
Fulfilled litterally.

(Psa 41:9) Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.
Would be betrayed by a friend.
(Mar 14:10) And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them.
Fulfilled litterally.

(Psa 22:16) For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
Would be crucified.
(Joh 20:27) Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
Fulfilled literally. One of the most remarkable prophecies in God’s word because crucifixion was a means of execution used only by the Romans, and David wrote this about his blessed descendant hundreds of years before the Roman empire came into existence.

(Psa 22:18) They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
Would have lots cast for His clothing.
(Mar 15:24) And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.
Fulfilled literally. Again, a practice used by Romans.

(Psa 16:10) For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Would be resurrected.
(Mat 28:9) And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
Fulfilled literally.

(Psa 68:18) Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.
Would ascend into heaven.
(Luk 24:50) And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.
(Luk 24:51) And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.
Fulfilled literally.

To allegorize the events of the Second Coming, unless taking the literal sense to an event makes no sense, is to make God’s Word inconsistent about prophecies concerning the Lord Jesus.

C4K
11-01-2005, 02:18 AM
Tuesday, 1st November, 2005

I saw…coveted…took…hid

“When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.” - Joshua 7v21

The source of Israel’s sin and resulting defeat at Ai had been discovered. A man of Judah, Achan had been found out and was confronted by Joshua. Achan made a full disclosure of how the sin had happened and there were four steps to his sin.

I saw the garment, silver, and gold
I coveted them
I took them
I hid them

God has graciously given us here a pattern to watch out for. Not only were these steps to Achan’s sin. But they are steps to all of our sins as well. We see something, we desire it, we take it, and we then try to hide our sin.

Sometimes we can help what we see, but there are times when we cannot. However, the next step is where we too often “blow it.” After we see something, we covet it. This is where the sin really starts. But even then it is not too late to deal with the sin and ask God’s forgiveness. The next step is where we really fail, we take what we want, then the natural next step is to hide our sin.

We cannot keep your sin hidden forever. “Be sure your sin will find you out,” God says. Lets keep our eyes open for the warnings signs on the road to sin and seek God’s help in avoiding the dangerous steps.

Watchman
11-01-2005, 11:07 PM
Wednesday November 2, 2005

"In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes" (Judges 17:6).
Four times in the Book of Judges we are told that "there was no king in Israel in those days" (Judges 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25), indicating that the book must have been compiled either by Samuel (the last judge) or someone else of his or a later generation..:. The first and last of these (which is the final verse in the book) add that "every man did that which was right in his own eyes." With no centralized government, there were only tribal leaders. Occasionally, one of these would acquire followers from other tribes; these were the "judges" whom God raised up to lead the people out of bondage on the occasions of widespread repentance and prayer.

The intervening period were times of oppression by enemies, and moral and spiritual chaos among the people. They did have a king, of course, but they refused Him, as did the men in the parable who "sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us" (Luke 19:14). When they finally requested a human king, Samuel rebuked them for saying, "Nay, but a king shall reign over us: when the Lord your God was your king" (1Samuel 12:12).

Lest we be too critical of he ancient Israelites for rejecting God as their king and going each his own way, that is essentially what people are doing today. "There is no fear of God before their eyes," and they are "lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God" (Romans 3:18; 2Timothy 3:4). When every man believes what is comfortable and does what he pleases, he in effect becomes his own god, and this is nothing but humanism. But just as this ancient humanism was empty, and the people soon desired a human king, so modern atheistic humanism will also revert to pantheism, and the world will then yield to a humanistic king to lead them on to a final deadly confrontation with the true King of Kings.

C4K
11-03-2005, 03:08 AM
Thursday, 3rd November, 2005

They asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord

“And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD.” - Joshua 9v14

After the battle of Ai word got around about the other conquests by the Israelites. There were already stories about the great victories on the other side of the Jordan, and now Jericho and Ai were added to the list of victory stories.

The Gibeonites devised a master plan to save themselves. They put on old clothes and shoes, packed old food and wine, and approached Joshua as though they had been travelling a long distance. When they came they asked to food and supplies.

Dealing with this kind of request is always difficult. Here the leaders of Israel make a serious error. They made a decision without first asking counsel of the Lord. They acted on their own without asking God what to do. This was to have long lasting affects and the Gibeonites were to be a thorn in their sides for years to come.

What is our lesson for today? Simple enough - seek God’s face before we act. Go to Him in prayer and seek His leadership and counsel before we act. We can spare ourselves great difficulties if we will “ask counsel at the mouth of the Lord.

Watchman
11-04-2005, 07:13 PM
Friday November 4, 2005

"And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." (Genesis 5:24).
This characterization, that a man "walked with God," is used to describe two men in the primeval world. No doubt Adam and Eve had walked with God until in sin "they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord" (Genesis 3:8)
But we note from our text that six generations later Enoch walked with God. Moreover we see that his great grandson followed his example: "These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God" (Genesis 6:9). What does it mean that these men walked with God?
1. It implies reconciliation. Amos 3:3 speaks rhetorically, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?"
2.It implies communion, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?" (2Corinthians 6:14) There is a fellowship with walking together.
3. It implies progression. For over 300 years Enoch walked with God. Such a relationship cannot remain stationary. If one ceases to improve, then God walks on while the believer is left behind.
4.It implies protection. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me" (Psalm 23:4).
5. It implies identification. When we walk beside God it becomes apparent to others that we are closely associated with Him. "He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked" (1John 2:6).

C4K
11-07-2005, 12:22 PM
Monday, 7th November, 2005

God forbid that we rebel against the Lord

“God forbid that we should rebel against the LORD, and turn this day from following the LORD, to build an altar for burnt offerings, for meat offerings, or for sacrifices, beside the altar of the LORD our God that is before his tabernacle.” - Joshua 22v29

The people were spelling their commitment to the Lord when they made this statement of dedication. They seemed to be totally committed when they said, “God forbid that we rebel against the Lord, turn aside from following Him, build another altar!”

We know of course that they did not hold to this commitment for very long. Once that were established they quickly began to turn aside after the false gods of Canaan, they were not as committed as they first appeared. They did rebel, turn aside, and worship at other altars.

How do we stack up compared to them? As Christians the very thought of rebelling against the Lord should be totally abhorrent to us. We should never dream of turning aside or worshipping at “other altars.” But do we? Is there anything in our lives where we rebel against Him? Is there any hint of turning off the path of following Him? Are their “other altars” in our lives that draw our attention away for following Him?

Other altars are not always made of stone and wood. They can be intangibles such as popularity, materialism, or sensual lust. God forbid that we rebel against the Lord in being distracted by things like this and worship as these “altars.”

Watchman
11-07-2005, 11:07 PM
Tuesday November 8, 2005

Even from everlasting, thou art God" (Psalm 90:2)
God would not be God if He were not "from everlasting to everlasting."
The eternality of God is a very important aspect of His total being or
make-up. It is part of that which makes up God as God.
Therefore each member of Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Spirit, is seen in Scripture to share this attribute of eernity. The
Fathet in Deuteronomy 33:27; "The eternal God is my refuge." The Son in
Micah 5:2; "whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting,"
and, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever"
(Hebrews 13:8). The Holy Spirit in Hebrews 9:14 described as the
"eternal Spirit." The Trinity has been defined as three distinctions in
one Divine essence.
Since God is eternal, His blessings to His own are eternal as well. "But
the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that
fear Him" (Psalm 103:17. The New Testament speaks of Jesus procuring
"eternal redemption" (Hebrews 9:12) for us through the shedding of His
own blood, resulting in "eternal redemption" (Hebrews 9:12) for us
through the shedding of His own blood, resulting in "eternal salvation"
(Hebrews 5:9): Thus we have a new home, "a building of God, an house not
made with hands, eternal in the heavens" (2Corintians 5:1) and
inheritance, "they which are called might receive the promise of eternal
inheritance" (Hebrews 9:15), and a "far more exceeding and eternal
weight of glory" (2Corinthians 4:17).
Unfortunately for the unsaved, the Scriptures speak of a coming time
when there will be "eternal judgement" (Hebrews 6:2) and the sufferings
of "eternal fire" (Jude 7).
But those who know the Lord can say wuth David, "Blessed be the Lord God
of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let the people say, Amen"
(Psalm 106:48).

Watchman
11-09-2005, 11:05 PM
Thursday November 10,2005

"Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is
great in heaven: for in like manner did their fathers unto the prophets"
(Luke 6:23)
Sometimes great rewards are promised to those who help locate dangerous
criminals, or to those who win a lottery, but such rewards are trivial
compared to those awaiting all the faitful servants of Christ. The
"great reward" promised by Christ in our text is specifically for those
believers who willingly endured persecutions "for the Son of Man's sake"
(v.22).
Such rewards are distinct from salvation, of course, for that reward is
given only "to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that
justifieth the ungodly" (Romans 4:5). "Not by works of righteousness
which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the
washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which He shed
on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior" (Titus 3:5-6).
That is, salvation is a free gift, received only through personal faith
in Christ and His sacrificial death for our sins. Rewards, on the other
hand, are earned by faithful witness and work for Christ. In that day
when "we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ"
(2Corinthians 5:10), many will learn to their dismay that, although they
have indeed received everlasting life, they will hav very little reward.
For "the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is"
(1Corinthians 3:13)-not the quantity, but the quality and fidelity to
God's Word. Then, "If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer
loss: but he himself shall be saved" (v.15).
We need to remember that one of the last and thus most significant
promises of Christ was: "Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with
me, to give every man according as his work shall be" (Revelation
22:12).

C4K
11-11-2005, 02:16 AM
Friday, 11th November, 2005


Go and cry to the gods which you have chosen

“Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them save you in the time of your distress. And the children of Israel said unto Jehovah, We have sinned: do thou unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto thee; only deliver us, we pray thee, this day.” - Judges 10v14-15

Israel had once again turned from God. For eighteen years they had been under the oppression of the Philistines. After all that time they finally called out to God for help. God’s response had to be a surprise to them –“You have forgotten me, go and ask the gods you have chosen for help. It appears that God wanted to make them aware of how far they had gone.

They finally proved that they were genuine, not only did they admit their sin, the Bible says they “put away the false gods and served Him. ” God’s response? He was grieved for their misery. What a precious response from a God Who had been rejected by them.

They key here is that these people finally showed true repentance by putting away the false gods and serving Him. They understood what true confessing of sin was. When we truly confess it is evidenced by action. We put away whatever is turning our attention from Him and serving Him. There is no excuse for sin in our lives – He gives us all the power we need to forsake them and serve Him. At salvation we received full deliverance from the penalty and the power of sin. Lets’ be sure that when we confess our sin we do so my forsaking the “god” that motivates that sin and serve the Lord.

Watchman
11-13-2005, 11:02 PM
Monday November 14, 2005

"But now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the prophets,
according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all
nations for the obedience of faith" (Romans 16:26).
This revelation was written by Paul the apostle as a conclusion to his
great doctrinal epistle to the Romans. That which "now is made
manifest...to all nations" had been "kept secret since the world began,"
and was essentially the simple truth revealed in "my gospel, and the
preaching of Jesus Christ" (Romans 16:25) offering to people from every
nation (not just Israel!) the wonderful gift of salvation and eternal
life through Jesus Christ.
And note that this was being made manifest, not just by the preachers
and Scriptures of the New Testament, but "by the Scriptures of the
prophets"-that is, by the Old Testament Scriptures. There are some today
who think the old testament is no longer of significance to Christians.
But they are wrong! Remember that Jesus, after His resurrection,
speaking to two of His disciples, rebuked them by saying: "O fools, and
slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:...And
beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all
the scriptures the things concerning Himself" (Luke 24:25,27).
Furthermore, the Old Testament abounds with wonderful promises and
precepts and examples that are supremely practical and profitable for
the Christian life. As Paul said, "For whatsoever things were written
aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and
comfort of the Scriptures might have hope" (Romans 15:4). In fact, every
Old Testament Scripture is "given by inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness" (2Timothy 3:16).

C4K
11-15-2005, 01:51 AM
Tuesday, 15th November, 2005

Every man did that which was right in his own eyes

“In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” – Judges 17v6

The last few chapters of Judges are a litany of the terrible sins that befell Israel during this time. The actions are shameful and awful even in the light of the wickedness of the modern world. When we look at these events and look at all that is going on around us today we ask ourselves, “How can man be so wicked?” We see horrible crimes being committed. We see terrible abuse of children and shocking crimes that can hardly be imagined even in a horror film, but they are real life events.

What happens? How do we get to this point? How is human life so cheapened that it can be taken so violently and without regard to the consequences?

Judges 17v6 gives the simple answer; “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” When God’s standards are broken down there is no more right and wrong. With no right and wrong there is no limit to man’s potential for violence. Every man does that which is right in his own eyes, and man’s own eyes are self-serving and self gratifying.

There must be an absolute standard – without that man is left to his own devices. God has given us a perfect standard, His perfect word. It tells us what is right and wrong. When we, even as Christians, reject God’s word in every situation we in essence are no better than those who do what is right in their own eyes.

There can be no standard for us outside of the Bible. May that ALWAYS be our guide, and may we NEVER act according to our own whims and our idea of what is right.

Watchman
11-15-2005, 02:45 AM
Thanks Roger. I work as a security guard at a major hospital now, often assigned to the emergency room. Not much here is cheerfull, no exclamation of joy, only whaling and crying.
While natural causes and accidents are probably the cause of most coming here, the victims of violence by one person against another gives the trauma teams lots of work.
Why? You said it best (the lack of) an absolute standard. This was caused by a departure from honoring God and adhering to His Word. Hey, we are no better than animals! A developing baby is a clump of tissue. Someone who is an inconvience should be starved to death.
We have called evil good and good evil. The Kansas State School Board has been ridiculed for passing science standards that allows for intelligient design and the questioning of Darwin's theory.
(When He comes)...shall He find faith on the earth? (Luke 13:8)

Watchman
11-16-2005, 04:52 AM
Wednesday November 16, 2005

"Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now
they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible"
(1Corinthians 9:25).
Paul reminds us that his service and work for God was like the Olympic
tryout races held in Corinth.
Jesus in Luke 13:24 challenged people to "Stive to enter in at the
straight gate." In the matter of our salvation, we should be certain in
our conviction. Paul said to "work out your own salvation" (Philippians
2:12) and its total application to every part of life.
Paul also wrote of his desire to "present every man perfectly in Christ
Jesus" (Colossians 1:28), "striving according to His working" (v.29).
The ministry to obtain spiritually mature disciples, Paul implies, is
like an athletic competition. Paul also wrote of laboring or striving
with fellow Christians in prayer (Colossians 4:12; Romans 15:30).
Jude challenges us to "earnestly contend for the faith which was once
delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3) against apostasy.
Thus, thare are four things for which the Christian should strive:
1.) Our salvation being worked out in our lives;
2.) Our ministry, which should yield spiritually complete Christians;
3.) Our prayers with and for other Christians; and
4.) Our faith. Athletes strive for a medal or wealth: We strive for an
incorruptible crown!

C4K
11-17-2005, 02:52 AM
Thursday, 17th November, 2005

Let me go glean in the field

“And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.” - Ruth 2v2

Ruth is an amazing person. The first character trait noted about Ruth is here loyalty and devotion to family. There was no way she was going to allow Naomi to go back home alone.

Another character trait seen in Ruth is that of a hard worker. Rather than cry and bemoan their state, Ruth asked Naomi to let her go out and glean in the fields to get food for them to eat. Gleaning as hard, arduous work that required working all day just to gather enough food for the day.

Too often we find ourselves in a difficult situation and waste out time complaining instead of doing something about it. Let us be inspired to act on Ruth’s example. When things seem tough, depend on God, but get to work doing what we can do!

Watchman
11-17-2005, 01:33 PM
She was indeed amazing. The only gentile in the Lord's (human) anscestry.
Thanks Roger.

Watchman
11-17-2005, 11:14 PM
Friday November 18, 2005

"For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and everyone
members one of another" (Romans 12:4-5).
All too frequently in today's Christian circles, we place certain individuals and certain gifts on a pedestal, and all too often the resulting pride is devastating. Pride may be the favorite tool of Satan.
Pride was the reason Satan rebelled and lost his exalted position (Isaiah 14:13-14). He appealed to Eve's pride in the garden (Genesis 3:6), similarly tempted Christ in the wilderness (Luke 4:6), and uses it on us today.
Be warned! "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble"(James 4:6): "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall"
(1Corinthians 10:12).
Paul, through the Holy Spirit, chose to introduce his teaching on the use of spiritual gifts and unity of the entire body with a warning against pride, admonishing "every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to man the measure of faith" (Romans 12:3).
His discussion on the many-membered body, which follows, leaves no room for pride. Nor does the parallel passage in 1Corinthians 12:12-31.
The apostle points out that each Christian forms an equally essential part of the whole. Since we are all equal in God's eyes, and all mutually dependent upon one another, what room is there for pride?
Likewise, Paul points out that each Christian possesses an equally vital connection with Christ. Who are we to tell Christ a part of His body is less valuable than the rest? He is concerned for each one equally. "For who maketh thee to differ from one another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou
glory?" (1Corinthians 4:7).

C4K
11-21-2005, 02:39 AM
Monday, 21st November, 2005

Under whose wings thou art come to trust

“The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.” - Ruth 2v12

Ruth was amazed when Boas ordered his workers to leave extra grain in the field for her to glean. Boaz, who was much older than Ruth initially saw her as a daughter like figure and took pity her on her. Ruth’s spirit and her compassion for Naomi was well know for even Boaz knew about it. He wanted to reward her for what she had done in leaving her homeland to care for her mother in law. God was truly sovereign in this entire matter and He was in control.

Boaz was a man of God. He could have taken all the credit for what he had done for Ruth. Instead he passed the credit on to God. He did not say, “I will reward you for what you have done, but “The Lord will repay you for what you have done and HE will reward you fully.” Earlier in chapter one Ruth had put herself under God’s protection, and here Boaz refers to her faith as putting herself under God’s wings.

This is a wonderful picture of God’s protection. As a mother hen gathers her chicks under her wings to shelter us from the storm, God gathers His children under His wings. Ruth found refuge there and God used Boaz to help provide that protection, Boaz saw himself the way we all should, merely as God’s tools for His work.

Watchman
11-22-2005, 04:56 AM
Tuesday November 22,2005

"But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement" (Matthew 12:36).
"Let your speech be alway with grace," the Scripture says (Colossians 4:6). "seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man," and "study to be quiet, and to do your own business" (1Thessalonians 4:11).
There is such a thing as the sin of talkativeness, and many Christians
are beset by it. Note some of the pertinent Scriptures: "He that hath knowledge spareth his word... even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding (Proverbs 17:27-28). "Be not rash with thy mouth, and let
not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon the earth: therefore let thy words be few"
(Ecclesiastes 5:2).
"Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath" (James 1:19). "But let your communication be ,
Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil" (Matthew 5:37).
"In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips are wise" (Proverbs 10:10). "Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks" (Ephesians 5:4).
There are many other such warnings, of course, but the one in our text is perhaps the most sobering of all. Evidently God has a sort of "tape recording" of all our conversations, and we shall be required some day to explain all of those words which were not gracious and edifying. We would do well before the record of our idle and pointlesss conversations (not even to mention any that are hurtful and profane) mounts any higher to forsake the sin of talking too much, and to cultivate prayerfully the
grace of quietness.
There is one more thing to say here: there are today other means of speaking than orally. What I am getting at, I do not think that the Lord
Jesus, at the Judgement Seat of Christ, will excuse a person who would not think of insulting a brother or sister in person, but seems to
delight in "flaming" the brethren on this, and other internet boards.

C4K
11-24-2005, 04:20 AM
Wednesday, 23rd November, 2005

The birth of Samuel

“Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD.” 1 Samuel – 1v20

Hannah was desperate for a son. Her husband’s other wife taunted her because of her childlessness. She did the only thing she could do; she took her dilemma to the Lord in prayer.

Neither her husband nor the priest understood her at first. Undaunted she kept praying. Finally Eli, the priest, told her that God would answer her prayer. The Bible says that when that happened she arose and went off, and her face was no longer sad. The next morning she and her husband went off to worship the Lord. Eli’s words were enough for her; she acted in faith that her prayer was already answered.

When the child was born, she named him Samuel. His name meant “heard of the Lord.” Hannah gave God full acknowledgement for answering her prayer and never wanted to forgive.

How often do we take answered prayer for granted? Do we remember the various “samuels” in our lives? God hears and answers are prayer. It is important that we remember those times and give Him all the glory.

Watchman
11-24-2005, 03:43 PM
Thanksgiving, 2005

“Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of His, and give thanks unto the remembrance of His holiness” (Psalm 30:4)

When we do remember God’s holiness and then remember how the mighty seraphim in the heavenly temple are continually crying out “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:3), and then further remember the prophet’s prayer acknowledging to God that, “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity” (Habakkuk 1:13), and then still further remember that, as Paul said: “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing” (Romans 7:18), we can only marvel at the infinite mercy and grace of God. He has not only forgiven our sins, saved our souls, and promised us eternal life, but “daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation” (Psalm 68:19). What can we do but perpetually “sing unto the Lord…and give thanks” as David exhorts us in our text today.
But how can this be? A God Who is too pure and holy than to even “look on iniquity,” yet promises unworthy creatures such as us that “goodness and mercy shall follow (us) all the days of (our lives): and (we) will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever (23:6). How can that be?
This could not be, of course, were it no for the incredible love of God in Christ, who “hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1Peter 3:18). “…the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and in His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). “…while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8)
Therefore: “…be ye thankful…singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him. (Colossians 3: 15-17)

C4K
11-25-2005, 02:55 AM
Friday, 25th November, 2005

My mouth has smiled over my enemies

“And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation”. - 1 Samuel 2v1

Hannah’s prayer after she sent Samuel to the temple is much different than her prayer of anguish and desperation at the beginning of the story. Hannah’s song of praise is a beautiful picture of how we should worship and honour the Lord.

With a heart full of joy she proclaimed, among other things, “I have smiled over my enemies” (NKJV). The literal rendering is “my mouth is enlarged” which can picture several things. It may picture a wide mouth speaking to the enemies. It may mean picture a wide-open mouth pouring our praise. I prefer the NKJV rendering which is also accurate “I will smile wide at my enemies.”

What a joy to realise that we can smile in the face of opposition. Our enemies have no power over us because. No matter what happens we can rejoice in God’s salvation.

Today we may face many enemies and great opposition. These enemies have no power over us. We can smile in the face of our enemies. We can open our mouths wide and pour forth praise to our God because of our salvation.

There is no room for us ever to be “down in the mouth” as believers. No matter what we face we may always rejoice in God’s precious salvation!

Watchman
11-28-2005, 02:33 AM
Monday November 28, 2005

"For He saith, I have heard thee in the time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time;
behold, now is the day of salvation" (2Corinthians 6:2)
There are many wonderful things that we as Christians are looking forward to in the ages to come, when the earth and our bodies are made
new and the entire beautiful creation of God is open to us for all eternity. But there are also many wonderful priveleges that belong to us
right now as well.
First of all, our eternal salvation is here and now, for this is the time acceptable to God in which to receive His great salvation through
faith in Christ. No one will ever be saved in the ages of eternity, for all who enjoy His salvation then will have received it now.
Those who have salvation now also have been set free from condemnation (or "judgement") now. "There is therefore now no condemnation to
them that are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). "Much more than, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him" (Romans 5:9). "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight" (Colossians 1:21-22).
Not only do we now have the assurance of eternal salvation, but we also have all necessary provisions for a happy, fruitful, victorious life in this present age. "The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20).
Now, because all these doctrines are present realities, we have full confidence that all God's yet-to-be-realized promises are also true.
"Beloved, now we are the sons of God...but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is" (1John 3:2)

C4K
11-29-2005, 02:00 AM
Tuesday, 29th November, 2005

God will keep the feet of His saints


“He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail”. – 1 Samuel 2v9

Our Christian life is often referred to as a walk. We are told several times in the New Testament about how we are supposed to walk. Many times that walk can be confusing. Sometimes it seems that we are walking in the very edge of a precipice where it seems like we might slip and fall at any minute. The way can be dark and hazardous and the way may seem like we are always on the verge of stumbling.

Here we find a great promise in the middle of Hannah’s prayer of praise. We are reminded that God will “keep the feet of His saints.” There is a lot involved in this statement. God gives us the perfect guide for our feet through His word, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path, “ we are reminded in the book of Psalms. Through His word of feet a clearly kept and we need not walk in darkness fearing those things at which we might stumble.

Habakkuk gives a few wonderful words to remind us how God will keep our steps, (Habakkuk 3v19) “The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places…” The mountain goats Habakkuk have an innate ability to walk among the most dangerous paths without fear of stumbling. This is the kind of protection that God promises for His saints when we walk by faith in Him instead of by sight.

Watchman
11-30-2005, 02:37 AM
Wednesday November 30, 2005

"Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain" (Psalm 76:10).
One of the most amazing anomalies in human life is the oft-repeated testimony to God's grace and power unwittingly rendered by men who would
dethrone Him if they could. Biblical examples are numerous.
Joseph's brothers hated him and sold him into slavery, but "God meant it for good...to save much people alive" (Genesis 50:20). Haman tried to destroy the Jews in the days of Queen Esther; but instead their leader, Mordecai, was elevated to prime minister, and Haman was hanged upon his
own gallows. Daniel's enemies maneuvered him into the lions den, but these enemies themselves were later devoured by the animals, and King
Darius decreed "That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for He is the living God, and steadfast
forever" (Daniel 6:26).
In the awful hour of Satan and the powers of darkness, Jesus died on the cross, but "having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it" (Collossians 2:15). Why did the heathen rage?...The rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ." Their plans turned to frustration and rage because
all they could do was "whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done" (Acts 4:25-26, 28).
Let men be ever so bitter against God and hateful to His people. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church, and the more His enemies rage, the more will God be glorified. The wrath of man can never prevail against the Lord. It will either be restrained in due season or it will be turned into praise, for "we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).

C4K
12-01-2005, 02:23 AM
Thursday, 1st December, 2005

Samuel grew before the Lord

“And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bore three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD.” – I Samuel 2v21

What a contrast God draws between the wicked sons of Eli and the child Samuel. After describing the sinful men God says, “But the child Samuel ministered before the Lord, being a child.” While grown men lived evil, wicked lives Samuel as a child was ministering before the Lord.

Then we read, “the child grew before the Lord.” This reminds us of Jesus where it says “he grew in wisdom, and stature, and is favour with God and man.” At least twice in the word of God we see the importance placed on a child growing up.

In Samuel’s case the key element of his growth as a child seem to be service. He grew up serving God. His entire childhood was serving while the adults did wrong. Often child can set examples for adults, as Paul pointed out when he wrote, “let no man despise thy youth, but be thou and example of the believers.”

Those of us who are parents need to be sure that we provide opportunities for service to our children as they grow.

Watchman
12-01-2005, 08:44 PM
Friday December 2, 2005

"Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain" (Psalm 76:10).
One of the most amazing anomalies in human life is the oft-repeated testimony to God's grace and power unwittingly rendered by men who would
dethrone Him if they could. Biblical examples are numerous.
Joseph's brothers hated him and sold him into slavery, but "God meant it for good...to save much people alive" (Genesis 50:20). Haman tried to
destroy the Jews in the days of Queen Esther; but instead their leader, Mordecai, was elevated to prime minister, and Haman was hanged upon his
own gallows. Daniel's enemies maneuvered him intothe lions den, but these enemies themselves were later devoured by the animals, and King
Darius decreed "That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for He is the living God, and steadfast
forever" (Daniel 6:26).
In the awful hour of Satan and the powers of darkness, Jesus died on the cross, but "having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it" (Collossians 2:15). We did theheathen rage?...The rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ." Their plans turned to frustration and rage because all they could do was "whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done" (Acts 4:25-26, 28).
Let men be ever so bitter against God and hateful to His people. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church, and the more His enemies
rage, the more will God be glorified. The wrath of man can never prevail against the Lord. It will either be restrained in due season or it will
be turned into praise, for "we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to His
purpose" (Romans 8:28).

C4K
12-05-2005, 02:45 AM
Monday, 5th December, 2005

Them that honour me I will honour

“Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me forever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.” – 1 Samuel 2v30

How tragic it is when God’s people put pleasing their children above pleasing God. Eli’s sin was to honour his boys more than he honoured God. As a result God took away the priestly live from Eli and passed in on to another.

By pampering and excusing his son’s Eli neglected the word of God and dishonoured Him. God will never honour those who choose to dishonour Him. When people dishonour God they bring a dishonouring on themselves.

We see this obviously when we look at the lost, but the same principle with believers. God will not honour His children who are not honouring Him. Instead He will lovingly chasten them. If we expect God to bless us in any way, we must make it our priority to honour Him instead of seeking our own honour or honouring our children above the Lord.

Watchman
12-06-2005, 02:48 AM
Tuesday December 6, 2005

"Most men will proclaim everyone his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?" (Proverbs 20:6)

Fauthfulness is like a rare and precious gem. It is difficult to find a real such gem, though there are many who will offer their virtues as a
substitute.
Moses, however was one such man. "And Moses verily was faithful in all his house" (Hebrews 3:5). So was Abraham. "So then they which be of
faith are blessed with faithful Abraham" (Galatians 3:9). Moses and Abraham were full of faith in God's Word, therefore they were faithful
to God's Word. The very word "faithful" means "full of faith."
God is not impressed with those who boast of themselves and their qualifications or who belittle others. "It is not good to eat much
honey: so for men to search their own gloryis not glory" (Proverb
25:27). Actions speak louder than words, and it is better to let one'sworks speak for themselves. "Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew you my
faith by my works (James 2:18). The rare quality of faithfulness-firm and reliable commitment to one's convictions and responsibilities, in
accordance with God's Word and God's leading-is proved in practice rather than proclamation. May God help us to be faithful servants, for
"it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful" (1Corinthians 4:2). It is quality, not quantity, of service that God measures.
There is one glorious promise regarding faithfulness-not our faithfulness, but the faithfulness of our Savior. "If we believe not,
yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself" (2Timothy 2:13). "For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith
(literally 'faithfulness') of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be (found) true, but every man a liar" (Romans 3:3-4).

C4K
12-07-2005, 02:05 AM
Wednesday, 7th December, 2005

It is the Lord, let Him do what seems good

“And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.” – 1 Samuel 3v18

Samuel was called upon to tell Eli the bad news that his sons were going to die and the priesthood was going to be taken from his family. The reason given back a few verses is that Eli did not restrain his sons. We could glean a lot about child rearing from that statement alone.

Yet let us look at Eli’s attitude. The bad news had come. To Eli’s credit he did not question God or His Word. He did not try to make excuses. When the word came down that God was going to act Eli knew he could do nothing about, “He is God, let Him do what seems good to him.”

Most of us could use a good dose of the attitude. We seem to want what seems good to us, not what seems good to God. We tend to judge our situation by what we like or don’t like, or by what we perceive is good.

Our God is always good and always does what is best, Indeed, He is God, let Him do what seems good to Him!

Watchman
12-08-2005, 12:49 AM
Thursday Dec. 8, 2004

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold
that perisheth, though it be tried with fire" (1Peter 1:7).
Why does God oftentimes allow those who name the name of Christ to go
through great trial and adversity; insomuch that the temptation arises
to doubt the very presence of God?
Job was tested in such a way. He said, "Even today is my complaint
bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning. Oh that I knew where I
might find Him!...Behold, I go forward, but He is not there; and
backward, but I cannot perceive Him: On the left hand, where He doth
work, but I cannot behold Him: He hideth Himself on the right hand, that
I cannot see Him" (Job 23:2-3; 8-9).
Yet in spite of all the calamitous events in Job's life, his faith stood
firm, causing him to proclaim, "But He knoweth the way that I take: when
He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold" (Job 23:10). God allowed
the fiery trials to refine and purify him.
Peter emphasized the same truth to the suffering Christians of the first
century. He explained that the testing of their faith ws to be
considered more precious than gold that is put into the fire to be
purified.
There is an eternal result for Christians being put into the furnace of
affliction; which is, they will "be found unto praise and honor and
glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ" (1Peter 1:7).
Thus when the fiery trials come, strong faith and patience are needed.
"Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience
of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is pitiful, and
of tender mercy" (James5:11)

C4K
12-09-2005, 02:17 AM
Friday, 9th December, 2005

Who can stand before the Lord?

“And the men of Beth-shemesh said, Who is able to stand before this holy LORD God? and to whom shall he go up from us?” – 1 Samuel 6v20

God was judging the Philistines because they had the Ark. They shifted from place to place with the same horrendous results. God’s judgement was poured out on whoever had the Ark.

Finally the men of Beth-shamesh asked a question that befits further study – “Who is able to stand before this holy Lord God?”

The answer of course is obvious to all – no man can stand before the holy Lord on his own. God is so holy and perfect that all must, like Isaiah, fall before His feet in awe and reverence. We have no right at all to stand before God and demand anything from Him.

Everything we have is a blessing from God. Our only hope to approach Him is because He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be the Captain and Pioneer of our salvation. It is only because of Christ that we are able to boldly enter into God’s throne room in prayer.

Praise the Lord that no man is able to stand before the Lord, He sent His Son to be my escort into His presence!

C4K
12-12-2005, 02:59 AM
Monday, 12th December, 2005

Ebenezer

“Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.” – 1 Samuel 7v12

Once the people had admitted and repented of their sins, Samuel became the leader of the land as their judge. The people gathered together to fast, and when the Philistines heard about them all being together they decided to attack. Samuel asked God for help and God delivered them.

When they saw that they had the victory Samuel set up a stone and called the place “Ebenezer.” The word means “stone of help” and referred to the fact that God had been their help in a time of conflict.

Samuel set a stone in place to remind the people of God’s great work. Whenever people saw that stone they could be reminded of what God had done for them. There is wisdom in us setting up a reminder when God does things for us. It is far to easy to see God work, rejoice for a moment, then forget. I think we would be wise to set up some type of “Ebenezer” when God does a work for us. Perhaps it would be a journal or prayer list where we can look back and be reminded of God’s great work.

Are there Ebenezers in your life that you can look back on when things get tough? The old hymn goes – “Here I raise my Ebenezer; Here by Thy great help I’ve come;” We are where we are today by the grace of God. Let us strive to remember that God is our stone of help and look to Him in times of need.

C4K
12-14-2005, 01:01 AM
Wednesday, 14th December, 2005

Everybody else is doing it!

“Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.” – 1 Samuel 8v19-20

Do you remember telling your parents, or hearing from your children, “Everyone else gets to do it?” Man seems to always have a knack of comparing himself to others and being jealous of what they don’t have.

The people of Israel had the same problem. As they looked around they saw that all the other nations had kings. They felt “left out” because they were not content with the ruler God gave them. Even after Samuel told them all of the evil that would come upon them, they still demanded a king, so that they could be like everyone else.

I find myself in the same trap at times. When I get my focus off of the Lord and onto the world I can be tempted to want what others have. For some Christians this gets so strong that they are willing to sacrifice doing right and following the Lord just to be like the world.

The root problem is one that comes up over and over again – it is a lack of contentment. There is “great gain” in godliness with contentment. May we forget about what everybody else has and get on serving God with what He gives us.

C4K
12-15-2005, 03:40 AM
Thursday, 15th December, 2005

Turned in to another man

“And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.” – 1 Samuel 10v6

Saul knew that he was incapable of serving the Lord. Samuel told him that the day would come when the spirit of God would come upon him and make him into “another man.” Later in verse 9 we read that the Holy Spirit gave him a “new heart.”

From every indication here Saul was a saved man. Though he will not always walk with the Lord, at this time three things happened:

· The Holy Spirit came upon him
· He was turned into another man
· He received a new heart

All three of these things should mark every believer. When we get saved the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in and with us. If any man be in Christ he is a new creature. Our hearts are changed to conform us to the image of Christ.

Saul did not always do so, but does my life daily reflect the fact that I have been turned into another man? Is my life so different so I appear to all that I am a whole different man that I was before I was saved.

Lord, remind me daily to live in such a way that I reflect the indwelling Holy Spirit, that fact that I am another man, and show the world that I have a new heart.

C4K
12-16-2005, 02:09 AM
Friday, 23rd December, 2005

What meaneth the bleating of the sheep?

“And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?” – 1 Samuel 15v14

Saul had a real problem with faith living. When Samuel instructed him on defeating King Agag he told him to kill the king, all the inhabitants of the city. He told him to destroy all of the livestock in the city.

In the minds of Saul and the people it did not make any sense to destroy all that food so they spared Agag and all the livestock. Once again he acted by sight instead of by faith.

When Samuel arrived he Saul came forward and boldly proclaimed, “I have followed the commandment of the Lord!” What arrogance! He boldly lied to the Samuel and thought he could get away with it because he had offered his one and only sacrifice.

He didn’t reckon on Samuel’s response – “What meaneth the bleating of the sheep?” The Bible says, “be sure your sin will find you out.” The evidence of Saul’s sin was there. He said he obeyed God, but the sheep he spared we sounding out that he was a liar!

It is easy for us to think we can get away with sin and mask it with spiritual activity. We must be aware that our sin will eventually find us out. We should not be surprised at the “bleating of the sheep” when we are trying to cover up our own sin.

Watchman
12-18-2005, 08:14 AM
Monday December 19,2005

“For lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess” (Jeremiah 30,3)
One characteristic of the spiritual life is the cyclic nature of punishment-the repetitious pattern of peace, guilt, punishment, recovery, and peace again.
As an example of the discipline cycle, Jeremiah speaks in our text of the return of the Jews to Israel after being away in captivity in Babylon. The period of discipline is over, and God is about to re-enable the people to possess the land.
In Deuteronomy, we see yet an earlier cycle of discipline-the wilderness experience that the Israelites had to go through: “And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led these forty years in the wilderness to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep His commandments, or no” (Deuteronomy 8:2). Because they did not believe God at Paran (Numbers 12:16; 14:3), they had to pay for their rebellious hearts (14: 22-23).
Let’s examine the specifics of the discipline cycle:
(1) The people must obey the commandments in order to live, multiply and possess the land.
(2) If not, then they will be subject to discipline that will humble them, test their heart’s sincerity to keep the commandments, and cause a hunger for God;
(3) Restoration will come only through repentance and forgiveness, which allows them to repossess the land.
(4) The people can satisfy themselves with the Lord’s provision and bless Him for the land.
Knowledge of the cycle of discipline might help us to stay within God’s favor, and, if we should be out of favor, to determine where we are and what to do next to get back into fellowship and blessing.

C4K
12-20-2005, 01:39 AM
Tuesday, 20th December, 2005

Consider all that He has done for you

“Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.” – 1 Samuel 12v24


Samuel instructed the people to fear the Lord and serve Him with all their hearts. We have already seen that “heart service” is the kind of service that God expects from us.

How do we motivate ourselves to keep on serving? What do we do when we don’t see any “results” to speak of? What happens when things just seem to keep going wrong? How do we keep serving with all our hearts when our hearts are broken?

Samuel answers all of these questions with a very simple phrase – “Consider the great things God has done for you.” When we truly consider all that God has done for us we must stand in amazement and wonder. How God could take a vile, filthy, heel-bound sinner and create that man a new heart and a new man mystifies me. That the perfect sinless God of heaven would reach down in love to make me His own is a wonder. If this was “all” that God ever did for me it would make all of the service, with whatever trials it brings, worthwhile. He has made us His children. He has given us an eternal inheritance that cannot be taken away. He has made us joint heirs with His Son. He has given us an assured hope in a world that is without hope!

The next time you are tempted to despair or get discouraged pause and “consider the great things He has done for you!”

Watchman
12-20-2005, 10:59 PM
Wednesday December 21, 2005

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy” (Philippians 1:3-4).
One would suspect from his frequent use of the phrase “you all” that the Apostle Paul had come from Alabama or Georgia! But, in his writings, “you all” is not a southern idiom, but a warm expression of Christian fellowship. His heart was burdened, not just for a few close friends and loved ones (as in most of our own prayers), but for “all that in every place call upon the name of the Jesus Christ our Lord” (1Corinthians 1:2).
He assured the Philippian Church that he was, in every one of his prayers, praying for “you all.” He told them of his confidence in their continued growth in Christ, that it was altogether fitting for him to believe this of “you all,” thankful that “in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace” (Philippians 1:7).
He wrote in similar vein to the Thessalonians at the start of his (chronologically) first epistle: “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers (1Thessalonians 1:2). Paul had a long prayer list.
To the Roman Christians he wrote: “I than my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world” (Romans 1:8). Then he wrote his benediction: “Now the God of peace be with you all” (Romans 15:33). He concluded his message to the Christians at Corinth: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all” (2Corinthians 13:14).
Peter and John used the same expression in their writings for they also were large of heart and concern. Finally, these are the very last words of the Bible: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen" (Revelation 22:21).

C4K
12-22-2005, 04:24 AM
Thursday, 22nd December, 2005

There is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few


“And Jonathan said to the young man that bore his armor, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few.” – 1 Samuel 14v6

Israel was in big trouble. Saul was dispirited after hearing the news that he would lose the kingdom. The Philistines were still on their border. They we outnumbered and defeat looked certain.

Jonathan and his armour bearer decided to do something about it. Under Jonathan’s direction they went out on their own to face the Philistines. Jonathan showed a faith his father did not show when he told the armour bearer that the Lord could save with a few as easily as He could deliver with many. Jonathan had great faith in making this declaration. It made no difference what he saw – he had the faith to trust in what he could not see.

Every time we face difficulties we have a choice. We can do like Saul did and respond to what we can see. Or, we can be like Jonathan and trust God in spite of what we see. Jonathan’s words have been a great comfort to me in the past. God can do His work no matter how big our numbers are. It is all His work. He can do it in our strength or in our weakness, in our many, or in our few.

Watchman
12-22-2005, 09:58 AM
Nothing is impossible with the Lord. Thanks Roger.

Watchman
12-22-2005, 10:45 PM
Friday December 23, 2005

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27)
The fact Jesus Christ is actually in each believer is both a great mystery and rich in glory. In fact, it is our very hope and assurance of glory in the ages to come.
How Christ may be both seated at “the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3) and yet living in us is surely a mystery, yet it is fully true. He Himself told His disciples: “If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him and make our abode with him…Abide in Me, and I in you…He that abideth in Me an I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing” (John 14:23; 15: 4-5)
The apostle Paul also confirmed this great truth: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20). One of his prayers for the Ephesians was “That Christ (might) dwell in (their) hearts (Ephesians 3:17).
The mystery as to how this can be resolved in yet another mystery-that of the tri-unity of the Godhead. Christ, the Second Person, is present in His people through the Holy Spirit, the Third Person. Christ said: “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter…Even the Spirit of truth…for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16-17).
In fact, as our text says, His indwelling presence is our very hope of glory, for “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Romans 8:9).
Thus, where we go, He goes; whatever we say, He hears; even what we think, He knows. Christ, by the Holy Spirit, is our ever-present comforter and guide and counselor, This is, indeed, a glorious mystery!

C4K
12-26-2005, 02:21 AM
Monday, 26th December, 2005

Man looks on the outward appearance and God looks on the heart

“But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16v7

When Saul was sent to Jesse’s home to find the new kings he called on Jesse to bring out his sons. The first son to catch Samuel’s eye was Eliab. He must have been an imposing figure for Samuel said – “Surely, this must be the one!”

God however had another plan. He told Samuel, “Don’t look on his appearance, don’t look at his height. I have refused him.” Obviously, physical appearance was not going to impress God, it was the attitude of the heart that was going to matter to God. “Man looks on the outward appearance, the Lord looks on the heart.”

Physical still has a major importance to the world today. People are popular in many cases because of the way they look, or what they can do. Sports and Hollywood stars base nearly everything on looks or physical ability. Too many Christians have followed that line.

God is not impressed by our physical appearance or abilities. God is concerned instead with our hearts. How many hours do spend preparing our hearts compared to how much time we spend on our physical appearance?

Watchman
12-26-2005, 11:00 PM
Tuesday December 27, 2005

“After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward” (Genesis 15:1)
This is the first of the great “I am’s” of Scripture, and it was given to father Abraham at a time of both great victory and great dependence. The Lord had enabled Abraham’s little army to vanquish a much larger Amorite host, but then, still childless, he was suddenly overwhelmed by his loneliness and vulnerability in an alien land.
Then Jesus came! When Christ much later affirmed His eternal self-existence to the Pharisee’s (“I am,” He had said). He claimed that Abraham had seen His day, and rejoiced (John 8:56). This experience, recorded early in Genesis, was, no doubt, that great occasion. As the living Word (John 1:1), by whom all things were made (v.3), He assured Abram that He, Himself, would provide all needed protection (thy shield), and all needed blessing (“exceeding great reward”). And then it was that “he believed in the Lord, and He counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). The Lord Jesus Christ, the eternally existing Creator and Redeemer of all things, is no less able today than then, to be our protection-and our provision as well.
Note that it was the Word of the Lord that came to Abram in a vision. This identifies the vision with the preincarnate Christ, who would eventually become God’s incarnate Word (John 1:1, 14).
Thus, as to Abram, God says: “Fear not!” Adam, indeed, was justifiably afraid when he heard the voice of the Lord (Genesis 3:10), for he only a fig leaf for a covering. But, like Abram, we have a strong shield, which is none other than the Lord. Himself.

C4K
12-28-2005, 04:29 AM
Wednesday, 28th December, 2005

The God who delivered me from the bear and the lion will deliver me from the giant

“David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.” – 1 Samuel 17v37

Saul and the people though that David was crazy for wanting to fight Goliath. He was only a boy and Goliath had been a champion warrior since his youth. All they could see was this giant. According to the custom of the time whichever champion won the fight would win the battle for his side. All they could see was certain defeat.

David had another perspective. He knew that God had delivered him when he fought both a lion and a bear. As a boy he had no hope against these foes either, but God had allowed him to kill them. David already knew the principle of James 1. Trials now strengthen us for more trials later. He knew that he had no hope in his own strength when he fought Goliath. He knew that by sight he was sunk. But he knew something else; he knew that with God all things were possible.

We all face various giants in our lives. God will not bring a giant across our path that He has not already provided a way to defeat it. He will never give us more than we can handle. Look back to other foes that God has defeated and look forward with confidence to the giant in your path today!

Watchman
12-29-2005, 10:19 AM
Thursday December 29, 2005

"Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold, the man whose name is The Branch, and He shall grow up out of His place, and He shall build
the temple of the Lord: Even He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He
shall be priest upon His throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both" (Zechariah 6:12-13).
In ancient Israel, the offices of king and priest were kept strictly separate. There was too much risk of misuse of power for one man top
hold both offices.
Yet, in the truest sense, no one but God Himself was fully qualified either to rule as king or mediate as priest. thus God Himself must one day become man, in order to be both King of Kings, and eternal HIgh Priest. As a prophetic promise of His coming accession to these positions, God symbolically invested Zerubabbel and Joshua, the current governor and high priest, with the combined function "a priest upon his throne"-through the prophet Zechariah.
This was only prophetic, however.
Long before, God had made a similar promise through David, speaking of the coming Messiah: "Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies...Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek" (Psalm 110:2,4). The
mysterious Melchizedek, first encountered by Abraham a thousand years before even David's time, had also been both "King of Salem" and "priest of the most high God" (Genesis 14:18).
The Lord Jesus Christ had now come, and henceforth will always be "the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords"
(1Timothy 6:15). Furthermore, "this man, because He continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore He is able to save them to
the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing that He ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:24-25).

Watchman
01-01-2006, 10:32 PM
Monday January 2, 2006

"For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man among you, not to think of himself more highly than ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith" (Romans 12:3).

Many times today we look at Paul and wish to be greatly used of God as he was. But Scripture teaches us that the use of Paul as a role model requires a proper view of Paul-his humility and his submission to Christ. Paul didn't start out as a humble servant. In fact, before his conversion, he was quite proud of his pedigree (Philippians 3:4-6). He was the overseer of the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:58). He was fanatical, the haughty persecutor of the early church (8:3). In grace, he was informed of his error by "Jesus, whom thou persecutest" (9:5), and soon Paul recognized the worthlessness of his background and human achievement, and counted all these things "but dung, that I may win Christ" (Philippians 3:8). Once his view of Christ was proper, Paul's view of himself began to decrease. In A.D. 56 or so, Paul, who had been set apart for ministry to the Gentiles "from my mother's womb" (Galatians 1:15) called himself "the least of the apostles, that am not meet (fit) to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God, I am what I am (1Corinthians 15:9-10). While in prison several years later, Paul wrote to the gentile churches he had founded, marveling that this ministry was given "Unto me, who am the least of all saints" (Ephesians 3:8). Shortly before he was beheaded in prison for his faith, he testified "that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief" (1Timothy 1:15). As Paul grew older. his evaluation of his own worth decreased. As one draws closer and closer to the light, he is able to see more clearly his own unworthiness.

C4K
01-03-2006, 02:53 AM
Tuesday, 3rd January, 2006

The Lord judge between thee and me

“The LORD judge between me and thee, and the LORD avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.” - 1 Samuel 24v12


How different were David’s words to Saul than they were to Jonathan. To Jonathan her said, “The Lord be between thee and me,” and to Saul he said, “The Lord judge between thee and me.” In both cases David showed that his faith was in the Lord. He could trust God to watch over Jonathan and he could trust God to take care of his enemy Saul. David consistently showed an uncanny ability to trust God in every situation and to deal with others.

In this case David felt guilty that he had even cut Saul’s robe. He pointed out to Saul that he could have killed him, but he would not so because Saul was God’s anointed. He knew that eventually God would avenge Saul for him, but he was not going to do anything about it.

David knew how to trust God to deal with others. O that we could all have that same faith!

Watchman
01-04-2006, 05:14 AM
Wednesday January 4,2006

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath
blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ"
(Ephesians 1:3).
This little phrase, "in Christ," conveys a world of doctrinal truth with
great blessing to the believer. Positionally speaking, God has actually
"raised us up together, and made us to sit together in heavenly places
in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:6). God in effect sees us as "in Christ,"
and this wonderful position, at God's right hand, implies great honor.
It is well to note similar phrases throughout Scripture. Paul assures us
that we were "chosen...in Him before the foundation of the world" (1:4),
"accepted in the beloved" (1:6), and "created in Christ Jesus unto
good works" (2:10).
He is the one "In whom we have obtained an inheritance" (1:11), and, "In
whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the
Spirit" (2:22). We have the glorious future promise that God will
"gather together in one all things in Christ" (1:10) "according to
the
working of His mighty power. Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised
Him from the dead, and set Him on His own right hand in heavenly places"
(1:19-20).
Therefore, in our exalted position in Him, in the heavenly places, we do
indeed enjoy "all spiritual blessings." This doctinal truth provides us
with the incentive and power to live a practical Christian life that is
genuinely consistent with our high calling and position in Him.
This is the basis for the many New Testament exhortations to the
believer to live daily "in Christ." For example, "As ye have therefore
received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him" (Colossians 2:6).
Therefore, since "ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which
are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God...for ye are
dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God (Colossians 3:1-3).

C4K
01-05-2006, 02:17 AM
Thursday, 5th January, 2006

David encouraged himself in the Lord his God

“And David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” – 1 Samuel 30v6

Even David was not perfect when it came to walking by faith. When he say that Saul was bound and determined to kill him he was afraid and decided to join forces with the Philistines.

He became a successful warrior for the Philistines. After a time however he grew into disfavour since he was an Israelite. When he tried to go back to Israel he was rejected by them because of his apparent treason. Now he was truly a man without a country.

He had learned his lesson however. He was distresses and afraid. The people were ready to stone him because of his ruthlessness when he fought for the Philistines.

This time David did the right thing. He could not encourage himself with his situation. He knew there was only one way to encourage himself – he encouraged himself in the Lord.

We will always fail when we encourage ourselves in anything but the Lord. We will NEVER fail when we truly encourage ourselves in Him.

Watchman
01-06-2006, 01:06 PM
Friday January 6, 2006

“Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1Timothy 4:13).
In this video age, Christians are in grave danger of forgetting the importance of reading. A sermon or lecture is knowledge heard; an educational film or video is knowledge seen; but reading is knowledge that can be read, rehearsed, reviewed, and renewed again and again, until fully and securely learned. In fact, it is necessary for students to take notes, even when hearing a sermon or seeing a film, if they expect to retain any knowledge received by such means.
Reading and studying the Scriptures are especially necessary for a fruitful Christian ministry, but even this is not really enough. The Bible also commands us to give an “answer” for our Christian hope (1Peter 3:15).
To do this requires continuance in the study, not only of the Bible, but also other sound literature as well. A truly effective and influential Christian is an informed Christian, armed with facts and sound counsel, prepared and capable both in his own professional field of practice and in his spiritual service as a Christian witness.
It is significant that Paul, just before his martyrdom and while imprisoned in a damp, cold, Roman dungeon, still desired his books to read (2Timothy 3:18). The conscientious Christian must never cease to study, and to grow in grace and knowledge (2Peter 3:18).

C4K
01-09-2006, 06:24 AM
Monday, 9th January, 2006

What more can I say Lord, you know your servant

“And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, Lord GOD, knowest thy servant.” - 2 Samuel 7v20

The more I read about David the more real he seems. He knew himself. He knew his doubts and fears. He knew his weaknesses and strengths. He knew his successes and his failures.

Even more than that he knew as evidenced in Psalm 139 that God knew all about Him. God knew all about David and He still chose to make David his servant. God knew all about God and still called David a “man after His own heart.”

This ought to give us great comfort. Sometimes I feel so ill suited to do God’s work. I know my own heart and wonder how God could possibly use me. This passage gives us the great comfort that He does know all about what.

What marvellous grace it is that God could know me, and still use me!

Watchman
01-10-2006, 03:53 AM
Tuesday January 10, 2006

"Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God forever and ever: for wisdom and might are His" (Daniel 2:20)
Men have sought wisdom all through the ages "ever learning, and never
able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (IITimothy 3:7). Others have
sought great power. But then we read of Alexander weeping because there
were no more worlds to conquer, and see one rich man after another who
cannot bring himself to say, "It is enough."
The problem is, of course, that they are searching for wisdom and might
in the wrong places, and thus they can never be satisfied. Wisdom and
might belong only to God. In the Lord Jesus Christ "are hid all the
treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3), and to Him has been
given "All power...in heaven and in earth" (Matthew 28:18). God,
revealed in Christ, is both omniscient and omnipotent, and true wisdom
and true riches must come only from Him.
Therefore, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God...and it shall
be given him" (James 1:5). If we are in need of strength, we must
become weak, for "when I am weak, then am I strong" (IICorinthians
12:10). If we need riches, we must know poverty, for before Christ can
commit to us "the true riches," we must be found "faithful in that
which is least" (Luke 16:11,10).
Daniel's testimony, as recorded in this passage, was given to the most
powerful monarch on earth, with access to all the wisdom of the most
highly educated men of the age. But neither human might nor human wisdom
could solve his problem. Only Daniel, drawing on the wisdom and power of
the God of creation, could meet his need. God's servants, even today,
have the same privilage and responsibility, because our God is "for ever
and ever."

C4K
01-11-2006, 03:58 AM
Wednesday, 11 January, 2006

Be brave, be strong, and let God do what seems good to Him

“Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good.” - 2 Samuel 10v12

Joab and Abishai were facing two enemies, the Syrians and the Ammonites. Joab divided his forces, taking part of the army with him to face the Syrians and sending Abishai to face the Ammonites.

Then Joab gave some marvellous instructions for the battle:

· Be of good courage
· Be strong (play the men)
· Let God do what seems best to Him

There is a wonderful, if very basic lesson here. We are to take courage in the Lord, go forth in His strength, and then leave the rest up to Him. We have very real battles that we face every day. We must learn that we do all we can humanly do, then we just have to leave it in His hands to do as He will and accept His actions.

Simple enough. We can’t do more than we can do. Leave that up to Him!

following-Him
01-11-2006, 09:24 AM
Amen.

A simple message, just like you said, but one we need to be constantly reminded of.

Thank you Roger.

Watchman
01-11-2006, 11:36 PM
"Thy words were found, and I did eat them: and thy word was unto me the
joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God
of hosts" (Jeremiah 15:16).
People today seem always to be looking for fun and entertainment, but it
is significant that "fun" is never mentioned in the Bible, so it is
evidently not considered to be a very significant part of the Christian
life. The word "entertain" is used to speak of hospitality, and such
activities as "play" and "reveling" only receive condemnation.
("Playing" is appropriate for children and animals, of course.)
Chriatians, however, have something far better than worldly fun-they
have heavenly joy! This is the unique privilage of the redeemed, and
there are many channels through which this joy can be experienced.
First of all, Christian joy comes through the Word. As even Jeremiah
(the weeping prophet") could say: "Thy word was unto me the joy and
rejoicing of my heart," as in our text.
Then we rejoice in God's great salvation: "I will greatly rejoice in the
Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me in the
garments of salvation" (Isaiah 61:10).
There is great joy in the privilege of prayer and having our prayers
answered: "Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall
receive that your joy may be full" (John 16:24). Christian service and
witnessing is a source of tremendous joy when its fruits are finally
seen. "They that sow in tears shall reao in joy. He that goeth forth and
weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with
rejoicing, bring his sheaves with him" (Psalm 126:5-6).
And there is much more! "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say,
Rejoice" (Philippians 4;4). After, all, we know personally the very
creator of all that was good. "In whom, though ye see Him not, yet
believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory" (1Peter
1:8).

C4K
01-13-2006, 01:36 AM
Friday, 13th January. 2006

Thou art the man

“And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man …” - 2 Samuel 1v7

Things went along nice and smoothly for King David. He had covered over his sin and things were back to normal in the palace with yet another wife.

One day the prophet Nathan came to see the king. He told him a story about a rich man who had taken advantage of a poor man by taking his sheep. The king’s response was justifiable anger – “The man must be killed for his action!”

The Nathan said for little words that must have hit David like a ton of bricks – “You are the man!” One can almost sense David’s feelings when he heard these words. He knew immediately what Nathan was talking about. The sin he thought he had so carefully hidden was now out in the open. He could not hide them from God and now his sin was to be judged.

I recently saw a television programme about a man who had killed another twenty years previous to the story. At the time of the murder he was on drugs, but had sorted his life out. Eventually however, due to a thorough investigation of the crime scene the facts time to light and the murderer went to jail. This was a very clear picture of a Bible truth David had forgotten, “Be sure your sins will find you out!”

Watchman
01-15-2006, 10:43 PM
Monday January 16, 2006

"Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it to the children
of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for
me against the children of Israel" (Deuteronomy 31:19).
The book of Psalms was essentially a songbook for Old Testament and New
Testament Jews, while other songs are scattered throughout Scripture
written by a variety of prophets and leaders. Our text tells us that the
Lord commanded Moses and Joshua to write aspects of the Law and details
of God's dealigs with the nation, as well as His promise of judgement,
should they disobey-in a song.
The song would serve several functions. First, it would be a memory
device. "It shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed"
(v.21). Those who have been around good church music probably know many
portions of Scripture set to music, including the grand old hymns of the
faith which are frequently conglomerates of many verses around a
doctrinal theme. Many of us probably have memorized without trying, and
maybe without realizing it, many, many Scripture verses. In fact, this
may be the very best way to build Biblical principles into the lives of
our children.
The second function of Moses' song would be to convict those in
disobedience (32:7,47, etc.) As with the people of Israel, our hearts
should be receptive to the teachings contained within the songs we know.
Unfortunately, Israel seldom listened, even to those songs they had
memorized. Thus, the third and evidently primary function of this song
was to "testify against them as a witness" (31:21). Much of this song
carefully explains their coming apostasy and inevitable judgement. No
doubt many remembered this song and its message with tears as they
marched into captivity, unable to charge God with unfairness.

C4K
01-17-2006, 01:40 AM
Tuesday, 17th January, 2006

My cry entered into His ears

“In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears.” – 2 Samuel 22v7

As David looked back over His life he recalled many times when his life had been in danger. He had times when it seemed like there was no way out. He had learned that in those times he had one thing he could always do, he could always call upon the Lord.

Anyone can call upon the Lord. Most people would do so in times of trouble. Calling upon the Lord is not enough though. Getting His attention is a different matter. David knew that he could not only call out to the Lord, he also knew that God would hear his prayer.

David put it this way, “My cry did enter into His ears.” As I read this I am amazed that God would allow my cries to enter into His ears. After all, this is the God Who created the universe. This is the God Who is holy, holy, holy. This is the God Who dwells in the High and Holy place. Yet, he allows the cries of a sinful man to enter into His ears.

Why would he holy, holy, holy God allow my cries to enter into His ears? There is one reason? He loves me. I am a part of His creation and He loves me so much that He hears my cries in my time of need. What an amazing, loving God we have who would give us an audience and let our cries enter into His ears.

Watchman
01-17-2006, 11:13 PM
Wednesday January 18, 2006

"And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him" (James 5:15)
Without examining the various interpretations of this somewhat controversial passage, we merely note that one of the main ingredients of effective praying is faith. There are others, of course (praying in God's will, no unconfessed sin, unselfish motives, etc.) but all these must be "mixed with faith" to be effective (Hebrews 4:2).
There are many such exhortations to pray in faith, Jesus said: "All things, whatsoever e shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive" (Matthew 21:22). Another example is James 1:5-6: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering." And another: "Therefore I say unto you, Whatsoever things ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them" Mark 11:24).
Every Scripture passage must be viewed in context, of course, including the context of the entire Bible. The “faith” we must exercise is not only a spiritual confidence that God will answer (and this, clearly, is necessary), but also faith in God as Creator (and, therefore able to answer!), Christ as Savior (therefore, justly willing to hear), and in the Holy Scriptures as the written word of God. James warns any man without genuine faith: “Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:7-8).
True Biblical faith is faith in God the omnipotent Creator (Hebrews 11:3), faith in Christ as redeeming Savior (John 3:16-18), and obedient faith in the revealed word of God (1John 3:22). Then we can believe in confidence that God will indeed answer our prayer of faith.

following-Him
01-18-2006, 12:39 PM
Amen.

Thank you Charles.

God Bless

Sheila

C4K
01-19-2006, 02:48 AM
Thursday, 19th January, 2006

David’s heart condemned him

“And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.” - 2 Samuel 24v10

David never did grow into perfection. Even now, at the very end of his life, he had a few problems with trusting God completely. God told David to trust him and not worry about his numbers, but David went ahead and called for a census anyway.

Immediately his heart was smitten. He knew he had acted foolishly and sinned against god by not trusting Him. He made no excuses; he just admitted his sin and foolishness. One thing we can admire about David is that when he was wrong he admitted it, he never tried to make any kind of excuse. That sets an example for us when we are guilty of sin.

There is even a better blessing. David did not know the full forgiveness offered by Christ. He had to deal with his guilt, for there was no Holy Spirit to removed the sin and the guilt. In Christ we have the blessing of sweet forgiveness and there is no need for our heart to condemn us as David’s did. We must repent and forsake our sin, but also know that the blood of Jesus Christ covers our sins, and our hearts can no longer condemn us. John 3v20-21 gives us this blessed knowledge, “For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.”

Watchman
01-20-2006, 01:00 AM
Friday January 20, 2006

"And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very
good" (Genesis 1:31).
Six times during the creation week, God saw His handiwork and pronounced
it "good" (Genesis 1:4,10,12,18,21,25). Finally, when it was all
finished, He surveyed all He had just completed, and judged it to be
very good!
This is the way with God. And if He can make a flawless universe, we can
be confident He knows what He is doing with us. "For we are His
workamanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath
before ordained that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10). What God
does must be, by definition, good! We can affirm, therefore, with
confidence (even though it must often be by faith rather than sight)
that "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them
that are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).
There is, of course, an important principle also established by this
verse: Whenever we see anything in the world which is not good (e.g.,
sin, suffering,death), we can know that such things constitute an
intrusion into God's perfect creation. They were not "created" as a part
of the primeval creation, nor will God allow them to continue their
intrusion forever. They all, eventually, must be eliminated when God
makes His "new earth."
In the meantime, this principle tells us that the great sedimentary
rocks of the eart's crust, containing as they do the fossilized remains
of billions of dead animals, plants and people, mus have all been formed
sometime after the end of creation week. At least most of them must
therefore have been formed at the time of the great flood (Genesis 6-9)
when "the earth that then was, being overflowed with water, perished"
(IIPeter 3:6).
Because of sin, the present world is groaning in pain (Romans 8:22), but
the first world was all "very good."

C4K
01-23-2006, 02:53 AM
Monday, 23rd January, 2006

His father had never rebuked him

“And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bore him after Absalom.” - 1 Kings 1v6

As David approached death the question of his successor came to the fore. Adonijah, who was probably the eldest son alive, assumed that he would be the next king. The Bible says that he “exalted himself” when he claimed the kingship for himself. Adonijah drew Joab and Abiathar to himself and raised any army to back up his claim.

There is a key problem here in that he exalted himself instead of being exalted by God. We see a hint of the root problem here in verse 6. “His father never displeased him at any time.” The New King James translates it this way; “His father had never rebuked him at any time.”

One area where David lacked was in fathering his sons. Here is part of the reason and a lesson for us all. David never did anything to displease his son Adonijah. As parents we often are afraid of rebuking or displeasing our children. We may be afraid that we are going to drive them away. Or, we may say that we love them too much to rebuke them. Or we use excuses like, “They’re only kids.”

David suffered the result of never displeasing his son. Adonijah was proud and haughty and he exalted himself to a place where God did not put him. As hard as it, we have an important role to play, and part of that is to cause of children displeasure at times. May we be sure that we do not neglect that task.

Watchman
01-23-2006, 07:16 AM
Excellent Roger. It just so happens that we are discussing David and his sons right now on Sunday evenings at church.
A clear example of one who cannot be satisfied with his place in life (and where God has him). This guy could have had the lap of luxury as a prince-brother of king Solomon, but, no, he had to have it all.
What comes to mind is Romans 12:3:
"For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."

Watchman
01-23-2006, 10:42 PM
Tuesday January 24, 2006

“And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. (Luke 10:7)
These words of the Lord Jesus are of special significance in a number of ways. They were part of His commissioning instructions, as it were, as He was sending out His disciples on what could be considered the first Christian missionary journey, in preparation perhaps for the worldwide mission on which He would be sending them soon. As such, there are a number of principles that could be applicable to all who “labor” for the Lord.
They were not to go begging for support “from house to house,” but they were free to accept such help as was offered. It was not their responsibility to win converts, but simply to witness, with the responsibility to believe resting entirely on the hearers. For those who would not receive them, the disciples’ remaining responsibility was simply to warn them of the judgement to come (Luke 10:10-16)
Another important general principle is that those who are called to full-time service for the Lord are worthy of support by those they serve, rather than having to be holding down a secular job to make a living. That support should be adequate, but need not be lavish.
One other unique aspect of this verse is that it is the only verse in the New Testament which is quoted as Scripture in the New Testament. “For the Scripture…The laborer is worthy of his reward.” (1Timothy 5:18).
Even those Christians in so-called secular labor can rightfully regard such work as “to the Lord” (Colossians 3:23), but it is especially appropriate to honor those who, “like the beloved Persis” have “labored much in the Lord.”
(Romans 16:12)

C4K
01-25-2006, 02:40 AM
Give me an understanding heart

“Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?” - 1 Kings 3v9

How do you think you would respond if God said, “I will give you anything you want?” I wonder how I would respond if I did not already know about Solomon.

Solomon was not perfect. We know from the rest of his life that he liked money, gold, fast chariots, and women. All of these things would cause him problems though out his life. Yet, when he had the chance, he did not ask for any of these things. He decided to ask God for wisdom.

Solomon was well aware of his weaknesses. For all of his problems, at this point he does the right thing.

God has already made all of His wisdom available to us in His word. Is wisdom as important to us as it was to Solomon?

Watchman
01-26-2006, 09:16 AM
Thursday January 26, 2006

"Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt
thou restrain" (Psalm 76:10).
One of the most amazing anomalies in human life is the oft-repeated
testimony to God's grace and power unwittingly rendered by men who would
dethrone Him if they could.
Biblical examples are numerous.
Joseph's brothers hated him and sold him into slavery, but "God meant it
for good...to save much people alive" (Genesis 50:20). Haman tried to
destroy the Jews in the days of Queen Esther; but instead their leader,
Mordecai, was elevated to prime minister, and Haman was hanged upon his
own gallows. Daniel's enemies maneuvered him into the lions den, but
these enemies themselves were later devoured by the animals, and King
Darius decreed "That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and
fear before the God of Daniel: for He is the living God, and steadfast
forever" (Daniel 6:26).
In the awful hour of Satan and the powers of darkness, Jesus died on the
cross, but "having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of
them openly, triumphing over them in it" (Collossians 2:15). We did the
heathen rage?...The rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and
against His Christ." Their plans turned to frustration and rage because
all they could do was "whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined
before to be done" (Acts 4:25-26, 28).
Let men be ever so bitter against God and hateful to His people. The
blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church, and the more His enemies
rage, the more will God be glorified. The wrath of man can never prevail
against the Lord. It will either be restrained in due season or it will
be turned into praise, for "we know that all things work together for
good to them that love God, to them that are called according to His
purpose" (Romans 8:28).

C4K
01-27-2006, 03:30 AM
Friday, 27th January, 2006

Blessed be the Lord that has given rest

“Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.” - 1 Kings 8v56

Solomon concluded his dedicatory address with a prayer to God and a request for blessing for His people. He sets a wonderful pattern for us by beginning his prayer with thanksgiving. He blessed and thanked God for giving the people rest. After all of their wonderings, struggles, and trials God had granted rest to Israel in the land of Canaan and had allowed them to build a place for Him to dwell there. He this promised land they had a place where they could rest.

We know that the people were not content with that rest. In their desire to have more they sinned and rebelled against God losing the benefit of the perfect rest that God had provided for them.

How sad it is that we do not learn from Isreal. Jesus offers us His prefect rest when he says, “Come unto me all ye that are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” He offers us perfect rest in Him. That rest is there for us no matter what storms of life we face. It is sad when we are so upset by the storm that we step right out into it instead of resting in Christ. When the storms of life are raging let us rest in Him, and not be content with the quasi-rest the world offers.

Watchman
01-30-2006, 11:36 AM
Monday January 30,2006

"Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God forever and ever: for wisdom and might are His" (Daniel 2:20)
Men have sought wisdom all through the ages "ever learning, and never
able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (IITimothy 3:7). Others have sought great power. But then we read of Alexander weeping because there were no more worlds to conquer, and see one rich man after another who cannot bring himself to say, "It is enough."
The problem is, of course, that they are searching for wisdom and might
in the wrong places, and thus they can never be satisfied. Wisdom and might belong only to God. In the Lord Jesus Christ "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3), and to Him has been given "All power...in heaven and in earth" (Matthew 28:18). God, revealed in Christ, is both omniscient and omnipotent, and true wisdom and true riches must come only from Him.
Therefore, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God...and it shall
be forgiven him" (James 1:5). If we are in need of strength, we must become weak, for "when I am weak, then am I strong" (IICorinthians 12:10). If we need riches, we must know poverty, for before Christ can commit to us "the true riches," we must be found "faithful in that
which is least" (Luke 16:11,10).
Daniel's testimony, as recorded in this passage, was given to the most
powerful monarch on earth, with access to all the wisdom of the most highly educated men of the age. But neither human might nor human wisdom could solve his problem. Only Daniel, drawing on the wisdom and power of the God of creation, could meet his need. God's servants, even today, have the same privilege and responsibility, because our God is "for ever and ever."

C4K
01-31-2006, 03:33 AM
Tuesday, 31st January, 2006


Incline our hearts

“That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers.” - 1 Kings 8v58


Our hearts are not naturally inclined toward God. They always seem to be inclined away from God and toward the world. We tend to like “us” and the world and it is only by the help of the Holy Spirit that our hearts are ever inclined in His direction.

Only when our hearts are truly inclined toward Him can we hope to so what follows; walk in His way, and keep His commandments. Whereas at the beginning of the section there is a prayer, and at the end an instruction to what the people should do, “Let your heart be loyal to the Lord our God.”

What kind of heart do you have toward? What is its inclination? Will you be inclined to follow the Lord today or the desires of your own flesh and the world? Let God incline your heart and then be loyal to Him.

Watchman
02-01-2006, 11:31 AM
Wednesday February 1, 2006

For God is King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding"
(Psalm 47:7)
This stirring Psalm of praise which celebrates the reign of Christ over
all the earth, finds its primary fulfillment in Christ's Second Coming
and full reign over His kingdom.
The reader is exhorted to "sing praises unto our King" (v.6).
The reign of Christ certainly gives cause for celebration.
His arrival forces the Psalmist to proclaim, "O clap your hands all ye
people" (v.1).
What has happened to make this Kingship such cause for celebration?
After all, "by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that
are in earth, visible or invisible, whether they be thrones, or
dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him,
and for Him" (Colossians 1:16). He belongs on the throne. We should
expect to find Him there. However, even though there is a sense in which
He reigns today, the sad fact remains that another has usurped rule.
This usurper can be none other than Satan, who not only claims rule of
the creation for himself, but who spoiled the original perfection of the
creation which now "groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now"
(Romans 8:22). He has encouraged men to accept the mindless concept of
evolution, and even denies Christ recognition as Redeemer as the
humanist's creed, "We will save ourselves!" boasts.
But all is not lost! Our text assures us that Christ will reclaim His
Kingdom: "He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our
feet...God reigneth over the heathen" (vv.3,8). Christ the Creator, the
redeemer, the Heir, has conquered the enemy and soon will assume His
rightful throne-"the throne of His holiness" (v.8), "greatly exalted"
(v.9). Then we shall join the redeemed of the ages, and "shout unto God
with the voice of triumph" (v.1).

C4K
02-02-2006, 05:12 AM
Thursday, 2nd February, 2006

Solomon’s heart was not perfect with the Lord

“For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.” - 1 Kings 11v4

Solomon seemingly had it made. God had made him wiser than any man alive. He had wealth beyond measure, receiving tons of gold every year. He was the king of a powerful nation. He has “everything.”

We would think that if we had everything we would be happy serving God and that we would have no problems. Deep down Solomon had a problem. I Kings 11v1 says that he “loved many foreign women.” The result was that his heart was not “perfect.” He left this sin undealt with. The result is that these foreign wives worshipped their own gods and drew Solomon to worship the false gods as well.

Solomon’s problem was that he did not deal with all of the sins in his life, He never dealt with his problem with women.

It does not matter what the sin is. When we do not deal with sins we open ourselves to all kinds of problems. All sins in our lives have the potential of turning our hearts from God.

Watchman
02-03-2006, 12:36 PM
Friday February 3, 2006

"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the lord, choose you this day
whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were
on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose
land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord"
(Joshua 24:15).
As Joshua's death approached, he gathered the people around him for a
final address and challenge. "Fear the Lord, and serve Him in sincerity
and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served" (v.14),
he exhorted as he reviewed history of God's provision for Israel.
Indeed, God was worthy of their service in light of all He had done for
them. Speaking on behalf of the Lord, Joshua used the divine pronoun "I"
no less than 17 times in the previous 11 verses, in a majestic listing
of His work on their behalf.
There seems to be a twist of irony in Joshua's words. Even though the
people adamantly maintained "therefore will we serve the Lord; for He is
our God" (v.18). Joshua evidently knew that they had decided not to
follow God. He did not offer them a choice between the true God and
false gods, he offered them a choice between sets of false gods-those
"on the other side of the flood" (i.e., the Euphrates River) or those
"in Egypt" (v.14), or "The gods of the Amorites." None can compare,
obviously, to the Lord.
Joshua's point is still applicable today. Man must worship; he must have
a god. One may recognize his god as an actual "god"-an idol to be openly
worshipped. Many times today, however, the god is that of human reason,
science, evolution, or humanism, and worship is performed unwittingly.
Our duty in witnessing includes helping the unsaved to make a
knowledgeable choice, pointing out the consequences of their choice of
gods. Such a comparison should drive one to the same decision as
Joshua's: "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

wopik
02-03-2006, 09:14 PM
goodbye to God -- http://www.borntowin.net/radioarchives.aspx

great tape, registration is free

C4K
02-06-2006, 05:46 AM
Monday, 6th February, 2006

Asa’s heart was loyal to the Lord all his days

“But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa's heart was perfect with the LORD all his days.” - 1 Kings 15v14

Asa was the son of Abijah and grandson of Jeroboam. His great-grandfather was Solomon. Three generations of kings before him had turned for worshipping the true God to their false idols. He grandmother had set up an obscene image of the god Ahserah. He certainly did not have a godly heritage.

In spite of this, Asa returned to the ways of his great-great-grandfather David. He had a heart that was loyal to the Lord all his days. He tore down the idols and returned to the nation to the worship of Jehovah. However, he did not tear down the high places where false worship took place. He did not do the job completely.

David and Asa both had hearts for the Lord, but they both failed to serve God with absolute perfection. David had his sin with Bathsheba and Asa did not get rid of the worship places. Even a heart for God is not going to bring about absolute perfection. That kind of perfection only comes through the indwelling Christ.

A good and loyal heart is not enough. Only Christ can make us perfect and only in Him.

Watchman
02-08-2006, 12:01 AM
Tuesday February 7, 2006

"And He said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God" (Luke 18:27).
A good definition of a miracle is "an event which is impossible scientifically, but which happens anyway." Modern scientism often rejects the concept of special creation, because it requires the supernatural work of Creator. But that is the very point! This world and its complex systems could never have arisen by "natural" processes.
The specific context of this verse, however, is the great work of salvation. The Lord Jesus had just shocked a rich and morally upright young ruler that, to inherit eternal life, he needed to give all his possessions to the poor, thus laying up treasure in heaven. This would not do, and so Jesus said, "How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God" (Luke 18:24-25). The astonished disciples, who had always thought that wealth was a mark of God's favor, exclaimed, "Who then can be saved?" (v.26).
Jesus then answered in the thrilling words of our text.
Salvation requires a miracle-a miracle of special creation (IICorinthians 5:17). The rich man must become a different man altogether-a poor man in fact, no longer trusting in riches" (Mark 10:24), but only in Him. "Come, take up the cross, and follow me," He told the rich young ruler (Mark 10:21). This does not necessarily mean that a rich man must actually give all his possessions away, but it does mean he can no longer trust in riches (or any attribute, skill, etc.), or use them merely for his own selfish pleasure.
When a person really yields his life to Christ for salvation, therefore, the God of the impossible supernaturally makes him into a new creation, and his wealth, and strength, and talents, as well as his very life, all belong to his new Lord.

C4K
02-08-2006, 05:03 AM
There was nothing

“And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times.” - 1 Kings 18v43

After the defeat of Baal’s prophets on Mt Carmel Elijah knew that the drought was just about over. He told everyone to prepare because there was “a sound of abundance of rain” even though there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

He sent his servant to the coast to see is there was any indication. When he got there, “There was nothing.” He went back five more times – still nothing. On the seventh look there was a small cloud on the horizon, just the sign of a man’s fist. When he told Elijah he told Ahab to get his chariot ready before the rains came. Elijah knew that God was about to work.

How do we respond when we don’t see God doing anything? How many of us would give up the first time we saw nothing. Or the second, or third, or fourth time? How many would have just said on the seventh time, “O, its just a little cloud – nothing to get excited about.”

Elijah had enough faith to know that God was going to work. He acted my faith, not by what he could see. His faith should encourage us to trust God even when we look and “there is nothing.”

Watchman
02-09-2006, 01:03 AM
Thursday February 9, 2006

"Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all
the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem" (Zephaniah 3:14)
The last seven verses in the prophecy of Zephaniah contain a message of
future hope and restoration far beyond the nation of Israel's
present-day experience.
Since 1948, the nation has experienced constant threats of war and
destruction. There are bombings and assassinations, sorrow and death.
Peace is proclaimed, but there is no lasting peace.
Yet, Zephaniah predicted that there is coming a day when singing.
shouting, and rejoicing will characterize the daily life in all of
Israel.
This dramatic turn-around will occur because the King of Israel
(Messiah, Lord) will be in their midst (v.15). This King is none other
than the King of kings and Lord of lords: Christ Himself. This is the
millennium: the 1000-year reign of Christ from Jerusalem.
The King is called "The Lord thy God" (v.17). Jesus is God manifest in
the flesh. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt (tabernacled) among
us" (John 1:14). He will come again to the earth to set up His kingdom.
At which time the nation of Israel will receive Him as Messiah and Lord.
"And so all Israel shall be saved" (Romans 11:26).
Zephaniah lists the following blessings that will come on Israel: God's
judgement on unbelieving Israel will cease; all enemies will be cast out
and the unspeakable evils that have come upon them in the past will come
to an end (v.15). They will no longer live in fear (v.16) of all who
have tried to undo them, because Israel's oppressors will instead give
them praise (v.19). Their name will be spread abroad; praise will be
given them from the ends of the earth (v.20). It will come to pass.
Israel will see it happen before their eyes.

C4K
02-10-2006, 04:35 AM
A still small voice

“And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” - 1 Kings 19v12

Elijah still was not convinced. Even when God asked him what he was doing in the wilderness all he could do was complain. In the mouth of a cave God showed His mighty power in a fierce windstorm, in an earthquake, and is a fire. Yet, God did not appear in any of these. Each of them was only an announcement of God’s coming.

When God did appear it was in a still small voice. God did not speak with fireworks or noise. He spoke in a way that required Elijah to listen.

We often allow the noise of the world to drown out God’s still small voice. God does not often scream out for our attention, He waits on us to wait on Him.

Are we listening for God’s still small voice? If He speaks today are we going to be able to hear Him amongst the noise and clamour of this world? Are we really ready to hear His still small voice?

Watchman
02-12-2006, 11:59 PM
Monday February 13, 2006

"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain" (Exodus 20:7)
This, of course, is one of the Ten Commandments, and is surely going to cause great consternation one day when men and women finally appear before God. Even Christians, too sensitive to use "God" or "Jesus" in careless or profane speech, often use such euphemisms as "gosh," or "gee," or similar expressions. Almost inadvertently, even conscientious Christians, when angered or pressed emotionally, feel constrained somehow to bring spiritual concepts into their exclamations-"for heaven's sake!" "son of a gun!" etc., as well as other such euphemisms such as "darn," "heck," and the like.
All of this, while deplorable, is nevertheless a sort of backhanded acknowledgement that God is real and Biblical revelation is true. It is significant that adherents of other religions never take the names of their gods in vain! Who ever heard of a Buddhist, or a Muslim, or a Hindu do such thing? If they want to swear, they also will often inadvertently use the name of the true God, or His Christ, in vain. Even atheists frequently sprinkle their conversations with blasphemous Christian epithets, calling on God (who doesn't exist). "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision" (Psalm 2:4).
In this day of loose and vulgar speech, Christians need especially to control their own tongues. Jesus said, "But let your communication be, Yea, yea: Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil (or, perhaps better, 'the evil one'). Jesus has warned that "every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgement" (Matthew 12:36).

C4K
02-14-2006, 03:18 AM
Tuesday, 14th February, 2006

I hate him…

“And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.” - 1 Kings 22v8

Ahab was quite a character. When Naboth would not sell him his land, Ahab went to his bed, turned his face to the wall, and pouted until Jezebel sorted things out for him.

When Ahab was talking to Jehoshaphat about their alliance he mentioned a prophet named Micaiah. Ahab, however, hated Micaiah because, “he does not prophecy good concerning me, but evil.”

When we truly handle and proclaim the word of God, we cannot expect everyone to like us. We are going to make enemies when we do so. People are going to hate us when we are called upon to be a modern day Micaiah and will take God’s words as a personal insult. We should not be surprised.

Watchman
02-15-2006, 04:13 PM
Wednesday February 15, 2005

"And they glorified God in me" (Galatians 1:24).
It is amazing to read in the Scriptures that the God of glory can actually receive yet more glory through His people. But that is what happened in Paul. When he became a Christian, his life changed completely, and those who saw the change glorified God in Paul.
Jesus prayed that this would be so, not only in Paul, but in all His followers. In the upper room before His crucifixion, He prayed: "I pray for them...which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them" (John 17:9-10).
He is glorified when we, like Paul, become His. But then He is further glorified as we grow in Him. Paul himself prayed for those whom he had seen come to Christ: "Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in Him..." (II Thessalonians 1:11-12).
Finally, He shall be glorified when He comes again. "When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven...He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe..." (II Thessalonians 1:7,10).
As we give glory to Christ in word and deed, He truly was, and is, and will be, glorified in His saints. This is a privilege greater than can be measured, which more than compensates for any opposition this generates from the world. "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified" (I Peter 4:14). Therefore, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may...glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).

C4K
02-16-2006, 03:47 AM
Thursday, 16th February, 2006

The God of little things

“But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed. And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he showed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim. Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it.” - 2 Kings 6v5-7

Losing a tool is certainly no big deal. It happens to us all the time. Here the Bible tells us about a time the prophet’s school needed a new building so they set about chopping down trees to build one. These were no men of means, typical Bible school students J.

Suddenly one of the axe heads flew off and sank to the bottom of the Jordan River. The man who was using it was distraught. He had borrowed the axe and had no way to repay the owner. He went to Elisha who calmly picked up a stick and threw it into the river where the axe head had gone in and the axe head floated back to the top.

Our God cares about the “little things” in our lives. What “axe heads” have you weighed down today?

Watchman
02-17-2006, 11:23 AM
Friday February 17, 2006

"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the
god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest
the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God,
should shine unto them" (II Corinthians 4:3-4).
The "God of this world" is none other than Satan, who is also called
"the prince of this world" (John 12:31) and the one "which deceiveth
the whole world" (Revelation 12:9). It is sobering to realize that he and
his demonic cohorts have the power to blind the minds of unbelievers,
preventing them from comprehending even the simplest elements of the
saving gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
However, Christ can make the blind to see! In answer to prayer and
through the faithful presentation of the word of truth, "the Father of
glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the
knowledge of Him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that
ye may know..." (Ephesians 1:17-18).
The Lord desires that people come to Christ; therefore, He gives his
witnesses weapons that can even vanquish Satan and open the eyes of the
spiritually blind. These are the spiritual weapons of truth and
righteousness, peace and faith, the word and prayer (Ephesians 6:11,
13-18). "(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty
through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down
imaginations (literally 'reasonings'), and every high thing that
exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into
captivity every thought (same word as 'mind') to the obedience of
Christ" (II Corinthians 10:4-5).
Even though Satan is far more intelligent and powerful than we, or those
we seek to reach, God still enables us to recapture their minds and
bring them to Christ, as we proclaim the truth, in His name, by His
grace!

C4K
02-20-2006, 06:30 AM
Monday, 20th February, 2006

The did not require an accounting…for they dealt faithfully

“Moreover they reckoned not with the men, into whose hand they delivered the money to be bestowed on workmen: for they dealt faithfully.” - 2 Kings 12v15

When Joash became king the first thing he set about doing was to repair the temple that had fallen into terrible disrepair. There was some delay until Joash devised a new method of collecting offerings for the work.

Workman had to be hired. Carpenters, metalworkers, workers with fabric, and others were needed to do the actual work. Today we would call these people “common labourers,” but they were anything but common.

These were notable workers. They needed no one to check up on them because they always dealt faithfully. They did not need to “punch a clock” or be supervised. These folks had a rare character in that they could always be trusted to do their work.

How do we measure up when compared to these men? Do we have the kind of character that means that we don’t need anyone to check up on us? It can be challenging to be a faithful worker when there is no clock to punch or supervisor to watch us. These “common labourers” should be a challenge to us all.

Watchman
02-21-2006, 12:36 AM
Tuesday February 21, 2006

"Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied" (I Peter 1:1-2).
The contrast in this opening salutation of the apostle Peter, written apparently to Jewish Christians scattered throughout the five key Roman provinces in Asia Minor, is striking. In the eyes of the world, these persecuted believers were "strangers" (or better, "pilgrims"), but in the eyes of God, they were the elect!
Furthermore, the entire Godhead had been involved in their election. They had been foreknown by God the Father, then sanctified (or set apart") by the Holy Spirit, and then had come in obedience to God's word through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. Although their position on earth was very humble and fragile, their real citizenship was in heaven (Philippians 3:20) and they were, to God, "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people" (I Peter 2:9).
No wonder, therefore, that Peter could greet them with the invocation, "Grace unto you, and peace be multiplied." It is interesting that Paul began all his church epistles with "grace and peace." But Peter desired that grace be multiplied by peace!
Each of these wonderful provisions of God is inexhaustible: "God is able to make all grace abound toward you" (II Corinthians 9:8). "The peace of God...passeth all understanding" (Philippians 4:7). Infinite grace, multiplied by infinite peace, must equal infinite love and everlasting life. What a blessing to be strangers and pilgrims on the earth, but among God's elect in heaven!

C4K
02-22-2006, 03:34 AM
Wednesday, 22nd February, 2006

They feared the Lord, but served their own gods

“They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.” - 2 Kings 17v33

When the king of Assyria repopulated Samaria with foreign peoples they naturally brought their own false gods with them. This displeased the Lord and He sent a pack of lions and some of the people were killed. The people quickly determined that God was not happy, so sent for someone to teach them about Him.

After they were taught, they decided that they had room for this new God and added Him to their religious practices. The “feared the Lord and they served their own gods.”

In some places in the world today this is still a real problem. People make a profession of faith and then just add God to their religious practices. Sometimes they just add that prayer to what they are counting on, but go on with their other practices as well. They never put their full faith in Christ.

It is even sadder when Christians decide that they are going to fear the Lord, but continue serving their gods of lust, materialism, greed, pride, etc. They want to fear the Lord, but they love their practices too much to give them up. When we do this, we are no better than the people who “feared the Lord, but served their own gods.”

Watchman
02-23-2006, 10:54 AM
Thursday February 23, 2006

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him" (I Corinthians 2:9)
This fantastic promise refers back to another great promise given by God to His people: "For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what He hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him" (Isaiah 64:4).
The Old Testament promise applied primarily to the nation of Israel, but its New Testament extension incorporates it in a global promise to all who love the Lord of glory, "crucified" by "the princes of this world" (I Corinthians 2:8), the One who was also the Savior of the world.
Comparison of the two prophetic promises yields three vital truths. These things that God has prepared for His loved ones have been in view "since the beginning of the world," and have been revealed in part by the prophets, who have been speaking also "since the world began" (Luke 1:70).
Secondly, those who "wait for Him" in the Old Testament are synonymous with those who "love Him" in the New. The apostle Paul joins both themes together when he says: "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness...and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing" (II Timothy 4:8).
Finally, we cannot even begin to comprehend the glorious things God has prepared for those who love Him and wait for Him. In some measure, the Spirit later revealed them in part through John's eyes and ears, when he saw "the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven," and heard "a great voice out of heaven saying...God Himself shall be with them, and be their God" (Revelation 21:2-3). Then our eyes shall fully see, and our ears hear, and our hearts understand, the fullness of God's love in Christ.

C4K
02-24-2006, 04:04 AM
Friday, 24th February, 2006

Josiah did not turn aside to the right hand or the left

“And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.” - 2 Kings 22v2

Josiah is one of my favourite kings. When he became king we read that he did that which was right. He walked in the ways of his father David. Not only that we read that he never veered off to the right or the left. Josiah had a complete dedication from which he would not be swayed. He stayed on the path. Nothing could turn him from his path of devotion.

Today we have all kinds of things standing alongside our paths calling us to turn aside. As we walk through Vanity Fair lust, greed, materialism, pride, and many others are calling out to us to just take a peek inside their tents. Satan does all he can to get us to turn aside from our path and follow after him and his minions. Our wicked flesh screams out for satisfaction.

What are we going to do? In front of us, loving encouraging us to keep our eyes on Him is our Saviour. To every side we have our enemies. Who are we going to follow? Are we going to stay on the path, or turn off to the right and left?

Watchman
02-27-2006, 10:40 PM
Monday February 27, 2006

"For, lo, He that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is His thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The Lord, The God of hosts, is His name" (Amos 4:13).
The awesome ascription of judgmental power to God is in the midst of a dire prophecy by Amos to the ten-tribe northern kingdom of Israel. He had reminded them of earlier judgements, including even that of Sodom and Gomorrah, concluding with the fearsome warning: "prepare to meet thy God, O Israel" (Amos 4:12).
Then, in our next verse, He seems to carry them still further back in time to remind them of an even greater destruction. The great winds of the earth, like its rains, first blew over its surfaces at the time of the mighty Deluge (Genesis 8:1), and the present mountains of the earth likewise rose out of the churning waters of the Flood (Psalm 104:6-9). It was at the time of the Flood that dark clouds first obscured the sunlight which before had perpetually shown through the pre-Flood "waters which were above the firmament" (Genesis 1:7), which had then condensed and fallen to the earth in great torrents from "the windows of heaven" (7:11).
This awful judgment had come because the antediluvians, like the Israelites, had rejected their Creator and gone after other gods (6:5). As if to confirm that he was, indeed, referring to the Deluge, Amos, a few verses later, exhorted the Israelites to "Seek Him...that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth" (Amos 5:8).
It is dangerous and foolish for any nation or any person to question the true God of creation. He made all things, He knows all things, and He judges all things. "The Lord of hosts is His name."

C4K
02-28-2006, 03:10 AM
Tuesday, 28th February, 2006


Because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself

“Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spoke against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the LORD.” - 2 Kings 22v19

In a case nearly unique God used a woman here to serve as a prophet. The leaders took the book of the law to her to see what God is saying. Here prophecy was sobering – God was indeed going to judge Judah. Their sin had gone on too long and there were never really to repent.

However she had good news for the king. “Because you have a tender heart and you humbled yourself you are not going to see the destruction of the land. You will die in peace instead.

Josiah died physically in battle. His physical death was not peaceful, but he was able to die without the turmoil of watching his nation be destroyed. He also died in eternal peace knowing that he had pleased the Lord.

Josiah had a tender heart and he was humble. Obviously these are character traits that please God. How do we compare to Josiah in these two areas? Do I really have a tender heart? Am I truly humble? Our flesh rebels at the thought, but these things please God. The question is one of importance. Will I allow my flesh its satisfaction, or will I seek to please God as Josiah did?

Watchman
03-01-2006, 12:17 AM
"These are spots at your feasts of charity, when they feast with you,
feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried
about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead,
plucked up by the roots" (Jude 12).

We often speak of people who have been "born again" through faith in
Christ as being "twice born" men or women. Jude, however, here speaks
Of certain people who are "twice dead." Such people already, Jude says,
"were before of old ordained (or 'forewritten') to this condemnation,
ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness (or
'anarchy') and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ"
(Jude 4).
Apparently there are some people who, even while still living, have
already been consigned to hell, and thus are not only "dead in
trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1, the innate condition of all men
until they are born again), but twice dead, already participating in the
second death. These are apostate teachers who have known and understood
the gospel of the grace of Christ and have even for a time presented an
outward appearance of teaching and believing Biblical truth-perhaps even
believing mentally that they had become disciples of Christ. But they
became apostates, repudiating true creationism and the doctrines of
salvation by grace through the saving work of Christ their Creator, even
though they had formerly taught these truths. "There remaineth no more
sacrifice for sins" (Hebrews 10:26) and they are forever apostate.
This description of such teachers in Jude (vv. 4-19) is a searing
condemnation of such deceivers, as well as a sober warning to any who
might be tempted to heed their false teachings. Rather, Jude exhorts us
to "earnestly contend for the faith" (Jude 3).

C4K
03-02-2006, 04:46 AM
Thursday, 2nd March, 2006

Jabez was more honourable

“And Jabez was more honorable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bore him with sorrow. And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.” - 1 Chronicles 4v9-10

A few years ago someone came across this mention of a man in the list of names and decided that he had found a pain free way to success in what you wanted. Pray the prayer of Jabez for thirty days and watch God give you success in whatever area you are praying about. Unfortunately that idea has taken away from some of the real truths to be found here.

The Bible says that Jabez was more honourable than his brethren. Out of this huge list of names Jabez’ sticks out because he was an honourable man, because he had the faith to call upon the Lord, and because the Lord granted his requests.

Jabez asked God to bless him, the increase his land holdings, that God’s hand might be with him, and that he would be kept from evil. All of these are requests that we might incorporate into our prayers if we do so in an honourable way. Jabez was an honourable man who prayed honourable prayer and God heard him and answered. Whenever that happens we should pay attention.

There is no secret formula for success here, but there is an example of how an honourable man prays.

Watchman
03-03-2006, 01:23 AM
Friday March 3, 2006

"And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father; and I am but a child: I know not how to go out or come in" (IKings 3:7).
When Solomon became King of Israel and prayed this prayer, he was still in his teens. His prayer was for wisdom, and, with the many external enemies of Israel and the complex internal intrigues surrounding him in Jerusalem, he surely needed divine wisdom. God was pleased with this request, and granted it in abundance. This is a great example for teenage believers today, who, all too often, are confident they already are smarter than their parents and teachers, while seeming to care more about pleasure and possessions, or even religious emotionalism, than true wisdom.
God's word has much to say to such young people: "Remember now the days of thy youth" (Ecclesiastes 12:1). Each of us has been created for a divine purpose, and the more years devoted to that purpose, the more fully it can be accomplished.
Note also Paul's counsel to young Timothy: "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." "Flee also youthful lusts." "Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of...from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (I Timothy 4:12; II Timothy 2:22; 3:14-15).
With all the great wisdom God gave him in his youth, Solomon accomplished great things for God, even writing three books of the Bible. Sadly, he was wiser in youth than in old age, whereas many who exhibit great foolishness in their younger years seem to become wiser as they grow older. How much better, however, to seek and apply God's true wisdom to our lives!

C4K
03-06-2006, 05:12 AM
Monday, 6th March, 2006

Show forth from day to day His salvation

“Sing unto the LORD, all the earth; show forth from day to day his salvation. Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvelous works among all nations.” - 1 Chronicles 16v23-24

David presented a beautiful psalm upon the return of the ark to Jerusalem. As a part of that psalm He instructed the people not to keep God’s work quiet, but to make it known to others. This same challenge is applicable to us today. The instruction is simple, yet can be so difficult to carry out.

· Sing unto the Lord
· Show His salvation from day to day
· Declare His glory and His marvellous works to the lost

God brought the ark back home. What a wonderful truth and what a blessing for the nation. His very real presence was back among the people. This was a wonderful event and a true reason for praise.

Compare that to what God has done for us. When we were saved He came and dwelt in our lives forever, never to leave. Would not David’s words even apply more to us? Are we doing what David declared here? Are our songs sung to the Lord? Are we showing His salvation to those around us day after day? Are we declaring His glory and His works to the lost around us?

Watchman
03-07-2006, 12:20 AM
Tuesday March 7, 2006

"Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation" (Isaiah 12:3).
This beautiful verse is in the midst of a psalm of praise for God's deliverance of His people "in that day" (v.4)-the coming day when the Lord shall return to the earth and reign "in the midst of thee" (v.6). Until "that day" comes, however, we can appropriate its spiritual blessings right now.
The word translated "wells" is more often translated "fountains," denoting flowing springs of water that never run dry. It is first used at the time of the great Flood, when in one "day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up" (Genesis 7:11). On that day, the primeval fountains provided by God for the perpetual supply of living waters to the inhabitants of the "very good" world He had created were cleaved open, the living waters became lethal waters, and "all that was in the dry land, died" (v.22).
But one day another fountain was cleaved open. As Jesus died on the cross, "a spear pierced His side, and forthwith came out blood and water" (John 19:34). At the great Feast of Tabernacles, He had cried: "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me...out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:37-38)
The blood and water flowed together from the deep fountain opened in the Savior's side that day, and their cleansing powers became a fountain of life to all who will drink. The waters again became living waters from a fountain that will never run dry, "a pure river of water of life...proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb" (Revelation 22:1).
Then, wonder of wonders, there is not just one well, for all who believe likewise send forth "rivers of living water," as with eternal joy, we each share with one another, forever drinking from the never-drying wells of salvation!

C4K
03-08-2006, 05:07 AM
Wednesday, 8th March, 2006

Strangers and sojourners

“For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.” - 1 Chronicles 29v15

David had a marvellous perspective on his life on earth. Although he was preparing the nation to build a very visible physical temple, we reminded them that we are but “strangers and sojourners” or “aliens and pilgrims” in this world and that our visit here was like a shadow, where do one truly abides.

The New Testament also carries this same theme - our life is only a vapour that appears for a little while then vanishes away. We tend to set so much on what is here on earth. We set our affection on things below. We live like this sojourning place is our permanent abode and so we spend most of our lives preparing for our life here.

As Christians our true citizenship is in heaven. We must make daily provision for our life here, but we do well to remember the good old gospel song – “This world is not my home, I just a passing through. My treasures are laid out, somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me through heaven’s open door and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”

Are you homesick for heaven?

Watchman
03-09-2006, 01:22 AM
Thursday March 9, 2005

"Then Samuel took a stone , and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us" (I Samuel 7:12).
Many Christians have joined in the singing of a familiar verse in an old hymn, without knowing its great meaning: "Here I raise mine Ebenezer; hither by thy help I’ve come." When the Ark of the Covenant was captured by the Philistines, the old priest Eli and his sons, Hophni and Phinehas, all died the same day, as did Phinehas' wife in childbirth. It was a tragic day for Israel.
But then the people returned to God, under Samuel, and twenty years later the Lord gave them a miraculous victory over the superior armies of the Philistines. In commemoration of this deliverance, Samuel set up a stone monument in the same place where the Philistines had captured the Ark twenty years before, calling the stone "Ebenezer," a name which was always associated thereafter with the site (I Samuel 4:1; 5:1).
Now "Ebenezer" means "Stone of Help," and seeing it would always remind the people, whenever they might later come to fear the circumstances around them, that God had been their "help in ages past," and thus could be trusted as their "hope for years to come." Only God is truly able to help in times of great need, but He is able! "From whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth" (Psalm 121:1-2).
It is well to remember those times in our own lives when God has helped in some special way. We forget so easily, and the sin of ingratitude is cited by God as one of the first harbingers of imminent apostasy (note especially Romans 1:21). A physical token can help us remember, but whatever it takes-remember! God will hear and answer our prayers for future help, too, but "with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God" (Philippians 4:6)

C4K
03-10-2006, 05:10 AM
Friday. 10th March, 2006

They set their heart to seek the Lord

“And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the LORD God of their fathers.” - 2 Chronicles 11v16

After Solomon’s death the nation fell into disarray. Jeroboam went north and began getting rid of all vestiges of true worship. He set up altars to false gods and literally ran the Levites and priests off. The moved south to Jerusalem where, for a time at least, they found a supporter in Rehoboam.

Even in the midst of all this trouble there were some, from “all the tribes of Israel,” who were different. We read of these people that they “set their hearts to seek the Lord.”

Seeking the Lord was a minority view. It was not the popular thing to do, but there were some who still did it.

Seeking the Lord with ones whole heart is no more popular today than it was then. Sadly this extends to many Christians who never give themselves to whole-heartedly seeking the Lord.

There are, however, a few. May the Lord strengthen me to be one of those few.

Watchman
03-13-2006, 12:23 AM
Monday March 13, 2006

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him" (I Corinthians 2:9)
This fantastic promise refers back to another great promise given by God to His people: "For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what He hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him" (Isaiah 64:4).
The Old Testament promise applied primarily to the nation of Israel, but its New Testament extension incorporates it in a global promise to all who love the Lord of glory, "crucified" by "the princes of this world" (I Corinthians 2:8), the One who was also the Savior of the world.
Comparison of the two prophetic promises yields three vital truths. These things that God has prepared for His loved ones have been in view "since the beginning of the world," and have been revealed in part by the prophets, who have been speaking also "since the world began" (Luke 1:70).
Secondly, those who "wait for Him" in the Old Testament are synonymous with those who "love Him" in the New. The apostle Paul joins both themes together when he says: "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness...and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing" (II Timothy 4:8).
Finally, we cannot even begin to comprehend the glorious things God has prepared for those who love Him and wait for Him. In some measure, the Spirit later revealed them in part through John's eyes and ears, when he saw "the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven," and heard "a great voice out of heaven saying...God Himself shall be with them, and be their God" (Revelation 21:2-3). Then our eyes shall fully see, and our ears hear, and our hearts understand, the fullness of God's love in Christ.

C4K
03-13-2006, 06:48 PM
Tuesday, 14th March, 2006

Let no man prevail against thee

“And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee.” - 2 Chronicles 14v11

How many men does God need to win a victory?

Shortly after Asa became king of Judah he set about restoring true worship to the land. He tore down the idols and their high places. Asa was one of the few who chose to follow the Lord.

He faced a major challenge when an Ethiopian army that out numbered him by about two to one confronted him. His roughly half million men faced a million man plus army.

Asa had enough faith that he was not troubled by this massive army. He simply called out to the Lord with a cry of faith, “It makes no difference to you Lord to save with many, or by those who have no power. We rest on thee and in thy name we go forth and no man will prevail against you.”

Asa knew that the physical numbers meant nothing. With God on our side we will prevail at the end of the day. The next time you feel outnumbered or alone, remember that it makes no difference to God to save by a great number, or with a weak powerless few.

Watchman
03-15-2006, 11:28 AM
Wednesday March 15,2006

“And when David enquired of the LORD, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees.”
(II Samuel 5:23)
As one reads through the Old Testament narratives the danger of spiritual complacence and self-confidence quickly becomes apparent. Believers are tempted to think past victories assure future success, and they cease to realize the need for constant communication with God and dependence upon Him for direction.
When Joshua went into the land, the Israelite army followed God’s directives exactly and saw a major victory at Jericho (Joshua 6). But then they became confident in their own power and comfortable that they could similarly defeat the next town in their path. “And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai…saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai. And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up…for they are but few” (Joshua 7:2-3) The Israelites never inquired of God and learned a hard lesson when the few men of Ai defeated them. Only after they communed with God and dealt with the sin that had removed His protection and blessing from Israel were they prepared to go up and gain victory.
The newly anointed King David won a great victory over the Philistines in II Samuel 5, much like the Israelite victory at Jericho. However “the Philistines came up yet again and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim” (v.22). Rather than assuming that he could repeat the previous victory, David was wise enough to again commune with the Lord. It was well that he did so, because this tome God instructed him, do “not go up.” If David had employed the same strategy that earlier had brought victory, it would have resulted in defeat like Ai. But because he stayed tuned into God, he won a key victory and secured his kingdom.

C4K
03-16-2006, 03:57 AM
Thursday, 16th March, 2006

Be not afraid or dismayed

“And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.” - 2 Chronicles 20v15

King Jehoshaphat was facing daunting task. The nations of Moab, Ammon, and Mt Seir were allied against him. Jehoshaphat took the entire nation to the Lord where they sought His leadership. At first he was afraid. In response he sought the Lord and called a fast and prayed. The Lord responded by sending these words through the prophet Jahaziel. “Be not afraid or dismayed by reason of this multitude, for the battle is not yours but the Lords.”

I first came across this verse in about 1977. I was only saved a couple of years and had just started dating my dear wife. We were separated for the summer and writing back and forth almost daily (LONG before e-mail). We tried to share some devotional thought every day.

I was going through some particular struggle, that I don’t remember now, and was checking my post office box. As usual I immediately opened Mary’s letter and saw this passage. The Lord used it immediately to remind me that the Lord was the One who would fight the battle for me.

Many times through the years the Lord has brought this passage back to my heart and mind. What battle are you looking at today? What challenge is before you? Might you do well to follow the example of Jehoshaphat? The battle is not yours, but the Lords!

Watchman
03-16-2006, 11:27 PM
Friday March 17, 2006

For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (Psa 100:5)
Psalm 100 is entitled, “A Psalm of praise.” Like Psalm 23, it is one of the most familiar and beloved of the one hundred and fifty Psalms.
In it the Psalmist’s great desire is that all the peoples of the earth would recognize the true “Lord,” and out of a heart of heartfelt gratitude, praise and serve Him (vv. 1-2). The author, David, assures us that this Lord is the only true God and Creator of us all. “It is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves” (v.3).
Therefore, we are to acknowledge His Lordship by willingly worshipping Him with thanksgiving and praise, blessing His name (v.4)
The complete fulfillment of this Psalm is believed by man to be in the millennium, one thousand year reign of Christ, when “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9). It will be at that time “all ye lands” will “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord” (v.1)
Believers in this present age of grace do not have to wait to do all this Psalm enjoins. They have the privilege to sing, praise, worship, and be thankful on a daily basis, blessing God for who He is and what he has done.
David ends Psalm 100 extolling three great attributes of God.

1. “The Lord is good” (v.5) Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! (Psa 31:19)
2. “His mercy is everlasting” (v.5). But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children; (Psa 103:17)
3. “His truth endureth to all generations” (v.5).

C4K
03-20-2006, 05:54 AM
But when he was strong his heart was lifted up

“But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.” - 2 Chronicles 26v16

Uzziah was a brilliant leader in the land. His army grew, he set up watchtowers out in the desert and he even had new weapons developed that could fling arrows and stones from the top of the watchtowers on the enemies. He supported agriculture and had new wells dug and supported farmers and shepherds. Judah was becoming a mighty power and verse fifteen says that Uzziah was made strong.

In verse sixteen it all changes. When Uzziah became strong his heart was lifted up and he sinned by trying to take on the priestly role. His pride led him to try and do things that God did not want him to do. His job was to be king, not priest, but in his strength he thought he could do whatever he wanted.

There is a real danger in strength. Strength can too easily led to pride as it did with Uzziah. Perhaps that is why God tells us in the New Testament that God uses the weak, the base, and the foolish things of this world. When he uses these things they can only glory in the Lord.

Let us rejoice in our weakness and beware in our strength.

Watchman
03-21-2006, 10:59 PM
Tuesday March 21, 2006

"For, lo, He that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is His thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The Lord, The God of hosts, is His name" (Amos 4:13).
The awesome ascription of judgmental power to God is in the midst of a dire prophecy by Amos to the ten-tribe northern kingdom of Israel. He had reminded them of earlier judgements, including even that of Sodom and Gomorrah, concluding with the fearsome warning: "prepare to meet thy God, O Israel" (Amos 4:12).
Then, in our next verse, He seems to carry them still further back in time to remind them of an even greater destruction. The great winds of the earth, like its rains, first blew over its surfaces at the time of the mighty Deluge (Genesis 8:1), and the present mountains of the earth likewise rose out of the churning waters of the Flood (Psalm 104:6-9). It was at the time of the Flood that dark clouds first obscured the sunlight which before had perpetually shown through the pre-Flood "waters which were above the firmament" (Genesis 1:7), which had then condensed and fallen to the earth in great torrents from "the windows of heaven" (7:11).
This awful judgment had come because the antediluvians, like the Israelites, had rejected their Creator and gone after other gods (6:5). As if to confirm that he was, indeed, referring to the Deluge, Amos, a few verses later, exhorted the Israelites to "Seek Him...that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth" (Amos 5:8).
It is dangerous and foolish for any nation or any person to question the true God of creation. He made all things, He knows all things, and He judges all things. "The Lord of hosts is His name."

C4K
03-22-2006, 06:22 AM
Wednesday, 22nd March, 2006

In their faithfulness they sanctified themselves unto holiness

“And to the genealogy of all their little ones, their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, through all the congregation: for in their set office they sanctified themselves in holiness:” - 2 Chronicles 31v18

As a part of Hezekiah’s nationwide reform he called for the people in general and the priests in particular to dedicate themselves to the Lord. The priests in particular were charged with setting themselves and their families apart, or sanctifying themselves, to God.

This was apparently a personal dedication of priests and families to the Lord. It reminds me of Joshua’s pledge that “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” For a New Testament principle we can look at Romans 12v1-2; “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Like the priests mentioned above, we too should be willing to sanctify ourselves to holiness as we faithfully serve Him. A puritan write is quoted in “The Valley of Vision” with these applicable thoughts -

“There is much unconquered territory
in my nature,
scourge out the buyers and sellers
of my soul's temple,
and give me to return pure desires,
and longings after perfect holiness.”

Are we willing to separate ourselves to holiness, forsaking all that the world has to offer, as we faithfully serve the Lord?

Watchman
03-23-2006, 11:26 AM
Thursday March 23, 2006

"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away" (II Timothy 3:5).
Included in Paul's graphic description of the "perilous" characteristics of the "last days" this warning concerning the religious leaders of the last days. They would observe the outward form (church buildings, sacraments, religious services, etc.) of "godliness" (that is, "religion"), but would reject its supernatural aspects. They would desire the trappings of religious professionalism since they would be "lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God" (v.4).
Such specifications aptly describe the modern world of scientism and liberal theology, which pervades practically all religious denominations and overlaps with all kinds of liberal social movements (women's liberation, gay rights, "New Age" pantheism, and others). Although these are widely diverse in structure and purpose, they all share one vital feature in common; they reject supernatural Christianity, especially literal creationism. Many liberal preachers give nominal allegiance to the teachings of Christ and the Bible, but they invariably deny the power of God in special creation, as well as the great worldwide miracles of the Bible-the Flood, the dispersion, etc.
This prophecy is not given in Scripture simply as a matter of information. It contains a warning urgently needed by Bible-believing Christians who are under pressure today to compromise with humanistic liberals on this great doctrine of God's creative power. Many have accepted the evolutionary system of "ages geology, and this is tragic and dangerous. Instead of compromising with evolutionary naturalists and religious liberals, as many evangelicals today are inclined to do, Paul warns: "From such turn away!"

C4K
03-24-2006, 04:27 AM
Friday, 24th March, 2006

With him is an arm of flesh, but God is with us

“With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.” - 2 Chronicles 32v8

Hezekiah had seen God do great things in the spiritual realm. The idols were destroyed, the high places had been torn down, and the Passover had been restored.

Now, however, he faced a new and real threat. The mighty King Sennacherib and his mighty army were roaring down from the north wiping aside all opposition. Israel had fallen to the mighty Assyrian army and things looked dark for Judah. Defeat looked certain.

Hezekiah had it all figured out though. “Sennacherib has a mighty arm of flesh,” he said, “but we have the Lord our God to help us and fight our battles.” These words of comfort caused the people to find rest.

Sometimes it seems like in our Christian lives we are looking up at a mighty army of opposition like Sennacherib had. The arm of flesh which opposes us seems too strong for us to bear. In those days we would do well to heed the words of Hezekiah and find our own rest in them as well. They might have a mighty arm of flesh, but we have the Lord our God on our side to fight our battles for us. We have no need to fear. When God is on my side, why should I fear what man can do to me?

Watchman
03-27-2006, 01:02 AM
Monday March 27,2006

"Joseph is a fruitful bough...whose branches run over the wall: the archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him and hated him" (Genesis 49:22-23).
Grievous persecutions can come from unexpected sources, yet in Joseph's case it was his own brothers that "grieved him, and shot at him and hated him." In fact that hated him to such an extent that, except for God's intervention, they would have killed him. In spite of all of this, whatever wall was placed before him he got over it, and whenever the archers shot at him he was able to escape. "His bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob" (Genesis 49:24). Victory was assured because "the mighty God" was on his side.
David had a similar experience. King Saul became obsessed with killing him. He hunted him "every day" (I Samuel 23:14). Yet God would not allow Saul to succeed in taking David's life. Thus, toward the end of his life, David gives testimony to this in his great Song of Deliverance in II Samuel 22 (also Psalm 18). He said, "The Lord is my fortress and my deliverer" (Psalm 18:2) "The God of my rock; in Him will I trust: He is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence" (II Samuel 22:3). In this Psalm David summed up his whole life in the following statements. "For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall" (v.29). "Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip" (v.36).
Believers have always had to contend with the enemies' walls and arrows. Yet, it is good to remember that, "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31), and that by "taking the shield of faith," we will "be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked" (Ephesians 6:16).

C4K
03-27-2006, 06:09 PM
Tuesday, 28th March, 2006

The Golden Opportunities of Youth

“For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images.” - 2 Chronicles 34v3

Way back in secondary school in 1973 I entered a speech competition in Alabama and did quite well! The topic for the speech was “The Golden Opportunities of Youth” I don’t remember the speech, but I do remember that I used examples of youth through history to demonstrate the opportunities youth had in those heady days.

Today I would surely include King Josiah in that list of examples. King at eight, he began following the Lord at sixteen, and at twenty he began making major changes in the kingdom to reverse what the previous king had done.

Youth is a prime time to serve the Lord. “Remember now your Creator in the years of your youth,” is a clear admonition to all young people. Young Christians today have a golden opportunity to serve the Lord. There are not many takers for the position of Godly Young Person. The church., today more than ever needs some Josiahs in its midst. We are never more capable of serving the Lord than when we are young. Those who are young should stand up and say, “I want to be a Josiah!”

Those of us who are no longer young have a job to do as well. When we see a potential Josiah who wants to serve the Lord it is our job to do whatever we can to encourage and assist them along the way.

May God give us Josiahs in 2006 and may he remind us who are older of the golden opportunities of youth.

Watchman
03-29-2006, 12:41 AM
Wednesday March 29, 2006

"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away" (II Timothy 3:5).
Included in Paul's graphic description of the "perilous" characteristics of the "last days", is this warning concerning the religious leaders of the last days. They would observe the outward form (church buildings, sacraments, religious services, etc.) of "godliness" (that is, "religion"), but would reject its supernatural aspects. They would desire the trappings of religious professionalism since they would be "lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God" (v.4).
Such specifications aptly describe the modern world of scientism and liberal theology, which pervades practically all religious denominations and overlaps with all kinds of liberal social movements (women's liberation, gay rights, "New Age" pantheism, and others). Although these are widely diverse in structure and purpose, they all share one vital feature in common; they reject supernatural Christianity, especially literal creationism. Many liberal preachers give nominal allegiance to the teachings of Christ and the Bible, but they invariably deny the power of God in special creation, as well as the great worldwide miracles of the Bible-the Flood, the dispersion, etc.
This prophecy is not given in Scripture simply as a matter of information. It contains a warning urgently needed by Bible-believing Christians who are under pressure today to compromise with humanistic liberals on this great doctrine of God's creative power. Many have accepted the evolutionary system of "ages geology, and this is tragic and dangerous. Instead of compromising with evolutionary naturalists and religious liberals, as many evangelicals today are inclined to do, Paul warns: "From such turn away!"

C4K
03-30-2006, 05:08 AM
Thursday, 30th March, 2006

Seek…do…and teach

“For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.” - Ezra 7v10

After all of the delays caused by political and legal wrangling the people finally were able to finish the building of the Temple. It was a glorious day and the Passover was reinstituted. Ezra came to Jerusalem as a spiritual leader. Ezra gives us an example of wisdom in leadership.

· Ezra prepared his heart to seek the Lord
· Ezra did what he studied
· Ezra taught the people how to do the same

Here we have a logical plan that each of us can carry out when serving the Lord. First we must prepare our own hearts to seek His word. Diligent Bible study is the very first thing required because without that we can’t do any of the rest. Once we have prepared our own hearts, we must do what it says. Many people fall short here and become useless Bible scholars. Once we know it, its time to do it.

Finally, once we have learned, and once we are doing, then we must teach. There can be no teaching without doing ourselves, and doing should always involve teaching so that the learning can be passed on.

Study…do…and teach! What a plan!

Watchman
03-31-2006, 12:08 AM
Friday March 31, 2006

"This wisdom descended not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish" (James 3:15)
True wisdom is "from above" and is "pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy" (v.17)
False wisdom, on the other hand, may come from the world outside us ("earthly"), the flesh within us ("sensual"), or the powers of darkness tempting us ("devilish"). All such wisdom leads to "envying and strife...confusion and every evil work" (v.16). Believers, therefore, should be able to recognize the influences of the world, the flesh and the devil.
The good news is that each divine Person of the Tri-une Godhead is on our side. The Father is opposed to the world, the Spirit to the flesh, and the Son to the devil, and they are well able to give victory.
"If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him...And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof" (I John 2:15,17). Thus, to overcome the love of the world, we must cultivate the love of the Father in our hearts and lives.
Similarly, to overcome the desires of the flesh, we should follow the leadings and convictions of the Holy Spirit, "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other (Galatians 5:17). Therefore, "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (v.16).
The devil and his evil hosts use their own dark powers to tempt and destroy the people of God, but "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil" (I John 3:8). Christ assured Satan's defeat when He paid for our redemption on the cross. "And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it" (Colossians 2:15).

C4K
04-03-2006, 04:57 AM
Fasting and humility

“Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.” - Ezra 8v21
Ezra was now ready to move forward, but he knew that there would be opposition. He was ashamed to ask the king for protection because he had already told the king that God would take care of them and protect them. There were protected by God’s almighty hand.

Instead of asking for help Ezra called for a fast with two purposes. One was to humble themselves, the other was to seek God’s way for them. Fasting was certainly not only an Old Testament practice. When teaching on fasting Jesus just assumed people were doing it, “When you fast…” He said. For Ezra fasting was a chance for the people to show their humility and to seek God’s way for the nation.

At the end of the fasting and prayer time they could rejoice for He heard their prayer. There is great benefit to be gained through fasting and prayer. The next time we face a situation where we do not know what to do, instead of running and asking someone for help, perhaps we should follow Ezra’s example and humble ourselves in fasting and prayer as we seek His direction.

Watchman
04-04-2006, 01:15 AM
Tuesday April 4, 2006

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him" (I Corinthians 2:9)
This fantastic promise refers back to another great promise given by God to His people: "For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what He hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him" (Isaiah 64:4).
The Old Testament promise applied primarily to the nation of Israel, but its New Testament extension incorporates it in a global promise to all who love the Lord of glory, "crucified" by "the princes of this world" (I Corinthians 2:8), the One who was also the Savior of the world.
Comparison of the two prophetic promises yields three vital truths. These things that God has prepared for His loved ones have been in view "since the beginning of the world," and have been revealed in part by the prophets, who have been speaking also "since the world began" (Luke 1:70).
Secondly, those who "wait for Him" in the Old Testament are synonymous with those who "love Him" in the New. The apostle Paul joins both themes together when he says: "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness...and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing" (II Timothy 4:8).
Finally, we cannot even begin to comprehend the glorious things God has prepared for those who love Him and wait for Him. In some measure, the Spirit later revealed them in part through John's eyes and ears, when he saw "the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven," and heard "a great voice out of heaven saying...God Himself shall be with them, and be their God" (Revelation 21:2-3). Then our eyes shall fully see, and our ears hear, and our hearts understand, the fullness of God's love in Christ.

C4K
04-05-2006, 06:04 AM
Wednesday, 5th April, 2006

You have punished us less that we deserve

“And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this;” - Ezra 9v13


Ezra’s prayer of confession is one that we would all do well to emulate. He brings his confession to God with weeping and absolute supplication. There was no excuse, no allowance, and no passing the buck. He called sin sin and realised presented it to God as such. He placed himself and the nation at the grace and mercy of God. He acknowledged that God had punished them less than their sins deserved. At the end of his prayer all he could do was to stand before God and depend on Him.

Do we see sin like Ezra did? I find it way to easy to make excuses for my sins. There seems to always be reason why I do what I do. There is no excuse for sin. Only when we have a proper view of how bad sin is and how holy God is can we take a proper attitude toward our sin.

May we never get caught in the trap of making excuses for our sin. There are none.

Watchman
04-05-2006, 10:35 PM
Amen Roger, Amen.

Watchman
04-05-2006, 10:44 PM
"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (II Timothy 1:9).
Our "calling" to follow Christ Jesus was not a human decision, and certainly not one based on human works, for it was issued in Christ before He had even created us. In some inscrutable way, we are a part of His eternal purpose, and it was altogether by His grace. We were "chosen...before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love" (Ephesians 1:4).
Our calling is therefore a most "holy calling," that is, a sacred calling to be consecrated and separated unto God. It is, moreover, a "heavenly calling," one originated in heaven, by our heavenly Father, centered in His divine will and purpose. In the Father's sight, in Christ Jesus, we are nothing less than "holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling" (Hebrews 3:1).
We should therefore be able to say with Paul: "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14). The high calling is not quite the same as the holy calling or the heavenly calling, though all are components of one great whole.
The prize toward which we press is the "up calling." We are promised that one day all who are in Christ Jesus, dead or living, will be "caught up together," thereafter to "be with the Lord."
He has called us before the world began, He is calling us daily to a heavenly walk with the Lord, and He will call us up to His eternal presence some day soon.

C4K
04-07-2006, 09:09 AM
The importance of teamwork

“Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.” - Nehemiah 2v20

Everything was in place and the work of rebuilding the city was all set to begin. In spite of the mockery and ridicule Nehemiah told Sanballat and the others that God was going to bless the work and the people were going to get up and go build the wall.

Chapter three is simply fascinating. At first appearance it looks like just a list of a bunch guys building a wall. Yet, at closer examination we can see the kind of teamwork that was taking place. It seems that everyone was there. Here is one example, “…Uzziel, … of the goldsmiths … Hananiah…one of the apothecaries…repaired the wall.” There were priests, government officials, craftsman, and shopkeepers all on the wall doing their jobs. There was a job to be done and everyone did their part.

God’s plan for His work is teamwork. Can you imagine what would have happened if only a few had set out to build the wall, or if everyone just set out on their own instead of planning who would do what.

These were people with a common purpose. They set aside their differences and everyone got to work. I wonder what would happen if God’s people followed that example today?

Watchman
04-09-2006, 11:59 PM
Monday April 10, 2006

"And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father; and I am but a child: I know not how to go out or come in" (IKings 3:7).
When Solomon became King of Israel and prayed this prayer, he was still in his teens. His prayer was for wisdom, and, with the many external enemies of Israel and the complex internal intrigues surrounding him in Jerusalem, he surely needed divine wisdom. God was pleased with this request, and granted it in abundance. This is a great example for teenage believers today, who, all too often, are confident they already are smarter than their parents and teachers, while seeming to care more about pleasure and possessions, or even religious emotionalism, than true wisdom.
God's word has much to say to such young people: "Remember now the days of thy youth" (Ecclesiastes 12:1). Each of us has been created for a divine purpose, and the more years devoted to that purpose, the more fully it can be accomplished.
Note also Paul's counsel to young Timothy: "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." "Flee also youthful lusts." "Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of...from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (I Timothy 4:12; II Timothy 2:22; 3:14-15).
With all the great wisdom God gave him in his youth, Solomon accomplished great things for God, even writing three books of the Bible. Sadly, he was wiser in youth than in old age, whereas many who exhibit great foolishness in their younger years seem to become wiser as they grow older. How much better, however, to seek and apply God's true wisdom to our lives!

C4K
04-11-2006, 04:53 AM
Tuesday, 11th April, 2006

Should such a man as I flee?

“And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.” - Nehemiah 6v11

The more I read about Nehemiah the more I admire him. First he had to deal with a bunch of recalcitrant nobles who not only refused to work, but then complained because they were having to share in the cost and their children were being forced to work.

After he had to deal with that he faced a series of threatening letters from Sanballat and his men. Sanballat said that he simply wanted Nehemiah to come and treat with him over the future of the city. Nehemiah would not go because the work was too important. The fifth letter Sanballat sent was an “open letter” which anyone could read.

The threats continued. Nehemiah did not know it, but there was a spy in his midst. Shemiah tried to get Nehemiah to run and hide in the Temple and lock the doors so that Sanballat could not get to him. This was actually just another attempt to discourage Nehemiah from the work.

Nehemiah’s response was classic – “Should such a man as I flee?” No matter what happened he would not be deterred from his task. Discouragement after discouragement came and Nehemiah just kept on going. He was a tremendous example of the kind of faithfulness God expects.

Whenever we face opposition and attacks, may God give us the courage to say, “Should such a man as I flee?”

Watchman
04-12-2006, 12:21 AM
Wednesday April 12, 2006

"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away" (II Timothy 3:5).
Included in Paul's graphic description of the "perilous" characteristics of the "last days" (not the church age, since the prophesied last days were still future when he wrote of them in his last epistle, II Timothy 3:1-13), is this warning concerning the religious leaders of the last days. They would observe the outward form (church buildings, sacraments, religious services, etc.) of "godliness" (that is, "religion"), but would reject its supernatural aspects. They would desire the trappings of religious professionalism since they would be "lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God" (v.4).
Such specifications aptly describe the modern world of scientism and liberal theology, which pervades practically all religious denominations and overlaps with all kinds of liberal social movements (women's liberation, gay rights, "New Age" pantheism, and others). Although these are widely diverse in structure and purpose, they all share one vital feature in common; they reject supernatural Christianity, especially literal creationism. Many liberal preachers give nominal allegiance to the teachings of Christ and the Bible, but they invariably deny the power of God in special creation, as well as the great worldwide miracles of the Bible-the Flood, the dispersion, etc.
This prophecy is not given in Scripture simply as a matter of information. It contains a warning urgently needed by Bible-believing Christians who are under pressure today to compromise with humanistic liberals on this great doctrine of God's creative power. Many have accepted the evolutionary system of "ages geology, and this is tragic and dangerous. Instead of compromising with evolutionary naturalists and religious liberals, as many evangelicals today are inclined to do, Paul warns: "From such turn away!"

C4K
04-13-2006, 05:03 AM
Thursday, 13th April, 2006

Remember me, O my God, for good

“And for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.” - Nehemiah 13v31

Nehemiah had gone from being a simple cupbearer for the king of Babylon to being the legal governor of the restored city of Jerusalem. He had done an amazing work in having the walls built and bringing the city together. In cooperation with Ezra he had seen a great revival in the land.

At the very end of the book he is remembering some of what had happened and he asked God to remember the good that he had done. The idea is that he is asking God to bless his efforts. We see this happening quite often in the Old Testament. Part of the reason of course is that they did not have to comfort of the Holy Spirit to assure them of their salvation. However, there is a principle that we can apply.

Nehemiah did his best and then he left the rest up to God. There is a good pattern here for us as we serve God today. We must do all that we can humanly do for the Lord, then all we can do is to leave the rest with Him.

The question becomes, are we well and truly doing our best for Him? Only then can we step back and ask Him to remember and bless our efforts.

Watchman
04-14-2006, 12:15 AM
Friday April 14, 2006

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever" (IPeter 1:23)
Everything in this present world is under the "bondage of corruption" (Romans 8:21)-God's great curse because of human sin. Peter stresses that the inorganic world is composed of "corruptible things, as silver and gold" (IPeter 1:18), and so is the organic world, which is based altogether on "Corruptible seed." The term "corruptible" simply means "decaying," and this ever-present corruptibility is essentially what scientists have called the law of increasing entropy.
In the new earth, on the other hand, there will be "no more curse" (Revelation 22:3), and "this corruptible must put on incorruption" (ICorinthians 15:53). Those who will inhabit the new earth will have been "begotten...again...To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away" (IPeter 1:3-4).
Everything in the new earth will be incorruptible. Everything in the present earth is corruptible, with one exception!
It is by that thing that those who are now under the bondage of corruption, are translated into the corruptible world of everlasting righteousness. Through the incorruptible word, the Holy Scriptures, which reveal the living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, a believer is born again. "The Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (IITimothy 3:15).
How indescribably precious is our Bible! "For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven...Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage or ever...Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them forever" (Psalm 119:89,111,152). "Heaven and earth shall pass away," said the Lord Jesus, "but my words shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:35).

C4K
04-17-2006, 05:29 AM
Monday, 17th April, 2006

If I perish I perish

“Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.” - Esther 4v16

Esther and her Uncle Mordecai are interesting figures. Up until this point it appears that they were happy enough to just blend in with the crowd and not “rock the boat.”

However, the day came when Mordecai would not bow down to the Haman. This was the beginning of their troubles. We don’t know why Haman would not bow down, perhaps it was simply pride, but judging by his near contemporaries actions it would appear that he would not bow down because he was a Jew and only God was worthy of his veneration.

Later, when the whole nation of Israel was threatened he went to his niece to ask her to go to the king for them. There is something interesting about her response once she decided to go – “If I perish I perish” was her response. Was it simply national pride and patriotism, or was it a willingness to die for her God? We really don’t know, but regardless she showed a rare courage in her willingness to die. She showed the kind of courage that God’s people need today in the face of tremendous opposition.

Watchman
04-18-2006, 12:27 AM
Tuesday April 17,2006

"These are spots at your feasts of charity, when they feast with you,
feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried
about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead,
plucked up by the roots" (Jude 12).

We often speak of people who have been "born again" through faith in
Christ as being "twice born" men or women. Jude, however, here speaks
Of certain people who are "twice dead." Such people already, Jude says,
"were before of old ordained (or 'forewritten') to this condemnation,
ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness (or
'anarchy') and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ"
(Jude 4).
Apparently there are some people who, even while still living, have
already been consigned to hell, and thus are not only "dead in
trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1, the innate condition of all men
until they are born again), but twice dead, already participating in the
second death. These are apostate teachers who have known and understood
the gospel of the grace of Christ and have even for a time presented an
outward appearance of teaching and believing Biblical truth-perhaps even
believing mentally that they had become disciples of Christ. But they
became apostates, repudiating true creationism and the doctrines of
salvation by grace through the saving work of Christ their Creator, even
though they had formerly taught these truths. "There remaineth no more
sacrifice for sins" (Hebrews 10:26) and they are forever apostate.
This description of such teachers in Jude (vv. 4-19) is a searing
condemnation of such deceivers, as well as a sober warning to any who
might be tempted to heed their false teachings. Rather, Jude exhorts us
to "earnestly contend for the faith" (Jude 3).

C4K
04-19-2006, 05:18 AM
Wednesday, 19th April, 2006

Then Job … worshipped

“Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshiped,” - Job 1v20

Imagine this. You are going about your daily business. You love God and are happy with your family and your lot in life. Things couldn’t be better in the world.

Suddenly you get a phone call – “I hate to tell you this, but the stock market just collapsed, you are wiped out.” When they hang up you check your email and find out that the business associate that you trusted completely has emptied your bank account and skipped town. Then you get a text message on your mobile phone from your accountant who was supposed to have been paying all your bills. It contains the following “Boss, thnx 4 evrythng, CU l8ter ” followed by a visit from a solicitor for one of your many creditors. If that weren’t enough, someone rings the doorbell to tell you that all ten of your children have been killed in a tornado.

Bad day, huh? What would be your first reaction? Would your first response be to go and worship God? “Worship God?!?!” you might say, “How could a worship God then?”

Your question would seem well warranted, yet when Job faced a similar situation the Bible says that he “tore his robes, shaved his head, fell down … and worshipped.” We are reminded that worship is not to be conditional on our circumstances. God is worthy of our worship no matter what has happened. Next time we face a challenge may we consider Job … and worship.

Watchman
04-20-2006, 11:45 AM
Thursday April 20, 2006

"This wisdom descended not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish" (James 3:15)
True wisdom is "from above" and is "pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy" (v.17)
False wisdom, on the other hand, may come from the world outside us ("earthly"), the flesh within us ("sensual"), or the powers of darkness tempting us ("devilish"). All such wisdom leads to "envying and strife...confusion and every evil work" (v.16). Believers, therefore, should be able to recognize the influences of the world, the flesh and the devil.
The good news is that each divine Person of the Tri-une Godhead is on our side. The Father is opposed to the world, the Spirit to the flesh, and the Son to the devil, and they are well able to give victory.
"If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him...And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof" (I John 2:15,17). Thus, to overcome the love of the world, we must cultivate the love of the Father in our hearts and lives.
Similarly, to overcome the desires of the flesh, we should follow the leadings and convictions of the Holy Spirit, "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other (Galatians 5:17). Therefore, "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (v.16).
The devil and his evil hosts use their own dark powers to tempt and destroy the people of God, but "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil" (I John 3:8). Christ assured Satan's defeat when He paid for our redemption on the cross. "And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it" (Colossians 2:15).

C4K
04-21-2006, 05:33 AM
Friday, 21st April, 2006

Shall we accept good and refuse to accept evil?

“But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.” - Job 2v10

In the next round of this heavenly battle the Lord allows Satan to afflict Job’s body with terrible, painful boils from head to foot.

With this things get even worse. His wife wonders why he keeps going on with such integrity. Even more than that she suggested that he simply curse God and die.

Job’s simple response is classic – “Should we expect only to receive good from the Lord and not bad as well?” Job understood that God works in ways that he could not hope to understand. He knew that God has every right to give us either good or bad in our perception, it is totally up to Him.

In this entire situation Job did not sin with his lips by blaming God.

There is a saying, “You have to take the bad with the good.” This is true when it comes to God’s dealings. All He does is for ultimate good – even when it does not seem that way to us.

No matter what is happening, let us be sure that we don’t sin with our lips by putting the blame on God.

C4K
04-25-2006, 06:08 AM
Tuesday, 25th April, 2006

He knows the way that I take

“But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” - Job 23v10

As Job’s lament and his “friends’” criticism continued he kept looking back and clinging to what we might call “raw faith.” At times he battled with not totally understanding, but still kept his faith in the Lord.

Job rested in the fact that God knew all about what He was going through. He knew that there was a purpose in his trials, and he knew that when the trials were over and God’s work was done he would come through shining like gold purified in a fire.

How easy it is for us to become desperate and despairing when things get tough. We get so focused on how bad it is at the moment that we can forget the eternal value of our trials.

If we could ever learn to just let God mould us and purify us in our trials they would be much more bearable.

Ron Hamilton puts it well in his song “Rejoice in the Lord.”

REJOICE IN THE LORD

God never moves without purpose or plan.
When trying His servant and molding a man.

Give thanks to the LORD, though your testing seems long.
In darkness, He giveth a song.

*Chorus*
O REJOICE IN THE LORD!
He makes no mistake.
He knoweth the end of each path that I take!
For when I am tried and purified,
I shall come forth as gold.

I could not see through the shadows ahead,
So I looked at the cross of my Saviour instead.

I bowed to the will of the Master that day,
Then peace came, and tears fled away!

Now I can see testing comes from above,
God strengthens His children, and purges in love.

My Father knows best, and I trust in His care;
Through purging, more fruit I will bear.

*Chorus*

by Ron Hamilton

C4K
04-27-2006, 09:14 AM
Thursday, 27th April, 2006

Wisdom and understanding

“And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding”. - Job 28v28

Job had rare insight into the reality of wisdom and understanding. He expressed that they are as rare as silver and gold and that men work hard to find them, Yet, just like silver and gold it is rare to come across a man who has mined wisdom and understanding.

All through our history we have the record of writers, scholars, and philosophers who have sought out wisdom. Their books fill our libraries. Men spend their lives readings and studying the great philosophers of the past, yet still there is a dearth of wisdom and men still cry out for more wisdom and deeper understanding.

Job had it all figured out. Wisdom comes from a reverential fear of God and understanding comes as man departs from evil. It is so simple, and yet so hard for us to grasp.

Wisdom and understanding come down to two simple ideas – trust God and obey Him.

Watchman
04-27-2006, 11:36 AM
My apologies to everyone for missing my turns here. Life is hectic right now. I will be gone now
for nearly two weeks, Lord willing I will be back.

"There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is
entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God
did from His" (Hebrews 4:9-10)
This is an important New Testament affirmation that God's work of
creation was "finished from the foundation of the world" (Hebrews 4:3).
The reference is to Genesis 2:1-3, where the writer has told us that God
had "rested from all His work which God created and made," thus
completely denying the contention of theistic evolutionists that the
processes of "creation" (that is, evolution) are still going on.
In addition, it makes significant comparison between the believer's rest
and God's rest. The word "rest" here is not the usual word for "rest,"
and is used only this once in the New Testament. It means, literally,
"Sabbath rest," or "keeping of the Sabbath." In the context
of chapters 2 and 3 of Hebrews, the concept of rest is being expounded with several
meanings. The original warning was in Psalm 95:11, where it referred
both too the Israelites entering into the promised land under Joshua and
to God's own rest after His work of creation. Psalm 95 is repeatedly
quoted in Hebrews, where other meanings are also implied: the keeping of
a weekly Sabbath in commemoration of God's rest after creation; the
promised future rest to the world and its believing inhabitants-possibly in the millennium, but certainly in the new earth; and the believer's present spiritual rest after he puts his faith in Christ, no longer trusting in his works for salvation.
With such a rich investiture of meaning in the fact of God's past rest
and the promise of our future rest, it is appropriate that there should be a perpetual weekly commemoration and expression of faith in that rest in every generation, until its ultimate fulfillment in the eternal rest in the New Jerusalem.
In the meantime, we are urged to "labor" to "enter into that rest"
(Hebrews 4:11).

C4K
04-27-2006, 11:37 AM
Sadly, I will also be in the states for the next three weeks and don't know how much access I will have.

C4K
05-01-2006, 10:27 AM
God is great and we cannot know Him

“Behold, God is great, and we know him not neither can the number of his years be searched out.” - Job 36v26

Elihu was the youngest of Job’s four companions. He patiently waited his turn while the other men spoke and Job responded. Finally, he entered the fray after Job gave what surely seemed to him like a long statement of self-righteousness. Like everyone else there Elihu did not know that was going on, but he seemed to him that Job was blaming God for punishing him and that Job was claiming perfection. Job was not doing that of course, but perceptions are important and we must all watch how others perceive us.

In the midst of his spirited response Elihu makes some brilliant statements. Here he reminded Job and the others of something they had already alluded to a couple of times – “God is great and we can’t know Him.” Of course, it is possible to know God personally, but it truly knowing Him and all that He does is beyond our ken. How can sinful, frail men ever hope to understand the perfect, holy, omnipotent God?

The answer is of course that we can’t. That is why it is important that we learn how to trust God in situations where we can’t figure it out. We are much better off if we stop trying to figure out the “whys” and trust that He is doing what is best.

C4K
05-03-2006, 02:46 AM
Wednesday, 3rd May, 2006
Now my eye has seen you

“I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.” - Job 42v5

Nothing helps us draw close to God like trials. From the very start we saw that Job was a spiritual man. He hated evil and did all he could to take care of his family’s spiritual needs. Yet, something was missing.

After all of the tribulations Job discovered something. He realised that before the trials his knowledge and awareness of God was secondary and only based on what he had heard about God.

After he had been through the trials he truly saw God for who He is. Too often we face trials with dread and fear. Every trial is chance to see God and to get to know Him better. Lets count it all joy when we fall into diverse temptation.

Watchman
05-29-2006, 07:45 PM
Monday May 29, 2006

I'm back

"And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel." (Exodus 19:6)
These are the words of God to Israel, even before they received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sanai. As a priest serves as an intermediary between God and men, so this "kingdom of priests" had been called by God to bring God's Word to man. As a holy nation with such a high calling, its people also should have been holy (that is, consecrated to God) in life and witness. But instead, after almost 2000 years, God had to lament: "All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people" (Romans 10:21)
A day will come when "all Israel shall be saved" (Romans 10:21), but God has, in the meantime, chosen a new people, in whom "There is neither Jew nor Greek...for ye are all one in Christ Jesus" Galatians 3:28). We are now "one body in Christ, and every one members one of another" (Romans 12:5).
We now have been given the same high privileges long ago given to Israel. We who belong to Christ have been "born again" into the "kingdom of God" (John 3:3), and this is nothing less than a kingdom of priests, a holy nation. The apostle Peter said: "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ" (I Peter 2:5).
Not only are we a holy priesthood, we are a royal priesthood, a kingdom of priest-kings. "Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (v.9). We, indeed, have a high calling, and should devote our lives to showing forth His praises, for He "hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever" (Revelation 1:6).

Watchman
06-06-2006, 10:04 PM
"Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins" (Isaiah 40:1-2).
These two verses introduce the so-called book of "Deutero-Isaiah," which Biblical critics (who deny that prophecy can be fulfilled) claim was written by a second Isaiah simply because it contains prophetic claims which have come to pass. The Lord Jesus, however, quoted more than once from both "divisions" of Isaiah, attributing both of them to the same inspired author, and He surely knew more about their true authorship than do modern liberals!
Actually, however, the two divisions of Isaiah are quite distinctive in their respective vocabularies, simply their respective themes are different. In fact, the chapter structure of the two divisions is quite remarkable, possibly even providential. The first book (chapter 1-39) contains the same number of chapters as the Old Testament has books. Book II (chapter 40-66) contains 27 chapters, the same number of books in the New Testament. The New Testament portion begins with John the Baptist (Isaiah 40:1-5), just as the New Testament itself does, and ends with the new heavens and the new earth (Isaiah 65 and 66; compare Revelation 21 and 22).
The central chapter in the New Testament part of Isaiah is Isaiah 53, which contains the clearest and fullest exposition of the substitutionary death of Christ for our sins to be found anywhere in the Bible. And the central verse of this chapter (which actually should begin at Isaiah 52:13 is: "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our inequities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).

Watchman
06-12-2006, 10:06 PM
"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (II Timothy 1:9).
Our "calling" to follow Christ Jesus was not a human decision, and certainly not one based on human works, for it was issued in Christ before He had even created us. In some inscrutable way, we are a part of His eternal purpose, and it was altogether by His grace. We were "chosen...before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love" (Ephesians 1:4).
Our calling is therefore a most "holy calling," that is, a sacred calling to be consecrated and separated unto God. It is, moreover, a "heavenly calling," one originated in heaven, by our heavenly Father, centered in His divine will and purpose. In the Father's sight, in Christ Jesus, we are nothing less than "holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling" (Hebrews 3:1).
We should therefore be able to say with Paul: "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14). The high calling is not quite the same as the holy calling or the heavenly calling, though all are components of one great whole.
He has called us before the world began, He is calling us daily to a heavenly walk with the Lord, and He will call us up to His eternal presence some day soon.

C4K
06-24-2006, 08:33 AM
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving

“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” - Psalms 100v4-5

Thanksgiving is a consistent, regular, and dominate theme in the word of God. Why then do so few of us ever learn to be thankful Christians? Why, as a rule, are we not thankful? We whinge and complain about the weather, the traffic, our jobs, other people, and everything else under the son. We are thankful when things go “our way” but not when they don’t.

There is an obvious reason why thankfulness is so hard. We focus our thoughts on our circumstances instead of on the Lord. Verse four tells us to be thankful and praise God – verse five gives us the reasons. Note that none of these reasons has anything to do with our circumstances. These are eternal truths that do not vary.

The Lord is good
His mercy is everlasting
His truth endures to all generations

The Lord is good no matter what I perceive today. God’s mercy is everlasting no matter how I may struggle. God’s truth endures, no matter how string the opposition is.

Indeed, we must be heed the words of this passage – “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise, be thankful unto Him and bless His HOLY name”
[/b]

following-Him
06-24-2006, 03:28 PM
Amen.

Thank you Roger. Is good to see the devotionals back again. Is watchman ok? I miss seeing his devotionals.

Blessings

Sheila

C4K
06-27-2006, 02:27 AM
Tuesday, 27th June, 2006

They shall perish, but You will endure

“They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.” - Psalms 102v26-27

“Nothing lasts forever” is a saying we hear quite often. We say that, but there appear to be a lot of things that do “last forever.” We see the sun, moon, and stars. We see mountains, oceans, rivers, and valleys and we say, “These things will always be there.” This is why some peoples have worshipped these very things.

Today we see the same stars that Job saw. The same sun that God created in the creation week shines on us today. Yet, one day all of these things will pass away. They will “wax old like a garment.” God will change them like we change our clothes.

In all of that eventual change God will endure forever. He will not change. He will endure, He will be the same, and He will have no end.

There is only one place to put our confidence. The Lord alone will not change or pass away. He was there before anything else and He will be there when in it all changed. Praise God that He loved us enough to give us the opportunity to put our faith in Him, the Unchanging One.

C4K
06-28-2006, 03:18 AM
As far as the east is from the west

“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” - Psalms 103v12

One of the greatest problems Christians face is the guilt carried over from their life before Christ. Folks just can’t seem to come to grips with the fact that we are well and truly forgiven. As humans we can choose to not let memories affect us, but we truly can never forget past offences. They always stick in our memories so we can saddle God with the same emotion.

Yet, God is not us. He is not limited by our sin nature. He is perfect and because He is perfect His forgiveness is perfect. God tells us here that He has removed our transgressions totally and completely. So far in fact that they are separated as far and east is separated from west. God used the perfect illustration here. If we travel far enough north, eventually we will travel south. No matter how far east we travel we will never go west. In other words, at salvation God infinitely separated our sins from us!

Praise God for His total and absolute separation of our sins from us and the freedom from guilt that allows.

C4K
07-05-2006, 03:49 AM
What can man do unto me

“The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?” - Psalms 118v6

Everyone likes to have the best player, the biggest guy, or the smartest guy on their side. In sports teams spend millions to get the best players. Armies train their soldiers to perform the best in battle. We know that we can have a better chance of victory when we have this kind of person on our side.

The Philistines surely though they had it made when preparing for battle against Israel. The had Goliath of Gath, all 9 ½ feet of him, the champion of champions on their side. Israel were quaking in their sandals. Fear ruled supreme in Israel’s camp.

Then a young shepherd came to bring food to his brothers. When he saw Philistine’s champion he was mystified by Israel’s fear. “God helped me to kill a lion and a bear and He will help me now.” David knew that the battle was not his, but the Lord’s. He knew that the Lord was on His side. He knew that man had no power over him.

Even today fear is a powerful force. The truth has not changed. The Lord is still on our side – we still need never fear what man can do to us. Lord I believe, help my unbelief.

C4K
07-07-2006, 05:01 AM
How can a young man cleanse his ways?

“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” - Psalms 119v9

We live in a filthy world. The filth of the world is like a living being. We are always under assault from it. Sometimes it attacks is a frontal assault like a massive landslide. Other times it is like muck seeping under the door, but the attack is always on. Somehow filth always seems to find a way in.

So how do we deal with filth? What do we do when the filth sneaks in? Christians have all kinds of resources on how to deal with it. We have books, audio, and seminars on dealing with sin in our lives. All of those are well and good, but the psalmist hit the nail on the head

“How can a young man cleanse his ways?” The answer is simple – “by taking heed to the cleansing word of God!” God’s word is a mighty tide to wash away the filth of this world. If we could just learn to live and abide in His word, obeying it and meditating on it, the filth of the world would be washed away and would have no staying power. May we take heed to the word so that we are cleansed from the filth of this dirty old world.

Watchman
07-09-2006, 06:34 PM
"There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is
entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God
did from His" (Hebrews 4:9-10)
This is an important New Testament affirmation that God's work of creation was "finished from the foundation of the world" (Hebrews 4:3).
The reference is to Genesis 2:1-3, where the writer has told us that God had "rested from all His work which God created and made," thus
completely denying the contention of theistic evolutionists that the
processes of "creation" (that is, evolution) are still going on.
In addition, it makes significant comparison between the believer's rest and God's rest. The word "rest" here is not the usual word for "rest," and is used only this once in the New Testament. It means, literally, "Sabbath rest," or "keeping of the Sabbath." In the context of chapters 2 and 3 of Hebrews, the concept of rest is being expounded with several meanings. The original warning was in Psalm 95:11, where it referred both to the Israelites entering into the promised land under Joshua and to God's own rest after His work of creation. Psalm 95 is repeatedly quoted in Hebrews, where other meanings are also implied: the keeping of a weekly Sabbath in commemoration of God's rest after creation; the promised future rest to the world and its believing inhabitants-possibly in the millennium, but certainly in the new earth; and the believer's present spiritual rest after he puts his faith in Christ, no longer trusting in his works for salvation.
With such a rich investiture of meaning in the fact of God's past rest and the promise of our future rest, it is appropriate that there should be a perpetual weekly commemoration and expression of faith in that rest in every generation, until its ultimate fulfillment in the eternal rest in the New Jerusalem.
In the meantime, we are urged to "labor" to "enter into that rest"
(Hebrews 4:11).

C4K
07-14-2006, 05:10 AM
The Lord is your keeper

“The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.” - Psalms 121v5

Psalm 121 is a beautiful Psalm with the theme of the Keeper. It was to be sung as pilgrims drew close to Jerusalem on their journey home. The hills of Jerusalem are in sight. The next psalm, Psalm 122, is to be sung as they stand at the gates of the city the next day. The pilgrims have almost finished a long journey. The Hebrew word “Shamar” appears six times in this Psalm. It is translated “keep” in verses 3,4, and 5; and “preserve” in verses 7 and 8. The word first appears in Genesis when Adam is instructed to keep the garden. It appears 470 times in the Old Testament. There are several applications of the word. It means to “hedge about”, “to guard a flock”, “to tend a garden”, “to keep safe and preserve”, “to watch over”, and “to pay heed.” All of these fit into Psalm 121. As we travel our pilgrim journey and look forward to our heavenly Jerusalem, we need to look more at the fact that “The LORD is thy keeper.”

When I think of a keep my mind goes to the marvellous castles in Ireland. Inside the castle walls is what most people think of when they think of a castle. The main building inside the castle walls is actually called the keep. It is here where the family was safe and where the treasure was kept. Guards kept the keep safe and secure. They were the keepers.

Every time I visit a castle and enter the keep I am reminded of my Keeper. In Him and in Him alone I find perfect preservation and protection. Praise God that He is my keeper!

C4K
07-20-2006, 02:33 AM
His mercy endures forever

“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever. O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth forever. O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth forever.” - Psalms 136v1-3

Praise God for His enduring mercy! No wonder the psalmist here seems caught up in the goodness of God in extending His mercy to us. God shows His mercy in His character, in His creation, and in His care for us.

There is a whole litany of struggles, some of them they brought on themselves, but still God’s mercy endures forever. Verse 23 is especially appropriate – “He remembered us in our low estate: for His mercy endures forever.” All of us were in that low estate, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by (grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2v4-7)

Where would we be without God’s ever enduring mercy? We would still be walking “according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others “ (Ephesians 2v2-3)

Praise God that His mercy endures forever and that it extended, and extends today, to me!

C4K
07-31-2006, 07:39 AM
When sinners entice you

“My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.” - Proverbs 1v10

I love the “deep” things of the word of God. The study of theology is fascinating. I love coming across little nuggets that deal with the character of God similar topics. I love studying about all of the “-ologies” in the Bible.

However, I also love the simple things in scripture. Today’s verse is an example of such a great truth – “If sinners entice you, don’t give in.” We certainly live in a day of enticements. Every place we look there is something to tempt and entice us away from God. Television and the internet are only a couple of examples of how sinners may entice us today.

How do we handle enticements? I wish there was some seminar we could go to. I wish there was book to read or CD to listen to that could sort it all out. There are plenty of “helps” out there, but at the end of the day it is really up to us – “If sinners entice you, consent thou not.” If that is not simple enough there is even a children’s song – “If sinners entice you don’t give in, say ‘no’, say ‘no.”

It seems like we have almost forgotten how to say “no.” When enticements come there is a very simple answer, one that some anti-drug schemes have used. “JUST SAY NO!!”

C4K
08-08-2006, 02:19 AM
The poor little rich man

“There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.” - Proverbs 13v7


This passage is an enigma. How can a rich man be poor and how can a poor man be rich? Like many teachings in the word of God this one seems to be “upside down” or “inside out.”

Obviously there is more to this than meets the eye. There are clearly two kinds of wealth and two kinds of poverty. There is a physical wealth and a physical poverty and there is a spiritual wealth and a spiritual poverty.

It is common enough to have both physical and spiritual poverty. It happens, but it is rare that a man would have both physical and spiritual wealth. Too often men will rush off to make themselves rich physically while they ignore their spiritual needs. On the other hand there are many men who have nothing in this world, yet are rich spiritually.

This same truth is played out in Revelation. The church in Smyrna is poor in the eyes of the world, but rich in God’s eyes. The church in Laodicea thinks they are rich and need nothing, but they are “wretched, and poor, and blind, and miserable.”

What happens here? How does this some about? The problem is the same thing that we see over and over again. When we look at the things of the world, the things we can see, we focus on them and that is what we go after. While we may very well become rich in the eyes of the world we would have nothing. When we look at the things to come, the things that are not seen, we may never get rich in the eyes of the world, but we will have great wealth in God’s sight.

It is a battle, but may God always give us the wisdom to seek after the unseen things and not the things that we can see.

Watchman
08-08-2006, 07:25 PM
"This wisdom descended not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish" (James 3:15)
True wisdom is "from above" and is "pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy" (v.17)
False wisdom, on the other hand, may come from the world outside us ("earthly"), the flesh within us ("sensual"), or the powers of darkness tempting us ("devilish"). All such wisdom leads to "envying and strife...confusion and every evil work" (v.16). Believers, therefore, should be able to recognize the influences of the world, the flesh and the devil.
The good news is that each divine Person of the Tri-une Godhead is on our side. The Father is opposed to the world, the Spirit to the flesh, and the Son to the devil, and they are well able to give victory.
"If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him...And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof" (I John 2:15,17). Thus, to overcome the love of the world, we must cultivate the love of the Father in our hearts and lives.
Similarly, to overcome the desires of the flesh, we should follow the leadings and convictions of the Holy Spirit, "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other (Galatians 5:17). Therefore, "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (v.16).
The devil and his evil hosts use their own dark powers to tempt and destroy the people of God, but "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil" (I John 3:8). Christ assured Satan's defeat when He paid for our redemption on the cross. "And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it" (Colossians 2:15).

C4K
08-14-2006, 07:51 AM
Revenge is sweet?

“Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.” - Proverbs 20v22

“Revenge is sweet” is an old worldly saying. Chances are that more trouble is cause by revenge on all levels that anything else. On national levels retribution always escalates into a war. On a personal level revenge and recompensing of wrongs can divide families, friends, and churches. Revenge is not near as sweet as people make it out to be.

God has an entirely different response for His people – “Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing,” is His instruction from 1 Peter 3v9. Jesus gave the example of turning the other cheek when attacked. Here in Proverbs the instruction is not to try and recompense evil, but to let God sort is and we are promised that He will save us.

One thing stands in the way of this kind of response – our pride will not let us just leave it. We just can’t seem to trust God to work these things out for us. We think that we need to “sort them out” when we are wrongly done by.

If we really trust God we ought to be able to let Him take care of things for us. Lets show our faith by not trying to take care of things ourselves.

Watchman
08-21-2006, 10:22 PM
"Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? (Mark 13:4)

Within a week of His approaching death, Christ sat down with His disciples to talk of the future. He would be leaving, terrible persecution would come, but He would return.
Purposefully no date was given. Their curiosity was no doubt great, but Christ had other charges for them. Instead, Christ focused on other issues, and His instructions apply to us just as surely as to the disciples.
Whether things are going well or not, we must not be misled into a false sense of security. The disciples were looking at the beautiful and serene temple and grounds, but Christ predicted unprecedented destruction. "There shall not be one stone left upon another" (v.2).
Nor should we allow ourselves to be deceived by false prophets (vv. 5-6). Scripture gives ample information to allow us to identify and shun these "wolves in sheep's clothing." But to our shame, false teachers permeate our churches and television airwaves.
Furthermore, when natural calamities and world turmoil cascade in on us (vv. 7-8). We must not be frozen with fear. These things must come (v.7). Persecution must come also (vv.9-12). We must not allow ourselves to be intimidated in our witness or tripped up by bitterness.
Instead we must "endure" and remain loyal to Him (v.13) We must work to spread the gospel to all nations (v.10) in spite of the opposition. And, "Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is" (v.33).
As the events in the Middle East escalate and take on a character which could lead to the sort of conflagration Jesus prophesied, let us commit ourselves to the attitude of heart and life He commanded.

Watchman
08-26-2006, 01:45 AM
"Give us this day our daily bread" (Matthew 6:11).
David was quick to acknowledge God's wondrous daily care in Psalm 68:19 "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation." He recognized that it was the Lord who day by day loaded him down with many glorious blessings, not the least of which was
salvation.
David also recognized that prayer should be offered to God on a daily basis. "Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me...Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily" (Psalm 86:13). "Evening and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice"
(Psalm 55:17).
David also experienced daily persecution, "Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. Mine enemies would daily swallow me up" (Psalm 56:1-2). "As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?" (Psalm 42:10).
Yet, in spite of it all, David could say, "So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows" (Psalm 61:8). As with David, so with us. The constant daily exercise of diligently performing that which we have promised God should be of utmost importance. "I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all His people" (Psalm 116:18).
May we, like the early church, continue "daily with one accord...Praising God, and having favor with all the people" so that the Lord would be pleased to add "to the church daily such as should be saved" (Acts 2:46-47). May we "die daily" (1Corinthians 15:31) to sin and emerge victorious!

C4K
08-27-2006, 05:05 AM
Hidden Sins

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” - Proverbs 28v13

For most of us it is not the obvious, outward sins that cause us the problems. Everyone can see those so we learn to deal with them relatively early in our Christian lives. It is those other sins that can linger and cause us immense problems.

Sins like jealousy, lust, covetousness, and greed can be masked on the outside to a certain extent. Yet, they are relatively easy to hide in our hearts. One of our greatest sins is hypocrisy, which is a Greek term for “wearing a mask.” We all know how to wear our spiritual masks. We can put on a show for everyone else, but our hearts can be full of hidden sins.

We can rest assured that we cannot prosper while these sins are hidden and not dealt with. God tells us that if we are regarding sin in our hearts He won’t hear our prayers. Unconfessed, hidden sins will keep us from a right relationship with our Lord.

Yet, we have a God who is full of mercy. He is waiting for us with open arms like the prodigal son’s father. If we confess and forsake those sins he waiting to pour out His mercy on us. If we have hidden sins that are keeping us from prospering, isn’t it time that we confess and forsake them and receive His mercy?

C4K
09-02-2006, 07:23 AM
Get over it

“Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee: For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.” - Ecclesiastes 7v21-22

Don’t you hate when you find out something that someone has said about you? I thought about that this week when news came out that Kyra Phillips, a CNN presenter had left her mike on when she was in the toilet and the whole world heard her call her sister-in-law a “control freak” during what was supposed to be a broadcast of a speech by President Bush. Surely her sister-in-law was upset by this offhanded remark.

Even here the word of God has some advice for this kind of a situation. To paraphrase the verse above God says, “Don’t let it bother you when you hear what someone else makes some kind of comment about you. You know in your heart of hearts that you have done the same thing yourself.”

Our pride is far too easily hurt. Hopefully Kyra and her sister-in-law will have a good laugh overt the remarks above. We can’t take this kind of thing seriously when it happens to us. This is the kind of thing Satan can use to divide and destroy relationships. If we are not careful a root of bitterness can grow and trouble you and defile many (Hebrews 12v15).

The best advice when we hear that someone has made some kind of comment about us? Usually, the best choice is to just get over it and move on.

C4K
09-15-2006, 02:40 AM
The wells of salvation

“Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.” - Isaiah 12v3

In the midst of judgement in the book of Isaiah God takes time to encourage His people with the promise of His Messiah. In that description of Messiah He gives a beautiful word picture regarding Him – “…with joy you will draw out of the waters of salvation.” If I were an artist would paint a picture of a well bubbling over with fresh, cool water. If I were a poet I would write of all the joys that come with finding a well of fresh water in a dry and barren land. But, alas, I am neither.

I think of Jesus speaking to the woman of the well of the “Living water” that He could offer her. He told here she would never have to thirst again. Not only would she never thirst, but also from this verse we find that there is joy to be found in the wells of salvation. If we are saved there is unspeakable joy in being saved, being a child of God, being daily loaded with His benefits, and being the heirs of eternal salvation.

John Peterson captures the idea beautifully in his song “Springs of Living Water.”

“I thirsted in the barren land of sin and shame,
And nothing satisfying there I found;
But to the blessed cross of Christ one day I came,
Where springs of living water did abound.

Chorus
Drinking at the springs of living water,
Happy now am I, my soul they satisfy;
Drinking at the springs of living water,
O wonderful and bountiful supply.

How sweet the living water from the hills of God,
It makes me glad and happy all the way;
Now glory, grace and blessing mark the path I've trod,
I'm shouting Hallelujah every day.

Chorus
Drinking at the springs of living water,
Happy now am I, my soul they satisfy;
Drinking at the springs of living water,
O wonderful and bountiful supply.

O sinner, won't you come today to Calvary?
A fountain there is flowing deep and wide;
The Saviour now invites you to the water free,
Where thirsting spirits can be satisfied.

Chorus
Drinking at the springs of living water,
Happy now am I, my soul they satisfy;
Drinking at the springs of living water,
O wonderful and bountiful supply.”

Let’s make today a day where all spend the day joyfully drawing from the wells of salvation!

Watchman
09-17-2006, 09:48 PM
“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen” (Revelation 1:7).
This striking verse, which deals with the return of Christ, contains several aspects well worth our study.
First: Behold, He cometh.” This event is still future, but it is as sure as if it had already taken place. Christ will return.
Second, “They shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). His coming “with clouds” was also prophesied in Daniel 7:13, Matthew 26:64, Acts 1:11, and elsewhere.
Third: “Every eye shall see Him.” Who is included here? Certainly everyone living at the time, both Christian and non-Christian. But also the saved and raptured saints will be present (1Thessalonians 4:17). Can it be that unsaved dead will likewise “see” Him come? Those who died without Christ should be vitally interested. Either the coming rebellion will defeat Christ and free their spirits from Hades, or they will soon face certain, final judgement.
Fourth, notice the different reactions. His tormentors will be in horrible distress; those who “pierced Him” will be in inexpressible anguish as they realize the awful consequences of their actions. Who pierced Him? Certainly Israel, but the collective sins of all men of all ages pierced Him. Some have gained forgiveness and will gladly see Him come; others have refused and will “wail” at His return.
Saints in heaven and on earth will delight in His coming. To them, it means release from persecution, justice on their persecutors, and a righteous kingdom established. It will mean questions answered, imperfections removed, the curse repealed. Any distress felt for friends and loved ones still living in ejection will be swallowed up in the rightness of the action.

Watchman
10-03-2006, 11:18 AM
“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that He ad made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart” (Genesis 6:5-6)
These two verses, describing the incurable wickedness of the antediluvian world which finally brought on the global flood, contain the first two of over a thousand occurrences of the word “heart” in the Bible. Note the contrast: man’s heart was evil; God’s heart was grieved.
Both the Hebrew and Greek languages treated the heart as the center of a person’s being, the seat of all feelings and thoughts, and we do the same in English. The writers knew that the heart was a physical organ, with its function of circulating the blood as basic to physical life. Leviticus 17:11, among other Scriptures, notes that “the life of the flesh is in the blood,” but only rarely was the word used thus in Scripture. Nearly always is the word used symbolically in reference to the deep essence of a person’s being. It is also used occasionally to refer to the innermost part of physical objects (e.g., “the heart of the earth,” as in Matthew 12:40.
In this first occurrence, it refers to the “thoughts” of the heart. Somehow, before one thinks with his mind, he thinks with his heart, and these deep, unspoken thoughts will determine the way he reasons with his brain. Jesus confirmed this in Mark 7:21: “For from within, out of the heart of man proceed evil thoughts.”
How important it is, then, to maintain a heart that is pure. In fact, in sharp contrast to the first occurrence of “heart” in the Old Testament referring to man’s evil thoughts, the first occurrence in the New Testament is in the gracious promise of Christ: “Blessed is the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8)

Watchman
10-12-2006, 09:18 PM
Random Job 29:25
“I chose out their way, and sat as chief, and dwelt like a king in the army, as one that comforts the mourners.” (Job 29:25 KJV2000)


Believing that God speaks through His Word, no matter how you study it-With this writing, I will be attempting something new: open my Bible, point to a verse and endeavor to write about whatever verse comes up. Those that will be written this way will have “Random” in the title. Here goes.

Before Abram (whose name was later changed to Abraham) was called by God, there lived an upright and faithful servant of God by the name of Job. As to the fact that Job was a righteous servant of God, we have the best authority attesting to this fact: God Himself!
“And the LORD said unto Satan, Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a blameless and an upright man, one that fears God, and turns away from evil?” (Job 1:8)
Now, after the great calamities that God allowed Satan to heap upon him, Job, in the ashes perhaps of his destroyed home, looks back at his past life here in chapter 29.
How respected he was:
“The young men saw me, and hid themselves: and the aged arose, and stood up. The princes refrained from talking, and laid their hand on their mouth” (Vv 8,9).
How helpful he was:
“ I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.” (Vv 15,16)
But, as upright as Job was, he still fell short of the glory of God and this he would come to realize: “I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye sees you. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (42:5,6).
We will all, no doubt, sooner or later, look back on our own lives. We should not use Job as a comparison to how we should have conducted ourselves here, but look to the only One who was perfect in all His ways: the Lord Jesus Christ: God’s example of the perfect life, the perfect man.

Watchman
10-16-2006, 07:40 PM
“O you inhabitant of Lachish, harness the chariot to the swift steeds: it is the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of Israel were found in you.”
(Mic 1:13 KJV2000)

Lachish was a city inside Judah. By “…the beginning of sin…” we can infer that Lachish was the first city in Judah to begin practicing the idolatry that was dominant in Israel at the time. Israel (referred to by God in the Old and New Testaments as His “vineyard”) was founded by God to be His special people through whom the whole world would be blessed. However, this was not what Israel turned out to be: “What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? why, when I expected that it should bring forth grapes, it brought forth wild grapes?” (Isa 5:4) Israel was not bearing the fruit that was indicative of God’s people, but was bearing the fruit of the idolatrous nations that surrounded them.
How did this happen? The same way that the Church today has been led astray: compromise in the name of “Getting along” with the world. As I heard a well-known preacher say, “Tolerance is the last virtue insisted upon by a decadent generation.”
We are to display loving-kindness to all people, but that does not mean that we compromise with the world and sacrifice Biblical principles on the name of being friends with those who do not honor the Lord Jesus as Lord. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1John 2:15) “Therefore come out from among them, and be you separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, “ (2Co 6:17)

Watchman
10-25-2006, 06:36 PM
“But to do good and to share forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” (Heb 13:16 KJV2000)
The first century Church was truly unprecedented in their sharing with, and caring for one another. Luke records in the book of Acts: “And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and distributed them to all men, as every man had need.” (Act 2:44-45) During this time of transition as the local churches were forming, great changes were occurring. These “new creatures” in Christ had a new relationship with God and with others. Many were sharing their wealth with those who had lost all to become believers in Christ.
Our Lord Jesus had already warned that division would come (Mt. 10:32-39; Luke 12:51-53). This division had caused some to be disowned by their families. So those who still had provisions shared their homes and food with those who had nothing. They began to sell their possessions to share the proceeds with the other believers.
All of this is a far cry from modern communism. No one was forced to do what they did. They did what they did out of love for their Lord and their fellow Christians.
No one is called upon to make such an extreme sacrifice today, however, we should all do what we can for any brother or sister in Christ who has a real need that we can meet.

following-Him
10-26-2006, 03:11 AM
Amen. Thankyou Charles.

following-Him
10-31-2006, 08:30 AM
Looks like we need more devotional contributors in here.

Watchman
11-01-2006, 08:28 PM
Looks like we need more devotional contributors in here.

We would be glad to have you!

Watchman
11-01-2006, 08:33 PM
“For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, with no hands laid on her” (Lam 4:6 KJV2000).
Israel, (often depicted in the Scriptures as God’s vineyard) has suffered much down through the ages. God has repeatedly in times past sent plagues, pestilence or rose up other nations to afflict them. The source of Israel’s problems can be boiled down to one thing: rebellion against God. “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” (1Sa 15:23a).
God’s judgement against Israel, in sending Babylon against them was judged by the prophet Jeremiah here as being worst than what happened to the city of Sodom long before. Indeed, the prophet has a point here: Sodom was destroyed quickly: “Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;” (Gen 19:24). The siege against Jerusalem by the Babylonians here, as well as the one by the Romans in 70a.d. resulted in massive suffering.
However, as the Lord Jesus made plain, Israel’s troubles in this life, was nothing to be compared with the coming (as we know it) Great White Throne judgement that all those who reject God’s offer of grace through faith in Jesus Christ will face:
“But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you” (Mat 11:24).
“But Israel, who followed after the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense: and whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed” (Rom 9:31-33).
If these things happened to God’s chosen people, Israel, we must never take this grace offered through the finished work of the Lord Jesus for granted, or gloat about our good fortune. Remember, we stand only by God’s grace, what we deserve is hell: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Rom 3:23).

Now will I sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved regarding his vineyard. My well-beloved has a vineyard on a very fruitful hill:
And he dug it, and gathered out its stones, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress in it: and he expected that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.
And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, between me and my vineyard.
What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? why, when I expected that it should bring forth grapes, it brought forth wild grapes? (Isa 5:1-4)

following-Him
11-01-2006, 09:13 PM
We would be glad to have you!

I can't cos I am female, but I am sure there are people here who would be only too happy to contribute if asked.

Blessings

followinghim

Watchman
11-02-2006, 09:36 AM
I can't cos I am female, but I am sure there are people here who would be only too happy to contribute if asked.

Blessings

followinghim

You must be referring to Paul's words, as I have quoted in title above. Paul's admonition was for women to remain silent in the Church when there would be an usurping of authority: (So, certainly, ladies meetings and those pertaining to children were excluded.)
My first thought is that, obviously, while it is a place the Church gathers (We ARE the Church), this is not a physical gathering to worship God and learn about things pertaining to Him. When I first started here I said that I felt that these devotionals were just that, not teaching. But, looking back I guess I must confess I was desiring to teach on certain ones I wrote!
This would be an interesting question to post here on the Board.
However, I you feel that you do not have tha liberty to do it, than don't ("Whatsoever is not of faith is sin")

following-Him
11-02-2006, 02:36 PM
I don't feel I am qualified to write the devotionals (I am not a pastor) and I don't think that others here would accept devotionals written by a woman. My point in my original post was that maybe others would like to be part of the team of devotional contributors/writers.

Blessings

followinghim

Watchman
11-02-2006, 08:34 PM
“For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it?” (Deu 4:32)
This challenge was given by Moses to the children of Israel as they were preparing to enter the Promised Land. It was vital that the cease all complaining and begin to behave in a manner appropriate to their stature as God’s choosen people.
For this they needed to regain a sense of historical perspective, and Moses urged them to study the history of the world since the beginning. Presumably, this would be possible only through studying the book of Genesis , “since the day that God created Adam (same word as man) upon the earth.”
It is significant that “the days that are past” were implied by Moses to have begun essentially at creation, with no hint of any long geological ages before that. The 25 or more centuries from Adam to Moses had provided enough history to instruct that particular generation about God’s plan for the world, and to prepare them for their own key role in their accomplishment, and to appreciate the real meaning of their lives as they awaited the promised redeemer who was to come someday with salvation.
Now if the Israelites needed a true historical perspective, we need one today far more. I addition to what they had, we now also have the history of Israel, the first coming of Christ, God’s completed revelation, and the Christian dispensation from which to learn and profit. Our understanding of God and His purposes should be far greater than theirs, so we have much greater responsibility. May God help us to study and believe and understand all that has gone before, as recorded in His Word, so that we can be prepared to fulfill or own role in God’s great plan of the ages for eternity.

Watchman
11-02-2006, 08:47 PM
I don't feel I am qualified to write the devotionals (I am not a pastor) and I don't think that others here would accept devotionals written by a woman. My point in my original post was that maybe others would like to be part of the team of devotional contributors/writers.

Blessings

followinghim

Let me say in response to you, to other women, or to anyone else. If you do not feel that you can, or should, write here-don't! Let me explain, you can post a devotional here and not be the author. Please note the prohibition of copywrited material. But even if you post from the devotionals written by Spurgeon or other great writers from long ago, as long as full credit is given, it could certainly be a blessing to some.
Just something to think about.

following-Him
11-08-2006, 10:14 AM
This is todays devotional from "The Word For Today" (ww,ucb.co.uk) which is I think a timely reminder to us all for the need to read God's Word every day.

Blessings

Followinghim

A daily dose of Scripture08 Nov 2006'"IT FELT LIKE A FIRE BURNING IN US WHEN JESUS...EXPLAINED THE SCRIPTURES TO US."' LUKE 24:32The two Emmaus-bound pilgrims discovered the power of the Scripture that first Easter Sunday. They were broken-hearted from the crucifixion: '...sadness [was] written across their faces' (Luke 24:17 NLT). They allowed their pain to blind them to the presence of Jesus. He'd risen from the dead, and though they didn't yet recognise Him, He'd come to take their sorrow. How would He do this? 'Then Jesus quoted passages from the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining what all the Scriptures said about Himself' (Luke 24:27 NLT). He opened their eyes, lifting their heavy hearts with the Scriptures. He chose the one thing that never fails; God's Word! Did it make a difference? For those two it did: 'It felt like a fire burning in us when Jesus talked to us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us.' Trying to live a victorious Christian life without a daily dose of the Scriptures is like trying to run your car on an empty tank, work all week on an empty stomach, or pay your bills on an empty bank account. Steve Farrar writes: 'I need to be reminded of what is true. God's Word gives me a dose of reality. My morning briefing in the Word gives me a perspective that I don't get in the world. I need God's commentary on my life every day. A Christian...in this society is swimming upstream. Without the constant nutrition of the Word, he will soon tire and be dragged off by the sheer force of the current.' So, spend time each day in the Scriptures!

Watchman
11-08-2006, 10:09 PM
Excellent, yes we need God's word daily. I was particularly struck with:

"Trying to live a victorious Christian life without a daily dose of the Scriptures is like trying to run your car on an empty tank, work all week on an empty stomach, or pay your bills on an empty bank account."
There is something from the prophet Jeremiah... perhaps I can find that and write about it.

Watchman
11-08-2006, 10:19 PM
"The Lord called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying... (Leviticus 1:1).
This is the introductory verse to what many erroneously consider a dry and difficult book of the Bible actually introduces a remarkable phenomenon. All the rest of the chapter consists of a direct quotation from the Lord Himself. In fact, most of the rest of the book also consists solely of the direct words of God, except for an occasional interjection of a statement that God was still speaking. In all, 717 of the 832 verses in Leviticus (that is 86%) consist of the very words of God, directly quoted. This is more than any other book of the Bible, except for the books of the prophets, some of which also consist almost entirely of verbatim statements from God. The same situation is found in lesser, but still substantial, degree in other historical books, not to mention the extensive quotations from the sermons and discourses of Christ in the four gospels.
While it is true that the Holy Spirit used many different means by which to convey the Scriptures (all of which are verbally inspired and fully inerrant) to writing, it is also true that, on many occasions, what amounts to the "dictation" method was used by Him. Evangelicals have often been intimidated by the scientist' ridicule of this "mechanical theory" of inspiration, but they should not be. God is well able to use whatever means He chooses to reveal His word to men, and we should simply take Him at His word!
Leviticus is a guidebook for the consecration and cleansing of God's people-especially His priests. In the New Covenant, all believers are priests, and therefore are expected to be consecrated and pure. "but ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (IPeter 2:9)

following-Him
11-10-2006, 05:43 AM
Amen.

Thank you Charles.

Blessings

followinghim

following-Him
11-10-2006, 06:04 AM
Here is todays devotional from "Word For Today" - www.ucb.co.uk (http://www.ucb.co.uk)

When God puts you on hold (1)10 Nov 2006'SO DON'T TRY TO GET OUT OF ANYTHING PREMATURELY...' JAMES 1:4The Bible says, 'To every thing there is a season...' (Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV). So no matter how hard you pray, you can't pray your life's seasons away. There are some situations you aren't meant to change; you're just meant to survive! Paul calls these times, '...light affliction, which is...for a moment...' (2 Corinthians 4:17 KJV). When you can't alter your circumstances you must learn to grow through them. In winter, trees take advantage of the season to rebuild their strength and prepare to be fruitful next season. Their sap and substance goes underground. Then in the spring they push their way back up again in the form of new growth. Looking back over your life you'll find that your achievements are seasonal. Growth comes, then struggle, and vice versa. Each season has its purpose. God has a reason for not wanting you to be productive all the time. When He permits winter winds to blow through your life He's preparing you for the coming spring. James writes, 'Consider it a...gift...when tests...come... under pressure, your faith...shows its true colours. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.' One of the issues you'll struggle with, in a waiting period, is the urge to hurry, to make permanent decisions based on temporary circumstances. Don't do it! Every situation doesn't call for immediate action. Remember, patience comes from trust, and you can't trust a God you don't know. That's why you need to spend more time getting acquainted with Him through reading His Word and praying.

Watchman
11-13-2006, 09:49 AM
“And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter I shall be” (Zechariah 14:8).
It is interesting that there is no mention of either spring or fall, as such, anywhere in the Bible, though there are several references to summer and winter. The first day of spring is the date of the vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere, although there is apparently no formal calendric period of either spring pr autumn, and the culturally accepted periods vary from country to country.
In any case, we do know that there have been so-called “seasons” from he very beginning, owing to the earth’s axial tilt. Speaking of the sun, moon, and stars when he created tem, God said to “let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years” (Genesis 1:14).
Furthermore, although he great flood produced drastic changes on the earth, it did not change the seasons. God told Noah: “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22).
There are tremendous changes yet to take place in the earth during the time when Christ returns, as described in the prophetical books. Once again, however, as our text indicates, there will still be summer and winter-and therefore, also spring and fall. “Thou hast made summer and winter” (Psalm 74:17) and apparently so it will always be. Even in the new earth, the wonderful tree of life will “bare twelve manner of fruits, and (yield) her fruit every month” (Revelation 22:2). Different fruits for different months at least implies different seasons. “Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever” (Ecclesiastes 3:14).

Watchman
11-15-2006, 09:35 AM
"The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
This wonderful verse has been used by the Holy Spirit countless times to bring a person to the point of salvation, and rightly so. Seldom did the Author of Scripture pack so much into so few words, and seldom is the gospel of salvation more clearly and succinctly presented.
Perhaps the key to this verse and its teaching is the little word but, for marvelous contrasts hinge on it. In fact, pointing out the parallel but contrasting statements has proven to be an effective witnessing tool. Let us consider these individual contrasts:
Fist, wages versus gift: Wages are something that must be earned, while a gift cannot be earned; it is free. The wages of employment follow directly from having done the work, just as the wages of sin follow directly from having done the sin. Similarly, the gift of God follows directly from God's own character. He is a loving, gracious God, who freely showers His gifts on those who will accept them.
Second, sin versus God, or sin versus the sinless one: we might even define sin as the opposite of godliness. Sin is the deed that merits the wages, while God is the being who gives the gift. Sin is a wrong action, attitude, or thought, while God is a person, active and loving. Sin takes; God gives.
Third, death eternal versus life eternal: Conscious existence in separation from God versus conscious existence in communion with God. Sin brings death, surely and permanently; God gives eternal life.
This gift of eternal life is not given capriciously, however; it is based on the work of Jesus Christ, the one who Himself collected the wages of our sin. The sinner who accepts the gift, through Jesus Christ, can hardly fail to recognize Him as Lord.

following-Him
11-16-2006, 02:15 AM
Amen.

Thank you Charles.

Blessings :)

Watchman
11-20-2006, 02:20 PM
"The king shall joy in thy strength, O Lord; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!"
(Psalm 21:1)
Why would any king need to look higher for anything? The king is the top, the ultimate authority, and the benefactor of his subjects. So why should David turn to the Lord to receive blessings and material goods? The answer is that this king was committed to the King of kings. David was a subject of a higher kingdom than his own.
One attribute of the Lord is his strength-that inherent capacity to act upon or affect something. David suggests that God's strength has provided his salvation; changing his own lost and dying state into a state of eternal life. "He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever" (v.4). How could David have accomplished that miracle with resources from within his kingdom? Neither his people, his money, nor his authority could provide it.
David had desires in his heart which only God knew and gave him. The Lord gave him "blessings of goodness" (v.3), "a crown of pure gold on his head" (v.3), "honor and majesty" (v.5), and "made him most blessed for ever" (v.6). No wonder David found joy in the Lord's strength and rejoiced in his saved state. "The king trusteth in the Lord, and through the mercy of the most high he shall not be moved" (v.7).
How did the Lord accomplish this? Through the agent of His own right hand (v.8). Work requires a force applied through a distance. The Lord truly has to change our position from lost to saved. There has to be a point of decision in time when we agree with God to change our state. Herein is where His power comes into play (God's force on an object, moving it from lost to saved in a moment of real time).
Let us join David as he concludes: "Be thou exalted, Lord, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power" (v.13).

following-Him
11-27-2006, 09:24 AM
Todays devotional comes from Word for Today at: www.ucb.co.uk (http://www.ucb.co.uk)

How's your prayer life?27 Nov 2006'PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.' 1 THESSALONIANS 5:17Prayer is not a monologue where one person does all the talking, or a ritual where we must say things in the right order, or a chore to get out of the way like brushing our teeth before going to bed. Jesus rejects this performance-based understanding of prayer: '"...Find a quiet, secluded place so you won't be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense His grace"' (Matthew 6:6 TM). For many, prayer has little to do with the realities of life. They think of it like the National Anthem at a game: a nice opening, but nothing to do with what happens on the field afterwards. Other people treat prayer like a rabbit's foot you pull out and rub when things are tough: 'A prayer a day keeps the devil away.' Paul writes, 'Pray without ceasing.' That doesn't sound like something you do once in a while, or a flare you shoot up during a crisis. Try substituting the word breathe for the word pray: 'breathe without ceasing' - doesn't that sound like a good idea to you? We don't breathe only when we feel like it. Or decide, 'I'm not into oxygen today,' and stop breathing. Or get frustrated and say, 'This isn't getting me anywhere. I'm not going to do it any more.' No, we cling to the breath in our bodies as if it's life. So, just as breathing is an indispensable part of your natural life, prayer is an indispensable part of spiritual life. Without it you die spiritually. So, how's your prayer life?

Watchman
11-28-2006, 08:34 AM
Thank you for that.

following-Him
11-28-2006, 10:11 AM
You're welcome. :)

Watchman
11-29-2006, 09:38 PM
"For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape" (I Thessalonians 5:2-3).
Whenever there is a war, or a great calamity, or a great time of suffering, there almost inevitably follows an upsurge of interest in Biblical prophecy with many predictions of the immediate return of Christ.
According to our text however (which immediately follows the glorious description of the "rapture" of all believers into the air to meet the returning Savior), His coming may not be at a time of war and danger, but in one of "peace and safety!" It may well be in a period when "they"-that is, the ungodly world and all of its cohorts-will be proudly boasting of the new world order where they have established worldwide security from further strife and peril. But this system will be built, not on a Biblical foundation acknowledging God as Creator and Redeemer, but on a false foundation of evolutionary humanism and an attempted amalgamation of all world religions.
The euphoria accompanying such a false security will even lull many Christians into a since of complacency. In peaking of His return, therefore, Jesus warned: "Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of Man cometh at an hour when ye thin not" (Luke 12:40). His coming will be as a thief comes in the night, when even those who should be alert and watching may have fallen asleep.
"Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is" (Mark 13:33).
Watchfulness, however, does not mean idleness. "Occupy til I come, He said (Luke 19:13). "Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when He cometh shall find so doing" (Luke 12:43).

following-Him
11-30-2006, 03:01 AM
Amen.

Thank you Charles.

following-Him
12-04-2006, 07:41 AM
Here is today's devotional from Word For Today which can be found at :
www.ucb.co.uk (http://www.ucb.co.uk)

Two phases - anticipation and reality!04 Dec 2006'"BUT THE HOUR COMETH, AND NOW IS..."' JOHN 4:23Phase one: anticipation. This woman had lived through five failed marriages, become the talk of the town, and lost her capacity to trust others or respect herself. Then Jesus showed up and said, 'The hour cometh.' What a message: 'Things are about to change. What you're weeping over today you'll rejoice over tomorrow.' God's grace turns the failures of our past into fertilizer. Like a lily springing up in a mud marsh, God offers us: '...beauty for ashes... the garment of praise [in exchange] for the spirit of heaviness...' (see Isaiah 61:3 KJV). Notice, when Christ mentioned this woman's past He wasn't a Pharisee pointing an accusing finger. No, He was the Good Shepherd walking for miles to find one lost sheep; the great Physician pouring healing love into her deepest wounds; and 'the door' that leads out of misery and into the life she always longed for. Phase two: reality. '"...and now is..."' The waiting is over. Anticipation turns to reality and she seizes her moment. When Jesus said, '"Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give...shall never thirst..."' (John 4:14 KJV); she replies: '"Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not..."' (John 4:15 KJV). She reaches by faith and receives what He has for her. Then redeemed, recycled and redirected, this woman with a questionable past goes all over town introducing others to Christ. What a story! And what Jesus did for her He'll do for you. What He said to her He says to you: 'Your time has come. Your breakthrough is at hand. Believe it, receive it and walk in it.'

following-Him
12-05-2006, 05:11 AM
Todays devotional comes from Word for Today, which can be found at:

www.ucb.co.uk (http://www.ucb.co.uk)

A word to teachers (1)05 Dec 2006'YOU, HOWEVER, KNOW ALL ABOUT MY TEACHING, MY WAY OF LIFE...' 2 TIMOTHY 3:10If you want your teaching to have impact, you must do these three things: 1) Know your students. And that takes commitment and time. This is where we lose a lot of teachers. There's no magic formula. Good teaching has a price tag: you've got to be willing to pour out your life for others. If your students have to trip you up on your way out of class in order to have a moment with you, you're not going to reach them. People don't care how much you know, until they first know how much you care. 2) Earn the right to be heard. Walk out on the street and tell the first guy you meet that you know what his problem is - and he'll probably give you a bit of his mind he can't afford to lose. Even if you know what his problem is, you won't get through to him. Credibility must precede communication. And our celebrity society has never figured that out. You must win a hearing! 3) Be willing to become vulnerable. It's the broken who become masters at mending. Don't be afraid to let people know what you're struggling with, and what you've struggled with through the years. People tend to see us in terms of where we are now, rather than in light of where we've come from and what we've been through. They didn't see the process. So tell them about the God you know personally, and what He's brought you through. That'll impact them every time! Want to be a teacher who 'gets through?' Practice these principles.

Watchman
12-06-2006, 11:50 PM
Sorry, but I had experienced some computer problems. I would like to revisit what I posted on John 4 (The Woman at the Well), after I read FollowingHim's post because this is so vitally important to us. If you have a copy of the movie "Gospel of John" who will note that when the actress that played this woman asked (Jesus) about why He asked her, being a Samiritan woman; the camera looked at the hem of the garment that the actor that played Jesus was wearing. Around the hem was a blue stripe and this was something the Jews did to distinguish themselves from, well, Samaritans especially.
The narrative says that Jews, "have no dealings with the Samaritans," this is perhaps one of the great understatements found in God's Word. And the feeling was mutual. The Lord Jesus not only would speak to her, but, as we see, waited for her to show up. Here is one married five times, outside of Israel, having absolutely no merit whatsoever, yet Jesus reaches out to her. Brethren, this is perhaps THE best example in the Bible if you need to answer someone who thinks that they cannot come to the Lord Jesus, because they feel that the have done so much evil that they think that God cannot forgive them. God still cares for that sinner. What one CANNOT be forgiven of is to live one's life through and die, rejecting God's provision for eternal life in Jesus Christ.

Jesus comes to a city of Samaria to Jacob's well and waits there. Being the sixth hour (noon), the well was deserted as a woman approached. Jesus began the conversation by asking her for a drink. She recognized Jesus as a Jew (He was not like the pictures of Jesus of Catholic origin) and immediately questioned why He was even speaking to her, a Samaritan. Jesus responds with three things to attract her attention.
First, He states that she need to know "the gift of God." This we know is in reference to the free gift of salvation (Eph. 2:8-9).
Second, she needs to realize to whom she is speaking.
(As for us, if we only had the spiritual sight to realize how many times we have talked with :angels unawares" Heb 13:2). She doesn't have a clue that she is speaking to the creator of the universe!
Third, she needs to taste "living water." Of these three "baits" she takes the third, living water. He did not speak of sin, but focused upon her thirst, offering living water. As with Nicodemus, this woman responded to the spiritual question with earthly terms. "Where' His bucket?" she thought. How are you going to get this "living water"? She wondered. "Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us this well?
Her interest is peaked, though she is skeptical of how this Jewish man could have something greater than the Patriarch Jacob. As previously stated, the Samaritans accepted only the first five Books of the Bible written by Moses (the Pentateuch). Jesus could have discussed the Jewish and Samaritan claims of Jacob, but He keeps focused on her greater need, a well of water that brings everlasting life. Now she is really curious about what she has to say, she asks to have "this water."
However, Jesus knows that she is not ready to trust Him, so He must first reveal her need for salvation. "Go call thy husband" followed by "thou hast had five husbands" causes the woman to perceive that Jesus is more than a normal man. She is getting closer, but still skirts the issue as she tries to change the subject. She declares Him to be prophet and wants to discuss "religion." Like many today, she thinks that the location ("this mountain...Jerusalem") is the difference of their "religions." today people think that whether it's Rome, Mecca, or Jerusalem, it's all the same thing. They say whether it's Jehovah, Budda or Allah it's all the same! But God says, "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." (Isa. 45:22; The phrase "none else" is used of God 10 times.) Also, notice he reference to Mount Gerizim.
Jesus directs the conversation back to the main issue, her need to seek God. The Samaritans had a copy-cat religion with a rival temple and priests, yet they did not know what they worshipped. Jesus declares "Salvation is of the Jews." He did not begin His conversation with this statement, but now she is willing to hear it. The Bible and the Saviour Himself came by the Jews. The key is not worshipping God in relation to some religious shrine, but rather worshipping "the Father in spirit and in truth." Dr. Greene says "To worship 'in spirit' is to worship from the heart - not in form, not a carnal worship consisting of ceremonies, offerings, sacrifices, feasts and keeping of days. To worship 'in truth' means to worship by and through the one way to God. We do not worship today through sacrifices of lambs, doves, bullocks; we worship God through truth." (p.223) We too must worship God on His terms: "in spirit and in truth."
Jesus has offered her "living water" and then revealed to her that He knew her secret sins. He told her that true worship involved more than buildings or sacrifices; true worship is in spirit and in truth. Now she has no more questions or excuses and she wants to know about the Messiah and Jesus is ready to reveal Himself to her. In 4:26 is one of the clearest declarations of Jesus' claim to be the Messiah. (Compare Mk. 14:62)
It is important to realize that Jesus did not claim to be a good man or a good teacher, He claimed to be God. To make Jesus to be anything less than God is not the truth. When a ruler addressed Jesus as "Good Master" Jesus rebuked him saying: "Why callest thou me good? There is none good but One, that is, God." (Mark 10:18). The Samaritan woman's response is not recorded, but her actions reveal her faith. She immediately went out to find others to meet the Saviour.
Would to God that all of us would follow her example!

following-Him
12-07-2006, 03:00 AM
AMEN. Thank you Charles.

Blessings

followinghim

Watchman
12-11-2006, 07:57 AM
"Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed" (Psalm 37:3).

Although there are many promises in Scripture to the effect that the Lord will provide material sustenance to those who are faithful to Him (Matthew 6:33), this particular verse evidently refers to an even more blessed promise. The word translated "verily" is better rendered by "truth," so the latter part of the verse could best be given as: "thou shalt be fed on the truth." That is, the spiritual life of the one who trusts in Christ will be fed and sustained by truth.
In contrast, the unbeliever feeds on that which is not true. The one "Who hath formed a god" for himself will soon taste bitterness on his tongue. "He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?" (Isaiah 44:10,20).
Those who trust in human deliverance will be like Israel depending on Egypt and Assyria. "Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind: he daily increaseth lies and desolation" (Hosea 12:1). The diet of false prophets is more bitter still. "Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall" (Jeremiah 23:15).
Wind and ash, wormwood and gall; such is the spiritual food of those who reject the truth of the word of God.
To the believer, however, the Scriptures are as much a daily need for the soul as bread for the body. As Job said long ago: "I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food" (Job 23:12). Moses testified as follows: "And He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that He might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord" (Deuteronomy 8:3).

following-Him
12-11-2006, 09:27 AM
Amen. Thank you Charles.

Something we all need to be reminded of.

Blessings

followinghim

following-Him
12-16-2006, 04:14 AM
This devotional comes from Every Day with Jesus by Selwyn Hughes and can be found in his one year devotional entitled "Walking in His Ways" dated for the 15th December:

Text: Revelation 15:1-4

Besides worship, another suport system which Christians enjoy is that sybolised by the three flying angels. The word "angel" as you know means "messenger", and the message conveyed here is threefold.

The first angel speaks of salvation by grace -"the eternal gospel". The second angel speaks of Babylon, which stands for a world system that is in rebellion against God. The third angel brings a powerful challenge and proclaims that hose who identify with Babylon will share its fate. Just as the Lamb standing with the 144,000 on Mount Zion represented the support system of worship, so the flying angels represent the power of preaching and proclamation. After all, what is preaching? It was defined by one great Welsh preacher, Dr Cynddylan Jones, in this way: "Preaching is the act in which the gospel of God is proclaimed, the downfall of all that resist Him is announced, and the call to repent is encouraged".

In a world preoccupied with wars, teaties, alliances and scandals, the need for sound preaching is greater than ever. Some might think that with so much in the world demanding our attention, there is little time left for preaching. We must make time for it. In a new millennium our need is not for clever talks on current events but a renaissance of good Bible-based preaching. Though we need to take note of what our politicians and statesmen are saying, our greater need is to hear regularly from God.

Prayer: Father, thank you for the many faithful preachers You have set in Your Church who tell us what You have to say about what is happening, and remind us of Your eternal plans. May their number increase. Amen.

Watchman
12-19-2006, 11:28 PM
"But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments, and to cleave unto Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul" (Joshua 22:5).
This exhortation by Joshua to the tribes that would be living east of the Jordan, away from the tabernacle and most of their brethren, is still of relevance today-especially to those whose ministry requires them to live far away from some central place of Christian teaching and fellowship. It is given in six parts, each beginning with an infinitive ("to..."), and expresses a key aspect of our relation to God.
We should give diligent heed to:
"Do the commandment and the law." That is, be careful to obey the word of God.
"Love the Lord thy God." This, according to Christ, is "the first and great commandment" (Matthew 2:37-38).
We must give first priority to the worship of God.
"Walk in all His ways" The day-to-day words and deeds of the believer should always be consistent with the nature of God, whether or not there are specific references governing each one In Scripture. Our behavior should be characteristic of the ways of God.
"Keep His commandments." The essential meaning of the Hebrew word here for "keep" is to guard! We are to defend His word against its enemies, fighting the war of God.
"Cleave unto Him." We should stay in such close communion with Him that we can always know and follow the will of God.
"Serve Him." As we are faithful in the foregoing duties, we are then able, wholeheartedly, to serve His name and to do the work of God.

following-Him
12-20-2006, 11:01 AM
AMEN.

Thank you Charles.

God Bless you.

followinghim

following-Him
12-24-2006, 05:45 AM
This devotional is taken from Word For Today, which can be found at www.ucb.co.uk (http://www.ucb.co.uk)

Reach out24 Dec 2006'THE WORD BECAME FLESH...AND MOVED INTO THE NEIGHBOURHOOD...' JOHN 1:14Among the Christmas Eve congregation at 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church was a recovering alcoholic named Jim. It was his first Christmas alone, and when a young family sat down beside him he couldn't handle it. Leaving the church he met Pastor Thomas Tewell who asked where he was going. 'Out for a drink,' he replied. Knowing Jim's history, Tewell said, 'You can't. Where's your sponsor?' 'On vacation,' he replied. 'I came tonight needing a word of hope and ended up sitting beside this family. If I'd my life together, I'd be here with mine.' As the pastor walked to Reach out24 Dec 2006'THE WORD BECAME FLESH...AND MOVED INTO THE NEIGHBOURHOOD...' JOHN 1:14Among the Christmas Eve congregation at 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church was a recovering alcoholic named Jim. It was his first Christmas alone, and when a young family sat down beside him he couldn't handle it. Leaving the church he met Pastor Thomas Tewell who asked where he was going. 'Out for a drink,' he replied. Knowing Jim's history, Tewell said, 'You can't. Where's your sponsor?' 'On vacation,' he replied. 'I came tonight needing a word of hope and ended up sitting beside this family. If I'd my life together, I'd be here with mine.' As the pastor walked to the pulpit he prayed, 'God, give me a word of hope for Jim.' Then after welcoming the congregation he said, 'I have a request. If anyone here is a friend of Bill W's, and if you are you'll know it, please meet me in the vestry. (Bill Wilson, better known as Bill W., co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous). Immediately people from all over the congregation began to respond. Dr. Tewell says, 'While I was busy preaching about the Incarnation, the Word was becoming flesh before my eyes!' As you celebrate Jesus birth, remember that many around you are hurting; they've lost hope. Don't forget, 'The Word became flesh' only because Jesus went out of His way to redeem sinners, lift the fallen, encourage the despairing, and minister to the sick, the lonely and the forgotten. And He said, 'In as much as you've done it unto the least...of these...you've done it unto me.' So instead of keeping to yourself this year, reach out to those in need - go ahead, make it your best Christmas ever! the pulpit he prayed, 'God, give me a word of hope for Jim.' Then after welcoming the congregation he said, 'I have a request. If anyone here is a friend of Bill W's, and if you are you'll know it, please meet me in the vestry. (Bill Wilson, better known as Bill W., co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous). Immediately people from all over the congregation began to respond. Dr. Tewell says, 'While I was busy preaching about the Incarnation, the Word was becoming flesh before my eyes!' As you celebrate Jesus birth, remember that many around you are hurting; they've lost hope. Don't forget, 'The Word became flesh' only because Jesus went out of His way to redeem sinners, lift the fallen, encourage the despairing, and minister to the sick, the lonely and the forgotten. And He said, 'In as much as you've done it unto the least...of these...you've done it unto me.' So instead of keeping to yourself this year, reach out to those in need - go ahead, make it your best Christmas ever!

Watchman
12-29-2006, 07:59 AM
Thank you Followinghim, I am returned from vacation.

And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power. (Acts 1:7 KJ2000)
Just before Christ ascended into heaven, His disciples asked Him, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (v. 6). Christ refrained from answering their question as they had hoped, but in His wisdom He used the occasion to teach them that some information is for God alone, including the “times and the seasons.” In our finiteness, we are unable to handle too much information, and should we know even a small part of the “knowledge [which] is too wonderful for me” (Psalm 139:6), we would use it improperly.
The prophet taught the same lesson many years before: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thought than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55: 8-9). God has graciously revealed enough that we know He has a wonderful plan, but the details are known by Him alone. They are under His “own power,” or authority. Certainly He knows the future, but more than that, He controls it.
And why not? He created time (Genesis 1:1); surely He can exercise authority over it. Surely the “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Revelation 22:13) can control the destinies of individuals and nations. “Power” to work out His good pleasure rests solely with “the only wise God and Savior…now and ever” (Jude 25).
Even though this “power” is His alone, His promise to the disciples that “ye shall receive power” (Acts 1:8) has been fulfilled in the person of the Holy Spirit. We have what we need to be “witnesses” of that which we know of Him, to “the uttermost part of the earth.”

following-Him
12-30-2006, 10:21 AM
Amen. Thank you Charles. I hope you had agood vacation.

Blessings

followinghim

following-Him
12-30-2006, 10:22 AM
Todays devotional is taken from Our Daily Bread, which can be found at www.rbc.org (http://www.rbc.org) and click on devotionals.

December 30, 2006
Remembering

READ: Psalm 103:1-5 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?language=english&version=NIV&passage=Psalm+103%3a1-5)
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. —Psalm 103:2

http://www.rbc.org/uploadedImages/ODB_2006_12_sm.jpg
About this cover (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/our_daily_bread/cover/50866.aspx)
Some days we awaken with aching joints and dull spirits and wonder how we can shake off our lethargy and make it through the day.
Here’s an idea: Like David, try lifting up your thanks to God. Use mind and memory to rekindle thankfulness for all God’s “benefits” (Ps. 103:2). Gratefulness will lead to joy.
Thank God for His forgiveness. He “forgives all your iniquities” (v.3), and “has cast all our sins into the depths of the sea” (Mic. 7:19).
Thank Him for healing your diseases (v.3). God uses infirmity and disorders to draw you more deeply into His love and care. And, one day when your Lord comes for you, He will heal all of your diseases.
Thank Him for redeeming your life from destruction (v.4). This is more than rescue from a premature death. It is redemption from death itself.
Thank Him for crowning your life “with lovingkindness and tender mercies” (v.4).
Thank the One who satisfies your desires (v.5). He is your satisfaction. Each day, He renews your strength and vigor. Then your spirit can rise up and soar like the eagle.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” (v.2). —David H. Roper (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/our_daily_bread/writer/4561.aspx)

Give me a spirit of thankfulness, Lord,
For numberless blessings given;
Blessings that daily come to me
Like dewdrops falling from heaven. —Dawe

Gratitude is the memory of a glad heart.

following-Him
01-06-2007, 07:01 AM
With the New Year a lot of people are trying to read the Bible more regularly, some following specific Bible reading plans. I thought this devotional from Word For Today at www.ucb.co.uk (http://www.ucb.co.uk) might be an encouragement to some.

Never stop reading06 Jan 2007'THE DISCERNING HEART SEEKS KNOWLEDGE.' PROVERBS 15:14Do you know that Cosmopolitan is one of UK's top selling magazines? Or that 50 percent of all University students stop reading after graduation, even though a degree can become outdated in as little as five years? It might surprise you to know how little some professionals actually read. No wonder John Wesley told his students: 'Either read or get out of the ministry!' When Dr Harry Ironside was a boy he heard about somebody who read the entire Bible every year. Impressed, he started reading and by age 14 he'd read through the Bible 14 times! Consequently he was one of history's most influential preachers. His name is on over 100 books, mostly Bible commentaries. People were amazed by his knowledge of the Scriptures and how he relayed them to others in simple everyday language. In prison Paul asked Timothy for 'the books, especially the parchments' (2 Timothy 4:13 NAS). The parchments were sacred scripture manuscripts. And the books were probably the ones he was reading when he was arrested. The Bible says, 'The discerning heart seeks knowledge.' So Paul was still reading the day he died! George Muller, who was busier than most, said, 'I consider it a lost day when I haven't had a good time over the Word of God.' And J I Packer said, 'A little knowledge of God is worth more than a great deal of knowledge about him.' God said, 'My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge' (Hosea 4:6). How do you qualify for greater blessing? By growing more! Just 15 minutes a day will take you through your entire Bible in less than a year. So, what's stopping you?

Watchman
01-08-2007, 10:56 PM
H.A. Ironside was a great preacher of the first half of the last century.
Thanks

Watchman
01-08-2007, 11:06 PM
"And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven" (II KIngs 2:11).

This remarkable event-the translation of Elijah alive into heaven without dying-was altogether miraculous, but it really happened! Among other things, it assures us that heaven is a real place in this created universe, for Elijah is still there in his physical body, still alive, to this very day.
The prophet Enoch, who had also served God in a time of deep apostasy, had likewise been taken into heaven without dying (that is, into the "third heaven," beyond the starry heaven, where God's throne is), as recorded in Genesis 5:24 and Hebrews 11:5. Enoch's prophecies, addressed to the entire world of mankind, were given at approximately the mid-point of the period between Adam to Abraham, whereas those of Elijah, addressed only to Israel, were given at essentially the midpoint of the time from Abraham to Christ. Both were caught up alive into heaven before their ministries were finished. It is possible that they will return again to Earth as God's "two witnesses" who will prophesy to both Jews and Gentiles in the last days (note Malachi 4:5-6; Revelation 11:3-12), then finally to be slain and resurrected.
In any case, there will also be one entire generation of believers who will-like Enoch and Elijah-be caught up alive into heaven "...and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air" (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).
This could very well be our generation! And, "when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is" (I John 3:2).

Watchman
01-15-2007, 09:43 AM
"And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven" (II KIngs 2:11).
This remarkable event-the translation of Elijah alive into heaven without dying-was altogether miraculous, but it really happened! Among other things, it assures us that heaven is a real place in this created universe, for Elijah is still there in his physical body, still alive, to this very day.
The prophet Enoch, who had also served God in a time of deep apostasy, had likewise been taken into heaven without dying (that is, into the "third heaven," beyond the starry heaven, where God's throne is), as recorded in Genesis 5:24 and Hebrews 11:5. Enoch's prophecies, addressed to the entire world of mankind, were given at approximately the mid-point of the period between Adam to Abraham, whereas those of Elijah, addressed only to Israel, were given at essentially the midpoint of the time from Abraham to Christ. Both were caught up alive into heaven before their ministries were finished. It is possible that they will return again to Earth as God's "two witnesses" who will prophesy to both Jews and Gentiles in the last days (note Malachi 4:5-6; Revelation 11:3-12), then finally to be slain and resurrected.
In any case, there will also be one entire generation of believers who will-like Enoch and Elijah-be caught up alive into heaven "...and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air" (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).
This could very well be our generation! And, "when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is" (I John 3:2).

Watchman
01-22-2007, 10:50 PM
“And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that has left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, Who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.” (Luke 18:29-30).

In my random search, I come upon this, and, I will say, it has been the hardest passage of them all for me to comment on. Earlier, the Lord Jesus had a similar statement:
“ If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26).
The Bible speaks clearly about one’s responsibility to our own family, Paul writes:
“But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever” (1Timothy 5:8). It would seem, by outward appearance that the Lord Jesus is advocating something that is prohibited elsewhere in Scripture. Since we know that He would not do that, there must be a deep truth here.
Perhaps what it comes down to is how much do we trust God? We know that we can trust in His promises that He has made, we trust Him that “…he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Philippians 1:6)” We trust Him in that “…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). David could say: “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Psalm 35:25).
Somewhere I read that R.A. Torrey had no set salary for three whole years. Despite having a family, none of them went without. Torrey was a man of prayer who trusted God and they always had what they needed.
Can we not trust such a One as the Lord Jesus to care for loved ones, if, indeed, He calls us to service away from them? Do we dismay at our circumstance, or trust in Him who loved us, and gave Himself for us?

following-Him
01-24-2007, 06:01 PM
Amen. Rob and I can testify to the Lord's faithfulness to us over the years. Psalm 27:1 comes to mind just now.

Blessings

followinghim

following-Him
01-24-2007, 06:03 PM
This devotional can be found at www.rbc.org (http://www.rbc.org) and click on "Our Daily Bread":

January 24, 2007
Saving Ourselves


ODB RADIO: Listen Now (http://www.rbc.org/odb/odb.shtml#) | Download (http://boss.streamos.com/download/rbc/odb/2007/01/odb-01-24-07.mp3)

READ: 1 Corinthians 15:12-20 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?language=english&version=NIV&passage=1+Corinthians+15%3a12-20)
If we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. —2 Timothy 2:11

http://www.rbc.org/uploadedImages/ODB_2007_01_sm.jpg
About this cover (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/our_daily_bread/cover/51048.aspx)
Inside, music was playing. Outside, leaves were falling. Catching a gust of wind, one of the last leaves of autumn blew briefly upward as I heard the phrase, “He is risen!” By the end of the song, however, the leaf had reached the ground. Gravity had overcome the breeze.
Later, I overheard three middle-aged women discussing diets, exercise, face-lifts, and other age-defying efforts. Like the leaf, they were trying to keep gravity from pulling them toward the inevitable.
Their conversation reminds me of the good works people do to try to save themselves from spiritual death. But just as leaves cannot keep from falling and people cannot keep from aging, no one can work hard enough to avoid the consequences of sin, which is death (Rom. 6:23).
At the crucifixion, mockers challenged Jesus to save Himself. Instead, He put His life into the hands of God, and God gave back to Him not only His own life but ours as well. To receive salvation, we too must simply put our lives into the hands of God, for if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in us, He will give life to us as well (Rom. 8:11).
The forces of sin outside cannot defeat the life of Christ inside. —Julie Ackerman Link (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/our_daily_bread/writer/4558.aspx)

Thank You, Jesus, for Your willingness
to surrender to Your Father’s will.
For if You had chosen to save Yourself,
You could not have saved me. Amen.

Salvation isn’t turning over a new leaf; it’s receiving a new life

Watchman
01-25-2007, 10:25 PM
Thank you for that.
Just about at the end of his life, his girlfriend walked in on W.C.Fields and there he was with his nose in the Bible! She asked what he was doing, to which he replied "Looking for loopholes, lookihg for loopholes."
Well,W.C."The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23). You come to God by Christ Jesus, or not at all.

following-Him
01-30-2007, 06:13 AM
I hope this devotional will be a blessing to others as it was to me this morning. It can be found at www.rbc.org (http://www.rbc.org) and click on devotionals and then on Our Daily bread.

http://www.rbc.org/gimages/_1282422198__TODAY'S_OUR_DAILY_BREAD.gif
January 30, 2007
Existing Or Truly Living?


ODB RADIO: Listen Now (http://www.rbc.org/odb/odb.shtml#) | Download (http://boss.streamos.com/download/rbc/odb/2007/01/odb-01-30-07.mp3)

READ: John 10:1-11 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?language=english&version=NIV&passage=John+10%3a1-11)
I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. —John 10:10

http://www.rbc.org/uploadedImages/ODB_2007_01_sm.jpg
About this cover (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/our_daily_bread/cover/51048.aspx)

On a family visit to Disneyland, I pondered the sign over the entrance arch that read, “Welcome to the happiest place on earth.” The rest of the day I looked at the faces of the people and was impressed by the small number who were actually smiling during their visit to “the happiest place on earth.” I roamed the park with divided attention—trying to make sure my kids had a good time and wondering why so few adults seemed to be enjoying themselves.
As I think of that day, I am reminded of a line from an old song that says, “Life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone.” So it seems.
To live life to the fullest is qualitatively different than merely existing. In fact, Jesus said that part of His mission was to enable us to live life to the fullest: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). He came so that we could experience life to the full—not according to the standards of a fallen world, but life as it was intended to be. It is life according to the designs and desires of the Creator of life.
By coming to provide forgiveness for rebellious, broken people, Jesus has made it possible for us to live a life of joy and hope in a world of despair. —Bill Crowder (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/our_daily_bread/writer/47884.aspx)

Jesus came to bring us life—
Abundant living, full and free;
Trusting Him to save and keep us
Gives us joy the world can see. —Sper

To know God puts a song in your heart and a smile on your face.

For similar resources, search these topics:
Christian Life (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/topics/ourDailyBread/5/Christian_Life.aspx) > Emotions (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/topics/ourDailyBread/52/Emotions.aspx) > Hopelessness (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/topics/ourDailyBread/200/Hopelessness.aspx)

Bible in One Year: Exodus 23-24; Matthew 20:1-16 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?language=english&version=NIV&passage=+Exodus+23-24%3b+Matthew+20%3a1-16)

Watchman
01-31-2007, 09:33 AM
" But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out darkness into his marvelous light" (IPeter 2:9).
In our ongoing struggle for both survival and victory in this world, we do well to recognize that we are in enemy territory. While it is true that our Captain created the world-indeed, "All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made" (John 1:3)-sacrificed His life to redeem it, and will reign over it for eternity. It is also true that "the whole world lieth in wickedness" (I John 5:19), occupied by "the prince of this world" (John 12:31); "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2).
The fact that we are surrounded by such darkness should come as no surprise, for before we were rescued by His grace, we too were part of the darkness-indeed we had to be called out of it. John the Baptist came "To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace" (Luke 1:79). Furthermore, as Christ taught, "men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19).
This confrontation overshadows mere human conflict, however, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12).
But, praise God, we have been called "out of darkness into His marvelous light" as described in our text. Although we may be still in the world, our King has "delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son" (Colossians 1:13). "In Him was life; and the life was the light of men" (John 1:4)

following-Him
01-31-2007, 04:45 PM
Amen.

Thank you Charles.

Blessings

followinghim

Watchman
02-05-2007, 10:21 AM
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen" (II Corinthians 13:14).
The doctrine of the tri-une God is unique to Christianity. There is only one God, yet three persons-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-each with His own distinct relation to mankind, yet each equally, fully, and eternally God. Although these truths are implicit throughout the New Testament, the doctrine of the Trinity is seldom, if ever, presented therein explicitly as a formal doctrine.
There are several passages, however, where all three Persons are mentioned in the same context, and each one deals with a significant aspect of the Christian life. There is, first of all, the provision of salvation "...the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God..." (Hebrews 9:14). Then follows regeneration. "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His own Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father" (Galatians 4:6). Salvation and regeneration are then publicly testified in baptism "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19).
The chief resource of the believer is prayer, and this also involves three Persons. "For through (Christ) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father" (Ephesians 2:18). He must also continue to learn of Christ, and to bear witness of Him. "The Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things." "The Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness (John 14:26; 15:26-27).
Finally, in the words of our text, we have eternal assurance in the tri-une God. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all Amen (II Corinthians 13:14).

following-Him
02-10-2007, 08:01 AM
Todays devotional comes from "Word for Today" which can be found at:

www.ucb.co.uk (http://www.ucb.co.uk)

Are you being tested?10 Feb 2007'CONSIDER IT ALL JOY, MY BRETHREN, WHEN YOU ENCOUNTER VARIOUS TRIALS.' JAMES 1:2Now, be honest. You've probably read today's verse and wondered if James was living on the same planet you live on. This may be one of the hardest commands to obey in all of Scripture. James said we are to respond to our trials with '...joy...' That leaves no room for complaining. Start praising God when your life is interrupted by a problem or circumstance you didn't plan on or see coming. Why? Because the truth is, we are either in a trial right now, coming out of a trial, or heading towards the next one. James speaks of '...various trials'. You won't get bored by the trials you face because they'll come in every variety you can imagine. They're like some of the mail we receive, simply addressed to 'occupant'. All you have to do to undergo trials is occupy space on the planet. Notice, James didn't say 'if' they come, but '...when...' Will Rogers once read a newspaper headline, 'Innocent Bystander Shot In New York'. 'How about that'? he said. 'All you have to do to get shot in New York is be innocent and stand by'. That's how it is with trials. Just stand by and you'll get hit. But why? James answers: '...under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colours. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way' (James 1:2-4 TM). Adversity produces maturity. The truth is, it can't come any other way!

following-Him
02-13-2007, 05:52 AM
Today's devotional comes from Our Daily Bread which can be found at:

www.rbc.org (http://www.rbc.org)

February 13, 2007
Raised In Glory


ODB RADIO: Listen Now (http://www.rbc.org/odb/odb.shtml#) | Download (http://boss.streamos.com/download/rbc/odb/2007/02/odb-02-13-07.mp3)

READ: 1 Corinthians 15:42-49 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?language=english&version=NIV&passage=1+Corinthians+15%3a42-49)
The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. —1 Corinthians 15:42

http://www.rbc.org/uploadedImages/ODB_2007_02_sm.jpg
About this cover (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/our_daily_bread/cover/51049.aspx)
http://www.rbc.org/images/text.jpghttp://www.rbc.org/images/mag_plus.jpg (http://www.baptistboard.com/)http://www.rbc.org/images/mag_minus.jpg (http://www.baptistboard.com/)
Years ago, I heard a story about a man looking for flowers for spring planting. At the greenhouse he came across a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. To his surprise, it was hidden in a corner and growing in an old, dented rusty bucket.
"If this were my flower," he said to himself, "I would place it in a beautiful pot and display it proudly! Why is it confined in this old bucket and hidden away in this concealed place?"
When he remarked to the owner about the flower, she explained, "Oh, I started the plant in that old bucket until it blossomed. But it’s just for a short time. Soon I’ll transplant it to my garden."
The man laughed, and imagined such a scene in heaven. "There’s a beautiful one," God will say, "the product of My lovingkindness and grace. Now it’s confined in a broken body and in obscurity, but soon, in My garden, how tall and lovely this soul will stand!"
So we may now be "planted" in bent and battered containers for a short time while our Lord beautifies our souls. But, "as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man" (1 Cor. 15:49). Then He will display His handiwork and our loveliness for all to see. This is our assurance and delight. —David H. Roper (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/our_daily_bread/writer/4561.aspx)

In bodies that will ne’er grow old,
We’ll reign with Him through years untold;
O precious thought: We all shall be
With Christ through all eternity. —Watson


While God is preparing a place for us, He is preparing us for that place.

For similar resources, search these topics:
Basics Of Faith (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/topics/ourDailyBread/3/Basics_Of_Faith.aspx) > Future/Prophecy (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/topics/ourDailyBread/35/FutureProphecy.aspx) > Heaven (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/topics/ourDailyBread/103/Heaven.aspx)
Christian Life (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/topics/ourDailyBread/5/Christian_Life.aspx) > Personal Crisis (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/topics/ourDailyBread/55/Personal_Crisis.aspx) > Suffering (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/topics/ourDailyBread/233/Suffering.aspx)

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 14; Matthew 26:51-75 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?language=english&version=NIV&passage=+Leviticus+14%3b+Matthew+26%3a51-75)

Watchman
02-13-2007, 11:38 AM
Thank you FollowingHim.
So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power (I Corinthians 15: 42,43).
Truly one of the most remarkable promises of the Bible is that when He appears, we shall be like Him (I John 3:2). This is the One, that, when he saw Him there on the Isle of Patmos, John "fell at His feet like a dead man" (Revelation chapter 1).
But the glory of the Lord Jesus is deserved. The glory that all of us will display at that day will be undeserved, ours only because of what He did for us at Calvary. To Him be all the glory!

following-Him
02-13-2007, 11:47 AM
Amen.

Thank you Charles.

Blessings

followinghim

Watchman
02-15-2007, 08:57 AM
"For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her" (Zechariah 2:5).
This beautiful promise applies explicitly to Jerusalem in the days to come when "all Israel shall be saved" (Romans 11:26). In the meantime, believers can appropriate it now as an evidence of God's great concern for all His people.
The safest, most secure place in all the world for one of Christ's servants is in the will of God. All around him is an invisible, but invincible, spiritual "wall of fire," both protecting and energizing him. As the psalmist said: "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them" (Psalm 34:7). Elisha's servant, fearful of the enemy host arrayed against them, was encouraged when his eyes were enabled to see, in answer to Elisha's prayer, that "the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha" (II Kings 6:17).
The Lord is also like an impregnable wall of mountains surrounding His people: "As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people from henceforth even for ever" (Psalm 125:2).
The earthly Jerusalem is a foreshadowing of the New Jerusalem, which will have "a wall great and high" (Revelation 21:12), within which will dwell safely forever all "the nations of them which are saved" (Revelation 21:24).
"In that day shall this song be sung...We have a strong city: salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks" (Isaiah 26:1). In type now, in reality in eternity, the great wall of mountains and angels and divine fire is none other than our great salvation in Christ; "Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls salvation, and thy gates Praise" (Isaiah 60:18).

following-Him
02-15-2007, 10:20 AM
Amen.

Thank you for this devotional Charles.

Blessings

followinghim

Watchman
02-22-2007, 10:02 PM
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (Matthew 25:34 KJ2000)
In context, this wonderful promise may apply specifically to those living believers recognized as "sheep" by Christ when He returns to judge the nations (or "Gentiles") at the end of the age. For them He has "prepared" a wonderful kingdom in which they can fully serge their great King here on earth. The "goats," on the other hand, will be sent away into "everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41).
But we remember also that the Lord Jesus Christ has also "prepared" a mansion in heaven for His faithful disciples. "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:2-3 KJ2000)
He is, even now, preparing for us that glorious "place," One day it will be fully prepared, and we shall see it when He brings it down from heaven, as John did in His great vision. "And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." (Revelation 21:2 KJ2000)
It will indeed, be a wonderful place of "many mansions," and John describes some of its beauties in the Bible’s last two chapters. But that is not all. ""Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him" (I Corinthians 2:9). Therefore, we can say with Paul: For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18 KJ2000). He has indeed prepared a great eternal future for His redeemed children.

following-Him
02-25-2007, 08:00 AM
Amen. Thank you Charles.

Blessings

followinghim

following-Him
02-25-2007, 08:01 AM
This devotional comes from "Word For Today" and can be found at www.ucb.co.uk (http://www.ucb.co.uk)

Look in the mirror (2)25 Feb 2007'ONE WHO LOOKS INTENTLY AT THE PERFECT LAW...AND ABIDES BY IT...SHALL BE BLESSED IN WHAT HE DOES.' JAMES 1:25Paul writes, 'We all...beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image...' (2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJ). A mirror is just a reflector. The more time you spend in God's Word and God's presence, the more you will reflect your Heavenly Father's likeness. Now this is no overnight change, and it doesn't happen by just grabbing a Bible verse here and there, or skimming through a passage. No, it calls for soaking yourself in the Scriptures until the Holy Spirit connects with your spirit and produces the nature and ways of Christ in you. If you've ever left dishes in a sink until the food has dried on, you know those dishes need to 'abide' in some hot, soapy water so that all the junk can be removed. We need to soak our minds in God's Word until the junk that James calls '...all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness...' (James 1:21 NAS) begins to melt away. This is not just gross sin, but hardened inner attitudes that keep us from growing in grace. Our new nature has been 'programmed' to want to obey God in much the same way that a calculator is programmed to compute numbers. All you have to do is feed a calculator the right information to get the right response. Your new nature has been set up to give you the right response when you feed it with the Word of God. That's why your enemy will do anything to keep you from spending time in God's Word. Don't let him do it!

following-Him
02-26-2007, 08:30 AM
Todays devotional comes from "Word For Today" and it can be found at wwwlucb.co.uk

Personal Growth 26 Feb 2007''LET THE WISE LISTEN AND ADD TO THEIR LEARNING...' PROVERBS 1:5Here are some things you need to know about growth: 1) Growth isn't automatic. You're only young once, but you can be immature indefinitely. Each year the Lobster is forced to shed its shell; it's a pity we aren't! Come on, if you don't make personal growth your responsibility it'll never happen. The road to anything worthwhile is always uphill, so the sooner you start climbing the closer to reaching your God-ordained potential you'll be. 2) Growth today brings success tomorrow. What you sow today determines what you reap tomorrow. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, 'Once stretched be a new idea, a man's mind never regains its original dimensions.' So what are you doing today to become more successful tomorrow? 3) Growth is your responsibility. When you were a child your parents were responsible for your growth, now you are. Robert Browning wrote, 'Why stay we on earth except to grow?' Good question! Yet few of us dedicate ourselves to the process. Why? Because growth requires change and most of us are uncomfortable with change. Gail Sheehy writes, 'If we don't change, we won't grow, and if we don't grow, we're not really living. Growth demands the temporary surrender of security. It means a giving up of familiar but limiting patterns, safe but unrewarding work, values no longer believed in, relationships that have lost their meaning. Taking a new step is what we fear most, yet our real fear should be the opposite.' Can you think of anything worse than living a life devoid of growth and improvement? I can't!

following-Him
02-27-2007, 03:17 AM
Today's devotional is taken from "Our Daily bread", which can be found at www.rbc.org (http://www.rbc.org)

February 27, 2007
Keep Praying


ODB RADIO: Listen Now (http://www.rbc.org/odb/odb.shtml#) | Download (http://boss.streamos.com/download/rbc/odb/2007/02/odb-02-27-07.mp3)

READ: Luke 11:5-13 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?language=english&version=NIV&passage=Luke+11%3a5-13)
Everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. —Luke 11:10

http://www.rbc.org/uploadedImages/ODB_2007_02_sm.jpg
About this cover (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/our_daily_bread/cover/51049.aspx)
http://www.rbc.org/images/text.jpghttp://www.rbc.org/images/mag_plus.jpg (http://www.baptistboard.com/)http://www.rbc.org/images/mag_minus.jpg (http://www.baptistboard.com/)
We prayed. Quietly sometimes. Aloud other times. For more than 17 years we prayed. We prayed for our daughter Melissa’s health and direction, for her salvation, and often for her protection. Just as we prayed for our other children, we asked God to have His hand of care on her.
As Melissa rolled into her teenage years, we prayed even more that He would keep her from harm—that He would keep His eyes on her as she and her friends began to drive. We prayed, "God, please protect Melissa."
So what happened? Didn’t God understand how much it would hurt so many people to lose such a beautiful young woman with so much potential for service to Him and others? Didn’t God see the other car coming on that warm spring night?
We prayed. But Melissa was killed.
Now what? Do we stop praying? Do we give up on God? Do we try to make it alone?
Absolutely not! Prayer is even more vital to us now. God—our inexplicable sovereign Lord—is still in control. His commands to pray still stand. His desire to hear from us is still alive. Faith is not demanding what we want; it is trusting God’s goodness in spite of life’s tragedies.
We grieve. We pray. We keep on praying. —Dave Branon (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/our_daily_bread/writer/4548.aspx)

I question not God’s means or ways,
Or how He uses time or days,
To answer every call or prayer—
I know He will, somehow, somewhere. —Whitney

God may deny our request but will never disappoint our trust.

Watchman
02-27-2007, 10:30 PM
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen" (II Corinthians 13:14).
The doctrine of the tri-une God is unique to Christianity. There is only one God, yet three persons-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-each with His own distinct relation to mankind, yet each equally, fully, and eternally God. Although these truths are implicit throughout the New Testament, the doctrine of the Trinity is seldom, if ever, presented therein explicitly as a formal doctrine.
There are several passages, however, where all three Persons are mentioned in the same context, and each one deals with a significant aspect of the Christian life. There is, first of all, the provision of salvation "...the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God..." (Hebrews 9:14). Then follows regeneration. "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His own Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father" (Galatians 4:6). Salvation and regeneration are then publicly testified in baptism "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19).
The chief resource of the believer is prayer, and this also involves three Persons. "For through (Christ) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father" (Ephesians 2:18). He must also continue to learn of Christ, and to bear witness of Him. "The Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things." "The Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness (John 14:26; 15:26-27).
Finally, in the words of our text, we have eternal assurance in the tri-une God. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all Amen (II Corinthians 13:14).

following-Him
02-28-2007, 05:41 AM
Todays devotional is taken from "Word For Today", which can be found at www.ucb.co.uk (http://www.ucb.co.uk)

Establishing priorities (1)28 Feb 2007'...MAKE EVERY MINUTE COUNT.' EPHESIANS 5:16Pastor Adrian Rogers says: 'The misuse of anything as precious as time should be a crime. If somebody steals your car...you can acquire another. If they snatch your wallet...a few phone calls would salvage the majority of your concerns. But who can you call when you lose your time'? Solomon reminds us we '...must give an account to God for everything [we] do' (Ecclesiastes 11:9 NLT), because for most of us, 'one of these days' generally means 'none of these days'. How you spend your days is how you spend your life, so Paul writes: '...make every minute count'. To do that successfully you must: a) learn to say no: stress is what happens when your gut says no but your mouth says yes! Jesus said, '"...I have finished the work...You have given Me to do"' (John 17:4 NKJ), because there's always time to do what God wants done. Notice, Paul said, '...one thing I do...' (Philippians 3:13 KJV), not '50 different things I'm caught up with'! Don't let the good steal the best; back off on some activities so you can embrace others b) walk in the power of the Spirit: Jesus said, '"...you cannot be fruitful apart from Me"' (John 15:4 NLT), because by walking in the flesh you burn the wick and not the oil. Paul says when you're '...guided by the Spirit, you won't obey...selfish desires' (Galatians 5:16 CEV) c) avoid procrastination: we joke about it, but there's nothing funny about delayed obedience. James says, 'If you don't do what you know is right, you have sinned' (James 4:17 CEV). A real mark of maturity is doing what you don't feel like doing, when you don't feel like doing it!

Watchman
03-02-2007, 07:00 AM
Establishing priorities (1)28 Feb 2007'...MAKE EVERY MINUTE COUNT.' EPHESIANS 5:16Pastor Adrian Rogers says: 'The misuse of anything as precious as time should be a crime. If somebody steals your car...you can acquire another. If they snatch your wallet...a few phone calls would salvage the majority of your concerns. But who can you call when you lose your time'?

I read this and thought I just wrote one on time, for future use, yestrday!
Thanks

Watchman
03-04-2007, 10:35 PM
"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years" (Genesis 1:14).
The subject of "time" is enigmatic. Everyone seems to know what is meant by time, but no one can define it. We may complain about time going too slow or too fast, but time doesn't go anywhere. But neither does it "stand still."
At least we can measure time intervals-seconds, hours, centuries, etc. This is because of God's gracious forethought in providing means for doing this. He was not a "blind watchmaker," as some evolutionists have called Him. He actually created time "In the beginning" (Genesis 1:1).
Then He set the sun and the moon in the sky, and made the earth to assume a global shape and to rotate on an axis, making the measurement of time in "days" possible. Next He placed stars in the far heavens in various locations and combinations, and the earth to orbiting around the sun, enabling us to tell how many "days" make up a "year." Then, once the earth's rotational axis was "tilted," that made "seasons" measurable. So we can at least identify time durations in days and years with their seasons, and we can subdivide or combine these in whatever ways we find convenient (minutes, decades, summer, winter, etc.).
But what about the "signs"? Although this is a controversial question, certain ancient Jewish scholars believed that God named the stars and their groupings (Isaiah 40:26; Job 38:31-32; etc.) and then revealed their prophetic meanings to patriarchs such as Seth and Enoch in order to record His great plan and purpose in creation permanently in the heavens. If so, it is no longer needed, since the written Word of God, "For ever...settled in heaven" Psalm 119:89) has now been transmitted "unto the fathers by the prophets" (Hebrews 1:1) and "shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:35)

Watchman
03-09-2007, 09:25 PM
"The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe" (Proverbs 18:10).
When one realizes that he is lost and that only Christ can save him, he should not delay a moment, but come immediately to Christ. There are, in fact, several men in the New Testament who actually ran to Him.
There was the man possessed with a whole legion of demons. "But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped Him" (Mark 5:6), and Jesus set him free.
Then there was a young man who wanted to learn of Christ. When he found that Jesus was going away, he came "running, and kneeled to Him, and asked Him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? (Mark 10:17). Unfortunately, his sincerity failed when he realized the cost. Zeal without sacrifice is dead, as is faith without works.
There was another wealthy man who was willing to pay the price. "And (Zacchaeus) ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him: for He was to pass that way" (Luke 19:4). The conversion of Zacchaeus was genuine, and he demonstrated it by a changed and sacrificial life.
In the midst of Christ's suffering on the cross, He spoke of His awful thirst, and an unknown observer "ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave Him to drink" (Mark 15:36). Christ will not forget this expression of concern and sympathy.
After His burial, Mary Magdalene came back to tell Peter and John that the tomb was open. "So they ran both together; and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulcher...and he saw and believed" (John 20:4,8).
All who hasten wholeheartedly to Christ, sincerely seeking to know and serve Him, will find salvation in His name, for "The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe."

Watchman
03-13-2007, 10:20 PM
"And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven" (II KIngs 2:11).

This remarkable event-the translation of Elijah alive into heaven without dying-was altogether miraculous, but it really happened! Among other things, it assures us that heaven is a real place in this created universe, for Elijah is still there in his physical body, still alive, to this very day.
The prophet Enoch, who had also served God in a time of deep apostasy, had likewise been taken into heaven without dying (that is, into the "third heaven," beyond the starry heaven, where God's throne is), as recorded in Genesis 5:24 and Hebrews 11:5. Enoch's prophecies, addressed to the entire world of mankind, were given at approximately the mid-point of the period between Adam to Abraham, whereas those of Elijah, addressed only to Israel, were given at essentially the midpoint of the time from Abraham to Christ. Both were caught up alive into heaven before their ministries were finished. It is possible that they will return again to Earth as God's "two witnesses" who will prophesy to both Jews and Gentiles in the last days (note Malachi 4:5-6; Revelation 11:3-12), then finally to be slain and resurrected.
In any case, there will also be one entire generation of believers who will-like Enoch and Elijah-be caught up alive into heaven "...and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air" (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).
This could very well be our generation! And, "when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is" (I John 3:2).

Watchman
03-20-2007, 05:26 PM
"He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his Father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men" (IISamuel 7:13-14).
These verses comprise the heart of the great "Davidic Covenant" made by God with David and his "seed." As with many Old Testament prophecies, it had both an immediate and ultimate fulfillment. Initially, it applied to Solomon who did, indeed, "build an house for my name."
Its complete fulfillment, however, had to await the distant coming (a thousand years in the future for His first coming) of David's greater Son, the Messiah. It was only of Him that God could promise uniquely that he would also be the Son of the heavenly Father (see Hebrews 1:5). To His mother Mary, the angel Gabriel confirmed the Davidic promise: "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David; And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever" (Luke 1:32-33).
But before his eternal throne could be established, his iniquities must be judged. As far as Solomon was concerned his iniquities ultimately cut his own seed off from the throne.
"The seed of David according to the flesh" (Romans 1:3) came through Nathan, not Solomon (Luke 3:23-31).
Although Jesus Christ "knew no sin" (IICorinthians 5:21). "He was bruised for our iniquities," because "the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." He deserved no chastening; nevertheless, "the chastisement of our peace was upon Him" (see Isaiah 53:5-6).
Thereby the Lord Jesus Christ, "greater than Solomon" (Matthew 12:42), is indeed, "a son over His own house; whose house are we" (Hebrews 3:6).

following-Him
03-22-2007, 07:06 AM
From "Word for Today", which can be found at www.ucb.co.uk (http://www.ucb.co.uk)

Someday when the kids are grown22 Mar 2007'CHILDREN ARE A GIFT FROM GOD...' PSALM 127:3The following article by Charles Swindoll is reprinted by request. 'Someday when the kids are grown, things are going to be a lot different. The garage won't be full of bikes, electric-train tracks on plywood, and a rabbit cage. And I'll be able to park both cars neatly in just the right places. 'Someday when the kids are grown, the kitchen will be incredibly neat. The sink will be free from sticky dishes. The garbage disposal won't get choked on rubber bands and paper cups. 'Someday when the kids are grown, the telephone will actually be available. It won't look like it's growing out of a teenager's ear. It will simply hang there...silently and amazingly available, free of lipstick, human saliva, mayonnaise and crumbs. 'Someday when the kids are grown, I won't have to answer 'Daddy, is it a sin that you're driving 47 in a 30-miles-per-hour zone,' or promise to kiss a hamster goodnight, or wait up forever until they get home from dates. 'Yes, someday when the kids are grown, things will be different. One by one they'll leave our nest and the place will begin to resemble order, maybe even a touch of elegance. The clink of china and crystal will be heard on occasions. The crackling of the fireplace will echo through the hallway. The phone will be strangely silent. The house will be quiet...and calm...and always clean...and empty...and we'll spend our time not looking forward to someday, but looking back to yesterday. And thinking, maybe we can babysit the grandkids and get some life back into this place for a change!'

Watchman
03-22-2007, 10:35 PM
Sounds about right, Thanks.

following-Him
03-23-2007, 04:21 AM
TWO devotional readings today. The first is taken from "Word for Today", which can be found at www.ucb.co.uk (http://www.ucb.co.uk/)

Find your place23 Mar 2007'...OUR GOAL IS TO MEASURE UP TO GOD'S PLAN FOR US...' 2 CORINTHIANS 10:13Da Vinci only painted one Mona Lisa. Beethoven only composed one Fifth Symphony. And God only made one version of you. He custom-designed you for a one-of-a-kind assignment. 'How can I discover mine?' you ask. Your ability reveals your destiny! '...If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies...' (1 Peter 4:11 NKJ). When God gives you an assignment, He also gives you the skill-set. To discover your assignment - study your skill-set! Your ease with numbers. Your love of computers. Your gift for interior design. Others stare at blueprints and yawn; you read them and say 'I was made for this.' Heed the music within, then dance to it! No one else hears it the way you do. Look back. What have you consistently done well? What have you loved to do? Stand at the intersection of your desires and your successes, and you'll find your uniqueness. 'The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others' (1 Corinthians 12:7 CEV). Away with this depreciating 'I can't do anything', and its arrogant opposite, 'I have to do everything'. No, you don't! Paul said, '...Our goal is to measure up to God's plan for us...' Don't worry about skills you don't have and don't covet strengths others do have. Just maximize your God-given gifts! '...kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you...' (2 Timothy 1:6 NAS). If you're not sure what God has called you to do, get down on your knees and ask Him to reveal it to you. And when He does, pour yourself into it!


The second devotional is taken from "Our Daily Bread" which can be found at www.rbc.org (http://www.rbc.org)

“Keep on travelin’. Keep on . . .” sang the teenagers of the Dayspring Chorale. They had just sung the first five words of their Sunday evening concert when everything went dark. All power was gone.
Well, not all power. Not true power.
The students kept singing. Flashlights were found to shine on the chorale as they sang their entire repertoire without accompaniment.
Midway through the concert, the director, my daughter Lisa, asked the congregation to sing along. It was goosebump time as God’s name was lifted high in that darkened church. “Hallelujah” never seemed so heavenly.
Before the concert, everyone had worked hard to make sure all the electrical equipment was working. But the best thing that happened was for that power to go out. As a result, God’s power was highlighted. God’s light, not electric light, shone through. Jesus was praised.
Sometimes our plans break down and our efforts fall short. When things happen that we can’t control, we must “keep on travelin’” and remember where the real power for godly living and true praise comes from. When our efforts falter, we need to keep praising and lifting up Jesus. It’s all about Him anyway. —Dave Branon (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/our_daily_bread/writer/4548.aspx)

Sing praise to God who reigns above,
The God of all creation,
The God of power, the God of love,
The God of our salvation. —Schutz

God’s great power deserves our grateful praise.

For similar resources, search these topics:
Basics Of Faith (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/topics/ourDailyBread/3/Basics_Of_Faith.aspx) > God (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/topics/ourDailyBread/32/God.aspx) > Faithfullness (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/topics/ourDailyBread/430/Faithfullness.aspx)
Ministry and Outreach (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/topics/ourDailyBread/6/Ministry_and_Outreach.aspx) > Serving (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/topics/ourDailyBread/59/Serving.aspx) > Commitment (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/topics/ourDailyBread/246/Commitment.aspx)

Bible in One Year: Joshua 13-15; Luke 1:57-80 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?language=english&version=NIV&passage=+Joshua+13-15%3b+Luke+1%3a57-80)

following-Him
03-24-2007, 06:47 AM
Today's devotional comes from "Word For Today", which can be found at www.ucb.co.uk (http://www.ucb.co.uk)

Learn to be content (1)24 Mar 2007'...BE RELAXED WITH WHAT YOU HAVE...' HEBREWS 13:5In 1900 the average Westerner wanted 27 different things, and considered 18 of them essential to happiness. Today the average Westerner wants 500 different things, and considers 100 of them essential to happiness. And our obsession with stuff carries a price tag. The average family now devotes a full one-fourth of its spendable income to outstanding debts. Over half of us spend 110% of our disposable income trying to manage debt. And who can keep up? We no longer measure ourselves against the Joneses next door, but against the star on the screen or the model on the magazine cover. Who can satisfy Madison Avenue? No one; that's why Jesus warns '"...be on your guard against every form of greed..."' (Luke 12:15 NAS). Greed has many faces but it speaks one language: the language of more. Epicurus noted, 'Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little.' Not every teacher is supposed to be a principal. Not every carpenter has the skill to head up a crew. Be careful; for the love of more, you risk losing your God-ordained purpose. Just because a king gives you his armour, you don't have to wear it. David didn't. He rejected Saul's armour, selected the stones, lobotomized the giant, and taught us a lesson: what fits others might not fit you. Indeed what fits the king might not fit you. Let God direct your steps. 'You, Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in You' (Isaiah 26:3 TEV). Bottom line: examine your gifts and know your strengths. '...have a sane estimate of your capabilities...' (Romans 12:3 PHPS).

following-Him
03-25-2007, 05:02 AM
TWO Devotionals again today. I hope they will be a blessing to you. The first is taken from "Our Daily Bread", which can be found at www.rbc.org (http://www.rbc.org/)

March 25, 2007
Hearing The Sermon Again

READ: Matthew 4:12-17 (http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?language=english&version=NIV&passage=Matthew+4%3a12-17)
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” —Matthew 4:17

http://www.rbc.org/uploadedImages/ODB_2007_03_sm.jpg
About this cover (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/our_daily_bread/cover/52094.aspx)
http://www.rbc.org/images/text.jpghttp://www.rbc.org/images/mag_plus.jpghttp://www.rbc.org/images/mag_minus.jpg
A story is told about a man who preached an impressive sermon, seeking to be the pastor of a new church. Everybody loved it and voted for him to become their new pastor. They were a bit surprised, however, when he preached the same sermon his first Sunday there—and even more surprised when he preached it again the next week. After he preached the same sermon the third week in a row, the leaders met with him to find out what was going on. The pastor assured them, “I know what I’m doing. When you start living out this sermon, I’ll go on to my next one.”
Jesus’ sermons had a notably recurring theme. Not surprisingly, the King of kings wanted to be sure that the people understood what was required of them to be part of His kingdom. He came to announce a whole new world order that was totally out of step with life as it was usually lived. Themes such as forgiveness, servanthood, and unconditional mercy and grace were repeatedly on His lips.
Two thousand years later we find ourselves in need of the same message. As soon as we start repenting and living under the authority, reign, and rule of Jesus our King, we will experience benefit to our lives, glory to His name, and blessing to others. —Joe Stowell (http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/our_daily_bread/writer/47539.aspx)

The Bible gives us all we need
To live our lives for God each day,
But it won’t help if we don’t read
And practice what its pages say. —Sper

A sermon isn’t complete until it’s put into practice.

The second devotional is taken from "Word For Today", which can be found at www.ucb.co.uk (http://www.ucb.co.uk/)


Learn to be content (2)
'...BE RELAXED WITH WHAT YOU HAVE...' HEBREWS 13:5
Did you hear about the farmer who grew discontent with his farm so he decided to sell it? A few days later his estate agent phoned wanting approval for an advertisement she intended to place in the local newspaper. She read it to the farmer. It described a lovely farm in an ideal location - quiet and peaceful, contoured with rolling hills, nourished by a fresh lake and blessed with well-bred livestock. The farmer said, 'Read that to me again.' After hearing it a second time he said, 'I've changed my mind. I'm not selling. I've been looking for a place like that all my life.' Paul would have applauded that farmer. He learned the same lesson: '...I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content' (Philippians 4:11 NKJ). Before you change your job title, examine your perspective toward life. Success is not defined by position or pay scale, but by this: doing the most, what you do the best. Parents, give this counsel to your kids. Tell them to do what they love to do, and do it so well that somebody pays them to do it! Spouses, urge your mate to choose satisfaction over salary. 'It is better to have little with fear for the Lord than to have great treasure with turmoil' (Proverbs 15:16 NLT). Wise up! It's better to be married to a happy person with a thin wallet, than to a miserable person with a thick one. Pursue the virtue of contentment. 'Godliness with contentment is great gain' (1 Timothy 6:6 NIV). When choosing or changing jobs, be careful. Consult your design. Consult your designer. But never consult your greed.

Watchman
03-26-2007, 07:41 AM
And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts. (Rev 9:20,21)
The word translated sorceries in verse 21 is none other than the greek word pharmakeia, from which we get pharmacy, or pharmaceuticals. Now here, if I may, express my opinion, but I hope you will see that it is an opinion based on scripture. I feel that there are two descriptions for DRUGS and there is a big gaping difference between the two:
Medicine and Dope.
Different meanings for the same word is not without precedent in scripture:
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)
Compare to:
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1John 2:15)
Obviously, there is a big difference in the meaning of the word WORLD as given in these two passages.
God loves the people of the world.
While John admonishes us to not love the world system, which is opposed to God.
As for the definitions of medicine and dope.
Medicine: the body is not doing what it is supposed to do, so a Doctor prescribes something to remedy the situation.
Dope: Is something someone takes to get the body to do what they want it to do: Give them the "High" or "Buzz", or whatever people take these narcotics for.
Clearly it is the latter that is condemned in verse 21. As much as this activity is a big problem today, it may very well increase during this great time of judgement, as you have people trying to escape.
The Apostle Paul wrote something to Timothy, that I am grateful that he did:
Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities. (1Timothy 5:23)
Timothy had a medical problem and Paul advised him to take something for it.
Also, if you will note in the Book of Acts, after the conversion of Paul, how many times the word "We" appears. We, of course, means: the person writing (or speaking) and others. (I did this and, as it applies to the person writing, it was about 20 times). The point being is that the person writing is Doctor Luke. Therefore, Dr. Luke was Paul’s almost constant companion. Was Luke’s presence, and the fact he was a Doctor, coincidental? We know that Paul suffered an affliction:
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. (2Corinthians 12:7)
Luke could not cure it, but could he and did he treat the symptoms?
All of this can be summed up thusly: listen to your Doctor and take his advice. Now when sick, definitely ask for the prayers of the church members, this we are exhorted to do; but never consider seeking medical advice as a lack of faith on your part.

following-Him
03-30-2007, 05:33 AM
We have been away so have not been able to post devotionals the past few days. I am posting yesterdays devotional first as I hope it will be a blessing to all who read it. It is taken from "Word For Today" which can be found at www.ucb.co.uk (http://www.ucb.co.uk)

Who do you serve? (1)29 Mar 2007'"...THE SON OF MAN DID NOT COME TO BE SERVED, BUT TO SERVE..."' MARK 10:45No matter how talented or successful we become, we all need a strong dose of servant-hood. As you pursue your God-given destiny, be careful. Don't be so focused on what you love to do, that you neglect what needs to be done. A 3am nappy change isn't exciting, nor is garage-sweeping. Visiting someone sick may not come naturally to you. Yet the sick need to be cared for, garages need sweeping, and nappies need changing. Max Lucado writes: 'The world needs servants. People like Jesus who did not come to be served, but to serve. He chose remote Nazareth over centre stage Jerusalem. His dad's carpentry shop over a marble-columned palace. And three decades of anonymity over a life of popularity. He selected prayer over sleep; flawed apostles over obedient angels. I'd have gone with the angels. Not Jesus. He picked people. When they feared the storm, He stilled it. When they had no money for taxes, He supplied it. He let a woman caught in adultery interrupt His sermon, a woman with a disease interrupt His schedule, and one with remorse interrupt His meal. Though none of the apostles washed His feet, He washed theirs. Though none of the soldiers at the cross begged for mercy, He extended it. And though His followers skedaddled like scared rabbits on Thursday, He came searching for them on Easter Sunday. The resurrected King ascended to Heaven only after He'd spent 40 days with His friends - teaching them, encouraging them... serving them.' Peter writes: '...put on the apron of humility, to serve one another...' (1 Peter 5:5 TEV). So, who do you serve?

following-Him
03-30-2007, 02:19 PM
This devotional can be found at www.ucb.co.uk (http://www.ucb.co.uk) and found by clicking on Word For Today.

Who do you serve? (2)30 Mar 2007'"...THE SON OF MAN DID NOT COME TO BE SERVED, BUT TO SERVE..."' MARK 10:45Jesus entered the world to serve. And we should enter our jobs, our homes and our churches - to serve. Servant-hood requires no unique skill or seminary degree. Notice: 1) To serve is to love the overlooked. Jesus sits in your classroom wearing thick glasses, outdated clothing and a sad face. You've seen Him. He works in your office. Pregnant again, she shows up late and tired. No one knows the father. Water cooler rumours say even she doesn't. You've seen her. When you love the misfit and befriend the hurting, you love Jesus. '"...Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored...you did it to Me"' (Matthew 25:40 TM). 2) To serve is to wave the white flag. We fight so much: 'Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from?' asks James, 'Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way...' (James 4:1 TM). Real servants don't struggle, they submit. 3) To serve is to do something each day that you don't want to do. Pick up someone's trash. Surrender your parking place. Call that long-winded relative. It doesn't have to be a big thing. Helen Keller once told the Tennessee Legislature that when she was young she longed to do great things and could not, so she decided to do small things in a great way. Don't be too big to do something small. '...Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for Him is a waste of time or effort' (1 Corinthians 15:58 TM).

Watchman
04-01-2007, 10:48 PM
"Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary from holding it back, and I could not"
(Jeremiah 20:9).
Peter reminds us: "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2Peter 1:21). The prophets of old had both the great pleasure, as well as the perilous task, of speaking the very words of God to those who were not always pleased to hear the truth. As such, they were persecuted, imprisoned and even put to death by those who wanted to hear soothing words and reassurances from God’s spokesmen and not rebuke because of their sin.
Is there much difference today? Paul wrote: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they draw to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto myths (2Timothy 4:3-4). We see all too much today people gravitated towards teachers and preachers advocating a watered-down version of the gospel, or even that which can only be considered "another" gospel. "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed" (Gal 1:8).

following-Him
04-02-2007, 05:17 AM
Amen. Thank you Charles.

Blessings

followinghim

following-Him
04-02-2007, 05:18 AM
Today's devotional is taken from "Word For Today", which can be found at: www.ucb.co.uk (http://www.ucb.co.uk)

I hope it will be a blessing to all who read it.

Nothing is ever lost!02 Apr 2007'"GATHER THE LEFTOVERS SO NOTHING IS WASTED."' JOHN 6:12Did you know that what starts as a curse can end as a blessing? When the Mexican boll weevil devastated the southeast Alabama cotton crop, farmers reverted to planting peanuts and ended up producing more than any county in the nation. Consequently the town of Rucker erected a monument bearing this inscription, 'In profound appreciation of the boll weevil and what it has done as the herald of prosperity.' When Jesus discovered Lazarus was sick he didn't respond until after he'd been dead four days. But because Jesus was waiting didn't mean He wasn't working. He chose to demonstrate His resurrecting power - to prove that nothing is too hard for God. Joseph was falsely imprisoned for 13 years. But God was with him and he went on to save multitudes, including his family who'd mistreated him. Joseph's struggles made him better, not bitter. But it could have ended differently if he hadn't maintained the right attitude. God used Esther to save her people, but first he put her in the position of living where she didn't want to live and doing what she didn't want to do. Even though a widow, Ruth ended up gleaning in a field where she met and married a wealthy man named Boaz. In addition to bearing him children, she became part of Jesus' ancestral bloodline. So if you're struggling to see God's purpose in your suffering today, rest assured He has one. After feeding a multitude Jesus told His disciples, '"Gather the leftovers so nothing is wasted."' In God's kingdom nothing is ever lost. When you trust Him He makes '...all things work together for good...' (Romans 8:28 KJV).

following-Him
04-03-2007, 05:43 AM
Todays devotional comes again from "Word For Today", which can be found at www.ucb.co.uk (http://www.ucb.co.uk)

You're in the family03 Apr 2007'HIS UNCHANGING PLAN HAS ALWAYS BEEN TO ADOPT US INTO HIS OWN FAMILY...' EPHESIANS 1:5You may not like me. I may not like you. But since God loves us both, we are family. The Scriptures refer to us as a poem, 'We are His workmanship...' (Ephesians 2:10 KJV). 'Workmanship' descends from the Greek word poeo or poetry. What Longfellow did with pen and paper, Christ does with us. We express His creative best. And poetry demands variety. 'God works through different men in different ways...' (1 Corinthians 12:6 PHPS). God uses all types. Logical thinkers and emotional worshippers. Dynamic leaders and docile followers. Visionaries who trailblaze, the studious who ponder, the generous who pay the bills. The billions of Christ's followers over the last 2000 years have this in common: 'A spiritual gift is given to each of us...' (1 Corinthians 12:7 NLT). No exceptions. And our gifts make an eternal difference only in concert with the church: 'Christ gave those gifts to prepare God's holy people for the work of serving...' (Ephesians 4:12 NCV). The word 'prepare' comes from a medical term in the original Greek. Doctors used it to describe the setting of a broken bone. Broken people come to church, not with broken bones but with broken hearts, homes, dreams and lives. They limp in on fractured faith. And if the church does its job they find healing. God heals His family through His family. In the church we use our gifts to love each other, honour one another, keep an eye on troublemakers, and carry each other's burdens. Do you need encouragement, prayers, or a hospitable home? Consider your church God's treatment centre for all that ails you.

following-Him
04-04-2007, 04:18 AM
Today's devotional is taken from "Word For Today", which can be found at www.ucb.co.uk (http://www.ucb.co.uk)

Living out of the wrong bag04 Apr 2007'...MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT THE MASTER WANTS.' EPHESIANS 5:17Have you ever mistakenly picked somebody else's luggage off a conveyer belt at the airport and taken it home? Two seconds after opening it up you discovered - you can't live out of somebody else's bag! You can't wear their clothes or fit into their shoes. So why do we try to? Parents! Dad says 'Son, your granddad was a farmer, I'm a farmer, and some day you'll inherit the farm'. Teachers! A teacher warns a young girl who wants to be a stay-at-home mom, 'Don't squander your life. With your gifts you could make it to the top'. Church leaders! 'Jesus was a missionary. Do you want to please Him? Spend your life on foreign soil'. Sound counsel or poor advice? That depends on what God packed in your bag. What if God made the farmer's son with a passion for literature or medicine? Or gave that girl a love for kids and homemaking? If foreign cultures frustrate you while predictability invigorates you, what are the chances you'd be a happy missionary? '...All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be' (Psalm 139:16 NIV). God gives us eyes for organisation, ears for music, hearts that beat for justice, minds that understand physics, hands that love care-giving, legs that run and win races. Secular thinking doesn't buy this. It sees no author behind the book and no purpose behind or beyond life. It says 'You can be anything you want to be'. Wrong! Don't make their mistake. Don't live carelessly, unthinkingly. 'Make sure you understand what the Master wants'.

following-Him
04-05-2007, 04:33 AM
Today's devotional is again taken from "Word For Today", which can be found at www.ucb.co.uk (http://www.ucb.co.uk)

Live in God's presence05 Apr 2007'I HAVE SET THE LORD ALWAYS BEFORE ME...' PSALM 16:8The words 'I have set the Lord always before me...' are the simplest description of spiritual life. When certain thoughts are present, there's a good chance they're the result of God walking alongside us. The first thought involves feelings of reassurance. Whether it's Joshua taking over from Moses, or Paul going through his worst storm, the message is: "Be not afraid. I am with you". The second thought you'll have when God is present is that you'll get guidance. Maybe you're stumped with some issue and then an idea comes to you. It might be a big one or a small one, but it will help. Or you're about to say something that will inflict damage, and suddenly a little voice inside your head says "be quiet." A third indicator of God's presence is conviction of sin. You're going down the wrong road and a little stab of pain says, 'no, turn around', Heed that voice or you'll violate your values, diminish your influence, and end up guilt-ridden. The fourth kind of thought that will tell you God is present, is joy! 'You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence...' (Psalm 16:11 NIV). It works like this: you put in an extra effort, something gets accomplished and you feel a surge of satisfaction - that's what happened when God created the world, then said, "That's good!" (Paraphrase). God can use any of those things to convey His presence. If you '...set the Lord always before [you]...' you'll begin to sense Him in your everyday life.

Watchman
04-05-2007, 09:44 PM
"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come" (John 16:13).
"And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left" (Isaiah 30:21).
There are many passages that speaks of God giving guidance.
Thanks.

following-Him
04-06-2007, 02:46 AM
Today's devotional is taken from "Word For Today", which can be found at www.ucb.co.uk (http://www.ucb.co.uk)

A crown of thorns06 Apr 2007'...TWISTING TOGETHER A CROWN OF THORNS, THEY PUT IT ON HIS HEAD...' MATTHEW 27:29Have you ever really considered the significance of the thorns that were woven into such a shameful symbol and placed on Christ's head? Throughout Scripture thorns represent the result of sin: a) In the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, He said, '"...I will...curse...the ground...[it] will produce thorns..."' (Genesis 3:17-18 NCV) b) later He told Israel that unless they purged the land of their enemies, '"...They will be like...thorns in your sides..."' (Numbers 33:55 NCV) c) Solomon said, 'Evil...lives are like paths covered with thorns...' (Proverbs 22:5 NCV) d) concerning untrustworthy leaders, Jesus said, '"You will know these people by what they do. Grapes don't come from thorn-bushes and figs...from thorny weeds"' (Matthew 7:16 NCV). Max Lucado writes: 'The crown of thorns Jesus wore [on Good Friday] represented all our sins. As we were caught in the brambles of envy...anger ...shame...discouragement...guilt...bitterness...a nd unforgiveness, so Jesus, who knew no sin, became "...an atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 4:10 NIV). Not once did Christ use His supernatural powers for personal comfort. With a word He could have transformed the hard earth into a soft bed...boomeranged the spit of his accusers back into their faces...and paralysed the hand of the soldier who braided the...thorns. But He didn't. Instead, God cancelled the record that contained the charges against us...by nailing it to [His] cross (see Colossians 2:14 NLT), and He did it with you in mind!' No wonder hymn writer Isaac Watts wrote: 'See from his head, His hands, His feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down! Did e'er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?'