October 3, 2020 

My Old Testament reading this morning was Psalm 18. What a wonderful testament David gives of God’s care for him. Read carefully and try to picture what David says in verses 6-10 which give a beautiful picture of God coming to David’s rescue.

Psalm 18:6-10  In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.  (7)  Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.  (8)  There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.  (9)  He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.  (10)  And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.

What a glorious picture of God coming to David’s rescue. It reminds me of those old western movies when the wagons are completely surrounded, the ammunition is just about gone and there is no hope of preventing the sure massacre that is about to happen. But then, in the distance, they hear the trumpet sound of the cavalry coming to their rescue and they see the mighty and strong soldiers coming over the rise as they charge into their attackers with their guns blazing. Multiply that by ten thousand times and it still would be nothing to how God desires and is able to come to the aid of those who put their trust in Him.

We serve this same God, but we should ask if we can say the same as David testifies later in this psalm, about our heart and our walk in this world.

September 30, 2020

Matthew 21:28-30  But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.  (29)  He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.  (30)  And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.

There is a lesson here which I believe is often overlooked. The first son told his father that he would not do what he said. However, notice that the father did not respond in any way to him for his refusal. The father could have immediately dealt with his son’s refusal, but he chose not to. We tend to be quick to react when people do not do what they should. Sometimes we should give people time to think about their response and give them the opportunity to change their minds on their own. If we force or coerce someone into doing something, it can, and often does, result in resentment. However, if we give them time to change their minds after they have thought it over, it can result in appreciation and respect. While some situations require immediate action, there are many others that do not. The Lord Jesus was using this as an illustration of how God deals with sinners. We should all be thankful for the patience God shows towards us and be ready to show that same patience towards others.

Luke 6:36  Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

August 26, 2020 

1Jn 3:18  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.19  And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

Verse 19 is a simple verse yet it contains a powerful truth that is too often overlooked. One of the most discouraging things I have observed over the years is a lack of love among those who name the name of Jesus. There is plenty of “love” among those who have like views. There is sweet comradeship between those who are a part of the “group”.  There are many clicks within churches and within pastors or church “leaders” groups. However, those who are outside or not a part of their group are quickly criticized. These things ought not to be and are indicative of a lack of real spirituality. An all too common manifestation of this is the backbiting that goes on, even in and especially among those who are supposed to be mature Christians. It amazes me how readily people accept backbiting against a brother or sister in Christ, even though it is something God hates. It is no wonder that I have heard very few sermons against this most wicked sin that has been one of the common tools satan uses to cause divisions among God’s people. There is much more that could be said about this, but the focus here is on what this verse tells us.

hereby we know that we are of the truth.” Everything we say about or do to brother or sister in Christ reveals where our heart is. Would those evidences testify that we love that brother or sister? No matter what a person may say, it is what they do that reveals their true heart. God reveals to us very plainly that this is the true test of the true believer.

1Jn 3:14  We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

There are no exceptions in this verse, the intent is whether we love EVERY brother and EVERY sister, for it is easy to love some or perhaps even most. Is there a brother or sister of which our words or actions towards them would reveal we do not love them?

August 25, 2020 

Part of my current memory passage is

1Jn 3:18  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

The use of a double reference in the Bible is for special emphasis. When John says “in word, neither in tongue”, he is emphasizing to us that love is more than words or language. Here John is contrasting the difference between our words and our actions. This is similar to what the Lord inspired James to write in

James 2:15-17  If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,  (16)  And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?  (17)  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

 So it is with love also. Do our actions towards others demonstrate our love for them? God is the greatest example of this for us, and is summed up in

Romans 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

There are souls around us that are in far more dire need than those who are “destitute of daily food.” There are many souls who are blindly on their way to hell and every Christian has the truth that can save them. James ask a question that is just as applicable for those who fail to share this truth with those who are lost. “how dwelleth the love of God in him?”

August 24, 2020

My New Testament reading this morning was John chapter 4 which tells of Jesus speaking to the Samaritan woman.

John 4:10  Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

There is a beautiful connection between God giving in instructions to Moses for supplying life saving water for the children of Israel and salvation provided through Christ. Moses was instructed to smite the rock the first time.

 Exo 17:6  Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

This first incident of striking the rock, is a wonderful picture of Christ being smitten for us on the cross to bring salvation. This is shown in the saving of the thief on the cross. He was about to die with no hope, but Jesus’ death on the cross to pay for sins, provided the way for him to be saved.

Years after the first incident when the children of Israel were in need of life saving water again God instructed Moses to speak to the rock.

Num 20:7-9  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,  (8)  Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.

Thus Jesus says in

John 4:10  Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

Of course, Moses had no idea of the picture that God was drawing for us. Instead of speaking to the rock as God had instructed Him, he smote the rock. The sacrifice which Jesus made on the cross is sufficient to bring salvation to all.

Jesus said John 10:10  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Rom 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Have you called on the Lord Jesus repenting of your sin and receiving Him as that living water?

August 18, 2020

Gen 3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

Recently I was reminded of this verse and it brought back thoughts I have had about it for many years. The phrase “Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field” has always caused me to wonder. We now understand that a serpent is a creature that slithers along the ground. But this is the result of the curse, which indicates that it did not travel on its belly before the curse. Couple this with the fact that God says “thou art cursed above all cattle” would indicate that the serpent was originally part of the cattle family.

The word cattle be-hay-maw’ refers especially to large quadrupeds, that is cattle. It is different from the word translated beast which is khah’ee which refers to living things in general.

Thus the serpent was a quaudruped, that is, it had four legs before the curse.

The word for serpent is naw-khawsh’; a snake or serpent. It is derived from naw-khash’ which is a verb which means to hiss, or to whisper.

The origin or words is a fascinating study. Many words for things are derived from their most prevalent characteristic. Whether that were some physical appearance or action exhibited by the object or thing.

Thus the prominent characteristic of the serpent, even before the curse was to hiss or whisper. I find it interesting that the word whisper or whisperer is only used thrice in the Bible.

Psa. 41:7 All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.

Isa. 29:4 And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.

Pro.16:28 A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.

It is disturbing that so many who name the name of Jesus, so often behave as serpents. May we ever be on guard against becoming a serpent

July 28, 2020

Those who believe in the New Reformed theology believe and teach that to allow the free will of man, brings God down and makes Him a lesser God than the ultimate Supreme Ruler of everything. However, this is not only not true, since He is the One who created us with free will, but to disallow free will violates the very character of a loving and just God. With no free will there is no justice with God, since it would mean that God was punishing souls for doing something they had no control over. It would also mean that God was neither loving nor good, for He would be creating souls which would be designed and ordained by Him to spend an eternity suffering in the eternal flames of the lake of fire. That is not the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible made all things good, including man and all the spiritual beings. It was by deliberate rebellion against Him and His will that sin and evil came into the world. Yet, in spite of this, God sent His own Son Jesus into the world to pay the penalty for our sins and offers complete forgiveness and new eternal life to all who will to turn from their sin and receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

John 3:15-18  That WHOSOEVER believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.  (16)  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  (17)  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that THE WORLD through him might be saved.  (18)  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

June 30, 2020 

Rev 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
The word quickly in this verse is referring to the suddenness of his coming. The return of Christ will be without warning. His return will be in two parts. The first will be to take away His church out of the world just before the great tribulation period. This is referred to as the rapture of the church and is described in 1Thes 4:14-18 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. (15) For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (18) Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
In Revelation 22:12 Jesus says “my reward is with me” for while the tribulation period on Earth is happening, there will be two things going on in Heaven. One of those is the judgment seat of Christ where Christians will be rewarded according to their service. Only those things which we have done specifically for the Lord will count in eternity. The Bible tells us that there will be some that receive great rewards, but other Christians that will receive none. Paul writes of this in I Corinthians 3:12-17
1 Corinthians 3:13-15 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. (14) If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. (15) If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
It would do well for each of us to consider the things we do and seek to do those things which will horror and glorify the God we serve. What things will we do today, that on that day Christ will say “well done thou good and faithful servant”.

June 24, 2020  

Nehemiah 3:1-4  Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel.

(2)  And next unto him builded the men of Jericho.

And next to them builded Zaccur the son of Imri.

(3)  But the fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build, who also laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.

(4)  And next unto them repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz.

And next unto them repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabeel.

And next unto them repaired Zadok the son of Baana.

One of the most common complaints I have heard about reading the Old Testament, is that Christians do not see the relevance of what they are reading. For example, they may wonder why would God include the list of who built what and the order of where they were building. The Bible is an historical book, recording both events and the names of those involved. There are those who claim that the Bible is rhetorical or allegorical. However, the listing of individuals and their families makes it clear this is not the case. If we were to travel to Jerusalem today, we could look upon the very walls and gates around the city and know who the individuals were that built those particular parts, about 445 years before Christ was born. The Bible is like a Time Telescope that we can look through and see actual events and specific people, both in the past and in the future through the prophesies. It might be helpful to remember that as we are stumbling over reading their names. Think about who they were and what circumstances they were in at that time.

May 27, 2020 

Part of my memory passage this week is

Hebrews 9:24  For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

What a fantastic and glorious truth this is. The context is how Christ, as the Great High Priest, who lives forever, has made the eternal sacrifice for our sins and is now in the presence of God in Heaven. Those two last words, “for us”, are the cause for boundless wonder, joy and peace to my soul and fill my heart with love and thanksgiving for my Lord. Jesus died for me and He is now in Heaven; in the very presence of the most holy and righteous God of creation; and He is there on my behalf. The blood He shed on the cross was the full payment for all my sin, so that I now appear before the all holy God in the righteousness of Christ as described in

Rom 3:22  Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Jesus is in Heaven at this very moment as my Great High Priest, so that “ There is therefore now no condemnation…” and I am fully accepted and loved as God’s own dear child. Oh, that my words and actions today might reflect that glorious reality.

May 19, 2020 

1Timothy 2:1-4  I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;  (2)  For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.  (3)  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;  (4)  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

I exhort therefore – the word that Paul uses here is a very powerful word. It means to implore, beseech or intreat. It is not just a suggestion or invitation. It is necessary for God to implore us to do these things because they do not come naturally to us. How often are we guilty of not doing these things which God’s word clearly tells us to do.  Have many of us have done these things today, this week or this month? Note the importance that Paul places upon these things for he says “ I exhort therefore, that, FRIST OF ALL.” It is easy for us to complain about how bad things are in our nation and in our government. Paul, and the early Christians lived at a time and in places where the government and religious leaders were extremely hostile towards Christians. Yet Paul does not rail on them or on how bad things were. Rather He tells us what we are do about it. There is nothing more powerful that prayer. Rather than simply complain or vent, we need to be offering “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks” for all men; (2)  For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”

Are these things on the list of things we do daily? What changes might we expect to see if God’s people were faithful in what He exhorts us in this passage.  

May 18, 2020 

Judges 8:4-10 And Gideon came to Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint, yet pursuing them. (5) And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they be faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian. (6) And the princes of Succoth said, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thine army?

The Lord already had given Gideon a tremendous victory. One hundred twenty thousand of the invaders had already been slain. He chased the remaining invaders back across the Jordan river and his men were faint and hungry. The size of the army they were chasing was still 15000 strong. It’s understandable that the leaders in Succoth thought that there was no way Gideon and his 300 were going to defeat them. So Gideon goes on another 10 miles to Penuel and they also refuse to give his tired and hungry men any food. It would have been very tempting at either of these times for Gideon and his men to think they had certainly done enough. It would be nice if they returned home rather than go on to fight an army that they had no natural ability to defeat. But God had said He was going to give the Midianites into their hands and Gideon was not going to stop until the last two invading Midian Kings were destroyed.

May the Lord help us to continue fighting the good fight of faith even when we are tired and faint and the enemy is still much stronger than we can defeat.

Gal 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

May 9, 2020

Gal 6:1-5 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (2) Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (3) For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. (4) But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. (5) For every man shall bear his own burden.

Some imagine that v5 contradicts v2, but v5 is talking about an inward perspective and v2 is talking about an outward perspective. We should be a help and encouragement to those around us, but we also bear the responsibility for our own sins. We rejoice in the fact that God completely forgives and cleanses us from our sins when we truly repent and confess them. However, the self examination mentioned in v4 should lead to our feeling the “load” of our own sin: and this should lead us to bear sympathetically with our neighbor’s burden of infirmity. The knowledge of past sins should not be just pushed out of our minds. Rather, that knowledge will help us in our daily walk. The sorrow and shame of them should keep us from repeating them. It will also increase our appreciation, our love and our dedication to our Lord. David, Peter and Paul are a few examples of this in God’s word. Let us let the knowledge of our past sins do its work; to help purify our walk with the Lord; to have empathy for our fellow sinners; and to renew afresh our love and appreciation for what God has done for us.

April 23, 2020

My memory passage for this week is
Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
This may seem like a very simple and easy thing to do at first glance. However, it is easy to overlook the connection between the phrases in this verse. The overlying emphasis is that we owe a debt to every person and that debt is to love them. In order to understand what this means; it is necessary to understand what the word love means in this verse. First, it is NOT the noun love, but the verb love. It is not talking about a warm affectionate feeling. It is talking about action. We have little or no control over our feelings, for they are reactionary. However, we have full control over our actions, so we have no excuse for not obeying what God says. God’s word further instructs us as to how this love behaves, so that we can conduct ourselves accordingly.
Romans 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
No matter who the person is, we should be kind and considerate to them. These are natural for those whom we have an affection for, but we OWE them to every person. There are no exceptions allowed. This does not mean that we overlook their sin and wickedness, but it does mean that our actions must always be just and good. Our Lord Jesus is the greatest example of this.
We ought to have the same mind towards others that God had towards us. Our desire should be to view all as either actual or potential brothers and sister in Christ, for so they are. Just as God has worked the miracle in our own lives and hearts, He can and desires to do the same in theirs. 

April 13, 2020

2Ch 18:18 Again he said, Therefore hear the word of the LORD; I saw the LORD sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left.
Imagine what a fantastic sight that must have been which the Lord allowed Micaiah to see. I have sometimes thought about collecting all the passages in the Bible that describe Heaven and the throne of God and putting them all together. What a glorious place it is. Isaiah describes a vision on Heaven in
Isa 6:1-4 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. (2) Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. (3) And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. (4) And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
It is hard to imagine what it looked like to see all the thousands upon thousands of the angelic host of Heaven stretching out to the right and to the left from the throne of God.
Consider what Jesus said in
Mat 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
What a glorious sight it will be to see Jesus coming with “all the holy angels”. The whole sky will be filled with the brightness of the glory of Jesus and thousands upon thousands upon thousands of His holy angels.

I pray you are doing well.

Pastor Bill

Thursday, April 9, 2020 

As I was preparing a message recently, the Lord brought to mind an incident that happened in my own life. I had been misjudged by someone and as a result they sinned against me. Yet even after they realized their error, they refused to confess and repent of their sin. As I thought about that and as I think about it now, my heart is greatly saddened at the loss of the sweet fellowship we once enjoyed. Even though I have forgiven them completely and desire earnestly that someday it might be restored, there is a greater reason for my sadness. Unconfessed sin is a poison to the soul. The only way to get rid of it is by repentance and confession.
One of the most powerful verses in the Bible is Psa 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
To not repent of our sin is to cut off our prayers so that our Lord will not hear them.
What a horrible thought. This truth is so important that God declares in Isa. 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
We may wonder some times why the Lord is not answering our prayer. It would be wise for us to consider the real possibility that it is because of some sin which we have refused to repent and confess. Will we allow our pride to block our prayers?
1Jn 1:8-9 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

2Ch 15:1-2 And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded: (2) And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.
As I read this verse this week in my devotions, I was reminded about another verse that mentions the word forsake.
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Too often some Christians will grab onto a saying from the Bible and not look deeply into the context. I knew a deacon once who had a habit of this. While it is true that Christ constantly dwells within every Christian, this does not mean He will help them out of every trial or difficulty. In fact, He may be the One bringing it upon them. God makes it clear that He deals with us according to our actions and attitudes. If our hearts are not right with Him, we can expect Him to deal with us accordingly. In fact, sometimes it is even God’s will for us to commit to destruction, a Christian who is overtaken in a sin, as Paul instructed the Christians in Corinth.
1Co 5:3-5 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, (4) In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, (5) To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Praise God that the one Paul was speaking of repented and got his heart right with God, but that is not always the case. If we persist in our sin He will deal with us as He did with Ananias and Sapphira in Acts chapter 5. God gave them each the opportunity to repent and tell the truth before they were struck dead from God.
Our actions and our heart’s attitude matter. If we are deliberately sinning against God, God is going to deal with it. God does not change. What He said by the prophet Azariah to Asa is still just as true for us today.
“The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.”
Lord, help us to examine our hearts honestly before you. Give us the wisdom and strength to confess and forsake that which is not pleasing to you and be walking according to your will today.

Love in Christ,
Pastor Bill

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

2Sa 22:6-7 The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me; (7) 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.

This is the passage that the Lord has laid upon my heart to memorize and meditate upon this week. It seems very appropriate for the times we are in. There are no extra words in God’s word. It is important for us to realize that every word and phrase is there by God’s design and purpose. When something seems to be repeated it is important that we consider it carefully.

“I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God” This reveals the intensity with which he was praying. The more trouble we are in or the greater we feel the need, the more intense will be our prayer. The Lord convicted my own heart this morning for my lack of prayer and praise for Him. It is not that I have not been praying and praising Him every day, but I have not been nearly as intense or filled with praise towards Him that I should have been. It is so easy to take the things God does for us and the way He supplies our needs for granted and not really praise and thank Him the way we should.

“he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears” Here we see another doubling. It speaks both of the surety of God’s hearing his prayer and of the wondrous blessing that the God of Heaven and Earth would listen to his cry.

Oh, what a glorious privilege we have to call upon the God of Heaven, knowing that He hears us.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

My New Testament reading this morning was Acts 16 and describes the events of Paul’s trip to Philippi.

Acts 16:22-27  And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.  (23)  And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:  (24)  Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

Paul and Silas came to Philippi to bring the Gospel to the people as God had specifically led them to do. Yet, now, they are beaten and thrown into prison. Their beating was severe for it says “they had laid many stripes upon them.”  The Jews never gave more than thirty-nine stripes to any criminal; but the Romans had no such law or restriction and they gave as many as they chose. Some believe that Paul refers to this in 2Corinthians11:23 where he says “in stripes beyond measure”. Each stripe was a wound inflicted by the whip or rod. These were probably open wounds as indicated by verse 33  “And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes;”

It is significant that we see no word of complaint or questioning from Paul or Silas. Instead we read in verse 25  And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

Prayer and praise are an unbeatable combination. When we suffer as the result of being faithful to God, instead of complaining, we should realize as Paul and Silas did, that it is a great honor and our God is well pleased with us. It is during times of adversity that our faith and love for God can shine forth as a bright beacon. God will always honor our faith. Sometimes He will do it in a most remarkable way as we see in the rest of the chapter.

(26)  And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.

Paul and Silas had no idea how God was going to work things out through their suffering, but God knew a jailor who needed salvation. Praise God for His love and mercy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020  

My Old Testament reading today was in II Chronicles. Solomon was the wisest king who ever ruled on this Earth. 2Ch 6:12-14  And he stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands:  (13)  For Solomon had made a brasen scaffold, of five cubits long, and five cubits broad, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court: and upon it he stood, and kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven,  (14)  And said, O LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant, and shewest mercy unto thy servants, that walk before thee with all their hearts:

Oh, that the leaders of our country might awaken to these great facts about the God of creation. It would be so great and marvelous to see even one of our national leaders bow down before God in public and pray a similar prayer for America and her people. God has so much love for all people upon this Earth and He demonstrated it by sending Jesus into this world to take the full punishment for the sins of the whole world “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (Jn.3:16)

This is what the Apostle Paul wrote about in

Rom 5:6-9  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  (7)  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  (8)  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  (9)  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

It is so sad that so many will die in their sins because of their refusal to believe God.

Rev 21:7-8  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.  (8)  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death

Friday, March 20, 2020

Psalm 119:39-40  Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good.  (40)  Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.

“Turn away my reproach which I fear” – for those who love God and are seeking to please and honor Him, there is nothing more shameful than to be found guilty of sinning against Him. Satan and his children love to accuse those who are seeking to live for God. They love to discredit the servant of God, because by doing so they can bring shame to their testimony and hinder their witness. Even those Christians who are not living a vibrant life for God, often take secret pleasure in seeing a devoted Christian stumble. “They think they are so high and holy, but they are just a phony.” They think that by discrediting them, they are discrediting the standards by which they live. This is why they are so quick to make known the sin of others through backbiting and gossip. However, all backbiters will be put to immeasurable shame themselves when they appear before the Holy God. To sin so against a Child and servant of God is to sin against God Himself. It is well that the Child of God fear the reproach of sin in their lives, for it can help them from straying from the path of righteousness.