“MY DAILY WALK” VOLUME I

My Daily Walk book cover, Vol I

December  31st

 Last Day, Last Chance!  

Read Proverbs 27

How often we have heard or said, “I cannot believe it is December, or Christmas, already!”  or, “Where  has this year gone?”  or, “What has happened to time? It seems to go faster and faster,” or, “It seems like just yesterday…”and so on. Yes, time certainly is fleeting. As a matter of fact, we are told in the Bible that it is a vapor, and in Ephesians 5:17, we are commanded to redeem the time. Once time is spent, it cannot be taken back.

This year is past; nothing can be changed. Whatever was done, was done. Whatever was not done, was not done. It‘s gone!

Lessons can be learned from the time that has been spent. Did we spend it wisely? Did we use it to the best of our abilities?

Did we appreciate it? For at least forty years I have studied and appreciated time and its value. I have yet to read a book, hear a sermon, or talk to someone who was able to take back the time that was spent, yet all agree that lessons must be learned and applied.

This is a basic principle in life. The Bible commands us to be doers of the Word, not hearers only. This would certainly apply to the way we spend our time. Let‘s take the next day or so and see how we spent our time this past year. What lessons can we learn? Where have we succeeded and where have we failed?

Let‘s finish the year by saying with Paul, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14). Happy New Year to all our readers!

Daily  Assignments

 Read Deuteronomy 32-34

Pray that God will give you souls next year.

Complete___

December  30th

Something to Think About 

Read Hebrews 10

It has been over 42 years since I trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour, and I surrendered my life to preach the Gospel shortly thereafter. One of the things that has always stood out in my mind is the closeness and sweet fellowship we had in the local church where we were saved. Almost every Sunday someone would invite us to their home, show us love and appreciation, and help us in our daily Christian walk. There were games and lots of laughter, and sometimes the fellowship was so sweet that we even saw some tears. I remember we used to stand around the piano and sing Christian hymns, and someone would serve snacks.

I remember walking into the church, and people would be expressing their love, sometimes without saying a word; everybody was friendly, having each other in their homes. It was a different world.

Now people are busy – but not always with business. I think American Christians have gotten accustomed to going home, relaxing (that may be foreign to some), and maybe turning on the television, the iPad or the computer.

What has happened to the times when people went to dinner together, had people in their homes, when Christians got together for prayer and fellowship? We can recapture those times. Have someone over or take them out for ice cream after church. Invite a stranger to your home, or a new church member, or someone who is looking for friendship. These are a few things to think about, and perhaps we can make some worthwhile changes in the coming year.

Daily  Assignments

Read Jude

Write down one spiritual thing you accomplished this year.

Complete___

December  29th

Four Necessary Key Words for 2014, Part 2 

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Daniel, the three Hebrew children, and more of the “elite” group were taken at this time. Daniel had an excellent spirit in him and found favor with God and the king because of four key words that were evident in his life.

Daniel had a purpose in his life

What is our purpose in life? Are we doing what we ought to be doing today? Many of us are so concerned about tomorrow and ten years down the road that we have forgotten about today.

Daniel purposed in his life to obey God, to do what is right, and to walk in the Spirit. I believe this is God’s purpose for every one of us.

Daniel felt a sense of urgency about his duty and his service to God 

If there was any procrastination in the life of Daniel, there is certainly no evidence of it in the Scripture, because God found in him an excellent spirit.

Daniel lived his life rejoicing in spite of the circumstances

Though Daniel and the three Hebrew children faced some very difficult circumstances they lived lives rejoicing in the Lord.

Notice his spirit in verse 12, “Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. 

Daniel did not mind being tested for what he believed, and he was proven faithful.

In verse thirteen his countenance was not changed because of the circumstances. He would not allow those who opposed him to rob him of his joy and his relationship with God.

What a principle – and I believe a key for us today – to rejoice whether things are good or bad.

Daniel had a heart filled with enthusiasm

Enthusiasm means filled with God.  Daniel was enthusiastic because he was filled with the Spirit of God.

What a wonderful lesson for us in the New Year – strive to incorporate in our lives these necessary key words: purpose, urgency, rejoicing, enthusiasm.

Daily  Assignments

Read Acts 27-28

Pray and ask God to send revival to you and to your church next year.

Complete___

December  28th

 Four Necessary Key Words for 2014

Read Daniel 1:1-8

Daniel 1:8, But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the kings meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.”

In the year 605 BC we see the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign; which would go on for forty-three years.

His name means “Nebo, protect my frontier.” His father, Nabopolassar, sent him to lead the Babylonian army against Egypt, which he defeated at Carchemish in May-June, 605 BC.

He was called back home at the death of his father late in July to be crowned king. This would mean that he was not yet the king when he invaded Jerusalem. The title was used prophetically.

The captivity came because of Israel’s idolatry and failure to keep the sabbatical year for the land.

The three Hebrew children and Daniel were well favored; that is, they were good looking in every respect.

In order to make these men more Babylonian, their names were changed:

  1. 1. Daniel means, “God is Judge,” and Belteshazzar means, “May Bel protect his life.”
  2. 2. Hannaniah means, “Yahweh is gracious.” Shadrach means, “Command of Aku” (moon god).
  3. 3. Mishael means, “Who is what God is?” Meshach may mean, “Who is what Aku is?”
  4. 4. Azariah means, “Whom Yahweh helps.” Abed-nego means, “Servant of Nebo.”

In each case the Hebrew name contains a name for the true God (either el or iah, an abbreviation for Yahweh), and the Babylonian name contains the name of a heathen god.

As I studied verse eight, I realized that Daniel would not defile himself by eating meat that doubtless had not been slain in accordance with the Mosaic Law and that, along with the wine, had been offered to a pagan god according to Exodus 34:15.

Daniel did several things to make himself the man of an excellent spirit that he was:

Daniel purposed in his mind at a young age to obey God.

Daniel purposed in his heart to do what was right.

Daniel purposed in his heart to walk (in the Spirit) with God.

This was very early in Daniel’s life, when the Babylonian captivity had just begun. Daniel was in the first of three groups: Daniel, Jeremiah and Ezekiel.  (To be concluded tomorrow).

Daily  Assignments

Read Revelation 18-22

Hand out two tracts today.

Complete___

December  27th

That’s Enough! 

Read Genesis 17

All of us have made statements such as, “That‘s enough!” or “I don‘t want to hear another word out of your mouth!”  or even, “I can‘t take any more of this!”

These may be harsh statements in the context in which they are given, but I am focusing on God. There are about thirteen years between the end of chapter 16 and the beginning of chapter 17, and God appears to have been silent for all those years.

Could it be because Abram yielded to the flesh in having a son, with which God was not pleased? Can you imagine anything worse than never hearing from God – complete silence for thirteen years?

Then, after all those years, God appeared to Abram as Almighty God, El Shadai in the Hebrew, meaning “The Breasted One.” Just as a baby is nurtured by the mother‘s breast, God will care for His children because He is “The Breasted One.”

What a blessing it is to know that He will pour Himself into the life of the Christian because He is our strength-giver. Much as a mother strengthens and satisfies her baby from her breast, so God strengthens and satisfies us. Glory!

I like what Matthew Henry said about this text; he refers to the meaning as being “The God Who Is Enough.” Wow!  Our God is “The God Who Is Enough.”

Complete___

Daily  Assignments


Read Song of Solomon 7-8

 Give a testimony.

Complete___

December  26th

 He Shall Be Called Wonderful!

Read Isaiah 9

We often see verses such as Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6 used at some time over the Christmas season, as they were in yesterday‘s devotion. Of course, for those who celebrate Christmas every day, it really does not matter what season it is. Jesus is always wonderful.

He was wonderful in His birth.

He was wonderful in fulfilling the prophesies of His birth. He was wonderful in His life, because He is the Bread of Life, yet He hungered; He is the Water of Life, yet He thirsted. He is the King of Kings, yet they killed Him.

He was wonderful in His death

The sun refused to shine for three hours at the time of His death; insults were hurled at Him; irreverence was paid Him, yet He was the only remedy God had for our sin.

Someone said, “The cross that He bore and the crown that He wore were His own. They should have been  mine.”

Someone  asked  the  question,  “How  can  I  preach God’s Word so that people will hear in their hearts?” The answer was, “Just look at the feet of Jesus, and tell them what you see.”

He is wonderful in His resurrection

One day, He is coming again. The song writer put it well, “Up from the grave He arose, With a mighty triumph o’er His foes; He arose a Victor from the dark domain, And he lives forever with His saints to reign.”

He is wonderful because He kept His Word. He came back alive from the dead, just as He said He would.

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 148-150

What is the most wonderful thing about Jesus?

Complete___

December  25th

 Whatever Happened to Christmas? 

Read Hebrews 1

Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive,  an bear a son an shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

Christ’s birth is an event in God’s plan that He does not want His people or the world to miss. John wrote that the birth of Christ was the act of God. John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, andwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

More than twenty references to His birth are given, and half the Epistles discuss it. John boldly declares that failure to confess that Christ is come in the flesh is antichrist.

This Christmas, let’s deemphasize the partying, presents, and Santa Claus, and begin to make it a Holy Day rather than just another holiday. Make much of His birth in our preaching, Bible reading, singing, giving a love gift to Jesus, and speaking of Him. In our hearts, let’s celebrate His birth by a time of commitment to greater love and service for Him. Christmas should be a time of spiritual revival when the sin of complacency is confessed and the sincere zeal for Christ burns hot within us.

Daily  Assignments

Read Esther 6-10 

Set one spiritual goal you would like to accomplish next year.

Complete___

December  24th

  The True Measure of Character, Part 3

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

1 Samuel 5:6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake 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”

David showed his true character here at Ziklag while enduring great adversity. In his response, David demonstrated the fruit of spiritual maturity that so often escapes us in difficult circumstances.

Space doesn’t allow me to cite the many other examples of true character seen throughout the Scripture. God, in His infinite love and mercy, has ordained that we experience and endure hardness so that we might be, as Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:3, “a good soldier of Jesus Christ.Let us not be found resisting that which God has allowed into our lives for our good, but let us rejoice in it and grow thereby.

1 Peter 4:12-13, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Deuteronomy 29-31

Spend a few moments in prayer asking God to keep the church staff from discouragement.

Complete___

December  23rd

The True Measure of Character 

Read Job 1

 The true measure of character is most often revealed in how one responds to adversity and the struggles of life. It is the rare Christian who has attained the level of spiritual maturity where he or she has learned to accept adversity humbly as from the hand of God. Though the hardness of life may bring tears of hurt and heartache, through it all, we can know our loving Heavenly Father never leaves nor forsakes us. He has ordained the trials of life that we might learn more of Him, draw closer to Him, and trust Him more. Many times adversity and severe testings are the best schoolmasters, because through them, we learn to live in total dependence upon the Master.

Though sorely tested through the loss of children, fortune and health, Job was able to declare in verse 21, . . . the LORD gave, and the LORD  hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

Though his trials brought Job very low, in the end he profited beyond measure, having learned so much more about the nature of self and the Person of God.

Adversity became a great blessing as Job proclaimed in Job 42:5, “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

Through the tears of adversity, Job learned some great lessons. (To be concluded tomorrow).

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 John and 3 John

Spend five minutes praying for God‘s blessings on the services this week.

Complete___

December  22nd

 Tis the Season to Be Jolly

Read Luke 6

Recently I spoke to someone who reminded me a little bit of Ebenezer  Scrooge,  whose  opinion  of  Christmas  seemed  to  be “humbug!” Nothing I could say sparked any kind of happiness or joy about his life. Oh yes, he said was a Christian, but he had absolutely no victory in his Christian life. I said, “Wait a minute – this is the season to be jolly, because Jesus is the reason for the season.” Then he said something I thought was very profound,  on everything else “just give me Jesus.”

Because I have Him, I am “jolly.” This is a simple thought, but how true! Since Jesus said that without Him we can do nothing, it would also follow that without Him we have nothing. What a wonderful thought!

At Christmas we give attention to the birth of Christ; at Easter we think about His crucifixion, His death, and His resurrection. In both cases, we celebrate basically the same truths. The world‘s celebration is from a commercial standpoint, while for the Christian, it is all about Christ.

As we enter this Christmas season, let‘s remember to show Christian  joy  –  not  because  of  Christmastime,  but  because  of Christ. Let‘s show joy by spreading the blessed news of the Gospel.

Then let‘s exercise the truth of Luke 6:38 and do our part to give a large love gift to Jesus. It is great to be jolly, to be joyous, because of the many gifts under our Christmas tree, but how much greater joy we have in realizing that Christmas is all about Him!

Daily  Assignments

Read Acts 25-26

Spend a few moments praying that God would increase your dependence on Him.

Complete___

December 21st

You Can Have Anything You Want, Part 2 

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Abraham obediently followed the Lord, left Ur of the Chaldees, and accomplished great things for God. He believed God and got a son named Isaac. He begged God for Sodom and Gomorrah and saved Lot‘s family.

Why be a Lot when you can be an Abraham? Given the opportunity, Lot chose what he thought was the better part, and in the end, he paid a high price. Abraham chose the plains of the desert, yet God gave him prosperity and delight.

In Nehemiah 2:4-5, God asked Nehemiah what he wanted, and Nehemiah said he wanted to build a wall. In Nehemiah 4:6, the wall was built. God blessed Nehemiah because he had a little knowledge and some ability, and he used God‘s wisdom to finish the wall.

In Esther, chapter 5, the king asked her (in the will of God), what she wanted. Haman went to the gallows which he had ordered prepared for Mordecai because Esther asked, used the knowledge by wisdom, and saved her people.

Of course, we can want the wrong things. There are many examples in the Scripture, such as Samson, who lost his power because he did not use wisdom and told his secrets to Delilah.

In Matthew 14, Herod‘s daughter wanted the wrong thing in asking for the head of John the Baptist. She got it, but lost her own soul. What a wonderful blessing it is to know that we can have anything we want. Let‘s make certain that we ask God to give us wisdom to want the right thing and use it for His glory. Again, remember, “You can have what you want, but you may not want it if God is not in it.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Revelation 12-17

Buy a present for someone in the church, and give it anonymously.

Complete___

December 20th

You Can Have Anything You Want! 

Read Matthew 20:20-21

You can have anything you want – it‘s true – because the Bible tell us, “ye have not because ye ask not.” 

The Bible also says, “Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and ye shall find: knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”  Here‘s the key, however – we need the wisdom of God to know what we need or want, and we need His wisdom to use the knowledge we‘ve been given.

In the Scripture, there are many examples of servants who accomplished  great  things  and  believed  God  for  even  greater things. They simply used the ability and the knowledge they were given. For example, God used Solomon to write the entire book of Proverbs. Of course, God inspired him, but Solomon must have had some ability, knowledge, and wisdom for God to choose him to write this great book of Scripture.

The obvious lesson is that we cannot accomplish anything unless we try. Solomon asked God for wisdom, and he got it. Look at Elisha in 2 Kings, chapter 2. He asked for a double portion of Elijah‘s spirit, and he got it. Without the power of God, we have already failed. God used Elisha to perform even more and greater miracles than Elijah, and probably even more than double. He used his knowledge by wisdom, asked God for what he wanted, and he got it. Remember, “You can have what you want, but you may not want it if God is not in it.” (To be concluded tomorrow).

Daily  Assignments 

Read Song of Solomon 5-6

What are some things that we should want?

Complete__

December  19th

What Led Peter to Sin? Part 2 

Re-Read yesterday‘s devotion

Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptationthe spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Peter failed to watch and pray. Dr. John R. Rice said, “Our sins are always prayer sins. Our failures in most cases are prayer failures.”

James 4:2 says, “… ye have not because ye ask not.”

Not only did Peter marry a heathen woman, but he was also led down the path of least resistance by the devil. The devil will always attempt to lead us astray if our convictions are weak.

Peter followed the Lord afar off; he had a cold heart. Peter was overconfident in the upper room and slept in the Garden of Gethsemane when he should have been praying. He drew his sword and cut off the servant‘s ear. He was in the wrong place; he was among “them,” when he should have been alongside Jesus.

He denied the Saviour, just like Jesus said he would. Then he wept bitterly, but it was too late. It is always that way when we follow afar off, when we don‘t want to be near Jesus.

We must realize that the flesh is weak and not allow the “little sins” and temptations into our lives, because all things start out little and soon become bigger than we can handle.  Watch the little sins and temptations in your life today.

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 146-147

Stand up in church and give a testimony.

Complete___

December 18th

What Led Peter to Sin?  

Read Luke 22:31-62

Verse 31, “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hatdesired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

There are some great lessons we can learn from the life of Peter. In this text, we are told about the fall and restoration of Peter. It makes one wonder, “How bad was his sin?”

If you were to put it on God‘s measuring stick, it would score very high. There could not have been a worse time to betray Jesus. It makes one wonder what led Peter to sin. He was a preacher, yet he fell into sin. We can look at our own humanity, at our own temptation to sin, and at times when, perhaps, we were tempted, taken, and tortured in sin.

Yes, eventually, that is what always happens; there is a lot of pain and suffering, even to the point of torture, in knowing that one has fallen into sin. One need only look at the life of Judas to see the terrible result of sin and betrayal.

So, what led Peter to sin? First, without question, was his old carnal nature.  We all have it; Peter was no exception. Satan also knows at what point we may be tempted. It is usually at times of physical weariness, mental fatigue, or spiritual deadness. Such is not always the case, but it certainly can be. In Peter‘s case, he appeared to be spiritual. All things seemed to be going his way, but he forgot about his old carnal nature. (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Esther 1-5

Spend a few moments in prayer thanking Christ for who He is.

Complete___

December 17th

To Obey God Is a Serious Matter 

Read 1 Kings 13

This chapter in the Word of God is difficult to comprehend, because it seems understandable for the man of God to go with the prophet. However, in doing so, he literally committed the sin unto death.

In this chapter, God is dealing with a man of God. At least fifteen times he is referred to as the man of God. In 1 Kings 13, the man of God seemed to have done everything right; however, he failed as a man of God when he hearkened to another man rather than to the explicit Word of God. In verse 18, a prophet came to him and lied to him. The man of God had his orders directly from God. He knew what he was to do, but he hearkened unto man, and disobeyed God.

Disobedience to God is a very serious matter. Think of it – because of his disobedience to God, a lion killed him. This man of God committed the sin unto death. Why was he punished with death for doing what he had reason to believe might be the will of God?

He should not have taken a single step back until he heard from the same Authority who gave him the original message. He should have waited to hear God speak to him personally. In this alone, lay the sinfulness of the act of the man of God who came out of Judah. In Acts 5:29, the Bible says, “We ought to obey God rather than men.

Daily  Assignments

Read Deuteronomy 25-28

Spend a few moments in prayer thanking Christ for who He is.

Complete___

December 16th

The Blessing of Involvement 

Read Luke 10:30-32

In this portion of Scripture, we are told of a priest and a Levite who refuse to be involved in the life of a certain traveler in need of help.

Imagine if God refused to get involved in our lives. Imagine if Jesus hadn‘t wanted to get involved with the sin of mankind. If Jesus hadn‘t seen the importance of becoming involved, we would not have a Saviour; we would be as those still looking for the Messiah to come.

Thank God that He wants to be involved in the lives of His people. Just think about the God of this great universe, who created all that we see: the majestic mountains, the powerful waves of the sea. The One who created everything wants to be involved with you and me. If God wants to be involved with us, how important it is for us to take time with Him and to be involved with the church for which He died. Those who become involved in the ministry experience the best that God has for them.

Faithfulness to each service and a love for the Word of God and the preaching of the Word of God bring an excitement and joy for the things of the Lord.

Involvement brings a sense of ownership. As you become involved, you are more than a member of the church; it becomes your church; you have a feeling of ownership. The more you sacrifice and give to the work of the Lord, both of your time and finances, the more you are willing to become involved. You will have a life of blessing if, instead of being a spectator, you become involved in the ministry and the program of your church.

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 John 5

What are some areas in the ministry in which you could become involved?

Complete___

December 15th

 First or Last, Part 2 

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Verse 33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Some things in life are big, other things are not so big, and still other things are very small. Some things should be first, and other things should be last. As is obvious in our text verse, we must seek God‘s kingdom first – put God right at the top of everything.

Our ministry, be it church attendance, Bible study or soul-winning, must have top priority if we are going to succeed in putting God first. Seek to live righteously and establish your priorities.

After the major points mentioned above, I would think that family should be next. Time spent with our children today may keep them from prison, drugs, or illicit immorality tomorrow. Other priorities which must be balanced in our lives include work, rest, exercise, helping others, vacation, entertainment, etc.

All these things have a place in the Christian‘s life; however, if we fail to put God and His righteousness first, not only will it lead to total devastation, confusion, dismay, and depression, but it will definitely affect your relationship with the Lord.

Remember, He said, Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

These other things are important, but they should never be in first place.

Daily  Assignments

Read Acts 23-24

Write a thank you note to someone who is serving God.

Complete___

December  14th

 First or Last

Read Matthew 6

Verses 33-34, But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

How can I determine what should be first in my life and what should be last, or even what should be in the middle? How can I differentiate the big from the little in my life? These are questions we often ask ourselves and sometimes ask our Pastors or other spiritual leaders. I believe all of us ought to know what is important to us and our families, and what the priorities are in our lives.

The Bible commands us in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

The Bible also says that the tongue is a little member, but when it is loose and out of control, it can cause a great amount of damage. One could say that if one has a loose tongue, it indicates a loose mind, and if one has a loose mind, there is a good possibility that he will also have a loose heart.

Bob Jones, Sr. said, “Behind every human tragedy there is always a process of wicked thinking.”

How true that is!  No one ever just stumbles into sin. In most cases, there has been a period of wrong thinking.  (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Revelation 7-11

Make a prayer list to use when you are tempted.

Complete___

December  13th 

It’s Time  

Read Matthew 9:36-38

One of our greatest needs is for laborers, and it has been so for thousands of years. I am reminded of the farmer who labored diligently in the Spring to sow his seed and faithfully tended to his vineyard over the growing season; however, when harvest time came, he grew weary and left it up to others (who never showed up) to harvest his vineyard.

That is exactly what has happened to the church. Some labor throughout the year to sow the seed and faithfully nurture the plants throughout the season, but they fail to go out and gather the harvest.

The hunter who goes to hunt his prey but leaves his prey to be eaten by the wolves, is no hunter at all.

The athlete who trains for months to achieve a certain goal, but then fails to compete, is no athlete at all.

The businessman who spends his money advertising his product, but fails to place it on the shelf, is no businessman at all.

The need for sowing is accompanied by the greater need for reaping. The principle in the Bible is that there must be sowing before there can be an abundance of reaping, but there must also be reaping. This is why I say, “It‘s time.”

The Bible says, “Why sit we here until we die?” (2 Kings 7:3).  It‘s time for us to gather the harvest; the only need is laborers. We are all busy tending to our own needs, such as the home, the job, the church; however, if we fail to gather during harvest time, we will fail to have our shelves filled.

Daily  Assignments 

Read Song of Solomon 3-4

Write out three verses that tell us about soul-winning.

Complete___

December  12th

Faithfulness 

Read Hebrews 11:1-6

1 Corinthians 4:2, “Moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”

In the Psalms, we see the word faithfulness dozens of times, referring to God‘s faithfulness. One of the few times that Scripture uses the word faithful toward men is in reference to Moses in Hebrews 3:2, “Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.

Again in Hebrews 3:5, “And Moses verily was faithful in all his house.”  In 1 Peter 4:19, we are told that Sylvanus was a faithful brother. In Revelation 2:10, God requires the church of Smyrna to be faithful unto death, and in 2:13, God speaks of Antipas as “Gods faithful martyr.”   In all of these verses, we see that faith requires one to be faithful.

How can I be a faithful servant? After salvation always comes service, but be certain that your service is done for the Master. Be certain that it is done in faith, staying with it to the end. Faithfulness is not a gift given by God, but a requirement commanded by God with absolutely no limits. We can limit ourselves only as we fail to exercise faithfulness by faith, because “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Let‘s remember to be faithful, excited, enthusiastic, and committed in the service of our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 143-145

What are some areas in which a Christian should be faithful?

Complete___

December 11th

Wasteland 

Read Genesis 13:5-13

I am sure we would all agree that beauty is in the eye of the beholder; however, the greatest beauty of all is when God gives us what appears to be wasteland, a dry and deserted area, and turns it into a place of beauty. Such can also occur in our daily walk with God. God can take days of dryness and desertion, days of anything but beauty, and turn them into days of victory.

Look, for example, at the children of Israel. They wandered in the desert for forty years, yet God sustained them during it all. He gave them food and water, and a place to lay their heads. Look how God speaks of the land that flows with milk and honey, and how often He gives us examples of turning plainness into position, power, and promise.

One need only look at the example of Abraham and Lot. Lot chose the better part for himself – the plains of the Jordan – yet in his own personal life and the lives of his family, he ended up in the desert.

Abraham, however, chose what one could call the dryness of the desert, yet he flourished greatly. Abraham was moved by faith in obedience to God‘s Word, and God blessed him greatly. Lot chose selfishly and turned a land of beauty into a wasteland.

The question today is: Which is the wasteland? Could it be the plains of the Jordan, with all the riches, the water to meet the needs of man? Or is it found in the land of Canaan, which eventually turned into the Land of Promise?

Though your life may seem dry or dull at times, why not allow God to turn those times into times of beauty?

Daily  Assignments

Read Nehemiah 9-13

Give someone your testimony of salvation.

Complete___

December  10th

Plant Me Where I Can Grow, Part 2 

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Verse 3, “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rives of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

I want to be planted in the storms of life for strength. Testings are meant to build us; they should not be viewed as burdens, but as blessings. I want to be planted in service as a servant. There is no greater blessing than to be a servant and there is no greater servant than a servant of the Lord. I want to be planted in soul-winning so others can grow. Our main business is not soul-winning, but getting out the Word of God – “it bringeth forth His fruit in His sea– son.

In this Psalm are two men living in two ways with two destinies: one is a dead-end street; it leads to death and hell. The other leads to life and happiness.

We are living in a day when people do not know the difference between right and wrong.  Well, God knows!  His Word does not change with every philosophy of every generation. The wicked are going to perish – to be “lost.”

Proverbs 10:28, “The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.

One of the quickest and most profitable ways for growth in the Christian life is daily (faithful) Bible reading. Make it a part of your daily life.

Daily  Assignments

Read Deuteronomy 21-24

Write out Matthew 7:13-14.

Complete___

December  9th

 Plant Me Where I Can Grow

Read Psalm 1:1-6

This Psalm shows the contrast between the blessed man and the ungodly man, but it is also a picture of Christ – The Last Adam. I have always believed that anything worth doing is worth doing right. Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. used to say, “If  the stars fall, young man, do right.” Of course, God feels the same way.

Many people think that if they clean up their lives, that is all it takes, but look at verse 2, “His delight. He finds joy in the Word of God. I want to be planted  in  the  Scriptures  for  success.  That  demands  a  diligent study of God’s Word. Memorize it, live it, eat it, drink it, and work it.

Before we can eat the fruit of the tree, it must grow. Before you can pick the corn to eat, it must grow. Before a baby can learn to walk, talk, play, etc., it must grow. All things must first grow in order to be productive. It is normal to grow, and abnormal not to.

I want to be planted where I can grow. I want to be planted in Jesus Christ as my Saviour. A plant must be planted before it can grow. You can look at a seed all you want and believe that it is a seed, but until you plant it, nothing happens. We must plant Christ in our hearts. We must find joy in the Word of God. We must see the Bible not as a burden, not boring or bothersome, but as a blessing.

Psalm 19:14, Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

 Read 1 John 3-4

What are some things a Christian needs in order to grow?

Complete___

December  8th

Whatever Happened to Hope? 

Read Jeremiah 17:5-18

Verse 7, “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.

Hope is the last thing that dies, when everything else is gone. Hope believes that one day the cancer will be gone. Hope is for the deaf to hear again. Hope is for the blind to see again. Hope is for the cripple to walk again. When you have lost faith, you can hope, but it is vain to hope against Scriptural principles.

The requirement of hope is to glory in tribulation. Dr. David Gibbs asked Bro. Lester Roloff, “How are you doing?” His answer was, “The Bible says I‘m fine.”

Hope “Godly expectation” comes from experience. Someone said, “Life with Christ is endless hope; without Christ, it is a hopeless end.” As long as there is eternity, there is hope. Hope is believing when you cannot see or understand, and waiting when you do not have faith or patience.

It may be a whispering hope, but have hope. Those who are sick have hope. Those with saved loved ones have hope to see them again. The very last words in Genesis say of Joseph when he died, “they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt. The word coffin is the same word used for “hope  chest.”

The song writer said, “On  Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand,” and, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus‘ blood and righteousness.”

All hope here on earth begins at Calvary and ends at the rapture.

Daily  Assignments

Read Acts 21-22

Stand and give a testimony during the next church service.

Complete___

December 7th

Have We All Gone Astray?

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

The shepherd finds and feeds the sheep. Sheep are among the most helpless of all animals. A sheep must have a shepherd because it has no method of caring for itself or cleansing itself, and is totally lost without the shepherd. Sheep get lost in three ways:

1. They desire to get into better pastures, but fail to find them because they get lost. Some people are like that – always looking for something better, ―greener  pastures, but in their search for them, they become totally confused and lost; they have taken the wrong path.

2. Sheep are often scared by wolves, dogs or other animals.

Some people are like that – they run around scared because the hounds of the world and Hell are after them. They are weak, and they have no shepherd to take care of them.

3. Most lost sheep want to do as they please, and that is the reason they go astray. This is much like some Christians – they want their own way, so they go astray and are lost in the cares of the world.

You cannot have your own way; it will be either God‘s way or the way of the devil and his world.

Please remember that today is the anniversary of Japan‘s attack on Pearl Harbor. Pray for America that we will never be caught by surprise again. Our only true safety is found in Christ and revival of the church – 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Daily  Assignments

Read Revelation 1-6

Write out John 10:10.

Complete___

December 6th

 Have We All Gone Astray? 

Read John 10:1-10

It is very important to understand that we can do things God‘s way, the devil‘s way, or our own way. The shepherd not only finds the sheep, but also keeps them. The shepherd keeps the sheep in safety, secure in the sheepfold. It is our shepherd, Jesus Christ, who keeps us safe and secure. We can try our own way, but it always leads to failure. We can follow the devil‘s way, but it always leads to destruction and great loss.

Isaiah 53:6, All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

It is clear that everyone had gone his own way, and for that reason, Jesus Christ had to die. We had gone our own way in our culture, in our beliefs, and in our destiny. Then Jesus Christ came to pay the price. Jesus is called the Good Shepherd, and He says that He is the door of the sheep.

The sheepfold was a walled enclosure, open to the sky, having only one entrance. The shepherd stood guard at the door to keep the sheep safe at night. He knew his sheep and kept out any that were not his.

Verse 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.

With Christ we can have life in abundance. With the devil, or our own way, we have life without the Lord‘s blessing and protective care. With Christ we have more than enough; with the devil, we are never satisfied. (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Song of Solomon 1-2

Write out three verses that tell us about sheep and shepherds.

Complete___

December  5th

Do You Hunger and Thirst After Righteousness?, Part 2 

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

John 4:14, “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life,”

John 6:35, ―Jesus  said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

“Hunger and thirst” certainly indicates a strong desire for the things of God. A Christian would be expected to hunger and thirst after righteousness, because nothing in our lives is more important to the One who saved us, who shed His blood and died for us.

Most would agree that hunger is an evidence of life; that we are still breathing and have need of physical sustenance. So it is with those who are hungering and thirsting after righteousness and feel that they are lost without pleasing Him. I believe that those who strongly desire to be holy will be filled. There never was a Christian who desired to be holy that God was not willing to fill with His righteousness.

The Gospel of Christ has made provision to satisfy all who truly hunger and thirst after righteousness.

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 140-142

Whom do you think of in the Bible who truly hungered and thirsted after righteousness?

Complete___

December 4th

Do We Hunger and Thirst After Righteousness?

Read Matthew 5

Verse 6, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

John 7:37, . . . Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

I always worry about somebody who never seems to hunger or thirst for the Word of God or the things of God. On Sunday mornings, it is not at all unusual to see Christians who claim to love God involved in activities other than church. I am still of the old belief, “If there is no fruit, there is no salvation,” which is to say that I tend to be a fruit inspector. I am not really impressed by flowery words.

The first things a new Christian yearns for are the Word of God and fellowship with other believers. He also has a hunger to see people saved and for learning more about God and His Word; therefore, he has a desire to be in church whenever the door is open.

That is what happened to me and my family when we were saved many years ago. In over thirty years in the pastorate, I have never seen a truly newborn Christian who did not hunger and thirst after righteousness. (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Nehemiah 5-8

What are some things for which people thirst?

Complete___

December 3rd

Double Talents 

Read Matthew 25:14-30

In these parables, Jesus is teaching the delayed return by the rich Master who comes when not expected. The admonition, of course, is for the Christian to be watchful and ready for Christ‘s return.

Sir Isaac Newton, the 17th Century scientist who discovered the Law of Gravity, was also a dedicated Christian. At the height of his career in math and physics, he decided to turn his attention to God’s Word. A fellow scientist tried to lure him back into science 100% of the time, but Newton replied, “I do not wish to be trifling away my time, when I should be about the King‘s business.”

In this parable, we see one man with one talent, one with two talents, and one with five talents. We can learn several lessons from these men. The one with two talents is just as responsible for his talents as the other is for his five. Most of us are one or two talent Christians.

What are you doing with the talents you have been given? You may not be a great man or woman, but you are as accountable for your talent as another is for his or her talents. The same commendation is given to the servant with two talents as to the one with five talents, because both were equally faithful.

These two servants represent Christians already saved and rewarded for their faithfulness. This parable simply teaches that Christians will be judged for their works and rewarded for their good works. Will you hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: enter thou into the joy of thy lord?

Daily  Assignments

Read Deuteronomy 17-20

Where in the Bible does it talk about rewards for the Christian?

Complete—

December  2nd

Christ or the Criminal, Part 2

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Verse 22, “Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.

The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, the scattering and persecution of the Jews, as well as the future wrath of God on the land of Israel during the Tribulation are all answers to this misguided request.

If one does not choose Christ, he has chosen the criminal. We are either children of obedience or disobedience; children of God or children of the devil. We must decide to choose Christ, not the criminal. We must decide to choose consecration and not follow the crowd. Always remember: first the decision (thought); then the choice (act); then the habit; then the character; then the destiny.

Pilate and the Jews chose the criminal. Pilate was influenced by his friends and made a conscious decision to choose against Jesus. No one but Pilate could crucify anyone in that day.

The crowd said, “Crucify Him!” The religious people, the world, society, and politicians all said, “Crucify Him!” But why would anyone want to crucify Him without a compelling reason? Is it worldliness? Is it power or the love of money? Is it love of pleasure? They all cry out for the criminal, but say, “Crucify Christ.”

Pilate wanted the world‘s friendship, and he got it, but look at the price he paid. He wanted to avoid making the decision because he was a coward. We too may choose the criminal.  I chose Christ – will you?

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 John 1-2

Pray and ask God to give you wisdom in your decision-making.

Complete___

December  1st

 Christ or the Criminal?

Read Matthew 27:11-26

Verse 17, “Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?”

Time after time, Pilate went out to the crowd and came in to question Jesus; all to avoid making a decision, but no man can avoid making a decision about Christ. Pilate was warned by his wife, as well as his conscience, yet he deliberately gave Christ over to be crucified.

There is no question that this was the plan of God, because in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53, as well as many other places in Scripture, we are told of Christ‘s sacrifice, yet Pilate was not held guiltless.

God‘s eternal plan never denies an individual the deliberate choice of acceptance or rejection. Pilate miscalculated in thinking that the crowd would ask for Jesus. Jesus is never the choice of the crowd; men will always ask for the sinner rather than the Saviour. They rejected the son of God for a murderer – a son of Satan.

Notice that Pilate testified that Jesus was innocent; nevertheless, in verse 25, “Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

Much to their dismay, and despite their denial of responsibility, their request was answered – Christ‘s blood has been upon their children, and will be until the nation looks upon Him “whom they have pierced.”  (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Acts 19-20

What are some things people choose over Christ?

Complete___

November  30th

Three Marks of Christ in Our Life, Part 3

Re-read the last two days‘ devotions

Third and last is the mark of gratitude.

One of the most distressing parables in the Bible is found in Luke 17:11-19, “And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And  Jesus  answering  said,  Were  there  not  ten  cleansed?  but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.”

Ten lepers were cleansed, but only one returned to give thanks to Him who had cleansed them.

Ask yourself the question, “Do I have the marks of gratitude, growth, and grace on my life?”

2 Peter 3:18: “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.”

Marks do not necessarily mean spiritual maturity; however, they certainly give evidence to the fact that something is going on in a Christian‘s life.

How about your life?

The holiday of Thanksgiving has passed, but let us never forget to be thankful as a daily practice.

Daily  Assignments

Read Malachi

Write a note to one of your friends.

Complete___

November  29th

Three Marks of Christ in Our Life, Part 2 

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

We as Christians have been blessed in recent history and have not had to go through such persecution, but that is all the more reason that we ought to live holy lives of self-denial for the cause of Christ.

If we should ever be called upon to suffer for Him, let‘s make sure we have some evidence that we are His, and that, when we see Him face to face, we are able to say with Paul, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.

To some of us, that will be of more value than anything we might receive in this world. If you are born again, then the very fact that you are blood-bought means that there are certain things which ought to be prevalent in your life. If these things are absent, you are probably not living according to the Word of God. We are going to look at three marks of Christ that ought to be in our lives if we are truly born again.

First is the mark of grace. Grace is not a gift you have earned; grace is undeserved; it is God‘s unmerited favor. When the mark of grace is evident in our lives, we do two things: first, we deny all ungodliness; and second, we labor for the cause of Christ. Ephesians 2:8-9, “Foby grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Second is the mark of growth. People need to see Christ in us; they need to see that we are mature Christians – grown up spiritually; grown out of childhood and into mature adulthood. (To be concluded tomorrow).

Daily  Assignments

Read Ecclesiastes 11-12

Write out 2 Corinthians 13:11.

Complete___

November  28th

Three Marks of Christ in Our Life  

Read Galatians 6:11-18

Verse 17, “From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.

The word marks (stigmata in the Greek) means marks or scars pierced or burnt upon the body. Slaves and soldiers were sometimes branded by their masters with marks in the flesh to keep them from escaping. Similarly, people who gave themselves to an idol would be branded with the image of that idol or god.

Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian, mentions a temple of Hercules in Egypt, in which any slave who took refuge and had the marks (stigmata)  on  him, thereby devoted himself to that idol or god. Many believe that Paul is referring to such a custom; that he had the name of the Redeemer branded on his body because was devoted to Him and His cause.

I believe Paul is referring to the marks from sufferings he endured in the service of the Lord Jesus. They were the evidence that he was devoted to Jesus Christ, because he received them in His cause.

Some of these false teachers had in their bodies the mark of circumcision, evidence that they were disciples of the Law of Moses. Others had the images and names of idols to which they were devoted, but the marks Paul bore were scars from being whipped over and over again for the cause of Christ. (To be continued tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 137-139

List some people over whom you have some influence.

Complete___

WE WOULD LIKE TO WISH ALL “MY DAILY WALK” READERS A VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

November  27th

Revival of Thanksgiving! 

Please meditate on the following verses

Deuteronomy 5:29, “0 that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever.

I Samuel 16:7, “… the Lord looketh on the heart,”

Psalm 119:10, “With my whole heart have I sought thee.”

Certainly, it is God’s desire for His children to walk in truth and to have a heart for God. Think of the delight God receives from the obedience of His children. Then, think of God’s broken heart when His children turn from Him to sin.

We cannot begin to imagine how the heart of God must be grieved over the condition of this nation. It seems as though not only man’s thoughts, but man’s heart, is far from God. In Deuteronomy, God makes three requests of the children of Israel: that they have a heart for God; that they would fear Him; and that they would keep His commandments.

He also does not fail to give two blessings for obedience: that it would be well with them; and that it would be well with their children forever. What greater testimony could we have than to know that our children walk in truth?

Let‘s pray that God will make this Thanksgiving and Christmas season a life-changing one, and that God would give us a heart for revival by giving us a heart for God.

Also, pray that God would use preaching to help to shape us and mold us and revive our hearts. Let’s be busy in the vineyard – in soul-winning, inviting people to church, and most of all, asking God for a Holy-Ghost-sent revival.

Daily  Assignments

 Read Nehemiah 1-4

What is a good thing about the chastening hand of God?

Complete___

November 26th

Where is God? Part 2

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Someone told me, “I  am at least as good as the average Christian.”

Let me point out that the average Christian would measure very low on God‘s standard. The average Christian today is a sinful Christian, because, truthfully, the average Christian spends little time with the Bible, and what we do with the Bible determines what God does with us.

Dr. Roloff said he read the Bible through on his knees once a year, and “That will make you a humble Christian.” When I am out camping, and it gets cold, I love to sit by the campfire; the closer I get to the fire, the warmer I get. The same is true of the Word of God – the closer we get to the Word, the more our hearts will be on fire for God.

There is always fire around Jesus, and when you get around Jesus, good things begin to happen. Some Christians believe they can lose their salvation by committing a certain sin. Isn’t it wonderful to know that God‘s promises are eternal? When He says we shall have everlasting life, God means we shall have everlasting life. We can know this through His Word.

It is important for us to realize that our salvation truly belongs to God. He paid the price to give it to us freely. Thank God for His marvelous grace! However, the only way we know about His grace is through the Word of God. Did you ever think about the fact that the moon has no light of its own? It reflects the light of the sun. The same is true of the church, and of each Christian.

The church, and each of us, reflect the Light – the Lord Jesus. It is He who gives us light through His written Word and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Daily  Assignments

Read Deuteronomy 13-16

Spend an extra five minutes praying for our elected leaders.

Complete

November 25th

Where Is God? 

Read Hebrews 1

Often, during difficult times, I have been asked by skeptics of the Christian faith, “Where is God in all this?” God is where He has always been. He‘s holy; He‘s righteous; He‘s omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient; He‘s eternal.

God has not fallen asleep, nor is He on vacation. God is very much in control. He knows what He is doing, and He also knows what He is allowing. Our unbelieving friends may say, “How can your God love you and let this thing happen to you? I thought He was a God of love,” etc.

God has left us His Word as a promise of His everlasting presence. Remember, Jesus said He is the Alpha and Omega, which means He is the entire alphabet. Read Hebrews 1:1-2 and John 1:1-2. Jesus is the beginning and the end, as well as everything in between. God spoke and made Jesus His last love letter to man.

There is nothing wrong with interpreting Scripture, or writing a commentary on it, as long as we keep it between the verses – and in the King James Bible. The secret is to believe it just as it is. God wrote it; that settles it.

Jesus said, “Ye must be born again.”  That settles the matter for salvation. That is one of the biggest miracles ever – the fact that we can be born again by the grace of God.

Jesus also said that He would give us life more abundantly. The way to get more life is to get more of His Word. The church needs to realize that we must be dependent upon God‘s Word – every word out of the mouth of God.  (To be continued tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 Peter 1-3

Ask God to help you be more faithful in your Bible reading.

Complete___

November  24th

 Give Thanks Unto the Lord, Part 2

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Psalm 100:4, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

God has every right to command that we give thanks unto Him.

Thanksgiving has a season – always.

Thanksgiving has a reason – in everything and for everything.

In Ephesians 3:20, we are told to be “giving thanks always for all things.” You say, “Preacher that is hard to do. Life has blessings and tragedies. Experiences come to us that we did not ask for or expect or understand. It makes it very difficult to be thankful. So, under what circumstances or settings am I to be thankful?” We are to be thankful for everything and in everything.

Thanksgiving has a secret – see Ephesians 5:19-20, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Look at the sequence: speaking, singing, making melody, giving, and submitting. All these are focused on the Father and the Son. We honor Him when we are thankful.

It is our prayer that each reader will make Thanksgiving a matter of daily practice. One might well say, “The family that prays and gives thanks together stays together.” Let‘s make God aware of our thankfulness on a daily basis.

Daily  Assignments

Read Acts 17-18

Name some things for which you are thankful until Thanksgiving day. Then share them with a family member.

Complete___

November  23rd

Give Thanks unto the Lord 

Read Psalm 100

Verse 4, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Sir Moses Montefiore, the Hebrew philanthropist, had the motto,

―Think and thank.‖ He was right to tie the two words together. The

Anglo-Saxon word “thankfulness” comes from “thinkfulness.” Every Christian should have an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude comes from the heart, but it is manifested outwardly. Paul reminds us to be thankful in Colossians 3:15. Gratitude toward God is a mark of spiritual maturity.

In Paul‘s letter to the growing Christians in Ephesus, his challenge included, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. When we receive anything from God, giving thanks is the right response.

According to tradition, the first American Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 by the English Pilgrims who founded the Plymouth Colony. The Pilgrims marked the occasion by feasting with their Indian guests, who brought gifts of food as a gesture of good will. Two years later, during a period of drought, a day of fasting and prayer was changed to one of thanksgiving and praise because rain came during their prayers. Gradually, the custom prevailed among New Englanders to celebrate Thanksgiving annually after the harvest.

As we are only a week away from our celebration of Thanksgiving Day, it is not so much the exact day of Thanksgiving; however, it must be a daily spiritual practice for the entire family. (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Zechariah 8-14 

Write to a government leader telling him/her that you are praying for him/her.

Complete___

November 22nd

The Discipline of Disappointment 

Read Lamentations, chapter 3.

Lamentations is basically Jeremiah’s warning for Jerusalem, and he does it in such a way, in weeping over the desolation of Jerusalem, that he shows his heart-brokenness, as well as his sharing of his nation’s affliction.

He realizes that sometimes God must act in judgment in order to fulfill His Word, and, in these wonderful verses, he is consumed about the mercies and faithfulness of God.

If you read chapter 3, towards the end of the chapter, you will see that he realizes the value of a yoke. In verse 33, he realizes that God does not afflict His people willingly, but only to give them greater hope. This makes me realize the importance of the discipline of disappointment. It is my belief that the Lord suffers when His people suffer.

In the life of Jeremiah, first, I see his pressure; where everything seems to be against him – see Jeremiah 33:3.

I believe, God would have us to be continually asking not, “Why?” but “What do you have for me to learn in this trial?”

Second, I see his persistence. Notice verse 49, where he continually wept for his people. He prayed for his people.

The lesson for the Christian is to look to Jesus continually, to look up to Jesus. Jeremiah reflects the feelings and the sentiments of the society. It brought him frustration, but also a great revelation.

For example, God has given us Romans 8:28 in the New Testament. Here’s the lesson – focus on God’s purpose, His power, and His promises.

Third, I see God‘s  provision. God is not only powerful, but also very personal. If God is interested in flowers, and birds, and the physical world, how much more is He interested in His people?

Daily  Assignments

Read Ecclesiastes 9-10

Describe a time when God made Himself obvious in your life.

Complete___

November  21st

Paul’s Gospel Is Our Gospel, Part 3  

Re-read the last two days‘ devotions

Verse 14, “But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.

The Old Testament Jew was veiled, but the New TestamenChristian is unveiled.

Paul makes a spiritual application to the Jews – he states that there is still a veil over the Jew‘s heart when reading the Scripture, and this keeps him from seeing Christ. The veiled Jew is holding onto the Old Testament Law as though it would last forever, but it was never meant to, because “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us – Galatians 3:13.

When a sinner turns to Christ, the veil is taken away, and the Old Testament and the New Testament become as one. Christians have no reason for a veil; the glory will last forever and shine brighter and brighter.

The Old Testament meant bondage, but the New Testament sets us free.

We have liberty from spiritual bondage. According to Acts 15:10, the Old Covenant was of works and bondage, but the New is a glorious liberty in Christ, This liberty is not a license to sin, but it is freedom from fear, sin, and the world. We need fear nothing but God!

When we look into the Word of God, we see the Son of God rather than the keeping of the Law.

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 134-136

Stand up in church and give a testimony this week.

Complete___

November 20th

Paul’s Gospel Is Our Gospel

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Verse 6, “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”

The Old Testament brought death, while the New Testament brings life. Paul was talking about the Old Testament Law when he said, “the letter killeth.” Paul was a preacher of the New Covenant, not the Old Covenant. He did not avoid the Old Testament, but he recognized that the New is the Old fulfilled.

The Law was never given to impart life; when disobeyed, it brought death. No one was ever saved through keeping the Law. The most important teaching in this chapter is that the Spirit gives life.

The Old Testament is a fading glory; the New Testament is a fixed glory. Of course, there is glory in the Old Testament, because the Glory of the Lord filled the Temple and hovered over Israel in the wilderness.

Moses had been in the presence of God, and His glory was reflected on his face, but he knew that the glory would fade. He wore a veil over his face when talking to the people, lest they see the glory fade and lose confidence.

God never intended for the Old Testament glory to remain. Paul did not need to hide behind a veil because the glory of the Gospel will last forever. It is fixed. (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily Assignments

Read Ezra 6-10 Complete

Pray for those areas in your life in which you need more power.

Complete___

November  19th

Paul’s Gospel Is Our Gospel 

Read 2 Corinthians 3:1-18

Verse 3, “Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

This is a key chapter in the Bible because it shows the relationship between the Old and the New Testaments. Apparently some of the teachers had letters of recommendation from the church in Jerusalem, and the Jews were saying that Paul was not a true apostle because he did not have one. Paul very wisely used the occasion to contrast the Old Testament ministry of the Law with the New Testament ministry of the Gospel. Let‘s look at some of the differences between the two.

The Old Testament was written on stone, but the New Testament is written on the heart.

Paul told them that he did not need a letter from men, because he had a letter written on the heart. In fact, he told them that they were his letters, written on hearts rather than on stone. Paul pictured himself as a representative of God, commanded to write the Word of God in the hearts and lives of God‘s people. What an amazing truth – every Christian is as a written epistle. Moses wrote God‘s Law on stone tablets, but in this age, God writes His Word on our hearts. (To be continued tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Deuteronomy 9-12

Write out your memories of the first time you heard the gospel.

Complete___

November  18th

Keep Them Dogies Rollin!  

Read 1 Corinthians 15

Verse 58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Abounding is an interesting word. In the Greek, it is perisseuo, and it  means to super-abound, to be in excess, to have more abundance, to be better, to have enough to spare, to exceed, to excel, to increase, to remain, and to move on.  Wow!

No wonder there is no greater challenge to the Christian than to abound, to keep on moving, to keep rollin‘, rollin‘, rollin‘. What a message for us and what a challenge to those who may be discouraged, weary, weakened, troubled. Keep on rollin‘! Keep moving on!

The thing about a destination, such as a vacation, is that, if there is no planning and no moving on, there is no arrival at the destination. God has given us the greatest cause in the world – the cause of Jesus Christ.

David said, “Is there not a cause? We, too, need to say, “Is there not a cause?” The greatest cause for the Christian is to keep on moving for the Lord Jesus Christ, because one day, He is going to return, and we will certainly not want to be found sitting, soaking, and being sour.

No, we will want to be found serving, because our labor is not in vain in the Lord. Why not let the words “movin‘ for Jesus” get in your head and heart, and you will soon see the blessing of moving on.

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 Peter 4-5

Name four things that a Christian needs to keep on moving.

Complete___

November  17th

Let God Be True 

Read 2 Timothy 3:1-8

Truth is one of the most prized possessions a Christian has. Were it not for the foundation of truth, we would not have an assured faith, and without an assured faith, there certainly would not be eternal salvation. Without eternal salvation, we would be as the lost. Thank God for truth!

It is important for us to know and discern truth Someone said, “A  little bit of Coumadin will kill a rat.” The principal is that a little error will cause a Christian to fall from truth, from the Word of God, and from the fellowship of the church.

It is important that we walk in truth

For us to walk in truth, however, we must be able to know and discern truth. Please read 3 John. In it, we are told that we are to love in the truth, to testify in the truth, to walk in the truth, and to fellowship in the truth. Since truth is spiritual light, a Christian must not have fellowship with darkness. It is not possible for darkness and light to coexist.

We must defend the truth

We have the responsibility of guarding truth for ourselves, our families, and our church. We must be able to identify truth. We must compare what we hear or read to Scripture, and if it is not consistent with Scripture, reject it. The Bible commands us to be ready to answer every man. In order to do that, we must know the truth, walk in the truth, and be willing to defend the truth.

Daily  Assignments

Read Acts 15-16

What are some reasons that people give for avoiding the truth?

Complete___

November  16th

The Riches of God  

Meditate on Romans 11:33

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past find– ing out!

In this verse, Paul speaks first of the riches of God, which I believe are His abundant blessings and mercies. How we need to be thankful for the riches of His mercy and His grace! It is beyond our ability to express all that God has granted to us by means of His mercy and His grace.

The second thing Paul addresses is Gods wisdom. It has always  been  through  the  wisdom  of  God  that  we  have  been granted His mercy and grace. God always intended for man to be saved by grace rather than by his own works. That‘s why He sent His Son. Man could not atone for his own sin; therefore, He sent a Saviour who was qualified, able, and willing to pay our sin-debt. The wonderful wisdom of God certainly gives each Christian a rea- son to give thanks.

The third thing Paul mentions is His knowledge. What a blessing it is to know that God is in control of all things. He not only has knowledge, but He has foreknowledge. He knows the past, the present, and the future. How foolish it would be for us to attempt to accomplish what only God can do! Only God can save, and only God can keep us safe and secure in the gifts of His riches, His wisdom, and His knowledge.

Daily  Assignments 

Read Zechariah 1-7 

Spend five extra minutes in prayer asking God for His wisdom.

Complete___

November  15th

Can’t Help but Say It

Read Daniel 6:1-17

Verse 10, Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

Some of the most important ingredients of prayer are frequently overlooked.

Purposeful Prayer

Prayer must be purposeful. Sometimes God uses the difficulties we face to create the burden and the need for prayer.

Power-filled Petitions

We cannot know the will of God apart from the Word of God. Prayer is asking and expecting an answer from God, much as in a conversation. God hears and answers every prayer. His hearing and His answer are conditional upon one thing – clean living.

Painful Performance

Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, and  “being in an agony he prayed more earnestly.”

Sometimes it is not only painful to pray, but even the answers may be painful. In our text, Daniel opened the windows and prayed “as he did aforetime– as he had always done. We also must pray in good times and in bad times.

Personal Purity

Psalm 66:18 says that God will not hear our prayers if there is iniquity in the heart. We must make sure that we live a life of personal purity, and we will be more aware of His answer and His blessing.

Daily  Assignments

Read Ecclesiastes 7-8

Pray that God will help you to have

Complete___

November  14th

By the Grace of God, I Am What I Am 

Read 1 Corinthians 15:9-11

Verse 10, “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

One could almost call this text in 1 Corinthians an adventure in grace, because it cannot help but remind us of God‘s amazing grace. If there are no burdens, there is no realization of God‘s wonderful grace.

When the angel came unto Mary and said, in Luke 1:28, “Hail, thou that art highly favored, he was saying, “You are endued with grace.” What a blessing to be endued, or empowered, or surrounded, by the wonderful grace of God, and to know that God has a special kind of grace for every need, every kind of occasion, every burden, every tragedy.

God‘s grace is always sufficient for us. Somebody called it a suit of grace for every need, a garment of grace for every occasion. 2 Corinthians 12:9, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Just pick out the grace you need for whatever the occasion may be, and learn to be happy in the midst of the storm, because it is by God‘s grace that He allows you to bear the burden which now, for the present time, seems overwhelming. God‘s grace is sufficient. By the grace of God, I am what I am.

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 131-133

How has God changed your life since salvation?

Complete___

November  13th 

Believing Is Not Enough, Part 2

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

James 2:26, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith with- out works is dead also.”

James is not arguing against true Biblical faith, nor the importance of justification, but against the belief that only faith is necessary for salvation, whether or not it is accompanied by good works.

When there is a true, genuine Biblical faith, it is always backed up by Biblical works. It is not a head belief that saves; it is a heart faith. Many people believe in God. Many believe in Jesus. Many believe that He died on the cross for the sins of man. Many believe that the Bible is true, but it is not until we act on that head belief, and put our trust in what we believe, that we are saved.

Think about it this way – a man sees a chair. He believes that the chair will hold him up if he sits on it. He truly believes it; he will stake his life upon it, but that chair is not holding him up. Even though he believes it will, it isn‘t yet holding him up.

Head belief is not enough. It is not until he sits on the chair that it will hold him. That head belief must lead to an action (or a work) – sitting down. Was it the belief or the action that led to his being held up? It was both. Without the belief, he wouldn‘t have taken the action, but with- out the action, his belief would be vain, or dead.

Let‘s make certain, in our own Christian lives and as we teach others, that we and they understand that faith and works are one.

Daily  Assignments

Read Ezra 1-5

Spend five extra minutes in prayer

for this week‘s services.

Complete___

November  12th

Believing Is Not Enough 

Read James 2:14-26

Verses 19-20, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”

Today people have many gods. We are only beginning to see the great difficulty that will come as we approach the period of the Great Tribulation. It is one thing to believe in gods such as Allah, Buddha, and others made from religious beliefs, but rejecting  the true and the living God causes people to be eternally separated from God in Hell. Such is the case with one who simply believes but does not do anything about his belief, for as the Bible says in James 2:19, “the devils also believe, and tremble.”

It is not our works that save us; it is simple faith in Christ, recognizing one‘s lost condition, and calling upon the Saviour. Those three things save a person, then that salvation is evidenced by good works.

True belief is always evidenced by Biblical works. Just as the body has no life independent of the soul, so it is with faith and works – they go together.  As the soul and the body are one, so are faith and works. If works do not follow faith, it proves that it is not a Biblical faith – certainly not one that justifies and saves from sin.

If faith produces no fruit, it proves that faith is dead because it has no power; and with no power, it has no value. (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Deuteronomy 5-8

Write a thank you note to someone in the choir.

Complete___

November 11th

Winning Your Wings, Part 3 

Re-read the last three days‘ devotions

God put David in an enlarged place

God uses enlarged trials to produce enlarged saints, so He can put them into enlarged places. All of God‘s giants have experienced suffering in one way or another.

Joseph spent thirteen years as a forgotten servant, even in prison on a false charge, because God was getting him ready for a bigger place.

God must prepare us for what He has in store for us, and part of the preparation is the furnace of affliction. God had chosen David to fill a big place, and David had to be enlarged by experiencing many storms in his life. Had David gotten his request for wings like a dove and flown away from the storm, he would have wasted all the suffering and would still have been unprepared for his great opportunities to serve God. Instead of getting “wings like a dove, he received “wings like an eagle, and flew right into the face of the storm and triumphed over it.

There is one more step. Psalm 18:36 says, “Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip. An enlarged place can be a dangerous place if we don‘t know how to take giant steps of faith and walk with God.

If you plan to walk by faith, you must learn to take giant steps; you must expect troubles. If you want to take giant steps in an enlarged place, you must become an enlarged Christian. God has many enlarged places that desperately need to be filled. He is looking for enlarged Christians to fill the enlarged places and be prepared to take some giant steps. Learn to fly with wings as an eagle.

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 Peter 1-3

How has God helped you to grow through your troubles?

Complete___

November  10th

Winning Your Wings, Part 3  

Re-read the last two days‘ devotions

Psalm 4:1, “Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress.

God enlarged David

Enlarged trouble is only the beginning, because there is a second step in the process. God enlarged David while he was in dis- tress. Enlarged troubles can produce enlarged saints. I say “can” because not all Christians come out giants; in fact, some will come out of their trouble as midgets.

Compare King Saul and David. David came out a giant and Saul a midget – small in faith, obedience, and outlook. Saul was a big man physically, but small spiritually. We have no evidence that David was a big man physically, but we know that he was a giant spiritually.

How did David get that way? His enlarged troubles made him an enlarged saint that trusted God.

Our response determines how long difficulty will last. When God allows us to go into the furnace of affliction, He always keeps His eyes on the time and the temperature. He knows how much you can take and how long the trial should last. He also watches to see if the trials accomplish what they should. Enlarged troubles can lead to enlarged Christians. (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Acts 13-14

What are some things you can do to help your spiritual growth?

Complete___

November 9th

Winning Your Wings, Part 2 

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Psalm 25:17, “The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.

David had enlarged troubles

David was going through some difficult times, probably during the period when Saul was persecuting and trying to kill him. Why does God permit enlarged troubles? He has never promised to make us comfortable; He wants us to be conformable. God‘s purpose is that all of His children be conformed to the image of His Son, as Paul says in Romans 8:29, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

In order to conform us, He has to allow us to suffer, as Christ suffered for us. Jesus learned obedience through the things which He suffered. But you say, “I  will claim Romans 8:28, for my trouble.” That‘s okay, but He will still conform you to the image of His Son.

Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose, is probably one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible. God is not promising to make all things work out the way you want, He is merely stating that they will work out for good. He works on our attitude, and then He does what He originally planned in our lives. (To be continued tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Haggai

Write out three verses that tell us the Bible is true.

Complete___

November  8th

Winning Your Wings  

Read Isaiah 40:25-31

All of God‘s servants experienced trouble in one way or an- other. David said in Psalm 55:6, “And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.”

We have all felt like running at one time or another, so we will not criticize David for wanting to do so. However, we should learn from David that we cannot run away from our difficulties and problems. When problems come, we should expect them and face them victoriously through faith in God.

Someone once told me, “Don‘t fly away from the storms, but fly above them.” Instead of asking God for “wings like a dove so you can fly away from the problem, ask Him for wings like an eagle to fly above it.

We have a promise in verse 31: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

When  we  find  ourselves  in  trouble,  most  of  us  will  pray, “Father, get me out of this trouble,‖” when we ought to pray: “Father, what are you trying to teach me through this?”

God has a purpose in trials, and even the worst trial can teach the best of spiritual lessons. We also need to understand that our Heavenly Father is not going to allow anything to come into our lives that will not, in some way, help us learn to trust Him more for future trials. (To be continued tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Ecclesiastes 5-6 

Write down two Bible examples of people who ran from trouble.

Complete___

November 7th

Nehemiah, Part 2

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Like Nehemiah, we also need to pray for the continued blessing of God. Somebody rightly said, “No prayer, no power; little prayer, little power; more prayer, more power; much prayer, much power.”

Nehemiah realized that he was part of the sin problem. Since he was a very humble and righteous man, he felt unworthy of His blessings. (Somehow the current generation of Christians has been taught that they are “entitled” to God‘s blessing).

He learned to talk to God before he talked to men – what a lesson for us. I would have to say that he was a man who was instant in season and out of season.

I see four qualities in Nehemiah‘s life that we need in our lives:

•Nehemiah had a real concern for people. He asked them where they were going. He waited for the answer. •Nehemiah had a genuine compassion for his people. I have noticed that all great Christians have compassion for people – not mechanical but sincere compassion. He wept over the city and the people.

•Nehemiah obeyed the call of God. His call was constant, and he realized that the call and prayer go together. •Nehemiah confessed his sin. How about you and me – do we have a concern, compassion, a call, and a confession? Why not take another look at Nehemiah, and let‘s ask God to make us men and women of prayer, because that is where it started with him.

Daily Assignments

Read Psalms 128-130

List three Bible characters that you feel had great compassion.

Complete___

November  6th

Nehemiah  

Read Nehemiah 1:1-11

Verse 6, “Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.”

Ezra and Nehemiah had a lot in common: they both prayed, wept, and fasted. Ezra built the Temple for the people, and Nehemiah built the wall, and through it, his people. At this time, Ezra had just passed off the scene, and the people went back into their sin. They confessed their sin, but there was no repentance.

Nehemiah was chosen to continue the work that had been started by Ezra, and because he was a man of compassion, his heart was broken. I believe that most men of God have compassion, because it would be almost impossible to be an effective pastoral leader without it.

In chapter 1, Nehemiah prays for his work.

In chapter 2, he prepares for the work.

In Chapter 3, he prospers in the work. In comparing the prayers of Ezra and Nehemiah, we find that both had the same ingredients.

In verse 6, we see the reason that we get so little from God – because we pray so little. There is quite a contrast between Nehemiah and most of us. He prayed all night and asked God to be attentive. He wanted God to see his tears. (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 Chronicles 33-36  Complete

Purchase a small gift for your pastor.

Complete___

November 5th

 I Will Dwell in the House of the Lord Forever, Part 2

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Verse 6, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

It is a precious “I will.Home has always been a precious place to me. I remember when I was a young person, coming home from school. I could not wait to see Mom and smell the cooking and see what was going on. Going to our eternal home is a far greater blessing than that. It is precious. There will be no sin there; there‘ll be no tears and no death. There are actually only two ways to die: 1) in sin, and 2) through the Saviour. One must make the choice in this life by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as one‘s own personal Saviour.

It is also permanent – forever. “I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. And forever will include these wonderful promises: we will have His presence and His protection; He has made preparation and provided a place for us. How can anyone reading this not want to know the wonderful Saviour and be assured of such a wonderful place?

If you have not already done so, would you, at this very moment, ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart and life? Simply confess your need; ask Him for forgiveness of sin, and call upon Him to be your Saviour right now. Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Daily  Assignments

Read Deuteronomy 1-4

What do you look forward to most about Heaven?

Complete___

November  4th

  I Will Dwell in the House of the Lord Forever

Read Psalm 23

Verse 4, “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.

Because I am such a fan of word studies, I‘ve taken a few moments to study David‘s words, “I will. David uses the expression several times, and it is implied several other times. I see at least four great blessings about these wonderful words.

It is a personal “I will.”   Seventeen personal pronouns are used, and it shows us that when God saves, He saves one person at a time. What a blessing it is to know that when a saved loved one is no longer with us, he or she is in a place much better than this world.

It is also positive. It is not based on what I think, or hope, or wish, as some religious people teach, but death for the Christian is nothing more than a shadow, and a shadow cannot hurt you. Think about driving along on the freeway and having a great big Mack truck alongside you casting a shadow. That shadow, as large as it is, cannot hurt you. Also, it takes light to cast a shadow. Jesus is our light. David said, I will not fear.”  (To be concluded tomorrow).

Daily  Assignments

Read James 4-5

Complete

November  3rd

  Now It’s Our Turn

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Just knowing about Jesus is not enough. There has to be a comprehension of His death and resurrection. He died a redemptive death. He gave His life so that we might live. You have not seen Jesus until you realize it was for you He died. Jesus did two things: He died, and He gave us eternal life. He said His hour was come, but His glory was not man’s way; it was the way of the cross – by death. Jesus had to die before He could bear the fruit of eternal life. It was the cross that moved God to exalt Jesus. It is the cross that moves people to offer themselves as living sacrifices.

After His resurrection, Jesus said man’s hour had come. We must lose our lives in order to gain eternal life. We must serve and follow Jesus in order  to  gain  honor  and  rewards.  Have  you  ever  just  sat  and thought about what Jesus did for you, how He endured the nails in His hands and feet, how they beat Him? He did it all for you.

Now, He says it‘s our turn. His hour had come, now it‘s our hour – not outside of His power and will, but in the center of His power and will. It‘s our turn to serve, to sacrifice, and to live for others.

Matthew19:27, “Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?

Mark 8:34, “And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Are you ready for your turn?

Daily  Assignments

Read Acts 11-12

Write out Philippians 2:8-11

Complete___

November  2nd

Now It’s Our Turn 

Read John 20:11-26

In this passage, the Greeks and Jews had seen Jesus glorified as Messiah. He wanted to teach them that the way to glory is not through triumph and victory, domination or subjection, but through death to self and service to God and man.

The Greeks had come to see Jesus because they had heard about Him, probably about His miracles, and especially His raising of Lazarus from the dead. He directed their attention to His cross. He was in the shadow of the cross. He told them the hour had come – the hour of crisis for which He came out of eternity and toward which His entire life moved.

His conception of the cross was far different from that held by the Romans and Greeks. To them it was an instrument of infamy, disgrace, and shame. It was an object of punishment such as the electric chair or the gas chamber in our day. But to Jesus it was obedience unto death, even the death of the cross. Galatians 3:13, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

He knew that on the third day after His crucifiction, He was to be raised from the dead and crowned with glory and honor. The glory of God is seen in that cross. That is why He could say the time had come for Him to be glorified.

Have you thought about how much He must have loved you in order to suffer such a terrible death? Thank Him and share His love with someone today.

Daily  Assignments

Read Zephaniah

Read about the “Great Awakening” in a reference book.

Complete___

November 1st

How to Be a Man’s Man, Part 2

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

What does it take to be a man of such qualities? He must be willing to assume responsibility, as well as to exemplify masculinity. Oh, what a need for young boys to be taught to act, walk, talk, and think as men.

Such a man must be decisive, and willing to endure hardness as a good soldier.

There must be a desire to be masculine in his appearance. He must strive to be strong in his character and convictions so that he can master himself through Christ. Such things as fasting, getting up early, saying, “Yes, Sir,” and “No, Sir,” will also help to build a young man‘s character.

Such a man must be a man of confidence and faith in the promises of God.

He must also be willing to take care of his health, with a proper balance of work and rest, serving God the Father, the family, and our fellow man. These are men of true integrity, whose word is as good as their bond. A man who is seeking to be a man‘s man, or a man in every respect, is a man of deep biblical spirituality. He is a man who walks with God. What a need we have for men of all ages to be hard as steel when necessary, but gentle as lambs with tenderness and under- standing, especially toward ladies and children.

There must be a willingness to be a gentle man – a gentleman: generous, enthusiastic in his work, while at the same time a man of humility, refinement, and fairness. Will you be such a man?

Daily  Assignments

Read Ecclesiastes 3-4

Whom do you see as an example of a real man in your life?

Complete___

October 31st

How to Be a Man’s Man 

Read Ephesians 5

Verse 25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Recently I had a conversation with a young man who was very typical of our current society. There was a definite lack of self- discipline, character, and direction. I sensed absolutely no desire for any masculine traits or qualities of manhood. The Bible gives us many examples of men who are self-disciplined, men of character, men of chivalry; men such as Daniel, who refused to partake of the king‘s meat and had an excellent spirit in him. Joseph was a man of character, honesty, and integrity who loved and cared for his brothers after they sold him into slavery. We read of men who were willing to give their lives for a great cause, and many who did so.

Today we live in a nation in which we struggle to find even a few men of real Biblical character. In Ephesians 5, the Bible commands that a man love his wife as Christ loved the church. We need only look at Christ‘s example. He was gentle and kind, yet He was a real man. We also see in Him, as in many others in the Scripture, a willingness to sacrifice. We see men in our own history who have not only said, “Give  me liberty, or give me death,” but who actually paid the price.

We need to be men both of steel and velvet, strength and beauty, kindness and gentleness, backbone and tenderness. (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 125-127

 What are the traits of a real man?

Complete___

October  30th

 Keeping Pace with God’s Grace 

Please read Hebrews 12:12-17

Verse 15, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;”

The reference is to those who would produce bad fruit and its effect on the church. One bad Christian can affect an entire church, as one bad fruit can ruin an entire barrel of good fruit. The warning was given as early as Deuteronomy 29:18, “Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood.”

Also see 2 Peter 1:10, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”  

When Esau sold his birthright, he committed a spiritual sin. He really did not care about the things of God, nor did he want anything to do with Him. This is the reason he despised his birthright, or placed little value on it.

I  wonder  how many  Christians  today  have sold  out  to  the world, the flesh and the devil. The lesson is that clean living  moves us forward while unclean living moves us backward in our relationship with Christ. 1 Thessalonians 4:7, “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.“

Daily  Assignments

 Read 2 Chronicles 29-32

Spend five minutes praying for God‘s power on the services this week.

Complete___

October  29th

My Daily Walk 

Read Colossians 2:1-6

Verse 6, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him”

People today seem to have completely turned against God and the things of God. Too often, the people of God have been caught up in humanism. It is my firm belief that the Christian must daily walk with God to avoid the humanistic philosophy gripping our land.

The Colossian Christians were surrounded by the heathen, just as we are now. No wonder God commands us to separate ourselves from the world while acting with discretion and decency towards them. It may be that there is not a more important command in the New Testament.

Unsaved men judge us by the lives we live. They judge our faith, not from preaching or from books, but from what they see in the daily walk and conversation of members of the church. They understand the nature of our faith so well as to know when we

are not consistent with our profession. Someone said, “The unsaved set a much higher value on honesty and integrity than they do on the doctrines and duties of Christianity, and if professed Christians are void of the principle of truth and honesty, the unbelievers think they

have nothing of any value. We may be very devoted on Sunday, very regular at prayer meetings, very strict in the observance of rituals and ceremonies – but all these are of little worth in the estimation of the world unless attended with an upright life.”

No professing Christian can possibly do good to others unless he lives a consistent life.

Daily  Assignments

Read Numbers 34-36

Why do Christians have a bad reputation in the world?

Complete___

October  28th

 Is God Up There?, Part 2 

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

The rich man  was zealous in keeping the commandments, but there was a great lack. He did not understand that only the grace of God can save. Only the grace of God can break down the trust in, and love for, wealth, and fill the heart with the love of Christ. It is the love of money, not money itself, that is the root of all evil. We need to understand that a meager man can love money as much as a millionaire.

 In Matthew 19:16-30 Jesus answered five questions:

1.   What good thing shall I do? (verses 16-17).

2.   Which commandment did I fail to obey? (verses 18-19).

3.   What lack I yet? (verses 20-22).

4.   Who can be saved? (verses 23-26).

5.   What shall we have? (verses 27-30)

When Jesus beheld them, He looked on them with pity and love, and told them that God could do that which, apart from Him, would never come to pass. To enter the kingdom is impossible for man without God. Unfortunately, the cares of this world and the deceit- fulness of riches are two powerful forces that can keep a person from going to heaven. They lead to unbelief, and the sin of unbelief is the only thing that can keep us from being saved. The blessing is that God is not only mighty to save, but with God all things are possible. Yes, God is not only up there, but He is also able to control things down here. What a wonderful truth!

Daily  Assignments

Read James 1-3 

Write out three miracles that could take place only by the power of God.

Complete___

October  27th

 Is God Up There? 

Read Matthew 19:16-30

Some time ago, after a terrible tragedy had taken place, I had a call from an unbeliever who asked a logical question, “How can a loving God allow such a terrible thing?” After I spent a few moments answering his question as well as I could, he asked, ―Is God up there?‖ Certainly this is a good question for someone who does not believe in a loving God, and I can understand why others may ask the same question. I am sure all would agree that things have been rather trying in the recent past. With the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, California fires, and immense devastation from the Tsunami, Katrina and many hurricanes at the time. One would have to have a heart of stone not to be affected by the suffering and human loss.

The Bible is filled with the power of God in every area of life, and God has given us many illustrations of His faithfulness in granting His power to those who believe and obey. Though the forces of evil may seem to be victorious, God will conquer all those opposing His great cause, because God is all-powerful. Only God can take the love of the world out of the human heart, and no one can be saved but by the supernatural power of God. Notice the Bible says, “With men this is impossible.”  In our text, Jesus does not retract what He has said, but rather reinforces it by saying that the salvation of a rich man can come only through the omnipotence of God. Though this is impossible with men, with God all things are possible. Human efforts cannot save. (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Acts 9-10 

Write out three verses that tell us about God‘s power.

Complete___

October  26th

 How to Get What You Want and keep what you have, Part 2

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Deuteronomy 8:11 Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day.

There is a three-fold danger in wealth for most Christians:

· Pride of heart.

· Forgetting God.

· Spirit of self sufficiency.

How can we get what we want and keep what we have?

Never forget who gave the wealth

Everything we have comes from God. We may have worked hard, but the Bible tells us that every good thing comes from above.

Never forget who pulled you out of the pit

Where would we be without God? Some readers may not like to hear it, but we would all be in hell. Don‘t forget where you came from.

Never forget to walk according to His principles Matthew 6:19-21, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

List some of the things that God has given you.

Complete___

October  25th

How to Get What You Want and Keep What You Have 

Read Deuteronomy 8:1-20

Verse 10, “When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.”

Someone has said, “The greater our earthly abundance, the greater our need for Bible principles.”

Someone else said, “Secular prosperity is hazardous to your health.”

Most people cannot bear much abundance in life. There are several important truths we want to look at from this passage.

Wealth can be very dangerous to someone without previous training in poverty and adversity. Those who live in luxury and have never known struggles are rarely of a meek and humble spirit. It can be dangerous even with training when not constantly guarded from self. Obviously, wealth does not always harden nor produce humility, and neither does poverty. There are lots of poor people with no humility, and sometimes the poor harden their hearts against God, while the rich often lift theirs in pride. Often these people are unyielding, unsubmissive, and unrepentant. The heart gets haughtier than ever, and God is denied. Some grow bitter in spirit and blame their troubles on the God of heaven. In such cases, prosperity is certainly no blessing.

In tomorrow‘s devotion we will learn how to get what you want and keep what you have. (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Ecclesiastes 1-2

Think of  two people who have sacrificed for you.

Complete___

October  24th

How Good and How Pleasant It Is

for Brethren to Dwell Together in Unity

Read Psalm 133:1-3

Verse 1, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”

Hebrews 13:1, “Let brotherly love continue,” is not speaking of the Agape love, but of Phileo – human affection and fondness. In other words, there is to be affection towards one another in the church of God, not only to those who are suffering, but also to all brothers and sisters in Christ. As the Bible says, “especially to those in the household of faith.” Romans 12:10 tells us, “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love, in honor preferring one another.” Here again the word Phileo is used, meaning that we are to be fond of one another, as family members would be. Philippians 2:3 says, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory: but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

Each of these verses speaks of putting others before ourselves, esteeming others better than ourselves. Human nature teaches man to take care of himself. The test of true Bible character is to seek to care for the needs of others. “Others Lord, yes others, let this my motto be. Help me to live for others, that I may live for Thee” said the poet. So, what does it mean in Psalm 133:1, “for brethren to dwell together in unity”? Certainly it means for us to love one another, to nurture one another, and to care for one another’s needs.

The purpose of the church is to see people saved, to disciple those who have been saved, and to care for the needs of others. This is the life lived by our example, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 122-124 

Write out three verses that tell us we should read the Bible.

Complete___

October  23rd

 Seven Secrets to Spiritual Survival, Part 2

Re-read yesterdays‘ devotion

John 5:39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

· Last and most important, search the Scripture and pray every day.

This ties all the rest together. Without this, the others will not succeed. Develop a regular Bible reading program. Psalms 119:105, ―Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.‖ Every Sunday school teacher, Christian worker, in fact every Christian ought to read the Bible through at least one time each year. Many Christians do not spend time in the Word of God. No wonder they fall by the wayside.

When you pray, pray to receive answers. Let the Lord get hold of your heart in your secret prayer closet. Matthew 6:5-6, “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Ephesians 6:18, ―Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 Chronicles 25-28

Write a thank you note to someone who has done something for you recently.

Complete___

October  22nd

Seven Secrets to Spiritual Survival 

Meditate on John 5:39-47

After meditating on these verses, ask yourself: How can I survive spiritually?

· Learn to live life to the fullest measure, a life of joy and victory.

  Be a happy Christian; nobody likes a grouch. You will have problems, but Jesus came to give life more abundantly, even in the midst of your problems. Remember Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.”

· Witness for Christ wherever you are.

  Take every opportunity given by the Holy Spirit. Carry some tracts and pass them on.

· Live for others. Show them Christ by the way you live.

· Give sacrificially.

  2 Corinthians 9:6-7, “But  this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of neces- sity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

· Die daily (John 12:24). When you are dead, you cannot enjoy the things of the world, and this is the best way to overcome the problem of worldliness.

· Look for His coming. Jesus is coming back one day. Will you be ready to stand before Him? See Matthew 24:44. (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Numbers 31-33

When was the last time you really lived for someone else?

Complete___

October  21st

How to Conquer the Self-life, Part 3 

Re-read the last two days‘ devotions

· He recalls that he gave to the poor. Job did all of these good things and then some, but he is telling how good he is, and that is self-life. Though the principle is good, he is lifted up with pride.

· He repeated that he did not live for his wealth.

· In verse 29, he would not retaliate, and in verse 32, he took in strangers.  All these things are good and we should all practice them, never for self, but only for the glory of God.

The main problem discussed in Job is the justice of God in suffering the righteous to be afflicted, while the wicked prosper. It is settled by showing that, while the hand of a just God is manifest in his providential care of human affairs, it is his sovereign right to choose his own time and mode of justice both to the evil and the good, and to subject his people to whatever trials He deems best. In verse 40, we see the end of the words of Job. He said all he was going to say and that was enough. Though he was a good and great man, he had a problem with honoring self; which appears to have been even a greater problem for his three friends.

So why do good people suffer? I believe it is to bring us to self- knowledge and self-judgment in order to avoid the judgment of God.

Daily  Assignments

Read Hebrews 11-13

Invite one of your neighbors to come to church this week.

Complete___

October  20th

How to Conquer the Self-life, Part 2  

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

In chapter 31, Job shows that he had learned some very valuable lessons on conquering the self-life. In verse 1, he says, “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?”

· He reminds his friends that he guarded what his eyes looked at and what he meditated on. He makes it very clear that he lived a clean life, and so should we. He wanted them to know that he was not guilty of any immorality. In verses 2-3, he points to others who do such things and says they should be judged.

· He reiterates that he did not walk in vanity or deceit. We need to  remember that, at this point, Job had not seen himself as God sees him; he boasts of his integrity.

· He restates his own goodness. The principle he teaches is good, but pride was his enemy, as it is ours. Our lives will never measure up to God‘s standard. Matthew Henry says, “The lust of the flesh and love of the world are two fatal rocks on which multitudes split.”

· He recalls that he treated his servants with integrity. Job believed in opportunity, and in labor. (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Acts 7-8

Spend extra time tonight in prayer for our nation.

Complete___

October  19th

How to Conquer the Self-life 

Read Job 31

I am sure no one reading this would disagree with this statement:  “We have become a society of total involvement (infatuation) with self.” One need only look at TV for a few minutes to realize that this country is in trouble as far as its morals are concerned. Job definitely had some problems with the self-life.

Notice these three things about Job:

· He had a great amount of faith.

· He had an enormous amount of patience.

· He had a huge amount of integrity.

(I  was  pleased  to  learn  that  the  word  “integrity”  had  the  most Google word searches a few years ago.)

God permitted Job, well-known for his integrity, humility, wealth, honor, and domestic happiness, to be tested by Satan. He was stripped of friends, property, and health, and plunged into deep suffering for the trial of his faith. In verse 40, we see the end of the words of Job. He said all he had to say, and that was enough. Though he was a good and great man, he had a problem with honoring self. Job uses the personal pronouns I, me, my, mine, 199 times.

The Book of Job has received much criticism, and on many points, a considerable diversity of opinion still exists. Skeptics have denied its inspiration, and called it a mere philosophical romance; but no one who respects inspiration can agree with this notion, or doubt that Job was a real person.  (To be continued tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Nahum

Find someone in the Bible who had a problem with exalting self.

Complete___

October  18th

Real Family Values, Part 3 

Re-read the last two days‘ devotions

Another problem is permissiveness, which also causes a gulf between  parent  and  child.  It  is  called  “spoiling  your  child,”  but “ruining your child” is a more accurate description. Permissiveness breeds a lack of self-control. Biblical love will eliminate permissive-ness. Remember that discipline provides security and love in the

home. According to the Bible, if you don’t have discipline, you don’t have love. God said to Eli, a priest in the house of God, “Wherefore…honourest thy sons above me..?” (1 Samuel 2:29). In 1

Samuel 3:13, the Bible says that God “will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth: because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.” Eli lost his priesthood because he would not judge or discipline his sons. You are sinning against God when you fail to discipline your children properly.

How can we develop love in the home?

· By having the right respect for God and putting Christ in His proper place as the head of the home.

· By being open and honest in our affections toward one another.

· By speaking kindly to one another, and striving for an attitude of togetherness.

Real family  values can only become a part of the Christian home as we practice these important principles and teach them to our children.

 Daily  Assignments

Read Proverbs 31

Write a thank you note to your pastor.

Complete___

October  17th

 Real Family Values, Part 2

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

The Bible says in Song of Solomon 8:7, “many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it...,” yet many homes have excluded biblical love. Biblical love starts with God. If you want your home to please and honor God, you must know God and His will for you. If you want things to work out in your home, you must flee to God, knowing that you cannot do it on your own. You must have God doing His work in your life. Love in the home is vital between husband and wife, and between parents and children. It is appalling to witness the breakdown of love between parents and children today.

One major problem in our homes today is a lack of consistency by the parents. You may tell your child how to live without living that way yourself. You may teach your child to walk with God while not reading your Bible or going to church on Wednesday night, because you are ―too  busy.‖ Parents who are ―too  busy‖ to play with their children, to spend time talking with them, or to share in their lives should not be surprised when their six-, seven-, or eight-year-old becomes a tight-lipped teenager. Become involved with their personal and spiritual needs now, or you could lose your children. Inconsistency has plagued our homes for the last several decades, and tomorrow we will learn about a second problem in the American Christian home. (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 120-121

Write a note to a family in your church, telling them you are praying for them.

Complete___

October  16th

 Real Family Values, Part 1

Read Hebrews 13

Verse 4, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”

When I was growing up, one of the things I enjoyed most was having my mom at home when I arrived, not only when I had a bad day at school, but every day. It was so good to have an understanding, loving mother there waiting for me. What has happened to the love and security once found in the home?  I can recall when the home was considered a haven from the world. Things have changed.

For  many today the home has become a battleground from which they seek to flee. What has happened to the home today? Why are more than 50% of our marriages ending in divorce? Why are children growing up in homes with only one parent? Why are so many with a parent who has remarried? If today’s home were admitted to a hospital for observation and exploratory surgery, the diagnosis would indicate the presence of a severe heart problem. The heart problem exists because love is absent in many of our homes. Most homes today would do well to have a heart transplant, a spiritual heart – one that is filled and overflowing with genuine Biblical love. (To be continued tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 Chronicles 21-24

Write out three verses from Proverbs that talk about families or the home.

Complete___

October  15th

Three Christian Responsibilities, Part 2 

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Once we are committed to something, we must learn to apply the second responsibility, discipleship. 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

We have an obligation to know God and His Word. We have an obligation to serve Him with our strengths and talents.

The third responsibility is workmanship.

We are to be like Christ. We should be like Him in our thought life, in our actions, in our prayer life. We should be like Him in everything we do. In Matthew, chapter 10, Jesus  gave a charge to the twelve, and in chapter 16, He gave a charge to the church.

Remember, We are ambassadors for Christ, and we are dead with no rights of our own.

Commitment is the principle, preaching is the precept, and a changed life is the responsibility (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Discipleship is the principle, preparation (teaching) is the precept, and soul winning is the responsibility.

Workmanship is the principle, leadership is the precept, and Christlikeness is the responsibility (Philippians 1:3-11; 2:1-8; 3:14-17).

These are the responsibilities of every Christian. We are ambassadors for Christ, so we must humble ourselves in serving, follow our leader, and be willing to make personal sacrifices by makiing a commitment to live for others.

Daily  Assignments

Read Numbers 28-30

Write a thank you note to someone who serves in the military.

Complete___

October  14th

Three Christian Responsibilities 

Read Romans 6:1-13

We have a responsibility to teach and train those whom God has placed under our leadership. Everyone has a responsibility. Webster‘s  Dictionary defines responsibility as:

· The state of being responsible or accountable.

· That for which one is answerable – a duty or a trust.

· The ability to meet obligations, or to act without superior authority or guidance.

So, to be responsible means:

· To be answerable legally or morally for the discharge of a duty, trust or debt.

· To be able to discern between right and wrong.

· To be able to meet legitimate claims and to have sufficient property or means to meet an obligation.

· Accountability and obligation.

We all have an obligation to Christ, to meet our Christian obligations. Our first responsibility is commitment. We are ambassadors for Christ, with no rights of our own. But you say, “Preacher, that is quite a charge.” Yes, from those to whom much is given, much is required. We have to be committed to Christ. We have to be committed to His church. Eternity is too important to take our duties lightly. We must be committed. (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Hebrews 8-10

Pray for God‘s power on your pastor.

Complete___

October  13th

How to Build Self-Confidence, Part 2

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Here are some things to help us build self-confidence in Christ:

· Avoid pessimistic people as much as possible. Do not be pessimistic yourself.

· Don‘t be overly critical of yourself. Don‘t expect more of yourself than you are able to deliver.

· Don‘t  feel  you  are  inferior  because of talent, money, background, looks, physical handicaps, intelligence, or lack thereof.

· Be well-informed in many areas.

· Practice diligently how to act in places where you feel insecure.

· Learn to laugh at yourself; don‘t take yourself too seriously.

· Try to see yourself as God sees you. Don‘t try to be great, just be a servant while living for others.

· Forget yourself when helping others;  trust God for your needs.

· Be aware of the abilities you have, and use them for the Glory of God.

The preparations of life must be made before the practice can be effective. Also, remember that confidence in Christ is our goal.

Daily  Assignments

 Read Acts 5-6

Ask God to help you have the confidence to do what He calls you to do.

Complete___

October  12th

How to Build Self-Confidence, Part I

Read Philippians 4:10-13

Verse 13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

When we talk about self-confidence, we need to understand that there are two kinds of confidence: 1) False confidence – in the flesh, and 2) True confidence – in God‘s Word. Being confident in Philippians 1:6 means being fully and firmly persuaded or convinced. Compare it with Luke 16:31, “Neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead;” that is, they would not be convinced. Paul was entirely convinced of the truth of what he said. So the question is: how can I build the right kind (true confidence) that I need?

· Allow for some failures and mistakes. Everybody will have failures and mistakes. Remember that every failure can be a stepping stone to success. Also remember that failure is not fatal.

· Avoid repeating failures and mistakes as much as possible.

Also, avoid failure as often as possible. Be prepared, as much as possible, for every job or task. Know the difference between faith and risk. Always work smart while working hard. Set logical goals – ones you can reach. Remember: a vision is a dream with steps to it, while a dream is just a dream. My mom (today is her birthday in heaven) used to tell me, “Oh Hansie, you are just a dreamer.” I never took it as a compliment. (To be concluded tomorrow)

 Daily  Assignments

Read Micah

Ask God for revival for you, your church and your country.

Complete___

October  11th

Financing the Lord’s Work, Part 3

Re-read the last two days‘ devotions

Finally, Paul teaches them that it is very important that all offerings be handled honestly. Paul was anxious that no one would accuse him of misusing the funds, so he had the churches appoint three messengers to handle the money: Titus (verses 16-17), the brother (verses 18-19), and another (verse 22). It is sad to see churches and Christian organizations handle funds inappropriately. There should be no opportunity for accusing by God or men. We must remember that the accuser is always watching for an opportunity. Paul made sure that the offerings were handled properly, and we should always do likewise. God is not the author of confusion, and He requires that everything be done decently and in order.

God designated the local church as the place to give our tithe and offerings. In Malachi 3:10, the tithes were to be brought into the storehouse. In the Old Testament the storehouse was the Temple. In Acts chapters 4 and 5, Christians brought their tithes and offerings to the Apostles’ feet. In 1 Corinthians 16:2, we are to lay up our giving in store, the church.

I love telling this story: A little child who had found a quarter came to me some time ago and asked me how much he should give to Jesus. I asked, “How much did Jesus give you?” He said, “twenty- five cents.” I asked, ―How much belongs to you?” He said, “None.” I said, ―How much would you like to give back to Jesus?” His reply was, “Three cents, but I’ll just give Him all of it.” This young man had the right spirit about giving. He was willing to give it all.

 Daily  Assignments

Read Proverbs 29-30

Who has been a good example of a Christian in your life?

Complete___

October  10th

 Financing the Lord’s Work, Part 2

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

The Macedonian churches were willing to give to help others. They looked upon their giving as grace. Giving must flow from the heart. How many profess to be spiritual but never experience the grace of giving? Faith, preaching, witnessing, studying the Bible, etc. – none is a substitute for the grace of giving.

Paul uses not only the churches as examples, but Christ Himself. How rich He was, and how poor He became! To give is to be Christ-like. Someone said that 98% of the New Testament and the ministry of Jesus had to do with giving and only 2% with receiving. Today, we seem to have things backwards.

In verse 6, Paul exhorts the Corinthians to finish what they started. How many Christians make promises to pay the tithe and then fall by the wayside? If they paid their other bills that way, they would end up in jail.

Paul then teaches them the principle of proportionate giving, as he did in 1 Corinthians 16:2. Tithing is really the only fair way to give; it is fair to the rich as well as the poor. It allows all to give and to receive. It is not the portion, but the proportion, that God is after. God does not send more blessing to the one who gives 10% of $5,000 than to the one who gives 10% of $500. Those who oppose tithing oppose not only God‘s plan, but also the only fair way of giving.  (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalm 119

Spend an extra five minutes in prayer thanking God for who He is and what He does.

Complete___

October  9th

Financing the Lord’s Work, Part 1 

Read 2 Corinthians 8 and 9

We have used this devotional several times and thought it would be helpful to use it again today since so many Christians struggle with giving. Notice some basic principles Paul taught the Corinthians: All offerings must be brought to the local church. Paul uses churches, not individuals as examples. New Testament giving is church giving – that is, storehouse giving (see 1 Corinthians 16:2). On the first day of the week (the Lord‘s Day) the believers (the Lord‘s people) were to bring offerings (the Lord‘s offerings) to the church (the Lord‘s house). The words lay in store in 1 Corinthians 16:2 are the exact equivalent of the word storehouse in Malachi 3:10. Some Christians say, “I  give my tithe as the Spirit leads,” but they refuse to give it to the local church. This is not only disobedient to the Scripture; it is also robbing God of His tithe. Some people give to para-church organizations. These organizations may not necessarily be unscriptural, but the command is to bring the tithe to the storehouse on the first day of the week. The tithe belongs to God. If you do not bring it to the local church,  it is obvious that your heart is not in the local church.

All offerings must come from the heart. Giving does not depend on material possessions, but upon conviction. The churches of Macedonia were suffering financially, but because they loved Christ,

they wanted to share their blessings. (To be continued tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 Chronicles 16-20

List Bible examples of  people who gave to God. What were the results?

Complete___

October  8th

 Christ’s Call to Consecration, Part 2

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Look at the people God used in the Bible! If He had looked at their sin, all would have been condemned in a Christless eternity.

Tamar was a harlot who deceived her own father-in-law. She was a sinner, yet she was named in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. That is a picture of the grace of God!

Ruth was a Moabitess, a descendant of Lot, and it was not right for a Jew to marry a Moabitess in that day. Ruth had to be in Bethlehem by the providence of God because she was to be an ancestress of Christ, though she was a sinner! She married Boaz, the great-grandfather of David, who was in the lineage of Christ. That is God‘s grace – His unmerited favor.

Bathsheba became an adulteress when David committed adultery with her. Remember that it was David who had Uriah the Hittite, the husband of Bathsheba, killed. Bathsheba and David were sinners  yet they were included in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. That is what we call “God‘s Abundant Grace.”

Mary was a good woman, but she was a sinner. God looked upon her with grace. The Bible says in Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” The Bible also says, “Noah found grace in the sight of the Lord.” He lived in a wicked generation, but God favored Noah. If He showed His grace to these, don‘t you think He will remember us? God‘s grace  “His unmerited favor.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Numbers 25-27

Why does God use sinners?

Complete___

October  7th

Christ’s Call to Consecration, Part 1  

Read 2 Peter 3

Verse 18, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever.”

Because of the many references to grace, this passage could be called, “God‘s  Amazing Grace.”  Someone has called grace “God‘s Riches at Christ‘s Expense.” God did not save us because of any goodness within us, but because of His abundant grace. Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

The words grace and mercy come from the same Greek word.

We have God‘s mercy because of His grace. He cannot look upon our sin or even upon His Son on Calvary when the sin of the world was laid on Him. Because of His grace, we can have fellowship with Him and with His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He declares us righteous because of His grace. It is nothing that you and I have done, but all that Christ has already completed. As a matter of fact, He looks at the sinner through His grace. He sees us as righteous because of His grace. The next time you feel unworthy of His grace, just remember that God provided all that is needed to live a life of grace and consecration. (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Hebrews 5-7

List some Bible examples of sinners that God used in His service.

Complete___

October  6th

 It’s a Matter of the Heart

Memorize Psalms 37:5, “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and He shall bring it to pass.”

 The songwriter said, “What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought since Jesus came into my heart.” The Bible says in Proverbs 3:5-6  “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” The Bible also says, “The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. Who can know it?

Much can be said for Christianity and the average American Christian. Many appear to be busy in the service of the Lord; others are struggling to try to make an impact. Many are trying to live the Christian life, and still others are “hanging in there”. Let me say a few words to encourage your heart. The Bible says, “Man looketh on the outward appearance, But God looketh on the heart.” No man can see your heart; no man can know your true motive, but God knows. God knows because anything that is there, He placed there. Most of us have faith, but many have faith, or attempt to have faith, in ourselves more than in God. According to the Scriptures, if we’ll delight ourselves in the Lord, He has promised to give us the desires of our hearts. That does not mean He will give us anything we want, but it does mean that He will place the desires there which He wants. Once again, it is a matter of the heart.

There is a God in Heaven who not only loves you very much, but who also wants to give you the desires of your heart. What a wonderful God! What a wonderful privilege to be a Christian.

Daily  Assignments

Read Acts 3-4

Think of a Bible story in which someone got saved.

Complete___

October  5th

Christ’s Call to Conversion, Part 2 

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion.

The members of the Church at Jerusalem provided Paul and Barnabas with all they needed for their journey because they had come without any belongings of their own. The conversion of the Gentiles  was truly a miracle, and it  was an evidence of God‘s mercy that Gentiles would be received into the Church. After the conversion of Cornelius, the people of Antioch, Cyprus, Pisidia, Pamphylia, and many others, they realized that it was likely to be- come common for Gentiles to be saved.

In verse 4, we see that Paul and Barnabas were well-received by the church, where they told of the great work which God had wrought by them among the Gentiles: “And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.” Certain Pharisees, having received the Christian faith, came to Antioch and began to teach the need of circumcision, thus filling the minds of the young converts with doubtful disputations.

Paul, having stated how God had blessed their ministry among the Gentiles, taught them how all the good work was likely to be destroyed if they went back to following the law of Moses rather than trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ alone to save them. We can be reassured by the fact that Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” In this chapter, we learn that we are all converted the same way – by grace and grace alone.

Daily  Assignments

Read Jonah

When was the last time someone was saved in your personal soul-winning?

Complete___

October  4th

Christ’s Call to Conversion, Part 1  

Read Acts 15:1-12

One of the greatest joys of the Christian life is knowing that everything depends on who God is, not on who I am or what I can do. Thank God that the Gospel is for all and that His guidance in every area of life is available to every Christian. His love is unconditional, and I can know for certain that I have a home in Heaven, and that a loving God will meet my every need on the way to Heaven. Now that the church had been established in the Gentile world, it faced its first real problem. In Judea, many Hebrew converts were Pharisees, and they would not forsake the Mosaic Law. They didn‘t believe that one can be saved without being circumcised.

The church in Jerusalem was made aware of this problem and immediately stepped in to take care of it. In verse 4, Paul and Barnabas were sent to Jerusalem to check with the apostles about this situation. The first contention in the church concerned the office of Christ, whether we are saved by His righteousness and our faith, or if we have to keep and obey Moses‘ Law to be saved.

Paul and Barnabas were completely satisfied that God did not want to bring the converted Gentiles under the yoke of circumcision. They knew that Jesus Christ was the end of the Law for righteousness (justification) to every one that believed, and therefore, they opposed these false teachers. Though the difference of belief was great, it led to no division in their love for the Lord and each other. (To be continued tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Proverbs 28

Name some things you may be told you have to do to be saved.

Complete___

October  3rd

It Will Be Worth It All, Part 3 

Re-read the last two days‘ devotions

There was opposition by ridicule and resistance to the work of God. There was also opposition by reproach and criticism of the man of God. It is so important for us to understand that opposition is always overcome by prayer and faith in God. What a blessing to see God working from the beginning to the finish. Let‘s be thankful for the opportunity and privilege He has given us to make a difference in our Jerusalem. Please take a few moments to study the following outline:

· The Supplication of the Man of God – a Praying Pastor. (Nehemiah1:4-11).

à Pray for forgiveness.

à Pray for mercy.

à Pray for servants.

à Pray for power.

· The Inspiration of the People of God (2:17-18).

· The Indignation of the Enemy (2:10, 19; 4:1-3).

· The Vindication for the Pastor and People of God (6:14-16).

· The Dedication of the Work of God (12:27, 43).

I am of the firm belief that when our work with our families and our churches is finished we will all agree that it was worth it all.

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 117-118

Pray for an extra five minutes today that God will work in the tasks He has given to you.

October  2nd

It Will Be Worth It All, Part 2 

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Verse 5, “And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:”

We see a praying pastor and the things for which he prayed. He prayed for forgiveness, for mercy, for servants, and for power. Notice in this verse, terrible is used; meaning reverend. Only God is Reverend, and this term should never be used for man. The title, Reverend, was used for pastors in the old days, when they were held in high regard. I like the way someone put it:, ―Call me Mister, call me friend; a loving ear to all I lend, but do not my soul with anguish rend, please stop calling me Reverend.” One need only look at the brokenness of Nehemiah to see his burden for the devastated city. He viewed the broken wall (the broken church), and he visualized the rebuilt wall (revived church). Notice in verse 18, that the pastor had the vision to lead and the people were inspired to follow. When the pastor has the vision and the people are inspired to follow, things begin to happen. The people had a mind to pray and to work, to stand and fight. They had a mind to surrender all and trust God for victory, but as always, where there is opportunity, there is opposition. We need to have an honest view of ourselves and our situation, but we also need a vision of what God can do. (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

 Read 2 Chronicles 11-1

What do you think God can do regarding the things you wrote in yesterday‘s assignment?

Complete___

October  1st

It Will Be Worth It All

Read Nehemiah 1:1-2:8

Verse 4, “And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven.”

God, in all ages and at all times, sets up creditable people for the benefit of His Church. After His people had spent seventy years in Babylonian captivity, God raised up some excellent men for their preservation:

·Zerubbabel, whom God used to lead them safely back to Jerusalem, and who represented the political side.

· Ezra, whom God used to bring revival and plant them in their faith, and who represented the priest or the religious side.

·Nehemiah, whom God was going to use to build up the walls, deliver the people from oppression and make certain that they followed the Law of God. Though he was a layman, Nehemiah represented the pastor‘s side.  He was a very godly man of prayer, and he had great favor with King Artaxerxes, who gave him letters to accomplish all the things he desired. Nehemiah wanted to be used of God, but he did not want to run ahead of God, so he first prayed. What a lesson for us!

What are we doing to prepare for our great work? Do we pray to accomplish great things for God in our service to Him? (To be continued)

Daily  Assignments

 Read Numbers 22-24

What are some tasks in your life that God has given you to do?

Complete___

September  30th

Restoration 

Read Galatians 6:1-5

Verse 1, “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.”

Sin is a transgression, an overstepping of the law – the divine boundary between good and evil. When it comes to the sins of our brothers in Christ, we ought to be like Deacon Brown. He spread good gossip about two men who were bitter foes, and they became better friends.

What should be our attitude toward those who have fallen into sin?

· A meek spirit – considering yourself.

· A forgiving spirit – surrendering self will. Recognize the difference between forgiveness and pardon. You can forgive, but only a higher authority can pardon. God looks at the forgiven sinner as though he had never sinned.

· An understanding spirit – hate the sin, but love the sinner.

What should our actions be?

· Confess our own faults and sins.

· Correct our wrongs against each other and the church as a whole.

· Continue our walk with God.

There are some burdens we can share and others which we must bear ourselves. Let‘s be there for those who need someone with whom to share their burdens.

Daily  Assignments

Read Hebrews 1-4

Ask God to help you have a forgiving spirit.

Complete___

September  29th

Be Strong and Very Courageous

Please meditate on Joshua 1:7-8

“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest ob- serve to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law  shall  not  depart  out  of  thy  mouth;  but  thou  shalt  meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

Someone has defined success as an accomplishment of goals in life. For the Christian, success would have to be the following:

· Put God first in your life (Matthew 6:32-34).

· Follow the Bible (Joshua 1:7-9).

· Seek to achieve your goals (Philippians 3:13-14).

· Never give up (Galatians 6:9).

· Do it for the cause of Christ (Philippians 1:20-21).

· Have a dream (A goal).

· Have a desire to reach the goal.

· Make a definite decision. Don’t be like the double-minded man in James.

· Have a dare (Set high goals).

· Be dedicated (Enemies will come, problems will come).

· Have a direction (Don’t turn back).

· Be totally devoted to reaching your goal. In order to succeed as Christians, everyone must follow the same basic principles.

Daily  Assignments

Read Acts 1-2

Pray that God would send revival to you and the church.

Complete___

September  28th

 The Well-Rounded Christian, Part 2

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Surrender of ourselves to God’s will

We present ourselves to Him to serve Him. Paul said in Acts 27:23, “whose I am, and whom I serve.” We must not be slothful. We must choose it, live it, give to it, learn it, and love it. We must be fervent in serving the Lord under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

We must have an honest opinion of ourselves

We must have a low and modest opinion of ourselves, our abilities, gifts and graces, not thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought.  We must give God all the praise, honor, and glory. We must also make proper use of His gifts: preaching, teaching, exhor- tation, giving, and showing mercy.

What is our duty to others? That duty can be summed up in one word – love. This is the foundation of all our duties to others, and that is the reason Paul mentions it first. “Let love be without dissimulation.” 1 John 3:18 says, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth,” that is, not in word and tongue only, but in reality.

The right love is unfeigned, not like the kiss of an enemy, which is deceitful. There is a love we owe to our friends and enemies. “He that hath a friend must show himself friendly.” There is a mutual love Christians owe and must pay: kind- ness flowing as a spring, as parents love their children. What can be sweeter than to love and be loved? It should also be a respectful love – “In honor, preferring one another.” Instead of building up ourselves in superiority, we need to give others the preeminence.

Daily  Assignments

 Read Obadiah

How well-rounded a Christian are you, on a scale of 1-10? Pray for God to help you improve.

Complete___

September  27th

The Well-Rounded Christian 

Read Romans 12:1-21

The apostle Paul, having taught the prime fundamental doctrine of Christianity, comes to the practical duties. It is a mistake to look at Christianity as only a religion of feeling, miracles or experience.

It is personal. It is intended not only to form our judgments, but mainly, to reform our lives and hearts. Paul teaches them, and us, to divide the Word of truth properly – not to press duty apart from privilege, nor privilege apart from duty, but let both go together. Duties never conflict. Duty and privilege will greatly promote and help one another. Duties are drawn from privileges.

It is practical. The foundation of Christian practice is to be laid in faith. There is a great deal of duty in this chapter. The exhortations are short and to the point. Paul briefly sums up what is good and what the Lord requires of us. He has taught them to live by faith, but the faith that justifies is a faith that works by love.

Verses 17-18, “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”

What is our duty to God?

Surrender ourselves to God

We must first give ourselves to the Lord before we give ourselves to others. The body must be presented to Him – “The body is for the Lord and the Lord for the body.” This duty is expressed as a “living sacrifice.” (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Proverbs 26-27

What are some practical duties of a Christian?

Complete___

September  26th

Building a Wall 

Read Ezra 3:11-13

“And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.”

The people, under the leadership of Zerubbabel, left to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem. There is happiness and sadness in the story. Happiness is shown in verse 11, in the singing of the men and women, sadness because there were only about 50,000 who wanted to return. There were hundreds of thousands of Jews in captivity; however, only 50,000 wanted to return. The rest would not leave the comfort of their surroundings, even though they were in captivity. Very few Christians today are willing to leave the comforts of life in order to serve God. Most Christians won‘t leave their comfort zone, but these people did. They went to repair the house of the Lord. It took thirty years, but the house was rebuilt. They succeeded in spite of problems because they were willing to step out and serve God. Are you willing to leave your comfort zone?

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 114-116

What is one thing you could do that would cause you to have to step out of your comfort zone?

Complete___

September    25th

Where there is no vision …  

Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

While God has been attempting to do something wonderful in our churches, there has been opposition to the church of Jesus Christ. Satan has tried to destroy the church through governmental efforts to tax and control the church, licensing agencies, zoning laws, and lawsuits. Attacks come from the media, movies and music, changing the culture of our great nation and changing even the Christian‘s walk with God. We are reminded of the opposition Nehemiah experienced in the building of the wall. Nehemiah challenged the people to work, to fight, and to pray. These important ingredients will help the people of any church to capture the vision.

· Everybody get involved in the work of God. Not everyone can be a   carpenter, an electrician, or a plumber, but all can do their part in the work.

· As the people in the days of Nehemiah got involved to fight off the opposition, we too are going to have to be involved in our spiritual warfare by hand to hand combat, and fighting our real enemy, the devil.

· We must also have a mind to pray. Pray while we work; pray while we fight; pray while we witness for Christ to win souls, and pray while we worship.

The vision has been given by God Himself, and with everyone doing his or her part, serving in the power of God; all  will be a part of accomplishing the vision.

Daily  Assignments

 Read 2 Chronicles 6-10

Keep these pages on a vision in a handy place for times when you are in need of a vision.

Complete___

September  24th

How to Handle Your Emotions, Part 3 

Re-read the last two days‘ devotions

Depression may result from a feeling of being trapped because of pressure. You feel you are going nowhere fast. Let God lead you to start things; do not start them because of pressure. Be patient, and keep working at it.

Not accepting God‘s forgiveness may cause depression. We need to learn to put our sin under the blood and forget it. Weariness and exhaustion will surely follow if we do not forget about that sin, and soon we become ineffective in our duties.

Guilt over past sin is another cause. Judas confessed, but not to Jesus. He felt guilt but went to the wrong place for confession – the priests. He could have been forgiven had he confessed his sin to Jesus. Condemnation is from the devil, and conviction is probably from God.

The important lesson in these chapters is that, in times of depression, Paul focused on the goodness of God. Rather than focus on his inability to help himself, he focused on the ability of God to help him.

We need to focus on the goodness of God, on His ability, our actions and attitude.

John 13:17, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”

Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Daily  Assignments

 Read Numbers 19-21

Use a concordance, and find two verses telling us what God feels about comparing ourselves with others.

Complete___

How to Handle Your Emotions, Part 2

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Paul said, in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” If you fail, learn from it. God put you in a place where you can succeed. By the way, if you desire to live for others, you cannot fail.

Depression can also result from unfair comparisons with others. We compare ourselves with others, and we are too hard on ourselves. Be the man, woman, or young person God wants you to be. Don‘t try to be like someone else; be what God wants for you. If another person has what you need, don‘t copy him, but learn from him. Don‘t always try to ―measure up‖ to others‘ expectations. There is really only one way to be successful  “be in the center of God‘s will.” If you use God‘s will as a measuring rod in your life, you cannot fail. God will give you the tools you need.

Rejection and/or loneliness can also cause depression. Respect and rejection often go together. Love and loneliness can be close buddies at times. The more you love, the more you give, and the less you get, right? Here is a remedy: learn to love loneliness by being alone with God, and don‘t let others‘ lack of love bother you. You love them anyway! You must be alone with God sometimes. Your stand and your belief will always offend people. The key – don’t you be offended.  (To be continued tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Philemon

Spend some time in prayer asking God to keep the church staff from discouragement.

Complete___

September  22nd

How to Handle Your Emotions 

Read Philippians 4:1-13

Verse 6, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanks giving let your requests be made known unto God.”

One of the greatest downfalls of Christians, especially full-time workers, is depression.  Webster‘s   Dictionary says depression is: a failure of the spirit, low in spirit, melancholy, or a lowering of vital powers. What are the causes of depression, and how can we overcome, not so much the depression itself, but the cause of it?

Disappointment or disillusionment with others can cause people to be depressed. Don‘t expect more of yourself than you are able to deliver, and don‘t promise what you cannot deliver. On the other side of the coin, sometimes we expect too much from others and are too lenient with ourselves. We may expect more from others than they are able to produce. God uses a man because of his sincerity and willingness, not so much because of his ability. Depression can also be caused by perceived failures on the job or with  family. Remember, failure can be the back door to success. Don‘t try just once and quit. Don‘t let failure stop you, because you only fail if you quit. You may get knocked down, but you need not be knocked out.  (To be continued tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read John 19-21

Write a note of encouragement to someone who is going through a tough time.

Complete___

September  21st

What Will Ye Do with Jesus?  

Read Matthew 27:15-31

Verse 17, “Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?”

After His agonizing experience in Gethsemane, Jesus was met by Judas Iscariot and those chief priests, scribes, and elders into whose wicked hand He was delivered. Judas had betrayed the Lord for thirty pieces of silver. But before we criticize Judas too severely, please keep in mind the tragic fact that multitudes in our day are selling out Jesus for far less than money. Following the kiss of betrayal, all His disciples left Him. They were finding out that it costs something to follow Jesus. It always has, and it always will.

Remember Peter had just boasted in Mark 14:29 “Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.” He failed when the time came. Self is always bound to fail. We will always fail in the power of our own strength. Paul gave warning, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” Peter stood with the enemy and warmed himself at their fire. Millions of Christians today warm themselves at the fires of false doctrine and worldliness. By living in a backslidden condition, we are giving aid and comfort to the enemies of our Lord Jesus Christ. With humility of heart and soul, let us seriously and sincerely consider what we will do with Jesus. One day we too will have to choose between serving Christ or the world.

Daily  Assignments

Read Amos 5-9

Spend a few moments praying for God to increase your faithfulness to Him.

Complete___

September  20th

 Plant Me Where I Can Grow

Read Psalm 1:1-6

Verse 3, “And he shall be like a tree planted by rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

I have always believed that anything worth doing is worth doing right. Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. used to say, “If the stars fall, young man, do right.” God, of course, feels the same way. Before we can eat the fruit of a tree, it must first grow. Before you can pick the corn to eat, it must first grow. Before a baby can learn to walk, talk, play, etc., it must first grow. All things must first grow in order to be productive. It is normal to grow, and abnormal not to. I want to be planted where I can grow.

· In verses 1-2, we see the practice of the blessed man.

· In verse 3, we see power of the blessed man.

· In verses 4-6, we see the permanence of the blessed man.

A plant must be planted before it can grow. You can take a seed and look at it all you want, and believe it to be a seed, but until you plant it, nothing happens. We must plant Christ in our hearts. I don‘t know about you, but I want to be planted in Christ. That means I must study God’s Word, memorize it, live it, eat it, drink it, and work it. The Bible is not a burden, boring, or bothersome. It is a blessing, and one of the quickest and most profitable ways of growth in the Christian life is the matter of daily (faithful) Bible reading.

 Daily  Assignments

Read Proverbs 25

Buy a present for someone in the church.

Complete____

September  19th

 Are You a Wise Man or a Fool? 

Read Luke 6:46-49

Verses 47-49, “Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: he is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock, and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”

The hills of Palestine had very little vegetation, so the winter rains would bring violent floods that swept away buildings. Sand would wash away quickly, and only buildings built on rock would stand. The Bible is the only source of wisdom for us today. James 1:5, “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.” The Bible will set your soul on fire for God and for the things of God. Most Christians fail because they don‘t listen to God. They say it is too hard. They don‘t anticipate problems. They are too busy with minor, unimportant things. They are irresponsible and inconsistent. So, a foolish man builds his house on laziness, unconcern, disrespect and a lack of planning, while a wise man builds on hard work, concern, respect and a plan. We need to pray several times a day and say, “Oh God, help me.”

Daily  Assignments

 Read Psalms 111-113

Spend some extra time in prayer for the services this week.

Complete___

September    18th

Character Matters  

Read Deuteronomy 27 and 28

One of the most exciting, notable and charactered periods in the history of the world was the era of the birth of our nation. Independence Hall, The Declaration of Independence, the war against the Red Coats, and the Liberty Bell all speak of a charactered, responsible people who paid a great price in order to give birth to a nation which was totally committed to the principles of freedom. They desired liberty, but understood that we cannot have liberty without responsibility; they are interrelated.

Think about a child wanting to drive a car at an early age – he or she wants liberty, you give them some, and they want more. You do not give them more liberties until they learn to accept responsibilities. At 6-8 years of age, he sits behind the wheel of a car; he wants to drive; you won’t let him. Then at age 14-15, although that is all he talks about, he is still not ready for that responsibility. Liberties must be earned. As he gets older, he wants the liberties of adulthood, but he must also accept the responsibilities. Those who do not assume responsibility live unsuccessful lives and often end up in jail, where both responsibilities and liberties are limited.

It takes character to assume responsibility. Here is the order: character – responsibility – liberty. Character building, therefore, is the training which is essential to equip the individual to assume  responsibilities,  which  results  in  the  opportunity  for greater liberties. Do you want liberty? You must first develop character and accept responsibility.

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 Chronicles 1-5

List someone in the Bible who did not have character.

Complete___

September  17th

Why Some Kids Turn out Bad, Part 4 

Re-read the last three days‘ devotions

2 Samuel 3:16-17, “Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I. And he said, What is the thing that the LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee.”

The third possible reason for Eli‘s kids turning out bad is irresponsibility – the irresponsibility of Eli‘s two sons. When children turn out bad, you cannot put all the blame on the parents. That‘s why you sometimes see godly parents who tried their best, and their child still turned out bad. Each child is a responsible individual after he reaches a certain age. Hophni and Phinehas were not the only children in that household. Samuel grew up there too. He had the same training, the same influence in his early childhood, and he grew to be a great man of God. We see the same principle elsewhere in the Word of God: Cain and Abel were raised in the same home; one turned out good, and the other turned out bad. Solomon and Absalom were raised in the same home; one turned out good, and the other turned out bad. In each case, the difference was not in the parents; it was in the children.

Every child has to choose either to receive or reject the heritage of his parents. To be honest, the parent has a role in training children to be responsible. Teach and train, train and teach. It doesn’t stop. Show them how to handle responsibility. Teach them that someday they must answer to God for their lives. Offer them an example of a responsible life, and then pray for them to apply that to their lives. Never stop praying.

Daily  Assignments

Read Numbers 16-18

Write out Proverbs 3:5-6.

Complete___

September  16th

 Why Some Kids Turn Out Bad, Part 3

Re-read the last two days‘ devotions

2 Samuel 2:24-25, “Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the LORDS people to transgress. If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD  would slay them.”

The second possible explanation is indifference. The Cambridge Dictionary defines indifference as “not caring about or interested in something.” Eli didn‘t care about the sin of his children, even though he knew about it. He fell for the lie of Satan. He believed, as many parents believe today, that their children will love them more if they don‘t discipline them. They believe that children need to express themselves, need to find their own way, need to be allowed to run their own lives.

That is a lie. They need discipline. Eli didn‘t discipline his children. When they needed firmness, they got simple questioning and no punishment. Doesn‘t that sound like parents today? Parents are told that if they punish their children, they will stunt their individuality and creativity. They produce undisciplined children who grow into undisciplined adults. The great lie of humanistic child-rearing is that love replaces discipline. That is not true. Discipline is a result of love. You don‘t have true love without discipline. Discipline protects children by setting boundaries and limits. When discipline is missing, many children turn out bad. (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Titus

Write out Proverbs 13:24.

Complete___

September  15th

Why Some Kids Turn Out Bad. Part 2 

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

2 Samuel 2:22-23, “Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people.”

The first possible explanation is imbalance. Imbalance means off-center. It is like an old-fashioned scale that is tipped to one side. Eli was an example of imbalance. He was chosen to be the High Priest and had great success in his profession but was a failure in child-rearing. This tells of an imbalance in Eli‘s life. Eli was the leader of the sanctuary at Shiloh, where Joshua set up the spiritual worship after they moved from Gilgal. It was where the people made their annual trip to worship the Lord and to make their sacrifices. Eli was a very important man. Perhaps that was the problem. Maybe he was so wrapped up in his work that he didn‘t spend the necessary time in raising his children. That is a problem today. Many parents are so caught up in making money, in climbing the ladder at work, that they forget their responsibilities at home. Parents should never put success at work ahead of their families. If you fail at home, no matter how successful you are at work, you are a failure. Remember your priorities. Remember the responsibility you have to God in child-rearing. There must be balance in life. (To be continued tomorrow).

Daily  Assignments

Read John 16-18

Spend a few extra moments praying for families in the church.

Complete___

September  14th

Why Some Kids Turn Out Bad 

Read 1 Samuel 2:12-25 – 3:1-21

1 Samuel 3:13, “For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.”

Some time ago, I read or heard a sermon about raising children in which three possible reasons were given as to why some children turn out bad. I want to use this as a jumping off point for the next few days‘ devotions. The Bible tells us that Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of Eli, the high priest, were very wicked. When the Israelites would come to offer their sacrifices, these two men, instead of sacrificing the meat to God, would take the meat by force and eat it them- selves.

The Bible tells us several other things about these two men. First, they ―abhorred‖ the offering of the Lord. To abhor means “to hate a way of thinking or behaving” Imagine hating something of God, especially something that is a picture of Christ. We also learn that they were immoral. They were leading others to do wrong and to have contempt for the offering. They were two very wicked, evil men. But remember, these two men were sons of the high priest. They were raised in a religious environment. They would have had the best religious training. They even served in a position in the ―church‖. They had all the writings of God readily accessible to them, yet they turned out bad. (To be continued tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Amos 1-4

List some men in the Bible who had children who strayed from God.

Complete___

September  13th

 A Look at David’s Sin!

Read 2 Samuel 11:27-12:14

The Bible is faithful to recount the sins, as well as the virtues, of its characters, thereby teaching us good lessons, as in the case of David‘s sin. David recognized his sin in Psalm 51. He repented and was restored. There are several lessons we can learn from David‘s sin.

We learn that even a very good man, if he gets his eyes off God and His Word, may easily fall into very gross sin. We learn that God never looks upon anyone‘s sin in allowance. God sent Nathan to rebuke David for his sin after about a year of no joy, no victory, etc.

We learn that “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” – just like a farmer always reaps more than he sows. God is saying to David, “Your sin will not be avenged with just one slaughter, but many, and your punishment will cease only at your death.”  David learned that Numbers 32:23, “…be sure your sin will find you out,” is true.

There were three punishments for David‘s sin: Bathsheba‘s baby died; then came Absalom’s rebellion and death. Third, Adonijah (David‘s oldest son) was put to death. David was openly dis- graced, “before the sun and in open daylight.” This is always the case – the sins that follow are always worse than the first.

By looking at David‘s experience we learn that our sin gives great occasion for God‘s enemies to blaspheme, our testimony is shot, and we may lead others astray.

Finally, we learn the brighter side of this story – that there is full and abundant pardon upon confession. We must come to the place where David was – “I have sinned.”  When we get to that place, we can have restoration.

Daily  Assignments

 Read Proverbs 23-24

Write out three verses that tell us God‘s feeling about our sin.

Complete___

September  12th

How to Finish Strong, part 2 

Re-read September 10th devotion

Verse 7, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Paul always passed the baton to another. That‘s our job, to pass it on to the next generation, always building people for the work of the ministry. If we are going to have leaders tomorrow, they must be built on solid Scriptural principles today, all for God‘s glory, not self-glory. Think of it, one servant passes off the scene, and God has another ready to take over. There are no minor or major leagues, no big shots, just soldiers of the cross – soldiers fulfilling our calling.

We are not to preach about the Word of God, but the Word of God. The best defense of the Bible is preaching it the way the disciples did in the book of Acts, chapters 2-4. The false prophet will find out what people want to hear and preach it. A prophet of God will find out what God said and preach and proclaim it from the rooftops. Someone said, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

How can I finish strong? Stay strong by being faithful, stay in the battle, fight the good fight, and stay true to Scriptural principles. Look at verse five, “Watch thou in all things, endure affliction. make full proof of thy ministry.”

Do those things consistently and you will in fact finish strong.

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 108-110

What are some things that can lead a person to quit?

Complete___

September  10th

How to Finish Strong 

Read 2 Timothy 4:5-8

Verse 7, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

One of the things Paul feared most was that he might not finish strong at the end of his ministry. How sad to have a strong beginning, only to fall in the last part of life. Think about those who finished strong: D. L. Moody, C. H. Spurgeon, John R. Rice, Lester Roloff, etc. They were faithful to the end. The key to finishing well is to make a good start and stay in the battle. Paul looked at his circumstances. He looked at his calling. He stayed faithful. The ministry is not going to get any easier in coming years. Christians have never been popular with the world. As long as we are serving Him, we must fight the good fight of faith – in other words, fight the devil.

Paul said he “finished his course.” He did not say the race, but the course. Finish what you start, or someone else will have to do it.

Remember that Jesus finished His course for you and me in John 19:30, “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”  

Notice that Jesus did not say,  “I  am finished.” No, He said, “It is finished,” and Paul said, “I have finished.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Numbers 13-15

Think of a Bible character who finished strong.

Complete___

September  9th

 How to Be a Good Follower, Part 2

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

How can I be the follower of God I ought to be?

· Be fervent in Spirit

Learn to have a positive outlook on life. Learn to be a problem solver rather than a problem dodger. Have a cooperative spirit. Be loyal to your church. Be supportive of your pastor.

· Be unfailing in purity

Ephesians 5:1-3, “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints.” God‘s people need to keep them- selves  pure.

Separation  is  standing  for  Christ  in  an  ungodly world. Anybody can live in isolation or give in to the devil. Romans 13:14, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”

· Keep growing in your faith

2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

What are you doing to grow, to keep growing, to help others? Do you sincerely desire to grow in the knowledge of God? Do you really want to walk with God? Are you willing to do what it takes?

That‘s how you become a good follower.

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 Timothy 3-4

What do you think is the key to following God? Name a verse that tells you that.

Complete___

September  8th

How to Be a Good Follower 

Read Ephesians 5:1-18

 There is really a mixing of metaphors here. In chapter four the church is called a new man, and now the church is to be a bride. The emphasis in this chapter is on the future – the church will be the bride. The church is not a bride today, but a new man walking in the world, engaged to Christ, but not yet wedded to Him. The wedding has not yet taken place. On this earth we are to walk as a future bride. This is what Paul was talking about in 2 Corinthians 11:2 “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

When a young lady is engaged and preparing for her wedding, she doesn‘t have time for her old boyfriends. She is engaged and has no interest in them anymore. How can we who are engaged to

Christ live as the world lives? We are going to be presented to Christ someday. We are going to live with Him throughout eternity, because He is our Lord and Master. We are to be imitators of God in all aspects of the Christian walk.

The Gentiles who formerly walked on a very low plane are now lifted to the high level of love. They are now called ―dear children‖ or beloved children.

The plane of love to which they are lifted is the love that Christ exhibited when He loved us enough to give Himself as an offering and a sacrifice for us. (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read John 13-15

 Who are some people you know who are good followers of Christ?

Complete___

September    7th

Blessed Is He That Considereth  

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Verse 1, “Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.”

Our problem is that we are all, by nature, selfish. Notice all the personal pronouns in verses 4-7, “I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee. Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish? And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it. All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.”

David‘s problem here is that he is thinking about himself (me). I was a pastor, and I had needs; everyone has needs.  Our lot in life is to meet others‘ needs, not “my” needs. You say, “No  one ever did anything for me.‖ Not only is that untrue, because Christ died for you, but there you go again, thinking of “me.”

God desires us to think of others. He will preserve and keep me when I care about the needs of others. Here is the secret of happiness: All over the world we see the poor, lost, needy, and weak. Let us learn to have compassion on them, be kind to them, and understand them. We all have needs, but let’s be considerate of others‘ needs, and God will take care of ours. You will be happy when you forget yourself and learn to meet the needs of others: the poor, the needy, and the weak.

Daily  Assignments

Read Joel

If your church has testimonies, stand and give a testimony during the next church service.

Complete___

September  6th

Blessed Is He That Considereth  

Read Psalm 41

Verses 1-2, “Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.”

Many churches go after the rich, the elite, the educated; but, blessed is he that  considereth: that has compassion, kindness and understanding for the poor, needy, and weak.

The poor: positionally, physically, and emotionally – the businessman, as well as the drunkard; the doctor, as well as the drug addict; the politician, as well as the prostitute. Most do not consider themselves poor.

Who are the poor among us today? not only the poor financially (that’s all of us), but also the lost in the world. Go to the rest homes and the hospitals, and see and hear those who are the poor among us. We are not told to finance the poor, but to consider them. Jesus had compassion on the sick, poor, and grieving families. Why not take some poor child in church and buy him a pair of shoes, or a dress for some poor lady who does not have a decent dress, etc.? Why not carry a pocket full of quarters and give them to children? Why not send some money to a poor missionary or college student? Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Proverbs 22

Spend an extra five minutes in prayer asking for God‘s power on your pastor.

Complete___

September  5th

How Can We Anger God?  

Read Hebrews 10:26-31

Does God ever get angry? How can we anger God? We cannot begin to compare God‘s anger with man‘s carnal anger, but I do believe there are at least three cases given in this text where we can anger God.

· When we disrespect the purity of God’s only Son.

Jesus is without spot or blemish. As He was two thousand years ago, He still is today. It is not His sin that needs to be judged; He has no sin. It is our sin that needs judgment. Thank God He Judges sin (Proverbs 23:29). The world teaches us to go ahead and sin but don‘t get caught – safe sex; drink, but don‘t drive, etc., but sin makes God angry!

· When we disregard the price of God’s sacrifice.

When we treat the blood of Christ as ordinary. The blood of Christ is not ordinary (Isaiah 52:14). Today people want a religion of convenience and not conviction, of self-indulgence and not sacrifice, of experience and entertainment in place of obedience and obligation.

· When we despise the pleading of God’s Spirit.

We say no to God in church more than any other place. God draws a line when we reject His Word, and the closer we get to the line the greater the danger of judgment. Don‘t cross that line, and don‘t make God angry at your sin. Don‘t be guilty of willful rebellion.

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 105-107

Write out three verses that tell us what God desires in our giving.

Compete___

September    4th

Let’s Get Excited, Part 2

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Church is where we gather for worship. Church is where we learn about our God, our Saviour, and our Christian heritage. This is where we share our burdens, troubles, and joys. Church is where we have our fun. This is our Friday and Saturday out. This is where we live, work, and play, literally. Some would not understand that. They go to the golf courses, the beach, the mountains, etc.  We go to church, because we are excited about our church.

We ought to get excited about giving. We are commanded to give cheerfully. We are to give without making a show. We are to give according to our ability. We are to give willingly. We are to give liberally. Giving is not only a command but a privilege. Luke 6:38, “Give,  and  it  shall  be  given  unto  you;  good  measure,  pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again,and Malachi 3:9 says, “Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.It is our way to give back to God‘s work. God promises to bless us if we give and to curse us if we don‘t give. I would rather have 90% with God‘s promise of blessing than 100% with God‘s curse.

Is God able to meet your needs? Yes! Can God keep His promises? Yes! Does God lie? No! Then we can trust Him completely! We need to be excited about the Bible, about our church and about giving to the Lord!

Daily  Assignments

 Read 1 Chronicles 20-24

What are some exciting things that happen at church?

September 3rd

Let’s Get Excited 

Read Galatians 4:12-18

Paul told the Galatians in verse 18, “It is good to be zealously effected always in a good thing.” The word provoke means to excite, to stir up. Think about experiences in your life when you have been really excited, and what happened as a result of that excitement. We as Christians need to be excited about what we have. There are several things about which we ought to get excited, or to have zeal that provokes.

We ought to get excited about the Bible. Revelation 1:3 says, “Blessed is he that  readeth and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”  The Bible is alive; it is trustworthy; it is true, and it is inspired. The Bible tells us to: tremble at His Word, search the Scripture, receive it, obey it, speak faithfully of it, speak it boldly, glorify it, handle it right, preach it, teach it, live it, and suffer for it. We need to get excited about the Bible.

We need to be excited about our church.  Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.‖ A lady told Mr. Moody, “I am not happy in your church.” Mr. Moody answered, “We are not here to make people happy.” I am sure all pastors have had the same thing happen once or twice. Happiness comes as a by-product of serving. (To be continued tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Numbers 10-12

Write out 2 Timothy 2:15.

Complete___

September 2nd

 The Temptation of Christ

Read Luke 4:1-13

Verse 1, “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,”

Jesus “being full of the Holy Ghost,” having been baptized and set out to be our pattern, must now be tempted to the very limit to make Him a fit substitute for sinful man. He was, “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” – Hebrews 4:15. He was led of the Spirit to fast, and He obeyed. He had to resist all temptation, just as other human beings might. The temptation here was to the physical man – the pain and desire of hunger. Then Satan entered the scene. Satan tried to appeal to Jesus through the natural needs of the body, through accomplishment, success, and happiness. He tried to tempt Him through the pride of life, or the love, honor, and praise of people.

It is not wrong to crave love and friendship, to have character and be admired, to have one‘s goodness praised. Jesus would not show His power for the praise of men – not even to gain followers. When He fed 5,000, healed the sick, and raised the dead, He did it out of compassion. Jesus rejected the effort to tempt Him through the pride of life. He answered Satan‘s false use of Scripture with another Scripture. We should never demonstrate power for the approval of others. We will certainly fail if we do.

1 Corinthians 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 Timothy 1-2

What are some temptations that we face daily?

Complete___

September 1st

 Our Assignment – Catch Men 

Read Luke 5:1-11

Verse 5, “And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.”

In this passage, it is almost as though Peter is arguing with Jesus, “We have been trying all night to catch fish, and are you going to tell me how to do it? I have been an expert fisherman for years.”

The story is told of an incident where the Duke of Wellington once gave a command to one of his generals, and the general answered that it was impossible to execute the command. The Duke of Wellington told him, “You  go ahead and do it, because I don‘t give impossible commands.” They went on and defeated Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo.

When the Lord Jesus gives a command, you do not need to argue with Him and say, “We have tried it before, and it cannot be done.” He does not give impossible commands. We have a command to “fish for men.” A call to discipleship is a call to soul- winning, but we need God‘s power. You can‘t do it in your own power.

When you admit that, you cannot help but succeed. This is an example of absolute failure to amazing success. If he believed, he would have put all the nets in. To be called a disciple is clearly a call to soul-winning, to catch men. Matthew 4:19, “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” From the time I was a young man I have been taught, ―If  you think you can, you can. If you think you can‘t, you won‘t.

Daily  Assignments

Read John 10-12

When was the last time you led someone to Christ?

Complete___

August  31st

 Togetherness That Pleases God

Meditate on Ephesians 2:19-22

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow- citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself  being  the  chief  corner  stone;  In  whom  all  the  building  fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Paul is speaking to the church in this passage, and he speaks of how we are united in Christ. We are united by a common bond. We are a body, a family, an army, and a unit. There has to be that feeling of togetherness, that sense of need and appreciation for one another. Have you ever noticed how close to each other people feel who have been engaged in something together? Men who have fought together in a war feel closeness to each other, etc. As Christians, we are builded together.

Togetherness is a little bit like teamwork – a cooperative effort by the members of a group or team to achieve a common goal. More and more companies are recognizing the value of teamwork – building together. In this passage, the church is seen as the building, made up of living stones. Christ is seen as the cornerstone, the stone that holds the building together. If Christ is not the cornerstone, the building will not stand.

We are seen as laborers. Are you a laborer for Christ? Are you building your life on His foundation?

Daily  Assignments

Read Hosea 8-14

What happens when we try to use our own strength to serve God?

Complete___

August  30th

The Place of God’s Provision 

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

When the brook was dry, Elijah was sent to Zarephath on the coast of the Mediterranean, north of Tyre. It was there that a widow trusted God and shared all she had with Elijah. How did Elijah know this poor widow would be able to care for him? A widow in that  day  was  completely  dependent  upon  others  for  her  food. Where would she get food for Elijah? See verse 9.

God always has a place of provision for His servants – the place is there. The widow trusted God for her supply, and He saw to it that the supply was not exhausted until the famine was over. When her son died, he was restored at the prayer of God‘s man.

We need to understand that we must simply live His will as He reveals it to us, rather than always seeking it. We need to live His will day by day and minute by minute. If there is no obvious decision to make, stay where you are. God never has to lead you to stay! Start and finish what He sent you to do. You are not at a fork in the road. You came to do something. Do it until you finish, and maybe then God will give you something else to do.

That‘s always been my philosophy – stay where you are until God moves you or gives you further instruction. On the cross, Jesus did not say it was ―half finished‖. If you are at a crossroads of a major decision, lose your own will, and then decide. Stay in the Bible, and seek counsel from men wiser than yourself. If the pastor or another wise counselor says “stay where you are,” do it – God‘s provision is only promised and guaranteed there.

Daily  Assignments

Read Proverbs 20-21

What does the Bible say about lying?

Complete___

August  29th

The Place of God’s Provision! 

Read 1 Kings 17:1-16

Several times we see the word “there” in this text. Wicked King Ahab had just become king and did “evil in the sight of the Lord above all who were before him.” Then Elijah came on the scene, without any warning, to speak to the king. It was a small thing for a man whose life was lived in the presence of the Lord to stand before Ahab.

God raised up Elijah for a certain period of time. God always gives His greater prophets during the reign of the wicked. When Ahab, influenced by his wife Jezebel, had given himself to worship Baal, Elijah suddenly appeared on the scene. He predicted an indefinite drought as a penalty for the rejection of Jehovah. Be- cause of the drought, he went to the brook Cherith, and it was there he was providentially cared for by the ravens. God told him,

I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.” The raven is an unclean bird, and every species of this type is to be considered unclean and abominable. It is therefore not likely that God would use this unclean bird to feed His prophet. Besides, where would the ravens get any flesh that was not unclean? Carrion is their food, and would God send anything of this kind to His prophet? God could not have used this means without working three miracles at the same time: 1) provide clean flesh to the ravens; 2) persuade the ravens to give it up; 3) overcome their apprehension towards man, so that they could come to the prophet without fear. (To be concluded tomorrow).

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 102-104

Write to a friend about God‘s blessings.

Complete___

August   28th

I Will Go in the Strength of the Lord! 

Read Psalm 71:14-24

Verse 16, “I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.”

To understand this Psalm, we must understand the psalmist. Truly, the character of David is revealed here. He was a godly man. He set his affection and dependence on Him. It was a rule of his life. Yes, he had some darkness in his life, but his sin was as much a sin to him as ours is to us. We have to judge him by the rules we apply to other men, as well as to ourselves. So, what do we find?

Notice the statement in this passage, “I will go.” The meaning here is active, frequent, and glad in moving forward. He is saying that he will go with the proper balance – in the strength of the Lord. We need to understand what the strength of the Lord is. We see His strength in all of His creation. He is infinite in power, and His strength is everlasting. The Bible often speaks of His right arm. The outpouring of His strength is in His arm. The arm of God is the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, the strength of the Lord to man is Jesus, and to walk with Jesus is to walk with God. Glory! 

God told Paul, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

In Him, even weakness can become strength. Realize that the presence of God is strength. His promises are strength. Victory is the result with His strength. Are we putting our hope and strength in anything other than Him? If so, no wonder we are weak.

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 Chronicles 15-19

Write about a time in your life when you needed God‘s strength.

Complete___

August  27th

How Important Is the Bible to You? 

Read 1 Peter 1:18-25

Verses 23-25 “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”

Each of us ought to ask ourselves on a regular basis, “How important is the Bible to me?” Men have been writing books for centuries. Some have made an impact upon the world, while others have long since been forgotten. The most promising and best-selling books written by men will one day turn to dust and be forgotten, but the Bible, the Word of God, will endure forever. God gave the Bible to teach mankind how to be saved; to teach and rebuke; to correct and exhort. It was to be proclaimed in and out of season, in times of belief or disbelief – 2 Timothy 4:1-8. The Bible was not only given to save man from his sin, and to instruct him in the Word of God, but especially to honor and glorify God Himself, because the supreme subject of the Bible is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Why not make the Bible the most important Book in your life and learn to love, read, and study it more faithfully? Jesus said, “Heaven  and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Daily  Assignments

Read Numbers 7-9

What are some things we see every day that God created?

Complete___

August  26th

Those Things That Cannot Be Shaken, Part 2

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

God’s Son will never be shaken

His character can never be shaken. Men try to strip Him of His divinity and humanize Him. Modernists have tried to make Him as other men. Often, men smear each other by finding something to expose, and sometimes they can ruin a man. Not so with Jesus. His power can never be shaken. In 1495, a 40-foot Buddha was knocked over by a tidal wave. The people began to call him, “the god who could not get up.” They soon restored the statue – as powerless as ever – and still there is no power.

God’s church will never be shaken

We are not talking about buildings and equipment, pianos or organs, etc. We are not talking about the Independent Baptists or any other denomination – we mean His Body. Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

God’s Kingdom will never be shaken

What is His Kingdom? His Kingdom is made up of His people. Pharaoh built a kingdom and it fell. Hitler built a kingdom and it fell. Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon and even David built  kingdoms, and they all fell. When Napoleon was banished to St. Helena, he said, “I built my kingdom upon force and it failed. But Jesus is building upon love and it will last forever. “So, the next time we get the jitters, let‘s remember that there are some things that cannot be shaken.

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 Timothy 4-6

Write out Psalm 119:89 and Isaiah 40:8

Complete___

August  25th

 Those Things That Cannot Be Shaken

Read Hebrews 12:25-29

There are few things in this world that are absolute or steadfast. Men may build, but others will tear down. In Genesis 11, men built the Tower of Babel. God was displeased with it and tore it down. Men built Solomon‘s Temple. When it was finished, a ceremony took place, attended by kings and queens from all over the world. But time passed, and the beautiful temple was destroyed. Men built the Roman Empire, but they fell into sin, and God took their empire. Things that men build are bound to fall eventually. The writer of Hebrews says that there are some things that cannot be shaken and shall remain forever. These are eternal, while the things of man are temporal. Notice five things will never be shaken:

God will never be shaken

He is the great unchangeable God. All things were made by and for Him. Think of the past, present, and future – He is all of these. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Men will fall by the wayside, and rulers will pass off the scene, but God cannot be shaken.

God’s Word will never be shaken

Many have tried to destroy the Bible only for it to become even more influential. It has been burned at the stake along with its martyrs and chained to pulpits so that people could not read it, yet it is still number one in book sales in America. (To be continued tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read John 7-9

What are some famous man-built things of the past that no longer exist?

Complete___

 

August  24th

 Light in Darkness

Read Isaiah 9:1-7

Verse 2, “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.”

Nazareth was a despised and rejected city in Galilee. In John 1:46, Nathanael asked Philip, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?”

The distress in the country led to all kinds of diseases and sufferings, including demon possession. How gracious was the work of the Saviour who came to heal the people and cast out demons. New life was given to those in darkness, to those in sin, the maimed, halt, blind, deaf, dumb, even for those dead in trespasses and sins.” “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

The sinner, in a sense, feels lonely in his sin and as though nobody cares. The light has risen on your dark Galilee, but the question is, have you seen the light? Have you welcomed the light in your darkness? Are you walking in the light?

Trouble and darkness may be bad for a time, but for the upright, there will be light in darkness. Psalms 112:4, “Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.”

In the worst of times there is comfort, “They are persecuted, but not forsaken.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Hosea 1-7

What was one of the lowest times of  your life? How did God help you through?

Complete___

August  23rd

It’s a Matter of the Heart

Read Matthew 15:1-20

Verses 1-3, “Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?”

One of the most wonderful things about the Lord is that He came to liberate all people from the pressures of man-made religion and rules, and recover for us the genuine moral force of God‘s commands. It was sometimes necessary for God to deal harshly with man and his traditions.

Legalism and formalism are always dangerous to simple faith in Christ. Christianity is holy worship, Christlike conduct, accepting responsibility, taking part in Christian activities, bringing self into subjection and yes – rules.

Christianity is not only internal, but is expressed in the way we live our lives. Faith that says or does nothing is not real faith. Love that does nothing is not real love. Secret religion is self-deception. If a man is truly religious, his life will show it.

Christ denounced insincerity. Our weaknesses, failures and faults can be understood, but not insincerity. We must be true to ourselves, to others, and to God. We must show what is in our hearts by our lips and our actions. A great problem with Christianity today is that we have all the outward expressions, but without sincerity of heart.

Daily  Assignments

Read Proverbs 19

List some of the ways in which we can show Christ‘s love.

Complete___

August  22nd

Loving the Lost to Christ 

Read John 1:29-42

Verses 30-31,”This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.”

The greatest privilege for a Christian is to be a soul-winner. The greatest gift in this life is salvation, but right after that, we have the privilege of being ambassadors for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. These disciples had been with John. His ministry was to prepare the way for the Messiah. They left John, their teacher, and followed the long-expected Messiah. This shows that John was sincere and that he was not interested in forming a following or of building up a sect for himself, but that he wanted all those whom he had attracted to himself to become followers of Christ. The object of any ministry should be to point people to the Saviour, not to build up its own interests or fame. A disciple should be willing to forsake all and follow Jesus when he learns that Christ is the Saviour. We should not delay or argue the matter, but leave our old friends and follow the Lamb of God. Anyone can be a soul-winner; it can be done anywhere; it reaches all classes of people and it brings results. If for no other reason:

It adds to the church.

It produces excitement.

It helps to pay the bills, (not too bad an idea).

It is God‘s plan.

It is indeed a privilege to be a soul-winner. Why not give it a try?

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 99-101

Write down the stories of the last two people you led to Christ.

Complete___

August   21st

Why Should God Care? Part 2 

Re-read yesterdays‘ devotions

God wants us to believe, because He wants us to know how much He loves us.  He sent His son for that very purpose. When Jesus was nailed to a cross, He sent us the only picture ever of who God is. When we understand that the one who created every- thing in the universe loves us, it has the power to change us.

We must understand that although God cares for and blesses us so that we might care for and be a blessing to others, this is not the underlying reason for God‘s care and blessing. God cares for and blesses us first and foremost so that we can bring glory to His name.

All those who do not have a vital relationship with the only living and true God do not have what Peter calls “joy unspeakable,” in 1 Peter 1:8, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:” – the deep gladness and joy of knowing God Himself. If God is at the center of all things, and He is the most wonderful, most loving, most powerful God, recognizing who He is, being in relationship with Him, being led and guided and ruled by Him, is the source of the greatest “joy unspeakable” for any Christian and certainly answers the question, “Why should God care?”

· Because it is in His very nature to care.

· Because He sent His Son for that reason.

· Because of His compassion for mankind.

· Because we asked Him.

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 Chronicles 10-14

Ask two people in the church if there is something they would like you to pray for.

Complete___

August   20th

 Why Should God Care? 

Read Psalm 67

In the last four days devotions we asked the question, “What if God didn‘t care?” In this lesson we ask “Why should God care?” Or “Where is God when it hurts?”

A Hindu woman said about God, “He created the whole universe. So the creator and lord of all this wastes time by thinking about a single species on an insignificant planet, which he did not even bother to place in the centre of the galaxy, far less the universe? Don‘t the believers realize that while such thinking was okay in a geo-centered universe, the situation is different today? They make out their God to be so shallow that he gets bothered by what these inconsequential humans think about him? If I was a believer, I would not have such a petty minded God.”

Someone else wrote, “Well, since the Xian God decided in his divine plan, long before any of us were born, that 90+% of His creations were going to hell, regardless of their actions on earth… I‘ve long since decided that I‘d rather burn than worship it. Not to mention, I‘d be in much better company in Hell. Wouldn‘t you love to meet Thomas Paine or Robert Ingersoll in person?”

The world wants us to believe that there is no Creator of the universe and that there is no God who cares about the events in our lives. Many would have us believe such things as: Fatalism – the view that all things are determined by an untouchable law of cause and effect, in other words fate; Deism –  the idea that God created the world but then withdrew from the day-to-day care of it. (To be concluded tomorrow).

Daily  Assignments

Read Numbers 4-6

Write out Isaiah 41:12.

Complete___

August   19th

 What if God Didn’t Care? Part 4

Re-read the last three days‘ devotions

I know there have been occasions when we have prayed for a long time for something to happen, and we feel it is senseless to pray about it any more, that God must be weary of hearing our requests again and again. But then, stop to think how these times have been used to bring us more into God‘s plan rather than our own.

Whatever the case, I believe that God is the best listener. God knows exactly where I’m coming from, and I don’t have to be pretentious or call up some holy effort. I have discovered also that God’s willingness to listen to my innermost secrets never ceases. That, in itself, is the only answer God has ever promised.  Please meditate on Nehemiah 1:5-6.

God hears the prayers of everyone. Often, when someone does not receive an immediate, favorable answer from God, he or she assumes that God either didn’t hear the prayer or doesn’t care to answer. Even the most attentive and devout Christian has felt forsaken by God at times.

We should never assume that just because we ask God for something, we can expect to get what we want. God knows how our prayers ought to be answered, and we must trust Him to make those decisions for us. By so doing, we will not only strengthen our faith in God, but we will learn that God really does care.

Jeremiah 33:8, “And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.”

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 Timothy 1-3

What are two things you are burdened about in prayer?

Complete___

August  18th

What if God Didn’t Care? Part 3

Re-read the last two days‘ devotions

I don’t believe many of us understand God‘s will for us, especially when we are asking God for something. Most of those in the Bible who are recognized for being great in prayer are recognized for being able to hear the still, small voice of God. For example, see 1 Kings 19:12-13, “And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?”

Sometimes prayer is more a matter of opening our minds than opening our mouths. Some prayers do not require an answer from God, because we are simply telling God what we feel. There are times when we pour out our hearts to God: times when we are angry because of trouble, or maybe someone has hurt us with insensitive words, or we are going through some other relationship problem. We may be so focused on what we are feeling that we do not notice what is happening to us, but I believe that we never pray without being changed. The change may not be readily apparent, but change is definitely taking place. Notice when Jonah cried out unto the Lord in Jonah 2:2, He heard and answered his prayer, “… I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.” (To be concluded tomorrow).

Daily  Assignments

Read John 5-6

Ask two people with a successful prayer life for a prayer tip.

Complete___

August  17th

 What if God Didn’t Care? Part 2

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

My experience has been that God always answers prayer. The trouble is, I don’t always like what He says. We need to realize that our plan may not be His plan. His ways are not always our ways, nor are our thoughts His thoughts. Isaiah realized this in verse 55:8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

Accepting His plan and putting Him first is difficult, but I am sure all would agree that when we do so, we are blessed and strengthened in faith. I have also found that other things may interfere with my prayer life. It is not only important to plan a time to pray; it is even more important to listen when He is talking to me. Isn‘t it wonderful to know that with God all things are possible?

In my personal experience, I have found that He was serious when He said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

Be encouraged; Matthew 7:7 is still in the Bible. I believe we ought to ask earnestly, and we must also listen earnestly! Sometimes we may feel that God has abandoned us, but when we reflect upon His past miracles, we will realize that we let Him down. God was not there because we pushed Him away, or we were too busy for Him.

When we push Him away or are too busy, we focus on the wrong things and allow those things to come before God. (To be continued tomorrow).

Daily  Assignments

Read Daniel 7-12

Write a thank you note to someone besides a staff member who serves others in the church.

Complete___

August  16th

 What if God Didn’t Care? Part 1 

Read Jeremiah 33

Verse 3, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

God may answer our every prayer, but the answer may not come in the way we hope. Prayer is asking, but there are many ingredients to prayer, such as praise, confession, intercession, thanksgiving, and petition.

In the case of praise and thanksgiving, we know by faith that God “answers” those prayers just by receiving them. The others are a little different – God answers our confession with His forgiveness, and the way we realize His answer is by the weight of guilt being lifted. If we truly confess and repent, and if we are committed to new behavior, we will know our prayers have been answered. When it comes to asking, the heart of the matter is that God truly answers our every prayer, but He often says, “no,” rather than what we want to hear. It‘s okay to ask God for what you want, but realize that He will give the answer He knows is best for you.

Here is the most important aspect of the question, “What  if God doesn‘t answer our prayers?” Could it be that God is going to give us a new direction, and that new direction may be the answer to prayers we haven‘t even thought of yet? Think about that question until tomorrow. To be continued tomorrow.

Daily  Assignments

Read Proverbs 17-18

What was your biggest answered prayer?

Complete___

August  15th

The Hope of the Human Race 

Read Isaiah 59:15-21

Isaiah 63:5, “And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold; therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.”

Man had fallen so far from God that there was no redemption in anything he produced. In other words, no man could uplift a sin- stained and fallen race from degradation and ruin. But, thank the Lord, it does not end there. Thank God we have the redeeming power of the Heavenly Redeemer.

Notice the fact that in His search for a redeemer among men, He found none. He found redemption in His Son – “mine own arm brought salvation.” The redemption of man was truly wrought by God Himself. It was His divine power. It was a mighty act of His “right arm”. In comparison, all other power is weakness. Only Jesus is qualified to be man‘s redeemer. Redemption means to deliver by paying a price, because man is viewed as a slave in Romans 7:14, “sold under sin,” and under the sentence of death in John 3:18, “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.”

Only Jesus can pay our sin debt in full. Jesus literally bought us out of our slavery to sin to loose us and set us free. Thank God for our Heavenly Redeemer! Verse 20, “And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 96-98

What are three great things about

Jesus?

Complete___

August   14th

 The Greatest Need Among Christians

Read Psalm 51:1-12

In one of my recent soul-winning experiences, someone asked me, “If I came to church would I hear anything worth coming for?” I told him if I were to join a church I would not even consider it unless four things were very evident:

· Is Jesus Christ uplifted as the only hope for salvation?

· Is there a major emphasis on salvation? Psalm 13:5, “But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.”

· Is there a belief in the Word of God (KJV) from cover to cover?

· Is there joy in the church?

We need to realize that Heaven is a place of joy; it is the well- spring of all our rejoicing. The angels‘ response to creation was, “all the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:7). The song of the angels at the Incarnation was, “I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” (Luke 2:10). Heaven‘s response to salvation was, “joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than  over  ninety  and  nine  just  persons,  which  need  no  repentance” (Luke 15:7b). Heaven is the source of all joy, and it will be our new home, filled with beauty and glory. There will be no more pain and suffering that can rob the Christian of joy. Heaven is a place of joy, and that is why the hymn writer said, “Oh  joy! Oh delight! Should we go without dying?” Our earthly walk may not always be joyous, but joy in Heaven will never end.

Daily  Assignments Read 1 Chronicles 5-9 What do you feel will be the greatest thing about Heaven? Complete___

August  13th

Gratitude 

Read Luke 17:11-19

Verses 15-17, “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And  Jesus  answering  said,  Were  there  not  ten  cleansed?  but where are the nine?”

In our text for today, only one leper returned to glorify and thank the Lord for healing him of leprosy. I believe the other nine were thankful; however, they did not express it. Their sin was not that they did not have gratitude, but that they did not express it. Here are nine possible reasons why they did not return:

One waited to see if the cure was real. One waited to see if it would last.

One said he would see Jesus later.

One decided that he had never had leprosy. One said he would have gotten well anyway. One gave the glory to the priests.

One said, “Oh well, Jesus didn’t really do anything.” One said, “Any rabbi could have done it.”

One said, “I was already much improved.”

Let‘s not be like the nine and fail to express our gratitude to our friends, family, fellowship, and Father in heaven.

Daily  Assignments

Read Numbers 1-3

List five people to whom we should be grateful.

Complete___

August   12th

You’ll See Vhat You Get From Zat!

Read Galatians 6:7-9

Verse 7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

“You‘ll see vhat you get from zat” is what my Mom used to tell me when I was in trouble. In her broken English, she was trying to communicate the results of running around with the wrong crowd. Her reference in particular was about a friend of mine who, in her opinion, was a “bump,” by which she meant that he was a “bum.” Needless to say, she was absolutely correct and had some insight, as mothers do. The problem was that she did not really tell me “vhat I vould get from zat.” I must say that I have learned much since I first heard those words! She was trying to teach me to be careful in choosing my relationships.

The Bible teaches in Galatians 6 that we reap what we sow. This text is not given in a negative way, but is meant to be very positive. God will give according to our sowing, but it is He who shows us how and where to sow. This also implies that there was a danger that they would be deceived by false teachers and their hearts corrupted. God knows what our real character is, and He will judge us accordingly. The word mock means to turn up the nose, to mock or insult. The sense is that God cannot be imposed upon or insulted. What a lesson for every Christian.

Daily  Assignments

 Read 2 Thessalonians

Write the name of a person in the Bible who got in trouble from having wrong friends.

Complete___

August   11th

A Good Name 

Proverbs 22:1

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.”

What will people think about when they hear your name? You are making an impression and building a reputation for good or bad which will follow you for the rest of your life. What is our first impression when we hear your name? Here are several things we need to know:

· A good name must be chosen on purpose – 2 Corinthians 8:18-24. Is your name based upon integrity? What have you done to protect your name?

· A good name is better than riches –  Daniel 1:8, 6:1-8. There is nothing wrong with having things; just make sure they do not become more important than your honor. Daniel could have had riches, but he purposed in his heart: to obey God; to do the right thing; to walk in the Spirit. What is a good name?

à One who is responsible and faithful.

à One who is loyal to his superiors, parents, preacher and teachers.

à One whose daily walk is clean, who walks circumspectly.

à One who finishes what he starts and never quits.

à One who stays close to God.

A good name is more important than anything the world offers. It is more important than looking and smelling pretty. Though both may be important, you cannot cover your reputation with makeup.

Daily  Assignments

Read John 3-4

What are the blessings of belonging to a church?

Complete___

August   10th

 How to Build a Spiritual

Relationship with the Church Part 2 

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

1 John 4:4, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” Matthew 16:18, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

As we trust God to use us with our God-given gifts and abilities, let us also trust that He will build and prepare us for the future. I believe as the church grows spiritually, God will cause it to grow numerically. The devil gets nervous when he sees a church that is growing spiritually and physically, and he will fight us every step of the way. Matthew 16:8, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” We must remember that God has done a great work and ―He will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” We must stay excited in good times and bad times. Sometimes there will be valleys. Sometimes you will be on the mountain top. There will be times of obvious blessing and other times of great opposition, but all will ultimately bring glory to God! Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” I do not know what challenges the future may hold for you, but we know that God holds the future of the church.

Daily  Assignments

Read Daniel 1-6

What are some things you can do to help the church grow?

Complete___

August  9th

How to Build a Spiritual

Relationship with your Church 

Study Acts 2:42-47

As we face an uncertain future, we must build spiritually strong relationships in our personal lives and in the church. God builds the church, both spiritually and physically, and He gives us the privilege to do His work. The church is not property, brick, mortar, and wood; it is made up of people, and in 1 Peter 2:5, “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,” the Bible is referring to us as a spiritual house, an holy priesthood.

Together, we ought to say, “Lord, help us to offer spiritual sacrifices to you so that we might be a more well-pleasing church.” Truly spiritual men and women do not mind coming into the relationship of a local church where they might serve and grow and give, and I believe that God has ordained the local church as a place where we can love, serve, and belong. We need to understand it is God who gives the increase. Acts 2:47b, “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”

The devil hates to see a church that is being built up so that our children will hear the Gospel and people will be trained to love and serve God in the ministry and to reach more people in our communities for Jesus Christ. God enables us to do His work, and He is greater than the devil and his crowd put together. (To be continued tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Proverbs 16

Write out three verses that tell us the Bible is true.

Complete___

August  8th

 What Are You Hoping For? Part 2

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

I believe the vehicle for hope is faith. How can we ever hope for anything if we do not have the faith to believe? The Bible says in Proverbs 13:12, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” Today, we will take a closer look at what faith really means and how we can incorporate it into our daily walk with God.

Martin Luther said, “God our Father has made all things depend on faith so that whoever has faith will have everything, and whoever does not have faith will have nothing. The true, living faith, which the Holy Spirit instills into the heart, simply cannot be idle.”

Let me give you a real test of faith: A man was lost in the desert and was near death for lack of water. He came across a pump with a canteen hung on the handle with a note which read as follows: “Below you is all the fresh water you could ever need, and the canteen contains exactly enough water to prime the pump.” It takes great faith to pour out the whole contents of the canteen for a promise of unlimited water. What would you do? – Source unknown.

A quote from John Emmons: “The African impala can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance of greater than thirty feet. Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo with a 3-foot wall. The animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will fall. Faith is the ability to trust what we cannot see, and with faith we are freed from the flimsy enclosures of life that only fear allows to entrap us.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 93-95

Look at your list from yesterday. Did those people ever show a lack of faith?

Complete___

August  7th

What Are You Hoping For? 

Read Psalm 37:1-7

 Hebrews 11:3, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

It is important for us to understand that faith honors God, and God honors faith, because faith has to do with things that are not seen.

Augustine said, “Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore, seek not to understand that thou mayest believe, but believe that thou mayest understand. God does not expect us to submit our faith to him without reason, but the very limits of our reason make faith a necessity. Faith is believing what we do not see, and the reward of faith is seeing what we believe.”

James  took a little different approach in 2:18, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: “shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”

Verse 20, “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”

Verse 26, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith with- out works is dead also.”

William Booth said, “Faith and works should travel side by side, step answering to step. First faith, and then works; and then faith again, and then works again – until one can scarcely distinguish which is the one and which is the other.” To be concluded tomorrow.

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 Chronicles 1-4

List three Bible characters that you feel show great faith.

Complete___

August  6th

 The Flesh vs. the Spirit

Read Colossians 1:12-19

How can a Christian have victory over the flesh? There are four important lessons we must learn:

·Never try to improve the flesh or put confidence in it. Philippians 3:4, “Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:‖

·Never try to appease or provide for the flesh. Romans 13:14, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”

· Always “put on” the new nature. Consider the old nature dead and the new nature alive. We must reckon, or count, the flesh dead and buried and the new nature alive. Please study Romans 6:6-13.

· We need to walk in the spirit. Is the old nature really dead? Is the new nature alive?

God is able to help us with temptation, with the world, the flesh, and the devil. God promises the child of God to overcome all these. God is able to keep us from falling. How does God do that? One day and one step at a time. He is able to make all grace abound unto you. What a wonderful promise! What a wonderful gift – the gift of grace! Let‘s ask God to cause His grace to abound over the flesh by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is able to do “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” – Matthew 3:20

Daily  Assignments

Read Leviticus 25-27

Purchase a small gift for your pastor.

Complete___

August  5th

Impossible Goals, Concluded! 

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Abraham had an impossible goal

Genesis 12:1-4, 7; 15:1-6; 17:15-19; 21:1-3. When God spoke to Abraham in Chaldea he had but one thing to hang his future upon – the promise of God. You think you have moments of wondering what the future holds and whether things will work out or not. How could he be the father of a nation when he did not even have a son? He did not know where to go or how to get there. What he faced was not an easy task. Try to put yourself in his shoes. All he had was God‘s Word. By the way, that is all we need. We can rest our case in His Word, “Lo, I am with you alway.” Abraham had a promise; he believed God, was strong in faith, and was a man of loyalty as well as steadfastness, because he had an impossible goal.

The disciples were given an impossible goal

Simply, “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” That‘s it! They had an impossible goal set before them. But it was given by a God who specializes in the impossible. We in our church have a mandate from God – we have been entrusted with an impossible goal, but not without the God who does the impossible. Just as these men were given some impossible goals, so we have ours. Remember that He watches over us, and with that in mind, no goal is impossible. All things are possible with God. He is the God who does the impossible. Why not ask God for an impossible goal in your life? Why not trust Him to do the impossible for you? Little is much when God is in it.

Daily  Assignments

 Read 1 Thessalonians 4-5

Pass out five tracts to people today.

Complete___

August   4th

Impossible Goals, Continued

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Understand that here was a man with an impossible goal – working against opposition, a preacher of righteousness, and a man who was misunderstood by his generation. Yet he was so moved by what he was told that he was ready to attempt the impossible for God. The burden was placed upon him, and only him, to save all of mankind. God said that He would destroy mankind, but Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Think of his burden. There had never been anything like it before – no one had ever seen rain before. Can you imagine the ridicule, mental torture and opposition? You won‘t find one single word where Noah was discouraged, ready to quit or to ignore his responsibilities. He did his work without murmuring or complaining and without any personal ambition. After the water subsided, the animals, fowls and insects were led out, and it was a whole new world. The impossible had been accomplished because all things are possible with God.

Moses had an impossible goal

In Exodus 3, Verses 1-6, God appeared to Moses in a burning bush. In Verses 7-10, God sent Moses to deliver Israel. In Verses 11-15, the name Jehovah (I Am) was made known to Moses. In Verses 16-22, the deliverance of the Israelites is promised. What a task, what a challenge! Impossible? Probably not if he had the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines and their equipment. But he had only a shepherd‘s crook in his hand; however, the battle is the Lord‘s not ours, and nothing is impossible with God. To be concluded tomorrow!

Daily  Assignments

 Read John 1-2

In Genesis, read the story of Noah.

Complete___

August  3rd

Impossible Goals

Read Matthew 19

Proverbs 17:24, “The eyes of the fool are in the ends of the earth.”  In Matthew 19:26, Jesus said, “… with God all things are possible.”

As we look back on the past few years and forward into the future, emotions can run very high. We need to be thankful for the past and look expectantly to the future. Someone said, “God‘s servants who are serving Him are never far from the burdens of the cross that go with Christian service.”

Isaac Watts said, “Must I be carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease, while others fought to win the prize and sailed through bloody seas? Others, Lord, yes others, let this my motto be. Help me to live for others that I may live for Thee.”

Sometimes the Lord may give a person an impossible goal.

Noah had an impossible goal

Genesis 6:1-3, “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.”

Hebrews 11:7, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteous- ness which is by faith.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Ezekiel 43-48

What are some goals you set in your life?

Complete___

August   2nd

Five Calls, continued!

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

The call to Zaccheus was a personal call. Jesus singled out one man from the multitudes surrounding Him. It was a gracious call. Zaccheus was a notorious sinner, yet Christ invited him to come as he was. It was an imperative call. It fell from the lips of the One who had the right to command, and it placed the obligation of response on the one who heard it. The Saviour was passing by; for Zaccheus it was “now or never.” It was a responsive call. “He made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.” In verses 8-9, he was saved, the blessing for his obedience.

Look again at George Whitfield preaching on the steps of the courthouse: “Father Abraham!” He cried out. “Whom have you in Heaven? Any Episcopalians?” “No!” shouted Whitfield, answering his own question. “Any Presbyterians?” “No! No!” “Well, who have you there then, Father Abraham?” “We don’t know whose names are here! All who are here are Christians, believers in Christ, men who have overcome by the Blood of the Lamb, and the Word of His testimony.” “Oh, is that the case? Then God help me, God help us all, to forget having names and to be Christians in deed and in truth!”

In the crowd each day was Benjamin Franklin, who wrote, “It was wonderful to see the change in our inhabitants! From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seemed as if the entire world was growing religious, so that one could not walk through the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street.” This was the beginning of the “Great Awakening.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Proverbs 14-15

Read about the “Great Awakening” in a reference book.

Complete___

August  1st

Five Calls 

Read Luke 19:1-10

The cause of the present drought of conversions in our churches is the absence of evangelistic preaching. Preaching may be biblical without being evangelistic. A power-filled message may lack a Holy Spirit-filled invitation or a personal appeal. Such was certainly not the case here. The call of Jesus to Zaccheus was an invited call. Zaccheus himself invited the call by climbing into the tree and putting himself in the path of Jesus. The unsaved today may come to Christ in the same way, by being invited to a church service, prayer meeting, etc. These things cannot save them, but they may put them in the path of Christ.

I am reminded of George Whitfield preaching in Philadelphia in 1740. America’s first great evangelist was so popular that he had to preach outdoors because no church was large enough to hold the crowds. One revival meeting in a field was attended by 23,000 coal miners. Delivering his Courthouse message, he stood on the court- house steps and preached to thousands of people that “salvation is available to anyone, high-born or low, self-righteous saint or miserable sinner. And what must one do to be saved? Just ask God’s forgiveness for your sins, known and unknown, accept Christ as your Savior, and turn your life over to Him.” A simple choice, yet the most important one a person could make, and it had never before been put that simply to Americans. Continued tomorrow!

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 90-92

What do you remember about the first time you heard evangelistic preaching?

Complete___

July  31st

 Having a Good Spirit

Read Joshua 3:5-13

John 16:1, “These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.”

What is a good spirit? Paul had a good spirit when he said, “what persecutions I endured, but out of them all the Lord delivered me.” When the people said, “Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands,” King Saul had a bad spirit against David – jealousy. Elisha wanted Elijah‘s good spirit, not just his power. Daniel had good success because he had an excellent spirit in him. It is Christ-like to have a good spirit, and it will glorify God.

Nothing will destroy your church quicker than a wounded or a bad spirit. Both a good and a bad spirit spread, but especially the bad. It was a bad spirit that led David into sin with Bathsheba. When confronted with his sin he said, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” What started David‘s bad spirit? It was the sin of jealousy. So the lesson is, if you want a good spirit, stay out of sin. What can we do?

· Don‘t have a wounded spirit.

· Don‘t cause a wounded spirit.

· Understand those who have a wounded spirit.

You will never know what the other person may be going through. There is a way not to have, not to cause, and to understand those who have a wounded spirit: have an excellent spirit and sanctify yourself.

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 Kings 21-25

In which ministries are you actively involved?

Complete___

July  30th

FROM THE SERIES ON 

“SEVEN BASIC BIBLE DOCTRINES!” 

Please read John 16:12-14

Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

One of the functions of the Holy Spirit is to reveal Jesus to us. He convicts us of sin. He guides and directs us. Our flesh cannot comprehend spiritual things. Concepts such as eternity, Christ becoming flesh, and Christ becoming our substitute are beyond the power of our limited minds. The Holy Spirit must reveal Christ to us. We can know who He was, and what He did; we can know the pure historical information, but we will never truly know Christ unless the Holy Spirit teaches us. However, the Holy Spirit will not force this information upon us. We must desire to know Christ. We must desire to know His will for us. How does the Holy Spirit reveal Christ? It is through the preaching, study and reading of God‘s Word. God does not speak through extra-biblical revelation, but through His Holy Word.

Do you have a desire to know Christ? Do you want a deeper relationship with Christ? If you do, you must develop a love for His Word. You cannot know Christ, nor have an intimate relationship with him, without it.

Daily  Assignments

Read Leviticus 22-24

Spend five minutes in prayer for God‘s power on the services this week.

Complete___

 

July 29th

Four Great Lessons 

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Verse 1, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: “

There are four great lessons I would like to leave with you. It is too bad we often do not learn these lessons until it is too late.

· We must have compassion, for ourselves, and for others. I believe that you cannot have compassion for yourself until you have it for others. Jesus set the example for us. The Bible says, “And of some have compassion, making a difference.” We can make a difference in the life of someone who is hurting by showing Christ-like compassion.

· We must love one another. As Christians, we must set the example in our love for God and one another. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

· We must be aware of the fact that God is in control. We must be  aware of the fact that we must yield to His will, and we must be aware that God wants all to be saved.

· We must learn to be responsible. God has entrusted us with the Gospel. Jesus gave His life so that we could have eternal life and share it with others. We must not take that responsibility lightly.

How are you doing today? Do you have compassion? Do you have true biblical love? Are you constantly aware of God‘s influence in your life? Are you responsible with the Gospel entrusted to you?

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 Thessalonians 1-3

How would you answer the questions above?

Complete___

July  28th

Four Great Lessons

Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-22

Verses 1-5, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;”

Proverbs shows the wisdom of Solomon; Ecclesiastes shows his foolishness. He begins the book with the statement, “all is vanity.” Solomon sought happiness in many fields: science, philosophy, pleasure, materialism, and living just for today. He explored fatalism, egotism, religion, wealth, and morality. In the final verses of the book, he gave us the result of all his experiments. Keep in mind that the conclusions in each experiment are human, not God‘s truth.

Vanity speaks of emptiness: to waste life without purpose or goal. Many people live like that. In chapter 3, he adopts the philosophy of fatalism, which has always been common among pagans. It is very common in America today. In verses 1-15, we see Solomon‘s fatalistic views, and in verses 16-26, his egotistic views. Egotism is self-interest and an excessive love of self. Egotists have no compassion. They believe they came from animals, so they act like animals. (To be concluded tomorrow) 

Daily  Assignments

Read Luke 23-24

Complete         

Write out two verses that talk about compassion.

July  27th

Jesus Is Coming

Read Revelation 22

Jesus told the church of Ephesus to repent in Revelation 2:5, “I will come unto thee quickly.” He told the church of Philadelphia (3:11), “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast…”

Are you ready for His coming? Are you packed and ready to go, or would you have to get things straightened out if He were to come today? Do you know Him as your Saviour? You will not have time at the sound of the trumpet. After the trumpet, only those who have not heard will have an opportunity to be saved. It will be too late for those who rejected Him. Don‘t wait until it is too late.

When did you receive Him? Do you know He is speaking to you even at this moment? You cannot be saved and not know it. “These things have I written unto you that ye may know that ye have eternal life.” If you are married, you know it, and you know your spouse. You had better know when you were saved, or you are probably not saved. Jesus is saying, “Look unto me.”

I like Matthew Henry‘s comments on this verse:  “Come, Lord Jesus, put an end to this state of sin, sorrow, and temptation; gather thy people out of this present evil world, and take them up to heaven, that state of perfect purity, peace, and joy, and so finish thy great design, and fulfill all that word in which thou hast caused thy people to hope.”

In Revelation 22:20, John was ready and excited about the coming of Jesus: “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Come quickly!

Daily  Assignments

 Read Ezekiel 37-42

Using a Bible reference, write out three things that happen at Christ‘s coming.

Complete___

July 26th

On the Wall 

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Verses 17-18, “They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.”

These committed people are constantly seeking to make their community a better place for their children to live. I believe this group wants to be found faithful, determined, resolved and unwilling to bow to the pressure of the God-hating crowd.

These are people who respect the living God, or those who are trying to work for the community and the country. Not enough can be said about this group of people. They will not quit, stop or give up. God‘s work is dependent upon these people. Whether the church has 50, 500 or 5,000 members, there is a solid core of soldiers who are always there for duty.

A recent survey of Fundamental Baptist churches showed that 18% of the membership gives approximately 90% of the money and does 90% of the work. This would mean that 18% do the praying, visiting, soul-winning, singing in the choir, teaching, and building the wall. I want my light to shine as a part of this 18% group, don‘t you?

Daily  Assignments

Read Proverbs 13

Name one spiritual goal you would like to accomplish this year.

Complete___

July  25th

THEY ALL RETURNED TO THE WALL! 

Read Nehemiah 4:13-23

Verses 15-16, “And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it  was  known  unto  us,  and  God  had  brought  their  counsel  to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work. And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.”

I have often taken great comfort in Nehemiah, knowing that in many ways we have been in very similar circumstances. The work of the men of Judah had been stopped by their enemies, but they were now back at it and brought the counsel of their enemy to naught. “They returned to the wall.” That is an exciting thought for us as well.

There are two groups of people in this text, and in our ministries: one group is for what we try to do, the other is against it. There are those who are totally committed to the work God has given us – they are on the wall. There is no doubt that this is a group of people who have sacrificed, given, and prayed with a faith that is unspotted even during trying times.

Thank God for these people. There will always be people who are willing to take the challenge that God has revealed in His Word so many times. (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 87-89

Write down two people who have sacrificed for you.

Complete___

July  24th

Lord, Teach Us to Pray!  

Read Luke 11:1-13

Notice the disciples never said, “Lord, teach us to preach, teach, perform miracles, cast out demons, walk on water, multiply loaves and fishes, heal the sick, turn water into wine,” but they said, “Lord, teach us to pray.” They wanted to pray as He prayed.

Sometimes God places us in a position where we must learn to pray:

Elijah prayed, and fire fell down from Heaven.

Joshua prayed, and the wall fell in Jericho.

Moses prayed, and the sea was parted, water came from the rock and manna from Heaven.

A church in the book of Acts prayed, the prison doors were opened, and Peter was set free.

Daniel prayed, and the mouths of the lions were locked.

The three Hebrew children prayed, and fire could not harm them.

Paul prayed, and an earthquake loosed him inside the prison.

David prayed, and King Saul could not harm him.

Jonah prayed, and an entire city was saved. 120 prayed in the upper room, and Pentecost came.

Stephen prayed, and he saw Jesus.

George Mueller prayed and fed 1700 orphans by faith.

Martin Luther prayed, and reformation was begun.

Billy Sunday prayed, and America went dry.

Moody prayed, and two continents were spared.

Hezekiah prayed, and fifteen years were added to his life.

David prayed, and Goliath fell.

Livingstone prayed, and Africa was evangelized.

Wesley prayed, and England was spared.

Jochabed prayed, and the baby Moses was spared to become the world’s greatest leader.

Noah prayed and was saved through the flood.

How many things does God have for us that we never get, because we fail to pray?

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 Kings 16-20

Write a thank you note to a church staff member.

Complete___

July  23rd

A Line in the Sand Part II 

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Think of the three Hebrew boys in Daniel 3. In verse 14, they came to a line in the sand. They had a choice – quit and bow down or remain faithful to God. If they remained faithful – certain death. They chose to cross the line (verse 19-23). If they hadn‘t crossed, they wouldn’t have had the amazing victory in verses 24-25. They wouldn’t have had the encounter with Christ. They wouldn’t have been a good testimony. We could look at other Bible characters: Noah, Moses, Paul. We could look at great Christians in history: D.L. Moody, Billy Sunday, John R. Rice, Lester Roloff, and Dr. Jack Hyles. But their crossing the line of faith won’t do for us. We have to cross our own lines in the sand.

These Christians from history are great examples, but we must cross that line ourselves. When you come to that line in the sand, you have to choose. Are you going to go on for God, or are you going to quit? Has God brought you to that point? Are you standing there now? Is there a line in front of you? God wants you to cross the line – to trust in Him. Maybe it’s full-time service. Maybe it’s a new ministry obligation. Maybe it’s making time to pray. Maybe it’s praying. Maybe it’s something we haven’t mentioned, but it’s a major step for you. Are you going to cross that line? You may not be able to see the future – it may not be clear. The only thing you can see is the line. Will you cross it? You have to do it in faith, but once you cross it, God will have things for you that you cannot imagine.

Daily  Assignments

Read Leviticus 19-21

Name a Bible character not mentioned above who came to a place where he had to make a spiritual decision.

Complete___

July  22nd

A Line in the Sand 

Read 1 Kings 19

Verses 5-6, “And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again.”

Elijah was chased into the wilderness with a death sentence on his head. He sat by the brook and lay down to die. He reached a line in the sand – he could have quit – he came close. This is after a great victory, one of the great stories of faith in the Old Testament.  Then  a  death  sentence  was  passed.  Suddenly he’s  all alone. There‘s no one to trust in, no one to help, no armies, no foreign alliances, no one to give him guidance – except God.

In verse 4, he lies down to die. Suddenly, in verse 5, God gives him a choice. He comes to that line in the sand – arise and eat. He could have refused – quit on God. He had a choice. If he crossed that line, he would go on for God with no promises for the future, no vision of what the future held.

Elijah crossed that line, then suddenly – another line. God does that sometimes; we cross one line and come to another. He takes us one step at a time like He did to Elijah. This time – a dire warning. If you go on, your strength won’t help. It’s all Me. Elijah did go on and saw great victories again. (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Colossians 3-4

Write down five blessings of having a church home.

Complete___

July  21st

 Our Kinsman Redeemer 

Read Ruth 3

The kinsman redeemer: the word Gawl is used in the Old Testament for the redeemer as well as for the kinsman – the one who pays the debt, or the next of kin. The case of Boaz and Ruth is a perfect example, and it is a beautiful type of Christ. It comes from the Mosaic Law of Redemption and pictures the coming Christ.

The story of Ruth pictures one aspect of our redemption. Boaz represents our Lord, and Ruth stands for the believer. Naomi could picture the Holy Spirit or the soul-winner. As for Jesus, He paid the price with His own blood. He was both able and willing to redeem us, as God redeemed the children of Israel out of Egypt, and as Boaz became the kinsman redeemer for Ruth.

We learn that redemption is wholly from God, that redemption is through a person, and that redemption is through His blood. The blood of Jesus Christ redeems us from the guilt and penalty of sin, and the power of the Holy Spirit delivers us from the very presence (dominion) of sin on the basis of Calvary. Thank God for the blood of Christ.

The best part is that there is a Kinsman for you and me.

· He is interested in you because you are a person, and He will give you the inheritance of Heaven.

·He  is  qualified  to  redeem,  and  paid  with  His  precious blood. Christ is our Gawl, our next Kinsman, and He redeems us from the penalty of our sin.

Daily  Assignments

Read Luke 21-22

Invite one of your neighbors to come to church this week.

Complete___

July  20th

God Blesses America – Why? 

Read Jeremiah 2:1-19

In this chapter we see how the very leaders who have the responsibility to lead their people in righteousness are the ones to lead in idolatry. Why do we wonder at the sin and ruin of a people when the blind are leaders of the blind? One cannot help but see the relationship between ancient Judah and America today. Our nation was founded by godly men and women who believed that the Bible was the Word of God, and all their decisions and laws were based upon the Bible. Now God is rejected and left out of our society. Our nation is led by many who do not know of our spiritual heritage. We have forsaken God and gone after false gods such as money, etc.

There is a movement to remove all evidence of the blessing of God in America. I am not just talking about the Pledge of Allegiance, the Constitution, our culture, and public schools. I am saying that they want to remove the very presence of those who believe in Almighty God. In other words, these people want no reference of any kind to God, and in so doing are proclaiming their humanistic god.

American pastors had better be careful that they are not blind leaders of the blind. God puts the responsibility on the spiritual leaders of the land. No nation falls into depravity until it first falls away from spirituality. God has blessed America in spite of her turning her back on God, but we had better beware, lest we also fall away.

Daily  Assignments

Read Ezekiel 31-36

Spend extra time in prayer tonight for our nation.

Complete___

July  19th

How to Do Great Things for God 

Read 2 Kings 2:1-12

Verse 11, “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.”

God has given the power of anointing men to man – to the prophet of God. The Lord had let Elijah know that his time was at hand. Elijah therefore went to the schools of the prophets to give them his last exhortations and blessing. The removal of Elijah was a type and figure of the ascension of Christ, and the opening of the kingdom of heaven to all believers. Elisha had long followed Elijah, and he would not leave him now, when he hoped for the parting blessing.  How can you and I do great things for God?

· We have to ask Him in faith.

· We have to attempt to do great things for God and follow men who are doing great things.

1. Men of Practice

2.  Men of Power.

· We must expect God to do great things through us.

God is looking for men to stand in the gap. Will you be that man? Will you trust Him to do something great with you? Most peo- ple fail because, deep down, they expect failure.   Do you expect God to work through you?

Daily  Assignments

Read Proverbs 11-12

What great things would you like God to do through you?

Complete___

July  18th

 Keeping Pace with God’s Grace

Read Hebrews 12:12-17.

Verse 15, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;”

It is certainly true that if a Christian fails of the grace of God, it will turn not only to bitterness within, but also without. In other words, our bitterness will affect others. Hebrews, chapter twelve, is one of the most practical chapters in the Bible because it gives Christians many applications for their daily walk with God.

In verses 1-3, we recognize the determination of life; we are in a race for

God. In verses 4-11, we realize the discipline in life; God will correct those whom He loves.

In verses 12-17, we are reminded of the driving force in life; we must not fail of the grace of God.

In verses 18-29, we are reinforced with the duties in life. I see three major lessons to be learned by every Christian:

HAVE COURAGE

Verse twelve teaches us to move forward with courage and stay on the right course laying aside the weights of life bearing us down.

STAY ON THE RIGHT PATH

In verse thirteen, the simple command is to stay on the right path so that others will have an example to follow. Isn‘t that what disci- pleship is all about? We are commanded to follow Christ, learn to be disciplined, and then help others to do likewise.

BE AT PEACE WITH GOD AND MAN

Verse 14, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:”

Avoid things that take us off the course of cultivating our spiritual life. Learn to understand and develop good communication with those that  may disagree with you.

Daily Assignments

Read Psalms 84-86

Write a thank you note to your pastor.

Complete___

July  17th

Where’s the Passion? 

Read Luke 19:41-48

Verses 45-46, “And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.”

Passion  –  the  word  comes  from  the  Greek  word  pathos, meaning affection.  One person explained it as “a  deep feeling with working results.” There is passion for good or for evil. Most men have a real passion for sports, for recreation, sometimes even their jobs.

As Christians, we need to have a passion for the Lord and for the lost. We should have a deep desire to serve God and a deep desire to reach the lost. Having a passion for these may require giving up a passion for those things which are not important for eternity.  Where is your passion?

Verses 47-48, “And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.” The people of Jerusalem missed their day of opportunity. They failed to see their day of visitation because of their blindness and lack of passion. Think about that for a moment, and do not reject Christ another day. This may be your day of visitation – don‘t miss the opportunity. Christian, this may be your day of a new passion for the things of Christ. Where‘s the Passion?

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 Kings 11-15.

List seven things that man has a passion for.

July  16th

The Right Words 

Read James 3:1-12

James gives us two comparisons, one from the bridles of horses, the other from the rudders of ships, showing how great things may be brought to pass by controlling the tongue. It is interesting how a large ship can be controlled by a small rudder, much as our little tongue can control not only our body but even our destiny. He also shows how great difficulty may arise by the uncontrolled tongue. He says that it can set the whole world on fire.

David says, in Psalm 39:1 that he wants to give the right testimony with the right words by putting a bridle on his mouth. Oh, what a lesson for us! Among other faults of the tongue, James re- proves slandering and speaking evil of our neighbors, even by those who otherwise seem to be godly and religious. So then, he denies that God can be praised by the man or woman who uses foul language, or slanders others. Why? First, they are also made in the image of God, and the order which God has set will not allow things that are contrary one to another. Second, if we do not reverence and honor Him with our tongue, there is no other way to praise Him.

What James is saying is that the tongue “is set on fire of hell.

Many of us can truly experience the greatest blessings of God by learning to use the right words. I am not just talking about words of kindness or of meanness, but also needful words of comfort and encouragement. One thing all of us will agree upon is that words can make or break another person.

Daily  Assignments Write out two verses from Proverbs that talk about our speech.

Read Leviticus 16-18 Write out two verses from Proverbs that talk about our speech.

Complete___

July  15th

Who Is God? 

Read Genesis 1:1-31

Verses 1-3, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” Verses 6-7, “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.”

Verse 11, “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.”

Verse 14, “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; ”God’s power is unlimited. He can do anything that is not inconsistent with His nature, character, and purpose. God creates and sustains all things. God is everywhere at the same time, and He knows everything at the same time. God has the power to know the thoughts and motives of every heart. He is not confined to any part of the universe but is present in all His power at every point in space and every moment in time. Thus, God does not belong to any one nation or generation. He is the God of all the earth.

God’s wisdom is revealed in His doing His will in His way for His purpose. God is “the only wise God” in creation, history, and redemption, and His divine wisdom is revealed through Christ and His Word.

Daily  Assignments

Read Colossians 1-2

Write a thank you note to a member of our military.

Complete___

July  14th

Rejoice in the Lord Always 

Read Philippians 4:1-7

Verse 4, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.”

We are encouraged to rejoice in the Lord for at least four reasons:

· For our own sake. There is no reward in heaven or in this life for living your life as the droopiest Christian. Someone said, ―It is foolish for us to refuse the joy offered by God, because Christi- anity and joy grow out of the Gospel.‖

· For the sake of the Gospel and the church. Joy is invigorating, and it spreads. The Bible says, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” Someone said, ―If there is no virtue in melancholy, it is foolish to refuse the gladness offered by God. Needless melan- choly is sinful when it paralyzes our energies.‖

· For the sake of others. Our joy will be sunshine to others if it is true and genuine; similarly, our gloom will make others miserable. By manifesting our joy, we are literally inviting others to share in the benefits of the Gospel.

· For the sake of Jesus and the lost. Not only does rejoicing please God, but it also causes others to see our joy and become curious. We are commanded to rejoice, not because of life‘s circumstances, but “rejoice in the Lord.”

Our lives should be full of rejoicing, reflecting, and remembering the goodness of God, because this is one of the most beautiful appeals to persuade others to devote themselves to rejoicing in the service of the Lord.

Daily  Assignments

Read Luke 19-20

What are some things for which a Christian should rejoice?

Complete___

July  13th

How to Be a Miserable Christian 

Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-12

Consider these statements: all of us will have troubles; troubles will come to you sooner or later. God will give you strength when they come; the day trouble comes, strength comes. It is delivered daily, as we need it. Remember the manna in the wilderness. Now, we can make life more miserable by carrying more than one day‘s load! We have two choices: worry about the load, or praise God for strength to carry it. You have today; thank God, take your load, and carry it today. If today‘s load is too heavy, God will give you more strength for today. Don‘t ruin today with yesterday‘s problems and tomorrow‘s worries. Four reasons why we seem to worry about tomorrow‘s problems today:

· Because of anxiety we feel.

· Because of fear of what is coming. You pick up tomorrow‘s load and don‘t do today‘s work.

· Because of remorse and remembering.

· Because we put our mind on trouble and not on strength.

We have life today, and we do not know about tomorrow. Today‘s strength is sufficient for today. The Bible says, “Take no thought  of  tomorrow:  for the morrow  shall take thought  for  the things of itself.” Put down tomorrow‘s load so you will have enough strength for today.

Remember that you are not the only one with a problem, but you make yours bigger than ours because you add tomorrow‘s problems to today‘s strength.

Daily  Assignments

Read Ezekiel 25-30

Pray and ask God to help you stop worrying about tomorrow‘s problems.

Complete___

July  12th

 What Hinders Revival in Our Churches?

Read Habakkuk 3:1-19

Verse 2, “O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.”

In the first chapter, Habakkuk spoke to God, then God to Habakkuk, then Habakkuk to God. In the second chapter, God spoke to Habakkuk prophetically. In the third chapter, Habakkuk speaks to God in earnest prayer for revival. In verse 2, he begs for God‘s help in delivering His people from their affliction. In verses 3-15, he reminds God of His past mercies, such as delivering His people out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. In verses 16-19, he gives us powerful  words  of  encouragement  and  hope,  though  all  visible signs are against him.

This is where the church is today. All the signs seem to be against us, but take heart; God is still on the Throne! From the praying prophets we learn that God will hear us if we pray, and we must resolve to call upon Him as long as we live. We desperately need revival in our churches and our country. Revival will never come in our country until we first have it in the church, and it will never come in our churches until we have it in our homes, and it will never come in our homes until it starts in our hearts.

Daily  Assignments

Read Proverbs 10

Spend a few extra minutes in prayer asking God for revival for you, your church and your country.

Complete___

July  11th

An Example of Man’s Love 

Read 1 Samuel 18:1-18

In the first three verses we read that Jonathan loved David as his own soul. There is nothing greater in this life than for one Christian to know the deep love of another. What an example these two men are to us. They had a fervent love for each other. When Jonathan died, David said, “I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women” (2 Samuel 1:26).

In this confused and permissive culture, some people might think that it is a weakness to show humility and consideration to another man. That is far from the truth. One of the strongest traits of manliness is the love a man has for other men. A real man is one who knows how to show God‘s love to others. This is not being a sissy, but it is being strong and Christlike. For two men to walk together, they must walk in agreement. Amos 3:3 says,  “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”

Jonathan was a man just like David. He was as skilled with the bow as David was with the sling. They were both real men, and they had a sincere Christlike love for each other. To love is to be like Christ. 1 John 4:20-21, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 81-83

Who has been a good example of Christ‘s love in your life?

Complete___

July  10th

Bible Doctrines, Concluded!

Read 1 John 4

Psalm 147:5, “Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.”

Think about this – there is one thing we can do that God can- not. We can learn. We get joy from learning something new. Imagine the joy God has with all of His knowledge. 1 Peter 1:15-16 tells us that He is a Holy God. We are to have a goal to be like God. We see in 1 John 1:5 that God is light. We should walk in the light, as Jesus is that light. God is righteous in Psalm 119:9. He is always dealing with men. God is always just, He is always fair, and He is always honest. God is great.

God is powerful. God is above all nations. God understands. God is love. Love is of God. If you are not born again, you don’t know what love really is. God is truth according to Romans 3:4. God is gracious and merciful. Psalm 116:5, “Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.” God could kill us for our sin; it‘s what we deserve because of our ungodliness; that is, we have rules which we have not kept; we have standards and have not lived up to them; we have opportunities and have not taken them. He could require us to pay our own sin debt, but He sent His Son to atone for our sins. He is merciful, but He is also just, and He loves us. What a God we have!

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 Kings 6-10 

Spend an extra five minutes in prayer thanking God for who He is and what He does.

Complete___

July  9th

 Seven Basic Bible Doctrines, Continued 

Read Psalm 139:7-10

Hebrews 13:5-8, “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. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”

As hard as man tries to run from God, he is fighting a losing battle, because God is omnipresent. This means that God is everywhere. He is in everything. That does not mean that we should worship a tree or a mountain because ―God  is the tree,‖ or ―The tree is part of God.‖ He does not manifest Himself spiritually everywhere, but since He is the Creator and the sustainer of creation, the evidence of His existence is everywhere. He is everywhere at once. We cannot comprehend it, but that does not make it untrue.

God is always present. He is all-powerful. He is permanent. What a mighty God we have! Take a few moments in your prayer closet and ask God to search your heart for anything that would hinder a sweeter walk with Him. (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Leviticus 13-15

List two Bible examples of people who tried to run or hide from God. What was the result?

Complete___

July  8th 

Seven Basic Bible Doctrines Continued 

Please memorize James 1:17-18

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, nei- ther shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”

If there is one characteristic of God that we would do well to emulate, it is that He is immutable – He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Immutable means that He never changes. It is rare to find a person who is that way. We change based upon our circumstances, our finances, our feelings.

God never changes as to His character.

· He is always just and holy.

· He always loves.

· He always responds the same way to the same stimuli.

Though His methods of dealing with man may vary, His character never changes. God will always react in the same way. He always rewards good; He always punishes evil. It may not be obvious to us, but this is always true. We ought always to improve, but never to change. Praise the Lord that we have a God that reacts in a predictable way. Here is another opportunity for personal or family study and discussion on areas in which God never changes. (To be continued tomorrow)

 Daily  Assignments

Read Philippians 3-4

Complete           Write out Malachi 3:6.

Complete___

July  7th

Basic Bible Doctrines Continued

Read Revelation 19:6

“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, say- ing, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”

The Bible teaches us that God is omnipotent. Omnipotent means all-powerful. All power is under His control. Fifty-six times He is called the Almighty. Not once is that said of anyone else. God uses His power according to His own will and timing. He chooses when and how He will demonstrate His power.

· Sometimes He demonstrates it by not acting.

· Sometimes He waits for us to ask before working in our lives.

· Sometimes He won‘t act because of our self-will and refusal to yield. In essence, we get in the way.

· We must always remember that just because God does not act, it does not mean He is not capable of action.

Today would be a good time to make a deeper study of the Doctrine of God. Perhaps ask the entire family to participate in the study of the Doctrine of His Holiness. (To be continued tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Luke 17-18

List three Bible examples of God showing supernatural power.

Complete___

July  6th

Seven Basic Bible Doctrines 

Read Psalm 147

Verse 5 Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.

The Bible tells us many things about God. First, He is omniscient, that is all-knowing. Psalm 147:4, “He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.” Acts 15:8, “And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us.”

It is important to realize that God is never surprised by our actions because He knows our thoughts as well as our actions.

Realize the presence of God. Because He is omniscient, there is nothing He does not know about us or about all eternity.

Acts 15:18 says, “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.”

God knows the past, the present, and the future. He knows the end of the path we walk. He knows the results of our actions. Therefore, God causes things to come into our lives to give us opportunities to make changes. It is up to us to yield to God and His will. He will not force us; He only gives us warning and opportunity. It is up to us to heed these warnings.

Daily  Assignments

Read Ezekiel 19-24

Think of a Bible story where God knew something that man could not know.

Complete___

July  5th

Seven Basic Bible Doctrines. Continued from July 3rd

Re-read the devotion from July 3rd

Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

The other source of revelation is special revelation. This comes in two ways: Jesus, the Living Word, and the Bible, the Written Word. Jesus is the living, revealed Word. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Then in verse 14, we read, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” Human minds cannot comprehend it, but we believe it by faith. Of course, not everyone had the opportunity to hear Jesus while He was alive. So God gave men the second Word – the Written Word – the Bible. Someone has called the Bible a love letter from God to us. If we had to place limits on our knowledge, it would be wise to limit our knowledge to the Bible. The only real truth is that which is in the Bible. What we believe about God is in the Bible. The Bible is magnified above His name. We must realize that He has given us one Book that never changes; therefore, its meaning never changes. God‘s Word, and God‘s words are the same yesterday, today and forever. It is my firm belief that there must be a basis, a foundation, or a starting point somewhere; to the Christian it must be the Bible. How high do you hold the Bible? How important is it in your life? (To be continued tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

 Read Proverbs 8-9

Find three different names for the Bible given in the Word of God.

July 4th

What Defines America?

Please read Isaiah 59:1-8.

In these verses we are given what I believe is the answer to America‘s problems. I believe most would agree that America would be a better place today if we had kept the ways of God. The same is true of the nation of Israel; they did not keep the ways of God.

I know what it is to be hungry, thirsty, and cold. I know what it is to be oppressed, stand in soup lines and coal lines, and run from bombing raids. I know what it is to lose a brother, to live in fear, and to have no freedom. People from all around the world came to America for religious freedom. We have freedom because of our forefathers, among whom are the signers of the Declaration of Independence. We have liberty because of Christ and what He did on the cross. We are no longer sons of bondage. But things have changed in America. Never have I been as concerned as I am on this 4th  of July. My heart is truly broken as I read and look back at some of the pictures of the America I knew when my family and I arrived in 1952. I realized then, and I realize now, that America has never been a perfect nation; however, it was a nation made up of patriotic people who truly loved, respected, and were willing to die for their country.  Having been brought up in Germany in World War II, it never occurred to me that there was a better life until years after the war. I cannot listen to the National Anthem without tears and getting all choked up. The main reason for this is that my heart is sad because America is not quite what it once was. Let‘s earnestly pray for God to send revival to our great nation!

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 78-80

Name four things a Christian can do to help save America?

Complete__

July  3rd

Seven Basic Bible Doctrines,. Continued!

Read Romans 1:18-32 and John 14:8-11

2 Peter 1:21, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

There are basically two sources of Bible knowledge: a general revelation and a special revelation. General revelation comes from two sources: nature and history. All of nature around us reveals God. Romans, chapter one, tells us that nature shows evidence of His Godhead. We see God in creation. Creation demands a Creator. When we see a tree, a mountain, the moon and stars, we see the proof of God.

The second source of general revelation is history. History tells us about the Godhead. History tells us about His eternal power. History tells us about His judgment. For the next several days we will see that history tells us that He is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. We see His hand in the rise and fall of nations, in the consequences of sin. When we study history, we see God. Acts 15:18, “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.”

God knows the past, the present, and the future, and He is never surprised by our actions. We need to realize the presence of God, because He is omniscient, and there is nothing He does not know about us or about all eternity. (To be continued on July 5th)

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 Kings 1-5 

Write down a historical event that shows the intervening hand of God.

Complete___

July  2nd

 Seven Basic Bible Doctrines

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

 1 Timothy 6:3, “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;”

According to the New Webster’s Dictionary, the word doctrine means teaching or instruction, something that is taught, or a principle or a position, or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge, or a system of belief, or a principle of law established through past deci- sions, etc. If you look at the old Webster’s definition, you will have no difficulty tracing Bible doctrine, Bible teaching, as well as God, in the definition. This is only one example of what happens when man defines Biblical meaning and Biblical teachings. Definitions can make a great deal of difference in meaning. For example, when I was active in the legislature, there was a constant battle to interpret definitions and meanings. Thank God that He has given us one Book that never changes; therefore, its meaning never changes. Words may change in meaning over the generations, but God’s Word, and God’s words are the same yesterday, today and forever. (To be continued tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Leviticus 10-12

Using a concordance or other Bible aid, find and write out two verses that mention doctrine.

Complete___

July  1st

Seven Basic Bible Doctrines 

Read Acts 2:41-47

Verses 41-42, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

Too often Christians neglect the importance of doctrine in the Word of God. Doctrine simply means teaching. In Acts 2:42, “they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, (which means sharing in work) and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” You will notice the first thing Paul mentioned was doctrine, which indicates that it is important.

You must have proper doctrine to have a firm foundation. You cannot have true fellowship with someone of another doctrine. Everything in our churches must be built upon sound Bible doctrine. Romans 6:17 says, “But God be thanked, that ye were the ser- vants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.” In other words, if people don’t have the right Bible doctrine, they are not delivered. Someone said, “What food is to the body, truth is to the soul.” We have often said, “Love without truth is hypocrisy; truth without love is brutality.” Love is not only a gift from God, but also a gift to be practiced for His glory. (To be continued tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Philippians 1-2

Write out 1 Timothy 1:3 and

1 Timothy 4:1.

Complete___

June  30th

Repent and Believe 

Read Mark 1:14-20

Verses 14-15, “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

Some believe that the Kingdom of Heaven is only a state of being in Heaven and earth, not a particular place. “At hand” does not mean that it must immediately appear, but that there is no predicted time or event that must first take place; the stage has been set for His Kingdom. Of course, this is not speaking of His Second Coming, because several things had to happen before that great event would take place. Just as John the Baptist before Him, Jesus preached the Gospel of repentance. True repentance has sorrow for sin, not only because sin ruins the soul, but also because it is against God, and it is the abominable thing that God hates.

Repentance is produced by seeing the great danger and misery to which sin exposes us, by seeing the justness and holiness of God, and by seeing that our sin was committed against Christ, and we were the cause of His death.

Repentance also implies sorrow for past sins, (2 Corinthians 7:10) or a deep sense of the evil of sin as committed against God, with a full intention to turn from it and lead a holy life. Repentance means a genuine sorrow for sins, turning from them, and believing the Gospel. Literally, it means to trust in the Gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Daily  Assignments

Read Luke 15-16

Write down one truth about the Second Coming of Christ.

Complete___

June  29th

GET READY FOR REVIVAL PART V 

Re-read the last three days‘ devotions

The lesson we must learn: if you are going to catch fish, you have to go where the fish are. They do not stay near the shore because of the turmoil. You have to go out into the deep. He is teaching the disciples that, if they are going to be fishers of men, they have to go where the lost are. The application is: the lost are usually not in church. Occasionally when they do come, they will sit in the back and hear very little of the preaching and teaching of God‘s Word. They very rarely respond to the altar call to make a decision for Christ. They must be caught and brought to church. This is what Jesus is teaching in such a practical way. Psalm 107:23-24, “They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.”

Those that go out into the deep are the ones that “see the works of the Lord.”  They return in victory, and this demonstrates the im- portance of going where they are. Read verses 25-28 carefully.

God troubles the water to bring up fish, much as He troubles the lives of the people He sends us. Often we go soul-winning and they had just been praying because of troubles in their marriage, finances, or health, and a soul-winner knocks on the door, giving them calmness through the Lord Jesus Christ. He said to thrust out, to go where the people are. Jesus taught them not only to catch the fish, but to bring them in. They went out. We too must launch out, go where they are, and return with fruit of rejoicing. The problem with Christians is that we are not “launching out into the deep.‖ Jesus gave them so much they could not handle it all…revival?

Daily  Assignments

Read Ezekiel 13-18

Ask God to send revival to you and to the church.

Compete___

June   28th

Get Ready For Revival, Part 4 

Re-read the last two days‘ devotions

· The Result: “They inclosed a great multitude of fishes and their net brake” If we obey what God and the pastor desire in preparation for revival, we will have revival. Are we willing to obey?

· The Spread: “And they beckoned unto their partners that were in the other ship that they should come and help them.” If we get hold of a real God-sent revival, it could spread not just across our city, but across the country.

· The Attitude of Revival: “When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” He realized from whom the blessing came. I think that many times, God brings revival to a group of Christians, but it dies because they don’t give God the glory for it. Let’s remember from whom the revival comes.

· The Blessing: “For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.”

The result of God-sent revival is that soul-winners are born and people begin to share their faith once again. Acts 4:20, “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” You can’t help but share the Gospel when revival has taken place. Launch out!

(To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Proverbs 7List some  things that God has given you.

Complete___

June   28th

Get Ready for Revival, Part 3 

Re-read the last two days‘ devotions

· The Result: “They inclosed a great multitude of fishes and their net brake” If we obey what God and the pastor desire in preparation for revival, we will have revival. Are we willing to obey?

· The Spread: “And they beckoned unto their partners that were in the other ship that they should come and help them.” If we get hold of a real God-sent revival, it could spread not just across our city, but across the country.

· The Attitude of Revival: “When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” He realized from whom the blessing came. I think that many times, God brings revival to a group of Christians, but it dies because they don’t give God the glory for it. Let’s remember from whom the revival comes.

· The Blessing: “For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.”

The result of God-sent revival is that soul-winners are born and people begin to share their faith once again. Acts 4:20, “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”

You can’t help but share the Gospel when revival has taken place. Launch out!

(To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Proverbs 7

Complete         

List some  things that God has given you.

Complete___

June   27th

 Get Ready for Revival Part II

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Luke 5:4b, “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.”

· The Command Reviewed: “Launch into the deep.” They had been fishing in water that was too shallow. Have we been living in the shallows? Have we been too shallow in our prayer lives, our soul-winning, and our Bible study?

·The Problem Reviewed: “Master, we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing” They knew that something was missing – that their labor was in vain.

· The Obedience: “Nevertheless, at thy word, I will let down the net.” They trusted in Jesus’ Word and obeyed His command. Are we listening when God speaks to us, and are we obeying His voice?

Jesus always uses a physical illustration to demonstrate a spiritual truth. Likewise a preacher tries to illustrate his message in such a way as to bring forth spiritual productivity in the lives of his people. When men go fishing they leave with the goal of coming back with a good catch. The lesson of this text is about faith. Once we have received the command and obeyed, we can truly look for some good results. Read tomorrow‘s devotional for some great results.

(To be continued tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 75-77

Write out three verses that tell us we should read the Bible.

Complete___

June   26th

Get Ready for Revival 

Read Luke 5:4-11

Luke 5:4b, “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.”

This story is a beautiful picture of revival. Revival begins with the individual. Before a church, a city, or a country can have revival, Christians must have revival. Every great revival in this country can be traced to a group of dedicated Christians who begged God for His power in their lives. If we don’t desire God’s power, our church will never experience revival. God will not just send revival. Revival in a person’s heart comes in response to a request for it. It is always preceded by a time of pleading and begging God. We need more Christians begging God for personal revival today. We need more people at prayer meetings, witnessing for Christ, and living a holy life that is well pleasing to God.

There are several aspects of revival in this fishing story:

· The Command: “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.”

  They were told to go out, to get ready for great things. God wants us to do that as well. God wants to send revival. He wants us to be ready for it.

· The Problem: “Master, we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing” They knew that something was missing – that their labor was in vain.

   Does it seem like your labor for the Lord is in vain – that nothing is happening?  Recognizing the problem is the first step to revival. (To be continued tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 Kings 19-22

What do you think is the sign of revival in a church?

Complete___

June  25th

Five Dangerous D’s, Continued 

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Philippians 4:6, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and  supplication  with  thanksgiving  let  your  requests  be  made known unto God.”

Once we get discouraged, distracted and disillusioned, distrust will always follow. The Bible says in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own under- standing. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Why not just believe and trust in God? Don’t be hard on yourself or on others. Simply depend on God.

Otherwise, we may end up in despair. Don’t let despair stop you from allowing God to work His will in your life. There will be dark days, and it will seem like there is no hope, nobody cares, nothing good ever happens to you, when self-pity begins to rule your life. Remember Romans 8:28.

When these five dangerous D’s come , don’t stop, don’t quit, don’t get sidetracked. Stay on the main job, on course, with your cause, and eventually, it will pay off. God said to Joshua, “My servant Moses is dead.” In other words, he instructed Joshua to arise and get busy. This is not a bad idea for each of us – to get busy and stay busy about serving God.

Though Elijah was a man of great faith and courage, he was a man with weaknesses, just as you and I have weaknesses. He had strengths, as we have strengths. It is important to realize that it is not necessarily the greatness of a man or woman that determines the outcome, but his or her faith in God and His plan.

Daily  Assignments

Read Leviticus 7-9

Name one spiritual goal you would like to accomplish this year.

Complete___

June  24th

Five Dangerous D’s 

Read 1 Kings 19:1-18

Verse 13, “And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?”

In this passage, Elijah took several steps downward, which we see so often in Christianity today.

· Elijah faced discouragement. As frequently happens, defeat followed a great victory (see chapter 19). In our lives, we also face times of discouragement.

·Elijah was distracted. When a Christian is distracted, the temptation to become discouraged increases. The devil will do anything he can to get us sidetracked from our main goal, to distract us. The devil does not mind us doing good, as long as we don’t do it in the power of the Holy Spirit.

· Then came disillusionment. Elijah became disillusioned, not only with himself, but even with God.

What are some remedies for disillusionment?

1. The Presence of God. God said to Elijah, “What doest thou here, Elijah?”

2. Proper Casting. Psalm 55:22 “Cast thy burden upon The Lord, for He careth for you.

3. Pointed  Prayer.  Mark  6:31,  “Come  ye  apart  …  and  rest awhile.”

(To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Ephesians 4-6

Ask God to keep the church staff from discouragement.

Complete___

June  23rd

Does Anybody Really Care? 

Read Ezekiel 22:23-29

Ezekiel  scolded the priests,  princes  and  prophets,  then,  in verse 29, he said, “The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully.”

God called Jerusalem His “Holy  City,” and such it was for many years where people came to worship in His Sanctuary. But this was changed by the wickedness of the people. Instead of being a city of truth and righteousness it became a city of falsehood and wickedness. It had become a place where little children were offered in sacrifice to idols. Instead of respecting the Holy things of the Lord, they despised His sacrifices and profaned His Sabbath. They lived for material prosperity – sound familiar?

Time after time, God had sent His prophets to proclaim the evils among His people, but things continued to grow worse until the city was so polluted that He was about to give it over to its enemies.

Certainly, there are lessons in this chapter which help us see the condition of the church today.

At first, the people of God delighted in His Word and loved His truth, but little by little, depravity set in. The Israelites took up the ways of the heathen, out of which they had been called. With murder, idolatry and corruption, Jerusalem had become a reproach. Those who should have been faithful witnesses for Jehovah became a mockery, so that their heathen neighbors looked on with amazement and ridiculed them for being the chosen people of the Lord.

May all of us work to keep this from being our fate.

Daily  Assignments

Read Luke 13-14

Pray for God‘s blessings on the services this week.

Complete___

June  22nd

 How to Overcome Insecurity

Read Matthew 14:22-33

Don’t try to explain away this great miracle. It came like all other miracles, by faith. Any faith that looks much on outward circumstances will fail. It is wrong to have our faith dependent on circumstances. Rather, we should depend on God, who is above all cir- cumstances. Our salvation does not depend on how we feel; you are either saved or you‘re not, despite how you feel. A lost person may feel good or he may even feel saved, but that does not mean he is saved.

When Jesus said to Peter, “Come,” Peter had a right to expect Jesus to take care of him. We also may put our dependence on Christ and His Word. What a picture of our day! Jesus has gone to sit at the right hand of God the Father, while we are here in the midst of a storm-tossed sea in a place of peril. The fourth watch mentioned in verse 25 is about 3 AM to daylight. I believe Jesus is coming again on the fourth watch. We do not know the date, but we can know the time and season.

Notice in verse 29, “And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.” We hear some say that Peter had no faith. This is not a man of failure! No wonder God used him in such a great way in the Book of Acts. I like what William Carey said, “Expect great things from God, and attempt great things for God.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Ezekiel 7-12

Spend a few moments in prayer today asking God to increase your dependence on Him.

Complete___

June  21st

 Comfort in Time of Trouble

Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

2 Corinthians 12:9, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

2 Corinthians 7:4, “Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.”

God is so good to give us strength in time of need. When you are “troubled by troubles,” look to the God of all comfort. This is where trials become triumphs. These hurts make us helpers, and at times, God also allows hurts to heal. God has given many promises to comfort us in times of trouble. God gives us comfort so that we may give the same comfort and consolation to others. Often God uses the comfort we give others to win them to Christ.

As Christians, we must understand that God is the source of all comfort and that He is the only real source of comfort. He is not only willing and able, but He is always ready to give the comfort needed by His people. Paul certainly proves by his example that the grace of God was sufficient. Notice that he suffered many things, and God blessed him in spite of his trouble:  2 Corinthians 11:25, “Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep,” and 2 Timothy 3:11, “Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Proverbs 5-6

Buy a present for someone in the church.

Complete___

June  20th

 Having the Submissive Mind of  Christ

Read Philippians 2:1-24

How easy it is for some to get out of balance. Some Christians think only of fellowship with the brotherhood and have no time to fight the enemy and win souls. Others are so wrapped up in service that they forget fellowship. An example of this is Martha in Luke 10:40, “But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone?” Still others are so busy fighting the enemy that they neglect fellowship and service. It is easy to concentrate on fighting the enemy and overlook building the church. We need to be balanced Christians.

Verse 5,  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” We can have the mind of Christ in every area of life; however, too often, we make our own decisions. When we think of the alternatives, we can only say that we will either have the mind of Christ or the mind of the world, and the result of each is as different as night and day. What is a submissive mind?

If there is a submissive mind, there will be sacrifice and service. The single mind leads to the submissive mind: as we seek to live for Christ, we will live for others. How true this was in Paul‘s

life. The flesh cannot “work up” humility or dedication, this must come from within by the power of the Spirit. God works in us before He can work though us, and He uses the Scripture, the spirit and supplication so that we will know, apply, and live truth.

 Read Psalms 72-74

In which areas is it difficult for you to submit to Christ?

Complete___

June  19th

Examine Yourself 

Read Daniel 1:8-21

Verse 8, “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.”

Daniel purposed in his heart to obey God and do what was right. We too must realize the importance of examining our spiritual lives and ask ourselves:

· Do I really feel close to God?

· Are my beliefs based on the Bible?

· Do I put God first, above all else?

· Do I read my Bible everyday? Pray?

· Do I really have a purpose in living?

· Am I shocked when I read about the new morality?

· Do I hate the devil?

· Do I have definite standards to live by, or am I always on the border?

· Am I seeing my prayers answered?

· Does the Holy Spirit have control of every part of my life?

Daniel refused to eat the king‘s meat because he knew that it would defile him not only physically, but also spiritually. How did you score in this self-test? Is there a need of, or room for, improvement? In how many areas?

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 Kings 14-18

How would you answer the questions above?

Complete___

June  18th

What Is Salvation All About? 

Read Ephesians 1:1-11

Often I am asked the questions, “What is salvation all about?” “Which Gospel is right?” “How do we know that the Bible is true?” “Why are the other religions wrong, and we are right?”

I believe the Gospel is very clear in the Scriptures. It is very logical and is not a man-made religion or tradition. It is all about a person – the person of Christ. He is often referred to as Jesus; Jesus Christ; the Lord of the Sabbath; Christ our Lord, etc. He is both Lord and Christ. Jesus is the beginning, the ending, and everything in between.

1 Peter 1:18-19 says, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the

precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

The following is a good outline of what we have in Christ:

· Jesus is the Person of salvation.

· Redemption (to deliver by paying a price) is the Purchase of salvation.

· His blood is the Price of salvation.

· Forgiveness is the Promise of salvation.

· Grace is the Power of salvation.

Isaiah 1:18, Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool”.

Daily  Assignments

Read Leviticus 4-6

Spend a few moments in prayer today thanking Christ for who He is.

Complete___

June  17th

Why We Do Not Grow in Grace 

Read Galatians 5:17-21

2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

Why don’t we grow in grace? First of all, we do not admit our weakness.  A  newborn  child  is  totally dependent  on  its  mother. Then, day by day, the child begins the separation process: in preschool  the  child is  still  at  least  90%  dependent,  then in  grade school, maybe 75%; in high school it goes to about 10% (at least they think so). Then, on the day of marriage and cutting the chord, that child is no longer dependent on the parents. This is a natural process, and the wise parent will help to provide the right influences outside the home. This is the physical growth process.

When someone is born again, he becomes a babe in Christ. Now, again, he is dependent on someone else. As he grows in grace, he becomes more dependent – the opposite of growing physically. The dependency becomes stronger. In the physical life, as we grow, we become more independent. In the spiritual life, as we grow, we become more dependent.

We were created for His pleasure and His pleasure is dependence on Him – faith. We grow in grace by pleasing Him more and more, and what pleases Him is dependence on Him (Proverbs 3:5-6). The more we depend on Him; the more we please Him, and the more we please Him, the more we grow in grace, and the more mature we become.

Daily  Assignments

Read Ephesians 1-3

List some areas in which a Christian must lean on Christ.

Complete___

June   16th

How to Handle Your Emotions – Guilt 

Read 2 Peter 3:9-17

The Bible commands us to “be careful (anxious) for nothing,” yet one of the most common problems among Christians is the matter of guilt, which leads to discouragement. Many feel beaten down by it as they dwell on their failures and inadequacies. They fret about their weaknesses, and somehow believe that, if they could undo the past, things would be different. They see others as carefree, while they themselves are burdened down with feelings of wrongdoing. As a result, they are spiritually crippled. They are fal- ling far short of their potential as servants. They brood, dwelling in dark valleys of self-condemnation simply because they have never learned to face and resolve the problem of guilt.

God did not intend for us to be constantly overcome by failure. He has provided a way for us to be happy and free from guilt. The way to freedom is to appreciate and appropriate His forgiveness. If you are born again and believe the Bible, then believe God for this. You can know both the joy of peace with God and the peace of God, because He stands ready and willing to forgive every sin. There are no exceptions in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Christ died and paid for all sin, no matter how small or how great the sin. God never becomes weary of an honest confession, nor does He ever run out of patience for those who sincerely seek forgiveness. How foolish for us to go on feeling guilty! How foolish we are to dig up the sins that He has buried.

Daily  Assignments

Read Luke 11-12

Write out two verses that tell us what Christ did with our sin.

Complete___

June  15th

God Needs Men 

Read Ezekiel 22:30-31

Verse 30, “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”

God said that He sought for a man that should make up the hedge and stand in the gap for Him. The tragedy is He did not find such a man. Israel was in a terrible condition, especially in the city of Jerusalem. In verse 2, God calls it a “bloody city” with “all her abominations.” In the rest of the chapter, God repeatedly emphasizes the fact that Jerusalem was a bloody city, shedding blood. God warned of judgment that would come. God‘s hope was that He would find a good man who could lead. God did not seek a committee or a board – He sought for a man.

· David was a kingdom builder – Solomon was a Temple builder.

· John the Baptist was the forerunner for Jesus – Paul was the standard.

· Noah was just a man, but he was a just and righteous man.

· Job was an upright man – Abraham was a faithful man.

· Saul was a jealous man – David was a man who sought after God‘s own heart.

· Moses was a leader of men – Paul was one who fought the fight of faith.

I believe that today God is seeking for a man, and He cannot find one who is willing to sacrifice and surrender everything to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Daily  Assignments

Read Ezekiel 1-6

Complete             

Write a thank you note to someone who is serving God.

Complete___

June  14th

 A Passion for Our Country!

Read Isaiah 59:1-8

Verses 1-2, “Behold, the LORDS hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniqui- ties have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

Since today is Flag Day, and Independence Day is only three weeks away, let‘s show our passion and patriotism for our country early by proudly showing and waving our flag.

If the revival we are praying for does not come, it is not because God is tired of hearing us pray, but because we are tired of praying. In this chapter, we see sin in its true colors – exceedingly sinful, its consequences, and the painful separation from God, separation not only from all good, but unto all evil. Yet today millions feed, to their own destruction, on wicked humanistic beliefs and practices.

In verses 9-15, I believe God is saying that if we close our eyes against the light of truth, then God is justified in withholding His peace from our country. The sins of those who profess to be Christians are sometimes worse than the sins of the unsaved. National sin will bring national judgment, especially when not restrained by the leaders of the nation.

God said, in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

We can complain about the injustice, but nothing will ever change as long as people reject the King of peace, Jesus Christ, and His Gospel, and if Christians refuse to repent.

Daily  Assignments

Read Proverbs 4

Pray and ask God for revival.

Complete___

June 13th

The Living Word of God!

Read Hebrews 4:12-16

It is said of Moses in Acts 7:38, “This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles (living words) to give unto us:” See Romans 3:2, “unto them were committed the oracles (words) of God.” Also read 1 Peter 1:23-25.

Day and night, from year to year, and from generation to generation, God is on the throne. In every nation, and in every language, all may plead for mercy. In every time of trial and temptation, we can be assured that He is seated on that throne, and wherever we are, we may approach Him in acceptance. We need the privilege  of  coming  before the throne.  We are sinful  and need mercy; we are weak and need grace to help us.

There is not a day of our lives in which we do not need mercy and pardon – not a moment in which we do not need His grace. All we have to do is pray to our great High Priest, and He is ready to pardon. How do we know all these things? Only by the Word of God!

The Word of God will turn the inside of the sinner out and let him see his heart as nothing else can. “He knew their thoughts” in Matthew 12:25. The word of God helps the saint to discover his true moral character, because truth to the soul is what medicine is to the body. The Word reveals man to himself.

Someone said, “Let preachers preach the Word, without which no church can be blessed of God. And let the hearer tremble at His Word.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 69-71

Write out three verses that tell us about prayer.

Complete___

June  12th

Staying on Course in the Battle 

Read 1 Timothy 5

Philippians 3:18-19, “(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)” 1 Timothy 5:15, “For some are already turned aside after Satan”

 Many churches not nearly as old as the one I have had the privilege to pastor have already turned aside. They have lost their vision, power, and direction and eventually made shipwreck. It is easy to lose sight of the compass, or the direction that God intends the local church to take. It is easy to get involved in non-essentials, secondary things, until we have lost our course and are drifting, as a ship at sea. I thank God we have been able to stay on course in our ministry. We have stayed on course in the direction we have believed God wanted us to go for over thirty-five years.

· We must stay on course by going in the right direction.

· We must stay on course with Holy Ghost power.

· We must stay on course in good old-fashioned soul-winning.

· We must stay on course with biblical repentance and salvation.

· We must stay on course with the right Bible – KJV. What are you doing to help keep your church on course?

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 Kings 10-13

What are some things that can lead a person off course?

Complete___

June  11th

How to Be a Friend 

Read Proverbs 27:5-17

Verses 6, 10, 17, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not. Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

How many friends do you have? How many would you be willing to die for, and how many would be willing to die for you? There is a difference between a friend and an acquaintance. I believe that we take our friendships a little too lightly in this country. The Book of Proverbs has much to say about friendships. “Friend” was a title given to Abraham because of his close relationship with God. A friend of a king was usually a high court official. It was also used as a greeting for either friend or foe.

The story of David and Jonathan is an example of true man-to- man friendship. Dr. Hyles said, “One of the great joys of my life is loving people for whom I would die and having the love of people who would die for me.”

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word Reyan means brother, lover, and is used more for an acquaintance than a friend. Another Hebrew word is Awhab, which is used for a deep love and affection. This is the word that God used in Proverbs 18:24, “there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother,” and in 27:6, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” – “but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Do you know what that means? Jesus loves us as a brother with that deep love and affection.

Daily  Assignments

Read Leviticus 1-3

List two people in the Bible who had a good spirit in spite of circumstances.

Complete___

June  10th

Seven Things We Ought to Do

Meditate on Matthew 23:23

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”

Christians today should take seriously this sharp rebuke by Jesus to the legalists of His day. Although we are saved by grace alone, there are many things we ought to do, not as a mater of credit toward salvation, but in gratitude for our salvation. Surely judgment, mercy, and faithfulness are high on such a list. Other things the born-again Christian ought to do would include the following incomplete list. “Ought to” appears some 99 times in the Bible:

· We always ought to pray.

· We always ought to obey God in all things.

· We always ought to work and share with others.

· We always ought to be gracious in our speech.

· We always ought to walk with God.

· We always ought to heed the Word of God.

· We always ought to be holy in our living.

1 Samuel 15:22, “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”

What is it that you and I ought to do today? 

Daily  Assignments

 Read Galatians 4-6

Think about the greatest prayer request that you have ever had answered.

Complete___

June  9th

Love, the Greatest Power

Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Greatest of these – true religion cannot exist without faith, hope, and charity.  Faith and hope are great, but love is the greatest. There is no moral value in faith and hope, although they are, under certain conditions, necessary. But love is a godly quality. It is the one that gives value to the other two. It is the only one of the three that brings us close to God Himself.

Love is what brings everything else together. Love includes the highest of faith and hope. Only love can bring true happiness, because love is happiness. You cannot say that about faith or hope.

Love is the most God-like of the three. God is not faith or hope – God is love. God does not believe or anticipate, but He does love, because God is love. Paul does not explain why love is best, but there may be some good reasons given:

· Love is the root of the other two. We believe only in that which we love; we hope only for that which we love.

· Love is for others; faith and hope are mainly for ourselves.

· Faith and hope are human and can work and be shown only by love.

· Faith is a gift we can have and appreciate the spiritual bless- ings as we walk with God.

· Hope gives us the expectation of blessings as we go through life.

· Love gives us the opportunity to show the goodness and grace of God.

Daily  Assignments

Read Luke 9-10

List some people that we should love.

Complete___

June  8th

Let’s Move On! 

Read Ezra 3:8-13

Verse 12, “But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:”

The combination of sorrow and joy is a picture of our daily condition in this world. Think of it this way: there will be rejoicing in heaven, while in hell there is no reason for rejoicing because they are in a horrible place where there is no hope of ever getting out.

It was hard for the Israelites to accept the fact that the temple had been destroyed. They had lived in sin and apostasy; the temple was destroyed, and they had gone into bondage for seventy years.

Then they came back to rebuild the temple. Zechariah and Haggai challenged them to get back to building God‘s house. In their minds, the new version was not as good as the old, and they wept about it. They felt that it was a shack compared to the Temple of Solomon, built for five billion dollars. The sacrifices were the same, and the old were no better than the new.

The water in the laver was still good for cleansing; the table of shewbread still offered the bread for sustenance; the lamps of oil still gave the same light and power they once had; the incense still had the same fragrance and sweetness, and the Shekinah Glory was just as holy and His presence just as real as in the old temple.

Only the outward appearance of the temple had changed somewhat. God has given us the opportunity to rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

Daily  Assignments

Read Lamentations

Give a testimony during the next church service.

Complete___

June  7th

 What Really Happened to the Pigs?

Read Luke 8:26-40

Verse 27, “And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.”

When the Promised Land was being divided among the Tribes of Israel, the tribe of Gad stayed on the wrong side of the Jordan, and they went into the pig business, which was against Mosaic Law. Most Christians today have the philosophy that demons no longer exist; however, I believe that we are seeing a manifestation of demons all around the country. Demons are very real and seek to indwell mankind.

There are many demons today. We have them in Satan worshippers, witches, drugs, sex, and rebellion. Many college students and professors today are involved in Satan worship. The Lord Jesus Christ has power over demons. There is no reason for a Christian to be afraid of them, because a Christian cannot be possessed. If you think they are bothering you, go to the Lord and claim the blood of Christ.

Now, here is a scary thing – these demons would rather have swine than the Lord Jesus Christ, and there are many today who would rather feed with the swine and other things than Jesus. On the other hand, the herd of swine would rather die than to have the demons possess them.

Let‘s remember that demons are very real. The Christian who is not prepared through the power of prayer could fall prey to them.

Daily  Assignments

Read Proverbs 2-3

Spend an extra five minutes praying for God‘s power upon your pastor.

Complete___

June  6th

Impossible Goals 

Read Matthew 19:16-30

On the eve of D-Day, June 6, 1944, when the allies invaded France in WW II, General Eisenhower briefed his soldiers thus: “There is no victory at bargain prices.” He knew the sandy beaches of Normandy would be sprinkled with the blood and mangled bodies of heroic men.

A Hindu said to a missionary, “Why are you so anxious to see God with your eyes closed? See Him with your eyes open, as you look at the poor, the starved, the illiterate and the afflicted.”

John Burroughs said, “The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are.”

God said in Proverbs 17:24, “The eyes of the fool are in the ends of the earth.

Sir Winston Churchill said, “The farther you look back, the longer you look forward.”

Someone else said, “Our hats off to the past, our coats off to the future.”

Jesus said, “With God all things are possible.”

The disciples were given an impossible goal – “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

That‘s it! They had an impossible goal set before them, but it was given by a God who specializes in the impossible.  We too have a mandate from God – we have been entrusted with an impossible goal, but not without the God who does the impossible.

We need to be thankful for the past and look expectantly to the future.

Hebrews 11:7, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 66-68 

Write out three verses that tell us what our attitude toward the devil should be.

Complete___

June  5th

He Stood Between the Living and the Dead 

Read Numbers 16:41-50

Verse 48, “And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.”

We are not told exactly what the plague was, but it seems to have begun at one of the camps, and continued to get worse. Aaron went to where the plague was “and he stood between the dead and the living,” and in verse 49, we see that the plague was stayed after 14,700 had fallen victims to it.

Here is one of God‘s anointed priests, a High Priest, protecting with his life those who were appointed to die on account of sin. The spiritual meaning is so much deeper than the literal that we must consider  this  verse  in  light  of  the  finished  work  of  Christ.  The plague was stayed by Aaron‘s intercession.

Today Jesus stands between the living and the dead in the sense that all souls are divided by Him and His cross into two groups: the living, who accept Christ, and the dead, who reject Christ. Remember how He hung between the two thieves. One repented; one did not. Christ has taken away the sting of death by placing Himself between it and us.

Aaron, after making the atonement, returned to the Most Holy Place. In the same way, our Lord Jesus Christ, after making atonement for us on the cross, and breaking the penalty and curse of sin forever, returned to Heaven from whence He came, leaving us free from the power of sin and death.

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 Kings 5-9

Find two verses that speak of the fate of those who reject Christ.

Complete___

June  4th

 How to Handle Your Emotions – Worry

Read Philippians 4:1-13

Verses 10-11, “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

The pressures of our society can be discouraging: competition, money problems, family problems, drugs, sex, tragedies, violence, war and rumors of war, indifference, temptations, enticements to do evil, etc. Life has become more and more difficult as the economy has become stronger once again.  More and more people are struggling with emotional instability.

Every age group, social standing, race, and income status is affected. Even Christians are falling to the overwhelming barrage of trials and troubled situations that they must face daily. Does this mean that we must cave in under these circumstances? Must we become victims of our fast-paced society? No! We have the Holy Spirit dwelling within. We have a living hope, an anchor for our souls. We have the Bible, God‘s Word.

I believe that worry originates not from the outside, but from within. It is not the job, schedule or pressure from other people that produce it; rather, it is how we respond to outside pressures that leads to worry. So, when you analyze it carefully and honestly, you realize that the responsibility is on you and me to handle worry successfully. How? Trust the Lord, pray specifically, live one day at a time, and remember that God is always faithful.

Daily  Assignments

Read Exodus 37-40

Name some things people worry about.

Complete___

June  3rd

Why Christ’s Sacrifice Is Superior 

Read Hebrews 10:19-25

Verses 24-25, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

If we provoke each other, it should be unto love. The fact that we can have boldness to come to God at any time because of Jesus‘ sacrifice ought to lead to spiritual growth and dedication. It seems that these believers, because of trials, were neglecting Christian fellowship and the mutual encouragement that believers need from each other. Since Christ is our High Priest, and we are a kingdom of priests, we ought to assemble together for common worship, teaching, and service. Going to church is important!

The Old Testament Jew could not enter the tabernacle, and the High Priest could not enter the Holy of Holies whenever he pleased. But, through Christ’s sacrifice, we have a Living Way into heaven. We can come to God at any time. Are we taking advan- tage of this privilege?

Provoke has a different meaning today; it may be to offend, to irritate someone; but the original meaning was to excite, to call into action, and this is the meaning in verse 24. It expresses excitement, and that Christians should endeavor to excite each other. What are you doing to encourage or excite a Christian to greater service for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ?

Daily  Assignments

 Read Galatians 1-3

What does the church mean to you?

Complete___

June  2nd

Let’s  Push  the  Reset  Button Again

Read Psalm 102:12-21

Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,”

I believe it is healthy for us to look occasionally at why we are here, and “push the reset button” to make sure that we are still on the right track. Jesus paid more attention to the lost sheep than those that were safe.

· Our first job is to seek the lost.

· The second is to bring back that which is driven away.

· Third, we are to bind that which is broken.

· Fourth, we are to strengthen that which is weak.

God hears the prayers of the destitute and those that fall short, as well as the backslider, etc. God is more concerned about the aged than the young, more about the sick than the well, more about the poor than the rich, more about the sinner than the righteous. God cares most about the destitute, the lost, and the sinner. If we as Christians don‘t care about the destitute, we are no longer like Christ. He came to seek and to save that which is lost. He came to save sinners, and He commanded us to do likewise.

Daily  Assignments

Read Luke 7-8

Complete             

Spend five minutes praying for God to give you a greater burden for the lost.

Complete___

June   1st

I Will Walk in the Strength of the Lord

Read Psalm 71:1-24

Verses 4-5, “Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth.”

To understand this Psalm, we must understand the psalmist. Truly the character of David is revealed in this Psalm. He was a godly man. He set his affection and his dependence on God. It was a rule of his life. He did have some darkness in his life, but his sin was as much a sin to him as ours is to us. So we have to judge him by the rules we apply to other men, as well as to ourselves. And what do we find? He is first seen as a shepherd boy on the rocky hills of Bethlehem. God was a living reality – “He set the Lord always before him.” In his thoughts, about his work, in solitude, and yes, even in his sin, he never forsook his Lord.

What better prayer for a Christian who is walking with God than to ask God for deliverance from the wicked. I can recall years ago that this seemed to be the norm among even the lost. It seems that in these days of excess, we are drawn to the wicked without hesitation. Why not be as the Psalmist and call upon God to help in time of temptation? We can look at David as a good example of a godly man and a good king, yet with the warning that the best of men have corrupt and sinful natures and can fall at any time if they forget God.

Daily  Assignments

Read Jeremiah 47-52

Write down two Bible examples of people who fell into sin. Why did they fall?

Complete___

May  31st

It’s Better to Trust the Lord 

Read 1 Samuel 21

Verse 2, “And David said unto Ahimelech the priest, The king hath commanded me a business, and hath said unto me, Let no man know any thing of the business whereabout I send thee, and what I have commanded thee: and I have appointed my servants to such and such a place.”

Here David tells a lie, as he did in 1 Samuel 20:6. He lied to protect himself, but it was still a lie. He lied to Saul in chapter 20. He lied to Ahimelech in chapter 21, verse 2, and he lied to Achish in chapter 21, verses 10-15, where David still trusted in the flesh. He went to Achish and fled to the Philistines where he changed his behavior.

When we leave the plain path of faith, there is no telling what we will do and how far we will go. Look at David, acting like a mad man. (Reminds us of Shakespeare’s Hamlet). Think of how truthful the Holy Spirit was to record David, “a man after God’s own heart,” completely – his faults as well as his honorable behavior.

This sin of David is recorded not for his honor, but for our warning. His falsehood led to a terrible consequence, as lying always does. He trusted in his own flesh, rather than in Almighty God. It’s amazing how quickly a man of faith can become a man of fear and unbelief. If we get in a hurry and trust man, or our own plans, before long everything falls to pieces, and we find ourselves out of God’s fellowship, blessing, and protection.

Daily  Assignments

Read Proverbs 1

What does the Bible say about lying?

Complete___

May  30th

 A Passion for Our Country

Read Isaiah 59:1-15

As we honor those who gave their lives to keep us free as a nation, let us give special attention to what Memorial Day (May 30th) really ought to mean to us.

In 1868, Commander in Chief John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic issued General Order No. 11, designating May 30 as a memorial day “for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.”

The first national celebration of the holiday took place May 30, 1868, at Arlington National Cemetery, where both confederate and Union soldiers were buried. Southern women decorated the graves of soldiers even before the Civil War’s end.

Records show that by 1865, Mississippi, Virginia, and South Carolina all had precedents for Memorial Day. Songs in the Duke University collection, Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920, include hymns published in the South such as these two from 1867: “Kneel Where Our Loves Are Sleeping, dedicated to The Ladies of the South Who are  Decorating  the  Graves  of  the  Confederate  Dead,” and “Memorial Flowers, dedicated To the Memory of Our Dead Heroes.”

Originally known as Decoration Day, at the turn of the century it was designated as Memorial Day. In many American towns, the day is celebrated with a parade. We also honor the current members of our military, wherever they may be serving today. I realize that we have already celebrated Memorial Day; however, the 30th of May has always been the designated Day. Let’s remember to pray for our heroes who have given their lives in protecting our nation over the years.

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 63-65 

Write a note to someone who is or was in the military.

Complete___

May  29th

Casting a Long Shadow 

Read Acts 5:12-16

Verse  15,  “Insomuch  that  they  brought  forth  the  sick  into  the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.”

The first impression we make is always a lasting impression. You have heard the saying, “You will never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Only consistent Christian living will change the first impression. Only the power of God can change the heart of the one who has formed a lasting impression.

Our influence for Christ is determined by how holy we live. Our influence is increased and impressions are for good as we live a surrendered life for Him. A mirror reflection is a reflection of the real thing. We are to be a reflection of the real thing, our faith in Christ.

C.H. Spurgeon is still casting a long shadow, 100 years after his death. John Wesley, Billy Sunday, and Hudson Taylor are still casting long shadows. Fanny Crosby is still  casting  a  shadow  today.  Marilyn  Monroe  is  still  casting  a shadow 30 years after her death – she made more money last year than in her entire life. Elvis Presley is still casting a shadow. They are casting a shadow for good or for bad. We ought to pray daily, “Please God, help me cast a shadow for good.”

What kind of a shadow are you casting? Is it a shadow of encouragement to others or a shadow of discouragement?

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 Kings 1-4

List some people you know to be serving our country in the military today.

Complete___

May  28th

Blessed Be Our God 

Read 1 Peter 1:3-7

Verse 3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”

Our hope is not in man‘s faith, but in the faithfulness of God. Things are never so bad that we cannot bless God and rejoice. The mercy of God brings rejoicing. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation of our hope. We have a living hope. The effect of our trials is that our faith will be found unto praise and honor and glory at His presence. The trial will soon be over, but praise, honor and glory will be unto eternity.

· Things are never so bad that we fail to bless God and rejoice.

· The mercy of God brings rejoicing.

· The resurrection is the foundation of our hope.

· We have a living hope.

· The effect of our trials is that our faith will be found unto praise and honor and glory at His presence.

· The trial will soon be over, but praise, honor and glory will be unto eternity.

The song writer said it well: “Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus‘ blood and righteousness.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Exodus 33-36

Write out two verses that  tell us about hope.

Complete___

May  27th

What to Do with Your Problems 

Psalm 32:5-6

I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.”

We talk too much about our problems and not enough about the solution. When you try to run from a problem, it keeps up with you and becomes harder to solve as time goes by. In one of Napoleon‘s greatest battles, his young trumpeter was told to sound the retreat. The young man replied, “I do not know how; you never taught me to retreat.” So he blew the trumpet the only way he knew how. Everybody  charged,  thinking  they  had  reinforcements  coming  to help, and the enemy thought so too. They won this battle. One young man made the difference because he did not retreat. Don‘t you retreat. Face your problem head on, and you will not be sorry that you did. For everyday problems, learn and discern:

· What is the problem?

· What are possible solutions to this problem?

· What is the best solution?

Running is never the answer. Define the problem; learn to be a problem solver not dodger, while focusing more on the solutions than on the problems. What are you waiting for?

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 Corinthians 11-13

Spend an extra five minutes praying for our elected leaders.

Complete___

May  26th

The Worst Kind of Deception! 

Read Galatians 6:6-10

Verse 7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Paul is speaking in regard to their character, but he also implies that there was a danger that they would be deceived. The danger was the corruption of their own hearts, the difficulty of knowing their true character, as well as the instructions of false teachers.

Honesty has almost become a lost policy in these days. “Honesty is still the best policy” – the old motto is still true today, though not much practiced. Is it obsolete? Maybe so! I am sure that if some people had their way they would certainly abolish it.

Recently on a talk show a doctor said, “Lying is an important part of society, and children who are unable to lie may have developmental problems.‖ (Personal note: this man is sick – out of his mind). A recent U.S.A.TODAY poll shows only 56% of parents teach hon- esty to their children, and 65% of high school students would cheat on an important exam.

Do not be deceived by the deceptions of Satan, sin, and self; rather have a time of self-examination. 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” and Lamentations 3:40, “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.

We must learn to live honestly, because it is still God‘s command. Someone said, ―”If   you always tell the truth, you will never be trapped by a lie.” 

Daily  Assignments

 Read Luke 5-6

What are some lies people tell themselves?

Complete___

May  25th

Living to Complete Another

Read Genesis 2:18-24

Dr. Jack Hyles, former pastor of First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana, always taught that the wife is the completer in the home. According to the dictionary, a completer is someone who completes another. When Dr. Hyles taught that the woman is the completer in the home, he meant that the woman is to complete the husband.

God created the woman to be a helpmeet to him, not a “hindermeet.”  That means she is to help him meet his God- given work – that is, fellowship in his work. This is going to be new to some of you, but the wife is to help her husband to be successful. The Holy Spirit makes Christians complete and successful.  He is the completer of the Christian.

There are several ways in which the wife is to be the helpmeet to her husband: submission (Ephesians 5:22-32), reverence, godly behavior (1 Peter 5:3-4), meekness, to be sober; to love her hus- band and children; to be keepers at home, to mention a few. Titus 2:3-5 says, “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

On a personal note, I have been very blessed with such a helpmeet for over fifty years. Thank God for wives and mothers who are a help to their husbands and the ministry; they are truly virtuous women.

Daily  Assignments

Read Jeremiah 42-46

Name some people who have been a real help to you.

Complete___

May  24th

 Love at Its Greatest

Read 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

According to verse 26, when we take the Lord‘s Supper we “proclaim the Lord’s death.” Since Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,”  we are celebrating an event that proves His love at its greatest.

The shedding of Jesus‘ blood on the cross cannot be compared with any other event in history. Much was involved when Christ came to pay the penalty for our sins. “He left the splendors of heaven, knowing His destiny,” said the songwriter. Love such as this demands our gratitude; therefore, let us renew our dedication before God, especially at the Lord‘s Supper table.

· He had to leave heaven‘s glory to come to this sin-cursed world.

· He had to lower Himself to become a man (Philippians 2:6-9).

· He had to experience hunger, thirst, and emptiness, as well as weariness.

· He was spat upon, blasphemed, and nailed to the accursed tree (Read Isaiah 53).

· He  hung  in  agony  before  a  hateful,  jeering  crowd  yelling, “Crucify Him.”

· He was separated from His Father, the greatest pain of all.

· He was rejected by His own people.

Let‘s surrender to a new commitment to serve Him, because His love for us is love at its greatest. 

Daily  Assignments

Read Job 41-42

List some people that we are commanded to love.

Complete___

May  23rd

Loving the Lost to Christ 

Read John 1:29-42

Verses 41-42, “He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jonathon shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.”

Our greatest privilege is to be soul-winners for Christ. The greatest gift in this life is salvation, but right after that is the privilege of being an ambassador for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

These disciples had been with John the Baptist. His ministry was to prepare the way for the Messiah. They left John, their teacher, and followed the long-expected Messiah. This shows that John was sincere, and was not interested  in forming a following or building up a sect for himself, but that he desired that all those whom he had attracted to himself should become followers of Christ.

The object of any ministry should be to point people to the Saviour. Every disciple should be willing to forsake all and follow Jesus when he learns that He is the Saviour. We should not delay or argue the matter, but leave all our old companions, and follow the Lamb of God.

From the conduct of Andrew, we learn that it is the nature of salvation to desire that others would be saved.  We are not to hide it under a bushel, but witness so that others also may be brought to the Saviour. It goes after others; it seeks them out, and tells them that a Saviour is found. New converts should seek out their family, friends, and neighbors, and tell them of the Saviour.

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 60-62

Write down the stories of the last two people you led to Christ.

Complete___

May  22nd

It’s How You React That Counts

Read Isaiah 27:1-8

Verses 7-8, “Hath he smitten him, as he smote those that smote him? or is he slain according to the slaughter of them that are slain by him? In measure, when it shooteth forth, thou wilt debate with it: he stayeth his rough wind in the day of the east wind.”

We need the east wind of persecution in order to appreciate the south wind of pleasant warmth. We need the west wind of cleansing as well as the north wind of cooling. Everybody has east winds, but it is how you react that really counts.

One family may lose a child and say, “I‘ll never serve a God like that,” while another may say, “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord.‖”

Each one suffers equally, but they react differently. Paul said, “I rejoice in persecution,” while others fled from persecutors. We may be facing a lot of east winds in the future. We may even see a depression or soup lines again. But the east wind of trials and persecution will give us an opportunity to know Him better.

A martyr once said, “There is one thing you cannot take from me,  that  is the right of my freedom to react in the  way that I choose.”  Our reaction can be more important than the action, because it is how we react to any given situation that will determine the outcome.

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 Samuel 20-24

Stand up in church during the next service, and give a testimony.

Complete___

May  21st

Self-discipline 

Read Luke 9:57-62

Verses 59-62, “And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Each person has the responsibility of planning and directing his own life, because each one shall give account of himself to God. Each of us must take control and direct our own lives, or we will allow someone or something else to direct it.

It is not wise to follow the crowd, since we are all accountable to God for what we say and do, as well as for the things we accomplish (or fail to accomplish) in service for the Lord. Our entire lives must be disciplined – in our personal lives as well as our spiritual lives.

· Self-discipline is not easy.

· Self-discipline must come from the surrendered, yielded life where Christ is in control.

· Self-discipline involves proper motives.

Being a disciple for Jesus must begin with self-discipline – controlling your life as well as your mind, because these are vital to living successfully for Christ in this humanistic world.

Daily  Assignments

Read Exodus 29-32

Pray for areas in your life in which you need more self-discipline.

Complete___

May  20th

Justification

Read Romans 5

Verses 1-2, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

Justification is God’s declaration that those who trust Jesus Christ are perfectly righteous before Him. Justification means “to declare righteous.”  It is a legal concept, as when a judge gives a verdict. God is the great Judge. It is His law we have broken. Before I am saved, God declares that I am a condemned sinner. After I come to Christ, God declares that I am righteous because of what Christ did for me on Calvary.

  • Justification is being brought into a new spiritual position before God (Romans 5:1-2). The believer no longer belongs to the cursed household of Adam, but has entered the blessed household of Christ. How is a person justified?
  • Justification is free (Romans 3:24). We do not become righteous before God through good works, religious rituals, morality, or keeping the law. It is a free gift.
  • Justification is free (Romans 3:24). We do not become righteous before God through good works, religious rituals, morality, or keeping the law. It is a free gift.
  • Justification   is   available   because   of   Christ’s   redemption (Romans 3:24). Justification is free and available because Jesus Christ paid the price with His own precious blood and death.
  • Justification comes through faith in Christ (Romans 3:25-28; 4:3-6; 5:1).
  • Man’s part in justification is to repent of his sin and to trust Jesus Christ, but our position in Christ never changes.

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 Corinthians 9-10

What are some of the blessings of being a Christian?

Complete___

May  19th

 Who Do You Think God Is?

Read Isaiah 56:1-12

Verse 8, The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.”

Every one of us is an outcast. Ninety percent of the people in our churches were outcasts. God specializes in outcasts. All of us are nobodies, but there is hope for all of us and any of us.

One of the faults of the Christian world is that we blame God. We have the wrong view of God. We look at God from the material standpoint; God looks at us from the spiritual.

We say, “God has been good to me,” if we have a lot of material things, and we will usually blame the devil if things don‘t go just right or bad things happen to us. We equate His goodness to how He treats us. We make a mold for God and expect Him to fit in it. “Woe be to God,” we say, “if  He does not do things our way.”

We want a God we can understand and predict. That‘s humanism of the worst kind. We tell Him what we think of His performance, then we become our own God and become idolaters.

Why not let God be God and thank Him that you do not always understand His ways? “His thoughts are not our thoughts neither are His ways our ways,” (Isaiah 55:8).

He knows your needs; you don‘t. Leave God alone! I want the God I have. Why? I was once an outcast – and so were you.

Daily  Assignments

Read Luke 3-4

Write down three verses that speak of the goodness of God.

Complete___

May  18th

Be Strong and of Good Courage

Read 1 Chronicles 28:9-20

Verse 9, And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.”

Have you ever seriously thought about what your great task or purpose in life is? Is it to be a housewife? (Please understand that being a housewife is not a second-rate calling). If God called you to do a task in the church, it is a great task. We need His power for this great work of His.

All across America, preachers, teachers and workers are quitting and leaving their tasks undone. The average Christian walks out on God in less than seven years. They quit and say, “It‘s someone else‘s turn.”

We need to say, “By God‘s grace, I‘ll stick.” There are Christians who love God only if all goes well. Don‘t quit just because you may have some opposition, but “be strong and of good courage” – just hang in there.

Most of us today quit in the eleventh hour, when we ought to be men and women of good courage and just hang in there. We need more winners for our children’s sake; they never see us win anymore. Stay with your job, whatever it may be.

C. H. Spurgeon said, “By perseverance the snail reached Noah‘s ark.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Jeremiah 37-41

Write a thank you note to someone besides a staff member who serves others  in the church.

Complete___

May  17th

 I Shall Come Forth as Gold 

Read Job 23:8-12

Job 13:15, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.”

Job was noted for his perseverance and unwavering faith in God in spite of his suffering and times of frustration and doubt. All the facts known about Job are in the Old Testament book that bears his name. He is described as a prosperous man.

Job had 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and a large household, consisting of seven sons and three daughters.  He  was  also  “blameless  and  upright,  and  one  who feared God and eschewed evil.”

Satan suggested to God that Job would remain righteous as long as it was financially profitable for him to do so. Then the Lord permitted Satan to try Job’s faith in Him. Test after test fell upon Job: his children, his servants, and his livestock were taken from him and he was left completely empty. Nevertheless, “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.”

Job is a model of spiritual integrity – a person who held fast to his faith, without understanding the reason behind his suffering.

Job believed that God not only cared for the general things in life, but also was concerned about the particular.

God knows all things, including all secret things in life. He knows all there is to know about us.

Hagar in the wilderness said, “Thou God, seest me” or “you are all-seeing.”

David said, “I am poor and needy, yet the Lord thinketh upon me.” Jeremiah could say, “Lord, thou knowest all their counsel against me.”  

Peter said, “Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee.”

Be assured that God knows it all!

Daily  Assignments

Read Job 39-40

What do you think was the worst moment of Job‘s trials?

Complete___

May  16th

What a Change 

Read Acts 9:1-22

Saul seems to have been the greatest persecutor of Christians thus far. The Chief Priest and Sanhedrin were jealous for their position over the people, but they were worldly, wicked men. They would stoop to bribing witnesses and other fraud to stop Christianity from moving forward.

Saul was a dedicated Pharisee of the strictest sect; he was “taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers… zealous toward God.” He was not a wicked man as the High Priest and Sadducees were, but he was a more zealous persecutor of Christians because of his loyalty to his Pharisee position. He was a legalist, a moralist, like his Jewish friends of whom he wrote in Romans 10:3, “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submit- ted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”

Then Paul met the Lord Jesus Christ, and there was a change in his life:

· Paul was gloriously saved (verses 3-8).

· He was spirit-filled (verses 9-17).

· He was a servant (verses 15-16).

· He was a soul-winner (verses 19-22).

If we are going to be continually filled, prayer is necessary. Paul had been praying day and night for three days. No doubt he was praying for what Stephen had. He wanted not only to be saved but also spirit-filled. What a change we see in Paul‘s life. How about yours? Are we due to make some changes in our life?

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 57-59

List some areas of your Christian life in which you would like to see changes?

Complete___

May  15th

Satan’s Diversions 

Read 1 Thessalonians 3:1-13

Verse 5, “For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.”

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese used Pearl Harbor as a diversionary tactic to draw our attention from the Pacific. Their eventual goal was to attack the mainland, but they underestimated our tactics.

Satan often uses diversion on Christians. A diversion can be good or bad: the act of changing a course, a detour, voluntarily or involuntarily.  Satan  tries  his  diversionary  tactics  on  us  in  several ways:

He tries to divert us – to redirect us. He tries to redirect our course through temptation. He tempts us about God – “Yea, hath God said?”

He tempts us about man – to prove if God will keep His promises – “The fool hath said in his heart there is no God.”

David was distracted when he saw Bathsheba. Achan was distracted by silver, gold and things that Satan used to destroy him and his family. Jeremiah said in Chapter 17, verse 11, that people who try to profit by doing wrong end up being fools. Satan distracts our attention from right, and slowly leads away from it to wrong. He tries to redirect us through trials and tribulations. Jesus said in John 16:33, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Lean on God during tribulation.

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 Samuel 15-19

Pray for those areas of temptation in which Satan attacks you.

Complete___

May  14th

The Wonder of It All 

Read 1 John 4

Verses 7-8, 10, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

When I was a child in Germany, I heard that God loves me. It was hard for me to understand how God could love me, yet allow all the terrible things to happen to our family. I was born right into World War II, and never knew things to be different until many years later. It never occurred to me that there was a better life. God loved me even before I knew who He was, or before I ever realized that He loved me.

I have never been one to question the love of God, nor have I ever felt that He did not love me. I simply took Him at His Word when I was saved. How many of us live a defeated Christian life because we do not realize or understand the love of God? His love is greater than any trial or difficulty you may face.

God’s love, with its endless compassion, is an infinite fatherly affection towards sinners. It is shown in all His works, His ways, and even in His law, but it is most beautifully displayed in the Gospel. His love is greater than any doubt or fear you may experience. God is faithful, and one way He proved His faithfulness is by loving us enough to send His Son to die for us.

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 Corinthians 6-8

Write down three verses that speak of God‘s love.

Complete___

May  13th

When Failure is Better than Success!

Read Hebrews 12:1-11

Verse 5, And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:”

Often the chastening hand of God comes because of disobedience and sometimes because of failure. There are things that are learned through failure that would not have been learned any other way. When a football or baseball team fails, it is usually because somebody got off the main game plan. A Christian is no different; if he has a game plan, he needs to stick to it just like an athlete. I have found that unhappy Christians are usually those who do not have any kind of a plan for their daily walk with God, or they have a wrong plan. Success, if not in the plan of God, can be a failure, and failure can be success if it is in God‘s plan.

You can suffer or fail without complaining if you realize it is a part of God‘s plan for you. Victory that leads nowhere is no victory at all. So, failure within a plan is victory. If it is in God‘s plan, that is real victory.  Abraham Lincoln was a failure at being a storekeeper, surveyor, soldier, lawyer, and businessman. It took him 17 years to pay off some bad debts, but he paid them. He failed in his bid for the Legislature, for Congress, and for Vice President, but became the greatest President we have ever had. Why? He didn‘t quit! Remember, failure is better than success when your failure is within the plan of God for you.

Daily  Assignments

 Read Luke 1-2

List some lessons in your life you have learned through the hard times.

Complete___

May  12th

 The Influence of Godly Mothers

Read Proverbs 31:25-31.

In the Hebrew family, the mother occupied a higher position than that enjoyed by women in many other nations. Her duties were pri- marily domestic, but she was held in high regard by her family and Hebrew society.

Susannah Wesley spent one hour each day praying for her 17 children. In addition, she took each child aside for a full hour every week to discuss spiritual matters with him or her. No wonder two of her sons, Charles and John, were used of God to bring blessing to all of England and much of America. Here are a few rules she followed in training her children:

· Subdue self-will in a child, and thus work together with God to save his soul.

· Teach him to pray as soon as he can speak.

· Give him nothing he cries for and only what is good for him if he asks for it politely.

· To prevent lying, punish no fault which is freely confessed, but never allow a rebellious, sinful act to go unnoticed.

· Commend and reward good behavior.

· Strictly observe all promises you have made to your child.

Let‘s honor our Godly mothers, not only with words of praise for them, but with lives that reflect the impact of their holy influence.

Daily  Assignments

Read Exodus 25-28 

Spend an extra five minutes today praying  for the services this week.

Complete___

May  11th

 Be of Good Cheer!

Read Matthew 14:22-33

Verses 24-27, “And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.”

The secret to overcoming the storms in life and doing the impossible is simply believing the Word of God and always looking to the Son of God. Yet, even when we fail, Jesus graciously helps us!

Keep in mind that the disciples were in the storm not because they disobeyed Christ (as Jonah did), but because they obeyed Him! Remember – if we will obey the Word of God, there will be suffering and persecution, but Christ is praying for us and will someday come to take us home.

The secret is faith!  Doubt and fear always go together, and faith and peace always go together. May we not be “little faith” Christians. This entire chapter shows the course of this age: the King withdraws, and there is persecution against His servants; through His servants He distributes the precious Bread of Life to a hungry world; His servants go through storms and testing, but Christ returns to give them peace and rescue them from the enemy.

Here is the principle: while the disciples went to sea, Jesus went to pray. Though trouble may come in our service to God, it should not cause us to be afraid, but we must be of good cheer and press onward.

Daily  Assignments

Read Jeremiah 32-36

Complete         

List some people in the Bible who went through storms in their lives.

Complete___

May  10th 

Read 2 Timothy 3:14-17

 Is the Bible True?

Verse 16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

This verse has been called the golden text of His Word. We don‘t sort of have‖ the Word of God; we have the Word of God. We are not like some scientist waiting for a radio signal from space or heaven. We have His Word.

You may read the Bible, obey it, even teach it to others, but how do you know the Bible is true? How would you defend its truthfulness to an unbeliever? As a matter of fact, we cannot prove to anyone that the Bible is true. Only the Holy Spirit can do that, as He moves in the heart of a person who desires to know and do God’s will.

The  Bible  is  historically  accurate,  because  God  chose  the most honest, sincere and wise men of God to record it. The Bible is miraculously consistent and was written over some 1500 years – by about 40 authors in three languages. It presents a consistent description of who God is and what He planned for mankind.

Discoveries such as the Dead Sea Scrolls (found in 1946 and dating from 100 BC) confirm that the Hebrew Text has been meticulously preserved. The Bible is wonderfully preserved; no other ancient literature even comes close to matching the abundance of evidence that points to the conclusion that the King James Bible has for centuries.

Daily  Assignments

Read Job 37-38

Write out three verses that tell us that the Bible is true.

Complete___

May  9th

Biblical Child Training 

Read Deuteronomy 6:1-9

We must teach our children that God is to be preeminent in their lives. This means trusting Jesus Christ for salvation and seeking God and His perfect will. The subject of immorality should be taught frequently and plainly.

Verse 7 says, “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

Children must be shown that God does not look lightly upon those who shun instruction.

In Proverbs 22:6, Train literally means “to  touch the palate of the child.” When a Hebrew mother would feed her baby, she first chewed the food and then put it on the tip of her finger and in the mouth of the baby. This helped the baby to swallow.

Contrary to the philosophy and attitude so prevalent in schools and youth ministries today, the instruction given in Proverbs is serious and intense. Instruction should be plain, direct, pointed, and without fear of being negative.

The law of sowing and reaping should be emphasized; this is a main theme of Proverbs. God should be portrayed as the exciting Source of every good thing, as the One who personally, urgently seeks men and desires their love in return.

An experienced parent once said, “Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children, now I have six children and no theories.” Amen to that!

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 54-56 

List two people in the Bible who did not raise their children well.

Complete___

May  8th

 If I Could Live Life Over Again

Read Philippians 1:21-30

Verses 21-23, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:”

 I like what somebody said:

· Life is great; don‘t miss it.

· Just  when  you  think  you  see  your  life  clearly,  somebody changes the channel.

· In spite of the cost of living, it‘s still popular.

· I think our number one problem is that nobody wants to take responsibility, but don‘t quote me.

· Life isn‘t always worth living, but what else can you do with it?

· You get out of life what you put into it, minus taxes.

· Life is full of disappointments; nothing ever comes off but buttons.

· You shouldn‘t go through life looking for something soft; you might find it under your hat.

· I‘m not in a hurry to get to Heaven. Please tell God He can take His time disposing of my case.

Paul says in Philippians 1:21, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain,or in other words “Yes,  I can preach to others, but this is what is in it for me.”

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 Samuel 10-14

Pray and ask God to help you with your greatest weaknesses.

Complete___

May  7th

 From Creator to Redeemer

Read Colossians 1:12-18

Diversity and culture are the key tools Satan is using to divide us. Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness? That is, the power exerted over us in that dark kingdom to which we formerly belonged – the kingdom of Satan. The characteristic of this empire is darkness – the emblem of sin, suffering, misery and death.

Darkness is often used in the scripture to represent the state in which men are by nature. Sin originates from darkness and it naturally delights in darkness; it ultimately leads to eternal darkness in hell. God the Father has delivered us, and all that are made meet for the inheritance in light were once under the power of spiritual darkness. He has rescued us by a strong hand, as Lot was delivered out of Sodom. It is God, and God alone, that can deliver a soul from the power of spiritual darkness.

No power, short of the almighty power of God, is able to deliver a sinner from the dominion of sin and the power of spiritual darkness.  The  sinner  is  not  only unable to  deliver  himself,  but stands in direct opposition to the grace of God, which offers to work deliverance for him. Though unwilling, he is made willing by Christ’s power. The wonderful truth is that Christ, as God’s Son, is a spiritual King, and exercises a kingly power in and over the souls of those whom He has delivered from the power of darkness. The people of His kingdom of grace shall certainly be translated into His kingdom of light and glory.

Daily  Assignments

 Read Exodus 21-24

Purchase a small gift for your pastor.

Complete___

May  6th

The Path of Wisdom 

Read Job 23:1-12

In chapter 22, Job speaks of a man who heaps up silver and glories  in  riches,  and  in  chapter  23,  he  points  to  something much more valuable  –  wisdom. It is  worth more than all the riches in this world. Few realize the value of it; even fewer can give a valuable consideration for it, even with all the wealth this world can provide.

As Job says later, in chapter 28, verses 12-13, “But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living. Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?”

Spiritual gifts are given without money and without price, because there is not enough money to pay for them. Wisdom is likewise a most valuable gift to one who has it. It is better to get wisdom than gold or precious stones. Someone said, “A  pessimist sees the tunnel, the optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel, and the realist sees the tunnel, the light and the next tunnel.”

Once we stop asking why, we are ready to learn wisdom, which is knowing what to do when baffled by the tunnels of life. Barnes Notes says, “Can  man discover the Divine Wisdom by which the world is run, as he can the treasures hidden in the earth? Certainly not! Divine Wisdom is conceived as a person (Job 28:12-27) distinct from God (Job 28:23; also in Pr. 8:23, 27). The Almighty Word, Jesus Christ, we know now, is that Wisdom. The order of the world was originated and is maintained by the breathing forth (Spirit) of Wisdom, unfathomable and unpurchasable by man. In Job 28:28, the only aspect of it which relates to, and may be understood by, man is stated.”

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 Corinthians 4-5

List three people who show wisdom.

Complete___

May  5th

Responsible Christian Living

Read 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Aesop wrote a fable about an old man who went through a village with his donkey and his son following. People said he was a fool for making the young boy walk, so he put the boy on the don- key. The people in the next village said he was a fool for not riding the donkey, so they both rode on the donkey. Then in the next vil- lage, they said he was a fool to do that to the poor donkey, so he put the donkey on his back. The lesson of this fable is: do what God says, not what people say or think. You will never please them all.

Jesus made three statements about life:

· I came that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”‖  that is, to the fullest measure.  (John 10:10)

· “I am the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25)

· “I am the way the truth and the life.” (John 14:6)

In these statements, Jesus gave us several principles for responsible Christian living: Responsible Christian living is positional, patterned, principled, purposeful and prepared living. Worldliness is looking at life as the world does and patterning ourselves after it. Learn to set priorities. Place them where Jesus placed them. Jesus wants first place in your life. Our children need to see us give Him first place. We need to give this generation a pattern for living, or there is no hope for the next generation.

God has a plan and purpose for you and me. What is your purpose in life?

Daily  Assignments

Read Mark 15-16

Pass out five tracts to people today.

Complete___

May  4th

Are You a Nominal Christian? 

Read Jeremiah 48:1-18

Verses 11-12, “Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore his taste re- mained in him, and his scent is not changed. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will send unto him wanderers, that shall cause him to wander, and shall empty his vessels, and break their bottles.”

One who trusts in his wealth is liable to think it will do more for him than it has power to do. He finds that money will help him out of difficulty and give him opportunities, and soon he looks at his wealth as omnipotent. But money will not buy the best of blessings: friends, peace of mind, spiritual blessings. To trust in riches is really to miss them. Rich Moab is proud. Because they have much, they think they are much.

When are we going to learn to value a person by his character, not by his checkbook? Before God, we are judged solely by what we are, not by what we have. A Christian who has no desire to live for the Lord is a nominal Christian. He is one who trusts in his works and not in the Lord, one who is unwilling to get into the fight of faith, one who holds back when it comes to taking a stand for the Lord.

Daily  Assignments

 Read Jeremiah 27-31

Complete         

List some things that money cannot buy.

Complete___

May  3rd

 For All Have Sinned

Read Romans 3

Verse 10: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:”

Verse 23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

The question is ―Just what is sin?‖

First of all, it is a transgression or a breaking of God‘s law. Some would say there is a fine line between good and evil. That may be true, but God has set the standards for the Christian. Our standards are not to be compared to man‘s, but to those of Him who is without spot or blemish, the Lord Jesus Christ. In Psalm 51, David asked God to blot out, or to take out, his transgressions. Therefore, Psalm 51 is in the order of confession. We must first confess to ourselves, then, to God, and finally, to the person sinned against.

Second, sin is a missing of the mark, or a failure to meet God‘s standard of behavior. Yes, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God because of who God is and what He has done. It is only because of the Lord‘s mercy that we are not consumed because of our sin.

Third, sin can be forgiven. According to 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The most important step is to ask Him for forgiveness; ask Jesus to save you and learn to live a clean life to honor Him.

Daily  Assignments

Read Job 35-36

Find two other categories of sin in the Bible –  not specific sins,  but categories of sin.

Complete___

May  2nd

Financing the Lord’s Work

Read 2 Corinthians 8

2 Corinthians 8:7, “Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.”

Chapters 8 and 9 of 2 Corinthians deal with offerings Paul was receiving for the believers in Judea (see 1 Corinthians 16:2-3). It is God‘s desire that all Christians be taught the responsibility of financing the Lord’s work, as well as responsibility in their giving. New Testament giving is church giving. Paul uses churches, not individuals, as examples. New Testament giving is also storehouse giving. These are the same directions Paul gave in 1 Corinthians 16:2, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” On the first day of the week (the Lord’s Day) the believers (the Lord’s people) were to bring offerings (the Lord’s offerings) to the church (the Lord’s house).

The words lay in store in 1 Corinthians 16:2 are the exact equivalent of the word storehouse in Malachi 3:10. Some Christians give to para-church organizations, and some say, “I give my tithe as the Spirit leads,” but they refuse to give it to the local church. This is not only disobedient to the Scripture; it is robbing God of His tithe. The command is to bring the tithe to the storehouse on the first day of the week. After the tithe and offerings are given to the church, the Holy Spirit may lead to give to another organization, but always through the local church.

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 51-53

Write down three Bible blessings on those who give.

Complete___

 

May  1st

From Gazingstock to Adversary

Read Hebrews 10:19-31

Verse 25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

Paul gives four ways to stay strong in verses 22-25:

· Draw near to God. If you aren‘t closer to God today than you were yesterday, you are backslidden. Someone said, “If  you are farther away from God than you once were, it wasn‘t God that moved.”

·Hold fast the profession of our faith. We ought to be proud to be Christians, bold in proclaiming our Christian heritage. If anyone ought to be ashamed, it is those who have no God, or who have no relationship with God – those who live for their bellies. Unfortunately, it is usually the unsaved that do the most talking

· Consider  one  another  –  provoke  to  love  and  good  works.

We‘ve done enough criticizing of each other. It‘s easy to pick on one another.  We ought to uplift one another.

· Don‘t forsake the gathering together of believers. There is a reason that we meet for Sunday school, Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. It‘s not just because we can‘t find anything else to do. Others need your presence. If we can do these things, we can be strong. We can lessen our chances of falling.

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 Samuel 5-9

Complete         

Name some areas in your Christian life in which you would like to see improvements?

Complete___

April  30th

They All Returned to the Wall

Read Nehemiah 4:13-23

Verses 13-14, “Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows. And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.”

There are those who are totally committed to the work which God has given them they are on the wall. There is no doubt that this is a group of people who have sacrificed, given, and prayed with a faith that is unspotted even during trying times. There will always be people who will take the challenge. They are constantly seeking to make the world a better place for all. I believe this group wants to be found faithful, determined, resolved and unwilling to bow to the pressure of the God-hating crowd who has no respect for the living God or for those who are trying to do the work for the community and the country. Not enough can be said about this group of people. They will not quit, stop, or give up. God‘s work depends upon these people. Are you one of these people?

Daily  Assignments

Read Exodus 17-20

Spend five minutes in prayer today for God‘s power on the services this week.

Complete___

April  29th 

Learning from Our Sin

Read Psalm 51

Psalm 51 is one of the seven penitential psalms written by David. David understood sin and his responsibility toward it. No one can prosper who does not take responsibility for his sin. We cannot have revival unless we return to God.

 David is revealing his heart. He reveals several things:

· His sin with Bathsheba was not because he was lazy and stayed behind from the battle. As a leader, he was called to a higher standard.

· David had a lot of possessions and used them for the temple, but he also had a lot of horses and took them for himself.

· He kept and took several wives for himself.

· He had a real flesh problem and failed greatly in that area of his life. In other words, he indulged the flesh.

 David is giving voice to his secret fear. He remembered that Saul had lost the voice and ear of God and was put on a shelf, and he didn’t want that to happen to him, so he prayed, “Lord, don‘t put me aside or on the shelf as you did King Saul, and don‘t do to me what you had to do to Saul to get his attention.” He was concerned about having a righteous spirit, and we should be also.

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 Corinthians 1-3

What lessons have you learned from sin in your life?

Complete___

April  28th

 The Greatest Gift of All

Meditate on John 3:16

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

Just about every believer knows this verse by heart, but have you ever taken the time to look at it deeply? Let‘s consider these great words of God’s ultimate expression of His love for us.

For God – the greatest Giver.

So loved – the greatest motivation.

The world – all people who are in greatest need, not just some, but His whole creation.

That He gave – giving, sacrificial giving, the greatest act of love.

His only begotten Son – the greatest gift, Jesus Christ.

That whosoever – the greatest invitation, to any and every one who responds.

Believeth in Him – What an opportunity to receive the most precious gift of all.

Should not perish – God’s guarantee of giving the greatest possible deliverance.

But have everlasting life – the greatest joy and richest possession that anyone could ever receive.

Many have memorized this great verse, but I wonder if most of them really recognize the true significance of it.

Daily  Assignments

Read Mark 13-14 Write down three great blessings of salvation. Complete___

April  27th

 God’s Call to the Unconverted

Read Luke 19:1-10

Verses 8-10 “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, for- somuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

These verses reminded me of George Whitfield preaching in Philadelphia in 1740. So popular was America’s first great Evangelist that he had to preach outdoors; no church was large enough to hold the crowds. He stood on the courthouse steps and preached to thousands of people. History records that 23,000 coal miners attended one revival meeting out in a field. He preached that salvation was available to anyone, high-born or low, self-righteous saint or miserable sinner. And what must one do to be saved? Just ask God’s forgiveness for your sins, known and unknown, accept Christ as your Saviour, and turn your life over to Him. A simple choice, yet the most important one anyone could make, and it had never been put that simply to Americans before.

A person can know the truth and agree with it, yet accepting or rejecting the truth is an act of his own will. Saving faith includes knowledge of the truth, agreement with the truth, and reliance on the truth as revealed in the Bible. We are saved by God‘s grace through faith. Our faith is the channel through which we receive the gift of eternal life provided by Jesus Christ.

Daily  Assignments

Read Jeremiah 22-26 Name two people in the Bible who got saved. Complete___

April  26th

What Makes a Happy Christian Home?

Read Ephesians 5:22-32

Verses 22-25, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”

In verse 22, God starts with a woman’s obedience to her husband, and in verse 25, the husband is commanded to love his wife. In Ephesians 6:1, children are commanded to obey their parents, and in 6:4, a father is commanded to train and teach his children by way of discipline.

The happy Christian home has several important qualities:

· A genuine love for Christ. · A Godly love for one another. · Leadership by the father. · A committed mother. · A church with convictions for godliness in the home. · We must understand that the Christian home begins with Christ. Have you thought of asking your spouse and children how you are doing in helping to make yours a happy home?

Daily  Assignments

Read Job 33-34 Write a note to a family in the church letting them know that you are praying for them. Complete___

April  25th

 Salvation and Deliverance

Read Acts 16:1-40

Paul came back to Lystra, the place of stones, the scars of which were still on his body.  In verses 1-7, Paul met with Timothy at Lystra, where Timothy had a good reputation: “Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek; Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium” (verses 1-2). We need some good men with the same kind of reputation. He was obedient to Paul‘s leadership in verses 3-4. He was a faithful servant in verses 5-7.

Timothy  went with Paul on the second missionary journey. Paul, Silas and Timothy went to many places; later Paul and Silas ended up in jail at Philippi. The call came from Macedonia (verses 8-15),  through  a  vision  (verses  8-9),  bringing  immediate  action (verses 10-12), and resulting in the salvation of many souls (verses 13-15). In verses 16-24, we see the conflict with Satan, and in verses 25-40, the conversion of the jailer. Timothy had three great qualities we all need:

· Timothy had a good reputation. We need some good men with that same kind of reputation – verses 1-2. · Timothy was obedient to Paul‘s leadership – verses3-4. · Timothy was a faithful servant – verses 5-7. The faithfulness of Paul and Silas brought their deliverance from prison and salvation to many. How do we measure up in your faith?

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 48-50 Spend an extra five minutes in prayer today for our elected leaders. Complete___

April  24th

How to Fail Successfully

Meditate on 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”

None of us will ever be properly motivated, or motivate others, until we learn how to handle our failures. While most of us quit after one defeat, some people are motivated to try harder. Failure only makes them more determined to succeed and overcome. What causes some to keep on going when others quit? We need to un- derstand that failure is not fatal. It is a wise parent, teacher, or preacher who teaches people how to learn from their mistakes and keep on going. Some of the best managers and preachers in the country teach their people how to cope with failure and learn from their mistakes, while others keep replacing people because they have not taught them to learn from their mistakes. Someone said, “It is the ability to fail that makes for lasting success.”

Some go to great lengths to hide their failures. Somehow we have been taught that strong people never fail. Theodore Roosevelt said,  “The  only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.”

Daily  Assignments

Read 2 Samuel 1-4

Write down a Bible example of someone who failed but didn‘t quit and ended up succeeding.

Complete___

April  23rd

The Bible Sets Our Convictions and Standards 

Read Acts 2:41-47

A standard may not necessarily be a conviction, but a Christian conviction is always a Biblical standard. Every Christian has both convictions and standards. Our standards ought always to be based upon our Biblical convictions. There is a difference between a preference and a conviction. A conviction is something we would be willing to proclaim to others, to be sued for, go to court over, be willing to go to jail for, and be willing to die for. A preference, however, is something that we practice, but not necessarily because of our convictions. We must determine our position by the Word of God:

· The Bible sets our convictions in the matter of salvation – John 15:16-19.

· The Bible sets our convictions   in the matter of sin – Psalm 119:9-16. What is sin?

1.  A transgression, I John 3:4.

2.  All unrighteousness, I John 5:17.

3.  Omission of duty, James 4:17.

4.  Whatever is not of faith, Romans 14:23.

5.  Even the thought of foolishness, Proverbs 24:9

· The Bible sets our convictions in the matter of separation – 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.

·The Bible sets our convictions in the matter of sanctification – Galatians 5:14-6:5. Spirituality is more than the right words; our walk must support our talk.

Daily  Assignments

Read Exodus 13-16

Name some things that are preferences?

Complete___

April  22nd

A PASSION FOR THE CHURCH 

Read Acts 4:31-37

Verse  31,  “And  when  they  had  prayed,  the  place  was  shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.”

This is truly an exciting portion of the chapter. If there is evidence of power for the church, it is certainly found in these verses. It is amazing what happens when people begin to pray. We are told in verse 31 that the place was shaken where they assembled together. Why? They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and the natural result was that “they spake the word of God with boldness.”

In Acts 4:3, we see Peter and John arrested for preaching the Word of God boldly. In verse 6, they find themselves persecuted by the same men who condemned Jesus Christ to die (Annas, the high priest, and Caiaphas), but notice that the persecution led to their being filled with the power of the Holy Spirit in verse 8. In verse 10, they proclaim the fact that He whom they crucified is now raised from the dead. These had passion and loved preaching.

Now we are like the usher in a little country church where an elderly woman walked in. The friendly usher greeted her at the door and helped her up the flight of steps. “Where would you like to sit?” he asked politely. “The front row please,” she answered. “You really don’t want to do that,” the usher said. “The pastor is really boring.” “Do you happen to know who I am?” the woman inquired. “No,” he said. “I’m the pastor’s mother,” she replied indignantly. “Do you know who I am?” he asked. “No,” she said. “Good,” he answered.

Pastor Nikoley (From the sermon: A Passion for the Church

Daily  Assignments

 Read 1 Corinthians 15-16

Write down five blessings of having a church home.

Complete___

April  21st

What Happened to the Candlestick? 

Read Revelation 2:1-7

Verse 5, “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”

The seven candlesticks represent the seven churches (Revelation 1:20) enlightened by the Spirit of God. The candlestick may be a symbol of the church that does not show its own light, but the light of Christ. It was placed on the south side in the Holy place, and it served to light the altar and the table of showbread which was on the opposite side in the Holy place.

The meaning in this passage is that the church gave light in Ephesus, and that what the Lord would do in regard to that place would be like removing a lamp and leaving a place in darkness. The expression is equivalent to saying that the church would cease to exist. The idea of the passage is that the church would be completely extinct, and we can see that this judgment is more definitely made known in reference to this church than to any other of the seven churches. The sad thing is that there is not the least bit of evidence that the church at Ephesus did repent, and the warning has most certainly been fulfilled. As far as we know, the church became extinct, and for centuries afterward, there was not a single professing Christian there.

Daily  Assignments

Read Mark 11-12

Invite one of your neighbors to come to church this week.

Complete___

April  20th

Principles of Spiritual Growth

Read Hebrews 11:1-6

Verses 1-3, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

Why are we not growing spiritually the way we should? We must remember that “without faith it is impossible to please God.” True faith must be based solely upon Scriptural fact, for “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” There are some basic spiritual principles that must be not only known, but also practiced:

· Faith is built on Scriptural fact, not impressions. George Mueller said, “Impressions have neither one thing nor the other to do  with faith. Faith has to do with the Word of God. It is not impressions, strong or weak, which will make the difference. We have to do with the written Word and not ourselves or our impressions.”

·Faith is not built upon probabilities. Too often the attitude is “It doesn’t seem probable, the way things are going. I wonder if the Lord really does love me.” This is a big temptation when it comes to exercising our faith.

· Faith is dependence upon God.

Paul was led by the Holy Spirit to say, “Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Jeremiah 17-21

What are some things that help a Christian to grow spiritually?

Complete___

April  19th

Christ Is Risen! 

Read Matthew 27:57-66

On Christmas day, we celebrate the birth of Christ. On Good Wednesday, we celebrate His death. On Easter, we celebrate His resurrection. This is what makes Christianity different from all other religions. No other religion claims that its founder returned from the grave. Christ’s resurrection is critical to our faith, because it proves that He is the Son of God.

We cannot be absolutely certain from His teaching, His miracles, or His Holy life that He is God, but when He raised Himself from the dead, He settled that fact once and forever. The crowning proof of His Deity is not His birth, His teaching, His mighty works, or His sinless life. The crowning proof of His Deity is His resurrection from the dead. Anyone who could raise Himself from the dead would have to be God. There are those who believe Christ never rose, that His disciples only made up the story of His resurrection. The problem with that position is the empty tomb. One could ignore the evidence and say that Christ did not rise from the dead, but once one admits that He did, then he must admit that He is God.

This much is certain: His body was placed in the tomb, and a huge stone was placed at the entrance, then a Roman seal was affixed, thereby making opening the tomb a crime punishable by death. Sixteen soldiers were assigned to guard the tomb day and night to prevent His body from being stolen.

Daily  Assignments

Read Job 31-32

Complete         

Write down some areas in your Christian life in which you would like to see improvements.

Complete___

April  18th

HAS BITTERNESS GOTTEN THE BEST OF YOU?

Read Hebrews 12:1-17

Verses 14-15, Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;”

After meditating on these verses, the first thing each of us ought to recognize is that there is, or there has been, some bitterness in our hearts. Another important truth is that a person who is bitter will rarely admit it to another. Do not bother asking people if they are bitter; they will probably deny it. A bitter person may say, “I just want what I deserve out of life,” or “I  want to be treated like any other human being.” Those feelings may not necessarily be wrong, but it is better to realize, “If I get what I deserve, I would be in hell,” or, “If I got what I deserved, I probably would not have much.‖ Why not be thankful for what you do have? Some important questions: Is there someone you just cannot forgive for the wrong they have done you? Do you easily get frustrated, angry, irritated, or agitated towards someone? Is God in control, or do you even trust Him to do the right thing in your life? Do you find yourself thinking you have been treated unfairly or did not deserve some bad treatment? Are you hoping that God will get even with the one who hurt you?

Bitterness is evidenced by constant negative responses to negative experiences. Godly anger has a motivation to correct the offender, sanctify God, and protect a brother or sister in Christ.

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 45-47

What are some things over which people get bitter?

Complete___

April  17th

Read 1 Peter 1:23-25

Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

“It was not unnatural for Peter to dwell upon the feeble, frail, and fallen nature of man, in contrast with God‘s perfection, and the apostle therefore says that all flesh, every human being, is like grass. There is no stability in anything that man does or produces, but God and His Word endure forever the same. The comparison of a human being with grass, or with flowers, is very beautiful, and is quite common in the Scriptures. The comparison turns on the fact that the grass or the flower, however green or beautiful it may be, soon loses its freshness; is withered; is cut down, and dies.” – From Barnes Notes

Men of the flesh are as dying grass, because they are like a desolate flower (verse 24). But, dedicated Christians are like His Word which endureth forever (verse 25). The Gospel is as great now as it was when it was first revealed to man, and it has as much power to save as it had when first applied to a human heart. We see the grass wither at the onset of fall; we see the flower of the field fade; we see man, though confident in his own strength, cut down in a second; we see cities destroyed, and kingdoms lose their power. But the Word of God is the same now as it was at first, and it will remain the same forever.

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 Samuel 26-31

Give a testimony during the next testimony time at church.

Complete___

April  16th

Earthly Treasure

Read Matthew 6:19-24

Verses 1-2, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:”

It is a sad commentary that Christians in America have billions of dollars of “assets” which will be left behind at the rapture, while many other nations hunger for the Bread of Life. Missionaries spend three to five years on deputation, while the cults spread their false doctrine. Somehow, we think we have a right to a higher standard of living than 95% of the world. We think that, because we give 10% of our increase, we can do what we want with 90%. As born-again people, purchased with the precious Blood of Christ, all that we are, hope to be, have, or hope to have, belong to Him. As ―bond slaves,‖ we have no rights to anything He gives us or blesses us with. If we gave Him every penny that passes through our hands, it would not be enough to repay what He did for us. Too often, we live as if our comforts are more important to us than the real heavenly treasure.

· The Gospel is our treasure.

· Search the Scriptures to fully understand it.

· Meditate on the truths revealed by the Holy Spirit.

· Rejoice and be joyful over every word of the Gospel message.

· It was bought by the precious blood of Christ.

Daily  Assignments

Read Exodus 9-12

Write a thank you note to a church staff member.

Complete___

April  15th

 Flying Above Your Circumstances 

Read Isaiah 40:27-31

Verse 31, “They shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

In verse twenty-seven Isaiah reproves the Jews because they felt that their cause had been neglected, when, in all actuality, they did not rely on the providence or promises of God.  They felt forsaken and thought that God would not heed them; that He would not help them, and that He would not hinder their enemy. What a pitiful set of circumstances for the Jew or the Christian!

Think about the many times God has delivered you out of difficult circumstances.  My life has not been easy, but I must say that God has delivered me out of many circumstances that appeared to be bad in the beginning. I recall the many times God has delivered me out of dangerous situations or accidents involving airplanes, cars, and bikes. God has delivered my family out of every kind of trial throughout 52 years of marriage. God has taught us to fly above bad circumstances and to be thankful in spite of them. A mother eagle carries her eaglet on her back until it masters the art of flying. Isaiah, as well as Moses, used this familiar example from nature to describe God’s care for His people. God stirred up Jacob (the nation of Israel), and carried His people on His wings. There will  be  three  results  when  we  trade  our  weakness  for  God‘s strength: We will be able to fly above our circumstances. We will be able to overcome impossible obstacles. We will place greater trust in God‘s promises and providence.

Daily  Assignments

 Read 1 Corinthians 13-14

Write a thank you note to someone who serves in the military.

Complete___

April  14th

Going After the Right Kind 

Read Ephesians 5:1-21

Verse 8, “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:”

Our relationships ought to be in this order: First, our relationship with God, followed by our spouse, our children, then others. Each one must be based upon Biblical principles.  God commands us to walk as children of light. To do that, we need the right kind:

·The right kind of position – in God‘s will. 1 John 2:17, “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

· The right kind of practice – doing the practical things over and over.

· The right kind of patience – read Ephesians 5:20.

· The right kind of partnership – study Ephesians 5:21-6:5.

I am reminded of William Carey, who faithfully preached the Gospel to the Indians for forty years and paid the supreme sacrifice of his wife and children. William Carey went after the right kind. He made the famous statement, “India is a gold mine for the Gospel. All I need is for you to hold the rope.” In other words, all he needed was for those at home to be faithful in prayer and in sending financial support.

How about you? Are you doing your share to help those on the field of sacrifice? Are you holding the rope for them?

Daily  Assignments

Read Mark 9-10

Complete         

What are some things a Christian ought to seek after?

Complete___ 

April 13th

A Passion for the Lost

Read Proverbs 11

Verse 30, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.”

After learning and teaching that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge, I find that when one has the gift of wisdom, he will also have a burden for the lost.

God gives the Holy Spirit to empower the Christian to win souls, to live a victorious Christian life, to help him in his Bible studies, and in every other area of life. He also gives wisdom to those who ask for help in winning souls. He gives wisdom and skill in applying the Scripture to the heart of the lost, and making him understand his condition, as well as his position, without Christ. Wisdom helps, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, to apply the Romans Road in teaching someone how he, too, can go to Heaven. One of the greatest privileges the Christian has been given is the opportunity of sharing Christ with someone who is lost. Too often, we as Christians fail to take the opportunities that God has given us to witness to a friend, to a loved one in the family, to an acquaintance, or possibly someone whose path the Lord allows us to cross that day. Let‘s be soul- conscious Christians.

Daily  Assignments

 Read Jeremiah 12-16

Complete         

Pray and ask God to give you someone to witness to this week.

Complete___

April  12th

Lessons from the Life of Moses

Hebrews 11:24-29

By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a sea- son; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.”

The Moses of forty years earlier would not have chosen “rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleas- ures of sin for a season.” God had prepared him. Pride had been taken away; self-will had been taken away. He was ready to be used, and how greatly he was used – standing before Pharaoh, challenging his power, leading the children of Israel for forty years, taking them to the Promised Land. Finally, his life was over, his service done, but the lessons we can learn live on:

· First, God gives each of us unique talents and abilities.

· Second, God allows each of us to go through unique experiences and situations.

· Third, God uses these situations to allow us to reach others for Christ.

Daily  Assignments

Read Job 29-30

Complete              

Name someone in the Bible whom God humbled.

Complete___

April  11th

 TRUSTING JESUS!

Read Luke 18:9-14

Verse 11, “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.”

“With himself” refers to the Pharisee‘s attitude rather than his position. This is quite a parable on prayer. It was not likely that a Pharisee and a publican would attend a prayer meeting together. The Pharisee was at the top of the social ladder, and the publican about as low as a man could get. The Pharisee had it made, while the publican was in misery. The Pharisee was right next to the priest for favors, while the publican was treated unfairly.

The publican‘s prayer was answered, but the Pharisee‘s was not. Christ is the mercy seat for our sins, and not for ours only but for the sins of the whole world – including this publican. In New Testament times we do not have to beg Him to love us, because He proved His love on the cross. We do not have to beg for His mercy, because He is merciful.

We can come as we are without promising anything or joining anything. We do not have to be men or women of stature. We can come as plain old miserable sinners. We can be like this publican, and He will accept us and have a place at the mercy seat for us. We must simply acknowledge the fact that we have sinned, repent of our sin, and ask Him to come into our hearts without delay.

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 42-44

Using the Bible as a reference, write out a simple description of the Mercy Seat.

Complete___

April  10th

Are You Childish or Childlike? 

Read Luke 18:15-17

1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I un- derstood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

When Jesus taught adults, He always talked about childlike faith. In an article for “Good News Magazine‖,” Duffy Robbins contrasts childish faith with childlike faith.

Childish faith says, Good Christians don‘t have pain and disappointments. God wants to make us happy. God always answers prayer. Our faith will help us to always understand what God is doing. Good Christians are always strong.” Childish faith is self-centered and demanding. It expects God to shield us from all difficulties and make life comfortable.

Childlike faith says, “God uses our pain and disappointment to make us better Christians. God wants to make us holy. Sometimes He answers with “no” or “wait.” Our faith will help us submit to God‘s sovereignty even when we don‘t have a clue about what He is doing. Our strength is in admitting our weakness.” Childlike faith focuses on God. It trusts Him to use difficulties for good and for His glory. Childlike faith focuses on our heavenly Father, not on our fear.

 What kind of faith is yours?

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 Samuel 21-25

Spend five extra minutes praying that God would bless the services on Sunday.

Complete___

April  9th

 The Master Is Come and Calleth for Thee

Read John 11:20-46

Verses 28-29, “And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee. As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.”

John started his account of the public ministry of Jesus with John the Baptist and ended it with Lazarus. He spent as much time on the last 48 hours of Jesus‘ life as on the first 32 years. This is truly amazing! There are a total of 89 chapters in the Gospels, and only four chapters are about the first thirty years of the life of Jesus, 85 deal with the last three years, and of those 85 chapters, 27 have to do with the last eight days of Jesus‘ life here on earth.

The resurrection of Lazarus has been recorded only by John. Various reasons have been offered as to why the others did not mention this miracle. The most probable is that, at the time they wrote, Lazarus was still living, the miracle was well known, and to have written of it might have exposed Lazarus to persecution from the Jews. In verse 28, “She went her way.Jesus probably directed her to go and tell Mary, “The Master is come and calleth for thee.” This appears to have been the name by which he was known to the family. It means literally, teacher, and was a title he claimed for himself. We see several applications: He is the Master of our salvation; He is the Master of our service; He is the Master of His second coming. Is the Master calling you?

Daily  Assignments

Read Exodus 5-8

Write a note to your pastor thanking him for his service to the church.

Complete___

April  8th

Setting Priorities in the Home

Read Ephesians 5:22-33

There are many things we could do to try to please God and many  things  we  can  do  for  one  another.  There  are  things  we should do, and there are others we must do to please God and one another. How can we discern between the musts and the mays in our lives? It is my prayer that we will understand the importance of God‘s priorities in our homes versus our own preferences.

We can do some very necessary things and still be doing the wrong thing. Look at Jesus‘ ascension in Acts, chapter 1, for example. Was it wrong for the disciples to gaze at Jesus? Absolutely not!

But what about their priorities? In Matthew 24:37-39, they were doing some necessary things. Was it wrong for them to eat, drink and marry? I do not think it was, but in verse 39, we are told “they knew not until the flood came.”  Noah preached to people for 120 years, giving them warning, but they would not listen. They had the wrong priorities. They did good, but in the wrong way. We too can do a good thing in the wrong way. It seems as though God often gets the short end of things. When we do good in the wrong way, it is still wrong. How can we know our proper priorities? Are these a priority in your home?

· The first priority is to receive Jesus Christ as Saviour.

· The second is to submit to baptism.

· The third is to join the local church.

· The fourth is to be faithful in serving the Lord within the local church. 

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 Corinthians 11-12

Complete             

What things should a Christian make priorities?

Complete___

April  7th 

You Learn What You Live

Read Philippians 4:1-9

We are creatures of curiosity, learning, and intuition. All of us know something everybody else does not know. We as a society are “ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of truth.” My intent in this devotion is to teach us to live by Scriptural principles. To learn is to increase one‘s knowledge, or to be increased in knowledge. Paul says in verse 9, “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” He is referring the Philippians to his consistent conduct, to all that they had seen, known, and heard of him, and he tells them to imitate those things. How many Christians today would be able to encourage others to imitate all they have seen, learned, and heard of them? In Philippians 3:17, he says, “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.” That is, “Live as I do.” A preacher of the Gospel, or a Christian of any age or condition, ought to live so that he can point others to his own example. Paul could do this because they knew that he lived in a way that served as a good example for others.

Humanism  has  drastically  affected  the  basic  morality  of  our country. It is a subtle philosophy, often undetected by those not aware of it. Humanism is not new. It is that old struggle of man‘s will against the will of God. A humanist believes in himself rather than  God  and  is  more  concerned  about  self-preservation  than about being a good example to others.

Daily  Assignments

Read Mark 7-8 

What are some areas in your Christian life in which you would like to see improvements?

Complete___

April  6th

 

The Greatest Need Among Christians

 Read Psalm 46:1-11

Many reading this have much to worry about in this ever- changing world. We hear of earthquakes, war, terrorism, trillions of dollars in our national debt, AIDS, drugs, murder, liberalism, humanism, same sex marriage and added to all this we are seeing an increase in natural disasters. But according to Psalm 46, God is our refuge. Some believe this Psalm inspired Martin Luther to write, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” We must understand that some things are inseparable, and as born-again believers, we know that we cannot lose our salvation, but we can lose the things which accompany salvation – such as joy! Salvation brings joy, but obedience brings joy abundantly.

Billy Sunday said in a sermon in New York in 1914, “The trouble with many men is that they have got just enough religion to make them miserable. If there is not joy in religion, you have got a leak in your religion.‖

Someone asked me whether he would hear anything worth his while if he came to church. I told him I would not even consider joining a church unless four things were very evident: Is Jesus Christ uplifted as the only hope for salvation and soul? Is there a major emphasis on salvation? Is there a belief in the Word of God (KJV) from cover to cover? Is there an evidence of joy in the church? Many Christians have lost their joy, because there is so little emphasis on our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Word of God, and joy.

Daily  Assignments

Read Jeremiah 7-11

Write out three Bible verses that speak of joy.

Complete___

April  5th

Paul Had A Vision!

Read 2 Timothy 4:1-9

Verse 2-3, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”

Paul gives a serious charge to Timothy: be faithful in preaching the Gospel and in the work of the ministry. The main reason is given in verse 2. Timothy is exhorted to be faithful in his work and to be prepared to endure the trials which would come to a faithful servant. In verses 6-8, Paul stated that his work was nearly done, and that the hour of his departure was drawing near. Paul said this to give Timothy a greater burden for his ministry after he was gone. His teacher, guide, father, and friend was about to be taken home, and the great work of preaching the Gospel was to be committed to Timothy and other men. Paul exhorts Timothy to faithfulness both now and after his departure, and he also exhorts us to faithfulness until our departure to Heaven.

Our occupation is only a means of making a living. Paul made tents as a means of making a living; however, that was not his purpose or desire in his life. Paul did not simply know about Christ, but he knew Him – not just intellectually, but intimately according to Philippians 3:10, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conform- able unto his death.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Job 27-28

In what areas should Christians be faithful?

Complete___

April  4th

How to Keep from Falling 

Read Galatians 2:11-18

Galatians 6:1, “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.”

Much can be said about backsliding. Much can be debated as to the greatest reasons for the fall of Christians who were once actively involved in the ministry, but something has happened to them.

What has caused so many to fall by the wayside? Many are going to be surprised when I mention what I believe to be one of the main causes. No, it is not sickness, though it ranks very high.

No, it is not a lack of standards, soul-winning, reading the Bible or church attendance, nor is it worldliness. I believe one of the main causes for Christians‘ falling is that the unspiritual are trying to win back the unspiritual. Notice what happened to Barnabas, who was the intimate friend of Paul and had been associated with him in a very important ministry. The fact that the conduct and influence of Peter would lead a good man into hypocrisy and error made it all the more proper for Paul to reprove the conduct of Peter publicly.

Again in Galatians 6:1, “ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness.” The spiritual must help those who are unspiritual in the spirit of meekness, “considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

Daily  Assignments 

Think of some characteristics of a backslider?

Complete___

April  3rd

How to know your real enemy

Read 2 Corinthians 11:1-15

Think of all that is against us in these days of excess, material- ism, tolerance, acceptance and permissiveness, as well as false teachers, teaching to itching ears. The Bible says these “are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apos- tles of Christ.Paul exposes these false apostles for what they are, and one day they will betray each other and deceive themselves, no matter how they pretend that they are representatives of Christ. Paul is saying that these are false apostles who have no commis- sion from Christ, because they are deceitful workers and have nothing but their own fleshly desires in mind. They attempt to make others believe that they represent Christ, but they are deceivers pretending to be apostles. God used Paul to say that men who had attempted to impose another Gospel on the people are the enemies of Christ. Paul exposes them as deceitful workers and impostors, or men who practice imposing their false doctrine on others. There is no question that they were cunning, counterfeit, and corrupt. They had seen the disciples give of themselves and all their possessions to the true apostles, and they thought that they could pretend to be apostles while stealing the confidence people had placed in the true apostles. In order to accomplish this, they had to undermine the influence of the true apostles and take their place in the confidence of the people. This is why Paul refers to them as “deceitful workers,” cunning, and imposters. Be sure you know who your real enemy is. He is the subtle serpent, the roaring lion, and the angel of light! 

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 Samuel 16-20. 

Write down some of the attributes of God as given in the Bible.

Complete___

April  2nd

 How Important Is the Bible?

Read 1 Peter 1:18-25

Verse 25, But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”

Why not start the month with a new love and appreciation for the Bible?  God‘s precious Book to men? One of the questions each of us ought to ask is, “How  important is the Bible to me?”  Think about this: men have been writing books for centuries, and some have made an impact upon the world, while others have long since been forgotten. The most promising and best selling books written by men will one day turn to dust and be forgotten, but the Bible – the Word of God – will endure forever. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Isaiah certainly knew what he was saying in Isaiah 40:8, “The grass with- ereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”

The Bible was written to teach, rebuke, exhort, correct and instruct mankind. Please memorize 2 Timothy 3:15-17 this week.

Bottom line, the Bible was not only given to save people from their sin and instruct them in the Word of God, but it was given mainly to honor and glorify God Himself. The supreme subject of the Bible is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Why not make the Bible the most important Book in your life and learn to love, read, and study it more faithfully?

Daily  Assignments

Complete         Read Exodus 1-4

Write out three verses in which the Bible tells something about itself.

Complete___

April  1st

 Answers for Your Marriage

Read Ephesians 5:22-33

Verses 21-23 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.”

God wants your dreams to come true in your marriage, because, although pleasure is not an end product, it is a by-product. All of us begin a marriage without any experience, so naturally, it is difficult. Therefore, great value must be placed on the marriage covenant. Harmonious marriages include seven common things: faith and trust in each other; love, even when not lovable; courage in times of trouble; patience with the other‘s weaknesses; a little bit of intelligence; a lot of common sense; a great deal of perseverance.

When God saw that man was alone, He made a helper appropriate to his needs. Marriages are not necessarily made in heaven, but as someone said, “They are hammered out in the workshop of pain and problems, discouragements and disagreements, fear and trials, by the hammer of time on the anvil of reality.”

Love has several components: kindness, courtesy, patience, honor, respect, sacrifice, and Agape love. Love is right treatment along with praise, sharing, and consistency, as well as security.

Eve was God’s love gift to Adam. Marriage was designed to meet needs and satisfy one another. Success is the result, if we meet each other‘s needs.

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 Corinthians 9-10

Think of a couple who have a good marriage.  List some things they do.

Complete___

March  31st

The Cause, Consequence and Cure for Sin

Read 2 Samuel 11:1-27 Proverbs 28:13, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”

Psalm 51:3-4, For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this  evil  in  thy  sight:  that thou mightest  be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.”

In our study of Psalm 32 and Psalm 51, we certainly see that David‘s heart was broken over his sin. David was in the wrong place. David tried to cover his sin for approximately nine months. Then the man of God, Nathan, paid him a visit.

Psalm 51 is David’s confession, and Psalm 32 is his praise for forgiveness. The cause of sin is found in the depths of the heart, and it makes its way into the flesh through temptation. This is why the  Christian  who  walks  with  God  must  crucify the  flesh  daily. Thank the Lord, there is a cure available. It may come in the form of Chastisement, verse 8; a Crying out to the Lord, verses 1, 2, 7 and 10; Contrition or a broken heart in verses 14 and 17, as well as Consecration, verses 17-19. There must be a complete transformation to cure us of our sin.

Daily  Assignments Read Mark 5-6 List two Bible examples of men who sinned and the price they paid. Complete___

March  30th

REJOICE IN THE LORD!

Read Philippians 3:1-21

Verse 8, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ”

People everywhere have felt the need of a Saviour, and it should bring us joy that One has been provided. When we think of our sins, we can rejoice that there is One who can deliver us from them. When we think of the value of a soul, we can rejoice that there is One who can save it from death and hell. When we think of the dangers in life, we can rejoice that there is One who can deliver us from all our trouble, and Who one day will take us to a world where we will be safe forever. He is all we need. He accomplishes just what we want a Saviour to do. We need a Saviour to make known to us how to have forgiveness of sins, and He does it. We need One to make atonement for sin, and He does it. We need One to give us peace from a troubled conscience, and He does it. We need One to support us in trials and troubles, and He does it. We need One who can comfort us on the death bed and guide us through the “valley of the shadow of death,” and the Lord Jesus is just the One we need. Let‘s do as we are told in verse 4, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice

Daily  Assignments

Read Jeremiah 1-6 List three reasons to rejoice. Complete___

March  29th

 Togetherness that Pleases God

Read Ephesians 2:19-22

Verse 22, “In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

Togetherness is like teamwork – a cooperative effort by the members of a group or team to achieve a common goal. It is a blessing to see God‘s people working together to please God. I believe God is pleased by several things:

· God is pleased when His children walk in the Spirit, and in the spirit of truth.

· God is pleased when His children are pleased as they walk with God and give their bodies as a living sacrifice – Romans 12:1-2.

· God is pleased when He sees His children faithfully serving and giving. We see God‘s people doing both of these. We  see missionaries give of themselves, and others in turn give  their love and gifts to these missionaries.

· God is pleased when He sees His children walk in obedience to His Word.

Spiritual work could possibly be the most discouraging and unfulfilling work on earth, yet the most rewarding. People by nature care little about the things of God and that makes for a bad situation at times. But be of good cheer because Christ is working right along  with  us.  “We  are  labourers  together  with  Christ.”  That changes the whole picture. it is really not our work, but His. God will use us to produce results according to His will.

Daily  Assignments

Read Job 25-26 List Bible examples of people who gave to God. What was the result? Complete___

March  28th

 REMEMBER THEM!

Read Hebrews 13:7-24

We are commanded to “remember them which have the rule over you” in verse 7, and to “obey them that have the rule over you” in verse 17, because they “have spoken unto you the word of God.” Notice the latter part of verse 7, “whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.”

In this closing chapter of Hebrews, Paul makes his final appeal to the believers and gives them some practical admonitions. He encourages them to continue to be faithful in their walk with God. Though enemies may ridicule, persecute, or hinder their work, he encourages them to stay in the good fight of faith. Those who oppose you may mock you and say that you will lose everything you have if you follow Christ. Paul reminds us that, actually, we will lose nothing because we have already turned our backs on material possessions, along with religion that cannot profit. He encourages them to keep their hearts true and faithful, and points out that hey have spiritual possessions the world knows nothing of.

Christians are commanded to submit to the Word of God as taught and preached by the spiritual leaders: their parents in the home, their pastor in the church, the principal/teacher in the school, and the person in charge on the job. We must all submit ourselves to the authority God has placed over us in the home, the church, the school, on the job, or in the country. A nation without authority will always succumb to dictatorship. A church or home without pastoral and parental authority will lead to chaos. Remember them!

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 36-38 List four examples of good people to follow in the Bible. Complete___

March  27th

Mercy There Was Great and Grace Was Free

Read Matthew 5:1-12 Verse 7, “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”

Some time ago a former church member came to me and mentioned the fact that we do not show mercy or love in our preaching. My first response was to become defensive, but instead God burdened my heart to meditate on our text for today. Mercy, according to one definition is “divine goodness exercised toward the wretched and the guilty, in harmony with truth and justice.” The plan by which God is enabled to show saving mercy to us, for Christ’s sake, is the most consummate work of infinite wisdom and love. The soul that has truly experienced the mercy of God will be merciful like Him, compassionate to the wretched, and forgiving toward all. By the atoning sacrifice of Christ, a way is open for the exercise of mercy toward all, in harmony with the demands of truth. In Christ, mercy and truth meet. Let‘s show mercy to the saved as well as the lost.

Adam Clarke says in his Commentary,  “Mercy and peace are on one side; truth and righteousness on the other. Truth requires righteousness; mercy calls for peace. They meet together on the way; one going to make inquisition for sin, the other to plead for reconciliation. Having met, their differences on certain considerations, not here particularly mentioned, are adjusted; and their mutual claims are blended together in one common interest; on which peace and righteousness  immediately  embrace.  Thus,  righteousness  is  given  to truth, and peace is given to mercy. Now, where did these meet? They met in Christ Jesus. When were they reconciled? When He poured out his life on Calvary.”

Assignments

Read 1 Samuel 11-15Daily Write a thank you note to your pastor. Complete___

March  26th

 A PASSION FOR OUR COUNTRY!

Memorize Matthew 28:18-20

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

This text is often referred to as “The Great Commission.” In it, we find all that is needed to reach our own community as well as the world for Christ:

· First, we have the promise of His power.

· Second, we have the promise of His presence.

The command is not only to win those within our reach, but the entire world, and this can best be done by financial support of our missionaries. Wouldn‘t it be interesting to hear from men of God in the past, men such as D. L. Moody, C. H. Spurgeon, Billy Sunday, or men on the mission field such as William Carey, Adoniram Judson, Hudson Taylor, or men of the present, such as Rick Martin in the Philippines, Kevin Wynne in Mexico City, Dr. James Kennard with the U.S. Military?

I wonder what these men would say about the matter of reaching the world for Christ. I believe if we could hear from each of these men, they would begin their message by saying that the mission field must  begin  at  home.  Our  passion  must  begin  with  our  own “Jerusalem”– our own community.

Daily  Assignments

Read Genesis 48-50 What are some things you can do to reach your community? Complete___

March  25th

 DISCIPLESHIP, CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Verses 10-11, “And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went  up,  behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”

“I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, pander at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, prayed up, stored up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me, and when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me – my banner will be clear.”  Author unknown.

I pray that this quote would also express the thoughts and desires of all His people as we serve Him together. 

Daily  Assignments Read 1 Corinthians 7-8  Write down, in your own words, what you think it means to be a disciple? Complete___

March  24th

 DISCIPLESHIP

Read Acts 1

Verse 8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

I was recently reminded of a quote from an unknown author sent to me by Evangelist Joe Boyd a couple of months after his open heart surgery. It expressed my thoughts as well as his: “I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of His. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, plaudits, or  popularity.  I  don’t  have  to  be  right,  first,  tops,  recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor by power. My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way rough, my companions few, my Guide is reliable, my mission is clear.‖ To be concluded tomorrow

Daily  Assignments

Read Mark 3-4 Pray for an extra five minutes thanking God for who He is and what He does. Complete___

March  23rd

The Madhouse of the Universe 

Read Revelation 20:11-15

We do not call them “insane asylums” anymore. They are “mental hospitals” or “care centers” or “rehabilitation centers,” but for two hundred years, until recently, the names “insane asylum” or “madhouse” were used. God, too, has an asylum, a place prepared for the devil and his angels, not really for human beings. Those who go there do so by their own decision. Even that choice seems “insane.”

2 Corinthians 4:3 shows the blindness of the human mind when it comes to salvation. God’s asylum is called, “Gehenna,” and it is mentioned twelve times in the New Testament, and translated “hell.” John calls it the “lake of fire” and the “second death” in Revelation 20:14-15, “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Oswald Smith called it “the madhouse of the universe.” God does not want you to go there. What is your choice? Will you spend eternity in the home of the sane and happy (heaven) or in the madhouse of the universe (hell)?

John 3:16-17, “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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn  the  world;  but  that  the  world  through  him  might  be saved.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Isaiah 62-66  Write out five Biblical descriptions of hell. Complete___

March  22nd

How to Be a Witness in Your Own Home Town

Read Luke 4:16-21

Verse 16, “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.”

I cannot think of a single occasion where the Jews hindered Christ or His disciples from preaching in their synagogues, yet I wonder how many so-called churches would allow Christ or His disciples to preach in their pulpits today? Jesus regularly attended the public services in the synagogues. Though many parts of the worship service may have been false in doctrine, it was the best available at the time. Habits and traditions are not all old-fashioned hand-me-downs. Some are born out of necessity. There are some things we must always do in every generation. By asking, “How can I be a witness in my own home town,” we can discover basic elements of the Christian life:

· We must be faithful in our church attendance.

· We must keep the Sabbath day holy.

· We must be willing to stand up for Christ.

· We must be guided by an open Book.

· We must be anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit.

· We must share the burden of Christ.

· We must stand up under scrutiny.

 If we do these things, we will be faithful witnesses.

Daily  Assignments 

Pray for God to help make you a better witness. Complete___

March  21st

From His Heavenly Throne to Calvary’s Cross

Read Philippians 2:5-11 Verses 5-8, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Why is Jesus Christ worthy? · Because He is God‘s Chosen Lamb of Sacrifice. · Because He is God‘s Channel for Salvation. · Because He is God‘s Complete Satisfaction. How worthy is Jesus? We cannot begin to understand. He was the sin-bearing, sin-suffering Lamb of God. In order to understand properly, every Christian must have the mind of Christ. He was God. Though He was man, He never ceased to be God. He never stopped being God and started being man. Think of it, Jesus emptied Himself. Hebrews 10:5-9, Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.”

 Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 33-35 Write out Matthew 20:28. Complete___

March  20th

Being Encouraged in the Lord 

Read Jeremiah 20:7-18

Jeremiah did not think too highly of himself – “Lord, why was I ever born?” Jeremiah had to learn how to be encouraged in trouble, and so do we. God chooses people who are little in their own sight. He does not use big shots. God sometimes gives us someone who will encourage us, and sometimes he sends people who fail to encourage us, when that is what we need.

· Remember when Saul hid himself?

· Remember young David who, as a boy, took on the giant Philistine?

· Remember when Moses smote the rock and called his people a bunch of rebels, which they were?

· Remember how often Solomon failed miserably, though we call him the wisest man who ever lived?

God did not call Jeremiah to an easy task. The religious and political leaders hated him. We must remember that we are not called to be entertainers, but to preach the Word of God. Jeremiah said in verse 9, “Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.”

Just as God said, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise … not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance;neither does He want that anyone live a Christian life and not serve Him. Maybe He is waiting for you to say along with Isaiah, “Here am I; send me.”

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 Samuel 6-10  Write a thank you note to someone who is an encouragement to you. Complete___

March  19th

 What Praise Can Do for Us

Read Psalm 107:1-9

Verses 1-2, “O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy”

Paul and Silas preached in Phillipi in response to God‘s leading, yet they were beaten and put in jail. Their backs were bleeding, and their feet were set in stocks.” They praised God in spite of their pain, and soon even the jailer asked, “What must I do to be saved?”

Thanking and praising God should be of a very high priority among Christians. At times our prayer is not acceptable to Him, but praising God will always please Him. Thanksgiving and praise are marks of a godly Christian.

While not all of us receive the same blessings, God has blessed us all richly. While some are blind, I thank God that I can see. While some live in slavery, I thank God that I have been set free. While many are starving, I thank God that I have enough to eat.

· Often unbelievers are convicted and converted when they see that we are thankful and praise God.

· Believers are encouraged when we praise God.

· God is glorified when we praise Him.

We are living in a day when little thankfulness is found in America, and that is all the more reason for the Christian to set the example and praise God “for His goodness and His wonderful works to the children of men.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Genesis 44-47 Spend twenty minutes today writing down things in your life for which to praise God. Complete___

March  18th

 THE LAWS OF REVIVAL

Read Nehemiah 9:1-6

Verse 3, “And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God.”

God always does the right thing, and He has commanded us to be holy as He is holy. His perfect truthfulness assures us that we can take Him at His Word. Numbers 23:19 tells us, “God is not a man that he should lie.”

Matthew Henry said, “Nehemiah knew that the safety of a city, under God, depends more upon the inhabitants than upon its walls. Every good gift and every good work are from above. God gives knowledge, he gives grace; all is of him, and therefore all must be to him. What is done by human prudence must be ascribed to the direction of Divine Providence. But woe to those who turn back from the Lord, loving this present world! And happy are those who dedicate themselves, and their substance, to his service and glory!”

His perfect justice means that God will be unquestionably fair. Christians  will  be  rewarded  for  what  they  have  done,  and  the wicked will be punished according to their works. We can have absolute confidence in our righteous, just, truthful, and faithful God, because He is holy. Revival also requires Christians to be truthful, faithful and righteous before God.

2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 Corinthians 5-6 Name a revival in the Bible and one from U.S. history. Complete___

March  17th

 God is Not Looking for a Bargain

Read 1 Corinthians 4:1-4 1 Corinthians 4:2, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”

What is God‘s greatest desire concerning His people and their relationship with Him? We could list many things, but I believe most important is that God is interested in us, our work, our lives, our families and businesses, etc. God is not looking for a bargain when it comes to servants of God, yet He will use anyone.

Moreover means “in addition to.” A man must give account of his ministry. He does not say successful, but faithful. However, success will come if we are faithful. It is not how much money you have or what you own, but your life as it is related to Him. Think of all the material things that He has given us. In return, He only wants our faithfulness.

Notice that Paul was not interested in being their leader, but in being their servant. God is looking for men and women who are willing to be used as His servants. I believe that He has high standards and expectations for those who are called His servants. God is not shopping in a bargain basement. He is not shopping at a garage sale or farmer‘s stand for half-rotten, rejected fruit. God is looking for the best. God said in Ezekiel 22:30, “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” Will you be that man or lady God is looking for?

Daily  Assignments

Read Mark 1-2 In what areas should we try to be our best? Complete___

March  16th

Returning Good For Evil 

Read Matthew 5:38-48

Matthew 5:38-42, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.”

Do whatever is necessary to gain the good will and friendship of those who believe you have wronged them. Verse 42 does not teach that I ought to give someone anything he asks of me. It does mean that if someone makes a claim against something I legitimately owe when I do not have the means to pay, that I ought to be willing to sell or give him what he asks for. I should quickly pay what I owe, even to my own hurt. We ought also to go to any length to make restitution to someone we have hurt in some way. I believe that we need to take verses 43-48 literally, and, like our Father in heaven, as His children, we must emulate His loving attitude toward sinners and enemies, as well as toward friends. Returning good for Good is commendable, but returning good for evil is Christ- like. Mark 11:25-26, “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Isaiah 56-61 Give a Bible example of someone who did something good for his enemies. Complete___

March  15th

  Seeking to Be the “Other One”

Read 1 Samuel 17:22-31

 Verse 30, “And he turned from him toward another, and spake after the same manner: and the people answered him again after the former manner.”

When discouragement comes, we had better turn to the “other one.‖” We have to assume that this “another” took the message to Saul, which gave David an opportunity to present his God-given plan. There have been many times when someone cared enough to come to your rescue.

  • Dr.  David  Gibbs,  Founder  of  the  Christian  Law  Association (CLA), rescued our church from being sold by the State back in the 1980‘s.
  • The late Evangelist Dr. Phil Shuler came to my rescue more than once by giving me great encouragement to stay strong in the battle.
  • Dr. Jack Hyles taught me to stay by the stuff and gave me the great honor of the Hyles Memorial Defender award.
  • My pastor, Dr. Jack Trieber has often been my “other one” by his wisdom and prayers.
  • My wife and family have rescued me a thousand times by staying at my side and being the “other one.”
  • Our Deacons and men in the past have stood by this preacher and have been the “other one.” I could name hundreds of men and women who have been the “other one”when we needed them.

There are times in our lives when we need someone to be the “other one,” and there are times when we need to be the “other one.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Job 21-22 To whom have you been a blessing lately? Complete___

March  14th

DRAW NEAR TO GOD! 

Read Psalm 63

Verses 1-2, “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.”

The Christian life is more than having a good time, or living in a comfort zone. It is a warfare, fighting our daily battles, as well as those battles of life that can only be won in the power of God. God has a plan for our lives; all we have to do is follow His steps. Look at Deuteronomy 20:1-4. God is saying,  “I will fight the battle for you.‖  Don’t get hung up in your comfort zone! God desires to use you, but He cannot use you in your comfort zone.

· Joshua dared to leave his comfort zone and won the battle at Jericho.

· In Genesis 12, Abraham dared to believe God when God told him, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee.”

· In Genesis 37, Joseph believed God, and had an excellent spirit.

· In Daniel 6, Daniel prayed and got out of his comfort zone.

· In 1 Kings 17, the widow left her comfort zone and dared to give all she had.

You and I need to leave our comfort zones and dare to do something for God.

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 30-32  What areas of Christian service are outside your comfort zone? Complete___

March  13th

The Performance of Love

Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-7

Paul magnifies love and gives it human characteristics. His motive was to transform, not to inform, the Corinthians. Paul did not analyze love; he admonished them in love. He wanted them to see love‘s acts and attitudes, to change their habits to conform to love’s ways. They were to apply God’s principles, not just appreciate them. Even though love is not perfect in human life, it ought to be present. In verses 1-3, love is absent in the exercise of gifts, but in verse 4, love is present in the expression of grace.

The world, the flesh, and the devil pervert love and make lust. Paul speaks of love, not in the nature of man, but in the nature of God, for God is love.

Faith and hope are great, but love is the greatest. True religion cannot exist without faith, hope, and charity, but, of the three, love is the greatest. Faith and hope are promised for future things, and if we have them now, why would we hope for them?

· Faith is a gift we can have and appreciate the spiritual blessings as we walk with God. · Hope gives us the expectation of blessings as we go through life. · Love gives us the opportunity to show the goodness and grace of God; which we receive by faith in living a life of obedience to God. May every Christian reading this ask God to magnify love as we strive to see our love in action. It is one thing to say we love, but quite another to live out its characteristics.

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 Samuel 1-5 Write out Ephesians 4:2 Complete___

March  12th

 RING THE BELL

Read 2 John

Verses 1-2, “The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.”

John is known as the beloved and loving disciple, but another good  description  of  John  is  the  disciple  of  truth.  Truth  can  be twisted and turned, but it will never cease to be truth.

The story is told of a certain king who had a silver bell placed in a high tower of the palace. He announced that he would ring the bell whenever he was happy – to tell his subjects of his joy. Months and years went by without his sounding the bell. He grew old and gray. On his death bed, his subjects came to weep for him. He dis- covered how much he was loved through the years, though he never knew it. At last, the king was happy again and reached for the bell to ring it.

Think of it, he spent a lifetime not knowing how much his subjects loved him. Many people you know have no idea how much you love them. Why not “ring their bell,”and tell your parents, your pastor, your teacher, your friends how much you appreciate them. No two words have greater meaning in a relationship than truth and love.

We have a good practice of sending flowers to grieving loved ones; but how about sending someone a bouquet of flowers while they are yet living?

Daily  Assignments

Read Genesis 40-43 Who are some people the Bible tells us to love? Complete___

March  11th

PREOCCUPIED WITH JESUS! 

Read Romans 1:1-11

Paul did not write about the beautiful mountains in Corinth, or how beautiful Rome was. He was preoccupied with Jesus. We also need to be preoccupied with Him. Jesus said in Luke 19:13, “… Occupy till I come.” The word occupy means not only to inhabit or to possess, but to improve, to utilize in business for the purpose of increasing it, or of making profit on it.

· Be occupied with Him – don’t be occupied with or for yourself.

· Be occupied by Him – be busy for Him, and die to self.

· Be occupied for Him – don‘t let the devil rob you.

We can get so involved in relationships with other people, that we forget about our relationship with Jesus. There is no substitute for being with Christ alone, preoccupied with Him. The real purpose of your Christian life is to seek His fellowship. Sometimes we are more concerned about having fellowship with each other. He is our divine Helper, our Mate. Wherever we go, He wants to go. Would you be ashamed of some of the places you take Him? Would you ask Him to wait outside?

Don’t let the devil rob you of being occupied by Christ, because he has so much in the world to keep us busy. We need to be occupied with, for, and by Christ, because He has something for us to do and to accomplish.

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 Corinthians 3-4 List some things that are good but that can preoccupy our time. Complete___

March  10th

 Pursuing Happiness in Life

Read Matthew 5:3-12

Verses 2-9, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.  Blessed  are  the  meek:  for  they  shall  inherit  the  earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

These days everybody wants to be happy. They work hard to accumulate wealth and buy fancy cars and big homes, but something is still missing. They sign up for all kinds of self-improvement courses and even get involved in some worthy activities.

No matter how hard they pursue happiness, it always seems just around the corner. In this text, Jesus describes the way to deep and lasting happiness – being right with God. He says we are blessed, or happy, when we are poor in spirit. There has to be recognition of our spiritual bankruptcy without our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His spiritual wealth. This is not a promise to the individual, but a description of one who is blessed. When we allow the Holy Spirit to direct us, the result will be more than happiness: mercy loves forgiving; purity keeps our lives clean; there is peace between God and man.

Yes, seeking happiness has some merit, but only Christ can give true and lasting happiness to the hungry and thirsty Christian.

Daily  Assignments

Read Matthew 26-28 Write out four verses that tell us what kind of person is happy. Complete___

March  9th

MOTIVATION! 

Read Joshua 1:1-8

Verse 8, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

The working success of motivation is the progressive realization of a worthwhile (predetermined) goal. Success is a journey, not a destination.  Joshua  was  on  a  journey  with  Moses  for  forty years, learning how to be successful. After he became the leader, he simply continued on that journey. Don’t ever measure your success by what others are doing. There are three types of motivation:

· Incentive motivation: The giving of rewards or incentives. It is only as good as you promote it and lasts only as long as there is a reward.

· Fear motivation: ―You do it or else get fired.‖ “Wait until Dad gets home.” “I’ll send you to bed without dinner.” The result is that people become conditioned to it or move out from under it.

· Attitude motivation: Motivate means to inspire hope, to impel, to stimulate, to incite. The key word is change. Attitude is noth- ing more than a habit or thought. You can change if you want to. New habits form new attitudes. Joshua had the right atti- tude, and God gave him victory after victory. The love of Christ motivated Paul, and it ought to be our main motivation.

Daily  Assignments

Read Isaiah 51-55 In your opinion, what should motivate a Christian to serve? Complete___

March  8th

 SERVING WITH A PASSION

Read Acts 14:1-18

Acts 14:15, “Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:”

The word passion in biblical terms is quite an exciting word. As we see it used in several different forms, it gives us the perspective of what we as Christians ought to manifest in our lives.

· Most important, the word is used in Acts 1:3 to show the sufferings of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.

· It is used to show affection, which could be in sinful passions (Romans 7:5) or what Paul referred to as “of like passions” in Acts 14:15.

· The word as we use it today – a feeling of conviction, or an intense driving, used both in a positive and in a negative way.

· For God‘s glory! We ought to ask God for “pathos” – meaning an affection and a love for the lost – as well as a passion from within – a driving, intense desire to serve with a heart of love. Every Christian servant needs to exhibit this kind of passion.

There is a passion for good or evil, as is evidenced by the fact that most men have more passion for a good football or baseball game; a game of golf, fishing, hunting, camping, and their jobs than for the things of God. Let‘s ask God to give us a genuine passion for Christ and for those for whom He died…the lost.

Daily  Assignments

Read Job 19-20 What are some things for which a Christian should have a passion? Complete___

March  7th

Isn’t He Wonderful?

Read Isaiah 9:2-7

Verses 6-7, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 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.”

Wonderful Counselor means one with a divine plan that is truly a wonder. When missionary E.A. Ruskin referred to Jesus by His various titles, people were intrigued and asked, “Why did this Jesus have so many names?” Ruskin explained, “The  beauty, the fullness, and the magnificence of His matchless person cannot be expressed by just one name.” The Biblical names of Christ reveal His character as God who “was made flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). Just as each facet of a perfect diamond reflects the beauty of the gem,  the unique divine-human character of the incomparable Christ is revealed through the many aspects of His nature. This perfect One is altogether lovely. What a wonderful Person, what a wonderful Saviour, what a wonderful God! In Luke 23:4, Pilate said, “I find no fault in this man.” A Roman soldier declared, “Certainly this was a righteous man,” and in Mark 9:7, God Himself said from Heaven, “This is my beloved Son: hear Him!”

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 27-29 Write out four of the names that the Bible uses for Christ. Complete___

March  6th

 Building Internal Character

Read Proverbs 12

Verses 1-3, “Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish. A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn. A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.”

Since the Christian who loves instruction has a true understand- ing of what is the top priority and of superior value, he will listen to instruction. Getting people to listen to the Word of God is not the problem; getting them to obey it is.

If you don‘t care about learning, you can go to school for years and not learn a thing, but if you are eager to learn, there is no end to what you can learn. Part of learning is a willingness to accept correction when needed and to learn from the wisdom of others.

The person who refuses constructive criticism usually has a problem with pride and is unlikely to learn much. To be established means to be successful, and Solomon says that real success comes only to those who follow God. If you are not a success by God‘s standard, you have not achieved true success.

Matthew Henry said, “Those who have grace will delight in the instructions given them. Those that stifle their convictions are like brutes. The man who covers selfish and vicious designs under a profession of religion or friendship, will be condemned. Though men may advance themselves by sinful arts, they cannot settle and secure themselves. But those who by faith are rooted in Christ are firmly fixed.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Ruth Complete                Write out three verses  that talk about success. Complete___

March  5th

BEING CONFIDENT IN CHRIST!

Read Philippians 1:1-6 Verse 4, “Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy”

Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say rejoice.”

The word “joy” appears nineteen times in this epistle, though I do not believe it ought to be called the Joy Epistle, since Jesus Christ is mentioned over forty times. So, the focal point of Philip- pians is Christ, and He must be our focal point. We try to produce joy and enthusiasm in our church programs.

We appeal to the external  today  –  “Come  visit  our  church.  You‘ll  enjoy  it.”  Joy should not depend upon outward circumstances, but upon the inward condition of the individual heart. It depends on our proper attitude toward life. If you complain and whine about your lot in life, you will not have joy. Only when we are in the center of God‘s will, regardless of circumstances, will we have joy in our lives.

We must be confident that God is God, and that He will finish what He has begun. Philippians is a very practical book. It gets right down to where we live, where the rubber meets the road.

There must be something that consumes us. Paul was consumed with the Gospel of grace. What consumes you?

Why not call Pastor Nikoley to wish him ―Happy Birthday‖ today?

Daily  Assignments

Read Genesis 36-39 According to 1 John 2:28, how can we gain confidence? Complete__

March  4th

 AMERICA’S PLIGHT!

Read 1 Kings 17

1 Kings 17:4, “And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.”

 God had a place of provision for Elijah, and He also gave him the promise of power. Wicked King Ahab had just come on the scene, and he did what the Bible calls, “evil in the sight of the Lord, above all who were before him.” God sent Elijah to give warning to the king, because it is a small thing for a man like Elijah, who lived his life in the presence of the Lord, to stand before a wicked king. Elijah was a Tishbite, born in Tishbeh, but he lived in Galilee. I believe God raised Elijah for this period of time – as the Bible says in the Book of Esther, “for such a time as this.” God always gives His greater prophets during the reigns of wicked kings.

God needs an Elijah in America today. He not only proved Himself through Elijah, but He also revealed His power to the wicked king, the prophets, and all those who followed them. It is for this reason that the preachers and the Christians of America must not only live a Christian walk with God, but must also faithfully allow the power of God to live through them.

We must have some men who can call down the fire of God, but we‘ll never do it unless we stay faithful in the day of preparation, realizing our plight is completely hopeless without Christ. Our preparation must be completely yielded to God, with His power working through us day by day.

Daily  Assignments

Read 1 Corinthians 1-2 List some of the prophets of Israel. Complete___

March  3rd

 LITTLE FAITH!

Read Matthew 17:14-20

Matthew 17:20, “And Jesus said, … If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

Faith is something that is often misunderstood because the devil has given us two false impressions of faith.

The first is that God requires great faith from us before He will act.

The second is that faith is the absence of doubt. Both of these are lies. Many Christians  do nothing for God because they believe these lies. Take what little faith you do have, and use it for God. He can use this little faith – if it is given to Him. The disciples were leaning on their unbelief, not their faith. Our weakness is just a covering for strength. Paul had a weakness, but God used that weakness as a strength.

Use your weakness, and go on for God. If you have doubt, go on in doubt. If you don‘t know if you can tell others about Christ, try it in doubt, and trust Him.  As we use the faith we are given, God gives us more faith. You will remember the account of Peter‘s at- tempt to walk to Jesus on the water in Matthew 14:30-31, “But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” Sometimes it is just a matter of stepping out by faith – not doubting.

Daily  Assignments

Read Matthew 23-25 List some people in the Bible who acted on little faith. Complete___

March  2nd

MAKE A CROWN OUT OF YOUR THORN

Read 2 Corinthians 12:1-10

2 Corinthians 12:7, “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.”

God did not give Paul this “thorn” to complain, but to train. As Paul complained, he seemed to hear the Lord saying, “Paul, I had a thorn in my flesh for you.” Think of the thorn in your flesh and how you have complained to God, yet He is the One who gave it to you. We all have a thorn in the flesh to help to keep us humble.

I know from experience that God uses thorns to allow us to have a closer walk with Him. I remember the days when it would not take much to get me all upset, yet God used it to teach me patience. We do not know exactly what Paul‘s thorn was, whether it was some- thing  physical  or  spiritual.

It  really  does  not  matter  because  it helped him to be a humble servant for Christ. It would be very easy for any one of us to take our burdens and put emphasis on them. We may do that and feel totally justified in our responses as well as reactions; however, the question must be asked, “What would Jesus do?”

I believe Paul recognized the danger of taking his trials, troubles and thorns into his own hands. Instead, he learned that God‘s grace is sufficient for him.

Now, here is the blessing: you may have more “thorns”  than Paul or I do, but Jesus has more than any of us, and He is saying, “Why don‘t you do what I did? I made a crown out of my thorns.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Isaiah 45-50 List some people who served in spite of their thorns.

Complete___

March  1st

 Biblical Qualifications for a Servant of God

Read Acts 22:6-16

Verses 15-16, “For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

There are certain requirements for becoming servants of God. Serving God is not something you do if you have failed at everything else; it is not something you do in your spare time, etc.

Let‘s consider some of the qualifications of a servant of God:

· There Must Be a Calling

Realize that you must be chosen of God, whether you are a preacher or not. You were chosen the moment you were saved.

·You Must Comprehend God‘s Will for Your Life

Bob Jones Sr. said, “Success is finding God’s will and doing it.” Pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit. Read the Bible for God’s wisdom. Seek counsel from godly men. “In the multitude of counsel- lors, there is safety.”

· You Must Be Consecrated and Know God‘s Word

Read it, study it, memorize it, believe it, live it, and walk in it. Your fellowship with God is your source of power.

· You Must Be a Consistent Witness to All People

Be a soul-winner and a witnessing servant for God, realizing that He has called and chosen you to be a consecrated, consistent servant of God.

Daily  Assignments

Read Job 17-18 Write out Proverbs 11:14 and 15:22. Complete___

February  28th

 YOUR LIGHT AND LIFE!

Read Ephesians 5:8-17 Verses 13-14, “But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”

Paul Harvey told the story of a lady who was out fishing with her son. After many hours and perhaps years of trying to catch “the big one,” she actually did. She, with her son, caught a 22 – pound bass which would have broken all  records for a female sportsman. She was extremely proud of her catch, knowing that she would be famous for her accomplishment. She had witnesses who saw the great fish. She took pictures of herself standing next to the hanging fish before she cast it back into the water. Full of pride and joy, she contacted fish companies, sports magazines, etc. Of course, everyone agreed that all records were broken, and she would go down in history as the sportswoman of the year. She could just see herself with her picture in magazines, on television, and all the rest. However, in meeting with a fish company she was told that, “It   cannot confirm what it cannot weigh.” Because she could not prove that she had indeed caught the 22-pound fish, she lost millions of dollars in endorsements. That‘s exactly like many Christians today; their lives cannot confirm what they say.

The Bible says in Colossians 2:6, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:”

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 24-26 What do we call someone whose walk does not match his talk? Complete___

February 27th

 AN EMPTY PLACE!

Read John 20:24-29

Verse 24, “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.”

Many in the Scripture were not where they should have been; they left an empty place. They were not there.

· Jonah was not there when he “rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa.”

· David was not there ―when kings go forth to battle.”

· Solomon was not there when he refused to take down the high places.

· Elijah was not there when he ran from Jezebel.

Think of it – you have a place just for you. No one else can fill it. God made it for just you. Don‘t get out of your place. Don‘t let your place be empty. I like a full place. There is something sad about an empty place. Spurgeon‘s Metropolitan Tabernacle used to be packed out every time the door was open; now 75 is a good crowd. Moody‘s church in Chicago has had the same downturn. Remember, God has a place just for you; He wants to use you, and He has a reward for your faithful service. Occupy your place until Jesus comes – for His glory. An empty place speaks of sin, indifference, loss of burden, lack of preaching, lack of power and blessing. Let‘s get right and fill that empty place.

Daily  Assignments

Read Judges 17-21 Is there an area or job in the church that needs more people to help? Can you help? Complete___

February  26th

 THE NEED – SOLDIERS!

Read Joshua 14:6-15

Verses 11-12, “As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. Now there- fore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.”

In preaching, we often want the preacher to focus on our problems and conflicts rather than our opportunities. We want  trial and comfort‖ messages, but that does not build soldiers. We do not need pampered Christians, but determined soldiers.

· David, as a young soldier, said, “Is there not a cause?” · Nehemiah was a man of prayer in chapter 1, but in chapter 2, he was a man of war – a soldier. · The soldier says, “Give me liberty or give me death.” · A pampered Christian says, “I   just want to feel good.” We must remember that the Christian life is not a nursery; it is more often a battleground. · Caleb said, “I want that mountain.” What fight has God put on your heart? What are you doing to help in the fight of faith?

Daily  Assignments

Read Genesis 32-35 What are some of the Scriptural requirements of a soldier? Complete___

February  25th

 BLESS ME INDEED

Read 1 Chronicles 4:9-10

Verse 10, “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.”

Jabez is remembered for his prayer, rather than for his heroic act. He acknowledged God as the true center of his work. We live in a fallen world where sin abounds; therefore, it is important to ask God to keep us safe from the unavoidable sin that comes our way. We also need to avoid evil motives, desires, and actions that begin within us. We must not only seek God‘s protection from evil, but also ask God to guard our thoughts and actions.

Why can‘t we get our prayers answered? It may be because we fail to ask, or what we ask for is not good for us, or we fail to ask in faith, or because of sin, and sometimes, it is because we fail to thank and praise Him. The Bible says in James 4:3, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

Jabez prayed and what he prayed for was granted because he approached God with a clean and confessed heart, “And God granted him that which he requested.”

When we pray for God‘s blessing, we should also pray for Him to keep us from evil and take His rightful place as Lord in our work, our recreation and our family life.

Daily  Assignments

Read Romans 15-16 List three prayers that God has answered for you recently. Complete___

February  24th

 STONING JESUS

Read John 10

Verses 30-33, “I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones  again  to  stone  him.  Jesus  answered  them,  Many  good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.”

The shining of the sun produces two effects in the world, one the exact opposite of the other. In one place it enlightens, strengthens and beautifies; in another it darkens, deadens, mars and decays. So it is with the Gospel of Christ. Christ’s coming provoked the worst kind of prejudice and called forth the deepest devotion.

Someone said, “Some people act first, think afterward, and then repent forever.” Another said, “We are always complaining that our days are few and acting as though there would be no end to them.”

Think how Jesus must have felt when He was walking with them toward the garden and said, “All of you shall be offended this night because of me,” or saying, “What, could you not watch with me one hour?”  when He was in the garden.

The stone that hurts Christ the most is the stone cast by His own people. It is the stone of inconsistency – to talk one way and live another, or to say, “I will never quit serving you,” then quit. To confess with the lips and deny in the walk is another way of stoning Jesus in our churches today.

Daily  Assignments

Read Matthew 20-22 What was the  reason they wanted to stone Jesus? Complete___

February  23rd

 STRENGTH

Read Isaiah 40:29-41:1

Verses 29-31, “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

One thing certainly ought to be the desire of every Christian today – not only to seek the Lord‘s strength, but to be consumed with the fact that He is our strength. I am asked constantly, “Preacher, where do you get the strength to do the things you have to do?”  My answer is always the same, as it is with many of our readers today –  “It’s the Lord.” The Bible commands us to be strong and of good courage. Wait upon, strength and courage all imply to be fastened to, glued to, or to stick to it.

In other words, stay in the fight. Too many are quitting today. The average Christian walks out on God in less than seven years. We tell God all we have done, and now it is someone else‘s turn, then say, “Good bye, God,” or  “no  more God for me.”  Many will walk out on God when things get tough this year. No, we need to say; “by God‘s grace I‘ll stick.” That‘s good courage.

When I think of the insurmountable problems, challenges, and at times, disappointments, I can only flee to the Lord and plead with Him to renew my strength. This, I believe, is the hope of every Christian seeking to have joy, peace and power.

Daily  Assignments

Read Isaiah 40-44 Write down five verses that talk about God‘s strength. Complete___

February  22nd

 SINGING BRINGS PRAISE

Read Psalm 137

Psalm 106:47, “Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to tri- umph in thy praise.”

In this verse we see that victory comes through praising the Lord. We triumph by praising God. Look, for example, in 2 Chronicles 20:17, God promised Jehoshaphat that He would be with him, and in verses 20-23, they actually used singing and praising as a weapon to defeat their enemy.

Brother Roloff once said, “Sing  the loudest during hard times,” and he also said, “The Lord is pleased most with your private concerts, because God will make you happy enough to praise if you‘ll sing.”

In Luke 2:12-14, the shepherds were already praising the Lord for the One that they knew by faith was the Messiah.  Notice in Luke 19:35-40, the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for the mighty works that they had seen.

The Pharisees sought to have Jesus stop their praise and singing, but Jesus said, “If these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” 

Wow! Our praises are recorded in the stones. Let‘s never stop singing and praising God for His mighty works, because blessed be the name of the Lord!

Daily  Assignments

Read Job 15-16 What are your three favorite hymns? Complete___

February    21st

 PENTECOST POWER 

Read Acts 2:1-8

Verse 4, “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

Often, when you mention Pentecost to people, they think of one of three things:

  • Tongues – many have the mistaken, unbiblical idea that to be filled with the Holy Spirit is to speak in unrecognizable tongues. Quite the opposite is true; when the Bible speaks of tongues, it is always referring to other languages.
  • Being filled with the Holy Spirit is often looked at as a second blessing. According to the Scripture, one receives the Holy Spirit the moment he is saved, and the power of the Holy Spirit comes only as we walk in obedience to the Word of God. Fillings and power can come many times.
  • The church started at Pentecost. Absolutely not! There are no verses in the Bible saying the church started at Pentecost. Pentecost is for everybody, which means the power of God can come upon anybody. It comes from direct obedience to the precious Word of God. Anybody who has been saved can have the power of the Holy Spirit on his or her life. Luke 11:13, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 21-23 Write down two miracles that happened in the early church. Complete___

February  20th

I WILL GLORY IN THE CROSS

Read Galatians 6:11-17

Everyone has something in which to glory. If we know people long enough, we eventually find out what they glory in. In the case of grandparents, they will soon start showing off pictures of their grand- children. The same is true with young married couples and their babies.

For a musician, it may be a great instrument or voice; for an artist, a piece of art work.

For a young man, it may be a new car. To a housewife, it may be her home or children, and others may glory in their accomplishments or their jobs. Everybody glories in something.

Paul does not take the time to compare himself with them, showing that he rejoices in those afflictions he suffers for Christ’s sake, and as he is despised by the world, he in the same way considers the world as wicked and lost. This was the true circumcision of a true Israelite. When Paul uses this word it means that we should rest completely in God‘s will and be content in it.

Paul said, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of I Will Glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” He could have gloried in his education, in his degrees, in the fact that he studied at the feet of Gamaliel.

He could have gloried in his preaching, that even the demons in hell knew his name. He wrote fourteen  out of twenty-seven New Testament books.

He could have gloried in his travels and all his missionary journeys, but Paul over- looked all that and gloried in the wisdom, words and works of the cross. “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

In what do we glory today? What are you glorying in today?

Daily  Assignments

Read Judges 12-16 Write down three verses that tell us to glory in something. Complete___

February  19th

Our Desired Haven

Read Psalm 107:23-32

Verses 28-30, “Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.”

Sometimes, in order to make progress in your Christian life, you may have to go through some great storms. It takes time, talent and tolerance to make progress.

The devil did not send this storm; God sent it. God often sends the wind to get us to our desired haven. Don‘t give up your vision. You are not at your desired haven yet, but soon you will be there. People of great vision have great trials, but people of great vision also see some great victories. “So He bringeth them unto their desired haven.” We need to dream a dream, put it on paper, plan, work the plan and see the desired haven. There are those who talk about dreams and others live them. The Bible says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” These were men of great vision. They did not seek rest from their work, but from their worry. They realized that the work was healthy for their minds and bodies. The subject of Psalm 107 is giving thanks; even these must give thanks.

Has there been a willingness to take the time, to use your God-given talent, and to be tolerant of the storms in life, to help you reach your desired haven?

Daily  Assignments

Read Genesis 28-31 Write down four Bible verses that tell us about Heaven. Complete___

February  18th

 Some Powerful Reasons for Coming to Christ

Read Mark 3:1-12

Verses 7-8, “But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea, And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him.”

There are probably as many reasons for coming to Christ as there are people. We should not be surprised if great and learned people oppose the Gospel of Christ. If some people will not receive Him, others will.

God‘s eternal purpose will stand, and the kingdom of His Anointed (Jesus) will come. If Jesus is rejected by the educated and wealthy, poor and common people will accept Him gladly. The Gospel is a joy and delight to the poor and needy; through it, they can become eternally rich.

Of course, all who came to Christ did not necessarily come for the right motive. Some came out of curiosity, others listened to what He said but didn‘t believe Him. Still others came because they heard of His greatness and healing, hoping that they would find something similar. Many have come to hear, but will not receive.

Many others have come and heard about the great things He has done, and they received. How about you? Have you come to Him to confess Him as Lord and Saviour of your life? Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-29, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Romans 13-14 Write down the one compelling reason that brought you to Christ. Complete___

 

  February  17th

 FOLLOW ME!

Read Luke 5:27-35

Verses 27-28, “And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. And he left all, rose up, and followed him.”

If you miss Christ, you miss everything. If you fail to know Him, your life is empty and vain.

A few years ago Reader’s Digest carried an article entitled, “Seven Words to Live By: Live, Love, Learn, Think, Give, Laugh, and Try.”  The  author  said,  “Can  you  pack  better  advice  in  seven words?” Though these are good words, I believe a Christian can do better: believe, trust, witness, give, die to self, know, and rejoice. To a lost and dying world, there is but one word to straighten out the hearts and minds of people – Christ.

The speech of the Saviour belonged to a different world. His speech was refreshing, always true, kind, not deceptive, but cutting, and always loving. As you listen to the words of the Saviour, see how shallow the words of the world are. Christian, our speech should be that of another world. We must know Him and follow Him. The greatest Christians that have ever lived are those who follow the speech and steps of Jesus Christ.

Luke 18:22, “Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Matthew 17-19 What are some ways in which we can follow Christ? Complete___

February  16th

 Temptation and You

Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-13

Verse 13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

If you were the only one ever to be tempted, you would have reason for despair; however, all of us are tempted at one time or another. The Lord will not allow too much, too long, or too often. We are constantly under attack by Satan. He wants to take your love and turn it to lust. He is after the young, middle-aged, and old. He wants the young man to drop out now. He wants the middle- aged man to do it over again. He wants the old man to go back to his youthful lusts. Paul told Timothy at middle age to, “flee youthful lusts.” He wants the older man to fall so the young will follow him. He wants old age to be blighted by a fall. Temptation is every   where: in the classroom as well as in the living room, in the office as well as in the bedroom.

F. B. Meyer discovered that opening up his entire life to the Spirit was the way to overcome temptation from sin he could not conquer. After a long battle with that sin, he knelt and prayed, “Lord, here are the keys of my life; take them and unlock every door. Fill every room.‖ Once he gave the Spirit complete access to his life, his sin was defeated. Would you be willing to give Christ the key to all the rooms in your house, as well as your heart?

Daily  Assignments

Read Isaiah 34-39 Write out two verses that tell us to overcome temptation. Complete___

February  15th

 The Battle Against the Devil

Read Ephesians 6:10-18, 23

In order to win the battle against the devil, we must fight in the Lord‘s might. The battle is really His, and the strength must come from Him. We must remember that our enemy is the devil. We cannot win the battle in our own strength.

It is interesting to note that this is the only place where Paul mentions Satan. Paul often acknowledged his existence, but did not give him much recognition. We should do the same. Remember, we are in a conflict between God and those on His side, and Satan and those on his side. We should recognize the fact that the devil is our enemy and that we are to fight him.

  • We are to be strong in the Lord – verse 10.
  • We must remember that the devil is our enemy – verse 11.
  • We are to wrestle offensively – verse 12.
  • We are to put on and take up the whole armor of God – verses 11-13.
  • We are to have peace in the midst of battle – verse 23.

In Philippians 4:13 and 2 Timothy 4:17, the Greek word endunamoo is used, which means to acquire strength. In 1 Timothy 1:12, it means to enable. We are to be strong and increase in strength. God will enable us as we acquire His strength, because we cannot win the battle in our own strength.

Daily  Assignments

Read Job 13-14 List some things you are praying for that are impossible in the world‘s eyes.

February  14th

 THE LOVE OF GOD!

Read 1 John 2:1-17

Verses 5-6, “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”

The Bible is certainly the most remarkable book of love in the world. In it are hundreds of references to love. It records the greatest love story ever written – God’s unconditional love for us that sent His Son to die on the cross. Love is not only one of God’s attributes, it is also an essential part of His nature. “God is love,” the Bible declares.

Such love surpasses our powers of understanding. Love like this is everlasting, free, sacrificial, and enduring to the end. Love found its perfect expression in the Lord Jesus. Christian love is the fruit of the Holy Spirit in the believer. Love is like oil to the wheels of obedience. It enables us to run the way of God’s commandments. Without such love, we are nothing. Such Spirit-inspired love never fails but always flourishes, because true Christian love cannot be separated from truth, holiness and obedience. Jesus asked, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest [esteem] thou me?” Peter replied, “You know that I love [have affection for] you.” Then Jesus asked, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?” And Peter responded that his love was agape love — love that held Jesus in high esteem and which was more than a feeling.

Why not exhibit the Love of God to your spouse and family on this Valentine‘s Day in a very special way? Show them that you love them.

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 18-20 List some people and let them know you love them. Complete___

February  13th

THE BLESSING OF THE ARK! 

Read 2 Samuel 6:1-11

Verse 8, “And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perezuzzah to this day.”

I believe that David did wrong by seeking man‘s counsel, be- cause he had the Lord Himself to give him guidance and leadership. This is definitely a problem in some churches; they listen to man‘s way of thinking rather than God‘s wisdom.

Uzzah, son of Abinadab, fell dead while taking the ark from Kirjathjearim toward Jerusalem. This disobedient act of Uzzah caused all the joy to cease. God chastised them for disrespect because the law required the Ark to be covered by the priests and carried by staves on the shoulders of the Levites, who were not even to look upon or touch the Ark itself.

Some believe that Uzzah was not even a Levite. In any event, he touched the Ark. You may say, “Why is that so bad?” It was in direct violation of God‘s requirements. God did not want the Ark on a cart; He wanted the priests to carry it on their shoulders. This is a beautiful picture of the Christian carrying the Gospel message to a lost world. We are to do it God‘s way.  Uzziah‘s hand pictures man trying to do it his own way.

Let the sin of Uzzah be a warning to us all to take heed of  resumption, impulsiveness, and disrespect in dealing with holy things.

Daily  Assignments

Read Judges 7-11 What was David‘s reaction to Uzzah‘s death?

February  12th

 DON’T MISS IT!

Read Genesis 37:1-11

Verses 3-4, “Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.”

Joseph was a favored son, a faithful steward, but God had to  use  three  means  of  discipline to  prepare Joseph:  service, self-control, and suffering. The entire story illustrates the sovereignty of God and His providential care for His own. Joseph had his faults,  but  he stands out as a spiritual giant of the faith. Jacob erred in making Joseph a ruler before he taught him to be a servant. Jacob favored Joseph above his brothers, which made them full of anger and hate. Parents, be careful about having favorites in your family. Joseph was conscious that God had a plan for his life. God‘s plan influenced his life. Think about that! What influences your life? As with Joseph, we never know what we may have to go through to fulfill His plan for us.

In 2 Timothy 2:22, Paul admonishes Timothy to “flee youthful lusts.” When Joseph was tempted by Potiphar‘s wife, he lost his coat, but he kept his character. He could have given in to temptation, but “he got him out.” Young person, God‘s plan for you is to flee from sin. Life may not be as you plan it, but don‘t miss His plan. “Flee youthful lusts.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Genesis 24-27 Write a note to a public servant (police, fire, etc.) thanking him for his service. Complete___

February  11th

THE BATTLE IS THE LORD’S 

Read 2 Chronicles 20:13-19

Verse 15, “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.”

Many lessons can be learned from Jehoshaphat. Any general seeking to win a battle would do well to study both this battle and the battle at Ramoth-gilead, where he compromised and fought alongside King Ahab. There are conditions to winning a battle, as God has conditions for bringing revival to the church. I am not speaking of obedience to God‘s Word; we should already have learned that.

  • In verses 1-2, we see the problem. To win any battle, there must be planning, and a state of readiness and obedience.
  • In verses 3-12, we see Jehoshaphat in prayer for deliverance.
  • In verses 14-17, we are given God‘s promise with conditions.
  • In verses 18-19, is the means of God‘s power – worship and praise.
  • In verse 20, God gives the proof of His deliverance.
  • In verses 21-24, we see the important part – praise.
  • In verse 25, we see the prosperity.
  • In verses 26-30, once again, there is praise.

Again, verse 20 gives the proof of their success, “Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.” It is everything to have God on our side.

Daily  Assignments

Read Romans 11-12 

Describe a time when God helped you win a battle.

February    10th

Re-read the last two days‘ devotions

 Call upon God

Claim the spiritual help God has provided. The Bible spells out both the right and wrong way to live. The Holy Spirit dwells in us to give us spiritual power. Through prayer we commune with God, drawing upon His help. We can also receive guidance and help from other Christians.  Plenty of help is available, but we must use it. Be involved in church, prayer meeting, devotions, close friendships, etc. Avoid surroundings that cause you to fall or to think about your weaknesses. If you get angry when tired, get more rest. If being around certain people causes you to be dissatisfied, avoid them like the plague. Paul said, “Neither give place to the devil.” Don’t give Satan a chance to tempt you. Some things are just not worth getting upset about. If a little argument arises, don‘t let it become big; it does not deserve the attention. Also, a fleeting moment of pleasure is not worth a broken marriage. Watch that your mind does not focus on things that bring spiritual defeat.

Finally, maintain your self-worth and self-esteem

As a practical means of controlling emotions of passion you must include each of these steps, because some of our experiences in the past made us in such a way that we doubt who we are and what we can do. Then doubt creates poor self-esteem which shows itself in many areas of our lives. Remember, the Bible says in Psalm 139:14, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Mathew 14-16

What are some practical things you can do to control passion?

Complete___

February    9th

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

How can we control the passions that lead to our defeat?

Admit Your Weakness

Trying to excuse or justify one‘s weakness because of failure in the past is not the answer. Rather, facing up to it is the most important step. So confess the weakness to the Lord. Admit that we gave control to the sin nature and desperately need God‘s help to overcome the passion. Psalm 51:1-3, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender  mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.”

Decide to Obey Jesus Christ

Make a conscious, willful decision to obey His commands. He is the Son of God and has the authority to demand it of us. When we are truly willing to follow Him, there can be no room for our own selfish emotion. Obeying the Lord involves the will. We must decide to obey in all things. Doing His will must be more important to us than giving in to some wicked habit. Jesus said in John 14:15, “If ye love me keep my commandments.” A little later, in John l5:14, He said, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatever I command you.” (To be concluded tomorrow)

Daily  Assignments

Read Isaiah 29-33

List some Bible characters who controlled their passions.

Complete___

February   8th

How to Handle Your Emotions – Passion

Read Romans 6:10-22

Some time ago, I read an article about a problem that is much too common in our culture,  “A  father shouted in anger at his frightened son, and finally, pounding him with his fist, he knocked him to the floor, unconscious. At a motel, a nervous man signed the register as Mr. & Mrs. Smith.‘ His attraction to his best friend‘s wife was about to result in a shameful, adulterous relationship. Tragically, such things do not occur only on TV, but all too often, in real life.” – Author Unknown

Even those who claim to be Christians are involved. In fact, many born-again believers have called out to God again and again for relief from powerful, passionate emotions. These emotions lead to outbreaks of violent temper, jealousy, greed, and lustful thoughts and deeds. Emotions that God built into all of us, when distorted by sin, are all too often channeled into destructive deeds. The natural appetite for food or drink becomes gluttony; the proper sexual drive becomes adultery, and the desire to succeed becomes selfishness and pride.

I believe, however, that victory over these passions is possible. As believers we are on our battlefield of faith with Satan, the enemy of our souls. Sins of passion, such as anger, jealousy, greed, and pride, can be overcome by the Christian who sincerely wants to be victorious over immorality.  (To be continued tomorrow) 

Daily  Assignments

Read Job 11-12.

List some Bible characters who were controlled by passion.

Complete___

February  7th

A New Garment, a New Vessel

Read Matthew 9:14-17

Verse 16, “No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.”

John the Baptist‘s message was harsh and focused on the law, and when people compare themselves to God‘s perfect Law, they realize how far they fall short and that they must repent. Jesus‘ message focused on grace and the result – not only eternal life, but abundant life. John‘s disciples had the right start, but they needed to take the next step and trust Jesus.

Our Lord was saying this: the old covenant, the old law was ending, and He had not come to protect it or to continue under it, but to provide a new garment. That new garment is of righteousness, which He gives to those who trust only in Him.

Dr. Ed Nelson said in My Morning Manna Devotional, “Some people picture salvation as just a patched-up life. They have a problem, so they get a patch. They may patch with some good works or some nice deeds. How utterly foolish! A person who cuts up a new piece of cloth to patch an old garment is playing the fool! Similarly, one who patches up his life by some good works to earn Heaven is making a dreadful and eternal mistake. You cannot earn salvation by doing good work to cover up a sin or bad living. The whole fabric of your salvation will be destroyed.” Friend, why not trust Christ alone for salvation today? 

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 15-17

What are some changes people make to try to patch up their lives?

Complete___

February  6th

What Really Happened to the Pigs?

Read Luke 8:26-40

Verses 27-28, “And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.”

After Jesus stilled the storm, He went to Gadara where a maniac who was possessed by demons lived. Today, most Christians have the philosophy that demons no longer exist. I believe we are seeing a manifestation of demons all around the globe.

In the Old Testament, when the land was being divided among the tribes of Israel, the tribe of Gad stayed on the wrong side of the Jordan. What happened to them? They went into the pig business, which for Jews, was against Mosaic law. Once you take one step in disobedience to God, it is easy to take the next. I believe this mira- cle Jesus performed was one of the greatest.

For some reason demons want to be brought into physical reality. They were even satisfied to indwell these pigs. When the Lord cast the demons out of this man, they were willing to go into the bod- ies of swine which were feeding on the hillside rather than go into the bottomless pit. Notice that the pigs would rather be dead than have the demons indwell them. Some pigs have more sense than some people.

Daily  Assignments

Read Judges 1-6

What are some things people choose rather than God?

Complete___

February  5th

 WHY WE HAVE TO BEG GOD!

Read Luke 18:1-8

Verse 5, “Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.”

Answer to prayer is often the result of begging God. Somehow, over the last few decades, we have lost the art of prayer. Verse 1 shows the necessity of begging God. Someone said, “Beg God day and night to begin to see the light.” Begging is to get us ready to receive, not for God to get in the mood to give. The more you beg, the more you want it. You beg, and you unload something else. Now that you are empty, you are really full.

Many of us are too wrapped up in the things of the world and self, and we have been filled with the wrong things in life. Maybe all we have to do, as I do every time I step into the pulpit, is say, “Lord,  if you do not empower and use me, I‘ll die.” It‘s yours already; all you have to do is claim it. We need to say, “God, empty me, so that you can fill me.”

Three important lessons:

  • Persevere and do not let discouragement get to you.
  • Pay attention to what God is trying to teach you.
  • Proclaim His goodness when He answers. Luke 11:8, “I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Genesis 20-23 Ask God to give you a real burden for prayer. Complete___

February    4th

 The Man Who Needed a Saviour

Read Luke 19:1-10

Verses 1-4, “And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.”

The city of Jericho was very pleasant when the Lord passed through, with its beautiful roses and palm gardens. The city structure had a curse on it when it was rebuilt, but that does not mean the people did. The city was also known for its many cells of sweet honeycomb. The Scripture is sweet also, and full of thought. A child can understand it. Angels desire to look into it. It speaks of a man who was a tax collector and became rich. He was “chief among the publicans,” a great man and yet one toward whom many were hos- tile. It is this man who becomes the object of our Lord’s compassion and grace. Having heard of Jesus and seen the excitement in the crowd, his curiosity caused him to want a closer look. Being a man of little stature, he could not get the view he wanted from the ground, so he ran ahead and climbed up a sycamore tree. Success is not enough for anyone. We need salvation from sin, selfishness, and even success itself. This man was led to Christ through curiosity, but what is wrong with that, as long as it gets him to heaven?

Daily  Assignments

Read Romans 9-10 What are some things about Zaccheus that could have hindered him from getting saved?

February  3rd

  A Recipe for Contentment

Read 1 Timothy 6:1-10

Verses 6-8, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”

Where envy and strife are, everything is unsettled and uptight. There is no common confidence; there is no drawing together of direction and effort; there is no cooperation in promoting a common goal; there is no stability in any plan. Something good may be started by one person and defeated by another.

A spirit of strife in a family or church has several effects. Love and harmony are driven out; happiness disappears; prosperity comes to an end. In a place where peace ought to prevail, there springs up every evil passion that  tends  to  spoil  the  peace of  a family  or church, or even a nation. Where this spirit prevails, it is impossible to expect any progress in spiritual things, and in such a family or church any effort to do well is vain.

An important lesson for us to learn is that personal contentment will grow as we are burdened about others and as we learn to help others, even while we may be lacking some of the so-called nicer things‖ in life.

Contentment is just being satisfied with God: His plan for your life, and His faithful provision for your every need. 1 Timothy 6:8, “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Matthew 11-13 Write out several verses that speak of contentment. Complete___

February    2nd

 Trusting Even if God Seems to Be Against You

Read Habakkuk 1:1-17 Verse 2, “O, LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou will not save!”

Have you ever asked God questions and felt He did not hear or answer you the way you wanted? Habakkuk had a lot of questions. What Habakkuk is really asking is “Where  is God?” or “Is God there, and does He care?” It may seem that Habakkuk is not getting any answers from God. When he got an answer,  it was not what he wanted. The whole book is really God‘s answer.

In Chapter 2, we see that Habakkuk is feeling guilty for even asking these questions. When we cannot even pray because of our attitude toward God, we need to see the situation from His side. Ha- bakkuk is saying, “I will embrace your answers and wait until I see it from your perspective.” That is what we need to do when His promises seem to fail us. God is working out His purposes. Romans

8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Then in chapter 3, Habakkuk speaks to God in earnest prayer for revival. In verse 2, he begs for God‘s help in delivering His people from their affliction. In verses 3-15 he reminds God of His past mercies. In verses 16-19 he gives words of encouragement and hope, though all visible signs are against him. Keep praying and you will see that God is still there.

Daily  Assignments

Read Isaiah 23-28 Write a letter to a Government official thanking him for his service. Complete__

February  1st

The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth

Read John 4:22-24

Verses 22-24, “Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

Truth is a rare thing in our society today, yet we know that God is the source of all truth and is available to all who seek it. Wise men still seek Him. Our ultimate duty is to worship God in truth. He is to be worshipped in holiness and according to His desires. Many think they can worship God on their own terms and God will be pleased – not so! The God who is due the worship has the right to set the terms. Worship of God involves recognizing who He is and who we are and coming before Him in reverence and fear. We cannot come before a Holy God with an unholy life, unless we first come in repentance and confession, forsaking our sin. God’s guidebook for worship is the Bible. The only way we know anything about God is through the Bible. God tells us what truth is, what worship is, and what He expects in regard to both.

We can only worship God when under the influence of the Holy Spirit, because He brings all our affections and desires to the throne of God. When every purpose and passion of our hearts are guided by the Word of God, we can truly be in the spirit of worship.

Daily  Assignments

Read Job 9-10 Write out five verses that speak about lying. Complete___

January  31st

 ARE YOU READY FOR HIS COMING?

Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

1 Corinthians 15:52, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last  trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

While on a plane from Lynchburg to San Diego, I could not help but be thankful for the wonderful transportation these days. That trip was nothing compared to the trip I am getting ready to take when Jesus comes. One of these days, He is going to break the eastern skies with the trump of God, and we are out of this sin-cursed world! The Bible tells us in our text that we are to comfort one an- other with these words. I cannot think of a greater comfort than to know that one day we will be with Him forever. Remember that He commanded us to “Occupy till I come,” and to “watch and wait” for His coming. Jesus is coming for us at God‘s appointed time.

Are you ready for His coming? Are you packed up and ready for travel? When I prepared to leave Lynchburg, I had to pack all of my belongings. When we take that final trip, there will be nothing but our bodies to go with Him. This trip comes without notice. It will happen in the twinkling of an eye, or 1/1,000th of a second. Let‘s make sure we are ready when He comes.

The song writer said, “Coming again, Coming again; Oh what a glorious day that will be; Jesus is coming Again?” Are you ready? 

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 12-14 Write out three verses about the second coming of Christ. Complete___

January   30th

WHAT’S THE SCORE?

Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

If you have ever been to a typical baseball or football game, you must have noticed that there is more to it than just the players. True, the players are the most important; however, among many other things, there also must be something or someone to keep score. In the days before technology, they had at least one member from each team called the “score keepers.” Today, we have come a long way from the “score keeper.” Upon entering the field we look for a big screen or board giving the score, and we immediately know how our favorite team is doing. Were it not for the board or the score keeper, we would not have the faintest idea of who was winning or losing.

Let‘s relate this illustration to the church. We find that there is not a score board or score keeper to be found — or is there? In this text, Paul is running in the race of life, and he is assuming that all have knowledge of the Isthmian games held every two years near Corinth. These games were much like the Olympics, but on a smaller scale. They consisted of running, wrestling, boxing, and throwing the discus. Now, here is the score for the Christian: “I therefore so run, not as uncertainly” (the only time the word is used in the Bible); in other words, not as one who runs with no intention of winning the prize or reaching the finish line.  Paul means that he lived in such a way as to be sure of achieving the approval of God and  receiving a crown of glory. Who‘s winning your game? Is it God, the world, the flesh or the devil? Think of it this way: God is our “Score Keeper.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Joshua 21-24 Write an encouraging note to someone who serves in the church. Complete___

January  29th

TRY GIVING YOURSELF AWAY

Read 2 Corinthians 8:1-5

Verses 2-3, “How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves”

Often people come to me asking about happiness, about joy in the Christian life, or about how to be satisfied. We will never find satisfaction, joy, or happiness, by seeking them, and even less so by seeking them for self. We can only have these blessings as we seek to live for others. Though we will never find happiness by seeking it for self, we can find it by helping others to be happy. God has given the soloist the ability to sing to share with others; the teacher, the ability to teach to share with others; the preacher, the ability to preach to share with others; the artist, the ability to create to share with others. Similarly, God has bestowed His grace upon us to share it with others.

These Christians were under great persecution and in deep poverty, but notice they were abundant in joy! According to verse 3, they were willing to give of themselves and of that which they had.

We are just not going to be happy and have joy if we selfishly seek to use the things, and even the blessings, which God has so graciously given to us as the source of our joy. I believe God gives His blessings to the Christian not for self only, but even more importantly, to share them with others.

Daily  Assignments

Read Genesis 16-19 What are five things a person could do to help others? Complete___

January  28th

HOW TO HANDLE SORROW! 

Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Verses 13 and 18, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

In dealing with bereavement, it helps to remember past blessings.  Reflect upon times when you and your loved one rejoiced together. Remember the precious hours you spent together: in the church, children growing up, as well as the tender moments that belong to the two of you. Recall the trials (though difficult) that drew you even closer together.

This may cause the tears to come – nothing wrong with that. This may give you the emotional release you need. There is no honor in not weeping when loved ones are lost. Believers do not sorrow as those who have no hope, but they sorrow nonetheless. There is always pain in the separation of loved ones. We should not hold back our tears, but remember that God stores each one in a bottle. Also, recognize the present realities. We can know that he or she is, or will be, in His presence, and someday you will meet in Heaven. The day is coming, perhaps today, when Jesus will come with a shout, and the souls who are redeemed will descend toward the earth. The graves of departed saints will open, the resurrected bodies and souls will be rejoined, and they will rise and meet the Lord in the air and be in the presence of Jesus forever. This is only our temporary home, and one day we will be transported to glory.

Daily  Assignments

Read Romans 7-8 Write a note to someone who is sorrowing. Complete___

January  27th

 The Greatest Mistake

Read Matthew 22:23-33

Verses 23-24, “The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.”

The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, in the spir- its, or in angels. At this point they had not taken a stand against the Lord as the Pharisees did. They were rich and powerful in the church, though they were few in number. The Pharisees and the Sadducees were completely opposed to one another, yet they were sometimes united in opposition to truth – philosophical indifference in one group, and superstition and hypocrisy in the other. Neither knew anything about that simple, loving, and earnest faith that makes a real Christian.

Our Lord gives His reply to their question about marriage and the resurrection of the dead. He accuses them of ignorance of

the Scriptures. They knew the letter of the law, though not as well

as the Pharisees, but they failed to compare Scripture with Scrip- ture. They had no insight and did not penetrate into its deeper meaning. That‘s like our surface kind of Christianity. Ignorance of the Scriptures is the cause of error. We all need to be diligent students of God‘s Holy Word, but we need more than study; we need Holy Spirit guidance.

Daily  Assignments

Read Matthew 8-10 Write out three verses that tell us to read or study the Bible. Complete___

January   26th

 THE BATTLEFIELD OF FAITH!

Read 1 Timothy 6:1-16

According to the Bible every blood-bought Christian is to be a soldier of the cross. In 1 Timothy 1:18, Paul told Timothy to  “war a good warfare.” The soldier’s first article of faith is summed up nowhere more eloquently than in an 1865 letter from William Tecumseh Sherman to U.S. Grant: “I knew wherever I was that you thought of me, and if I got in a tight place you would come –   if alive.” This is the unwritten but unbreakable contract of the battlefield: You will leave no one, dead or alive, in the hands of the enemy.” Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, “I have fought a good fight, I  have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing .”

2 Timothy 2:1-6 gives a good outline of a Christian soldier:

· In verses 3-4 he is a soldier – endure hardness.

· In verse 5 he is an athlete – strive lawfully, go by the rules of the game. It also requires training.

· In verse 6 he is farmer – keep planting and reaping.

Dr. David Gibbs Jr. said, “You can do all to stand and still miss the Battlefield of Faith. There are those who love to fight or  pick  a  fight,  but  that  is  not  the  Christian‘s  Battlefield  of Faith. God will not bless fights on the wrong battlefield. He blesses the fight of faith.”  Some say, “Just  do your best; do what you can.” God says, “Be strong and of good courage.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Isaiah 18-22 What are some attributes of the Christian soldier? Complete___

January  25th

HOW TO BE A FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN 

Read Ephesians 5:1-18

Romans 13:14, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”

2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

One of the questions I am asked most is, “Preacher, how can I be a better Christian?” My answer is always much the same – quit trying. Give yourself to the Lord and His will, and allow Him to mold and make you in the image of Christ.

F. B. Meyer said,  “Don‘t waste your time waiting and longing for large opportunities which may never come. But faithfully handle the little things that are always claiming your attention. “

· Learn to be fervent in spirit.

· Learn to have a positive outlook on life.

· Learn to be a problem solver rather than a problem dodger.

· Learn to have a cooperative spirit; that is, be loyal to your church and supportive of your pastor.

You also need to be unfaltering in purity. God’s people need to keep themselves pure. Separation is standing for Christ in an ungodly world. Anybody can live in isolation or give in to the devil. God wants us to follow Him faithfully.

Daily  Assignments

Read Job 7-8. List some people from history who were faithful to the Lord. Complete___

January   24th

 YOUR GREATEST ENEMY!

Read Proverbs 6:20-29

1 Peter 5:6, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:”

Before the time of Christ, humility used to indicate weakness, so it was an insult to be called humble. Humility was not really known until Christ. Today it is an honor to be called humble. Words change in meaning, but principle never changes. You can always tell the char- acter of a society by the words they use. A nation‘s language is more sacred than the flag. It is sickening how we profane and curse God and His language. We are so limited that we cannot express ourselves. Read the old books, and see the difference.

What has happened to humility, honesty, decency, integrity, char- acter, equity, etc? Jesus taught that restraint was more powerful than retaliation. He showed us what a macho man really is. Away with this Hollywood kind of macho man. How about Christ-likeness? You are a real man when you exercise restraint, not when you give in. Be a macho man that restrains himself. Yes, he has the same passion, but he says “no.” The quiet man is stronger than the bully. Real power is when you conquer yourself – your greatest enemy.

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 9-11 What are some difficulties in conquering self? Complete___

January  23rd

THE BITE OF SIN!

Read Numbers 21:4-9 Isaiah 45:22, Look unto me and be ye saved,”

The children of Israel were weary of marching around the land of Edom. They could not pass through because it may have been too rough or there was some other problem. They started complaining about water and manna. In judgment, God sent ―fiery serpents,‖ which bit or stung many of them to death. The serpents were like sin. Sin causes pain, guilt, blindness and bondage. The people begged Moses to go to God. They tried to numb or desensitize themselves from the pain of sin. “Much people died.”  “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish.”

· Everyone has been bitten by the snake of sin.

· The bite of sin is painful.

· The bite of sin is deadly.

· There was a remedy for the bite of sin.

· Jesus Christ is the only cure for the bite of sin.

It  was  God  Himself  that  gave  the  remedy.  It  was  a  very unlikely method or cure, as is our salvation today. They looked and lived, and so must we.

John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only be- gotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Joshua 16-20 List some sins that most people don‘t think of as sin. Complete___

January  22nd

How to Keep Your Girdle Strong

Read Jeremiah 13:1-11

Verse 10, “This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.”

I cannot help but laugh just a bit at this parable, because I don’t think that Jeremiah was getting fat. The girdle was used for a different purpose in that day. It was used to carry and bind up one‘s garments to get ready for service. The girdle is a sign of service. Jesus spoke of His servants having “their loins girded about.”

You remember He girded Himself to wash the disciples‘ feet. Service is really fellowship with Christ, and God does not use a dirty vessel. This girdle was dirty and good for nothing. God is teaching that the people of Judah will continue their decline into iniquity until there is no hope, so they will go into Babylonian captivity.

The girdle was a symbol of strength, and it had become weakened. God is saying to Judah, “You are like this girdle. If you are not careful, things will come into your life to weaken you.‖” Watch running around with the wrong crowd. They will cause your girdle (your service) to weaken.

Preachers may follow the wrong crowd. The devil may make us think the Lord is leading. When pressure comes, we will go the wrong way. Be honest and do right! Follow the right crowd, and keep your integrity. That’s how you keep your girdle strong.

Daily  Assignments

Read Genesis 12-15 Write a note to a staff member. Complete___

January  21st

 BIBLE WORSHIP!

Read John 4:1-24

Verses 23-24, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

Think of this: Jesus is talking to an unsaved woman about the matter of worship. This is a subject usually reserved for believers. This woman came to the well because she just wanted water for another day. Jesus talked to her about life. Jesus talked to her about love. We get so busy in this life that we lose sight of what is really important to God. Other things are important, but priority number one is God. Bible standards and soul-winning are important, but if we do not worship God, we won‘t be good soul-winners anyway. We must understand the importance of worship according to verse 22, “Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.”

· God is seeking worship.

· God is seeking worshippers. If we are not careful, we‘ll do the external things without worshipping God. Worship is God‘s first priority for the Christian; is it yours? Yes, life and love will still be there, but with right priorities.

Daily  Assignments

Read Romans 5-6. Write down ten wonderful things about God. Complete___

January  20th

AND HE PRAYED AGAIN!

Read James 5:13-18

James 5:15, “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.”

“And he prayed again” – four words that could change our lives: our ministries, our homes, schools, government, and country. Elijah had a great victory on Mt. Carmel when he called fire down from heaven. Then he prayed for rain and sent his servant over the hillside,  and  he  said  something  like  this,  “Sir,  there  is  no  rain (cloud) at the sea.” But, Elijah prayed and prayed again.

The servant came again, “Sir,  there is no rain (cloud) at the sea.‖” Seven times Elijah prayed and sent the servant to see if there would be any rain, “Sir, there is no rain (cloud) at the sea.” Finally the servant came back with a report, “Sir, there is a rain (cloud) at the sea.‖” Why? Because Elijah prayed again. The rain started coming after three and one half years. You may not get the rain cloud the first time you pray, but keep on praying until light breaks through.

Matthew 7:7-8, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” 

Daily  Assignments

Read Matthew 5-7 List some people you know who have a reputation for prayer.

January  19th

 THE SECRET OF THE WILL OF GOD!

Read Exodus 13:17-22

Romans 12:1-2, ―I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, accept- able 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.”

There are some things we can learn from this passage. God will not reveal tomorrow‘s will until you are doing His will today. He led the children of Israel with the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. Today you and I have the Holy Spirit . God will not reveal what is unwritten until you first obey that which is written.

His Book is our source of guidance; therefore, make it the most important Book in your life. If you want to know the will of God, stay in the Book. Those who make the glory of God their end, and the Word of God their rule, the Spirit of God their guide, and the providence of God the guide of their affairs, may be sure that the Lord goes before them, though they cannot see it with their eyes.

We too must live by faith. When Israel marched, the pillar went before and pointed out the place to camp. It sheltered them by day from the heat, and gave light by night. Do not worry about the master plan, just obey the Master‘s Plan. The trip is not the main thing; the steps are. It is good to take a trip, but most of our life is spent in steps. Get hold of this truth: “Order my steps in Thy Word.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Isaiah 12-17. List some things that are God‘s will for every Christian. Complete___

January 18th

The Most Important Spiritual 

Lesson You Will Ever Learn

Read Romans 6:11-13

Someone said, “We die if we live for self; we live if we die to self.” I can remember when I first understood salvation and was saved. I know that shortly after salvation, I first learned about the second coming of Christ. It was exciting to learn that Jesus is coming again.

I know when I first heard the truth about the filling of the Holy Spirit. I can even recall the first time that I was filled with the Holy Spirit – on the freeway going home from work at 1:00 AM. I know when I learned that all are sinners and need Christ, and that it is my job to reach as many as possible, but I am not quite sure when the truth of “death to self” came into my consciousness.

Somewhere in my ministry I began longing for victory over self. I saw weakness, fallibility and a proneness to do wrong. I saw the tendency of the flesh and the need for dying to self. Death to self is the most important spiritual lesson in the Christian life. When we truly die to self, our Lord is glorified.

The Apostle Paul was a man of victory, but was also a man of  “like  passions” as we are. Therefore he gives us encouragement and the path for victory. We must have victory or the cause of Christ is hindered. Dying to self promotes steadfastness and encourages work. When self is dead, we want to walk in the steps of the Lord. 

Daily  Assignments

Read Job 5-6 Write down one important truth you got from the Sunday sermon.

January  17th

A LINE OF FAITH!

Read Psalm 69:1-12

Verses 1-3, “Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.”

David had no one to trust in but God. God had things for David to do. He was calling him to go forward, but He wanted him to go on trusting only in God. God had removed all his resources and had taken away all his crutches. God had drawn a line in the sand. God said, “Come over, David, but come over only in faith.” David couldn’t say, “I’ll cross over the line and trust in my military, or in my friends, in my family, or in my alliance with other governments.” If he was going to cross that line, he was going to cross it in faith – not knowing what was on the other side, but trusting in God.

It was the same with Elijah – chased into the wilderness, a death sentence on his head. He sat by the brook and lay down to die. He reached that line. He could have quit; he came close. Now remember, this is after a great victory. I’m sure many would have followed a man like that. He could have had many disciples, but when the death sentence was passed, he was all alone – no one to trust in, no one to help, no armies for the prophet, no foreign alliances. There was no one to give him guidance – except God.

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 6-8 Write a thank you note to your pastor. Complete___

January  16th

SEEING THROUGH THE EYES OF JESUS

Read Matthew 9:32-38

An actor by the name of Bruce Marchiano, as he prepared to portray Jesus, prayed, “Lord show me what it all looks like through your eyes.” His prayer was answered as he acted out Matthew 11:20-22 and wept uncontrollably. He likened it to what a parent might feel if she saw her toddler walking in the street as a big truck was coming. He realized it was not just feeling sorry for people, but heartache so intense that it moves us to compassion or action.

So, we could say that compassion is love in action, understanding the need of every man – rich and poor, attractive and not attractive, wise and unwise, etc. Do you remember what God did for you and where you were before you were saved? Who spoke to you? Who had compassion on you? Here are three things to remember:

  • Remember what Christ did for you.
  • Remember the love of Christ and the love He has for lost sinners.
  • Remember that the world doesn’t care, so we must show compassion.

Robert Murray McChenne said, “Don‘t let formality take it away from you.” Think of it! You are somebody, and He knows your need.

Jude 1:22 “And of some have compassion, making a difference:”

Daily  Assignments 

Read Joshua 11-15 What are some ways a Christian can show compassion? Complete___

January  15th

 ONLY ONE STEP

Read 1 Samuel 20:1-23

Verse 3, “And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes; and he saith, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved: but truly as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death.”

I have always been fascinated with this conversation between the beloved Jonathan and David, the man chosen by God to be King over Judah and Israel. This conversation impressed me because of the hatred of King Saul for David, and Jonathan‘s love for David – how Satan can take a great man like King Saul and twist and warp his whole life to the point of destroying himself in seeking to destroy his only true friend.

There are many lessons to be learned from this experience, but there is one lesson we want to address: “There is but one step between…”  Remember,  we  must  all  give  account  as  Matthew 12:33-37 tells us. You cannot blame your father, mother, spouse, or someone who may have influenced you for bad, but you must give account of yourself to God.

Have you had a burning desire in your heart to change roads? Get off that bumpy, rough road of sin, and get on the high road of grace and salvation. God will help you do it, but keep in mind that “there is only one step.”

Daily  Assignments

List some people in the Bible who seemed Godly but turned to wickedness.

January  14th

 THE POWER OF SALVATION

Read Romans 1:8-17

Verse 16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

From the beginning to the end, the Bible teaches that God works down from above, not up from below. This, of course, is con- trary to man’s reasoning. Man teaches that we are on our way from the bottom to the top, that we started as a fish on the shoreline of some prehistoric age, and that through millions of years of evolu- tion we have been working our way up from below.  “And He said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above, ye are of this world; I am not of this world.”

The human heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, and its natural bent is away from God. “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”

Man was made in God’s image, but he fell, and when he fell, he did

not fall upward. Adam started better than he finished. The truth is,

man started with a knowledge of God, ―but when he knew God he glorified Him not as God, neither was thankful, but became vain in his imagination, so that his foolish heart was darkened and profess- ing himself to be wise he became a fool.”

Daily  Assignments

Read Romans 3-4 What are some ways man has tried to replace God?

January  13th

 ARE YOU NEGLECTING YOUR SALVATION?

Read Hebrews 2:1-4

Verses 1-2, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;”

Drifting from Christ can be prevented by heeding His Word. Faith is what brings us to Christ, but His Word has much to do with our faith. Therefore, where the Bible is neglected, there is a high probability of drifting from it. It is only by the Word of God that we know of our faith –  that it even exists. We test our faith by the Word of God to see of what sort it is. Drifting can be very gradual and go unnoticed. The old habits begin to creep back in without ever being noticed. The drifting Christian is like an unanchored ship in the harbor that is slowly pulled out to sea by the tide.

Only by the Word of God can faith be received and rewarded, and only by earnestly heeding the Word of God can faith be kept and grow. Christ gives us assurance of faith by His Word. To neglect His Word is to drift away from it, because it is the Word that creates and maintains our faith. Are you neglecting your salvation? 

Daily  Assignments

Think about what happens to something that is neglected. Complete___

January  12th

Satan’s Greatest Tool!

Read Numbers 21:4-9

Verses 4-5, “And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.”

This is the first victory for Israel since the conflict with Amalek shortly after they left Egypt. God clearly gave them the victory; however, they now have to go by way of Mt. Hor near the Red Sea. Since they cannot go through Edom, they have to go in a circle and come in from the East. The way is hard, and in their plight, they are discouraged and begin to complain.

There is a way to defeat discouragement – keep your eyes on the Lord. Keep on trusting in Him. Look at Job: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” All of us have trials. All of us can overcome trials. Our trials are designed to make us stronger if we are in fellowship with Him, and they are to bring us back into fellowship if we are backslidden. Get busy for the Lord. Get off the defense, and go on the offense. Get back to where you fell out of fellowship with Him. Far too many Christians are quitting their God-given re- sponsibilities. Go back to the most important priorities. A Christian need never lead a defeated, discouraged life. Don‘t let the devil have victory over you.

Daily  Assignments

Read Isaiah 7-11 Write a letter to someone who seems discouraged.

January   11th

Read Daniel 1:1-8

Ecclesiastes 7:1, “A good name is better than precious ointment and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.”

What is the most prized possession next to salvation? The Bible says,  “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.” What do people think about when they hear your name? You are making an impression and building a reputation for good or bad, which will follow you for the rest of your life. What is our first im- pression when we hear your name? Does your name have a pur- pose in life? What have you done to protect your name? Your name is more important than anything the world offers; more impor- tant than looking and smelling pretty. You cannot cover your reputa- tion with makeup. What is in a good name? One who is responsible and faithful. One who is loyal to his superiors, parents, preacher and teachers. One who is clean in his daily walk. “Walk circum- spectly.” One who will finish what he starts and never quits. One who stays close to God. When you think of these Bible names what do you think of?

Noah – a preacher of righteousness.

Abraham – the father of the faithful. Moses – the lawgiver. David – the man who sought after God‘s own heart.

John – the beloved disciple. Peter – the man of rock.

Paul – The apostle to the Gentiles. What about your name?

Daily  Assignments

Read Job 3-4 Write down some ways in which a person can protect his name.

January   11th

A GOOD NAME!

Read Daniel 1:1-8

Ecclesiastes 7:1, “A good name is better than precious ointment and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.”

What is the most prized possession next to salvation? The Bible says,  “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.” What do people think about when they hear your name? You are making an impression and building a reputation for good or bad, which will follow you for the rest of your life. What is our first impression when we hear your name? Does your name have a purpose in life? What have you done to protect your name? Your name is more important than anything the world offers; more important than looking and smelling pretty. You cannot cover your reputation with makeup. What is in a good name? One who is responsible and faithful. One who is loyal to his superiors, parents, preacher and teachers. One who is clean in his daily walk. “Walk circumspectly.” One who will finish what he starts and never quits. One who stays close to God. When you think of these Bible names what do you think of?

Noah – a preacher of righteousness.

Abraham – the father of the faithful. Moses – the lawgiver. David – the man who sought after God‘s own heart.

John – the beloved disciple. Peter – the man of rock.

Paul – The apostle to the Gentiles. What about your name? Continued tomorrow!

Daily  Assignments

Read Job 3-4 Write down some ways in which a person can protect his name. Complete___

January  10th

THE LOVE OF GOD!

Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

2 Samuel 1:26, “I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.”

The warm word agape is the word for love used several different ways in the Bible. Agape love indicates the nature of the love of God toward His beloved Son, toward the human race generally,  and  toward those  who  believe on the Lord Jesus  Christ. Agape love conveys God’s will to His children about their attitude toward one another. Love for one another is a proof to the world of true discipleship. Agape love also expresses the essential nature of God. Love can be known only from the actions it prompts, as God’s love is seen in the gift of His Son.

Love found its perfect expression in the Lord Jesus. Christian love is the fruit of the Holy Spirit in the believer.

Someone said, “Love is the oil to the wheels of obedience.” It enables us to obey God’s commandments. Without this kind of love, we are “as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” Such Spirit- inspired love never fails but always flourishes.

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 3-5 Complete             Write out Psalm 119:32 and Ephesians 4:1-6.

January   9th

Read Deuteronomy 33:18-29

Verse 25, “Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.”

We do not have the space to look at all the verses, but, Moses did not give or name their sin as Jacob did in his blessing in Genesis 49.  Moses’ heart was filled with love in this chapter. Simeon is not named because they eventually became a part of Judah. Look at the special blessing for Joseph in verses 13-17, which was later fulfilled in the wealth of Ephraim and Manasseh.

The closer you get to God, the rockier the road will be, but God gave us shoes of iron and brass for the rocky places. With His testing, He gives His provision. Whatever your needs are for tomorrow,  so  shall  your  strength  be.  Strength,  in  one  commentary, means that God will write another prescription. Another calls it rest, and another levity. God calls it Shoes of Iron and Brass.

These things are promised by One who knows what our days will be, who orders our days, whose love changes not with the days, who loved us from everlasting days, who will never run out of resources, whose love is revealed in Christ, as a promise that His love will be with us to the end of days. What wonderful promises to us!

Daily  Assignments

Read Joshua 6-10. Give a testimony in church about how God helped you through a trial. Complete___

January 8th

 A Living Faith

Read John 6:1-13

Verses 11-13, “And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.”

In verse 12, Jesus told His disciples “Gather up the fragments.” It shows Jesus‘ desire that there be no waste. He teaches us that the blessings of God are not to be squandered. In all things Jesus set an example of frugality, though He had an infinite supply at His disposal. Since He was Himself economical, though He was Lord of all, it behooves us dependent creatures not to waste the supplies of our gracious God.

It especially behooves the rich not to squander the blessings He supplies. They often feel that because they are rich and have enough with no fear of want, they do not need to be careful. Let us all remember that all that we have is the gift of God. It is not given to us to waste, but to sustain life, to excite gratitude, to make us fit for the active service of God. Everything should be applied to its appropriate end, and nothing should be squandered or lost.

Daily Assignments

Read Genesis 4-7 List some things that should not be wasted. Complete___

January 7th

Getting Control of Your Thought Life!

Part II

Re-read yesterday‘s devotion

Verse 5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

Learn the Secret of Controlling Your Thought Life

Put away anything between you and God. Search your heart. Memorize Scripture. Here is the formula to success: Pray, confess, meditate, memorize and quote Scripture, then surrender. If that does not work, quote Scripture until it does. Here are some important helps:

· Don’t look at anything questionable.

· Don’t ever get near it.

· Don’t even entertain it in your mind.

Remember Hebrews 4:12, For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Develop Character by Controlling Your Thought Life

Here are a few thoughts on how to develop your character:

· Do the same thing over and over. · Improve on what you are doing. · Learn to live by a schedule. · Don’t even think about quitting. It starts with the thought, then the act, then the habit, and then the character.

 Daily Assignments

Read Romans 1-2. Write out James 4:7-8. Complete___

January  6th

 GETTING CONTROL OF YOUR 

THOUGHT LIFE!

Read 2 Corinthians 10:1-6 Proverbs 23:7, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:”

If we can master our thoughts, we can master ourselves, as well as the world, and live life in victory. Without question, this is a truth that is needed by everyone, young, old, male or female. Someone said, “Input determines output, program determines production.” Another said, “The thought precedes the deed, as lightning the thunder.”

Wise people think out their thoughts, fools proclaim them. One of the greatest problems with most people is their thought lives.

Everyone has a problem with this at one time or another. It is important to remember that every act is preceded by the thought. Every act of adultery or immorality is preceded by the thought. As a matter of fact, every command of God is preceded by the thought to obey or disobey. So, how can we get control of our thoughts?

Realize the importance of your thought life

Someone said, “From thoughts to destiny.” Our thoughts are the springs of action as well as a means of knowledge. (To be concluded tomorrow) 

Daily  Assignments

Read Matthew 1-2 Spend five minutes in prayer today, specifically asking God to control your thought life. Complete_____

January   5th

WISDOM, AND HOW TO GET IT

Read James 1:2-11

Verse 5, “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.”

The Epistle of James is a very practical book that deals with the ethics of Christianity rather than with doctrine. “Wisdom” here is related to trials. If you lack wisdom in regard to a problem, you need to go to God in prayer. Wisdom is the exercise and practical use of knowledge. Many people have knowledge, but no practical sense whatsoever. God is in the business of giving wisdom and giving it liberally. He will help you in time of trouble.

Moody once asked, “How many believe God can fill the choir in the meeting tonight?” All raised their hands. “How many believe God will do it tonight?” Not one hand was raised.

Before you have children you think, “Why don’t those parents rear their children better?”  When you have children, you realize your lack. The strongest ability is to realize your weakness, not strength. God will never give us wisdom until we acknowledge our lack.

Daily  Assignments

Read Isaiah 1-6 List some things for which you need to ask God this year.

Complete

January  4th

HOW ARE YOU DOING SO FAR?

Read 2 Thessalonians 3:1-15

Verse 1, “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:”

Try as you will, you will never be what you wish you were.  Let God use you the way you are: personality, character, intelligence or lack, gifted or not, talented or not. Allow the Lord to make you and shape you. You will grow weary if you try to fit or follow someone else‘s mold. God made you the way you are.  Let Him use you the way He made you. This does not mean that you cannot learn from others, just don‘t try to be like another. Be Christ-like, and follow someone who follows Jesus.

As Paul told the Ephesians (4:1), “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.”  He says that the Word of God enables us to walk before the wicked world. The Word of God establishes us in our walk. It really bothers me to think that people who claim to believe the Word of God give so little attention to it. We, as Christians, need to be established by coming to the Word of God and letting it influence our lives. Remember, your talk talks, but your walk talks louder than your talk talks.

How are you doing on your New Year‘s resolutions on this fourth day?

Daily Assignments

Read Job 1-2 Using a concordance to help, write out three verses that tell us what to do when weary. Complete______

January 3rd

Read Psalm 1

Verses 4-6, “The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”

Psalm One is a picture of a blessed (happy) man, but also a picture of Jesus Christ in the midst of ungodly sinners. The godly man shall be like a tree planted where it can grow. It is beautiful with deep roots. By the way, beauty in the Bible is always connected with righteous living. Whatever he does will prosper. He will have honor, truth and righteousness. His joy in life will last.

The ungodly are not so. The sinner has a brief day. There is no vitality, spirit, comfort, joy, etc. Oh yes, he will have happy moments and times of joy, but it will be on the surface only, not in the heart. He is like the chaff blown away by the wind. The threshing of wheat separates the chaff (outside shell) from the inside kernel. It is held up against the wind, and just a little breeze will blow the chaff away. That’s like the ungodly man; he is one who tries to get through life without God and is blown away when the storms in life come.

Daily  Assignments

Read Psalms 1-2 Write down the names of  two Godly men and two ungodly men in Scripture.  What was their fate? Complete___

START THE NEW YEAR WITH, “CHARACTER.” 

January 2nd

Read Proverbs 6:6-11

Verses 6-8, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.”

Character does all things and gets all things done. In character, there is profit; in laziness, there is loss. He that tilleth the land is the one that will have the bread. How can I have Christian character?

Proverbs 12:11, “He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.”

  • Assume Responsibility. In other words, get the job done with- out excuse. Away with excuses. Always take full responsibility for what you are or are not doing. Don‘t depend on others to do what you are supposed to do.
  • Submit to Discipline. Here is the best way to learn discipline – be under someone who is a disciplined person.
  • Discipline  Yourself.  Organize,  make  yourself  do  things, make yourself read, study, pray and win souls to Christ. Making excuses is not going to get the job done. Do the job that ought to be done.

Daily Assignments

Read Joshua 1-5 List some ways in which you can live your life with more self-discipline. Complete           

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

A NEW YEAR, A NEW START!

Read Genesis 28:16-22

Jonah 3:1-3, “And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second  time,  saying,  Arise,  go  unto  Nineveh,  that  great  city,  and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey.”

God is the God of a new start. We are just beginning a new year. I believe it is fitting for every Christian to look at his accomplishments  in   the   past   year   and   make   some   new   goals (rededicate some of the old goals) in the New Year. I do not go along with the argument that says, “I do not believe in making New Year’s resolutions, because I failed to keep so many from the last year.” None of us ever accomplish all we plan to do, but all who try to do better are helped by trying. People who try probably do more than those who do not try.

Now is a good time to start over and do much of what you failed to do in the last year, and this year, be everything God wants you to be. Think of it this way – God is the God of a second chance. Look at the verse in Jonah again, “And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time.” Aren’t you glad that God is the God of a second, a third, a fourth chance.

Daily  Assignments

Read Genesis 1-3

Write down some areas in your Christian Life in which you would like to see improvements. Complete___

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