« January 2004 »
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
You are not logged in. Log in
Form of Sound Words (2 Tim 1:13)
Tuesday, January 20, 2004
Now Playing: How do we react to what God allows?
Topic: Suffering
Almost none of us are comfortable with pain or suffering. We want a comfortable chair, well-fitting clothes, a cozy bed, a luxurious car, & a warm house, especially in this weather. Anything uncomfortable has some remedy, for a high enough price. And for any physical pain there is usually medication in some form or another. But Christians must not allow ourselves to be deluded by the popular culture. Paul could write from his prison cell, "Ye, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Timothy 3:12). He also informed them, "(v.9) Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. (v.12) If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us" (2 Timothy 2:9,12). He also reminded the believers at Thessalonica, "For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know" (1 Thessalonians 3:14). And to Timothy he could encourage him, "For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day" (2 Timothy 1:12).

We have many examples of suffering and exhortations on how to respond. Paul told the Romans, "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18). "(v.5) For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. (v.6) And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. (v.7) And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation" (2 Corinthians 1:5-7).

Of Moses it is recorded, "Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season" (Hebrews 11:25). Of the Lord Jesus the Hebrews were told, "(v.10) For it became Him, for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (v.18) For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted" (Hebrews 2:10,18). We are reminded, "And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it" (1 Corinthians 12:26).

The apostle Paul was told after he was converted, "For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my Name's sake" (Acts 9:16). Those at Colosse were told (concerning Paul) to "Rejoice in my (Paul's) sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body's sake, which is the church" (Colossians 1:24). Paul also wrote to Philippi, "For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake (Philippians 1:29). And in chapter three, we find (v.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. (v.10) That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death" (Philippians 3:8,10).

The apostle Peter instructed, "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin" (1 Peter 4:1). " (v.20) For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. (v.21) For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps" (1 Peter 2:20-21). "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" (1 Peter 4:13). "(v.14) But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; (v.17) For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing" (1 Peter 3:14,17). But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you" (1 Peter 5:10). May we accept the suffering the Lord allows in our lives!

Posted by dondegr8 at 2:46 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 21, 2004 10:07 AM EST
Monday, January 19, 2004
Now Playing: What do we have a great deal of?
Topic: Overflowing
None of us want to be lacking, whether in resources, or in friends, or in what really matters to us. God desires to bless, but in His own way. With His earthly people, He blessed richly. "The LORD your God hath multiplied you, and behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude. (The LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as He hath promised you)" (Deuteronomy 1:10-11).

The Lord Jesus as man certainly demonstrated His great care for His people. "(v.30) And great multitudes came unto Him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and He healed them: (v.31) Insomuch that the multitudes wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel. (v.32) Then Jesus called His disciples unto Him, and said, 'I have compassion on the multitude, because they have continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.' ... (v.34) And Jesus said unto them, 'How many loaves have ye?' And they said, 'Seven and a few little fishes'. (v.35) And He commanded the multitude to sit down upon the ground. (v.36) And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude" (Matthew 15:31-36 selected). No detail was left unnoticed in His Divine provision!

The psalmist David could say, "But as for me, I will come into Thy house in the multitude of Thy mercy: and in Thy fear will I worship toward Thy holy temple" (Psalm 5:7). He also warned, "There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mightly man is not delivered by much strength. Behold the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear Him, upon them that hope in His mercy" (Psalm 33:16,18). David proclaimed the source of His strength, "Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. When I said, 'My foot slippeth:' Thy mercy, O LORD, held me up. In the multitude of my thoughts within me Thy comforts delight my soul" (Psalm 94:17-19). "The LORD reigneth: let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad" (Psalm 97:1).

Solomon warned, "In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise" (Proverbs 10:19). Another warning is given, "Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety" (Proverbs 11:14). Also, "Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established" (Proverbs 15:22). He also instructed, "The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. In the multitude of people is the king's honor: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince" (Proverbs 14:27-28).

The apostle Peter also warns us, "The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity (love) among yourselves: for charity (love) shall cover a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:7-8). We can rejoice because there is a day soon to come when, "Lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands: And cried with a loud voice, saying, 'Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb'" (Revelation 7:9-10). What a prospect for those in that coming day!

Posted by dondegr8 at 5:25 PM EST
Updated: Monday, January 19, 2004 5:29 PM EST
Saturday, January 17, 2004
Now Playing: What moves you to react?
Topic: Touched
How many things happen during the course of a week. Some of them we care about, and for others we shrug our shoulders and look the other way. We can consider what things moved people in the Bible and learn from it. "(v.9) And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, 'Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the LORD; Hosanna in the highest.' (v.10) And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying 'Who is this?'" (v.11) And the multitude said, 'This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee'" (Matthew 21:9-11)
An opposite reaction occurred in the book of Acts, "And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut" (Acts 21:30). Emotion can move us to do the right thing or the wrong thing, depending upon the influences. We need to be wary of how we react.

The apostle Paul had the right perspective, "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24). The wicked respond differently. "He hath said in his heart, 'I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity'" (Psalm 10:6). "(v.2) O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. (v.4) Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness. (v.5) For His anger endureth but a moment; in His favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. (v.6) And in my prosperity I said, "I shall never be moved" (Psalm 30:2-6 selected).

May we respond as David did, "Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from Him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock, and my salvation; He is my defence: I shall not be greatly moved" (Psalm 62:1-2). "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear" (Hebrews 12:28). "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" (2 Peter 1:21). May only the proper influences affect our thinking and actions!

Posted by dondegr8 at 11:29 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 17, 2004 12:35 PM EST
Friday, January 16, 2004
Now Playing: What does it mean to be gracious?
Topic: Grace
We all like to be treated with kindness and respect. We want to feel special and appreciated. We can be thankful that God cares very deeply about us. The Lord spoke unto Moses and told him to tell Aaron to bless the people, "(v.23) On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, '(v.24) The LORD bless thee and keep thee; (v.25) the LORD make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: (v.26) The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace'" (Numbers 6:23-26). We must be ever grateful at our God, "Thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not." (Nehemiah 9:17) "Nevertheless for Thy great mercies' sake Thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for Thou art a gracious and merciful God" (Nehemiah 9:31).

Jonah recognized the character of the Lord when he said, "for I knew that Thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest Thee of the evil" (Jonah 4:2). Isaiah said similarly, "Therefore will the LORD wait, that He may be gracious unto you, and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for Him" (Isaiah 30:18).

The Lord's gracious character is also revealed in the New Testament. Of the Lord Jesus it was said of Him, "And all bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth" (Luke 4:22). The apostle Peter wrote, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the LORD is gracious" (1 Peter 2:3). May there be no doubt about His character with us.

As the psalmist David said in his lament, "(v.7) Will the Lord cast us off for ever? and will He be favorable no more? (v.8) Is His mercy clean gone for ever? doth His promise fail for evermore? (v.9) Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath He in anger shut up His tender mercies? (v.11) I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. (v.12) I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. (v.13) Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? (v.14) Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared Thy strength among the people" (Psalm 77:7-14 selected). As He has been gracious to us, may we be gracious to those with whom we work and live.

Posted by dondegr8 at 7:07 PM EST
Updated: Friday, January 16, 2004 7:32 PM EST
Thursday, January 15, 2004
Now Playing: What are we forgetting?
Topic: Remember
Many of us, before we leave on a trip, or return home from a vacation, will stop and look around, asking ourselves (either silently or out loud) "what am I forgetting"? Perhaps it is that book on the dresser, or the item of clothing in the drawer, or something even more important, such as a wallet. Well, in spiritual things we must ask similar questions. "(v.20) If we have forgotten the Name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god; (v.21) Shall not God search this out? For He knoweth the secrets of the heart" (Psalm 44:20-21).

The Israelites were given many strong warnings. "Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons" (Deuteronomy 4:9). "(v.12) Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. (v.13) Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve Him, and shalt swear by His Name" (Deuteronomy 6:12-13). "(v.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. (v.11) Beware lest thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping His commandments, and His judgments and His statutes, which I command thee this day" (Deuteronomy 8:10-11). Job warned against the consequences of "the paths of all that forget God" (Job 8:13). David could also warn, "(v.21) These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself; but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. (v.22) Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. (v.23) Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God" (Psalm 50:21-23).

The apostle Paul reminded us of what we should forget. "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). But the Lord does not forget what has been done for Him. "Beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have shown toward His Name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister" (Hebrews 6:9-10). The Hebrews were also reminded, "Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares" (Hebrews 13:1-2).

As David has urged us in the Psalms, "Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not His benefits" (Psalm 103:1-2). "(v.14) I have rejoiced in the way of Thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. (v.15) I will meditate in Thy precepts, and have respect unto Thy ways. (v.16) I will delight myself in Thy statutes: I will not forget Thy word" (Psalm 119:14-16). May we never forget what we have which is of eternal value!

Posted by dondegr8 at 5:19 PM EST
Updated: Friday, January 16, 2004 7:53 PM EST
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Now Playing: What are we getting ready for?
Topic: Prepare
In every season of the year, and in many seasons of our life, we have to make detailed preparations. It may involve buying gloves, a scarf, or a snow shovel; or it may involve researching careers, house-hunting, or planning for retirement. In each situation we have an objective, and there are a variety of small tasks which can make the change, adjustment, or transition possible.

When the Lord Jesus left this earth, he made all necessary preparations. "(v.1) Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. (v.2) In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (v.3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:1-3) So what has He prepared? "But as it is written, 'Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him'" (1 Cor. 2:9).

Many in the Old Testament were challenged as to their readiness. When Jonah was thrown into the sea, "The LORD prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah" (Jonah 1:17). After he had preached and Nineveh had repented, the Lord "prepared a gourd" (Jonah 4:6), and then the very next day, He "prepared a worm" (v.7) Each preparation was of God was his good. Also, the prophet Amos warned, "Thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel" (Amos 4:12). The prophet Isaiah could warn, "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, 'Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.' Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plan: and the glory of the LORD shall be revealed" (Isaiah 40:3-5).

Samuel warned the people of Israel, "If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you..." (1 Samuel 7:3). We can be grateful that the Lord takes care of His own. "(v.33) He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground; (v.34) A fruitful land into barrenness, and for the wickedness of them that dwell therein. (v.35) He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings. (v.36) And there He maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitations;" (Psalm 107:33-36).

The Psalmist has written, "(v.4) Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou are with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. (v.5) Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over" (Psalm 23:4-5).

The father of John the Baptist, Zecharias, could say "That He would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve Him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life. And thou, child shalt be called the prophet of the Highest; for thou shalt go before the face of the LORD to prepare His ways;" (Luke 1:74-76).

As believers, we are to have our "feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." (Ephesians 6:15). "He shall abide before God for ever; O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve Him." (Psalm 61:7) May we daily prepare our ways before the Lord!

Posted by dondegr8 at 5:11 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, January 15, 2004 8:57 AM EST
Tuesday, January 13, 2004
Now Playing: Where do we receive our guidance?
Topic: Wisdom
When we are on a long trip, usually a good map, our previous experience, or a good navigator (wife or friend) can help us to our destination. However, we know in spiritual matters, we need much more. "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself. It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (Jeremiah 10:23). "A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps" (Proverbs 16:9).

Many in the Old Testament received guidance and direction in a variety of ways. "(v.27) And the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were two souls: all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten. (v.28) And he sent Judah before him unto Joseph, to direct his face unto Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen. (v.29) And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while" (Genesis 46:27-29). "(v.11)Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, 'Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. (v.12) I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. (v.13) I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives..." (Isaiah 45:11-13).

Solomon gives us good instruction, "(v.5) Trust in the LORD with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding, (v.6) In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct Thy paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6).

David could express longing for divine fellowship. "(v.1) Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. (v.2) Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. (v.3) My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up" (Psalm 5:1-3). Solomon could say, "The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way..." (Proverbs 11:5). The apostle Paul advised, "The Lord direct your hearts into the love of Christ, and into the patient waiting for Christ" (2 Thessalonians 3:5). May we always seek our spiritual direction from above!

Posted by dondegr8 at 10:01 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, January 15, 2004 11:16 AM EST
Monday, January 12, 2004
Now Playing: What are we working towards?
Topic: Laboring
When there is something we really wish to have happen, we are inclined to work much harder to see it come to pass. When it really doesn't matter to us, or if we are lazy, we tend to let things "slide". Scripture gives us some good instruction, "The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute." (Proverbs 10:24). "Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men" (Proverbs 22:29).

We are given very clear instruction on how to apply ourselves spiritually. Joshua told his people, "But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, and to cleave unto Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul" (Joshua 22:5). "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3).

We have some good examples recorded, "what woman...if she lose one...doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?" (Luke 15:8). "This man was instructed in the ways of the LORD; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue; whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly" (Acts 18:25-26). "The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me. The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day..." (2 Timothy 1:16-18).

We are given additional moral instruction for our consciences: "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:10-11) "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" (Hebrews 12:14-15). May we each pay close attention to Solomon's instruction, "My son, attend to my words, incline thine ear unto my sayings...Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:20,23).

Posted by dondegr8 at 4:59 PM EST
Saturday, January 10, 2004
Now Playing: What is valuable to us?
Topic: Follow
Often, it has been said, "if your house was burning down, what would you take first?". Well, in our lives there is that which we prize and consider to be important. In our spiritual lives, it is no different: David could write in the Psalms, "The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: Thou maintainest my lot." (Psalm 16:5) He also wrote, "(v.23) Nevertheless I am continually with thee: Thou hast holden me by Thy right hand. (v.24) Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. (v.25) Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee. (v.26) My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever (Psalm 73:23-26).

Jacob's two wives, Rachel and Leah, inquired, "Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house?" (Genesis 31:14). Later Jacob (Israel) could say to his son Joseph, "Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers. Moreover, I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren..." (Genesis 49:21,22) How wonderful that the Lord could say thru Moses, "When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the LORD's portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance." (Deuteronomy 32:8-9)

There are those, "men of the world, which have their portion in this life" (Psalm 17:14). But Daniel wisely, "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..." (Daniel 1:8). God does on occasion give us natural blessings. "Behold, that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion. Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God" (Ecclesiastes 5:18-19).

Nehemiah had the right attitude in instructing, "Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto the LORD..." (Nehemiah 8:10). It is recorded of the godly woman in the Proverbs, "She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meart to her household, and a portion to her maidens" (Proverbs 31:15). May we be as the faithful steward, "whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season. Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing" (Luke 12:42-43). "...they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them" (Isaiah 61:7). May only the Lord and His ways be our portion!

Posted by dondegr8 at 12:38 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 11, 2004 6:10 PM EST
Friday, January 9, 2004
Now Playing: What causes us to overflow?
Topic: Overflowing
In each of our lives, there are issues and events which touch us deeply. What is special to one person, may be trivial to another. But in spiritual things, for the believer, we should have a common appreciation for what God has given to us and has promised to His own. The apostle Paul wrote to the believers at Ephesus, "(v.17) That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: (v.18) The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of His glory of His inheritance in the saints, (v.19) And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power..." (Ephesians 1:17-19) Also, "(v.4) God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us...(v.6) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (v.7) That in the ages to come He might show us the exceeding riches of grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:4,6,7).

We have some examples for our warning and encouragement. "After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, 'Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward'." (Genesis 15:1) We find in the book of Numbers, "(v.6) And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: (v.7) And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, 'The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. (v.8) If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. (v.9) Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not'." (Number 14:6-9)

In the book of the Kings, we learn of Solomon, "(v.29) And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. (v.30) And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. (v.31) For he was wiser than all men..." (1 Kings 4:29-31) "(v.5) And David said, 'Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be builded for the LORD must be exceeding magnificent, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it.' So David prepared abundantly before his death. (v.6) Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build an house for the LORD God of Israel (1 Chronicles 22:5-6).

We find in the book of Daniel, "(v.19) Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. (v.20) And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, 'O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?' (v.21) Then said Daniel unto the king, 'O king, live for ever. (v.22) My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.' (v.23) Then was the king exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God. (Daniel 6:19-23).

The book of Jonah holds for us a good lesson. "(v.1) And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, (v.2) 'Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.' (v.3) 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. (v.4) And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, 'Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.' (v.5) So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. (v.10) And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that He had said that He would do unto them; and He did it not" (Jonah 3:1-5, 10). When Jonah was obedient, God brought in great blessing.

In the following chapter, Jonah's heart was revealed. ==> "(v.1) But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. (v.2) And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, 'I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that Thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest Thee of the evil. (v.3) Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech Thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.' (v.4) Then said the LORD, 'Doest thou well to be angry?' (v.5) So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.

(v.6) And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd. (v.7) But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered. (v.8) And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, 'It is better for me to die than to live.'

(v.9) And God said to Jonah, 'Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd?' And he said, 'I do well to be angry, even unto death.' (v.10) Then said the LORD, 'Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: (v.11) And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more then sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle'?" (Jonah 4:1-11). What a lesson for us to consider!

Paul's prayer for the saints at Ephesus was, "(v.16) That He (Christ) would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; (v.17) That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (v.18) May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; (v.19) And to know the Love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. (v.20) Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us..." (Ephesians 3:16-20).

We also find in Peter's epistle, "(v.3) According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (v.4) Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (v.5) And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue and to virtue knowledge; (v.6) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; (v.7) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. (v.8) For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:3-8).

So when we have trials, we can remember, "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. If ye be reproached for the Name of Christ, happy are ye..." (1 Peter 4:13-14) "(v.16) For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. (v.17) For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (v.18) While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

The final epistle given to us in the scriptures closes with the following: "(v.20) But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, (v.21) Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. (v.22) And of some have compassion, making a difference: (v.23) And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. (v.24) Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, (v.25) To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." (Jude 20-25) May we overflow exceedingly with that which is dear to the heart of God and true to the Word of God!!

Posted by dondegr8 at 5:07 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 24, 2004 1:23 PM EST
Thursday, January 8, 2004
Now Playing: How can we show prudence ?
Topic: Wisdom
No one wants to be foolish and stupid in our day-to-day actions and responsibilities. How then can we find the wisdom and prudence we need as a believer? Solomon wrote quite a bit on the subject. "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame. A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness" (Proverbs 12:15,16,23). "The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going." (Proverbs 14:15) "He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he. The wise in heart shall be called prudent and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning." (Proverbs 16:21) "Houses and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD" (Proverbs 19:14). "A prudent man forseeth the evil and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished." (Proverbs 22:3, 27:12)

We must be careful not to consider ourselves capable of judging rightly in our own natural wisdom alone. As Isaiah said, "Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight" (Isaiah 5:21). Jeremiah prophesied, "Is wisdom no more in Teman? Is counsel perished from the prudent? Is their wisdom vanished?" (Jeremiah 49:7) The prophet Hosea concluded his discourse by writing, "Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them..." (Hosea 14:9).

When He walked on this earth, the Lord Jesus could say to His Father, "I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight" (Luke 10:21, Matthew 11:25). May we not rely upon our own "wisdom and prudence", but lean upon Him who has all the answers to the perplexing situations we may face in our lives! "Behold my servant shall deal prudently, He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high" (Isaiah 52:13)

Posted by dondegr8 at 5:20 PM EST
Wednesday, January 7, 2004
Now Playing: What does it mean to be holy?
Topic: Holy
Each of us that has become a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ has had the desire to be true to Him and to be holy in our lives. The following verses bring to light some of God's thoughts on our seeking to walk in holiness. "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love." (Ephesians 1:4) "Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it...that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish" (Ephesians 5:25, 27). "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus.." (2 Timothy 1:9). "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation (manner of life) and godliness" (2 Peter 1:11).

May we each take the apostle Peter's admonition to the belivers scattered abroad, "(v.13) Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (v.14) As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to your former lusts in your ignorance; (v.15) But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (v.16) Because it is written, 'Be ye holy, for I am holy'. (v.18) Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things... (v.19) But with the precious blood of Christ" (1 Peter 1:13-19 selected)

Posted by dondegr8 at 5:10 PM EST
Tuesday, January 6, 2004
Now Playing: Are we willing to wait in patience?
Topic: Patience
How many times do we want an answer, and we want it now. The waiting is not easy, particularly if there is something burdening our heart. The One who holds all time in His hand can provide the solution, but we cannot always have it now. The apostle Paul, who wrote several of his epistles from a jail cell, could instruct the Romans, "Whatsoever things were written...were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus" (Romans 15:5-6).

Peter could write "Besides all this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (love)" (2 Peter 1:5-7). Paul likewise wrote, "Thou O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness." (1 Timothy 6:11) James was very pointed, "Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations, knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing" (James 1:2-4). "Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord, Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh" (James 5:7-8).

In Hebrews we are instructed, "That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises" (Hebrews 6:12). Also, "Cast not away your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise" (Hebrews 10:36-37). The Lord spoke of those who were like the seed on good ground, "having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience" (Luke 8:15).

The apostle Paul, in defining a true minister, wrote, "In all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings, by pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness..." (2 Corinthians 6:4-6). John could write of those in Smyrna, "I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience" (Revelation 2:2). May we seek to "run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:1-2). Only the "God of patience" can help us through every difficulty which He chooses to place in our way! May our lives be as the apostle Paul's, who could record, "Thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience." (2 Timothy 3:10)

Posted by dondegr8 at 9:56 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 6, 2004 10:17 PM EST
Monday, January 5, 2004
Now Playing: In what ways are we growing?
Topic: Growing
Today a nephew was welcomed into the world (Monday 5:37 am, 11 pounds 13 ounces -- Nathan Andrew), there are now 19 children who can call me uncle. But it was not too many years ago (13 to be exact) when there were none. A child grows ever so gradually, but it grows nonetheless. Peter wrote, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby. If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious" (1 Peter 2:2-3). Spiritually we should desire to grow that it may not be said, "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe." (Hebrews 5:12-14)

Even when there is failure, yet still God desires to restore and bless His people and see them grow. "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely; for mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel, he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon...They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine..." (Hosea 14:4-5,7). The psalmist could write, "The righteous shall fluorish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall fluorish in the courts of our God" (Psalm 92:12-13).

We can be thankful that there was One who grew and through whom we have all our blessings. "For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground" (Isaiah 53:2). "And Jesus increase in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man" (Luke 2:52). Jacob desired for his descendants that they would increase, "Bless the lads, and let my name be named among them... and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth" (Genesis 48:16) In the end of the Old Testament, the prophet Malachi could write, "But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall" (Malachi 4:2).

Paul could write to the Ephesians, "That we henceforth be no more children...but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ." (Ephesians 4:14-15) He was very thankful "because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity (love) of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth" (2 Thessalonians 1:3). The apostle Peter could exhort the believers, "Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen (2 Peter 3:18). May we grow more into His likeness day by day!!

Posted by dondegr8 at 8:15 PM EST
Saturday, January 3, 2004
Now Playing: What are we clinging to ?
Topic: Follow
We have clear choices we make each day as to what is important to us. We have to put His promises and our plans in proper perspective. Joshua began his book by recording, "There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life...so I will be with thee; I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." (Joshua 1:8) David could say to Solomon his son, "Be strong and of good courage, and do it; fear not, nor be dismayed; for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee..." (1 Chronicles 28:20)

Nehemiah could write of the children of Israel and the children of Levi, "we will not forsake the house of our God" (Nehemiah 10:39) Solomon urged, "My son, keep they father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother" (Proverbs 6:20). Jeremiah warned, "O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed...because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters" (Jeremiah 17:13).

Of the Lord we have the sure promise, "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'" (Hebrews 13:5,6) May we not only not "forsake the assembling of ourselves together" (Hebrews 10:25), but not forsake the One to whom we owe everything!

Posted by dondegr8 at 10:36 PM EST

Newer | Latest | Older