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Form of Sound Words (2 Tim 1:13)
Monday, February 2, 2004
Now Playing: How do we feel; how should we feel?
Topic: Sorrow
On various occasions, nearly all of us have received that announcement, that phone call, that letter, to inform us that one we care deeply about has passed from this scene, to their eternal abode in heaven. The feelings that pass throught our hearts and minds are deep thoughts, often of sorrow for the grief and loss which has occurred. There are many passages in scripture on the subject, although some are in a different context than that of death. Today we will consider a few from the New Testament.

The Gentile physician Luke records, "(v.39) And He came out, and went, as He was wont, to the mount of Olives; and His disciples also followed him. (v.40) And when He was at the place, he said unto them, 'Pray that ye enter not into temptation.' (v.41) And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, (v.42) Saying, 'Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.' (v.43) And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening Him. (v.44) And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (v.45) And when He rose up from prayer, and was come to His disciples, He found them sleeping for sorrow, (v.46) And said unto them, 'Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation'." (Luke 22:39-46)

We read in the gospel of John, "(v.4) But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. (v.5) But now I go my way to Him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, 'Whither goest thou?' (v.6) But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. (v.7) Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. (v.8) And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (v.9) Of sin, because they believe not on me; (v.10) Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (v.11) Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (v.12) I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." (John 16:4-12) "(V.19) Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask Him, and said unto them, 'Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me? (V.20) Verily, verily, I say unto you, 'That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.' (V.21) A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. (V.22) And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. (v.23) And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, 'Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.' (v.24)Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full'." (John 16:19-24)

The apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, "(v.1) I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, (v.2) That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.(v.3) For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: (v.4) Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; (v.5) Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen." (Romans 9:1-5)

To the Corinthians, he wrote, "(v.1) But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness. (v.2) For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me? (v.3) And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all. (v.4) For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you. (v.5) But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all. (v.6) Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. (v.7) So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. (v.8)Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him." (2 Corinthians 2:1-8) We also read, "(v.1) Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (v.2) Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man. (v.3) I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you. (v.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. (v.5) For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. (v.6) Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus; (v.7) And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more. (v.8) For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. (v.9) Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. (v.10) For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (v.11) For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter. (v.12) Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you." (2 Corinthians 7:1-12)

Paul exhorted those in Philippi, "(v.20) For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. (v.21) For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's. (v.22) But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel. (v.23) Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me. (v.24) But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly. (v.25) Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. (v.26) For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick.
(v.27) For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. (v.28) I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. (v.29) Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation: (v.30) Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me." (Philippians 2:21-30)

Those in Thessalonica were admonished, "(v.9) But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. (v.10) And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; (v.11) And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; (v.12) That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing. (v.13) 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." (1 Thessalonians 4:9-13)

We can rejoice that we are told by the apostle John, "(v.3) And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.' (v.4) And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (v.5) And he that sat upon the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' And he said unto me, 'Write: for these words are true and faithful'."

How wonderful that we have One who passed through much sorrow Himself (Matthew 26:38-39, John 11:33-35, shares in our own sorrows (Hebrews 4:15, 2 Corinthians 1:3-6), and will one day banish sorrow from His presence! (Revelation 21:4)

Posted by dondegr8 at 6:13 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, June 9, 2004 4:46 PM EDT
Thursday, January 29, 2004
Now Playing: What is really worth getting excited about?
Topic: Overflowing
Each of us have something which "pushes our buttons" either for good or for ill. Perhaps certain re-occurring events really upset us, or really get us all excited. We have passions and patterns which characterize each one of us. Today we will look at what is described in scripture as being "wonderful".

Solomon desired to do a great work, "...great is our God above all gods. (v.6) But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him? (v.7) Send me now therefore a man cunning to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and that can skill to grave with the cunning men that are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father did provide. (v.8) Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon: for I know that thy servants can skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and, behold, my servants shall be with thy servants, (v.9) Even to prepare me timber in abundance: for the house which I am about to build shall be wonderful great." (2 Chronicles 2:5-9)

Job spoke clearly, "Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not." (Job 42:3) David has 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).

David wrote in the Psalms, "Many, O LORD my God, are Thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and Thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto Thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered." (Psalm 40:5) "We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength, and His wonderful works that he hath done." (Psalm 78:4) "Oh that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!" (Psalm 107:8,15,21,31) "He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion." (Psalm 111:4) "Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them." (Psalm 119:129) "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it." (Psalm 139:6)

Solomon has given us some unique insight, "(v.18) There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: (v.19) The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid. (v.24) There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise: (v.25) The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer; (v.26) The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks; (v.27) The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands; (v.28) The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces." (Proverbs 30:18-19, 24-28)

The prophet Isaiah has recorded, "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." (Isaiah 9:6) "O LORD, Thou art my God; I will exalt Thee, I will praise Thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth." (Isaiah 25:1) "This also cometh forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working." (Isaiah 28:29)

Of the Lord Jesus, we read, "And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, 'Hosanna to the Son of David'; they were sore displeased..." (Matthew 21:15) In the book of Acts, we find, "(v11)...we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. (v.12) And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? (v.13) Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. (v.14) But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, 'Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words':" (Acts 2:11-14)

We should be thankful for the wonderful works which God has done, and be less occupied with the wonderful things we may desire for our own satisfaction and comfort, unless our desire is for His glory and the encouragement of His people.

Work in progress...

Posted by dondegr8 at 2:27 PM EST
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
Now Playing: Are we dwelling in safety?
Topic: Protection
When the weather rears its head as it has in many parts of the East and Midwest this week, one of the first thoughts we have is of our safety and of that of our loved ones. While our physical safety is of great importance, how much more is that of our spiritual safety. The scriptures give us some good thoughts to consider.

"Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety" (Leviticus 25:18). In the book of Deuteronomy we read, "(v.12) And of Benjamin he said, 'The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.' (v.13) And of Joseph he said, 'Blessed of the LORD be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, (v.14) And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, (v.15) And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, (v.16) And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren'." (Deuteronomy 33:12-16)

We also read in the book of Job, "(v.16) Because thou shalt forget thy misery, and remember it as waters that pass away: (v.17) And thine age shall be clearer than the noonday: thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning. (v.18) And thou shalt be secure, because there is hope; yea, thou shalt dig about thee, and thou shalt take thy rest in safety. (v.19) Also thou shalt lie down, and none shall make thee afraid; yea, many shall make suit unto thee" (Job 11:16-19). Also, "(v.22) He draweth also the mighty with his power: he riseth up, and no man is sure of life. (v.23) Though it be given him to be in safety, whereon he resteth; yet His eyes are upon their ways" (Job 24:22-23).

David has recorded in the Psalms, "(v.3) But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for Himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto Him. (v.4) Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. (v.5) Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD. (v.6) There be many that say, 'Who will shew us any good?' LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. (v.7) Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. (v.8) I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for Thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety" (Psalm 4:3-8).

We are also encouraged, (v.11) "The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations. (v.12) Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom He hath chosen for His own inheritance. (v.13) The LORD looketh from heaven; He beholdeth all the sons of men. (v.14) From the place of His habitation He looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. (v.15) He fashioneth their hearts alike; He considereth all their works. (v.16) There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. (v.17) An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. (v.18) Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear Him, upon them that hope in His mercy;" (Psalm 33:11-18).

Solomon has instructed us in the book of Proverbs, "(v.10) When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting. (v.11) By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked. (v.12) He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace. (v.13) A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter. (v.14)Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety." (Proverbs 11:10-14)

Later on in the same chapter we find, "(v.30) There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD. (v.31) The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD (Proverbs 11:30-31)." Near the end of the book of Proverbs we read, "(v.3) Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: (v.4) And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. (v.5) A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength. (v.6) For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety" (Proverbs 24:3-6). May we find safety in casting each trouble and circumstance on the Lord and seeking His wise guidance and counselor to help us through each day!

Work in progress...

Posted by dondegr8 at 5:49 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 6:26 PM EST
Saturday, January 24, 2004
Now Playing: What are we building ?
Topic: Laboring
When history records the years of our life, we want to involve ourselves in something worthwhile, and which has genuine value, don't we? The following are a few verses to consider on what we are building in our lives. There will be more on this topic at a later time.

First, consider Abraham: "(v.8) By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. (v.9) By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: (v.10) For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." (Hebrews 11:8-10).

Next, consider Nehemiah (chapter 4): "(v.6) So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work. (v.7) But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth, (v.8) And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it.

(v.9) Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them. (v.10) And Judah said, 'The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.' (v.11) And our adversaries said, 'They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.'

(v.12) And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, 'From all places whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you. (v.13) 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.' (v.14) 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.'

(v.15) 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. (v.16) 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. (v.17) 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. (v.18) For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me. (v.19) And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, 'The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another. (v.20) In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us'." (Nehemiah 4:3-20)

Finally, consider God's desire for our families: "(v.1) Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. (v.2) It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so He giveth His beloved sleep. (v.3) Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is His reward. (v.4) As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. (v.5) Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate (Psalm 127:1-5). May we build for Him in our families and among His people, that He might work in blessing!

Posted by dondegr8 at 1:56 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 24, 2004 1:37 PM EST
Friday, January 23, 2004
Now Playing: Can we understand His ways?
Topic: Wisdom
What do we do when we cannot figure something out? We pull out a dictionary, thesaurus, or encyclopedia. We go to the library, check on the internet, call one of our friends, or simply experiment. But in spiritual matters, the Lord can help us to find understanding about the struggles and issues we face every day.

We have a good example for us in Nehemiah. "(v.3) And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law. (v.6) And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, 'Amen, Amen,' with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground. (v.8) So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading". (Nehemiah 8:3,6,8)

King David counsels us, "Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD" (Psalm 107:43). "Make me to understand the way of Thy precepts: so shall I talk of Thy wondrous works" (Psalm 119:27). "I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Thy precepts" (Psalm 119:100).

Solomon adds his advice, Proverbs chapter 2 ==> "(v.1) My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; (v.2) So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; (v.3) Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; (v.4) If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; (v.5) Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. (v.6) For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. (v.7) He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: He is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. (v.8) He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of His saints. (v.9) Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path. (v.10) When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; (v.11) Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee. " (Proverbs 2:4-11) " (v.19) A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer. (v.20) Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him". (Proverbs 29:19-20)

The prophet Isaiah warns, "(v.9) Whom shall He teach knowledge? and whom shall He make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. (v.10) For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: (v.16) Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, 'Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.' (v.26) For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him." (Isaiah 28:9-10,16,26). And we find in chapter 44 of Isaiah, "(v.6) Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and His redeemer the LORD of hosts; 'I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. (v.7) And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for Me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them. (v.8) Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.' (v.18) They have not known nor understood: for He hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand. (v.19) And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding..." (Isaiah 44:6-8,18-19).

Daniel has recorded for our blessing, "(v.9) Yet heard I the voice of His words: and when I heard the voice of His words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground. (v.10) And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. (v.11) And He said unto me, 'O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent.' And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. (v.12) Then said he unto me, 'Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words'." (Daniel 10:9-12)

The prophet Hosea instructed God's people, "(v.7) They that dwell under His shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. (v.8) Ephraim shall say, 'What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard Him, and observed Him:' I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found. (v.9) 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: but the transgressors shall fall therein" (Hosea 14:7-9).

In Luke chapter 24 (read it all) we also find instruction and encouragement. "(v.14) And they talked together of all these things which had happened. (v.15) And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus Himself drew near, and went with them. (v.16) But their eyes were holden that they should not know Him. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself. (v.28) And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and He made as though He would have gone further. (v.29) But they constrained Him, saying, 'Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.' And He went in to tarry with them. (v.30) And it came to pass, as He sat at meat with them, He took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. (v.31) And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him; and He vanished out of their sight. (v.45) Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures" (Luke 24:45).

We also learn from the apostle Paul exhorting those at Philippi, "(v.9) And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; (v.10) That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. (v.11) Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. (v.12) But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;" (Philippians 1:9-12). To the Corinthians, he admonishes, "(v.1) Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (love), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. (v.2) And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (love), I am nothing." (1 Corinthians 13:1-2)

The Hebrew people were instructed, "(v.1) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (v.2) For by it the elders obtained a good report. (v.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. (v.39) And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: (v.40) God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. (v.1) Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (v.2) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith..." (Hebrews 11:1-3,39-40,12:1-2).

The Lord Jesus Himself taught, "(v.14) And when He had called all the people unto Him, He said unto them, 'Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand: (v.15) There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. (v.16) If any man have ears to hear, let him hear'." (Mark 7:14-16) May God give us "ears to hear" what He has to say that we might find understand to walk in a way well-pleasing unto Him!

Posted by dondegr8 at 6:16 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 24, 2004 2:25 PM EST
Thursday, January 22, 2004
Now Playing: Can we discern or judge wisely ?
Topic: Wisdom
Choices aren't always easy. We make many somewhat trivial choices such as what kind of food to eat or clothes to wear. This may affect our health, or our perception by our friends or co-workers, but it will likely not do us any spiritual harm. But life often gives us a "fork in the road" where the decisions we come upon have genuine meaning. It is in these places where discernment becomes increasingly important. So how can we understand the mind of God and see what is an appropriate course of action to live our lives in obedience to the scriptures?

Some verses from the Old Testament may prove beneficial. "Then thine handmaid said, 'The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad: therefore the LORD thy God will be with thee' " (2 Samuel 14:17). "(v.9) Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? (v.11) And God said unto him, 'Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment. (v.12) Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.' " (1 Kings 3:9,11-12).

A few more examples include, "Is there iniquity in my tongue? cannot my taste discern perverse things?" (Job 6:30). "And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean" (Ezekiel 44:23). "Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not" (Malachi 3:18).

We have similar admonishment in the gospels. "And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. 'O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?' " (Matthew 16:3). "Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?" (Luke 12:56).

The epistles contain more instruction, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14). "(v.28) But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. (v.29) For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. (v.30) For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. (v.31) For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. (v.32) But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world (1 Corinthians 11:28-32).

The book of Hebrews gives us some very good advice, "But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Hebrews 5:14). "For the word of God is quick (living), 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" (Hebrews 4:12). May we seek from the Lord discernment to understand His ways and to do His will!

Posted by dondegr8 at 1:25 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 24, 2004 2:09 PM EST
Wednesday, January 21, 2004
Ephesians 1
Now Playing: What is your position as a believer?
Topic: Verses
If we were to fully grasp the following chapter, our perspective would certainly change. There will be no usual topical posting today, but the verses below are for our meditation.

(v.3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
(v.4) 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:
(v.5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
(v.6) To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved.
(v.7) In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace;
(v.8) Wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
(v.9) Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself:
(v.10) That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him:
(v.11) In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will:
(v.12) That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ.
(v.13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
(v.14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.

(v.15) Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
(v.16) Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
(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 the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

(v.19) And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power,
(v.20) Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places,
(v.21) Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
(v.22) And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church,
(v.23) Which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.

(Ephesians 1:3-23)

Posted by dondegr8 at 8:54 AM EST
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

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