At Thy Word

"And Simon answering said unto Him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless, at thy word, I will... ...

Weekly Devotional

I just recently moved this blog to Blogger from another hosting site. Thank you for your patience as I upload the entire, former site. I am sure I will encounter glitches to work through, but I hope it will be worth it.

I will be adding subjects here as time allows. The goal is to start with 52 devotions, one for each week of the year. In order to make the most of your time and reflection, be sure to have your Bible in hand to research the verse that is the theme for each devotional. You will also need your Bible to look up and study the corresponding verses at the end of each devotion. I purposely gave only the chapter and verse there, believing we are better able to reflect by picking up our Bible and reading God's Word for ourselves. You are sure to get more out of it that way, than from only reading what I have written.

I will eventually try to link to each subject that is covered in the list below. Please enjoy and feel free to contact me in case of need or error.


Devotional Themes



Just As I Am                                                                                 Forgiveness; Hymns

This is a favorite, old hymn that is far too often taken for granted. I am afraid sometimes we are so familiar with the words, that we do not focus on the full meaning. I hope you will read them here and concentrate on them more fully, today.

Just As I Am 

Written by Charlotte Elliot - 1834

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot;
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt;
Fightings within, and fears without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind;
Yes, all I need, in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Isaiah 53:5
1 Peter 2:24
Colossians 2:14


The Lord’s Prayer   

 Comfort; Prayer; Strength

Matthew 6:9-13

King James Version (KJV)

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

These verses known as the “Lord’s Prayer” have come to be one of the most recited prayers there is. We pray it together at church, at social functions and at civic organizations. It is a very well known prayer. But sometimes in that kind of familiarity, we loose a part of what is being said. Sometimes, it just becomes rote and we don't give it enough thought.

But Jesus gave this beautiful prayer to his disciples, as He taught them about prayer. It has been said to be the perfect prayer.

The verses prior to these give some instruction on how to pray. We are not to pray for show, but rather intimately with a sincere heart. That isn’t to say there isn’t a time for public prayer. Certainly, Jesus teaches there is. But He gave warning to those that might only be  praying to appear holy.
We are not to babble with vain repetitions, or with flowery, unnecessary words again in a way that may only be for show. I think that also encourages us, that our prayer doesn't have to be pretty.
The instruction Jesus gives in the verses prior, to this prayer has to do with those praying not from worship or need, but for those that pray for appearances or to seem holy.

But the “Lord’s Prayer” is a wondrous example of all that we should pray as we come before our God.

    ~~It beautifully demonstrates that our prayer should start with worship - "Hallowed be Thy name”.

    ~~“Thy Kingdom come.”  We are to pray for God’s kingdom – this is the reign of God and a Bible study just in itself. It is our goal on earth for eternity in the Heavens.

    ~~It shows us we should be seeking His will in all things: “Thy will be done…”

    ~~“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” There is poetic beauty in the words of this prayer that to me is revealed best in this one line. It is a strong explanation of our faith. Read it again as poetry, but also as an expression of your faith. This assures us comfort, and purpose, and hope; simply in one sentence: desiring His will. It isn’t a request as much as it is a statement. But it is also submission to the One Who is ultimately in control.

    ~~“Give us this day our daily bread." We see in this prayer that it is ok to ask for our physical needs and that God really wants us to ask for those needs and depend on Him.  And perhaps to simply take things, one day at a time.

    ~~“Forgive us our debts (trespasses).”  We need to cleanse ourselves before the Lord and come to Him with a clean heart. This doesn’t mean we need to name every sin, but acknowledge that we are indeed a sinner. Certainly there is a time to name the sin.

    ~~But along with that, we also need to forgive others, because we can’t be totally clean until we do. "As we forgive out debtors.” It is pride that allows us to ask for God’s forgiveness, yet refuse it to others. Perhaps, if we do not want to forgive others, then our request for forgiveness is not 100% real.

    ~~"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."  He graciously shows us that we are to be sure to request a reliance on Him to keep us out of the way of the world and all temptation; and even more than that, that we might be protected from evil. Certainly it is sin that is the thing that is most often a gateway to evil.

    ~~“For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever." We see that in the same way the prayer begins it also ends - with worship. God knows it does us well to express a strong affirmation of our faith in worship of only Him. 

    Prayer isn’t about changing God’s will. It isn’t about getting Him to hear. He hears. It is about showing dependence, submission and worship to the One Who holds us in His hand. It is about joining our will with His. How amazing is that?

    What is even more amazing is that we have an open line of communication to the God of the Universe! Why would we not use it?

      Luke 11: 1-13
      John 17: 1-26


Holding Hands 

Comfort; Hymns

Years ago, I heard someone say something like, “Singing those old hymns we know so well is like holding hands with the saints from the past.”

I believe it was Lee Webb, news anchor for the 700 Club on CBN.  But I grabbed hold of those words and never forgot them.  I firmly believe he hit the nail on the head with that statement.

I have always been greatly moved by melody, tempo, and
especially the lyrics of a variety of genres in music, and I really appreciated the thought of holding hands with some of those wise old

With that in mind, from time to time throughout this devotional,
I will post the words to an old hymn. Most likely I will include a supportive
Bible verse or two along with the hymn.

I find encouragement when I really stop to think about what the
hymn might be saying. Sometimes, we know them so well, we simply mouth the words without giving them much thought. I hope this will encourage a time to really understand the intent of that saint of old through his/her worship of our Lord. 

I will start with my favorite: 

The Old Rugged Cross  (1912)
 George Bennard, 1873-1958
1.  On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
the emblem of suffering and shame;
and I love that old cross where the dearest and best
for a world of lost sinners was slain.

So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,       
till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
and exchange it some day for a crown.

 2.  O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world, 
has a wondrous attraction for me;
 for the dear Lamb of God left his glory above
to bear it to dark Calvary.


 3.  In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine
a wondrous beauty I see,
for 'twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
to pardon and sanctify me.

 4. To that old rugged cross I will ever be true,       
its shame and reproach gladly bear         
then he'll call me some day to my home far away,
where his glory forever I'll share.


Luke 23: 32- 49
Isaiah 53: 1-12


Who Do You Say I Am?                                       TruthFalse Prophets

1 John 4:1-3
King James Version (KJV)

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because
many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is
come in the flesh is of God:

And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
We are given this warning in 1 John to be ever watchful for false prophets. Undoubtedly, they are among us - especially today, it seems. We do not want to be misled or fall into false doctrine. There are many that claim to be Christian, but their words or actions may show otherwise. Matthew 7: 21-23 and Luke 6:46 caution that there are those that would claim to know God, but are not true followers. Where false teaching abounds, clearly we must be alert to the threat of the evil this could bring.

 Certainly cults are prevalent in today’s world and we know there always have been those that would purposely attempt to lead Christians astray. Movies and television are rampant today with depictions of various Bible stories. Interestingly, all things Jesus seems to be the hot topic right now, but too often the narrative isn't accurate. The movie industry knows what sells, but when they don't know Jesus, it is impossible to get it right. Sometimes there may be a deep desire within hearts to know the truth. But that doesn’t mean truth will accurately be portrayed. Scripture also tells us that it is the Spirit of God which brings truth. If He isn’t in it, truth will be distorted.

The Bible gives us clear understanding how we can try the spirits. Every spirit that confesseth Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.” This verse is not simply telling us that Jesus - the man - came in the flesh. Of course He did. History records that and of course Scripture tells us that even the devil believes. But this verse more importantly speaks to the fact that He was truly God manifest in the flesh. These verses tell us that from what one believes about that important truth, we can know if they are in fact, of God.

Further, if a message is from God, it will not deviate from the teachings of the Bible. We have the best source of all to understand what is true within the pages of the Holy Bible. We are encouraged to study the whole counsel of the Word of God. There is much wisdom in that. To rightly divide the word of truth as we are told in 2 Timothy 2:15 - to study to show ourselves approved. The answers are all there within the pages of that precious book. But we are to divide it correctly. In order to do that, we much not pick and choose what fits what we want to believe. We must look at all that it says in full context.

Finally, and most poignant of all, Jesus asks: “Who do you say I am?” These are the words of Jesus to His disciples, but they are important words that are still relevant today. Your answer to that question will determine your place in eternity.

 1 John 2:18-27
Acts 17:10-11
Matthew 16:13-20



There is Love                                                          Love

King James Version (KJV)

24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

In this second week of February, one can’t help but think of the upcoming Valentine’s Day. We love to celebrate this special day, honoring the one we love. It is a day we pay just a little more attention to each of those we cherish in our lives.

This passage in Genesis kept coming to my mind this week. It is obviously an important one.  It’s probably even more important than we often realize, for it shows God’s intentions for mankind.

First, let’s follow the standard advice for Bible study and look at the word "therefore”. You know the old rule, “When one sees the word "therefore", one should look to see what the word is there for.” So, we look at the verse prior, verse 23:

23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

God created woman for man, so that he would not be alone and so that he might have a "help meet" - Genesis 2:18. 

Man is to leave his father and mother to care for the one God created for him. Marriage is one of the first institutions God created for mankind, showing just how important it is to our Creator. It is not to be taken lightly. It is what is best for man. It is also an analogy of Christ’s love for His church.

God has instructed this union to be one that is separate from ones parents. This independence from the childhood home, allows for dependence on one another, creating a stronger union. As well, this keeps well-meaning interference at bay.

In verse 23, we see Adam was the one that named woman. This shows the authority and the leadership that God allowed and intended for man. 

Obviously, He created man to be the head of the family. Clearly then, He would have created man with the qualities and attributes that are best suited for that position.
If you are the head of your household, take these words to heart and lead as God intended for you to lead. If you are a wife loved and adored by the man God has given  you, know that you are contributing to the success of your family. God equips both man and woman with unique attributes to fulfill the role He has for each. 

But living and honoring God should be the end result of both husband and wife, and as a team. Further, ones marriage should be a tangible symbol of God’s love for us. 
Ephesians 5: 28-33
1 Corinthians 11: 8-9


And the Greatest of These  Love

1 Corinthians 13
King James Version (KJV)

 13  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

 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, I am nothing.

 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

 4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth
not itself, is not puffed up,

 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily
provoked, thinketh no evil;

 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all  things.

 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail;
whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of   these is charity.

1 Corinthians 13 - It is well known as the “love chapter”.  There is much that can be discussed in these verses, and I highly recommend this chapter be read often in its entirety. It truly is a passage that can encourage. But for this devotional, I will focus only on the substance of the chapter rather than verse by verse. 

The King James Version - which I prefer - uses the word charity in this text, but charity here, is widely defined as the word "love".  In the Greek, the word “agape” was used in each verse in this chapter. “Agape” is formed from the Greek word “agapao” which means to “love in a social or moral sense”. Agape in the Strong’s Concordance is defined as “love, i.e. affection or benevolence” which is charity in its purest sense. Agape is the same Greek word used that is used in 1 John 4: 8. “For God is love.”

Prior to this chapter, Paul (the author of Corinthians) had spoken to the Corinthians about their lack of love, especially in regard to the use of their God-given gifts. The spiritual gifts had become a source of pride and competition. Paul had previously made it clear that one gift is not better than the other. In this chapter he assures them (and us) that love is more important than any of the spirtual gifts bestowed on the body.

1 Corinthians 13 gives us the true definition of love. We see in these verses that all is in vain without love. For without love, our actions will not sustain. Our gifts will not reach to the heart without love.

Chapter 12 assures us that the gifts are given to serve the body. Chapter 13 explains the only way those gifts can be effective - only when used in love; and later Chapter 14 will tell us how we are able to act in love for the benefit of others.

So focusing on the first three verses of Chapter 13, we learn the importance of love:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

 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, I am nothing.

3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Clearly none of our actions are worth much without love.

Next, verses 4- 8 gives us a clear picture of what love really is and it is probably the most often quoted part of this chapter.

Finally, verses 9 -13 focus on the revelation we will have in the after-life. Only in heaven will we have complete understanding of what we see dimly now. There love will be perfected, with a true and complete love for God and also for one another. Certainly love cannot be understood or complete without faith and hope, but love is the greatest of these and it will not be perfected until we see God face to face.

Until then, may we strive to serve our God, by serving others with true love.

1 John 4: 7-21
Romans 5: 8


Jesus Wept                                                                            

Comfort; Sorrow

John 11:35

Jesus wept.”
Two short words; but two powerful words. I have family members (for generations) that like to joke that this is their favorite Bible verse. Of course, they are being silly, loving to laugh at their comment because this is the shortest verse in the entire Bible…and the easiest to memorize. But the truth is there is a lot to learn and understand from these two seemingly trivial words. They are far from that.

Isn’t there something comforting in the fact that we as Christians have a Savior Who actually wept in His humanity? He experienced the same emotions we, ourselves, experience.

To me that is beautiful. To me that is reassuring. We have a Savior and a risen King Who cares enough about us to cry with us; to empathize with us in our sorrow.

The Scripture only tells us that when Jesus saw Mary and the other Jews weeping at the death of Lazarus He “groaned in his spirit and was troubled.” The Bible doesn’t really tell us why He wept. Many believe he wept because He was so saddened by their lack of faith. Some believe He wept because he felt their grief as His own. Regardless of the interpretation, Jesus wept because He loved and cared for these people.

The greater thing for me is that through the keeping of this Scripture in John, we are able to still see this caring act by our Lord and Savior for ourselves today.

I remember a time in my life when I was feeling a bit guilty over crying at a loved ones’ funeral. I shouldn’t be crying, I thought, this person is with the Living Lord; his sorrow and pain has been taken away. Then I remembered these two words: “Jesus wept.” Immediate comfort and relief came over me. It is ok to cry, I reasoned. Jesus cried. He set an example for us with His tears.

Of all the views that one may consider was the meaning behind Jesus’s tears and deep emotion, this is the one most important to me. It really is ok to express your emotions, however raw and deep. And we have a risen Lord Who understands it all.

Luke 19:41
Psalm 56:8 
Psalm 116:15


Better Than Life                                                                         Praise; Trust; Hymns

Psalm 63: 3-4
King James Version

"Because thy loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name."
I love these few verses of worship and praise. I remember singing them in church when I was young. And because of that, I suppose they will always be special to me.

But there is such power in simple praise. My lips shall praise Him with my words, with my songs, with my prayers. I will lift up my hands in an expression of honor and praise. It is probably easier to praise Him when all things are going well.

What is especially meaningful in these verses, is that David wrote them from a place in the wilderness. He was hiding from his enemies in the Desert of Judah.  Surely he was lonely, perhaps a bit fearful and certainly reflective. Often when we are in a place of trial, we remember to turn to God with our requests seeking answers, but do we remember to praise Him in our longings? Do we worship when we are in trouble?

Our praise gives voice to our trust in God, regardless of the outcome. His love is better than life. That's saying something.

Psalm 138: 2
Psalm 28: 2
Psalm 143: 8



Peaceful Sleep                                                               Comfort; Security

Psalm 4:8
King James Version (KJV)

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.”
When my son was little, I used to quote this Bible verse to him at bedtime. It brought him comfort. Actually, it brought us both comfort. Last night, as I lay in bed unable to sleep, I found myself quoting this simple verse.

It comes at the end of what seems to be an evening prayer of David’s. It is so heartwarming to me, that whatever the concern, whatever the time, God has a word of comfort for us.
God has those who are His, continually in His care.

Psalm 30:5
Psalm 63:5-8
Psalm 121: 3-6


Precious Sacred Scenes                                                       

  Prayer; Heritage; Hymns

"Precious Memories"
J.B.F. Wright ~ 1925

Precious memories, unseen angels,
Sent from somewhere to my soul.
How they linger, ever near me,
And the sacred past unfolds.

Precious memories how they linger,
How they ever flood my soul.
In the stillness, of the midnight.
Precious sacred scenes unfold.

Precious father, loving mother
Fly across the lonely years
and old home scenes of my childhood
in fond memory appears

Precious memories how they linger,
How they ever flood my soul.
In the stillness, of the midnight.
Precious sacred scenes unfold.

I remember Mother praying
Father too, on bended knee
the sun is sinking, shadows falling
but their prayers still follow me

Precious memories how they linger,
How they ever flood my soul.
In the stillness, of the midnight.
Precious sacred scenes unfold.

Precious memories fill my soul.

Psalm 103: 17-18
Psalm 90: 1


By Reasons of Use                                                                   Gifts; Growth 

Hebrews 5:14                                                                                                                  King James Version (KJV)                                                                                                                                              

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.”

  For explanation, we should look at the verses prior to understand what is meant by “strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age”. The discussion here is regarding maturity and immaturity of believers. While new Christians are as babes that need “milk”, a more mature Christian depends on “strong meat” or solid food for their nourishment. We must be ready to digest the food, before we fully partake and comprehend.
That being understood, the context of this verse lets us know that as we mature as believers, as we grow in knowledge of righteousness, we can become more discerning in all that is good and evil. 

This reveals a clear indication that the more we use our senses for discerning, the better at it we become. From 
constant use or practice, we train ourselves in becoming more aware, astute and perceptive. This isn’t only about being ready to discern, we actually can apply this to any of the gifts we are given by God. Certainly, one that is gifted with a beautiful singing voice must still practice and train her voice in order to keep that voice at its best. One gifted in speaking, will only improve the more he speaks. We must put into practice that which we have learned. We must train our mind to understand and recognize good from evil.

To become better at the things we should discern and perceive, we above all else need to delve into the strong meat of God’s word. God’s Word is our lesson book. It is only there that we are able to learn and grow to know exactly if our perceptions and beliefs are accurate and Biblically sound. It is there that we get to know our Lord. The more we know Jesus, the more clear thinking in our beliefs we will become and the easier it is to discern good from evil; and right from wrong. 

1 Corinthians 3:2
1 Peter 2:2
2 Timothy 3:16-17
Romans 15:4-6
1 Corinthians 2:1-14
Romans 12:2


Decisions With Counsel                                           Wisdom;

Proverbs  15:22
King James Version

Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established.”
 It is never wrong to seek counsel on something you may be questioning, or things with which you have concerns. The Bible gives multiple Scriptures advising there is wisdom that comes in many counselors.
It doesn’t necessarily mean you must do exactly what any one person advises. Rather, it is the discussion that will ensue out of what is being said, that is important. The more that is discussed the more one is made aware of scenarios or consequences that could occur. Differing opinions will obviously arise, but this will offer a chance to weigh all possible outcomes and seek Scriptural accuracy in what is being advised. Someone may point to a fact that one as an individual did not think to consider.

Don’t let pride or embarrassment get in the way of asking for opinions or advice. These Bible verses were written by Solomon, the man considered to be the wisest man in the whole world. Think about that for a moment. The wisest man in the world recommended seeking advice from others! These Scriptures are his counsel through God’s Word.

Sometimes, in our worry, or distress we do not see clearly, or we may even have become so opinionated on a subject that we have developed a tunnel vision to any after effects our opinion may bring. Asking some one else’s thoughts or advice on a matter will bring a new perspective and clarity. 
Ultimately the decision will be your own, and the first and foremost place one should seek counsel is in God’s Word. But, be open to advice. After considering all that is said, after looking at all the facts, evaluating your choices, and then backing it with Scripture, allow yourself to follow through with your decision in confidence.

Proverbs 11:14
Proverbs 24: 6



As He Said                                                                   Comfort; Security; Promise; Resurrection

Matthew 28:6
King James Version (KJV)

 “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
This is probably one of the most comforting verses in the Bible, in my opinion. It is also found in Luke 24:1-12. In fact, all four Gospels include facts of the Resurrection.

"He is not here," is was what the angels reported to "...Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James and the other women that were with them..."  we are told in Luke.  When they came to the sepulcher with spices they had prepared for Jesus' body, they were instead surprised to see the stone rolled away and an angel with a message. Of course, we know the story.  Upon entering the tomb, they found the body of Jesus was not there. The angels had already been there. They came not to let Jesus out of the tomb, but they rolled the stone away so that everyone else could see the tomb was empty.

I love what the angels said to the women as reported in Luke. "Why seek ye the living among the dead? " Jesus was alive and this is the message the angels wanted to give. And then the angels reminded them of Jesus' own words, repeating those very words back to the women. He is risen, just as he said He would be.

The women then left to spread that message "unto the apostles."

I love that!  I also love that Jesus had foretold His death and resurrection! Luke 9:22; Luke 17:25 and Luke 18:32-33 are a few verses regarding this. But what I love most, is that if we can trust the truth in what Jesus said in regard to His resurrection, we can also trust and believe what He said about His return!

He is risen just as He said; and what is more, He is coming back!

We gratefully await the day.

Luke 24:1-12
Mark 16:1-8
John 20: 1-8
John 14:3


For a World of Lost Sinners 

Gospel; Salvation; Hymns

John 3: 16

The Old Rugged Cross
Text and Music:  George Bennard, 1873-1958 

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross;
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.


So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left his glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.


In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine
 A wondrous beauty I see,
 For 'twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
 To pardon and sanctify me.   


To that old rugged cross I will ever be true,
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then he'll call me some day to my home far away,
Where his glory forever I'll share.



Sleeping for Sorrow                                                           Truth 

Luke 22: 45
King James Version

"And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,"                                                        

As the Easter season draws near each year, I like to read and study the Biblical account of the death and resurrection of Jesus. This morning as I read I came to the verse in Luke that says: "And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow," Luke 22: 45.

Now when we read this chapter we often focus on what Jesus did next. He woke them from their sleep and asked them: "Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation."  There is a good lesson in Jesus' response to His disciples' slumber.

But this morning, as I read, I was reminded of a Bible Study I attended years ago. The woman that was teaching laughed as she told our small group that her husband always said the disciples had drank too much wine, and therefore couldn't remain awake to pray as Jesus had asked them.

I remember being so discouraged when I heard our leader say that. I cringed, but didn't argue. I hadn't studied the context enough yet at that point to give a rebuttal, but I knew within my spirit that she was wrong.

I went home that afternoon determined to review what had been taught in our study that day. It didn’t take much, there was the obvious answer plainly written in verse 45. “…he found them sleeping for sorrow,…”

There was the very simple answer, but one that was extremely important, especially in light of what was being taught that day. 

Now this isn’t an argument for whether the disciples drank alcoholic wine or not. That can be for a discussion another day, but what was important is that no where does it say the disciples had fallen asleep because they had too much to drink. So why teach it?

This post is only to encourage you to listen to that still, small voice within you that says, “This just isn’t right.” Or “Could that really have happened?” Then search the Scripture to find out what the truth is. Don’t just take things as truth because someone says something. Be a Berean – search the Scripture: Acts 17:11

I was delighted I had followed through on what I felt I heard God telling me. I was glad I studied the verses for myself. The next week, I was able to go back to Bible Study better prepared. I did not want to appear to be argumentative, and I did not want to embarrass or humiliate the instructor. As it happened, the Lord gave me the perfect opportunity to share what I had found without evening bringing up the leader’s former error. 

As I shared the verse that stated our Lord had found the disciples "sleeping for sorrow", I was able to explain how that can happen to us when we are distraught, broken-hearted, or worried about something that we don’t fully understand regarding something  about to take place. I watched our leader as I spoke, and I could see in her face, she “got it”.  I could see "the light bulb come on" as the old saying goes.

No more words were said, but by the Lord’s grace, a misconception had been corrected.

I hope to encourage you today, to do more than simply listen to what you are being taught, but rather listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit as you sit under the instruction of anyone. And then do as the Bereans did and search the Scripture for your self.  God wants us to know His truth, and he wants us to experience the joy, satisfaction and growth that comes from studying correctly, His Word.

Luke 22:39-46

2 Timothy 2:14-15 


I Have Seen the Lord  Comfort; Hymns; Solitude

In the Garden
C. Austin Miles, 1913 
1. I come to the garden alone  
while the dew is still on the roses,  
and the voice I hear falling on my ear,  
the Son of God discloses. 

Refrain:  And he walks with me, and he talks with me,  
and he tells me I am his own;  
and the joy we share as we tary there,  
none other has ever known.  

2. He speaks, and the sound of his voice 
is so sweet the birds hush their singing,  
and the melody that he gave to me  
within my heart is ringing.  


3. I'd stay in the garden with him  
though the night around me be falling,  
but he bids me go; thru the voice of woe 
his voice to me is calling.  

Jn. 20:11-18



A Righteous Nation                                                                 Action; Prayer

Proverbs 29:2 King James Version 

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”

For me, on this “National Day of Prayer”, this verse is especially meaningful. Sometimes it seems there are few righteous men that remain in authority over us, in any number of capacities one would point to. At least in my life, I don't believe I have ever seen our country in a worse state of affairs. Our people are hungry for God, but it seems they don't even realize it.
Interestingly, the verse before this one says: “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.  Clearly, one that won’t learn from mistakes will not succeed, and in fact, will be destroyed. Surely we should learn from our nation's history, other nation's history, Biblical accounts and those with experience. 

As we look at our nation today, and we see her drawing further and further away from righteousness, as well as our Godly heritage, we do see suffering and mourning. We are dissatisfied  and worried. We are seeking answers and solutions, but rarely in the right place.

May we all include prayers for a return to our Biblical foundation, as we gather across our great land today; but even more than that, may we do it individually every day.
Proverbs 14:34
2 Chronicles 7:14 
Romans 12:12


Enter Into Peace                                                                          Death

 Isaiah 57:1-2

The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.”                
I find this verse especially comforting this Memorial Day week as we remember those that have served our nation, as well as our family and loved ones that have passed before us.

Maybe we have questioned God as to why He has taken our loved one. We are reminded in this Scripture that sometimes "the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil." I find comfort in that. Though we dearly miss them, we know they are in a far better place.

Very clearly, they have entered into peace. They have found rest from this old, sinful world in death.

And with the complete counsel of the Word of God, we know Jesus is the key to their eternal life. Our loved ones are in the presence of the King of the Universe, if they have received the amazing gift of eternal life offered to them through the blood that Jesus shed on the cross.

Luke 23:42-43


Prayer Into Action           Action

Exodus 14:15-16
King James Version (KJV)

 “And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:

 But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.”
I think most of us have heard of the important Biblical account of Moses parting the Red Sea. But, I believe there is an important lesson in the parting of the Red Sea that is often overlooked.  When it certainly appeared the Israelites were despairingly trapped, Moses prayed. And God answered. We know God parted the sea so that the Israelites could safely cross, but think for a moment what God said prior. 
As my pastor loves to say - "In American": "Why are you crying out to me? Why do you continue in prayer? I have heard", He told Moses. “Raise you hand and part that water!” The praying was done, it was time for action.

Certainly there is a time for prayer. We must bring all things to God in prayer. But Moses had already prayed. He had brought everything to the Lord. It was now time for him to put his faith into action. 

This is a perfect example of once we have brought everything to the Lord in prayer, we aren’t always to simply sit back and wait. Sometimes there is a call to act. When there seems no way out, God will open a way. But He also wants us to do our part as we follow Him.

Philippians 4: 6-7
Matthew 17: 24-27


For Thy Names Sake                                                

Salvation; Sin

Psalm 25:11
King James Version (KJV)

"For thy name's sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.”
Simple enough...."For thy names sake".  But oh, so important. This fact -  that it is for His names sake - that we are forgiven, is mentioned a number of times in Scripture assuring us of its importance.

In Psalm 23 verse 3, for example, we are told: "He leadeth me in the paths of rightousness for his name's sake." There are many other verses where these same words are expressed.

One way we can look at this is that it is for God's glory; it is for the sake of His name. In that, we should want to be careful of our behavior so that we don't tarnish His name.

We are given free will. In fact, I believe the greatest part of God's sovereignty is the gift of our free will. And certainly, it is not His will that any should perish. It grieves the heart of God to see us suffer in sin.  Surely for His sake, for the Glory of His name, He desires our repentance. 

But more than that, as we dig deeper into the meaning of this phrase, we find, that the word "sake" in the Hebrew, means "purpose". So it is for His name's purpose. That makes much more sense in that connotation, does it not? It is all about God's purpose or intent -in other words, His will.

Next time you read these passages that use this phrase - for thy name's sake - read it again inserting the Hebrew meaning "for God's purpose"; "for His will". Find comfort in the fact that God's great will and purpose are at the very heart of all of it.

And yes, it is all simple enough..."For your purpose, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great." For your great purpose, I will not tarnish your name. My life should be a testimony to Your great love and sacrifice.

Psalm 31:3
Psalm 79: 9



My Meat                                                                    

- Action; Strength; Scripture

John 4: 33-34

Therefore the disciples said to one another, "Hath any man brought Him aught to eat?" Jesus said to them, "My meat is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.”
Jesus spoke these words to His disciples after they showed concern for the fact that Jesus hadn’t eaten for some time. They had been traveling and He had been preaching and later ministering to the woman at the well.  

Master, eat,” they had encouraged.

“I have meat to eat that ye know not of,” Jesus had responded.

They questioned each other, showing their doubt, or maybe simply trying to find out who was the one that may have brought Jesus food. “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?” they had queried among themselves.

There is much to learn from Jesus’ answer. 

My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his

Now this is not to say that we should go without food and nourishment. That isn’t really the point here. But it is an example to show us that when we are in the Father’s will; when we are doing the thing that God has for us to do, we will be buoyed with strength from our Father.

We all have something with which we have been gifted by God to help build His Kingdom. Once we have discovered that gift and we use our gift accordingly, this verse assures us we can be energized and uplifted by that work - just as if it was meat for our bodies. Spiritual nourishment comes not only from prayer, studying the Bible, and going to church. It includes finding the gift God has for our lives and using it to advance His Kingdom.

The thing that I believe is particularly important in this verse is that He left us with this example that we might do the will of our Father, just as He did. In that we will find strength.

1 Cor. 12: 4-11
John 6: 38-40


God Says Go 


Mark 11:25

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.  ~ Matthew 5:23

We all know the importance of forgiveness. The Bible is very clear about how important it is.  If we do not forgive, how can our Father forgive us? It is obviously something very important to our Lord.

God is for reconciliation.  It is what is best for the human heart. Problems in relationships compromise our relationship with God. We need to resolve the issue as soon as possible not only before it festers and becomes worse among the two whom are at odds, but also to prevent a wall from forming between ourselves and our Father.

I remember with clarity, years ago when I was compelled to do a study on forgiveness. One of the first things the Lord taught me with that study, was that it is always a two way street. We are without excuse to initiate the reconciliation.  If, we have aught against any we are to go to the offended brother or sister.  But more than that, if anyone has anything against us, we are also to forgive and go to that person. Don’t you see? It has nothing to do with whom is right or wrong. It matters not which one is responsible for the offense. We are the one who should go. When we know there is an issue at hand, we are to go. If everyone did that, all sides would be meeting and reconciliation would be possible.

When we hold a grudge or refuse to forgive, we do not have the “mind of Christ’ as instructed. When we say, “But he said this” “She did that”, God says “go”.

Ephesians 4:32           
Matthew 18:23-35


A Splendid Place To Be 

Strength; Grace; the Cross; Prayer

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
King James Version (KJV)

 “7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities,
in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong”

Paul had asked God three times to remove what he called “a thorn in the flesh”. Clearly Paul believed God allowed him this challenge to keep in humble. He believed it was Satan who had given it to him, (the messenger of Satan to torment me." NIV). But Paul knew that it was God who allowed it, in order to bring about His own perfect will.

Upon Paul’s third request for God to remove the troublesome thorn, Paul realized there was another reason for God to deny the removal. For when I am weak, then am I strong.” We see Paul’s above acceptance in the recitation of these words: “My grace is sufficient for thee.”

Many times we read these verses and we focus on the fact that God wants to keep us humble; and yes, He does.  We learn in these verses that He can use us in our weakness far greater than he can in our strengths. We understand that our strengths can actually sometimes get in God’s way. These are important lessons we can take from this passage and many encouraging sermons and commentaries have been written regarding those lessons.

But for me, there has always been an underlying message in these verses that is just as important, but often times overlooked. My grace is sufficient for thee.”  

Those words tell me if God did no other thing for me, His grace is already enough. The fact that He died on the cross for me, is all I should ever need. Certainly I am undeserving of that kind of grace!  Why would I expect even more!

Now, that understanding is not to take anything away from all the things God does for us and truly wants to do for us. I am not saying we shouldn’t ask for more, or that He doesn’t want to hear our requests. Scripture is very clear that of course He does. He wants us to pray about everything (1 Thessalonians 5: 17) and to let our requests be known. (Philippians 4:6)

But for me, I often find comfort in these verses that it really doesn’t matter when the answer to my prayer is “no”, or “wait”! His grace is already enough! Yes, I know His perfect will shall be revealed but even more than that, His amazing grace is already enough! There are some days when I don’t want to expect any more. His grace is sufficient for me. It causes us to go back to the cross. It causes us to reflect on the Suffering Servant and all that He did. For me, that is a splendid place to be.

Habakkuk 3:17-19
2 Corinthians 1: 3-11                                                                                                                                     
1 Peter 5:10


Wise Counsel  

 Strenth; Security; God’s Word; Wisdom

Psalm 1:1-2
King James Version 

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”  
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”
In this chapter, the psalmist contrasts the life of a righteous person to the one who lives a life without faith. Happy is the man who has God’s Word to turn to in every situation. Only trouble can come out of seeking guidance elsewhere.

Clearly, we are not to take counsel from ungodly people. Why? Because they can only give us the world’s answer, not God’s. There is no way those of the world can have the necessary wisdom that comes only from God. They simply do not possess that kind of understanding. In these verses we find wise words that will keep our walk safe, straight and on track.

In the same manner we will be wise to guard with whom we spend our time. We are continually warned in Scripture that to keep company with the sinners, can only lead us to their same sinful lifestyle: 1 Corinthians 15: 33; 1 Corinthians 5:6.  Bad company corrupts good character. Sin must be purged or it will continually corrupt.

In this chapter, we are not only given the admonition to keep ourselves from ungodly people, but we are told how we are able to do that. We should delight in His law – God’s Word. And meditate on it day and night.
There we find our security, blessings and hope.

Joshua 1: 8
Proverbs 4:14-19
Proverbs 11:3
Proverbs 2:6



With Freedom

1 Corinthians 8:9-13
King James Version (KJV)

But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a
stumbling block to them that are weak.

For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's
temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;

And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while
the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.”

This chapter in Corinthians reminds us that though as Christians we have found freedom in Christ, there is much more to it than just that. These verses are more fully an explanation that along with our Christian freedom, there must first be concern for others. We are not to live an “anything goes”lifestyle. But rather, with our freedom, comes responsibility – a responsibility to be concerned about how our actions are affecting others.

Certainly, we have liberty, i.e. the right to decide what choices in our walk with Christ we will make; of that there is no doubt. Jesus died once for all. He bore our sins in their entirety and that doesn’t begin and end with any one particular sin. Exactly as the Word tells us, it means once for all. I am so thankful for that degree of grace.

Neither are these verses simply about what we eat or drink, though that is the example used. These verses, rather, are about the way we live our lives; the example we set for the new believer and even the unbeliever.

The most serious consequence in careless living or abusing the liberty we have in Christ, is the effect it can have on fellow Christians that are still learning and growing in their Christian walk. It is easy for them (actually for all of us) to think: Well if “so and so” is doing it, then it must be ok for me.

But in these verses, Paul tells us rather than offend even one
who is weaker he would remove the offense completely from his life. Clearly this is an example that shows we are to live our lives for others. Love and concern for others should always be our goal.
It grieves my heart when I see the lackadaisical attitude to holiness that we see in the church today. Many Christians are much more relaxed on drinking; divorce; living together; even cussing in church and in Christian books and literature, than I ever before remember seeing. In fact, studies have shown that the lives today of Christians are in actuality not so very different than those of the unsaved.

I have to ask; don’t we want to offer something different than that which we have decided to leave? Don’t we want to show that the real bondage is in abusing our liberty – the sin that keeps us of  the world from which we claim to be so thankful to be free? Living as the world lives, simply keeps us there.  

We do not want to expect others to live according to our own convictions, but neither do we want to drag them back into the mire from which they feel they have just been freed.

I’m not talking about legalism, or caving to someone’s arrogant demands of pharisaical holiness. I am simply talking about living out a “righteousness” that those in the world or those with a tender conscience might actually want to respect and even emulate. 

We are foolish if we believe the world does not expect more from us as Christians. They do! And they are disappointed when they see no difference in us. We must not kid ourselves as we willingly fall into this deception.

~Romans 14:15-21
 ~Acts 10:9-23


Except the Lord  

Psalm 127:1
King James Version (KJV)
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.

I believe we can apply this verse to not only the actual building of our homes, but almost anything we seek to do in our lives.

If we do not have God’s blessing on that which we do, we do it all in vain. 
If we have not sought God’s will for what we attempt in life, we cannot
succeed. Oh, we are surely able to go about our business, tasks and that for which we strive; but these efforts will have no eternal value.

We can also apply this to our cities and even our nation. A nation does not seek God, obey God, seek His righteousness cannot expect God’s blessing or protection. It will fall from within; it won’t need to worry about its outside enemies.

Leaving God out of our lives, ensures failure; all our accomplishments will be unproductive and worthless in God's Kingdom. We miss the higher good – building something for eternal value. We would be wise to let God be our Master Builder.

Psalm 18: 6-10
Proverbs 14:34


Shared out of Love                                                         Comfort; Encouragement; Sharing

1 Thessalonians 5:11
King James Version (KJV)

"Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do."

Without a doubt we are to encourage one another, as well as pray for one another. But not only that, we are  also to "esteem others more highly than ourselves." ~Philippians 2:3.

As Christians, we often try to encourage one another with Scripture.
And why wouldn't we? It's the Word of God! In Scripture we find comfort and wisdom; answers and counsel; life and love.

But at the same time we should be careful at the impact of our intended target when carelessly throwing verses around...

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged 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." 

That's a powerful verse, just in itself! Obviously this verse is talking about the impact the Word of God will have on our lives when we seek it -reading and studying it for ourselves; or even as we hear it from others.

But within this verse, I believe we are also able to understand that as  effective as the Word of God can be when used in love, when used for the wrong reason - or with an inappropriate heart attitude - it can be hurtful and detrimental.

Sometimes Christians use God's Word in pride - a way to show off what we know. Sometimes we might use it to promote a personal agenda, or as a means to force our own beliefs on someone. It is easy to recognize when someone shares with the wrong heart attitude. That attitude becomes the focus, instead, and one may not ever hear the intended message of the passage. Something else has gotten in the way.

But it's also just as easy to recognize and far more effective when Scripture is shared out of love, with an intent that is pure. That  is when it builds up and comforts. It offers counsel, but at the same time brings unity. It's two hearts sharing the same thing. It's a moment of understanding among family.  It's like a warm blanket on a cold day. It's an "Amen"! Thank you, Jesus! And that's exactly where the focus should be.

Ephesians 4:29
Hebrews 10:24-25


Roll Call                                                                                                                        Assurance; Hymns

John 10:28

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

Luke 10:20“but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”

When the Roll is Called  Up Yonder has always been one of my favorite hymns.  I remember singing it in my grandpa and grandma's church when I was little. I also remember singing together as a family, as we traveled the country roads at night to my grandparents' ranch for a week-end visit.  I remember not understanding what the words meant, but I just really liked the up tempo melody...and I liked that we could all sing it together as a family.

I remember when the "light came on" in my head and I finally understood the words: "When the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there."

Words & Music James M. Black ~1893

When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more,
And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair;
When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.


When the roll, is called up yon-der,
When the roll, is called up yon-der,
When the roll, is called up yon-der,
When the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there.

On that bright and cloudless morning when the dead in Christ shall rise,
And the glory of His resurrection share;
When His chosen ones shall gather to their home beyond the skies,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.


Let us labor for the Master from the dawn till setting sun,
Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care;
Then when all of life is over, and our work on earth is done,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.




In Pretense, or In Truth  Gospel; Sharing; Truth

Philippians 1: 15-18

15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the
18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in preten
se, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, some of his intent is to offer thanks to those that have shown support for him, as well as assure them he continues well, while imprisoned. But he also seeks to encourage them in their service to the Lord.

Paul appreciated that there were those that were serving the Lord for the right reason – out of love for the Savior, as well as love for the sinner. But he also recognized there were those sharing the Gospel out of selfish ambition.

Sometimes, as Christians, we can be discouraged when we see wrong motives or improper intent by other Christians. This passage shows us this type of behavior was as common in Paul’s day as it is today.

We might often see Christians a bit puffed up and prideful about their ministry. It is generally fairly easy to spot. There are times it is apparent that a Christian might be doing things for the wrong reason. Maybe things have become more about themselves and they actually love the attention they are receiving more than the actual purpose, or outcome of the work that God has intended for them.

When we become discouraged by those with improper intent, we can be like Paul and be thankful that at least the Gospel is still going forth. Whether in pretense or in Truth, Christ is yet preached. Of course God doesn't condone or excuse this type of pride, but we can be assured God can use the message despite the motive as long as the message is pure and accurate.

In times like now, when sometimes it seems we see less and less of God in our society, this admonishment seems especially important – at least Christ is preached. We are promised after all, that God’s Word will not return void…it 
will be effective. Along with that, we can pray that those with a wrong heart attitude will see exactly where their affections lie. But even more importantly, we can ensure that we do not develop pride in what we do for God, but rather strive to share the Good News for the right reasons i.e. out of love – our love for Jesus, but also love for those who need to know Him.

Jeremiah 9:23-24
Isaiah 55:11


Abide in Christ 

 Gospel; Sharing; Truth

1 John 2:20-25
King James Version (KJV)

20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.
25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

Though there are those that argue the authorship of 1 John, evidence strongly suggests it is indeed John, the Son of Zebedee (affectionately called the Sons of Thunder), who wrote the fourth book of the New Testament. While John’s Gospel seeks to 
bring the reader to faith, John’s intent in 1 John is to confirm and build up his reader in the

His purpose in this epistle is best stated in 1 John 5: 13. “That ye may know that ye have eternal life.”John wants to bring a confidence to his readers. He informs us that he is writing to those reading (then and now) because we already know the truth, not because we don’t.

In these verses, he reminds us that we have “an unction” –an anointing from the Holy Spirit. This anointing allows us to recognize and respond to truth when we read or hear it. It is not apart from God’s Word, but rather through God’s Word.  All is correctly discerned by the Holy Spirit. 

But John also writes reminding us just Who our God is, along with a warning that we may not be deceived. At the same time, we also want to make sure the weak brother or sister does not succumb to false teachings. John respectfully reminds us, that those who deny that Jesus is the Christ are liars. And those that deny the Son do not have the Father. 

He encourages us to let that truth “abide” in us.  We have no need to 
fear deception, only to be wary of it. He ends in a promise, a reminder of the promise God has given us – eternal life. These verses are written to reassure us of that promise, but that that gift does not come without Jesus Christ.

In a world full of chaos, and agendas that promote and teach erroneous beliefs that say all faiths are the same and all roads lead to one God, we can appreciate John’s words. Among those that know an Antichrist is coming; we can be reminded that that spirit is 
already here, but we can be sure we are not deceived.

Further in these few verses, the Trinity is revealed – The Father, (verse 23) The Son (verse 22) and the Holy Spirit (verse 20). It is exactly who our God is, and we are reminded throughout this book, this is nothing new, but that which we have been taught from the beginning. We must never lose or stray from the things we have been taught. God’s word is the same today and forever.

Do you know the one and only true God?  The One Who gave His Son to die on a cross for YOU? Do you know Him?  You can. Call on His Name today, repent of the sin in your life that so often binds you and keeps you from your full potential. He is calling for you, today. 
John 14: 6
Hebrews 13: 8


The Shepherd and His Sheep   Comfort; Courage

Psalm 23
King James Version

 1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear
no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou
anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I
will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

This time-honored and oft-quoted Psalm certainly needs no commentary; but nonetheless I love what is revealed here:

  • Our Protector

  • Our Provider

  • The One Who refreshes

  • Our Comforter

  • Our Guide and Righteous Example

  • The One Who walks with us in pain and suffering

  • Our Constant Companion

  • Our Host – making us more than dumb sheep, but rather, honored guests

  • Our Restorer

  • Our Savior

If only we would learn to recognize His call and follow closely.  There is such comfort in  knowing we will dwell with our Lord for ever.

John 10: 14-16
Isaiah 40: 11


Whose Approval?                                                                                                         Truth

Galatians 1:10
King James Version

 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

I loved this verse when my son was young. It was one that was often quoted at our house. During his teen years, I firmly believed it was a great verse to share with children to help keep them well grounded when the inevitable peer pressure was sure to present itself. The truth is, though, this is a great verse for us at any age! We should all seek to please our Heavenly Father, before anyone else, or even ourselves for that matter.

Life is full of decisions, and often the decisions can involve compromise; or a desire to please others rather than what we really want to do; or what we know is right. In a time when there seems to be a pervasive desire for “tickling ears”, it is much easier to say what somebody wants to hear, rather than say what can often times be more difficult. We are all familiar with “political correctness” run amuck. But even in Paul’s day, there was a battle to state what is true. Paul’s enemies and adversaries accused him of trying to placate all.

But Paul came out boldly in response to such accusations. When Paul was addressing the Galatians, he didn’t mince words. He came right to the point. And the point was - he wanted only to share the true Gospel message.  He wanted to preach only what he knew God would have him preach. Paul had no desire to please men.  We can take this to heart in ensuring we stay true to Biblical precepts, and we can take it to heart in ensuring we act according to what we are taught in those precepts.

When I used this verse to help my son make right choices, I thought mostly of battling those that might try to draw him into sin. But honestly, this can also be true of those that might try to hold him in the bondage of their type of Christianity requiring acceptance of their own private belief system as they try to demand of us: “you must do this”, or “you must do that”.  In either case – the bondage of sin, or likewise the bondage of someone else’s rules - it isn’t man we should be trying to please. While being careful not to offend for the sake of Christ, we also must stand firm as we seek to serve God.

Whose approval do you seek? Pray for the courage to always seek God’s approval first. There seems to be a push for us to be above all things, conciliatory in order to get along in this day and age. We would be wise to remember Paul’s words when the pressure strikes: “if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” We can be like Paul - responsible to God alone. There is a whole lot of freedom in that.

Luke 6: 26

1 Corinthians 10:31-33


A Time To Weep   Comfort

Romans 12:15

Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”

I went to a Bible study a few years back with a woman that obviously prided herself on her cheerful attitude.  Many times she would make the point how when adversity struck she was always able to bare it with a smile.  She joked, and laughed and exuded joy. She was not going to let anyone get her down. And she vowed to always see the silver lining, i.e. the best in everything.

That’s a wonderful thing to show that kind of optimism and joy in trials and tragedy. At the same time, have you ever been around someone that is happy and cheerful, when you really just feel like crawling under a rock? It just is not pleasant. Cheerfulness at the wrong time does no one any good. I believe that is a lesson my Bible study friend had yet to learn.

The Bible also tells us in Proverbs 25:20: “As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to a heavy heart.”

To take a way someone’s coat on a winter day would obviously cause discomfort. Vinegar upon nitre (soda) would effervesce only to lose power and strength. Pretty simple stuff, really – sometimes the best thing we can do is share the tears of the one who is broken and crying.

People need a time to grieve. Certainly we can see it is not beneficial to be condescending to one in trouble or to make light of his grief. We all need a chance to express our sorrow without guilt. Tears are a normal process that allows us to heal. We should remember even “Jesus wept”.  And when He did, it helped others around Him understand the great love that He possessed. It causes us to understand it is a very normal emotion and expression. But what Jesus did after the tears is also important. He prayed and went about the work God had for him to do – in this case, raising Lazarus from the dead. 

Now obviously, we are not going to always raise someone from the dead; but this does show us the sequence of events that are observed in the healing process of which tears are a necessary part. Give those grieving time; offer them a coat of warmth and love; share their tears in  compassion and grace.

“We take a wrong course if we think to relieve those in sorrow by
endeavoring to make them merry.” 
~ Matthew Henry

1 Corinthians 12:26
Ecclesiastes 3:1-11



Teach us Gently   Growth; Security

Proverbs 6:20-24
King James Version (KJV)

 20 My son, keep thy father's commandment, and
  forsake not the law of thy mother:
 21 Bind them continually upon thine heart, and
  tie them about thy neck.
 22 When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when
thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with
 23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law
is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of

What parent would not love these verses??  I know I loved them and used them in my parenting.  Most commentaries, of course, use these verses as a warning against adultery. And they are a good warning in regard to that.  But I believe much more can be applied.

These verses are a good admonishment in any decision we may have in our life. They simply display a good way to live our life.

I am thankful for the good parents I have; they taught me the ways of the Lord and reminded me to keep His word. The words of ones parents, handed down for generations, is strength and stability. It is security and direction. There is most often wisdom in their years of experience.

Godly instruction and commandments are a light to our feet, not something that confines. Bind these words upon your heart 
not just when it is convenient. Tie them about your neck – they are a yoke that is light and will keep one on the straight path.
Reproofs of instruction, (something not very popular, today) teach us gently as we walk through this life. It is not something we should ignore, but rather something to cling
Matthew 11: 28-30
Psalm 119:105-112


Christ’s Own Promise  Comfort

Onward, Christian Soldiers
Text: Sabine Baring-Gould, 1834-1924
Music: Arthur S. Sullivan, 1842-1900 

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,  with the cross of Jesus going on before.  Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;  forward into battle see his banners go! 

Refrain:  Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,  with the cross of Jesus going on before.   

At the sign of triumph Satan's host doth flee;  on then, Christian soldiers, on to victory!  Hell's foundations quiver at the shout of praise;  brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.  (Refrain)  

Like a mighty army moves the church of God;  brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.  We are not divided, all one body we,  one in hope and doctrine, one in charity.  (Refrain)  

Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane,  but the church of Jesus constant will remain. Gates of hell can never gainst that church prevail;  we have Christ's own promise, and that cannot fail.  (Refrain)  

Onward then, ye people, join our happy throng,  blend with ours your voices in the triumph song.  Glory, laud, and honor unto Christ the King,  this through countless ages men and angels sing. (Refrain)  


Let Us Worship                                    Comfort; Worship

Psalm 95:6-7
King James Version

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.
For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of
his hand.

I remember this Psalm from a long time ago. The church I attended, often sang it in a beautiful melody as we worshipped. Perhaps there is even a bit more comfort in it for me because of that. I love the memory of that little church, I love the strength that was built there.

But this Psalm either sang or read is a Psalm that offers comfort and widsom.  Truly, there is comfort in worship. And without a doubt, there is wisdom in bowing down to the Creator of the Universe.

Bow down! Wow, difficult concept these days, it seems. In an era where we are proud of just about everything we say, and do, and even think, we would do well to remember to kneel before the Lord, our God, our Maker.

We are the "sheep of His hand", "the people of His pasture"; we should be careful to seek the direction He has for us.  We are under His care. We would be wise to stay there; to discover the rest and comfort in worship. There, we find the opposite of what is normal - we unnaturally find strength in bowing down. In kneeling before the only One who deserves our worship, we find direction as well as true comfort and rest.

Psalm 100:3-4
Psalm 23


In the Garden   Comfort; Hymns

This old Gospel hymn was running through my head when I
  awoke this morning. It is truly one of my favorites. Soft and personable, as well as a reminder that we are not alone; it is a reminder that we serve a God we can touch.

It was written in 1912 by C. Austin Miles (1868-1946). Though once a pharmacist, Miles also was an editor and manager of a publishing company. He once stated: "It is as a writ­er of gos­pel songs I am proud to be known, for in that way I may be of the most use to my Mas­ter, whom I serve will­ing­ly al­though not as ef­fi­cient­ly
as is my de­sire."

Isn't that true for most Christians? We go about our necessary duties in life, but what we most desire is to be known for our service to the Lord - and hopefully in that desire we also serve with the right heart attitude. It should always be about Him and not about us.

This song is so beautiful in a simple sort of way. Can you imagine a voice so sweet that all the birds hear and stop singing? A voice that even the birds know they should stop to listen.

I suspect this hymn was written about Mary when she rose early to go to the garden explained in John 19: 41-42. It was the garden where the sepulcher was in which Jesus was buried. Mary’s story is told to us in John 20: 1-18 where she came to the garden alone, and upon finding the sepulcher empty ran to Peter and John to tell them Jesus was no longer there.
Upon seeing the tomb as Mary said, Peter and John returned home, leaving Mary alone crying in the garden. This is when she heard the clear voice of Jesus asking her why she was crying and whom it was she was seeking. Thinking it to be the gardener, she answered not knowing she was speaking to Jesus. Can you imagine the sweet, soft way Jesus must have then said her name? In that Voice speaking her name, she recognized the One for whom she had been looking.

There He told her He must return to the Father – to His God and her God. We can be sure He then sent her on her way. 

But also from this old hymn and in Scripture, we see and understand there is a time to get alone with our Lord. Jesus set that example for us as He entered Gethsemane in Mark 14: 32- 42 as well as many other places in Scripture: Luke 5:16;Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 6:12. We learn He prayed before service.

We should all make time to be in “the garden” alone with our Master - a time to pray and a time to listen to His voice, knowing He desires that communion with us; understanding  that it is a time that refreshes us. Most certainly, it is one of the sweetest times we encounter. But as "He bids [us] go", it is also a reminder to continue in His work until we see Him again. Hopefully we will be, like the author of this old hymn, and live with a desire to "be of the most use to my Mas­ter, whom I serve will­ing­ly al­though not as ef­fi­cient­ly as is my de­sire." 

With C. Austin Miles hymns being sung all these years and generations later, I’m sure he accomplished more for the Lord  than he ever thought he would.

I Come To The Garden Alone

 I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.


I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.


Isaiah 58:11
Mark 1:35-39



In the Light    Light; Sharing; Sin

John 3:20

"For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved."

When I was young, one of the many lessons my parents taught me is that when someone is doing something wrong - when they are sinning - they will, without a doubt, try to get you to join them in their sin. It makes them feel better about what they are doing. It allows them to not feel alone in their error.  They can even then pretend there is nothing wrong with what they are doing if  "everyone is doing it".

It is one of the most important lessons my folks ever taught me. In that knowledge of why people want you to join them in their wrong doing, a determination to not be influenced by their pressure can begin to be built in a young, developing mind. When one determines to stand against evil, evil flees.

That leads me to another important lesson my folks taught me. When one is saved and sticks to one's convictions, there is no need to worry about hurting the feelings of friends that are not saved, by removing ones self from their company - because they will most likely leave you, first. They will not be able to handle the light of God's love that now shines in you, until they are ready to come to that light for themselves.

Those that are walking in darkness do not want to be exposed to God's light, because they have within their conscience an ability to understand that what they are doing is wrong. And that can be painful. They are afraid of the light, because it makes their darkness that much more stark in contrast.

It is frightening to be alone in sin. Those living in the darkness without the benefit of understanding God's grace may put on a brave front, they may exude a cocky attitude of self assurance; as well as a disdain for those that stand for what is right; but in reality, they are fearfully floundering and are in desperate need of our prayers. 

Those of us that live in the light of God's love have a responsibility to stand stronger when tempted by those in darkness. We must shine brighter to show those who would tempt us, or mock us, that there is a much better way.

James 4:7
Matthew  5:16


Not By Works  Gospel; Eternal Life

Titus 3:5-7 King James Version (KJV)

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his
mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior;

That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to
the hope of eternal life.”

This is one of my favorite Scriptures.  I remember teaching it to my son, when he was a little tyke. We had created a simple melody out of it to help him remember the words. Imagine how thrilled I was, when as a teen-ager he came home from an outing, and told me how he was able to witness to another teen using this verse.  

The little tune we created still goes through my head, even today, when I read those words:  “…. According to his mercy he saved us…” Pretty powerful stuff! But even more than that; it was shed on us abundantly through our Savior, Jesus Christ.

I also like these verses because we see the Trinity among them. We see the God of the Universe, Who created us and is our judge. We see the Holy Spirit who washes us and renews us – continually. And we see our Savior, Who bled and died that we might live.

Because of what Jesus did, the Father forgives us and sends the Holy Spirit to wash away our sin and renew us daily with a refreshing that will get us through this life and allows us eternal life.
It is by nothing that we have done; no works need apply.  God needs nothing from us but our acceptance. He simply sheds his mercy and grace on us because he loves us. We are justified by His grace, when we decide to accept this wonderful gift of love. Our sins are washed away and we are taught how to live.

What is more? The rewards are pretty awesome. We are to be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. We will live forever with the God of all creation and with all heaven’s treasures.  Now that is something worth looking forward.

John 3: 3-7
 Peter 1:23-25


The Mind Of Christ  Sharing; Unity; Fellowship

Philippians 2:1-5
King James Version (KJV)

 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love,
if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of
one accord, of one mind.
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind
let each esteem other better than themselves.
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

These are actually easy verses to comprehend, but maybe not so easy to
fulfill. Clearly, these verses are a call to unity within the church.  That doesn’t mean we will always agree. Sometimes, we may even argue that the church has simply become too diverse and unity feels impossible.  But this was Paul speaking to the Philippians, and if there was ever diversity within the church, surely it was then. Philippi was a cosmopolitan city consisting of people from a variety of backgrounds and ethnicity; Greek and Roman; rich and poor.

Paul gives us a clear way to walk in unity within these verses, and it begins and ends with thinking of others more highly than ourselves. Humility is at the heart and love is the means to push forward.

Sometimes what we do for the Lord actually becomes all about the impression we are creating for others. We can begin to care more about how good we look, than we do about the real goal of serving others for Jesus Christ. It becomes all about selfish desire and gain; that kind of pride is very easy to spot and is extremely divisive. 

Instead, we are to be one in spirit and purpose; like-minded in our goals and duties that Jesus has for us. We should be willing to lay aside our differences, our pride in our achievements; as well as selfish desires that can only bring division. We are to love our brothers and sisters in Christ and seek their well-being even before our own.
We are given six key instructions in this text. We are to extol and perform these 6 exhortations in order to fulfill what Jesus intended, thereby obtaining unity so that we might be as effective as possible.

  1. Equal love for all

  2. Be of one accord (united in spirit)

  3. Be of one mind

  4. Do nothing through strife or vainglory

  5. Esteem others better than yourself

  6. Look on the needs of others

Very simply put, the last verse tells us how: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”  Surely this is a goal that doesn’t always seem possible to obtain, but certainly one for which we should strive. Jesus is our example and the Holy Spirit our Power for accomplishment.

Galations 5: 25-26
Romans  12:9-10
1Corinthians 2:16


Trust in the Lord  Comfort; Trust

Psalm 37:1-9
King James Version (KJV)

Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.”

This has always been one of my favorite Psalms.  I love the Psalm in its entirety, but today, let's focus on verses 1-9.

Just as a bit of history behind the Psalm, it was written in the Hebrew language as an acrostic. An acrostic is defined - From the Free Dictionary on-line - as:
A poem or series of lines in which certain letters, usually the first in each line, form a name, motto, or message when read in sequence.” 

But of course a Hebrew acrostic does not translate with our English. Still, I like the thought of God inspiring David to write this Psalm in that way. David’s Psalm is best read and appreciated as a topical study. As a result of what David went through, we can trust that he understood perfectly that which he wrote.

It is a Psalm of comfort, assuring us that the prosperity of the wicked is temporal, and that which the righteous have acquired through the sacrifice of Jesus is eternal. We have no reason to envy the wicked.

In my Bible, I at some point numbered and circled seven key points. I'm sure I circled them so that I might easily find them again, so that I might easily remember them, and so that I might be instructed and be encouraged later as I re-read the text. A nice acrostic to help me remember these would be nice! In it, we find a good formula to achieve peace in the face of adversity.

  1. Fret not thyself. ~ While a degree of "worry" can encourage us to action, excessive worry does no good and can even be debilitating.

  2. Neither be envious of workers of iniquity. ~ The riches of such are short-lived.

  3. Trust in the Lord. ~ He has our best interest in mind.

  4. Do good. ~ Only blessings can come from doing good. Scripture adds: "so shall we dwell in the land and be fed."

  5. Delight thyself in the Lord.  ~ We must seek to know Him better in     order to achieve this.

  6. Commit thy way. ~ We should commit all that we do, and all that we have unto Him. We should always have His will in mind.

  7. Rest in the Lord. ~ Wait patiently  for Him.

Certainly there is comfort in resting in the Lord - to trust and wait patiently. But there is also a certain amount of “humility” that comes in waiting patiently. It reveals a lack of focus on self, which allows us, instead, to focus on Him, as we wait.  Finally and most pointedly verse 9 tells us:  "They that wait upon the Lord shall inherit the earth." 

"We must do our duty, and then leave the event with God. The promise
is very sweet:  He shall bring that to pass, whatever it is, which thou has
committed to him."  ~ Matthew Henry

Matthew 5:5
John 14:27



In Everything 


1 Thessalonians 5:18 
King James Version  (KJV)

In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

In this eleventh month as the calendar year draws to a close, we look forward to one of our major holidays, Thanksgiving Day. This is an easy time to appreciate and think about all the things for which we are thankful. That our nation has designated a specific day to honor and give thanks is a wonderful thing. Some like to make lists, writing down their many blessings which can be helpful in causing one to reflect. 

But Scripture tells us we are to be thankful at all times and we are even to be thankful in all things. Now this verse is not about being thankful for everything that happens to us or around us.  The world is full of evil and we are not required to be thankful for evil things. Instead, we are to be thankful "in" all things. It is an attitude of heart wherein lies a distinct difference. 

Our Father, rather than expecting us to be thankful for the evil around us, asks that we look for the good He can bring out of our situation. We trust God with thanksgiving in every circumstance to align us with His will. We praise Him in the difficult as well as the good. The verse prior to this one gives us some insight as to how we are able to achieve a thankful heart:  “Pray without ceasing.”

So this Thanksgiving season let us be thankful!  But even more than that, let us be thankful year round.

We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.” ~ Harry Ironside

Roman 8:28
Colossians 4: 2


Let Us Come  Worship; Thanksgiving

 Psalm 95:1-2

O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms." ~

Let us come before His presence....
~Psalms 145:18
~Hebrews 10:19-23


Batter up!!!  


Colossians 3:15-17 King James Version (KJV)

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

I like these verses because each one is dependent upon, or ends with being thankful. 

To let God’s peace rule in our hearts is to submit to His authority- much as a baseball player must submit to the ruling of an umpire. In fact, the Greek word used here is a sports related or athletic term. God's peace must rule our lives.

How can we not let the peace of God rule in our hearts when we are first thankful? Thankfulness is conceived in humility which breeds dependence on our Father and is fulfilled in love. Thankfulness keeps us in the game.

Certainly, we cannot worship without thanksgiving. And even when we don’t feel like it, to simply worship out of obedience, will bring us to that place of thanksgiving where we all need to be. If we can keep the Word of God firmly in our hearts, it will connect with our deeds and actions, as well as our worship. Sort of like a well-connected ball with the bat as it soars across the plate.

We represent Jesus as we bare the name Christian. Others are watching in the grandstands as we go about our daily lives. God’s Word keeps us mindful of that. Thankfulness is an important trait for others to see in us. Thanksgiving rooted in humility and fulfilled in love brings honor to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. That brings us a "home-run" for our lives.

As we continue into this Thanksgiving season, let us remain first and foremost thankful for the things that He has done. It is worship at its

~Proverbs 6:20-23
~Psalm 119:11



In Our Giving                                                                      Gifts; Sharing

Mark 12:41-44
King James Version (KJV)

And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.

And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.

And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:

For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

As we enter into this season of giving, we can sometimes become over-stressed about finding just the right gift for those we love. We want it to be perfect as we search and search for just the right item. We become so uptight about it that we quite possibly lose the whole focus in our giving. Maybe there are times that we don’t care enough; just any old thing will do to fulfill an obligation. We give only because someone is giving to us.

Other times there are those that can even become prideful about the expense of their gift and it becomes all about how much one is able to spend and how good they look. The real meaning in giving is obviously lost.

When it comes to end of year giving, perhaps we are only giving for the tax write-off before the season ends and have no regard for the recipient at all.

But this passage assures us that God cares deeply about our giving. God looks on the heart; our intents and our purposes. Whether it is about what we are able to give to Him and His work, or even what we are able to give to others, God wants us to do it with the right heart attitude. If something is given with the wrong heart attitude, it is of no value at all.

In this case the poor widow gave more than all others because she gave all that she had to give – at the time a “mite” was worth about an eighth of a penny. The others cast in their excess, but the widow cast in her livelihood. God does not measure by human standards, but by standards that are all His own. It is a standard of sacrificial giving which we should seek to emulate in cheerfulness and love.

Refresh yourself this Christmas season, by remembering the widow, who gave all she had. But more importantly, let’s remember Jesus told us in her poverty, she gave more than all.

2 Corinthians 9:6-8
1 Samuel 16:7


Joy to the World                                                                                                                       Joy; LoveChristmas; Hymns

Joy to the world! The Lord is come
Let earth receive her  King!
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing
And  heaven and nature sing
And heaven, and heaven and nature sing

 Joy to the world! the Savior reigns
Let men their songs employ
While fields and floods Rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the  sounding joy
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat, repeat the sound in joy

 No more let sin and sorrow grow
Nor thorns infest the ground
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is  found
Far as the curse is found
Far as, far as the curse is found

 He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of his love
And wonders of his love
And wonders and wonders of His love


Prophecy of the Suffering Servant                                


Isaiah 53:1-12 King James Version (KJV)

53 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?

2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

 9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

 10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lordshall prosper in his hand.

11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

This chapter of Isaiah is so beautiful and yet so heart-wrenching. It is impossible to miss that these verses are speaking of the Messiah, the Son of God - Jesus, Who came as a Baby, suffered and died and rose again as our Savior and King.  To miss that fact, is to miss the Gospel.  It was prophesied  by Isaiah years prior and  we see it fulfilled  completely in the New Testament - ultimately beginning with the birth of Jesus.

Christians festively celebrate this Gift this time of year. But that is only the outward, physical celebration of all that lives eternally in our hearts - these verses, with full impact, tell us why...

"He was wounded for our His stripes we are healed."

Psalm 22: 14-19
Luke 24: 25-26


Matthew 23: 37 – 39 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.


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