Sunday, April 30, 2017


Josh. 9:14  …..So the Israelite leaders examined their bread, but they did not consult the LORD.

      A group of Gideonites had come to the leaders of Israel and had pretended to be from a land far away when they in fact lived close by.  The Israelites were in the process of conquering the land God had promised them and the Gideonites tricked them into making a peace treaty so that they would not be overcome by them.  As it turned out because the Israelite leaders failed to first seek God’s council, they were unable to completely conquer the land the Lord had promised to them and commanded them to take.

      We are faced with decisions to make.  Seek the Lord first and you can be assured that you will have a much better chance of making right decisions.  Ask the Lord for wisdom and the perceptions you need before you decide what you are going to do.  Don’t be a fool and think that you are smarter than God.  Bad decisions can be avoided if we stop, pray, and listen to God before we plunge ahead.

       We can’t see beyond the moment.  We don’t know what might happen as a result of the decisions we make.  We don’t know how our decisions might affect ourselves and others.  We need to trust the eyes that can see all things of the past, present and future.  Seek the wisdom of God and He will give it to you.  And when you sense peace in the decisions you make, trust the Lord with them.  We don’t always understand why certain decisions must be made, but God does and that is good enough.   He works out for good all things that are entrusted to Him.

Saturday, April 29, 2017


Josh. 7:10-11 But the LORD said to Joshua, “Get up! Why are you lying on your face like this? Israel has sinned and broken my covenant. They have stolen the things that I commanded to be set apart for me. And they have not only stolen them; they have also lied about it and hidden the things among their belonging.”

      You can’t hide anything from God. You may think you have gotten away with things in your life, but the Lord knows what you have done. You may bury things out of the sight of others, but the Lord sees it all and will not ignore it. He still holds you accountable for your sins, unless they have been turned over to Christ and you have been forgiven. All of us have done shameful things we wish we had not done, things we have buried and perhaps even forgotten about. All of us are in need of Christ’s forgiveness and cleansing. Without it, every sin will be brought into the light and exposed before God.

     You may even be doing things today in your life that are breaking the covenant you have made with God. When we confess our sins and proclaim in our hearts our allegiance with Christ, we are entering into a covenant relationship with God. We are declaring before Him that we are not going to continue to live a life of sin. We are vowing to go and sin no more. Don’t think for a moment that you can continue to sin and it doesn’t matter because you are under grace and not the Law. It matters a great deal because God sees what you are doing and will hold you responsible for your actions. Sin affects our relationship with God. It drives us farther and farther away from God.  It also affects our relationships with others since when we drift from God we no longer have the ability to treat others with the kind of love and respect that God enables us to do.  When we are miserable, we make those around us miserable too.

        Hidden sin can also cause us health problems.  We are very complex and all of the parts of our bodies work together to keep us healthy and whole.  When we allow sin to fester and grow in our hearts, our emotions and minds are directly affected.  How we think and feel about ourselves affect our ability to function in life.  When we are not at our best, the rest of the body suffers and soon is damaged.

      Do you have sin in your heart that you are trying to hide? Don’t wait another moment, confess it to Jesus and let him take it away from you once and for all. You will be glad you did.

Friday, April 28, 2017


Josh. 7:4  So approximately three thousand warriors were sent, but they were soundly defeated. The men of Ai chased the Israelites from the city gates as far as the quarries and they killed about thirty-six who were retreating down the slope. The Israelites were paralyzed with fear at this turn of events and their courage melted away.

       God was merciful to Israel. If all the soldiers had gone to Ai and fought the battle, they would have all died. Ai was the second city on the agenda of the Israelites to conquer the Promised Land. God had given the Israelites specific instructions on what they were to do and not do at Jericho. Achan disobeyed God and took some plunder that was forbidden for his own. Because of his sin, God did not help the Israelites when they fought the city of Ai. Instead, He caused the Israelites to suffer defeat. They had no chance at all for victory. But, they were so confident of themselves after the victory at Jericho that they sent only a small army to fight against Ai. No matter how big of an army had gone into battle that day, they would have been defeated.

      There is a very important lesson for us to learn from Israel’s defeat at Ai. Whenever we try to contend with Satan on our own and with sin in our hearts, we will lose. There is no victory over sin when sin is in our hearts. Sin breeds sin. We cannot expect God to come to our aide when we aren’t willing to obey Him and keep from sinning. The Lord helps those who help themselves by obeying Him.

     We are overcomers only when we take sin seriously. When we intentionally sin against God, His protective cover over us is withdrawn and we become vulnerable to even more sin. It is imperative that we not allow sin to linger in our hearts. When we sin, and we all do, we must flee to Christ and seek His forgiveness. We will only aggravate our problem if we deny our sin, hide it, or pretend it doesn’t exist.

      Victory only comes to those whose hearts are right with God and obey Him in all things. Take sin seriously, because God does.

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Josh. 1:9   “I command you---be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

      How strong and courageous are you? Do you face life boldly and with confidence, or are you afraid and discouraged? Isn’t it interesting that God commanded the Israelites to be strong and courageous as they prepared to go into battle? He expected them to not be a bunch of wimps, but to be mighty warriors. He expected them to not be hesitant as they faced their enemies. He expected them to fight with purpose and zeal.

     We ought to be strong and courageous as we live out our lives for the Lord. We ought to live like we were soldiers in war instead of spoiled citizens living in comfort. A soldier is always on alert, ready to face his enemy in a life or death struggle. He is aware of the dangers of battle and refuses to give in to his fears. He is well-trained and prepared to face whatever he may face.

      Most of us live like we are spoiled citizens of the Kingdom. We like our comforts. We don’t want to live like we were soldiers. We try to ignore the fact that we are at war with Satan. We would rather cozy up to the darkness that surrounds us than be lights that shine in it. We would rather run, hide, or cave in when confronted by Satan than stand up and fight.

      The Lord wants you to be strong and courageous today. He wants you to not cower in fear or let Satan discourage you. The Lord wants you to live like you know He is with you each step of the way. He wants you to have some guts and resist Satan. The Lord has already won the war you are in! The little skirmishes we face are but a futile attempt by Satan to keep us from claiming the victory that is ours in Christ. Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. Let us act like it today.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Josh. 1:8  Study this Book of the Law continually.  Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it.  Only then will you succeed.

     For the most part, we are not very familiar with our Bibles.  We have a hard time finding passages that we are encouraged to look up.  We have a hard time understanding a lot of the basic truths of the Bible.  We often are clueless as to what some of the basic concepts of the Bible mean, let alone how to apply them to our lives.  We try to live like we think God wants us to live, but are clueless as to a lot of the things we are to do. 

     We do not spend much time in God’s Word.  We are prone to grab a quick couple of verses a day, say a brief prayer, and jump into our day thinking that we have done well.  We spend very little time studying or meditating.  We convince ourselves that we don’t have the time.  We pay our pastors to do that for us.  We don’t live godly lives because we don’t invest our lives in pursuing knowledge and understanding of God’s Word like we should and need to.

     Notice that we are to study the Word continuously.  Meditating on what God has to say is not just a Sunday thing.  We need to open our Bibles for us every day and seek guidance from it.    

      God does not withhold from us guidance on how to live.  He gives us both the time and opportunity we need.  We just need to get our priorities straight and do it.

      We fail to grow into maturity of faith because we have such a warped perception of our need for greater faith.  We are content with little when we need so much more.  It should concern us when we are not wanting more time with the Lord and in His Word.  The more time we spend in the Word and digesting it, the healthier our souls will be.

      There is no better time to turn things around than right now.  Make a commitment to become a student of God’s Word.  You will be glad you did.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Deut. 30:19 Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live!

God does not force his way into any heart. He lovingly makes himself known to us and then lets us choice whether or not we want him in our lives. We are in control of the choices we make, but with control comes responsibility and accountability. The choices we make about our relationship with God is a matter of life and death. We choose to let God control us and influence the choices we make and enjoy the good life he has promised. We can choose to let Him have partial control and only partially enjoy the life he offers us. Or, we can choose to not let Him have any control over our lives and suffer the consequences of spiritual death. Each of us chooses which option we live with.

The only option that makes life worth living is to choose to let God have control of our living. The second option is a slow death, and the third option is a living death. We have no one to blame but ourselves when we are denied God’s blessings and are plagued with life’s curses. The Lord promises to be with us and help us when we live in him, but without him we are on our own. Jesus is our protector from the curse of sin. He gives us the power and desire to overcome sin. He gives us calmness and strength in the storms of life. He enables us to withstand the attacks of Satan on our souls.

Oh, but that we would choose life and not death, blessings and not curses! Today you have a choice to make. You must choose whether or not you are going to let Jesus be your Savior and Lord, or whether you are going to try to wing it on your own.

Monday, April 24, 2017


Deut. 30:15-16  “Now listen!  I am giving you a choice between prosperity and disaster, between life and death.  I have commanded you today to love the LORD your God and to keep his commands, laws, and regulations by walking in his ways.”

Bottom line is that we choose the quality of life we live.  We choose whether or not we allow the Lord to influence the way we live.  If you are a Christian and you are not enjoying your life, I would suspect it has a lot to do with how much you allow the Lord to have a part of your living.

We need to daily worship the Lord.  We need to daily seek His guidance and favor.  We need to daily seize opportunities to serve and be a witness for Him.  We need to daily meditate on God’s greatness and goodness.  We need to tell Him often from the depths of our hearts that we love and adore Him.  In other words, you and I must make a conscious investment of our time and energy in developing an intimate relationship with our Lord.  If we choose to do it, the Lord will bless us with His presence and give us all we need to cope with life victoriously.  We have no one to blame but ourselves if we settle for anything less in our lives.

You must make a choice.  God does not make anyone love and serve Him.  You will either choose to live in an intimate relationship with Christ and live life to the fullest, or you will choose to live life without Him and live a slow and miserable death.  If you choose to not live in Christ, you are playing Russian roulette with your soul.  You may not have another chance to choose Christ.  By not choosing Christ you are choosing death over life. 

A true child of God loves Him, obeys Him and walks with Him in all his ways.

Sunday, April 23, 2017


Deut. 29:29 There are secret things that belong to the LORD our God, but the revealed things belong to us and our descendants forever, so that we may obey these words of the law.

There is something very important in today’s verse for us to know: God never tells it all. There are things about God, life, and the future that we will never know. No matter how hard you may try or how well connected to the Lord you may be, there is a mystery about God we will never unravel this side of heaven.

It is good for us to give frequent thought to the mystery of God. We need to consider how incomprehensible the mind of God is and how powerful He is. The Bible tells us that God conceived in His mind all that exists and He put everything in its place by the mere utterance of His word. He not only put it all together, He holds it all together. Everything He has created has its place and purpose in creation, no matter how small or large it is. We don’t see it all, and never will. No matter how hard we try, there is always more to discover and see. We may not understand why some things exist, but God created them for his purposes and they are necessary.

There are secret things about the future that only God knows. We have no ability at all to see into the future and declare what is going to happen and when. The Lord has told us some things that are going to happen, but when and how it’s all going to come together, we have no clue.

There are secret things about who God is that we will never know in the flesh. We know that He is perfect in every way, but we are not able to understand that perfection due to our sinful nature. When we get to heaven and see the Lord face-to-face, we will bow before Him in awe and worship Him in ways we can’t even imagine of doing now, because then we will understand just how worthy He truly is to be worshipped. When we see Him, we won’t want to know what we don’t know now about Him because just to be with Him will be enough for us.

It is okay to not know all things. It is a good thing we don’t the secret things of God. If we knew the things we don’t know, we would lose our desire to know Him better. We also would not be able to handle what we don’t know. Let us marvel in what God has chosen to let us know, and let us marvel in that which we don’t know. Let the mystery of God inspire us on to even greater faith and worship.

Saturday, April 22, 2017


Deut. 17:18-20a When he sits on the throne as king, he must copy these laws on a scroll for himself in the presence of the Levitical priests. He must always keep this copy of the law with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the LORD his God by obeying all the terms of this law. This regular reading will prevent him from becoming proud and acting as if he is above his fellow citizens.

God gave Moses clear instructions on how any future king who may rule over Israel should act. It was required of a king to be a student of God’s Word. They were to know it and live by it. They were to know how to fear God. God’s Word would keep them from ruling from their sinful nature. It would keep them humble before God and help them to rule justly.

History shows us that the kings of Israel failed miserably in this regard. Most of those who would later rule over Israel and Judah were controlled by their sinfulness. It got so bad that the Word of God was lost somewhere in the Temple and no longer influenced the kings at all. King after king did what was evil in his own eyes and the judgment of God followed. Occasionally a king rose up who followed God, but they were the exceptions and not the rule.

We must take very careful measures to protect God’s Word in us. If we are not consistently in the Word and seeking to live by its standards, we too will fall into our sinfulness. It doesn’t take long for us to sin when we neglect God’s Word. We must commit ourselves to the study and application of what God has given to us to govern our lives. We have no one to blame but ourselves when we fail to do so and then fall into sin.

We cannot pick and choose what we want to live out either. We must take all of the Scriptures to heart and let them govern our lives. The Spirit of God teaches us how to apply the Word through grace. Our obedience is an act of love and not duty.

Do you love the Lord enough to submit to the authority of His Word over you? Our failure to obey Him is the true indicator of our love for Him. If we love Him, we will respect Him enough to obey Him.

Friday, April 21, 2017


Deut. 11:16, 17a  But do not let your heart turn away from the LORD to worship other gods.  If you do, the LORD’s anger will burn against you.

I believe this is a universal command from God for all His people.  The Lord is a jealous God and He will not share His glory with anything or anyone else.  The Lord commands us to put Him in His rightful place at the very core of our lives.  He is not just the Savior of man, He is our Lord.  He commands all of our love first and foremost.  If we don’t love Him first with all of our capability to love, we will never know how to love others.  You cannot put anything before the Lord in your life and make it work.

An idol is anything that commands more of our attention or affection than God does.  What idols do you have in your life that must go?  Only you can keep your heart from turning away from the Lord.   We make choices every day about our relationship with God.  We choose how much time we spend with Him in worship.  We choose how much we allow Him to affect our living.  We choose how much we allow our interests in life to crowd Him out.  We choose how much time we spend serving Him.  We choose how much influence we allow sin to have on us.

Do not let your heart turn away from God.  Deliberately seek Him and love Him.  Do not let anything crowd Him out of your heart and mind.  Do not give God just cause to burn with anger against you.  We must choose daily what role we will allow God to have in our hearts.  Our actions and conversations reflect the choice we make.

Thursday, April 20, 2017


Deut. 10:12-13  “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you?  He requires you to fear him, to live according to his will, to love and worship him with all your heart and soul, and to obey the LORD’s commands and laws that I am giving you today for your own good.’

What does the Lord require of us?  Simple.  We are to take seriously God and our relationship with Him.  I fear most who profess faith in Him don’t.  Let’s be honest with ourselves.  If we took God seriously, we would take seriously His command to live holy lives before Him.  We would be serious about how we portray Him to the world.  We would genuinely care for one another and strive to help each other instead of, as is so often the case, being a hindrance to one another.  We would be serious about going into the world with the Gospel message that others may be saved.  We would read our Bibles and pray more.  We would attend church services more.  There are a lot of things we would do differently if we were to really take God seriously in our lives.

How much of your heart is really into God?  Are you seriously wanting to know His will for you so with the intent of doing it?  Is your heart in it when you tell Him you love Him?  Is your heart into it when you worship Him, whether privately or in church gatherings?  We say we love Him and that we live for Him, but I wonder just how much that really is the case.

It is for our good that we take God seriously.  We can never enjoy the blessings of heaven until we do.  God gives those who sincerely seek Him and live for Him a peace of heart that can be found nowhere else.  He instills within them a love that is unlike any other form of love known to man.  He gives purpose and meaning to life.  He gives His children a confident and enduring hope that holds the soul steady in the storms of life.  He keeps those who love Him from falling into the clutches of Satan who is out to destroy them.

Do you really take God seriously?  If you do, He will never stop changing you and conforming you into His likeness.  He will never leave you alone and will always lead you into a holier life.  He will be the passion of your heart.  He will affect everything you do and say.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Deut. 9:17-18  “…..So I raised the stone tablets and dashed them to the ground.  I smashed them before your very eyes.  Then for forty days and nights I lay prostrate before the LORD neither eating bread nor drinking water.  I did this because you had sinned by doing what the LORD hated, thus making him very angry.”

I am struck by the concern Moses had for his people.  He knew they had sinned against God and that they were going to pay the price for it.  He knew that you do not mess with God and get away with it.  He was heavily burdened for their lives.

Moses felt so strongly about the sin of the Israelites that he destroyed the stone tablets that contained the Word of God.  Wow!  He was so distraught that all he could do at the moment was to react violently to show his anger.  He could not let them get away with it! 

Why is it that we don’t seem to care too much when one another sins against God?  We don’t seem to get too bothered about what might happen as a result of it.  We don’t seem to think sinning against God is that big of a deal anymore.  But, isn’t it?  Is it okay to tolerate sin, whether it’s our own or others?  Should we not get angry over sin too?

Has God changed?  Moses knew that sin made God angry.  He had heard about it and seen it happen.  God hates sin and will not let it go unpunished.  God is as passionate against sin today as He has always been.  It often drove Moses to his knees.  He prayed for his own sins and the sins of others.  He has set a good example for us to follow.  Sin does matter to God and it had better matter to us as well.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Deut. 8:17-18  He did it so you would never think it was your own strength and energy that made you wealthy.  Always remember that it is the LORD your God who gives you power to become rich, and he does it to fulfill the covenant made with your ancestors.

We must never forget that we are recipients of God’s blessings and never the ones who create them.  Regardless of how much you are blessed with earthly things, you are indebted to God for them.  And, you are responsible for what you do with what you have been given.  Blessings are given for not only our enjoyment, but also that we might bless others.

Think for a few moments on just how much you have been blessed.  Consider those who live out their lives with none of the blessings you have.  No matter how little you may think you have, you are wealthier than most of the people in the world if you have daily food, clothing and shelter.

You are blessed if you are connected with people who love you and support you.  Do not take for granted those who embrace and believe in you regardless of the circumstances of life.  You are blessed if you are connected to a church fellowship that preaches and teaches the truth of God’s Word.  You are blessed if you have the Word of God at your disposal to read and meditate on so that you may live it.  You are blessed if you live where you have the freedom to gather for worship without the fear of your life.

We are so blessed and it ought to cause us to bow on bended knees and give our Lord thanks for the many wonderful blessings we are blessed with.  Praise God from whom all our blessings flow!  Praise God for He has made us who we are and made it possible for us to do what we do.  Praise God, for He loves us and showers us with blessings we don’t deserve but enjoy so richly.  Praise the Lord, for He alone is worthy to be praised!

Monday, April 17, 2017


Deut. 8:5 So you should realize that just as a parent disciplines a child, the LORD your God disciplines you to help you.

Discipline is a necessary part of the learning curve. It promotes retention of those things we need to know. It is a deterrent to wrong beliefs and behavior. It teaches us submission to the authorities that rule over us. It keeps us humble so we don’t become a god unto ourselves. Discipline helps to develop character.

Without discipline there is no restraint on evil. We are prone by nature to indulge our sinful nature and without discipline we will not resist the desires to do evil. We will develop cold and hardened hearts. We will live for self and self alone.

To be disciplined is to be loved. Even as a parent who loves his child will discipline him to help him in life, so God disciplines us. God punishes sin to keep us from sinning. He holds us accountable for sin so that we don’t harm ourselves by sinning. All sin is punishable by separation from God and God loves us too much to let us wander away from Him. He cannot, and will not, allow sin in His presence. He lovingly deals with us, sometimes harshly, in order to get us back on track. He does whatever He can to lead us back to the protective blood of Jesus. As long as we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ we are okay and God disciplines us so we will not wander away from Him.

Sunday, April 16, 2017


John 20:3-8  Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see.  The other disciple outran Peter and got there first.  He stooped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in.  Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside.  He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying to the side.

      It has always intrigued me when I think about the linen cloths Jesus left behind in the tomb.  I believe that they were left there as a witness for His disciples.  Notice that the cloth that covered Jesus’ head was lying there folded up.  Whether Jesus folded it up or the angels doesn’t really matter.  The message was very clear, Jesus rose from the grave and in essence His bed was made when He got up.  Even though the Scriptures do not say anything about it, there must have been as well scattered on the floor the 75 pounds of burial spices they put His body in when they wrapped Him in his burial cloths.  However, it would not surprise me if it had been swept up in a neat little pile as well.

       God had planned the death and resurrection of Jesus before the foundation of the world was laid.  Everything had gone exactly as He had planned.  Jesus knew that His death on the cross was temporary, that He would rise from the grave three days later.  He absolutely had to die, but He also absolutely had to rise from the grave.  Without the resurrection His death would be meaningless.  

       Peter and John were the first disciples to see evidence of Jesus’ resurrection; they saw and knew that it had happened!  Jesus appeared to the rest of the disciples numerous times so that they too would have no doubt about it.  Paul tells us that there were over 500 people who bore witness of His resurrection before He went back to heaven to stay. 

        Yes indeed, Jesus is alive!!  He opened up the door to heaven for all who would believe.  Salvation has come to man!!  Jesus did exactly what He said He would do and today He lives in the heart of all who believe.  Hallelujah!  What a Savior!

Saturday, April 15, 2017


Is. 53:6  All of us have strayed away like sheep.  We have left God’s paths to follow our own.  Yet the LORD laid on him the guilt and sins of us all.

      How many have strayed away from God?  All of us.  Lest we think we are better than anyone else, we need to let this truth sink in.  All of us are guilty of wandering away from God.  We may not even know we have done, but we have.  Some have wandered away from God and don’t even care.  Some wander away quickly and some do so gradually that they don’t even realize they have. 

      We wander away from God to do our own thing.  We want to have things our way, to set the course for our lives.  We want to be in control.  We want to enjoy the pleasures of sin instead of denying ourselves of them.  We want to pretend that sin doesn’t affect us instead of facing the guilt and shame it brings.  We want to put off until tomorrow what we need to do for our souls so we can dabble in the world today.

       God knows our natural inclination to wander away from Him.  He knows the draw of sin for us.  He knows that we are guilty and deserve to pay the ultimate price for our sins.  Yet, God in His indescribable and infinite love laid on Christ all of our sins, guilt and shame.  We don’t deserve God’s love, mercy and grace!  We don’t deserve to be treated so compassionately and graciously.  But, God does.  He loves us so much that He willingly paid the price for our salvation.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Friday, April 14, 2017


Is. 53:5  But he was wounded and crushed for our sins.  He was beaten that we might have peace.  He was whipped, and we were healed!

       Jesus was wounded and crushed for our sins, your sins and mine.  He loves us so much that He did for us what we, nor anyone else could ever do; He satisfied God’s wrath for our sins.   He fulfilled the demands of God’s law that life had to be given to atone for sin.  His blood alone was satisfactory to God to wash away our sins since He never sinned in thought or deed. 

       Jesus was beaten so that we might have peace.  Jesus suffered in two ways on the cross.  He suffered the excruciating pain of being beaten to a pulp with whips, had a crown of thorns jammed down on His head, and was nailed to a cross.  His body was so broken and racked with pain that we can only feebly imagine what it must have been like.  He knew first hand just how cruel man can be in meting out physical pain.

      As unimaginable as the physical pain that Jesus endured was, I believe He suffered far more spiritually.  He took upon himself our sins, and not just our sins, but the sins of all humanity for all time.  He took all our guilt and shame upon himself.  He took upon himself the full wrath of God against us for our sins.  There was a darkness that overshadowed the Lord, a darkness so great that darkness filled the earth for three hours in the middle of the day.  Time stood still as God hid His Son from gazing eyes.  Jesus paid the price for our salvation all alone, no one could help Him, not even the angels.  The agony of bearing our sins was so great that God himself could not look at Him or help Him.  

        Jesus did what only He could do.  He suffered, bled, and died for our sins.  He opened up the gateway to the throne of God and made it possible for us to be healed.  He heals the brokenhearted, the shattered life, and the worst of sinners.  Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Thursday, April 13, 2017


Is. 53:4  Yet, it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down.  And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins!

        Jesus did not carry His own weaknesses to the cross, because He had none.  He was God incarnate, God in the flesh.  He was in firm control of every facet of His being: mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  He spent countless hours alone with God in fellowship and as a result was in perfect harmony with God’s will in everything He said and did.  He was not fazed by man’s threats.  He knew exactly what He came to do and when He was going to do it.  He was strong in character and always in control.

        It was our weaknesses that Jesus carried to the cross.  We are prone to wander away from God, prone to not obey Him, prone not to pray as we should, prone to make excuses when we falter and fail.  On our own, we simply are not well or strong enough to stay in fellowship with God.  We must have the help that only Christ can give.

        It was our sorrows that Jesus took with to the Christ.  Jesus was not plagued with sorrow because He lived a perfectly righteous life.  He faced all the temptations we face in life and never sinned.  He never had to regret the things He said or did, but we do.  We sin against God.  We often have to confess our sins before God.  We are often sorry we have sinned and messed up our lives.  We often have to live with the consequences of sin.  Jesus made it possible for our sins to be forgiven and our burdens to be made light.  He conquered sin’s hold over us and gives us victory and the freedom to not sin.

        No, Jesus did not die on the cross because He deserved it.  He did not die because He had failed God and sinned against Him.  He died because of our sins.  He died so we can be forgiven by God and have eternal life.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Is. 53:3  He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief.  We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by.  He was despised, and we did not care.

Written around 700 years before Christ came to earth, this passage about Christ’s death was right on.  Everything Isaiah said about how and why Jesus died is exactly what happened.  Less we be critical of those who crucified our Lord, let us look at ourselves.

He was despised and rejected.  We may never publicly despise or reject Christ, but in reality do we do it by the way we live life?  Think about it.  How much of a difference do we really let Jesus make in us?   We are usually okay with the minor stuff, but what about making drastic changes in our lives?  Do we let Him have His way with us by letting Him change the way we think about things?  Do we let Him change our feelings about others?  Do we let Him change what we believe to be true and admit that we were wrong in our understandings?  Do we always choose to do things His way, or do we reject it?

What about turning our backs on Him?  Be honest, now.  Are you always comfortable with letting others know that you are a child of God?  How many people that you rub shoulders with daily know that you are a believer in Christ?  Do people at work know?  Do the people you do business with know?  Do your friends and neighbors know?  Do you shy away from opportunities to make your faith known to others?  Do you fear what others may think or do more than you do letting your faith shine?

Do you really care?  Do you care that most people don’t want to deal with Christ?  Does it bother you that most people do not want to hear about it?  Do you care that so many negative things are being said about Him?  Do care that so many show disrespect for Him in how they talk?  What about those who claim to be His and yet live like they don’t, do you care?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Deut. 8:3 Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people need more than bread for their life; real life comes by feeding on every word of the LORD.

With what are you feeding your soul? Do you feast on what the Lord has provided for you to feast on, or are you sampling all other kinds of food? Are you satisfied with the Lord’s provision, or are you always in search of something different? The Lord knows you better than you know yourself. He knows where you are at in your spiritual journey and where you should be. He knows how to best get you to where you need to be. The Lord provides the food we need in the quantity we need it at the time we need it. Don’t take it for granted. Savor the food the Lord gives you and be thankful for it.

Our needs change as we grow in faith and the Lord adjusts our diet accordingly. He gives us food that will keep us healthy and growing. The more we grow, the more we understand His grace and greatness. Don’t neglect your spiritual food! Don’t be satisfied with little when the Lord wants to fill your plate with much. Don’t feast on appetizers when the main course is on your table. The Lord wants to feed you so you will remain healthy enough to grow.

The food the Lord provides is His Word. He wants you into His Word. He doesn’t want you to depend on others for their opinions of what it says, He wants you to study it and meditate on it for yourself. He wants you to pray over it and seek understanding. He wants to teach you how to live it out so that you might become the person of God He created you to be in Christ Jesus. Listening to others is important, but if you are not searching out the Scriptures for yourself for understanding, you are depriving yourself of what you need to know. The Lord wants you to know how to think through the Word for yourself because we learn best what we study on our own.

We may not always know or understand what we are feeding on. When that happens, ask the Lord to open your eyes of understanding and He will do it. He gives us His Spirit to help us understand and apply His Word to our lives. All we have to do is humbly ask Him, and He will do it. Be honest when you are confused. No one perfectly understands all of what God says. And, not everyone will see the application of the Word in the same way to their lives. Let the Spirit guide you. He knows your needs and will address them if you let Him. Feast on the manna God has provided for you.

Monday, April 10, 2017


Deut. 8:2 Remember how the LORD your God led you through the wilderness for forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would really obey his commands.

The Lord often leads us through the wilderness of life in order to test us and expose our true character. It is how we handle ourselves in adversity that reveals who we really are. Only those who will obey the Lord consistently through life’s difficulties will truly know who He is. It’s easy to trust the Lord when things are going well. However, when things are going bad for us, it’s far more difficult to trust in God’s goodness and provision.

It is important that we establish a rock solid trust in the Lord in the smooth times of life so that we won’t be thrown off balance in the rough times. We need to seize every opportunity we have to grow in faith while we can, because when tough times come we often don’t have the desire to pursue God.  Anyone can follow the Lord when things are going well; it’s the tough times that separate those who really trust the Lord from those who don’t.  If we are disciplined in our pursuit of God in the good times, we will carry on our discipline in the rough times.

Character is developed by committing ourselves to pursing a growing relationship with God. We must not allow ourselves to be satisfied with where we are at in Him. We will never stand the testing of our faith if we are not totally committed to the Lord. He who knows the Lord well in the light will not doubt him in the dark.

Tough times do come in life. Don’t let them throw you for a loop. Jesus is the same loving Lord in the dark as He is in the light. Develop a trust that will anchor your soul in Him regardless of life’s circumstances. Obey Him always and your soul will surely be blessed.

Sunday, April 9, 2017


Deut. 6:20-21a  In the future your children will ask you, “What is the meaning of these stipulations, laws, and regulations that the LORD our God has given us?”  Then you must tell them……”

Tell them.  It is the responsibility of adults to tell children about the Lord and His ways.  The reason why so many people reject the Lord and choose the ways of the world is because no one told them about the Truth.  When parents fail in the home to teach and live out the Gospel, they are depriving their children of the opportunity to embrace the Truth for themselves. 

When we take away from teachers in the public school systems the opportunity to bring the Truth into the classroom, we are depriving children of the opportunity to learn how the Truth impacts our world.  When we allow people to teach our children lies instead of the truth about life and our history as humans, we are depriving them of the opportunity to know the Truth.  When churches entertain children more than they do teach them the Truth, they are depriving them of the opportunity to build a solid foundation for their lives grounded in the truth.

Children have inquisitive minds.  It is our responsibility to fill them with the Truth.  We will be held accountable for the job we do at home, in the schools, and in the church.  Our job of teaching never stops.  No matter how old a child may get, the need to be exposed to the truth never stops.  Spiritual ignorance happens when Truth is withheld. 

Tell them.  Tell your children, grandchildren, and anyone else you can that God loves them, desires to have a relationship with them, and has a much better life for them to live than a life of sin.  Show them.  Show them that what you say is true by the way you live before them.

Saturday, April 8, 2017


Deut. 6:11b-12   …When you have eaten your fill in the land, be careful not to forget the LORD who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt.

Pride in wealth can drive you away from God. When we rest in what we have rather than Who we have, we do so at the peril of our souls. We all desire the comforts of life, but the comforts of life often make us lazy towards God. We get the idea that we don’t really need God if we are blessed with enough of life’s resources to live a “good life.”

It is far better to have nothing of what this world offers and have a good relationship with God. Nothing you obtain in this life can save your soul. Don’t forget, you have to live with you for all of eternity. You have to live with the consequences of the choices you make for yourself in this life. You can choose to enjoy the things of earth now, or enjoy the things of God eternally.

It is possible to be rich on earth and still be rich in Christ, but it is hard to do. The lure of wealth and all it can do for you easily robs you of the need you have to trust and rest in God alone. We like comfort and ease too much and must always work hard at diligently seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

If the Lord has blessed you with much, use what He has given you for His glory. Be a wise steward and invest your wealth in those things that really matter. Let the Lord use you for His good and not your own. If you have very little of earthly wealth, be a wise steward of what you do have and let the Lord use you for His good and not your own. Be content and thankful for what the Lord provides.

Invest yourself in the pursuit of holiness and godly love and whether you are rich or poor, you will be truly blessed and used by God.  Your life will be a living testimony of God’s love, goodness and faithful for the entire world to see.

Friday, April 7, 2017


Num. 22:38  Balaam replied, “I have come, but I have no power to say anything.  I will speak only the messages that God gives me.”

Oh, but that this would be the response of all who speak in Jesus’ name!  Oh, but that those who proclaim the Word would understand that they dare not speak in Jesus’ name unless they were compelled to by God! 

There are far too many people who preach and teach without being compelled to by God.  There are far too many who take the opportunity to speak for granted.  There are far too many who take advantage of people whom they speak to.  There are far too many who rely on their own wisdom and understanding when they speak.  It is no wonder that the Church has gone soft.  It is no wonder that most churches are nothing more than a social club. 

When God speaks through the messenger, powerful things are said and done.  When God speaks the message is clear.  When God speaks sin and hell are not sugarcoated.  When God speaks holiness is demanded.  When God speaks, only His Word is proclaimed and it’s proclaimed in all its truths about heaven, hell, and life on earth.

Thursday, April 6, 2017


Num. 21:8-9 Then the LORD told him, “Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to the top of a pole. Those who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!”  So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to the top of a pole. Whenever those who were bitten looked at the bronze snake, they recovered!

Whatever God provided for his people, it was never enough. They complained to Moses about what God had given them, as if it was Moses’ problem. God had enough of their ingratitude and had sent a plague amongst them. The people were terrified by God’s discipline and pled with Moses for help. When Moses took the matter to the Lord, He gave him the instructions in today’s verses. I am struck at how quickly Moses had to act. People were already being afflicted and were dying. There was no time to do anything but obey God. When God tells us to do something, the time to act is now not later. We don’t know what will happen if we delay. We don’t know whose life will be affected by our messing around. It is sin for us to put off until tomorrow what the Lord tells us to do today.

The Lord sent a plague of poisonous snakes to roam among the Israelites. They had sinned in their hearts against God and now they were paying the price. They were powerless to stop the discipline of the Lord. There was a price to pay for their sin and the day of accountability had come. Be careful so that sin does not bite you! There always is a day of accountability for sin.

The Lord is merciful to those whom He loves. When the Israelites humbled themselves before God, he heard their cries for help. He told Moses how to stop the plague from killing them. They still had to obey the Lord. They still had to act by faith and not by sight. If they looked at the bronze snake God had provided through Moses, they would live. If they looked elsewhere for help, they would die. They had to choose between God’s way or some other way. We too must choose.

We can choose to obey God and live, or we can choose some other way to live and die. There is no one to blame but ourselves when we choose to continue to live in sin and suffer the consequences.