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  • You are here: Blogs Directory / Devotionals / Bob's Devotionals Welcome Guest
    Bob's Devotionals
          These devotionals are written to encourage and enable the body of Christ in our daily walk with the Lord.
          The World needs to see what God can do in us and with us and through us and not what we can do on our own!

          On January 1, I will begin writing on the subject, The Privilege, Power and Provisions of Prayer. You can subscribe at www.sbgm.org/subscribe01.htm

          
          To hear my CD as well as a sermon that I preached recently, go to www.myspace.com/savedbygraceministries.

          
          My prayer is that this will bless a lot of people all over the world!!!

          
          May God bless you today as you seek to walk with Him!

          
          ><>
          

    Thu, Aug 31st - 10:31AM



    Abide in His Word            John 8:31           August 31

     

     

     

     

    Then Jesus said to the Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”

     

     

     

    Jesus had met with the Jewish leaders and He told them that He was the Light of the World. They heard Him and asked Him many questions and He repeatedly told them that they would not believe in Him and those that did not believe in Him would die in their sin and could not go where He was going. He told them that He was not alone for He had been sent from above from the Father, that they would have known was the God of Israel. As He spoke these words, the Bible tells us that many of the Jews that heard Him believed in Him.

     

    Jesus looked to that group and told them “If you will abide in My Word, then you are My disciples.” These Jews knew God’s Word. It is not enough to “know the Word”. The thing that Jesus is looking for are those that abide in His Word. A lot of people today “know” the Word of God. However, just like the unbelieving Jews, they refuse to believe and accept God’s Word for what it is and follow it as It says we should do.

     

    A lot of people tell me that they find the Bible hard to read. I am personally convinced that the Bible is not as difficult to read as many would say but rather it is difficult to follow and that makes it difficult to read. I tell people who want to know more about God and about His Word, to begin to do what you know the Bible teaches and it will become easier to read and understand!

     

    To abide is to live in His Word, to walk and rest and find our being in His Word. God’s Word is designed to affect every single aspect of our lives. As we learn to let His Word direct our every decision, we will begin to experience God’s peace that passes all understanding and we will find life full to overflowing and more satisfying than we could ever imagine.

     

    This is what Jesus was trying to tell those Jews and this is the same message that He has for you and me today. When we abide in His Word, we shall know the truth because that truth shall set us free. It is not enough to just know the truth for the truth does not set us free in and of itself. It is when we abide in that truth that the truth sets us free.

     

    Jesus lived and abided in the Truth and He endured every single temptation that the devil could throw at Him but He stood firm because He knew the truth. You and I have that same truth and the same Spirit that led Jesus dwelling in us as His disciples if we will just abide in His truth. If we will abide in Him, we shall come to know the truth in a personal way as that truth indeed does set us free! What a glorious promise from the Lord above!

     

     

     

    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><



    Comment (2)

    Wed, Aug 30th - 5:25AM



    Go South               Acts 8:30              August 30 

     

     

     

     

    And Phillip ran up to the man and he heard him reading the Prophet Isaiah and he asked him, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

     

     

    Phillip began to preach the gospel in Samaria and people were being saved. The Holy Spirit has begun to touch the hearts of the Samaritans. The apostles in Jerusalem sent Peter and John to check things out. This is not a bad thing. When word comes that something is going on in the name of the Lord, it is good to test the spirits and see that they are of the Lord.

     

    The Lord spoke to Phillip again and told him to go south from Jerusalem to Gaza. As he did what the Lord told him to do, he came upon a man of authority who was reading the Old Testament book of Isaiah. Phillip ran up to this man and asked him if he understood what he was reading. Here we have a wonderful example of the effectiveness of evangelism at work. First of all, Phillip listened to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. He did what the Lord instructed him to do.

     

    Phillip also looked over the racial and cultural barriers that existed between him and this stranger. The only thing that mattered to him was the opportunity to share the gospel with this man that God loved. He introduced this man to Jesus. Notice something else, God had already prepared this man’s heart for Phillip to come and share Jesus with Him. This is always the case. When you and I are led to go to see someone, we can know that He has already prepared the hearts of the people that God sends us to. When we fail to be sensitive to God’s leadership, God is robbed of the opportunity to touch someone’s heart and we are robbed of the blessing to share in that miracle.

     

    Our boldness is a decision to obey God. Evangelism is God’s responsibility. He simply includes us in what He is doing! When God sends us to speak to someone, He will prepare the person’s heart for what is about to happen and He will also give us the words to say and the courage to share with this person or even group of people like a school or a group of people.

     

    When God prompts us to speak to someone, may we be like Phillip and simply go where He tells us to go and do what He tells us to do! The more we step out with the Lord and for the Lord, the easier it gets to do it!

     

     

     

    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><



    Comment (2)

    Tue, Aug 29th - 7:53AM



    Who Am I To You        Mark 8:29          August 29



    And Jesus said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ.”



    Jesus has been teaching and preaching and He has performed a few miracles and His popularity has begun to spread. He knows that His disciples have heard a lot of comments about who people think He is and so Jesus asks them, “Who do men say that I am?”

    The disciples said, well some say that You are John the Baptist, which is amazing because the people know that Jesus is NOT John the Baptist. He is still alive and he is still preaching a message of repentance because the Kingdom of God is at hand. Some say that You are Elijah or Jeremiah, one of the other gospels tell us; or some say that You are one of the other great prophets.

    People still today have a lot to say about this One called Jesus. It is amazing how many different things people will say about Him. Take a minute and think about that question, who do men say that I am? Jesus is indeed a lot of things to a lot of people and the sad fact is, He is not at all most of the things that people think and say
    that He is.

    Jesus listened to what the disciples said. However, the truth is, God is not really interested in what your parents think about Him; He is not concerned with what the people that you work with think about Him. This may even surprise you, but God is not really concerned what your pastor thinks about Him or even the church that you attend. The only thing that God cares about is what You think about Him! “Who do you say that I am?”

    Here is what I call Life’s Crucial Question. Nothing is more important to God than the answer to this question. This question is more important than the occupation that you choose for your life. This question is even more important than the choice that you will make on who you will spend the rest of your life with or how many children you want to have or any other question that you will ever be asked or ask yourself.

    In this verse, we find Eternity’s Explosive Answer to Life’s Crucial Question; “Jesus, You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” You are everything to me! When you and I come to the end of who we are and we come to understand that Jesus came to this earth and He lived and He died for you and me and because He lives we can face tomorrow, then we can begin to understand what Simon Peter was trying to say to Jesus on this day.

    Jesus, You are everything that You say You are and You will do everything that You say You will do and I will build my life on You will and Your way for my life. Simon Peter was not perfect; in fact, he was far from it but he had the desire in his heart to be everything that God wanted him to be. That is my desire and my prayer today is that this will be your desire as well. Take a few minutes and think about that statement, “Who am I to you?”


    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><


    Comment (1)

    Mon, Aug 28th - 8:16AM



    God’s Plan and Purpose      Romans 8:28       August 28




    We know that all things work together for good to them that love the
    Lord, to them who are called according to His purpose.




    If we live long enough, we will all face disappointment and
    difficulty. I do not know anyone who likes to go through the valley
    or face the storms that life seems to throw at us from time to time.
    Accidents are going to happen. Life will have its pitfalls. One of
    the aspects of life is death. The ratio of death to life is still one
    to one. Everyone that has been born will die until the rapture takes
    place. Grandparents will die. Moms and dads will die. Teenagers will
    die and yes, even infants will die. There are parents who will stand
    over their children’s caskets.

    Where is God when these things happen? The answer is simple. God is
    still on His throne and He is still in charge and our responsibility
    is to trust Him and look to Him for strength to make it past the
    moment to live another day. You and I cannot control what happens to
    us in a lot of cases, but we can control ow we respond to what
    happens. I am convinced that this is where God wants us to shine the
    most. When you and I look to the Lord in the midst of our greatest
    need, we will find Him and His presence and His power will be more
    than enough to take us from where we are to the place that he wants
    us to be.

    Story is told of a man who was a passenger on an ocean going ship and
    the ship took on water and sank. This man survived the shipwreck alone
    and washed up on an uninhabited island. The man built a hut from limbs
    and leaves. He put everything that he has in the hut and while he was
    out looking for food to eat, the hut caught on fire and burned up.
    The man felt as if God had turned His back on him and that his life
    was not worth the living. His tragedy was more than he thought he
    could bear.

    After sitting by the smoldering embers left by the fire for an hour
    or so, this man heard a whistle and ran to the edge of the island and
    there he saw a ship trying to dock near the island. When the man got
    on board the ship, the captain told him that they had seen his smoke
    signal and they came to his rescue.

    God knows our loss and He is aware of our circumstances and His
    promise is that He will give us victory and work things out for good
    id we will lean on Him and allow him to do what only He can do.
    Remember, the question is never “can we trust God”; the question is
    always, “Will we trust God.”

    Trust God no matter what and He will give you victory over the
    difficult events that you will face in your life. To God be the glory
    for the great things that He is doing and will continue to do for us!



    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><


    Comment (3)

    Sun, Aug 27th - 8:34AM




    Jesus Was Right On Time      Matthew 8:27      August 27




    But the men marveled saying, What kind of man is this that even the winds and the waves obey Him?




    Jesus and His disciples got in a ship on the Sea of Galilee to go to the other side. The Bible tells us that a great storm came on them. Storms would make their way of the mountains and come on the sea all of a sudden without much warning. The storm must have been fierce because they were used to navigating the sea during storms. This one was bad and they were afraid.

    The Bible tells us that Jesus was asleep. Isn’t it comforting to know that Jesus is able to sleep in the midst of the storm! He can give that same peace to you and me if we will just let Him do so. The disciples woke the Lord up. Jesus’ response to them was, “Why are you so fearful? Oh ye of little faith!” The Bible says that Jesus got up and spoke to the wind and the waves and they ceased immediately.

    The men on the boat marveled at Jesus’ ability to control the elements. In His humanity Jesus is still God. He is still the creator in the flesh. He is both God and man. It is really difficult for us to be able to comprehend all that this means. However, the one thing that I believe the Lord wants us to remember and understand is this; God is still in complete control of everything that is happening in and around our lives.

    We may be like the sailors on that boat; we may know what we are doing and we may even be in charge of things and have things going the way that we want them to go. We need to remember that trusting God is what brings us real peace and security in our lives. Just as Jesus spoke to the storm on this day, so will He speak to the storms that can come up in your life and mine and He will make a difference. The waves may starting to come over the boat as they were in this instance, but Jesus was not one minute late; He was right on time and He will be in your life and in mine if we will just call on Him and let Him be God in our lives!




    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><


    Comment (2)

    Sat, Aug 26th - 7:25AM



    The Battle of Ai            Joshua 8:26            August 26




    Joshua did not draw back his hand that held the drawn spear until he had utterly destroyed the inhabitants of Ai.




    The battle of Ai teaches us several lessons. This battle took place immediately following the battle of Jericho. If you take a good look at the text, you will discover that there is no mention of prayer or seeking God’s direction before Joshua sent an army out to take this little city. Ai was nothing compared to Jericho. The thing that Joshua did not know was, a man named Achan had taken some spoils from Jericho and God did not go out to battle with the Israelites on that day. Had Joshua sought the Lord’s advice, his army might have been spared. This is a tremendous lesson to me.

    God told Joshua what had taken place and Joshua faced the situation and the sin was dealt with and God told Joshua to go and take the city of Ai. Joshua devised a plan to take advantage of Ai’s victory. He would lead part of his army up to the city and when the king saw them he would come out against them as he had done before. When he did, Joshua would retreat drawing the enemy army into a waiting ambush of even more Israelite soldiers.

    Another group waited and set the city on fire and when the men of Ai saw the city on fire, the Bible says that they did not know where to go or what to do. Joshua commanded his army to turn back and attack the army of Ai and they utterly destroyed them. God told Joshua to hold his spear in the air until the battle was finished.

    When we do things as God instructs us to do them, He gives us the victory. When we think that the victory is ours because of who we are and what we did, then we are headed for trouble! The Israelites made that mistake and the king of Ai even made that same mistake. He thought that he had whipped the Israelites once and that he could do it again. What works yesterday does not always work tomorrow, especially where God is concerned!

    You and I have a great benefit in God’s presence and involvement in our lives if we will just avail ourselves to it. God wants to bless us and He wants to fight our battle but we have to remain faithful to Him in everything that we do. When you and I do that and we make God’s will our will and His way our way, He will make a difference in our lives and He will give us victory. This does not mean that everything will be rosy and peaches and cream all the time; roses have thorns and cream has to separate. We are going to go through trying times but those events are easier to endure when He is there with us and we are following His instruction!



    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><


    Comment (2)

    Fri, Aug 25th - 6:12AM



    Where is Your Faith?          Luke 8:25           August 25



    And He said to them, “Where is your faith?”




    Jesus instructed His disciples to get in a ship and go to the other side of the lake, most likely the Sea of Galilee. As they set sail, Jesus laid down and went to sleep. As Jesus slept, a strong wind came across the lake. The wind and the waves began to rock the boat and water began to fill the ship. The disciples went to Jesus and woke Him up saying, “We are about to perish.”

    Jesus got up and spoke to the elements and the wind ceased and the waved calmed and the Bible says that everything was peaceful. Then Jesus looked at the disciples and said, “Where is your faith?” The disciples marveled at His power.

    What is the lesson in this story for the disciples and for us today? Should the disciples have been able to speak to the storm? Remember, it is still early in Jesus public ministry. He has selected the disciples. He has given His Sermon on the Mount. He has healed a couple of people. Now, He has spoken to the storm and they saw it quiet down. When Jesus asked, “Where is your faith?” He did not expect them to speak to the storm.

    Was He chiding them for waking Him? No. Jesus was delighted that they came to Him. He knew that the storm would come and He knew the fury of the storm. When He asked the disciples, “Where is your faith?” He was challenging their trust in Him! Faith is based on God being everything that He says He is and Him doing everything that He says He will do. Jesus chided their fear!

    The only thing that will defeat fear is faith in the Lord Jesus! This was the lesson that Jesus wanted to disciples to learn. This is the lesson that He wants us to learn today as well. When we place our faith in Him as our Savior and Master and Lord, He wants us to know that there is no panic in heaven, just a plan. God is never caught by surprise and there is no situation that is too big for Him to handle.

    If Jesus can speak to the elements and they will be still and if He can speak to the dead and they come back to life, then you and I can trust Him to meet our needs! When we are tempted to fear, we need to remember His promises that He will never leave nor forsake us. He will always be right there with us and He will take care of us.

    One thing we do have to remember is our obedience to His Word is as important as His promises to us. Our obedience is the key that unlocks the windows of heaven and allows His blessings to flow into our lives. It is not enough to know what to do; we have to do it. Jesus was telling the disciples the same thing. He wanted them to know that they could trust Him and depend on Him no matter what they faced! There is no greater blessing that we have available to us than that! He is our salvation and our rock! We can trust Him!



    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><


    Comment (2)

    Thu, Aug 24th - 5:55AM



    The Work of Your Hands       I Kings 8:24        August 24



    You have kept Your promise to Your servant David my father, with Your mouth you have promised and with your hands You have fulfilled it- as it is today.



    Solomon has completed the building of the Temple in Jerusalem. Solomon was King David’s son. David wanted to build the temple unto God but that was not God’s plan for him. God did make David a promise. He promised him that his son who would become king after him would build the temple, which is what Solomon did. In addition that this promise, God promised David that as long as his sons walked with Him, they would remain on the throne in Israel. This promise was a conditional one and Solomon failed to walk with God has his father David had done but God allowed him to remain on the throne but his sons did not walk with God and the throne was taken from them.

    God would ultimately keep His promise to David in Jesus, who was born of the lineage of David and His throne was forever established in heaven.

    Solomon prays a prayer of dedication for the temple in our passage for today. He begins his prayer to God by saying, O Lord, God of Israel there is no God like You, not in heaven above or on the earth below. You keep Your promises of love with your servants who walk with You continually.” He then goes on to thank God for keeping His promises that He made to his father David in Him.

    Solomon goes on to ask God to give him the wisdom to walk in God’s ways and to be the leader that God would have him be. He then goes on to pray that this temple would be a dwelling place for God and that He would hear the cries of the people when they sin and even when they are defeated and taken into captivity and are away from the presence of the temple, that God would still hear their cry and return them to this great place so that they might be able to once again come into His Holy presence.

    You and I need to look back at our lives and look for promises that God has kept in our lives just like Solomon did. The promises that He has kept may not be as obvious and as dynamic as the building of the temple, but there will be promises that He has kept no doubt. I know that I am thankful every day that God forgave me of my sin and He made me part of His forever family and if He never ever does anything else for me, that was and still is more than enough.

    God has blessed me exceedingly abundantly more than I can ask or hope for. He has taught me the benefit of walking with Him and going where He leads me and doing what He wants me to do and avoiding doing the things that I know He would not approve of me doing. I have made the decision to make every decision that I make count for Him and God has blessed that decision and I do not want to get away form the very thing in my life that has made my life worth living.

    God has never failed to keep a promise and He is not about to start now. Let God have His way in your life today and you too will be able to say with Solomon, “Thank You Lord for fulfilling the promises of Your mouth with the work of Your hands!”



    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><


    Comment (2)

    Wed, Aug 23rd - 10:11AM



     
    Stand With God        Ezra 8:23        August 23



    So we fasted and we sought God for this and He answered our prayer.




    Ezra was a man who trusted the Lord with all that he was. This guy walked with God and here is one of the prize passages that illustrate this for us. Ezra is preparing a return trip to Jerusalem. He is going to be leading a group of men from Babylon back to Jerusalem. Not only will they be traveling through very rough territory, they are carrying with them a sizeable amount of gold and sliver, which today would total in the millions of dollars. They would be easy prey for thieves and robbers on this difficult journey.

    Ezra wanted to ask the king for an army guard to help protect them on this difficult journey. However, in verse 22 we read that Ezra had told the king that “the gracious hand of God is on everyone who looks to Him and His great anger is against all who forsake Him.” Ezra hated to ask for help when his testimony was that God was able to protect His own.

    So, Ezra fasted and prayed to the Lord for this and God answered their prayer.

    There are two thoughts that stand out in this passage. First of all, when we give something to God, we need to leave it there. Ezra had told the king of God’s power and His provisions. He shared with the king God’s all-sufficiency and here we find Ezra’s faith being put to the test. It would not have been out of line at all for Ezra to request an armed escort from the king. The king had given him all these riches to present at the Temple. In all probability, the king expected to send a military escort for their protection.

    However, Ezra did not want to take the chance that God’s name and character might be blemished by his faithlessness. Ezra did something that we need to take notice of; he and his people fasted and they prayed to God. God does not want us to walk through this life alone. He wants to go before us and He wants to take away the stumbling stones that litter the paths that we walk. He not only can provide for us, He stands ready to provide for us.

    All we have to do is do what Ezra did; first of all, we need to trust God. Second, we have to look to God as a first response as opposed to our last resort. Prayer and fasting are available to us for a reason. They work! The Bible tells us that God heard Ezra’s prayer and He answered their prayer. He gave Ezra the peace that He needed to begin this dangerous journey.

    In verse 31 we read that “the hand of the Lord was upon us and He protected us from the hand of the enemies and the bandits along the way and we arrived in Jerusalem.”

    God will protect you as you seek to stand upon His Word. No matter what the circumstances may be, stand with God and He will stand with you!




    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><


    Comment (1)

    Tue, Aug 22nd - 9:37AM



     
    Separated Unto Him         Exodus 8:22         August 22




    And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, where My people live, that no swarms of flies shall be there; so that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth.



    God told Moses to go to Pharaoh to tell him to let His people go. This is the 4th of the plagues that God is about to bring on Pharaoh and the Egyptians. This plague God brought on the people of Egypt and them alone. He said, “This day I will make a division between My people and your people” and this shall be a sign unto you, speaking to Pharaoh.

    God is proving that He can do anything that He wants to do anyway that He wants to do it. It is interesting to note that the magicians were called on to show that they too could do what God had done. They were called on to produce gnats by their secret arts but they could not do so and they came to Pharaoh and said, “This is the finger of God.” Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and he refused to let the people go. In verse 3 of chapter 9 we find that the “hand of God is upon the cattle and the livestock” and once again the 5th plague will only touch the livestock of the Egyptians and the Israelite livestock will be untouched by the plague.

    God protects the children of Israel, not so much for their benefit but to prove to the whole world, Egyptian and Hebrew alike, that He is in complete control. His selective choice benefited Israel but it was not about them; it was all about Him.

    What does this message mean to you and me today?

    God has a plan and purpose for everything that He does and everything He allows to happen. He can be as selective and as specific as He wants to be. God can cause the rain to fall on the just as well as the unjust. He can even allow the rain to fall on the unjust and not on the just. Make no mistake about it, everything that God does He does so that the whole world might know that He is God.

    Anything less may well be an indication that we are in control and not allowing Him to be God in our circumstances and our own situations. As a result, we end up just like the children of Israel enslaved in our own land of Egypt in need of God’s deliverance. Our own redemption is the product of God’s work in our lives. Our salvation through the blood shed on Calvary’s cross is pictured here as God says, “These are My people and those are your people.” This day I have made a distinction between the two.

    When you and I accept the free pardon of salvation as a gift from God, we are set apart unto Him and we become part of His forever family and we become His people or His children. He sets us apart from the rest of the world and differentiates us from them. He does not do this because of who we are but rather whose we are. He does not do this because of what we have done, but rather because of what He has chosen to do for us. What things has God done in your life lately that proves to the whole world that you belong to Him and that you have been separated unto Him?




    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><



    Comment (1)

    Mon, Aug 21st - 8:02AM



     
    Fill My Treasury Lord        Proverbs 8:21           August 21



    That I may cause them that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasuries.



    Wisdom comes from the Lord. God says in verse 10, “receive My instruction and not silver and knowledge rather choice gold. For wisdom is better than fine rubies; and al the things that we want cannot be compared to it.”

    Verse 14, “Counsel is Mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding and I have strength.” In verse 19 God says, “My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold and My revenue is more than choice sliver.”

    God goes on to say, “I lead in the way of righteousness and in the midst of the paths of judgment
    that I may cause them that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasuries.

    As you and I surrender our stubborn wills to the will of the Lord for our lives, something wonderful happens. God is able to give us a quality of life that money and mammon cannot begin to compete with. The world wants us to think that if we work hard enough and we work smart enough we can achieve anything that we want to achieve. We can have success in our lives and we can be and do anything that we want to; if we just work at it.

    God wants us to work at loving Him. God wants us to allow Him to lead us and guide us and give us the life that the world wants us to “work so hard to have.” Wisdom comes from God as you and I begin to appropriate His Word in our lives on a daily basis. As you and I determine in our hearts and in our minds that we are going to walk with God “no matter what” we place our lives into His hands and God begins to do wonderful things in us and with us and for us. He causes us to “inherit things of substance and He fills our treasuries.”

    Wisdom comes as you and I put God to the test by living our lives as He tells us to. Wisdom is the result or product of faith in action in my life. As I begin to say to God, “I trust You” by making decisions that He would have me make, I discover a quality of life that makes me more determined to walk even closer with the Lord. This “wisdom” comes as I put what I know I ought to do to work in my life.

    As I trust God instead of the world system, I reap the benefits of that trust. God’s benefits are indeed more beneficial that gold and His revenue is more satisfying than fine silver. God will give our lives substance and He will fill our treasuries. I would rather have what God has for me than all the silver and gold in the world without Him.



    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><



    Comment (2)

    Sun, Aug 20th - 8:43AM



    Fight My Battles        I Samuel 8:20         August 20




    That we may also be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.



    The children of Israel had God to lead them and protect them. However, they decided that they needed to be like the other nations. They told Samuel that they wanted a king who would judge them and who would go out before them in battle to fight for them. Why is it that we do not want to allow God to be God in our lives?

    We are just like the children of Israel. We simply do not trust God to lead us and to know what is best for our lives. We want someone else… anyone else in some cases, to lean on when it comes time to make decisions in our lives. It does not really make much sense.

    Samuel tried to tell the people that they did not want a king but they would not listen. It was God that they needed to be concerned about! He was the One who had judged them to this point. He was the One who brought them into the Promised Land. He was the One who had brought them out of bondage and gave them their liberty again.

    The people were not satisfied with the way things were. They thought somehow that if they took matters into their own hands, then they would be able to build a land that they could live in and provide for themselves and protect themselves as well. They were wrong.

    You and I need to make sure that we listen and learn from the mistakes of those who have gone before us. The people of Israel wanted a king to be judge over them; God is that judge. They wanted a king to lead them and to protect them. God wants to lead us and as we allow Him to do so, He will provide for us and He will protect us from our enemies as well as our own mistakes and failures!

    We do not need to be like everyone else. When we try to do that, we disappoint God and we rob Him of the opportunity to bless us and do for us all the things that we cannot do for ourselves.

    Let God lead you today. Let Him be God in your life and in the decisions that you will make today and tomorrow. As you begin to walk with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, you will find a life that is indeed worth the living! We want God to fight our battles and lead our lives!



    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><



    Comment (1)

    Sat, Aug 19th - 10:48AM



    Provoking God         Jeremiah 8:19        August 19     



    Behold the voice of the daughter of My people because of those who dwell in a far away country; Is not the Lord in Zion? Is not her kind in her? Why have they provoked Me to anger with their carved images and their foreign vanities?



    God has seen the sin of His people and He has seen enough. He says in verse 13, “I will surely consume them; There will be no grapes left on the vine nor any figs in the trees and the leaves shall die and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them.”

    God says in verse 18, “When I try to comfort Myself against sorrow, My heart is faint in Me.” In other words, when God finds Himself trying to find a reason to forgive His people for their sin, He comes to the point that it gets more and more difficult for Him to do so.

    We are so easily deceived into thinking that we are safe and secure in God. The cry of the voice of the daughter in Zion is the cry of futility because of false security. Listen to what Ezekiel is saying. She cries out because the armies from foreign lands are coming to take over their land. Does not God still dwell in Jerusalem? Is He not still her God? The Temple is still there. The religious trappings of Him are still everywhere.

    Listen to God’s response, “Why have they provoked Me to anger with their carved images and their foreign vanities?”

    We are still doing the same things today. We live in a nation where there are churches on every corner, reminders of God on billboards, crosses everywhere, Ten Commandments in our yards but there is no real commitment in our hearts to the Lord and to His instruction for our lives.

    God is not really interested in our “sacrifices of praise” if we are not interested in living for Him and serving Him in our lives on a daily basis. Just because we include God in our routine on Sunday morning and we mention God during the week and we include Him in our thoughts on an occasional basis, does not necessarily please Him and bind Him to protect us and provide for us.

    God wants a relationship with us and He wants to be our God but He wants us to be His people! He wants this relationship to have meaning and purpose in our lives. What are you doing in your life that may be provoking God to anger? What “trappings” of God do you have around your life that may be causing you to think that your life is ok and that because you are satisfied with what you are doing for God, He ought to be satisfied as well? What are you doing that may be provoking God in your life?



    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><


    Comment (1)

    Fri, Aug 18th - 8:22AM




    Blind Eyes and Deaf Ears        Ezekiel 8:18        August 18



    Therefore will I also deal in fury; My eyes shall not spare neither will I have pity and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice I will not hear them.



    God asks Ezekiel a question in verse 17. He asks, “Have you ever seen such an abomination in your whole life? Could you have ever imagined that My people would have ever acted like this and done the things that they have done in My Temple? Their actions are inexcusable! Do they not deserve to suffer for what they have done in front of Me?”

    People were coming in to the Temple and worshipping other gods right there in the inner courts of the Temple! God says, “The continue to put the branch to their noses” meaning they continue to flaunt their arrogance in front of Me! A branch is a symbol of correction and they take that branch and raise it up before the Lord in their actions as if to say, “Here God… here is a branch to correct me with!”

    There comes a time when God says, “Enough is enough.” It is interesting to note something in this passage. Even though there are times when God turns His head away from us and He seems distant; His eyes still see us and His ears still hear our cries. Even in His fury and His wrath, He still sees us and He still hears us. Why?

    God’s judgment and His wrath are instruments of His love for us and His mercy and His grace if we will turn from our sin and turn back to Him. There are consequences for our sin and those consequences are most likely not going to be so pleasant. However, the desire of God’s heart is to restore the relationship that sin has destroyed and bring us back into His fold.

    God wants to be our God and He wants us to be His people and HE will do everything divinely possible to bring that relationship about; even to the extent of turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to our cries when our sin gets to a point that He really has no other alternative. Our responsibility is to make sure that we learn to walk with Him so that we do not find ourselves in danger of these things in our lives. There are warning signs everywhere if we will just heed them!




    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><


    Comment (2)

    Thu, Aug 17th - 9:39AM



    I Will Wait on the Lord        Isaiah 8:17         August 17



    I will wait upon the Lord and who hides His face from the house of Jacob and I will look for Him.



    Have you ever felt as if God was nowhere around? Has it ever seemed that the harder you prayed the farther away God seemed? Well Isaiah understands that there are times when God hides his face from His people. There are a number of reasons that this may take place. Most of the time, God hides His face from us because of our own sin and rebellion. He hides His face from us in a redemptive matter, knowing that the time will come when our sin will find us out and we will cry out to Him for His forgiveness and His deliverance.

    Notice Isaiah’s response; “I will wait on the Lord and I will look for Him.” If God seems far away, our response needs to be to wait on Him and to look for Him. When you and I turn our hearts toward heaven and begin to cry out to Him, He will be found!

    You and I have the precious Word of God to seek Him. One of the reasons that a lot of people are not able to find God when He seems to be so far away is that we are looking for Him in the wrong places and we are seeking Him in the wrong ways. Look at verse 16; Isaiah writes, “bind up the testimony; seal the law among My disciples.” The unspeakable riches of God are bound up in the scriptures and in the Word of God. We have a record of God’s promises to us if we will just begin to apply His principles to our lives and live as He tells us to live.

    When we fail to live our lives according to the dictates found in His Word, we turn our backs on Him and there comes the time when He has to turn His face from us for a season so that we will see the error of our ways and turn back to Him with our whole heart and turn from our foreign gods and seek Him only and prepare our hearts for Him! (I Samuel 7:3)

    Today will you determine in your heart to wait on the Lord and look to Him for direction and instruction for your life and determine in your heart to let His life be your life? Will you commit your life to Him in each and every decision that you make? This is what Isaiah did and God blessed him in a dry and thirsty land where He had hid His face! He will do the same for you and me today!



    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><



    Comment (1)

    Wed, Aug 16th - 8:47AM



    God’s House Is Complete      II Chronicles 8:16     August 16




    Now all the work of Solomon was prepared unto the day of the foundation of the House of the Lord and until it was finished. So the House of the Lord was perfect.



    David wanted to build a House for the Lord but God told him that he would not be the one to build it but his son would build the house. Here we find the chronicler looking back at the work that Solomon accomplished as king in Israel. Solomon was faithful to do what the Lord had said that he would do. The Temple was completed and God had a permanent place to dwell in Jerusalem. Solomon was faithful to finish the work that God gave him to do.

    The study of Solomon’s life is an interesting study. God gave Solomon great wisdom. He established his throne in Jerusalem because He made a promise to David, Solomon’s father that he would do so. Because Solomon had great wisdom, he used that wisdom to amass great wealth. He became one of the wealthiest men of his day. He spent a big part of his life seeking answers to the questions of life in every imaginable place. He spent episodes of his life in search of happiness in liquor and lust, then in learning and then in luxury.

    God was patient with him and allowed him to experience all of these things and Solomon finally realized that the foundation that God had given him was the thing that made his life worth living. I am sure that Solomon never forgot the fact that he built the House of the Lord and that served as an anchor for his wayward life.

    God has special plans for your life and mine. He will work in our lives to prepare us to accomplish those things. He wants you and me to build a temple for Him to dwell in as well. This temple is a permanent dwelling place as well. God wants to dwell in your heart and in mine and He is willing to do whatever it will take to get you and me to the point where we will allow Him to work in us to prepare this dwelling place for Him.

    You and I will no doubt make mistakes and we will do things that God will not be pleased with. Solomon built places of worship for his foreign wives in Jerusalem. He knew better but he committed this awful act in God’s presence. God still loved him and He still used him and He will use you and me no matter what mistakes we have made.

    God is not as concerned with the things we have done in our past; He is more concerned with where you and I are headed and He will work in a heart that will surrender to Him. He will build His temple in our hearts if we will just allow Him the chance to do so. Walk with God today and allow Him to complete His house in your heart!



    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><


    Comment (1)

    Tue, Aug 15th - 8:13AM



    Abba Father        Romans 8:15        August 15



    For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; you have received the spirit of adoption whereby we can cry, “Abba, Father”.



    Paul goes on to write, “The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.” Paul gives to us the basics if you will of the spiritual life. Paul tells us that there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus. He goes on to further clarify that group of people for you see “those who are in Christ Jesus” can be a lot of things to a lot of people. This was true in Paul’s day and it is certainly true in our day today. So what does Paul do, he clarifies who he is talking about as he says, “those who are in Christ Jesus. Who are they? These are those who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.

    Paul tells us in verse 5 that those who walk according to the flesh have their minds set on the things of the flesh and the desires of the flesh. Those who walk according to the Spirit have the things of the Spirit as a priority in the things that they do and the decisions that they make. Listen to what Paul says inverse 6, “To be carnally minded or to live according to our sinful desires is death. To be Spiritually minded gives us life and peace.” The choices that we make in our lives are vitally important to who we are and how our lives will shape up.

    For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God. This is an interesting passage because it tells me what I need to be doing if I want to be part of God’s forever family. I am to be led by the Spirit; in order for me to be led, I must follow! I have a responsibility in this relationship. God leads and I am to follow if I am to be considered part of God’s family. God adopts me into His family. He becomes my Father.

    When we become part of this special family, we do so by faith. “For by faith are we saved” Paul tells us. This faith is both a gift from God and it is a response from you and me to God. A gift is not a gift until it is both offered and accepted. I cannot accept a gift that has never been offered to me and until I accept the offer, it is just that an offer and not a gift at all! Faith allows me to say, “Yes” to Jesus offer of a free pardon for my sins. When I accept that offer of God’s grace and His mercy then something wonderful happens. I am adopted in to God’s forever family and the faith that brought me in to God’s precious family will be the faith that will keep me from the spirit of fear that the world uses to its advantage.

    God does not want me to be afraid or to fear; He wants me to experience life in all of its beauty and all of its glory and all of its splendor. It is no surprise that “fear not” appears in the Bible in some form some 365 times, which represents every day of the year. God does not want His children living in fear! He wants us to depend on Him and trust Him, believing that He is everything that He says He is and that He will do everything that He says He will do, which is my working definition of faith! The only way to overcome fear is with faith! The only kind of faith to have is that faith that makes a difference in the decisions that we make that make a difference in the lives that we live! I am so proud to be able to cry out, “Abba, Father!”



    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><


    Comment (2)

    Mon, Aug 14th - 9:32AM



    Sound Wisdom             Proverbs 8:14          August 14



    Counsel is Mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding; I have strength.




    Wisdom is a gift from God. God wants us to understand that life is the product of wisdom. Solomon tells us in the next chapter, that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (verse 10) The challenge that exists in our lives is what foundation are we building our lives on.

    You and I have to be careful because the temptation for us all is to seek life on its own merit. It is so easy to make our jobs our focus and our pocketbooks our priority. Seeking wealth and life apart from seeking wisdom causes people to end up on dead end roads.

    God wants us to understand that counsel is His and sound wisdom comes from Him. These are priorities and they should be the focus of our lives and not luxury and life. The truth is our lives are the result of the decisions that we make. I have mentioned this time after time in the devotionals. It is the truth. Wisdom is what we do with the information that we have. Life teaches us things and wisdom can come as the result of life experiences.

    However, real wisdom comes from God because He is truth; He is understanding. You and I can make decisions based on the information that we have. The problem is that we do not have all the facts! In addition to that, we do not even make use of the experience and most of the things that we know; so the process that we use on our own has proven itself ineffective if we will be honest with ourselves.

    God wants us to learn to look to Him for wisdom, trusting Him for direction in our decisions that determine the direction that our lives will take. God has all the facts! He not only knows what is ahead for us, He knows what makes life worth the living because He is the creator of life itself! God understands life from its most basic core.

    He wants to be the source of life for us. He wants to give us the wisdom that we need to make the decisions that He would have us make so that our lives can take the best possible course to move us from where we are to the place that God wants us to be.

    My prayer has been for some time now that God would give me the wisdom to know what to do and the power to do it. One of the problems that we have is we really do know what we ought to do but just fail to do it and then we know that we ought not do some things and we do it anyway. Wisdom is more than just head knowledge; wisdom is knowing what to do and then doing it! If what I believe does not affect what I do then what I believe is not important.

    Father, help each of us know what to do and give us the strength to do it for Your honor and Your glory!



    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><


    Comment (4)

    Sun, Aug 13th - 8:40AM



    Go Your Way        Matthew 8:13        August 13




    And Jesus said unto the centurion, “Go your way. As you have believed, so be it done unto you.” And the centurion’s servant was healed that same hour.




    Jesus has just finished His Sermon on the Mount. He has just called His 12 disciples to come and follow after Him. He has begun His public ministry and His popularity has begun to spread around the countryside. The Bible tells us in the first verse of the 8th chapter that Jesus came down off of the mountain and a large crowd of people followed Him. As Jesus made His way down the mountain the Bible tells us that a leper came up to Jesus and said, “Lord if You will you can make me whole again.” Jesus reached out and healed him.

    As Jesus entered into Capernaum a Roman centurion came to Him and told Him about a servant that he had who was sick. Jesus told the Roman officer that He would come to his house but the officer told Jesus that he knew that Jesus had a lot to do and that he was not worthy of Jesus’ coming to his house. He knew that Jesus could heal his servant with just a Word.

    Jesus responded that He had not seen such great faith not in all of Israel. This man believed that Jesus was the Son of God and that He could do whatever He wanted to do any way that He wanted to do it. He knew that all Jesus had to do was say that his servant would be healed and he would go home knowing that when he got there, the servant would be healed!

    Jesus told him, “Go your way. As you have believed, so be it done unto you.” And the Bible tells us that the centurion’s servant was healed that very same hour.

    What kind of miracle would you or I receive if Jesus were to say that to us? As you have believed so shall it be done unto you.” Those are some powerful words! I am afraid that too many of us do not want God to do unto us according to our faith in Him! We believe that He is all powerful and that He can do anything but somehow we do not believe that He WILL do things for us! It is as if God is out there somewhere and He knows what we are facing but He will not do anything for us.

    God rewards the faithfulness of His children. This centurion knew that Jesus could heal his servant before he ever spoke a word to Him. He knew in his spirit that Jesus could and would make a difference. My friend you and I need that kind of confidence in God in our lives.

    How do we demonstrate that kind of confidence? Al lot of folks abuse this as well thinking that if they claim it in prayer and expect it in faith, that God will deliver. That is not at all what God is saying here. This man’s faith affected his decisions. He came to Jesus for help. He knew that Jesus was the answer to his problems. He made decisions based on his faith. You and I need to make those kinds of decisions in our lives trusting Jesus and His will and His way for our lives and then when God says to us, “Go your way. As you have believed, so be it done unto you.” We will indeed be blessed!

    God wants to bless us and He wants to fight our battles and He wants to meet our need. He does that as we surrender our lives to Him in simple obedient faith on a daily basis! When we learn to walk with Him then we can go our way and our lives will be shaped as we have believed and trusted in Him. There is no life any better than the life that God can give to us as we go our way, which is His way for us!





    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><


    Comment (2)

    Sat, Aug 12th - 10:37AM



    The Light of the World        John 8:12      August 12



    “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.“


    “I am the Light of the world” Jesus said. There are a couple things about light that are very interesting. Light itself is essential for most life. Jesus is essential for life.

    Light always overcomes darkness. Darkness itself is the absence of light. Darkness cannot overcome light. Even the smallest light can make a big difference in the darkest room. Almost every form of life will gravitate toward light when it is present. It is amazing to watch house plants bend and twist their limbs to get to the light, which is the source of their life.

    Light is very powerful when it is focused! Lights can be made to be so bright that it is impossible to see. When the sunlight is focused with a magnifying glass for example, it produces a focal point that can burn a hole right through most substances.

    Jesus is the light of the world. He is the over comer. He has absolute authority over Satan. He is the source of life for us. He is all-powerful! When He is the focus of our lives, there is nothing that He cannot accomplish in us and with us and through us. He is Light!

    How do we have this Light in our lives? Jesus says: “He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.“ If we walk with Him… we will not walk in darkness… If He is the Light and we walk with Him, then we will be in the light! It is impossible to walk in darkness when Jesus is around because there is no darkness where He is! This is why my obedience is so important. If I walk on any other path than the one that He has for me, then I walk away from the light, which gives me life and just like a plant that is set away from the sunshine, my life begins to wither and die.

    Listen to what John writes at the end of his life… in I John 1:7: “if we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son, cleanses us from all of our sin” Walk with the Lord! Walk in the Light and you will never have to walk in the darkness alone again.

    How do we walk with the Lord? We walk with Him as we make decisions that He would have us make. When we make decisions that are consistent with the Word of God… the Light shines in our path. When we make decisions that are not consistent with the Word of God, then we turn from the Light and when there is no light, there is darkness! The darker things get in our lives the farther we may be turning from the Lord! This may not always be true but it more true in most of our lives than we would like for it to be.

    I like the pledge to the Bible that I learned in Vacation Bible School when I was a little feller. ‘I pledge allegiance to the Bible and to the Kingdom for whom it stands… I will make it a lamp unto my feet; a light unto my path and I will hide its Words in my heart that I may not sin against God.”

    When we follow Him we will not walk in darkness and we will have the light of life. When His Words are the lamp unto our feet and a light for our paths… then we will get where we need to be going because He will see to it that we do!




    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><


    Comment (4)

    Fri, Aug 11th - 8:22AM



    Seed Sown           Luke 8:11           August 11



    The seed is the Word of God.




    Jesus has just given the people who had gathered around Him a parable about sowing seed. Some of the seed fell by the wayside, some fell on a rock, some fell among the thorns, and some fell on good soil. The disciples came to Jesus and asked Him what the parable meant. He explained that the seed was the Word of God.

    The seed that fell by the wayside represents those who hear the Word but allow the devil to come and prevent them from believing and being saved. The see that fell on the rock represents those who hear the Word and receive it with joy but do not let that Word take root in their lives and believe for a while but fall away. The seed that falls among the thorns represents those who hear the word but like the rich young ruler, are too concerned with the cares and the pleasures of this world and while they take root, they do not bear fruit. The good ground represents those who hear the Word of God and take it to heart and take root and also bear fruit.

    What kind of soil have you been? We all fall in one of the four categories. The great thing about this parable is we can do something about the condition of our heart! If we have had a heart that is like the rock and we have not allowed the Word of God to take root, we can open our hearts to the Lord and His Word and we can change from a rock to the good ground! If our heart has been more like the ground filled with thorns and the weeds, we can do something about that as well and we can come out of that need for the desires and pleasures of the world and we can allow the Word of God to be our sword and our stay.

    God wants His Word to take root in our hearts and in our lives. He wants to make a difference that will not only make your life its absolute best, He wants your life to be a public testimony of His power and His presence! He wants others to see Jesus in us. As we take His Word and we allow it to take rot in our hearts and in our lives, just like a field that is rich and fertile, the harvest is visible to all who pass by! God wants your life and mine to be a living testimony of His goodness and His grace! Lets bloom where we are planted and lets let God have His way in our hearts and in our lives and lets prove to be good ground for His glory and His Honor!

    It is not difficult. All we have to do is begin taking Him at His Word, no matter what!




    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><



    Comment (1)

    Fri, Aug 11th - 8:21AM



    Seed Sown           Luke 8:11           August 11



    The seed is the Word of God.




    Jesus has just given the people who had gathered around Him a parable about sowing seed. Some of the seed fell by the wayside, some fell on a rock, some fell among the thorns, and some fell on good soil. The disciples came to Jesus and asked Him what the parable meant. He explained that the seed was the Word of God.

    The seed that fell by the wayside represents those who hear the Word but allow the devil to come and prevent them from believing and being saved. The see that fell on the rock represents those who hear the Word and receive it with joy but do not let that Word take root in their lives and believe for a while but fall away. The seed that falls among the thorns represents those who hear the word but like the rich young ruler, are too concerned with the cares and the pleasures of this world and while they take root, they do not bear fruit. The good ground represents those who hear the Word of God and take it to heart and take root and also bear fruit.

    What kind of soil have you been? We all fall in one of the four categories. The great thing about this parable is we can do something about the condition of our heart! If we have had a heart that is like the rock and we have not allowed the Word of God to take root, we can open our hearts to the Lord and His Word and we can change from a rock to the good ground! If our heart has been more like the ground filled with thorns and the weeds, we can do something about that as well and we can come out of that need for the desires and pleasures of the world and we can allow the Word of God to be our sword and our stay.

    God wants His Word to take root in our hearts and in our lives. He wants to make a difference that will not only make your life its absolute best, He wants your life to be a public testimony of His power and His presence! He wants others to see Jesus in us. As we take His Word and we allow it to take rot in our hearts and in our lives, just like a field that is rich and fertile, the harvest is visible to all who pass by! God wants your life and mine to be a living testimony of His goodness and His grace! Lets bloom where we are planted and lets let God have His way in our hearts and in our lives and lets prove to be good ground for His glory and His Honor!

    It is not difficult. All we have to do is begin taking Him at His Word, no matter what!




    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><



    Comment (0)

    Thu, Aug 10th - 5:59AM



    One More Night         Exodus 8:10           August 10




    And he said, “tomorrow” and Moses said it will be as you have said that you may know that there is no God like the Lord our God.



    Moses has gone before Pharaoh to tell him to let God’s people go. Pharaoh has refused to let the people go. A series of plagues have begun not to convince Pharaoh to do what God has told him to do but rather to prove to Pharaoh and the rest of the world that God is in control and to say to the children of Israel that Moses is God’s man and that they should follow Him. God wanted everyone to know that there was no one like Him, no one.

    God made the water in the river Nile to turn to blood. The Egyptians worshipped the Nile. God proved that He had power over the Nile. The second plague that God brought upon the land was the plague of frogs. The Egyptians worshipped frogs as well. God said in effect, ok if you think frogs are gods then lets give you plenty of frogs and in a matter of hours they were everywhere! People opened their cabinets and frogs were there. They opened pots and there were frogs there too. Everywhere they went they were overrun with frogs.

    Pharaoh called to Moses and Aaron and asked them to speak to God to take away the frogs. Moses asked Pharaoh when did he want the frogs to go away and Pharaoh’s response is one of the strangest in the Bible. He said, “Tomorrow.” Why did he not say, “right now!”

    This is a very good question. Perhaps Pharaoh thought the frogs would go away before that time and he would not be obligated to God or Moses. Perhaps he thought he could get rid of them himself, after all he was Pharaoh; he was considered to be god.

    How often do we look at our own situations and do just like Pharaoh and think, “If things don’t change then I will do something tomorrow.” We don’t like the situation that we find ourselves in but we are determined to work things out our own ways and we look at God as a last resort instead of making Him our first response.

    Pharaoh decided to spend one more night with the frogs. He thought there was a chance that he could do something about the situation that would make it better. The futility that we see in this situation and the choice that he made ought to teach you and me a very valuable lesson; we do not have to spend another night in our sin but we can come to the Lord and ask Him to deliver us right now and He will hear our cry and He will forgive our sin and He will heal our land as well as our lives and He will do it now!



    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><


    Comment (2)

    Wed, Aug 9th - 7:54AM



    Bad Promises            Jeremiah 8:9           August 9




    How can you say, “We are wise and the Law of the Lord is with us?” Look the false pen of the scribes certainly works falsehood. The wise men are ashamed; they are dismayed and taken. Behold they have rejected the Word of the Lord. So what wisdom do they have?



    The people of Jeremiah’s day lived in a very dangerous world. The Assyrians were losing power in the Middle East and the Egyptians began to try to take control of the area. Babylon was also gaining military strength as a new force as well.

    The people of Israel had built strong walled cities and assumed that they would protect them from their enemies. They also knew that God had protected them in the past and they took for granted that He would do it again. The prophets of Judah failed to listen to God but gave messages of comfort and peace to the people. They turned their backs on the Word of God and did what they wanted to do the way that they wanted to do it.

    God’s promises are not always good. Jeremiah went on to write that the wives of the children of Israel would be given over to their enemies and their land an inheritance to foreigners. He writes “everyone is given to covetousness; from the prophet to the priest, everyone deals falsely. The cry “Peace, Peace when there is no peace. I will surely consume them and the things I have given them will surely pass away. When ties of trouble come, there will be no help from the Lord.

    Today we live in a land where we think that we have safety. We think that we are wise and even a lot of people in the church today have a form of Godliness and a false sense of security. Preachers preach socially acceptable messages but there is little to no repentance in the pulpit or the pews. We are not a people of the Book. We are not following after God’s commandments and walking in His Word yet we have this idea that God is still with us.

    We expect His hand of protection and provision in our lives but we have rejected the Word of the Lord in our lives just as the children of Israel had done in Jeremiah’s day or even worse. Wisdom comes when we take God at His Word and make that Word the guide in our lives. When we do what seems right in our own eyes and follow after our own desires and devises, we lose all wisdom and the opportunity to experience God’s goodness and His blessing.

    God’s promise to the children of Israel was that there would be no help for them when their enemies came against them. We do not need to repeat their mistake. We need the Lord and His provisions and His protection in our lives. We need to turn from our sinful self-centered ways and look to the Word of God and let that Word make a difference in the decisions that we make on a moment by moment basis. Let’s not let these types of promises be part of our lives and the lives of those that we love.



    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><


    Comment (5)

    Tue, Aug 8th - 10:24AM



    I Am His         Zechariah 8:8            August 8



    And I will bring them and they shall live in Jerusalem and they shall be My people and I will be their God, in truth and righteousness.



    Israel went through some tough times. Their sin caused most of their problems. In chapter 7, God said, “as I cried they would not listen so when they cried I would not listen. I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations. God does care about the decisions that we make. He cares how we live our lives. The reason that God cares about the decisions that we make is seen in our scripture passage for today.

    God brought the children of Israel back to their homeland. He did it in spite of all of their mistakes. God wants to be our God and He wants us to be His people. Why? Listen to what God says in verse 23 of chapter 7, “the day shall come when men shall take hold of the Jew and say we will go with you because we have heard that God is with you.” This is what God wants people to see in you and me! He wants the world to take note of the things that God is able to do in us and with us and through us. When you and I allow God to be God in our lives, He is glorified as He is able to do things for us that we cannot do for ourselves!

    I am afraid that we have our priorities all wrong when it comes to our relationship with God and why God loves us in the first place. God does not want us worshiping Him because He deserves our worship! He does not want our obedience because He is God and He created us. He does not even want our obedience because Jesus died in my place on the cross. Jesus dies for me so that I could live for Him! He came so that I might have life and have it more abundantly! God wants me to be obedient to Him because it allows Him to be God in my life and it allows Him to do things for me that I cannot do for myself! God wants to be my God, for my benefit not His!

    God wants others to see Jesus in me for two reasons. First of all, when People see Jesus in my life, they are seeing a life filled with God’s peace and His joy in my heart. People can see a difference in the life that I live and the choices that I make. They see a difference in my attitude and in the way I treat others and they will want to have what I have as a child of God. Now the things that they see are not what I am doing, but rather what the Holy Spirit is doing in me because I am His and He is mine.

    This statement is what I call the purpose statement in the Bible. This is all that God wants in you and me; He wants to be our God; He wants us to be His people and when we make that choice and allow Him to take control of our lives, He will deliver us and give us life as well no matter who we are or what we may have done. God is not as interested in where we have been as He is where we are headed!

    I am glad that God wants to be my God; I am glad that He wants to fight my battles and give me the desires of His heart and all I have to do is be His child. My prayer is that I will never choose another path!



    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><


    Comment (3)

    Mon, Aug 7th - 7:06AM



     
    Look Out for the Whirlwind         Hosea 8:7       August 7




    For they have sewn the wind and they shall reap the whirlwind; it has no stalk; the bud shall yield no grain for meal. If there be any yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.



    Israel was an agricultural state. Every farmer knows that a harvest is directly related to what he plants. Israel had put her trust in political leaders without looking to God for guidance. (verse 4) Israel had also made alliances with foreign nations, which Hosea compares to sewing the wind. The alliances that she made were going to cost her dearly because God tells them that they shall reap the whirlwind, a reference to destruction.

    In verse 2 we hear Israel “crying out to God, that they acknowledge God.” It is not enough to simply acknowledge God. Israel had rejected what is good, the Bible tells us. The people were not interested in repenting and turning from their sin; they were not interested in doing things God’s way. They wanted to continue doing things the way they were doing them and they wanted God to fix the mess that they found themselves in.

    There is a lesson in this passage for you and me. If we want God to bless our lives, then we need to live our lives so that He can bless us. When you and I decide that we are going to do things our way no matter what God would have us do, we too sew the wind and are subject to reap the whirlwind. I have been guilty of trying to use God as a means of “damage control” to fix the problems that I found myself in because I did what I wanted to do in my life. When you and I decide that sin is the order for the day, then we can be sure that our sin will find us out and there will be consequences to our decisions.

    Notice Hosea goes on to say that the bud shall yield no grain to make flower and if it does manage to produce some yield, strangers will take it. Israel will not see any fruit from the decisions and the choices that they have made.

    The same is true in your life and mine. We may think what we are doing will produce positive results but sin never pays any lasting dividends. Sin always takes us farther than we want to go; sin always keeps us longer than we want to stay and sin always costs us more than we want to pay.

    Watch what you sew. Be careful how you live your life. Allow God’s Word to be a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path and hide It’s words in your heart so that you will not sin against God. Allow God’s Word and His Holy Spirit guide you in each and every decision that you make. As you do, you sew in spiritual things and you will reap spiritual rewards. Listen to Paul’s admonition to us in Galatians 6:8, “He who sews to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; he who sews to the spirit shall of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” God wants to bless us and He wants to meet our need and give us life that is full and abundant. You and I have to choose life over death! We have to choose to sew things that are of the Spirit as opposed to those things that are of the flesh and of the world. Sewing to the wind is never wise; if you insist on doing so, be sure to look out for the whirlwind!



    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><



    Comment (3)

    Sun, Aug 6th - 8:42AM



    Misery in a Man           Ecclesiastes 8:6              August 6



    Because to every purpose there is a time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him.




    The New International Version words this verse this way “There is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a man’s misery weighs heavily on him.” Solomon talks about a king’s decision how that no one comes up to him and questions him saying, “What do you think you are doing?” Men simply obey his commands and they get along fine. There is Solomon tells us, a proper time and procedure to do anything, including calling a king on the carpet!

    Now in contrast to an earthly king, Solomon goes on to remind us that we do not know what is ahead in our future. We do not know who might not even finish reading this devotional or even my writing it! The day will come when this keypad will sit silent and these devotionals will no longer be written. Solomon tells us that no man has power over the day of his own death.

    God does. He is in complete control of every thing that takes place in the world. Sin has caused God’s control to take on new dimensions but He is still in control. God allows a lot of things to go on because sin has taken such a hold on the lives of so many. One day He will take charge again and He will defeat sin once and for all and He will reign supremely and sovereignly over His creation.

    The misery of a man comes when he chooses death over life, sin over righteousness. When we choose sin over God, judgment comes. It may not come immediately; the effects of that judgment may not be felt right away but it will come. Misery is the absence of peace and joy, which come from God we live our lives according to His instruction and His inspiration. We understand the only way to overcome fear is with faith; likewise, the only way to overcome misery is with God’s peace and the joy that only He can give.

    How can we have that peace and that joy? They come into our lives when we take God at His Word and we live our lives one decision at a time honoring Him and our faith and trust in Him by living our lives according to His Word and His instruction. That is what Solomon tells us that helps us get along with civil rulers; so the same principle works in the spiritual world as well!

    Solomon goes on to tell us that it is better to be godly and live with adversity than to be wicked and live in prosperity. I would rather die with Jesus than live without Him. The question that you and I have to remind ourselves of each and every day is not, “Would I be willing to die for My Lord tomorrow?” but rather, “Am I willing to live for Him today?” Misery is the result of not being willing to live for Jesus today, His way.



    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><



    Comment (1)

    Sat, Aug 5th - 8:49AM



     
    Hearing and Heeding           Leviticus 8:5          August 5




    And Moses said to the congregation, “This is the thing that the Lord commanded to be done.”




    God told Moses to gather all the children of Israel at the door of the tabernacle. Moses was to take Aaron and his sons and put their priestly garments on them before all the people and then he was to offer a sacrifice before the Lord on their behalf.

    Moses was careful to make sure that the people knew that “This is the thing that the Lord commanded to be done” and Moses did as the Lord told Moses to do.

    The thought for today is simple. We need to listen for the voice of the Lord in our lives. We need to hear Him when He speaks to us. We need to know what the Lord commands us to do. How can we hear Him speaking to us?

    That answer is not as difficult as we may think. The reason Moses could hear God speak to him is two-fold. First of all, God did actually speak to him! God spoke to Moses because Moses had a personal relationship with God. Moses walked with God. You and I can do the same thing today. As God’s children, we have the Holy Spirit living in our hearts and because He dwells in us, He seeks to speak to us on a daily basis as you and I live our lives.

    I tell people that the difference in a lost person and a Christian is that when Satan whispers a lie in the ear of a child of God, the Holy Spirit whispers in the other ear and the decision then is ours as to which voice we listen to as we make decisions. Someone may say, “God has never spoken to me.” If you are His child, sure He has!

    His Spirit convicted you of your sin and helped you to realize that you needed Him and because of that need, you prayed and asked God to forgive you of your sin and you invited Christ into your heart and into your life. God spoke to you! When you go to make a decision, God speaks to you again. His voice may be a scripture verse or His voice may be conviction not to do something that you are contemplating. In any event, God des speak to you!

    The key to being able to hear God’s voice is found in your determination to walk with God moment by moment in each and every decision that you make. Moses knew what God wanted him to do and the Bible tells us that Moses did as the Lord commanded him to do.

    You and I can live our lives doing what the Lord tells us to do as well. As you and I determine in our hearts and in our minds that we are going to give God every decision that we make, something wonderful happens. First of all, we begin to experience life in all of its glory and all of its goodness. Second, as we surrender to that still small voice in our hearts, we begin to hear it more and more! Obedience brings us closer and closer to God’s presence and that is where we begin to hear His voice more and more. As you and I do what the Spirit of the Lord and the Word of the Lord tell us to do, then we begin to understand His Word better and we come to hear that word better as well.



    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><



    Comment (5)

    Fri, Aug 4th - 9:49AM



    God Cares For Me              Psalm 8:4               August 4



    What is man that You are mindful of Him and the son of man that You have visited or care for Him?




    David begins this Psalm with an exclamation, “How excellent is You name in all the earth!” He is rejoicing because God has delivered him. In some of the Psalms just before this one, David pleas for deliverance and protection from various difficulties and trials that he has faced. Sometimes, we have to learn to take our eyes off of our problems and focus them on God. When we do, something wonderful happens. We realize that the God who made the heavens and earth is the same God that loves us and cares for us and He knows what we need and He has the ability to meet our need!

    “What is man that You are mindful of him and that You care for him?” David asks. You have made him to have dominion over all the works of You hands and You have put all things under His feet. David knows that God has made him king. He has gone from being a shepherd boy to a king. He has moved from running for his life to a palace. His popularity is enormous in the land and even among neighboring lands.

    Why God would You do so much for me? Why do You care so much for me? The universe is the creation of Your fingers! Just look out at the stars and the magnificence of the night time sky! God made it all. He made the tiniest flowers and the aroma they give off is amazing. God gave us dominion over all the earth. Imagine for a moment the God of creation doing all this for us! It truly is amazing to think that God has gone to all this for me but He did!

    Not only has God created this earth for me to enjoy, He gave His Son to pay the penalty for my sin so that I could enjoy eternity with Him as well. Jesus died for me! He died in my place. He died for me so that I could live with Him and for Him. Who am I that You, God would give You Son to die in my place? What an awesome act of love from a God who indeed loves me with an everlasting love!

    David knew that God loved him because he looked around him and everything that he saw reminded him of God’s goodness and His grace. You and I have the same thing all around us plus the cross to know that God indeed does love us and because He has loved us and He cares for us, we ought to be that much more determined to walk with Him every moment of every day! That is my sole desire!



    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><


    Comment (2)

    Thu, Aug 3rd - 10:56AM



    Attentive Ears         Nehemiah 8:3         August 3



    And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and women and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the Law.




    The children of Israel called to Ezra to read to them the law that was given to Moses. Jerusalem was destroyed in 586 BC. 50 years later, Persia conquered Babylon and exiles were allowed to return to Jerusalem. The temple was rebuilt around 516 BC and then in 458 there is a second return of exiles to Jerusalem under Ezra. Ezra found favor in the king of Persia’s eyes and he allowed Ezra to take exiles with him back to Jerusalem and he even gave money to fund the rebuilding of the temple there.

    Ezra was a man who stood before the Lord. There was a gathering of people in Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles or booths. This explains why there would have been women and children there, listening to Ezra’s reading of the Law. The people wanted to hear the Law. They wanted to know what God had to say to them.

    Ezra read the law from morning until midday and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the Law. It is one thing for Ezra to read for 6 or 7 hours but it is another for the people not only to stand there listening but they listened attentively. If a preacher today goes 5 minutes past noon, people begin to get restless because they think the Methodists are going to beat them to the restaurant for lunch.

    Reading on in the chapter, the leaders encourage the people to hear the Word of the Lord and to accept God’s forgiveness and the Bible tells us that the people did repent and they did respond and great joy filled their hearts and there was a great celebration.

    How do we respond to God’s Word in our own lives? How eager are we to hear the Word proclaimed? How readily are we to listen attentively? How diligently are we to heed the Word as it is proclaimed to us? How does the Word affect us?

    We need to make God’s Word a priority in our lives. We need to listen to the Word as it is proclaimed. We need to do more than just come to church. We need to listen attentively to the Word so that the Holy Spirit can speak to our hearts and help us to make decisions that will affect our lives and the life of our church.

    The people listened to the Word and they repented and God filled their hearts with joy and they celebrated the relationship that they had with a God who loved them very, very much. Perhaps we all ought to listen attentively this Sunday so that the Lord might fill our hearts with joy and our churches as well! The world certainly needs to see something different than what they are seeing!



    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><


    Comment (2)

    Wed, Aug 2nd - 10:40AM



    What Is In Our Heart       Deuteronomy 8:2        August 2



    And you shall remember all the way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and to prove you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.




    Moses is reminding the children of Israel where they have been. Time and time again we find Moses gathering the children of Israel and reminding them of where they have come from and how God has fed them in the wilderness and how He has given them water to drink. He reminds them that God’s presence was with them wherever they went. When it was night, there was a pillar of fire that lit their way and during the day there was a pillar of a cloud that shielded them from the hot sun. God’s presence and His power had been with them ever step that they had taken. Even when they had sinned against Him, He still remained faithful to them and protected them and provided for them.

    Moses knows that the time has come for God to take the children of Israel into the Promised Land. He knows that he will not go in with them. His days are now numbered. The end of his life is just around the corner.

    Moses makes a comment here that is unique and deserves our attention. He tells the people that God has let the people wander in the wilderness to humble them and to prove to each of them what was in their hearts, whether they would keep His commandments or not. Remember something. This generation of people that Moses is speaking to is made up of the real young that came out of Egypt and a generation of people who had been born in the wilderness. There are very few adults in this crowd of people who actually lived in Egypt because they had all died off. Only Joshua and Caleb remained of the adults that came out of Egypt.

    This is why God says through Moses that this ordeal has been one to test their hearts to see who would keep His commandments. These people’s parents died in the wilderness because of their unwillingness to trust God and to follow Him into the Promised Land. This generation could have made the same mistake! However, they saw what God had done for them and for their families and this generation of people born in the wilderness wanted to experience the goodness of God and so they were willing to go where God told them to do and to some degree, were willing to do what God told them to do.

    You and I have not been in the wilderness. We have been privileged to be born in the Promised Land. We have grown up in a land of plenty and abundance. We have grown up in the lap of luxury. God is looking at us and wanting to remind us from where we have come and who is responsible for all the things that we have. The problem that we have in our country in our day is this notion that we have what we deserve because of our educational advances and our own ingenuity and our fortitude and our technological advances. However, if we fail to recognize who it really is that has blessed us, we run the risk of failing the same test that God was giving to the children of Israel in Moses’ day.

    We need to remember all the ways that the Lord our God has led us these “forty years” and we need to understand that God is responsible for all that we are and all that we have and the real test that we face is what is in our hearts, whether we will keep His commandments or not. God reminded the children of Israel of the things that He had provided to them the forty years that they were in the wilderness and because of what He had done, they should continue to serve and follow Him.

    God has done so much more for you and me and because of all that He has done for us, we too ought to thank Him not with out lips but with our lives in each and every decision that we make as we determine to walk with the Lord and keep His commandments!



    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><


    Comment (1)

    Tue, Aug 1st - 6:28AM



    Walk in the Spirit         Romans 8:1      August 1



    1There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.




    2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

    There is no condemnation to those who walk according to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. When we walk with Christ, following the instruction of His Word and the direction of His Spirit, there is no need for the Law. Paul says “what the law could not do in that the flesh was weak, God did by sending His own Son.” Jesus fulfilled the Law as he walked in perfect union with His heavenly Father. Jesus did exactly what God had planned for Him to do.

    When we walk according to the Spirit, we do the things of the Spirit and God is glorified and our lives are the best that they can possibly be. The Law had no ability to bless anybody. God’s purpose and plan from the very beginning was for us to allow God to be God in our lives. All He ever wanted was the opportunity to be God to anyone who would be His people. The Law did not encourage a relationship with Him. The truth is, it hindered a relationship. People did one of two things where the law was concerned. First, they failed in keeping the Law, and because of their guilt they prohibited God from being able to do what He wanted to do in their lives. Second, some became so earthly good, they were no heavenly good. As some made the letter of the law their God, their self-righteousness separated them from God as well.

    Jesus came to bridge that gap once and for all. He paid the price for sin because He overcame sin both in His life and in His death. He paid the penalty of sin so that we would not have to. As we walk in the spirit, obedient to the instruction of the Spirit, we find life that is full and abundant. We do not have to worry about the Law because the Spirit is life and those who walk in the Spirit have that life.

    When we begin to understand the importance of faith, believing that God is everything that He says He is and that He will do everything that He says He will do… and we start to walk in the Spirit following the leadership of the Spirit because He knows what is best for our lives, we will find a quality of life that we could not even begin to imagine could be ours. God wants to bless us exceedingly abundantly more than we could ask or hope for! Think about that for a moment. That is some blessing!



    .
    "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you."



    ><> Bob <><


    Comment (3)

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    About Me

    Name: Bob Hadley of Saved By Grace Ministries
    ChristiansUnite ID: sbgm
    Member Since: 2006-03-04
    Location: Ormond Beach, Florida, United States
    Denomination: Southern Baptist
    About Me: I am a bi-vocational preacher and evangelist as well as a singer. I have been writing these daily devotionals now for 4 years. This years devotionals are written where month and day coorespond to a chapter and verse somewhere in the Bible. For exampl... more

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