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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!

          
          ><>
          

    Mon, Jul 31st - 7:40AM



    What Are We Like?        Luke 7:31            July 31



    And the Lord said, “Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation and to what are they like?”




    John the Baptist is in prison. He sent his disciples to make sure that Jesus was the One that the Jews were to look for or should they look for another. Jesus’ response to them was, “Go tell John the things that you have seen and heard; how the blind see and the lame walk and the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear and the dead are raised to life. Tell him that the gospel is preached to the poor.”

    In verse 28 Jesus tells the people gathered around Him, “Among those born of women there is not a greater profit than John the Baptist but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he is.”

    The Jesus asks the question in our scripture verse for today and in verse 32 He begins to answer His own question. “They are like children sitting in the marketplace calling out to one another saying, We have piped to you and you have not danced; we have mourned you and you have not wept. John the Baptist came neither eating or drinking with you but You say he has a devil. The Son of man has come eating and drinking and you say He is a gluttonous man and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. Wisdom is justified of all of her children.”

    The truth is the religious folk of Jesus’ day were not satisfied with John the Baptist’s ministry and they were not satisfied with His ministry. They were acting like children in the marketplace playing their little games and no one listened to them. It was as if they were mad because some folks listened to John and they followed Jesus and instead of listening and following themselves they got mad and wanted to take their toys and go home. These people that Jesus spoke to were the people who were responsible for John being put into prison! Jesus tells them that wisdom is justified in all who will embrace her.

    I wonder what Jesus would liken our generation to today?

    We are not much better than the scribes and Pharisees were in Jesus’ day. We know that Jesus did all the wonderful and miraculous things. Unlike the generation that Jesus was speaking to in our text, we know that Jesus died on a cross and was buried in a tomb and three days later He walked out of that tomb triumphant over death, victorious over the grave, free for all to see a glorious Savior risen and alive!

    But what do we do with that knowledge? How does what we know affect what we do and how we live our lives? Sometimes I am afraid that we are guilty of playing our own games and doing our own thing and not taking into consideration our relationship with the Lord the way that we should and we fail to allow wisdom to take its place in our lives. Wisdom comes from God and wisdom comes as you and I begin to trust Christ and His Word for our lives and we begin to put His word to work in our hearts and in our lives. When you and I allow the Written Word to become the Living Word in our lives something wonderful starts to happen! We begin to experience life in all of its wonder and all of its splendor as God intended for it to be!
    We have all the knowledge that we need to make a decision to follow after the Lord; We have all the information that we need to know that He is indeed the King of Kings and the Lord of Lord but the question still is the same today as it was back then, “Who am I to you?” To what shall I liken this generation and what are they like?

    I do not want to be like children playing in the marketplace but rather I want wisdom that comes from God to direct my path and influence my life! I want the things that I have seen and heard in Him to direct my life; how the blind see and the lame walk and the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear and the dead are raised to life. I want this Jesus who is the way the truth and the life to be my life, both now and forever.



    .
    "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)

    Sun, Jul 30th - 2:22PM



    Somebody for Him              Acts 7:30             July 30



    And when forty years were expired, there appeared unto him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai an angel of the Lord in a flame in a bush.



    One of the more human stories in all of the Bible is the story of Moses and the burning bush. It was here that God called Moses to move from a shepherd of sheep to being God’s shepherd for the children of Israel. God told Moses, “I have heard the cries of My people in Egypt and I am coming down to deliver them. And now come, I will send you to Egypt.” (Verse 34)

    Moses has been on the backside of the wilderness for forty years. Remember where he came from. Moses grew up as Pharaoh’s grandson. He had the finest education that a man could get. He was in line to be king of Egypt. Ironically, Pharaoh was a god in Egypt. Moses was the son of the god of Egypt. Moses killed an Egyptian for striking a Hebrew and he fled for his life. This man who had it all had to go to the backside of nowhere so that God could use him.

    While Moses was in Egypt, there was no doubt rumors circulating among the people, “When Moses gets to be Pharaoh, we will have it made.” He was the hands down choice to lead the children of Israel to prosperity. He was man’s choice.

    When killed the Egyptian you would think that his popularity among the Israelites would have spread. It did not and word soon reached Pharaoh’s ears and Moses ran for his life. God took Moses and He led him to the backside of the wilderness to tune his heart to become the man that He needed to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. God had to take this “somebody” and make him into a nobody so that he could be somebody in God’s hands.

    God does not need mine and your ability to accomplish His purpose and plan in His world. Notice what God told Moses, “I am coming down to deliver My people from the bondage of Egypt.” God knew what He was going to do and how He was going to do it; He chose to include Moses in His plans.

    Perhaps your life has been a difficult one and so much of your life may have seemed to be wasted. I am sure Moses spent many a night over that 40 years out under the evening stars thinking, “I had it made! How could I have ended up back out here herding sheep!” Moses could sit and talk philosophy with the best of them at one time. However, all that learning had little use out there in the wilderness with a bunch of sheep. In 40 years Moses had forgotten most of what he had learned when he was back in Egypt.

    What he did know was how to take orders and how to lead sheep and that is exactly what God needed to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt!

    I wonder what it is that God may be preparing you for? If you have spent any time in the wilderness it was no doubt God’s effort to take away that “somebody in you” so that you could be somebody for Him! It is up to you how long you will have to stay in that wilderness! God will do whatever it takes to accomplish what He wants to accomplish in your life so that He can include you in what He has planned to do among His people.


    .
    "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)

    Sat, Jul 29th - 4:33PM



     
    Jesus Is There For Us       Mark 7:29       July 29




    And Jesus said to her, For this saying go your way; the devil is gone out of your daughter.



    It is relatively early in Jesus public ministry. His popularity has begun to spread as people were telling stories of His ability to heal the sick. Mark tells us that Jesus went into someone’s home privately but this woman apparently had been following Him and she went into the house to speak to Him.

    The woman had a young daughter who “had an unclean spirit”. This woman wanted Jesus to heal her daughter. Jesus looked at the woman and told her, “Let the children be fed first. It is not right to take the children’s bread and cast it to the dogs.”

    This seems to be a harsh statement that Jesus makes to the woman. The woman knows that she is an outsider. She knows that Jesus is a Jew and that He has come to the Jews. A dog was a common term used in Jesus’ day to refer to a gentile or a non-Jew. The woman displays a measure of faith that touched Jesus’ heart. She knew that He could save her daughter. She knew that her time would come!

    Listen to her remark back to Jesus, “Yes, you are right. The dogs under the table get to eat the crumbs that the children drop.” What is she saying here? She understood that she had to wait her turn but she knew that time would come! Jesus knew that His ministry was first and foremost to people of faith! This lady demonstrated her faith in Jesus’ ability to heal her daughter and her daughter was as important to Him as was any other child in Israel or anywhere for that matter!

    Jesus did not come to reward those who deserved it. He did not come to reward those who were of a particular race or creed. Jesus came to serve those who looked to Him in simple childlike faith, believing that He is everything that He says He is and that He will do everything that He says He will do. This woman did not try to convince Jesus that she deserved anything. She simply came to Him knowing that He could heal her daughter.

    This woman demonstrated a quality of faith that we need in our lives today. She was desperate. She would take Jesus’ healing anyway she could get it. Jesus saw her faith and He healed her daughter.

    There are two thoughts that I have tonight. First, you and I need to remember that Jesus is the way the truth and the life. He is all we need. He is the answer to whatever is wrong in our lives and we need to come to Him in faith knowing and trusting that He will deliver us. We need to understand that our obedience does not make God love us more than He already does but our disobedience says to Him, “I am going to do this my way and I do not need You God.”

    The second thought focuses on Jesus’ response to this woman. She was an outsider. She did not belong in this man’s house. Jesus did not have to even talk to this woman. He did. Who do you and I come in contact that we do not want to have anything to do with because they are not like we are? How do we respond to those around us who have real needs and need someone to give them a hand up?

    This woman needed Jesus and she came to Him and He was there for her. He will be there for you and me and we need to be careful that we are there for others 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 (2)

    Fri, Jul 28th - 8:06AM



    Strengthened By His Hand       Ezra 7:28         July 28



    And has extended mercy unto me before the king and his counselors and before all the king’s mighty princes. I was strengthened as the hand of the Lord was upon me and I gathered out of Israel chief men to go up with me.




    Ezra brought a group of exiles from Babylon back to Jerusalem some 60 years or so after the temple had been built. He was a committed student and teacher of the Law of Moses. King Artaxerxes who was king over Persia praises Ezra for the things that he did while he was in Babylon. The king told Ezra that any Jews that lived in his region could go to Jerusalem with him and the king ordered the treasurers to give him all the silver and gold that he needed for the trip as well as to purchase bulls and goats to offer a fitting sacrifice for the king and his country.

    In verses 27 and 28 Ezra gives testimony to the power of God in his life. He writes, “Praise to God who has put this in the king’s heart to bring honor to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem in this way.” Ezra apparently lived a life that others noticed! When the king notices someone’s actions they are either exemplary or notorious. Ezra’s life was apparently an exemplary one as evidenced by the king’s response to it. However, Ezra was careful not to take credit for what God had done and not him. Ezra wanted everyone to know that his life was what it was because of what God had done in him and for him.

    Ezra wanted everyone to know that it was God who had touched the king’s heart to find favor in Ezra’s life and it was God who lead the king to be so generous in his gifts to God. God has extended mercy toward me before the king and his counselors and before all the king’s mighty men. Ezra goes on to say that it was the Lord who strengthened him to gather up chief men to make the trip to Jerusalem. All Ezra did was do what God gave him the strength and favor to do.

    God gave Ezra the strength and courage to do something that he had never done before. Just like Abraham, God called Ezra to leave his “home land”, the land where he was born and had lived his life and to go to Jerusalem. He instructed him to take others with him. God opened the doors for Ezra to know that it was God who was calling him to go. He provided the means for him to go as well and He did it in grand fashion.

    God will do the same for you and me today if we are willing to just listen to His voice and then obey his voice. But there is a prerequisite to His calling. Ezra was a student and teacher of the Law before God called him to go to Jerusalem. God does not often call us to greatness before we become students of His law. He builds this foundation in our hearts and in our lives as we study His law and make it a light unto our path and a lamp unto our feet hiding its words in our hearts that we might not sin against Him. Then He speaks to us and calls us to even greater walks with Him.

    What is it that God wants to do in your life? Where is it that He wants to give you His favor to do for Him? Allow Him to begin to do a wonderful work in your life as you take Him by the hand and begin to walk with Him on a daily basis as you become a student of His Word and a servant in His court!



    .
    "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, Jul 27th - 11:52AM



    Soon Rather Than Later      Ezekiel 7:27      July 27



    The king shall mourn and the prince shall be clothed with desolation and the hands of the people of the land shall be troubled. I will do unto them after their way and according to their deserts shall I judge them; and they shall know that I am the Lord.




    Israel has flaunted her pride and rebellion before the Lord time and time again. She has become exceptionally wicked in almost everything that she does. There is very little among the people that brings God any pleasure at all. In verse 3 we hear God telling the children of Israel that their time has come; God’s judgment is being set upon them.

    The king who should be encouraging and charging the people is useless in his appeal. The prince who leads them has no ability to rally the people at all. They themselves mourn. Everything that the people undertake will be troubled and meet with failure. Why? Because all that they care about has nothing to do with Him! The want silver and gold to build their brazen altars and idols to worship. Their lives are filled with every thing imaginable except for God and His ways for their lives.

    He tells the people that He will judge them according to the ways they have judged others and in the end, they shall know that He is the Lord.

    This has a terrible ring to it. It is difficult to see God in this way. However, even in His warnings of judgment and impending doom, there is this hope for repentance. God’s judgment is eminent. It has not been unleashed. There is still time to repent and accept Him and His will and way for life.

    This was true in Ezekiel’s life and it is true in your life and mine today. If the threat of God’s judgment is a difficult picture to accept, then accept Him and the worries of judgment and doom are taken care of! God’s warning is an opportunity or invitation for repentance. There is a redemptive picture of God’s goodness and His grace even in judgment.

    The thing that we all have to remember is that over and over again God tells us that He will do unto us according to our own ways. When I choose to follow Him and to trust Him with my life and my hope for eternity then He will do for me what I have placed in His hand. When I reject Him and His way for my life and His offer of a free pardon for my sins and I choose to work out my own salvation and do what seems right in my own eyes, then God is self obligated to do for me according to the choices that I made for myself.

    He has given me every opportunity to repent and turn to Him and let Him be God in my life and all I have to do is say “yes” to Him and allow His will to be my will and God’s judgment is turned to grace and mercy, which is the desire of His heart in the first place!

    We are all going to know that He is Lord some day for the day is coming when every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. God wants that time to be sooner rather than later.



    .
    "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)

    Wed, Jul 26th - 7:17AM



     
    Permissible or Profitable           Deuteronomy 7:26          July 26



    Neither shall you bring an abomination into your house, let you be a cursed thing like it. You shall utterly detest it and shall utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.



    God has promised the Israelites that He will bless them greatly if they will obey His commandments. God says in verse 11, You shall therefore keep My commandments and the statutes and the judgments which I command you this day to do them. He goes on to tell them that if they will keep His commandments, He will keep His covenant or promise made to their fathers to love them and bless them and multiply them and He will drive their enemies out from before them.

    As God destroys these foreign nations, the people are not to take the graven images of their gods into their homes because it will defile their homes. They are not to take any gold or silver from the spoils because God is the one who has given them the victory and He did not want His people to be tempted to depend on silver and gold as opposed to depending on Him. He told them that these things could become a snare to them.

    Do not bring these abominations into your house lest they corrupt you as well. You shall utterly detest these things and abhor them for they are cursed things.

    How could this passage apply to your life and mine today? What spiritual applications could we glean from this warning that God gave His people so many years ago? The first thing that we might consider is what “gods” do we allow into our homes today? We may not have graven images that we sit down and worship but are there things that we have allowed into our homes and into our lives that are more important to us than God is? We need to take a good look at our lives and make sure that we have put these things out of our lives as well for they are an abomination before God just as the graven images were in Moses’ day. Any thing that we put in front of God is an abomination before Him and it is detrimental to our lives and our relationship to God.

    What about the things that we watch on television? What about the books that we read and the magazines that we look at? We sit and watch things on television and we read about in books that we would not do ourselves but it is ok for us to watch these images and watch people do things that we know God would not approve of in our lives. Here is what happens. These things begin to desensitize us and help us to begin to think, “those things are not so bad after all” and it can cause us to stumble and fall at some weak moment in our lives.

    We need to be careful about what we do and the things that we allow to come into our homes and into our lives. The influences that we give liberty to can and will affect the decisions that we make and the decisions that we make determine the direction that our lives will go in. God wants to be that influence and He wants to direct our paths for His glory and our benefit.

    Someone made a statement that I hope I never forget. He said, “It may be permissible but it is profitable.” Good things can be bad for us if they keep us from having what is best for us. These influences that we allow into our homes and into our lives are not good for us. They may be permissible but the real question is are the profitable. May we look to the Lord for His best and not settle for what is good and permissible but for what is profitable for us and the best that we can have!



    .
    "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)

    Tue, Jul 25th - 8:06AM



     
    Intercession         Hebrews 7:25         July 25



    He is able to save them to the uttermost that come to God through Him, seeing that He ever lives to make intercession for us.



    Wow what a promise! God created us for His own good pleasure, which is to save us to be with Him in eternity forever. God sent His Son to this world so that whosever would believe in Him might not perish but would have everlasting life. Jesus lives to make intercession for us. What does that really mean and how does that affect your life and mine?

    I looked at some English words that are synonyms for intercession. What I found were, intervention, mediation, arbitration and negotiation. Jesus is in heaven doing all of these things on our behalf! Jesus went to the cross to pay the penalty for my sin. When God asks, “Why should I forgive Bob Hadley?” Jesus’ answer is simple; “I paid the penalty for His sin.” He intervenes on my behalf.

    As a mediator He stands before God on my behalf and He stands before me on God’s behalf. As a mediator, He presents God’s Law to me and seeks to help me understand the purpose and value of that law. As a mediator, He makes His presentation to me and it is my choice to accept His offer. As an arbitrator, He stands on my behalf before God and declares my innocence before God because I have been bought by the blood of the Lamb and my salvation is eternally secure in Him.

    As a negotiator, He stands on my behalf again to speak on my behalf to get for me all that is available for me in heaven. As part of that negotiation process, He speaks to me as to the conditions that are necessary on my part to allow God to do what He has planned to do. Our relationship is a conditional one; God will do for me as I am willing to do what He has planned for me to do.

    It is comforting to me to know that there is not a single solitary moment that I am alone no matter what I may be facing because Jesus is there making intercession on my behalf. He will speak to the Father for me; He will speak to me on the Father’s behalf and He will also stand in the gap for me to protect me from the temptations of the devil. If I will learn to walk with Him trusting Him for what is best for my life, He will bless me and protect me and guide me to righteousness and He will be there for me every step of the way!

    As a child of God, I am indeed blessed!


    .
    "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, Jul 24th - 8:09AM



    Build on the Rock        Matthew 7:24         July 24



    24“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:



    Jesus goes on to say, 25“and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27“and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

    I looked at this passage of scripture and I could not help but think… if the winds were strong enough and the waves high enough even the house built on the rock could still fall. We all know and understand that the house built on the sand had no chance of standing. So, the moral of Jesus’ teaching is we are always better off building on the rock, which is Jesus.

    However, I realized that there is a difference in the builders of these two houses as well as the houses themselves. Not only is there a difference in the foundation “where” they built these houses, there is a difference in how the houses themselves were built as well! Jesus said… “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:“ He then said “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:“

    A wise man will build his house using every possible avenue to make it the strongest that it can possibly be. He will spare no expense to make it as strong as possible. He will build the basics first and then add the luxuries as he can. A foolish man is more interested in the looks on the outside than the strength on the inside… He is more concerned with the trim than He is with the trusses.

    So it is with our lives. When we base our lives on the Word of God we have a foundation that is solid and a decision process that is sure. When we fail to heed the Words that we hear, and I am convinced that God is not as concerned about the parts that we have not heard or do not understand… as He is the parts that we have heard and we do understand… we fail to build our lives on a solid foundation and we fail to make decisions that will produce a life that will be able to stand the tests of the storm.

    There is some good news… no great news… Paul said Abraham “waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Hebrews 11:10) God can take a life that is storm tossed and wind damaged and is about to fall down and He can make it brand new again and set it on the Rock when we choose to let Him do it! He is the Master architect and the Master builder and He can make our lives sound and stable in a moments notice. All we have to do is take him at His Word and build our lives on it one decision at a time!

    There is no life so far gone that He cannot build it back; as long as there is a breath there is hope!



    .
    "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, Jul 23rd - 8:45AM



    Obey God’s Voice      Jeremiah 7:23        July 23



    Obey My voice and I will be your God and you shall me My people. Walk in all My ways that I have commanded you that it may be will unto you.



    God has looked at the foolish actions of the children of Israel in Jeremiah’s day. They were sacrificing to foreign gods and making a mockery of God’s position in their lives. He says, that they do it to “provoke Me to anger.” Apparently they were giving their sacrifices to God along with everything else that they were doing. In verse 22, God says that He did not give them any regulations concerning sacrifices when He brought them out of Egypt. He says, what I did tell them was, “Obey My voice and I will be your God and you shall me My people. Walk in all My ways that I have commanded you that it may be will unto you.”

    However, God says, “They did not hearken unto His voice nor did they listen to what He told them, but they walked in the counsel and imagination of their own evil hearts.” God said, ever since Israel came out of Egypt, God said that He has sent prophets to the people but they have not heard them either. God told Jeremiah to tell Israel, “This is a nation that does not obey the voice of the Lord their God; nor receives correction truth is perished and is cut off from them.”

    The same words could well be written of our country today. God has done so much for us as a nation and a people whose motto has been, “In God We Trust.” Listen to the Psalmist as he writes, “Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners not sits in the seat of the scornful.” (Psalm 1:1) Then in the 33d Psalm David wrote, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. The counsel of the Lord stands forever!” (Psalm 33:12-13)

    It is time for us as God’s children to obey God’s voice so that He can be our God and we can be His people. We need to walk in God’s ways so that He can bless us and give us life that is full and abundant! When we walk in God’s ways and we are obedient to His Word, it is well unto us. Life is meant to be lived according to God’s direction and His instruction so that it will be well with us. When we fail to do so, we intentionally seek to provoke God and we rob Him of the joy that He gets as He blesses us.

    Let’s stand up and step out and let’s obey God’s voice and walk in His way so that it will be well with us as individuals and us a nation once again!


    .
    "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, Jul 22nd - 6:57AM



    None Like You, Lord         II Samuel 7:22        July 22



    “Therefore You are great, O Lord GOD. For there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears.”




    David has become king in Israel. He lived in a fine mansion and had a great life. He looked at the tabernacle, which represented the place that God dwelt with His people. David thought, I want to build God a temple, a permanent dwelling place in the permanent land that God has given to the children of Israel.

    God told Nathan to tell David that He was honored at David’s desire. He told David that He would raise up one of David’s sons to be king and that he would build Him a Tempe in Jerusalem God also promised David through his descendents would rule Israel forever. David was overwhelmed at all that God had already done for him and now his cup ran over in gratitude for all that God had promised him.

    You are Great, O Lord God, for there is none like You, nor is there any god besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. David even asks God in verse 19, “Do you deal with everyone this way, O Sovereign LORD?” David is indeed right; there is no god like our God. If we will just open our eyes and ears to Him, we too will see His hand at work in our lives and His words will become alive in our hearts as He blesses us in very special ways. David saw much of what God had done for him and he stopped to thank God for all that He had done and you and I need to be careful that we do the same thing.

    One of the challenges that you and I face in our lives is being able to see God’s hand in all that we do. If we are not careful, we can look at all that we have and even what we have become and say, “I have worked so hard to be where I am and have what I have.” David certainly could have done that. He was king. He was a mighty, strong warrior. He was the respected leader of a strong army of men. These men loved David.

    However, David remembered his early days when Samuel came to his father’s house and saw him and said, this young man will one day be king of Israel. He remembered the times that he fled for his life and he knew that had it not been for God, he would never have lived.

    You and I have sinned against God and we do not deserve all that God has done for us in His Son Jesus. He loved me in spite of who I am and all the things that I have done. He has forgiven me and He has gently led me to this place in my life for a very special purpose and just like David, I am overwhelmed and my cup runneth over because of how great God is and how great His love is for me and for my family. There is indeed no one like Him in all of the world! as for me and my house, we will continue to serve the Lord with all our heart, soul, and strength; to Him be honor and glory forever, AMEN!


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



    ><> Bob <><


    Comment (6)

    Fri, Jul 21st - 8:18AM



    Life Demands Justice       Genesis 7:21      July 21



    21And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man.



    Judgment is not a popular subject. In fact, we love to talk about God’s love and His goodness and His blessings and His patience and His mercy and His grace and on and on the list might go; however, we do not talk much about the side of God’s character called judgment. When God sealed up the arc with Noah and his family and animals in it, He saved them from the flood. This is a great story for them but it is a tragic story for everyone and everything else. For when He sealed the arc, He sealed the fate of those outside that arc as well.

    How can such a loving God be so destructive?

    God is first of all the God of creation. He created life for a purpose. We as a part of His creation need to fulfill the purpose for which we were created. If we do not then there are consequences that have to be paid. We are no different in our own lives. If you purchase a car and it stays in the shop more than it does on the road, what do you do? You trade it for one that will do what you bought it to do. If your refrigerator does not cool the food inside it you either get it fixed or you get another one. No one likes lukewarm milk to drink. God said the same thing. He said that He would rather us be cold or hot but not lukewarm! (Revelation 3:16)

    Judgment is the flip side of God’s blessing or His mercy. God has established a covenant with us as His children. He wants to be our God and He wants us to be His people. He wants to meet our need and He wants to fight our battles but in order to do that, we have to respond to His invitation and offer. God has given us every possible opportunity to come to Him so that He can do for us all the things that He so much wants to do. However, the only thing that God will not do is force His will or even His way into our lives. Because He is a God of love, there is the possibility that you and I will say no to Him and He is willing to take that chance so that we can become objects of His love and affection.

    When we willfully choose not to look to God and we choose to do what we want to do the way we want to do it, there are consequences that we have to pay and those consequences can be devastating. God’s judgment is as sure as His promise of provision and protection. It is impossible to believe in heaven and not believe that there is a place called Hell. It is impossible to expect God’s love and not be aware that He is also a God of judgment.

    Listen to what Paul said in Galatians 5:22, “22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” We do not have to worry about God’s judgment as long as we are walking in His Word and according to His way! When we decide to do what seems in our own eyes, we have to be concerned because life demands justice. Life cannot exist without 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)

    Thu, Jul 20th - 6:04AM



    I Saw, I Wanted and I Took      Joshua 7:20       July 20



    I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels. I coveted them and I took them.



    Here is one of the tragic stories in the Old Testament. The children of Israel had just entered into the Promised Land. God told Joshua to march around the city of Jericho and as they did what God told them to do, God destroyed the city. This was a great victory for the children of Israel and a testimony to the power of God to do what He said He would do as He gave the children of Israel the Promised Land.

    Jericho was a strong city. This one of the cities that the spies saw when they went in some 40 years before and brought back the report that they could not go in and defeat them because they were too strong and their cities were too fortified. The report of the spies was correct in one sense; the cities were fortified and the armies strong and the children of Israel were not equipped to defeat them. However, God never intended for the children of Israel to win the battles; He intended to win them Himself for the children of Israel as He did at Jericho.

    The next battle as against a little city called Ai. The people of Ai whipped the Israelite army and sent them running and 36 men lost their lives. God did not go with them and the army of Israel was defeated. A close look at the scripture will reveal that Joshua made the decision to go against the city. There is no indication that God told him to send the army. This is no doubt Joshua’s first mistake. When Joshua went to God, God told him that someone had committed an awful sin against Him and that sin had to be dealt with.

    A man named Achan had seen some very valuable things among the spoils that God had commanded to be destroyed and he admitted that he wanted them and so he took them. He also admitted that he hid them under his tent. This admission rules out any idea that he did not know that he should not have taken the items. He knew that God had said that nothing was to be taken but rather destroyed. He took them anyway and it cost him his life; it cost him the life of his family and it cost the lives of 36 men who were lost in battle.

    The lesson for us all is simple. We need to be careful with what we see. Achan’s sin was not in what he saw; his sin was born when he coveted it and wanted it for himself. These items did not belong to him but rather belonged to God. Achan decided to take them for himself and that choice cost him dearly. Our sin is serious to God. Our sin costs us as well. It costs those that we love. It costs our churches and the people in our communities and in our country and our world.

    When you see things that you know you have no business having anything to do with, turn from it. Let the Word of God be your guide. Listen to that still small voice in your heart. Achan knew that what he was doing was wrong when he planned to hide the things that he saw, and wanted and was going to take. This choice cost him far more than he ever thought it would cost him. You and I do not want to make that same mistake.



    .
    "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, Jul 19th - 9:34AM



    Obeying Is Everything      I Corinthians 7:19        July 19



    19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; but obeying the commandments of God is everything. (New Revised Standard Version)



    The Holy Spirit has begun touching men’s hearts and making a difference in men’s lives. The gospel message has begun to spread among the gentiles. Jesus reached down and touched a man named Saul and sent him out to spread this gospel message to the gentiles. An issue began to come up regarding the practice of circumcision. Listen to what God told Abraham in Genesis 17, “9And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. 10This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.”

    The Jew was circumcised. It was an act of obedience. God told Abraham, “This is My covenant, which you shall keep. It is between Me and you and your children and your children’s children; Every male child shall be circumcised.” If I had been one of the disciples of Jesus and an apostle in the early church and I had grown up with this understanding, then I would have probably voted that every male believer would be circumcised.

    Here is the problem that really existed. The practice became more important than the One for whom the practice was for. The Jews took the practice and made that the focus as opposed to the focus of being obedient to God and His commandments. In Christ Jesus, God came to make changes on the inside as opposed to some sign on the outside.

    We have some of the same problems in the church today. Some of the traditions that we hold to so dearly have become more important to us than the One for whom the tradition was begun. There are things that we do in our churches today that our fathers did and their fathers before them did and that is the reason that we do them that way today. When the form becomes more important than the Father, there is a serious problem. When we become more concerned with the color of the carpet and the cushions in the pews than we are in reaching the lost for Christ, something is terribly wrong.

    Our churches today are deeply divided. There are issues that face the church today that no doubt shake the very foundations of heaven. There are those who are so determined to make the church fit a certain mode that they miss the whole meaning and purpose of the church and that is to strengthen the brethren to stand in obedience to the commandments of God as opposed to walking in the traditions that men have established and so firmly defended.

    These traditions have separated men and churches down through the centuries and they will continue to do so until Jesus comes. These differences existed in the earliest days of the church and even before the New Testament church! The Sadducees and Pharisees differed in their theology and fought tooth and nail to defend their positions. Even Jesus Himself had a hard time trying to get His message through to them because they refused to listen to anything that was different from what they had been taught. It was as if they were saying, “Don’t confuse me; my mind is already made up!”

    As long as men have different ideas about what it means to obey God’s commandments, these divisions will continue to exist. The challenge that is yours and mine is not to change everyone but to determine in our hearts to be obedient to God and His commandments and let Him change us and then He will change the rest of the world.



    .
    "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, Jul 18th - 6:06AM



    God Delights in His Mercy      Micah 7:18        July 18



    18Who is a God like unto you, that pardons iniquity, and passes by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retains not his anger forever, because he delights in mercy.



    Micah goes on to write, “He will again have compassion on us, and He will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” God delights in giving His mercy to us. Listen to what God tells His chosen people, in verse 15, “As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt, I will show them wonders.”

    God wants to demonstrate His wonderful power in your life and in mine. He does! God wants to show His power to a lost and dying world. He wants you and me to experience His power in our lives. God wants to give us His marvelous mercy. God is able to share His love and His mercy with us as we walk with Him on a day by day basis. When I give God my decisions, He is able to give me His mercy and forgive my sin.

    When I allow God’s presence to come into my life, His power comes. When God’s presence is in my life, His provisions and His protection are there for me as well. God delights in being there for me. The desire of His heart is to be with me and to take care of the circumstances and situations in my life. He wants to spread His wings and show the world who He is and what He can do. God wants to bless our lives so that He can have the opportunity to bless the lives of those around us.

    God does not want to be angry with us. In fact, God is not as concerned with the mistakes we make and even the sin we commit as He is with the reasons we do what we do. God pardons our sin. His Son paid the penalty for our sin. God wants to give us every possible reason to walk with Him as opposed to falling for temptation and sinning. When you and I learn to look to Him and find His forgiveness and His mercy and begin to see Him working in our lives, we should be more determined to stand with Him on a daily basis.

    The great thing about God’s glorious plan is this, the closer we walk with Him and the more obedient we become to His Word and His will for our lives, the more He is able to bless us! The more He blesses us, the more determined we ought to be to get even closer and closer to Him and the closer we get the more blessed we become!

    God indeed pardons our sin and delights in His mercy to us and I am so glad that He does.



    .
    "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, Jul 17th - 7:52AM



    His Heart is On Me         Job 7:17         July 17



    17“What is man, that You should exalt him, That You should set Your heart on him,



    Listen to the New Living Translation of the book of Job, “15 I would rather die of strangulation than go on and on like this. 16 I hate my life. I do not want to go on living. Oh, leave me alone for these few remaining days.

    17 “What are mere mortals, that you should make so much of us? 18 For you examine us every morning and test us every moment. 19 Why won’t you leave me alone—even for a moment? 20 Have I sinned? What have I done to you, O watcher of all humanity? Why have you made me your target? Am I a burden to you? 21 Why not just pardon my sin and take away my guilt? For soon I will lie down in the dust and die. When you look for me, I will be gone.”

    Job has lost his livestock. He has lost his children. His body has been overcome with boils and sores. His life by even the most optimistic observer is desperately difficult at best. Job does not understand what is taking place in his life. He says, “I would rather die than go on like this.”

    Job asks God, “What is man that You should exalt him and set Your heart on him?” Job knew that God watched everything that took place in his life. He knew that God knew everything that he did. Job knew that God not only saw everything he did, he knew that God even knew the desires of his flesh and the deepest secrets of his heart. Job could not understand how God in all of His glory could be so intricately involved in is life.

    “What have I done to burden You? Why have You made me such a target? Why not just pardon my sin and take away my guilt?” Job is helpless in his situation and he is honest in his response to God. He knows that God is uniquely aware of his situation and He also knows that God can stop all that he is suffering through at any time. Even in all of the hurt and the helplessness that Job is experiencing in the depths of his soul, he still trusts God! Job trusts God enough to come to Him in honesty and humility and lay it all on the line to Him. Help me, God for I am about to lose it!

    Who are we that God would exalt us and set His heart on us? Why does God make so much over us? God loves us. Perhaps one might read this story and think, “If that is God’s love, then I will pass.” In Job’s desperation, he knew in his heart that there was so much more to life than what he knew in this life. I believe he had a view of the life that was to come. Job did not fear death. He trusted God. He did not understand what was going on in his life but he continues to trust God!

    Job’s own wife told him to curse God and die and Job could not do it. He had not desire to turn against God. Job knew that everything he was and everything he had came from God. Just like Abraham when he took his only son Isaac up that mountain, somehow he knew in the depth of his heart that God would take care of things even though he had no idea how that would even be possible!

    God cares for us all so very much. He allows things to take place for our benefit and for the benefit of those around us. Job certainly would have passed on this tremendous test had he been consulted. However, his life has been preserved through the centuries because he stood the test and he overcame the best that the devil could throw at him and he did not even know what was going on.

    There may be times when you and I want to ask God, who am I that You should think so much of me… Perhaps you are struggling even today and do not know why. Know that you are special to God and seek Him as Job did. You may not even hear from God; Job didn’t, not for a little while. Know that each of us is uniquely special to God and even in our darkest hour, God is right there to hold us up because He has set His heart on us. He will bring us out of our toughest night because the morning is coming when the Son will rise!



    .
    "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)

    Sun, Jul 16th - 9:41AM



    Know God        John 7:16         July 16



    My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent Me. If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of Myself.



    One of the things that people use to defend their own ideas when it comes to living their lives, is doing what they want to do the way they want to do it. We seem to think that what seems right in our own eyes ought to be right in God’s eyes. Jesus had the same problem. He had people who did not like what He was saying and they did not care about what He was doing. They challenged His teaching. They marveled at His teaching because He was not trained in their circles and in their seminaries! Jesus answered them.

    His answer ought to be eye opening to us. His advice is important to us all. If we have questions about His Word and how it ought to be applied to our lives, then our response ought to be to put it to test in our lives! Instead of asking God to prove Himself to us, He is telling us to prove Him wrong! Put My Word to test in your decisions and in the way that you live your life and you will find out that this is God’s Will and God’s Way! When you put My Words to practice, Jesus says you will know that this is the gospel.

    I have said it time after time over the coarse of the last three years as I have written these devotionals, the more we put God’s Words to practice, the more we will learn that God is everything that He says He is and He will do everything that He says He will do, which is what faith is. Our faith is stretched when we put His Word to test because we will discover for ourselves that God is always faithful to us and to His Word. This is His doctrine. The Word of God is His Word. The Bible is the Word of God, written by the hands of men with words from the heart of God. God had the Bible written with us in mind.

    The instructions are for our benefit. Our obedience is for our benefit and not God’s. God’s Word is for our benefit. As we put His Word to practice in our lives, we will know that the doctrine is God’s and we will know that His Word is for our benefit. Jesus wants you and me to know that as we put His Word to practice, we will discover that His Word is exactly that; His Word written for our benefit.



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



    ><> Bob <><



    Comment (6)

    Sat, Jul 15th - 10:25AM



    Our Human Nature        Romans 7:15        July 15


    15For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.



    Paul goes on to say, “16If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.”

    Here Paul talks about the things that he finds himself wanting to do and the things that he knows he ought to do. It seems that what he knows he should do, he finds himself doing right the opposite and the things that he knows he should not be doing, that is what he is doing most of the time! He says “what I will to do, I do not practice.” He continues… “what I will not to do, that is what I do!”

    Notice Paul says twice that when he is walking in disobedience, “it is the sin that dwells in me.” Paul is a child of God. He is one of God’s choice servants. He has a heart for God and a passion for people and living life to its fullest. How can Paul say “it is the sin that dwells in me”? Is he saying “the devil made me do it?” No! The choice to sin was his choice just like it is our choice. If the Apostle Paul had a difficult time with sin, then the average person who warms the pew is going to have a real problem with sin as well.

    What is Paul’s admonition here? We are a servant or a slave to the decisions that we make on a daily basis. As we make those decisions, it becomes easier to make more decisions and the more Godly decisions that we make the more life is ours. The more worldly decisions that we make the more difficult our life becomes. When we do what we want to do, we are going to find our life is going to be increasingly more and more difficult. When we begin to make decisions on the basis of ‘what feels good” or what seems right in our own eyes, we are going to find our lives on the short side of the track.

    When we make decisions that honor God and follow His instructions for our lives, we will find life full and meaningful and overflowing with life. We have to realize as Paul did here, our ways are not God’s ways and our plans cannot match His plans. He is the One Who knows best! As long as we are doing things our way as opposed to His way, nothing is ever going to happen. We will wake up 10, 20, 30 years from now thinking…. “ I sure do wish I would have followed the Lord and His instructions for my life.” Solomon, the wisest and wealthiest man who ever lived, made that conclusion.

    It is never too late to follow after the Lord and allow Him to do in us and through us what He wants to do to help those whose lives our life touches. We need to do what we know we should and not do what we know we are not supposed to do… no exceptions and no excuses! That is what God is looking for and that is what the rest of the world is looking for as will.


    .
    "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, Jul 14th - 8:18AM



    God’s Prescription for Revival      II Chronicles 7:14       July 14



    If My people who care called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear their cry from heaven and I will forgive their sin and I will heal their land.



    Here is what I call God’s Prescription for Revival. I have preached from this text so many times. It is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. Here is one of God’s precious promises to you and me. He begins with a special designation, “My people those called by My name”. Revival is not for the world; something that is dead cannot be revived. Revival is for the church, for the people of God, those who are alive in the Lord Jesus who just need a special touch from the Lord!

    If we will humble ourselves and pray God promises He will hear our prayer and He will heal our land or our lives. Prayer is an important part of humbling ourselves. A non-Christian is not interesting in humbling himself! He wants to lift himself up. God tells us when we humble ourselves by admitting to ourselves that we need God, He will respond to that need.

    He tells us to “seek His face.” This was for a long time a strange comment until the Lord began to show me what I believe He meant in it. When I pray I caught myself praying for things. Sometimes those prayers were selfish in nature and then I was able to move away form that to less selfish requests but still requests none the same. God wants us to come to Him with our requests but when it comes to spiritual revival, God wants us to look to His face and not His hands! He wants us to look into His eyes in a personal relationship with Him with no regards to what God does for us! He wants me to love Him and listen to Him if He never does anything for me ever again! If I lose my health and what little that I possess, I still have His forgiveness and His love and that ought to be more than enough for me to love Him and live every moment of my life for Him today and tomorrow!

    Finally God tells me to “turn from my wicked ways.” For a long time I was willing to come to Him and pray and even try to seek His face but it took me forever to learn the importance of turning from my wicked ways. The truth is, every time I do things my way as opposed to His way, I essentially say to Him, I know more about what I want in my life than You do. I am saying to God, God I don’t need what You have for me; I want what I want no matter what Your Word tells me I ought to want.

    When I am willing to do these simple but powerful things, then God promises me that He will hear my prayer from heaven and He will forgive my sin and He will heal my land and my life.

    Lord, revive me again and again and again! Help me believe You enough to make a difference in the decisions that I make, one decision at a time so that you can make a difference in who I am and what I 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 (1)

    Thu, Jul 13th - 9:00AM



    Speaking and Listening      Zechariah 7:13        July 13




    13“Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen,” says the LORD of hosts.”



    Men have always had a problem with selective hearing. God spoke to the children of Israel on numerous occasions, both in times of plenty and prosperity and in times of deprivation and dispersion. God led the people into captivity because of this problem of selective hearing and then He brought them out of that captivity to try to correct this problem that they had.

    The truth is, sin leads us into captivity. Sin takes place when we refuse to listen to what God says that we ought to do or ought not do. Listen to what God tells the people of Israel through the prophet, Zechariah, “Just as He (God) proclaimed things and they (the people) did not hear, so they (the people) cried out to God and He would not listen.” This simple statement ought to open our eyes and cause us to examine our priorities and evaluate the way we make decisions in our lives.

    God told the children of Israel late in their pilgrimage after numerous trips in and out of captivity that He had no choice but to do to them as they had done to Him. He spoke to them and they refused to listen to Him and so as they cried out to Him, He did not listen to them.

    God has not changed. He is still speaking to His people today and as we listen, He listens to us. As we refuse to listen to him, He may not listen to us. Why does God refuse to hear our cries? That answer is really very simple. It is for our own benefit and His ultimate glory. The sole purpose of God’s heart is to have a relationship with you and me. He is the initiator of that relationship. He is the sole provider in that relationship. He is the sustainer of that relationship. He will do everything that He can possibly do just short of forcing you and me to be beneficiaries of that relationship with Him.

    All He asks is that you and I hear His instruction and then heed that instruction so that He can be God in and through your life and mine. As we walk with Him and hear Him, He promises that He will hear us and walk with us and give us the desires of His heart. When you and I refuse to hear Him, He sometimes closes His ears to us so that we will cry out to Him even more and as He delivers us from our own devises and our own selfish sin sick decisions, we will determine in our hearts to listen to Him and do what His Word tells us to do.

    God will lose a battle to win the war in your heart and in mine. He will do whatever it takes to draw you and me into a personal walk and relationship with Him and I am glad that He does!

    God does know what is best for my life and He does know when to speak and when to listen so that I can learn to do the same!


    .
    "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)

    Wed, Jul 12th - 6:52AM



    Wisdom From God        Ecclesiastes 7:12      July 12



    For wisdom is a defense and money is a defense, but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom gives life to them that have it.



    In verse 11 we read, “Wisdom is good with an inheritance and by it there is profit to them that see the sun.” Here Solomon is going to talk about the importance of money and wisdom. Solomon was a man who was given both. God blessed Solomon in that he asked for wisdom and God gave him wisdom beyond measure and because of the wisdom that Solomon was given, he amassed a great fortune and became one of the wealthiest men of his day.

    Solomon knew the value of money and he also knew the benefits of having money to throw around wherever and whenever he wanted to do so. He could throw a party and everyone who was anyone would be there. In fact, even those who were no ones tried to attend! He knew first hand the benefits of being able to buy what he wanted to buy and do what he wanted to do. Money is a defense or a means to living life to its fullest.

    Solomon says that wisdom is a defense. In fact, he mentions wisdom first as he talks about wisdom and money. Life is a process of priorities. When our priorities are in the right order, our lives will reflect the proper balance and we will enjoy the fruits of our labor. When our priorities are out of balance, our decisions will reflect that imbalance and our lives will not take shape, as we would like for them to. Money has its value, as does wisdom.

    Solomon goes on to say, “the excellency of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to them that have it.”
    Knowledge is that which we have learned. So Solomon is saying in effect, “the value of our experience or what we should have learned in life is that wisdom gives life to those that have it.”

    The dictionary tells us that wisdom is “The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight. Common sense; good judgment; The sum of learning through the ages; knowledge.” This ability to discern or judge what is true or right or lasting is what gives life to those who have it.

    Solomon knew that the secret to living a life that was filled with peace, joy and happiness was a life that was built around wisdom first and everything else second. David, Solomon’s father wrote these words, “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding;” (Ps 90:12)

    There are two sources of wisdom. We can learn wisdom by trial and error as we live our lives and make mistakes and experience relative success or we can learn from the wisdom and experiences of those who have gone before us and we have the benefit of being able to see where their lives have taken them and by listening to the things that they have learned, we can achieve similar results in our lives if we do as they have done.

    God wants to be our source of wisdom. As the creator and sustainer of life, He knows what will work and what will not work in your life and in mine. He knows what decisions we need to make as He seeks to move us from where we are to the place that He wants us to be. He knows the desires of His heart for you and me. He has the resources to take supply all of our need. He has the ability to defeat all of our enemies. He has the desire to bless us exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or hope for.

    All He wants you and me to do is simply be obedient to what His Word and His Spirit tell us to do. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. As we learn to walk with God in each and every decision that we make, we will discover that there is a quality of life that is ours for the taking that the world and the things of this world cannot begin to provide! Wisdom from God is indeed so much more valuable than money and everything else that this world has to offer!



    .
    "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)

    Tue, Jul 11th - 6:42AM



    God is Angry      Psalm 7:11        July 11



    God judges the righteous and He is angry with the wicked every day.



    Why does God hate wickedness so much? David begins this Psalm by saying, “Lord in You I do put my trust; save me from all them that persecute me and deliver me.” David understood that it was God who had called him and that it was God who would protect him against any and all of the circumstances and situations that would come before him.

    David goes on to say, “If there be any iniquity in my hands, if I have rewarded evil unto anyone that was at peace with me or if I have delivered him who was a peace with me to the enemy, let that enemy persecute me.” David more than anything else wanted his heart to be pure and he wanted his decisions to be pleasing to God. David wanted to be a leader that would stand before the people so that they might turn to the Lord for their own sakes as well. (Verse 7)

    Why is it so important for the people to turn to God? It is important so that God can establish them and give them life and liberty and joy and peace. However, because of the wickedness that is in the hearts of men, God is not able to do for them as He desires in His heart.

    There are two types of wickedness in our world. There is the wickedness that is purely evil that seeks to destroy life and anything that pertains to God and His way in our lives. There were men who sought to kill David because he was the anointed one of God.

    There is another form of wickedness that is even more deadly than the evil demonic form of wickedness and that is the wickedness that comes into our hearts and keeps us from coming to God in our own sin. God hates both forms of wickedness. The one form God will deal with in His Own time and the devil will be cast into the lake of fire and there is where he will spend eternity and his reign will be ended forever.

    The second form of wickedness that is in your heart and mine, God seeks to deal with on a daily basis. He despises our sin not because of what it does to Him, but because of what it does to us! Our sin separates us from God. Our sin keeps God from being God in our lives and it keeps Him from being able to do for us as He so much wants to do. Our sin causes us to be out of step with God and His protection and provisions for our lives. God told Elijah to go to the Brook Cherith for “I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”

    Had Elijah decided that he didn’t want to do to the Brook Cherith then he would have missed out on God’s protection and the provisions that God had prepared for him there. Our sin or our wickedness places us outside of God’s scope of protection and provision. This means that our lives suffer and it also means that God is robbed of the joy that He gets blessing us as His children!

    Jesus stood and wept over Jerusalem because they were running around as a bunch of little chicks with no mother… not knowing where to do or what they were doing and He knew that He was the answer that they were looking for but they refused to look to Him or listen to Him so that He could help them.

    Nothing has changed. God is still speaking and He is still leading and He is still blessing but our wickedness is keeping us from being where God needs us to be so that He can do for us what He so much wants to do. God indeed is angered by our wickedness and our refusal to just look to Him for everything that we need to live our lives every day.


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



    ><> Bob <><

    Comment (8)

    Mon, Jul 10th - 10:53AM



    Judgment Is Coming         Ezekiel 7:10        July 10




    Behold the day is come; the morning is gone forth and the rod has blossomed and pride has budded.




    Here is the context that our scripture passage for today is set in.

    Then this message came to me from the LORD: 2 “Son of man, this is what the Sovereign LORD says to Israel: The end is here! Wherever you look—east, west, north, or south—your land is finished. 3 No hope remains, for I will unleash my anger against you. I will call you to account for all your disgusting behavior. 4 I will turn my eyes away and show no pity, repaying you in full for all your evil. Then you will know that I am the LORD!
    5 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: With one blow after another I will bring total disaster! 6 The end has come! It has finally arrived! Your final doom is waiting! 7 O people of Israel, the day of your destruction is dawning. The time has come; the day of trouble is near. It will ring with shouts of anguish, not shouts of joy. 8 Soon I will pour out my fury to complete your punishment for all your disgusting behavior. 9 I will neither spare nor pity you. I will repay you for all your detestable practices. Then you will know that it is I, the LORD, who is striking the blow.
    10 “The day of judgment is here; your destruction awaits! The people’s wickedness and pride have reached a climax. 11 Their violence will fall back on them as punishment for their wickedness. None of these proud and wicked people will survive. All their wealth will be swept away. 12 Yes, the time has come; the day is here! There is no reason for buyers to rejoice over the bargains they find or for sellers to grieve over their losses, for all of them will fall under my terrible anger. 13 And if any merchants should survive, they will never return to their business. For what God has said applies to everyone—it will not be changed! Not one person whose life is twisted by sin will recover.

    God told the children of Israel that the day of judgment for them was “here.” He did not say it was coming; He did not say it was about to come; He said that day is here. The day has come; the morning is gone. God tells the children of Israel then you will know that I am the Lord.

    That day is coming for America. God has blessed America. In a short 230 years, this country has done more than any country in the history of the world. In 1776, this country founded its beginning on a simple premise of “In God We Trust.” Our country was founded by imperfect men who understood the importance of having a proper foundation.

    Listen to the words of David, “12Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen.” (Psalm 34:1) God has blessed our goings and our comings. He has prospered us individually and He has prospered us as a nation. Just like Israel, our pride has budded. Our arrogance and our pride have come to a climax.

    We have this mentality that we are responsible for all that we have and I guess that statement is now true. We are responsible for all that is going on inside what was the most blessed nation in the history of the world. we are responsible for the moral decay and the lack of common decency and the rampant self centered attitudes that surround us on every corner. We are responsible for the spiritual vacuum that exists in our nation today. We are responsible for the fact that today we are a nation that no longer trusts in God.

    Behold the day has come; the morning is gone forth and the rod has blossomed and pride has budded. Can judgment for America be far behind?



    .
    "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)

    Sun, Jul 9th - 8:45AM



    God Will Be Faithful               Deuteronomy 7:9          July 9




    “Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep His commandment to a thousand generations.”




    God is faithful to His Word. He gave His Word for a very specific purpose and He intends to keep His Word. He is first of all going to be faithful to Himself. When God created the world and all that is in the world, He knew what He wanted to accomplish in His creation and He knows today what He wants to accomplish. There has never been a time in all of eternity when God was confused and wondered what He was going to do. God has never woke up wondering what He was going to do that day. There has never been a time when something occurred to God! He is an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-encompassing God who is in complete control of everything that is going on in His world.

    Not only is God going to keep His Word to Himself, He intends to keep His covenant to those who love Him and keep His commandments. God gave His commandments as a guide to His provisions and His blessings. To understand God’s purpose in creating mankind, God wants to do so much for us. His promises give us a glimpse of His compassion and His plans for our lives. God does not need us to complete Him. He is complete in and of Himself. He is three in one, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He chose to create man as an outlet for His love.

    We were created for more than fellowship with God. God has a desire to have fellowship with us so He can meet our needs and give us His blessings. God is blessed as He is able to bless us. So, He will keep His promises because that is His purpose for our creation in the first place. As we surrender our wills to His Word, and put our faith in Him though obedience, God is going to keep His promises to us.

    We also have to remember that God sent His Son who gave His blood as a ransom to all of God’s promises to us. His death on the cross paid the penalty for our sins so that God could be our God and we could be His people. He has already proven that He will do anything to secure our eternity as well as keep his promises to us as His obedient children.

    In addition to keeping His promises to us, our obedience to God’s Word touches our children and their children’s children! We never stop benefiting from keeping God’s commandments and God never stops blessing us as He so much wants to do. God wants to be God in our lives. Make no mistake about it, He will keep His promises as we 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 (0)

    Sat, Jul 8th - 11:47AM

    Food For Thought



    The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary, Sunday, 12/18/05.

    Herewith at this happy time of year, a few confessions from my beating heart: I have no freaking clue who Nick and Jessica are I see them on the cover of People and Us constantly when I am buying my dog
    biscuits and kitty litter. I often ask the checkers at the grocery stores. They never know who Nick and Jessica are either. Who are they?

     

    Will it change my life if I know who they are and why they have broken up? Why are they so important?

    I don't know who Lindsay Lohan is either, and I do not care at all about Tom Cruise's wife.

    Am I going to be called before a Senate committee and asked if I am a subversive? Maybe, but I just have no clue who Nick and Jessica are.

    If this is what it means to be no longer young, it's not so bad.

    Next confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees.

    It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, "Merry Christmas" to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a creche, it's just as
    fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

    I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed  around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed
    around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution, and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

    Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too.

    But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went to.  In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

    Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her "How could God let something like this Happen?" (regarding Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound  and insightful response. She said, "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for
    years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives.

    And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"

    In light of recent events...terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine  Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn't want prayer in our
    schools, and we said OK.

    Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school the Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

    Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.

    Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.  Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW."

    Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.

    Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.

    Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

    Are you laughing?


    Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.


    Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

    Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

     

     

    ><>



    Comment (2)

    Sat, Jul 8th - 7:24AM



    No Profit in Lies         Jeremiah 7:8             July 8


    Behold you trust in lying words that cannot profit.



    The devil is a liar. Temptation is a lie. The children of Israel had a wonderful heritage. They had a great past. Not only did God miraculously deliver them from the bondage of Egypt and the terror of Pharaoh, He brought them into the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey. God gave them victory after victory proving to them that He was everything that He said He was and that He would do everything that He said He would do.

    However, the children of Israel listened to lying words and they should have learned that there was no profit in those words. Every time the children of Israel veered away from God and His direction for their lives, they suffered for it. Early in their conquest of the Promised Land, God gave them victory over Jericho and a man named Achan decided to take some gold and silver for his own personal gain. The very next battle, which should have been a cake walk even in their own eyes, was a major defeat because there was sin in the camp. Achan and his family lost their lives because they did not heed the instruction of God.

    Even in captivity, God heard the cries of His people and He forgave their sin and He delivered them again and again so that they could come back home and enjoy a relationship with Him, where He would be their God and they would be His people. Time after time, they listened to lying words and they moved away from God and His ways and their lives suffered again and again because of it. They listened to lying words that could not profit them.

    Sin is no different today. Sin is like the leaven in bread; once the yeast is put into the dough, it begins to spread and the dough rises and if it is not put into the furnace at the right time, it will ruin the dough. Sin does the same thing in our lives. It is introduced as a subtle lie. Well… that is not so bad. Everyone else is doing it. It will not make that much difference. Go ahead, you can do it. Have your own way! You deserve a break today.

    We live in a world that wants things and we want them NOW. We want things the way we want them and we don’t want to have to wait to get them either. We live in a remote control society that says, give me what I want or I will change the channel on you without even giving it much thought.

    Do you want to know what is the saddest commentary on all this? We know that this sin is not going to work! We know that the temptation that we are facing is not going to give us what we really want. We know that this sin is not going to profit us. Most of the time, we even know that what we are about to do is going to cost us! we have been there before sometimes time and time again, but what do we do? We go ahead and we do it anyway.

    The real futility of sin is that we know that the words that we are listening to are a lie and they cannot profit us but we fall for them anyway and our lives suffer because we have not listened to the still small voice of the Lord and heeded His direction for our lives, which do profit us exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or hope for!

    What an exchange God offers to us instead of lying words that cannot profit us at all, He offers to us words that are life and are filled to overflowing and abundant blessings for us and those that we love. The choice really is pretty simple, don’t you think?



    .
    "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)

    Fri, Jul 7th - 7:52AM



    Ask, Seek and Knock         Matthew 7:7          July 7




    Ask and it shall be given to you: seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.



    Prayer is the portal to God’s blessings. Prayer establishes our relationship with God. As He is allowed to come near, we begin to experience His power and His provisions along with His presence. Prayer also does something else. Prayer allows God to lead us and guide us in our decisions, which take our lives in the direction that He knows we should go.

    So, as we ask it shall be given to us and as we seek we shall find and when we knock it shall be opened unto us. Jesus is teaching His disciples in the Sermon on the Mount. Each of these bits of instruction goes together. Jesus is not telling us that we will get “anything” that we ask for. If we just take the first part without the other 2 parts, we will miss the meaning of His message on prayer. Jesus tells us to ask, seek and knock. By joining the three together, our prayer is to be for wisdom to know what to do so that we can experience all that God has for us.

    Notice, Jesus goes right into examples of our children asking us for bread and us giving them a stone or asking for a fish and we given them a serpent. God is so much wiser than we are and He knows exactly what we need to experience life in its absolute fullest and that is what we need to come to Him for. As we come to Him for wisdom and direction in our lives, He will give us that wisdom that we need to experience life in all of its fullness and all of His glory.

    It is interesting that Jesus mentions giving our children a stone instead of bread. A lot of things that we ask for, we do not really need! God knows what we need and He will give us what He wants us to have because He and He alone knows what we really need.

    It is also interesting that Jesus gives us the Golden Rule in this instruction on prayer. He says that we are to do to others the way that we would have them do to us. Perhaps this is the test of our wisdom and the way that we can know that we are asking and seeking and knocking! God’s directions and His instructions to us will have a lot to do with how we interact with those around us! His instructions to enhance our lives will be filled with doing for others because it is more blessed to give than to receive!

    Ask God for wisdom today. Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find and knock and it shall be opened to you! God wants to give us the things that we need in our lives if we will just ask Him for 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 (3)

    Thu, Jul 6th - 7:29AM



    A Special People           Deuteronomy 7:6            July 6




    For you are a holy people to the Lord; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a special people unto Himself, above all people who are on the face of the earth.



    God chose the children of Israel for a very special purpose. He sought to create a nation of people that He could bless and by blessing them they might in turn walk with Him. As this nation followed His commandments and walked according to His statutes, He would continue to bless them and make them great among the rest of the nations of the world. As the world watched Him bless Israel, they too could come to Him in obedience and surrender and allow God to be their God and He would then bless them as He had planned to bless Israel.

    Moses reminds the children of Israel that God had not chosen them because they were great in number for they were small in number; in fact, before God called to Abraham and make a promise to him that through his seed the nations of the world would be blessed, there was no nation of people called Israel. God made a promise to Abraham and to Isaac and to Jacob and He had kept His promise to them in Moses’ day and He has kept that promise to this day.

    Israel is today a special people in God’s eyes. The nation of Israel is today a holy people to the Lord and He has chosen them to be a special people, above all who are on the face of the earth. Jesus accomplished what the nation of Israel did not accomplish. Jesus came into this world and lived His life in complete and total submission to God’s supreme will for His life. Every decision that Jesus made He made in the light of God’s Word and God’s will for His life.

    When Jesus gave His life on the cross and He paid the penalty for our sin, He made it possible for the world to become part of this “special people unto the Lord, who are above all people on the face of the earth.” The church has become part of God’s peculiar, holy people on the earth. In Jesus, God fulfilled His promise to Abraham in that through his seed all the nations of the world would be blessed.

    What a tremendous privilege it is to be included in this promise made to Abraham so many centuries ago. What a privilege it is indeed to be part of God’s holy people and to be part of His forever family in heaven!

    One day the church age will be ended and God will once again look to His chosen people and the nation of Israel to bring an end to this earth that He created and an end to the reign and rule that Satan has sought to establish on this earth. For Israel is a holy people unto the Lord even today and God has chosen them to be a special people unto Himself and they are still today above all people who are upon the face of the earth.



    .
    "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, Jul 5th - 7:59AM



    Obedience Demonstrated            Genesis 7:5            July 5




    And Noah did all according unto all that the Lord commanded him.



    The Bible tells us that God looked on the earth and saw that it was corrupt, that men had corrupted His way upon the earth. (6:12) The earth was filled with violence. Noah was a just man and he walked with God. so, God spoke to Noah and he instructed him to build an ark of gopher wood because He was going to cause it to rain on the earth and this rain would cause a flood that would destroy life on the earth and God would recreate life again.

    So, Noah begins to gather the wood and he starts assembling this ark where he and his family lived, worked and played. People came by and began to ask Noah, “What are you building?” He would tell them, “I am building an ark that withstand the flood that is coming.” Soon, Noah became the laughing stock of his community.

    It is one thing to be humiliated yourself. It is another thing to subject your family to this humiliation as well. Noah’s wife had to put up with the jeering remarks and her husband worked on building this ark. His children had to listen to the people make fun of his father because of what he was doing.

    Noah is one of the greatest examples of real dynamic faith in the Bible. Abraham, who is credited as being the father of faith, followed God because God promised him a son. Abraham believed that God would do what he promised him He would do and he followed God for 25 years before God gave him this son of promise.

    Noah did what God told him to do and the only promise that God gave to him was that he and his family would live through this flood that was to come. Noah believed that God would do what He said He would do and that faith and trust in what God had said was the motivating factor in what Noah did. The words that god spoke to Noah rang louder than the words that he heard from the people every day. The Words that God gave to Noah were more powerful than the jeers of the people who stopped by to make fun of Noah. In fact, the more they jeered and made fun of Noah and of God, the more determined Noah became.

    Because Noah was a man who walked with God, his wife followed him. She too endured the humiliating remarks of the people as Noah continued to do what God told him to do. His sons stood by his side and they too worked to help build this ark. We are not told how long it took for Abraham to build the ark but we are introduced to him when he was 500 years old and when he was 600 years old the Bible tells us that he entered into the ark. It took Noah some time to build this ark and there is no telling how long the ark may have sat in Noah’s front yard before he was instructed to go into the ark.

    There is one other little aspect of this story that makes it even more remarkable. God told Noah that He was going to cause it to rain and this rain would cause the earth to flood. Noah did not even know what rain was! It had never rained on the earth until the time of the flood. So, not only did Noah trust God in what he understood, he trusted Him in what he did not understand! All Noah knew was God told him to build this ark because it was going to rain and whatever this rain was, would cause a great flood that would destroy life on earth and Noah did what God told him to do so that he and his family would live.

    Jesus came to this earth; He suffered and dies so that you and I could live and all we have to do is do what Noah did by simply doing all that the Lord commanded and we too shall live today and forever!


    .
    "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, Jul 4th - 7:23AM



    Spiritual Famine                 II Kings 7:4                  July 4



    If we say that we will enter into the city then the famine is in the city; we will die there. If we sit here we will die here. Come let us go and fall into the hands of the Syrians. If they save us alive, we will live. If they kill us, we will die.



    There has been a greet famine in Samaria. God told Elisha that tomorrow food would be sold for pennies on the dollar. A lord challenged Elisha’s prophesy and Elisha told him that he would see the food but he would not partake. Four lepers were outside the camp. They were about starve to death.

    So, they decided to go to the camp of the Syrians who had food to spare. They looked at their situation and realized that if they stayed where they were they were going to die. If they went into the city, they would die because someone would probably kill them because of the leprosy and there was no food in the city either. The only hope they had was to go to the Syrians and beg for mercy and for some food. Even if the chances were slim, they were better than what they faced. In fact, to be killed seemed to be a better option than starving to death.

    They went out to the camp and began looking around and there was no one to be found! The Syrian army had left the camp and all the provisions that were there. There was enough food there to feed the people in Samaria! The four lepers went back to the city and told the people at the gate the great news and someone went out to check out this incredible story and found that it was true and food that afternoon was sold in the gate for pennies on the dollar, just as Elisha, the man of God had said it would be.

    You and I are a lot like the four lepers without Jesus and His provisions for our lives. We need to realize that without Him, we are destitute and have no hope at all. Because of our sin, we are condemned to death. In our own ability, there is no hope for us at all. However, we can turn to the Lord and seek Him and His provisions for our lives and we will find that his provisions will be satisfying and sure.

    We just need to be able to evaluate our real condition. These four lepers knew their condition. There was no question about their possibilities. If you and I do not have a dynamic relationship with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and we are not walking with Him on a daily basis, then we are in a spiritual famine and God is the only One who can provide the provisions that we need. It is a terrible tragedy to be in the midst of a spiritual famine and not be aware of it.

    We all need God and we need what He has planned for us. Anything less creates a spiritual famine that will drain us slowly but surely. As we celebrate this July 4th and the celebration of our independence and the freedoms that are ours to celebrate, may we look to God for His blessing and His provision as we face a spiritual famine in this land today that is worse than the famine that the Samaritans faced in this passage.



    .
    "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, Jul 3rd - 7:26AM



    God Will Deliver                  I Samuel 7:3                   July 3




    And Samuel spoke to all of the house of Israel saying, “If you will return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods among you and prepare your hearts for the Lord and serve Him only; And He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.



    Israel has been in bondage at the hands of the Philistines. The men went and took the Arc of the Covenant and brought it into their camp. Twenty years had passed. The people began to cry out to God for His deliverance and Samuel called the people together and gave them instructions that if they followed, God would deliver them from the hand of the Philistines.

    Samuel told the people, if you will return to the Lord with all your hearts, God will deliver you. There are a couple of things that are important for us to understand. First of all, God wants us to turn to Him and to Him alone. He and He alone is our salvation and there is no other name in heaven or on earth whereby men may be saved. We need to return to Him. However, we need to return with all our heart. some folks today want to include God in their day or their routine. We want to make a place for God in our lives. However, God wants our undivided attention and devotion. He does not want to be our last resort but rather our first response! God wants us to come to Him and He wants us to take hold of Him with all our being, trusting Him and Him alone.

    There is a second aspect to Samuel’s instruction. He told the people that they needed to put away the strange gods among them. For you see, it is impossible to prepare our hearts for the Lord when we have an undivided and an unrepentant heart. God wants us to serve Him only so that He can serve us and deliver us from all the things that hold us bondage.

    God’s ability to deliver us is dependant on our willingness to put Him first and to put away all the gods that we allow to take hold on our lives. We may not have graven images of gods on our mantles but even more dangerous are the gods that we serve and do not even realize what we are doing. Anything that we place our faith and trust in is a god in our lives and most of us have several that we need to turn loose of so that God can give us the victory and the peace that He has planned for us.

    If you and I will return to the Lord with all our hearts and put away the gods in our lives and prepare our hearts for the Lord and serve Him, He will deliver us from the hand of our oppressors. God will deliver His own if His own will just look to Him on His terms and allow Him to do so.



    .
    "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)

    Sun, Jul 2nd - 7:45AM



    Think for Myself           Judges 7:2           July 2



    And the Lord said unto Gideon, There are too many people with you for Me to give the Midianites into your hands for Israel may think to themselves, that they defeated the enemy by their own strength.



    Isn’t it amazing that God indeed does know the hearts of men so well? (II Chronicles 6:30) God has told Gideon that He wants to deliver the children of Israel through Gideon. Gideon has assembled an army to go against the Midianites. However, the army that Gideon has assembles is too large, according to God.

    In verse 12 we read that the armies of the Midianites and the Amalekites were as “the sand by the seaside.” We also see in verse 3 that 22,000 left leaving 10,000. In Gideon’s eyes, I am sure he thought that 32,000 men were no match for what waited against him already! God did not even let Gideon take the 10,000 that we left after the first 22,000 went home. God left Gideon with 300 men!

    God wanted the children of Israel to know without question, that He was the One who defeated the Midianites and delivered them. He did not want the people to even have the chance to think that this was something that they had done on their own or for themselves.

    I wonder what God thinks about the things that we do in our churches today? Most of our churches have committees that determine what direction the church needs to go in and what they can afford to do and how they need to do it and one of the greatest problems that the church has had to suffer through is the very thing that God wanted the children of Israel to avoid here, is the thought, “Look at what we have been able to do for ourselves.”

    We have this same problem in our lives as well. We have this tendency to look at the things that we have worked so hard to have and the lives that we have built for ourselves, and we are tempted to think, “look at what I have done in my life” and we fail to realize that much of what we have is from God and not our own doing at all! The very fact that we are even reading this devotional is a gift from God both in the very gift of life and then the gift of health to be able to sit up and even be able to read these words. Every breath we take and every time our heart beats is a miracle that God has given us so that we might be outlets for His amazing love, His marvelous mercy and His abundant blessings.

    Lord, help me to never think that I have come to this place on my own; and do not ever let me go in the direction that I can go on my own! Help me to never begin to think for myself!



    .
    "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, Jul 1st - 6:55AM



     
    Cleanse Ourselves                  II Corinthians 7:1                July 1



    1Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.



    God says in the last verse of chapter 6, “I will be a Father to you and you shall be my sons and daughters.” Therefore, Paul writes, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    What a promise we have from God. He told Abraham I will be Your God and you shall be the father of many nations. God is restating the same promise that He made to Abraham. In fact, the promise that He gives us in this passage is the fulfillment of His promise to Abraham. Because Abraham trusted God and walked with Him in faith, so can we today believe God and take Him at His Word and walk with Him.

    Because God has given us this position of prominence in His family, we need to do our part. We need to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit. We need to take God at His Word and allow the Holy Spirit convict us of our sin and then cleanse us of that sin. Our part is to repent and turn to God for His redemptive work. God knows what we need and He will give us His grace through His mercy as we look to Him to cleanse us. We cannot cleanse ourselves. We have to look to God for that cleansing.

    We have to look to the Word of God and the Spirit as we surrender our wills to His Will. We need to make His thoughts our thoughts and when wie do our ways become His ways. Obedience is the key to that cleansing. Obedience to the Word stands in direct opposition to submission to the desires of the mind and the lust of the flesh. When our will lines up with His will, He is able to perfect His righteousness in us.

    We need to remember that God is God and we need to keep our fear for Him in its proper perspective. We need to remember that God is a jealous God and He cares about our relationship with Him. God knows what He has planned for us and He knows what He has in store for us as well. He knows what we are facing and He knows what direction we need to go.

    God’s righteousness is what He looks for in our lives. God wants to see the effects of His provisions in our lives. He wants to see His glory reflected in our lives. When we cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh, God’s righteousness fills that void and that is what others see as the look at our lives! When the rest of the world is able to see Jesus in us, then his glory is made full and He is able to reach out and touch others!

    1Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.



    .
    "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)

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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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