Maranatha Devotionals
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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

What Kind of Man Should I Look For?

Dating is made simple when a man or a woman takes the time to watch a person before even dating that person. In the next couple of days, we will look at what characteristics a Christian should be looking for in a person they want to date.

Today, we will look at what a woman should be looking for in a man. When she observes this man in action, she can save herself heartache and trouble even before that first date. What should you be looking for in a man? The suggestions below are to make you think. They are not in any particular order of priority nor are they the only things you should be looking for in a man. I want you to be able to focus on what characteristics are important - what characteristics last a life time - what characteristics make "the godly man."

1. Are you convinced of his salvation? Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Cor 6:14)

2. Does he appear to love God above all else? Is he "in his Bible" and studious of it? Check out his walk with the Lord. If he is mediocre in this area, he will be mediocre in everything else. And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. (Deu 6:5)

3. Is he a faithful soulwinner? If he doesn't care for the lost, it's hard to imagine that he is a true Christian. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. (Psa 126:5) He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. (Psa 126:6)

4. Is he in church whenever the doors are open? Although faithful church attendance does not save anyone, it is a fruit of salvation. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Heb 10:25)

5. Does he work in a ministry? Is he excited about his ministry? Is he faithful to it? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. (Jam 2:17)

6. How does he treat the Pastor? Is he seeking to be a help to him? Is he attentive to him? Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. (Heb 13:17)

7. Does he honor and respect his parents? How does he treat them? Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) (Eph 6:2)

8. How does he treat the senior ladies in the church? Is he respectful? Is he a gentleman? Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. (Tit 2:6) In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, (Tit 2:7) Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. (Tit 2:8)

9. Does he belittle others in public to make himself seem better than they are? Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. (Phi 2:3)

10. Is he a servant? Does he look well to the needs of others? If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. (Joh 13:14)

I'm sure this list could have a few more things added to this but I believe it's a good start. If you can answer these questions favorably, then dating this man will allow you to learn more about him.

Dear God...
As each woman waits
Patiently on You
Lead her to the man
Who will love You too

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Friday, December 22, 2006

So You're Thinking of Dating

So you're thinking of entering the "dating scene"! The Christian dating scene should be nothing like the world's. In fact, the Christian's perspective needs to be totally opposite what the world's perspective is. Why? Because the Lord says, Be ye holy for I am holy." Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. (Lev 20:7) But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (1 Pet 1:15) Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Pet 1:16) This includes being holy in dating.

First of all, I believe the most important thing about dating is that as a believer you should date only other believers who love the Lord as much as you. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Cor 6:14) The unbeliever is likened to unrighteous and darkness in this verse. Don't be fooled into thinking that you will lead this unbeliever to the Lord if you date him/her. The unbeliever will drag you down spiritually. The unbeliever will cause you to stumble in your Christian walk. It won't be all at once but slowly so you don't see it happening. I'm sure you've been around unsaved friend. Being around this unsaved person is truly a challenge, is it not? We can all speak from experience that when we are around an unbeliever, we hear things we shouldn't hear. We are also exposed to things that we would not normally be exposed to. It will be ten times worse with dating an unsaved person. The more familiar and comfortable that person gets with you, their true colors will come through. They serve their father the devil, so why would you think they would be interested in the things of God? They won't be so don't be fooled. Jesus says this of the unsaved, Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44)

And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? (2 Cor 6:15) This is pretty serious! Christ likens being with unbelievers as being with Belial, a demon or wicked person! That's pretty serious stuff! How much more true can this be of dating an unsaved person?!

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (2 Cor 6:16) Since you are born again, you are the temple of God. Therefore, why would you want to date a person who is likened to an idol? This unsaved person will lead you to idolatry, my friend. This unsaved person will turn your focus away from God and onto the world. Anything that occupies our thoughts and actions more than God is considered an idol. Remember, a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. This is so important that it is mentioned twice: Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? (1 Cor 5:6) A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (Gal 5:9)

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (2 Cor 6:17) The Lord tells you to come out from the world and to not even touch anything of the world. You will be getting to know this unsaved person in a more personal way than you would most things in the world. This verse is definitely more applicable to those we come into close fellowship with.

My best advice to the single Christian today is to take your time finding someone to date. You will be glad you did. If you wait on the Lord, it will save you possible sin and heartache down the line. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. (Psa 27:14) Next time, we will cover what type of Christian you should be looking to date. Until then, keep your eyes focused on the Lord and don't be consumed with the idea of dating. Let the Lord lay the ground work for you. Only then will it be permanent.

Dear God...
Make my path plain and clear
So I do not stumble along the way
May I only seek Your will
In my life from day to day

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thinking of Taking a Chance?

But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out. Num. 32:23 I'm sure most of you read about this guy's lie and how his sin was brought into the open. Keep this in mind as we discuss the next step in living the single Christian life.

When it comes to purity, if you've decided that you're going to go the world's way rather than God's, be sure that your sin will find you out. Do you really think that God will be mocked? God never changes. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Heb. 13:8) The Word never changes. God says that fornicators won't go to heaven! That's serious stuff. God is serious about this sin of fornication. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (1 Cor. 6:9) This sin is placed right along side sodomites!

Are you saved? Then yes, when you repent, this sin of fornication will be forgiven, but you will receive punishment from a Holy God. Don't mock Him with your actions! God actually promises the believer that he will be punished for his sin. My friend, if we are truly saved, our punishment does not lie in eternity because we have been promised eternal life with Christ. Therefore, it stands to reason our punishment will come in this lifetime here on earth. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Gal 6:7)

Times are no different. People mocked God in the Old Testament and they are still mocking God today. Our Father in Heaven has such compassion for us and loves us so much that He has given His Word and sent people to warn us of what will happen if the saved Christian willingly disobeys His Word. And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: (2 Chron. 36:15) But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. (2 Chron. 36:16) Do you really want to go against God and mock Him only to reap His wrath against you until there is no fixing your problem?

My friend, fornication will reap a whirlwind. Do you really want to receive a punishment that cannot be fixed? Are you ready for a pregnancy? Are you ready for a sexually transmitted disease that will be with you for life? These two end results of fornication are permanent - they cannot be fixed. The child you bring into this world, whether you keep the child or not, will haunt you for the rest of your life. That child will some day want to know who his/her birth parents are and will find you. How will you explain this child to your future husband or wife? You will have to tell them - if you don't, you'll be living a life of lies. How will you deal with the disease you've contracted? What about your future spouse? You will have to tell him/her. Otherwise you will pass on to them this payment you've received for your sin. Pay day some day, my friend. Oh the heartache that comes with a wrong choice. Oh the punishment from God that comes with the sin! Don't do it!

We serve a just God. Why would God bring punishment like this on His children? Because He loves us. We spank and punish our children because we want them to grow up in the admonition of the Lord. We want them to grow up following God's Word. We want them to be good citizens representing their Heavenly Kingdom as well as their earthly country. Think of your testimony if you choose to go the route of this sin! The unsaved world is watching! Don't you think they are mocking God because they see you in action? God has every right to ask us to be pure because we are His. Psa. 24:1 [A Psalm of David.] The earth is the LORD'S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Christ paid for our sin debt with His life! For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (1 Cor. 6:20) We're commanded here to glorify God in our bodies.

Paul warned us clearly what was expected of us: 1 Cor. 6:15-18, Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. (15) What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. (16) But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. (17) Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. (18) My friend, if you give up your purity before marriage, you will be sinning against your own body. Your punishment will come in like manner. The world may seem to be getting away with this sin but remember that their punishment will be for all eternity.

It seems to me that the average Christian today has become complacent toward this sin. But it is sin, nonetheless. 2 Tim. 4:3 explains why today's believer sees no problem with giving up his/her purity. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Tim 4:3 The believer today will search out a church to attend where the preacher does not dwell on this sin. Are you guilty of being this believer in these end times? Don't be fooled, my friend. Any kind of touching with the opposite sex which will lead you to thinking "more" and will lead to desiring "more." You can count on it.

When God says He forbids something, He FORBIDS it - period! Don't think about it - don't watch things on TV about it or read books about it or listen to music about it. Doing so will get your brain going and eventually your heart. You'll be setting yourself up for a battle that you will lose. If this does not scare you, I hope the repercussions will keep you from even entertaining the thought. We hear so much about God's goodness and mercy but we don't hear enough about His judgment.

Honor God in your body and in your mind. Distract yourself and keep yourself busy with the things of God. Stay in His Word and practice it. You will not regret it!

Pure Within
Fanny Crosby

Lord, on Thee my strength relies,
O, hear me when I call;
Up to Thee I lift mine eyes,
My Life, my Help, my All.


Source of comfort, Spring of grace,
Cleanse my heart from every sin,
Now reveal Thy smiling face,
And make me pure within.

Rock on which my soul would rest,
From storm and tempest wild,
Gently pillowed on Thy breast,
Protect Thy weary child.


Let Thy Spirit be my Guide,
To endless joys above;
Grant I may never turn aside,
Or once forget Thy love.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Purity and Chastity

It's wonderful to see single Christians today dedicate themselves to the cause of Christ! It's even more wonderful to hear that they have committed to God that they will remain pure until marriage. The devil has been busy working through the world in convincing people that they cannot possibly remain pure until marriage. Although the temptations exist, it is possible to remain pure and chaste as a single Christian - but it will take the Word of God.

Remaining pure until marriage can be a battle if the believer does not protect his senses from the world. The eyes are attacked from everywhere! Billboards, magazines, television and books are filled with pictures that can cause a believer to stumble. Glancing at these pictures is not the sin but dwelling on them will result in sin. The Word has much to say about lust. Christ taught that adultery (or fornication for the single person) is not just a sin of action but a sin that is begun in the heart. But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Mat 5:28) The world thinks we're crazy because we believe the Word of God on this issue! God has not changed, my friend. He is as adamant about purity in our bodies as He was in Christ's time as well as when the Ten Commandments were given to us.

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. (Jam 1:14) Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (Jam 1:15) Young people are tempted so much in today's world because the media has exploded! What use to be subtle advertisements are now in-your-face and the Christian has to protect himself from them. It's easy to become complacent to the point where these things don't even bother you any more. That is what is called grieving the Holy Spirit of God. Have you ever worked in an office where they had "elevator-type" music playing all the time? It gets to the point where you don't even hear the music any more, right? It's the same with viewing pictures of scantily clad people. It comes to a point where you are no longer troubled by it. Protect your eyes, Christian! Protect your ears from the world's language. The more you see and hear what the world has to offer, the more desensitized you will become and the less you will be convicted by the Holy Spirit!

If you've already grieved the Holy Spirit, it's not too late to invite Him to start a new work in your heart! It will take effort on your part. Remove the music, the books, etc. that entice you. Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (Heb 12:1) Replace these items with godly ones. Ask the Holy Spirit to renew a right spirit within you. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. (Psa 51:10) Your Heavenly Father will welcome this request from you!

Reading the Word will be instrumental in developing a right spirit and a chaste mind. Yes, developing - this will not happen overnight. Your flesh and the devil will battle you every step of the way. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 Jo 4:4) You can and will win over your flesh if you are in the Word. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psa 119:11) It's only with the Word and through the Word that a believer can overcome sin. The more you are in the Word, the less you will sin. It is as simple as that.

Turn to the Lord every time you are tempted in this area. You are not the only one who has battled this and overcome and you won't be the last. However, it is the same God who has brought them all through it. Lastly, get involved with the things of God. Keep yourself occupied by diving into the ministry God has given you - if you don't have one, get one. Keep your mind and heart focused on the Lord and He will bless you. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (Pro 4:23)

Dear God...
May I keep my eyes on You
As a walk this pilgrim's way
Keep me from temptation
So I can honor You each day

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Table of Contents - Being Single or Married

I am praying that this 30-Day Devotional will be an encouragement to all who read it. I also pray that it will exhort you to righteous living - whether you are single, dating, engaged, married or divorced.

Day 1
To Be Single Or Not To Be Single

Day 2
Purity and Chastity

Day 3
Thinking of Taking a Chance?

Day 4
So You're Thinking of Dating

Day 5
What Kind of Man Should I Look For?

Day 6
What Kind of Woman Should I Look For?

Day 7
Have You Found Someone You Want to Date?

Day 8
Possible Hurdles

Day 9
The Engagement

Day 10
The Engagement - Continued

Day 11
Spiritually Preparing for Marriage

Day 12
Love and Reverence

Day 13
Preparing for the Wedding

Day 14
You've Made It!

Day 15
The Proverbs 31 Wife

Day 16
The Proverbs 31 Wife - Day 2

Day 17
Proverbs 31 Wife - Day 3

Day 18
Proverbs 31 Wife - Day 4

Day 19
Proverbs 31 Wife - Day 5

Day 20
Proverbs 31 Wife - Day 6

Day 21
Proverbs 31 Wife - Day 7

Day 22
Married to an Unbeliever?

Day 23
Married to an Unbeliever - Day 2

Day 24
Married to an Unbeliever - Day 3

Day 25
Married to an Unbeliever - Day 4

Day 26

Day 27
Divorced and Remarried?

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To Be Single or Not to Be Single?

Is it your desire to be single or married? That is a question every young person asks themselves. But for the Christian, this question is even weightier. Unlike what the world believes, marriage is forever. The world would have you to believe that it's OK for a Christian to be divorced and remarried, but God's Word says differently. And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. (Mar 10:11) And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery. (Mar 10:12)

This month, we will discuss what the Word has to say about being single, dating, being engaged, marriage, divorce and remarriage. God instructs His people quite clearly, although man has added his own teaching and opinion. This was true even in Moses' time. Marriage is so serious and so permanent that God put it in the Ten Commandments. Thou shalt not commit adultery. (Exo 20:14) ...thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife...(Exo 20:17) Also, fornication (which is sex before marriage) was spoken of 28 times in the New Testament alone! Just because the Ten Commandments are in the Old Testament, it does not mean that we are not obligated to follow them. God thinks purity before marriage is just as important as fidelity after marriage, my friend.

The Law (the Ten Commandments) show us our sin. Once we acknowledge our sin before a Holy God, we are pointed to a need for a Saviour through our Lord Jesus Christ. When it comes to finding out how to living a godly single life as a believer, the Word says it best. Here are some good verses to ponder:

Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. (1 Cor 7:1) and vice-versa.

Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. (1 Cor 7:2)

For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. (1 Cor 7:7)
Not everyone is called of God to remain single. But for those who are single, God's Word says it is "do-able" through Christ.

I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. (1 Cor 7:8)

But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. (1 Cor 7:9) Notice how serious Paul says it is here? Fornication for the single person will cause him to burn! The sins from the Old Testament are alive and well in the New Testament. God views fornication as sin and deals with it severely!

But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: (1 Cor 7:32)

But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. (1 Cor 7:33)

There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. (1 Cor 7:34)

Paul said it was good to be single. However, one should be married in order to avoid fornication. Paul encouraged the believer to remain single because when one is single they can care for the things of the Lord and not of the world. A single person does not have to worry about staying out longer on his bus route or soul winning. A single person does not have to check with his spouse if he wants to go straight to a Bible study after work.

Being chaste and pure in today's world is certainly a battle. To win this battle means the Christian must be totally devoted to the cause of Christ and walking closely beside Him. Being pure is do-able, my friend! The world would have you think that the Christian cannot contain himself. The world would have you think that there is no way you can abstain from fornication. The Word heals all things and the Word will keep the single Christian on the right path if the single Christian turns to it. You've heard the saying, "The Bible will keep you from sin and sin will keep you from the Bible." There is not a truer statement.

One of the major hurdles a single Christian today must overcome is controlling their thought life. It's the mind that sets the groundwork for sin. When we nurture a lustful thought and dwell on it, you can be sure it will end in sin. A few good verses that would be worth committing to memory are:

Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. (Pro 16:3)

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Phi 4:8)

And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; (Mar 7:18) All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. (Mar 7:23)

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (Jam 4:7)

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 Jo 4:4)

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Cor 10:13) I have personally heard from the mouth of a single Christian that they did not think they could remain chaste and pure until marriage. This verse says otherwise. If the Christian does not put himself in a situation where he will stumble, he won't. If the Christian protects his thought life, he won't be busy thinking of what he can't do but of what he CAN do with the help of Christ. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Phi 4:13)

Oh single Christian, you can remain pure and chaste until marriage. The devil would have you to believe that you cannot but he is the father of lies (John 8:44). It's a mind set and a heart set. Stay away from situations which will cause you to stumble. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (Pro 4:23) The devil wants you to be weak. But we serve the King of kings, the Lord of lords! We serve a mighty God. Would our God lie to you? Of course not. But Satan surely would. You CAN do ALL things through Christ because He WILL strengthen you. Don't fall for the devil's lies, my friend.

In closing, let me leave you with a thought. It is better to remain single than to go down the aisle with the wrong person. Marriage can be sweet and heavenly when it is with the person God has picked for you. Being married to anyone other than the one God picked for you will give you a mediocre marriage. You will go through greater trials and tribulations. All marriages have trials and tribulations. However, when you're married to the one God has picked for you, there are greater blessings as a result of these trials.

Take heed to the warnings you have read. God gave Eve to Adam - let Him give your mate to you. Wait on the Lord - and if God desires you to be single, accept His will for your life and serve Him to your utmost. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. (Psa 27:14)

Dear God...
Help my thoughts be focused on You
When temptation comes my way
Encourage my heart as I read Your Word
So my thought life is pure today

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Christ, The Victor

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. Psalm 20:7 Chariots and horses were the tanks and fighter jets of David's day. Battles were won because of chariots and horses. But in that same statement, David goes on to say that he would remember the name of the LORD our God. David recognized where his help came from. [A Song of degrees.] I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (Psa 121:1) My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. (Psa 121:2)

Do we really know where our help comes from? Do we realize just Who we are serving? Our King will not lose! The battle is not ours, my friend. The battle is His. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands. (1 Sam. 17:47) The Book of Revelation shows us Christ is the Victor in the end! He will have the final victory over the enemy! I found it interesting that the phrase "every knee" appears only three times in the Word. Each time, the reference is to Christ!

I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (Isa 45:23)

For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. (Rom 14:11)

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (Phi 2:10)

We will all bow our knee to the King of kings and Lord of lords! Our battles on this earth will all be behind us! Jesus Christ, the King, will have won not only the battles but He will have won the war against Satan! Ole slew foot's time is almost over! He is fighting his battles with all fervancy trying to defeat the Christian. Are you going to allow the devil to win in your battle? If you do, you will be ashamed when you stand before Christ and give account for your little faith. Why not have victory instead so your tears will be tears of joy and not of shame and sorrow?!

This is the Victory
Philip P. Bliss

March to the battlefield, march on with sword and shield;
March on; the foe shall yield to Christ our King.
Onward, ye faithful band, onward at His command;
Onward, nor halting stand, but loudly sing.


This is the victory, this is the victory,
This is the victory, we sing by the way;
This is the victory, this is the victory,
This is the victory, and faith gains the day.

Stand firm against thy foes; stand, though a host oppose;
Stand! well our Leader knows our conflicts all.
“Fear not,” He says to thee, “Fear not, but valiant be,
Fear not, but trust in Me; the foe must fall.”


Fight, though thy foes increase; fight, till the dawn of peace;
Fight, till the war shall cease, then shout and sing.
Shout, then triumphantly, shout, shout the victory;
Shout, “Glory be to Thee, O Lord, our King!”


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Friday, December 15, 2006

The Right Hand of God

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psalm 16:11

God is the one who brings salvation. Without the Holy Spirit pricking the heart of man and leading to conviction, there can be no salvation. But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble. (Psalm 37:39) Salvation is of the LORD. (Jon 2:9b)

There is no greater joy and no greater pleasure than to be at the right hand of the Lord for ever more! There is something about the term "at the right hand" that struck me this morning. In America, it is common knowledge that the conservatives are "right-wingers" and the liberals are "left-wingers." The right hand of the Lord is referenced in Scriptures. The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly. (Psalm 118:15) The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly. (Psalm 118:16)

I did a search for the phrase "the right hand of God" and found it interesting that it appears eight times. All eight occurrences are in the New Testament. All eight occurrences refer to Christ being at the right hand of God. Christ's blood convenant was a new beginning for mankind. We no longer had to sacrifice animals but had the Perfect Sacrifice covering our sin and making payment for our punishment! The number eight is commonly known to mean "new beginnings." How appropriate it is that there are eight verses referencing Christ!

So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. (Mar 16:19)

Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. (Act 2:33)

But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, (Act 7:55)

And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. (Act 7:56)

Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (Romans 8:34)

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. (Col. 3:1)

But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; (Heb. 10:12)

Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. (1 Pet. 3:22)

Doesn't that excite you? It does me!! There are no coincidences with God's Word. Everything in God's Word is there to excite us, teach us and keep us fed!

Father, God, We Glorify
John & Charles Wesley

Father, God, we glorify
Thy love to Adam's seed;
Love that gave Thy Son to die,
And raised Him from the dead:
Him, for our offenses slain,
That we all might pardon find,
Thou hast brought to life again,
The Savior of mankind.

By Thy own right hand of power
Thou hast exalted Him,
Sent the mighty Conqueror
Thy people to redeem:
King of Saints, and Prince of Peace,
Him Thou hast for sinners giv'n,
Sinners from their sins to bless,
And lift them up to Heav'n.

Father, God, to us impart
The gift unspeakable;
Now in every waiting heart
Thy glorious Son reveal:
Quickened with our living Lord,
Let us in Thy Spirit rise,
Rise to all Thy life restored,
And bless Thee in the skies.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

God's Mercy to Those That Fear Him

He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. Psalm 103:10,11

Praise the Lord that our Heavenly Father does not reward us according to our sins the way we deserve to be dealt with. Had it not been for our Saviour's work on the cross, we would all be gonners! But the fact that we no longer have to worry about spending eternity in hell's burning flames does not mean that it stops there.

A good study on hell and what it has in store for those who are not born again and blood bought is so needful today! I can probably count on one hand the number of times the topic of hell has been the center of conversation in those Christians around me. I have maybe heard two messages in my 26+ years of salvation on the teaching of hell. Why is that? Not only do the lost need to hear where they will be spending eternity but I believe the saved would be more challenged to be soul winners if they had a clear understanding of where these lost souls are going!

What is hell all about? The Bible mentions the word "hell" 54 times. There are three terms that are used to reference hell: Sheol, Hades and Gehenna. Most of Christ's accounts of hell were referring to Hades and Gehenna. The most popular use of Hades was the account of the rich man in Luke 16:22-24. Here all of the rich man's natural senses were affected by being in Hades. The account shows that the rich man could see what was happening, he spoke to Father Abraham, he could hear Father Abraham's response, his mind was clear because he recognized where he was and where Father Abraham was, he cried to him for mercy, he asked Father Abraham to help his family on earth, he felt the pain because he thirsted and asked for water. All his senses were affected, as well as his emotions. He was so aware of his surroundings and what he was suffering that he did not want his family to go through the same thing. He knew he could not escape the torment he was in and it was too late for him, but not too late for his family. It was too late for him to be a soul winner at this point.

Gehenna is another term for hell which refers to the Lake of Fire after Great White Throne judgment. Rev. 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. The souls in hell (Hades) will experience a second death at this point and be thrown into Gehenna (the lake of fire). Gehenna's fires are so real that Jesus warned that it would be better to lose an eye or other part of our bodies than to be whole in the Lake of Fire! (Mark 9:43-48) That's pretty serious stuff - to be told to cut off a part of your own body! Jesus said it is better that we cut off a hand and enter heaven a partial man than to be in that Lake of Fire with a whole body!

Jesus also said in Matt. 18:8 that the flames are everlasting! Have you ever burned yourself on the stove or with a hot iron? The first thing I do is run to get a cold glass of cold water filled with icecubes and dip my finger in it until the pain subsides. But this won't be an option to the unsaved person who is cast here! Matthew 3:12 also says that the fires are unquenchable. It's not like a campfire that dies down after a while. These flames keep going.

The Bible shows us that the Lake of Fire will have different degrees of punishment also. God's punishment will be given out to the lost in same degree that they denied His Word. Luke 12:47-48 describes it well: And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. (47) But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. (48) I also think of Rom. 2:5-6, But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; (5) Who will render to every man according to his deeds:(6)

My friend, all will stand before Christ and give an account of every action we have done. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (2 Cor. 5:10) It's reiterated in Rev. 2:23, And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

I look at it this way, those unsaved who get "few stripes" will burn for all eternity at a level like being burned all over with the most horrible sun burn he's ever had. The unsaved who gets "many stripes" will be burning at a level of being totally engulfed with fire!! Both will be suffering but at different degrees. However, they will all share equally in hell's permanence (eternity) and its unquenching flames - there will be no reprieve - there will be no death as a result of these burns. Granted, there is no way for me to know exactly the pain levels the lost will experience - this is just my interpretation which helps me to imagine. Whatever it takes for you to get a burden for the lost soul, do it! This is just my way of keeping myself motivated to win the lost.

The unsaved stand no chance. Luke's account of the rich man says it all. Once the unsaved dies, it is too late. There is no going back and changing one's mind. The Hitlers and Neros of this world will suffer greater punishment once they are released from Hades and cast into that Lake of Fire. In my soul winning efforts, I've come across people who just don't see their sin. They can't be saved if they don't know they are lost. But upon death, it will be a horrible awakening in a place where the worm dieth not. Christ spoke this statement three times in Mark 9:44-48. Not only is there no escaping hell's fire for the unbeliever, but the pain and torment of being burned continuously goes on for all eternity. I cannot even begin to imagine what it will be like for a person to be engulfed in flames and to continuously be burned and their body not turning to ash - just continuously burning and burning and burning. Not for just an hour, a day, or a week - but forever!

Christian, have I helped you to realize your need to tell your lost loved ones about where they will be spending eternity if they don't repent and get saved? Prayerfully, this has renewed your zeal for lost souls! If not, shame on you.

If you are reading this and you are not born again, won't you reconsider what you believe today? You may not believe in a literal hell. Many may say that hell is here on earth. But Jesus did not preach that at all. Don't take what others say and make it your belief. Could you possibly be wrong? Have you been right about everything in your life? What if you're wrong about this?

God created hell for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41). It is your choice to remain in the lost condition you are in right now. No one is forcing you to get saved. But admit this one thing ... deep down inside you, you're wondering if what I have said is even remotely true. I would rather exercise my little faith, be saved, and find out when I die that the Bible was true than to ignore my little faith and enjoy life full of sin only to find out that everything about hell was true and now I have to spend an eternity burning, writhing in pain for all eternity.

A wise Senior Saint once told me, "Hell's fire is too hot and eternity is too long for me to ignore salvation!"

Dear God...
Please open the heart of the one who reads
What You have laid on my heart today
Create in me a burden so heavy and great
That I need to show someone salvation's way.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My Rock and My Fortress

The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. Psalm 18:2

The combination of these words is used multiple times in the Word of God. Usually when the Word tells us something twice, we are to take notice. But note how many times these words are used:

For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me. (Psa. 31:3)

Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress. (Psa. 71:3)

I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. (Psa. 91:2)

My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me. (Psa. 144:2)

O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. (Jer. 16:19)
Do you think our Heavenly Father was trying to communicate something to His children? I surely do! Let's pick out the specific terms used and meditate on them a bit.

God is our Rock. I think of a rock as stable, solid, immovable. And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (1 Cor. 10:4)

God is our Fortress. Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines a fortress as:
1. Any fortified place; a fort; a castle; a strong hold; a place of defense or security. The English have a strong fortress on the rock of Gibraltar, or that rock is a fortress.
And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; (2 Sam. 22:2) God is our defense and our security. When we are walking in Him (not the world), we can be assured of this!

God is our Deliverer. Christ has rescued and delivered us from an eternity of burning in hell's fires, total darkness and separation from God! And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: (Rom. 11:26) He also delivers us from evil as He taught us in His example of how to pray.

God is our Strength. Noah Webster defines this word, strength, as:
Support; that which supports; that which supplies strength; security.
The Lord supports us, supplies us with His strength and gives us security in those times when men fail us! And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2Co 12:9) Oh thank You, Lord!

God is our Buckler. I had a mental picture of what a buckler was but reading Noah Webster's definition made my heart leap!
A kind of shield, or piece of defensive armor, anciently used in war. It was composed of wood, or wickers woven together, covered with skin or leather, fortified with plates of brass or other metal, and worn on the left arm. On the middle was an umbo, boss or prominence, very useful in causing stones and darts to glance off. The buckler often was four feet long, and covered the whole body.
Notice how the buckler was worn on the left arm - protecting the heart of man. This same buckler causes the enemies darts to fall off. I love how the Lord is our defense - our buckler - protecting us from the enemy! When we abide in Him, we have His protection over us. I think of being under His wings at this point!

God is the Horn of our Salvation. Horns were a big part of the Bible. They sounded for danger, they were used for heralding an event, etc. Jesus Christ is the only One who can provide us with salvation - there is no other. And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; (Luke 1:69) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Act 4:12) I am so thankful that my salvation rests in Jesus Christ. He is the only One - no other!

God is our High Tower. When I envision a high tower, I see a building that is taller than the others around it. This tower allows one to see from all around when danger is coming. This same tower also provides protection to those who are within its walls. Our Lord is our High Tower - He protects us from the enemy. We can rest knowing that He is on the tower watching out for us. What comfort this brings me! My God cares for me! Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1Pe 5:7)

We have a God who sits atop a high tower watching out for us, shielding us and protecting our hearts from the enemy. Our salvation is secure in Him and He provides us the strength we need to deal with the enemy. He delivers us from the temptations that He sees coming. As long as we stand on His Word (His Rock), we have no need to fear. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. (Heb. 13:6) Oh thank You, Lord, for this blessing today!

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
Martin Luther

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

What Have We Made Known Unto Men?

Psalm 145:10-12, All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee. (10) They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; (11) To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. (12)

Do we speak of God's mighty acts to those around us? It's easy to speak to those who are saved. But what about to those who are not saved? God's Kingdom will come again. His Word says so. Christ will reign here for a thousand years and His reign will begin in the not-too-distant future. His Kingdom is filled with God's beauty, His glorious works, and His blessings! How can we not shout from the rooftops? [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. (Psalm 8:1)

The intricacies of a baby, from conception to birth, are mind-boggling! This little peanut of a child, designed by God Himself, comes to us full of innocence and beauty! From its beginning where two cells are joined, each cell thereafter is produced to go to a specific location for a specific function. The brain cell emerges and goes to the brain; the heart cell is formed and goes to the heart, etc. All these different cells with different functions come from the merger of two cells! [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. (Psalm 8:1)

God's outer creation in the universe is also overwhelming. The Hubble telescope has only captured a miniscule amount of pictures in comparison to all that is out there to be seen! Man is high-minded and thinks he knows so much about what is in the universe. Man's knowledge is a speck compared to what he does not know. God has shown His love for intricacies in His creation on earth - why should the universe be any different? [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. (Psalm 8:1)

These tube worms were discovered at the ocean's bottom in my lifetime! Think of all those other pieces of nature which have not been discovered because of man's limitations! I remember watching a television special when they were first discovered. They showed how these creatures "came out" and grabbed their food! The worms sway in the current like grass when the wind blows. I stood in awesome wonder then and do still today. [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. (Psalm 8:1)

Have you ever read about the praying mantis? What a beautiful insect it is! This carnivorous insect eats other insects and can be used in a natural form of pest control around your home. I have seen one on my deck that was almost the length of my hand! I can see why they are called praying mantis because their front legs look as though they are praying. The delicate balance of God's creation should stir our souls when we meditate upon it. [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. (Psalm 8:1)

The only bird I know of that is able to fly backwards is the hummingbird. Hummingbirds have the ability to fly up and down, and forward and backwards because they have a rotator cuff which allows them to move their wings in a figure eight motion. They fly backwards so that they can remove their beak from the flower they are feeding on while in flight. Their normal flight speed can be 30 mph, 50 mph when escaping and 63 mph when diving!! This amazing little bird's nest is the size of a walnut and their eggs are the size of a pea! [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. (Psalm 8:1)

Have you shared your praises with others today, oh Christian? If not, why not? Have you forgotten what your Father in Heaven has given to you to behold in awesome wonder? Each one of the Lord's creation is a gift to us.

The greatest of these gifts is the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Without His birth, we would not be able to enter Heaven! We cannot get to heaven on our own merit. God is Holy and He cannot allow sin into heaven. We have ALL sinned. Yes, even you, my friend. The Garden of Eden was created perfect by God - and so were Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve are the ones who brought sin into this world, not God. All those horrible things you see in this world are happening because sin entered in through Adam and Eve - not because God is cruel. In fact, God was so heart broken at the fact that His perfect creation would not be able to enter heaven, He found a way by sending His Only Son to earth. He loved us that much!

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (Joh 3:16)
This Perfect Son, Jesus Christ, lived a sinless life, died a cruel death and rose again to defeat death. He took upon Him the punishment for us all. All we have to do is acknowledge our sin, repent and accept Him as Lord and Saviour! Thank You, Father, for loving us so much that You would send Your very own Son to earth to take on our punishment! [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. (Psalm 8:1)

Excerpt from O Holy Night

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!
Christ is the Lord! O praise His name forever!
His pow'r and glory evermore proclaim!
His pow'r and glory evermore proclaim!

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Maranatha's New Bible Reading Blog

I've added a daily reading plans Blog to the Maranatha Family. It will be nice to read together each day. In this blog, I will have several different types of plans to choose from. I hope you find one or more that will be a blessing to you. Bear with me as I work to complete it.

You can find it here:


Enter His Gates

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. Psalm 100:4

Have you entered into the Lord's gates today? One of our men preached the morning service yesterday and he preached on our covenant with God. It got me to thinking how blessed we are that Christ's death and resurrection created a covenant for us with the Father - for all born again believers! What a joy to meditate on that today. So today, I want to encourage each of you toward righteousness.

We do not need to be defeated Christians. We do not need to give in to temptation. We just need to be hard workers at our faith in our precious Saviour. I'm sure many a lady gives it her "all" when it comes to caring for her husband, her family, her home, etc. We can't stop there ... we need to care for our spiritual lives with just as much zeal and effort. Yes, cleaning the bathroom and doing laundry is a chore. I just don't get that same effervescent feeling the lady in the commercial gets about my scrubbing bubbles cleaning my toilet, ya know? It's WORK to get these chores done - but the feeling of satisfaction afterwards is priceless!

Making sure that we cover all the areas of our spiritual lives is work also. But this "work" has eternal results. The work in our homes is temporary - the dust will always come back and there will always be dishes and laundry to do. But the work we do for the Lord is forever. I think of Christ's account of Mary and Martha. He did not use a parable here but referred to actual women. The Lord placed this account in His Word especially for us! Mary spent her time at His feet while Martha carried on with the chores. Mary gleaned from the Master while Martha missed out on His blessings from the Word.

Working at our spiritual lives is just that - WORK! Here is a little something that helps me strive in this area of training myself and I want to share it with you.

W - Wake up with the Lord with song! Sing your favorite hymn - you know the one - it just speaks to your heart and gets you in the right mood - Mine is "Amazing Grace"

O - Open my heart to Him in prayer. I believe in making my heart right with God before praying for others. I confess my sins, I love on Him real good and then I pray for others.
I have a prayer list - in fact, I'm making a prayer journal to start using - and I keep this list with my Bible - the list is so long but I've broken it down by days so each day has a different grouping of people (i.e. Sunday = church family; Monday = missionaries; etc. I record specific details for each of these people so I'm praying for specific needs, not generalities.

R - Read His Word! Reading God's Word is a learned trait. Don't be so stringent that you don't enjoy His Word. I have three separate times for reading.
  1. The first is my sweet time with Him. Today is Dec. 11th so I read my Proverb of the day (there are conveniently 31 Proverbs, one each for the 31 days in the month). I then read my Psalms for the day (I read Psalm 11 (then add 30), Psalm 41, Psalm 71, Psalm 101, and Psalm 131. I then read the 11th division or section of Psalm 119. This method for reading Psalms enables me to read the entire Book of Psalms every month. I then read Acts chapter 11 so I can learn about the church's history. And finally, I read Revelations chapter 11 because we are promised a blessing in Rev. 1:3 if we read and understand this book.
  2. The second time for reading is reading through the Bible - I usually do this before bed. I
    have never been able to completely read the Bible through using a yearly plan but at least I am reading through. Sometimes we set goals that we just can't keep and then we feel defeated and give up totally. I would rather keep at it and be blessed then to give up.
  3. My third reading comes with studying God's Word. We're commanded to study to show ourselves approved UNTO GOD Not to show off our knowledge to others, not to puff ourselves up thinking we're better than others - but approved UNTO GOD. This is where we dive into meaty things and learn - not learning from someone else's studying but learning for ourselves. You may have your own method of reading - I hope you do. In my 26 years of salvation, all the women that I've come in contact with who have struggled spiritually, struggled because they were not in the Word for themselves. When we stand before the Lord and give Him the reason why we didn't do this or didn't do that, our excuse that the preacher never taught us won't hold water. We are commanded to study for ourselves.

K - Keep Him in the forefront of my mind all day. When we have sung, prayed and read, it's pretty hard to forget the God you started your day with.

I use to have my time with Him at night because my children were early risers and I ran from the time they woke up till it was time for their bedtime. However, I found that I did not get the fuel and spiritual energizing I so needed to make it through the day. It took hard work to get up in the wee hours to have my time with the Lord. I was not always faithful but I kept at it.

Of course, we women have different routines and whatever works best for you is what you should be faithful in. If you have little ones at home, don't despair. Your time will come where you will have all the time you need in the mornings. Maybe your time is nap time or after their bed time. If you don't have a special time, resolve to yourself to make one. If you want to succeed at this, hold yourself accountable to someone. Ask a good friend to ask you daily if you spent your time with the Lord. One who won't take excuses but will lovingly tell you that your excuse is not a good one!

Dear God...
Help me to be like Mary
As I start this day, oh Lord
Mindful of the things I've gleaned
From Your Holy Word!

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Thy Word is Settled

LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. (Psalm 119:89)

We know that God's Word is Jesus Christ Himself. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1) The same was in the beginning with God. (John 1:2) The Word of God, our Bible, was breathed to man through God's Holy Spirit and reveals all we need to know about Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind. Is it any wonder that the different versions today try to take away Christ's deity? Is it any wonder that they try to remove references to His shed blood and work on the cross? Is it any wonder that they try to remove the fact that there is no other way to heaven but through Him?

Psalm 119:89 says that God's Word is for ever settled in heaven! The meaning of for ever according to Noah Webster is:
At any time; at any period or point of time, past or future.
God's Word was settled in the past and it is settled in the future. We cannot change it because it is settled. Period! And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Rev 22:19)

God's Word was, is and continues to be settled in heaven. God never changes - He's the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Since He never changes and Jesus is the Word according to John 1:1-2, and the Word is settled in heaven, then we must believe that there cannot be 100+ different versions of the Word of God out there. That is why it is so important to believe that God would preserve His Word. Each letter of the Word is so important that there's not one thing contained in it which will go unnoticed. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (Mat 5:18) Why would God consider every little jot and tittle of the Word? Because His Word is settled. It cannot change. It will not change.

Beware of false imitations out there. Satan would love nothing better than to de-throne Christ. That has been his goal from the beginning. Isaiah. 14:12-14, How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! (12) For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: (13) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (14) If he can remove Christ from the different versions of the Bible out there, then people will believe that Allah, Buddha, and yes Lucifer himself is god and he will take as many souls as he can with him to hell.

Why are you so easily deceived that any version is OK to read. Would you follow a child's drawing of a map to go to Orlando, Florida without questioning its accuracy? Why, then, are you so quick to read a version of the Bible which has been derived from Alexandrian texts? Were we not commanded to come out of Egypt, a type of the world? Why would our God contradict Himself by sending His most precious Word, which is settled in heaven, from the very country He told us to stay away from spiritually? To say that He did contradicts everything God teaches in the Word about coming out of Egypt.

Remember, God's Word is settled - there's no changing it. Beware, lest you fall into modernism's trap and become like the world. Your doctrine will be diluted and your testimony will not resemble your Lord and Saviour, but will resemble the god of this world.

O, Revive Us By Thy Word
Daniel W. Whittle

Heav'nly Father, we Thy children,
Gathered round our risen Lord,
Lift our hearts in earnest pleading:
Oh, revive us by Thy Word!


Send refreshing, send refreshing,
From Thy presence, gracious Lord!
Send refreshing, send refreshing,
And revive us by Thy Word!

Gracious gales of heav'nly blessing
In Thy love to us afford;
Let us feel Thy Spirit's presence,
Oh, revive us by Thy Word!


Weak and weary in the conflict,
"Wrestling not with flesh and blood,"
Help us, Lord, as faint we falter,
Oh, revive us by Thy Word!


With Thy strength, O Master, gird us;
Be our Guide, and be our Guard:
Fill us with Thy Holy Spirit;
Oh, revive us by Thy Word!



Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Are You Sincerely Wrong?

The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. (Psalm 9:17)

The believer who is concerned about lost souls has heard many excuses as to why someone won't be saved. One of the excuses I've heard is that there is no God and that when one dies, that's the end. [To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.] The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. (Psalm 14:1)

Seems to me, I would rather take precautions while I had still had the chance than to find out that it's too late to make any changes. I think of Jesus' account of the rich man and Lazarus. In all of Jesus' stories, this account was the only one that He gave the name of an individual. This was a true story and Luke, the physician, goes into great detail when he records Jesus' account in Luke 16:20-31. The rich man no longer had an opportunity to be saved, he no longer had an opportunity to warn his family - that was it! He was stuck in hell, burning, thirsting and hurting for all eternity!!

I once heard one of our dear senior saints say, "Eternity is too long and hell fire too hot for me to take the chance of hell not being true!" Oh so very true! These are not the words of a fool, that's for sure. The word "hell" is found in 54 verses in the Word. God wants us to know all about this place where the unrepentant sinner will go. This place called hell will be a horrifying place where the pain is so great that there will be gnashing of teeth. Noah Webster defines it as:
A grinding or striking of the teeth in rage or anguish.
I found it interesting that there are seven verses which use this phrase "gnashing of teeth." God's perfect number is the number seven which means "completion"! Man's rejection of Him will be complete when he is cast down into hell's fires. There won't be any more chances to accept Jesus Christ as the only way to Heaven. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)Allah won't be able to help you. Buddha won't be able to help you. Mary won't be able to help you. Only Jesus can help you - and only while you are yet living, my friend.

But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mat 8:12)

And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Mat 13:42)

And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Mat 13:50)

Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mat 22:13)

And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mat 24:51)

And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mat 25:30)

There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. (Luke 13:28)

If you are reading this today and you are not 100% convinced that you are going to Heaven when you die, then I hope that you will let these verses speak to your heart and not be the fool as the rich man was. Denying there is a God does not remove the fact that He does exist. God is the beginning and the end. All things started with Him and all things will end with Him. He is not mocked and He does hold judgment for those who reject Him. He also holds reward of salvation for those who accept Him.

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. (Rev 21:6)


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Teaching Transgressors

Psalm 51:10, 12-13, "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. (10) Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. (12) Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. (13)

Our daily prayer should start with the verses in this beautiful Psalm! The Christian praying these words sincerely cannot help but start off the day on the right track. The believer with a clean heart has already had his time with the Lord and has confessed his sin and repented. Only in so doing can we experience the true joy of our salvation daily because there is nothing separating us from our God. This does not mean that we lose our salvation each time we sin. It means that our fellowship is once again restored.

A good illustration is when one of my own children lies to me. My child will be punished and our fellowship won't be the same until it is made right. Until my child confesses to me that he has lied and it is evident that he is truly repentant, the fellowship between us is broken. My heart is broken while our fellowship is broken. It's not the same between us - he can't look me in square in the eye and we can't seem to enjoy that closeness we once had. However, once he repents and asks forgiveness, I can then hug him and that sweet fellowship is once again restored. What a joy it is to be able to fellowship is we once did. He now is not ashamed to look me in the eye and he is confident because he has been forgiven. My son knows that there's no longer anything that separates us. At any point during this broken fellowship, did my son cease to be my son? Of course not. He was still my son, my flesh and bone - we just did not have the same relationship we had prior to his lying to me. Our fellowship was not the same until he experienced true repentance and asked forgiveness. After he did, he knew that his mother would be waiting to forgive him with opened arms, ready to restore our relationship.

I've heard preached that our accounts with God should be kept short - meaning, don't let a day go by without confessing your sins and being truly repentant. This restores your fellowship with the Lord and all is well. Only then can we be effective soul winners according to verse 13 and win others to Christ. The lost can spot a hypocrite a mile away. If we try to lead someone to the Lord and our lives are filled with unconfessed sin, our efforts will be in the flesh and not in the Spirit. Just as our children, we must turn to our Heavenly Father and confess to Him our sin. Only then can we be free to witness to others without hypocrisy and without hindrance.

It's so important that we have a clean heart before the Lord so that we do not hinder His Spirit's work in the lives of the unsaved. I know that there will be some whom God has placed in my path and that I have not been able to effectively witness to them because I have not been right with Him! I dread the day that I stand before the Lord and He shows me those who are lost for all eternity because I did not take this seriously. Create in me a clean heart, oh Lord, so I may be a better witness for You!!!

O For A Heart to Praise My God
Charles Wesley

O for a heart to praise my God,
A heart from sin set free,
A heart that always feels Thy blood
So freely shed for me.

A heart resigned, submissive, meek,
My great Redeemer’s throne,
Where only Christ is heard to speak,
Where Jesus reigns alone.

A humble, lowly, contrite, heart,
Believing, true and clean,
Which neither life nor death can part
From Christ who dwells within.

A heart in every thought renewed
And full of love divine,
Perfect and right and pure and good,
A copy, Lord, of Thine.

Thy tender heart is still the same,
And melts at human woe:
Jesus, for thee distressed I am,
I want Thy love to know.

My heart, Thou know’st, can never rest
Till Thou create my peace;
Till of mine Eden repossest,
From self, and sin, I cease.

Fruit of Thy gracious lips, on me
Bestow that peace unknown,
The hidden manna, and the tree
Of life, and the white stone.

Thy nature, gracious Lord, impart;
Come quickly from above;
Write Thy new name upon my heart,
Thy new, best name of Love.

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Walking in Truth

(Psalm 86:11) Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. As we instruct our little children in our home, we are teaching them to walk and abide by our rules. In turn, they learn to obey Mommy and Daddy and their hearts learn to fear the punishment that they will receive should they choose to disobey. Oh Father in Heaven, thank You for providing the basic fundamentals of our spiritual walk through our own children!!

Our Father does not want to discipline us, but He will have to if we choose to disobey Him. Disobedience is a choice. We can't claim that "the devil made me do it" because the devil didn't! We are in charge of yielding to temptation. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (Romans 6:16) That word "yield" is an interesting word. It means to give up, to surrender, to resign! Do you surrender to temptation quickly - after a long battle - after much convincing? Does a General surrender his army because he has no choice? Of course not. He surrenders because he chooses to surrender. The enemy has overcome him. If you give up the battle, the enemy will overcome you, my friend.

That's why Psalm 86:11 speaks of letting God teach you through His Word, walking in His truth and fearing His name - fearing the consequences when you choose not to obey Him. When we choose to obey the Master and Creator Himself, the battle becomes His and He never loses (1 Sam. 17:47). It's God's battle at that point and He will keep you from falling. We don't have to fall, my friend. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, (Jude 1:24)

Don't want to fall? Walk in truth - be in the Word - stay in the Word - Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (John 17:17) God's Word will sanctify us - set us apart and keep us from falling! Thank You, Lord, for loving us so much that You have provided a light for us through Your Word. Thank You for providing a balm that heals through Your Word. Thank You for giving us comfort knowing that our eternal security is kept by You and not by my actions.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.(3 John 1:4)

My King James Bible
Kate Plourde

Just reading Your Word is a privilege
I never dreamed would be
So much a part of my daily life
And impossible to shake free.

It's become a vital food for me
To feed my hungry soul
It quenches the thirst I have for truth
And Its mysteries unfold!

It ministers to every single need
Not one does He overlook
Our questions have all been answered
In this Solitary Book!

My King James Bible, a miracle indeed
The way it all seems to flow
The Spirit authored every word
So we may be free to grow!

If you want wisdom then read God's Book
And He'll never let you down
Be persistent in your search for truth
And your foundation will be sound!

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Vessels Unto Honour

Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; (Psa 149:6)

Today's unbeliever looks at "christianity" and mocks it. We see it on television, books and movies all the time. The Christian is depicted as some lunatic. Yes, the world probably has always viewed the believer in this light. But I believe we are viewed in this way much more today. Why do I think this? All I have to do is to look at those professing Christ around me. They do not have the praises of God in their mouths. They don't have their twoedged sword in their heads and mouths, let alone in their hand. The topic of Jesus Christ does not come up in general conversation amongst believers - why should His name be spoken of them in the presence of unbelievers?

I'm saddened by the lack of testimony our church holds today. No wonder the world laughs. No wonder they do not want what we have. My heart aches. We can't agree on a Bible, we can't agree on basic doctrine - even amongst the fundamentals - we argue amongst ourselves. Our pastor preached that more churches are started today due to splits rather than from a new work. How sad is that?

If the born again believers were busy praising God with their lips and their actions, as well as using the Word of God to lead souls to Him, they would be vessels unto honour instead of dishonoring Him. 2 Tim. 2:20-21, "But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. (20) If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. (21)

What can we give our Saviour in honor of His birthday this year? When was the last time you led a soul to Christ? What a gift that would be!!!

This is Jesus' Precious Bible
Richard Davies & Thomas Levi

This is Jesus’ precious Bible,
This the gift of God’s right hand;
Teaching how to die triumphant,
How to live His pure command;
This reveals the loss we suffered
When in Eden sin enticed;
And it shows the way to glory
If we follow Jesus Christ.

Precious Bible! in my bosom
Thy dear words a home shall find.
Countless blessings are, with beauty,
In Thy promises assigned;
My poor heart once roamed a desert,
Vast and dry, of withered sod,
Till Thy guidance brought me through it
To the living stream of God.

I will hide Thy words within me
Deep, where time cannot delete;
Thou art light upon my pathway,
And a lamp unto my feet;
Friend Thou art on life’s long journey
Biding through my hours of care,
And through heaven’s eternal ages—
Thou my treasure ever there.

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