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This beautiful flower, the Wild Columbine, can be found growing in the State of Wisconsin. It reminded me of a dear, precious sister in the Lord who lives there. Today’s devotional is for this dear friend. I am praying that the Lord would bless it and use it to encourage her.

Looking at this magnificent piece of God’s creation, I noticed that its colors are so vivid! The bright yellow center, like rays streaming from the sun, is surrounded by a beautiful reddish-dark pink blanket. It reminded me of Christ’s precious blood covering our sins and how His Spirit should shine forth in our lives. Christ’s agape love drove Him to die for us so that our sins would be covered! It sure opened my eyes to the true meaning of: And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. (1 Pe 4:8 )

At its center lies the sweet nectar used in pollinating! Oh that our lives should be sweet nectar to the unsaved world! We should be ready with the sweet honey from the Word – ready to show them salvation through Jesus Christ. Doesn’t the entire flower look like a lantern bursting forth with light? This beautifully clad flower is an example to us that we should be a light to a lost and dying world. No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. (Luk 8:16)

The little buds on the same plant are waiting for the perfect time, God’s time, to open up and reveal the beautiful flower within. Our new life in Christ produces a spiritual bud which will burst forth as we grow in grace. When we are born again, we become new creatures. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Co 5:17) We possess the wonderful Holy Spirit who molds us and forms us into the image of Jesus Christ. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. (1 Co 15:49)

Buds on a plant pop up and grow at different times. The bud cannot survive without the plant – apart from the plant, this bud would die. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (Joh 15:5) As we view the life of a Christian as it relates to this plant, we see the new born again believer – he is like a new bud. The bud then begins to open, beginning its life as a flower – so the believer grows in grace and begins to look like his Saviour. The more the bud opens, the more it looks like the flower it is going to become. The same goes for Christians – the more we grow in Christ (through trial and tribulation), the more we become like Him.

Each bud belongs to the same plant just as each believer belongs to the Vine. Yet each is unique in its own way. They are all Wild Columbines but yet different in the time they bud and in their appearance. Some may have blotches due to disease – some may have little holes due to insects. Each Christian goes through life experiencing trials and tribulations which produce blotches. Each Christian will go through physical trials because of Adam’s sin. But we have encouragement in the Word because nothing is unique – somewhere, someone has been through the same trial (whether spiritual or physical) and we are not alone. 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 Co 10:13) The Lord’s mercy is seen here – we can encourage one another during various trials so that a brother or sister does not get totally discouraged. We are to use the gift(s) God has given us to lift up those who desperately need to see the Lord. What a beautiful picture of the body of Christ it is when each Christian is using his gifts for His glory! The church works together as one to bring glory to the Son! All our gifts working together in harmony will form a church family that is ready to meet the needs of a lost and dying world. These same gifts will be as a healing salve for the hurting Christian. Just as these buds on the Wild Columbine plant contribute to the whole plant, so does each born again believer contribute to the Body of Christ!

Lastly, this beautiful flower reminds me that not all Christians are at the same place spiritually. We are all growing at different paces – we are a work in progress. We need to be patient with one another. We will not achieve perfection until we reach Heaven. In the mean time, our Heavenly Father is busy molding us into a vessel fit for His use. But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. (Isa 64:8 ) As Christians, we will fail as we walk this pilgrim’s path. However, God’s Word promises that He can pick up the broken pieces and make something new fit for His use. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. (Jer 18:4) Did you notice that the potter here did not throw away the marred vessel? Instead, he “made it again” into another vessel! God can take our sins, our mistakes, our messed up lives, and mold us into something new that he can use! He is the God of second chances – and, yes, third, fourth and even more!

Never did I dream when I started meditating on the beautiful Wild Columbine that I would walk away this blessed! Oh Lord, “Marvellous are thy works.” Ps. 139:14

Thank You, Lord (for saving my soul)
Words and Music by Mr. and Mrs. Seth Sykes

Some thank the Lord for friends and home,
For mercies sure and sweet;
But I would praise Him for His grace
In prayer I would repeat:

Chorus
Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul,
Thank you, Lord, for making me whole;
Thank you, Lord, for giving to me
Thy great salvation so rich and free.

Some thank Him for the flow’rs that grow,
Some for the stars that shine;
My heart is filled with joy and praise,
Because I know He’s mine.

Chorus

I trust in Him from day to day,
I prove His saving grace;
I’ll sing this song of praise to Him
Until I see His face.

Chorus

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And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged; (Gen 8:1) The first mention of the wind is in Genesis 8:1. You all know my love for God’s use of numbers in the Word – and I believe He continues this love right down to the chapter numbers and verse numbers. The number eight symbolizes “new beginnings.” When we are born again, we have a new beginning – we receive the Holy Spirit of God within us who seals us. The Holy Spirit stirs our hearts like a breeze stirs the embers in a fire.

Another beautiful analogy I noticed was how the wind blew across the waters and caused them to asswage (to move and pull back). Christ, through His Word, is our Living Water and His Spirit moves within us to convict us, grow us, and pull us away from the world. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. (Joh 4:10) The Living Water of the Word of God is stirred by the Wind, the Holy Spirit. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (Joh 3:8 )

As the Holy Spirit stirs our spiritual embers, we grow in grace. He stirs us and reveals to us what His Word says. He guides us in our spiritual walk and reveals false doctrines so we can be equipped when cultists come our way. He pricks our hearts when we “hear” a different gospel. He reveals God’s will in every page of the Word. He shows us how to communicate to our Heavenly Father. God uses examples of the wind and makes His Word come alive through examples. The Master Painter paints a picture in our mind’s eye so we can better understand what He is communicating to us. God didn’t just give us His Word but He uses His creation to explain Himself more clearly. How blessed we truly are! But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. (Jam 1:6)

Another aspect of wind is its force. Wind carries dust and debris and sometimes it clutters the way and creates obstacles, like in the instance of a tornado. The Christian who spends time in the Holy Spirit breathed pages of the Bible will be able to discern teachings which are not scriptural. The new believer is a prime candidate for falling victim to deception. They are not yet experiencing the meat of the Word and they will be easily deceived. Spending little time in the Word invites debris and obstacles in their spiritual path.

However, the Christian who spends time in the Word, growing thereby, can recognize the devil’s winds about him. That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (Eph 4:14) The devil is the father of lies according to John 8:44. But God did not leave us helpless, my friend. We have two of the most powerful defense weapons known to man: the Bible and prayer. The Holy Spirit wrote the Word of God through men and He speaks to the Father through us when we cannot find the words. How many times have I searched for just the right words to express to the Father what my heart contained. Yet, the Spirit had already told Him! The Spirit had already completed the mission and was revealing God’s will and plan through the blessed pages of my Bible in my reading time.

The wind is a magnificent part of creation to which much of God’s teachings can be attributed. How blessed we are that we can look at every facet of creation and see our God and His character. As Christians, we should take advantage of it and meditate on whatever it is that God puts in our path each day. God is waiting there to teach us and bless us through His creation. Thank You, Lord!

Dear God…
Your blessed Holy Spirit
Is seen in the softest breeze
Please move and stir within my heart
And mold me as You please.

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Probably one of the worse subjects for me to talk about is that of the cockroach – or any bug for that matter. As disgusting as this little creature is, there is something there that God can use to teach us. God’s lessons can not only be found in the most beautiful of His creation but also in the most loathsome creature! When I think of cockroaches I think of the pestilences of Scriptures. Whether the cockroach was a part of these pestilences or not, they certainly are pests to be reckoned with today. He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence; (Psa 78:50) Unless you have experienced an annoying pest problem, you can’t begin to imagine in your mind’s eye what a pestilence can truly be.

Did you know that here are roughly 3,490 species of cockroaches in six families??!! Cockroaches are found worldwide, except for the polar regions. Only a handful of these species dwell in buildings. But once you find a cockroach in your house, you can be sure there are a lot more hidden in the walls. The most common cockroach in the U.S. is the German cockroach. Their female carries an egg case on the end of her abdomen. (OK – I just had a chill run up my spine!) The egg case holds about 30–40 long, thin eggs, packed like hot dogs in its case. As disgusting as all this sounds, it brought to mind how the world is filled with lost sinners, packed together living their lives without thought of their spiritual condition. There is no better place to view this than at a night club. I do not need to elaborate on this – all you have to do is remember your unsaved days and when you visited these places – sinners crammed together like sardines just so they can fulfill the lusts of the flesh – all in the guise of fun! Yet, in this darkness sin runs rampant – no one is seeking to walk righteously. God says in His Word that pestilence walks in the night. I wondered if He was referring to the likes of cockroaches. Ps. 91:5-6, Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; (5) Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. (6)

One thing that I did find fascinating about the eggs were how they hatch. The hatchlings continuously gulp air until they “swell” like a balloon. Their combined pressure causes the case to break open. These little nymphs are initially white in color and they continue inflating themselves with air. Within about four hours, they have hardened and darkened in color. This process reminded me of a baby coming into this world. As this baby grows, the sin nature takes hold and this beautiful innocent child becomes harder and harder to win to salvation because the sin nature now reigns. The inflating cockroach brought to mind how our sins are multiplied every day – I can see why God likens them to filthy rags. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isa 64:6) Once salvation is found, those filthy sins – those scarlet sins are made white as snow because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isa 1:18 ) Our hard, sinful nature has been replaced with a heart filled with the seed of the Gospel planted into good soil.

Once you see a cockroach in your home, you have to admit that it’s too late. Killing the one roach won’t do you a bit of good – you already have a problem. The female may produce up to eight egg cases in her life with an end result of up to 300-400 babies! Just writing about this topic gives me the woollies! Because of our sin nature, our sins are multiplied daily. Just think of it this way – if you were to live until you were 80 years old and you commit only one sin per day, you will have sinned 29,200 times! And that’s only one sin per day! Our Heavenly Father created Adam and Eve perfect and sinless! It was not His desire for them to be sinners. He created them perfect, as well as the entire earth. God gave them a free will so they would serve Him willingly, not as robots. They exercised their free will by succumbing to sin. This sin had them kicked out of the perfect Garden of Eden! This sin brought curse to this earth. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (Rom 5:12) It is not God’s choosing but ours.

Anyone who has had roaches in their kitchen can verify that they are a nocturnal creature – they come out by night. The minute you turn the light on, they scatter, thus the phrase, “scatter like roaches.” The sinner finds comfort in the night because he thinks he cannot be seen. Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? (Isa 29:15) The sinner is blind to the things of God. And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? (Luk 6:39) A believer cannot hang around a lost person for very long because he will find himself going back spiritually. Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; (Pro 2:13) We do not need to walk in darkness any longer. We have the ability to say no to sin and to walk in the paths of uprightness. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. (1Th 5:5)

Even looking at the cockroach we can see God’s Goodness in the lessons He has for us. So as the cockroach scatters when the light is brought forth, so should we scatter when sin crosses our path. We have the blessed light of the Word of God to lighten our way. NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa 119:105) We do not need to stumble as the lost do. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. (Pro 4:19) Learn from the cockroach. Use this piece of creation to teach you how to be a better Christian.

Dear God…
You have used the vilest of creatures
To teach Your child today
May we watch and diligently listen
As Your word lights up our way!

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When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder: (Job 28:26) One of the most awesome of God’s wonders to me is a good lightning and thunder storm! I love to sit and watch one and I stand amazed each time a lightning bolt goes across the sky and the sound of thunder claps afterward.

Man in his “finite wisdom” still does not know exactly why this phenomenon occurs. Here we are in the 21st Century and it is still a mystery! But here is what they do know. Lightning is an atmospheric discharge of electricity that happens mostly during a storm. It also occurs during a tornado, along with hail, as well as when a volcano erupts. It also occurs when it’s hot, called heat lightning. Scientists say a bolt of lightning travels at 100,000 miles per hour and that its temperature reaches almost 50,000 °F! It is said that the average bolt of lightning can produce enough energy to power a 100 watt light bulb for two months! The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook. (Psa 77:18 )

When I see lightning, I think of the Lord’s return. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Mat 24:27) A lightning bolt shoots across the sky so quickly (100,000 mph), so will Christ’s return be! What a glorious thing to behold!!

When I was a little girl, my father told me that when I see lightning, all I have to do is to start counting when I hear the thunder. The number I reach is the distance in miles the lightning is away from me. It’s amazing what people attribute thunder to: the angels bowling, the clouds colliding, etc.! But even today, scientists do not completely understand what causes thunder. The current theory is that plasma expands in the lightning bolt’s trail and creates a sonic shock wave caused by the rapid heating and expansion of the air around the lightning. We see lightning before the thunder because light travels faster than sound.

I love the fact that even with all the head knowledge of our scientists today, they still cannot figure out lightning and thunder completely. They have but a “theory”! Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah. (Psa 81:7) God’s Word says that thunder is in the secret place … I wonder if God intends to keep it a secret from man until His return!

How appropriate to end today’s devotional with the great song, “How Great Thou Art” by Carl Boberg! In 1885, he was walking home after church and watched a storm over Monsteras Bay in Sweden. The storm captured his attention and inspired him to pen the words to this beautiful hymn.

How Great Thou Art
Carl Boberg

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Chorus

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Chorus

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Psa. 114:7-8, Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob; (7) Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters. (8 )

What a beautiful work of the Master’s Hand! The waterfall’s beauty brings such peace as we behold it. All along the water’s edge one sees the life that the water produces. Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it. (Psa 65:9)

Our Heavenly Father provides everything for His creation. Not only is His provision useful for our bodies but also for our spiritual nourishment. The thunderous sound of the waters falling remind me that no matter how beautiful the waters are, the force of the water as it hits bottom stirs up the loose earth and debris below. So should God’s Word stir up our souls and move us forward in our Christian walk toward spiritual maturity. [To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah.] As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. (Psa 42:1) When we “pant” for God’s Word and time spent with Him, we are rewarded with refreshing waters from the water of Life. Thank You, Lord!

My heart was full this morning after my time with Him. All I could do was pen what He had done for me. I share this with you now in hopes that it will bless you.

My Heart Panteth for You
Kate Plourde (May 21, 2007)

My heart is full as I sit with You,
During this time of solitude.
A time ever precious and so sweet
Each day my heart’s made new!

Despite the problems of the day
I’m not feeling overwhelmed.
The loving Captain of my ship
Stands watchful at the helm.

The Master of the sea loves me!
My best is His loving plan.
He guides me through the storms of life.
I find rest in His bless’ed Hand.

Dear Lord, be the Commander of my life,
For You care so diligently.
The Word has promised You’ll never sleep,
While you guide me on life’s sea!

On Vacation

July 8th, 2015
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I am on vacation and will be posting again on July 21st.  Thank you for your patience.  :-)

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For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength. (Job 37:6) Most snowflakes are known to have six sides. Some do have three sides, which I found to be interesting because scientists say that this three-sided snowflake is still a mystery. Don’t you love it? Man still cannot figure out God’s creation!

Although it’s widely believed that no two snowflakes are alike, scientists cannot prove it nor can they disprove it. Their finite minds want to believe that it is impossible for no two things in the whole universe not to be alike in some way. But their “fact finding” minds have to concede that it could be possible. They hate the fact that the Christian’s God could make something so beautiful and unique so they deny it. Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words. (Pro 23:9)

But as Christians, we know that God created all things, including each snow flake. Job 37:6 says that God places them on this earth. What more proof do we need? None whatsoever! When I think of all the sizes and shapes of snow flakes, I am astounded at God’s wonders! It equally boggles my mind to know that He has every hair on my head numbered, as well as yours and every other human being that has ever lived on this earth! Jesus said, “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Mat 10:30) Jesus, Himself, said this! If you are not baffled, you should be! Meditating on the intricacies of creation, such as the snow flake, will cause you to know the God you serve!

The snow flake, on the most part, has six sides. The number six is the number of man. I wonder if no two snow flakes are alike because no two human beings are exactly alike. We see this truth in finger prints. God teaches us that as the snow flake is unique, so are we. He knows each one of us intimately. Have you ever stopped to think about that? Our Father knows us better than our spouse. He knows us better than our parents. He knows us better than we want to admit in knowing ourselves. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. (Psa 139:2) For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. (Psa 139:4) God knows our thoughts (afar off) even before I have thought them and my words even before I have spoken them. This makes me trust in my Maker, my Creator, so much more because He knows who He is dealing with and knows how to mold me into His image. Knowing what God knows about each one of us, He molds us into unique creatures – each one of us having different talents, different colored eyes, different skin, different hair, etc.

God also creates snow flakes with three sides reminding us of his Triune nature. There is none like Him. It is this Triune God who made man. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Gen 1:26) (emphasis mine). How can we look at a snow storm and not see the Lord God in it? Growing up in Northern Maine allowed me to witness the most beautiful snow flakes ever! I remember those storms where the flakes were huge! You could see each of the designs so beautifully. More recently, we had such a snow storm in Northern Virginia and viewing those beautiful nickel-sized flakes revealed God’s Goodness to me. I was awe struck!

Oh Christian, we don’t have to look far to see God’s Goodness in His creation. All we have to do is to be still for a moment and behold the beauty around us. Why do you think God tells us to be still? Yes, He means for us to stop getting in His way and let Him work in our lives. But He could also mean for us to be still long enough to recognize His Goodness. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. (Psa 46:10) When we look at snow flakes and their simplicity, we can see God. This beautiful pure white, six-sided (man’s number) piece of creation is likened to our Precious Saviour and His work on the cross for us. The next time you behold snow with your eyes (whether in real life or in photos), meditate on Christ’s purity and how God sent Him to save your wicked soul. Meditate on His purity and allow His Spirit to change you.

So, my friend, did you think that meditating on a snow flake would be so rewarding? I didn’t and walked away this morning totally blessed! Thank You, Lord!

Whiter Than Snow
James L. Nicholson

Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want Thee forever to live in my soul.
Break down every idol, cast out every foe;
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow.
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Lord Jesus, let nothing unholy remain,
Apply Thine own blood and extract ev’ry stain;
To get this blest cleansing, I all things forego—
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

Lord Jesus, look down from Thy throne in the skies,
And help me to make a complete sacrifice.
I give up myself, and whatever I know,
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

Lord Jesus, for this I most humbly entreat,
I wait, blessèd Lord, at Thy crucified feet.
By faith, for my cleansing, I see Thy blood flow,
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

Lord Jesus, Thou seest I patiently wait,
Come now, and within me a new heart create;
To those who have sought Thee, Thou never saidst “No,”
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

The blessing by faith, I receive from above;
O glory! my soul is made perfect in love;
My prayer has prevailed, and this moment I know,
The blood is applied, I am whiter than snow.

Refrain

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The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; (Song 2:12)

The largest of the North American waterfowls, as well as the largest of all swans, is the graceful Trumpeter Swan. What a beautiful bird it is with its pure white feathers and long slender neck. Next to the dove, eagle and cardinal, this is the one bird that has had the most spiritual impact on me. When I see a Trumpeter Swan, I think of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! His grace and beauty are seen in many of the swan’s characteristics. I wanted to share with you what the Creator of all gave me this morning as I meditated on this remarkable creature. God’s Goodness cannot be matched – His Greatness cannot be exceeded – His love never ends! Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! (Psa 31:19)

About 25 years ago, John and I went on a motorcycle trip from Virginia to Northern Maine. We stopped overnight in a small town in Connecticut. The motel had the most beautiful large pond in front of our room. This beautiful pond was surrounded by Weeping Willows all around. It was picture perfect, so serene! Unfortunately, those were the years of 35 millimeter cameras and Polaroids and I do not have a picture to post here. However, the one to the right is quite close. After dinner, John and I relaxed while we sat under a willow tree. We watched these beautiful Trumpeter Swans lazily gliding across the pond. Back and forth they would go with their young cygnets frantically swimming behind them. As they swam, the peaceful waters were disrupted, creating ripples all the way to the shore line.

The swan’s beautiful white feathers remind me that the Redeemer’s blood has made me white as snow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isa 1:18 ) My sin is seen no more by my Heavenly Father because He sees His Son’s blood over me. The white feathers also remind me of when Jesus was transfigured. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. (Mar 9:3) The Creator, Jesus Christ, gave this beautiful swan colors and its grace to bless our hearts. In turn, it reminds us of Him – it draws us to Him.

As the swan glides across the waters so gently and gracefully, it reminds me of how the Holy Spirit gently works in our lives to mold us into the image of Christ. As we read the Word and are convicted by the Spirit, we become more and more like Jesus. And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: (Col 3:10) God patiently works in our lives, leading and directing, molding and forming us so we can be like Him. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:10) Jesus promises us peace and rest when we come to Him. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (Joh 14:27) Not only does our Saviour give us peace but He carries our burdens if we allow Him to! For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Mat 11:30) It took me a while to grow in this area of allowing the Lord to carry my burdens. Once I learned this blessed truth, what a fool I felt I was for not having done so sooner. There is no happier and more peaceful place to be than in the center of your Saviour’s Hand. We are secure there. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (Joh 10:28 )

As the Holy Spirit works to change us and mold us into the image of Christ, the changes create a rippling effect in our lives, just as the swan creates when it swims. These changes touch other lives through our testimony and leads them to Christ. Their lives touch other lives, etc. Thus the rippling effect goes to the shores of our lives. My testimony should have this effect on others, reaching out to the uttermost! For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. (2 Cor 1:12)

I did a little research on the internet about this magnificent creature. I learned that they often mate for life. The female (known as the pen) moults and loses her flight feathers shortly after her young hatch. She is vulnerable to predators at this point. The cob (the male) goes through this process about a month later when the female has completed her moult. The Creator knew that they would have to protect one another during their flightless time. What a merciful God we have – He watches over every creature in such a tender and caring way! Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1 Pet 5:7) Our Heavenly Father does not leave us defenseless. He is not like the devil who will kick us while we are down. Peter warns us that ole slew foot is like a roaring lion. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Pet 5:8 ) God does not leave us to be devoured by the devil. We have nothing to fear because while we are spiritually moulting, the Lord is right there protecting us against evil and the evil one. God wanted us to rest assured so much so that He penned it in the Word by giving us an example when Jesus prayed for us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Mat 6:13)

One of the swan’s predators is the wolf. This beautiful creature can be attacked without notice and quickly. We’ve all see nature shows about wolves and how they run in packs and have no mercy on their unsuspecting victims. Just because we are saved does not mean that we are exempt from the wolves of this world. The devil sends his minions out within the very walls of our churches to attack from within. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. (Act 20:29) We are to be vigilent, ready and prepared for the enemy. Notice that Luke does not say that the wolves are from the world but these wolves are among us in our very churches! This tells me that we should be even more vigilent in this case. We have a tendancy to let down our guard when we are in church because we believe we are in a safe haven. However, the wolves are among us and the Word says they are grievous. Noah Webster says that grievous means “Causing grief or sorrow.” Have you ever been prey to a grievous wolf in your own church which has caused you grief or sorrow? The Word says it will happen – Luke said “I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you,”! Luke knew it would happen. Don’t be deceived – be alert! Know your Bible so that you can spot trouble from afar. God gives us more and more discernment and wisdom and we grow in grace.

And lastly, I discovered that the swan makes a trumpet-like sound like that of a french horn. That is why it is called the Trumpeter Swan. God used the trumpet sounds quite often in the Scriptures. The word trumpet appears 59 times in the Bible. A trumpet was sounded when danger was spotted. Christ left us His Word so that we would be able to find encouragement within its pages. He left us His Word so that we could learn to spot danger. Seeing a swan encourages us to be in the Word, seeking out the warnings. The prophecies of the end times are good examples of these warnings. The trumpet was also used to make an announcement. My favorite verse relating to a trumpet is found in Rev. 4:1, where the rapture is depicted. After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. (Rev 4:1) Jesus Christ will call us up, “Come up hither!” 1 Thess. 4:17-18, Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (17) Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (18 ) Glory! Does this not comfort you? Just as I sat tranquil and comforted watching the beautiful swans on that pond, so should you be with these words!

The next time you see the Trumpeter Swan, I hope you see our Magnificent and Almighty Lord in its beautiful features. Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; (1 Tim 6:15)

Dear God…
Oh Lord, my God, I sit amazed
At Your creation, with beauty bright
Revealing Truths in such bless’ed ways
Reflecting Your power and might.

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Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (Psa 119:165)

The structure of this verse is so wonderful when one takes a few minutes to meditate on it. In so doing, we receive a blessing beyond words. The Lord God tells us that we will receive abundant peace if we love His law (the Word) and nothing will be a stumbling block or an enticement to us. Strong’s defines the word “offend” as:

H4383
מכשׁל מכשׁול
mikshôl mikshôl
mik-shole’, mik-shole’
Masculine from H3782; a stumblingblock, literally or figuratively (obstacle, enticement (specifically an idol), scruple): – caused to fall, offence, X [no-] thing offered, ruin, stumbling-block.

Have there been things in life which have been a stumbling block or an enticement to you? Are you quickly able to discern what should be done? The amount of spiritual discernment one has is equivalent to the amount of time spent in the Word. The more you are in the Word of God, the less you will be coming face-to-face with stumbling blocks and enticements in your own life.

It all boils down to what your priorities are. Do you spend ten minutes in the morning doing a devotional and call that your time with the Lord? How would you like to have only ten minutes of time with your spouse or your children? Would that be enough? Of course not. How much time do you spend on the internet? Is it more than the time you spent with the Lord? I’ve been in this situation and so I speak from experience. So I ask you:

Do you spend time on the internet and neglect your husband?
Do you spend time on the internet and leave your children to the television?
Is your house a disaster while you are surfing?

If so, the internet has enticed you and has become a stumbling block. There is no peace in that. Instead, you work frantically to get caught up on your chores – you’re bushed when hubby comes home so he gets what’s left over of your personality – you rush to get dinner ready – your kids are hyper because they’ve been sitting in front of the idiot box for too long and you wonder why they are uncontrollable. Priorities – priorities – priorities.

How different your day would have been if you had reversed the roles and spent more time in the Word, then your hubby, then your children, then your chores, and finally a few minutes for the internet, if any time is left. There is much to glean on the internet, however, it is a huge time waster.

So, how can we receive the abundant peace the Lord promises in Ps. 119:165? We must love His law. You cannot love what you have merely scanned over for a few minutes a day. Don’t believe me? Think of your favorite book – how many times have you read it over? You must have read it more than once because you say it is your favorite. I remember reading The Diary of Anne Frank over and over to the point where I knew what page to find a certain passage! I loved this book – and still do. However, do I love God’s Word more?

Although we have repented and received Christ as our Saviour, it cannot end there. Ten minutes a day in His Word won’t be enough to get you to the point where you “love God’s law”! Loving God’s law doesn’t come with hours of reading either. Loving God’s law is obeying it. And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. (1 Sam 15:22b) You can read the Word all day long but if you don’t obey it, your reading is in vain, my friend.

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (Psa 119:165) The bottom line is if you love God’s Word by obeying it, He will give you abundant peace to the point where nothing will be a stumbling block or enticement to you. Nothing? That’s what this verse says. Nothing! However, you can only claim this if you love His law and obey it!

Are you being enticed today? Are there stumbling blocks in your life? The more you’re in the Word, the less you’ll have them. It’s a wonderful cure!

BLEST ARE THE UNDEFILED IN HEART
by Isaac Watts

Blest are the undefiled in heart,
Whose ways are right and clean;
Who never from Thy law depart,
But fly from every sin.

Blest are the men that keep Thy Word,
And practice Thy commands;
With their whole heart they seek the Lord,
And serve thee with their hands.

Great is their peace who love Thy law;
How firm their souls abide!
Nor can a bold temptation draw
Their steady feet aside.

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Psalm 100:4-5, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. (4) For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (5)”

As I read these two verses this morning, the first thing that struck me was that we are to enter the Lord’s presence not only with a thankful heart but we must put action to that thankfulness by saying so and blessing Him. We have so much to be thankful for, my friend!

If you are one who looks at the world with a pessimistic viewpoint, you won’t be able to see why you should be thankful. In fact, you’re reading this and saying, “Yeh, RIGHT! Easy for you to say! You don’t know what I’m going through!” Do you truly believe that you are the only one going through trials? Every believer has a cross to bear. Every last one of us has something they are going through. What makes you think that your trial is greater than someone else’s? Everyone is allowed the wonderful opportunity to deny himself and follow the Lord. In so doing, they “pick up their cross” [whatever the trial(s) of their life will be] and follow the Lord. And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23 Notice the word daily? It’s not a one-time thing, my friend. Each day has its challenges and each day we must choose to take that challenge and follow Christ and His will for us.

I doubt very much any of us can say that we have been tried as much as, or even as close to, Job. If you haven’t spent time in the Book of Job, you should. You would glean so much and it would help you through your trials – especially if you are that pessimist. I know from my own experiences that each trial the Lord has allowed me to go through has built my faith in Him. The more my faith is built, the more I trust Him to take care of these trials. With that comes comfort – what’s in my heart will show on my face. The pessimist’s face reflects how he handles each trial – it’s written all over his face. He does not stop worrying or complaining. He does not spend the extra time in the Word that he so desperately needs. He does not rejoice in the midst of the trial to encourage himself. This was true of Job when his friends came to see him. They didn’t recognize him. Now I can’t say as I blame Job because the trials he went through were enormously overwhelming. However, we still have something to learn from this.

Our trials are also a testimony to believers and unbelievers alike. They can see where our trust lies through our actions. Our trials also reveal who our true friends are – we saw this so evident in Job’s own life. These friends (Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar and Elihu) didn’t lift Job up in his time of need. We must remember that our friends are sinners like we are and will fail us from time-to-time. We must remember that we have a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother and that is Jesus Christ. (Prov. 18:24) He will NEVER fail us. Be careful as to whose counsel you get when you are in the midst of a trial. Be sure that all counsel aligns with the Word before you act on anything. I’ve learned this through experience. We are not thinking at our best when we are in the midst of trial. It is best to wait on the Lord and let Him show us what He wants us to do. (Is. 40:31) The Lord is faithful and will show you what to do, whether through the Word, the counsel of your spouse, or your Pastor, etc. HE will encourage you!

My trials have always confirmed my faith in the Lord. After reading Job, I see that God restored his earthly possessions, his health, gave him more children and God even restored his marriage. Job was struck from all sides yet look how blessed he was of God because he depended on his foundation, his faith. How much more should we? Are we tried more than he was? I don’t think so. Are we tried more than those precious saints accounted in Fox’s Book of Martyrs? I don’t think so. Yes, some of you are struggling with physical problems that seem to overwhelm you. But your trial is no greater than the dear woman who has gotten saved and yet her dear husband remains unsaved. I’ve been down that road and would never wish this on anyone. Yes, they are two different types of trials, but trials none-the-less. Each person feels as though their trial is the greater. Each person feels as though they are at the end of their rope. Don’t belittle someone’s trial to make yours appear greater. If you are doing this, you are focused on yourself, my friend, and not on the will of God.

Remember, your “cross” (your trial) is yours! It’s not more than you can handle because that would make God a cruel God and we know that He is a faithful God. 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) Only you can glorify God through this trial – no one else. Do you take this trial as an opportunity to bring glory to God or to wallow in self pity? Do you take this trial as an opportunity to grow in your faith or do you run from it and smear God’s precious name in the mud? The choice is yours.

Dear Lord…
Help me to always remember
What You have done for me
Each time a trial comes forward
May I be found on bended knee

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O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. (1Ch 16:34) Thank You Lord for our men and women serving our country to defend our freedoms. They give so much and yet we Christians fail to pray for them faithfully. Forgive our ungrateful hearts. May we strive to remember them daily and place them in Your care. Encourage them while they are away from their families this Thanksgiving day. Place a Christian in their path who will share with them the wonderful Gospel of Jesus Christ so they, too, may experience true thankfulness for a gift so great.

O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. (Psa 105:1) Thank You Lord for my salvation! This has been the one most important life changing events in my life. My path no longer heads down the road of destruction but toward my heavenly home!

Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psa 106:1) Thank You Lord for my wonderful husband! You had him picked for me even before my salvation and allowed me to marry the most wonderful man I know.

O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psa 107:1) Thank You Lord for the two sons You have given us. If I could pick two sons from a line up of all sons, I would pick these two. I pray You use them for Your honor and glory.

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever. (Psa 118:1) Thank You Lord for placing us at Tabernacle Baptist Church and giving us Pastor Zorbas as our under shepherd! I’ve never seen a Pastor who loves his people as much as he does. Thank You for working through him for our benefit.

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psa 118:29) Thank You Lord for sending lost souls our way! Thank You for Adam’s friend, Matt’s, salvation last night! What an economical God You are to draw Matt to You and give Adam a dear friend! Thank You for using Aaron and preparing him for the ministry. May Your hand of protection be over him and may he draw closer to You with each passing day.

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psa 136:1) Thank You Lord for my spiritual mother, Vicky. Without her I would not be writing today. Thank You for a friendship that started when I was 3 years old and still continues. Thank You for giving us a friendship that goes beyond just being friends but being spiritual sisters as well.

O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psa 136:2) Thank You Lord for giving my husband vision for our future as we work toward retirement. Thank You for filling in details which provide him comfort and rest. Your work is evident in all that we see and we glorify Your name for providing for us!

O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psa 136:3) Thank You Lord for using the Internet for good despite what ole slew foot tries to do. Thank You Lord for the on-line Christian friends made and the encouragement the brethren can have through it.

O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psa 136:26) Thank You Lord for allowing us to live in these wonderful end times. What exciting times they are indeed! We are grateful that we can see your Word’s prophecies being fulfilled before our very eyes. We know that Your return can be at any moment. May we be found worthy!

PRAISE GOD, FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW
by Thomas Ken (1674)

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

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Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Psalm 25:4,5

No wonder David was the apple of God’s eye. He did not seek man’s way to truth. He did not seek after men to solve his problems like many do. Instead, David knew that the same God of his salvation would be able to show him the way, teach him through His Word and lead him to truths. And because of this secure knowledge that David had, he would wait on God all day to get his answer.

Are we as confident as David? Do we wait on the Lord to answer our questions or work in our every-day problems? Or do we walk ahead of the Lord and try to fix things on our own? I know I have been guilty of doing just that and my solution is not usually the best solution. However, God’s solution is always the best solution. Why do we think we can do better than God can? His timing is not always our timing and so we run out of patience with His plans. This is yet another “trust” factor. Do we not trust Him enough to take care of things for us? If we did, we would not be so quick to try to do the work for Him.

This is why it’s so important to know the Word and to rely on it in times of doubt. When I solely lean on the Word to build me and encourage me, I find that I am not so quick to jump the gun and run into trouble. The Lord gives peace to those who seek His guidance and His will. Even if our answer is to wait on Him, there’s a calm assurance that He is working it out for our benefit. What a joy it is to be a Christian! I don’t know how the unsaved do it! I really don’t!

My Hope Is Built

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

Refrain

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

Refrain

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

Refrain

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

Refrain

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The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

Why does the Word compare Jesus to being a light to the world? The world is in spiritual darkness. Islam has its followers deeply entrenched in a belief system that leads to death. Catholicism has its followers just as deeply, if not more, entrenched. Judaism has its followers just as deeply entrenched – despite the fact that they are God’s chosen. My friend, all religions which lead their followers down a path of salvation through someone other than Jesus Christ is a religion of darkness.

The veil in the temple leading to the Holy of Holies was torn when Christ’s shed blood on the cross paid the penalty for our sins [And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; (Mat 27:51)]. We no longer need a high priest because Jesus is our high priest and He offered a perfect sinless sacrifice in His own body for us [For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Heb 4:15)].

Which leads me back to my initial question – why does the Word compare Jesus to a light? I’ll let the verses themselves answer this question:

For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. (Psa 18:28 )

[A Psalm of David.] The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psa 27:1)

For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. (Psa 36:9)

O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. (Psa 43:3)

Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. (Psa 89:15)

Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. (Psa 90:8 )

Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. (Psa 97:11)

Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. (Psa 112:4)

God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. (Psa 118:27)

NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa 119:105)

For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: (Pro 6:23)

O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD. (Isa 2:5)

To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isa 8:20)

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. (Isa 9:2)

I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; (Isa 42:6)

And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. (Isa 42:16)

The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. (Isa 60:19)

He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. (Dan 2:22)

The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. (Mat 4:16)

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. (Mat 5:14)

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Mat 5:16)

To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. (Luk 1:79)

A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. (Luk 2:32)

In him was life; and the life was the light of men. (Joh 1:4)

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (Joh 1:5)

That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (Joh 1:9)

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (Joh 3:19)

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. (Joh 3:20)

But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. (Joh 3:21)

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (Joh 8:12)

I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. (Joh 12:46)

To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. (Act 26:18 )

That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles. (Act 26:23)

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2Co 4:4)

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2Co 4:6)

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (Eph 5:8 )

Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. (Eph 5:14)

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: (Col 1:12)

Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. (1Th 5:5)

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (1Pe 2:9)

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (2Pe 1:19)

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (1Jo 1:5)

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1Jo 1:7)

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. (Rev 21:23)

And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. (Rev 22:5)

After all of these verses, it is evident that the light can be found in the Word of God. The Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Jesus is the Word: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Joh 1:1) The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. (Psa 119:130) The simple can come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and be born again. This verse does not say the proud will be receive understanding. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (Joh 14:6)

Islam will not get you to heaven, my friend. Buddhism will not get you to heaven. Catholicism will not get you to heaven. Judaism will not get you to heaven. Only ONE can get you to heaven and that is Jesus Christ. He is the light which the Word of God speaks of. He is the light waiting to shine in your heart to show you the way to salvation. The blessed Light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is what will shine in our hearts and take us out of darkness.

There is NO other way. God will not compromise. There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Pro 14:12)

Amazing Grace
John Newton

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, Who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

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Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. (Psa 2:11)

Where is the fear of the Lord today? The “love” gospel is so prevalent in today’s churches that the people have forgotten that this same God who loves, also judges sin. Yes, we are forgiven of our sins but we will still be judged here on earth for the sins we commit. I’ve seen time and time again a born-again teenager making the wrong decision and suffering the consequences of that decision. A wayward Christian teenage girl gets pregnant – the baby will always ever be a reminder of that sin. The wayward Christian teenage boy who hangs out with the wrong crowd and is arrested for armed robbery – waking up each morning in a prison cell will ever be a reminder of that sin.

Where is the fear of the Lord today? Are we so smug in our religiosity that we think God will not punish us? Yes, our eternal punishment has been taken away because of Christ’s precious work on the cross! Thank You, Lord! Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Gal 6:7) Do you really think that you can continue with your pet sins and not be punished? Are you a liar? Are you an adulterer? Do you curse? Are you never happy unless you’re stirring up trouble? Are you prideful? 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)

Would you allow your own children to go unpunished for doing wrong? If you did, what kind of children would you be raising? They know that you love them. But if you did not punish them, they would come to the realization that you did not care enough to do so. Why should it be different with the Lord? We must remember that God does love us, the Word is filled with God’s love and compassion for us. However, the Word also teaches us to fear God. The devils fear him and tremble – they know the Judge and what the judgments He can meet out.

If you do not fear the Lord, you are not growing in Christ. Today’s world bucks authority. The world was not always like this. When someone met the President or a King, there was an awesome respect and fear of that authority. Even just 50 years ago, people looked up to police officers and had a healthy fear of authority. Not so today. So much so, this same lack of fear for authority has come into the body of Christ and Christians think they are getting away with sin without fear of chastisement from God! How sad! Let me share some verses with you. May I encourage you to study on your own and develop your fear of the Lord so you can have wisdom and knowledge. Then you will be able to serve with fear and rejoice with trembling.

Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts. (2 Chr 19:7) God doesn’t have favorites nor can we “buy” our way on His favorites list by our good works, trying to sweep our sin under the rug.

And he charged them, saying, Thus shall ye do in the fear of the LORD, faithfully, and with a perfect heart. (2 Chr 19:9) You cannot fear the Lord when you continue in sin without repentance. If continuing in sin does not bother you and you are not under conviction, question whether your salvation be true.

And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. (Job 28:28 ) Fearing God’s punishment keeps us from sinning further. When we finally recognize sin at our door and run from it, we finally understand that this keeps us from God’s punishment. Remember, once we are saved we are no longer judged on where we will spend eternity. However, we will be “punished” here on earth for our sin. Don’t be fooled.

The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. (Psa 19:9) Nothing will get passed the Lord.

Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. (Psa 34:11) Teach your children that the same way you punish them for doing wrong, God will punish them also. Our homes are a “proving ground” where we are to teach our children this healthy fear of the Lord.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. (Psa 111:10) Notice the “good understanding” – those who fear God have wisdom and understanding – they know to stay away from sin because they know what will happen otherwise. Isn’t it the same with our children? If our child lies and gets punished accordingly, the child won’t be quick to do it again. As the child is trained, he gains wisdom and understanding on how his parents will react to his wrong doing.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Pro 1:7) Are you continuing in your sin, thinking you’ve gotten this far without being punished? Ah, you are the fool. You are hating the wisdom and instruction from the Word which warns you of punishment to come.

For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: (Pro 1:29) Notice that hating knowledge and not fearing the Lord is a choice? One chooses not to fear God.

The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. (Pro 8:13) How does one develop a healthy fear of God? Start by hating evil, pride, arrogancy, evil ways, and a froward mouth. As you begin to hate that sin that so easily gets you side tracked, you will start learning to fear the Lord.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. (Pro 9:10) Again, this fear of the Lord produces wisdom and understanding. Over and over this is repeated – do you think God is trying to teach us something?

The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened. (Pro 10:27) What a lovely promise!

In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. (Pro 14:26) When you know you are doing right according to God’s Word, you do not fear punishment – you have a strong confidence that God’s chastisement will not fall upon you. Knowing this is comforting – we have refuge in God when we fear Him.

The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. (Pro 14:27) What a lovely picture!

Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith. (Pro 15:16) Oh how true… it is better to be poor and fear the Lord than to have riches and continuing in sin only to receive its consequences.

By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. (Pro 16:6) As we grow in Christ, we begin to understand that when we continue in sin, God will “spank” us. Because of this wisdom we have gained, we are not so quick to sin.

Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long. (Pro 23:17) Yes, sinners seem to be having a good time. But God is not mocked, their punishment awaits them with eternity in hell. Our eternal punishment has been removed because of Christ. We’re encouraged to continue in the fear of the Lord all day long so we can avoid those spiritual spankings.

And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; (Isa 11:2) Fearing God brings rest for us – not only for our eternal souls because we got saved, but rest in knowing that as we stay away from sin, chastisement will not follow.

And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure. (Isa 33:6) We all have experienced the peace in our lives when we are striving toward righteous living. We also have all experienced the unrest in our hearts when we are sinning. Fearing God gives us stability and strength. God says this fear is a treasure!

Take heed, my friend. Don’t let today’s love gospel fool you into thinking that because your eternal punishment has been secured by Christ that you can continue in your sin without repercussion. That is not fearing the Lord. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? (Rom 6:1) God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Rom 6:2) We are suppose to be dead to sin. It does not mean we won’t sin – it means we will sin less and less as we grow in Christ. How can we be a light to an unsaved world if we are no different than they are? The world does not fear God – we are to be different. No wonder the Word has much to say about fearing the Lord.

Come, Children, Learn to Fear the Lord
Isaac Watts

Come, children, learn to fear the Lord
And that your days be long,
Let not a false or spiteful word
Be found upon your tongue.

Depart from mischief, practice love,
Pursue the works of peace;
So shall the Lord your ways approve,
And set your souls at ease.

His eyes awake to guard the just,
His ears attend their cry;
When broken spirits dwell in dust,
The God of grace is nigh.

What though the sorrows here they taste
Are sharp and tedious too,
The Lord, Who saves them all at last,
Is their supporter now.

Evil shall smite the wicked dead;
But God secures His own,
Prevents the mischief when they slide,
Or heals the broken bone.

When desolation, like a flood,
O’er the proud sinner rolls,
Saints find a refuge in their God,
For He redeemed their souls.

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Psalm 120-1-4, 7 [A Song of degrees.] In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and he heard me. (1) Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue. (2) What shall be given unto thee? or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue? (3) Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper. (4) I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war. (7)

Have you ever been in a quandary like this psalmist? Have you ever been in a situation where lies were spoken against you yet the liar refused to see the error of his ways? If so, how did you handle it? Who did you run to? Did you run to others to gather your defenses? This psalmist ran to the Lord and cried unto Him. This is the perfect place to start. God will deal with this offender – God will allow judgment to fall on this offender. God is not mocked.

The Lord is clear in His Word as to how to deal with liars – with those who seriously offend us. Matthew 18:15-18 outlines it out for us:

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. (Mat 18:15)But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. (Mat 18:16)

And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. (Mat 18:17)

Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Mat 18:18 )

There is proper order to follow in Christ’s church. Go to the offender alone. If he doesn’t listen, take one or two with you. If he doesn’t listen, bring them before the church. If they still do not listen, they are to be regarded as a “heathen” (Matt. 18:17) or a “publican”! Verse 18 is even more interesting. Matt. 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. The Lord says that the offender may have moved on from your church to another, but if he still has not repented, his actions are “bound in heaven”! Once this offender repents, it is loosed in heaven. This offender may have moved on, possibly serving in another church, but his actions are still recorded and are still bound in heaven. How can his ministries be blessed? They can’t, not until he repents and his actions are loosed in heaven. I have read these verses many times but never associated verse 18 with the previous three verses. This is serious business!

Our Pastor just preached on this yesterday morning. I think this is the first time I ever heard a message on church discipline! I’ve been saved for over 26 years! It is a needed message in today’s world. Our churches are filled with lackadaisical Christians. They come once a week and think they’ve given God their all. You also have those Christians who are whited sepulchres – they appear righteous on the outside but their insides are like dead men’s bones. One of Pastor’s comments stuck with me. He said that the Lord put these verses on church discipline there so that we would learn to fear Him. Surely, we cannot believe that we can continue in our sin and get away with it. No, no one is perfect. We all sin. However, Matt. 18:15-18 deal with those who offend another and are confronted with it.

Have you been offended by one of your brethren? Have you told them so? It could very well be that they haven’t a clue that they have sinned against you. Before you complain about it, you have clear instructions on how to deal with it in Psalm 120 and in Matt. 18:15-18. When you have gone to the Lord first and asking Him for wisdom and a heart for reconciliation, then you can follow the principles outlined in Matt. 18. With this inspired process, you chance to win a brother over. That teaches those who are spiritually immature to grow in the Lord. It teaches us to give grace to those who see their error and forgive them.

But, on the other hand, if that person is unrepentant, the Lord provides direction in how to deal with that as well. God does not leave His children in the dark. He is the God of light and truth. He provides the proper guidelines for us. I’m so thankful that we do not have to react as the world.

Early in my Christianity, I was overheard by a believer when I spoke what I then thought was one of those “little white lies”! I praise God for that believer’s boldness toward me. She pulled me aside and corrected me and showed me in the Word what I had done wrong. She was not kind but she was not rude either. I remember that to this day. I remember how convicted and embarrassed I was and the Holy Spirit used that to grow me. If I had been prideful and refused to listen, I would have hurt not only myself but those I affected with my “little white lie.” Of course, there aren’t any little white lies – they are all lies. That would be what the father of lies would have us to believe. A lie is a lie and I found that out quickly.

I praise God for pastors like mine who do not fear to preach the whole counsel of God! I can’t help but think of Ananias and Sapphira and how Peter discovered their lie and they were struck down dead because of it. Did it stop there? No. God used it in His church. And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things. (Act 5:11) As a church, we must fear the punishment that comes from sin and allow it to put fear into us of the judgment the Father would lay on us if we continue in sin. Pay day some day! The born again believer’s eternal security is secure but punishment will come even more severely if we go unrepentant. Whew! This taught me not to mess around with God.

We don’t hear messages like this very much and we truly need to. The church no longer fears – we have lost our testimony to the unsaved world – we live like them and think that we will go unpunished.

Thank You, Lord, for your Word and Your guidance through it. Help me to make the right choices according to Your Word because I fear the repercussions. I know this will keep me in the center of Your will.

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Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22)

Oh what a blessing this verse is when one of God’s children is going through trials. Sometimes our burdens seem to weigh us down. But my friend, we born again believers have a Heavenly Father who cares for us and desires to relieve us of our burdens. The God of all creation wants us to call upon Him. As I pondered this thought, I did a search in my Bible software on the phrase “upon the Lord” – what comfort and joy the search results brought to me. Let me share some of them with you:

In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears. (2 Sam. 22:7)And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering. (1 Chron. 21:26)

Thus the children of Israel were brought under at that time, and the children of Judah prevailed, because they relied upon the LORD God of their fathers. (2 Chron. 13:18 )

I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. (Psalm 18:3)

In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. (Psalm 18:6)

For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. (Psalm 37:9)

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22)

Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them. (Psalm 99:6)

I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place. (Psalm 118:5)

Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us. (Psalm 123:2)

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isa 40:31)

And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction. (1 Cor. 7:35)

Our Father cares for His children so much and longs to have this close relationship with us. So many of us take this for granted and don’t go to Him with all our cares. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1 Pet 5:7) Don’t you desire to run to a place where the Father is waiting to listen to your every word? He is not distracted by the television. He is not indifferent to your needs. He will be as close to you as you allow Him to be.

Dear God…
I want to be so close to You … so much so that one can tell by my actions that I have come in contact with You! May you be glorified in my every thought, word and deed! Amen

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Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. (Psa 40:5) This morning, my spirit is overwhelmed with thankfulness and gratefulness to my Heavenly Father. My heart is overflowing with blessings because I have a Father who loves me and cares for me. His face do I seek for comfort through all my trials and His Word do I search for direction.

There is none like my God! He knows me personally – He calls me by name – He knows every single fiber of my being – He has the very hairs on my gray head numbered – He tells me that His yoke is easy! What yoke? The yoke of the Christian life. Once we are born again, he places His yoke upon us. Look at the picture above … notice it has two openings for the head? Does this not excite you? It does me! This shows me that my Jesus is right there alongside me, carrying the burdens, carrying my cross with me, helping with the load of care! Oh brother and sister in Christ, isn’t that just a spirit lifter? Oh how I love Psalms. As I read them, the Lord reminds me of verses elsewhere which tie in beautifully.

Jer. 29:11-13 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (11) Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. (12) And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (13) Thank You, Lord, for being “right there” and so easily accessible. I no longer have to go through a high priest, priest or Mary – I have direct access to the Father through His Precious Son, Jesus Christ, my One and Only Mediator. You know my thoughts, my motives, my heart, my desires – there’s nothing You don’t know about me. Yet, You loved me anyway, despite my horrid sinful nature. My heart and my mouth will never cease to praise You!

How Great Thou Art

O Lord my God! when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed:

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul! my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul! my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin:

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul! my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul! my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

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(Psa 56:12) Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee. Sadly, today’s wedding vows are not taken as seriously as they once were. But the vows of the Bible were permanent ones – not just in marriage but in any contract or promise.

The most popular promise or vow known to believers is God’s promise to Noah that He would never destroy the entire earth by flood again. The Lord sealed that vow with a rainbow and each time we see a rainbow today, we remember that vow. Is God a liar? Has the earth been flooded since Noah’s time? No, God is not a liar and this vow will continue. Psalm 56:12 says that God’s promises (His vows) are upon me! What promises? Well, one of them is (Gal 3:22) But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. We are promised eternal life when we repent and accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour!

There are many promises of God in the Bible – many to the nation of Israel which have not been fulfilled yet. But they will be! You can count on it. God is not a man that He should lie (Rom. 3:4). Israel will overcome her enemy. The muslims can do whatever they want but they will not win. God says so in His Word. Christ will come again in Jerusalem and every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord. (Phi 2:10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; It doesn’t say Allah, it doesn’t say Buddha, it doesn’t say Mary – but the Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Son of God – the Beginning and the End – the Alpha and the Omega – the One and Only Saviour of mankind.

God’s vows are never broken because He is perfect – He is not a sinner. Only man breaks his vows – his promises. Whatever promises are left to be fulfilled in God’s Word, WILL be fulfilled. You can count on it – you can be sure – you can depend on it. It’s comforting to know that our Father in Heaven does not take His vows lightly. Quite the opposite – He takes them very seriously and will not shirk His responsibility. Our eternal security was promised to us – once we’ve accepted His Precious Son and Christ’s work on the cross as the only way to Heaven, He will not break His promise. We are sealed – we are secure – never more to question because the Maker of that promise is our God. His rainbow still appears and so shall we see Him face-to-face when we die. Thank You Lord!

God Is Still On His Throne
Kittie Suffield

Have you started for glory and Heaven?
Have you left this old world far behind?
In your heart is the Comforter dwelling?
Can you say, ‘Praise the Lord, He is mine’?
Have the ones that once walked on the highway
Gone back, and you seem all alone?
Keep your eyes on the prize, for the home in the skies;
God is still on the throne.

Refrain

God is still on the throne,
And He will remember His own;
Tho’ trials may press us and burdens distress us,
He never will leave us alone;
God is still on the throne,
He never forsaketh His own;
His promise is true, He will not forget you,
God is still on the throne.

Burdened soul, is your heart growing weary
With the toil and the heat of the day?
Does it seem that your path is more thorny
As you journey along on life’s way?
Go away and in secret before Him
Tell your grief to the Savior alone;
He will lighten your care, for He still answers prayer;
God is still on the throne.

Refrain

You may live in a tent or a cottage,
Unnoticed by those who pass by;
But a mansion for you He is building
In that beautiful city on high;
It will outshine the wealth and the splendor
Of the richest on earth we have known;
He’s the Architect true, and He’s building for you;
God is still on the throne.

Refrain

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(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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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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