2 Peter 1:3-4 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Of course, this promise about God’s promises giving us all we need to live for His glory in this world is also one of my favourite ones too!

God’s promises are for God’s children – to enable them to live right in this dark world! If you are a child of God, the same promises that strengthened and blessed my walk with the Lord are yours to claim as well! In fact, there are hundreds and perhaps even thousands for us to take and apply to our lives.

To make this series a little more personal, today and in my last devotional I wanted to focus on verses that have most helped me in my walk with the Lord. What are my seven most used passages since I came to know the Lord as my Saviour, and what are my most favourite passages overall (ones that have been ongoing favourites since they first impressed themselves upon me)?

My seven favourite verses (within the last few years) are:

1) God’s Sovereignty

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

No matter what the trial or affliction in my life, the Lord will ultimately turn it around and use it for my good! That doesn’t make the evil good in itself (as some would claim), but it means that everything the Lord allows into my life has some purpose that fits His plan for me – whether something to strengthen my faith, something to chastise me, something to draw me even closer to Him, something to teach me more about Him and His Word, or perhaps something to better enable me to relate to and offer comfort to someone else going through a similar trial further down the road – whatever the purpose, the Lord God is still in control!

I love the Old Testament equivalent of this promise too (as stated by Joseph to his brethren):

Genesis 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

More »

The Ten Commandments is God’s law to mankind. The law shows man his sinful nature. The first and second commandments deal with not having other gods or graven images before us. I found it interesting that all ten plagues given to the Egyptians dealt with their gods and graven images.

The number ten symbolizes the law, government and restoration. God gave us the law and clearly outlined that we are not to have any other gods before us. God also shows how we can be restored to Him – through His Son, Jesus Christ and His work of the cross. I thought I would incorporate those two concepts into the ten plagues. I could not believe how God blessed me through this! I hope they bless you as well!

1. Water into blood: The Egyptians viewed the Nile as their god – the giver of life. And Moses and Aaron did so, as the LORD commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. (Exo 7:20)

The Hebrew slaves shed much of their blood at the hands of the Egyptians but now God showed them that the Egyptian Nile god was no longer the giver of life – God gave them much blood to drink. Exo 7:20 says that all the waters in the river turned to blood. This was their drinking water – sustenance for their crops and cattle. Can you just imagine what impact this had on them? Think of how you wouldn’t be able to live without water!

I found it interesting that the magicians could duplicate this plague but they could not make it go away. The world can try to duplicate the way to heaven but only through Christ’s shed blood can we gain entrance. It is His blood that brings forth the waters of everlasting life! He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (Joh 7:38 )

2. Frogs: The Egyptian goddess, Isis (the goddess of fertility) was represented as a frog. And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs: (Exo 8:3) God showed the Egyptians that she was not a god by giving them dead piles of frogs. These frogs were everywhere! Imagine finding frogs in your house – in your bedroom – in your bed – in the food – everywhere you looked? That’s a LOT of frogs! I found it interesting that the magicians could make the frogs appear but they could not make them go away. The devil can bring things into our lives to make our lives putrid and disgusting – permeating every area of our lives, but only God can clean it up and make it new. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Cor 5:17)

3. Lice: The Egyptians worshipped the earth god named Seth. And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt. (Exo 8:16) God caused the tiny little lice to come up out of the earth and make the Egyptians’ lives miserable! Can you imagine each piece of dust in the land turning into lice? If any of you have had lice or one of your children has come home from school with head lice, you know how absolutely annoying they can be to get rid of! It was interesting to see that the magicians could not duplicate this plague. God created the earth – He can cause it to do whatever He wants. Not so with their earth god. The lice reminded me of sin and how much it can permeate our lives and consume us. It takes strong chemicals to be rid of lice and we have to boil our clothes and bed sheets, etc. – and still no guarantee that they are completely gone. It is the same with sin. We can try all we want to use the methods of the world to be rid of them, but only the precious blood of Jesus Christ can wipe them away – permanently!

4. Flies: The prince of the air, Beelzebub, was thought to use the flies as his ears. Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are. (Exo 8:21) Egypt’s priests could not make them go away. They were coming in droves and were everywhere but the Hebrews were not bothered by them at all. Evil was separated from good. It reminded me of: Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (2 Cor 6:17) Sin is putrid in the eyes of God. 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) God sees our best behavior as filthy rags – putrid smelling.

5. Grievous Murrain: The Egyptians worshipped Apis, the sacred bull. Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain. (Exo 9:3) God caused a disease to come over all the livestock of the land. God showed them that there is no other who is holy or sacred. … for there is one God; and there is none other but he: (Mar 12:32b)

6. Boils: The Egyptians believed that their medical sorcerers could cure their diseases. They were looked upon as gods. And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast. (Exo 9:10) God showed them their god could not heal them – in fact, they had the boils themselves. Have you ever had a boil? These were not just boils but had pustules (blains) coming from them. I know this sounds disgusting but the point is that it could not have gotten any worse! These boils were also on their animals! How gross is that?! After having a pestilence throughout the land affecting their animals, the Egyptians could not have had many animals left. God showed them that only He could remove disease.

7. Hail with Fire: The Egyptians worshipped their weather sorcerers, who supposedly could control the weather. And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt. (Exo 9:23) God showed them here that only He could control the weather. And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. (Mar 4:39)

8. Locusts The Egyptians also worshipped their agricultural sorcerers. And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. (Exo 10:13) They supposedly controlled the crops by doing magic to their gods. However, God showed them that they could not outdo Him. The locusts were bigger than they had ever seen and did not leave – they covered the entire land so that everything appeared black. Ex. 10:14-15, And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous we
re they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such. (14) For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt. (15)
Can you imagine this? We’ve never seen anything like this but it did happen and it will happen again according to Revelation 9:3. Sin has a way of destroying everything in our lives – our physical bodies – those around us – our circumstances. Sin covers us with black in the eyes of God. Only Christ can make us 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 )

9. Darkness: The highest and most powerful god of the Egyptians was Rah, the sun god. And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: (Exo 10:22) Rah was supposedly Pharaoh’s father and, therefore, the most powerful of all their gods. God showed the Egyptians that He was greater than their god by overpowering the sun! Jesus Christ, the “Son,” overpowers all gods. He is the Light of the world. 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)

10. Death of the First Born: To the Egyptian, the first born represented their gods’ favor toward them. And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. (Exo 11:5) The Old Testament is filled with God requiring that the first born be consecrated to Him. God removed the Egyptians thoughts of their gods favoring them by showing them that He favored the Hebrews. God spared the Hebrews’ first born by instructing them to paint their doorposts with the blood of a spotless lamb! When the angel of death saw the blood on the doorposts, He passed over them just as God’s judgment and punishment pass over us because of the perfect Blood of Christ covering us! Praise be to God! God portrayed His desire to consecrate the first born by giving us His Son to pay the penalty for us.

Ah, the number ten – a beautiful depiction of God’s Law – man’s inability to keep that law – and God’s plan to restore us to Him through Christ. I never thought I would see this in the ten plagues but it sure was fun picking it apart!

When I See the Blood
John G. Foote

Christ our Redeemer died on the cross,
Died for the sinner, paid all his due.
All who receive Him need never fear,
Yes, He will pass, will pass over you.

Refrain

When I see the blood, when I see the blood,
When I see the blood, I will pass, I will pass over you.

Chiefest of sinners, Jesus will save;
As He has promised, so He will do;
Oh, sinner, hear Him, trust in His Word,
Then He will pass, will pass over you.

Refrain

Judgment is coming, all will be there.
Who have rejected, who have refused?
Oh, sinner, hasten, let Jesus in,
Oh, He will pass, will pass over you.

Refrain

O great compassion! O boundless love!
Jesus hath power, Jesus is true;
All who believe are safe from the storm,
Oh, He will pass, will pass over you.

Refrain

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2 Peter 1:3-4 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

God’s promises are for God’s children – to enable them to live right in this dark world! If you are a child of God, the same promises that strengthened and blessed my walk with the Lord are yours to claim as well! In fact, there are hundreds and perhaps even thousands for us to take and apply to our lives.

To make this series a little more personal, today and in my next devotional I wanted to focus on verses that have most helped me in my walk with the Lord. What are my seven most used passages since I came to know the Lord as my Saviour, and what are my most favourite passages overall (ones that have been ongoing favourites since they first impressed themselves upon me)?

My seven most used or claimed verses are:

1) Provision – Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Worrying about our needs is one of the greatest fears many of us face on a regular basis – but with promises like these, we do not need to live in fear. What we need to do is be faithful, seek the Lord and do His will – and He will provide for us each day.

There are so many examples I could think of in regards to God’s provision in my life – whether big or small. When I moved back to Kelowna in 1997, I was involved in street ministry and started volunteering at the Gospel Mission – because I was 100% sure that was what God had called me to do at that point in time. I was not yet working, but my student loan payments were due to start soon. I remember claiming this verse in my daily prayers, and just trusting that the Lord would do as He said. Very shortly afterwards, a friend from the Bible study group I was leading approached me and gave me $400 to use towards my bills. He had just filed his quarterly tax return, and stated he did not need that money and thought I might be able to use it. Praise the Lord!

Another time, in 1994, I was burdened for my family on my Dad’s side that I got to know a little when I was a teenager (lived for a year and a half at my Dad’s place in Saskatchewan). My uncle was not doing well – and was without a farm hand, so I offered to come and work for him that summer for free to help him out. He promised to think about it. I made it a matter of serious prayer – that was Wednesday; by Friday morning he called me back with information that a woman that worked with his wife was visiting relatives about 40 miles away from where I was, and her family was driving back to where my uncle lived the following Monday! He had already contacted them, and they were willing to take me with them, without costing me anything. In fact, my roommate drove me to meet them, gave me $20 to take with me, and this family paid for my meals during the trip! God opened the door for ministry to my family, and He provided for ALL my needs!

One of my favourite verses on this theme is:

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

Notice that it is a seven-fold, all encompassing promise. God is always faithful! More »

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Rev 3:20)

I find the studies on the number seven to have been my biggest blessing thus far. I was looking at the seven churches in Revelation and reflected on how each referenced “saith he” and just who that “he” was. We all know that He is Christ. However, the characteristics used to depict Christ are awesome!

1. Jesus holds His messengers in His right hand and walks in the midst of the church. Rev 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; The seven stars are the angels, the messengers. It is thought that these messengers are the pastors of the seven churches (the candlesticks). It is interesting that these angels are held in the palm of Christ’s right hand! They are His. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. (Joh 10:29) Also notice that the seven candlesticks (the seven churches – seven is perfection, completeness) are shown with Christ walking in the midst of them. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Mat 18:20) Not only is the Pastor held in Christ’s palm but Christ Himself walks amongst us through His Spirit. How can we go wrong?

2. Jesus is the first and last and is alive! Rev 2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; We do not serve the dead gods of the world. We serve a Risen Saviour! I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. (Rev 1:18 )

3. Jesus is sharper than any two edged sword! Rev 2:12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; Since Jesus is known as the Word: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Joh 1:1) – He is fulfills the following verse: For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb 4:12) Jesus came in the flesh – He became the spoken Word of God to us in the flesh. When He returned to Heaven, He left us His spoken Word in written form through the power of His Holy Spirit. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (Joh 14:26)

4. Jesus is the Son of God! Rev 2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; The only time the Son of God is found in the O.T. is in Dan. 3:25 when the Son of God walked in the midst of the fire with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! The phrase Son of God appears in 45 verses in God’s Word. I found it interesting that the number forty symbolizes “probation, testing, closing in victory or judgment” and the number five “grace, cross, atonement, life”! Isn’t it appropriate that Jesus’ ministry on earth (His hour of testing) closes with His reign in both victory and judgment? Isn’t it also interesting that His grace given to us by His blood’s atonement on the cross results in eternal life for us? Glory!! How can we say that God’s Word is not complete? Every jot and every tittle will be made manifest one day. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (Mat 5:18 ) This series is only scratching the surface – it would be like placing a pencil mark on Mount Everest! I’m certain that when we reach Heaven, we will see so much more!

5. Jesus has the seven Spirits of God. Rev 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. The Holy Spirit resides within every born-again believer and every born-again believer makes up the church. The word “hath” reveals that Christ holds the church and possesses the church. What a blessing this is!

6. Jesus is holy, He is true and is the door. Rev 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; Jesus is the only door. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. (Joh 10:7) and I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. (Joh 10:9) It’s interesting that the phrase “I am the door” appears twice to depict the Second Person of the Trinity! I also found it interesting to see that the door reference is for the Church at Philadelphia – the church that will experience the rapture!

7. Jesus is the Amen. And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; (Rev 3:14) Salvation is final, firm, established and complete in Jesus. 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) Jesus is the only way to Heaven – He is the final way to Heaven – He is the beginning and the end – no other way! Plain and simple! Period! No Allah, no Buddha, no Mohammad! It is Jesus and Jesus only!

What a blessing to read these this morning! God is so good to us, my friend! We spend but a few minutes or hours in the Word yet we walk away with eternal blessings! Thank You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

Hark He is Calling
Fanny Crosby

Though young in years, we are all taught,
The way that leads to Jesus;
The way that must by faith be sought,
If we would come to Jesus.

Refrain

Hark! He is calling every day,
He says to each one, “I am the way.”
Let us arise, arise without delay,
And come at once to Jesus.

How happy they, who safely rest
Within the fold of Jesus;
Beneath His kind protection blest,
They walk and talk with Jesus.

Refrain

There is a door that leads from sin,
That blessed door is Jesus;
And there we all must enter in,
To reach the fold of Jesus.

Refrain

And, as His sheep have learned to know,
The loving voice of Jesus;
So we, like them, may gladly go,
And ever dwell with Jesus.

Refrain

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It is no wonder that Christ would leave us with His perfect Holy Spirit to reside within us. I love the fact that we don’t have the Spirit hovering over us in a cloud as the Jews did in the days of the Old Testament. No, instead we have Him right inside us – He’s there all the time, wherever we go! No wonder Christ could say that He would never leave us or forsake us!

I have heard messages preached on the fruit of the Spirit, but as I was searching out about the work of the Holy Spirit I discovered that there were seven different works that the Holy Spirit does for us. As the number seven symbolizes perfection, we can see that God’s work is meant to be perfect – it is man’s sin that stands in the way. We will lack nothing from God as His work is perfect. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. (Deu 32:4)

Let’s take a look at how the Holy Spirit of God works in our lives. Rom. 8:26-27, Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (26) And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (27)

1. He helps our infirmities: The Holy Spirit helps us and carries our burdens. In this case, He helps us with our weaknesses, both physically and mentally. Not all are to be physically healed (as in the cases of Paul, Timothy and Gaius) but all can be spiritually healed. I absolutely love the verse: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (Mat 11:29) Christ promises rest for the soul (salvation) in this verse. The Holy Spirit draws us to Him and the result is help for our sin – salvation through Christ and the promised rest for our soul is given to us.

2. He makes intercession for us: Noah Webster’s definition of intercession absolutely blesses the heart!

INTERCES’SION, n. [L. intercessio, from intercedo. See Intercede.]

The act of interceding; mediation; interposition between parties at variance, with a view to reconciliation; prayer or solicitation to one party in favor of another, sometimes against another.

Your intercession now is needless grown;

Retire and let me speak with her alone.

He bore the sin of many, and made intercession

for the transgressors. Isa 53.

Compare Noah’s definition with Merriam Webster’s definition:

Main Entry: in·ter·ces·sion
Pronunciation: “in-t&r-‘se-sh&n
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin intercession-, intercessio, from intercedere
1 : the act of interceding
2 : prayer, petition, or entreaty in favor of another

Is it any wonder that the believer does not receive the blessing he would receive if he were to look up the definitions intended at the time the King James Bible was put into English? I glean so much more from the Word when I take the time to read the definitions as they were intended.

The Holy Spirit makes intercession for us, my friend. He mediates to the Father for us. I can see Him tell the Father, “Father, Kate really needs a new winter coat. I don’t think it’s a good idea to give her a mink coat but I do believe that second-hand wool coat would provide her with great warmth!” Can’t you see Him saying that? The Holy Spirit “interposes between parties at variance, with a view to reconciliation” – We are at variance with the Father until we come to Him through Christ. The Holy Spirit draws us to Christ with the goal to reconcile us to the Father! He prays to the Father in our favor, and sometimes against our favor. When we are praying for something the Spirit knows is not to our benefit, He will approach the Father against our favor. How beautiful a picture of praying in God’s will. The Holy Spirit sees to it that our Heavenly Father is approached with the right kind of prayer on our behalf. How can we go wrong?

Notice how verse 26 goes on to say “for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” The charismatic groups use this in defense of speaking (praying) in tongues. However, the verse says “which cannot be uttered! The word utter means:

1. To speak; to pronounce; to express; as, to utter words; to utter sounds.

You’ve been there in your prayer life – a prayer request that you just don’t know how to put into words or even how to pray for. This is where the Holy Spirit comes in. It does not mean that you are now going to speak or pray in an unknown tongue because verse 26 says that it is not “spoken, pronounced or that sound is not made.” The Holy Spirit’s work here on our behalf is to put into words to the Father what we are not able to do for ourselves. He prays it just right for us.

3. He searches the heart: The Holy Spirit searches our hearts for the reasons behind our prayers – our motives – He investigates every aspect and knows all there is to know. I picture Him with a flashlight going through the dark recesses of my heart where He finds what He is looking for. He is the ultimate investigator. He strives to prevent us from fulfilling this verse: Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (Jam 4:3)

4. He teaches us: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say. (Luk 12:12) He is our teacher. He will put God’s Word in our minds and hearts when we need it so that we know what to say when we need to say it.

5. He comforts us: But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (Joh 14:26) Why would the Lord use the word “Comforter” in this sentence instead of Teacher? Have you ever been led to a verse in the Word when you were down hearted and it brought to you the comfort you needed desperately? I know I have. I think of Psalm 121 and how many times I have turned to that chapter in desperation only to walk away uplifted and encouraged. I can see why the Lord use the word Comforter here. The Holy Spirit brings to our memory the Word of God, where to turn to in the Word, what to read in the Word and what to glean from the Word. He knows exactly what we need, when we need it. There’s no greater comfort, my friend, than to possess the Spirit of God within us – the Spirit who stands ready to give us exactly what we need.

6. He draws us to Christ: To deny the Holy Spirit’s calling is serious business. He draws us to Christ. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. (Mat 12:32) A person who says “no” to the final calling of the Holy Spirit for salvation is damned for all eternity. My Pastor stood by a dying man’s bedside and absolutely begged him to get saved. This man kept saying, “I just can’t”! He had denied Christ too many times that he had reached the point that he just couldn’t be saved. If someone who is reading this devotional today is not saved, please keep this in mind. You can say you’ll get saved “some” day. But that day may come and it will be too late for you. Please don’t wait. (For he saith,
I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) (2 Cor 6:2)

7. He testifies of Christ: But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (Joh 15:26) The Holy Spirit verifies that Christ is the Son of God – the Second Person of the Trinity. How can He do this today? By the written and published Word of God – through witnesses beginning with the Apostles and those who saw Him in person! He can also use the Christian to witness to what Christ has done in his or her life. Noah Webster defines the word testify as:

TEST’IFY, v.t. To affirm or declare solemnly for the purpose of establishing a fact.

We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen. John 3.

1. In law, to affirm or declare under oath before tribunal, for the purpose of proving some fact.

2. To bear witness to; to support the truth of by testimony.

To testify the gospel of the grace of God. Acts 20.

3. To publish and declare freely.

Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 20.

How blessed we are to have the perfect work of the Holy Spirit directing our path! It is complete – it is perfect – it is thorough! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Faithful

Lord, You’ve been so faithful in
those times I’ve cried to You.
You’ve answered so many prayers,
and made wondrous dreams come true!

You’ve always been there to guide me
when I wasn’t sure what to do.
You gave me strength when I was weak,
and Your light came shining through.

I thank and praise You for Your gentle touch,
of reproof when I’ve gone astray.
You promised You’d never leave my side,
and You’d walk with me every day!

Kate Plourde

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V.) The Nine Compound Names Of God In The Old Testament:

The nine compound names and their translations into English are as follows:

1) Jehovah-Jireh, The LORD my Provider

Genesis 22:13-14 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.

Genesis 22:8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

I love this name in the Bible – it is the first of these compound names that is presented to us, and is in fact the most important (or at least the foundational one). The LORD has seen our greatest need and has provided for it: our need of salvation. Jesus, the Son of God, was the Lamb of God that took away our sins on Calvary. It is interesting to note that Moriah, where Abraham offered Isaac, means “The LORD has seen,” and it truly was on that mountain that the LORD provided for our greatest need – as Calvary/Golgotha is part of the range of the mountains of Moriah.

Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

The LORD has already met our greatest need in providing salvation; if you have trusted in Jesus and received His free gift of eternal life, then He also promises to meet all your other needs as you walk with Him.

For a more indepth look at Genesis 22, see this study: Abraham Offering Isaac.

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The Christian is in a no-man’s land between the opposing forces of Light and darkness: between the Almighty God and His dire enemy, Satan – otherwise known as the Devil. On our own, we cannot face the demonic schemes and principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness of this world; therefore, we must align ourselves always with God and take the Heavenly aid that God provides through His divine weapons of warfare and through His Armour – the Armour which the Son of God (Christ) Himself wears.

In Isaiah, two passages about the coming Messiah declare that: “For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head… And righteousness shall be the girdle {belt} of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle {belt} of his reins.” (Isaiah 59:17a, 11:5)

In 1st Peter, we are told to “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 ) Paul, in Romans 13:12, tells us to cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light. We are to resist the devil and be stedfast in our faith. (1 Peter 5:9 and 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6)

No soldier in his right mind would ever enter a battlefield weaponless and without his protective armour, yet many Christians do this every day. Utterly defenseless, we are easy prey. Christians must begin their day by putting on each piece of God’s Armour, found in and provided by Jesus, “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 13:14)

Ephesians 6:10-17:
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth,
and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith,
wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

As these verses indicate, there are four items of defense. They are as follows:
A belt, a breastplate, a shield, and a helmet.
There are also two weapons here:
Shod feet (which may not sound like a weapon at all), and a sword.

Ordinary items of armour would be ineffective because we are not struggling against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of Satan and his devils (fallen angels). Yet none of these items are ordinary or useless – they are divinely empowered by our Lord. (See 2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

(1) We are first told to gird ourselves with the Belt of Truth.

We are to learn the truth and bind ourselves with it. This foundational piece of Armour holds us together and, in fact, securely fastens all other pieces in place (like the belt on Roman armour holds the rest of the armour together.)

This is the first stage of being a Christian – learning the truth and making it so much a part of our being that we can’t live without it. When the day of evil comes, we won’t fall apart or be crushed because we are wearing this Belt.

NOTE – If you will look at the verb tenses in verses 14 and 15, you will find that they are in the past tense (having girt, having on, having shod): As Christians, we are already wearing the first three pieces of God’s Armour (the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace), but it is up to us to make use of them.

“But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left.” (2 Corinthians 6:4a, 7)

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The seven popular “I Am” statements in the book of John are some of believers’ favourite sayings in the whole Word of God. In them, Jesus reveals much about Himself and what He wants to do or be in each of our lives. By declaring Himself the “I Am”, Jesus was clearly identifying Himself as God, the God of Israel, the God of the whole earth, the Creator of the universe. The Old Testament name “LORD” (with all caps) is Jehovah, “I Am”, the self-existent God. Consider the following passages:

Exodus 3:13-15 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

Exodus 6:2-3 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.

I.) It is quite interesting to note that the name Jehovah is in our King James Bible seven times (including the above passage):

Genesis 22:14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.

Exodus 17:15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi:

Judges 6:24 Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

There are nine compound names of the LORD in the Old Testament (ie. Jehovahjireh, etc.) – though only three of them are transliterated into English. I will cover these nine names in Friday’s devotional.

Psalms 83:18 That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.

Isaiah 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

Isaiah 26:4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

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This series has truly blessed me! It amazes me how God has used numbers throughout His Word to further bless us! Today’s especially blessed me. I did a search for the phrase blessed are they and came up with twelve times it was used throughout the Word. Twelve symbolizes:

Family, Mankind/Humanity (6) x (2) = (12) Family; the families and tribes of humanity are represented by their 12 leaders. Jacob’s family had 12 men/leaders/Patriarchs, so did Ishmael’s family, Likewise we the Family of the Church have our 12 Disciple Apostle leaders

How interesting that there would be twelve uses of this phrase to depict people. It’s like God confirms His statements in the Word even further with the use of numbers. Totally mind boggling!!

Let’s look at the twelve types of people who receive God’s blessings:

(1) People who “dwell” in God’s house. (Psa 84:4) Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. Notice that this verse does not say “visit” but dwell. This has a connotation of residing at the house of God. The Hebrew word is:

H3427
ישׁב
yâshab
yaw-shab’
A primitive root; properly to sit down (specifically as judge, in ambush, in quiet); by implication to dwell, to remain; causatively to settle, to marry: – (make to) abide (-ing), continue, (cause to, make to) dwell (-ing), ease self, endure, establish, X fail, habitation, haunt, (make to) inhabit (-ant), make to keep [house], lurking, X marry (-ing), (bring again to) place, remain, return, seat, set (-tle), (down-) sit (-down, still, -ting down, -ting [place] -uate), take, tarry.

I love that this Hebrew word is defined as “causatively to settle, to marry”! Praise the Lord! The unsaved cannot “dwell” in God’s house – only the born-again Christian can do so because we are the bride of Christ! We are to be married to Him – hence, dwell with Him!

(2) People who keep judgment and do righteousness at all times. (Psa 106:3) Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times. Ouch! Even the born-again Christian cannot do righteousness at all times. But praise God that He does not see our own righteousness but He sees Christ’s. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (Rom 10:4) Only the believer can claim this.

(3) People who keep his testimonies and that seek him. (Psa 119:2) Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. Those who obey the Word and seek Christ will be saved, therefore blessed with eternal life! So, again, the believer is the one who can claim this.

(4) People who keep God’s ways. (Pro 8:32) Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Even a moral society enjoys the blessings of God when they do right. However, the wicked receive His judgment. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. (Mat 5:45) However, the work keep is key here. The world does not keep God’s ways. This is evident all around us. Therefore, only the believer can keep God’s ways because of the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. When we fail, however, Christ is our Advocate with the Father.

(5) People who mourn. (Mat 5:4) Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. I am not certain that Christ was referring to people who mourn the loss of a loved one through death. The unsaved mourn and are not comforted. The born-again believer mourns at the loss of an unsaved loved one and we are not comforted because we know they are in torments. Personally, I believe that Christ is referring to those who mourn over their own sin and their own actions with true repentance. I believe these individuals are the ones who are comforted. We receive true comfort at salvation and are given the Holy Spirit, the true Comforter. Praise the Lord!

(6) People who thirst after righteousness. (Mat 5:6) Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. The Apostle Paul was a great example of this. He desired not to sin and desired to do right. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (Rom 7:24) The unsaved thirst after sin because of their sin nature. We have a new nature which causes us to want to do what is right – thirst after righteousness. 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)

(7) People who are persecuted for the cause of Christ. (Mat 5:10) Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. We are seeing more and more people around the world being persecuted for their beliefs. We are beginning to see it in our own country: Christians attend gay pride rallies and are silently praying are being arrested! Only a believer would be persecuted for righteousness’ sake.

(8 ) People who hear God’s Word and keep it! (Luk 11:28 ) But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. Only the born-again can fulfill this one. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17) The unsaved can hear the Word of God but they cannot keep it.

(9) People who believe without seeing. (Joh 20:29) Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. Again, the born-again believer is the only one who can fulfill this one. Thomas got to see Christ and had visual proof. The born-again believer has not seen Jesus for himself and is blessed because he has believed without seeing Him in the flesh.

(10) People whose sins are forgiven and covered! (Rom 4:7) Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. The born-again believer’s sin is covered by the Blood of the Lamb! Praise the Lord! Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: (1Co 5:7)

(11) People who attend the marriage supper of the Lamb. (Rev 19:9) And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. The born-again believer is part of the Bride of Christ. We will be at the marriage supper, bless God!

(12) People who have eternal life will have the right to the tree of life. (Rev 22:14) Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. Only the born-again believer can claim this. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 Jo 5:13)

I don’t know about you, but today’s devotional was a true blessing to me (no pun intended). We have twelve blessings given to us from God! How can we not stand up and rejoice!

Showers of Blessing
Fanny Crosby

Here in Thy Name we are gathered,
Come and revive us, O Lord;
“There shal
l be showers of blessing,”
Thou hast declared in Thy Word.

Refrain

Oh, graciously hear us,
Graciously hear us, we pray:
Pour from Thy windows upon us
Showers of blessing today.

Oh! that the showers of blessing,
Now on our souls may descend,
While at the footstool of mercy
Pleading Thy promise we bend!

Refrain

“There shall be showers of blessing,”
Promise that never can fail;
Thou wilt regard our petition;
Surely our faith will prevail.

Refrain

Showers of blessing, we need them,
Showers of blessing from Thee;
Showers of blessing, oh, grant them,
Thine all the glory shall be.

Refrain

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Psalm 1:1-6: Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. (1) But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (2) And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (3) The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. (4) Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. (5) For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. (6)

This is the first complete Psalm I ever memorized. I love how the Book of Psalms immediately starts with a blessing, don’t you? It sets the mood, if you will, for the precious writings we are about to read. Early in my salvation, a Youth Pastor’s wife recommended that I memorize Psalm 1 so I could learn to live a successful Christian life. I have turned to this Psalm many a time and am thankful the Lord put it in His Word. I want to be blessed by God, don’t you?

I never noticed how God grouped the thoughts found in these six verses into groups of threes.

I. The three blessings of the Godly:

(1) Blessed if I don’t walk in counsel of the ungodly – Noah Webster defines the word counsel as:

1. Advice; opinion, or instruction, given upon request or otherwise, for directing the judgment or conduct of another; opinion given upon deliberation or consultation.

I always thought counsel here meant “advice.” However, Noah defines it to include the advice or instruction of the ungodly as well. This opens things up a bit more. This not only includes the unsaved but the backslidden. It’s amazing how the backslidden love to take others with them in their sin so they do not have to sin alone. Therefore, to be blessed of God, you should get all your advice, opinions and instruction (dealing with the Word of God and life choices) by someone who is spiritually mature.

(2) Blessed if I don’t stand in way of sinners – The moment I was born again, I desired to be around other born-again Christians! I did not enjoy being around the ungodly friends of my pre-salvation days. In fact, my spirit picked up on every little ungodly thing they said or did. I no longer enjoyed their company and truly desired to be around Christians so I could talk about the Lord. There is nothing that provides more blessing than to be around believers who love the Lord and talk about Him and glorify Him in their words.

(3) Blessed if I don’t sit in the seat of the scornful – You’ve been around the unsaved who mock God in word and deed so you know exactly what this verse says. They laugh at sin, their life style and curse God. They live in the “here and now” and do not fear death and hell. In fact, how many times have you heard someone say that they would go to hell and join their friends and have a party? The Christian will be blessed if he stays away from these scorners. I know that when I am around a scorner, my spirit is unsettled. The work place always seems to have one or two of these. I am uncomfortable around them and we butt heads because of their mouth. I am not rude to the scorner but I will not allow the scorner to mock my God. Unfortunately today, we are seeing believers becoming pansies in this area. I have personally seen believers keep silent when God is mocked! This reminds me of: I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (Luk 18:8 )

Time and time again in my devotionals I have found that life’s blessings come from being in the Word of God. How true verse 2 is! I am blessed because my delight is in the Word! Noah Webster defines the word delight as

A high degree of pleasure, or satisfaction of mind; joy.

Do you receive a high degree of pleasure by being in the Word? If not, it may be because you are not in the Word enough. It’s not necessarily the quantity of words you read but the time you spend chewing and meditating on what you have read. Since I started writing devotionals a year ago, I have gleaned so much more from the Word than I had in my previous 26 years of salvation! I would occasionally get a gold nugget from the Lord in my studies – but now, I get them daily because I’m writing about them.

So David taught us how to be blessed by staying away from certain things in life. The outcome of obeying his counsel in the first two verses lead to three blessings as a result.

(1) I will receive spiritual nourishment – Verse 3 says that I will be like a tree planted by water. The lawn at my house has not received rain in quite a while. We water it but not enough. You don’t see the dry grass and drooping leaves of trees, however, near a brook, do you? The water is ever flowing and that tree thrives because it is thoroughly nourished and continuously nourished. So are we when we heed the counsel of the Word of God. We won’t wonder what to do in certain situations because we have already consulted the Word and we know what God wants us to do.

(2) I will bring forth fruit in its season – My walk and my talk will reflect my Christianity. I will not be a hypocrite but will be living what I believe. Not only will my actions be a testimony to the ungodly but my words should be leading them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as well. As I grow in Christ, I will be more fruitful.

(3) I will prosper – I doubt very much this means prospering financially or all Christians would be rich. What I believe this to mean is that my decisions in life will prosper when I seek the counsel of the Godly; when I don’t let the ungodly influence me; when I’m in the Word and know God’s will for my life.

There are three things that happen to the ungodly.

(1) They will be like the chaff – Noah Webster defines the word chaff as:

2. Refuse; worthless matter; especially that which is light, and apt to be driven by the wind. In scripture, false doctrines, fruitless designs, hypocrites and ungodly men are compared to chaff. Psa 1:4; Jer 23:28; Isa 33:11; Mat 3:12.

Whatever the ungodly speaks or does is considered to be worthless. Their words and deeds will not stand the test of eternity in Heaven. They will not prosper – they will miss that great gift of salvation.

(2) They will not stand in the judgment – This reminds me of a court scene when the defendant has to testify. He can lie all he wants but when the jury has finished deliberation, the defendant must stand and face them to receive his verdict. God’s verdict is always just. The ungodly will not be able to stand in his defense because he will see all his sins the way God sees them. It is then he will realize what a goner he truly is. It will be too late. The small amount of joy the ungodly received while living on earth will be replaced with an eternity of torments. What a huge price to pay for a short time of ungodly pleasure.

(3) The way of the ungodly will perish – The Lord is emphatic here. The ungodly will perish! Not only will the ungodly slip into eternity in the lake of fire, his way will perish as well. I was thinking about the “way” spoken of and it reminded me of the snowfalls we had in Northern Maine when I lived up there. We would go walking in our snowshoes to enjoy the beautiful evergreens. We had to be sure that we knew our way because if snow started falling, our trail
would get covered up and we would lose our way back home. The way of the ungodly is the same – the sinner can enjoy his wicked life and think that his way is wonderful. But his trail is no better than that of the trail being covered by snow fall. Christians will live for eternity in Heaven with God and His way will always remain. But the way of the ungodly will perish right along with the ungodly!

What a beautiful way to start the Book of Psalms! David set a pattern that provided wisdom and instruction for the believer! The way of the Godly will lead us to that glorious day when we shall behold the Lord Jesus Christ! We will finally meet Him and be with Him for all eternity. We will get to meet those dear saints we have read about in the Word – those precious martyrs whose accounts are penned in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs – those dear saints we have met on the internet but not face-to-face! What a day that will be – all because we followed the counsel of Psalm 1!

The Happy Crowning Day
Eliza E. Hewitt

There’s an hour which no man knoweth,
Nor the angels round the throne,
When the Lord shall come in glory from the sky;
All the saints shall rise to meet Him,
For He calleth for His own;
They shall hear the trumpet sounding by and by.

Refrain

Are you ready? ready?
Looking for the King?
Ready, while you labor, watch and pray?
Are you ready? ready?
Looking for the King?
Ready for the happy crowning day?

What a blessed transformation,
In the twinkling of an eye,
When the mortal shall immortal life put on!
Those who love Him shall be like Him,
When He cometh from on high,
At the noontide, at the midnight, or at dawn.

Refrain

Though our sins have been as scarlet,
Let us seek the streams that flow
From the cross that rose on Calv’ry’s rugged height;
He is able still to keep us,
And present us white as snow,
When He comes again, as clouds of dazzling light.

Refrain

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I have my own definitions of the words gracious and compassion formed through the years. But interestingly enough, my definitions are quite far from what was intended at the time the King James Bible was translated. Noah Webster defines gracious as:

1. Favorable; kind; friendly; as,the envoy met with a gracious reception. 2. Favorable; kind; benevolent; merciful; disposed to forgive offenses and impart unmerited blessings. Thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful. Neh 9:17. 3. Favorable; expressing kindness and favor. All bore him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded from his mouth. Luke 4. 4. Proceeding from divine grace; as a person in a gracious state. 5. Acceptable; favored. 6. Renewed or implanted by grace; as gracious affections. 7. Virtuous; good. 8. Excellent; graceful; becoming.

Compassion is another one of those words that I have a definition in my brain but when I read Noah’s definition, it made me realize how skewed my thinking is. It’s not that I don’t understand that my God is gracious and full of compassion. I do understand and I do believe – however, the extent of my understanding is minimal compared to what was intended by Mr. Webster. Compassion’s definition according to Noah is:

1. A suffering with another; painful sympathy; a sensation of sorrow excited by the distress or misfortunes of another; pity; commiseration. Compassion is a mixed passion, compounded of love and sorrow; at least some portion of love generally attends the pain or regret, or is excited by it. Extreme distress of an enemy even changes enmity into at least temporary affection.

He being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity. Psa 78.

His father had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. Luke 15.

Tell me this does not bless your socks off! When you read the definitions, do you not see just how much we human beings lack in this area? We are gracious and compassionate toward those we know personally and love. However, what about the complete stranger? God is gracious and compassionate to all, my friend! This ought to not only convict us, but it should excite us because it shows us just how the Lord feels about you and I! It opens our eyes to the extent of His love. Oh thank You, Lord!

Where am I going with this today? Glad you asked! I thought it appropriate to end this month’s series with the compassion and graciousness of God!

As I searched my Bible software for this phrase gracious and full of compassion, I was excited to see that it only appears three times. The number three symbolizes the Godhead and how appropriate it is that these three verses refer to God and not some man!

(1) He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion. (Psa 111:4) I find it interesting that the first use of this phrase talks about God’s creation. The number one symbolizes the beginning. As we behold these wonderful works of God, we remember that He created them in six days and we glorify Him for His excellent work. [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. (Psa 8:1)

(2) Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. (Psa 112:4) The born-again Christian has the blessed light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to give to a lost and dying world. How appropriate that the second use of this phrase refers to this. The number two symbolizes witness and separation. The born-again Christian has received the Light of the Gospel. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. (Mat 5:14) How can a Christian be a light to the lost if we live like the devil and hide our light under a bushel? We can’t! The Christian is to be a light to a people who are stumbling in the dark because of their sin. We are to lead them to Christ so they, too, can sing “I once was blind, but now I see”! 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)

(3) The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. (Psa 145:8 ) Thank You, Lord for showing us in the third use of this phrase two more characteristics of Your nature! Again, the number three symbolizes the Godhead. How appropriate that this third use would further detail the characteristics of this Godhead! Not only is our God gracious and full of compassion, but He is patient and merciful! Not only did God pay for my sin debt but He is patient and merciful toward me even now when I daily fail Him. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! (Psa 8:9)

The blessed Godhead, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not finished with us. The Father demands justice be served for the sins of man so He provided a way of salvation through His Son. Jesus Christ took on the form of man, lived a sinless life so He could be the sinless sacrifice which paid the price for our sin. The Holy Spirit was given to the believer and He resides within us so He can reveal to us God’s nature and mold us into the image of the Blessed Saviour! Oh thank You, Lord, for today’s blessing! How gracious You are and full of compassion! You revealed this side of You to us in three blessed verses to show us your completeness. Help us to be more like You and to live out these characteristics as we deal with our brothers and sisters in Christ and with a lost and dying world!

Dear God…
Oh the Blessed Three in One
So full of compassion and grace
Work in my heart and move me
Til I reach my heavenly place!

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What a blessing it was to open the Word this morning! All praise, honor and glory to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! I initially was heading down a different path with the word “overcometh” but God took me down another instead. How thankful I am for the Word of God which spiritually feeds our hungry souls!

I am struggling through an area in my life which God knows all about. As I strive to overcome this fear, the Lord has taught me that He has overcome all for my benefit! These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (Joh 16:33) There is nothing that we need to overcome because Christ has already done it all for us. We simply must trust in Him. Notice how Jesus said that He has spoken to us through the Bible so that we might have peace! There is no peace in worry – there is no peace in the things of this world. However, there is peace knowing that we are born again and that Christ has paid our sin debt. There is nothing we have to do. Also, there is peace knowing that He has been in every situation we have ever been through or will ever experience and He has overcome them. Jesus states that He has overcome the world, my friend. Because we are in Him, we can rest assured that we will overcome because of Him and only Him.

This thought process is what led me into the word search for overcometh. This word does not appear in the Old Testament. Could it be because the Messiah had not yet come and the Jews could not overcome the world in their own flesh? They could not claim this promise yet until Jesus came. Don’t you find it interesting that this word was not even used once in the Old Testament?

There are, however, ten occurrences of the word overcometh in the New Testament. Interestingly enough, the number ten symbolizes “law, government, and restoration“! Oh the joy I have received from God’s numbers in the Bible and seeing how He uses them in His Word! Christ is the only One who has overcome the world (John 16:33). Being saved means that our fellowship has been restored with God the Father – only because we had faith and believed in Jesus Christ’s virgin birth, His shed blood on the cross was payment for our sin, His resurrection and He now sits at the right hand of God the Father. We are promised that we will overcome this world in the end and reign with Him because we are now His. Ten verses in the New Testament speak of overcoming – when we are born again through the Word of God, our fellowship with God is restored and we will reign with Him for all eternity. What a beautiful portrait indeed!

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (1 Jo 5:4)

Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 Jo 5:5)

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. (Rev 2:7)

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. (Rev 2:11)

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. (Rev 2:17)

And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: (Rev 2:26)

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. (Rev 3:5)

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. (Rev 3:12)

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. (Rev 3:21)

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. (Rev 21:7)

Although today’s devotional is quite short in my own words, God’s Words are quite powerful and require nothing more be said. I pray you have enjoyed this as much as I have!

Able to Deliver Thee
Fanny Crosby

O troubled heart, be thou not afraid,
In the Lord thy God, let thy hope be stayed;
He will hear thy cry and will give thee aid,
Whate’er thy cross may be.

Refrain

He is able still to deliver thee,
And His own right hand thy defense shall be:
He is able still to deliver thee,
Then be thou not afraid.

O troubled heart, tho’ thy foes unite,
Let thy faith be strong and thy armor bright;
Thou shalt overcome thro’ His pow’r and might,
And more than conqu’ror be.

Refrain

O troubled heart, when thy way is drear,
He will rescue thee and dispel thy fear;
In thy greatest need He is always near,
To Him all glory be.

Refrain

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Deuteronomy 10:12-13 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?

Micah 6:6-8 Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

The numbers two and three in the Bible are indicative of witness, testimony (see Deuteronomy 19:15). When God repeats Himself in the Scriptures, it is important to pay attention to what is being emphasized. Here we have the testimony of two passages that have a very similar message: What does God require of us? The conclusion of Ecclesiastes also contains an exhortation that fits in line with the testimony of the first two passages.

What does God require of man?

1) To fear the LORD thy God… Fear God.

The fear of the Lord is a reverence for God. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines reverence as “Fear mingled with respect and esteem; veneration… The fear acceptable to God, is a filial fear, an awful reverence of the divine nature, proceeding from a just esteem of his perfections, which produces in us an inclination to his service and an unwillingness to offend him. Reverence is nearly equivalent to veneration, but expresses something less of the same emotion. It differs from awe, which is an emotion compounded of fear, dread or terror, with admiration of something great, but not necessarily implying love or affection.” Reverence therefore implies love and affection – it is not just a holy fear of God, but love mingled with admiration. Webster also defines revere as “To regard with fear mingled with respect and affection; to venerate; to reverence; to honor in estimation.”

We can only fear the Lord our God in this manner if we are saved, if we have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, and now have God as our Heavenly Father. This fear will prompt us to do what is right in His sight, and prompt us to make it right when we have done wrong. There is a saying, “We should always keep short accounts with God,” stating that we should never continue on in sin, but when we are convicted we should always repent and confess that sin to quickly restore our fellowship with God. I believe the more reverence we have for our Saviour, the less desire we will have to backslide or take our eyes off of Him, and the greater our desire will be to turn from those sins that we have allowed to temporarily come back into our lives.

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Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. (Rev 1:3)

The Book of Revelation is the only book in the Word of God which promises a blessing if we read it. In my opinion, if a Book promises a blessing then we should be quick to read it. I do believe that the Book of Revelation is the one book that produces the most controversy. Many scholars state that it should be taken symbolically and others say it is prophetic and we should heed its warnings. There are three things we must do to receive this blessing which is promised in this verse. We must first read it, then we must hear it, and lastly we must keep what we have heard. The number three is symbolic for the Godhead. How complete a blessing is when it is surrounded around the Lord Himself! I believe that if the Book of Revelation were symbolic, we would not be promised a blessing if we read it, hear it and keep it. How can you keep a reading which is symbolic? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17) When we read the Word of God, our faith in Him is built and we become more like Him, therefore able to keep that which we have been taught. It’s not rocket science when you rightly divide the Word of God.

Here is what you must do to receive the blessing of Revelation 1:3:

(1) You must first read the Word to receive the blessing. You cannot understand what you read without first being born again, my friend. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Joh 1:1) Jesus is the Word of God – there is no salvation outside of Him. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Act 4:12) Anyone can read – but not all can understand what they are reading. Before I was saved, reading the Bible was like drinking dirt – dry at best. After salvation, the Word of God was opened up. It gave new meaning to: “I once was blind, but now I see” from the beautiful hymn, Amazing Grace. The born-again believer, then, must first read the Word to receive the blessing promised in this verse. You cannot merely listen to the preaching in church, although that is good. You must read for yourself. This is where God will shower you with blessings from above!

(2) You must hear the words of the prophecy. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17) Our faith is built when we understand what we have read and it is confirmed through the preaching of the Word. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. (Joh 8:43) These people heard Christ speaking but they didn’t hear Him – meaning, they did not understand what He was saying. Their hearts and minds were hard.

Before you get pious and think highly of yourself, how many times have you ignored what the Word told you to do and gone down your own path? We willfully disobey. The unbeliever is serving their father the devil and do not know any better. But when the heart is ready to receive what it has heard, the understanding comes with it. The born-again believer has the Holy Spirit of God dwelling within. He opens our hearts and gives us the understanding of the Scriptures if we but ask. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (Jam 1:5) God promises to give us this wisdom liberally – not just a little.

(3) You must keep those things which were written. Five times, Jesus used the words “keep my”:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. (Joh 8:51)

Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. (Joh 8:52)

If ye love me, keep my commandments. (Joh 14:15)

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (Joh 14:23)

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. (Joh 15:10)

It’s not sufficient to read and hear – anyone can do that. However, those who strive to keep God’s commandments will receive this blessing.

What blessing are we speaking of here? It is the understanding of the words of the prophecy! Jesus promises that we will receive a blessing when we read, hear and keep the Word because we will be able to interpret the prophecies which were written. The believers today are living proof of the blessings we are receiving from this wonderful Book of Revelation! We see prophecy being fulfilled before our very eyes. Our eyes are looking up and we are longing to witness for ourselves the wonderful return of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He is our Blessed Hope and He will keep us from that hour of testing which will come before all of the earth. Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; (Tit 2:13) I long for the day that the Rapture will happen! It could be today! Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. (Rev 3:10)

What a Day That Will Be
Words and Music by Jim Hill

There is coming a day when no heartaches shall come
No more clouds in the sky, no more tears to dim the eye.
All is peace forevermore on that happy golden shore,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

Chorus
What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

There’ll be no sorrow there, no more burdens to bear,
No more sickness, no pain, no more parting over there;
And forever I will be with the One who died for me,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

Chorus

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Psalms 145:1-5 (David’s Psalm of praise.) I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.

The following eight blessings are not presented in order of importance, but in the order the main passages used appear in the Word of God. All the promises of God in the Bible depend upon a personal relationship with Him. If you have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, the promises in His Word are yours to claim – including these eight daily blessings:

1) Daily Guidance And Teaching From The Lord (From His Word)

Exodus 13:21-22 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

Numbers 9:15-17 And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, namely, the tent of the testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning. So it was alway: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night. And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, then after that the children of Israel journeyed: and in the place where the cloud abode, there the children of Israel pitched their tents.

Look up and consider the next six verses in this passage (Numbers 9:18-23), and notice the seven times the phrase at (according to) the commandment of the LORD is used.

Nehemiah 9:12, 19 Moreover thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go… Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go.

Every day the Lord God led the nation of Israel in their march through the wilderness – all they had to do was follow His clear guiding, whether it was by night or by day that the pillar moved before them.

Luke 21:38 And all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple, for to hear him.

John 8:2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

Every morning Jesus was in the temple teaching the people the Word of God. Now we do not have Jesus physically teaching in our midst, but we have the Word of God before us to read and study and the Holy Spirit working through us to teach us God’s will for our lives each day.

Psalms 25:4-5 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.

Are you waiting upon the Lord? Are you seeking His will and determined to follow it as it is revealed step by step to you?

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But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. (Luk 18:16) Jesus loved when children came to Him. Their faith and trust are so simple and innocent. Children do not need complicated explanations or dissertations about God. They just simply trust – no questions – just action. Is it any wonder that Christ wants us to come to Him like children? God desires to be a Father to us. He desires for us to come to Him like a child – with child-like faith, knowing that our Father loves us and will take care of us. Is this too much to expect from your own child? Of course not! Why, then, do Christians struggle in this area of prayer?

Christ wanted us to have an intimate relationship with God. Christ did not want to leave us without power or empty-handed. Christ is our Shepherd and wanted to lead us in the perfect direction so He taught us how to pray. He gave us the perfect prayer. Since perfection is symbolized in the number seven, why does it not surprise me that the Lord’s Prayer would have seven points! The Lord teaches us that we have the most perfect and complete prayer as a pattern for our own prayer life. Some religions teach that you have to repeat this prayer over and over. However, if this were to be so, it would have appeared word-for-word in Luke (Luke 11:2-4) as well but it was worded differently. Christ used this as a pattern to teach us how to pray.

Our pattern has seven points:

(1) Who we are to pray to:

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. (Mat 6:9) Recognize who you are praying to. Notice that Christ, from the beginning, tells us that we are able to pray to our Father. My friend, because we are born again, we are now able to go to God like a child to his own earthly father! Does this not amaze you? Three times, the Word uses Abba, Father. The number three symbolizes the Godhead. How appropriate that “Abba, Father” appears three times. I simply stand amazed at the perfection of God’s Word!

And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. (Mar 14:36)

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (Rom 8:15)

And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (Gal 4:6)

This verse continues and teaches us to honor our Father in Heaven. This first verse beginning our prayer time with the Lord teaches us to start with Him; recognize Him for who He is, our Abba, Father; and recognize that He is holy. This sets the mood for our spirit to pray. The number one symbolizes “beginning, one” – how appropriate that this first verse of prayer symbolizes the beginning of perfect prayer to the only One we should pray to!

(2) Acknowledge His Kingdom:

Thy kingdom come. (Matt 6:10) As we are looking forward to His Kingdom and being/reigning with Him, we must also remember that we are to work diligently in building that Kingdom through winning souls. Our Shepherd guides us but it is the sheep who make other sheep, my friend. Isn’t it interesting that the number two symbolizes witnessing and the second verse of our perfect prayer talks about the Kingdom? Whew! I stand amazed at the spiritual beauties and gold nuggets found in my King James Bible.

(3) Desire God’s will:

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (Mat 6:10) Why would anyone want anything but God’s will for their lives? It is in His will that we can find perfect peace and rest. God’s perfect will is found in His perfect Word. What do we know to be the will of God? We know that God’s commandments reveal His will. God’s will is taught in the Word through His precepts, statutes and His commandments. God did not leave us empty-handed – we can easily find His will – His perfect law – through His Word. He has given us the Word, in flesh, and left us His Spirit to teach us. What a perfect example of the Godhead – the triune God! Amazingly, the number three symbolizes the Godhead and this verse depicts the Godhead in the perfect will of God.

(4) Petition your Father for your needs:

Give us this day our daily bread. (Mat 6:11) I truly do not believe that Christ is teaching us to pray for our daily physical needs here – otherwise He would be contradicting Himself in the following verses: Mat 6:25-26, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? (25) Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? (26) Instead, I believe that Christ is teaching us to ask the Father to feed us spiritually. Christ did not want us to worry about food, housing, clothing (earthly, physical needs). So much so, He stressed it again in Mat 6:31-32, Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (31) (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (32) I believe the Lord was teaching us to seek after the things of God as He did. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? (Luk 2:49) The number four symbolizes “earth-creation-world” – how appropriate that the Lord would be teaching us not to be concerned about the things of the world but to be concerned about God – about His Kingdom – about His will – about His Word.

(5) Seek forgiveness and forgive:

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (Mat 6:12) How appropriate that the One who gave His life so that we would be forgiven would teach us to seek forgiveness through Him and then forgive others for their transgression. The Provider of forgiveness faithfully goes to the Father seeking forgiveness on our behalf so why should we not follow His pattern? Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. (Luk 23:34a) How can we expect to receive forgiveness and yet not forgive others who have sinned against us or offended us? It was by God’s grace that we’re sent a Saviour to die for our sin so we could receive His forgiveness. It is by God’s grace that we are saved. Nothing we could possibly do would take us even one step closer to Heaven! How appropriate it is that this fifth point of prayer is about receiving God’s grace and the number five symbolizes grace! Thank You, Lord!

(6) God’s protection:

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: (Mat 6:13) This is such a beautiful request depicting a child asking his Father to protect him from evil’s way. This child is asking his Father to show him the path that he should take where he will not be tempted. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. (Jam 1:14) But if he is tempted because of his own lusts, he can also ask his Father to deliver him and provide a way out of this temptation. 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)
God is so good to us, my friend. Again, how appropriate that the sixth point of prayer deals with man’s sinful nature and the number six symbolizes man!

(7) Praising God:

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Mat 6:13b) The seventh and final point of prayer teaches us to praise God and acknowledge who He is, that all power is His, and all glory is His, eternally! God’s kingdom will be perfect because He is perfect. His power is complete because He is perfect. Our God deserves all the glory because He is the perfect and holy God. The one and the only God! Again, how appropriate that God’s perfection is reflected in the seventh verse and the number seven symbolizes perfection!

Does it surprise you that the Lord would teach us this perfect pattern of prayer and have it outlined in such a way that it completely reflects the meanings of the numbers from His Word? It does not to me! I stand amazed each time that I dig my nose into His Word, I find something that brings these Bible numbers out! Thank You, Lord!

A Blessing in Prayer
Eliza E. Hewitt

There is rest, sweet rest, at the Master’s feet,
There is favor now at the mercy seat,
For atoning blood has been sprinkled there;
There is always a blessing, a blessing in prayer.

Refrain:
There’s a blessing in prayer, in believing prayer,
When our Savior’s Name to the throne we bear;
Then a Father’s love will receive us there;
There is always a blessing, a blessing in prayer.

There is grace to help in our time of need,
For our Friend above is a Friend, indeed;
We may cast on Him every grief and care;
There is always a blessing, a blessing in prayer.

Refrain

When our songs are glad with the joy of life,
When our hearts are sad with its ills and strife,
When the powers of sin would the soul ensnare,
There is always a blessing, a blessing in prayer.

Refrain

There is perfect peace tho’ the wild waves roll,
There are gifts of love for the seeking soul,
Till we praise the Lord in His home so fair,
There is always a blessing, a blessing in prayer.

Refrain

Have you ever read a biography of someone that made an impact on their generation? I’m sure it was neat to see their name written down for all to see, neat to learn about the differences they made. It is especially edifying to read about Christians who made a difference in the lives of those around them because they did something for the Lord Jesus Christ and His kingdom – they touched lives for the Saviour’s sake.

In Matthew 26:6-13, we have the story of a woman who, grateful for forgiveness and the gift of salvation, sacrificed what could very well have been her most valued possession to honour her Saviour.

Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, There came unto Him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as He sat at meat. But when His disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. When Jesus understood it, He said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

Jesus honoured that woman for her faith. And His statement is very true – every time you read the Gospels, you read the account of her sacrifice. I believe John 12:1-8 is an account of the same event. Both of these accounts mention this event that occurred in Bethany just before Jesus’ final Passover. The book of John gives us this woman’s name: Mary of Bethany (Lazarus’ and Martha’s sister). John 11:2 It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Mary’s name was written down in the eternal Word of God; her name is preserved forever as a memorial to her and an encouragement for others.

In Joshua 10:13 and 2 Samuel 1:18, we have the mention of a book called the book of Jasher, which means upright. Some historians wrote down the names and accounts of some of Israel’s leaders. These books were not inspired of God, and therefore the record of them has been lost over time, but it was important to honour these leaders in future generations, and to remind others of what these godly men did. The names of Joshua, Saul, Jonathan, and others, were written down for all at that time to read or learn about. Later, we have record of the names of David’s mighty and valiant men. (See 1 Chronicles 11-12) Their names are written down for the service they have done for their king. Are our names written down for the service we do for our King?

In the books of Kings and Chronicles, we have mention of several books that recorded the acts, faith, and wisdom of other godly kings, and we have accounts of some less than godly kings! (I wouldn’t want to be remembered for the evil I do!) 1 Kings 11:41 says, And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon? This phrase is one we see over and over in these books: And the rest of the acts of …, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

I love the passage in Malachi 3:16-17 that says Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon His name. And they shall be Mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. When true Christians gather together and fellowship with one another about their Lord and Saviour, He remembers and writes their names down in a special book of remembrance, as those that have honoured Him. Jesus Christ places great value on our sweet meditations of Him. May all our meditations be pleasing to the Lord! Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

In the book of Hebrews (chapter 11), we have the names of many Old Testament saints who honoured the Lord through their acts of faith. We are able to see how these believers lived by faith, and how some even died in faith. Their names were written down in the inspired Word of God, to honour them and exhort others to be likewise faithful. The Lord remembers those who are His!

I believe that the canon of Scripture was closed at the end of the first century, when the Apostle John penned the last line of the book of Revelation. For the sake of this illustration, if the Lord was still writing Scripture, would your name be written down? Hebrews 10:38 says Now the just shall live by faith… Are you living by faith? Are you serving by faith? Are you seeking Him (in prayer) by faith? Would the Lord have something good to say about the way you lived your life in His name? Or would He be sadly disappointed with you as He will be with many at His return? Luke 18:8 …Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?

But more important than having your name written down in a book of remembrance: Is your name written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life? This book is the record of all the names of those that have placed personal faith in the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, and His death on the cross for their sins. Philippians 4:3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

There are seven references to the Lamb’s Book of Life in the book of Revelation (3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27; 22:19).

Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels. This is a promise to believers in the Church Age, that if they overcome through personal faith in Jesus Christ, their names will be written forever in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (See 1 John 5:4-5) This verse teaches eternal security for believers when we consider that it is not a threat, but a promise to keep their names in this book. In the dark ages, the Catholic Church excommunicated true Bible believers and threatened them with removing their names from their church rolls. Because they taught that salvation was found only through “The Church” (meaning the Catholic Church), when someone left the Catholic church (voluntarily or involuntarily), they were threatened with the proclaimed loss of their salvation. But we see here that whether or not someone’s name is written on a church roll, whether their name is written down in Heaven is what is most important! Luke 10:20 …Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. Even if the whole world rejects us as believers, we just need to believe 2 Timothy 2:19: Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. Our Heavenly Father will never forget who His children are!

In Revelation 17:8, the Bible teaches that true believers’ names were written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life from before the foundation of the world! Jesus Christ knew before He ever created the world who would respond to His precious
gift of eternal salvation.

Revelation 20:11-15 And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

At the end of the Millenium, when all the unsaved are judged at the Great White Throne Judgement, the basis of judgement will be whether someone’s name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life or not. As it turns out, no unsaved person’s name will be written down there. There might be a blank space where their name could have been. Then they will be judged for all the evil acts, words, and thoughts that they have ever committed. All these evil works will be written down in God’s books.

But we need not face this judgement! The Bible teaches that when we turn in repentance and faith toward the Saviour, believing in His death for our sins, in His burial, and His literal physical resurrection, then He wipes out the record of all our sins! They will no longer be written down, but our names will already have been written down in His book of the saved.

Has there ever been a time and place in your life when you realized that you were a sinner before Almighty God? The Bible teaches that All have sinned. (Romans 3:23) Have you ever repented of your sins (which means acknowledge to God that you have sinned against Him, and turned from your sins), and turned toward the only Saviour who paid the complete penalty for your sins? Acts 20:21 says Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is not enough to simply turn from your sins, you need to receive the Saviour and be born again through faith in Him. (See John 1:11-13 and 3:3, 7) The Bible teaches that we cannot earn our way to Heaven through our good works, but we must receive salvation as the free gift of God. It is something that we could never earn. Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (See also Titus 3:5) Our righteousness is as filthy rags in God’s sight. (Isaiah 64:6) We need the perfect righteousness of the sinless Son of God, who shed His blood to pay for our sins. (See 1 Peter 1:18-19) When we realize that we cannot earn salvation, but we accept His gift, we are made children of God that very moment. All those that have ever trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation (or those who will ever trust Him), have had their names written down for eternity in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Revelation 21:25-27 And the gates of it (the New Jerusalem) shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Is your name written down?

I sure hope so. I’d love to see you in Heaven someday!

June 22th/02
By Jerry Bouey

It is not a coincidence that the Holy Spirit of God would be depicted as a dove. It’s a wonderful picture – gentle in descent – cooing. God’s Spirit gently comes on us – He is not forceful, but “lights” on us. His “cooing” is not a blaring noise or a scream – but a gentle coo – a still small voice, which works in our hearts to woo us to Christ. Thoughts like these bring great comfort to me. They still my troubled spirit and create in me a calmness. We can be in the midst of the most tumultuous storm in our lives but the Spirit brings us comfort, reminding us that God is in control of even the worst of storms. God is not the author of confusion – He does not have to resort to such measures to get our attention. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1 Cor 14:33) Instead, He has left us with the Holy Spirit to draw us to Him. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. (Jam 4:8a)

The Holy Spirit is called the Comforter. Oh joy! God’s Word doesn’t coincidentally portray Him as such. God meant to show us that although He is a Judge, He is also our Saviour and our Comforter! As I searched for the word comforter, I discovered that it was conveniently used seven times in the King James Bible! The joys that come from God’s Word when we but only search through it. How blessed we are!

(1) So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter. (Ecc 4:1) Solomon, the wisest except for Christ, said that he observed all those who were oppressed and they had no comforter. We are no longer over powered by the devil and sin. We are no longer over burdened with the load of sin. We have freedom through Christ Jesus! We have the Comforter, given to us at the time of salvation and we are, therefore, sealed unto the day of redemption! And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Eph 4:30) The first mention of the word comforter is applied to mankind being separated from God. There is no comfort outside of God, my friend. Only He can provide a comfort which is lasting – nothing else can bring this kind of comfort to the soul. The Hebrew word for comforter here is:

H5162
נחם
nâcham
naw-kham’
A primitive root; properly to sigh, that is, breathe strongly; by implication to be sorry, that is, (in a favorable sense) to pity, console or (reflexively) rue; or (unfavorably) to avenge (oneself): – comfort (self), ease [one’s self], repent (-er, -ing, self).

It is not a coincidence that these definitions describe the Holy Spirit’s ministry. I also thought of the verse where Christ breathed upon His disciples so they could receive the Holy Spirit. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: (Joh 20:22) Jesus said and did this right after He told them “Peace be unto you” in the previous verse. The Holy Spirit definitely brings peace to the believer – what a Comforter He is!

(2) Her filthiness is in her skirts; she remembereth not her last end; therefore she came down wonderfully: she had no comforter. O LORD, behold my affliction: for the enemy hath magnified himself. (Lam 1:9) The unsaved do not have this wonderful Comforter as we do. The enemy reigns in their lives and sin rules their bodies. Jeremiah weeped because Zion had defiled the things of God. They did not have the Comforter convicting them of sin as we have Him today.

This is the second appearance of the word comforter. The number two, symbolizing “witness or separation,” is evidenced in why the Comforter was not with Zion. They had defiled the things of God – they were no longer separated and a peculiar people unto God! The heathen could not see anything different about God’s people.

(3) For these things I weep; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me: my children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed. (Lam 1:16) Our Blessed Comforter relieves our soul from eternal damnation – from an eternity of burning in hell’s fire – from eternal separation from the Saviour! Praise the Lord for the wonderful work of the Holy Spirit who woos us to Christ and brings us to the saving power of the Cross! There is salvation only through God. The number three symbolizes the Godhead. How appropriate that we find this beautiful Triune God in (1 Jo 5:7) For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. The Holy Spirit testifies of Christ, draws us to Him and brings to memory what His Word teaches (John 15:26).

(4) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (Joh 14:16) I lost my father in 1993 and I grieved so deeply for him. How I missed his presence and his teasing! When my mother passed away, I felt like an orphan, even though I was almost 50 years old at the time. It is not so with our Heavenly Father! He has left us His Spirit, our Comforter, who promises to abide with us forever! Jesus Himself promised us this! What a glorious promise it is indeed! I am not an orphan at all! I was born into God’s family on April 1st, 1980, and His Comforter was given to me to be with me forever! Oh Glory!! This is the I fourth mention of the Comforter. The number four symbolizes “earth, creation, and world.” Despite the fact that earth shall pass away, our Comforter is with us forever. He will never leave us (Heb. 13:5b) … for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

(5) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (Joh 14:26) This same Comforter is not only with us forever, but He also is our Teacher! He wrote the Word of God. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Pe 1:21) Who better to interpret the Word to us than the One Who wrote it? We don’t need someone to interpret God’s Word for us. If we are diligently seeking the Lord’s will in our lives through His Word, He will show us what He desires for us. I did not go to church for three months after I was first saved. During those three months, I was very studious and read my Bible at least three hours a day and soaked it in like a sponge. When I heard my first message preached three months later, everything that the preacher said had been taught to me by the Comforter Himself! I definitely was comforted and elated at that very moment. I knew that God had taught me during my readings and He was the one that had taken care of me spiritually so I would not be drawn to false doctrine! What a blessing this was to me! This was my first experience knowing that I was His child and He would care for me!

This fifth (five symbolizing grace, cross, atonement, life) appearance of the Comforter shows us that the Holy Spirit will bring to mind and teach us from His Word all that we need to know regarding Christ and how to live the Christian life. Coincidence? I doubt it! Can this beautiful pattern of God’s numbering be duplicated in any other version than the King James? Nope! Ju
st for the fun of it, I looked up the word in a few other versions and some had more and some had less. God means for us to be blessed by His Words. He means for us to find golden nuggets within the pages of our Kings James Bible, my friend. All we need to do is search them out. Bless His Holy Name!

(6) But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (Joh 15:26) Our Comforter is also the One who will reveal Christ to us. He woos us to Christ, He pricks our heart and convicts us of our sin so we see the need of Christ, then He molds us to be like Christ. As He teaches us the truths from the Word, He testifies of Christ and glorifies Him through our yielded lives. What a beautiful portrait! This is the sixth appearance of the word Comforter – six symbolizes man. Man cannot gain entrance to Heaven without Christ. Man is lost and on his way to hell without Christ. How wonderful that God would place the sixth appearance of the Comforter in this light – showing man his need of salvation through the work of the Comforter!

(7) Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (Joh 16:7) Our Saviour did not leave us empty handed upon His departure. He left us in good hands. He left us His Spirit to dwell within us. This Comforter was sent to us by the Good Shepherd who knew exactly what we needed to complete our mission here on earth! Bless God! Glory to the Highest! Our comfort is complete because of the work of the Holy Spirit, our Comforter! God’s perfect love for us is shown by leaving His Spirit with us! Perfection, again, in the Trinity is shown here by the seventh use of this blessed word comforter!

Brother Jerry Bouey added these insights – what a blessing!

“First of all, we have the promise of the Comforter. The word ‘Comforter’ is interesting. It is used to translate a Greek word, Parakletos, which is a compound word meaning, one who comes to the side of another, that is a helper in time of need. In the First Epistle of John (chap. 2:1) we have ‘Advocate,’ which is exactly the same word in the original.

There is a sweetness and preciousness about that word ‘Comforter’ that appeals to the heart. After all, we cannot use any other word in our language that would so adequately represent the Greek word, for the Paraklete is in very truth the Comforter. Our English word ‘Comforter’ is also a compound. ‘Comforter’ comes from two Latin words – con, and fortis, the one meaning ‘to be in company with,’ and the other ‘to strengthen,’ so that actually the Comforter is one who strengthens by companionship. That is one of the great ministries of the Holy Spirit. The Paraclete is one who comes to your side to help, to give aid, and so the word is properly used. An attorney-at-law, or an advocate, is one who comes to help you in your legal difficulties, and the Holy Spirit is all this. He has come from heaven, as promised by our blessed Lord, to assist us in every crisis, in every time of difficulty that may arise in our Christian lives – He strengthens by His companionship.” (Quoted from Addresses On The Gospel Of John by H.A. Ironside, pages 622-623)

Jerry’s added comment:

A trace of the root words behind Parakletos gives us this definition: “One who is called alongside.” With these two definitions (ie. Ironside’s and Strong’s) taken together, we arrive at the conclusion that the Comforter is “one who comes alongside to strengthen” – in this case, strengthening from the inside. That is a wonderful picture. A believer can come alongside and strengthen someone else with their words of comfort, but the Holy Spirit does His special work of comfort from the inside, using the Word of God as His means of comforting.

This series has truly proven to be quite a blessing! Never did I imagine that we could glean so many “groupings and numbers” in God’s Word! The joy that I have received is more than I can contain!

The Comforter

I remember that day like it was yesterday.
I realized I was doomed, pretty hopeless I’ll say.
But The Comforter entered and brought me such peace.
I knew I was different, that burden released.

Those tears just kept coming, His Love could it be?
How precious and sacred that time was to me!
He washed me and saved me from sin and despair.
I was heading for hell, it seemed no one cared.

But my Heavenly Father loved a wretch such as me.
That He sent His Dear Son to shed blood on a tree.
He took upon Him all my sin and my shame.
That some day with Him I would be able to reign.

Praise my Wonderful Lord from Whom all Blessings Flow.
How wonderful these words, how they bless my soul.
How wondrous for me is this Act of Great Love.
Provided by my Father from Heaven Above!

Thank you Lord for saving my soul!

Kate Plourde

While I am certain there are other passages that could be found on this theme, here are ten passages I was able to find a few days ago (the last three are closely related).

1) Psalms 119:94 I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts.

I have been studying out Psalm 119 last week, and one morning before work the first three words of verse 94 leaped out at me:

I am Thine…

How many times over the years have I read that Psalm and never focussed on those specific words? But reading that verse recently caused that phrase to hit my heart with tremendous force. Often we think of the Lord being ours, of our finding Him when we turn to Him for salvation – but here the emphasis is on us being the Lord’s. Those three words made an impact on me that, Lord willing, I will never forget.

I am Thine… What comfort and assurance!

2) Acts 27:22-25 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

The Apostle Paul faced shipwreck on the Mediterranean Sea, but the Lord sent an angel to give him courage in the midst of the danger that confronted him. He made a statement of simple fact, simple faith: God, whose I am, and whom I serve… The God whom I serve is able to protect me, and deliver me. The God whose I am loves me enough to look out for me in the midst of any trials or afflictions I may face.

The encouragement here to us is that, if you are a born again child of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the statement Paul made is also true of you. Just put yourself in his place, and apply these words to yourself: the God, whose I am. You are His!

3) John 10:14-15 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Jesus’ sheep are those He laid His life down for on Calvary, and who have trusted Him alone for salvation. They are His! He knows each one of them personally!

We love to quote Psalm 23: The Lord is my Shepherd. But how much do we meditate on the fact that we are His sheep?

4) 2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

The Lord knows all about us – everything about us – and still calls us His! That is one of the best exhortation we could find to live right. We are children of the King of Kings, so let’s live like it. We are Christians, so let’s live like ambassadors/representatives of Christ. The world cannot “see” our Lord (ie. physically), but it can see us – let’s live in such a manner that they can see our Saviour through us!

1 John 4:10-12 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

It is interesting how verse 12 above starts with the same phrase as John 1:18:

John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

No man hath seen God at any time… Just as no one can see what the Father is like until they see Him manifested through Jesus Christ; even so, no one can see what our Heavenly Father is like until they see Him reflected through us, until they see Christ living in us (see Galatians 2:20).

5) Isaiah 43:1-2 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

Thou art Mine…

God has called you by your name, and you are His! He will never leave you, nor forsake you – regardless of what trials may await you in the future. He is always there for you, looking out for His own. As Sis Kate has stated recently, we are His peculiar people – a people for His own possession. We are His!

Whenever I read the passage above and think about its promise for the future (ie. when thou passest through the waters… when thou walkest through the fire), I am always reminded of this verse from the Psalms that give us the same promise from a past perspective:

Psalms 66:12 Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

God was faithful and kept His promises! He was always with His people through the trials – He stood by His own!

6) Deuteronomy 32:9 For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.

The word portion indicates “an allotment, an inheritance.” We are what the Lord has set apart for Himself, for His enjoyment, for His inheritance. We are what He looks forward to and takes enjoyment in!

Psalms 100:3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

7) Malachi 3:16-17 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

This is an amazing promise – the Lord will remember and reward true believers when they fellowship together and meditate on Him! He will write it down for a memorial when we fear (ie. reverence) Him and speak to one another about Him, about His name, and what He has done in our lives. Then He states, they shall be Mine! He claims those who claim Him as their Lord and Saviour, and considers them as valuable jewels worth keeping and sparing from harm. Our Lord will delight in and rejoice over us, because we are His!

Isaiah 62:3-5 Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.

8) Song of Solomon 2:16 My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.

This is the first of three similar r
eferences in the Song of Solomon. Like most new believers, the Shulamite (picturing believers and their walk with the Lord) rejoices in the fact that she has found the Lord (though, of course, it was the Lord looking for us first), and that Jesus is hers. My Beloved is mine – I have a firm grasp on Him… And I am His too – almost as an afterthought.

9) Song of Solomon 6:3 I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.

Now she is maturing more, having walked with her Saviour a little longer, and she realizes that she is His first and foremost. She is still boasting about her hold upon Him, but that is nowhere near as important as His hold upon her.

10) Song of Solomon 7:10 I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.

Now see the difference in focus: she is no longer boasting about her claim on her Saviour, but rather in His claim on her! If she is anything like me (and she certainly pictures me in all other areas), she understands that she has failed and faltered so many times, and that her hold on the Lord is weak and fragile at times. But His hold on her never falters, never loosens, is never in danger of letting go! The fact that we are our Beloved’s is the primary focus – it doesn’t matter how weak and frail we may become at times, nothing can separate us from His love (see Romans 8:35, 37-39), nothing can pluck us out of His hand (see John 10:27-29), nothing can prevent our Saviour from keeping us by His power (see 1 Peter 1:5).

Lastly, notice how she focusses on His desire toward her. The word desire here means “in the original sense of stretching out after; a longing.” It also comes from a root word meaning “to run after.” As a young believer, she rejoiced in her desire towards her, now she just takes comfort and assurance in the knowledge that Jesus is the one delighting in her, that He is the one running after her for fellowship.

Song of Solomon 2:14 O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.

Psalms 27:8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.

I am my Beloved’s…

I am His…

I am Thine…

I Am Thine, O Lord
(Words: by Fanny Crosby; Music: W. Howard Doane)

I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
And it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith
And be closer drawn to Thee.

Chorus:
Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To the cross where Thou hast died.
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To Thy precious, bleeding side.

Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
By the power of grace divine;
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
And my will be lost in Thine.

O the pure delight of a single hour
That before Thy throne I spend,
When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God
I commune as friend with friend!

There are depths of love that I cannot know
Till I cross the narrow sea;
There are heights of joy that I may not reach
Till I rest in peace with Thee.

Preached on June 22nd/07
Written June 26th/07
Jerry Bouey

Noah Webster defines the word “peculiar” as:

Exclusive property; that which belongs to a person in exclusion of others.

Five times the word “peculiar” is found in the Word of God. God’s grace is shown to those who desire to be part of His peculiar people. I wondered just what peculiar meant. It amazes me how definitions in English language has changed over the years. I’ve always known this word to mean:

1 : characteristic of only one person, group, or thing
2 : different from the usual or normal

This is Merriam Webster’s definition. Notice how it lacks in the emphasis which the Word is portraying? Yes, the believer is “characteristic of only one person, group, or thing.” However, when you put it in light of Noah’s definition, our place in the Body of Christ becomes more meaningful, don’t you think? We are the exclusive property of Jesus Christ. He has bought and paid for us with His own blood. “…to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” (Act 20:28b)

Let’s look at these five wonderful verses. God’s intent for the Jews was to be a peculiar people and it continues to be His intent for the born-again believer. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow – He never changes.

(1) Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: (Exo 19:5) The born-again believer hears the voice of the Shepherd and is a part of His fold. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (Joh 10:27) Notice that this verse says that He knows them! This peculiar people are considered a treasure to God! We are His treasure, my friend! Does that not excite you? Christ paid dearly for our salvation!

(2) For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth. (Deu 14:2) We are so blessed. We do not have to look for a high priest to offer sacrifices for us. We no longer need a priest because we have direct contact with the Lord, Himself. Our High Priest is Christ Himself. He sits at the right hand of the Father and His sacrifice is all that is needed. Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; (Heb 8:1) His blood on the altar of sacrifice is all we need to cover our sins. We are a peculiar people which God has chosen for Himself! What a find in God’s Word! The Creator of all the universe has chosen us for Himself! These are shoutin’ words! We cannot be holy on our own. 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) The Father demands punishment for sin because He is holy. But His grace is great and He provided a way for us because He pitied us. There is no way we could get to heaven on our own merits. But praise God that His Son took our sins upon Himself so that the Father sees His Son’s righteousness. We would be doomed to eternity burning in hell otherwise. Thank You, Lord!!

(3) And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments; (Deu 26:18) Noah Webster defines “avouched” as:

1. To affirm; to declare or assert with positiveness.

I don’t know about you, my friend, but the very words of our King James Bible come to life like no other. God says that He has declared or asserted with positiveness that we are His people! Can anyone claim the name of Jesus and live like the devil? Many do but they are not truly saved. One cannot be saved and continue to live in known and unconfessed sin. A peculiar person strives to live a separated life because of what has been done for him. This peculiar people obeys God’s Word. They may sin, but they do not desire to continue in sin. There’s a difference there – that’s the key. Those who claim to be saved but yet live a life that has no change, desire to continue in sin. The true born-again believer does sin, but they do not desire to continue in sin. They are remorseful and seek God’s forgiveness. They continually strive toward not sinning but know that when they do, they are forgiven and they work daily at becoming more like Him. True remorse and repentance are the fruit of the born-again believer.

(4) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Tit 2:14) This peculiar people have been redeemed from ALL iniquity. This includes those sins of the future. Notice that He purifies us unto Himself – He cleans us and purges us from sin as we yield to the Holy Spirit. A yielded Christian becomes zealous of good works. I’ve never met a Christian who was walking close to the Lord and was lazy. Yes, I’ve met people who claimed to walk close to the Lord who were very active but they were using their works to justify their continuing in sin. How many Christians do you know who faithfully serve in their church but do not live a separated life? However, the Christian who is faithful in his walk with the Lord Jesus will be zealous of good works. Walking with the Lord produces a desire to do more for Him.

(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: (1 Pe 2:9) A peculiar people praises their God and shows the world what He has done for them. They are a changed people who have gone from living a life of sin to a people who are walking in the light – testimonies to the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Are you living as though you are part of this peculiar generation, friend? We are a chosen generation and a treasure to God. How can one not be excited over being a peculiar Christian? I sure am!

What Raised the Wonderous Thought
George V. Wigram

What raised the wondrous thought,
Or who did it suggest,
That blood-bought saints to glory brought
Should with the Son be blest?

Father, the thought was Thine,
And only Thine could be—
Fruit of the wisdom, love divine,
Peculiar unto Thee.

For, sure, no other mind,
For thoughts so bold, so free,
Greatness or strength, could ever find;
Thine only it could be.

The motives, too, Thine own,
The plan, the counsel, Thine!
Made for Thy Son, bone of His bone,
In glory bright to shine.

O God, with great delight
Thy wondrous thought we see,
Upon His throne, in glory bright
The bride of Christ shall be.

Sealed with the Holy Ghost,
We triumph in that love,
Thy wondrous thought has made our boast
“Glory with Christ above.”