Maranatha Devotionals

As we draw our series on Bible Numbers to a close, it is most fitting to end it with how the unbeliever can find Christ and how the believer can draw closer to Christ. I’ve always felt that God is a very economical God. He blesses many people with the same verses but in different ways and for different reasons. As I was searching for just the right thing to write about, I was drawn to Matthew 11:28-30 this morning. My spirit needed encouragement and these were the first verses I had memorized as a new believer and I turn to them frequently.

Matthew 11:28-30, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (28 ) 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. (29) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (30) As beautiful and comforting as these verses are to the believer, they are equally as beautiful and comforting to the unbeliever. I noticed that Christ stated that there are three things one must do to come to Him. Three symbolizes the godhead – the Trinity. How fitting that these three steps are depicted in this light.

1. Come unto Jesus – Jesus is the only way to Heaven for the lost. 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) There is no other way – there is no other person (dead or alive) who can claim this. 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) No matter what any religion preaches, the fact of the matter is that Jesus is the only way to Heaven – not your good deeds, not Allah, not Buddha, not John Smith!

To the born-again believer, this statement confirms that we can continually go to Jesus for all our needs, all our future sins, all our problems and all our concerns. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (1 Ti 2:5) We have no need to pray to Mary or pray to the saints – we can go straight to God Himself, Christ Jesus! Furthermore, when we sin, we can go to Christ Himself, not some priest in a confessional. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (1 Jo 2:1) Jesus is our attorney, if you will, who defends us before a Righteous and Holy God. God demands payment and justice for sins. Jesus stands before His Father as your Attorney and says, “Father, I have paid the penalty for my child with My Blood.” The Father sees our sin no more but only the blood of His Son. No priest, no saint or anyone else for that matter can fill these shoes, my friend. Praise God that we can still come to Jesus!

2. Take His yoke upon you: Have you ever seen a yoke? Notice that there are two openings. Jesus is telling the unbeliever that the sinner is in one part of the yoke and Jesus is in the other part. Again, Jesus is the only way to Heaven. I love how a yoke is placed between the head and the heart! How symbolic that is to me. One needs to hear the Gospel and believe it with his heart before he can be saved. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Rom 10:10) One can only be righteous if he puts on the righteousness of Christ.

For the believer, we can look at the yoke and see that Christ carries our burdens with us. We are not alone in our walk on this earth. He is there right along side of us – like the beautiful Footprints story. Furthermore, when you look at the yoke, you can see that if one turns to the right, the other must turn to the right. We are guided by the Holy Spirit of God Himself! What a blessed portrayal of God’s love for us!

3. Learn from Him: It is so sad that mankind turns to self-help books, to gurus, to religious leaders instead of to Jesus’ Word. Jesus said to learn from Him! Jesus provided us with the Bible, His very words, whereby to learn and grow. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17) Notice that Rom. 10:17 does not say faith comes by a self-help book, or Dr. Phil, or John Smith. It says that faith comes by the Word of God. Jesus is the Word. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Joh 1:1) and For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. (1 Jo 5:7) Christ provided the written Word of God so that we would be able to find true salvation through Him. What more does one need?

To the believer, we are encouraged to learn from Him. Don’t substitute man-written books and devotionals for God’s Holy Word. It is the Word that will cleanse us. It is the Word that convicts us and grows us. It is the Word that prevents us from being misled by false doctrine. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Ti 2:15)

As a result of coming to Christ, we are promised rest. The unbeliever finds rest through salvation and the born-again believer finds rest because he is not alone in his pilgrimage on earth. Jesus said that His yoke is easy. Have you ever tried to lift a yoke? I have! It is not light at all. In fact, I could barely lift it. But Christ says His yoke is easy and it is light. That means that the burden of sin has been taken on by Jesus and that this burden is not on our shoulders any longer. We also know that although He has taken on the burden of our sins, He also carries our burdens in life, right along side of us.

This is a beautiful depiction of how the Saviour not only delivers us from sin but continues to carry our burdens with us so we are not alone. … and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Mat 28:20b)

Dear God…
Thank you for this series these past couple of months. What a blessing they have been to my soul.

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Maranatha Devotionals

This is the story of a young man that failed the Lord miserably, and was later given a second chance.

In Acts chapter 12, the apostle James was captured and beheaded by king Herod, and Peter was also imprisoned, facing a similar fate within a matter of days. But the Lord had other plans. He sent an angel to release Peter from prison, and Peter went to the house where the early church was having a prayer meeting on his behalf:

Acts 12:12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.

As most reading this no doubt know that the apostle Paul (first called Saul) is a very prominent figure in the New Testament. Much of the book of Acts is taken up with him and those who were involved in his three missionary journeys. He was in Jerusalem with Barnabas. When they left there to head back to Antioch, Barnabas’ nephew went with them:

Acts 12:25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.

From Antioch, Barnabas and Saul were sent on their first missionary journey to Asia Minor:

Acts 13:2-3 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

It is interesting to note that the Word of God refers to their ministry as work. God didn’t call them in order for them to take it easy and relax – He had some work He planned for them to do.

Acts 13:5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.

They took young John Mark with them to be their minister. The word used in this passage indicated that Mark was their assistant – possibly brought along to carry supplies, help with the menial tasks, etc.

But before too long we read this sad account:

Acts 13:13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.

This verse in itself doesn’t explain what happened, other than to let us know Mark no longer went with them, that he turned back to Jerusalem. But in Acts 15, we read:

Acts 15:38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.

The word for departed here is a stronger word used than in chapter 13, and means “to remove, i.e. (actively) instigate to revolt; usually (reflexively) to desist, desert, etc.” Mark deserted them in the ministry! He abandoned the work! Perhaps he found it too hard, perhaps he got a glimpse of some of the hardships that they might have to endure in the ministry, perhaps it was just too much work after all – something which he may not have had in mind when the idea of travelling and preaching to far off locations originally presented themself to him. Either way, he abandoned ship, and left Paul and Barnabas, and headed home where the way was much easier for him.

The first missionary journey started approximately in AD 46 or 47 – now three or four years later, Paul and Barnabas travelled back to Jerusalem to give their accounts of the wonderful works God had done through them in the years they were gone. After that, they headed back to Antioch to preach and teach the Word of the Lord. Then Paul started to think again about the churches he had planted and the new believers that he had come to know:

Acts 15:36-40 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.

Barnabas wanted to take his nephew along with them – and Paul flatly refused. Perhaps this verse came to Paul’s mind:

Proverbs 25:19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.

Perhaps Paul’s refusals went like this: “John Mark is simply not reliable; we can’t take him along; he will just fail us again! No, he is NOT going with us! We do not need to have someone tag along who is just not committed to the ministry. If he deserted us once, he will do it again. I will not take that risk!” The disagreement over this young man was so strong, that they went their own separate ways, and Paul travelled on his second missionary journey with Silas instead.

That is the last we hear of both Barnabas and John Mark in the book of Acts – and perhaps Mark would have faded completely off the scene if it wasn’t for the grace of God – the God of second chances!

In Peter’s first epistle, we hear about this man again:

1 Peter 5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.

John Mark was now with Peter in Babylon – and Peter wanted to let them know that his spiritual son greeted them as well.

In approximately 62 AD, we hear Paul making mention of Mark in several of his prison epistles:

Philemon 1:23-24 There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus; Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.

Hm, Mark was now a fellowlabourer with Paul, working together with Paul – involved in the work once again…

Colossians 4:10-11 Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;) And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.

Paul was now telling them to look out for Mark if he came their way, to receive him and take care of him. Some things had changed – both in Mark’s committment to the ministry, and in Paul’s impression of him. Now, Paul was saying Mark was a comfort to him – someone who came alongside and gave him strength!

But what touches me most are Paul’s final words about John Mark. In what was probably his last letter written before he faced his own martyrdom at Roman hands, his thoughts went out to this man whom he now considered a friend and partner in the work:

2 Timothy 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

Mark had learned the lesson he had failed before. Now, he knew what it meant to be a servant, ministering to the needs of others, ministering faithfully – being used by the Lord!

Timothy, bring Mark with you. Oh, he has been such a help and a blessing to the ministry – I can really use him here!

Praise the Lord for His forgiveness – for His grace – for His second chances!

One final note I want to end on, which ties this devotional together directly with Behold: A Fivefold Picture, and the reason why I wanted to include it as my last devotional in this series:

John Mark – the man who failed the ministry, failed his fellowlabourers, failed in the work and turned back in defeat – learned at last what it meant to be a servant…

Mark 10:42-45 But Jesus called them
to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

…And was used by God to write the Gospel that truly presented the Lord Jesus Christ from the perspective of a Servant.

John Mark – who by the grace of God (which is what John means: “Gift or grace of God”- see 1 Corinthians 15:10) – became a faithful servant and was used by the Lord to teach us about what servanthood really means, from the perspective of the Greatest Servant of all time:

Behold My Servant!

Preached August 26th/07
Written August 30th/07
Jerry Bouey

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Maranatha Devotionals

How many times have we heard the statement, “Trust in Christ as your Saviour”? There is only One that you can trust explicitly and totally for all things in your spiritual life as well as your physical life. I find it interesting that there are five occurrences of the phrase I will trust in the Word of God. The number five symbolizes God’s grace. There is no greater grace than that given to us at the Cross of Cavalry. When we trust Christ as our Saviour, we receive that grace of God in our lives. Noah Webster defines this grace as:

Appropriately, the free unmerited love and favor of God, the spring and source of all the benefits men receive from him.

And if by grace,then it is no more of works. Rom 11.

We cannot earn God’s love – we cannot work for our salvation – it is free. Eph. 2:8-9, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (8 ) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (9)

Noah defines trust as:

Confidence; a reliance or resting of the mind on the integrity, veracity, justice, friendship or other sound principle of another person.

Christ left His Heavenly home because there was no way mankind could get to Heaven on his own merit. His compassion for us was so great that He gave up everything and shed His own blood to pay the price for our sins. A price must be paid – judgment must be served – and Christ paid this price and took upon Himself the judgment for all of our sins, my friend. All it takes for us is to trust Him. Trust Him for what? Trust the fact that He is the only way to Heaven and His death, burial and resurrection is the only Gospel – the only way to Heaven. There is none other. 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) Once we have trusted Christ with our salvation and have been saved, we learn to trust Him with everything else in our lives.

Let’s look at the five occurrences of trust:

1. Trust in His strength: The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. (Psa 18:2) There is nothing that will cross our path in life that will be too difficult for the Lord to handle. Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? (Jer 32:27) Does this not bring you great comfort? It surely does for me!

2. Trust in His judgment: But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee. (Psa 55:23) Man will have his time before God and he will be judged! Everyone will have to bow before God and be judged. It is interesting to note that there are three occurrences of this prophecy in the Word: I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (Isa 45:23) For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. (Rom 14:11) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (Phi 2:10) Man can sin against you and hurt you but his time will come. We do not need to seek vengeance – his punishment will come soon enough.

3. Trust in His protection: What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. (Psa 56:3) How many times have you been afraid? How can you trust in a friend to take care of your fears when he cannot be there 24/7? But God is there always – He never sleeps and is there to comfort us in time of fear. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. (Psa 121:4) How wonderful is that? There have been times when I have feared the outcome of a certain trial and the Lord has taught me to trust Him with this fear. In so doing, I was showered with peace in the midst of this trial. My problem was not over but I no longer was afraid of the outcome because I had a calm assurance that God would work it all out.

4. Trust in His care: I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah. (Psa 61:4) I recall never feeling safer than when my father put his arm around me. I knew that the world could fall apart around me but I was safe. It blesses me that God would use these words about His care to bring us comfort. We can trust that He will care for us. David found comfort in God’s care. Five times in the Word we can find thy wings – all five are found in the Book of Psalms. Again, God’s grace can be found in His care for us! It is soothing to picture ourselves enveloped in God’s arms!

5. Trust in His salvation: 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. (Isa 12:2) When we are born again, we are placed into God’s family. As a parent, do you randomly add and remove your children from your family because of their behavior? Of course not! A parent’s whole purpose is found in their children! When my child has abandoned me, I do not abandon him – no matter what he has done! In fact, the more trouble my child is in, the more I pray for him. The more sin he is involved in, the more I strive to bring him back to his God. The bottom line here is that although my child has strayed from me, my love for him has not ceased and I am more determined to get him back. How much more the Heavenly Father? We can wholly trust in God to keep our salvation. We may turn our backs on God, but He will never turn His back on us. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (Joh 10:28 )

I challenge you to find one friend on this earth that you can trust in who can provide you with this five-fold trust. Some may be able to provide strength, protection and care – but none can provide those as well as judgment and salvation! Only God can fulfill this five-fold trust. As Noah Webster defined trust, can you say that you totally trust God with every intimate area of your life? Do you have full confidence that your salvation is protected? Do you rely and have rest in your mind that God will take care of all things in your life? And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phi 4:7)

Put Thou Thy Trust in God
Paul Gerhardt

Put thou thy trust in God,
In duty’s path go on;
Walk in His strength with faith and hope,
So shall thy work be done.

Commit thy ways to Him,
Thy works into His hands,
And rest on His unchanging Word,
Who Heav’n and earth commands.

Though years on years roll on,
His cov’nant shall endure;
Though clouds and darkness hide His path,
The promised grace is sure.

Give to the winds Thy fears;
Hope, and be undismayed;
God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears;
God shall lift up thy head.

Through waves, and clouds, and storms,
His power will clear thy way;
Wait thou His time, the darkest night
Shall end in brightest day.

Leave to His sovereign sway
To choose and to command;
So shalt thou, wond’ring, own His way,
How wise, how strong His hand.

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Maranatha Devotionals

Exodus 15:22-26 So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

The Lord was testing the nation of Israel as they were wandering in the wilderness. There were over 600,000 men, plus women and children that were in need of daily water and food – and the Lord was providing for them. But He allowed them to feel their lack and their need of His provision before He gave what they needed to prove them. Everytime a trial came their way, what was in their hearts came out: murmuring and griping; complaining against God and the leader He appointed to lead the people.

The nation of Israel at first couldn’t find any water, and then, when they did, the waters were bitter (Marah means “bitter”). As long as the people were rebelling and going their way, their way was bitter. But when the tree was put into the bitter waters, they were made sweet.

Consider these verses:

Acts 5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

Acts 10:38-40 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;

Acts 13:23, 28-30 Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus… And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. But God raised him from the dead:

Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

The cross of Christ is compared to a tree (it certainly was made out of beams from a tree). Without the salvation Jesus provided by dying upon the cross for our sins, our lives are empty and bitter. Yes, sin may bring pleasure for a season, but the pleasure eventually leaves a spiritually bitter taste in our minds. Sinful pleasures can never fulfill the longing in our souls – only knowing the Lord and walking with Him can do that!

I remember how bitter my life was like before I came to know the Lord Jesus Christ: it was bitter. All the abuse in my past created scars that wouldn’t heal, bitterness that tainted each day, leaving a depression and a complete lack of purpose. Life was bitter to me!

But then came Jesus – and He healed my soul, healed the waters of my spirit, healed the wounds in my heart and mind – gave me a reason for living, gave me forgiveness. With Jesus’ cross (ie. His death upon the cross) affecting me, the waters of my life were made sweet! There was healing.

There is also another application to this passage in the Bible: that of taking up our cross daily.

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

When we, as believers, get our eyes off of the Lord, life is made bitter again – there is no joy, no peace of mind. When God has only half of a believer’s heart, you might as well call them Mara!

Consider the story of Naomi recorded in the book of Ruth. Naomi and her family moved to Moab in a time of famine, instead of trusting the Lord to provide and staying in Bethlehem. They went their way, out of the will of God, and it cost them dearly. Within ten years, she lost her husband and her two sons, and one daughter in law went back to her pagan gods. Empty and barren, Naomi returns with Ruth to Bethlehem, and we read this sad account:

Ruth 1:19-21 So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi? And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?

Naomi means “pleasant.” But she was no longer pleasant; instead she was bitter and anquished. As the story goes on, she puts her eyes back on the Lord and gets right with Him – and He brings healing to her troubled soul.

When we are determined to go our own way, there is bitterness – when we die to ourselves, die to our own will, there is healing and blessing. Consider Jesus, our example:

Matthew 26:37-44 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

Luke 22:41-44 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Jesus faced a unique battle. He knew He was going to the cross to bear the sin of the world upon Himself. The Son had never been separated from the Father or the Holy Spirit in all of eternity – and God cannot look upon sin – knowing that when He bore our sins it would bring temporary separation in the Godhead, He struggled with what He had to bear. However, enduring that cup of God’s wrath was the only way Jesus could provide for our salvation – and three times He prayed in earnestness and agony, submitting His will to His Heavenly Father’s, and won the victory. The blood vessels bursting in His face (bloody sweat) showed the intense pressure and anquish He was in – still He gave His will to His Father. Then God strengthened Him, and He went on with a renewed determination to go to the cross.

When we give God only half of ourselves – picking and choosing what parts we will submit to Him – there is bitt
erness, there is turmoil within, no peace of mind. When we submit to His will in every area of our lives (inasmuch as we know that will) – when we take our cross up daily, then the Lord will heal those bitter waters.

Exodus 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

Israel was a very forgetful nation – but there is a lesson to learn here. The Lord taught them how to make their bitter waters sweet, showed them that this healing was based on their obedience and submission to Him; then notice where the Lord took them next:

Exodus 15:27 And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters.

An abundance of fresh water – a well for each tribe, and seventy palm trees. Seventy – seven times ten – a multiple of seven contains the same meaning as seven: completeness, perfection, fulness. The Lord was indicating to them that abundance and blessing came from their obedience to Him and His Word. All that they needed was theirs when they got their hearts right with Him and walked right before Him. Satisfaction and fulfillment was found when the cross was added to the waters of their lives!

Are the waters of your life bitter or sweet? Have you come to the cross of Christ and received the Saviour that died upon that cross? Are you dying daily to yourself – have you taken up your cross today?

Written and preached August 28th/07
Jerry Bouey

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Maranatha Devotionals

A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. (Psa 68:5) Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. (Psa 150:1)

Is there anything as magnificent in God’s creation than mountains? When I behold pictures such as these, I stand in awe of the Creator! I am reminded of His might, His love, and His holiness. As I meditated on this today, I was deeply impressed about how God wants us to be holy like Him. I searched the Scriptures for the phrase, be ye holy, and discovered it appears three times! Praise His Holy Name! The number three symbolizes the godhead, the Three-in-One, the Triune God! Holiness is complete in the godhead!

Let’s look at the verses together. I was blessed beyond measure when I discovered the numbers within the numbers themselves!

1. LORD – Jehovah: Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. (Lev 20:7) The word LORD in this verse refers to Jehovah. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob says we must be holy. Noah Webster defines Jehovah as:

JEHO’VAH, n. The Scripture name of the Supreme Being. If, as is supposed, this name is from the Hebrew substantive verb, the word denotes the Permanent Being, as the primary sense of the substantive verb in all languages, is to be fixed, to stand, to remain or abide. This is a name peculiarly appropriate to the eternal Spirit, the unchangeable God, who describes himself thus, I am that I am. Exo 3.

Jehovah is the Jewish national name of God. They do not recognize the Three-in-One, but we do. It is so clear once you are born again and are able to understand the Scriptures and how they show us this blessed Trinity. Their Jehovah, our Heavenly Father, wants us to be holy!

2. He that called us: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (1 Pe 1:15) Our Saviour, our Shepherd, calls us to Him. Jesus calls us out of darkness into His light – the light of the Word of God. 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) We are His sheep and we know His voice! And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (Joh 10:16) He knows us by name. And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. (Exo 33:17) I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. (Joh 10:14) The second Person in the Trinity, who has called us, is asking us to be holy!

3. He that writes to us: Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Pe 1:16) The Holy Spirit wrote the Word of God so that we would have God’s very words to grow by, to guide us, to teach us. 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) The third Person in the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, has written to us and is asking us to be holy!

The Three-in-One, our God, wants us to be holy as He is! 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) Praise the Lord that Christ’s shed blood covers us and our sins are no longer seen by God but only Jesus’ blood is seen. 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 ) Because of this precious gift of salvation, we are able to be holy as God is holy. Do we live like we are holy? We should be striving to do so. We cannot be perfect but we can strive toward perfection. Do we live a separated life, abstaining from the very appearance of evil? If not, we should!

Take Time to be Holy
William D. Longstaff

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.

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Maranatha Devotionals

I want to build upon something that was presented in Part One of this study. It is interesting to note how the cherubim in the Old Testament are a type of Christ. They each have four faces, and each face represents one Gospel:

A) Matthew, the Lion, presents Jesus as the King, dealing with the Kingdom of God and with His authority.

This Gospel is written primarily for the Jews and deals more with that nation and focusses more on the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy than the other Gospels. It is in this Gospel that we find more references to Jesus being the Son of David, the King that is to reign. Here we find Jesus being referred to as the Son of Man (ie. the Messiah) – in contexts that are more reflective of His power (eg. His returning in glory and reigning, His charge over angels).

Matthew 26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

Behold Your King!

B) Mark, the Ox, presents Jesus as the Servant, always doing the will of His Father.

This Gospel is geared more towards the Romans. In it we see a Servant under the authority of another (ie. His Father) – all power is given unto Him to fulfill His mission, but we still see Him subservient to His Father. This Gospel also refers to Jesus as the Son of Man, but the majority of those references are to His mistreatment and suffering – ie. the Suffering Servant.

Matthew 8:9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.

Mark 12:6-9 Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son. But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours. And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.

Isaiah 49:5-6 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength. And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

In the last chapters of Mark, as we see this Servant being led closer and closer to the cross, we hear more references to His departure and returning again in glory.

Isaiah 52:13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

Behold My Servant!

C) Luke, the Man, presents Jesus as the perfect Man, always depending upon the Father.

Luke’s Gospel is more geared towards the Greeks, presenting the Ideal Man. In it we see Jesus in all His humanity. This is the only Gospel that gives us a glimpse of His childhood – and in it we learn more about the events surrounding the virgin birth. Here we see our Saviour teaching more about prayer, and showing us the important of it in His daily life; we also see Him doing His miracles and teaching and preaching in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Luke 4:17-21 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Here we see Jesus experiencing more emotions, showing more compassion, and interacting more with the Gentiles around Him. In this universal Gospel, we see Jesus reaching out to the lost of all nations.

Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Here is the Saviour, the Messiah, for the whole world, not just for the Jews. Yes, to them first, but not only to them!

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Behold The Man!

D) John, the Eagle, presents Jesus as the Son of God come down from Heaven, and focusses on who He is and His coming to save man from their sins.

Like Luke, this Gospel is universal – I believe we can even say this Gospel is more geared for every nationality than the others. Here Jesus is portrayed as the Saviour for the whole world – He didn’t just come for one particular nation (ie. the Jews). This Gospel focusses more on His deity than the others do, more on the fact that He is GOD manifest in the flesh, He is equal to the Father and is one with Him. He is no mere man – He is GOD with us! Here His glory is displayed, here His miracles shine forth His power, here we see the image of the invisible God in all His fulness!

John 11:25-27 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

John 4:42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

While this Gospel more clearly sets Jesus forth in all His glory and gloriously manifests His deity to the lost world, and is the best Gospel to use as a witnessing tool to reach the lost, to reveal Jesus to them, we also find it is the favourite of many born again believers. The Gospel of John’s main focus is to clearly present Jesus Christ as God, as the Saviour/Messiah come down from Heaven to redeem fallen man.

John 20:30-31 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Not only does this Gospel reveal to us how to have eternal life in Christ, it also shows us what that life means on a practical basis.

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Eternal life is more than being saved – it is living life to the fullest in right fellowship with your Saviour!

Behold Your God!

I am sure there is nothing like having
an Introduction in the middle of a study!
Now to continue where we left off in Part One:

4) Behold The Man!

John 19:1-5 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!

Luke presents Jesus Christ as the perfect Man, the Son of Man. The genealogy he gives in his Gospel shows that Jesus, in His humanity, is a descendant of the first man, Adam. It is noteworthy that the term Son of God occurs seven times in Luke’s Gospel – six (being typical of man) in reference to the Lord Jesus Christ, and once in reference to Adam, whom Jesus descended from and who was directly created by God Himself. Jesus is both God and Man – perfect God and perfect Man in one. God clothed in a human body, manifest in the flesh, so He could die for the sins of fallen man. He had to become one of us to redeem us.

Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

(See also Luke 3:38; 4:3, 9, 41; 8:28; 22:70.)

Jesus is both the Son of God as well as the Son of Man. Though there is some overlap on the themes presented in each Gospel (to flesh out – so to speak – the picture of the Saviour), I think it would be appropriate to call Luke’s Gospel the Gospel of the Son of Man.

Prayer is a major theme of His Gospel, showing the Son’s dependance upon His Father.

Luke 3:21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,

Luke 5:16 And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.

Luke 6:12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

Luke 9:18 And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am?

Luke 9:28-29 And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.

Luke 11:1-2 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

Luke 22:39-46 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

Jesus not only depended upon His Father, He sought and did His Father’s will in all things.

Luke 2:49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?

Luke 9:26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.

Luke 10:22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.

Luke 22:29-30 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

If Jesus, the sinless Son of Man, the Perfect Man, needed to depend upon His Heavenly Father moment by moment, day by day, shouldn’t we also need to? If our Saviour needed to cling to His Father and seek His Father’s will in the midst of His temptations and trials (ie. the events leading to His crucifixion), shouldn’t we also need to? Are we following in His example of prayer and trust?

Zechariah 6:12-13 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.

Luke 19:46 Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Behold The Man!

5) Behold Your God!

Isaiah 40:9 O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!

This follows on the tail of the prediction of John the Baptist’s declarations of who the Messiah would be, and the need to prepare the way for Him – prepare the way physically, prepare the people’s hearts spiritually:

Isaiah 40:3-8 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

“Including His own affirmation of it, seven different ones avow His Deity in this Gospel. First, John the Baptist: ‘And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God’ (1:34). Second, Nathaniel, ‘Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God’ (1:49). Third, Peter, ‘And we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God’ (6:69). The Lord Himself, ‘Say ye of Him, whom the Father hath sanctified, a
nd sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?’ (10:36). Fifth, Martha, ‘She saith unto Him, Yea, Lord, I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world’ (11:27). Sixth, Thomas, ‘And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God’ (20:28 ). Seventh, the writer of this fourth Gospel, ‘These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name’ (20:31).” – Arthur Pink, Why Four Gospels?

John’s Gospel is the Gospel of the Son of God. In it we see the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ more clearly and more often than what is presented in each of the other three Gospels. Seven times in John’s writings he refers to Jesus as the Word:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

Revelation 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

Five times he refers in his writings to Jesus as the only begotten Son (of God):

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

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.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

Over and over again in John’s Gospel, the deity of Christ is emphasized – as well as the need to believe in His divinity as one of the fundamentals of the faith:

John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

John 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. (Compare with Philippians 2:6)

John 10:30 I and my Father are one.

As has been mentioned elsewhere, Jesus clearly professed to be the I Am of the Old Testament, clearly professed to be God! And with those statements of His deity, He also declared Himself to be ALL that His people would ever need in this life, in eternity.

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 35:3-4 Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.

Jeremiah 32:17, 27 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee… Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

Isaiah 4:2 In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.

Isaiah 11:1-5 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

Isaiah 40:10 Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

Behold Your God!

Have you searched the Scriptures? Have you personally come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour? Have you received Him as your Lamb, the Lamb of God that took away your sins?

Do you Behold Jesus in the Scriptures as:

The Lamb Of God?

Your King?

God’s Servant?

The Man?

Your God?

Behold this fivefold picture – He is all these and more!

BEHOLD!

August 22nd/07
Jerry Bouey

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Maranatha Devotionals

Brother Jerry asked me to search out the Book of John and the “I am” statements that Jesus made. What a delight to find eight such statements! Eight symbolizes a new beginning and we find this new beginning through Jesus Christ and His requirement that we be born again (John 3:3) – our new beginning! What joy the Word brings us when we take the time to search it out.

Let’s look at the verses that make up the eight “I am’s”:

Bread of Life: And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. (Joh 6:35) and The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. (Joh 6:41) and I am that bread of life. (Joh 6:48 ) and I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. (Joh 6:51) Jesus is the Bread of Life. This is the first of the verses that had an “I am” statement. Can you live without eating? Of course not! Neither can we live without the Triune God – neither can we live without the Word of God. 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 and we cannot live without His Word – it is what sustains the believer. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Mat 4:4) Jesus is our Source of nourishment.

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) and As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. (Joh 9:5) and I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. (Joh 12:46) Not only is Jesus our very sustenance, but He lights our way – removes our blinders and gives us light to the Truth and through the Truth, the Word of God. I once was blind, but now I see (Amazing Grace)! No longer do we need to walk around in spiritual darkness. Jesus brings the blessed light of the Gospel to us and sheds that light in our cold, dark and sinful hearts. Once we see our sin for what it really is, the way God sees it, we realize we are completely lost – we realize we are in utter darkness and deserving of hell. Jesus is our Source of Light.

Good Shepherd: I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. (Joh 10:11) and I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. (Joh 10:14) These two beautiful verses give us insight to the compassion of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour! Not only does a Shepherd lead, guide and care for his sheep, but this Shepherd gives His life for His sheep and He intimately knows His sheep. His sheep know Him intimately as well when they are born again and growing in Him. If you ever want a blessing in your morning devotions, study out what the job of a shepherd was in biblical times – even in modern day times. It will bless your socks off. Jesus carefully chose His words to be penned, my friend. These analogies are not meaningless. The Lord had every intention of communicating with us clearly. He used our senses to help us to understand the depth of His words. All one has to do is study it out and they will receive a blessing. Without the Shepherd, the sheep will fall off a cliff. They will walk into the path of danger because they do not have the sense to stay away. Does this sound a bit like us? Oh my, it sure does! Jesus is our Source of Care.

The 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) Our Good Shepherd leads the lost to a door. But alas, like the old saying “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink,” the lost can be led to the door of salvation but they can’t be made to walk through. It is a decision only they can make. Jesus is the only door to salvation. He emphatically states in John 10:7 that He is the door of the sheep. Verily, verily – Surely, surely – For certain, for certain … There is no other way. 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) Again, the Lord used a wonderful analogy here. You cannot enter your house without going through a door. You cannot open that door without physically turning that door knob. You, my friend, have to do the work. Your front door does not just open itself to allow you in. You physically have to open it. Jesus is our door but we physically have to gain entrance by being born again. Jesus is our Source of entrance.

The Resurrection: Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? (Joh 11:25-26) The cross would be nothing without the Resurrection of Christ. Had Jesus not risen from the dead, He would not be God and the whole account would be fiction. However, Jesus did rise from the dead. This is what separates Him from the world’s other gods. Mohammad did not rise from the dead. Confucius did not rise from the dead. Joseph Smith did not rise from the dead. He is the only One who can claim this because He is God. Because He conquered death, He has the keys to hell and death and provides us with the opportunity to live for all eternity with Him. 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 ) Jesus is our Source of eternal life.

The Way: 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) Praise the Lord for this road map, the Word of God, our Bible! It is the Word of God that leads us to Him. The Word of God, breathed by the Holy Spirit of God, draws us to salvation and builds our faith after salvation. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17) The Word guides us and instructs us as we walk the pilgrim’s path here on earth. There is only one way to Heaven and once we are saved and are walking the pilgrim’s pathway, Jesus is our Guide along the way. His Word provides us with a clear map – clear instructions – of everything we will need along the way. He provides stop signs – He provides green lights – He provides cautions – everything we need is found in His Word until we reach Heaven. Jesus is our Source of direction.

The Vine: I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. (Joh 15:1) and I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (Joh 15:5) Anyone who has grown anything knows that a leaf apart from the tree lives temporarily and then withers away. We are the same. Without daily walking with Christ, we become weak. Without daily nourishment in the Word of God, we are easily
led astray and begin to wither. As long as we are attached in and through the Word, we abide in Him. The Word cleanses us and the Holy Spirit is able to take our yielded vessel and mold us into the image of Christ. If we detach ourselves from the Word and cease to grow spiritually, we leave ourselves open to the devil and his temptations. It is then that we see ourselves droop and then wither away. Jesus is our Source of life.

Son of God: Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? (Joh 10:36) Only Jesus could say that He is the Son of God. The other gods of this world have claimed this but none have been able to prove it. Their lies and deception eventually came to light. In the end, these antichrists will be made known to all the earth. There is only One Son of God, the Christ. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. (Mat 16:16) This is the very foundation of Christianity, my friend. Jesus is God. Jesus is our Source – period.

Chief of Sinners
William McComb

Chief of sinners though I be,
Jesus shed His blood for me;
Died that I might live on high,
Died that I might never die;
As the branch is to the vine,
I am His, and He is mine.

O the height of Jesus’ love!
Higher than the Heaven above;
Deeper than the deepest sea,
Lasting as eternity;
Love that found me—wondrous thought!
Found me when I sought Him not!

Jesus only can impart
Balm to heal the smitten heart;
Peace that flows from sin forgiven,
Joy that lifts the soul to Heaven;
Faith and hope to walk with God
In the way that Enoch trod.

Chief of sinners though I be,
Christ is all in all to me;
All my wants to Him are known,
All my sorrows are His own;
Safe with Him from earthly strife,
He sustains the hidden life.

O my Savior, help afford
By Thy Spirit and Thy Word!
When my wayward heart would stray,
Keep me in the narrow way;
Grace in time of need supply
While I live and when I die.

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Maranatha Devotionals

In the whole Bible, there are 1275 verses that contain the word behold – yet among all these there are only five specific statements that tell us to behold the person or character of the Saviour, the Messiah that was prophesied in the Old Testament and clearly portrayed in the New Testament. There are five profound statements about the Lord Jesus Christ. Often the word behold has a comma after it, indicating that the author of that book wants us to pay attention and hearken to what is being said – Behold, I have something to tell you; or Behold, consider this. But these five statements are different.

1) Behold The Lamb Of God.

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

John 1:36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

The Messiah that would come and take away the sins of the world is the central theme of the whole Bible. The Lord Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all the Old Testament types and animal sacrifices – they all pointed to Him and the work of redemption that He would do. From the slaying of the animals and the coats of skins made in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:21) to the blood washed robes in Heaven (Revelation 7:14), the picture is there for all with eyes to see. Man’s sin deserved death, but God loved us so much, He sent His Son to die in our place. I love Abraham’s prophecy and how it is worded:

Genesis 22:7-8 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

It doesn’t say, “God will provide a lamb for Himself,” but that God Himself would be the Lamb! From the Passover Lamb in Exodus 12, to the Lamb led to the slaughter in Isaiah 53, to the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8 ) – it is one central, glorious theme.

1 Peter 1:18-20 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

1 Corinthians 5:7 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:

Jesus is that Lamb of God!

Behold the Lamb!

Before we go to the next phrase, I want to draw your attention to two creatures in the Word of God:

A) The Cherubim

Ezekiel 1:5-10 Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.

Ezekiel 10:14-15 And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. And the cherubims were lifted up. This is the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar.

B) The Four Beasts In Revelation

Revelation 4:6-7 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

The Living Creatures (Cherubim) and the Four Beasts were not the same creatures – each cherub has four faces, and each Beast has only one – but all together all four Beasts have the same four faces as the cherubim:

a) a lion – the king of the beasts,
b) a calf/ox (referred to as a cherub in Ezekiel 10) – the beast of burden,
c) a man – the highest creature in all of God’s creation, and the only creature He died to redeem,
d) and an eagle – the most majestic of the birds of the air, soaring among the heavens.

Just as the four pillars for the gate to the tabernacle (see Exodus 27:16) give a fourfold picture of the one way inside (see John 14:6) to where God’s glory dwelt, so too do these four faces represent the Lord Jesus Christ, and the fourfold picture of Him we see portrayed in the four Gospels. We may not know all of why God created these creatures the way He did, but it is obvious that one of the reasons was to be a testimony to the one they were created by and will spend eternity worshipping.

“Another Old Testament type which anticipated the fourfold division of Christ’s ministry as recorded in the four Gospels may be seen in Exodus 26:31, 32, ‘And thou shalt make a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubim shall it be made. And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver.’ From Hebrews 10:19,20 we learn that the ‘veil’ foreshadowed the Incarnation, God manifest in flesh — ‘through the veil, that is to say, His flesh.’ It is surely significant that this ‘veil’ was hung upon ‘four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold:’ the wood, again, speaking of His humanity, and the gold of His Deity. Just as these ‘four pillars’ served to display the beautiful veil, so in the four Gospels we have made manifest the perfections of the only-begotten of the Father tabernacling among men.” – Arthur Pink, Why Four Gospels? (Note: this quote does not indicate a complete endorsement of Pink or of all his theological stands. There is much I have read from him that has been a blessing to me, but other things that I would caution against. Please only read him with discernment, comparing all things diligently with the Word of God itself.)

2) Behold Your King!

John 19:14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!

The Gospel of Matthew presents Jesus Christ as the King. In his Gospel, we see clearly that Jesus is that King that was foretold to come, the lion of the tribe of Judah, the descendant of King David. As the lion is the king of all beasts in the animal kingdom, Matthew presents Jesus as the King of all kings.

Genesis 49:9-10 Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

Revelation 5:5 An
d one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

Matthew starts off with presenting us with His royal lineage (His geneology), then shows the danger of the jealousy of a rival king. From the wise men coming to worship the King of the Jews, and the parables and references to the Kingdom of Heaven – as this Gospel unfolds, we come to realize that Jesus is that King. We see His kingly authority in His teachings, the keys of the Kingdom He gave to the apostles, and His Great Commission; His kingly majesty in His transfiguration; the comparison in various parables about the King and the King’s Son; the fulfillment of various Old Testament prophecies related to a coming King; the New Testament prophecy of the Son of man (Jesus) as King judging the nations in Matthew 25; and Matthew’s account of the trials and crucifixion of this King.

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Matthew 21:4-5 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

John 12:14-16 And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt. These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.

Matthew 27:11 And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

Matthew 27:29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

Matthew 27:37 And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Matthew 27:42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

Praise the Lord that the story does not end with the King’s mock trial and crucifixion, but with His resurrection and ascension to glory! He is coming back again to reign from Jerusalem.

Isaiah 32:1 Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.

Isaiah 33:17 Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.

Jeremiah 23:5-6 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

It is interesting to note how there is a reference to the Branch that fits under each one of these last four points. That is something I have never noticed before this morning. It certainly adds to the picture!

Jeremiah 33:14-16 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.

Revelation 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Are you ready for the King’s return in glory? Are you seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness – are you looking for His kingdom to come? Behold your King!

3) Behold My Servant!

Isaiah 42:1-4 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.

As a calf or an ox is often used as a beast of burden – the servant of the beasts, if you will – so Mark’s Gospel presents the Lord Jesus Christ as God’s Servant. No geneology for a lowly servant, just a dedicated soul busy about His master’s business. In Mark, many times you will see Jesus rushing from one place to another; read the Gospel writer’s terms such as immediately (used 17 times), straightway (used 19 times), forthwith (3 times) – often you will find many verses linked with the word and indicating that the events portrayed occurred one right after another. In Mark’s Gospel, we see various times where Jesus is shown as having authority and power delegated to Him by the Father – as a master will delegate authority and responsibility to his servants. We also see Jesus seeking to draw attention away from Himself, not to Himself – a true servant is more concerned with doing God’s will than drawing attention to Himself, more concerned with giving God the glory than taking it from Him.

Isaiah 52:13-15 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

This prophesied Servant would be a Man of action, would be continuously busy, continuously showing others what a true servant is like. I love these descriptions of Jesus’ ministry, and their example to us:

Matthew 20:25-28 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Mark 9:33-35 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest. And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

John 13:1-5 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come fr
om God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

John 13:15-17 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

Luke 12:35-37 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

Luke 22:25-27 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.

Jesus is that Servant that was prophesied in the Old Testament – the one who would both be a servant doing the Father’s will (represented by the beast of burden), and a sacrifice (represented by the bullock slain and burnt on the altar). Fulfilling God’s will and laying down His life for us – a true Servant indeed – a willing Servant!

Mark 14:35-36 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 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.

Matthew 12:14-21 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; And charged them that they should not make him known: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

That victory came when Jesus conquered sin and Satan, death and Hell, by shedding His blood upon the cross and dying for the sins of man, then arising victorious over the grave.

1 Corinthians 15:54-55 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Philippians 2:5-11 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Zechariah 3:8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.

Are you following Jesus’ example of service? Are you learning of His meekness and humility? Are you becoming a servant and serving others, like your Master did while on earth?

Behold My Servant!

The continuation of this fivefold picture in Part Two will give us Luke’s and John’s Gospel presentations of the Lord Jesus Christ:

Behold The Man!

Behold Your God!

August 20th/07
Jerry Bouey

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Maranatha Devotionals

When I look upon God’s creation, it never ceases to amaze me! The wonder of God’s Hand upon all that man can behold is enough to cause us to believe! The Bible says that we are without excuse – God has provided His creation to move us, if you will, into searching for the Creator. Romans 1:18-20 says, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; (18 ) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. (19) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (20) My Pastor is going through Romans in our morning services on Sundays and he covered these very verses this past Sunday.

Even when I was not born again, I knew in my heart that there had to be a God because when I stared at the Northern Lights or at a sky filled with stars, there could be no other explanation. This was replaced with a healthy reverence for God – this is what led me to Him at the age of 25. God knew that my heart had this reverence for Him and it needed to be nurtured with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was at that time that I was gloriously saved! Praise be to God in the highest!!

It is this reverence – or in the Word it is referred to as “fear” – that drew me to the Lord and He has since given me wisdom through His Word. I did a search for verses with the two words fear and wisdom and was delighted to discover that there are seven verses! Coincidence? I doubt it!! The number seven symbolizes perfection. How can we be made perfect, my friend? Only through the perfect, shed blood of Jesus Christ. When we are born again, the Father no longer sees a sinner – but He sees the perfect blood of His Son over us! OK, now I’m whoopin’ and hollerin’! Let’s look at the seven verses together!

(1) And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. (Job 28:28 ) It is this fear – this reverence for God – that drew me to salvation several years later. Although I was raised catholic, I did not have a desire to find God in that church. It is hard to explain but I believe it was God’s hand of protection over me. He drew me to Him by placing awe of His creation deep within my heart and then using that reverence to point me in the right direction! This fear (awesome reverence) turned into wisdom on April 1, 1980, at noon – that is when my heart accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour! This is the beginning of our eternal lives – our born-again nature will live on forever! I love how this beginning coincidences with the first verse – the number one symbolizes beginning!

(2) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. (Psa 111:10) Once I was born again, this wisdom began to grow. Notice this verse says that it is the beginning of wisdom. How does one gain this wisdom? The answer is in the latter part of the verse. We get wisdom by being in the Word and doing what the Word commands us to do. The Holy Spirit moves us and molds us into Christ’s image. As we yield to the Holy Spirit in our lives, we become more like Christ. With the beginning and understanding of God’s Word, we can be witnesses for Him. Notice how this is the second verse? The number two symbolizes witness and separation! It is only through reading, understanding and growing in the Word that we can learn how to live godly lives.

(3) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Pro 1:7) It’s wonderful to see the progression here. Do you see it? After one is born again and growing in the Word, we begin to really know what we know about what we know! Our knowledge grows as we study God’s Word and sit under the preaching. It is at this point in our spiritual lives that we find ourselves at spiritual cross roads. We make many choices between what is right and what is not. We begin to think of our testimony to others and eliminate things from our lives that are not necessarily sin but may be a hindrance to others. Notice that the fool despises wisdom and instruction. There are many Christians out there who fit this role. They don’t spend any time in the Word, they don’t yield themselves to the Holy Spirit’s prodding. They don’t grow spiritually – and if they do, they grow very slowly. When we grow, we begin to realize the role that each part of the Godhead has in our lives. We see how the Heavenly Father looks at us as we do our own children. We see what the Saviour has gone through and done for us! We experience the Holy Spirit’s working in our hearts! How lovely that this is revealed to us in the third instance of these verses! The number three symbolizes the Godhead!

(4) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. (Pro 9:10) When one understands why we must be holy and what the benefits of living righteously are, one has gained much knowledge according to God. Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Pe 1:16) We cannot be holy if we are not practicing righteousness in our lives. Practicing righteousness means that we are allowing the Holy Spirit access to and control over our lives. In so doing, we are able to worship God in spirit! God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (Joh 4:24) God’s Word has a wonderful way of intertwining and developing itself, doesn’t it? If we spend time in the Word, we are surely rewarded. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Joh 1:1) When we absorb the Word of God in daily reading and studying, we see that Christ (the Word) was in the beginning. He is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge. The number four symbolizes earth, creation and world. Christ was at the beginning – He created everything. For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (Col 1:16) How appropriate is that?

(5) The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility. (Pro 15:33) I think of how Christ had to humble Himself to take on the form of man and give up His very life for our sins. He now sits at the right hand of the Father and awaits His reign here on earth. It is only through His shed blood that we can receive salvation. When we humble ourselves and accept the perfect work of the cross, we are given life eternal through Christ and we will reign with Him. The precious grace of God to man was given through Jesus Christ, our Saviour! The number five symbolizes grace, the Cross and atonement. The placement of these verses in this particular order is not a coincidence, my friend! Glory!

(6) And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; (Isa 11:2) When the Holy Spirit rests upon man (residing within the born-again believer), He provides us with wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and fear of God! It is the Holy Spirit Himself who moves us and guides us in all things. Mankind is nothing without the Holy Spirit in
his life. Mankind is lost without the Holy Spirit wooing him to Jesus Christ. Man needs the Spirit to direct us and feed us spiritually! Praise the Lord for God’s Spirit in our lives! The number six symbolizes man. Man is nothing without Christ. Man cannot have the spirit that this verse speaks of without Jesus as his Saviour. Man is incomplete without the Spirit of God within him.

(7) And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure. (Isa 33:6) Oh blessed God of all, thank You for these verses this morning! The last verse, the seventh verse, covers salvation being our treasure! Our Pearl of Great Price! The number seven symbolizes perfection and completeness. There is salvation in no other, my friend! Christ saves us completely. He was the Perfect Lamb of God – without sin – there is no other!

Lord, thank You for lifting my spirit today and placing me on shouting grounds! Praise and honor be to Your Name!

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

Maranatha Devotionals

I was prompted to do a search for the word forgiven yesterday, and was blessed by the results. There are seven main passages I came across in the New Testament that deal with being forgiven – the first two showing Jesus offering forgiveness to repentant sinners who trust Him by faith, and the remaining five are wonderful promises of assurance. (There are more passages in the NT with this term, but they dealt with either not being forgiven, warnings about the need for forgiveness, or requirements for it.)

1) Matthew 9:2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

This story of Jesus’ miracle of healing and the forgiveness of the paralytic is told in the first three Gospels. We see that both the crippled man and his friends that brought him to Jesus all believed that Jesus could heal this man. And Jesus did heal him – however, He first and foremost focussed on the spiritual healing that was needed, and the physical healing was secondary.

Matthew 9:5-8 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.

1 Peter 2:24-25 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

It is only God Himself that has the authority AND power to forgive our sins – our sins which are against Him. This is another proof of the Deity of Christ and the truth of the Trinity. Have you trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, believing in your heart that His death upon the cross was for your sins, that He was buried, and that He literally, physical arose after three days and three nights in the grave? If you have sincerely repented of your sins and trusted the Saviour to save you, then I believe that this word describes you too:

FORGIVEN!

What a wonderful word to hear, to know, to experience in your own life!

2) Luke 7:47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

This is the story of the woman who broke the alabaster box over Jesus’ feet. She did this out of gratitude for the salvation the Lord offered her – even with her dark past, her sinful past, with the blackened record of sin on her account.

Jesus used this parable to illustrate how we are all sinners in need of His mercy and grace, in need of His forgiveness:

Luke 7:40-43 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a small sinner (with only 50 sins – in your life altogether, or each day…), or a great sinner (with 500 sins) – you are still a sinner in need of a Saviour!

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

But praise the Lord – whether our sins are big or small, whether they are many or few, there is forgiveness available. As the wonderful hymn by William Cowper states so eloquently:

“There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.”

Luke 7:48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

FORGIVEN! Cleansed of all sins! Sins blotted out and wiped away! No more trace of them in His sight!

Isaiah 38:17 Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.

Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

Isaiah 44:22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.

Psalms 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Micah 7:18-19 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

Hebrews 8:10-12 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

3) Romans 4:6-8 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Paul here is quoting from Psalm 32. When we trust the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, not only does He remove our sins and refrains from crediting (imputing) those sins to our account, He also gives us His righteousness instead. Consider this illustration:

In God’s eyes, our sins have made us spiritually bankrupt. We are so far in debt to God, that we could never repay what we owe to Him – we could never get our sins right – we are destitute, impoverished – with such a great negative balance credited to our account. But then Jesus comes… When He is received, when His gift of forgiveness and eternal life is accepted through repentance and faith, then something amazing happens: His perfect righteousness is credited to our account, so instead of having a negative balance, we now have a positive balance – we are now billionaires spiritually – our debt has been wiped out (no more trace of it!), because the Kinsman Redeemer has paid ALL our sin-debt and purchased us back from our slavery to sin and to Satan.

Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

The word forgiven used in most of these verses (except for the next two main passages covered in this study – in Ephesians and Colossians) means “to send forth.” And the word cover means “to conceal, to cover over, to hide.” Taken together we have a wonderful picture – the same one that was shown to us on the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16 with the two goats. The High Priest laid his hands on the scapegoat and confessed all the sins of the nation of Israel over it (spiritually their sins were laid upon the scapegoat – and this pictured our sins being laid upon Jesus Chri
st). The blood of the first goat was shed, and the people’s sins were covered with that blood (covered from God’s sight – atonement literally means “to cover” – see Leviticus 17:11); then the scapegoat was released into the wilderness, bearing their sins far away.

Leviticus 16:21-22 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.

Not only were their sins covered, they were removed completely out of sight – out of their sight (and out of God’s sight) forever. This is what Jesus Christ did when He fulfilled all the OT types. His precious blood covers our sins, and His death has borne them far away forever! Our Saviour didn’t just cover our sins, He took them away forever!

FORGIVEN!

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

4) Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

We are to treat one another as our Lord has treated us. We are to show the same forgiveness that He bestowed upon us.

The word for forgiven used here and in the next passage is given this definition in Strong’s Concordance:

“From 5485; to grant as a favor, i.e. gratuitously, in kindness, pardon or rescue.”

#5485 means “graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude).”

Wow! I was reading a sermon outline yesterday that pointed this definition out. It certainly is powerful. It is God’s influence upon our heart and life that makes us grateful. Are you grateful for the Lord’s forgiveness? In your gratitude, are you showing this same forgiveness to others? Are you being kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you? Does the fact that you are FORGIVEN affect your life? It should!

FORGIVEN!

5) Colossians 2:13-14 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

When we trust Christ for salvation, we are made alive (quickened) together with Him, and forgiven all our sins. Jesus has blotted out the record of our sins that were against us, having nailed it to His cross. This signified that the debt was fully paid. In the first century, when criminals had finished suffering the penalty due their crimes, when they had paid the full penalty by bearing the stripes meted out and remaining imprisoned until their punishment was completed, then they were set free and the list of their offences was nailed to their prison door – marked as paid in full. This record and the statement marked on it told the world around them that they were now released from their crimes – and could never be charged with them again – the penalty was paid completely. In the same way, we can no longer be judged or condemned for our sins again, as our Saviour already paid their complete penalty – paid in full! – and the record of them is nailed to His cross!

This is what H.G. Spafford was referring to in his hymn, It Is Well With My Soul:

“My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!”

Colossians 1:12-14 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Strong’s Concordance gives this definition for the word sin as used in this passage: “from 264; a sin (properly abstract).” #264 means “properly, to miss the mark (and so not share in the prize), i.e. (figuratively) to err, especially (morally) to sin.”

We have all missed the mark of God’s perfect will for our lives – and that is sin. Praise the Lord that there is forgiveness for our sins!

There is a different word for sin used in a parallel passage though:

Ephesians 1:6-7 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

“A side-slip (lapse or deviation), i.e. (unintentional) error or (wilful) transgression.” This word includes the idea of falling into sin – not necessarily heading into it deliberately, but stumbling and falling in our day to day lives. Praise the Lord there is forgiveness for our deliberate sins, as well as for our stumbling and faltering!

FORGIVEN!

6) James 5:15-16 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

I believe a careful study of this passage reveals that it is referring to a true believer who has backslidden, who has wandered into sin – and gotten sick as a result of God’s chastising on their unrepentant sin. The sickness was to get their attention and bring them back to the Lord. When the backslider accepts God’s correction and makes his sin right, the forgiveness and cleansing is there for him. The word for faults here is the same word used in Ephesians 1:7 for sins (ie. side-slips), and the context indicates that it was a sin(s) against another believer (hence the need to confess it to one another).

We are to seek to wash one another’s feet spiritually (ie. bring the Word of God to bear on their lives in an attempt to halt their backsliding and bring the believer back into right fellowship with the Lord – see John 13:1-17); to restore our brother in a spirit of meekness (Galatians 6:1), and to convert (ie. turn) him back from his waywardness – before the Lord has to use stronger means of chastisement in his life.

First, God speaks – through His Word, through other believers, through the prompting of His Spirit, through our circumstances.
If that doesn’t halt our progress in sin, then He spanks – that is light chastisement designed to get our attention (see Hebrews 12:5-13).
If that isn’t effective, then He scourges – that is chastisement that leaves scars, that is permanent, that proves to us God isn’t playing games with our sin.
Then His last resort is to take us home when we have committed the sin unto death (ie. not a specific sin, but an unrepentant attitude that will not get the sin right) – then He separates (death is a separation – the separation of the soul from the body – see 1 John 5:16-17; Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 11:27-32).

This last aspect of chastisement is what James is referring to in this passage – sickness that may lead to death if not repented of. However, when repented of, there is forgiveness:

James 5:19-2
0 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

FORGIVEN!

7) 1 John 2:12-14 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

There are three types of believers pictured in this passage: little children – ie. young believers; young men – ie. believers who have grown a bit and have gained a measure of victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil; and fathers – ie. mature believers who have been walking with the Lord for a while now, maintaining their walk and fellowship with their Heavenly Father.

I love the fact that the first thing emphasized for the little children – for the new believers – is that they are FORGIVEN! They are forgiven for His name’s sake – forgiven because He is the Saviour and they have trusted in Him for salvation. Yes, there is a lot of growth and a lot of changes to come in their lives – but they have a clean slate now, they have a new beginning in Christ – they are:

FORGIVEN!

Are you?

I love the statement, “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven!” No, we aren’t sinless (as that is typically what is meant by this phrase) – but we are forgiven – and that should mean something to each and every one of us!

Forgiveness

Forgiveness – it’s a blessing;
When a heart that once was stone
Stops exalting its own self,
And lets Christ reign from His throne.

Forgiveness – it’s a blessing;
When all bitterness departs,
When the water of the Word
Purifies a broken heart.

Forgiveness – it’s a blessing;
Though sometimes walking by sight,
Now reaching for God’s promises,
By faith, grasping them tight.

Forgiveness – it’s a blessing;
Though blackest sins barred the way,
With rivers of mercy flowing,
Christ can wash them all away.

Forgiveness – it’s a blessing;
Eternal life by God’s grace,
With joy, looking to Heaven,
And beholding our Saviour’s face.

Poem written November 2nd/99
Devotional written August 13th/07
Jerry Bouey

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Maranatha Devotionals

The man whose life is centered on God is a happy man, according to His Word. Only three times can you find the phrase “happy is the man” as it relates to God. Three symbolizes the Godhead – completeness – the Trinity. What a blessing to know that our happiness is complete in the Three-in-One!

I began to pick apart the three verses which describe man’s happiness! How exciting to see that the Trinity is depicted in these three verses!! Oh joy!

(1) The Father: Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: (Job 5:17) Our Heavenly Father corrects us and chastises us when we sin against Him, just as our earthly father corrects us. It is only through the Father’s chastening that we learn to stay on the right path. We learn from our mistakes – or at least we should. The longer we take to learn, the harder the chastisement, I have found. It is best to learn early and be happy! A father corrects For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. (Pro 3:12)

(2) The Holy Ghost: Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. (Pro 3:13) One of the Holy Spirit’s jobs is to draw us to Christ. He penned the Bible through holy men so that we could have God’s own words to show us the way to Christ. And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, (Exo 31:3) He teaches us all we need to know about salvation through Christ. 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) Without the Holy Spirit’s guidance and direction, a sinner is lost for all eternity. Saying no to the wooing of the Spirit when He is trying to draw you to Christ is the sinner’s spiritual death sentence. Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. (Mat 12:31) This is the unforgivable sin – if a sinner does not accept Christ as Saviour, he is doomed!

(3) The Son: Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief. (Pro 28:14) Jesus Christ is the Word, according to John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. and For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. (1 Jo 5:7) Those who do not accept the fact that Jesus Christ is God come in the flesh, is doomed to spending eternity in hell. Happy is the Christian because he knows that he has done the only thing that will allow him entrance into heaven – to accept Christ as his Saviour. Without doing this, man should fear. Salvation through Christ brings peace – rejection of Christ brings fear. There is no rest or peace in the heart of the lost.

What a blessing to glean from God’s Word this morning! Everything always seems to fall into place each time I study His Word! God always shows Himself to me when I spend time in my Bible! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

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

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Maranatha Devotionals

As a bridge helps us to cross troubled or difficult waters, our Heavenly Father provides us with the same kind of help. The Word is filled with verses about our God helping us in time of need. As I meditated on this picture today, I noticed several things about it:

1. The waters are not high, but yet a bridge was needed. So the picture is deceiving – if there is a need for a bridge, then something we do not see hinders the traveller while crossing. This stream may swell due to rains and the waters rise and make travelling across dangerous.

2. The waters are filled with various-sized rocks which could make the walk across difficult – not impossible, just difficult.

3. The shores on both sides are covered in bushes and trees so the approach and exit would be cumbersome as well.

4. The bridge provides a safe and comfortable entrance, an easy walk across as well as the exit.

Jesus Christ became our bridge over 2000 years ago, my friend! He has provided the born-again believer with a bridge to the Heavenly Father. No longer do we need to go through a high priest to offer sacrifices for our sin. Praise the Lord that Christ, our High Priest, has offered the ultimate sacrifice – the one and only sacrifice for our sins. There is no other way to heaven but by Him. I love this verse: Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (Heb 2:17)

The road to heaven is not an easy road. In fact, it is a narrow road according to Matt. 7:13-14, Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: (13) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (14) The word strait means narrow – not only is the gate narrow but the way to heaven is narrow. This leads me to believe that people are not going to enter heaven in droves – otherwise the gate and the way would be wide. Matthew says that the gate and way is wide that leads to hell! Oh how sad that people would be willing to be part of a crowd entering hell for all eternity! My heart just absolutely aches!

What does this have to do with our Bible number series you wonder? I was thinking how blessed we are to have this Bridge in our lives! This same Jesus who provides us with the way to His Father also helps us and shields us on our path. Just as the picture depicts rocks in the waters and obstacles along the shoreline, so does the Lord provide us with help in our daily walk! He won’t remove these obstacles but He will provide us with a bridge over them, so to speak.

Three times, the Word of God tells us that we can trust in the Lord and He will be our help and our shield! Praise His Holy Name!

O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
(Psa 115:9)

O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
(Psa 115:10)

Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
(Psa 115:11)

The number three symbolizes the Godhead. Our blessed Trinity will be our help and our shield, my friend! Each part of the Godhead will take care of us. We have a compassionate and caring Heavenly Father who pities us and provides us with everything we need. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. (Psa 103:13) We have a Saviour who stands before the Throne mediating for us. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (1 Ti 2:5) We have the Holy Spirit who resides within us and teaches us exactly what we need from the Word to make it through each day. 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) The Lord ministers to us completely! The Godhead completely shields us and gives us help when we trust in Him.

I really needed this today! God knew exactly what I needed in the most perfect way! Praise be to God! We can be going through circumstances where our future is unclear and the road ahead seems rocky, but praise the Lord that He knows and will always have a bridge for us as we cross the troublesome waters. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (Psa 23:4) I may not be walking that valley of death but I will fear no evil because God is with me! Emmanuel lives within my heart and keeps me safe – He is my shield! Who better to trust in than the King of Kings! Glory!

King of Kings
John B. Herbert

O thank the Lord, the Lord of love;
O thank the God all gods above;
O thank the mighty King of kings,
Whose arm hath done such wondrous things.

Refrain

King of kings forever and ever;
Lord of lords, forever and ever,
King of kings forever and ever;
King of kings and Lord of lords!

Give thanks to God, for good is He,
Thanks to the God of gods give ye;
Thanks give the Lord of lords unto,
Who only wonders great can do.

Refrain

Who thought on us amidst our woes,
And rescued us from all our foes;
Who daily feeds each living thing;
O thank the Heav’n’s Almighty King.

Refrain

O praise the Lord, for He is kind,
Give thanks to Him with heart and mind;
His mercy flows an endless stream,
To all eternity the same.

Refrain

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Maranatha Devotionals

2 Peter 1:1-2 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

Seven times in the books of first and second Peter we come across this word precious. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines it as: “1. Of great price; costly; as a precious stone. 2. Of great value or worth; very valuable. 3. Highly valued; much esteemed.” Something precious is worth more because of its rarity. For example, think of a precious stone – worth much more than a common stone because it is rare. Here are the seven things that Peter declares are precious:

a) The Trial Of Your Faith

1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

b) The Precious Blood Of Christ

1 Peter 1:18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

c) A Living Stone (ie. a true believer – precious to God)

1 Peter 2:4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,

d) The Corner Stone (Christ)

1 Peter 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

e) Jesus

1 Peter 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

f) Like Faith – 2 Peter 1:1 (quoted above)

g) Exceeding Great And Precious Promises

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.

As these verses clearly state, God’s Word (and the precious promises found therein) are given to His children to enable us to live in a godly manner in this present evil world. Godliness means “Godlikeness, holiness.” Corruption means “Depravity; wickedness; perversion or deterioration of moral principles; loss of purity or integrity.” The Lord wants us to be like Him in this world, holy, separated from sin and wickedness. We are to cling to these promises and walk in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord, a manner that refuses to give in to the corruption and moral decay around us. According to God’s Word, with these promises and the power of the Holy Spirit working within us, we have all we need to live for the Lord and to do His will.

1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

It is worthwhile to note that 2 Peter 1:3 states that we will be able to do this, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.

It is through walking with the Saviour day by day that we learn to be more like Him. As we diligently spend time in His Word and grow in our knowledge of Jesus, then we will become more like Him, as this verse teaches:

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

One main theme of Second Peter is that of knowledge. Seven times this word is used in this book: 1:2, 3, 5, 6, 8; 2:20; and 3:18. It is this knowledge believed and applied that will set us free from sin.

John 8:31-36 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Consider this verse:

2 Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

In this case, they had a knowledge of Jesus Christ, but it wasn’t taken to heart – it wasn’t believed; therefore these apostates being referred to went back to the pollutions of sin that they were entangled in before.

But we do not need to be like them! If you have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, you have His precious promises and the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue.

Virtue means “Moral goodness; the practice of moral duties and the abstaining from vice, or a conformity of life and conversation to the moral law. In this sense, virtue may be, and in many instances must be, distinguished from religion. The practice of moral duties merely from motives of convenience, or from compulsion, or from regard to reputation, is virtue, as distinct from religion. The practice of moral duties from sincere love to God and his laws, is virtue and religion… A particular moral excellence… Excellence; or that which constitutes value and merit.”

2 Peter 1:5-7 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

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Maranatha Devotionals

Niagara Falls is a wondrous work to behold for certain! There is nothing that speaks of God’s power and might than to rest our eyes on a waterfall of this nature! It causes me to meditate on God’s mercy and grace on my own life. His power and might are most certainly seen when I look upon this wretched sinner who has been saved from eternal punishment! There is nothing I have done or could ever do that would allow me even a glimpse of heaven. However, Christ loves me so much, He took my punishment! That is mercy and grace at its best – a more perfect gift could not be given a person!

What is this perfect gift? It is the blood of a perfect lamb! I searched my e-Sword to see how many verses had the words “blood, lamb” and was delighted to see that only five verses had that combination! Five symbolizes grace! Oh yes, glory!

And he shall kill the lamb of the trespass offering, and the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot: (Lev 14:25) The blood of this lamb was for the sinner’s trespasses! Praise God that the perfect blood of Christ cleanses us from our trespasses!

For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. (Isa 66:2) He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. (Isa 66:3) Only he that is poor and of a contrite spirit and trembles at the Word of God will have the sacrifice that God looks for in a person. The one who sacrifices with a heart described in verse 3 are not sacrifices which God will receive. Their sacrifices are tainted and unacceptable – notice the comparison to a swine’s blood? The pig is an unclean animal and would not be an acceptable sacrifice to God.

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (1 Pe 1:19) It is the precious blood of Christ – He is the Lamb without a spot!

And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Rev 7:14) Our robes can only be washed in the blood of the Lamb! It is this blood that the Father sees!

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Rev 12:11) Again, only by the blood of the Lamb can we overcome eternal punishment and death.

Praise be to God that even the references to the blood of the Lamb come out to five verses depicting His perfect grace! There is none other!

Blessed Be The Fountain
Eden R. Latta

Blessed be the fountain of blood,
To a world of sinners revealed;
Blessed be the dear Son of God;
Only by His stripes we are healed.
Tho’ I’ve wandered far from His fold,
Bringing to my heart pain and woe,
Wash me in the blood of the Lamb,
And I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

Whiter than the snow,
Whiter than the snow,
Wash me in the blood of the Lamb,
And I shall be whiter than snow.

Thorny was the crown that He wore,
And the cross His body o’ercame;
Grievous were the sorrows He bore,
But He suffered thus not in vain.
May I to that fountain be led,
Made to cleanse my sins here below;
Wash me in the blood that He shed,
And I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

Father, I have wandered from Thee,
Often has my heart gone astray;
Crimson do my sins seem to me—
Water cannot wash them away.
Jesus, to the fountain of Thine,
Leaning on Thy promise, I go;
Cleanse me by Thy washing divine,
And I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

Maranatha Devotionals

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Th 4:17)

What a day it will be when the Rapture takes place and we meet our Saviour in the clouds forever to be with Him! I long for the day, don’t you? I feel that the Rapture is one of Christ’s gift to the born-again believer! How precious a gift it is indeed! This picture was taken in Monticello, Virginia, at Thomas Jefferson’s home. A storm was coming and the clouds were rolling in. What a beautiful view we had. Mr. Jefferson’s home sits on a hill and we had a panoramic view of the valley as we watched the storm come in. My son, Adam, took this picture of the clouds as the sun’s rays came through. He commented how he believed the clouds would look this way at the time of the Rapture! Oh what a gift! A grateful heart always takes our eyes off ourselves and our circumstances and places them on the Lord. We are able to thank Him for our blessings even while in the midst of a storm!

I recently celebrated my birthday and received several wonderful gifts which were so appreciated. I meditated on the absolute and Perfect gift – God’s gift to me through the giving of His Son, Jesus Christ, so I may be saved! Praise the Lord for this wonderful gift from our Heavenly Father. I did a search for the phrase gift of God and was delighted to see that there were eight verses with this phrase in the Word! The number eight symbolizes “new beginnings” and Christ gives us a new beginning through the new birth! Praise His Holy Name!!

In reviewing the eight verses, I noticed that they could be broken down into seven categories.

1. The fruit of our labour: And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. (Ecc 3:13) and Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. (Ecc 5:19) Why should we consider the fruit of our labour a gift? If it weren’t for the health God has given us and the ability to work, we would not be able to enjoy the fruit of our labour. I also think of the precious fruit of saved souls as a result of the labour of our work at soulwinning.

2. Jesus is our gift: Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. (Joh 4:10) There is no greater gift in the world than to give your life for a friend. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (Joh 15:13) I think of those who give their lives every day in defense of freedom for our country and they die for those they don’t even know! Praise God!

3. The Power of the Holy Spirit: But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. (Act 8:20) To think that the power of God could be purchased is ridiculous. However, there are religions today who practice this very belief. There is nothing new under the sun (Ecc. 1:9). Buy indulgences and buy your way out of purgatory – buy masses for those who are dead and their time in purgatory will be greatly reduced!

4. Eternal life: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom 6:23) What a gift indeed! To be forever with our Saviour in Heaven is indeed a gift!

5. God’s spiritual gifts to Christians: For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. (1 Co 7:7) We’ve all been blessed with one or more gifts from the Holy Spirit. These gifts are a whole other study unto themselves but the fact of the matter remains that we all have at least one. The gift is not for our glory or benefit but for the glory of God and for the cause of His work. All the gifts put together through the various members of a church make up a whole body of unified believers who are producing a beautiful work unto God.

6. Grace: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Eph 2:8 ) Grace, unmerited favor, is most certainly a gift! God shows us His agape love by giving us His undeserved kindness! We are putrid sinners, my friend. It only takes one sin to keep us out of heaven. A Holy and Righteous God cannot allow even one sin into His presence. To do so would infest a perfect place. Look at the Garden of Eden – it was perfect until Adam and Eve’s sin entered. They were cast out of the Garden. Lucifer and his band of angels were cast out of heaven when they sinned. Praise God for His grace in our lives and giving us His only Son so we can have eternal life in His heaven!

7. Preaching: Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. (2 Tim. 1:6) What a gift indeed. Our Pastor is our gift from God. How do you treat a gift which has been given to you? Do you discard it? Do you mistreat it? No, you cherish it and you make sure that it is well cared for because it is precious to you. So should our Pastor be to us. So should any preacher of the Word, an evangelist, a missionary, or a street preacher! If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Pe 4:11) Treat your Preacher as a precious gift and let Christ’s name be praised in so doing!

It amazes me that this phrase, gift of God, can be categorized into seven types! Seven symbolizes perfection and completeness! Doesn’t this totally bless you? God’s perfect and complete gift to us is through His Son, who gives us a new life!

How can one not be blessed by the Word when you pick it up apart and see that God has given us more to glean from! What people miss when they don’t spend time in the Word!

Father, God, We Glorify
Charles and John Wesley

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

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

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

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Maranatha Devotionals

Sis Kate has already tackled several aspects of the seven letters to the churches in this series – I believe this study would fit there as well. It is interesting to note that there are three things Christ says about Himself in the opening part of the letter, and three things He counsels them to buy from Him through faith. The five things they were lacking in are all met by grace in salvation (grace is often pictured by the number five).

Laodicea, The Lukewarm Church

There is much we can glean from the seven letters to the churches in Revelation chapters two and three. They not only cover the broad spectrum of professing Christendom at any given moment (from Christ’s perspective), they also show the progression of the church age: starting with Ephesus (the churches in the time of the Apostles, the first century churches), to Laodicea (the end-time lukewarm churches).

Revelation 3:14 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;

It is interesting to note that Laodicea means “the righteousness of the people.” No longer are these professing believers trusting in the righteousness of Christ to cover their sins, but in their own self-righteousness!

Here Jesus Christ (who is speaking) identifies Himself in three ways:

1) The Amen – the Messiah and Saviour in whom all the promises of God are fulfilled. Just as we seal our Amen to our prayers (to indicate our agreement and desire for fulfillment), so Christ sets His seal on all the promises and prophecies in Scripture. 2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

2) The faithful and true witness – In an age where many are denying that there is a source of ultimate truth, here Jesus declares Himself the source; when many believe all truth is relative and subjective, here Jesus proclaims Himself as the witness of the truth. What He says in His Word is faithful and true and can be relied on. John 18:37 Pilate therefore said unto Him, Art Thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth My voice.

3) The beginning of the creation of God – the word beginning here means “first in time, place, order, or rank.” Jesus is stating that He is to have first place in our all lives, first place in all of creation. Colossians 1:15-18 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.

Revelation 3:15-16 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth.

The true danger in professing Christendom is not the atheist or agnostic who doesn’t “believe in God”, nor the Satanist or New Ager who is fully against God, nor the true fundamental, Bible-believing Christian (as the media would like to portray), but the lukewarm believer. It is easy to determine where all of the above stand in relation to Jesus Christ and the things of God, but the lukewarm believer is half-in half-out of the world; professing to be saved, but living like the Devil; proclaiming to believe the Bible, but picking and choosing what parts they will accept from it and explaining away the rest; claiming to believe in Christianity, yet denying the fundamentals; claiming to believe that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour, but yoking up with unbelievers of all stripes. That is the danger in Christendom! The true believer won’t be sidetracked by what is obviously openly against Christ, will embrace what is faithful to the things of God, but will sometimes be deceived by the counterfeit that is out there. And there are many in the lost world who will detest the lukewarm “Christianity” that they are familiar with, and will perhaps never get saved. Just like we want to spit a lukewarm drink out of our mouths, even so the Lord Himself will spit out these lukewarm professors unless they get right with the Lord.

Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

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Maranatha Devotionals

It almost seems as though the water is just flowing out of the rocks themselves, doesn’t it? [This picture was taken by Carol Meyers at MIT and is used with her permission.] Three times the phrase “water of life” is found in the Word! We were having a discussion about this very topic yesterday at Fundamental Baptist Forum.

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. (Rev 21:6) I noticed that Jesus says “It is done” here. It reminded me of when He was given vinegar on the cross and then said “It is finished” and He gave up the ghost (John 19:30). Here He says “It is done” and He promises to give water of life! The beginning and the end – the Alpha and the Omega’s work of the cross is finished and He freely gives water to those that thirst!

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. (Rev 22:1) Again, the water of life flows from Christ – He is the Lamb!

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (Rev 22:17) I love this verse – notice the bride is here? We have received freely from this water of life and are with the Lamb!!!

I also found that the phrase “fountain of life” appears three times in the Word and all three times in the Old Testament.

For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. (Psa 36:9) Jesus is not only the fountain of life but He is the light. 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)

The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. (Pro 13:14)

The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. (Pro 14:27) Again, Jesus is not only the fountain of life, but Jesus has the keys to hell and death. 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 )

Three times the Word says in John that He is the living water:

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. (Joh 4:10) Not only is Jesus the Living Water but He is the gift of God. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom 6:23)

The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? (Joh 4:11)

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (Joh 7:38 )

Jeremiah also referred to the Lord as: O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters. (Jer 17:13)

Jesus is know as the living water and is also known as the Rock. I love how God used both these examples and combined them into something impossible. How can water flow from a rock? God took both to reveal Himself to us. Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. (Exo 17:6) On Christ the Solid Rock we stand and He provides us with Living Water! Praise the Lord!! And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (1 Cor 10:4)

It amazes me how God shows Himself through objects – giving us object lessons. Our Rock, our foundation, is firm and steady and cannot crumble or be destroyed. In fact, out of our Rock comes living water – not polluted or unclean – but pure! And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. (Rev 22:1) The Perfect Lamb of God gives us living water which freely flows from His throne!

When I sit and meditate on how Christ reveals God’s character and how He reveals Himself through the Word, I tear up! I stand amazed at how God feeds us over and over and it is fresh every day. Nothing gets stale, the Water never flows dirty! The Living Water of the Word continues to quench my spiritual thirst every single day. It is not old – it is new every morning! Thanks be to God!

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

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Maranatha Devotionals

Deuteronomy 31:14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thy days approach that thou must die: call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tabernacle of the congregation, that I may give him a charge. And Moses and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the tabernacle of the congregation.

Moses was near the end of his life – very soon (within a matter of days) he would be passing off the scene, and Joshua would then lead the nation of Israel into the Promised Land. It was time for Moses to give them (and Joshua) his final words of exhortation and instruction. Seven times in Deuteronomy 31 and Joshua 1, we read the exhortation to “be strong and of a good courage.” God had a plan for the nation of Israel – to conquer the land of Canaan – and it would involve strength and courage; it would require God’s strength and the perfect courage He could give them, if they relied on Him.

1) Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Perhaps, upon hearing this, Joshua was reminded of his commission years before of spying out the Promised Land and bringing back a report – as well as the consequences of the nation of Israel rebelling against God’s clear leading:

Numbers 13:17-20 And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain: And see the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many; And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds; And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the firstripe grapes.

Joshua, just like you had nothing to fear back then, even so you have nothing to fear today! As your name indicates: The LORD is salvation – He it is that goes with you, and will deliver you from all your enemies. In fact, He will deliver all your enemies into your hand and give the land to you. You do not need to fear man – the Lord is with you! He will not fail to keep His promises, and He will never forsake you; therefore there is no reason for fear or hesitation. Go conquer the land in His name! He will give you the victory!

What has the Lord commanded you to do in your life? I believe this promise is just as much for us today as it was for the nation of Israel. Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

This is one of my all-time favourite verses – one I memorized to a melody, and one that continually comes back afresh to my mind whenever I need it. We have the Lord’s seven-fold promises to spur us on!

It is interesting to note that two other people within the Bible itself quoted this verse to exhort others:

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Maranatha Devotionals

There is only one path to Heaven. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the only way. 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) My husband took this picture when we were camping. I loved it because both paths are similar. However, one path is more narrow than the other. You can look down another path and think it is the right way, but the Word says it is the wrong way. There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Pro 16:25) If Heaven were entered by many paths (like the statement all roads lead to Rome), then Buddha, Allah and Confucious would lead to Heaven. This contradicts the Word of God, however. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Mat 7:14) Jesus said, I am the way and NO man can come to the Father but by Him. Why do you think that this is so important and is attacked by the false religions of the world? I believe it is because they deny Jesus’ Deity – the fact that He is the Son of God.

I did a search for the phrase, “Son of God,” and was delighted at my findings. I discovered there was actually one verse in the Old Testament that referred to the Son of God! My heart jumped with joy! He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. (Dan 3:25) The rest of the verses were found in the New Testament. As I read through the 47 verses, I found that they could be placed into twelve different categories – each describing the Son of God. The number twelve symbolizes divine government. This had me rejoicing in my spirit because of: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isa 9:6) Does this not excite you? The deity of Christ is found in Isa 9:6 – He is the Son – He is the mighty God – He is the everlasting Father! My friend, Jesus is the only way! If you are not saved and reading this, I pray that the Holy Spirit of God pricks your heart and opens your eyes to this wonderful Truth.

Let’s look at how the Son of God is described:

He walks with us: He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. (Dan 3:25)

He intercedes for us: Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. (Heb 4:14)

No matter what sin we have committed after salvation, Christ goes before the Father and shows Him that our sins are covered by His precious blood! Like David, in the account of Bathsheba, we acknowledge our sin and guilt before God and repent (turn) from our sin and do it no more. This is the difference between the saved and the unsaved. The saved are chastised by God when we sin and we repent from that sin. But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. (Heb 12:8 )

Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. (Heb 7:3)

He requires faith: I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20)

Can perform life altering miracles: And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. (Mat 4:3) (See also Luke 4:3)

And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. (Mat 4:6) (See also Luke 4:9)

If the Son of God can change stone into bread, how much more can He help us with our daily lives? The Creator of all stands ready to help us just as He stood with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego! He stood with them in the fire and they had not heard of Jesus Christ yet, my friend! How much more will Christ stand with us who live in Him by faith? Oh joy!

Has charge over devils: And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? (Mat 8:29)

And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. (Mar 3:11)

And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ. (Luk 4:41)

He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (1 Jo 3:8 )

Pastor is covering 1 John in our Wednesday night series. He used this verse as an example of how many Christians struggle with their salvation because of this verse. The sin described here is the sin of an unbeliever. All it takes is one sin to keep us out of Heaven, right? Have you sinned at least once since you were saved? We all have! That would mean that none of us would go to Heaven then! This refers to those who stay in their sin – who continue in their sin. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. (Rom 7:19) Even Paul struggled with sin but the key is not to make it a part of our lives. Instead, we acknowledge each sin and strive not to sin. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (1 Jo 2:1)

His Deity recognized by man: Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God. (Mat 14:33)

Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. (Mat 27:54)

And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. (Mar 15:39)

And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. (Joh 1:34) Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. (Joh 1:49)

She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. (Joh 11:27)

And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. (Act 9:20)

And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: (Rom 1:4) For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea. (2 Co 1:19)

He was ridiculed: And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the
Son of God, come down from the cross. (Mat 27:40)

He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. (Mat 27:43)

He brought Good News/Salvation: The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; (Mar 1:1)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. (Joh 5:25)

Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? (Joh 9:35)

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (Joh 20:31)

And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Act 8:37)

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. (1 Jo 4:15)

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

He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. (1 Jo 5:10)

He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (1 Jo 5:12)

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)

His mission was heralded by angels: And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (Luk 1:35)

He brings judgment: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (Joh 3:18 )

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; (Rev 2:18 )

He is to be glorified: When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. (Joh 11:4)

Came to die: The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. (Joh 19:7)

The Word of God clearly speaks in this topic today, doesn’t it? To God be the glory! Praise to the Son, our Lord and King!!

Jesus, Son of God Most High
Thomas B. Pollock

Jesus, Son of God most high,
God from all eternity,
Born as man to live and die,
Hear us, holy Jesus.

Leaving Thine eternal throne,
Making mortal cares Thine own,
Making God’s compassion known,
Hear us, holy Jesus.

By Thy life, so lone and still,
By Thy waiting to fulfill
In its time Thy Father’s will,
Hear us, holy Jesus.

May we mark the pattern fair
Of Thy life of work and prayer,
And for truth all perils dare,
Hear us, Holy Jesus.

Bid us come, at last, to Thee,
And forever perfect be,
Where Thy glory we shall see,
Hear us, holy Jesus.

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Maranatha Devotionals

I was blessed these last few days by meditating on John 17 and Jesus’ High Priestly prayer, being reminded again of the seven times that Jesus states that the Father gave all true believers to Him, the Son. There are 17 references to gave(st) and give(n) altogether in this chapter. Each verse says something slightly different, and it is edifying to look at what they encompass. These seven references to us being given to the Son are contained in six separate verses:

1) John 17:1-2 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

Seven times in the Gospel of John Jesus refers to His hour, the hour He would be glorified by the Father through His death upon the cross for our sins, His burial, and His physical resurrection: 2:4; 7:30; 8:20; 12:23 (see also vs. 24), 27; 13:1; and 17:1. There are eight times in this chapter that Jesus uses the word glory or a form thereof (glorify, glorified).

We might say about verse 2, “This one’s a given,” meaning that we already are familiar with this truth: all that have received the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour have been given the gift of eternal life in Him. I love how the next verse expresses exactly what that eternal life is – fellowship with the Father and the Son:

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

Salvation is eternal life – fellowship with the Lord our God – life, living in the presence of God for eternity.

2) John 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

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