Inspirational Reading, Devotionals

i_will_praise_thee,-101610

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (Psa 139:14) My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. (Psa 139:15) Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. (Psa 139:16)

Some Christians don’t seem to know when life begins. God’s Word is the only tool we should use to convince ourselves as well as others. Man’s opinions are many, but God’s Word should be final to the believer.

I noticed in God’s Word that He refers to man’s “seed.” I often wondered why God chose the same word for plant seeds as man’s seeds. I researched the plant seed and when the seed comes to life (germination). This quote was taken from www.fastplants.org:

Germination is the awakening of a seed (embryo) from a resting state. It involves the harnessing of energy stored within the seed and is activated by components in the environment. Growth represents increase in size, number and complexity of plant cells and organs. Environment and genetics play fundamental roles in regulating growth. The energy for growth comes from photosynthesis

As you can see, a plant’s seed life cycle is no different from the human’s seed life cycle. We can almost take the same quote and replace germination with fertilization, etc. In fact, let’s try that:

Fertilization is the awakening of the embryo from a resting state. It involves the harnessing of energy stored within the seed and is activated by components in the mother’s body. Growth represents increase in size, number and complexity of the fetus’ cells and organs. Environment and genetics play fundamental roles in regulating growth. The energy for growth comes from within the mother.

As you can see, I did not have to change much in that quote to convert it to a human seed definition. I have said all of this to make the following points. Please bear with me.

Christians today believe that taking birth control pills is a “private and personal” matter. They believe that the fertilized egg is not yet alive since science says the heart begins to beat at the earliest at 12 weeks. These same Christians back this belief with Leviticus 17:11 which says that life of the flesh is in blood. Therefore the Christian believes the fetus’ life does not begin until at least 12 weeks because that is when the heart begins to pump blood. Let’s pick that apart a bit.

I think we can all agree that NO cell can reproduce if it is a dead cell. Ovulation usually takes place in the middle of a woman’s cycle. The egg can only be fertilized at this time. If the egg is fertilized, it will travel to the uterus and implant into the uterus. The woman will then miss her cycle and begin to suspect pregnancy. By the time she has missed her cycle, the egg has been growing for about a week or so.

If the egg is not fertilized, the egg is released with her next cycle. As well, if the egg is fertilized but the cells within it die, whether prior to implanation or afterwards, a miscarriage occurs. It stands to reason that the fetus does not continue to grow if the cells have died.

With that said, how then, can these same cells separate, divide and reproduce prior to 12 weeks prior to when the heart begins to beat if they are not alive? These same living cells are conducting “business as usual” prior to the heart even beginning to beat. This is science, plain and simple. One cannot refute this scientific fact. But does God’s Word state the same facts? Should the Christian depend on science to know when life begins? Or should the Christian depend on God’s Word to guide and direct in this area?

What then does God’s Word have to say about when life begins? Psalm 139:16 states that God’s eyes see our substance, yet being unperfect. The Greek word for unperfect is H1564 golem meaning unformed mass. The verse goes on to say that the members are written in Heaven when as yet they had no form. Each of our members are written in heaven. God has recorded in Heaven whether this baby’s index finger will have a freckle on it or not or whether his big toe will curl in like its father. According to the Word, this fetus continually grows until birth.

Read the end of verse 16: when as yet there was none of them. Is God referring to the egg prior to fertilization here? I don’t think so. This surely sounds like a fetus in its early stages having no form yet – no feet or hands – no heart or heart beat. When as yet there was none of what? Of them – the members! God’s Word says that He has written in heaven everything about this fetus even when the members were not formed – even the heart! If God did not regard a fetus at conception through 12 weeks as a living soul, this verse would not be in the Word as it would be in direct contradiction.

God’s ways and thoughts are not the same as ours. The knowledge of man and his science are taken as law amongst God’s own. Just because man says that life does not begin until the fetus is at least 12 weeks does not mean that it is so according to God. God’s Word says that His thoughts are not the same as man’s. In fact, God wants to make it so perfectly clear that He emphasizes it by stating it twice, one right after the other! For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (Isa 55:8) For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa 55:9)

Some Christians will probably read this and say, “Well, what about the other 50% of the time where the egg is not fertilized?” OK, this is true … but can you pick the time? How can you be sure that in the time one takes the birth control pill that an egg won’t be fertilized at least once? Christian, are you willing to keep this baby from implantation into the mother’s uterus? Are you willing to take the chance of losing a living soul that God has given you? That baby’s members are written in heaven. That baby, yet unformed, is seen by God. That baby’s cells started splitting and duplicating and separating the day the egg was fertilized. The day that egg was fertilized, life began because cells started separating and forming.

I pray that as Christians read this, they will realize that science has deceived the Christian into believing their agenda of convenient conception. Science conveniently can say that a cell is alive when it is splitting but then contradicts itself by saying that a fetus can be aborted because it has not been born yet. The “conservative” Christian says that the fetus IS alive but only when the heart begins to beat. But science and God come together and agree that when a cell begins to split, it is alive. It’s not often that the Word and the world’s science agree but they do agree on this point. Why then does the Christian say the fetus isn’t alive prior to the heart beating? Please, Christian, won’t you study the Word for yourself? I pray my study encourages you to get into the Word and study for yourself.

God’s Word says Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. (Psa 139:1
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Maranatha Devotionals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazing Grace
John Newton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maranatha Devotionals

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

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

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

How Great Thou Art

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maranatha Devotionals

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

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

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

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

God Is Still On His Throne
Kittie Suffield

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

Refrain

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

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

Refrain

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

Refrain

Maranatha Devotionals

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

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

For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. (Psa. 31:3) Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress. (Psa. 71:3)

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

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

O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. (Jer. 16:19)

Do you think our Heavenly Father was trying to communicate something to His children? I surely do! Let’s pick out the specific terms used and meditate on them a bit.

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

God is our Fortress. Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines a fortress as:

1. Any fortified place; a fort; a castle; a strong hold; a place of defense or security. The English have a strong fortress on the rock of Gibraltar, or that rock is a fortress.

And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; (2 Sam. 22:2) God is our defense and our security. When we are walking in Him (not the world), we can be assured of this!

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

God is our Strength. Noah Webster defines this word, strength, as:

Support; that which supports; that which supplies strength; security.

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

God is our Buckler. I had a mental picture of what a buckler was but reading Noah Webster’s definition made my heart leap!

A kind of shield, or piece of defensive armor, anciently used in war. It was composed of wood, or wickers woven together, covered with skin or leather, fortified with plates of brass or other metal, and worn on the left arm. On the middle was an umbo, boss or prominence, very useful in causing stones and darts to glance off. The buckler often was four feet long, and covered the whole body.

Notice how the buckler was worn on the left arm – protecting the heart of man. This same buckler causes the enemies darts to fall off. I love how the Lord is our defense – our buckler – protecting us from the enemy! When we abide in Him, we have His protection over us. I think of being under His wings at this point!

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

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

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

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
Martin Luther

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

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

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

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

Maranatha Devotionals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maranatha Devotionals

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

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

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

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

So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. (Mar 16:19)Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. (Act 2:33)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Father, God, We Glorify
John & Charles Wesley

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

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

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

Maranatha Devotionals, Bible Studies

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. (Psalm 23:4)

Can we truly say that God’s rod and staff comfort us? The rod was used by the shepherd on his sheep for discipline at times. I began to meditate on why God’s rod would be a comfort to me. As God’s child, there are many times that I must be corrected. Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. (Proverbs 22:15)

David was quick to add “and thy staff” immediately afterwards. The staff was used as a walking stick – this is a wonderful picture of God’s direction and guidance! David did not insert this in the next sentence but placed it right along with “Thy rod”! I wondered why? God’s correction and chastisement is always followed with direction and love. For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. (Psalm 30:5) Can you just picture the Lord as our Shepherd using the rod to discipline us and then using His staff to guide us and direct us back on the right path?

A shepherd uses his rod to chastise his sheep into staying with the herd. His staff then guides and directs the sheep in the direction the shepherd wants them to go for their own protection. What a beautiful picture of Jesus, our Shepherd!

Our Father in Heaven is the ultimate Father! In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer. (Isaiah 54:8 )

Father, I welcome thy rod and thy staff in my life. Without Your correction and guidance, I would wander aimlessly. Thank You for Your everlasting kindness and mercy, my Redeemer and King!

Maranatha Devotionals, Bible Studies


Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. (Proverbs 31:10)

Is my personal “virtue” worth more than rubies? Or is my personal “virtue” a fake like cubic zirconia? Only I can answer that question honestly.

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. (Proverbs 31:11)

Does my husband know that I will be frugal with the money he works hard to bring home? Or do I spend it without prayer or forethought and end up with too much week at the end of his paycheck?

She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. (Proverbs 31:12)

Do I do my husband good ALL the time? Or only when I feel like it or if he’s nice to me?

She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. (Pro 31:13)

Do I willingly work with my hands for the benefit of my family? Or do I complain of the mending that is sitting in the basket waiting to be mended?

She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. (Proverbs 31:14)

Do I try to help out when finances are tight? Or do I complain to my husband that there’s not enough money (all hubby hears in my complaint is that he is an awful provider!)?

She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. (Proverbs 31:15)

Am I in control of my schedule to the point that I can get up early to take care of my time with the Lord and the needs of my family before they rise and the hussle bussle of the day takes over? Or do I hit the snooze button a couple of times only to have my entire household in a rush. I am in charge of setting the “tone” in my home.

She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. (Proverbs 31:16)

Do I consider what I buy and spend the money I make from my “craft” (whether that be from my garden or sewing, etc.) wisely? Or do I buy on impulse and hide it away in a drawer or closet and never use?

She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. (Proverbsv31:17)

Do I exercise to keep myself physically fit for my family’s sake? Or do I indulge and overeat only to put on more weight? Too much weight reduces my stamina, adds stress to my heart and my legs, and plays havoc with blood pressure. My family needs me strong and healthy to be able to meet their needs.

She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. (Proverbs 31:18)

Do I make sure that the products I sell are done to the best of my ability? Or do I try to get away with providing lesser quality for the same amount of money? Do I do just enough to “get buy”? Am I so well organized so that I do not run out of oil for my candle during the night? In the days of the Proverbs 31 wife, no light in the window usually meant something was wrong, like a death in the family.

She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. (Proverbs 31:19)

Do I learn to use the talents that God has blessed me with faithfully? Or do I make excuses that I simply just can’t learn?

She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. (Proverbs 31:20)

Do I care for the needs in my own church as I should? Or do I turn my head and hope that someone else will take care of those needs?

She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. (Proverbs 31:21)

Do I plan ahead and buy winter clothes on sale in the Spring to prepare for the needs of my family? Or do I end up buying winter clothes at top dollar value in the Fall? Are buttons missing from last year’s clothing? Are holes in need of mending?

She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. (Proverbs 31:22)

Am I watchful as to how I dress so I can represent my husband properly? Or do I leave the house to go shopping wearing my grungiest jean skirt and no make-up? Do I look nice when he comes home from work or am I less than desirable to look at?

Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. (Proverbs 31:23)

Are my deeds such that someone who knows my husband would say “He sure does have a good wife!” Or do his friends see a man whose shirt has not been ironed and his pants look like they sat in the dryer for a few days? Are the children so well behaved that people know he is a good leader?

She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. (Proverbs 31:24)

Are my creations done to the best of my ability where they are a wonderful example of Christ through my work? Do I search out new ideas on how to sell my goods?

Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. (Proverbs 31:25)

Am I clothed inwardly (spiritually) as well as I am clothed outwardly? Or am I guilty of hypocrisy?

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. (Proverbs 31:26)

Do I think before I speak making sure I have a kind response? Or do I blurt out the first thing that comes to mind and have to clean up my mess later? Do I try to disguise my unwise speech with “Oh well, I guess am just too honest at times.”?

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. (Proverbs 31:27)

Do I make sure that my list of chores for the day are accomplished? Or do I procrastinate on a few of those chores so I can watch something on TV?

Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. (Proverbs 31:28)

Do my words and actions warrant receiving praise from my family? Or do I become bitter because they don’t praise me, not once thinking that it is I who needs to repent?

Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. (Proverbs 31:29)

Do I strive to excel in my spiritual walk? Or do I do just enough to get by? Do I give my husband and family my all? Can my husband brag on me and say that I’m the best wife he could have?

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)

Do I fear (and honour) the Lord enough for it to guard all my words and actions? Or do I leave those things undone and concentrate on appearing spiritual?

Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. (Proverbs 31:31)

Do I let my spiritual walk and work speak for itself? Or do I look for praise from others?

Maranatha Devotionals, Bible Studies

There are trials that cause us to shed so many tears, you feel as though there could not possibly be any more to shed. When I was going through one of those trials with my husband’s cancer, I needed to encourage myself by writing. I decided I would look up verses with the word “tears” and see what the Lord gives to me.

I noticed that tears are shed for various reasons – but not one tear goes unnoticed by our Heavenly Father.

Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? (Psalm 56:8)

Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD. (II Kings 20:5)

Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years. (Isaiah 38:5)

Different types of tears:

When friends (or even family) scorn us: My friends scorn me: but mine eye poureth out tears unto God. (Job 16:20)

When we go through personal trial or turmoil: I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. (Psalm 6:6)

When we receive deliverance and direction from God: For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. (Psalm 116:8)

Tears resulting from spiritual warfare and work: Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. (Jeremiah 31:16)

When family trials overwhelm us and faith is little: And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. (Mark 9:24)

When we receive true repentance: And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. (Luke 7:38)

When we receive correction: And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. (Luke 7:44)

When we serve God: Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: (Acts 20:19)

When the man of God preaches and Exhorts the brethren: Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. (Acst 20:31)

When we suffer affliction and anguish for others: For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you. (II Corinthians 2:4)

When we remember the brethren: Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; (II Timothy 1:4)

The end of them all: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelations 21:4)

God will wipe away every tear! He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it. (Isaiah 25:8)

We need to remember that the battles we face here on this earth are not ours but God’s. His Word says so:

And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands. (I Samuel 17:47)

And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. (II Chronicles 20:15)

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

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

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

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

1) Jehovah-Jireh, The LORD my Provider

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Maranatha Devotionals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Maranatha Devotionals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(2) Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. (Psa 112:4) The born-again Christian has the blessed light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to give to a lost and dying world. How appropriate that the second use of this phrase refers to this. The number two symbolizes witness and separation. The born-again Christian has received the Light of the Gospel. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. (Mat 5:14) How can a Christian be a light to the lost if we live like the devil and hide our light under a bushel? We can’t! The Christian is to be a light to a people who are stumbling in the dark because of their sin. We are to lead them to Christ so they, too, can sing “I once was blind, but now I see”! Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (Joh 8:12)

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

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

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

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Maranatha Devotionals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brother Jerry Bouey added these insights – what a blessing!

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

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

Jerry’s added comment:

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

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

The Comforter

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

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

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

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

Thank you Lord for saving my soul!

Kate Plourde

Maranatha Devotionals

I have truly been enjoying this series of the numbers from the Bible. Everything I read now, I am looking for something to glean in this area! I was in Genesis 15 the other day and read “I am the LORD that…” When I did a search for that phrase in my electronic Bible, I discovered seven beautiful verses! I just stand amazed how these blessings have been hidden from me all these years and are coming out through this series! Let’s review the seven things the Lord does.

(1) The Lord that brings us out. (Gen 15:7) And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. The Lord God brings us from of a life without Christ to an eternal inheritance in Heaven. He is the One who brings us out of the world to salvation.

(2) The Lord that heals us. (Exo 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. The Lord heals us, not only physically but spiritually. (Isa 53:5) But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Without Christ’s death on the cross, we would not have salvation.

(3) The Lord that sanctifies us. (Exo 31:13) Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. The Lord sanctifies us. (Heb 10:10) By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. God sets us apart from the world. He wants us to be a peculiar people. 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) Noah Webster defines peculiar as:

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

We are the Lord’s exclusive property. He has purchased us with His own blood. Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (Eph 1:14)

(4) The Lord that brings us out of the world. (Lev 11:45) For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. We cannot change ourselves. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (Joh 15:19) It is the Holy Spirit of God that convicts us and molds us into the likeness of Jesus Christ. God does not leave us helpless once we are saved. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. (1 Jo 2:27)

(5) The Lord that knows us. (Isa 44:24) Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; The Creator of all things formed us and knows us intimately. (Col 1:16) 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: God outlines His qualifications in Is. 44:24. Who better than the Creator of all to take care of us? Is any detail too intricate for Him? Just meditating on the human body and all of its intricacies should answer this. Look at the inner ear! The smallest bone in the human body abides there! The God who created a planet created this tiny bone!

(6) The Lord that chastens. (Eze 7:9) And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations that are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the LORD that smiteth. Noah Webster defines smiteth as:

4. To afflict; to chasten; to punish. Let us not mistake God’s goodness, nor imagine, because he smites us, that we are forsaken by him.

(Heb 12:6) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Praise God that we are His child! He will not allow us to continue in sin, my friend. He will chasten us to mold us and form us into His image. If we ignore His chastening and cause harm to His ministry, He will take us home. Ananias and Sapphira are good examples of this.

(7) The Lord that judges. Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them. But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them. (Eze 20:12-13) We should not take lightly what the Lord commands us to do as a nation and as a church. He has not only set us apart and sanctified us but He expects us to follow and obey His Word. Many believers today do not view the God of Heaven as a God of fury and judgment. This side of God is taken lightly. But we cannot forget the history found in the Word. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Our country is reaping what it has sown through the years of continuing down the path away from God. God has begun His judgment on our nation. It is evident in the news daily. He is also judging the church. I have often wondered how Christ’s words in Luke 18:8 could come to past. I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (Luk 18:8) But I can clearly see it happening today. Soul winning has changed dramatically since I was first saved 27 years ago. There are more and more people who have not even heard of Jesus Christ. I never thought I would ever see this for myself.

Perfection provides us with all that we need. God tells us that He is the Lord that:

1. Gives us eternal life
2. Heals us spiritually
3. Sanctifies us
4. Brings us out of the world
5. Made all things so He knows us intimately
6. Chastises
7. Judges our country and the church

God is complete – His provisions are complete – His Word is complete – His judgment is complete.

GOD IS WORKING HIS PURPOSE OUT
Ar­thur C. Ain­ger, 1894.

God is working His purpose out
As year succeeds to year;
God is working His purpose out,
And the time is drawing near;
Nearer and nearer draws the time,
The time that shall surely be,
When the earth shall be filled
With the glory of God
As the waters cover the sea.

From utmost east to utmost west,
Where’er man’s foot hath trod,
By the mouth of many messengers
Goes forth the voice of God:
“Give ear to Me, ye continents,
Ye isles,
give ear to Me,”
That the earth may be filled
With the glory of God
As the waters cover the sea.

What can we do to work God’s work,
To prosper and increase
The brotherhood of all mankind,
The reign of the Prince of Peace?
What can we do to hasten the time,
The time that shall surely be,
When the earth shall be filled
With the glory of God
As the waters cover the sea.

March we forth in the strength of God,
With the banner of Christ unfurled,
That the light of the glorious Gospel of truth
May shine throughout the world;
Fight we the fight with sorrow and sin
To set their captives free,
That the earth may be filled
With the glory of God
As the waters cover the sea.

All we can do is nothing worth
Unless God blesses the deed;
Vainly we hope for the harvest-tide
Till God gives life to the seed;
Yet near and nearer draws the time,
The time that shall surely be,
When the earth shall be filled
With the glory of God
As the waters cover the sea.

Maranatha Devotionals

Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people. (Psa 77:14)

Being saved is having a personal relationship with the Lord, Jesus Christ. To many, this is not understandable – they are merely words. God wants us to have a personal relationship with Him. So much so, He has written all about it across the pages of His love letters to us in His Word.

I wondered how many times I would find the phrase, “The Lord is my” in the Bible. To my delight, I discovered that it was used eight different ways. How appropriate is that? Eight is the number of “new beginnings” – how wonderful that our new beginning as born-again Christians is reflected in our personal relationship with Christ! My Pastor stated that everlasting life does not begin at the moment we die and leave this physical body. Everlasting life begins at the moment we are born again. We merely exchange our earthly bodies for a heavenly body at the time of death. This new beginning at the time of salvation had new meaning to me as I meditated on what he preached.

As born-again believers, were are adopted into the family of God and now worship a personal God.

(1) God is my Strength:

(Exo 15:2) The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

(Psa 28:7) The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

(Psa 118:14) The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.

There have been so many times in my walk (as I am sure in yours) where I felt as though I could not go on one more minute in my own strength. I felt so weak and discouraged. It is at these times of depression that God ministered to me. It was as if He had sat down beside me and placed His strong arm around me to say He was right there and He would take care of everything. I have relied on the Lord’s strength many times. I think of my dear sick friend who battles daily with her physical trials. She battles depression because of it. This friend needs the strength of her God. It reminds me of: And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Co 12:9)

(2) God is my Rock:

And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; (2 Sa 22:2)

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)

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)

When we build our spiritual foundation upon the Rock, Jesus Christ, we are able to claim these verses, my friend! When you look at today’s picture, can you imagine this mountain falling apart? I can’t, but I know it is possible. The Lord chose a rock to depict His strength, His stability, His power and might. We can run to this Rock and be protected. There are times when nothing else can do what God can do for us. He knows our frailties, He knows our weaknesses and He pities us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. (Psa 103:13) He wants us to be able to run to Him and hide in Him. He is not like the rocks of earth which may crumble and fall. His strength is permanent and unwavering. My favorite times in the Word have been those where I have desperately needed a miracle and hid myself in His Word. The miracle I received was not the one I wanted but it was the spiritual one I needed from the Rock of Ages.

(3) He is my Shepherd:

[A Psalm of David.] The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (Psa 23:1)

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. (Joh 10:14)

In my devotional, The Nine Cares of a Shepherd, the Word taught me just how thoroughly Christ takes care of me. Christ knows His sheep – He knows us by name and each part of us (even down to the number of hairs on our head)! Does this not touch you at the very core of your heart? God, the Creator, knows you by name! Praise His Holy Name! He will guide you, care for you, protect you and love you!

(4) He is my Light:

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

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)

When we are saved, God gives us the ability to read and understand His Word. We are no longer stumbling in the dark but we have a new spiritual light within us called the Holy Spirit. He illuminates His Word and reveals to us what He intended for us to learn. Each day the Word is fresh and new. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb 4:12) It is here that we will see the light of God. He reveals His will to us within the pages of our Bible. The believer who does not spend time in the Word is walking in spiritual darkness and will stumble. The Lord promises to light our way so that we don’t have to stumble. When we do, it is because of our unfaithfulness, not God’s. NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa 119:105) and But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. (Pro 4:18) God is light and promises to shed light on our way so we are not in darkness.

(5) He is my Defence:

But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge. (Psa 94:22)

He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. (Psa 62:6)

Noah Webster defines defence as:

1. To drive from; to thrust back; hence, to deny; to repel a demand, charge, or accusation; to oppose; to resist; the effect of which is to maintain ones own claims.

God stands ready to oppose all our enemies, including ole slew foot himself. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (Rom 8:31)

(6) He is my Portion:

The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. (Lam 3:24)

My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. (Psa 73:26)

We have just as much of the Holy Spirit at the time we are saved that we are ever going to get. The key is are we yielded to Him? We grow in Christ and become more like Him because of our yieldedness to the work of the Spirit in our lives. He is our portion – our flesh will fail us but the Holy Spirit is our strength to overcome trial and temptation. He is always with us. Once we are born again, we receive the Holy Spirit of God and the Word says that we are sealed unto the day of redemption. Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit
in our hearts. (2 Co 1:22)
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Eph 4:30) That’s a promise! What a portion of God we have!

(7)He is my God:

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God. (Zec 13:9)

And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. (Joh 20:28)

Can the unsaved claim this verse? How can they personalize their god in this way? They cannot. How can a statue of Buddha be personalized? I have never heard or read of a muslim saying that Allah was a personal god to him. But our God meets our needs in a very intimate and personal way. He knows our every need. (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (Mat 6:32)

(8) He is my Helper:

Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me. (Psa 86:17)

(Heb 13:6) So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. God is our helper, my friend. Many times I have found myself in a situation that I just can’t fix. I’m going through a trial such as this at the moment. [To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth.] God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psa 46:1) Am I in trouble? No, but my trial is one that I personally cannot fix. There is nothing that I can humanly do which will solve this problem. Can God? Absolutely! I have seen the Lord come to my rescue time and time again. I can rest on my past experiences because He has been faithful in helping me. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) (Heb 10:23)

I will not waver – I refuse to waver in this area of faith because my God is personal. My personal God is my Strength, my Rock, my Shepherd, my Light, my Defence, my Portion, my God and my Helper! What have I to fear? 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. (Deu 31:6)

Dear God…
You are our Abba, Father
You know our every need
There is not one thing hidden
To You we humbly plead.

Maranatha Devotionals

For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee. (Isa 54:10) Doesn’t this verse absolutely bless your socks off? God’s promises are not temporary like those of man. His promises are forever, my friend. God’s kindness toward us and His covenant of peace with us shall never be removed, even though the mountains and hills disappear! A promise such as this brings peace and rest. No longer does man have to fret or feel alone.

When I was first saved, one of the first passages I read was Matthew 11:28-30. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. A promise of rest to all. (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) These verses have been imprinted on my heart and forever on my brain. Many times I have needed encouragement and have been able to encourage myself by reciting them. As I was meditating on what to write next in our series on Numbers of the Bible, these dear friends came to mind – more specifically, the phrase “I will give you (thee) rest.” I wondered if God had given us a “number” for this phrase in His Word. I searched my Bible and discovered that this phrase appears three times! Three is the number for the Godhead, the Trinity! The only true rest which can be found is found in the Lord, God.

(1) The first phrase was found in Exo 33:14, And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. God promised rest to Moses and his people for coming out of Egypt. As you know, Egypt is a “type” for the “world.” It is only when we “come out of the world and separate ourselves,” that we find rest. There is no rest for the unsaved. I remember before salvation feeling a void in my life – there was an emptiness that could not be filled. Coming out of Egypt and being born again, I found complete rest in Jesus Christ. It seemed as though a hundred pounds of burden came off my shoulders! When my eyes fell on Matthew 11:28-30, I was in tears because those words applied to me. God’s Word showed me exactly what had happened to me. I came to Christ and He gave me rest. I am overwhelmed each time I think on my salvation day!

(2) Isa 14:3 says, And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve, God’s rest was prophesied by Isaiah and a promise was given to Israel that one day they would receive this rest from all their sorrows, fears and bondage. Salvation begins with the Jewish people. Twice Paul stressed this:

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. (Rom 1:16)But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: (Rom 2:10)God’s plan included all His creation – Jew or Gentile. The Gentile’s rest comes from the same Source as the Jew’s – the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The old and new covenant were completed in Jesus Christ’s work on the cross.

(3) And finally, Mat 11:28 says, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. A promise of rest is made in this verse to all that labour and are heavy laden. Jesus’ promise is not just to the Jew. All who come to Him will be given rest.

My friend, the pleasures of this world can promise peace and rest, but they cannot truly do so. The best spa on earth can relax your poor, tired old body but it cannot provide the rest that your spirit needs. The Word says that what is in the heart of man (his spirit) will make its way to the surface (Matt. 12:34) You can be relaxed on the outside but the turmoils and trials of the day are still churning on the inside. Does God remove these turmoils and trials from a Christian’s life? No. But He promises rest to those who come to Him. We have rest and comfort knowing that nothing happens to us by chance. God allows these trials to grow us, to teach us, and to bring glory to His Name.

We also have a rest which cannot be found in any other. We no longer have the burden of sin because Jesus has taken on our sin and we are free from sin (Rom. 6:22). We no longer have the penalty hanging over us. Christ paid our sin debt and the Father sees Christ’s righteousness, not ours. Praise the Lord! For our righteousness is like filthy rags in God’s sight.

There is no true rest for the unsaved. But we, my friend, have a rest promised to us by God Himself. The Triune God has promised complete rest to all who come to Him. God has promised rest three times in His Word. We have the confidence that God does not break His covenant – we are children of the New Covenant through Jesus Christ. Because we are born again, we have a unique relationship with the Father. We are able to come to Him, sit at His feet and turn over all our troubles to Him. It is in Him that we find total solace.

Dear God…
None other can provide such rest
None other is so True
We boldly come because of Christ
To find that rest in You

Maranatha Devotionals

Five times we are promised in the Word of God that He is with us. This number representing God’s grace, shows His children that we have nothing to fear because He is ever right by our side. When I first discovered there were five verses stating that God is with us, I never thought I would walk away the one most blessed. I pray today’s gleaning will shower peace over you, as it did over me.

Let’s look at the five ways God is with us:

(1) When you are afraid. Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the LORD: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand. (Jer 42:11) We all have our giants in life: whether they be actual people, physical trials, life problems, etc. God loves us so much that He recognizes our emotions. He knows we will have fears and His desire is to comfort us. I can almost see God putting His arm around Jeremiah and saying, “Don’t be afraid, Jeremiah! I’m right here!”

(2) To stir our spirit. Then spake Haggai the LORD’S messenger in the LORD’S message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the LORD. (Hag 1:13) Have you ever found yourself dreading a certain task because it seemed overwhelming? This was the case with the people in this chapter. And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God, (Hag 1:14) God knew they needed to be encouraged so he stirred their spirit. He has done that for me as well. No task is too great that God calls us to do, my friend. With the task, He provides us with the abilities and the tools. God is not cruel and will never call you to do something and leave you empty handed. He knew that we would feel this way so He included a verse to show us that when we are overwhelmed, He is with us and will stir our spirit within us and encourage us as we complete our task.

(3) To encourage us when we don’t quite understand. Hag 2:2-4, Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying, (2) Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? (3) Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts: (4) Some of the people had seen the first temple built by Solomon and remembered its glory. However, this temple was not anything in comparison to the first. God assures them that it is not the building that is important but His presence. How many times have you been in a situation in life that you don’t quite understand how God can possibly use it to His glory? I know I have been there many times and will be sure to go through many more. But our compassionate and blessed Heavenly Father loves us so much that He reassures us that He is with us during these times as well. He knows that we will be seeing the circumstances around us and be disheartened. So He encourages us to remember that His presence is ever with us and the circumstances will reveal His glory in end. What a loving God we serve!

(4) To show us that we have nothing to fear when we are doing His work. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Mat 28:20) Oh my, what a blessing! Not only do we have God’s Spirit with us, but He has left us His Word to comfort us. These people did not have the Word in their homes yet, as we do. The comfort and encouragement found within the blessed pages of my Bible cannot compare to what man can provide. Jesus knew that His disciples needed to be assured that He would be with them – not only for a period of time but even until the end of the world! God is not a man that He should lie. He keeps His word.

What a comfort to know that while we are out trying to win lost souls to Christ, that He is right there with us. This means that nothing can happen to us unless He has allowed it. I think of the analogy I heard about how God walks beside us. As a father walked along side his daughter, she stumbled on a rock and fell down an embankment, scraping her legs and arms. He ran to her and picked her up, carried her home, soothed her tears and cleaned her scrapes. Although he was right there beside her, he could not prevent the mishap. However, because he was right there, he was able to pick her up and care for her. It is the same with our precious Heavenly Father, my friend. He is right here with us. He is walking along side of us while we are on this path in life. We, too, will stumble and hurt ourselves during our trials and tribulations. But that does not mean that He was not there. What it does mean is that He is there to pick us up and heal our hurts. We have all heard Christians say, “Why did God do this to me?” God did not do anything. He allows us to go through trials so that we may see Him in action as He works in our lives to heal us and mold us into His image.

(5) To give us a promise that one day we will be able to be where He is. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. (Joh 13:33) Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. (Joh 13:36) It’s no coincidence that the fifth verse shows God’s grace – a promise that we will be going to be with Jesus in the place that He has prepared for us! What encouragement that is to the believer!

Emmanuel (also spelled Immanuel), means “God with us.” As I completed the five points, I thought how appropriate that this is one of the names of God. This name for God appears three times the Word:

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isa 7:14)

And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel. (Isa 8:8)

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Mat 1:23)

Three Immanuels/Emmanuel (three standing for Trinity) and five verses with “I am with you” (standing for grace)! Our Three-in-One, our Emmanuel, is with us “even unto the end of the world”!

Dear God…
Ever watchful, ever mindful
Always by my side
As you keep me in Your care
Daily grace provide