Maranatha Devotionals

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

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

Where is the fear of the Lord today? Are we so smug in our religiosity that we think God will not punish us? Yes, our eternal punishment has been taken away because of Christ’s precious work on the cross! Thank You, Lord! Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Gal 6:7) Do you really think that you can continue with your pet sins and not be punished? Are you a liar? Are you an adulterer? Do you curse? Are you never happy unless you’re stirring up trouble? Are you prideful? But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out. (Num 32:23)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Come, Children, Learn to Fear the Lord
Isaac Watts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maranatha Devotionals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maranatha Devotionals


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My King James Bible
Kate Plourde

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

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

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

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

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

Maranatha Devotionals


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

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

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

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

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

O For A Heart to Praise My God
Charles Wesley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maranatha Devotionals

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

Today’s unbeliever looks at “Christianity” and mocks it. We see it on television, books and movies all the time. The Christian is depicted as some lunatic. Even more as of late because of the false prophets predicting the end of the world and it does not happen! 🙁

Yes, the world probably has always viewed the believer in this light. But I believe we are viewed in this way much more today. Why do I think this? All I have to do is to look at those professing Christ around me. They do not have the praises of God in their mouths. They don’t have their two-edged sword in their heads and mouths, let alone in their hand. The topic of Jesus Christ does not come up in general conversation amongst believers – why should His name be spoken of them in the presence of unbelievers?

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

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

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

This is Jesus’ Precious Bible
Richard Davies & Thomas Levi

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

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

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

Maranatha Devotionals


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

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

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

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

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

O For A Heart to Praise My God
Charles Wesley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maranatha Devotionals

There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health. (Pro 12:18 )

Today’s topic won’t be long as I feel one verse can best describe the tongue. There are many verses we could read about the tongue and I’ve listed them below for you to look up on your own. I believe that today’s verse best describes the tongue because it is two-fold. It discusses the proper and improper uses of the tongue. The picture of this man speaks volumes. It depicts someone who has been on the receiving end of one who used his tongue like a sword.

Picture this sword for a moment. A sword is used to cut – plain and simple. It serves no other purpose, except if one uses it as a trophy for show. It stands to reason that when a sword is just for show, then it is not in use. It is proper that this verse would compare the tongue to a sword. How many times have you been cut by words spoken by an angry person? How many times have those words cut so deeply that you have found it difficult to forgive a person? We have all been there at some point. Does this justify the person’s use of their tongue like a sword? Not at all.

The verse goes on to say that the tongue of the wise is health. Good health is such a blessing, isn’t it? No pains, no sicknesses – we cherish each day that we can get up and not feel a twinge! A wise tongue is the same as good health according to the Word. The words of a wise person help another to good health – not in the physical sense but in the emotional and spiritual sense.

What words do you speak to others? Do you come bearing health to some and a sword to others? Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? (Jam 3:11) It should not be so for believers. We should have sweet water all the time. Our words should bring health to others all the time. If bitter water flows from our mouths and our words cut like a sword, can we honestly say we are walking with the Lord? No, we surely cannot say that. A person who reacts this way with his tongue is one who is not yielded to the Holy Spirit of God.

Have you been hurt by someone’s words? Have they cut you deeply? Remember where those words came from. This hurtful person could be unsaved. If so, they are doing a great job serving their father, the devil. He is the epitome of self-centeredness and they have learned from him well. It helps you to understand why they are the way they are. It does not take the pain away, but it sure does help you focus your thoughts on why they have a need to hurt you. Give God the glory and move on. If this person is a born-again Christian, they are not yielded to the Holy Spirit in their lives, nor their tongue. Forgive this brother and pray for an opportunity to help this brother in this area. Pray for a peaceful time where you can share how the comments hurt you. If this brother is repentant and won, this is a blessing and you have exhorted this brother to righteousness. If this brother is unrepentant and uses his tongue as a sword once again, we are commanded in Matt. 18:22 to forgive our brother (another believer) as many times as it takes. Then ask the Holy Spirit to give you exactly what you need to love this brother the way God loves him.

I have personally been in a situation of this type. Just today alone, I’ve heard from two ladies who are going through similar trials. A sword produces bleeding, wounds and scars. The one on the receiving end will never be the same because wounds leave scars. Can we who have been wounded recover? Absolutely! How? By yielding our tongue to the control of the Holy Spirit. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. (Jam 3:13) (Emphasis mine) When we are in the Scriptures seeking after knowledge and wisdom, we put to practice what we have learned and show forth good conversation. Is it easy? No. Is it do-able? Yes! I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Phil. 4:13 This is yet another burden to lay at the Saviour’s feet, my friend. We are not alone in our struggles but we have each other – the brothers and sisters in Christ who can exhort us unto righteousness and pray for us. Praise the Lord for being a part of this wonderful Family. Christ died for each of us, while we were yet sinners! If anyone had reason to be offended by the tongues of man, it was He.

Extra Verses on the Tongue:

Prov. 10:20
Prov. 11:12
Prov. 13:3
Prov. 14:25
Prov. 15:1, 4, 23
Prov. 15:28
Prov. 16:24, 28
Prov. 18:8, 13, 21
Prov. 21:23
Prov. 25:11
Prov. 26:17
Prov. 26:20
Prov. 27:2
James 3:5
James 3:8

Dear God…
May my tongue be controlled
Each day as I yield to You
Help the living waters flow
So others may see the Truth

Maranatha Devotionals

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Cor. 2:9)

I love this verse, don’t you? Many times when I need to encourage my own heart, I think of this verse. I remind myself that despite all the beauty around me, Heaven will have more. I can’t even fathom this in my finite brain!

I remember when I was first saved, how I looked for the rapture to happen at any moment! I looked up so often then. I have thought about the rapture every day since my salvation, however, not with the same enthusiasm. I’ve allowed the cares of this world to slowly quench my enthusiasm. Forgive me, Father. So I sit here this morning, renewing my strength and renewing my enthusiasm.

1 Cor. 15:51-55, Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 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?

Titus 2:13, Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Acts 1:11, Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

So once again, I am looking up!! Our Blessed Saviour’s return is imminent because the Word says so. Our Saviour’s return can be at any moment so I need to be busy doing His work and leave the cares of this world in HIS care.

Maranatha Devotionals, Bible Studies

And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. (Exo 3:5) Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. (Exo 3:6)

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

We have all heard that “actions speak louder than words” – or “actions speak volumes”! What do my actions speak about my love for the Lord? More importantly, do I hold God in a place of honour in my life above any other? What does God deserve? Why does He deserve this place of honour?

Do I truly view God as Moses viewed Him in Exodus 3:5-6? Do I stand on holy ground when I am doing my devotions? Or have I taken the worldly Christian’s view of “Abba Daddy” too far? Do I give God the reverence that is due Him? Or have I “trivialized” His position in my walk and worship?

Yes, our Heavenly Father IS our Abba, Father. But do I speak to my earthly Dad with disrespect? Do I put my Dad on the same level as my friends? Of course not. My earthly father is respected and has a “higher” place than my friends. I don’t speak to him in the same manner as I would my friends. The average Christian has removed this respect and honour for God from their lives. They’ve “buddy-fied” (excuse my new term) God. They’ve lost that proper fear and respect. Is it any wonder that there is hardly any wisdom amongst Christians today? The proper fear of God brings wisdom in a Christian’s life. If we look at God as just “one of the guys,” we reveal just how little reverence we have for Him and, therefore, we won’t receive the wisdom He wishes to give us! (Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 9:10)

The phrase, Abba, Father is mentioned three times in the word of God. All three times they are in the New Testament and were spoken by the Lord, Jesus Christ:

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. (Mark 14:36)

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

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

Whenever we want to learn what the scriptures have to say about a certain topic, the best Teacher is Christ Himself. Christ revered His Abba, Father to the point of praising and reverencing Him (all things are possible unto thee), petitioning Him (take away this cup from me), and finally submitting to His will (nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt). Christ did not treat His prayer as though it was a talk with one of His friends. He recognized His position as being under submission but yet as a Son speaking to His Father. What a great teacher, amen?

Why doesn’t God work through men and women today as He did with our forefathers? Could it be because we have allowed the devil to dilute God’s holiness and position in our lives? Do I “take off my shoes” in my heart as I enter into my prayer closet to spend time with the Lord? Do I hide my face because I am not worthy to look upon the face of God?

If not, why not? More importantly, if not – then what are my actions revealing? God is not just “one of the guys”! God is not my “buddy”! God is not “the Man upstairs”! How dare we trivialize God! How dare we put God on “our level”!

Yes, the scriptures do say that God is our friend. And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. (Exo 33:11a) But Moses didn’t take advantage of his relationship with God by disrespecting Him. Would you treat your friend with disrespect? Then why do you watch movies or listen to jokes that dishonor God? Do you lie to your friend? Then why do you try to weasel your way out of telling the whole truth about missing church services? Do you steal from your friend? Then why do you steal from God by withholding your offerings? Do you find every excuse under the sun to avoid being with your friend? Then why do you skip your devotions and prayer time? Do you throw your friend’s letters away or leave them unopened? Then why don’t you open your Bible except in church? Ouch!

What the average Christian needs today is to set aside the “emerging church’s” view of God and get back to the old fashioned principles taught in the scriptures. If you want to be God’s friend, then pattern your life after Moses – And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. (Exo 3:5) Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. (Exo 3:6)

Jesus Christ is our King of Kings! Let’s treat Him like one!

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


Luke 10:38-42, Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

I love how God puts examples in the Bible that help us to learn His lessons for us. Here are two women, both raised in the same family but yet very different. There are a few spiritual applications we could glean here, that’s for sure. Martha could be an example of a person who is not saved and does not desire the things of God. It could be that Martha represents the saved woman who has not studied to show herself approved unto God. As well, she could represent the woman who has been saved a long time and has become comfortable in her Christian walk and feels she doesn’t need to grow spiritually anymore so she “works” a lot. Which Martha are you today, ladies?

Luke points out that Martha was “cumbered, careful and troubled about many things.” She was expecting Jesus and many others in her home. She was busy in her thoughts, laying out plans, what dishes to use, what meal to make, housework needed to be done, and everything in its place. In fact, these thoughts obsessed her so much so that she went to Jesus saying, “There’s so much to do, tell Mary to come help me!” Think about this for a minute. If you were receiving guests in your home and your sister wasn’t helping you with preparing, would you go to your guest and ask them to tell your sister to get to work? Is it me or was this a strange request to make? I think this goes deeper than meets the eye, don’t you? I think Martha wanted to draw attention to herself and all the work she had done by herself. SHE wanted the credit, in my opinion.

Jesus saw through this and told her that she was caught up in what needed to be done but was leaving the more important matters aside – her spiritual life. He came right out and told her that Mary had chosen the good part and that this spiritual nourishment would not be taken away from her.

Is your spiritual housework all done, ladies? Is your house nice and spotless but your Bible study life is not? Do you put emphasis on cleaning your house but you leave your spiritual housework undone? What can we do to have a spiritually house clean?

1. Ask God to show you those secret sins in your heart and confess them.
Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. (Psalm 19:12)

2. Ask God to show you all your sins and to wash you thoroughly from them so you don’t repeat them. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. (Psalm 51:2)

3. How can we continually cleanse our hearts? By taking HEED to the word. Not just reading it but taking HEED to it. BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. (Psalm 119:9)

4. Again, the word of God washes. It helps us to stay clean. What happens to water as it goes into a colander? It goes through the colander, right? But the colander is cleaned by that water, even though the water does not stay contained in it. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (Ephesians 5:26) The same with our spiritual lives. We may not remember everything we read in the scriptures or study, but continual reading and studying helps us to stay clean.

5. Getting closer to God will clean our hearts. It will bring conviction, repentance and a need to ask forgiveness from the Father. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (James 4:8)

6. Abstain from worldly lusts. The things of this world have a lot to offer the flesh. Think in your hearts today what worldly things God is revealing to your heart right now. Is it TV? Is it music? Is it a book? Is it a distraction that keeps you from His word? Any of these things distract. (II Corinthians 6:18) Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (II Corinthians 7:1)

Are you having difficulties saying no to the things this world offers? Are you having difficulties in your spiritual walk in general? Do a spiritual house cleaning today. Ask God to show you what He wants cleaned out. You probably already know what needs cleaning. Then ask the Lord to help you keep your spiritual house clean. He can, He will and He promises to help you. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (I John 4:4)

Maranatha Devotionals

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

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

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

I. The three blessings of the Godly:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are three things that happen to the ungodly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Happy Crowning Day
Eliza E. Hewitt

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

Refrain

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

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

Refrain

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

Refrain

The Baptist Muse Topsites The Forums at The Baptist Muse - Independent Fundamental Baptist Articles, Downloads, Forums, Topsites, and Much More! The Fundamental Top 500 The Baptist Top 1000

Maranatha Devotionals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Able to Deliver Thee
Fanny Crosby

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

Refrain

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

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

Refrain

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

Refrain

The Baptist Muse Topsites The Forums at The Baptist Muse - Independent Fundamental Baptist Articles, Downloads, Forums, Topsites, and Much More! The Fundamental Top 500 The Baptist Top 1000

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

Noah Webster defines the word “peculiar” as:

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

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

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

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

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

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

(2) For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth. (Deu 14:2) We are so blessed. We do not have to look for a high priest to offer sacrifices for us. We no longer need a priest because we have direct contact with the Lord, Himself. Our High Priest is Christ Himself. He sits at the right hand of the Father and His sacrifice is all that is needed. Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; (Heb 8:1) His blood on the altar of sacrifice is all we need to cover our sins. We are a peculiar people which God has chosen for Himself! What a find in God’s Word! The Creator of all the universe has chosen us for Himself! These are shoutin’ words! We cannot be holy on our own. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isa 64:6) The Father demands punishment for sin because He is holy. But His grace is great and He provided a way for us because He pitied us. There is no way we could get to heaven on our own merits. But praise God that His Son took our sins upon Himself so that the Father sees His Son’s righteousness. We would be doomed to eternity burning in hell otherwise. Thank You, Lord!!

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

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

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

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

(5) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (1 Pe 2:9) A peculiar people praises their God and shows the world what He has done for them. They are a changed people who have gone from living a life of sin to a people who are walking in the light – testimonies to the Lord, Jesus Christ.

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

What Raised the Wonderous Thought
George V. Wigram

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maranatha Devotionals


The Preacher And His Victory

2 Timothy 4:6-8 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

His Fight

The following is quoted from Pilgrim’s Progress, an allegory written by John Bunyan. At this point in the story, Christian had just gotten saved and was now in the House of the Interpreter (who represented the Holy Spirit), having various things explained to him. This was the first thing he was shown:

“Then said Interpreter, Come in; I will show thee that which will be profitable to thee. So he commanded his man to light the candle, and bid Christian follow him; so he had him into a private room, and bid his man open a door; the which when he had done, Christian saw the picture a very grave person hang up against the wall; and this was the fashion of it: It had eyes lifted up to heaven, the best of books in his hand, the law of truth was written upon its lips, the world was behind its back; it stood as if it pleaded with men, and a crown of gold did hang over its head.

Then said Christian, What means this?

The man whose picture this is, is one of a thousand: he can beget children, 1 Cor. 4:15, travail in birth with children, Gal. 4:19, and nurse them himself when they are born. And whereas thou seest him with his eyes lift up to heaven, the best of books in his hand, and the law of truth writ on his lips: it is to show thee, that his work is to know, and unfold dark things to sinners; even as also thou seest him stand as if he pleaded with men. And whereas thou seest the world as cast behind him, and that a crown hangs over his head; that is to show thee, that slighting and despising the things that are present, for the love that he hath to his Master’s service, he is sure in the world that comes next, to have glory for his reward. Now, said the Interpreter, I have showed thee this picture first, because the man whose picture this is, is the only man whom the Lord of the place whither thou art going hath authorized to be thy guide in all difficult places thou mayest meet with in the way: wherefore take good heed to what I have showed thee, and bear well in thy mind what thou hast seen, lest in thy journey thou meet with some that pretend to lead thee right, but their way goes down to death.”

Being a preacher or a pastor after God’s own heart takes some effort. Being faithful to the Lord means that the believer cannot take the easy road. We cannot swim downstream with the world and then expect to be blessed and rewarded. I love this passage of Scripture because it shows us both the confident expectation that the faithful believer has, and also reveals the battle that is waged in our spiritual lives.

The good news is that we are more than conquerors through the Lord Jesus Christ – He gives us His victory, and it is up to us to claim those promises and walk accordingly. This is just as much true for the preacher or pastor, as well as for any believer, regardless of age or background. Our victory is in the Saviour, and we receive that victory through faith (ie. trust) and obedience to His Word.

Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

Psalms 18:32-35 It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

Habakkuk 3:19 The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

1 John 5:4-5 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Our victory is in Jesus.

I have fought a good fight…

Paul fought a good fight – in fact, he fought the best fight, the only worthwhile fight in light of eternity: the fight of faith. He earnestly contended for the faith. He preached it, and he lived it! He exhorted Timothy to follow his own example:

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

And now he states that he did exactly what he set out to do. “Timothy, remember when I encouraged you to fight the good fight of faith? That’s what I did. Like a boxer or a wrestler, I fought, and I won the battle – with sin and compromise, with spiritual forces of wickedness, with myself. Oh Timothy, follow my example!”

His Course

I have finished my course…

On his first missionary journey, the Apostle Paul made this comment about John the Baptist:

Acts 13:25 And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose.

John Gill makes these comments in his Exposition Of The Entire Bible:

“The life of every Christian is a race, and especially of a minister of the Gospel, and which requires strength, courage, agility, patience, and perseverance; this world is the place in which they run; and this is only the running time; in heaven they will sit down on the throne with Christ; the way in which they run, is the way of their duty, the way of God’s commandments; the mark they have in view, which they keep their eye on, and to which they direct their course, is Christ; and glory is the incorruptible crown they run for, and which, when they have finished their course, will be given them by the chief shepherd and righteous judge.”

Adam Clarke adds this:

As John fulfilled his course… It signifies properly his ministry, or life. A man’s work, employment, function, etc., is his race, course, or way of life. John had a ministry from God; and he discharged the duties of it with zeal and diligence; bore the fatigues of it with patience and resignation; and was gloriously successful in it, because the hand of the Lord was with him.”

Years later, Paul made this statement about himself:

Acts 20:22-25 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I
know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.

Paul knew that if he persisted in going to Jerusalem, that journey would involve greater hardship and imprisonment, permanent separation from some of his fellow labourers in ministry. At this point in time, I do not think that Paul yet knew that this trip would result in his being taken captive to Rome in chains, brought before Nero, the Roman Emperor, and then just a few more years after that ending in his death. Perhaps he had some fears, perhaps some temptations to take an easier route – but the Apostle was headstrong and determined, and would not be moved from his set plans. Whether he faced life or death, whatever the future held for him, he was determined to finish the race the Lord had laid out for him and to be faithful in the ministry he had been given.

Now at the end of his earthly life, he could victoriously proclaim that he had finished his course! He ran the race of faith, and won the race against himself:

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

The following is from my study on the Patriarch Jacob, Wrestling Until The Day Break:

“Paul says the believer is to strive for the mastery and be temperate (self-controlled) in all things. The word for striveth is agonizomai (from which we get our word agonize) and means ‘to struggle, literally (to compete for a prize), figuratively (to contend with an adversary), or genitive case (to endeavor to accomplish something).’

The word strive is also used in the following verse:

2 Timothy 2:5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

Here the word used is athleo (where we get athlete from), and means ‘(a contest in the public lists); to contend in the competitive games.’ To wrestle against the devil, to wrestle with God, and to wrestle against ourselves will involve some effort. It will cost us something – there is no such thing as instant spirituality.”

From the devotional, Running The Race Of The Christian Life:

“As we can see, winning the race will involve some discipline (temperance) on our part, it will involve agony, it will involve us striving against ourselves and our sinful natures, if we hope to win the prize. We are not competing for a corruptible crown of laurel leaves, but for the victor’s crown, one that is eternal and incorruptible. There is a definite aim and discipline involved if we hope to attain the prize…

We cannot win the victor’s crown, unless we are striving according to the rules – and the rules for the Christian life are found in the Word of God. If we hope to be rewarded for our service to the Lord, we need to run according to the plan He has for our lives, according to His will as revealed in His Word.”

So run, that ye may obtain. The word for obtain means “to take eagerly, i.e. seize, possess, etc. (literally or figuratively).” We are to give it our all, strive according to the rules God has laid down, and reach eagerly for the prize that awaits the faithful runner:

Philippians 3:12-14 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

The word apprehended in this passage is the same word in Greek as obtain in 1 Corinthians 9:24. Reaching forth means to “to stretch (oneself) forward upon.” Stretching oneself – that takes some effort! Press toward, pursuing, striving after. Just as no Olympic runner can win the prize unless he is striving towards it, unless he gives it his all; we can’t win the prize before us unless we set our sights upon it and eagerly pursue after it.

Paul knew the mark, the goal, he was reaching for! He was striving to fulfill the will of God for his life, to be a faithful steward of all that had been entrusted to him, and looking forward to his Master’s return and hearing his commendation:

Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

I don’t know about you, but being able to enter into the joy of my Lord looks promising to me! It certainly beats looking back over our lives and regretting that we didn’t live for our Saviour, that we didn’t give Him our all!

…forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before…

Praise the Lord for His mercy and grace – mercy that wipes out our sins, and grace that gives us a new start when we put our eyes firmly back on our Saviour and repent of our waywardness and lukewarmness.

His Faith

I have kept the faith…

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines the term the faith as “The object of belief; a doctrine or system of doctrines believed; a system of revealed truths received by christians.” There are various places in the New Testament where this term is used as a reference to the body of truth that the true Bible-believing Christian clings to and holds dear. Paul says he kept the faith. In an age when so many are departing from the faith, Paul’s example stands out so clearly!

The word for kept here (and keep in 1 Timothy 6:14) means “to guard (from loss or injury, properly, by keeping the eye upon).” Paul exhorted the young preacher, Timothy, and all who would later read these letters, to keep the faith, keep God’s Word, keep the commandments He has given to us!

1 Timothy 6:13-16 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

1 Timothy 6:20-21 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

2 Timothy 1:13-14 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

The word for keep in the last two passages means “to watch, i.e. be on guard (literally of figuratively); by implication, to preserve, obey, avoid.” Like Timothy, we are to keep the trust the Lord has given to us, we
are to hold fast to His Word, we are to guard it in our hearts, we are to avoid anything that would hinder us from doing so – and we are to keep this trust by power of the indwelling Holy Spirit!

Consider these other New Testament references to the faith:

1 Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

1 Timothy 6:9-10 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Acts 16:5 And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.

Ephesians 4:11-16 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

Colossians 1:21-23 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Colossians 2:6-7 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Titus 3:15 All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.

1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

His Reward

2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Looking back over his life since he turned to the Lord Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, the Apostle Paul was satisfied that he had been faithful and that there was a crown of righteousness waiting for him as a reward for his faithful service to the Lord. These rewards weren’t just for the Apostles or for pastors or preachers, but are available for all the children of God, for all that are faithful in their service to the Lord.

The following is adapted from: Smyrna: The Persecuted (Suffering) Church.

“There are five crowns altogether that are given as rewards to the faithful Christian – five being the number for God’s grace. The word for crown in all of the following passages is stephanos, which is the victor’s crown.

1. The Incorruptible Crown – 1 Corinthians 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. This crown is promised to those Christians who keep themselves in subjection and are temperate (self-controlled), and do not let the flesh dominate in their spiritual walk.

2. The Crown Of Rejoicing – 1 Thessalonians 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? This crown will actually be those believers we have had a part in leading to the Lord and will one day spend eternity with in Heaven.

Philippians 4:1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.

No wonder it is called a crown of rejoicing!

3. The Crown Of Righteousness – 2 Timothy 4:8 (quoted above). This crown is the reward for those who faithfully yearn and look for the Lord’s appearing.

Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

4. The Crown Of Life – James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him. This crown is promised to those who endure temptation or are faithful unto death. The word for life in this passage and Revelation 2:10 means ‘spiritual life.’

Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Revelation 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

5. The Crown Of Glory – 1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. This crown is the one that is promised to faithful Pastors (elders).”

When I was preaching last week on this passage of 2 Timothy, I realized something: These five crowns picture the grace the Lord gives to us. Not only is salvation all by grace – Jesus Christ paid the complete penalty our sins deserve, and there is nothing we can do to earn our salvation, only trust in the Saviour to save us – but these rewards are too. By that I mean, He saves us, He equips us to serve Him, and then He rewards us for doing so! Oh the boundless love of God!

One final point that might be a blessing to you: 1 and 2 Timothy contain so many exhortations to the young preacher, Timothy, to stand strong and be faithful, to follow Paul’s example, to cling to and uphold God’s Word in his ministry – and when we go to this passage at the end of the book of Hebrews, we find he did just that!

Hebrews 13:23 Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he
come shortly, I will see you.

It’s possible that Hebrews was written after 2 Timothy, and if so, it is interesting to see that Timothy also endured imprisonment, and was faithful to the Lord as well.

If Paul and Timothy can serve the Lord faithfully, so can we! We have the same indwelling Holy Spirit to empower us, the same Word of God to preach and change lives, the same promises to claim, and the same Saviour to look forward to seeing face to face one day.

Paul fought the good fight, he finished his course, and he kept the faith. Will that be said about you, or I?

June 18th/07
Jerry Bouey