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

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

1. Come unto Jesus – Jesus is the only way to Heaven for the lost. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (Joh 14:6) There is no other way – there is no other person (dead or alive) who can claim this. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Act 4:12) No matter what any religion preaches, the fact of the matter is that Jesus is the only way to Heaven – not your good deeds, not Allah, not Buddha, not John Smith!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. He that called us: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (1 Pe 1:15) Our Saviour, our Shepherd, calls us to Him. Jesus calls us out of darkness into His light – the light of the Word of God. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (1 Pe 2:9) We are His sheep and we know His voice! And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (Joh 10:16) He knows us by name. And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. (Exo 33:17) I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. (Joh 10:14) The second Person in the Trinity, who has called us, is asking us to be holy!

3. He that writes to us: Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Pe 1:16) The Holy Spirit wrote the Word of God so that we would have God’s very words to grow by, to guide us, to teach us. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Pe 1:21) The third Person in the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, has written to us and is asking us to be holy!

The Three-in-One, our God, wants us to be holy as He is! But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isa 64:6) Praise the Lord that Christ’s shed blood covers us and our sins are no longer seen by God but only Jesus’ blood is seen. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isa 1:18 ) Because of this precious gift of salvation, we are able to be holy as God is holy. Do we live like we are holy? We should be striving to do so. We cannot be perfect but we can strive toward perfection. Do we live a separated life, abstaining from the very appearance of evil? If not, we should!

Take Time to be Holy
William D. Longstaff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(2) The Holy Ghost: Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. (Pro 3:13) One of the Holy Spirit’s jobs is to draw us to Christ. He penned the Bible through holy men so that we could have God’s own words to show us the way to Christ. And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, (Exo 31:3) He teaches us all we need to know about salvation through Christ. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (Joh 14:26) Without the Holy Spirit’s guidance and direction, a sinner is lost for all eternity. Saying no to the wooing of the Spirit when He is trying to draw you to Christ is the sinner’s spiritual death sentence. Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. (Mat 12:31) This is the unforgivable sin – if a sinner does not accept Christ as Saviour, he is doomed!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The number three symbolizes the Godhead. Our blessed Trinity will be our help and our shield, my friend! Each part of the Godhead will take care of us. We have a compassionate and caring Heavenly Father who pities us and provides us with everything we need. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. (Psa 103:13) We have a Saviour who stands before the Throne mediating for us. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (1 Ti 2:5) We have the Holy Spirit who resides within us and teaches us exactly what we need from the Word to make it through each day. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (Joh 14:26) The Lord ministers to us completely! The Godhead completely shields us and gives us help when we trust in Him.

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

King of Kings
John B. Herbert

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

Refrain

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

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

Refrain

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

Refrain

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

Refrain

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

Laodicea, The Lukewarm Church

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

Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. (Psa 36:9) Jesus is not only the fountain of life but He is the light. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (Joh 8:12)

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

The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. (Pro 14:27) Again, Jesus is not only the fountain of life, but Jesus has the keys to hell and death. I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. (Rev 1:18 )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I. The three blessings of the Godly:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are three things that happen to the ungodly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Happy Crowning Day
Eliza E. Hewitt

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

Refrain

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

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

Refrain

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

Refrain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chorus

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

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

Our pattern has seven points:

(1) Who we are to pray to:

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

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

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

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

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

(2) Acknowledge His Kingdom:

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

(3) Desire God’s will:

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

(4) Petition your Father for your needs:

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

(5) Seek forgiveness and forgive:

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

(6) God’s protection:

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: (Mat 6:13) This is such a beautiful request depicting a child asking his Father to protect him from evil’s way. This child is asking his Father to show him the path that he should take where he will not be tempted. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. (Jam 1:14) But if he is tempted because of his own lusts, he can also ask his Father to deliver him and provide a way out of this temptation. There hath no temptation taken you
but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Cor 10:13)
God is so good to us, my friend. Again, how appropriate that the sixth point of prayer deals with man’s sinful nature and the number six symbolizes man!

(7) Praising God:

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

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

A Blessing in Prayer
Eliza E. Hewitt

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

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

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

Refrain

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

Refrain

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

Refrain

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

When I was first saved, one of the first passages I read was Matthew 11:28-30. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. A promise of rest to all. (28) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (29) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (30) These verses have been imprinted on my heart and forever on my brain. Many times I have needed encouragement and have been able to encourage myself by reciting them. As I was meditating on what to write next in our series on Numbers of the Bible, these dear friends came to mind – more specifically, the phrase “I will give you (thee) rest.” I wondered if God had given us a “number” for this phrase in His Word. I searched my Bible and discovered that this phrase appears three times! Three is the number for the Godhead, the Trinity! The only true rest which can be found is found in the Lord, God.

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

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

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (Rom 1:16)But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: (Rom 2:10)God’s plan included all His creation – Jew or Gentile. The Gentile’s rest comes from the same Source as the Jew’s – the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The old and new covenant were completed in Jesus Christ’s work on the cross.

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

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

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

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

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