"For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise." (Hebrews 10:36)
Day before yesterday the garden was tilled. Yesterday I bought the seeds, some tomato and pepper plants. Elijah (6) and Simon (4) helped me plant them. Within an hour a good rain came. The process could not have been better. Later in the day I go down to look at the garden. The beans and corn are not up, and there are no tomatoes or pepper on the plants. Again today, I check, but there is no evidence?
Are you a Sunday school teacher or preacher who sees no evidence? A layperson who shares your faith with unsaved family members, friends, or co-workers; praying as you witness, but you see no evidence? Well we have a promise!
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Galatians 6:9
God bless, and remember that you are loved!!!
Good TGIF to you,
Does this time of year, spring time, find you more busy than every? There are vegetable and flower gardens to take care, lawns to mow, kids sports to attend. These things on top of an already busy life style. Can these draw us away from the one thing needed?
'Martha, Martha,.....you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.' Luke 10:41-42
In Martha, Mary and Lazarus' home at Bethany, Jesus found Himself in the middle of a family quarrel. Some priorities were out of order. How many homes could be improved today if the priorities were improved upon. Martha was probably overwhelmed by all the work she had in the kitchen or some other housekeeping for the guests. She was trying to call Mary away from sitting at the feet of the Master. In our lives, satan's distracting words often come from the most unexpected quarters. Sometimes, if we are not careful, our best friend may distract us. Or it might be some very legitimate activity, in the church, extra hours at work, or even charitable work. Our busy days and hectic schedules can too often and too soon call us away from the feet of Jesus.
Rather than having Mary go and help Martha, Jesus helped Martha get a handle on her priorities. What she was doing was important, but there was something much more important. Jesus said that 'one thing was needed.' I believe that was the loving family coming together around the feet of Jesus, being taught by Him.
When the kids are grown and gone, it is not the spotlessness of your kitchen that will make them long to come home. It is the spot you gave them in your heart. Don't be robbed of the time you can spend with loved one at the feet of Jesus.
God bless you and yours as you all spend time with Him together, and remember that you are loved!!!
Greetings in His Name,
Have you ever witnessed the downward spiral of the backslider's life? It doesn't happen at once, and the end results seems so removed from the beginning of the process we usually fail to connect the two. Satan realizes that if he can invade that life with enough negative and pessimistic thoughts, the soul will become discontent, and joy will be stolen. That dissatisfied soul, many times, will begin to look for fulfillment and pleasures in areas away from God.
Whatever else you lose, do not lose your joy. Keep the spirit of spring. Rejoice evermore and again I say, rejoice.
The loss of Canaan began in the spirit of murmuring. "When the people murmured, they displeased the Lord." The first break in their fellowship, the first falter in their advance, came when they began to doubt and grieve and fret.
Keep your heart from the perforations of depression, discouragement, distrust and gloom, for Satan cannot crush a rejoicing and praising soul.
Be on your guard against the beginning of sin. Don't let the first touch of evil be harbored. It is the first step that loses all. Let us keep so encased in the Holy Spirit and in the very life of Jesus that the evil cannot reach us!
The little fly on the inside of the windowpane may be attacked by the little bird on the outside, and it may seem to him that he is caught. But that thin pane of glass keeps him safely from all danger as certainly as if it were a mighty wall of iron. Let the joy of the Lord be your shield, your protection, your strength.
Rejoice evermore—1 Thessalonians 5:16
Praise Him today, be blessed, and know that you are loved!!!
"Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried."
This is the promise for the Lord's coming. It is more than purity. It is to be made white, lustrous or bright. To be purified is to have sin burned out; to be made white is to have the glory of the Lord burned in. The one is cleansing; the other is illumination and glorification. The Lord has both for us, but in order for us to have both we must be put into the fire to be tried. We must be led into difficult and strange places where Christ shall be more to us because of the very extremity of the situation. We are approaching these days. Indeed, they are already around us, and they are the precursors of the Lord's coming. It has been said, that it is difficult in America to tell the church from the world, but that is changing and a distinct line is being drawn as the end nears.
Yes, there was even another earthquake this morning in China. Killed 400 and hurt thousands, which some will say points to the last days. For another sign of the end nearing, thousands are being killed for their faith in Jesus throughout the world. They are being purified, and made white, and tried. In this moral climate in America, we must be separated from all that is evil in God's sight.
"Blessed is he that . . . keepeth his garments lest he walk naked. (Revelation 16:15)"
"As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience." Colossians 3:12
May the Good Lord bless and keep you, remember that you are loved!!!
Greetings in His Name,
"Let all things be done by you in love."
As long as I can remember, there have been periods of time when the church's expectations' for the Lord's return were elevated to near a fever pitch, and times when very few seemed to be looking for Him. Doesn't it seem there are more signs on every hand that the end is near, but we sense less expectation in the church? Why? Jesus said when you least expect Him, He will return!
In the NFL, every team has what is called a two minute offense. With two minutes left to play, the refs stop the clock and warn each team of that fact. From that moment on the strategy of the game changes. Certain plays have been prearranged so that no time is wasted in the huddle. Each team member knows exactly what is expected of him.
Some have called this the "hurry-up offense." But a well-coached and carefully prepared team doesn't seem to be hurrying. They are simply making every movement count, doing only those things that are absolutely essential to the success of their team.
It occurs to us, that with time running out for our world, we as Christians need to have a two-minute drill, hurry-up offense. The church should never be on defense, especially now. We ought to have a strategy for the most efficient use of whatever time we have left. The Apostle Paul called it "redeeming the time" (Col. 4:5) Phillips translates it, "Make the best possible use of your time."
If this is to happen, "Let all things be done by you in love." If we are to be ready for His return, and help others be ready for His return, we must be in love with Him, and we must love each other. Don't waste time with other motives. The whistle has blown, we are in the huddle, the coach is giving us some final advice.
"If we love one another, God dwelleth in us." 1 John 4:12
"God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." 1 John 4:7
"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God." 1 John 4:7
If this describes us, we will be ready for His return and this love will motivate us to do what we can to help others by ready!
Greetings in Jesus' Name,
Monday morning, the start of a new week, may be a good time to ask ourselves where we are going, and who are we following?
We've all heard how notorious men are for not asking directions. One wife said that her husband and she left a wedding to go to the reception. Not knowing how to find the reception hall, her husband chose to follow one of the other wedding guests rather than ask directions. After numerous twists and turns, the folks ahead of them finally pulled into their own driveway and were home. The family they had been following had never planned to go to the reception.
"And she said, "Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law."
Where a person is going should influence whether or not we want to follow him. Naomi urged her daughter-in-law Ruth to follow the way Orpha, her sister-in-law, had taken. But Orpha was headed in the wrong direction. She was going back to her people and her gods. Orpha had been exposed to the same God, and to the same mother-in-law's influence Ruth had while she was a part of Elimelech's family, but when the final decision had to be made, she chose to return to her old way of life. Fortunately, Ruth chose not to accompany her.
Many people are seeking others to follow them, but they're headed in the wrong direction. When we cut through all their assurances and promises, we discover that what they're really offering is to lead us back to enslavement to the world. There are many beckoning voices today. The apostle Paul urged the Corinthians, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ." 1 Corinthians 11:1. The same applies to us today. Choose to follow only those who have chosen to follow Christ.
Be careful whom you allow to be your leader. Take time today to make sure you're following someone who honors the Lord. Anyone who is not headed in the same direction as Christ is not headed in a direction you want to go. As you let Him guide you today, be blessed on this trip, know that you are always loved!!!
A large freighter loaded with ore had made it's way through Lake Erie into the Saint Clair River near Detroit. The captain somehow veered away from the deep channel and ran aground in shallow water. Tugboats were not able to move such a tremendous load. Then, another freighter was brought in alongside the stranded vessel, and cargo was transferred from it to the "helper." As the freighter alongside took on more and more of the weight, the stranded freighter began to rise and was soon back in the main channel again.
Jesus promised, "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18 He would send the Holy Spirit to us to be right alongside to help. Sometimes, life pushes us to the breaking point. That heavy load that caused us to go aground, stopping us, could be the doctor's report, financial reversals, or maybe worst of all, the loss of a spouse through death, after decades of a wonderful marriage. No tugboat can move us out of our "slough of despond." But just as Help saved Christian from the bog in Pilgrim's Progress, so too Jesus reminds us that we're not stranded, not left alone. "He sent from above, He took me, He drew me out of many waters." Psalm 18:16
If you will study Scripture, you will find that the Holy Spirit teaches, guides, comforts, helps and empowers.
Be blessed today, as you let Him meet you at your greatest point of need. And never, never forget that you are loved!!!
Henry D. is from Southern Indiana and writes these wonderful daily devotionals to encourage those at the Dogwood Community Church located in Paoli, Indiana. Henry has graciously agreed to share these wonderful devotionals here at Without Excuse Ministries to encourage you our valued guest!