Saturday, December 7, 2013


“For God so loved the world,
that he gave
his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him 
should not perish,
but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16 KJV
The love of God goes beyond all human comprehension!! He created people in his own image to have fellowship with them. When they yielded to the serpent’s temptation and disobeyed God - even before they knew that they needed forgiveness, God promised a Savior who would make forgiveness possible. To the serpent he said: “I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:15 This is a prophesy of Satan’s final destruction and Christ’s sacrifice for our sins.

Another reference of the coming Savior is made to Abraham in Genesis 22:18 “Through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed.”

900 years later God said to David: “I will raise up one of your descendants, your own offspring, and I will make his kingdom strong…..Your house and your kingdom will continue before me for all time, and your throne will be secure forever.” 2 Samuel 7:12, 16.

Isaiah 9:6,7 sees the coming Savior as clearly as if it had already happened. “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!”

The coming of our Savior was not an afterthought – it was in the Father’s loving heart from all eternity and he made it happen!

During these days before Christmas as we get busier and busier with Christmas lists – shopping and baking, may we KEEP LOOKING UP beyond the tinsel and decorations to the true meaning of the season. God so loved the world that he gave his only Son ... that we could have everlasting life. HAVE A BLESSED CHRISTMAS!!!

Listen to the Gaither Vocal Band sing - THE LOVE OF GOD

Saturday, November 2, 2013


“If my people
who are called by my name
will humble themselves and pray and seek my face
and turn from their wicked ways,
I will hear from heaven
and will forgive their sins
and restore their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT

Every day our local and national news is filled with depressing reports of moral decline on every level. Our automatic response, mentally if not also verbally is, “Isn’t this terrible! What’s this world coming to?” Added to this destructive cultural landslide are the irresponsible financial practices - nationally, corporately and individually. Unless things get turned around, this nation is headed for God’s judgment. 

Our natural response is to point fingers, and lay blame on others. “It’s those people that are responsible – they need to change their ways.” Today’s scripture sees the problem in a different light. As believers we affect our surroundings either positively or negatively, our responsibility is to be a positive influence.    

Our key verse today starts with an “If” which makes it a conditional promise. Some conditions must first be met before it will be fulfilled.

The conditions are not directed to those people the general public, but are specifically directed toward God’s people; my people who are called by my name” – believers, that’s you and me.

The first condition God’s people are called upon to meet is to “humble themselves and pray.” The clear implication is, our pride and self-sufficiency stand in the way of God restoring our land. We as believers – His Church - need to admit that our need is beyond human help, and start crying out to Him for help; wholeheartedly seeking His face.

Seeking His face is longing for an intimate relationship with Him where we become more and more aware of His purity and holiness, and painfully aware of the impurities in our lives; sins we have ignored or even made excuses for in the past, now we see them in all their wickedness.

But if we truly want Him to restore our land it will take more than for God’s people to just see their wickedness – we will have to turn from our wicked ways. This is a call for repentance – a 180° turn from our sin.

So: “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”

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Saturday, October 5, 2013


“Keep on asking, 
and you will receive what you ask for. 
Keep on seeking, and you will find. 
Keep on knocking, 
and the door will be opened to you.”
Matthew 7:7 NLT

Quite some time ago we had problems with our email. Some people mentioned that our FOR YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT mailing ended in their Spam box. So I sent out the “Could You Do Us a Favor” message requesting you to let us know whether you had a problem with the reception of our weekly mailing. 

Out of 350+ mailings we had 80 some replies. 90% had no problem -10% found our weekly mailing in their Deleted or Spam box. I finally called the technical support line - which I should have done in the first place. After about two and a half hours on the phone, most of my email problems were resolved.

There is a spiritual lesson here!! Sometimes our prayers don’t go beyond the ceiling - they go to the “Outbox” and no further. Something is blocking them from reaching their intended destination. God’s Word is our technical support line which points out the spiritual “bugs” which hinder our prayers from getting through to him. Listed below are three.

James tells us that our prayers at times are ineffective because something is blocking them. He says, When you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”

Like little children we at times pray for things that are not good for us, and fortunately those prayers don’t get beyond the “Outbox.” In his 1st epistle John tells us when we ask according to God’s will, God ”hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.” In other words if we ask for things which don't please him, he will not grant our request. 

Peter in his 1st  epistle says, “You husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.”

Lord, help us to be aware of, and “delete” the things which keep our prayers from getting BEYOND THE “OUTBOX”!

Listen to Bill and Gloria Gaither - The Lord's Prayer (Live) - Music Videos

Saturday, September 7, 2013


“The grass withers and the flowers fade 
beneath the breath of the Lord.
And so it is with people.
The grass withers and the flowers fade,
 but the word of our God stands forever.”
Isaiah 40:7-8 NLT
Those of you who are or have been vegetable gardeners, know that by this time pickings are slowing doown, and soon the lawn will need fewer cuts. Many of the flowers which bloomed so profusely have faded and are now cut back. My Brown Eyed Susans and Cone Flowers are turning brown, but I think I’ll save them for a while longer and let the Gold Finch feed on them.

The prophet Isaiah says, “The grass withers and the flowers fade . . . And so it is with people.” Have you ever looked at the old family picture album and found it hard to believe that the teenager on those pages was really you? How the grass has withered and the flower faded. We are reminded of that every morning as we look into the mirror. But we are more than just a physical body which is growing older by the day. We are also spiritual beings which can be nourished and built up by God’s word which never loses its vitality. “The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.God’s word will never wear out and fade away. Peter says All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.”

We may have received an inheritance from our parents or some relative (which by the way most likely has lost some value recently) and some day we will pass what’s left to someone else. However, in Christ “we have a priceless inheritance” which we will never have to give up. This inheritance is kept in God’s eternal safety deposit box reserved in our name, “pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.” It will never fade away

James also mentions withering grass and fading flower of human riches and achievements, then adds “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”  The precious gifts of our Lord will never lose their value or fade away!! 

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Saturday, July 27, 2013


But You, O LORD, are a shield for me,
   My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
 I cried to the LORD with my voice,
      And He heard me from His holy hill.
        I lay down and slept;
       I awoke, for the LORD sustained me.
Psalm 3:3-5 NKJV

I read the other day on a Health Website that “One in 10 Americans have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, and 42 million prescriptions for sleeping pills were filled last year, an increase of almost 60 percent over only five years.” A lot of issues are troubling our minds.

While for some people a medical condition may be the cause of their sleep problem – for others sleeplessness is caused by worry and fear. Their minds are filled with “what if questions.” What if – the economy keeps getting worse - I lose my job – we lose the house – this lump under my arm turns out to be cancer – and on and on.  The enemy of our soul doesn’t run short of ideas with which to torment our minds and rob us of peace and sound sleep.

David wrote Psalm 3 when he was fleeing from his son Absalom who was out to kill him and take over the throne. That sort of situation could cause sleepless nights for most anyone. In utter humiliation he is running for his life from his own son. But, instead of focusing on his problem - ten thousand men who were determined to cut off his head - David chose to fix his thoughts on the Lord and cries out to Him. Remarkably it’s not a plea for help, rather it’s an acknowledgment of who God is. “Thou, O LORD, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.” With that confession he laid down and went to sleep. In the morning he woke up safe and sound. The Lord had been his shield of protection. In another Psalm David says, “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.”

David’s focus on God’s provision instead of the danger he faces, gives us a good clue as to how we can overcome the doubts and fears that at times threaten to rob us of sleep. Isaiah agrees and testifies, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” Paul joins right in and exhorts us, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Not surprisingly, Peter agrees with David and Paul and says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation.”

Click on: THOU OH LORD ARE A SHIELD FOR ME – turn up the sound and let it bless your heart.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


“The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.”
Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT

A faithful person can be relied on and trusted in every situation. The closer the relationship, the more faithfulness is valued. While the faithfulness of a friend or business partner is greatly appreciated, and causes deep disappointment and pain when betrayed, it cannot be compared to a marriage relationship - where a man and a women have promised - “to love and to cherish from this day forward, until death do us part”. The betrayal of such a relationship must be absolutely devastating!
Our LORD will never betray us and cause us such pain. His unconditional love never ends!! Even before we believed in Him, and were hostile toward Him, He loved us. And now as believers, we have to admit that we are not always entirely reliable and trustworthy. Yet He continues to love us. Paul writes, “If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.” When we admit our shortcomings and repent, the Holy Spirit makes us aware that His faithful love has been there all the time!
In addition to our LORD’S faithful and unending love, “His mercies never cease.” If we stop to think, His mercies are all around us - too numerous to count. Besides the mercies we are aware of, there must be countless more to which we are totally oblivious. All through life He has been graciously and faithfully pouring mercies into our lives because the faithful love of the Lord never ends!
Our LORD’S mercies begin afresh each morning. Even when we ignore Him or are asleep His mercies keep flowing into our lives. He never runs out - every morning there is a new supply, perfectly designed to meet the needs of that day! Every morning when the alarm goes off and we put our feet on the floor – our LORD is ready with fresh mercies! Great is His faithfulness!!
“Great is Thy faithfulness,
O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning
with Thee;
Thou changest not,
Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been,
Thou forever wilt be.”

                     T. O. Chisholm

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Thursday, May 30, 2013


“I am certain that God,
who began the good work within you,
will continue his work
until it is finally finished on the day
when Christ Jesus  returns.”
Philippians 1:6 NLT

 Have you finished everything you’ve started?  I sure haven’t!  There must have been “countless” things I’ve started in my life time which I never finished. It’s good that I didn’t finish some of them, because I shouldn’t have ever started them in the first place. God doesn’t have such a problem. Everything He starts is good, and what He starts he finishes. 
Paul assures us I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
In fact before He laid “the foundation of the world” He started a good work in the heart of everyone who would believe on His Son, and He will not give up on that work until we become like Jesus.  Everything He purposefully brings into our lives, or allows, is designed to bring that about.
Some of us grew up in Christian homes and were familiar with the gospel from little on, and so it seemed quite natural for us to commit our life to Christ at an early age. Even though I grew up in a Christian home and knew what I needed to do, I didn’t accept Christ until I hit a low point in my life. In my teens I was heading down the wrong road, and life seemed very meaningless. To top it off, at twenty one, I got a “Dear John” letter from my girlfriend which brought me to a low point which caused me to cry out to God for mercy. I am not suggesting we should continue down the wrong path until it hurts too much. What I am trying to convey is that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose for them.”
It’s God who starts the good work in us. We could never come to him on our own.  God saved us by his grace when we believed. And we can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.” We know becoming a Christian doesn’t mean that life will always be rosy.  But it does mean, if we love him, he will use the hard and painful times to make us more like Jesus.  Yes, that could include things like a broken relationship – illness – accident - job lose – failure – death of a loved one, etc. We welcome pleasant and joyful times, but in reality it is in the hard times that we become more like Jesus if we trust and obey Him whole heartedly. We can count on Him to finish the good work he started in us!!