Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Devotional Thought From John’s Gospel

There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?     John 6:9

          But what are they among so many? In the hands of Jesus the little was much. To the disciples it was amazing to think Jesus could do such a thing, turn so little into so much. It must have been incredible to those who filled their hands and mouths with the crusty, chewy bread and dried fish. “I’m really hungry. How many pieces can I have?” may have been the question of many in that crowd. The disciple passing the basket of miracle food said, as much as you want. And the hungry fellow grabbed a fistful of fish and several chunks of bread. What about everybody else? All 5000 and more had as much as they wanted, and even so there were 12 baskets of leftover bread. What are those five loaves and two fish among more than 5000? So few among so many. It depends on Jesus.

          In a society quickly descending into a moral abyss with so many against the gospel and its moral dimension, Christians preaching traditional Christianity are the few among the many. At least, so the court decisions of recent years seem to indicate. The hopeful application of this record of the feeding of the 5000 is that though the preachers of righteousness seem to be so few among so many, Jesus can work miracles through us. Keep on keeping on. His word shall not return void. We gotta believe! It all depends on Jesus.

O Lord, let our testimony and ministries be the loaves and fish You use to feed our nation and the world the Bread of Life today. In Jesus’ name we ask, Amen.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Testimony From John, The Baptist, And Dr. K, The Baptist

He must increase, but I must decrease.     John 3:30

John, the Baptist, describes Jesus as the bridegroom at a wedding, and himself as the bridegroom’s true friend. The true friend wants happiness for the bridegroom. He wants the groom to get all the attention. He stands back and smiles, laughs, and rejoices as everyone pats his friend on the back, hugs him, shakes his hand, and expresses that they couldn’t be happier to know him and rejoice with him. The groom’s friend does all he can do to be a joy and a blessing to the groom without seeking his own personal glory. If you are human that’s a hard thing to do. John tells us exactly what his heart feels in this verse: He (Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease. In all that I’ve done, in all I am doing, and what I do in the future I want to lift Him up for all to see and glorify, and I want to fade into the background.

John's view of his life and ministry is my view of mine. As a preacher and pastor it is Jesus I have preached. He is the Savior, not a church, not the preacher, not a denomination, not even the Bible. My desire in ministry and life, though like all sinners I have failed at times, has been and always shall be to point to Jesus and say Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29).

I preached, except for vacation time, nearly every Sunday for 44 years pastoring churches, and Jesus was the focus of my preaching. He still is and always will be in any ministry in the days ahead. Ever since I heard it I have recognized the truth of Puritan preacher Richard Baxter’s great statement: “I preach as never sure to preach again, a dying man to dying men.” As I get closer and closer to the great denouement of earthly life, I realize how true it is for me in a very personal way. But Jesus will always increase. When Baxter died there were others who lifted up Jesus to increase Him in the eyes of men. When I retired from full-time ministry there was another who took to that pulpit to proclaim Him and increase Him in the eyes of that congregation, and when I die there will be still others to raise Him up in the vision of the world. He must increase. Jesus must increase. My Savior must increase. He is Lord of all!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Devotional Thought From Luke's Gospel

And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Luke 13:2-5

Terrorism, natural disasters, and accidents have always been a part of life in this world since the fall of man. Jesus notes two that happened during His time of ministry on earth. As some sort of punishment for some crime or slight, or disagreement the procurator of Palestine had a number of Jewish worshipers executed, and in the town of Siloam a building fell, perhaps from neglect or poor building materials, or some other cause. Eighteen died there. And, Jesus asks His hearers if they think those who died in these incidents were sinners more than they were themselves. Then He answers His own question, No.

They are sinners just like those who died. They are no better, and Jesus cryptically adds, if you all do not repent you will likewise perish. I’m wondering whether all of these deaths were people without faith in the living God. Except for those caught away in the rapture when Jesus comes for the church, every human being will die, and if they die without faith in the true God, Jesus Christ, they will likewise perish, savagely, tragically, needlessly like the unsaved of biblical days.

Repentance is a word our free swinging, do what you like, don’t let anybody judge you culture does not like to hear. But if people do not repent of their sins and trust in Jesus, who died for their sins, they shall someday likewise perish. The gospel says it this way 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).

Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Devotional Thought From The Gospel Of Mark

But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?     Mark 14:61

This question asked by the high priest on behalf of all the chief priests, elders, and scribes who had assembled to put Jesus on trial in the high priest's palace, is very interesting if you think about it. Are you the Messiah…? The people of God had been looking for this special person for thousands of years. He would be sent by God to deliver Israel from their sins, and many thought from their earthly oppressors. So are you the One? When John, the Baptist, was asked the same question he replied, No. It’s not me, but it is someone so great I am not worthy to tie His shoes. Later John pointed at Jesus and said there He is. That’s the One. He is the Lamb of God. So the high priest is asking Jesus to admit that He is making this “outrageous” (as they saw it) claim. But the question goes on to equate the Messiah with the Son of the Blessed. Are you God’s son. From this question we know it was clear to even His enemies that the evidence supported the claim that Jesus was letting people believe He is the Son of God. He was. In fact in the next verse he says “I am.” He continues his answer saying, and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven (Mark 14:62).
Did you get that? Jesus says, I am the Son of the Blessed (The Lord our Lord is one Lord, and I and the Father are one). Yes, if you believe He is sent from God then truly living God’s will is living by the word (revelation) God has given. In that revelation, the Bible, Jesus says: Believe in the Son; love one another; be sanctified by the truth of the Bible. It’s a recipe for renewed life, and a renewed nation, and a renewed world.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

 A Devotional Thought From Mark's Gospel

And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him?     Mark 11:31

Jesus’ question about John, the Baptist, was: Was John’s ministry from God or of men? The Pharisees, right on, self-righteous, religious clergy, were able to dissect it and realize the implications. They knew if they admitted that John ministered for God, they would be asked why didn’t you believe him. They even said it to themselves: He (Jesus) will say why didn’t you believe him?

They would have had to change their thought about themselves, and their self-righteous sinful behavior. They would have had to give God the glory, and treat people with the inate respect creation in the image of God demanded. They would’ve had to lovingly obey the 10 Commandments. Why didn’t they believe John? Because they thought their own form of righteousness was satisfactory.

So how does that relate to people today? Well, the question would be: Is Jesus from God or of men. Amazingly, in our broken society limping downhill morally many people consider themselves “spiritual” in one way or another. So, they all have a personal view of Jesus. Some think Him a teacher or moralist. Once, in old times, He was thought to be John, the Baptist, risen from the dead. Some think He is the son of God in some special way. Some think Him the only true Savior. Some consider Him a prophet. Some think of Him as spiritual presence. So religious America has all these views in which Jesus is something special, someone in touch with God as no one else ever has been. So why don’t they believe Him. We do, they say. But if they did believe He was from God their behavior toward Him and His word would change, and our land would change. The country would experience Christian revival or at least moral revival. For example: Marriage would be the relationship in which pure love, chaste sexuality, would be expressed, and it would be promoted as the only way for lovers to make the complete commitment sexual union requires. Self-control and patience would come back into vogue. Racism would wither away. Robberies and murders would cease. The nation’s leaders would seek peace and pursue it. It would all be good. So if you have a faith in Jesus as the One in touch with God why don’t you believe Him? Or like the religious leaders of Christ’s days on earth do you think your personally designed choices of what is “good” are satisfactory?

Thursday, July 30, 2015


When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, you can discern the face of the sky; but can you not discern the signs of the times?     Matthew 16:2,3

               It is hard for me to believe that the leaders of our country cannot discern the signs of the times. For decades they have poured hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into the deathly coffers of the Planned Parenthood organization. Currently $528 million per year, despite the pleas and cries of millions of Americans who oppose crushing the heads of infants, and ripping them from their mothers’ wombs, only to learn now that the organization’s trade policies include “harvesting”the cells and body parts of the same exterminated children. Nothing personal, of course, just business. And when they are caught haggling over the prices of these body parts some of our national leaders, instead of puking and then rebuking Planned Parenthood, attack the people who allowed us to hear the literal words spoken by Planned Parenthood operatives. These are the actual words spoken by the PP doctors, they said it, there is no doubt. Perhaps, like those shouting “Death to America,” Planned Parenthood doesn’t really mean what they say. I find it hard to believe our Congressmen and Senators cannot see how red and lowring the sky is this morning. What Planned Parenthood does is indefensible, and by continuing financial support our leaders show what they think of babies near term anticipating their upcoming birth, they show what they think of millions upon millions of American taxpayers who plead not to have their taxes given to this horrific business, and they show what they think of our nation itself refusing to see the consequences for our country’s future.

                The profiteering re: abortion in this nation is a sign of the times, indicating that the moral storm is not merely coming, it is already here, and the consequences for a nation without the moral base God has established are enormous. Repent America!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

God’s Description Of The Blessed City In Zechariah's Prophecy

Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women, dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.     Zechariah 8:4,5

After His punishment of His ancient people because of their religious adultery and other sins, God says He is back with them, I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. When that happens, He says Jerusalem will be a city of truth (Zechariah 8:3). I’m sure that includes religious truth as God declares it, and moral truth as God defines it. Then God describes what His presence, His truth, and His morality do for a city. It is very picturesque. He says that old men and women, even those so old they must use staffs or canes to hold themselves up with and to walk, will be on the streets and boys and girls will be playing in the streets. Now think of it: the two most vulnerable parts of the population, those who cannot protect themselves from bullies and criminals will be seen everywhere in the city. They won’t be afraid to be outside, as they are in many places in our world. They will not be sleeping in bath tubs to protect them from stray bullets. They will not have the fear of kidnap, rape, mugging, or assault. This wonderful experience will happen because God has reached people with His goodness and truth and changed their lives and outlook. There will be no more criminals in the city they will have refocused their lives or being law abiding. There will be no immoral ones in the city, they will have refocused their lives on what God directs is proper living. With the refocusing of lives by God’s power the city will be safe. It will be a happy city, a bright and beautiful city, a city of peace, the city of God. There is a lesson here for us.