Saturday, September 21, 2019

A Devotional Thought From Revelation

He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:20

In the book of Revelation it is Jesus, Himself, who is testifying, or announcing, the things herein recorded. Look back at the first verse of the book (Rev. 1:1) and we find God, the Father, gave the revelation to Jesus for the purpose of showing to his servants (those who trust in Him, and love Him, and serve Him) what will be happening “shortly.” From our human perspective we do not understand what “shortly” means in God’s understanding of time. What we do know is what is revealed here will happen sometime.

So when Jesus says at the end of the prophecy, “Surely I come quickly,” again we don’t know what “quickly” means in His God understanding of time. We do know that He keeps His word, He means what He says, and He will come.

We who love Him believe Jesus is coming again. We are glad He is coming, and John speaks for all of us when he says, “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

Monday, September 9, 2019

A Devotional Thought From 1 John

And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. 1 John 1:4

John writes this letter with at least this verse as one of the most important ideas he wants to transmit to the Christians of his day. He indicates, the things I’m writing to you about the reality of Christ, the dangers of sin and false doctrine, the knowledge of God, the need to love your fellow Christians, the assurance of eternal life, I write to you so that your joy may be full. The written word and your personal knowledge of it produce joy and more joy.

This sincere, personal, clear theological treatise is meant to make the joy you feel in trusting Jesus as your Savior, be ever more full and fulfilling than it is now.

The word of God in all its teachings, not just 1 John, is this wonderful tool that God uses, not just to teach, and bring us to being born again, but the Bible is a book of His speaking in His own voice, and like Adam in the garden, we know He is calling to us through it. Once we begin putting the word of Scripture into our heart it has this amazing joy producing capacity.

Want to be joyful? Get into the reading, studying, praying, and obedience of the Bible.

Monday, June 3, 2019

A Devotional Thought From Nahum

Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him. Nahum 1:6

This prophetic message is proclaimed by Nahum to Nineveh (Assyria) at the peak of its power. To paraphrase Nahum read it, “Be afraid, be very afraid.”

You can imagine when this prophecy was first heard in Assyria there was probably little concern. It may have provoked sarcastic laughter, “Yeah, right!”

This is Nineveh of Assyria, they might have bellowed. This is the most powerful nation on earth. We count our armies in the hundreds of thousands. We oppress people and nations, like Judah. We are not those who are defeated and oppressed. Talk about riches, we got ‘em. Talk about prisoners, we got ‘em. Talk about being secure, we got it, man. We will take on anybody. We will battle to the death, their death. The prophets of our gods do not talk about Assyria being judged, so why should we fear the God of a people who don’t even use statues to depict Him. We will be who we want to be. We will do what we want to do. We will treat Judah any way we want. We’re not afraid.

But, eventually, they found out that even mighty Nineveh could not stand before God’s indignation and anger. He brought Babylon, and a number of their allies, upon Nineveh, and Assyria felt his fury as if it had been fire poured out upon them, and rocks thrown down from heaven at them.

When the battle came to Nineveh, according to Nahum’s prediction, the Army commanders cried to their men, “Stand, stand” (2.8), but the ranks broke, and the soldiers never looked back. “Who can abide the fierceness of his anger?” Certainly, not even one of the strongest nations in the world.

Monday, May 27, 2019

A Devotional Thought From Hosea

Hear the word of the LORD, you children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, or mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out and blood toucheth blood. Therefore shall the land mourn… Hosea 4:1-3a

God speaks to His people: I have a controversy (a quarrel) with you. He says, your land is vacant of truth, empty of mercy, and without knowledge of, and obedience to, Me. It is filled with false swearing and lying, and killing and stealing, and committing adultery. As a result the land will mourn.

What was happening in that land in those days sounds a lot like what is happening in our land, and others around the world. If such a societal lifestyle brought that ancient nation mourning, could it not do the same today?

The cure for this danger is to turn to God and follow His guidance for nations.

Friday, May 24, 2019

A Devotional Thought From Daniel

Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquility.  Daniel 4:27

Daniel had just announced God’s judgment on Nebuchadnezzar. It was a personal judgment. The mightiest ruler in the known world, the richest king in the world, the most feared king in the world, would live like an animal for seven years. He would eat grass, and live out of doors like a wild animal until he knew that the heavens (God) rule all.

Now if a President, Prime Minister, Emperor, or other titled ruler, today heard such a prediction from a preacher what might he/she think?

How wild, how wacky, how impossible, how nutso! It is no wonder nobody pays attention to God’s spokesman anymore. That could never happen.

An interesting thing about this passage (Daniel 4) is that Daniel did not get in trouble for saying this to Nebuchadnezzar. A proud and insensitive king like Nebuchadnezzar could have had Danile cut in pieces for saying such a thing. Nebuchadnezzar had already had experience with Daniel’s prophetic witness from God. He knew not to doubt. If Daniel says it then God has given him the knowledge. It’s going to happen. The comfort that Nebuchadnezzar had was that Daniel said after these times of living like an animal Nebuchadnezzar would be restored to his throne.

So now look carefully at what Daniel counseled the king. Break off thy sins by righteousness, in other words start doing good and turning from evil, and break off thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor.

The judgment has already been pronounced. So why change these things? What good will it do? Nebuchadnezzar might’ve asked.

Daniel says, “If it may be a lengthening of thy tranquility.”

God might hold the punishment off a little longer if you reform yourself, your actions, and your country. Perhaps, Nebuchadnezzar did, because the judgment did not occur for another year (Daniel 4:29).

Maybe there are leaders in our world who through evil deeds, and failing to recognize the role of heaven, may have set themselves, and their nations, up for serious trouble. That trouble may be coming fast, but if the leaders, and people change their evil ways, and respond to God’s word the time of their trouble might be delayed, because of God’s grace. 

Turning from sin always brings positive results.

Monday, May 20, 2019

A Commencement Address for the Class of 2019

On this beautiful day of graduation, skies are blue, bright with sunshine, big sky, clear for as far as one can see into the future, there is but one little cloud way off, barely seen, just above the far horizon, the size of a man’s hand. It will grow bigger as time flies. The cloud represents death. You graduates will one day die. It is appointed unto humanity to die.

So the advice of this commencement messenger is live well; work hard, be honest, be brave, do right, honor your family, your nation, and God: believe and know that your life is valuable and precious, and meaningful, and can yield one hundred fold of influence upon those around you, around the world, and the generation following, no matter how famous or little-known you may become.

Every life and family is a building block in constructing a great edifice like our nation. Your life will, too, have eternal consequences for you, and, perhaps, others. So seek to make those everlasting things the glorious blessings possible.

But how can you do that? How can you make your life so special?

Once King Solomon of Judah, the wisest man in the world, gave this sentence that is your answer. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

A Devotional Thought From Ezekiel  

As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the Lord have poured out my fury upon you. Ezekiel 22:22

The prophet Ezekiel explains God’s judgment against His ancient nation. The capital city, representing the whole country, was full of shed blood (murder); idols (false worship), they actually despised holy things; oppression of immigrants, widows, and fatherless children; lewdness, adultery, incest; usury, and extortion.

Because the rulers in particular, and the people, had made this their lifestyle God thought of them as dross. Dross is the name for the impurities found in metals like silver and gold, and brass and iron. To remove this dross ancient people learned to fire the metal to boiling. Bubbling in the heat the metal melted and the dross rose to the top of the molten mixture. When the dross was skimmed the metal was pure.

So God declares that He will put them through that process. The burning, melting, and removing of dross will be His fury upon that nation.

The burning, melting, furnace would be in the form of invading soldiers crushing and taking captive the land. God did this in response to years and years of a nation’s sins.

The Lord is over every nation, and sin was then, and still is a reproach to any nation.