31st

HELP (Hear Everlasting LORD, Please)
Text: Psalm 108:12(KJV) "Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man."
 
King David asked GOD for help in his troubles! Why? Because vain (empty/worthless) is the help of man.
Are you in need of salvation? Cry out HELP TO GOD! Are you in need of healing? Cry out HELP TO GOD, THE HEALER! Are you a soldier in battle and scared? Cry out HELP TO GOD! Are you traveling somewhere soon and afraid to drive or fly? Cry out HELP TO GOD! Are you like myself facing a job transfer and afraid of the unknown? Then let's us cry out HELP TO GOD!

"HEAR MY CRY O LORD."

30th

How to Minister to GOD and Bless His Holy Name
Text: I Chronicles 23:13 (KJV) "The sons of Amram; Aaron and Moses: and Aaron was separated, that he should sanctify the most holy things, he and his sons for ever, to burn incense before the LORD, to minister unto him, and to bless in his name for ever."
 
The Levites were set apart by GOD to minister to HIM and bless in HIS NAME forever.  How do we minister to GOD?  Minister in Hebrew is the word, sharath, which means “to attend as a worshipper, to minister to, and to serve or wait on.” I submit to you that just as a skilled waiter or waitress blesses us with great care in a restaurant, or someone cooks and serves us a delicious CHRISTMAS DINNER (like my lovely “chef,” SERENE, always does), how much more should we serve and bless GOD in prayer, obedience to HIS WORD, witnessing to the lost, and with our spiritual gifts. Finally, we praise and bless in HIS NAME when we say no to sin, and yes to JESUS AND HIS WILL FOR OUR LIVES.

”BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD!”

29th

I'm a Child of the King
Text: I Kings 3:7 (KJV) "And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in."

King Solomon went before GOD and confessed that he was "but a little child" in his presence and did not know "how to go out of come in." I exhort and encourage us today to be the same way in living our lives, coming before GOD in prayer, and giving devotion to HIM! Let us look to, and depend upon, GOD to meet all of our needs as OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, and to give us wisdom in how to live in these last days before JESUS' return.  In the words of the GENEVA BIBLE COMMENTATORS, "GOD, EXECUTE ALL CHARGE IN MY LIFE."

SONG: "I'M A CHILD OF THE KING, A CHILD OF THE KING, WITH JESUS, MY SAVIOR, I'M A CHILD OF THE KING!"

28th

Everybody
Text: Psalm 72:11 (KJV) "Yea, all kings shall fall down before Him: all nations shall serve Him."

In today's text, we read that all kings (EVERYONE) will bow before JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARET, one day.  This verse humbled me by reminding me of two things:
1.  We need to pray for all world, national, local and spiritual leaders and their families to come to faith in CHRIST and to live lives that are pleasing to GOD and full of HIS wisdom and direction.
2.  We need to speed up our efforts and ask THE HOLY SPIRIT to fill, guide, and direct us to share the GOSPEL with the lost so that they will escape eternal damnation in the lake of fire.

I close today with Philippians 2:9-11 (KJV): "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted HIM, and given HIM a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

27th

I Am My Beloved and He is Mine (a.k.a. The Church, The Bride of Christ)
Text: Song of Solomon 1:2 (KJV) "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine."

In today's text, we are reminded that as believers in CHRIST we are HIS BRIDE. We love HIM because HE first loved us.  We are not to commit spiritual adultery by looking after idols (false gods) of money, fame, power, prestige, hobbies, or placing family or friends before CHRIST.  JESUS SAID (IN REGARD TO THINGS OF THE FLESH)THAT IF WE LOOK TO LUST, WE HAVE ALREADY COMMITTED ADULTERY.  So then, if we should not even look and lust after the things of this world and make them our heart's desire, how much more true is this about the things of God. I am amazed how some of my ancestors of the Scottish Covenanters, especially the beloved Captain John Patton, when even threatened with imprisonment and death, continued to spend two to four hours at the dawn of each day in daily devotions to his BELOVED Jesus. Alas, I sometimes, regretfully, complain that I have to get up at 4 a.m. daily. Oh, Dear Jesus, have mercy on me. I humbly repent. You are my BRIDEGROOM!

Song: "I AM MY BELOVED AND HE IS MINE, HIS BANNER OVER ME IS LOVE."

26th

Who Are Your Friends?
Text: Proverbs 4:14-17 (KJV) "Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.”

As believers in CHRIST, we are not to have close and intimate friendships with unbelievers.  We need to minister to them, but not become "best-chums" (like we say in Scotland) and partake in their life-style, sinful habits, and hobbies.  Remember, someone wise named Anonymous said, "HATE THE SIN, BUT LOVE THE SINNER." I confessed and repented to CHRIST, MY SPOUSE SERENE, AND TO MY ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER, that I, myself, was enticed by a non-believer (from the Mother Land of Scotland, no less), who desired to visit our home this year. He sent me taped British soap operas.  He also spoke to me and desired that I laugh at coarse and filthy jokes, and he wanted me to support his drinking by buying him alcoholic beverages and serving them in our home. I quickly, through the conviction of the DIVINE HOLY SPIRIT, broke off all contact with him. Fellowship with unbelievers may seem interesting, intriguing, and even thrilling, but will destroy our witness for CHRIST and cost us rewards in HEAVEN.  I, for one, want to hear JESUS say, ''WELL DONE, THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT, JOSEPH. ENTER NOW INTO THE JOY OF THE LORD!”

Remember in closing the words of the beloved hymn, "Take My Life and Let It Be, Consecrated Lord To Thee."

25th

Bring Them In
Text: Proverbs 11:30b (KJV) "And he that winneth souls is wise."

In today's text, the wise King Solomon said, "He (or she) that winneth souls is wise."  Leading the lost to faith in Christ is wise because it keeps us in touch with the Master's heart. He is not willing that any should perish but come to salvation through his work on the Cross. I encourage each of us to double our efforts to reach those who are lost “while it is still called today."  Charles H. Spurgeon , the Prince of Preachers, wrote, "I would freely give my eyes if you might but see Christ, and I would freely give my hands if you would but lay hold on Him, who alone gives eternal life."

Remember in closing the words of the beloved Hymn, "Bring them in, bring them in, bring them in from the fields of sin, bring the wandering ones to Jesus."

24th

The Fear of the Lord
Text: Proverbs 16:6 (KJV) "By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil."

The wise King Solomon said that by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.  “Fear" is the Hebrew word, yilah, which means "reverence with dreadful and exceeding fearfulness."  We need to both reverence GOD as the LORD and SAVIOR of our lives, and to fear dreadfully when we come into His presence. Too often we lightly or flippantly come to HIM and quote off to HIM a "shopping list” of our wants.  I love what the Geneva Bible (1599) note says of this verse: "The upright and repenting life shall be a token that our sins are forgiven."  Today, I challenge each of us to get rid of sin in our lives because we fear the LORD.  Let us not grieve HIS DIVINE HOLY SPIRIT.

Remember in closing the words of the beloved worship song, "Who shall not fear THEE, who shall not glorify THY NAME, O LORD?"

23rd

What is Your Name?
Text: Proverbs 22:1 (KJV) "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold."

King Solomon said that a good name is better than riches.  In Hebrew the word for name is shem, which is used as a mark or memorial that is implied by honor, truth, and character.  I submit to each of us today that we should be known as men and women of Christ-like character.  A good reputation will draw others to Christ. The lost will ask us, "What is different about you?", and we can say in reply, "Come and see and meet my Master, King Jesus."

Remember in closing the words of the beloved worship hymn, "Jesus, Name above all names."

22nd

The Glory of The Lord
Text: I Kings 8:10-11 (KJV) “And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD. "

The glory of the LORD filled the Temple. God wants us to be filled with his glory since our bodies, as believers in CHRIST, are the Temples of The Holy Spirit.  GOD will then use us to do great deeds for HIS Glory and HIS Name.  Today, I want to encourage and admonish each of us to throw off the sins that so easily beset us. Shake off and loose the devil, and live exclusively for our LORD AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST.

Remember in closing the words of John Winthrop, the great British Puritan lawyer, who wrote at the young age of 24 in his diary, "I do resolve first to give myself-my life, my wits, my health, my wealth-to the service of my GOD and Savior, who by giving Himself, for me and to me, deserves whatsoever I am or can be, to be at His commandment and for His glory!” AMEN!

21st

A Prayer For Our Duties as Servants and Employees
Text: Psalm 134:1-3 (KJV) A Song of degrees--"Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD. The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.”

Dear Heavenly Father:
Just like the Temple Assistants in today's Holy Text, from this day forward I resolve to have my job (every day I work) and my service in my spiritual gifts in the Church to both be acts of praise in Your Name.  I do all I do in reverence to You, LORD GOD! Help me please to honor You by the quality of my work and with the attitude of service I bring to it.

In Jesus' Name, I pray. AMEN.

20th

Do a Good Job on the J-O-B!
Text: Proverbs 25:13 (KJV) "As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the souls of his masters.”

In today's text, the writer tells us that we need to be faithful and refresh the souls of our employers. As I studied and meditated today on the text, I said a spiritual "ouch" and repented of my bad labor habits. I believe GOD wants to encourage us to do these seven habits as employees:
1. Pray for our bosses and co-workers to come to faith in CHRIST.
2.  Be punctual.  Even being five minutes late constantly ruins our Christian witness.
3.  Be responsible.
4.  Be honest.
5.  Be hard-working not hardly working!
6.  Smile!
7.  Don't take criticism (even unjust) personally.

19th

Was Ms. Carly Simon Right??
Text: Ecclesiastes 1:2 (KJV) "Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity."

King Solomon, who is called in verse one of this chapter, "The Preacher" (which means caller, congregator, or one who convenes an assembly), wants to get our attention by teaching us that we need to find satisfaction only in the pursuits of GOD and his plans and not in our accomplishments, pleasure, and even in our "SECRET SINS," which we need to flee from.  I wonder today, did Ms. Carly Simon get it right in the 1970's when she sang, "You're so vain, I bet you think this song is about you, don't you?"  I, today, repented and realized that this life is not "all about Joseph," but is all about JESUS.  I close with the Geneva Bible (1599) comment on today's text, "He (Solomon) condemeth the opinions of all men that set felicity (an old Scottish word which means happiness or bliss) in anything, but in GOD also, seeing that in this world all things are as vanity, worth nothing!”

18th

Who Do You Turn To When You Are In Trouble?

TEXT: 2 Kings 1: 2 (KJV) “And Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said unto them, `Go, enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease.' “ 

King Ahaziah fell down and was ill and then he had his messengers ask (inquire) of a heathen/pagan idol if he would recover.  This so-called Baalzebub, literally, the god of the flies, was of no earthly or spiritual use to him.  King Ahaziah showed blatant disrespect to GOD and we do the same when we run to (as my old Scottish gran would say) “every Tom, Dick, and Harry.” These `”gods” may include the Internet, false teachers, psychics, counselors, friends and family, and even pastors and elders before we have prayed for help.  Oh that we would seek His face first! Lord have mercy on us in our times of need.

Hymn: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness, I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus Name.”

17th

Be Faithful to God, Until the End
TEXT: 2 Chronicles 24:2 (KJV) “And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest.”

King Joash did right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest. When Jehoiada died, however, Joash went and listened and followed the ways of the idolaters in the land.  Oh may we not be hypocrites and live one way Sundays and Wednesdays in church, smile and be deceitful when we see “church folk” at the mall or at a restaurant, and then live “like the devil,” the rest of the time.  Let us always cling to God and the Holy principles in His Word.  Let us be faithful to Him daily and let us, as Charles Spurgeon says, “Possess deep-seated principles of the Word of God.”

Hymn: “Faith of our fathers, living faith, we will be true to Thee till death.”

16th

Salvation is of the LORD
Text: Jonah 2:9c (KJV) “Salvation Is of the LORD.”

When Jonah was in the belly of the great fish, he paused and proclaimed that “Salvation is of the LORD.”  When we are facing trials and temptations in our lives, we need to remind the lost, our family, our friends, our bosses, our co-workers, our neighbors, and ourselves that Salvation is of the LORD.  He alone has the power to hear and deliver us.  Let us remember the words of Charles H. Spurgeon on this verse, “This is a summary of sound theology and if more Christians had felt the depth of soul trouble, there would be more of such solid divinity preached and believed.”

Hymn: “Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.”

15th

And So It Came to Pass
Text: 2 Kings 15:12 (KJV) “This was the word of the LORD which he spake unto Jehu, saying, `Thy sons shall sit on the throne of Israel unto the fourth generation.' And so it came to pass."

God spoke to King Jehu and it came to pass.  GOD is sovereign and all-knowing. Let us today and every day hold on to the promises of GOD, which will come to pass, especially eternal life with HIM. Remember also HIS promise that if we are faithful to HIM, He will say, "Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the LORD."

Hymn: “Face to face O blissful moment with my Jesus who died and rose for me."

14th

Little is Much, or “Sign Me Up as a Member of God's Remnant
Text: Isaiah 1:9 (KJV) “Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.”

The Prophet Isaiah (whose name means, “Jehovah is Salvation”) spoke and told the people of both Israel and Judah, as Spurgeon writes, “So wicked were they, that but for the faithful few (the remnant), GOD would have cursed the land as He did with Sodom and Gomorrah, the cities of the plain! The LORD save our country from the same backsliding.” I encourage us to pray for a revival in our hearts, in our churches, and in our land.  Yes, there is blatant sin in America like abortion and so-called “gay rights,” but the worst sin is the sin of unbelief in GOD as the only way of salvation!

Hymn: “Little is much when God is in it, labor not for wealth or fame, there's a soul and you can win it if you go in JESUS' name.“

13th

Are We Sweet or Sour Grapes in His Vineyard?
Text: Isaiah 5:4 (KJV) “What could have been done more to my vineyard that I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?”

The Prophet Isaiah gave a picture lesson to Israel telling them as God's chosen people that they were to bring forth good fruit in His vineyard.  Likewise, we as Christians are to bear much spiritual fruit. Jesus says in John 15 that we are to abide in HIM as fruit-bearing branches. Abide means to believe in Him as the Son of God, accept Him by faith as our SAVIOR and LORD, do what He says in his Word, and submit to his Holy Spirit's leading in our lives.

Song (c.1993 Alan Kisaka @ Hope Chapel): “Hail Lord Jesus, You're the True Vine, Blessed Savior, giver of new wine, help me to obey Your commandments, Help me to be a branch that bears good fruit.”

12th

Secretary, Please Clear My Calendar for Today and Hold All Calls Because I Have an Appointment with King Jesus
Text: Amos 3:3 (KJV) “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”

The Prophet Amos (whose name means “burden” or “burden-bearer”) told Israel that they needed to walk in agreement with GOD, set a time to meet with HIM, and have an appointment with HIM.  So do we as Christians. I submit to you that first thing in the morning is the best time to sit down at Jesus' feet and read, meditate, study his Word, and then say like Lil' Samuel, “Speak Lord, your servant [fill in your name] is listening.”  Let the Holy Spirit guide you and walk in agreement with his plan for your life.

Hymn (“In the Garden”): “And He walks with me and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own, and the joy we share as we tarry there none other has ever known. “

11th

Just Chillin' in My Easy Boy Relaxer Chair
Text: Amos 6:1 (KJV) “Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!”

In today's text, we read how the Prophet Amos spoke to those in Israel and Judah who were “living the high life” and just chillin' in their easy boy relaxer chair's with no time for God or ministering to and helping those in need. The Lord Jesus reminded me this morning (thank you, Lord) that we need to serve Him and others and if we do service “unto the least of these,” we do service “unto HIM.”  This life is not about “I” (remember sin is spelled S-“I”-N.

”For it is in giving that we receive.” St. Francis of Assisi

10th

Lord, Prepare Me to be a Sanctuary
Text: 2 Chronicles 27:6 (KJV) "So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD."

We are reminded today that becoming mighty does not come by hanging out with our associates, amassing wealth, having possessions, or relying on our own strength; becoming mighty comes from being obedient to the LORD through his Holy Spirit.  Spurgeon writes regarding today's text, "King Jotham became mighty because he did not follow men, or seek their approbation but he lived in the immediate presence of the LORD, and desired above all things to please HIM."

Worship Song: "Lord prepare me to be a Sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true."

9th

Day By Day (The New Version): “O Dear Lord, Three Things I Pray.”
Text: Micah 6:8 (KJV) “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? “

The Prophet Micah (whose name means “Who is like Jehovah”), told the people of Israel that God does not want their religious sacrifices and rituals.  Likewise, God does not want us to think that we are “all that” because we go to church on Sunday and to Bible Study on Wednesday.  God wants us to have changed hearts and changed lives that treat people justly, love mercy (when was the last time we forgave someone, no questions asked), and to walk humbly with HIM! Spurgeon, the great prince of the preachers wrote, ”The true proof of godliness is not expensive rite, but hearty obedience; not a loud profession, but holy living.”

So I close with a modern version  of the song from Godspell: ”DAY BY DAY, DAY BY DAY, O DEAR LORD THESE THREE THINGS I PRAY, to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with THEE MY God, day by day by day by day.”

8th

Look in the Mirror
Text: 2 Chronicles 28:10 (The 1599 Geneva Bible, the Bible that the pilgrims brought to America and also used by my kinfolk, The Scottish Covenanters) “And now ye purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem, as servants and handmaids unto you: but are not you such, that sins are with you before the Lord your God?”

Dear friends, in today's text, we read how the Prophet Oded (whose name means “to testify as by reiteration,” defined as to repeat something said or done), told the people of Samaria (Israel) that they need to step back and look at their own sins before they judged the sins of Judah and Jerusalem.  I had to say a spiritual “ouch” or “O-ME” when I read the 1599 Geneva Bible note on today's text: ”May GOD not as well punish you for your sins as HE hath done these men for theirs, seeing yours are greater?” My Scottish gran use to admonish me as a lad when I would say, “Gran, Johnny stole a sweet or Susan lied in class, etc.”  She would reply, ”Joseph, ye need to look in the mirror, for he that without sin cannae cast the 1st stone.”
Today I encourage each of us before judging other do as Jesus says, ”Remove the beam (log) in our own eye before when are concerned with the mote (speck of dust) that is in our brother or sister's eye.”

“LORD, we all look up to Thee As one favoured family; May all strife between us cease, A s we love Thee, Prince of Peace.” Charles H. Spurgeon

7th 

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
Text: Isaiah 17:7 (The 1599 Geneva Bible) “ At that day shall a man look to his maker, and his eyes shall look to the holy one of Israel. “

The Prophet Isaiah gave a prophecy to the nation of Syria.  We also need to heed these words and not trust in our own successes in the church or on our jobs, trust in our possessions (cars, houses, pastimes, clothes, bank accounts), or trust in man.  We need to trust in the living GOD alone. Today I encourage each of to heed this note from the 1599 Geneva Bible, ”We must all turn from our sin and humble ourselves before GOD.”

Hymn: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.”

6th

Cry Out to Jesus
Text: Isaiah 19:20 (The 1599 Geneva Bible) “And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the Lord, because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a Savior and a great man, and shall deliver them. “

Prophet Isaiah gave a prophecy against the nation of Egypt, which had oppressed Israel for hundreds of years.  We see how in the future during the millennial reign (1,000 years) of Christ on earth at his second coming,  Egypt will be one of all the nations that bow in submission to Christ.  Oh, that we would bow in devotion and submission to Him today and then warn our family, friends, co-workers, bosses, and neighbors to “Cry out to Jesus, the Savior,” to deliver them!

Song (“Cry out to Jesus,” copyright 2005 by Third Day): “There is hope for the helpless, rest for the weary, and love for the broken hearts. There is grace and forgiveness, mercy and healing, He'll meet you wherever you are. Cry out to Jesus! Cry out to Jesus!”

5th

No Kleenex In Heaven
Text: Isaiah 25:8 (The 1599 Geneva Bible) “He will destroy death forever: and the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the rebuke of his people will he take away out of all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.”

In today's text, we read how the Prophet Isaiah paused in pronouncing judgment on the nations and gave a wonderful word of the Lord, part of which has been later quoted in I Corinthians 15:54 and part in Revelation 21:4.  Oh what joy we have in today's text: first, because we who have trusted Christ as Savior and Lord of our lives see that he destroyed the power of death and gave us life eternal in HIM, and we do not have to partake of the second (spiritual) death; second, because GOD, will wipe away the tears from all our faces (not just a select few). I encourage us today to live lives that are pleasing to Christ and share with others our blessed hope in today's verse with someone who does not know JESUS, so they too will not need any Kleenex in the afterlife.

Hymn (“Some Golden Daybreak”): “Some glorious morning sorrow will cease, some glorious morning all will be peace, heartaches all ended, school days all done, heaven will open--Jesus will come. oh, what a meeting, there in the skies, no tears nor crying shall dim our eyes, loved ones united eternally, oh, what a daybreak that morn will be.” Refrain: “Some golden daybreak Jesus will come, some golden daybreak, battles all won,He'll shout the victory, break thro' the blue, Some golden daybreak, for me, for you.”

4th

Don't Rely on Mr. Clean to get rid of the Dirt in Your Life

Text: 2 Chronicles 29:4-5 (The 1599 Geneva Bible) "And he brought in the Priests and the Levites, and gathered them into the East street, and said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites: sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the Sanctuary. “

King Hezekiah told the priests and Levites, after he repaired the Temple of God, to sanctify (purify) themselves and the house of the LORD.  I wonder if he was alive today, would he say to us as Christians, "Don't rely on the proverbial Mr.Clean to get rid of the dirt in your life." If we go to worldly sources for cleansing, they actually cause filthiness (unwholesome speech, too much telly and internet, too many computer games, in my case too much comic book reading, etc). Instead, since our bodies are the Temple of the Living God, we should repent of all known sins, spend time daily in his Word and in prayer, and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ by memorizing, applying, and living the written Word of God in our lives.

Worship Song (“Refiner's Fire”): “Purify my heart, let me be as gold and precious silver. Purify my heart, let me be as gold, pure gold.” Chorus: “Refiner's fire, my heart's one desire Is to be holy, set apart for You, Lord. I choose to be holy, set apart for You, my Master; Ready to do Your will.”

3rd

Jesus, The Beloved Bridegroom
Text: Hosea 2:19-20 (The 1599 Geneva Bible) "And I will marry thee unto me forever: yea, I will marry thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in mercy and in compassion.  I will even marry thee unto me in faithfulness, and thou shalt know the Lord.”

The prophet Hosea (whose names means “salvation”), spoke to the people of Israel and told them to turn from their unfaithfulness to God. They were to no longer commit spiritual or physical adulteries and turn and come to God and be His bride.  We read in the New Testament how the Church is the bride of Christ.  Oh that we would cling to Christ and not commit spiritual adultery by loving the world, the flesh, and the devil.  Let us consider the words of Charles H. Spurgeon, ”Blessed are those who are married to the LORD; for HIS love admits of no change, His espousals never end in divorce.”

Hymn (“Bride of The Lamb, Awake, Awake”): “Bride of the Lamb, awake, awake! Why sleep for sorrow now? The hope of glory, Christ, is thine, a child of glory thou. Thy spirit, through the lonely night, from earthly joy apart, hath sighed for One that's far away—The Bridegroom of thy heart. But see! The night is waning fast, the breaking morn is near; and Jesus comes, with voice of love, thy drooping heart to cheer. He comes—for oh, his yearning heart no more can bear delay—to scenes of full unmingled joy to call his bride away.”

2nd

It Really Does Matter WHO You Know
Text: Hosea 8:2 (1599 Geneva Bible) "Israel shall cry unto ME, `My God, we know Thee.' " 
 
God spoke and told the Prophet Hosea that Israel and Judah were like hypocrites in that they only had head knowledge and did lip service to Him and did not have a personal relationship with Him.  Jesus said that we are known by our fruits and still today God is "calling us out of darkness, into HIS marvelous light" because he wants us to know Him in a deep and intimate relationship.  Today, I challenge us to make it a daily habit to read, heed, memorize, and apply GOD's Word, pray and seek his face, and do good deeds unto all men, showing that we are HIS disciples.
 
Song (“Oh, I Want To Know You More,” as Sung By Steve Green, words and music by Steve Fry, copyright 1994 Bird Wing Music and BMG Songs, Inc. Bird Wing Music Admin. by EMI-CMP, all rights reserved. Used by permission.): “Just the time I feel that I've been caught in the mire of self, just the time I feel my mind's been bought by worldly wealth, that's when the breeze begins to blow, I know the Spirit's call, and all my worldly wanderings just melt into His love.” Chorus: “Oh, I want to know you more, deep within my soul I want to know you, oh, I want to know you. To feel your heart and know your mind. Looking in your eyes stirs up within me cries that say I want to know you. Oh, I want to know you more. When my daily deeds ordinarily lose life and song, my heart begins to bleed, sensitivity to Him is gone. I've run the race, but set my own pace and face a shattered soul, now the gentle arms of Jesus warm my hunger to be whole.” Chorus: “And oh, I want to know you . And I would give my final breath to know you in your death and resurrection. Oh, I want to know you more. Oh, I want to know you, to know you more. Oh, I want to know you more.”

1st

Crown Him with Many Crowns
 Text: Isaiah 28:5 (The 1599 Geneva Bible) "In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty unto the residue of his people.”

The Prophet Isaiah spoke to the people of Samaria (Israel) and told them that God, Himself, would be a crown of glory to the faithful remnant.  The New Testament says we as Christians will receive crowns in heaven to cast at Jesus' feet because He alone is worthy to be our Savior, Lord, and King. We may receive (1) the crown of righteousness-for those who look forward to Christ's return by serving Him faithfully and righteously.-let's watch vigilantly for his return and faithfully serve Him; (2) the crown of life-for those who endure (abide, patiently suffer) and stay close to Christ in their temptations and trials.-let us trust Christ to help us overcome our temptations and trust Him to supply all our needs in our trials, i.e. for healing (I am trusting Him for his full Divine Healing in my three major ailments, bi-polar depression, sleep apnea, and the dreadful type 2 diabetes), loss of job or income, bills, loneliness, loss of a loved one, difficult people in our lives, etc; (3) the crown of glory-for those who are faithful in teaching and shepherding the flock-Let us guide and protect the flock with all love and guidance that comes from Jesus, The Chief Shepherd of our souls.

Hymn (“Crown Him with Many Crowns”): “Crown Him the Lord of life, who triumphed over the grave, And rose victorious in the strife for those He came to save. His glories now we sing, Who died, and rose on high, Who died eternal life to bring, and lives that death may die.”