Help Those in Need
Text: Deuteronomy 15:11 (KJV) “For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.”
God told the people of Israel to help each other, and to especially help the poor and needy. We are highly blessed by the Lord here in America. We complain about the rising prices of gas and other items, but how many of us miss meals due to no food in our pantries? How many of us have been naked due to lack of clothing, or have been homeless because we can’t pay our rent or mortgage? Help those in need and remember (as James might say), “Actions speak louder than words.”
Hymn (“O Brother Man,” by John Greenleaf Whittier): “O brother man, fold to thy heart thy brother; Where pity dwells, the peace of God is there; To worship rightly is to love each other, Each smile a hymn, each kindly deed a prayer.”
The Mighty Hand of God
Text: Deuteronomy 11:2(KJV) “And know ye this day: for I speak not with your children which have not known, and which have not seen the chastisement of the LORD your God, his greatness, his mighty hand, and his stretched out arm.”
Moses told Israel to tell of God’s greatness and how He kept them in his mighty hand. The mighty hand of God protects us from our enemies, shelters us from harm, and lovingly (and sometimes firmly) touches us, and also comforts us. God is our Heavenly Father and He loves us so! He will show us the way to go when we need direction. He will uphold and strengthen us in temptation.
Hymn (“His Mighty Hand”): “I am saved from sin, I have peace within, And I walk with Jesus day by day; O his hand so strong, holds me all day long, And with Him I will not go astray.” Refrain: “He will hold me with his mighty hand! He will hold me with his mighty hand! In temptation He will help me stand! For He will hold me with his mighty hand.”
I Will Bless You LORD
Text: Deuteronomy 8:10 (KJV) “When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.”
The Israelites were told to bless God when they had entered the promised land and had eaten their fill. Many Bible teachers and scholars use this text as the reason we say grace at mealtime. I would like to take this one step further and ask that we as Christians also “bless the LORD our God” with all that we think, say, and do as God has been so good to us in all things.”
Hymn (“Swell the Anthem, Raise the Song”): “Swell the anthem, raise the song; Praises to our God belong. Saints and angels join to sing, Praises to the heav’nly King. Blessings from his liberal hand, Flow around this happy land. Kept by Him, no foes annoy; Peace and freedom we enjoy.”
Where do You Hide from Your Enemies?
Text: Psalm 32:7 (KJV) “Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.”
Dear Friends, in today’s text, King David said that God was his hiding place from his enemies. As Christians, if we trust in the LORD and not in our military might, our own strength, or a false religion, Jesus alone will keep us safe and hide us from our enemies—namely, the world, our flesh, and the devil.
Hymn (“Thou art my Hiding Place, O LORD”): “Thou art my hiding place, O Lord, In Thee I put my trust; Encouraged by Thy holy Word, A feeble child of dust; I have no argument beside, I urge no other plea; And ’tis enough my Savior died, My Savior died for me.”
What Brings Joy in Heaven
Text: Luke 15:10 (KJV) “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”
One of the greatest things that brings joy to God and the angels in heaven is when a sinner receives Jesus as Savior and Lord. We need to be about the business of God on earth by living holy lives, praying for people to come to faith in Christ, and sharing what God has done for us. In this way we will bring joy both here on earth and in heaven as sinners repent.
Hymn (“There is Joy”): “When a sinner comes, as a sinner may, There is joy, there is joy; When he turns to God in the Gospel way, There is joy, there is joy.” Refrain: “There is joy among the angels, And their harps with music ring, When a sinner comes repenting, Bending low before the King.”
Text: Deuteronomy 6:13 (KJV) “Fear the Lord thy God, and serve Him.”
Moses told the people of Israel to fear GOD and serve Him. The Hebrew word for fear is yare which is interpreted to mean “to make afraid or to be in reverence.” I believe GOD wants us to reverence Him, but we also need to think twice and truly “fear Him.” That is, we must be afraid of consequences before we “act out” or say things against others, or in rage take His holy name in vain. O, GOD, may we honor, reverence, and fear you!
Hymn (“O my God, I Fear Thee”): “O my God, I fear Thee! Holy, just, and true; But, my heavenly Father, I will love Thee, too; Guide me till this life be past, Take me to Thyself at last.”
Look What the LORD has done in Your Life–A Refresher Course
Text: Deuteronomy 1:8 (KJV) “Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.”
Moses gave the Law of God to the people a second time just before the last of those who had wandered in the wilderness for forty years would die (except for Joshua and Caleb). Moses reminded them of all that the LORD had done for them, both in Egypt and in the wilderness. GOD touched my heart and said, “Look what I have done for you all the years of your life.” He says the same to each of us; namely to take a “refresher course” on his goodness.
Worship Chorus (“Look What the LORD has Done”): “Look what the Lord has done, Look what the Lord has done; He healed my body, He touched my mind, He saved me just in time. I’m gonna praise his name, Each day is just the same, Come on and praise Him, Look what the Lord has done.”
Stop Defiling the Land—Murder Gone Mad
Text: Numbers 35:33-34 (KJV) “So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it. Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the LORD dwell among the children of Israel.”
God told the nation of Israel not to defile the land by murder because He is a holy GOD and He wanted to dwell among them.
I am amazed and shocked that in the United States we have on our money the phrase, “One Nation Under God,” yet we have three types of murder that defile our land and need to cease.
1. We have the murder of the unborn, namely abortion. This needs to stop, and rather than condemn the women that have already had abortions, we need to pray for them and help them heal.
2. We have the murder of others through the sin of anger. Jesus said that we murder our brother or sister when we have anger in our hearts against them. We must learn to forgive others as we have been forgiven by God.
3. We have the murder of the aged and the ill. So called, “Euthanasia,” or “physician assisted suicide,” is a sin against God because god alone is the giver and taker of life.
Song (“Little Ones,” by Phil Keaggy): “Who will speak up for the little ones? Helpless and half-abandoned. They’ve got the right to choose life. They don’t want to lose; I’ve got to speak up, won’t you?”
Don’t Let Your Enemies Overcome You; Instead Overcome Your Enemies
Text: Numbers 33:55-56 (KJV) “But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.”
In today’s text, we see where not only did God warn the nation of Israel, but He warns us also, to not let our enemies overcome us. As Christians, we have three enemies; the world (its philosophies, lusts, and those people who reject Christ), our flesh, and the devil and his demons. We overcome our enemies by the Word of God, the Blood of Jesus, and not loving our lives and our flesh so much as to give in to temptations.
Hymn (“They That Overcome”): “Overcoming evil day by day, This our warfare on the Christian way; Yet unto those that faithful endure, God has declared that His promise is sure.” Refrain: “They that overcome, thus saith He; They that overcome, blessèd shall be; They that overcome the world and sin, Life and a crown in His kingdom shall win.”
Build Your Life on the Wisdom of God!
Text: Proverbs 24:3 (KJV) “Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:”
In today’s Proverb, even though short, it is timely. We need to go to the Bible for wisdom. We need God’s wisdom found only in the Bible to build a solid relationship with Chris,t and in our homes and marriages. Go back to the Guidebook, today!
Hymn (“Building, Daily Building”): “Building, daily building, while the moments fly, We are ever building life work for on high! Character we’re building, thoughts and actions free, Make for us a building for eternity.” Refrain: “We are building day by day, while the moments pass away, We are building, ever building; We are building day by day, while the moments pass away, We are building for eternity.”
Give God the Glory Due His Name!
Text: Psalm 29:2 (KJV) “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.”
King David wrote that we need to give GOD the glory due his name. We can do this in three ways.
1. Thank GOD daily for the salvation that we have by his grace through our faith in his Son, Jesus Christ.
2. Thank Him for his blessings of food, clothing, shelter, safety, warmth, jobs, cars, family, friends, pets etc.
3. Do not blaspheme his name or his Son Jesus’ name by using them as swear words like the heathen do, or by jesting like they do by saying “Oh, my G-d!”
Hymn (“Down at the Cross–Glory to His Name”): “Down at the cross where my Savior died, Down where for cleansing from sin I cried, There to my heart was the blood applied; Glory to His Name!” Refrain: “Glory to his Name, glory to his Name: There to my heart was the blood applied; Glory to His Name!”
Jesus, What a Friend for us Sinners!
Text: Luke 7:34-35 (KJV) “The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! But wisdom is justified of all her children.”
Jesus basically shut the mouths of the Pharisees because He would not let the slander of those religious leaders bother Him.
Instead, He told them that He came to seek and to save those of us who had been lost. Come to Jesus today; He is a friend of us sinners, and He longs to save us by his grace!
Hymn (“Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners”): “Jesus! what a Friend for sinners! Jesus! Lover of my soul; Friends may fail me, foes assail me, He, my Savior, makes me whole.” Refrain: “Hallelujah! what a Savior! Hallelujah! what a Friend! Saving, helping, keeping, loving, He is with me to the end.”
Prepare the Way, Your Successor may be Arriving
Text: Numbers 27:22-23 (KJV) “And Moses did as the LORD commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation: And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.”
In today’s text, we see one of the many instances in the Bible where someone was preparing the way for their successor in ministry. Besides Moses and Joshua, some other examples are Elijah and Elisha, and John The Baptist preparing the way for Jesus’ ministry. We do not know when the LORD will call us home, but we should be asking GOD to “send [new] workers into his vineyard, because the harvest is plentiful and the laborers are few.”
Hymn (“Harvest Time”): “The harvest fields are bending, With precious ripened grain; More reapers now are needed, Ere Christ comes back again.” Refrain: “Harvest time! Harvest time! Precious Gospel seed is sown. Reapers go! Reapers go! Jesus, King, must have His own, His loved ones; Soon He’ll come! Soon He’ll come! Come and catch away His Bride, His own! His own! His own!
Goodly Homes are Godly Homes
Text: Numbers 24:5 (KJV) “How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel!”
Balaam, who was hired by an enemy king to curse Israel, instead blessed Israel here in his third “prophecy.” He
blessed Israel because of their goodly tents and the tabernacle because GOD was with his people. In their homes and in their tabernacle they worshiped and lived for GOD. We should not be concerned if our homes are super clean and ready for the pages of “Better Homes and Gardens,” or whether we have the biggest and best furniture, gadgets, cars, etc. Instead, we should seek to say, “My home is a goodly and godly place.”
Hymn (“Goodly Were Thy tents, O Israel”): “Goodly were thy tents, O Israel, Spread along the river’s side; Bright thy star, which rose prophetic, Herald of dominion wide; Fairer are the homes of freemen, Scattered o’er our broad domain; Brighter is our rising daystar, Ush’ring in a purer reign.”
There is no Rich or Poor Section in Heaven
Text: Proverbs 22:2 (KJV) “The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.”
In today’s Proverb, we see that what is unjust on earth (namely, separation of people by social classes even in churches) will be abolished in heaven. If one wants a ticket to heaven, so to speak, there is no first class or coach section. Admittance to heaven cannot be bought because it was paid for with a great price, the blood of Jesus Christ. So if you want to go to heaven, all you have to do is believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is LORD and SAVIOR! We’ll all be rich when we meet there!
Hymn (“Meet Me There”): “On the happy, golden shore, where the faithful part no more, When the storms of life are over, meet me there; Where the night dissolves away into pure and perfect day, I am going home to stay—meet me there.” Refrain: “Meet me there, meet me there, Where the tree of life is blooming, meet me there; When the storms of life are o’er, on the happy golden shore, Where the faithful part no more, meet me there.”
Give GOD Your Best, Not Leftovers
Text: Numbers 18:29 (KJV) “Out of all your gifts ye shall offer every heave offering of the LORD, of all the best thereof, even the hallowed part thereof out of it.”
In today’s text, we see where GOD told Moses that when the gifts (offerings) had been brought to GOD, the priest was supposed to give GOD the best. As Christians, we are not to give GOD “leftovers” (i.e., tithing off net income, serving Him when we are finished running around seeking our own pleasure, or saying, “LORD, when I have some time, I can do such and such.”) Give GOD your best; He alone deserves it!
Hymn (“Our Best”): “Hear ye the Master’s call, `Give Me thy best!’ For, be it great or small, that is His test. Do then the best you can, not for reward, Not for the praise of men, but for the Lord.” Refrain: “Every work for Jesus will be blest, But He asks from everyone his best. Our talents may be few, these may be small, But unto Him is due our best, our all.”
Be an Encourager
Text: Numbers 13:30 (KJV) “And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, `Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.’ ”
In today’s text, we see how Caleb, who was an encourager and a man of faith, tried to still the people and calm them from uprising against Moses because of the false testimony and weak report of the other ten cowardly spies. Only Joshua and Caleb brought back good reports from the promised land. Today, keep away from the cowards, the slanderers, and the evil reporters, and be an encourager to others.
Hymn (“Far, Far on the Other Side”): “The giants are conquered the spies said were here, Jesus is victor, I need have no fear; Summer in winter and joy all the year, Glory to Jesus forever!” Refrain: “Far, far on the other side, I’m living across the river, Burned are the bridges ‘twixt me and the world, Glory to Jesus forever!”
HELP, I Need Somebody, Not Just Anybody
Text: Psalm 25:1-2 (KJV) “Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in Thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.”
In today’s text, we see that King David cried out to GOD alone for help, and he also asked to not be ashamed or have his enemies triumph over him. If you need release from your enemies (Satan, your flesh, this world, debt, illness, etc.), cry out to GOD. He will come to your aide.
Hymn (“Trusting Jesus,” Crosby version): “Simply trusting all the way, Taking Jesus at His Word; Simply trusting, when I pray, Every promise of my Lord.” Refrain: “Simply trusting, simply trusting, Trusting Jesus, that is all; To the cross of Christ I cling; Simply trusting, that is all.”
When You Give, You Receive
Text: Luke 6:38 (KJV) “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
In today’s text, we see the antidote for selfishness. If you give, you will receive. You may not become a millionaire, but you receive spiritual blessings, love, joy, peace, patience, etc. You also experience the blessing of seeing lives changed when you serve others and watch GOD work in their lives. Today, give financially in tithes and offerings and give of your time and talents to serve God and others. You will be richly blessed.
Hymn (“Awake, Awake to Love and Work,” Verse 3): “To give and give, and give again, What God hath given thee; To spend thyself nor count the cost; To serve right gloriously, The God Who gave all worlds that are, And all that are to be.”
Let Everything Else Go
Text: Matthew 25:21 (KJV) “His lord said unto him,’ Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.’ ”
In today’s text, we see an exciting reminder which is actually a prayer that I pray for my family, friends, you readers, and myself. I pray, “Lord Jesus, guide us to where we can hear these words of yours welcoming us to your Kingdom.” Let us celebrate the joy of knowing that nothing will compare to seeing Jesus face to face and hearing those words from his lips!
Song (“Let Everything Else Go,” by Phil Keaggy):”Chasing down hot air balloons on Sunday morning, In pace with a familiar tune I reach for nothing less, but something more. All the day, and the wind is at my back most of the way. Holding conversation with a friend I know is near, Great anticipation fills my soul, It fills my heart, it fills the air. All the day, and the wind is at my back. Oh I can’t wait to see you Jesus, face to face, Nothing in this world can take Your place.”
GOD Bless You Today and Always
Text: Numbers 6:24-26 (KJV) “The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”
In today’s text, we see an excellent blessing that GOD gave Moses to give to the people. It breaks my heart that people can say God or Jesus accompanied with a curse word and then turn around and say “Bless you” to others. Blessings have spiritual power and should not be tossed around lightly, particularly by those who use the Lord’s name in vain. Today, make it a habit to lovingly correct those who use God’s name in cursing, and then genuinely bless them in his name.
Hymn (“The LORD Bless and Keep You”): “The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord lift His countenance upon you, And give you peace, and give you peace; The Lord make His face to shine upon you, And be gracious, and be gracious; The Lord be gracious, gracious unto you.”
Keep the Fire Burning
Text: Leviticus 6:13 (KJV) “The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.”
In today’s text, we see where the priests were commanded to always keep the altar fire burning. The fire is a “type” of the Holy Spirit. We need to always keep our faith in God alive in our hearts and not grieve the Holy Spirit by willful and disobedient sinning. When we disobey God, we hurt others and ourselves, but more importantly we grieve the Holy Spirit and become “mean spirited and cold hearted.” Keep the fire burning today!
Hymn (“O Thou Who Camest From Above”) “O Thou Who camest from above, The pure celestial fire to impart, Kindle a flame of sacred love, Upon the mean altar of my heart.”
Raising Up a Holy Generation
Text: Proverbs 20:11 (KJV) “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.”
In today’s Proverb, the writer tells us that the basic nature of a person reveals itself early in life. Some children are labeled as “wee brats” and some as “wee angels.” For those of you who have children, I encourage you to raise them in the things of the LORD. For those of us who have no children, we can help in many ways: pray for the parents; help in Sunday School; become a Big Brother/Big Sister; and pray for the teachers, Sunday School teachers and daycare workers of the world. If you have nieces and nephews, pray for them daily and give them “good gifts,” i.e. Christian books, audio cassettes, and CDs.
Hymn (“Jesus Loves the Little Children”): “Jesus calls the children dear, `Come to me and never fear, For I love the little children of the world; I will take you by the hand, Lead you to the better land, For I love the little children of the world.’ ” Refrain: “Jesus loves the little children, All the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, All are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.”
Text: Ephesians 4:14-15 (KJV) “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ.”
The Apostle Paul tells us that we need to stop acting like spoiled brats who want our own way. We need to mature and grow up in Christ because He is the Head of the Church. There are several ways that we can get off “babes’ spiritual milk,” grow up, and mature in the LORD. We can spend time daily in Bible Study and prayer; serve in an area of our spiritual gifts in the church; tithe and give offerings; witness; make our homes sacred worship and prayer havens; practice sowing seeds of kindness in our families, neighborhoods, and work places; and get rid of the “unholy” in our lives.
Hymn (“Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah,” 5th verse): “Musing on my habitation, Musing on my heavenly home, Fills my soul with holy longings. Come, my Jesus, quickly come; Vanity is all I see; Lord, I long to be with Thee! Lord, I long to be with Thee!”
`Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus
Text: Psalm 22:4-5 (KJV) “Our fathers trusted in Thee: they trusted, and Thou didst deliver them. They cried unto Thee, and were delivered: they trusted in Thee, and were not confounded.”
King David said that his ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses, etc. were delivered because they trusted in God. Let us rejoice and say thank you to Jesus today because He has delivered us from sin, death, and hell if we have trusted Him as Lord and Savior of our lives. He will bring us through our present trials.
Hymn (“ ‘Tis so Sweet to Trust In Jesus”): “ ‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, And to take Him at His Word; Just to rest upon His promise, And to know, `Thus says the Lord!’ ” Refrain: “Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him! How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er. Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus, O for grace to trust Him more!”
Standing on the Word of GOD
Text: Mark 13:31(KJV) “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away.”
In today’s text, Jesus tells us a vitally important thing. The important thing to know is that the heavens and the earth will pass away. False teachers will come and go. Fair weather friends will come and go. But, we need to always remember that GOD’s Word will never pass away. The Bible is the Guidebook that we should rely on to live out this life.
Hymn (“I am Standing on the Word of GOD”): “I am standing on the Word of God, Which came to men of old; The Holy Book our fathers loved, And treasured more than gold.” Refrain: “I am standing, standing on the Word, Though the earth change and decay, It shall never, never pass away, I am standing on the Word of God.”
The Sabbath is a Holy Day
Text: Leviticus 23:3 (KJV) “Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.”
In today’s text, we see that the Sabbath was to be a holy convocation (holy day). It is a shame that here in America we profane (disrespect) God’s Sabbath. We do that by not “resting” and not worshipping. This Sunday try to do three things: Get up early and spend some time in Bible study and prayer before you go to church; while you are at the service, do not complain about anything or let your mind wander to the afternoon’s TV sports, or the mall shopping trip; do not delegate such trivial things like moving the grass, vacuuming the house, or “goofing off on the Internet” to a Sunday. Delegate these nonessentials to another day of the week and rest, rest, and rest.
Hymn (“Holy Sabbath”): “Holy Sabbath, day of rest; By our great Redeemer blest; When in majesty He rose, More than conqueror o’er His foes.” Refrain: “Softly now we hear Him say, `Turn from earthly toil away; Let your pray’rs to Heaven ascend; I will keep you to the end.’ ”
The Occult is the Worst Cult
Text: Leviticus 20:6-8 (KJV) “And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD, which sanctify you. ”
In today’s text, God warns the children of Israel, and us today, to flee from all things that are from the occult: the “hidden things” that oppose God. The occult includes atheism and agnosticism which deny the reality and power of GOD to save; Satanism, witchcraft, Wicca, New Age, Scientology, and any religion that does not rely on Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; horoscopes; games/devices such as the Ouija board, Magic 8 ball, Dungeon and Dragons, Pokémon, Digimon, and The Gathering; books/comic books that deal with horror, dreams and/or dream interpretations; fantasy; a majority of video games; many current movies and television shows; illegal drugs; much rock music and rap; and pornography. Please beware, and make sure that you and your family fill your eyes, ears, and minds with wholesome things.
Flee Sexual Sins
Text: Leviticus 18:24-30 (KJV) “Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;) That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you. For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people. Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God.”
Dear friends, In the verses prior to today’s text, God told the people of Israel, and He tells us as Christians today, that he hates sexual sins, namely, incest, homosexuality (there is no such thing as an alternative lifestyle with the LORD), bestiality, and others. Let us flee from all this wickedness, stand up, and purify our hearts with the refiner’s fire.
Praise Song (“Refiner’s Fire,” copyright, Brian Doerksen,1990, Mercy/Vineyard Publishing): “Purify my heart, Let me be as gold and precious silver; Purify my heart, Let me be as gold, pure gold. 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.”
Text: Proverbs 17:17a (KJV) “A friend loveth at all times.”
In today’s proverb, we see a powerful statement that is sorely needed in today’s society. A “forever friend” is someone who will love us at all times, love us enough to tell us areas where we need to improve, listen to us “vent,” pray, and help us when we are in need. A “forever friend” is often closer than flesh and blood family members. If you have someone in your life like this, thank the LORD for him or her and also call him or her soon and say, “Thank You for being my forever friend.” You will be glad that you did.
Song (“Friends,” by Michael W. & Debbie Smith): “Packing up the dreams God planted In the fertile soil of you; Can’t believe the hopes He’s granted; Means a chapter in your life is through. But, we’ll keep you close as always; It won’t even seem you’ve gone. ‘Cause our hearts in big and small ways Will keep the love that keeps us strong.” Chorus: “And friends are friends forever If the Lord’s the Lord of them; And a friend will not say never ‘Cause the welcome will not end. Though it’s hard to let you go, In the Father’s hands we know, That a lifetime’s not too long to live as friends.”