Tell Me the Story of Jesus
Text: Acts 11:14 (KJV)
“Who shall tell words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.”
In today’s text, we see how Peter told the people and other apostles that the angel spoke to Cornelius of how Peter was going to share the Gospel of Jesus with him and his family so that they would be saved. We need to tell others the story of Jesus and also give our testimony of how Jesus forgave us of all our sins and how He changed our lives. You don’t need an angel or anyone else to tell you that those of the world are lost and going to their spiritual deaths unless we lovingly yet boldly share the Gospel of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ with them.
Hymn (“Tell Me the Story of Jesus”): “Tell me the story of Jesus, Write on my heart every word. Tell me the story most precious, Sweetest that ever was heard. Tell how the angels in chorus, Sang as they welcomed His birth, `Glory to God in the highest! Peace and good tidings to earth.’ ” Refrain: “Tell me the story of Jesus, Write on my heart every word. Tell me the story most precious, Sweetest that ever was heard. Fasting alone in the desert, Tell of the days that are past. How for our sins He was tempted, Yet was triumphant at last. Tell of the years of His labor, Tell of the sorrow He bore. He was despised and afflicted, Homeless, rejected and poor. Tell of the cross where they nailed Him, Writhing in anguish and pain. Tell of the grave where they laid Him, Tell how He liveth again. Love in that story so tender, Clearer than ever I see. Stay, let me weep while you whisper, Love paid the ransom for me.”
Here, I am Lord, What Would You Have Me to Do?
Text: Acts 9:10 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“And there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias, and to him said the Lord in a vision, `Ananias.’ And
he said, `Behold, I am here, Lord.’ ”
In today’s text, we see how Ananias even though he was afraid of the report of what Saul had done in persecuting the church, said to the Lord, “Here I am, Lord.” He was willing to do what God wanted him to do. Because of Ananias’ obedience, Saul became the Apostle Paul and was given both his physical eyesight and spiritual eyesight and went on to faith in Christ and was baptized. Today, the biggest challenge is for you and me to turn from fear, fear of rejection, fear of the unknown, fear of what a person may say or do to us, and just stop and say, “Lord Jesus, please take away my fear and here I am Lord, use me.”
Hymn (“What Wilt Thou Have Me To Do?”): “What wilt Thou have me to do, O Lord, What wilt Thou have me to do? Thou hast redeemed me, Thy right I own, Thine are my pow’rs, my Savior, alone; Thou hast for me such great things done.” Refrain: “What wilt Thou have me to do? What is the labor appointed me? Where shall I labor for Thee? What wilt Thou have me to do, O Lord, What wilt Thou have me to do? Is it to labor? I’ll gladly go; Is it to wait? Then let it be so; Only Thy will I ask to know.”
Forgive our Enemies
Text: Acts 7:59-60 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“And they stoned Stephen, who called on God, and said, `Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, `Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.’ And when he had thus spoken, he slept.”
In today’s text, we see how Stephen, who was the first Christian martyr, before he died a horrible death by stoning asked God to forgive his enemies, those who stoned him for his faith in Christ. I was reminded as I close the chapter in my life here in Nebraska to stop and forgive all my enemies (people who hurt “my petty feelings”) and press on for the Kingdom
of God and do the work that Jesus wants for me. Maybe today you have someone in your life, at work, at church, in your family, or in your neighborhood that has hurt you or slandered you. Go to God now and say, “God, by your grace and your help, I choose to forgive such and such for the offense against me.” We have been forgiven much so let us do the same.
Hymn (“Forgive Them, O My Father”): ” `Forgive them, O my Father, They know not what they do,’ The Savior spoke in anguish, As sharp iron nails went through. No word of anger spoke He To them that shed His blood, But prayer and tenderest pity Large as the love of God. For me was that compassion, For me that tender care; I need His wide forgiveness As much as any there. It was my pride and hardness That hung Him on the tree; Those cruel nails, O Savior, Were driven in by me. And often I have slighted Thy gentle voice that said: `Forgive me too, Lord Jesus, I knew not what I did.’ O depth of sweet compassion! O love divine and true! Save Thou the souls that slight Thee, And know not what they do.”
No Other Name Can Save Us
Text: Acts 4:10-12 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye have crucified, whom God raised again from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you, whole. This is the stone cast aside of you builders which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other; for among men there is given none other Name under heaven, whereby we must be saved.”
In today’s text, we see how the Apostle Peter spoke the bold truth that salvation is found in no other Name and Person but in the Lord Jesus Christ. How sad and shameful that even churches and seminaries are spreading the lies that dead Mohammed, dead Buddha, dead Confucius, dead L. Ron Hubbard, or, heaven forbid, even atheism can save a person. Wrong! Only Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose from the dead, and guess what, He’s coming back for his true church! Be encouraged today that only the Name and Person of Jesus can save us!
Hymn (“Only One Name”): “There is only one Name that the saints adore—Jesus, our Elder Brother; They give Him all the praise, now and ever more; His Name is over every other.” Refrain: “Then lift the happy strain, And sing the glad refrain—The Name, the Name of Jesus; Then lift the happy strain, And sing the glad refrain—The Name, the Name of Jesus. There is only one Name that the soul need know—Jesus, the Lord’s Anointed; He suffered to redeem us from sin and woe, And bear us to the rest appointed. There is only one Name that the angels sing—Jesus, the Lord of Glory; They gather at His feet while they hail Him King, And listen to redemption’s story.”
Text: Luke 24:6-8 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“He is not here, but is risen; remember how he spake unto you, when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, that the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words.”
In today’s text, we come to an important place where the disciples came to the empty tomb where Jesus had risen from the dead. Two angels told them to remember how Jesus said that on the third day, “He would rise again.” I have to repent, and maybe you do also, of spiritual memory loss. How often we forgot Jesus our first love and his comfort and words to us, and live like people without hope? Just last night I was “stressing” about “my move,” “how am I going to learn my new job,” etc. and my beloved wife told me to remember the words of our Lord, “Cast all your care upon Him for He careth for You” (I Peter 5:7), and “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Today, I challenge each of us to take a verse in the Bible that applies to whatever we are going through and need God’s help with and write it on a card or piece of paper, take it with us, and remember it throughout our day. No more spiritual Alzheimer’s allowed!
Hymn (“Wonderful Words of Life”): “Sing them over again to me, wonderful words of life, Let me more of their beauty see, wonderful words of life; Words of life and beauty teach me faith and duty.” Refrain: “Beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words of life, Beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words of life. Christ, the blessed One, gives to all wonderful words of life; Sinner, list to the loving call, wonderful words of life; All so freely given, wooing us to heaven.
Sweetly echo the Gospel call, wonderful words of life; Offer pardon and peace to all, wonderful words of life; Jesus, only Savior, sanctify us forever.”
I Wanna be Ready, Jesus is Coming Soon!
Text: Matthew 24:30-31(1599 Geneva Bible)
“And, then, shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the kindred’s of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his Angels with a
great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect, from the four winds, and from the one end of the heavens unto the other. ”
Jesus told His disciples that one day He will return and He will take his own with Him. Jesus is coming back and very soon, though no one but God the Father knows the day and hour of Jesus’ return. This glorious event is called the Rapture of The Church. I am amazed and ashamed by two things:
1. Why is it so many mainline denominations do not even preach and teach about Jesus’ return?
2. Why do we worry, stress, and fuss over movers coming, dinner guests coming, or our boss’ first day back on the job after his or her vacation, when we do not even prepare and get ourselves ready for our Master Jesus’ return?
I repent and promise that I wanna be ready for Jesus; let us get ready together.
Song (“I Wanna be Ready,” Sung By B.J. Thomas and one of my top ten favorite songs of all time!): “I wanna be ready, I don’t know, How long I’ll be here, ‘Cause Jesus Said He’d come again. And where He leads, I will go with Him, When I hear Him call my name. I wanna be ready, I wanna be ready, I wanna be ready, I wanna be ready. I cannot be sure of When it will take place, But it does not matter, If I’m walking in His grace. I feel it won’t be long now, Until He comes for me. He’s gonna take me with Him, And at His feet I’ll bow.”
Forgiveness, There is Nothing Like It
Text: Luke 23:34a (1599 Geneva Bible)
“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
In today’s text, we see one of the most powerful statements recorded by Jesus in the New Testament. He forgave his enemies and He also forgives us of all our sins. Do you not realize, as I soon forgot this year, that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and rulers of darkness? You see, people who treat you unkindly or who rail false things
against you, can’t help themselves. They know not what they do because the god of the world (Satan) and his demons have blinded their eyes. Instead of feeling like you and I have to “defend ourselves,” let us quietly and calmly continue to pray for those who mistreat us, and ask God to forgive them, and forgive them ourselves.
Hymn (“Forgive Them, O My Father”): ” `Forgive them, O my Father, They know not what they do.’ The Savior spoke in anguish, As sharp iron nails went through. No word of anger spoke Him To them that shed His blood, But prayer and tenderest pity Large as the love of God. For me was that compassion, For me that tender care; I need His wide forgiveness As much as any there. It was my pride and hardness That hung Him on the tree; Those cruel nails, O Savior, Were driven in by me. And often I have slighted Thy gentle voice that said: `Forgive me too, Lord Jesus, I knew not what I did.’ O depth of sweet compassion! O love divine and true! Save Thou the souls that slight Thee, And know not what they do.”
Silence is Sometimes Best
Text: Matthew 27:12 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“And when He was accused of the chief Priests, and Elders, He answered nothing.”
In today’s text, we see how when Jesus was falsely accused before his enemies, He answered nothing. I myself have three women and one man at work who vehemently hate Jesus, His Word, the Bible, and his people. I have had to just stop planting the seed of God’s Word and silently in my daily quiet time pray for their salvation. Perhaps you too have a boss, a
co-worker, a neighbor, a family member, a spouse, or a friend who hates Jesus, God’s Word, and his people. I suggest you too be silent and pray in your quiet time that their spiritual blindness will be healed.
Hymn (“Tread Softly”): “Be silent, be silent, A whisper is heard, Be silent, and listen, O treasure each word!” Refrain: “Tread softly, tread softly, The Master is here, Tread softly, tread softly, He bids us draw near. Be silent, be silent, For holy this place, This altar that echoes The message of grace. Be silent, be silent, Breathe humbly our prayer, A foretaste of Eden This moment we share. Be silent, be silent, His mercy record, Be silent, be silent And wait on the Lord.”
Text: John 14:15 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
Jesus tells His disciples, and us as believers, that if we love Him we will keep His commandments. In the Bible, we are told to show love in at least four ways:
1. We are to love God and obey His commandments. Let us put off our selfish desires and obey Him.
2. We are to love our spouse as Christ loves the church. If you are single, then reserve your body for your future spouse and for God alone. If you are married, please stop being angry, and forgive your spouse of all such petty things. Especially, we as spouses must not look at others lustfully.
3. We are to love the brethren. Please stop gossiping, backbiting, and slandering others in the church.
4. We are to love the lost. If you say or do something unkind in front of someone who has not yet trusted Jesus as their Savior and Lord, tell that person you were wrong and ask for their forgiveness.
Song (“You Gave Me Love,” as sung by B.J. Thomas–One of my top ten favorite songs of all time): “You gave me time, When no one gave me the time of day. You looked deep inside, While the rest of the world looked away. You smiled at me, When there were just frowns everywhere. You gave me love, When nobody gave me a prayer. That’s why I call you Saviour; That’s why I call you friend. You touched my heart, You touched my soul, And helped me start all over again. That’s why I love you Jesus; That’s why I’ll always care. You gave me love, When nobody gave me a prayer. You gave me laughter, After I cried all my tears. You heard my dreams, While the rest of the world closed it’s ears. I looked in your eyes, And I found the tenderness there. You gave me love, When nobody gave me a prayer.”
The Cure to a Troubled Heart–Keep Jesus on Your Mind
Text: John 14:1 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in Me.”
In today’s text, Jesus tells his disciples, and also us as believers, that the key to getting rid of a troubled heart and mind is to believe and trust in Him. Are you worrying today about how you will pay bills that seem to pile up? Are you discouraged because of an illness? Are you lonely? Are you feeling like no one cares? Do not give up and give in
to a troubled heart and mind. Instead, go to God’s Word and spend some time listening to Him and sharing with Him in prayer. Keeping Jesus on your mind is the key to healing your troubled heart and mind.
Song (“Jesus On My Mind,” as sung by B.J. Thomas–0ne of my top ten favorites): “I see dark clouds coming my way; I know they’re gonna try to rain on me; They’re almost here, but I must say I’m just as happy as can be. Ohhhh…Just because I’ve got Jesus on my mind, Just because I’ve got Jesus on my mind, The situation might look so awful grim, But that’s when I just stop and get my mind on Him. Before you know it, Everything’s just fine, Just because I’ve got Jesus on my mind. I see a giant right in my path; I know he’s gonna try to do me in; He’s mighty big, But I must say I’m not the least bit afraid of him.”
No More Denying Jesus
Text: Matthew 26:75 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“Then Peter remembered the words of Jesus, which had said unto him, `Before the cock crow thou shalt deny me thrice.’ So he went out, and wept bitterly.”
In today’s text, I, who have been a believer in Christ since January 1992, am so amazed at how other Christians so easily throw their noses in the air about Peter denying Christ three times. Do they so easily forget that He was forgiven by Jesus and died a martyr’s death for His faith? Guess what, we deny Jesus also when we give in to temptation, go to bed angry with our spouse, or, here is a big one , when we say or do something unkind and someone who isn’t a Christian yet says, “I thought you were a Christian.” Ouch! Let us today take time to be holy and trust and obey God and once and for all stop denying Jesus!
Hymn (“When Peter Boasted, Soon He Fell): “When Peter boasted, soon he fell, Yet was by grace restored; His case should be regarded well By all who fear the Lord. A voice it has, and helping hand, Backsliders to recall; And cautions those who think they stand, Lest suddenly they fall. Lord Jesus, hear a sinner’s cry, My broken peace renew; And grant one pitying look, that I May weep with Peter too.”
Wait, Watch and Get Ready, Because Jesus is Coming
Text: Matthew 25:13 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day, nor the hour, when the Son of man will come.”
In today’s text, Jesus says that we are to watch and be ready because He is coming again to take all who believe in Him away from this world before seven years of Great Tribulation happen. This coming for us is called The Rapture.” It is also called “The Blessed Hope and Glorious Appearing of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Today, through the awesome power of His Holy Spirit, let us shake off the sins that so easily beset us, forgive our enemies, and tell others and ourselves, “get ready, Jesus is coming.” Let us rejoice and say with the saints of old times, “O, Son of God, We Wait for Thee.”
Hymn (“O Son of God, We Wait For Thee”): “O Son of God, we wait for Thee, In love for Thine appearing; We know Thou sittest on the throne, And we Thy Name are bearing, Who trusts in Thee, may joyful be, And see Thee, Lord, descending, To bring us bliss unending. We wait for Thee ‘mid toil and pain, In weariness and sighing; But glad that Thou our guilt hast borne, And canceled it by dying; Hence cheerfully may we with Thee Take up our cross and bear it, Till we relief inherit. We wait for Thee; here Thou hast won Our hearts to hope and duty; But while our spirits feel Thee near, Our eyes would see Thy beauty; We fain would be at rest with Thee In peace and joy supernal, In glorious life eternal.”
God’s Word Endures (Lasts) Forever
Text: Matthew 24:35 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.”
Jesus said that this earth and these heavens will be destroyed and then He will create a new heaven and new earth, but his Words (Holy Scripture) will not pass away. Do you need encouragement, salvation, healing, strength to deal with the wicked principalities and demons that are controlling the children of men and women, or peace in this troubled world? If you need any of these, or need an answer, go right now to the Bible. God’s Words are true forever, and they are our true “Daily Bread.”
Hymn (“Lord, Thy Word Abideth”): “Lord, Thy Word abideth, And our footsteps guideth; Who its truth believeth Light and joy receiveth. When our foes are near us, Then Thy Word doth cheer us, Word of consolation, Message of salvation. When the storms are o’er us, And dark clouds before us, Then its light directeth, And our way protecteth.”
Endure to the End
Text: Mark 13:13 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“And ye shall be hated of all men for my Name’s sake, but whosoever shall endure unto the end, he shall be saved.”
Jesus told His disciples, and us as Christian today, that we will be hated of all men for His Name’s sake and that we are to endure unto the end because He is coming back. Endure is the Greek word hupomeno, which means “to bear trials, fortitude, persevere, abide, suffer patiently.” Our endurance until the Lord’s return for us will show the world that we are genuinely saved by the grace of God. No matter how much the world, our flesh, and the devil try and oppose and defeat us, let us endure to the end of our lives.
Hymn (“Falter Not”): “Falter not nor look behind thee, Cast thy every weight aside; Haste to win the prize before thee, Trusting Him, thy precious Guide.” Refrain: “Falter not, nor look behind thee, Still thy course with joy pursue; Persevere, for thou must conquer, With the cross of Christ in view. Falter not nor look behind thee, Firm and fearless take thy place; Robe and crown and palm are waiting For the victors in the race. Falter not nor look behind thee, Lest thy labor prove in vain; Run with patience, and remember Thou hast much to lose or gain.”
Pray For the Persecuted Church
Text: Luke 21:12-13 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the Synagogues, and into prisons, and bring you before Kings and rulers for my Name’s sake. And this shall turn to you, for a testimonial.”
Jesus tell us that we may one day experience persecution like our brothers and sisters around the world who are being tortured and killed for their faith in Christ. Jesus said it will be our chance to give our testimony. Today, stop what you are doing and pray three things for our persecuted brethren:
1. That they and their families’ faith would be strong, and for their release, if possible.
2. That their tormentors/persecutors would come to faith in Christ.
3. That if they die as martyrs, God would take care of their families and also encourage our faith should we ever have to face death as Christians here in America. Pray that we be not ashamed daily to “Tell the Blessed Story” of Jesus.
Hymn (“Tell The Blessed Story”): “Church of God, awaken; heed the Lord’s command, Tell the blessed story of the cross. Fields are white for harvesting on every hand, Tell the blessed story of the cross.” Refrain: “Tell the blessed story of the cross of Jesus, Tell the blessed story of the hallowed cross. Until every nation learns of full salvation, Tell the blessed story of the cross. Has not He commissioned you the news to bear? Tell the blessed story of the cross. `Go ye into all the world,’ and everywhere Tell the blessed story of the cross.”
The Blessings That Come From Giving the Full Tithe
Text: Matthew 22:19-21 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“ `Shew me the tribute money.’ And they brought him a penny. And He said unto them, `Whose is this image and superscription?’ They said unto him, `Caesar’s.’ Then said He unto them, `Give therefore to Caesar, the things which are Caesars, and give unto God, those things which are God’s.’ ”
Alas, many atheists, and even “well-meaning Christians,” use this passage as a basis for the so-called “Separation of Church and State” here in America. This scripture was used by the Lord to open my eyes to come back to giving Jesus the full tithe, namely tithing on gross income before taxes.
God has blessed my wife and me since we gave to Him “before Caesar” (i.e. before taxes, 401k’s, allowances, etc). Some blessings that He has given us have been healings to our bodies, his car (Ms. Joy 2 still running well with a current mileage on her of over 83,000), food, clothing, shelter, and no bill collectors knocking down our door due to late or missed payments. Most
of all, He has blessed us in spiritual things such as joy, love, and peace. He has also kept us safe. Let us give to the government what they tell us in taxes, but let us first give God that first ten percent of our income in love and obedience.
Hymn (“Take My Life and Let It Be”): “Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold. Not a mite, would I withhold, not a mite would I withhold.”
Text: Mark 11:5-6 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“Then certain of them, that stood there, said unto them, `What do ye loosing the colt?’ 6 And they said unto them, as Jesus had commanded them, So they let them go.”
In today’s text, we read how two of Jesus’ disciples faced opposition from “some ruffians” because they were going to loose the colt (donkey) that Jesus told them to bring for his ride into Jerusalem, which we celebrate as Palm Sunday.
As soon as the disciples, said, “Jesus told us to say and do this,” the opposition ceased and the “ruffians” let the disciples go and take the donkey with them. I want to encourage those of us who are going through opposition in our jobs, neighborhoods, or even in the church, stop, smile, and say only what Jesus has told you to say, and in some cases (mine, this week), say nothing at all (as Jesus was silent before His persecutors). Remember that vengeance is God’s and He will fight your battles and win the war because “the battle belongs to the Lord.”
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, blessed shall be; They that overcome the world and sin, Life and a crown in His kingdom shall win. Tho’ we suffer tribulation here, Tho’ our crosses oft may seem severe, Think of the joy when trials are past, Strong in the Lord we shall conquer at last.
Overcoming, O my soul, arise, Overcoming, thou must reach the skies; Still journey on, and still overcome, Rest by and by with the Savior at home.”
Jesus Loves the Little Children, Do You?
Text: Luke 18:15-16 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“They brought unto him also babes that he should touch them. And when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, `Suffer the babes to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God.’ ”
In today’s text, we see how Jesus loves everyone and wants them to be a part of his Kingdom, even little children. We can show that we too love little children by doing three things:
1. Pray for abortion to cease here in America. Pray for those women who had abortions and those men who assisted by either being the doctor or the father of the child. Pray that they would find the peace that is only found in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
2. Here is a big one, and let’s all listen up as I am tired of this happening in the “house of the Lord” (`cause it even happened to my wife and me). Stop condemning and slandering those who cannot have children, or in our case choose not to have them. Why not make a positive move of “adopting” a childless couple as spiritual parents to your family and spiritual grandparents to your children? Please, for the sake of unity stop all the slandering–it stinks to highest heaven!
3. Pray for all the daycare workers, children’s church and Sunday school workers, nursery workers, children’s pastors, and school teachers, but most of all for parents to be encouraged. Pray for the little children to come to know Jesus, and help any way you can. Even a smile to a “wee one” or to a saddened teenager helps. Believe me; children get enough aggravation from others. Even at school they are bullied, so they don’t need another “so-called adult” giving them an ugly mug of a frown.
Jesus loves all the children of the world! Do you and I also? I hope so!
Hymn (“Jesus Loves The Little Children”): “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.”
Many are Called, Few are Chosen
Text: Matthew 20:16 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“So the last shall be first, and the first last; for many are called, but few chosen.”
In today’s text, Jesus wants us to know that many are called, but few are chosen. Let us ask ourselves today before we go asking others, “Am I really a Christian?” If you are resting on your salvation by God’s grace through faith (trust) in Jesus alone, and not on any good works that you did or are doing (good works come as a result of salvation), and if you have the holy Spirit living within, then you are saved. When we know that we saved by God’s grace we can feel free to share the Gospel (good news about Jesus) to a lost and dying world, and we can praise God that He called us and we were chosen and adopted into His family.
Hymn (“Chosen Seed and Zion’s Children”): “Chosen seed and Zion’s children, Ransomed from eternal wrath, Traveling to the heav’nly Canaan On a rough and thorny path; Church of God, in Christ elected, Thou to God art reconciled, But on earth thou art a stranger, Persecuted and reviled. Still rejoice amid thy trials, Nor regard thy lot amiss; For the kind and loving Savior Is the source of all thy bliss; May He ever be thy portion, He Who gave thee life and breath: In His keeping fear no evil Now or in the hour of death.”
Lord, I Believe
Text: Mark 9:23-24 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“And Jesus said unto him, `If thou canst believe it, all things are possible to him that believeth.’ And straightway the father of the child crying with tears, said, `Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.’ ”
In today’s text, Jesus told the father of the mute boy that all things are possible to him that believeth. The Father responded much like we do today. Isn’t it amazing that even the faith to believe in Jesus and accept Him as our Savior and Lord comes not from within our natural man, but is a free gift from God. Today, whatever your need may be, healing, salvation for
yourself or a loved one, finances, freedom from lust, worry, depression, anger, whatever you need, go to Jesus and say, “Lord, I believe; help get rid of my unbelief.” Trust Him to provide your answers; He will you know!
Hymn (“Lord, I Believe”): “Lord, I believe: help Thou mine unbelief; Let me no other master know but Thee. Thou art the Christian’s God, the only King and Chief, Of all who soldiers of the cross would be. Lord, I believe, in mercy grant me grace, To know Thee, blessed Savior, more and more; I can do naught without Thee; Jesus, show Thy face Unto Thy servant who would Thee adore. Lord, I believe; the hold of sin is strong, And stout its heart to pluck me from Thy love; But stronger is Thy grace; oh, strengthen and prolong, The work of faith in me, my doubts remove. Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief; Be this my prayer through good report and ill; Only to Thee I cling; if long my day or brief, Master and Savior, I will trust Thee still!”
No Fear Need Apply Here
Text: Jeremiah 46:27 (The 1599 Geneva Bible)
“But fear not thou, O my servant Jacob, and be not thou afraid, O Israel: for behold, I will deliver thee from a far country, and thy seed from the land of their captivity, and Jacob shall return and be in rest, and prosperity, and none shall make him afraid.”
GOD told the Prophet Jeremiah to tell the captives that they need not fear because God would ensure that they return to the land and be in rest and prosperity. And, none could make them afraid. Today as Christians, we are to not fear anyone or anything but God, and to reverence Him. I encourage each of us to tell fear of man, fear of the future, fear of the unknown, fear when dealing with an illness, fear when dealing with bills that keep piling up, even (God, I repent and encourage others struggling with this) fear of death and dying. Why? Because we serve a risen Savior, He lives, He lives, and death is swallowed up in victory because Christ has risen from the grave and He tell us lovingly, “fear not!” Rejoice!
Hymn (“He Lives”): “In all the world around me I see His loving care, And tho my heart grows weary, I never will despair; I know that He is leading thro all the stormy blast, The day of His appearing will come at last. He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today! He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way. He lives, He lives, salvation to impart! You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart.”
Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart
Text: Luke 17:17-18 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“And Jesus answered, and said, `Are there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? There is none found that
returned to give God praise, save this stranger.’ ”
In today’s text, we see how ten lepers were healed of their deadly disease and yet only one, who was a Samaritan (a race hated by the Jews), came back and thanked Jesus and glorified God. Today, we should not just set aside in America one day called “Thanksgiving Day,” but every day we should give thanks to Jesus for our many blessings, namely our salvation, our healing/health, our blessings of having a spouse, children, friends, family and pets, our daily bread, our freedom of worship etc. Give thanks and praise to Jesus right now out of a grateful heart!
Hymn (“Give Thanks”): “Give thanks with a grateful heart, Give thanks unto the Holy One; Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son. And now let the weak say, `I am strong’; Let the poor say, `I am rich, Because of what the Lord has done for us’; Give thanks.”
Text: John 11:35 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“And Jesus wept.”
In today’s text, which is the shortest, but among the most powerful verses in the Bible, we see how Jesus wept and had compassion about the reaction to the passing away of his friend Lazarus. Among many things, He wept about the unbelief the people had because they would not turn from their sins and did not recognize Him as “The Resurrection and the Life.” Today, Jesus wants both men and women to weep and have compassion to share the Gospel with their unsaved bosses, co-workers, neighbors, and friends. I personally have been convicted today to have compassion on a very bitter and rude co-worker at my job who hates God and all things spiritual. God told me, “Joseph, weep and intercede for her and her domestic partner to come to faith in Christ.” I said in response, “Yes Lord, I will obey.”
Hymn (“Jesus Wept! Those Tears are Over,” by John Ross MacDuff — one of My Scottish Clansman): “Jesus wept! Those tears are over, But His heart is still the same; Kinsman, Friend, and elder Brother, Is His everlasting Name. Savior, who can love like Thee, Gracious One of Bethany? When the pangs of trial seize us, When the waves of sorrow roll, I will lay my head on Jesus, Refuge of the troubled soul. Surely, none can feel like Thee, Weeping One of Bethany! Jesus wept! And still in glory, He can mark each mourner’s tear; Loving to retrace the story, Of the hearts He solaced here. Lord, when I am called to die, Let me think of Bethany. Jesus wept! That tear of sorrow Is a legacy of love; Yesterday, today, tomorrow, He the same doth ever prove, Thou art all in all to me, Loving One of Bethany!”
Text: Luke 17:10 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“So likewise ye, when ye have done all those things, which are commanded you, say, `We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which was our duty to do.’ ”
In today’s text, Jesus told his disciples and us today, in a loving rebuke, that we are to serve Him and others as our Christian duty out of love, and not in order to receive rewards both here and in heaven. I am shocked by so many Christians who think that they should get a “personal thank you” from their church leadership or their congregation, a special award, or even a
Lexus (name the car of your choice) from God because they serve in “such and such ministry.” My brethren, these things ought not to be! Let us serve Jesus and serve those in need because we love Jesus and not to be rewarded or thanked.
Hymn (“The Service of The King”): “I pledge my spirit loyal, To the service of the King; The privilege is royal, In the service of the King; I pledge to Him forever, My loftiest endeavor, And naught my soul shall sever, From the service of the King.” Refrain:
”In the service of the King, My sweetest songs I’ll sing, While I with joy my pow’rs employ, In the service of the King. There is no joy so holy, As the service of the King; There’s room for e’en the lowly, In the service of the King; If all the world but knew Him, How all would hasten to Him, And highest honor do Him, In the service of the King. In yonder realms immortal, There is service for the King; We pass the shining portal, To the service of the King; Amid the glories o’er Him, Where angel hosts adore Him, I, too, shall stand before him, In the service of the King.”
Text: Luke 15:18-20 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“I will rise and go to my father, and say unto him, `Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee. And am no more worthy to be called thy son; make me as one of thy hired servants.’ So he arose and came to his father, and when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck, and kissed him.”
In today’s text, Jesus told the parable of the Prodigal (lost) Son. Today, I want to encourage those of you who never have had a relationship with Jesus, those of you who feel like God has not answered your prayers, and those who may be suffering with depression, an illness, discouragement, temptation or addictions to please do three things. First, pause and stop what you are doing; second, come to your senses and finally come home to your Heavenly Father; third, accept His free gift of salvation through His Son Jesus. Today can be a fresh start for you.
Hymn (“Softly and Tenderly, Jesus Is Calling”): “Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, Calling for you and for me; See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching, Watching for you and for me.” Refrain: “Come home, come home, You who are weary, come home; Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, Calling, O sinner, come home! Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading, Pleading for you and for me? Why should we linger and heed not His mercies, Mercies for you and for me? Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing, Passing from you and from me; Shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming, Coming for you and for me. O for the wonderful love He has promised, Promised for you and for me! Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon, Pardon for you and for me.”
I’m Not Ashamed to let You Know I’m a Christian
Text: Luke 12:8-9 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess Me before men, him shall the Son of man confess also before the Angels of God. But he that shall deny Me before men, shall be denied before the Angels of God.”
In today’s text, Jesus told his disciples and us today that we are not to be ashamed to confess before men that He is our Savior and Lord. I love what the 1599 Geneva Bible note says: “Great is the reward of a constant confession and horrible is the punishment of denying Christ.” Today, do not be ashamed to admit you are a Christian and show God’s love by doing acts of love, grace and mercy so that all men, women, and children may know Him also as their Savior and Lord.
Song (“I’m Not Ashamed,” by The Newsboys): “I’m not ashamed to let you know I want this light in me to show I’m not ashamed to speak the name of Jesus Christ. What are we sneaking around for? Who are we trying to please? Shrugging off sin, apologizing, Like we’re spreading some kind of disease. I’m saying `No way. No Way.’ I’m not ashamed to let you know I want this light in me to show; I’m not ashamed to speak the name of Jesus Christ. This one (says) it’s a lost cause, Save your testimonies for church time. Other ones state you’d better wait, Until you do a little market research. I’m saying `No way. No way.’ I’m not ashamed to let you know I want this light in me to show; I’m not ashamed to speak the name of Jesus Christ.
Devotion to Jesus
Text: Luke 10:40-42 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, `Master, doest thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore, that she help me.’ And Jesus answered, and said unto her, `Martha, Martha, thou carest, and art troubled about many things; But one thing is needful, Mary hath chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.’ “
In today’s text, Jesus lovingly rebuked Martha; as Spurgeon wrote,”was distracted with care, when she should have been listening to her Lord.” Let us set time aside daily (the morning works the best) from cleaning our houses, working our daily jobs, and even serving at the church, and be still before the Lord in prayer, meditation, listening to Jesus, and spending time
also in reading, heeding, and applying His Holy Word, The Bible.
Hymn (“One Thing’s Needful”): “One thing’s needful; Lord this treasure, Teach me highly to regard; All else, though it first give pleasure, Is a yoke that presses hard. Beneath it the heart is still fretting and striving, No true, lasting happiness ever deriving. The gain of this one thing all loss can requite, And teach me in all things to find true delight. Wilt thou find this one thing needful, Turn from all created things, Unto Jesus and be heedful,l Of the blessed joy He brings. For where God and Man both in one are united, With God’s perfect fullness the heart is delighted; There, there is the worthiest lot and the best, My One and my All and my Joy and my Rest. How were Mary’s thoughts devoted, Her eternal joy to find, As intent each word she noted, At her Savior’s feet reclined! How kindled her heart, how devout was its feeling, While hearing the lessons that Christ was revealing! For Jesus all earthly concerns she forgot, And all was repaid in that one happy lot.”
Shine Jesus Shine
Text: John 9:5 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
In today’s text, Jesus told his followers that He is the “Light of The World.” He told his disciples, and us also as believers in Christ today, in the Sermon on the Mount, that we are to let our lights (our lives lived through the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit) shine before men because they are in spiritual darkness. One way we can shine for Jesus is to have alternative things to do on October 31st. I commend churches and Christians for putting on “harvest parties” without all the wicked, satanic, and gruesome costumes, or answering their doors by giving candy and gospel tracts to whoever comes. My bolder friends even answer the door and say after giving candy and a tract, “Hello, I’m (whatever their name is), is there something that I can pray for you about?” Let us shine for Jesus on the holidays and every day!
Hymn (“Shine Jesus Shine,” by Graham Kendrick, copyright 1987 by Make Way Music Admin. in N, S & C America by Integrity Music, Inc. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission CCLI #30426.): “Lord the light of Your love is shining In the midst of the darkness; shining Jesus, Light of the World shine upon us. Set us free by the truth you now bring us; Shine on me Shine on me.” Chorus: “Shine Jesus shine, Fill this land with the Father’s glory; Blaze Spirit blaze, Set our hearts on fire; Flow river flow, Flood the nations with grace and mercy; Send forth Your word Lord, And let there be light. Lord, I come to Your awesome presence, From the shadows into your radiance, By the blood I may enter Your brightness, Search me, try me, consume all my darkness; Shine on me shine on me. As we gaze on your kingly brightness, So our faces display your likeness; Ever changing from glory to glory, Mirrored here may our lives tell your story; Shine on me shine on me.
The World, Its Works are Evil
Text: John 7:7 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“The world cannot hate you, but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.”In today’s text, Jesus told His disciples, and He tells us today also as His followers, that the world which is blinded by Satan hates Jesus. One of the ways that the world hates Jesus is how it celebrates certain days and holidays and causes them to be “unholy” days. Let us examine three days that the world has darkened to hate Jesus.
1. October 31st, called Halloween here in America. Alas, I agree with some folks that the name (in recognizing how some folks celebrate it) might be called Hell-o-ween. Why do some people, even well-meaning Christians, make this day a birthday party for the devil by dressing up as the undead, vampires, witches, ghosts, devils, etc.? My brethren, these
things ought not to be?
2. Thanksgiving Day. Why in America do we only want to give thanks to God for all the blessings that He has given us just one day a year? Also, why do we just focus in our land on the turkey dinner, the football game, and the Macy’s Day parade?
3. Christmas Day. Why do we focus on giving presents (thus becoming more in debt); Santa; the tree; and decorations? Why do we only have “peace on earth and good will toward all men” just one day a year? We should love others each day of the year and celebrate Jesus’ birthday and his coming to bring us salvation, not Santa.
So today let us pray to Jesus to “lighten the darkness” in our world and be used of God to help others come to Him and be “examples of believers in Christ.”
Hymn (“Lighten The Darkness”): “Lighten the darkness of our life’s long night, Through which we blindly stumble to the day, Shadows mislead us; Father, send Thy light, To set our footsteps in the homeward way. Lighten the darkness of our self conceit, The subtle darkness that we love so well, Which shrouds the path of wisdom from our feet, And lulls our spirits with its baneful spell. Lighten our darkness when we bow the knee, To all the gods we ignorantly make, And worship, dreaming that we worship Thee, Till clearer light our slumbering souls awake. Lighten our darkness when we fail at last, And in the midnight lay us down to die; We trust to find Thee when the night is past, And daylight breaks across the morning sky.”
What a Difference Jesus Has Made in My Life
Text: Matthew 18:11 (1599 Geneva Bible)
“For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.”
In today’s text, Jesus told His disciples and us today that He came to save that which was lost, namely us. What a difference He has made in our lives since we have come to faith in Christ. Let us take some time today and praise Jesus for saving us from our lost condition, saving us from an eternity in the lake of fire, healing our bodies, providing our daily bread, providing companionship via a spouse, children, friends and family, and giving us His joy, etc.
Song (“What a Difference You’ve Made In My Life,” sung By B.J. Thomas, written by Archie P. Jordan — One of My Top five favorite songs): “What a difference you’ve made in my life, What a difference you’ve made in my life; You’re my sunshine day and night, Oh what a difference you’ve made in my life. What a change you have made in my heart, What a change you have made in my heart; You’ve replaced all the broken parts, Oh what a change you have made in my heart.”
Reaching Forth and Finishing Well
Text: Philippians 3:13-14 (The 1599 Geneva Bible)
“Brethren, I count not myself that I have attained to it, but one thing I do: I forget that which is behind, and endeavor myself unto that which is before, and follow hard toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Dear Friends, Today, as we start a new year, let us not make any New Year’s resolutions. What did you just say, you ask? Yes, you read right! Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, let us spend time before God and ask Him eight things and then listen for his answers.
- How can I love You more this year?
- How can I love my neighbors, bosses, co-workers, relatives, spouse, children, pets, and friends more this year?
- What type of Bible plan and Bible reading can I start?
- Who and what do You want me to pray for?
- Who can I serve and minister to this year?
- How can I get out of debt (if applicable), spend less, and give more to Your purposes this year?
- Who can I share the Gospel with this year? If you do not know Jesus yet, why not start the year by asking Him into your heart and life right now?
- What bad habit(s) can I ask You, God, and others for help with? Lose weight, spend less, get less angry, procrastinate less, gossip less, etc.
Today is a new day in a new year with a fresh start. Start small, even with baby steps, but finish well. The best words you can ever hear will be spoken to you by Jesus Himself if you are faithful: “Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter now into the joy of the Lord.”
Hymn (“With Gladsome Feet We Press”): “With gladsome feet we press to Zion’s holy mount, Where gushes from its deep recess the cooling fount; Oh, happy, happy hill, the joy of every saint! With sweet Siloam’s crystal rill, that cheers the faint. Great city, blest of God! Jerusalem the free! With ceaseless step the path be trod that leads to thee! The martyrs’ bleeding feet, the saints with woundless breast, Alike have sought thy golden seat to win their rest. There, calming all alarms, thy cross of love is traced, Outstretching salutary arms, to bless the waste; The sinner there can plead in ever listening ears; On hope and Thee, can sweetly feed, and dry his tears. So this our festal day celestial joy shall raise, While lips and hearts, conjoined, essay to hymn thy praise! The very stones shall ring, resound each holy wall, With Thee, Thyself the Rock, our Heaven, our All!”