Happy Reformation Day

Text: Ephesians 2:8-9 (1599 Geneva Bible) “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; Not of works, lest any man should boast himself.”

I wish that all Christians would remember that there is a more important anniversary date–more important than the world’s biggest party thrown for Satan called Halloween (in my opinion it should be called “Hell-o-ween”). On October 31,1517 the beloved Martin Luther, through the prompting of the Holy Spirit, said, “Enough is enough, man is not saved through indulgences, a pope, or even a religion, but man is saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.” So, on October 31, why not set aside a few minutes and say, “Happy Reformation Day,” and thank God that one man had the courage and faith to help change the world and be a witness of the faith of Jesus Christ, the only person who can save our souls.

Hymn (“Amazing Grace”): “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see. ‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved; How precious did that grace appear, The hour I first believed! Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.”


Don’t be Spiritually Dumb-Believe God’s Word, Instead

Text: Luke 1:20 (1599 Geneva Bible) “And behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not be able to speak, until the day that these things be done, because thou believedst not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.”

In today’s text, as we come to the beginning of the New Testament, we see in the Gospel account of Luke how when Zacharias, the father of John The Baptist, did not believe the Word of God spoken to him by the Angel Gabriel, he was struck dumb (mute) until the birth of John. Today, God is telling us to believe His Word, the Bible. Unbelief is displeasing to Him! Believe in God’s promises, provision, and power because nothing is impossible with God!  So, whatever you need today, encouragement, healing, to become debt free, a job, a friend, etc., believe God for it.

Hymn (“Only Believe”): “Fear not, little flock, from the cross to the throne, From death into life He went for His own; All power in earth, all power above, Is given to Him for the flock of His love.” Refrain: “Only believe, only believe; All things are possible, only believe, Only believe, only believe; All things are possible, only believe. Fear not, little flock, He goeth ahead, Your Shepherd selecteth the path you must tread; The waters of Marah He’ll sweeten for thee, He drank all the bitter in Gethsemane. Fear not, little flock, whatever your lot, He enters all rooms, `the doors being shut,’ He never forsakes; He never is gone, So count on His presence in darkness and dawn.”


Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, The Sweetest Name, I Know

Text:  Matthew 1:21 (1599 Geneva Bible) “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS, for He shall save His people from their sins.”

In today’s text, we see how the Angel of The Lord told Joseph (Jesus’ stepfather) that Jesus was to be called by his name because He alone would save His people and all mankind from all of our sins.  Jesus means “Jehovah is Salvation,” or “Jehovah, The Savior.”  Let us praise Him by living for Him and singing out his name in rejoicing because He did what no one else can do-He forgave us of all our sins and saved us! Hallelujah!

Hymn (“He Keeps Me Singing”): “There’s within my heart a melody Jesus whispers sweet and low, Fear not, I am with thee, peace, be still, In all of life’s ebb and flow.” Refrain: “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Sweetest Name I know, Fills my every longing, Keeps me singing as I go. All my life was wrecked by sin and strife, Discord filled my heart with pain, Jesus swept across the broken strings, Stirred the slumbering chords again. Feasting on the riches of His grace, Resting ‘neath His sheltering wing, Always looking on His smiling face, That is why I shout and sing. Though sometimes He leads through waters deep, Trials fall across the way, Though sometimes the path seems rough and steep, See His footprints all the way. Soon He’s coming back to welcome me, Far beyond the starry sky; I shall wing my flight to worlds unknown, I shall reign with Him on high.”


Wise People Seek Jesus and Worship Him Daily

Text:  Matthew 2:1-2 (1599 Geneva Bible) “When Jesus then was born at Bethlehem in Judea, in the days of Herod the King, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is the King of the Jews that that is born? For we have seen his star in the East, and are come to worship him.”

After Jesus was born wise men sought Him out so they could come to where He was and worship Him.  Today, I submit to you and me that if we want to be truly wise we must not seek out all the pleasures of the world, the flesh, and the devil, but get up (first thing in the morning is best) and spend time daily with Jesus and worship Him. Worshipping Jesus is not just a Sunday morning thing.

Hymn (“Wise Men Seeking Jesus”): Wise men seeking Jesus, Traveled from afar, Guided on their journey, By a beauteous star. But if we desire Him, He is close at hand, For our native country, Is our Holy Land. Prayerful souls may find Him, By our quiet lakes, Meet Him on our hillsides, When the morning breaks. In our fertile cornfields, While the sheaves are bound, In our busy markets, Jesus may be found. He is more than near us, If we love Him well, For He seeketh ever, In our hearts to dwell.”


Do Like Jesus Did-Please Our Heavenly Father!

Text: Luke 3:21-22 (1599 Geneva Bible) “Now it came to pass, as all the people were baptized, and that Jesus was baptized and did pray, that the heaven was opened, And the holy Ghost came down in a bodily shape like a dove, upon him, and there was a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased.”

When Jesus was baptized by John The Baptist God spoke from heaven and stated that Jesus was God’s Son and that God was well pleased with Him. Today, I submit to you that the only way we can be pleasing to God is for us to repent of our sins and then live in obedience to God and his will for our lives. Let us be God-pleasers and not people-pleasers!

Hymn (“Pleasing in Your Sight”): “May the words of my mouth (may the words of my mouth) be pleasing in Your sight (be pleasing in Your sight), the meditation of my heart (the meditation of my heart) be pleasing in Your sight (be pleasing in Your sight), O Lord (O Lord), my Rock (my Rock) and my Redeemer (and my Redeemer), May all that I do, all that I think, all that I own, all that I dream, bring honor to You and be pleasing in Your sight; bring honor to You and be pleasing in Your sight.”


How to Overcome Temptation!

Text: Matthew 4: 3-4 (1599 Geneva Bible) “Then came to Him the tempter, and said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But He answering, said, `It is written, Man shall not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’

When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness He was tempted three times. Each time Jesus was tempted by the devil He quoted the scriptures and He believed the scriptures and thus overcame the devil. I submit to each of us that today whatever temptation we deal with on a daily, or a one-time basis, must be overcome by our memorizing and applying the scriptures to that specific temptation. For example, we cannot overcome and have the devil flee if we are tempted today with lusting or having unrighteous anger toward someone by saying, “Okay, devil, it is written…’In the Beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,’ Genesis 1:1.”  We must memorize and live by the scriptures that deal with our specific temptation. Remember, James says, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”  Let us be overcomers in Christ today!

Hymn (“Overcoming Evil, Day By Day”): “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.”


The Greatest Promise in the Bible

Text: John 3:16 (1599 Geneva Bible) “For God so loved the world, that he hath given his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

In today’s text, which is the greatest promise in the Bible, the Apostle John records the words of Jesus that God sent Jesus to give us everlasting life and a home in heaven. We who believe are now God’s children and get the privilege and honor to worship Him for all eternity. Today, memorize, live, and share this verse with the lost. I for one have so many co-workers and bosses in my company who think that Mohammed (Islam), Atheism, Wicca, or their own flesh can save them from an eternity in the lake of fire. Some even believe the lie that this life is all there is! They must hear this greatest promise. I close with the words of the beloved “Prince of Preachers,” Charles H. Spurgeon: “I sometimes think that if I never had a gleam of love from God’s face again, I would live on this one text.”

Hymn (“For God So Loved the World”): “A story sweet and wondrous, Like heavenly music swells; In chimings clear to all who will hear, Ring out the Gospel bells.” Refrain: “For God so loved the world That He gave His only begotten Son, That whosoever believeth in Him, Whosoever believeth in Him, Should not perish, Should not perish, But have everlasting life. When, grieving, brokenhearted, Because of sin and shame, We find a joy earth cannot destroy, Believing on His Name. This love beyond all measure Of earth or sea or sky, Could only show its full overflow, When Jesus came to die. Come, brother, come to Jesus; His Word was meant for you; His grace receive, His promise believe, And sing His praise anew.”


The Sabbath-A Day of Rest, Worship and Acts of Love and Mercy

Text: Mark 2:27-28 (1599 Geneva Bible) “And He said to them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.  Wherefore the Son of man is
Lord, even of the Sabbath. ”

In today’s text, we see how our Lord (the first of many times recorded) had to rebuke the Pharisees for their misinterpretation of the Sabbath.  I submit to you there are three reasons that God created the Sabbath (which most Christians celebrate on Sunday):
1. The Sabbath is a day of worship.  We need to worship God at our local church unless we are out sick (not with a hangover or a few sniffles), out of town, or our job has called us in for a legitimate emergency.
2. The Sabbath is a day of rest. What is it with so many Christians that they say, `oh I have no other day to vacuum my whole house, cut the grass, wash the car, etc.?  It is all right to cook, change your child’s diaper, vacuum up a spill, or do dishes, but let us cease the nonessentials.
3. The Sabbath is a day to do holy deeds of mercy and love as Charles H. Spurgeon calls them. If you saw someone with a flat tire on a Sunday, I would hope that you would stop to help even if all you can do is pray for the person and call road side assistance.
So let us not be caught up in trivial rules, but loving and worshipping God in Spirit and in Truth on the Sabbath.

Hymn (“O Day of Rest and Gladness”): “O day of rest and gladness, O day of joy and light, O balm of care and sadness, most beautiful, most bright; On Thee, the high and lowly, through ages joined in tune, Sing holy, holy, holy, to the great God Triune.
On Thee, at the creation, the light first had its birth; On Thee, for our salvation, Christ rose from depths of earth; On Thee, our Lord, victorious, the Spirit sent from heaven, And thus on Thee, most glorious, a triple light was given. Thou art a port, protected from storms that round us rise; A garden, intersected with streams of paradise; Thou art a cooling fountain in life’s dry, dreary sand; From thee, like Pisgah’s mountain, we view our promised land. Thou art a holy ladder, where angels go and come; Each Sunday finds us gladder, nearer to heaven, our home; A day of sweet refection, thou art a day of love, A day of resurrection from earth to things above. Today on weary nations the heavenly manna falls; To holy convocations the silver trumpet calls, Where Gospel light is glowing with pure and radiant beams, And living water flowing, with soul refreshing streams. New graces ever gaining from this our day of rest, We reach the rest remaining to spirits of the blessed. To Holy Ghost be praises, to Father, and to Son; The church her voice upraises to Thee, blessed Three in One.”


A Worse Thing

Text:  John 5:14 (1599 Geneva Bible) “And after that, Jesus found him in the Temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole; sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.”

In today’s text, we see how that after Jesus healed the lame man He warned him to not let a worse thing happen to Him.  It is not enough to be healed physically; we need to be healed spiritually.  If you don’t know Him yet as Savior and Lord, invite Him into your life so that you do not receive “a worse thing,” namely eternal damnation in the lake of fire and eternal separation from God.  If you know Him today, then repent from all your sins by confessing them to Christ and turning from them so that you do not receive “worse things” like loss of fellowship with Jesus, loss of joy in your life, a ruined testimony, loss of rewards in heaven, and the worst thing, knowing that how you lived your life influenced someone to never turn to Jesus for salvation.

Worship Song (“I Repent,” by Steve Green, words by Dave Noel and Music by Steve Green and Phil Naish. Copyright 1998 Birdwing Music, Steve Green Music, Meadowgreen Music, Devaub Music, and Jillybird Music. Admin. by EMI-CMP. Jillybird Music Admin. by Addison Music Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission.): “I regret the hours I have wasted and the pleasures I have tasted that you were never in. And I confess that though your love is in me, it doesn’t always win me when competing with my sin.” Chorus: “And I repent, making no excuses. I repent no one else to blame. And I return to fall in love with Jesus. I bow down on my knees and I repent. I lament the idols I’ve accepted, the commandments I’ve rejected to pursue my selfish end. And I confess I need you to revive me, put selfishness behind me and take up my cross again. And I return to fall in love with Jesus. I bow down on my knees and I repent.”


Trusting Jesus

Text: Matthew 12:21 (1599 Geneva Bible) “And in His Name shall the Gentiles trust.”

In today’s text, we see how the beloved disciple Matthew (originally called Levi) shared how Jesus fulfilled the xcriptures recorded in the Book of Isaiah. You and I need to do an important thing and that is trust Jesus.  When we trust someone we rely and put our faith in them.  How much more can we trust Jesus who loves us so very much?  So let us trust Jesus for our salvation, our healing, our deliverance, our provision, our safety, our cares, and our sorrows and He will do the best that we couldn’t even imagine.

Hymn (“Trusting Jesus”): “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. Trusting when my sky is bright, Trusting when my heart is glad; Trusting in the gloom of night, When my every thought is sad. Trusting when ’tis well with me, Trusting whatsoe’er befall; Trusting Jesus’ love for me, Simply trusting, that is all.”


I Want to See Jesus

Text: Matthew 5:8 (1599 Geneva Bible) “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

In today’s text, we see that in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus promised that the pure in heart shall see God.  We can only be pure in heart by confessing and repenting of our sins daily, and by trusting Jesus as our Savior and Lord.  We then can see Jesus both now (by fellowship with Him in his Word, in prayer, in family devotions, and in corporate worship) and in eternity when we stand before His throne in Heaven. I want to see my Jesus both now and then, don’t you?

Hymn (“See the Conqueror”): “See the conqueror mounts in triumph, see the King in royal state riding on the clouds his chariot to his heavenly palace gate; hark, the choirs of angel voices joyful alleluias sing, and the portals high are lifted to receive their heavenly King. Who is this that comes in glory, with the trump of jubilee? Lord of battles, God of armies, He has gained the victory; He who on the Cross did suffer, He who from the grave arose, He has vanquished sin and Satan, He by death has spoiled his foes. He has raised our human nature on the clouds to God’s right hand; there we sit in heavenly places, there with Him in glory stand: Jesus reigns, adored by angels; man with God is on the throne; mighty Lord, in thine ascension we by faith behold our own. See Him who is gone before us heavenly mansions to prepare, see Him who is ever pleading for us with prevailing prayer, see Him who with sound of trumpet and with his angelic train, summoning the world to judgment, on the clouds will come again. Glory be to God the Father; glory be to God the Son, dying, ris’n, ascending for us, who the heavenly realm has won; glory to the Holy Spirit: to One God in Persons Three glory both in earth and heaven, glory, endless glory be.”


Compassion-One of the Biggest Missing Things Today

Text: Luke 7:13 (1599 Geneva Bible) “And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, `Weep not.’ “

In today’s text, we see that Jesus had compassion (the Greek word is splagchnizomai, which means “bowels yearn,” “feel sympathy,” “to move with compassion”) on the widow whose only son had died and He raised the son back to life.  Jesus wants us to have compassion on the lost and share the Gospel with them.  He also wants us to help those in need and especially those of the household of faith. I am disgusted at times when I hear so many so-called “Christians” say, “That’s not my problem.”  Oh, have mercy on us Lord Jesus and let us follow your example of compassion and become a channel of blessing to someone today!

Hymn (“Make Me a Channel of Blessing”): “Is your life a channel of blessing? Is the love of God flowing through you? Are you telling the lost of the Savior? Are you ready His service to do?” Refrain: “Make me a channel of blessing today, Make me a channel of blessing, I pray; My life possessing, my service blessing, Make me a channel of blessing today. Is your life a channel of blessing? Are you burdened for those that are lost? Have you urged upon those who are straying, The Savior Who died on the cross? Is your life a channel of blessing? Is it a daily telling for Him? Have you spoken the Word of salvation, To those who are dying in sin? We cannot be channels of blessing If our lives are not free from known sin; We will barriers be and a hindrance, To those we are trying to win.”


Happy People

Text: Matthew 11:6 (1599 Geneva Bible) “And blessed is he that shall not be offended in Me.”

Jesus told John the Baptist’s disciples that He wanted them to encourage John’s faith in Him by telling of how He healed the blind, the lame, the lepers, and the deaf, raised the dead, and preached the Gospel to the lost and poor. All these acts declared that He (Jesus) was the Messiah.  Jesus also said that blessed or happy is the man or woman who is not offended in Him.  We should rejoice today that we are Christians and tell the lost about Him.  I am a “Happy Man” as B.J. Thomas used to sing. Are you a Happy Person in Jesus also?

Song (“Happy Man,” Recorded By B.J. Thomas, copyright by Pat Terry — ): “When I die there won’t be much to salvage from my earnings; I never had a lot of land or houses to my name. I’ve never been a corporate prince on Madison, and New York I never held a diamond in my hand. But I’ve seen children laughing As only children can, And I’ve known my Creator And I’ve been a happy man. I never really loved the way I saw it in the movies, But I had myself a woman of my own. The place we lived was modest, And we kept the yard together. I never traveled far from my hometown, But I’ve heard music playing, That made me understand, And touched the hearts of heaven And I’ve been a happy man. Life has had it’s hard times, When I’ve felt the chill of winter. I can’t forget the night when my sweet Julie slipped away, But growing old is different, Than I always thought it would be. The sweetness of my youth, Just grew with age, ‘Cause I’ve known wealth and beauty, Beneath his guiding hand, And knowing soon I’ll see him, Has made me a happy man; And knowing soon I’ll see him, Has made me a happy man.”


The Family of God

Text: Matthew 12:50 (1599 Geneva Bible) “For whosoever shall do my Father’s will which is in heaven, the same is my brother and sister and mother.”

Jesus says that whosoever does His Father God’s will is his brother and sister.  We become part of the family of God when we accept Christ as our Savior and Lord.  If you have not trusted Him today, why not come to Him and turn from your sins and ask Jesus to save you.  If you feel distanced from Him, repent from your sins and come back to Him. It is never too late! I’m so glad that I’m a part of  the Family of God, aren’t you?

Hymn (“Family Of God”): “I’m so glad I’m a part of the Family of God, I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood! Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod, For I’m part of the family, The Family of God. You will notice we say `brother and sister’ ’round here, It’s because we’re a family and these are so near; When one has a heartache, we all share the tears, And rejoice in each victory in this family so dear. I’m so glad I’m a part of the Family of God, I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood! Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod, For I’m part of the family, The Family of God. From the door of an orphanage to the house of the King, No longer an outcast, a new song I sing; From rags unto riches, from the weak to the strong, I’m not worthy to be here, but praise God I belong! I’m so glad I’m a part of the Family of God, I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His Blood! Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod, For I’m part of the family, The Family of God.”


Seeing, Hearing and Believing

Text: Matthew 13:16-17 (1599 Geneva Bible) “But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, that many prophets, and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them, and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.”

Jesus told His disciples that they were blessed because they saw, heard, and believed Him.  Today, even though we do not physically have Jesus here, we have been left His Holy Spirit and His Word, The Bible. As we spend time daily in His Word and in prayer (communication with Him), we must tune our spiritual eyes and spiritual ears to see Him and listen to Him. Then when He speaks to us through His Word and in prayer, through the prompting of The Holy Spirit, we must believe, trust and obey Him.

Hymn (“See, Jesus, Thy Disciples See”): “See, Jesus, Thy disciples see, The promised blessing give! Met in Thy Name, we look to Thee, Expecting, to receive. Thee we expect, our faithful Lord, Who in Thy Name are joined; We wait, according to Thy Word, Thee in the midst to find. With us Thou art assembled here, But O Thyself reveal! Son of the living God, appear! Let us Thy presence feel. “Breathe on us, Lord, in this our day, And these dry bones shall live; Speak peace into our hearts, and say, `The Holy Ghost receive!’ Whom now we seek, O may we meet! Jesus, the Crucified, Show us Thy bleeding hands and feet, Thou Who for us hast died. Cause us the record to receive, Speak, and the tokens show; `O be not faithless, but believe In Me, Who died for you!’ “


Service With a Smile

Text:  Matthew 8:14-15 (1599 Geneva Bible) “And when Jesus came to Peter’s house, He saw his wife’s mother laid down, and sick of a fever. And He touched her hand, and the fever left her; so she arose, and ministered unto them.”

After Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law she immediately got up and ministered (served) to Jesus and the disciples.  Have you been healed?  Have you had an answer to prayer? Have you been blessed with a spouse, children, friends, and pets? Has God not provided your daily bread? Do those of us who live in America still have freedom of worship? Therefore, let us not just be thankful to God for all His blessings one day a year, but let us be thankful every day and serve Jesus and those in need with joyful gladness.

Hymn (“I Will Serve Thee”): “I will serve Thee, I will serve Thee because I love Thee. You have given life to me; I was nothing before You found me; You have given life to me; Heartaches, broken pieces, Ruined lives are why You died on Calvary. Your touch was what I longed for; You have given life to me.”


Don’t Laugh at My Jesus

Text:  Matthew 9:23-25 (1599 Geneva Bible) “Now when Jesus came into the Ruler’s house, and saw the minstrels and the multitude making noise, He said unto them, `Get you hence; for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth.’ And they laughed Him to scorn. And when the multitude was put forth, He went in and took her by the hand, and the maid arose.”

When Jesus saw the paid mourners who were in the Ruler’s daughter’s bedroom, He told them all that the maid was merely sleeping so that He could do a miracle and raise her to life.  The rude multitude laughed Jesus to scorn and ridiculed Him.  Today, many Christians make a mockery of how other believers worship Jesus. Don’t laugh at my Jesus and don’t mock other Christians no matter what their denomination be they Catholic, Jewish Messianic, Baptist, Pentecostal, or non-denominational. As long as they profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior by grace through faith in Him, and they are worshipping Him in Spirit and in Truth, then who are we to argue about non-essentials of the faith?  Jesus wants unity in the Body of Christ.

Worship Song (“One Body,” by Charlie Hall): “Father we come to you in Spirit and Truth with our hearts and our minds.” Chorus: “One body, one spirit, one hope for our call; one faith and baptism, one Father of all who is above all and through us all. Father, I want to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Bridge: “Oh Lord, let forgiveness rain down; let your unity resound in our hearts. Oh Lord, let us learn to forgive; let your people learn to live as one body.”


Who Can Satisfy Our Souls? Only Jesus Can!

Text:  Matthew 14:14-21 (1599 Geneva Bible) “And when even was come, His disciples came to Him, saying, `This is a desert place, and the time is already past; let the multitude depart, that they may go into the towns, and buy them vittles.’ But Jesus said to them, `They have no need to go away; give ye them to eat.’ Then said they unto Him, `We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.’ And He said, `Bring them hither to me.’ And He commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were sufficed, and they took up of the fragments that remained, twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten, were about five thousand men, beside women and little children.”

In today’s text, we see the miracle where Jesus fed the 5,000. Jesus is called “The Bread of Heaven” in the Gospels.  Today, I want to remind us all that only Jesus can satisfy our hungry souls and meet any need that we may have.  Don’t run to a false religion, your daily horror-scope (literally, that’s what it is), fortune teller, comic book, hobby, friends, family. Don’t put your faith in another Christian or a pastor (which is a sin). As I have said before and I’ll say again, “Only Jesus can satisfy our souls”!

Worship Song (“Who can Satisfy My Soul like You?,” copyright 1989 by SHEPHERDS HEART MUSIC, INC.): “Who can satisfy my soul like You? Who on earth, could comfort me and love me like You do? Who could ever be more faithful true? I will trust in You; I will trust in You, my God.” Chorus: “There is a fountain who is a King Victorious Warrior and Lord of everything; My Rock, my Shelter, my very own Blessed Redeemer, who reigns upon the throne. Living water, rain down Your life on me, Cleansing me, refreshing me with life abundantly. River, full of life, I’ll go where You lead. I will trust in You, I will trust in You, my God!”


Only Believe in Jesus!

Text:  John 8:29 (1599 Geneva Bible) “Jesus answered, and said unto them, `This is the work of God, that ye believe in Him, Whom He hath sent.’ ”

Jesus told the people that the miracle of feeding the 5,000 was done so that the people would believe in Jesus because Jesus was sent by God, his Heavenly Father.  Today, do not believe and trust in your bank account, the economy, your big mansion, your sporty car, your comic book collection, your friends and family, your employer, a false religion, or even another pastor, teacher, evangelist, etc. for your salvation, but go to Jesus and trust Him for salvation as He is the only one we can believe in!

Hymn (“Only Believe”): “Fear not, little flock, from the cross to the throne, From death into life He went for His own; All power in earth, all power above, Is given to Him for the flock of His love.” Refrain: “Only believe, only believe; All things are possible, only believe, Only believe, only believe; All things are possible, only believe. Fear not, little flock, He goeth ahead, Your Shepherd selecteth the path you must tread; The waters of Marah He’ll sweeten for thee, He drank all the bitter in Gethsemane. Fear not, little flock, whatever your lot, He enters all rooms, `the doors being shut,’ He never forsakes; He never is gone, So count on His presence in darkness and dawn.”


Jesus, the True Heart Surgeon

Text: Matthew 15:18-20 (1599 Geneva Bible) “But those things which proceed out of the mouth, come from the heart, and they defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, slanders. These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashen hands, defileth not the man.”

In today’s text, Jesus told the disciples and us as Christians that if we do not come to Him for spiritual heart surgery we will have unclean hearts and thus unclean mouths.  If you have an unclean heart, Jesus mentions some things that will come forth in your life (the heart is the seat of emotions), namely, evil thoughts, murders (even if you only have hatred toward someone), adulteries and fornications (lusting after anyone other than your spouse), thefts (even stealing the pen at work or the post office), false testimonies (lies), slanders (saying I don’t believe so and so…), etc.  I want a clean heart and mouth today, don’t you?

Hymn (“Give me a new, perfect heart”): “Give me a new, a perfect heart, From doubt, and fear, and sorrow free; The mind which was in Christ impart, And let my spirit cleave to Thee. O take this heart of stone away! Thy sway it doth not, cannot own; In me no longer let it stay; O take away this heart of stone! Cause me to walk in Christ my Way; And I Thy statutes shall fulfill, In every point Thy law obey, And perfectly perform Thy will. Within me Thy good Spirit place, Spirit of health, and love, and power; Plant in me Thy victorious grace, And sin shall never enter more. O that I now, from sin released, Thy Word may to the utmost prove! Enter into the promised rest, The Canaan of Thy perfect love. Now let me gain perfection’s height; Now let me into nothing fall, Be less than nothing in Thy sight, And feel that Christ is all in all.”


Leave Out the Leaven

Text:  Matthew 16:11-12 (1599 Geneva Bible) “Why perceive ye not that I said not unto you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees? Then understood they that he had not said that they should beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees, and Sadducees.”

In today’s text, Jesus told his disciples, and He is telling us today as believers in Christ, to leave out the leaven in their lives.  Leaven in the Bible is a type of sin. We can only have sin removed from our lives by confessing our sins to Jesus and repenting (turning) from them. We must also not allow any leaven or false doctrine of any teachers, preachers, and evangelists in our lives.  All teaching even in our local church must line up with the Word of God.  Let us turn to Jesus our Everlasting Portion today.

Hymn (“Thou My Everlasting Portion”): “Thou my everlasting Portion, More than friend or life to me, All along my pilgrim journey, Savior, let me walk with Thee. Close to Thee, close to Thee, Close to Thee, close to Thee; All along my pilgrim journey, Savior, let me walk with Thee. Not for ease or worldly pleasure, Not for fame my prayer shall be; Gladly will I toil and suffer, Only let me walk with Thee. Close to Thee, close to Thee, Close to Thee, close to Thee; Gladly will I toil and suffer, Only let me walk with Thee. Lead me through the vale of shadows, Bear me o’er life’s fitful sea; Then the gate of life eternal May I enter, Lord, with Thee. Close to Thee, close to Thee, Close to Thee, close to Thee; Then the gate of life eternal May I enter, Lord, with Thee.”


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!”


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.”

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): “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.”


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.”

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.”


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.”


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.”


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.”


Come Home

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.”


Unprofitable Servants

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.”


Show Compassion

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!”


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.”