Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Too Familiar?

"And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened." -- Mark 6:51-52
Imagine the disciples walking with Jesus every day, watching him perform miracles again and again. They saw such wonderful works of God and yet they missed the point and didn't understand. How could this be, you might ask? How could anyone participate in feeding five thousand people with five loaves and two fish, having twelve baskets of food left over, and be oblivious to the miracle? Familiarity and busyness can harden the heart.
God is doing tremendous things in your life right now my friend. He's performing miracles moment by moment and if you're not careful, you're going to miss it. Stop and look at the flowers bloom today. Slow down and feel the breeze across your face. Watch the grass sprout up with new color and fresh life. Step back and watch the Spirit of God mold your life into the likeness of Jesus. Don't be so familiar and busy that you harden your heart.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

What is your "Faith Quotient"?

"And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief." -- Mark 6:5-6 
G. Campbell Morgan grew up in a Christian home and never questioned that the Bible was the Word of God. But in college, his faith was severely challenged by the philosophies of the day, and he began to entertain doubts. After a steady exposure to skepticism and unbelief, he wrote, "There came a moment when I was sure of nothing.”
Unbelief cripples the soul and hinders the mighty work of God. The Lord responds to belief and unbelief. Where there is doubt there is darkness. Where there is faith there is freedom. What is your "Faith Quotient" today my friend? Jesus said in Mark 9:23, "All things are possible for one who believes". Is your life marked by the "possibilities" of faith or the "impossibilities" of unbelief?

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Powerful becoming Personal

"After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat." - Mark 5:40-43 
Occasionally we read about an amazing new medication that will rock the world of health. We read all the testimonies about unbelievable results from many people who have been helped. We're convinced that this treatment will bring hope and healing to a loved one but... it's not available to the public. We need the powerful to become personal.
Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Every Sunday we celebrate his resurrection with joy and singing. We study the Biblical account of the Lord's miraculous victory over death. We are reminded that the resurrection of Christ is the very foundation of our faith. But hearing and singing about it doesn't bring a change until it comes home. When the risen Savior brings new life to a loved one or friend... the powerful becomes personal.
While resurrection day is yet future, it begins when the Lord brings us from death to life, from darkness to the light, from bondage to freedom. You need the Lord to come home into your heart before you can be at home in heaven my friend. As Job said in Job 42:5... "My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you."  The wonderful truth about the risen Christ is... the powerful became personal.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Good Soil

"But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” -- Mark 4:20
The gospel is carried throughout the world every day. As usual, many will reject the message as nothing more than foolishness. Yet, there will be a select few that will receive the truth with great joy. Their lives will be changed and in the years ahead they will produce a wonderful spiritual harvest.
What kind of soil are you today my friend? Has the gospel story fallen upon your heart and produced a great crop of thirty, sixty or even a hundred fold? Or has this message passed from your memory like the morning dew? May the good news about Jesus change your life and deliver you from the fruitless pursuit of worldly gain and unending worries! Search the Word everyday for spiritual light and share the Lord with those who still walk in darkness.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Open Hearts

"He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored." - Mark 3:5 
“The millennium is at hand. Man has invented everything that can be invented. He has done all he can do.” These words were spoken by a bishop at a church gathering in 1870. Someone commented, “I think man will learn to fly.” The bishop replied that this was blasphemy. “Don’t you know that flight is reserved for angels?” The bishop was Rev. Milton Wright, father of Orville and Wilbur. Only open hearts can fly.
Jesus found the very same attitude among the religious elite of his day. God had broken into their lives and they were closed to the possibilities. They had reached the point where they worshiped their traditions more than God. If the miraculous couldn't fit into the traditional setting, it was rejected. The stubborn heart distressed Jesus because he knew that only open hearts could fly.
Are you ready for God to do the miraculous in your life my friend? Will you allow him to break into your life in ways that may challenge your traditions? When you pray for the Lord's intervention are you prepared for the change he might bring? Remember, only open hearts can fly.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Will you carry them?

"Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” - Mark 2:3-5 
In the latter years of her life on Long Island, my mother-in-law had reached the place when doctor visits were a regular affair. We did our very best to get her to various appointments when we were in town, but when we were unavailable she was quite blessed with a number of friends that helped. The trips were often lengthy and quite time consuming, but her friends were wonderfully gracious. 
Bringing people to the Lord can be just as difficult. The paralytic in this passage was blessed with four friends who were determined to bring him to Jesus. They were willing to do anything necessary to make this happen. With a little creativity and hard work, four men succeeded in bringing their friend to the Great Physician.
Every day the Lord uses creativity and hard work to bring people to himself. Are you ready and willing to be one of those who will bring others to him? Do you know someone who needs the Lord today? Will you make the effort to carry your friend or neighbor out of the brush and down the road to the Great Physician?

Thursday, August 25, 2016


"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." - Mark 1:35 
What more can be said? If the Master found it necessary to start the day in solitary prayer, what about his servants?

"The men who have most fully illustrated Christ in their character, and have most powerfully affected the world for him, have been men who spent so much time with God as to make it a notable feature of their lives. Charles Simeon devoted the hours from four till eight in the morning to God. Mr. Wesley spent two hours daily in prayer. He began at four in the morning. Of him, one who knew him well wrote: “He thought prayer to be more his business than anything else and I have seen him come out of his closet with a serenity of face next to shining.” John Fletcher stained the walls of his room by the breath of his prayers. Sometimes he would pray all night; always, frequently, and with great earnestness. His whole life was a life of prayer. “I would not rise from my seat,” he said, “without lifting my heart to God.” Luther said: “If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer.” He had a motto: “He that has prayed well has studied well.” - E. M. Bounds in Power through Prayer

If you're too busy to pray...  you're too busy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Final Outcome

“'Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.'” Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates." -- Revelation 22:12-14
As we open our Bibles and begin with the first three chapters of Genesis, we find Adam and Eve prohibited from eating of the tree of life and escorted through the Garden gates. Their sin brought about the fall of all mankind and eternal separation from God. History tells the sad tale of continued rebellion and godless living throughout the ages. Would there be any hope for ever returning to the Garden and the tree of life? The last page of our Bibles gives a resounding YES!. "Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates." You see the beginning doesn't always determine the final outcome.
Is your life filled with a cascade of failures my friend? Do you feel that there can be little change in the months ahead? Well, there is hope for anyone who will come to the Lord for a new beginning. Jesus is one beginning that will always determine the final outcome because...  He is the "Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Book of Life

"And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty." -- Revelation 20:14-15
"Say it ain't so Joe... say it ain't so!" There are circumstances in life that are just too horrible to think about. So, what do we do? We will find some way to put them out of our minds, or we'll rework the facts so they don't sound so bad. Better yet, we just deny their reality.
The fact of eternal condemnation is one of those horrible truths that many people want to deny. We are so happy to embrace the promise of eternal life for the believer, but heaven forbid that anyone who rejects Christ suffer the pains of an eternal hell. Setting aside all the arguments of why this makes sense theologically, may we just accept the written Word of God as true? "If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." 
Is your name written in the book of life? It is if you have trusted Jesus Christ alone as your only means of Salvation. Are the names of your family, friends and neighbors in the book? If so, you have reason to rejoice, if not there's a word from Jude 23 for you... "...snatch others from the fire and save them". 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Overwhelmed with Joy

"Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints." -- Revelation 19:6-8
The day is coming when we, the church will be the bride in the greatest wedding of the ages. We will come to that day after millenniums of waiting. Centuries filled with God's people patiently waiting will have come and gone. All the hopes of years gone by will finally be realized. It will be our wedding day and we will be overwhelmed with joy.
Are you weighed down with the pressure and stress of living my friend? Do you wonder if life is just about preparing and never arriving? Does it seem that we have been waiting for Jesus forever? Be assured my friend that the wedding day is on God's calendar and will take place on time. So live and serve in hope and great expectation. Our wedding day is coming... and we will be overwhelmed with joy.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Stay Awake!

“Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.” -- Revelation 16:15
Jesus is coming again, and this time he will bring judgment that is true and just. He spoke of His second coming in Matthew 24:42 with similar words, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come." Yet, when he comes most people will be as much surprised as those in New York City on September 11, 2001 because they won't be watching. Because of wrong priorities and pursuits their spiritual condition will be embarrassing... they will be unprepared and asleep. 
How is your spiritual life today my friend? Do you know Christ as your Savior? If you do, are you living a life that will be pleasing to him when he returns? Can you say without reservation that you are waiting for his return with expectation? Remember the words of Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:4, 6: "But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief... So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober". Jesus is coming... so stay awake my friends!!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

God has a Plan

" was allowed..." -- Revelation 13:5, 7, 14, 15
On any given morning, we sit in front of the TV News report or read the headlines and wonder if there is any hope or order in our world. We might conclude that the flow of evil is out of control and is running wild. But the three small words before us today should help us stay secure and at peace.
In the midst of the great tribulation, evil will be at its very peak, with the anti-Christ running the world with unchecked influence. But will he really be unchecked? From the work of the false prophet to the power of the anti-Christ to the age old works of Satan himself, "... it was allowed ..." God alone is in charge of His universe and this world in which we live. His purpose will be achieved, even out of the storm of evil intent.
Are you secure in the fact that the Lord is in control my friend? When you are overwhelmed by confusion and evil power pressing into your world, just remember "... it is allowed ..." and if God has allowed it, God has a plan for His glory and our good. 

"For I know the plans I have for you, 
declares the LORD, 
plans for welfare and not for evil,
 to give you a future and a hope."
-- Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, August 19, 2016

Power in the Blood

"And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death." -- Revelation 12:11
The old hymn is more than true in the words "There is power in the blood". The spiritual battle will never be won apart from the power of the shed blood of Jesus. Our faithful testimony and wholehearted devotion must be rooted in His blood. This truth is not archaic nor is it superstitious. The words of Leviticus 17:11 still ring true... "for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life" as well as Hebrews 9:22 "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins."
Have you been washed in the blood of the Lamb my friend? Those coming out of the great tribulation in Revelation 8:14 "washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Paul the apostle spoke of the riches of God's grace bringing us true forgiveness through the blood of Jesus in Ephesians 1:7. And John reminds us in 1 John 1:7 that "the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin" There is most definitely "power in the blood", and that power can be yours just for the asking. Don't face the enemy without it.

Thursday, August 18, 2016


"And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet  as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter." -- Revelation 10:10
Over the years my boys would trick me into tasting some new candy, only to find that the great sweet flavor gave way to a really sour taste. The taste combination proved to be a real contradiction, but the candies were quite popular. Contradictions aren't always a bad thing.
The Word of God can often seem like a contradiction, as the little scroll turning out to be sweet and bitter. How is that possible you might say? We will find comfort when we read that the Lord walks with us through the storm, yet embarrassed when the same presence is with us in our moments of disobedience. The same Word that brings consolation of soul can bring conviction of sin. In this case, contradiction is a very good thing.
Biblical Truth brings security to your life my friend, but just wait a while and you will find the same Truth is a search-light of the heart. Still, never hesitate to consume the Word with pleasure; for a sweet taste and bitter bite will produce a changed life.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Joy in the Morning

“For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” -- Revelation 7:17
Out of the great tribulation there comes hope and a new beginning. The Lord will always be there for His people as the Good Shepherd, leading them to living water and wiping away every tear from their eyes. He will faithfully carry His children through the storm to a bright, brilliant and promising morning.
Remember the words of David my friend, "weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning" (Psalm 30:5). Our troubles are, in the words of Paul "light and momentary", "achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" (2 Corinthians 4:17) Therefore, "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord" (Romans 12:11)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

He is Worthy of our Best!

"And they sang a new song: 'You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.'" -- Revelation 5:9-10
The atonement of our Savior is such a great blessing. Through the shed blood of Jesus, we are ransomed from the bondage, guilt and condemnation of our sin. We are lifted up from every  corner of the  globe, from every  people group and given the privilege to reign with our  Savior. This blessing is  nothing short of a  miracle, and it's freely given to all who will believe.
When the Lord blesses His people, He does "more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us" (Ephesians 3:20) As we rejoice in such goodness, may we join the twenty-four elders of chapter four and cast the crowns of our lives before the throne of God and give Him all glory and honor and power. There is no question my friend... He is worthy of our very best!!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Where's the Fire?

“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. “ ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!" -- Revelation 3:14-15
To coin a phrase of Francis Chan's, are you lukewarm and loving it? Have you found just the right temperature for your porridge... not too hot and not too cold? Are you "Christian" enough to appease your inner conviction and "worldly" enough to keep your neighbors at ease? Well, how does "the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation" feel about such a lifestyle?
The evangelical church of America has never been so middle of the road and lethargic than it is today. While the books and conferences are in abundance with new and brighter ways to package the church, we are still the same temperature... lukewarm and loving it.
Where has the fire gone my friend? Where is the passion and drive that took our Savior to the cross and Paul the Apostle around his world with the gospel three times? What happened to the "burning heart" of your early days of new faith? May we stop and follow the counsel of the One who is standing at the door and knocking;  " zealous and repent"!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

He walks in your midst

"To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands." -- Revelations 2:1
This morning we will attend worship service and our pastor will open the Scriptures to feed the flock of God with eternal truth. The congregation will be made up of people from all walks of life. Their backgrounds will be quite varied and their spiritual journeys will differ in many ways. Along with this group of believers will be One who walks in their midst and holds their pastor in His right hand.
Never take the weekly service at your church for granted my friend. Don't allow the spirit of “same o’ same o’” to lull you to sleep. A message will be spoken from the pulpit that was not humanly planned and the eyes of flaming fire will gaze upon your fellowship with great spiritual concern. Listen carefully this morning and worship wholeheartedly, for the He who holds the seven stars is walking in your midst.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Be Wise

"And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever." -- Daniel 12:3 
In every age and prophetic setting, those who choose to live wisely before God and turn others to righteousness will be honored. Righteous living and evangelistic fervor is not just a New Testament phenomenon. God's heart has always desired His people to be holy as He is holy and have a compassion for the lost.
The long reaching results of such living is spoken of in this passage as shining "like the brightness of the sky above". Do you expect your future life to shine like the stars my friend? Are you focused on your heavenly glory enough to sacrifice in this life? Do you make a concerted effort to "turn many to righteousness"?  Being wise, is knowing what really counts in the face of eternity.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Know your God

"He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action." -- Daniel 11:32
The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 7:14, "For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." In the days of Antiochus Epiphanes and the days of the anti-Christ, there were and will be only a "few" that know their God, stand firm and take action.
Yet, why should we expect any different today? The words of Matthew 7:13b are more relevant than ever as they tell us, "...the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many."  There will always be "many" who are seduced by the flattery of smooth talkers, but only a few that "know their God"!
If you are one of those who know their God my friend, "stand firm and take action"! Be counted among the faithful and "Enter by the narrow gate" (Matthew 7:13a) Be wise and flee from those who strive to seduce and lead astray. Know your God and find ultimate satisfaction in Him alone!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

For His sake

"Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Lord, make your face to shine upon your sanctuary, which is desolate." – Daniel 9:17
One of the most critical issues in prayer is our motive. Most often, our prayers are focused on our needs and desires. When we are not concerned for ourselves, we are speaking on behalf of someone else. While these are viable motives, Daniel takes us to the real heartbeat of God centered prayer. Look and reflect on the one phrase "and for your sake".
Are your prayers always based on the simple, yet profound desire "and for your sake" my friend? Remember the pattern of prayer that our Lord taught in Matthew 6:9-10 and the very first petition, "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." Every prayer should be motivated first and foremost by the desire for God's will and His glory.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The King of kings

"By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind he shall become great. Without warning he shall destroy many. And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken—but by no human hand." -- Daniel 8:25
This vision unfolded in history through the invasion and desecration of the Seleucus ruler, Antiochus IV Epiphanes. The times and details were literally fulfilled and it is believed by many scholars that he died of some disease in Persia. Yet, as with many Biblical Prophecies, this arrogant ruler who brought about the "abomination of desolation" in Jerusalem was a picture of the coming anti-Christ.
As with Antiochus, so with the coming anti-Christ, many will suffer and die and there will be great opposition to the Lord. Then "he shall be broken - but by no human hand". The events of history and prophecy always reveal to the controlling hand of our Sovereign God. After all the dust has settled, there is only one King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Why be worried over certain political rulers and international intrigue my friend? The conflict is as old as the ages and will always be orchestrated to the glory of God. Rulers come and go, but the one who rules in your heart and mine is everlasting. Be at peace, for our God "is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen." (1 Timothy 6:15-16)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The end of the story

“As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom... And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them.’” – Daniel 7:21-22, 27
Some people consider Biblical prophecy to be confusing and of little relevant value. In this chapter, Daniel is also quite troubled, as his "thoughts greatly alarmed" him. Yet, we read that he kept the matter in his heart. Is there good reason to know prophecy and keep the matter in our hearts?
The above passage proves to be quite relevant. We are told that persecution will come and it will prevail for a time. But prophecy is filled with hope as the passage speaks of the Ancient of Days coming with judgment for the saints. And hope is increased to great expectation with the knowledge of an everlasting kingdom being given to the saints of the Most High.  
Biblical Prophecy tells us the end of the story, and the end is glorious for all those that know Jesus as Savior and Lord. As you live for the Lord, persecution will most definitely come, but it's only a matter of time until the Ancient of Days will bring a bright and promising future for His people. Stay the course my friend with hope and expectation. 

Monday, August 8, 2016


"Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God." -- Daniel 6:23
No matter how great the challenge or danger, God is able to deliver those who trust in Him. Trust is a big word and a life sustaining quality. But the real issue is: where do you place your trust? David says it quite well in Psalm 20:7, "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God."
Where do you place your trust my friend? Are you confident in your own abilities? Or do you believe that the resources of friends and family will be sufficient? Maybe you have a bank account that won't quit and the strength of ten men. But, when the Lions approach, the only one that you can really trust is the "Lion of Judah"! Only when you trust in Him will no kind of harm be found on you.

Sunday, August 7, 2016


"And you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this, but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven." -- Daniel 5:22-23a 
The events that occurred in the life of Nebuchadnezzar were well known throughout the kingdom. His son, Belshazzar was quite aware and was finally held accountable for his knowledge. The lives of others serve as signposts on the road of life, but they are only as valuable as they are heeded.
The son saw the hand of God fall upon his father and still ignored the possibility of that same hand falling upon him. Not only didn't Belshazzar humble his heart, but he also lifted himself against the Lord. Pride will lead one far from God and to eventual destruction as in verse 30, "That very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed."
What have you learned from the lives of others my friend? Yes, there are some that have given you positive examples to follow, but there have also been those who served as warnings. When it comes to pride, be wise and heed the signposts and Scriptures that say in Proverbs 16:18, "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."

Saturday, August 6, 2016

But if not...

"If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” -- Daniel 3:17-18
The events recorded in this chapter are quite helpful for our study. We often focus on the Lord's presence in the flames, or the amazing deliverance from the fire. But I would like to look at the incredible faith of these three servants of the Lord. Their faith was strong and vibrant, even in the face of death. They believed that God was able, but they were surrendered to the "if not" of God's sovereignty.
Is this the kind of faith that lives within your heart my friend? Or does your faith need to be reaffirmed with God's regular provision of your desires? Will you trust the Lord and reject all others in the event of "if not"? Are you fully surrendered to the sovereign will of God, no matter what? There was another prayer much later in the New Testament that shared the same commitment of faith... "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39) Do you trust Him even when "if not"?

Friday, August 5, 2016

Undeserved Mercy

"Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon." -- Daniel 2:17-18
What should we do in the face of threatening storms? Daniel was a wise and yet humble man of prayer and he took very careful steps in response to the King's edict. He sought the prayers of others, and he sought the mercy of God. The humble heart knows the need for help and undeserved mercy.
When the wind and rain comes hammering at your door, do you just kick back and relax, or do you seek the help of others? As Jesus taught, where two or three are gathered in His name, there He is in their midst (Matthew 18:19-20). Also, in such circumstances, do we believe that God is under some obligation to save us, or do we rest in His infinite mercy?
As you face every overwhelming challenge my friend, seek the prayer support of others immediately. And as you pray, come before the Lord in utmost humility, seeking His undeserved mercy. Daniel was a great man of God because he was a great man of prayer.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Being Different

"And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom." -- Daniel 1:20
While working my way through Bible College, the plant where I was employed always looked for students from our school. The reason was quite simple: our daily production was always twice the amount of the other shifts. The students were faithful workers for the Lord and His blessing came upon them and the business.
When we honor the Lord He blesses us in many ways. Such blessings will often overflow into the lives of others. This is all part of a living testimony. The impact that Daniel and his friends made lasted through many years and administrations. Making a difference in our world begins with being different for the Lord.
My friend, are you conformed to the world or to the Lord? Is your lifestyle so distinct and honoring to the Lord that it brings blessing to you and others? The world is often drawn to those who are true to their convictions, and eventually drawn to their Lord. Does your lifestyle draw others to the Lord?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


“And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem.” -- 1 Corinthians 16:3
Trust is highly valued. The real curiosity is that we find this quality referred to in this passage. Paul called for God’s people to lay aside weekly gifts to help others in need. The transport of this gift would require not just anyone, but individuals accredited by a letter of trust. Shouldn't this have been the case with everyone in the fellowship of believers?
Isn’t honesty and trust a no-brainer for all God’s children? Why would someone need a letter of accreditation at such a time in the early church? Is it possible that trust is a quality that comes over time? Is it possible that trust is part of spiritual growth and maturity? And last of all, is it possible that trust was and still is a very important issue in ministry activities?
Are you trustworthy my friend? And do you seek to use those who are honest to carry out ministry activities? Ours is a divine stewardship and the level of trust should rise above all other circumstances. As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 4:2, “Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.”

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Never in vain

“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” – 1 Corinthians 15:58
Well, if you work harder for the Lord as we read in this blog yesterday, will it be worth the effort? My dear pastor, mentor, father-in-law and friend, George Bogan, gave the above verse as his parting words to the congregation that he served for twenty-eight years. His thought was clear… giving ourselves to the work of the Lord is never, never, never in vain.
The end of this life is only the beginning of a bright and glorious future filled with new opportunities of service and worship. We will be raised with new bodies and unending energy to work for the glory of God. All this will come as an honor and privilege for the faithfulness given in this life.
Honor the Lord in this life my friend and He will honor you in the life to come. Such honor will be far more than eternal wealth; it will be an open door to join the Master of the Universe in His great and eternal work. Be true to your earthly calling and your heavenly calling will be great. Take note: There is no work done for the Lord that is ever in vain!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Work Harder

"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me." -- 1 Corinthians 15:10
Ah yes, we are what we are by the grace of God. Such is a profound truth that should keep us focused every day of our lives. But, as a result, do we work harder? In another place we read, "for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13). We love His grace and HIS working, but what about OUR working?
Evangelicals have battled so much over "grace alone" for our salvation that we forget about the fact of Ephesians 2:10, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." God gives free grace, and we should freely work.
How about it my friend, are you working harder today because you are what you are by the grace of God? Are you so devoted to His cause that you work with unlimited diligence? In the words of our Lord, "As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work." (John 9:4) By the grace of God, work harder.