Friday, December 31, 2021

Only a matter of time...

 Today's Readings: OT - Judges 6:1-10 / NT - Revelation 22

"He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!" -- Revelation 22:20
On October 20, 1944 Gen. Douglas MacArthur fulfilled a promise to the Filipino people. Upon leaving two and a half years earlier he vowed "I Shall Return" and that time had come. He was confident that he could deliver a victory in 1942 and in 1944 he accomplished his goal. While the months passed slowly for the Filipino people, victory was only a matter of time.

The years have slipped into decades that have moved into centuries and the Lord has not yet returned. But he said, "Surely I am coming soon" and we may be sure that he will keep his promise. These words are full of hope and confidence that the end of the story will be victorious. They are spoken by the Lord himself and John responded with expectation, "Amen, Come, Lord Jesus!" Yes, he's coming back in triumph and it's only a matter of time.

Are you discouraged at times when the battle is long and drawn out? Does time seem to pass ever so slowly? Does the light at the end of the tunnel never get any closer? Be patient my friend, for the words of Jesus are golden. He is coming soon, so stay the course and don't ever give up. Wait on the Lord and be assured... it's only a matter of time.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Judges 6:11-27  /  NT - Matthew 1

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Where the Lord is...

 Today's Readings: OT - Judges 5 / NT - Revelation 21:9-27

"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God... I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp." - Revelation 21:3; 22-23
"Home is where the heart is". We all know that a house is nothing more than wood, brick and mortar. But, a house becomes a home through the love of family. Church buildings are made of the same materials as houses, only bigger and more ornate. Whether the temple of old or the churches down the block, they are nothing but buildings without the glory of God's presence. Church is where the Lord is.

If there is no house of worship in heaven since the Lord is the temple, what about that building we meet in from Sunday to Sunday? The church building, as the temple, was never meant to be anything other than a place where the people of God gathered to commune with and worship the Lord of Glory. Until we get to heaven, God has blessed places where his people can assemble together to meet with Him. When we become caught up in the beauty of the building and all its trimmings, we end up with nothing more than a building. Church is where the Lord is.

Do you look for the Lord when you attend church on Sundays? Are you listening for his voice to speak to you heart? When you leave church to enter the week ahead, do people notice that you have been with Jesus?  Church is where the Lord is. 

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Judges 6:1-10  /  NT - Revelation 22

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Is your name written?

 Today's Readings: OT - Judges 4 / NT - Revelation 20:1-21:8

"And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." -- Revelation 20:13-15
Have you ever shown up at a restaurant or motel and found that your reservation was not listed? I stood behind a rather disgruntled fellow some years ago that was suffering from such an experience. After all the yelling and accusations, nothing had changed and the gentleman was out on the street. There's no place when there's no name.

The day is coming when some people will arrive at the Great White Throne only to find that their name is not listed in the book of life. They can argue and yell all they want, but when that day comes it will be too late. The time for anyone to make a reservation for eternity is in this life alone. If the decision is put off, there will be no place since there's no name.

Is your name written in the Book of Life my friend? Are the names of your family, friends and neighbors also written? There will be no fear of death for those who have made their reservations by placing their faith in Christ. Jesus said in Luke 10:20, "Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." When your name is written, there's a place for you.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Judges 5  /  NT - Revelation 21:9-27

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Worship Him Alone...

 Today's Readings: OT - Judges 3:7-31 / NT - Revelation 19

"Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." -- Revelation 19:10
From time to time I needed to express public appreciation to those who had performed some ministry within our church. I was very careful to include all who had participated and not include others who were not involved. It's important to carefully honor only those who are worthy of recognition.

There are appointed Angels who are active in the work of God, as well as other significant servants of the Lord. These are important personalities in the unfolding ministry of Jesus, but they are not, nor will they ever be God. There is only one who is worthy of our worship, and that one alone is the Lord. Only He is to be honored with our worshipful love and devotion.

There are many opportunities to honor and worship someone other than God. Be careful to avoid this temptation my friend. Our worship is to be solely given to the Lord "...with all our heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." (Matthew 22:37). Even the Angels are only fellow servants, so worship God and Him alone. 

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Judges 4  /  NT - Revelation 20:1-21:8

Monday, December 27, 2021

Time is short... Make it count!

 Today's Readings: OT - Judges 2:11-3:6 / NT - Revelation 18

"... For in a single hour your judgment has come... For in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste... For in a single hour she has been laid waste." -- Revelation 18:10, 17, 19
A recent article mentioned the increase of heart attacks during the holiday season. The stress and demanding activities of the season bring poor health to a climax. After years of careless eating and unhealthy living, in a single hour everything falls apart.

The world carries on in the same way. Careless and ungodly living will continue, year in and year out, but a day will come when "in a single hour" everything will fall apart. As the passage mentions; judgment will come, wealth will be laid waste and the city itself will be laid waist.

In light of this coming day my friend, "... what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness...!" (2 Peter 3:11) There's no better time to start living right and serving the Lord than today. Perhaps this is the reason a voice from heaven says in verse four, "Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins..." As the New Year approaches, let's make every "single hour" count for the Lord.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Judges 3:7-31  /  NT - Revelation 19

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Above all the rest...

 Today's Readings: OT - Judges 1:27-2:10 / NT - Revelation 17

"And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. These are of one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast. They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.” -- Revelation 17:12-14
Power and dominion has come to so many leaders over the years. But as we step aside and glance across the ages long past, such leaders have all slipped away into history. Some have achieved great victories and others have been international celebrities, but they have all been overcome by the passage of time. Who is the leader that will rise above all the rest?

The Lord of lords and King of kings is his name. As these latter day kings will receive authority for one hour, so all great leaders have limits. Their greatest limitation is when they choose to oppose the Lord himself. There is no power that will ever overcome the Lamb, and all armies that war against the Lord will be conquered. He alone is the leader that will always rise above the rest!

Don't ever be settled and secure in the leadership of earthly kings and princes my friend. In the same light don't fear the power of those that oppose the ways of the Lord. We serve the King of kings and Lord of lords and he will always conquer. Don't be overcome by the evil of our day, rest in the Lord and be confident, for He alone will rise above all the rest.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Judges 2:11-3:6  /  NT - Revelation 18

Saturday, December 25, 2021

A Savior is Born!

 Today's Readings: OT - Judges 1:1-26 / NT - Revelation 15-16

"And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 
 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” 
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.  And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them." -- Luke 2:8-20

May you find peace in the Prince of Peace, praise God for his indescribable gift and make known the good news of great joy that there is a Savior... and his name is Jesus! May you treasure all these things in your heart as you celebrate Christmas.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Judges 1:27-2:10  /  NT - Revelation 17

Friday, December 24, 2021

Christmas Rest...

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 24:14-33 / NT - Revelation 14

"And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” -- Revelation 14:11

December is quite a busy month for so many people. The first Christmas season that I was in retail sales I worked six days a week and no less than twelve hours a day. Each day brought more work and less energy. As the old saying goes, "There's no rest for the weary", and the weary desperately yearn for rest.

With that thought, consider these lyrics, "God rest ye merry, gentlemen / Let nothing you dismay / Remember, Christ, our Savior / Was born on Christmas day / To save us all from Satan's power". Rest is a wonderful promise of Christmas. Jesus extended the invitation to all who would respond with the words, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) But for those who reject the Christ of Christmas to serve another... forever and ever, there will be no rest.

However busy you may be this week my friend, are you at rest? Have you found rest for your soul that carries you through the most challenging day with peace? Are those that you care for at rest today and will they be at rest in eternity? What a promise is given in verse thirteen, "Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors". There IS rest for the weary... in the Christ of Christmas.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Judges 1:1-26 /  NT - Revelation 15-16

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Who's in Charge?

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 23:1-24:13 / NT - Revelation 13

"Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them... and by the signs that it is allowed to work... And it was allowed to give breath..." -- Revelation 13:7, 14, 15
The meter reader came to our house the other day and he waited at the door until I secured our dog. He looked to me for his safety from my ferocious beast. (I am being quite satirical about my kind hearted hound) While it is possible for our canine to bite a stranger, I would be held responsible for allowing her to carry out the deed. Someone has to be in charge.

As we view the unbearable days of the tribulation we are overwhelmed by the evil that is poured out by the two beasts. The anti-Christ and false prophet are a dastardly duo who bring incredible carnage upon mankind. In truth, as part of the overall judgment of God upon a lost and rebellious earth, he allows them to carry out their work. They are only as powerful as they are allowed. God is in charge.

In the day of injustice and ungodly conduct is there anyone in control? Yes, there is, and He rules the world. God doesn't create evil, but he allows it to run its course as we move closer to the end of this age. (Romans 1:18-32) Therefore, don't give in to the evil that surrounds you my friend. Turn to the One who is in control and seek his redemptive and  protective care. Only God is truly in charge.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 24:14-33  /  NT - Revelation 14

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Reason to Hope...

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 22:10-34 / NT - Revelation 11:15-12:17

"The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign." - Revelation 11:15-17 
Another date that was feared by many quietly slipped away. Theories were running rampant as to what would happen to the world on December 21, 2012. This was the date of the Mayan Apocalypse and the end of the world. If the kingdom of this world should end: what then? The words of the prophet say this world will end, but he also says that another world is coming. A world where evil will be judged and destroyed and God's people, small and great, will be rewarded. There is reason to hope.

The angel told Mary that her child would "reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." (Luke 1:33) This part of the Christmas announcement is so often passed over. This world with all its bells and whistles is going to be replaced with the kingdom of God and Christ shall reign forever. Christmas is a date, which we should never fear. This day is the birthday of a King who will, one day soon, take his great power and begin to reign. This is reason to hope.

Christmas 2021 may not bring all the joy and celebration to you that others experience. It may be a day that you fear because you feel empty and unsure of the year that will follow. You may feel that this world has let you down in many ways. Well, Christmas can be a joyful day if you will fall before the King of Kings, open your heart and invite him into your life. The future kingdom will become a "present" kingdom when He begins to reign in you. This is reason to hope.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 23:1-24:13  /  NT - Revelation 13

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Some things we don't need to know...

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 22:1-9 / NT - Revelation 10:1-11:14

"And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.” -- Revelation 10:4
News reporters insist that the public needs to know everything about the story. No matter how graphic or unbearable, these news hounds are bound to publish every detail. There are times that I really don't want to know or I'm just not ready to receive the information. Some things we don't need to know.

Prophecy is a lot like news reporting, except prophets are reporting the future. They record all that is revealed to them for the Lord's ultimate purpose. Prophetic writings are intended to alert people to ultimate accountability and the need for repentance and faith. These writings are not for the curious. Therefore, God directs the prophet to write what will accomplish his goal and no more. Some things we don't need to know.

Are you a prophecy hound? Do you read and study the prophetic books with a keen interest? What is the heart of that pursuit my friend? Are you seeking to satisfy your curiosity, or are you open to the change that God desires for your life? All that you need to know for spiritual growth is recorded. Apply what is revealed and leave the rest alone. Some things we don't need to know.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 22:10-34  /  NT - Revelation 11:15-12:17

Monday, December 20, 2021

Time waits for no man...

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 21:21-45 / NT - Revelation 9

"So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of mankind." -- Revelation 9:15
Y2K; the date was a time consuming fear factor that engrossed more people than one could imagine. The expectations of disaster were overwhelming and the countdown was a much focused pastime. Nothing could change the fact that January 1, 2000 was going to take place at a very specific hour, day, month and year. While catastrophe didn't arrive, the day did come with exact precision. Time waits for no man.

In the same way a day set apart for divine judgment is coming. Disaster will follow it with certainty as determined by God's righteous purpose. This day is on the calendar just as Y2K was and it won't be changed or set aside. This passage makes it clear that this moment of retribution isn't a moment in the past or one to be spiritualized. It is on the Lord's schedule and the best response is to seek the Lord while he may be found. Time waits for no man.

Since "God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:9), there is hope for those who know the Lord. Is such a hope yours today my friend? Is it the hope of your family, friends and neighbors? If this isn't true of you and yours "Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2). Remember... Time waits for no man.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 22:1-9  /  NT - Revelation 10:1-11:14

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Another Day...

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 21:1-20 / NT - Revelation 7:9-8:13

"Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew directly overhead, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!” -- Revelation 8:13
I'm always amazed at the interest shown for catastrophe movies. My wife and I were viewing some wild catastrophic film some years ago and we were sitting with three ladies in their eighties. Age and other variables are irrelevant when it comes to this subject. We are all curious about the possible doom of our world. Will such a day ever come?

In light of my observations I am further puzzled when the Scriptural accounts of God's ultimate judgment upon the earth is explained away. Why do people believe that a day of accountability to our Creator, Lord and King will never come? This passage begs to differ with those who believe that retribution is a thing of which legends are made. Without a doubt, the day is coming.

No one wants to read about God's wrath during the Christmas season. But doesn't the eventual worldwide condemnation make the gift of Jesus much more precious? Before God's wrath is poured out, his love floods the earth from a manger to the cross. Yes, the day of doom is coming, but today is a day of "good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10-11) Spread the good news today... for another Day IS coming.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 21:21-45  /  NT - Revelation 9

Saturday, December 18, 2021


 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 19:40-20:9  /  NT - Revelation 6:1-7:8

"Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” -- Revelation 6:15-17

Intrigue, conspiracy, espionage and secrets of every kind; such is our world past and present. Leaders get nervous over the latest TikTok reveals and fear the spreading of comments made behind closed doors. Hiding from each other protects us from accountability for wrong.

Adam and Eve hid when the Lord came walking in the Garden. When the Lamb comes in judgment in the last days, men and women will still be hiding. We far too often fear God a day late and a dollar short. Rather than fearing God and walking with him, we end up fearing God and running from him. We hide to be protected from ultimate accountability for sin.

Why do you avoid the Lord by skipping devotions, church and Bible studies? Are you hiding from God my friend? The day is coming when all who have run from God and his grace will try to hide from him and his wrath. But there will be no hiding and no protection from ultimate accountability. Walk with the Lord today, so you won't need to run from him then.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 21:1-20  /  NT - Revelation 7:9-8:13

Friday, December 17, 2021

It's All about God...

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 19:17-39  /  NT - Revelation 4-5

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” -- Revelation 4:11
We live at at time when our entire society is being reworked to be political correct. Our world revolves around mankind, giving him honor and glory for everything that exists. Every great accomplishment in life is attributed to the wisdom and skill of humanity. To put it simply, "It's all about man". 

As we read todays passage the message is very different. God, and God alone created all things. No matter where we turn, everything that is exists by the will of God. His plan and purpose is behind every star that shines and every breeze that brushes across the meadow. To put is simply, "It's all about God".

How do you greet each event in life my friend? Are you focused on yourself and how you can impact your world for your honor? Or are you overwhelmed with the works of great men and women and seek to be like them? Remember that the Lord alone is worthy to receive glory and honor and power, for "In him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). To put is simply, "It's all about God".

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 19:40-20:9  /  NT - Revelation 6:1-7:8

Thursday, December 16, 2021


 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 19:1-16  /  NT - Revelation 3

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God." -- Revelation 3:1-2
Have you ever purchased something because of the name on the product? Were you then disappointed by the lack of quality, surprised that the name didn't carry the same dependability that you once knew? It is sad but true that many great companies have lived long, just on their legend. Their reputation said one thing, but the reality was very different.

Jesus spoke to the Church of Sardis as the one who knew the heart. He knew their works, but he also knew their spiritual quality. They couldn't sell him on their name, because he knew the truth of who they really were down deep. They had a reputation of being alive, but they were dead.

As believers, Jesus called this church to "wake up" and strengthen what remained. How about you my friend? Have you slipped into the daze that lives on your past achievements while asleep at the present spiritual wheel? Remember... a reputation is only as good as its living reality.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 19:17-39  /  NT - Revelation 4-5

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Hold Fast...

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 18  /  NT - Revelation 2

"But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel... Only hold fast what you have until I come." -- Revelation 2:20, 25
Some things change at a very slow rate and age is one of them. We would never accept certain conduct when we were younger, but now we just adjust. There was a time that we would go into action in the face of injustice, but now we put up with it rather than fight. We may not agree, but we tolerate.

The church of Thyatira was commended for her "love and faith and service and patient endurance", and that her latter works exceeded the first. It's good to stay the course over time, but what wrongs do we slowly come to accept? We may work hard, but are we as willing to pay the price for righteousness in our later days as when we were young? Have we reached the point of toleration?

Have you suffered from a slow drift my friend? Has the crisp conviction of youth yielded to the soft acceptance of age? Why fight City Hall you say, and then leave the battle to the younger brethren. Remember, Jesus IS coming and he expects us to "hold fast" and not give in to toleration!

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 19:1-16  /  NT - Revelation 3

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Great Expectations...

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 17  /  NT - Revelation 1

"The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place..." -- Revelation 1:1 
When my sons were born I knew the day would soon arrive for them to launch out on their own. The years have passed so very quickly and that day has come. While I am talking about 38 and 34 years respectively, they were not long at all. Great expectations overwhelmed me.

When the word "soon" is read there are skeptics that believe these events should have already come to pass. There are also those who seek to spiritualize the passage and suggest it already happened over time in the hearts of believers. But the word is quite simple in its meaning and filled with great expectations.

As the years pass for you my friend, are you filled with hope? Does the revelation of Jesus Christ make the time pass quickly? Are you living with your heart and mind focused on the future? Soon and very soon, we're going to see the King. So live your life with great expectations.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 18  /  NT - Revelation 2

Monday, December 13, 2021

Fire Snatchers ...

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 16  /  NT - Jude

"But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit... snatch others from the fire and save them..." -- Jude 20, 23
When the house goes up in flames and fire-fighters arrive, you hope they are in good shape. If someone is caught in the house and needs to be rescued, you hope the rescue team is skilled and well trained. People's lives depend on those who are always ready to save the day. The best fire-fighter is a prepared fire-fighter.

In the face of eternity there are souls in danger of fire every day. They need someone who is well trained to "snatch' them from the flames. But too many believers have allowed the "good life" to eat up their time and energy. When the alarm rings they aren't ready to help. The best fire-snatcher is a prepared fire-snatcher.

The emphasis of verse 20 is to build oneself in the faith. If you hope to snatch others from the flames, you need to be skilled and trained. Are you spending time every day in the Word of God and in Spirit led prayer? Do you practice these disciplines so that you're always ready? Remember, the best fire-snatcher is a prepared fire-snatcher.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 17  /  NT - Revelation 1

Sunday, December 12, 2021

You're Welcome...

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 15:33-63  /  NT - 3 John

"Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church about your love. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God." -- 3 John 5-6
Walmart had a great idea when they hired people to greet shoppers at the main entrance. The majority have a friendly smile and make me feel very welcomed. While there are some greeters who seem to be bored with their job, most are quite sincere. Even though we are strangers, a welcoming spirit goes a long way. 
Along those same lines, my wife and I were visiting a church some time ago while on vacation. We were given a happy and pleasant greeting by a friendly usher. While there were very few others that said hello, we will never forget that kind usher that welcomed us upon arrival and gave a very fond farewell as we left. Even though we were strangers, a welcoming spirit went a long way. 
How do you treat visitors at your church? Do you go out of your way to greet them with a warm welcome? As you reach out to new faces this Sunday, be sure your love is sincere and your spirit is worthy of the Lord. Remember, even though you are strangers, a welcoming spirit goes a long way.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 16  /  NT - Jude

Saturday, December 11, 2021

The Accessory...

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 15:1-32  /  NT - 2 John

"If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work." -- 2 John 10-11

In the legal community there is conduct called "Accessory" that is considered criminal. By definition an Accessory is "a person who assists in the commission of a crime, but who does not actually participate in the commission of the crime as a joint principal". Guilt follows the action with criminal charges and legal ramifications. Basically, anyone who is an Accessory shares in the evil work.

When it comes to spiritual matters we often lose our clarity of thought. John saw the need to give instruction on this point, as unwarranted tolerance seemed to run rampant. Time has not remedied the matter, since tolerance is the way to go for many contemporary believers. While social crime is a serious matter, spiritual heresy endangers the eternal future of the soul. John made it clear with the words, "Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work."

Know what you believe my friend, and stand firm in your faith. Take notice of those who have perverted the doctrines of the faith and do not condone or encourage them. You will notice that this teaching comes in the same letter that speaks about loving the brothers. The command to love one another is well established, but do not welcome those who would lead others astray from the truth or you will share in their wicked work as an Accessory.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 15:33-63  /  NT - 3 John

Friday, December 10, 2021

Simply Love...

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 14:6-15  /  NT - 1 John 5

"This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." -- 1 John 5:3-5
The simplicity of a child's devotion is a wonder. They love their parents with all their heart and trust them implicitly. Because of this relationship they will obey at times when others might question. The process is very basic, but is soon lost as they mature. Adults have great difficulty trusting and obeying. The missing element may just be love.

So it is with our walk with God. Simplicity may be fine for children, but as adults we question and doubt far too much. Some believe that the Lord's commands are "burdensome" while others believe that victory is impossible. While faith is critical, the real issue is the focus of our faith.  The one we trust and obey can only be the one we love.

Who loves you my friend? And who do you love with all you obedience and faith? Your relationship with the Lord is far more than just trusting and obeying. It is a confidence in God's love for you and your desire to respond with a life of love. As John already said in chapter four, verse sixteen, "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us."

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 15:1-32  /  NT - 2 John

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Not Elusive...

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 14:1-5  /  NT - 1 John 4

"We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother." -- 1 John 4:19-21
"What the World Needs Now Is Love", a song written by Hal David with music by Burt Bacharach was released on April 15, 1965. Being quite well received, it reached number 7 on the US charts in May of that year. Yet, within the next seven years 58,193 American soldiers were killed in Vietnam, and both Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated in 1968 followed by riots in 60 American cities. Why is love so elusive?

The children of God have the only hope for real and lasting love. How do I know this you may ask? The above passage says it emphatically, "We love because he first loved us." By the very transforming work of the Holy Spirit love for one another becomes a reality. On this basis we are commanded to love our brothers as we love God. For the believer, love should never be elusive.

Anger, bitterness, hatred and bigotry have marked our world throughout history. In truth, "What the World Needs Now Is Love". And you, my friend, may be the only genuine evidence of God's transforming love in your workplace, family or school. Let the world know that love doesn't need to be elusive.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 14:6-15  /  NT - 1 John 5

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

A Clean House...

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 13  /  NT - 1 John 3

"Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure." -- 1 John 3:2-3
Our home is always orderly and clean. But when guests are coming for dinner, or even if family is coming for a few days, my dear wife works like crazy to spruce up the place. She vacuums, dusts, brings out the best dishes and stocks the kitchen with good food to eat. She hopes that our visitors will enjoy their stay and be pleased that they came.

John reminds us that we are children of God and the best days are ahead. He tells us that a day is coming when the Lord will return and we shall see him face to face. Furthermore, if we have this hope as a driving force in our hearts, we will get ready. We will "clean house" to purify ourselves just as Jesus is pure. We will want the Lord to be pleased when he arrives.

Take time on a regular basis to do an inventory my friend. How does your house look today? If the Lord returned this afternoon, would he find things in good order and a purified life? Maybe today would be a good time to get out the vacuum cleaner and dust cloth and "clean house". I'm sure that you would want the Lord to be pleased when he arrives?

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 14:1-5  /  NT - 1 John 4

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Are you ready?

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 12:7-24  /  NT - 1 John 2:15-29

"And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming." -- 1 John 2:28
When I was in elementary school my Mom would have quite a time getting me to do my homework. She would set me down at a desk and give me time to finish the job, but when she would return, there was no progress. I had day-dreamed and wasted time, and the work wasn't completed. No matter how bad I felt, it never changed the fact that I just wasn't ready.

Procrastination is a very real problem and spiritual procrastination is an even greater one. If the believer puts off walking in the truth and growing in grace until another time, the day will come when there is no more time. Jesus will return and we will have nothing for which to be confident. No matter how bad we may feel, it will never change the fact that we just weren't ready.

John wrote this letter to believers. He knew that they fight a spiritual battle with sins that easily get the better of them. But if we confess our sins moment by moment and walk in the Spirit, there will always be confidence at the Lord's return. Don't procrastinate, "continue in him" my friend and you'll always be ready.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 13  /  NT - 1 John 3

Monday, December 6, 2021

The Everlasting Light...

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 12:1-6  /  NT - 1 John 1:1-2:14

"This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." ~ 1 John 1:5 
I own more flashlights than most. I'm not afraid of the dark, but I want to see where I'm walking and be able to read my books during a power failure. I prefer battery-operated flashlights. Some people are sold on the "shake it" or "crank it" type. The interesting fact is, whether the light is run by battery, shaking or even cranking ... the light finally goes out. You will eventually walk in darkness.

So it is with every man-made source of light for the soul. We live in darkness and we will die in darkness because our self-powered lights will always go out. The only hope for lasting light is to find the true "Eveready" or "Diehard" source of light, and it's not the Energizer Bunny!

The truth is, that the Lord is a light that never fails. He doesn't need shaking, cranking or new and better batteries. He alone will light the way of every soul that follows Him. You don't need to walk in darkness today. Come to Jesus and He will ... "light up your life" ...  forever!

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 12:7-24  /  NT - 1 John 2:15-29

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Stay Focased...

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 11  /  NT - 2 Peter 3

"First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men." - 2 Peter 3:3-7 
Every now and again the subject of Noah's Ark comes back into the news. Since being discovered 13,000 feet up a Turkish mountain -- according to a claim by a group of Chinese and Turkish evangelical explorers, scoffers have come out of the woodwork. The comments have ranged from the flood being nothing more than a myth to the whole discovery concept being a "crock". The world is filled with more man-made theories and less belief in God than ever before.

Peter wrote about our days prophetically and spoke of those who would "deliberately forget". He reminded us that God has intervened in his world with past judgment and one day he will do so again. By the Word of the Lord, destruction will come upon scoffers and unbelievers who choose to forget God.

Christian friend, don't be troubled by scoffers and critics that deny the Lord and his marvelous works. Remember that God's timing is not ours, "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." (8)  Just stay focused on your own walk with God in this godless world and consider, "Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming." (11-12) 

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 12:1-6  /  NT - 1 John 1:1-2:14

Saturday, December 4, 2021


 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 10:16-43  /  NT - 2 Peter 2

"... and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard) — if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment." - 2 Peter 2:7-9
The movie "Gone with the Wind" came out in 1939. This film brought an expletive to the silver screen before the ears of the public for the first time and with it came great distress from Christians. Seventy-five years have passed and profanity on the big screen and television has become regular fare. Sadly, Christians aren't so distressed anymore. As the world has drifted farther from moral absolutes, the Christian community has followed... not far behind. Where is our distress?

Lot was a man of mixed allegiance to God. His choice to live "near" Sodom, and eventually "in" Sodom is a story of spiritual slippage at its worst. But, Peter recorded that Lot never lost his righteous sensitivity that was tormented by the lawless deeds that he saw and heard. Lot was never disconnected from the Lord, and before judgment fell, God delivered him. Lot was surrounded by evil, but he persevered as a "righteous soul" and he was distressed.

We live in an age of great evil and unrighteousness. Our country murders children in the womb without any sense of guilt. We see the lifestyles of the first chapter of Romans surrounding us every day. We know that in time, God's judgment will fall and he will deliver his own. But while we wait for his coming, will we slowly accept and tolerate the Godlessness around us or will we remain a "a holy nation, a people belonging to God" (1 Peter 2:9) and be distressed?

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 11  /  NT - 2 Peter 3

Friday, December 3, 2021

Try to Remember...

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 10:1-15  /  NT - 2 Peter 1

"So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things." - 2 Peter 1:12-15 
I stood with six men that I had known for years and found myself unable to remember the name of one of my friends. My mind went totally blank. The memory is a tricky thing at times and in the best of health we can have a loss that totally frustrates us. Spiritual truth is easily forgotten was well, no matter how long we have known the truth. We all need regular reminders if we are to be firmly established.

There are times when we are tempted to seek the "new" and "unique" at the cost of leaving the old paths behind. Peter knew that the old truth was the life changing truth that is timeless. He also knew that we all need reminders and he was totally focused on the ministry of remembrance. He wanted to leave behind a solid foundation as a lasting legacy.

Why should we revisit Scripture reading year in and year out? Why should we sit under the preaching and teaching of the same Biblical truths on a weekly basis? The fact is, that we all tend to forget and we need to remember spiritual truth if we are to be firmly established. Never hesitate to remind yourself and others of spiritual truths that will change your life for the better.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 10:16-43  /  NT - 2 Peter 2

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Strength in the Lord...

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 9  /  NT - 1 Peter 4:12-5:14

 "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings." - 1 Peter 5:8-9 
Elijah complained in 1 Kings 19:14, "I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” To this the Lord responded in verse 18 with, "Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him." In the face of spiritual warfare we often feel alone in the battle, but we find new courage when we are aware there are others who are fighting with us. We're strengthened by the Lord and inspired by the fellowship of suffering.

As Peter wrote to the early church under severe persecution, he charged them to resist the devil and stand firm, because there were others in the fight as well. He reminded them that they were not alone in the battle, so they would be encouraged to remain steadfast. As Elijah of old, there were others who suffered persecution but remained true to their faith. There was strength in Lord and inspiration in the fellowship of suffering.

The spiritual warfare is difficult and the pressure is great, but we are never alone in the battle. Be steadfast my friend, resist the devil and stand firm in your faith. Take time to remember, there is strength in Lord and inspiration in the fellowship of suffering.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 10:1-15  /  NT - 2 Peter 1

Wednesday, December 1, 2021


 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 8:30-35  /  NT - 1 Peter 3:8-4:11

"The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. " - 1 Peter 4:7
Martin Luther said he had only two days on his calendar - today and "that day". The end was always on his mind. As a result, Luther was man of intense prayer, spending his best three hours a day in prayer. As the future pressed upon him, he prayed.

Peter wrote to a community of believers that were under constant persecution. Harassed on every side, Peter called their attention to the Lord's return and their need to be clear minded and self-controlled so they could pray. The best way to handle the present and the future is to pray.

While time passes far too quickly, the end of all things is nearer than ever. Shall we waste our hours on the frivolous or spend them on the eternal? If our days on this earth are coming to an end sooner than later, let us make the best use of the time that we have... let us pray.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 9  /  NT - 1 Peter 4:12-5:14

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Gentleness and Respect...

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 8:1-29  /  NT - 1 Peter 2:13-3:7

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." - 1 Peter 3:15-16
During the 90's we would occasionally watch a political talk show called "The Capital Gang". My son, who was quite young at the time, would ask why the guys kept yelling at each other. He concluded that they were angry, and to a young mind that just didn't make sense. Belief and conviction is good, but it is best communicated with gentleness and respect.

Many Christians are quick to quote the above passage up to the word "But". They are armed to the hilt and ready for battle whenever questioned about their faith. Peter called believers to always be ready with an answer for their hope, "but" with gentleness and respect. It's not just what we speak that brings truth to light, but how we speak. Belief and conviction is good, but it is best communicated with gentleness and respect.

Always be well prepared with Biblical truth in the face of error my friend. But may truth come with love. Love the lost as Jesus did. Answer their queries with the grace that has changed your life as well. Be someone with a clear and concise conviction, but communicate it with gentleness and respect.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 8:30-35  /  NT - 1 Peter 3:8-4:11

Monday, November 29, 2021

Keep your heart... ...

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 7  /  NT - 1 Peter 2:1-12

"Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul." - 1 Peter 2:11

Every time I read a news story about a shooting in a nightclub, I wonder how many people wished they had stayed home that night. The damage done is the responsibility of the perpetrators but being in the wrong place at the wrong time can have a haunting impact for years. In some cases it could be a life ender. 

Peter is very clear in his gracious, but firm warning. The red alert is to abstain at all cost from the passions that wage a devastating battle against the soul. He knew that a loose lifestyle could end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. The outcome would have a haunting impact for years to come. In some cases it could be a life ender. 

Take warning my friend. The end result always begins with simple decisions that lead into danger. The enemy is always just around the corner and your soul is the goal. Be wise to abstain from those passions that lead to the wrong place at the wrong time. As a very wise man once wrote... "Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." (Proverbs 4:23)  Better a life saved than a life ended. 

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 8:1-29  /  NT - 1 Peter 2:13-3:7

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Don't lose heart...

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 6  /  NT - 1 Peter 1

 "For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you." - 1 Peter 1:23-25
Today I am acutely aware that "All men are like grass".  We have experienced a number of funerals in the last year, a number of friends are in rehab and a few others are receiving chemotherapy. Yet, in all of this the church is secure and at rest in it's imperishable life with God.

Peter wrote to fellow believers at a time when they suffered great persecution for being Christians. Their faith was severely tried, but they were encouraged by Peter to stay focused on their eternal and enduring inheritance in  heaven. Persecution and even the daily struggles of life can be more than discouraging. But when we live each day, looking for the coming of our Lord, we find our hope in him and are encouraged to press on in faith.

Being sick and emotionally unsettled can take its toll on us. But find strength and courage my friend, in the one who has given us his enduring word and everlasting life. Remember the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 7  /  NT - 1 Peter 2:1-12

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Never Late!

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 5  /  NT - James 4-5

"Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!" -- James 5:7-9 
In a time of great impatience, farmers are a rare breed. When the internet and rapid transit has made everything lightening fast to the touch, these stalwart souls still have to be patient. Over two thousand years have passed since the above writing and little has changed for the farmer. Patience remains the great imperative.

The same remains true for the believer who awaits the return of Christ. His coming is nearer today than in James' day, but we still need to be patient and stand firm. Our conduct should be God honoring with brotherly love. Our faith in the Lord's timing must continue strong through the darkest days. As Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3:8, "With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day."

All believers know the end of the story and we live in great expectation of the Lord's return. The question is; how then shall we live? Take a lesson from the farmer my friend, and patiently sow your seeds of Christ-like living. As the spring and autumn rains come, the Lord will also come... and He's never late!

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 6  /  NT - 1 Peter 1

Friday, November 26, 2021

Wisdom from Heaven ...

 Today's Readings: OT - Joshua 4  /  NT - James 3

"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness." -- James 3:17-18
I have attended more board meetings than I can count. There have been church boards, associational boards, library boards and consultation boards. Each board has had a different personality and focus. And, time and again there would be some dear soul that believed they were wiser than any other. Their wisdom was to be accepted or there would be tension and stress beyond belief. Wisdom it might have been, but it wasn't from heaven.

The beauty of God given wisdom is the way it is expressed. Godly wisdom is given in a merciful, considerate and submissive manner. There is no partiality and peaceful results are sincerely sought. Wisdom of the natural man seeks praise and honor for the great insight that has been offered. If their counsel is rejected or altered, trouble comes and peace goes out the window. Only heavenly wisdom can raise a harvest of righteousness.

Before you enter the next meeting my friend, seek the wisdom that comes from heaven. You will know it comes from God when you are more concerned about others and a peaceful conclusion than your own ideas. The difference between a peacemaker and a peace-breaker depends on the kind of wisdom you choose.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Joshua 5  /  NT - James 4-5