Saturday, December 31, 2022

A matter of time...

Today's Readings: OT -  1 Kings 22:1-28 / 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 - 1 Kings 22:29-53 / NT - Psalm 1-2

Friday, December 30, 2022

Where the Lord is...

Today's Readings: OT -  1 Kings 21:17-29 / 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 - 1 Kings 22:1-28 / NT - Revelation 22

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Is your name in the Book?

Today's Readings: OT -  1 Kings 20:35-21:16 / 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 - 1 Kings 21:17-29 / NT - Revelation 21:9-27

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Worship God alone...

Today's Readings: OT -  1 Kings 20:13-34 / 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
Over the years I expressed 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 - 1 Kings 20:35-21:16 / NT - Revelation 20:1-21:8

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Make it count!

Today's Readings: OT -  1 Kings 19:9-20:12 / 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 - 1 Kings 20:13-34 / NT - Revelation 19

Monday, December 26, 2022

Above all the rest...

Today's Readings: OT -  1 Kings 18:41-19:8 / 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 - 1 Kings 19:9-20:12 / NT - Revelation 18

Sunday, December 25, 2022

He came to make a difference...

Today's Readings: OT -  1 Kings 18:20-40 / NT - Revelation 15-16

"And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear, O LORD, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed." - Revelation 15:3-4

Every parent looks into the face of their newborn child with extraordinary expectations. What will their little one grow up to become? Will they be a world leader, a skilled physician, or perhaps the one who discovers the cure for cancer? Whatever they become, will they make a difference? 

When Joseph and Mary looked into the face their newborn child what did they see? The prophets, angels, Simeon and Anna spoke of Messianic promise and hope. Yet, with all the shared expectations, did they see the shadow? Across the manger fell the shadow of the cross, because this child came to make a difference. 

The songs of Christmas speak of joy, hope and peace. But, this is only possible because of the "song of the Lamb". May you know God's indescribable gift of great joy this Christmas as you celebrate the Birth... Death... Resurrection... and soon coming "King of the nations" who came to make a difference. 

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - 1 Kings 18:41-19:8 / NT - Revelation 17

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Christmas Rest...

Today's Readings: OT -  1 Kings 18:1-19 / 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 - 1 Kings 18:20-40 / NT - Revelation 15-16

Friday, December 23, 2022

God is in charge...

Today's Readings: OT -  1 Kings 17 / 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
Whenever the UPS or FedX delivery men come to our house they have to wait at our door while I secure our dog. They patiently look to me for their safety from my ferocious beast. 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 - 1 Kings 18:1-19 / NT - Revelation 14

Thursday, December 22, 2022

There are no presents like His presence!

Today's Readings: OT -  2 Chronicles 17 / NT - Revelation 11-12

"For three and a half days some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb, and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth." -- Revelation 11:9-10
It's the time of year when crowds gather in shopping malls across the country to shop until they drop. Decorations and lights are hung inside and out with great skill. Every effort is made to celebrate and show one another the true holiday spirit. Having fun and giving to others is absolutely basic to Christmas... the season when people are merry and exchange presents.

In light of that I have always found this passage to be quite a curiosity. In the same way we see people rejoicing over the death of God's prophets by giving to others. Apparently holiday celebration can occur for most any reason. I believe this begs the question: do people really understand the true meaning of Christmas and as a result give of themselves to others? Or does the season just provide an opportunity to be merry and exchange presents?

The spirit of giving is not intrinsic to Christmas alone. People celebrate and give at the drop of a hat. But when we reflect on the good news of Christmas, we celebrate the birth of a Savior who came to redeem the souls of lost people. We can exchange presents anytime for any reason, but at Christmas we ought to give of ourselves in love, because "while we were still sinners" (Romans 5:8) God loved us from a manger to the cross.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - 1 Kings 17 / NT - Revelation 13

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

No need to know...

Today's Readings: OT -  1 Kings 16:15-34 / NT - Revelation 10

"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 - 2 Chronicles 17 / NT - Revelation 11-12

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Time waits for no man...

Today's Readings: OT -  1 Kings 15:25-16:14 / NT - Revelation 9

"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
"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 - 1 Kings 16:15-34 / NT - Revelation 10

Monday, December 19, 2022

Another Day...

Today's Readings: OT -  2 Chronicles 15-16 / 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 months 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 - 1 Kings 15:25-16:14 / NT - Revelation 9

Sunday, December 18, 2022


Today's Readings: OT -  2 Chronicles 14 / 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 Wikileaks threats 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 - 2 Chronicles 15-16 / NT - Revelation 7:9-8:13

Saturday, December 17, 2022

All about God!

Today's Readings: OT -  2 Chronicles 13 / 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 politically 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 it 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 it simply, "It's all about God".

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - 2 Chronicles 14 / NT - Revelation 6:1-7:8

Friday, December 16, 2022


Today's Readings: OT -  1 Kings 15:9-24 / 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 - 2 Chronicles 13 / NT - Revelation 4-5

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Hold Fast!

Today's Readings: OT -  1 Kings 15:1-8 / 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 - 1 Kings 15:9-24 / NT - Revelation 3

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Great Expectations...

Today's Readings: OT -  2 Chronicles 11:13-12:16 / 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 39 and 35 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 - 1 Kings 15:1-8 / NT - Revelation 2

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

The Fire-Snatcher...

Today's Readings: OT -  2 Chronicles 10:1-11:12 / 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 - 2 Chronicles 11:13-12:16 / NT - Revelation 1

Monday, December 12, 2022

The Hospitable Spirit...

Today's Readings: OT -  1 Kings 14:19-31 / 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 hospitable 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 hospitable 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 hospitable spirit goes a long way. 

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - 2 Chronicles 10:1-11:12 / NT - Jude

Sunday, December 11, 2022

The Accessory...

Today's Readings: OT -  1 Kings 14:1-18 / 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 - 1 Kings 14:19-31 / NT - 3 John

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Simple Love...

Today's Readings: OT -  1 Kings 13:11-34 / 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 - 1 Kings 14:1-18 / NT - 2 John

Friday, December 9, 2022

Why so elusive?

Today's Readings: OT -  1 Kings 13:1-10 / 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 - 1 Kings 13:11-34 / NT - 1 John 5

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Clean House...

Today's Readings: OT -  1 Kings 12:16-33 / 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 - 1 Kings 13:1-10 / NT - 1 John 4

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Keep on keeping on...

Today's Readings: OT -  1 Kings 12:1-15 / NT - 1 John 2

"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 - 1 Kings 12:16-33 / NT - 1 John 3

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

The Everlasting Light...

 Today's Readings: OT - Proverbs 31 / NT - 1 John 1 

"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 - 1 Kings 12:1-15 / NT - 1 John 2

Monday, December 5, 2022

Stay Focused...

Today's Readings: OT - Proverbs 30 / 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 - Proverbs 31 / NT - 1 John 1

Sunday, December 4, 2022


Today's Readings: OT - 2 Chronicles 9:13-31 / 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 explicative to the silver screen before the ears of the public for the first time and with it came great distress from Christians. Seventy-three 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 - Proverbs 30 / NT - 2 Peter 3

Saturday, December 3, 2022


Today's Readings: OT - 2 Chronicles 9:1-12 / 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 - 2 Chronicles 9:13-31 / NT - 2 Peter 2

Friday, December 2, 2022

Strength in the Lord...

Today's Readings: OT - 1 Kings 11:11:9-43 / NT - 1 Peter 5

 "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 - 2 Chronicles 9:1-12 / NT - 2 Peter 1

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Let us Pray...

Today's Readings: OT - 1 Kings 11:1-8 / NT - 1 Peter 4

"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 - 1 Kings 11:9-43 / NT - 1 Peter 5