Archive for April, 2022

What Should I believe? (Jeremiah 22-26)

April 29, 2022

I spoke to you in your prosperity,
    but you said, ‘I will not listen.’
This has been your way from your youth,
    that you have not obeyed my voice. Jeremiah 22:21

I confess, I was getting extremely upset and angered by what I was reading. The Facebook post was focused on the false teachings of a pastor who was standing before a large crowd teaching what God had not said. I was both upset for God’s glory and for the souls of the multitudes that are being led astray by this false teacher.

Brothers and sisters, in a day of such a wide range of options, just who should you and I believe?

In the days of Jeremiah the prophet the nation of Israel had rejected God’s Word and they had embraced those who had preached lies and according to God’s own judgment, “they strengthened the hands of evil-doers,” (23:14). God asked the following questions:

For who among them has stood in the council of the Lord
    to see and to hear his word,
    or who has paid attention to his word and listened? 23:18

Brothers and sisters, this is the same question I am asking this very minute as I write to you. Be assured there are many faithful pastors and evangelists that you can listen to. Such people have stood in His counsel which is simply they have poured over the pages of His Word and they have heard His truth. This truth has penetrated their hearts. Such people are marked by His Word. You and I can see this as they stand to deliver God’s Word which has marked them.

Oh, by the way this same Word has been given to you and I to read, hear, and obey! Each morning I begin my day by listening to God’s Word as I read God’s Word. Then I pray to obey His Word. Only after this is completed am I now prepared to share with others what He has shared with me.

Friends, let us turn away from those who will not listen and from those who stubbornly follow their own hearts. If you are wondering if a teacher is telling the truth, then most likely he is not. Follow those who are following the counsel of the Lord.

What Are We Saying? (Job 36-37)

April 28, 2022

“Be patient with me a little longer, and I will inform you, for there is still more to be said on God’s behalf,” Job 36:2.

In todays busy world, you and I have been blessed with the greatest amount of opportunity to spread the gospel. Because of all the social media platforms, we have been gifted with the largest audience the church has ever known. The question that comes to mind is this; what are we doing with the platforms we have been given?

In Job’s day the platform was simply, it was word of mouth sharing. The news had spread that Job was in trouble. Job’s friends came to see for themselves and what a sight they saw. In their minds, Job must have sinned. In Job’s mind, they were out of their mind. Job took up his case before God. Next week God will speak.

But in our selected chapters to read, we read the words of Job’s younger acquaintance Elihu. In chapter 36, Elihu believed he was called to use his platform of communication to speak on God’s behalf.

Dear friend, do you believe you have been called to speak on God’s behalf? Spurgeon commented on this question:

“The chief business of a Christian while on the earth is to speak on God’s behalf.” (CSB, Spurgeon Edition, Pg. 679.)

Brothers and sisters, allow me to place two thoughts before you:

  1. Christians have been given a serious calling.

The calling to speak on God’s behalf is serious. I do not want to miss represent God in any way. I do not want to lead people astray. The souls of people are too important for me to miss what God says.

Paul called this “being a faithful manager of God’s Word.” I Cor. 4;1-2.

In Paul’s writing to the church at Ephesus, he spoke of this as great grace given to him in order that he might proclaim the amazing riches of Christ, Eph. 3:8-13.

2. Christians have been given a special calling.

There are thousands of topics to consider, but there is only one that will bring life from death. It is the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.

This day I am deeply challenged to fill my mind and heart with God’s Word so that I can proclaim Christ effectively in every platform afforded to me. It is my prayer that God’s Word will come forth from all your platforms of speaking.

Its Going To End (Psalm 48-50)

April 27, 2022

“But despite his assets, mankind will not last…” Psalm 49:2.

This morning the teaching from Psalm 49 gripped my soul. God’s teaching, in this Psalm, offers a strong word to those of us who have possession. The word is of a warning to never place our trust in the possession of this world. When the possessions of this life grip us we travel to a dangerous place. The Psalmist labels this place as”the place of boasting in arrogance,” (49:6).

Here are two startling realities for all who possess wealth:

  1. When death comes a person relinquishes all they have on the earth.

“For when he dies, He will take nothing at all; His wealth will not follow him down,” 49:17.

2. When death comes a person cannot buy their way into Heaven.

“Wealth cannot redeem a person or pay his ransom to God,” 49:7.

Take a moment and reread the above startling realities. Brothers and sisters, when I consider what God has said, I realize how much grace and mercy God has extended into my life. I was born in an impoverished part of the world. But God gave our family wealth. I realize how easily I could have chosen a path to purse the wealth of the world. But it was God who stepped in and changed my life. He redeemed me by the riches of His mercy and the wealth of His righteousness extended through the shedding of His blood for me.

I am not so foolish to think that I am poor in this world because I am very rich in comparison to others around the world. But I do not trust in riches and I do not worship riches. I trust in and worship one greater than all the wealth of the world. His name is Jesus. He has the name above every name and He alone is worthy of all praise.

Trust not in riches but trust in the Redeemer Jesus Christ!

Every Decision Has implications (II Samuel 1-4)

April 26, 2022

“All the people took note of this, and it pleased them. In fact, everything the king did pleased them.” II Samuel 3:26

Today’s reading chronicles a 7 year timeline in David’s life (2:1). During those years of David’s life the Bible reports that a “long war took place between David’s army and the army of Saul’s son,” (3:1). With each passing day, the victory was growing for David and his army.

As I read these chapters I could not help but ask God the following questions: Why did it take so long for David to become king of all of Israel? I asked the Lord, would it have not been better to save war and the useless killing of lives by giving David the victory on day one?

Brothers and sisters, Gods response was so important for me to hear. God spoke through His Word and Spirit. God said, the people were not ready to receive David’s leadership. Friends take note of this: God knows exactly what we need to be successful for Him in this life!

The battles that took place in those years prepared the people to follow David and those years prepared David to lead people. The hymn writer was correct when he wrote, “trusting Jesus as the days go by.”

David understood this when he wrote:

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22

Here are three actions items to take away from our time together:

  1. Admit to God if you do not understand His timing in your life.
  2. Trust that God knows what He is doing.
  3. Find a place that is quiet each day where you can hear from God so that He can reveal to you what He is preparing you to do.

Don’t settle for ease in your life. Seek the eternal purpose of God and settle for nothing less!!!

The Hand of God (Exodus 13-16)

April 25, 2022

“Lord, Your right hand is glorious in power. Lord Your right hand shattered the enemy,” Ex. 15:6.

Brothers and sisters, as the weeks and months of our lives go by, it with joy that I place before you the wonder of God’s hand at work in your life. Yes, even when you do not see it, God’s hand is at work in your life and His hand is at work everywhere in this universe. The line from the great hymn, He Lives, comes to mind, “I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer, and just the time I need Him, He is always near.”

Centuries before the time of the hymn writer, another hymn write wrote. The title of his hymn is Psalm 15. In this glorious hymn we read the following, “God is faithful and loving. He is glorious in holiness. He performs wonders beyond our imagination.” Ex. 15:13.

Question: Do you believe and trust in this God?

This day our task is not only to believe in the hand of God but to see and experience the hand of God at work in the universe.

Maybe, it could be that you are thinking, I don’t see our feel His hand in my life. If this is you, it could be that you are on the front side of the Red Sea in your life. It could be that all you see is the enemy and your mortality. If this is true you are feeling weak and discouraged.

Brother or sister, you must come to the place where you trust that God is in charge. It’s time that you take a step forward into the water of your tribulation. God will part the waters. He is already there. He has not parted the waters as of yet because you are not stepping into the water.

God wants you to have a hymn of your own to write. But you cannot write it while waiting and worrying. You must step forward. Another hymn writer wrote, “wherever He leads I go…”

This is your day to experience God so that you can tell others about God. Go ahead my friend, step into the water.

What’s next for America? (Jeremiah 17-21)

April 22, 2022

 11 and shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: So will I break this people and this city, as one breaks a potter’s vessel, so that it can never be mended. Men shall bury in Topheth because there will be no place else to bury. Jeremiah 19:11

This morning I found myself asking God, after having glanced at the headlines from yesterdays national news, how low can we sink. Surly you realize that we as a nation are being subjected to decisions that are totally in rebellion against God. It seems that our national leaders are trying to invent new ways to sin against God.

The question that dominates my mind is this: What is next for America.

Consider what Jeremiah was predicting in the near future for Judah in Jeremiah 17-21. Destruction was promised.

Each time I am called back to those days I am both astounded and heartbroken. I am astounded that people would reject the very God who created them. In chapter 17 God said, “if you will listen and obey me, I will establish your country forever.” But the people would not listen and they would not obey. They chose to reject God’s ways (18:9-10. They chose to deepen their evil ways (18:11-12). They chose to persecute God’s messenger (20:1-2).

Because of the deception in their hearts (17:9) they embraced wickedness and wrath instead of God’s wealth of mercy and grace offered in His will and way.

Each time I read their story I am also heartbroken for the reality that we as a nation are following their same path. Each week, churches cry out, turn from sin and follow God. Each week people chose to “follow their own plans and embrace their stubborn hearts,” (18:12).

America has left God only one option, just judgment is coming and we as a nation will feel the weight of His wrath in countless ways.

I believe with all my heart that there is hope. The hope is in God’s solution for our sin. The solution is to chose the path of repentance and the path of making your voice count before God and before others. Only a national repentance can turn America away from where she is headed. I am praying for it and I am proclaiming His message everywhere.

What can you take away from today’s reading?

  1. Take personal inventory of your life. Ask yourself, am I obeying God. If so, lean in closer. If not, repent and walk the path of restoration.
  2. Take personal responsibility. Get involved in a local church (get more involved) and get involved where you live. Be the salt and light that this world needs.

Oh God, turn this nation back to you!

Truth for the Night (Job 34-35)

April 21, 2022

“But no one ask’s, where is God my maker, who provides songs in the night, who gives us more understanding than the animals of the earth and makes wiser the birds of the sky,” Job 34:10-11.

I must confess that todays blog post is a present reality in my life. Just last evening I went to sleep rather quickly, but then at 2 AM sleep left me and there I was in the night. As much as I tried, I could not recapture sleep. So it was the Lord and I together.

I can tell you with full conviction, what God says in the night is worth the loss of sleep.

In our text, for the day, we are reminded that Job was still suffering in the nighttime moments of his life. His three friends had given up on trying to convince Job that his suffering was a result of sin. Presently we are reading the speech made by one of the younger men, Elihu. This young man was falsely accusing Job.

But in his defense Spurgeon writes, “This man was much puzzled at seeing Job so afflicted. This man was searching for answers. He hits on a very likely reason that people get in trouble. It is true, Elihu, people fail to seek God’s answers.” (Spurgeon Study Bible, CSB Edition, Pg. 679)

Elihu was correct: God does give wisdom and God does give understanding to those who call on Him.

This was true in the Apostle Paul’s life as God gave him the great song, “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and though shall be saved,” Acts 16:31, while he suffered in prison at night.

This was true in the prophet Habakkuk’s life in the dark season of assault. Here was his song:

17 Though the fig tree should not blossom,
    nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
    and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
    and there be no herd in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
    I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
19 God, the Lord, is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the deer’s;
    he makes me tread on my high places. 3:17-19

Question: Are you willing to go through a sleepless night to hear God’s song in the night for your life? If you say, “yes,” I promise you that the song He sings will become your favorite song of all!!!

The Lord of Armies is with us (Psalm 45-47)

April 20, 2022

“The Lord of Armies is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.” Psalm 46:7

Did anyone need the above verse? I sure did. If we were revealed with each other, I think we would each admit that there are times when we feel all alone in the battles of this life. If you find yourself feeling this way today, I have good news for you. No Christian is every alone.

The Psalmist begins chapter 46 with this great news. “Our God is a refuge and strong tower. A very present help in times of trouble.” Who is this God? The Psalmist identifies him with the title: “The Lord of Armies.”

The natural question at this point must be: What armies?

Great question my friends. The Lord has many armies. Consider the angels who do His bidding in Heaven and on the earth. Consider the people in the body of Christ who do His bidding on the earth. Consider all of His creation that obeys the orders of the Creator.

The Psalmist calls for all his readers to “Come and see the work of the Lord,” (46:8).

I don’t know about you, but I suddenly don’t feel alone.

Now if you still feel alone the Psalmist has wisdom for you. He writes, “Stop fighting…” (46:10). The battles you are facing are not yours. The battles belongs to the Lord. Ours is the task of simply joining the army of the Lord.

Be assured, when you join His army two things will change:

  1. You will move from chaos to peace. Jesus said, “In me you will have peace,” John 14:27.

Spurgeon wrote so insightfully when he wrote, “Our sorrows usually spring out of ourselves, and when self is conquered, sorrow is, to a great extent, banished from the human heart.” (Spurgeon Study Bible, CSB Edition, Pg. 1450).

2. You will move from problems to possibilities. Jesus said, “Be of good cheer I have overcome the world,” John 16:33.

As I end this blog, I find myself singing that children’s song we sing with the children in Africa, “I am in the Lord’s Army, yes sir!”

The Way Home (I Samuel 26-31)

April 19, 2022

“… but David found strength in the Lord His God,” I Samuel 30:6.

Brothers and sisters, I am still rejoicing because we serve a risen Savior, Christ the Lord. This day Scripture has reminded me of the goodness of God in so many ways. One in particular I want to focus with you about. This God pursues us when we wonder away from His will.

We see this in the life of David. At the end of chapter 26, God says that Saul no longer pursued David. But there is a problem, David did not know this would be. David stepped out of the will of God and once again ran away from his homeland into the arms of the enemy.

David believed if he stayed in Israel that Saul would take him out (27:1). David would end up spending the next 16 months away from home with God (17:7). Spurgeon writes:

“David chose a bad road. He was plotting and scheming like the worst of unbelievers, and he must be made to see his error and taught to abhor the way of living.” (Spurgeon CSB Study Bible, Pg. 382)

Dear friends, God has a way of bringing his people home when they are spiritually away from home. The writer of Hebrews teaches us that God uses chastening (Heb. 12:5-11) to open our minds to our need to go home. This happened with David in I Samuel 30. The town he lived in was attached while he was away with his 600 soldiers. The city was burned and all the inhabitants of the city, including David’s own family was taken captive.

It was here in this dark moment when David repented and sought God’s face. David had returned home. Once again I quote from Spurgeon:

“Love letters from Heaven are often sent in black-edged envelopes. The cloud that is black with horror is big with mercy.” (Spurgeon, Pg. 382)

David came home and God blessed him with mercy and led him home to become King of Israel. Here is truth: You can always trust God. There is no need to seek any other path.

Brothers and sisters, Stay home and come home if you ever wonder away.

God loves you. The cross in the middle is the proof the this!!!

Still Rejoicing (Exodus 9-12)

April 18, 2022

“When I see the blood, I will pass over you,” Exodus 12:13.

Praise be unto Jesus who has saved my soul by the giving of His own blood on the cross of Calvary. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that “Christ entered the most holy place once for all time, not by the blood of bulls, goats, or calves, but by His own blood, having obtained an eternal inheritance,” Heb. 9:12.

Brothers and sisters, what Christ accomplished for all who believe in Him on that Easter weekend is greater than pen can write and more magnificent than words can describe. On this Monday, after Easter, I am still rejoicing. I am singing with the Body of Christ, “I am saved-saved-saved!”

This day you and I are fueled for such worship by our readings for this day which are Exodus 9-12. In these chapter God shares with us plagues 5 through 10 that He worked against Egypts Gods. It would be the last plague that would break the back of Pharaoh.

On this dreaded night God instituted the Passover which was a night of deliverance for the people of God. When God saw the blood He passed over the houses of the people who were in them. Spurgeon’s commentary is important here:

“Christ Jesus died as the substitute for all who believe in Him, and God righteously withholds punishment for their sin because Christ bore it. His elect are all those who believe in him, and by this sign we may know them; they are sheltered beneath His sprinkled blood.” (Spurgeon CSB Study Bible, Pg. 88)

I am so thankful for the blood of Christ. I am still rejoicing the day after Easter. But I am also doing more than just rejoicing: I am serving the living God in freedom and faith (Heb. 9:14). I want to ask each of you to join me in severing in freedom and faith.

The second stanza of the hymn, At the Cross spoke volumes to my soul this day: “For crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree. Amazing pity, grace unknown, and love beyond decree.”