Monday, January 31, 2022

Evening Scripture Reading - Philippians 3:20-21

Philippians 3:12-21 Holman Christian Standard Bible

12 Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, 14 I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore, all who are mature should think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal this also to you. 16 In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have attained. 17 Join in imitating me, brothers, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. 18 For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things, 20 but our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject everything to Himself.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 138:1-3

Psalm 138:1-3 Holman Christian Standard Bible

1 I will give You thanks with all my heart;

I will sing Your praise before the heavenly beings.

2 I will bow down toward Your holy temple

and give thanks to Your name

for Your constant love and truth.

You have exalted Your name

and Your promise above everything else.

3 On the day I called, You answered me;

You increased strength within me.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 15:24

Proverbs 15:24 Holman Christian Standard Bible

24 For the discerning the path of life leads upward,

so that he may avoid going down to Sheol.

Morning Scripture Reading - Philippians 1:3-8

Philippians 1:3-8 Holman Christian Standard Bible

3 I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, 4 always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 7 It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because I have you in my heart, and you are all partners with me in grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and establishment of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how deeply I miss all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Evening Scripture Reading - Galatians 5:22-26

Galatians 5:22-26 Holman Christian Standard Bible

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit. 26 We must not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 137:7-9

Psalm 137:7-9 Holman Christian Standard Bible

7 Remember, Lord, what the Edomites said

that day at Jerusalem:

“Destroy it! Destroy it

down to its foundations!”

8 Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,

happy is the one who pays you back

what you have done to us.

9 Happy is he who takes your little ones

and dashes them against the rocks.

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Actions Speak Louder than Words

Each one of us has heard the old adage about actions speaking louder than words. Most, if not all of us, understand the meaning. In order for words to truly take on meaning and give rise to transformation, we must not only speak but also act. For Christians, we are called upon to do more than pay lip service or, using the more modern phrase, “virtual signal”. It is easy to just say things to others or do the absolutely bare minimum in order to feel good on the inside. However, in order for our words to be meaningful to others, we must act out of love for one another. 

John, in chapter three of his first epistle, writes, “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God.

It is so easy for us to just say things or do very little in order for us to claim to love one another. In today’s world, many feel good about posting memes on their social media pages or sending out messages about the plight of the homeless or those who need help. Some will share information on how to donate to a charity or a cause, but they themselves may not have even given.

When I was younger, my father and I saw a homeless man sitting quietly. His clothes were in tatters and his appearance wasn’t that much better. My father gave me a couple of dollars and told me to give the money to the man. We weren’t a rich family by any definition of the word. My family worked hard for what we had. So, I took the money and walked over to the man. I introduced myself to him and said that I had something for him. I gave him the money and he slowly took it. His face lit up and he was very grateful for the generosity, but the most important part was that someone saw him as a brother in need.

That one event would remain with me for the rest of my life and would be repeated many times over. I have shared several of those stories with you in the years I have been preaching the Word to all those who would listen. In 2019, I shared the story of Rachel, a young lady in Augusta, Georgia, who was lifted out of sadness by the simple act of asking her name. People had ignored her or looked past her for so long. But, I stopped and talked with her and we shared a meal together and I made sure even her dog had something to eat.

It is so easy for us to feel good about sharing the plight of others in need through social media. We have become spectators of life rather than participants in life. We look out our window, receive messages or share a digital message. We live behind our computer monitors and our world is nothing but images in a digital world. We have isolated ourselves and done nothing to truly understand the needs of those around us.

We are content to live in our little caves and watch images flash up on the walls. The images become our reality. If this story sounds familiar, it should be. It is part of Plato’s work, Republic, “Allegory of the Cave”. 

In the allegory, people are chained together in a cave facing a wall. There is a fire in the back and it casts shadows on the wall. The images on the wall become their reality. Those shadowy bits of images become their entire world and also their experiences. They sit in the cave and look at moving pictures on the wall and believe that they are experiencing life.

One day, one of the chained people breaks free and leaves the cave only to find that there is an entire beautiful world outside the cave. Instead of just living outside, the person returns to the cave to tell the others about the world outside the cave and that the shadows on the wall are just shadows. The others who are still chained and facing the wall believe that the freed individual had become blind after leaving the cave. 

This allegory sums up our current situation. Life is to be experienced and lived. We shouldn’t be sitting idly by as the world passes before us like images in a movie. Christians, in particular, have a responsibility to love one another and show the world what true love really is.

Going back to chapter three of John’s first epistle, he writes, “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.

The love that John describes is true love for one another. That is the love that Jesus has for us. He died a criminal’s death on a cross for each of us. Although most of us are not called to make that sort of sacrifice for others, we should, however, be willing to make smaller sacrifices for others.

In chapter twenty-five of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells us the story of the final judgment that we are all to face. On that day, the shepherd will separate the sheep and the goats.

To the sheep, the King will say, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.

Then the righteous ones who have found familiarity with the King will ask, “Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?

The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!”

To the goats, the King will say, “Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.

Life is more than a spectator sport or watching images on a cave wall. We should participate by demonstrating the love of Jesus daily to all and telling others the Good News. We shouldn’t be sitting in front of computers and posting and reposting memes and cute videos. 

As children of God, we have a responsibility not only to God the Father but also to those around us. Don’t merely speak about the homeless. Help them. Don’t share a meme about those who have lost everything. Give to them and meet their needs. If you do these things, I can tell you that you are doing more than just meeting their physical needs. You are also meeting their spiritual needs. Through your actions, you are proclaiming the Good News for all to see. When you act out of love, you will be standing firm in His grace.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 15:23

Proverbs 15:23 Holman Christian Standard Bible

23 A man takes joy in giving an answer;

and a timely word—how good that is!

Morning Scripture Reading - 1 Corinthians 10:12-13

1 Corinthians 10:12-13 Holman Christian Standard Bible

12 So, whoever thinks he stands must be careful not to fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Evening Scripture Reading - Philippians 2:25-30

Philippians 2:25-30 Holman Christian Standard Bible

25 But I considered it necessary to send you Epaphroditus—my brother, coworker, and fellow soldier, as well as your messenger and minister to my need— 26 since he has been longing for all of you and was distressed because you heard that he was sick. 27 Indeed, he was so sick that he nearly died. However, God had mercy on him, and not only on him but also on me, so that I would not have one grief on top of another. 28 For this reason, I am very eager to send him so that you may rejoice when you see him again and I may be less anxious. 29 Therefore, welcome him in the Lord with all joy and hold men like him in honor, 30 because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up what was lacking in your ministry to me.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 137:4-6

Psalm 137:4-6 Holman Christian Standard Bible

4 How can we sing the Lord’s song

on foreign soil?

5 If I forget you, Jerusalem,

may my right hand forget its skill.

6 May my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth

if I do not remember you,

if I do not exalt Jerusalem as my greatest joy!

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 15:22

Proverbs 15:22 Holman Christian Standard Bible

22 Plans fail when there is no counsel,

but with many advisers they succeed.

Morning Scripture Reading - Colossians 3:12-17

Colossians 3:12-17 Holman Christian Standard Bible

12 Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. 14 Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity. 15 And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful. 16 Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Evening Scripture Reading - Galatians 3:21-22

Galatians 3:21-22 Holman Christian Standard Bible

21 Is the law therefore contrary to God’s promises? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that was able to give life, then righteousness would certainly be by the law. 22 But the Scripture has imprisoned everything under sin’s power, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 137:1-3

Psalm 137:1-3 Holman Christian Standard Bible

1 By the rivers of Babylon—

there we sat down and wept

when we remembered Zion.

2 There we hung up our lyres

on the poplar trees,

3 for our captors there asked us for songs,

and our tormentors, for rejoicing:

“Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 15:21

Proverbs 15:21 Holman Christian Standard Bible

21 Foolishness brings joy to one without sense,

but a man with understanding walks a straight path.

Morning Scripture Reading - Acts 16:16-34

Acts 16:16-34 Holman Christian Standard Bible

16 Once, as we were on our way to prayer, a slave girl met us who had a spirit of prediction. She made a large profit for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 As she followed Paul and us she cried out, “These men, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation, are the slaves of the Most High God.” 18 And she did this for many days.

But Paul was greatly aggravated and turning to the spirit, said, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” And it came out right away.

19 When her owners saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities. 20 Bringing them before the chief magistrates, they said, “These men are seriously disturbing our city. They are Jews 21 and are promoting customs that are not legal for us as Romans to adopt or practice.”

22 Then the mob joined in the attack against them, and the chief magistrates stripped off their clothes and ordered them to be beaten with rods. 23 After they had inflicted many blows on them, they threw them in jail, ordering the jailer to keep them securely guarded. 24 Receiving such an order, he put them into the inner prison and secured their feet in the stocks.

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the jail were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 When the jailer woke up and saw the doors of the prison open, he drew his sword and was going to kill himself, since he thought the prisoners had escaped.

28 But Paul called out in a loud voice, “Don’t harm yourself, because all of us are here!”

29 Then the jailer called for lights, rushed in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he escorted them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the message of the Lord to him along with everyone in his house. 33 He took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds. Right away he and all his family were baptized. 34 He brought them into his house, set a meal before them, and rejoiced because he had believed God with his entire household.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Evening Scripture Reading - 1 Timothy 4:12-16

1 Timothy 4:12-16 Holman Christian Standard Bible

12 Let no one despise your youth; instead, you should be an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I come, give your attention to public reading, exhortation, and teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you; it was given to you through prophecy, with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. 15 Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for by doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 136:26

Psalm 136:26 Holman Christian Standard Bible

26 Give thanks to the God of heaven!

        His love is eternal.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 15:20

Proverbs 15:20 Holman Christian Standard Bible

20 A wise son brings joy to his father,

but a foolish man despises his mother.

Morning Scripture Reading - 1 John 5:14-15

1 John 5:14-15 Holman Christian Standard Bible

14 Now this is the confidence we have before Him: Whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Evening Scripture Reading - 1 John 5:1-5

1 John 5:1-5 Holman Christian Standard Bible

1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Messiah has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of Him. 2 This is how we know that we love God’s children when we love God and obey His commands. 3 For this is what love for God is: to keep His commands. Now His commands are not a burden, 4 because whatever has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith. 5 And who is the one who conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 136:25

Psalm 136:25 Holman Christian Standard Bible

25 He gives food to every creature.

        His love is eternal.

Mid-Week Message - Nonetheless

 "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us."  1 John 1:8-10  (NIV)

When I was in the third or fourth grade in Amarillo, Texas, my school was selling discount tickets to the the town amusement park.  I wanted tickets very badly.  So, one morning I took all the lunch money that my father had set out for my brother and me then told him he had forgotten to put any out.  That night, my brother and I sat before my parents as they quizzed us about who took the money.  I allowed the blame, and the punishment, to fall on my brother.  I lied.  And I stole.  

There never comes a time that I sit before the Father without having sin to repent of.  It seems that I have a real talent for doing the wrong thing sometimes.  I have lied.  I have stolen.  I have lusted.  I have coveted.  I have gossiped and broken promises.  I am a sinner and I need a Savior.  

As many times as I have done it, admitting my sins to the Lord never gets easier for me.  It breaks my heart to have done anything that is against His will.  Like Paul, the things that I want to do, I don't do.(See Romans 7:15-20)  But the grace and the forgiveness that is available to all of us dries my tears and I find myself praising Him for His goodness, love and faithfulness.

There is a channel on YouTube that I follow.  It is done by a street preacher in the United Kingdom and when he presents the Gospel he asks people if they have ever committed certain sins like lying, theft and lust.  He then admits that he is guilty of all those things which leads him into explaining that Jesus died on the cross, endured the wrath of God, so that we might be forgiven.  

So great is the love of the Lord for us that He made a way to reconcile us to Himself.  Romans 3:23 says, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  All of us are sinners.  None of us have been able to lead sinless lives, except for Jesus.  He was the perfect lamb, without blemish, sacrificed for each of us for the atonement of the wrongs we have committed against God.  Every person can access that forgiveness by believing in Jesus and repenting of our sins.  

There is a wonderful quote by A. W. Tozer that says, "Jesus Christ knows the worst about you.  Nonetheless, He is the one who loves you most."  The One who gave Himself up and paid the price for each of us loves us with a love that cannot be exceeded.  Now that is amazing grace! 

If I do nothing else of value in my life, I want to make sure you know about our Savior.  In the end, that is the only lasting gift that can be given to anyone.  None of us know if we will have a tomorrow so each moment is of utmost importance.  Jesus is always there, always listening, and always loving you.  God bless.  

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 15:19

Proverbs 15:19 Holman Christian Standard Bible

19 A slacker’s way is like a thorny hedge,

but the path of the upright is a highway.

Morning Scripture Reading - 2 Corinthians 6:3-10

2 Corinthians 6:3-10 Holman Christian Standard Bible

3 We give no opportunity for stumbling to anyone, so that the ministry will not be blamed. 4 But as God’s ministers, we commend ourselves in everything:

by great endurance, by afflictions,

by hardship, by difficulties,

5 by beatings, by imprisonments,

by riots, by labors,

by sleepless nights, by times of hunger,

6 by purity, by knowledge,

by patience, by kindness,

by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love,

7 by the message of truth,

by the power of God;

through weapons of righteousness

on the right hand and the left,

8 through glory and dishonor,

through slander and good report;

as deceivers yet true;

9 as unknown yet recognized;

as dying and look—we live;

as being disciplined yet not killed;

10 as grieving yet always rejoicing;

as poor yet enriching many;

as having nothing yet possessing everything.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Evening Scripture Reading - Isaiah 42:10-13

Isaiah 42:10-13 Holman Christian Standard Bible

10 Sing a new song to the Lord;

sing His praise from the ends of the earth,

you who go down to the sea with all that fills it,

you islands with your inhabitants.

11 Let the desert and its cities shout,

the settlements where Kedar dwells cry aloud.

Let the inhabitants of Sela sing for joy;

let them cry out from the mountaintops.

12 Let them give glory to the Lord

and declare His praise in the islands.

13 The Lord advances like a warrior;

He stirs up His zeal like a soldier.

He shouts, He roars aloud,

He prevails over His enemies.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 136:24

Psalm 136:24 Holman Christian Standard Bible

24 and rescued us from our foes.

        His love is eternal.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 15:18

Proverbs 15:18 Holman Christian Standard Bible

18 A hot-tempered man stirs up conflict,

but a man slow to anger calms strife.

Morning Scripture Reading - Ephesians 4:20-24

Ephesians 4:20-24 Holman Christian Standard Bible

20 But that is not how you learned about the Messiah, 21 assuming you heard about Him and were taught by Him, because the truth is in Jesus. 22 You took off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires; 23 you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds; 24 you put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Evening Scripture Reading - Isaiah 65:17-19

Isaiah 65:17-19 Holman Christian Standard Bible

17 “For I will create a new heaven and a new earth;

the past events will not be remembered or come to mind.

18 Then be glad and rejoice forever

in what I am creating;

for I will create Jerusalem to be a joy

and its people to be a delight.

19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem

and be glad in My people.

The sound of weeping and crying

will no longer be heard in her.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 136:23

Psalm 136:23 Holman Christian Standard Bible

23 He remembered us in our humiliation

        His love is eternal.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 15:17

Proverbs 15:17 Holman Christian Standard Bible

17 Better a meal of vegetables where there is love

than a fattened ox with hatred.

Morning Scripture Reading - Isaiah 43:16-21

Isaiah 43:16-21 Holman Christian Standard Bible

16 This is what the Lord says—

who makes a way in the sea,

and a path through surging waters,

17 who brings out the chariot and horse,

the army and the mighty one together

(they lie down, they do not rise again;

they are extinguished, quenched like a wick)—

18 “Do not remember the past events,

pay no attention to things of old.

19 Look, I am about to do something new;

even now it is coming. Do you not see it?

Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness,

rivers in the desert.

20 The animals of the field will honor Me,

jackals and ostriches,

because I provide water in the wilderness,

and rivers in the desert,

to give drink to My chosen people.

21 The people I formed for Myself

will declare My praise.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Evening Scripture Reading - Jeremiah 29:10-14

Jeremiah 29:10-14 Holman Christian Standard Bible

10 For this is what the Lord says: “When 70 years for Babylon are complete, I will attend to you and will confirm My promise concerning you to restore you to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and places where I banished you”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “I will restore you to the place I deported you from.”

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 136:22

Psalm 136:22 Holman Christian Standard Bible

22 an inheritance to Israel His servant.

        His love is eternal.

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Like a Thief in the Night

I have never been one to preach a stern message, but I believe the time has come to preach that message not only to believers but also to those who still walk in darkness. When you look at all the incidences of violence throughout the world, the disregard for human life, greed and a whole host of evil and vile things that individuals and countries do to one another, it is scary. There isn’t a day that goes by when we don’t read or hear a news story about a murder or empty store shelves. I have had several people ask me if we are living in the last days as foretold by John in the Book of Revelation. 

I’m not an alarmist or a prophet crying out in the wilderness telling people to repent as the day of judgment is at hand. However, I do have a message of stern warning for all to read and take into their hearts.

Jesus, while on the Mount of Olives, talked with his disciples and told them about the future and what the end of times would hold for all of us. When you read chapter twenty-four of the Gospel of Matthew, the disciples asked Jesus about the signal of when he would return and the end of the world. The most important part of this passage discusses how he will return.

Jesus tells them, “So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.

As Christians, we must be ready at all times. We cannot afford to let our guard down for a moment or allow ourselves to be compromised by the world. It is very easy for individuals to be intimidated by those around them to give up on their faith. Every single day I see how people lash out at Christians and people of faith. They coerce others to join in and help them. Some even resort to violence and blame Christians for inciting the violence. Our faith is always under attack. Satan and his demons will not rest until all have turned away from the Lord. If there is one thing that Satan absolutely wants more than anything else, it is for every single individual to turn away from God.

That is why we need to be on guard every single moment of every single day. Satan does not have a day of rest. He will rest only when all have given themselves over to him and have turned their backs on God. We see this happening each and every day. People used to respect the church and now they want them shuttered and turned into relics of the past. Some would have them all razed and turned into rubble. As for the believers, the world would like nothing more than to reeducate them all and have them turn their backs to God. Those who preach the virtues of atheism want to remove God from the world and substitute something else. Some believe that governments are the “new gods” for all of us to worship.

New idols will be erected for us to worship and follow. Gone will be the days of Christianity and the Gospel. We may even see the day when Bibles will be ripped out of the libraries and from homes and burned. That day is closer than you think. There have been attempts in the past to remove the Bible from school libraries. Those taunting the virtue of some new world order or ideology would enjoy seeing churches destroyed and Bibles burned. 

Some have asked about how this happened. What has caused us to slip further and further away from the Lord? It didn’t happen overnight. It just took a little time for individuals to lower their guard. Instead of remaining vigilant, many allowed the world to seek out the shiny baubles offered by Satan, the accuser. He just took his time and allowed the world to be lulled into a false sense of safety.

The famous French poet, Charles Pierre Baudelaire, wrote, “The devil's finest trick is to persuade you that he does not exist.”

Satan has been working hard and spent a lot of overtime to make the world believe that he doesn’t exist. By convincing millions that he no longer existed, he lulled us into a false sense of security. We had nothing to fear. There was no hellfire or brimstone to worry about. It was just a tale that parents told their children to get them to behave. That’s all it was. The Devil, hell, and all that “bad stuff” were just a wives’ tale.

When that started to happen, the next part was easy as well. If the Devil didn’t exist, God didn’t exist. God was nothing more than a story that people created to teach good manners. At that point, people began to question God’s existence, and, over time, it became easier and easier for people “just to do their own thing”. It didn’t take too long for those questions to turn into declarative statements. The question of “does God exist'' turned into a statement of “God doesn’t exist”.

It just took a little time for all of this to occur. Attendance in churches has dropped off. Seminaries are finding it harder and harder to draw people into the ministry. People no longer read their Bibles and they allow them to collect dust on their shelves. Prayer is no longer permitted in school and generation after generation are growing up without the Word of God.

When you add in the pandemic, rumors of war in Europe and possibly in Asia, feminine and food shortages, you really must stop and think about the end of days and the return of Jesus. There will always be people preaching about the end of days and the return of Jesus. There have always been wars and rumors of wars, food shortages, disease, and false prophets. I’m not telling you something different. But, what I am telling you is to make sure you stay alert and ready.

In the end, it is all up to you. Do you continue to believe and be on guard or do you allow yourself to be led astray and tempted by the things of the world? What God has laid on my heart is no different from the messages of others who have come before me. The difference is that I’m reaching out to you and all those who are confused or have allowed themselves to fall asleep at the wheel. It is time to come back to God and strengthen your faith. For those who are confused and lack meaning in their lives, I will give you the gift of the Good News. That Good News was given to me a long time ago when I was growing up in a small community in Texas and going to a small country church. That message of light and of hope that I received is now available to you. Although things have changed in the world, the message of salvation hasn’t changed at all. The same message that was shared thousands of years ago has never changed. It remains that light of hope at the end of a dark tunnel. 

As I close this message to you today, I ask you to examine your heart and your life. Are you living as an obedient child of God or are you disobedient and running with a bad crowd? I ask you to look very closely at your life. 

To use the words of a dear old hymn, “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder,” will you be ready on that day when the trumpet of the Lord sounds and time will be no more?

My sincerest prayer is that all reading this message will take the time to look at their lives, examine their hearts and ask themselves if they are ready? If you aren’t ready for that thief in the night, I implore you to think about my words and the message of love, hope and salvation that I have preached in other messages. If you have already accepted the gift of salvation, ask yourself if you are living righteously? If not, pray for guidance and get back on the path. 

Once you have accepted the gift of salvation or have returned to the path of righteousness, I can assure you that you can and will stand firm in His grace daily.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 15:16

Proverbs 15:16 Holman Christian Standard Bible

16 Better a little with the fear of the Lord

than great treasure with turmoil.

Morning Scripture Reading - Deuteronomy 32:3-4

Deuteronomy 32:3-4 Holman Christian Standard Bible

3 For I will proclaim Yahweh’s name.

Declare the greatness of our God!

4 The Rock—His work is perfect;

all His ways are entirely just.

A faithful God, without prejudice,

He is righteous and true.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Evening Scripture Reading - John 8:31-32

John 8:31-32 Holman Christian Standard Bible

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples. 32 You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 136:21

Psalm 136:21 Holman Christian Standard Bible

21 and gave their land as an inheritance,

        His love is eternal.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 15:15

Proverbs 15:15 Holman Christian Standard Bible

15 All the days of the oppressed are miserable,

but a cheerful heart has a continual feast.

Morning Scripture Reading - Lamentations 3:22-23

Lamentations 3:22-23 Holman Christian Standard Bible

22 Because of the Lord’s faithful love

we do not perish,

for His mercies never end.

23 They are new every morning;

great is Your faithfulness!

Friday, January 21, 2022

Evening Scripture Reading - 1 John 4:17-19

1 John 4:17-19 Holman Christian Standard Bible

17 In this, love is perfected with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, for we are as He is in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love. 19 We love because He first loved us.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 136:20

Psalm 136:20 Holman Christian Standard Bible

20 and Og king of Bashan—

        His love is eternal.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 15:14

Proverbs 15:14 Holman Christian Standard Bible

14 A discerning mind seeks knowledge,

but the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness.

Morning Scripture Reading - Galatians 6:1-6

Galatians 6:1-6 Holman Christian Standard Bible

1 Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you also won’t be tempted. 2 Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone considers himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But each person should examine his own work, and then he will have a reason for boasting in himself alone, and not in respect to someone else. 5 For each person will have to carry his own load.

6 The one who is taught the message must share all his good things with the teacher.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Evening Scripture Reading - 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

2 Corinthians 5:16-21 Holman Christian Standard Bible

16 From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer know Him in this way. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. 18 Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” 21 He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 136:19

Psalm 136:19 Holman Christian Standard Bible

19 Sihon king of the Amorites

        His love is eternal.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 15:13

Proverbs 15:13 Holman Christian Standard Bible

13 A joyful heart makes a face cheerful,

but a sad heart produces a broken spirit.

Morning Scripture Reading - Romans 8:28-30

Romans 8:28-30 Holman Christian Standard Bible

28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Evening Scripture Reading - Galatians 3:19-26

Galatians 3:19-26 Holman Christian Standard Bible

19 Why then was the law given? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise was made would come. The law was put into effect through angels by means of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not for just one person, but God is one. 21 Is the law therefore contrary to God’s promises? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that was able to give life, then righteousness would certainly be by the law. 22 But the Scripture has imprisoned everything under sin’s power, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 Before this faith came, we were confined under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith was revealed. 24 The law, then, was our guardian until Christ, so that we could be justified by faith. 25 But since that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 136:18

Psalm 136:18 Holman Christian Standard Bible

18 and slaughtered famous kings—

        His love is eternal.

Mid-Week Message - Marks of the Father

"So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.  God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."  1 John 4:16  (ESV) 

I was born with a crooked toe.  I know that is a strange opening, but it is something that has brought me great joy over the years.  You see, it is one of the things that I inherited from my father.  He told me that after my birth a nurse came to him and apologized that one of my toes was "malformed."  When he asked her questions about it, she told him that one toe was crooked rather than straight.  He laughed then told her that he had one just like it so I had gotten it from him.

Now, I was a daddy's girl.  Never was I more content than when I was with him.  I decided when I was very young to pattern myself after him.  One of the greatest compliments I ever received came on the day he passed away when someone dear said that I was just like him.  Through tears of deep grief, I smiled, grateful that the Lord had allowed me to be his daughter.  

We all inherit traits from our biological parents.  It may be our height or the shape of our nose.  As we grow we may develop some of their other characteristics.  We may be shy, have bad tempers or be kind-hearted and generous.  Though some of these things are learned behaviors, others are inborn.  Whether we like it or not, our parents leave their "marks" on us.

Scripture tells us that when we accept Jesus as our Savior, when we believe on Him and repent of our sins, that we become children of God.  John 1:2 tells us, "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."  If we are His children, then we can be sure that we will also bear His traits as well.  

Today's verse reminds us that God is love and that if we are abiding in love then He abides in us.  We are to become like Him.  

Because I loved my earthly father so much, I have shared his humor, his wise words and the love he had for me with those around me.  Those things are important to me.  They shaped me.  But, even more important are the gifts that I have received from my heavenly Father.  I am not just a child of Jim King, but I am a child of the King of Kings and therefore have been given a new nature, new gifts that are like His. 

I hope you can identify with my experiences.  I spent a lot of time with my dad.  I watched him and how he handled life.  I listened to his words, took them in and hid them in my mind and heart.  I worked to develop a close relationship with him and made sure he knew how much I loved him. 

Now I have a Father who is eternal and has sacrificed His only Son on my behalf. And on yours.  Because of His great love, grace and mercy, He has reached down to make a way for us to return to Him.  If earthly relationships are worth our time and effort, how much more so is our relationship with the great I Am?  Are we as willing to spend our time and energy with Him?  Which of His traits do we find within ourselves?  How familiar are we with His words, His wisdom and His love?  Are we allowing Him to change us to His likeness?  

Just some things to think about as we go through this week.  May His love envelop each of us and may our response to Him be to sit at His feet and drink in all He has to offer.  God bless.


Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 15:12

Proverbs 15:12 Holman Christian Standard Bible

12 A mocker doesn’t love one who corrects him;

he will not consult the wise.

Morning Scripture Reading - 1 John 4:4-6

1 John 4:4-6 Holman Christian Standard Bible

4 You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world. Therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Anyone who knows God listens to us; anyone who is not from God does not listen to us. From this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deception.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Evening Scripture Reading - Matthew 18:19-20

Matthew 18:19-20 Holman Christian Standard Bible

19 Again, I assure you: If two of you on earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.”

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 136:17

Psalm 136:17 Holman Christian Standard Bible

17 He struck down great kings

        His love is eternal.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 15:11

Proverbs 15:11 Holman Christian Standard Bible

11 Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord—

how much more, human hearts.

Morning Scripture Reading - 1 Corinthians 2:6-10

1 Corinthians 2:6-10 Holman Christian Standard Bible

6 However, we do speak a wisdom among the mature, but not a wisdom of this age, or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 On the contrary, we speak God’s hidden wisdom in a mystery, a wisdom God predestined before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age knew this wisdom, for if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But as it is written:

What eye did not see and ear did not hear,

and what never entered the human mind—

God prepared this for those who love Him.

10 Now God has revealed these things to us by the Spirit, for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Evening Scripture Reading - Matthew 5:43-48

Matthew 5:43-48 Holman Christian Standard Bible

43 “You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 136:16

Psalm 136:16 Holman Christian Standard Bible

16 He led His people in the wilderness.

        His love is eternal.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 15:10

Proverbs 15:10 Holman Christian Standard Bible

10 Discipline is harsh for the one who leaves the path;

the one who hates correction will die.

Morning Scripture Reading - Luke 16:10-12

Luke 16:10-12 Holman Christian Standard Bible

10 Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much. 11 So if you have not been faithful with the unrighteous money, who will trust you with what is genuine? 12 And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to someone else, who will give you what is your own?

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Evening Scripture Reading - Hebrews 5:11-14

Hebrews 5:11-14 Holman Christian Standard Bible

11 We have a great deal to say about this, and it’s difficult to explain, since you have become too lazy to understand. 12 Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. 13 Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature—for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 136:15

Psalm 136:15 Holman Christian Standard Bible

15 but hurled Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea.

        His love is eternal.

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Don’t Be Ashamed of Your Faith

Over the past couple of decades, there has been a slow, but steady effort to move people away from their Christian faith. The incidents of church burnings have increased over that same period and nonbelievers are emboldened to openly attack believers. It is one thing for a person to say that he or she doesn’t believe in God, but it is quite another thing for them to attack people when it comes to their faith. You would think that atheists would respect the thoughts and beliefs of another individual. I have friends who are agnostics and a few who are atheists. They don’t attack my faith or what I choose to believe. I respect their decisions and continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to speak to their hearts. I don’t hate them for their beliefs. 

However, there are those who would like nothing better than seeing Christianity go to the wayside and ultimately disappear. During the Age of Enlightenment, the atheist movement began. People began to question and finally reject Christianity. At the time, the movement was small and was more of some fringe idea. Over time, things began to change.

The atheist movement in the United States can be traced back to the founding of the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism in 1925 and the American Humanist Association in 1941. In time, atheists, agnostics, secular humanists, freethinkers, and other nonreligious and nontheistic Americans have grown in both numbers and visibility. There has been a sharp increase in the number of Americans who identify as religiously unaffiliated, from under 10 percent in the 1990s to 20 percent in 2013.The trend is especially pronounced among young people, with about one in three Americans younger than 30 identifying as religiously unaffiliated, a figure that has nearly tripled since the 1990s.

As these numbers continue to grow, intolerance has grown almost exponentially. Atheists began to organize and demand the removal of prayer from public school citing the separation of church and state. Very few individuals understand the meaning of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. It prevents the government from creating and imposing a state-sanctioned religion. People are given the right to worship freely without having to worry about the government telling them how and what to worship. It doesn’t stop individuals from bringing their religious convictions into the public arena. 

Instead of respecting others beliefs, there have been those on both sides who have gone out of their way to disrespect the other. Instead of encouraging acceptance and respect for the other, there have been those who have lashed out in anger and have resorted to name-calling and even threats of violence.

Add social media and the ability to call people names with virtual anonymity, you then have a society that is being torn apart and divided. Mutual respect has been replaced with outright anger and, in some cases, violence. Tolerance for differing opinions has been replaced with threats and screaming. In short, society, for all of its advances, has de-evolved into a sort of tribalism that we have never seen before. Instead of seeing our neighbors as neighbors, we have started to see one another as factions defined by traits and characteristics.

For Christians, the message is clear. Don’t allow anyone to change your mind about your faith. Your faith is very precious and you shouldn’t ever be ashamed to call yourself a Christian and a follower of Christ Jesus. You should stand firm in your faith and not allow yourself to be swayed by threats or words.

Jesus, in chapter fifteen of the Gospel of John, said to his disciples, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me.

The world has a deep-seated hatred for Jesus and showed its hatred in a very profound way. Jesus was crucified as a criminal and a threat to those who preferred the darkness and the things of this world. When they felt threatened, those in power lashed out by crucifying the one who was sent to this world not to condemn it, but, rather, to save it.

Just as Jesus was persecuted, Christians are persecuted daily. In the United States, it is safe to practice your faith. In other countries, it isn’t the same. They have to worship in secret out of fear that they may be sent to prison or reeducation camps. But, we must remain strong in our faith, continue to follow the teachings of Jesus and walk daily in righteousness with the Lord.

In his second letter to Timothy, Paul writes, “So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News. And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News. That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.

Like Paul, we should never be ashamed of our faith or to share our story of salvation with others. By sharing the Good News and remaining grounded in our faith, we are doing the work that the Lord has given us. We are to go to all nations and preach the Gospel. There will be those who refuse to hear the message of love and salvation and some will call you names or become angry. It will happen, but you should never be ashamed of your faith. The world hated Jesus first. As a follower of Jesus, they will hate you, but always remember that when you stand firm in your faith, you are standing shoulder to shoulder with all those who have preached the Good News. You couldn’t ask for better company. You stand in the ranks with the disciples and apostles of old and with all those who preach the Word all around the world.

As you continue your daily walk with the Lord, always know that He is there with you and how much you mean to Him. He sent His son to die for your sins and for the sins of all. You can show your love by remaining faithful and unashamed of that faith. When you do all those things, you can definitely stand firm in His grace.  

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 15:9

Proverbs 15:9 Holman Christian Standard Bible

9 The Lord detests the way of the wicked,

but He loves the one who pursues righteousness.

Morning Scripture Reading - Ephesians 3:20-21

Ephesians 3:20-21 Holman Christian Standard Bible

20 Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us— 21 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Evening Scripture Reading - 2 Timothy 3:10-17

2 Timothy 3:10-17 Holman Christian Standard Bible

10 But you have followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, and endurance, 11 along with the persecutions and sufferings that came to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lord rescued me from them all. 12 In fact, all those who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 Evil people and impostors will become worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, 15 and you know that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 136:14

Psalm 136:14 Holman Christian Standard Bible

14 and led Israel through,

        His love is eternal.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 15:8

Proverbs 15:8 Holman Christian Standard Bible

8 The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable to the Lord,

but the prayer of the upright is His delight.

Morning Scripture Reading - John 13:34-35

John 13:34-35 Holman Christian Standard Bible

34 “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Friday, January 14, 2022

Evening Scripture Reading - Philippians 2:14-18

Philippians 2:14-18 Holman Christian Standard Bible

14 Do everything without grumbling and arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world. 16 Hold firmly to the message of life. Then I can boast in the day of Christ that I didn’t run or labor for nothing. 17 But even if I am poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 In the same way you should also be glad and rejoice with me.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 136:13

Psalm 136:13 Holman Christian Standard Bible

13 He divided the Red Sea

        His love is eternal.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 15:7

Proverbs 15:7 Holman Christian Standard Bible

7 The lips of the wise broadcast knowledge,

but not so the heart of fools.

Morning Scripture Reading - Ephesians 5:1-2

Ephesians 5:1-2 Holman Christian Standard Bible

5 Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. 2 And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Evening Scripture Reading - 1 Peter 1:13-16

1 Peter 1:13-16 Holman Christian Standard Bible

13 Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. 15 But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; 16 for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 136:12

Psalm 136:12 Holman Christian Standard Bible

12 with a strong hand and outstretched arm.

        His love is eternal.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 15:6

Proverbs 15:6 Holman Christian Standard Bible

6 The house of the righteous has great wealth,

but trouble accompanies the income of the wicked.

Morning Scripture Reading - Philippians 4:10-13

Philippians 4:10-13 Holman Christian Standard Bible

10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that once again you renewed your care for me. You were, in fact, concerned about me but lacked the opportunity to show it. 11 I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. 13 I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Evening Scripture Reading - Isaiah 1:16-17

Isaiah 1:16-17 Holman Christian Standard Bible

16 “Wash yourselves. Cleanse yourselves.

Remove your evil deeds from My sight.

Stop doing evil.

17 Learn to do what is good.

Seek justice.

Correct the oppressor.

Defend the rights of the fatherless.

Plead the widow’s cause.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 136:11

Psalm 136:11 Holman Christian Standard Bible

11 and brought Israel out from among them

        His love is eternal.

Mid-Week Message - Here's Why I Do This

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."  John 3:16-17  (NIV)  

I have been asked about why I began writing my weekly messages.  Actually, it was at the request of my husband.  Four years ago, the Lord laid on his heart to begin a blog to share His Word with all who would find it.  After considering it for awhile, he was obedient.  Each day several verses are shared and for Sundays and special days like Christmas Eve, he writes a message of his own.  Near the end of the first year of the blog, he asked me if I would contribute a message for the middle of the week.

For five years, before we moved to Georgia, we had partnered in a ministry in a retirement facility for those who were able to live independently.  During the Sunday services, we praised through music and song, my husband preached and I brought a word of encouragement.  Those dear ones so touched our lives that it was heart-wrenching to have to leave them.  During those years, we formed fast friendships, listened to life stories, sat with them when they were ill and performed several funeral services.  

No matter what I have done in my life, I have tried to be faithful in sharing God's love with those around me.  Eventually, He placed me in Christian schools where I had the opportunity to minister to children and their families.  So, when I was asked to write these messages, I saw it as a way to continue sharing hope, love and encouragement and prayed that whoever needed to see the messages would find them.  

Jesus told us to "go into all the world and share the Gospel".  It isn't to be treasured secretly in our own hearts, but to be shouted from the rooftops.  Our lives are short and our time to spread His story is limited.  Every moment matters for eternity.  Life is hard and people are suffering.  They need to hear the Good News about forgiveness and salvation.  They need to know that if they will only repent and believe in Him, they will live with Him forever.  

In the four years that we have been posting, our blog has been read by people all over the world.  Russian, the Ukraine, Sweden, Israel, various countries in Africa, Japan, and China are just some of the places that it has been seen.  This has been our way to reach out to the world.  We may never know how it has affected these dear people, but God knows and we trust Him to use our tiny little offering to change lives for His glory.  

My messages are brief each week, but it is a way for me, someone who is pretty much home-bound, to be able to share God's love with others.  There is always a way and if we ask the Father to show us that way, He will be faithful and do just that.  

My love and prayers are with all who are reading this and I pray that hearts are touched and that thoughts are directed toward Jesus and His great grace.  God bless.  

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 15:5

Proverbs 15:5 Holman Christian Standard Bible

5 A fool despises his father’s discipline,

but a person who accepts correction is sensible.

Morning Scripture Reading - Jeremiah 17:10

Jeremiah 17:10 Holman Christian Standard Bible

10 I, Yahweh, examine the mind,

I test the heart

to give to each according to his way,

according to what his actions deserve.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Evening Scripture Reading - Matthew 3:13-17

Matthew 3:13-17 Holman Christian Standard Bible

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to stop Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and yet You come to me?”

15 Jesus answered him, “Allow it for now, because this is the way for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him to be baptized.

16 After Jesus was baptized, He went up immediately from the water. The heavens suddenly opened for Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on Him. 17 And there came a voice from heaven:

This is My beloved Son.

I take delight in Him!