Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Evening Scripture Reading - John 14:23-24 American Standard Version

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my word: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my words: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 105:17-19 American Standard Version

He sent a man before them;
Joseph was sold for a servant:
His feet they hurt with fetters:
He was laid in chains of iron,
Until the time that his word came to pass,
The word of Jehovah tried him.

Mid-Week Message - The Dream

"If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."  Romans 10:9  (NIV)

The night after I had taken my driver's test as a teenager, I had a dream in which I was driving down the road and all of a sudden the clouds became giant bells that were ringing.  Everyone was getting out of their cars and coming out from wherever they had been.  I realized that this was the second coming of Jesus.  Angels were everywhere in the sky, then Jesus came with a list in His hand.  Everyone's name was on the list and beside each was a numerical value.  Whoever had a number of seventy or above was going to Heaven, and I was so happy that my number was seventy exactly.  

I have never forgotten that dream.  It made an impression on me because it is the only time that I have dreamed of Jesus returning to earth.  I dream in color and it is still all so vivid in my mind.  I can remember, too, the fear I felt as I waited to hear the number by my name.  As I have gone over it once more in my memory, one part has truly caught my attention.  That would be the list.  

Imagine if Jesus were to return with two lists in His hands.  One list would contain the names of those who would go to Heaven and the other those who would be sent to eternal torment.  This is just a "what if" question.  Just something to think about.  

I am sure that there would be unbelievable rejoicing when names from the Heaven list were read.  I can just hear the praises being shouted and the songs of adoration being sung.  The angels would play their mighty trumpets and the celebration would only be beginning.  

But, when the names on the other list were announced, there would be screams of horror, great anguish, hysterical crying and voices begging for another chance.  People would be ripping the hair from their heads, looking for somewhere to hide and denying that this could possibly be true. 

Here is another "what if."  Suppose we had advance knowledge of which list our names were on.  How would that change how we live out the rest of our lives?  Would we grow complacent as Christians if we knew we were on the first list?  Or would we, out of love for our Savior, spend more time in His Word, in prayer and in sharing the Gospel?  

And if our names were not on the coveted list, what would we do?  Would we curse God and fall deeper into sin that we ever thought possible?  

As I have thought of myself in these scenarios, this is what I have decided.  First and foremost, I love Jesus.  The most important thing to me is honoring Him and seeing Him glorified.  No matter which list my name was on, I would like to think that I would continue praising His name and serving Him because life is about Him, not me.  

Thankfully, scripture is very clear on what we must do to be saved.  The verse I chose for today is only one of many that direct us toward salvation.  What I have described above is just to create introspection.  Although His return will not be like my dream, or my "what ifs,"  He will return.  We may not know the day or the hour, but God is faithful and Jesus will come back eventually.  Are we living our lives in preparation?  If He was to return tonight or tomorrow, would you be ready?  

If you have not received Christ as your Savior, please don't delay.  Contact a Bible believing church, or ask a Christian friend if you have any questions.  Today could be the last day.  God bless.  


Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 28:18 American Standard Version

Whoso walketh uprightly shall be delivered;
But he that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once.

Morning Scripture Reading - Hebrews 7:18-19 American Standard Version

For there is a disannulling of a foregoing commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness (for the law made nothing perfect), and a bringing in thereupon of a better hope, through which we draw nigh unto God.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Evening Scripture Reading - Jude 22-23 American Standard Version

And on some have mercy, who are in doubt; and some save, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 105:16

And he called for a famine upon the land;
He brake the whole staff of bread.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 28:17 American Standard Version

A man that is laden with the blood of any person
Shall flee unto the pit; let no man stay him.

Morning Scripture Reading - Acts 20:32-35 American Standard Version

And now I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you the inheritance among all them that are sanctified. I coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Ye yourselves know that these hands ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. In all things I gave you an example, that so laboring ye ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he himself said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Evening Scripture Reading - Joel 2:28-32 American Standard Version

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of Jehovah cometh. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be delivered; for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those that escape, as Jehovah hath said, and among the remnant those whom Jehovah doth call.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 105:14-15 American Standard Version

He suffered no man to do them wrong;
Yea, he reproved kings for their sakes,
Saying, Touch not mine anointed ones,
And do my prophets no harm.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 28:16 American Standard Version

The prince that lacketh understanding is also a great oppressor;
But he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days.

Morning Scripture Reading - Romans 10:1-4 American Standard Version

Brethren, my heart’s desire and my supplication to God is for them, that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law unto righteousness to every one that believeth.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Evening Scripture Reading - John 16:12-15 American Standard Version

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, these shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall take of mine, and shall declare it unto you. All things whatsoever the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he taketh of mine, and shall declare it unto you.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 105:13 American Standard Version

And they went about from nation to nation,
From one kingdom to another people.

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Living with Purpose: Embracing Christ-Centered Living

In this week’s message, I invite you to join me on a journey through the words of the apostle Paul in the book of Philippians. In this letter, Paul shares his profound perspective on life and purpose, offering us timeless wisdom that remains relevant even in the digital age.

As we navigate the challenges and uncertainties of life, it's easy to lose sight of our purpose and the meaning behind our daily endeavors. We often find ourselves caught up in the busyness of our routines, seeking fulfillment in temporary achievements or material possessions. However, the passage we will explore today, Philippians 1:20-24, reminds us of the profound truth that a Christ-centered perspective can transform our entire existence.

Within these verses, we catch a glimpse of Paul's unyielding faith and his unshakable conviction that living means Christ. It's a powerful declaration that transcends time and circumstances. Through Paul's words, we discover the secret to a purposeful and fulfilling life—a life lived for the glory of Christ.

So, whether you find yourself in the comfort of your home, scrolling through this blog on your screen, or you stumble upon these words at a later time, let us journey together to explore how we can embrace Christ-centered living, infuse purpose into our days, and find true fulfillment in dedicating our lives to Him.

Let us dive into the treasure trove of Philippians 1:20-24, as we learn to live with purpose, fully embracing a Christ-centered existence.
Before we delve deeper into Paul's perspective on life, let's remind ourselves of the foundation we established in our introduction—a Christ-centered perspective that can transform our entire existence. In Philippians 1:20, Paul declares, "For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die". (NLT)

These words resonate with a profound sense of purpose and unwavering faith. Paul's life was marked by a Christ-centered focus that infused every aspect of his being. He lived with eager expectation and hope, knowing that his ultimate goal was to bring honor and glory to Christ, regardless of his circumstances.

Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, writes, 'If we live, it's to honor the Lord. And if we die, it's to honor the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.' This verse echoes the same sentiment found in Philippians 1:20. It emphasizes the underlying truth that our lives should be dedicated to honoring and glorifying the Lord, both in life and in death.

Paul's example challenges us to examine our own perspectives on life. Are we driven by our own desires, achievements, and worldly pursuits, or do we live with an unwavering focus on Christ? A Christ-centered perspective compels us to view our relationships, careers, and daily interactions through the lens of the Gospel.
As we continue our exploration of Paul's profound perspective on life, we come to a pivotal verse in Philippians 1:21: "For to me, living means Christ, and dying is even better" (NLT). This statement encapsulates Paul's unwavering commitment to living a life completely devoted to Christ's glory.

As we journeyed further through the words of the Apostle Paul, we discussed the importance of a Christ-centered perspective—a lens through which we view every aspect of our lives. Now, building upon that foundation, Paul takes it a step further. He declares that Christ is not merely a part of his life; rather, Christ is his life. Every breath, every decision, and every moment is intertwined with the person and purpose of Jesus.

Living for Christ's glory involves surrendering our own desires, ambitions, and self-centered pursuits. It means seeking His will above our own and aligning our lives with His purposes. It requires us to be bold in our faith and courageous in our obedience, knowing that true fulfillment and abundant life are found in complete surrender to Him.

The digital age presents us with countless opportunities for self-promotion, self-gratification, and the pursuit of personal fame. But as we reflect on Paul's words, we are reminded that our ultimate purpose is not to elevate ourselves, but to magnify Christ. Our lives are meant to be a reflection of His love, grace, and transforming power.

So, dear friends, let us examine our hearts and ask ourselves: Do our lives truly reflect the reality that Christ is our life? Are we living with a deep-seated commitment to honor and glorify Him in all that we do?

As we journey through Paul's perspective on life, we encounter a tension that arises from his deep commitment to Christ and his longing for his heavenly home. In Philippians 1:22-23, Paul shares his struggle, saying, "But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So, I really don't know which is better. I'm torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me". (NLT)

Paul's words reveal a delicate balance between his earthly responsibilities and his eternal hope. On one hand, he recognizes the value of his continued life on Earth, understanding that it allows him to engage in fruitful work for Christ. On the other hand, he longs for the ultimate fulfillment of being in the presence of his Savior.

In our fast-paced digital age, we often find ourselves pulled in multiple directions—balancing our personal lives, professional responsibilities, relationships, and spiritual pursuits. It can be challenging to strike a balance between our earthly commitments and our eternal perspective.

However, Paul's example teaches us an invaluable lesson. While we dwell in this world, we have a purpose to fulfill—a calling to impact lives for Christ, to spread His love, and to advance His kingdom. Our time on Earth is an opportunity to engage in fruitful work, making a difference in the lives of those around us.

Yet, we must also hold in tension the longing for our heavenly home. Our hearts should yearn for the day when we will be united with Christ in all His glory. This longing serves as a reminder that our time on Earth is temporary, and our ultimate hope lies in eternity.

Dear friends, let us embrace a balanced view of life. Let us pour ourselves wholeheartedly into the tasks and responsibilities set before us, seeking to bring honor and glory to Christ in all that we do. Simultaneously, let us cultivate a deep longing for our eternal home, knowing that it is far better to be in the presence of our Savior.

As we near the conclusion of our exploration into Paul's perspective on life, we come to a pivotal aspect of his mindset—a life dedicated to kingdom service. In Philippians 1:24, Paul expresses his willingness to continue living for the sake of others and the advancement of the kingdom of God. He says, 'But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live' (NLT).

Paul's declaration highlights the selflessness and sacrificial nature of his calling. He recognized that his life had a purpose beyond personal desires or comfort. His commitment to kingdom service propelled him to persevere through challenges, to endure persecution, and to pour himself out for the sake of others.

Dear friends, in our digitally connected world, we have an incredible opportunity to impact lives for the sake of the kingdom of God. Our spheres of influence extend far beyond our physical boundaries. Our words, actions, and online presence have the potential to reach and touch hearts across the globe.

We are called to follow in the footsteps of Paul, dedicating our lives to kingdom service. This means leveraging our time, talents, and resources to bring God's love, grace, and truth to those around us. It means using our platforms, whether they be social media, blogs, or other digital spaces, to share the hope we have in Christ.

A life dedicated to kingdom service requires intentionality. It calls for us to align our priorities with God's kingdom agenda and to seek opportunities to serve others selflessly. It involves demonstrating love, kindness, and compassion in our interactions, both online and offline.

As we reflect on Paul's example, let us examine our own lives. Are we actively engaged in kingdom service, or are we consumed by self-centered pursuits? Are we leveraging our digital presence for the glory of God, or are we merely seeking personal validation and recognition?

Dear friends, may our lives be marked by a deep commitment to kingdom service. Let us embrace the opportunities that the digital age presents us to make a difference in the lives of others. Let us extend the love and grace of Christ to those we encounter, both in person and in the digital realm.

As we have journeyed through Paul's perspective on life in the book of Philippians, we have discovered the transformative power of a Christ-centered perspective, the importance of living for Christ's glory, the need to embrace a balanced view of life, and the significance of a life dedicated to kingdom service.

May these truths take root in our hearts and guide us in our daily lives. Let us seek to honor and glorify Christ in all that we do, finding fulfillment and purpose in surrendering our lives to Him. And as we navigate the complexities of the digital age, may we use our platforms and interactions to bring hope, love, and the good news of the kingdom of God to a world in need.

May we be vessels of His grace, standing firm in His grace, and shining His light brightly in the digital realm. May our lives be a testament to the power of a life lived with purpose, fully embracing a Christ-centered existence.

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the example of Paul and the timeless wisdom found in the book of Philippians. As we go forth from this time of reflection, empower us by Your Spirit to live with purpose, to stand firm in Your grace, and to be vessels of Your grace in a world that desperately needs it. May our lives reflect the transformative power of a Christ-centered perspective, and may we continually strive to bring honor and glory to Your name. It is in Jesus’ precious name that we pray. Amen.

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

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 28:15 American Standard Version

As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear,
So is a wicked ruler over a poor people.

Morning Scripture Reading - Ruth 2:11-12 American Standard Version

And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been showed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother-in-law since the death of thy husband; and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people that thou knewest not heretofore. Jehovah recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of Jehovah, the God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to take refuge.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Evening Scripture Reading - 1 Peter 3:13-22 American Standard Version

And who is he that will harm you, if ye be zealous of that which is good? But even if ye should suffer for righteousness’ sake, blessed are ye: and fear not their fear, neither be troubled; but sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord: being ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet with meekness and fear: having a good conscience; that, wherein ye are spoken against, they may be put to shame who revile your good manner of life in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God should so will, that ye suffer for well-doing than for evil-doing. Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God; being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison, that aforetime were disobedient, when the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water: which also after a true likeness doth now save you, even baptism, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the interrogation of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ; who is on the right hand of God, having gone into heaven; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 105:8-12 American Standard Version

He hath remembered his covenant for ever,
The word which he commanded to a thousand generations,
The covenant which he made with Abraham,
And his oath unto Isaac,
And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a statute,
To Israel for an everlasting covenant,
Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan,
The lot of your inheritance;
When they were but a few men in number,
Yea, very few, and sojourners in it.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 28:14 American Standard Version

Happy is the man that feareth alway;
But he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.

Morning Scripture Reading - Hebrews 6:9-12 American Standard Version

But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak: for God is not unrighteous to forget your work and the love which ye showed toward his name, in that ye ministered unto the saints, and still do minister. And we desire that each one of you may show the same diligence unto the fulness of hope even to the end: that ye be not sluggish, but imitators of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Evening Scripture Reading - 1 Samuel 15:20-23 American Standard Version

And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of Jehovah, and have gone the way which Jehovah sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the devoted things, to sacrifice unto Jehovah thy God in Gilgal. And Samuel said, Hath Jehovah as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of Jehovah? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim. Because thou hast rejected the word of Jehovah, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 105:7 American Standard Version

He is Jehovah our God:
His judgments are in all the earth.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 28:13 American Standard Version

He that covereth his transgressions shall not prosper;
But whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall obtain mercy.

Morning Scripture Reading - Joel 2:21-24 American Standard Version

Fear not, O land, be glad and rejoice; for Jehovah hath done great things. Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field; for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth its fruit, the fig-tree and the vine do yield their strength. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in Jehovah your God; for he giveth you the former rain in just measure, and he causeth to come down for you the rain, the former rain and the latter rain, in the first month. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Evening Scripture Reading - Luke 9:57-62 American Standard Version

And as they went on the way, a certain man said unto him, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the heaven have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But he said unto him, Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but go thou and publish abroad the kingdom of God. And another also said, I will follow thee, Lord; but first suffer me to bid farewell to them that are at my house. But Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 105:5-6 American Standard Version

Remember his marvellous works that he hath done,
His wonders, and the judgments of his mouth,
O ye seed of Abraham his servant,
Ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 28:12 American Standard Version

When the righteous triumph, there is great glory;
But when the wicked rise, men hide themselves.

Morning Scripture Reading - Isaiah 26:3 American Standard Version

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Evening Scripture Reading - John 20:30-31 American Standard Version

Many other signs therefore did Jesus in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye may have life in his name.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 105:4 American Standard Version

Seek ye Jehovah and his strength;
Seek his face evermore.

Mid-Week Message - Dreams

"This is what the Scriptures mean when they say, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NLT)

My childhood was filled with stories of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and other wonderful tales that all had the same ending, "and they lived happily ever after."  Each of these characters had wishes that seemed unattainable, yet, in the end, they came true.  Either a fairy godmother worked her magic or a kiss from Prince Charming broke an evil spell.  However it came about, the same was true.  That girl's dreams became reality.  Of course, anything is possible in make believe.  Real life isn't always tied up with ribbons and bows though.   

 Somewhere along the way in my younger days, I came to believe that the dreams I had for my life came from God.  I thought,"Surely He wouldn't allow me to have a dream that He didn't intend to fulfill."  Needless to say, I had a lot to learn about my relationship with Him and about His purpose for me on this earth.  Even now, at an age that I certainly should know better, I still find myself realizing that dreams that I have held onto for decades just probably aren't going to come to fruition.  I shed a few tears over some of them then reluctantly relinquish them into the hands of the One who has much greater things in store.

As I examine some of the things I dreamed for, I am able to see how selfish they really were.  I wanted them simply because I wanted them.  It isn't that any of those things were bad, only that the only purpose they would serve would be my own.  I didn't figure eternity into them.  I never thought about how I could serve the Lord better through them.  I never even really asked Him about them.  They were lofty hopes that were mine.  All mine.  I just assumed that once they came about, my life would be complete.  

What happens when we spend so much time dreaming, is that we run the risk of not seeing what God is actually doing in our lives.  When I stop to think about it, what gives me unspeakable joy is simply sharing the love of Christ with those around me.  When I keep my focus on Him and my mind in the present, then my eyes are opened to all the opportunities He gives me each day to reach out to friends, family, acquaintances and strangers with the love, encouragement and compassion that can only come through the power of the Holy Spirit.  None of the dreams that came from my own mind can even begin to compare with how content I feel when I simply do the work He sets in front of me to do.  

This world is temporary.  I could spend my limited time fulfilling my own desires, or I can go to Him each day and ask Him what He would like for me to do.  If He chooses to use one of my dreams for His purposes, then I will praise Him and ask Him to help me remember that it is for HIM and not for me.  And if He doesn't choose to, then I can know that it isn't because of any lack of love He has for me, but quite the opposite.  He loves me so much that He only wants the best for me while I walk this planet.  And, one day, I will be in Heaven which will be far beyond anything any human mind could ever dream of.  God bless. 

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 28:11 American Standard Version

The rich man is wise in his own conceit;
But the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out.

Morning Scripture Reading - Isaiah 40:9-11 American Standard Version

O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up on a high mountain; O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold, your God! Behold, the Lord Jehovah will come as a mighty one, and his arm will rule for him: Behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and will gently lead those that have their young.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Evening Scripture Reading - Matthew 24:4-14 American Standard Version

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man lead you astray. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am the Christ; and shall lead many astray. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled: for these things must needs come to pass; but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines and earthquakes in divers places. But all these things are the beginning of travail. Then shall they deliver you up unto tribulation, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all the nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many stumble, and shall deliver up one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall arise, and shall lead many astray. And because iniquity shall be multiplied, the love of the many shall wax cold. But he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a testimony unto all the nations; and then shall the end come.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 105:3 American Standard Version

Glory ye in his holy name:
Let the heart of them rejoice that seek Jehovah.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 28:10 American Standard Version

Whoso causeth the upright to go astray in an evil way,
He shall fall himself into his own pit;
But the perfect shall inherit good.

Morning Scripture Reading - Jeremiah 29:10-14 American Standard Version

For thus saith Jehovah, After seventy years are accomplished for Babylon, I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith Jehovah, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope in your latter end. And ye shall call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith Jehovah, and I will turn again your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith Jehovah; and I will bring you again unto the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Evening Scripture Reading - 1 Chronicles 28:20-21 American Standard Version

And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed; for Jehovah God, even my God, is with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until all the work for the service of the house of Jehovah be finished. And, behold, there are the courses of the priests and the Levites, for all the service of the house of God: and there shall be with thee in all manner of work every willing man that hath skill, for any manner of service: also the captains and all the people will be wholly at thy commandment.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 105:2 American Standard Version

Sing unto him, sing praises unto him;
Talk ye of all his marvellous works.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 28:9 American Standard Version

He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law,
Even his prayer is an abomination.

Morning Scripture Reading - Romans 1:16 American Standard Version

For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Evening Scripture Reading - 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 American Standard Version

But now hath Christ been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of them that are asleep. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; then they that are Christ’s, at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have abolished all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be abolished is death. For, He put all things in subjection under his feet. But when he saith, All things are put in subjection, it is evident that he is excepted who did subject all things unto him. And when all things have been subjected unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subjected to him that did subject all things unto him, that God may be all in all.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 105:1 American Standard Version

Oh give thanks unto Jehovah, call upon his name;
Make known among the peoples his doings.

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - From Troubled Hearts to Peaceful Souls: Trusting in God's Plan

As believers, we often find solace and hope in the promises of God, especially during times of uncertainty and trial. Today, we turn our attention to a passage that offers profound comfort and assurance. In John 14:1-3, Jesus speaks directly to His disciples, imparting words of reassurance and revealing a glimpse of the glorious future that awaits all who trust in Him. Let us open our hearts and minds to this beautiful passage as we seek to understand its significance for our lives today.

The Gospel of John provides us with a unique perspective on the life and teachings of Jesus. By the time we reach John 14, we find ourselves in the final moments before Jesus' crucifixion. The events leading up to this pivotal moment in history include Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem, His last supper with His disciples, and His arrest and subsequent trials.

The last events in Jesus’ life were very traumatic to his disciples. We can only imagine what thoughts and feelings they were expressing. If we layer in their possible arrest and crucifixion, the disciples indeed had a lot to fear. When we contemplate Jesus' last few events before his ultimate arrest, trial and crucifixion, many things happened quickly. We start with his entering Jerusalem as the Messiah to being treated like a criminal. 

As Jesus entered Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, the crowds hailed him as the long-awaited Messiah, shouting, "Praise God for the Son of David! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!" (Matthew 21:9, NLT). He then made his way to the temple and drove out the merchants, declaring, "The Scriptures declare, 'My Temple will be called a house of prayer,' but you have turned it into a den of thieves!" (Matthew 21:13, NLT).

In the following days, Jesus continued to teach in the temple, engaging in debates with religious leaders. He shared parables, including the Parable of the Tenants and the Parable of the Wedding Feast, conveying profound spiritual truths. The religious leaders became increasingly hostile, seeking to trap him in his words and discredit him (Matthew 21:45-46, Matthew 22:15, NLT).

As the Passover approached, Jesus gathered with His disciples for the Last Supper. During this meal, Jesus took bread, blessed it, and said, "Take this and eat it, for this is my body." He also took a cup of wine, gave thanks, and said, "Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and His people" (Matthew 26:26-28, NLT). Jesus revealed that one of his own disciples would betray him, causing sorrow among the disciples (Matthew 26:21-22, NLT).

Following the meal, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. Overwhelmed with sorrow, he fell to the ground and cried out, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine" (Matthew 26:39, NLT). Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd to betray Jesus, identifying him with a kiss (Matthew 26:47-49, NLT).

Jesus was arrested and taken through a series of trials. He stood before the Jewish authorities, including the high priest Caiaphas, who falsely accused him of blasphemy. Finally, Jesus was brought before the Roman governor, Pilate, who found no fault in him but yielded to the pressure of the crowd, ultimately condemning Jesus to be crucified (Matthew 27:24-26, NLT).

Jesus was mocked, beaten, and led to Golgotha, where he was crucified alongside two criminals. As he hung on the cross, Jesus uttered the words, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?" (Matthew 27:46, NLT). Darkness covered the land, and at Jesus' last breath, the earth shook, rocks split, and the temple curtain tore in two (Matthew 27:51-54, NLT).

In the span of a short period of time, Jesus goes from a triumphal entry, teaching in the temple, the Last Supper, prayer in Gethsemane, betrayal and arrest, multiple trials, and ends with his ultimate crucifixion and death. 

Our lives are the same way. In a matter of a few moments, we can easily go from being on the top of the world to the valley of the shadow of death. It may seem like a cruel twist of fate, but, unfortunately, it is the nature of life. When we gave up our place in the garden and became disobedient, we no longer had a life of ease and joy. Our lives became difficult and we became mortal. To borrow a few words from William Shakespeare, we now suffer “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” (Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III, Scene I)

In John 14:1, Jesus addresses his disciples' troubled hearts with words of comfort and reassurance, saying, "Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me" (NLT). Jesus acknowledges the genuine concern and fear that filled the hearts of his disciples as they faced the uncertainty of his impending departure. He understood the deep attachment they had formed to him, as their Teacher, Friend, and Savior. Jesus empathizes with their troubled hearts, recognizing their vulnerability in the face of this upcoming separation.

In offering his words of comfort, Jesus encourages his disciples to trust not only in God but also in himself. He points them to the source of their strength and hope, reminding them that faith in him is the key to overcoming their troubled hearts. Jesus calls them to rely on him, to place their confidence in his divine nature, and to trust in his promises. Through this simple yet profound statement, Jesus provides his disciples with the assurance that they can find solace and peace by firmly placing their trust in God and in him, their Messiah and Lord.

Part of the assurance that Jesus provides his disciples is the fact that there is a better life after this place. Jesus wants us all to know that this corrupt, fallen world is only temporary and that, if we have accepted him as our personal Savior and Lord, we will have a place with the Father that he must prepare for us.

In John 14:2-3, Jesus presents his followers with a profound promise of a heavenly dwelling place. He assures them, "There is more than enough room in my Father's home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am" (NLT). Through these words, Jesus offers his disciples the hope of a future home in the presence of God Himself.

The promise of a heavenly dwelling place gives his followers assurance that their journey does not end here on earth. Jesus speaks of the abundance of room in his Father's home, emphasizing that there is ample space for all who believe in him. This promise serves as a reminder that this world is not our final destination; we have an eternal home awaiting us. Jesus' words echo with the assurance that God has prepared a place specifically for each believer, a place of love, peace, and perfect fellowship with him.

What makes Jesus' promise even more remarkable is the personal nature of his preparation. He says, "I am going to prepare a place for you." Jesus, in his infinite love and care, takes upon himself the task of preparing the heavenly dwelling place for his followers. It is an act of intimate and deliberate preparation by the Son of God himself. This personal touch underscores the depth of Jesus' commitment and highlights the profound love he has for his disciples. Every detail is intricately attended to by Jesus, ensuring that our eternal home will be a place of unsurpassed beauty and perfection.

In John 14:1-3, Jesus' words of comfort and assurance hold significant application and implications for believers today. As followers of Christ, we encounter troubled times, uncertainties, and challenges in our lives. However, in the midst of these difficulties, Jesus invites us to find comfort and peace by trusting in God's sovereignty and provision. The psalmist writes, "When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy" (Psalm 94:19, NLT). This reminds us that our ultimate source of comfort lies in our unwavering faith in God. By placing our trust in Him, we acknowledge His control over all circumstances and find solace in His unfailing love.

Trusting in God's sovereignty and provision means surrendering our fears and anxieties to Him. The apostle Peter encourages believers by saying, "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you" (1 Peter 5:7, NLT). This verse reminds us that we don't have to carry the burdens of our troubled hearts alone. We can cast our anxieties upon the Lord, knowing that He cares deeply for us and is able to provide comfort and peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:6-7, NLT). By surrendering our fears and anxieties to God, we open ourselves up to experience His transforming power and find rest in His loving embrace.

The words of Jesus in John 14:1-3 provide timeless comfort and assurance for believers in every generation. As we navigate through troubled times, we can find solace by trusting in God's sovereignty and provision. In the face of uncertainty, we can surrender our fears and anxieties to Him, knowing that He cares for us deeply. Just as the psalmist declares, "When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy" (Psalm 94:19, NLT), we can experience the joy and peace that come from resting in God's unfailing love.

May we heed the apostle Peter's exhortation to "give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you" (1 Peter 5:7, NLT). By entrusting our burdens to Him, we can stand firm in the grace of God. Let us remember that His grace is sufficient for every trial and challenge we face. In the midst of troubled times, we can find comfort and strength in the knowledge that God has a heavenly dwelling place for us, where we will be eternally united with Him.

Therefore, let us stand firm in His grace. Let us trust in His sovereignty, knowing that He holds all things in His hands. Let us surrender our fears and anxieties, casting them upon Him with the assurance that He cares for us. May we anchor our faith in His unfailing love, finding comfort and peace in the midst of troubled times. And as we eagerly await our eternal home, may we live each day with hope and confidence, knowing that God is faithfully preparing a place for us.

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

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 28:8 American Standard Version

He that augmenteth his substance by interest and increase,
Gathereth it for him that hath pity on the poor.

Morning Scripture Reading - Deuteronomy 30:9-10 American Standard Version

And Jehovah thy God will make thee plenteous in all the work of thy hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, for good: for Jehovah will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers; if thou shalt obey the voice of Jehovah thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law; if thou turn unto Jehovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Evening Scripture Reading - Colossians 3:16 American Standard Version

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto God.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 104:35 American Standard Version

Let sinners be consumed out of the earth.
And let the wicked be no more.
Bless Jehovah, O my soul.
Praise ye Jehovah.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 28:7 American Standard Version

Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son;
But he that is a companion of gluttons shameth his father.

Morning Scripture Reading - 2 Timothy 1:8-11 American Standard Version

Be not ashamed therefore of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but suffer hardship with the gospel according to the power of God; who saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before times eternal, but hath now been manifested by the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, whereunto I was appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Evening Scripture Reading - Matthew 19:26 American Standard Version

And Jesus looking upon them said to them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 104:30-34 American Standard Version

Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created;
And thou renewest the face of the ground.
Let the glory of Jehovah endure for ever;
Let Jehovah rejoice in his works:
Who looketh on the earth, and it trembleth;
He toucheth the mountains, and they smoke.
I will sing unto Jehovah as long as I live:
I will sing praise to my God while I have any being.
Let my meditation be sweet unto him:
I will rejoice in Jehovah.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 28:6 American Standard Version

Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity,
Than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.

Morning Scripture Reading - 1 Corinthians 15:9-11 American Standard Version

For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not found vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Whether then it be I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Evening Scripture Reading - James 5:13-16 American Standard Version

Is any among you suffering? let him pray. Is any cheerful? let him sing praise. Is any among you sick? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save him that is sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, it shall be forgiven him. Confess therefore your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The supplication of a righteous man availeth much in its working.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 104:26-29 American Standard Version

There go the ships;
There is leviathan, whom thou hast formed to play therein.
These wait all for thee,
That thou mayest give them their food in due season.
Thou givest unto them, they gather;
Thou openest thy hand, they are satisfied with good.
Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled;
Thou takest away their breath, they die,
And return to their dust.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 28:5 American Standard Version

Evil men understand not justice;
But they that seek Jehovah understand all things.

Morning Scripture Reading - John 17:1-5 American Standard Version

These things spake Jesus; and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that the Son may glorify thee: even as thou gavest him authority over all flesh, that to all whom thou hast given him, he should give eternal life. And this is life eternal, that they should know thee the only true God, and him whom thou didst send, even Jesus Christ. I glorified thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which thou hast given me to do. And now, Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Evening Scripture Reading - Colossians 3:15-17 American Standard Version

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to the which also ye were called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto God. And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 104:23-25 American Standard Version

Man goeth forth unto his work
And to his labor until the evening.
O Jehovah, how manifold are thy works!
In wisdom hast thou made them all:
The earth is full of thy riches.
Yonder is the sea, great and wide,
Wherein are things creeping innumerable,
Both small and great beasts.

Mid-Week Message - No More Compromising

 "Jesus told him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one can come to the Father except through me.'"  John 14:6  (NLT) 

When my daughter was still in high school, one of her classmates invited her to an outreach that his church was having.  Directed toward young people, the hope was that those who were unchurched would be attracted enough to begin attending regularly.  After the event, I picked them up and as I was taking the classmate home, I began asking how everything went.  As it turns out, the night was comprised of performances by "Christian" rock bands, most of which were playing heavy metal music.  Apparently, the music, coupled with the mosh pit, afforded an evening full of fun. 

I would have been interested to know how many of those who attended this event actually came back for a church service.  I still fail to understand how people can be drawn to Christ by being enticed through imitations of what the world offers.  I have no problem with different genres of Christian music, but I do believe it is necessary to at least hear and understand the words that are being sung.   And a mosh pit and body surfing?  How is Jesus presented through that? 

Across this nation, churches are being abandoned and boarded up.  Many of those that remain open claim that attendance has been dropping.  Fewer Americans believe that this country is a "Christian" nation.  Jesus has become the punchline of jokes and those who choose to worship Him are touted as believing in fairy tales.  By giving in to the demands for coffee bars and tickling the ears of attendees with "feel good" messages, we have lost our focus on our mission.  

In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus gives this charge to His disciples, "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.  And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."  

When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are to share Him with others.  The Lord has gifted each of us with abilities and talents that will assist us in doing so.  If you sing, worship Him in song.  If you are an artist, then honor Him with your art.  If you have the gift of hospitality, then open your home and share the Gospel with your visitors.  If you can do public speaking, then openly declare Him.  Maybe you have a deep love for children.  Children are ready learners.  Their hearts are open to the stories of the Bible.  

We need to return to solid Bible teaching.  I love listening to men of God speak the truth.  It is rare these days to hear the honest rebuking of sin from the pulpit.  Too many church leaders are afraid that people will be offended and leave the congregation.  But if the true need for Jesus is exchanged for warm and fuzzy messages, then we fail to offer the need for forgiveness.  

We are watching frightening changes in this country and around the world.  The enemy must sit back and laugh as evil increases and fear grips the followers of Jesus.  This must not continue.  Christians need to be in earnest prayer and we need to stand up for what is right and true.  The Gospel is desperately needed and we are the ones that hold it.  But we need to be ready to speak it in truth which means that the world will likely not appreciate what we have to say.  No more compromising.  We have Jesus to show the way.  God bless.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 28:4 American Standard Version

They that forsake the law praise the wicked;
But such as keep the law contend with them.

Morning Scripture Reading - Deuteronomy 26:16-19 American Standard Version

This day Jehovah thy God commandeth thee to do these statutes and ordinances: thou shalt therefore keep and do them with all thy heart, and with all thy soul. Thou hast avouched Jehovah this day to be thy God, and that thou wouldest walk in his ways, and keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his ordinances, and hearken unto his voice: and Jehovah hath avouched thee this day to be a people for his own possession, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments; and to make thee high above all nations that he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor; and that thou mayest be a holy people unto Jehovah thy God, as he hath spoken.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Evening Scripture Reading - James 1:19-21 American Standard Version

Ye know this, my beloved brethren. But let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore putting away all filthiness and overflowing of wickedness, receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 104:21-22 American Standard Version

The young lions roar after their prey,
And seek their food from God.
The sun ariseth, they get them away,
And lay them down in their dens.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 28:3 American Standard Version

A needy man that oppresseth the poor
Is like a sweeping rain which leaveth no food.

Morning Scripture Reading - 1 Corinthians 4:6-7 American Standard Version

Now these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes; that in us ye might learn not to go beyond the things which are written; that no one of you be puffed up for the one against the other. For who maketh thee to differ? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? but if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it?

Monday, May 15, 2023

Evening Scripture Reading - 1 Corinthians 15:10-11 American Standard Version

But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not found vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Whether then it be I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 104:18-20 American Standard Version

The high mountains are for the wild goats;
The rocks are a refuge for the conies.
He appointed the moon for seasons:
The sun knoweth his going down.
Thou makest darkness, and it is night,
Wherein all the beasts of the forest creep forth.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 28:2 American Standard Version

For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof;
But by men of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged.

Morning Scripture Reading - Acts 2:37-42 American Standard Version

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do? And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him. And with many other words he testified, and exhorted them, saying, Save yourselves from this crooked generation. They then that received his word were baptized: and there were added unto them in that day about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Evening Scripture Reading - John 11:25-26 American Standard Version

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth on me, though he die, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 104:11-17 American Standard Version

They give drink to every beast of the field;
The wild asses quench their thirst.
By them the birds of the heavens have their habitation;
They sing among the branches.
He watereth the mountains from his chambers:
The earth is filled with the fruit of thy works.
He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle,
And herb for the service of man;
That he may bring forth food out of the earth,
And wine that maketh glad the heart of man,
And oil to make his face to shine,
And bread that strengtheneth man’s heart.
The trees of Jehovah are filled with moisture,
The cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted;
Where the birds make their nests:
As for the stork, the fir-trees are her house.

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Selling our Soul for a Bowl of Stew

In the book of Genesis, we read about a man named Esau who made a tragic trade. He gave up his birthright—the inheritance and blessing that were rightfully his as the firstborn son—for a bowl of soup. Esau's decision was impulsive, short-sighted, and ultimately cost him dearly. But he is not the only one in history to make such a trade. Today, we see a similar tragedy playing out in America. Our country is selling its birthright, trading away the moral values, family structures, and faith that were once foundational to our nation. In this sermon, we will explore the story of Esau and draw parallels to the present day, examining the cost of our nation's tragic trade.

Esau, the eldest son of Isaac and Rebecca, had a birthright that entitled him to a double portion of his father's inheritance and the honor of leading the family. However, in a moment of hunger and desperation, Esau sold his birthright to his brother Jacob for a bowl of lentil stew. Esau's actions not only cost him his birthright but also set a precedent for a pattern of behavior that would be repeated throughout history. Just as Esau chose temporary satisfaction over long-term gain, so too have many individuals, communities, and even nations made choices that have led to the loss of their birthright. In America, we see a similar pattern of moral decay, a failure of the nuclear family, and a turning away from God. It is a warning that the choices we make today can have long-lasting consequences for future generations.

Just as Esau disregarded his birthright for a momentary pleasure, America has forsaken its spiritual heritage and moral compass for the fleeting pleasures of worldly pursuits. The consequences of Esau's choice were long-lasting, and the same can be said for America's. The moral decay, breakdown of the family unit, and rejection of God's laws are evident in our society today. As the Bible says in Galatians, “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.” (Galatians 6:7-8 NLT) Let us turn back to God and His ways, before it's too late.

The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome, “Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them too.” (Romans 1:28-32 NLT)

Esau's decision to trade his birthright for a bowl of soup was a costly mistake for him. He disregarded God's law and suffered the consequences. And yet, he is not the only one in history to make such a trade. In Romans 1:28-32 NLT, the apostle Paul describes a society that has turned away from God, a society that has chosen to indulge in sinful desires and practices. This passage describes a people who have exchanged the truth about God for a lie and have worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator. As a result, God has given them over to a depraved mind and to do what ought not to be done. The consequences of such a trade are dire, leading to all manner of evil and wickedness.

Today, we see a similar trend in America. We see a society that has turned away from God and is experiencing moral decay, a breakdown of the family unit, and a move away from the values that made this nation great. But it's not too late. If we hold fast to our birthright and remain faithful to God, we can stand firm in His grace. Let us turn away from our sinful desires and practices and return to God, who has blessed America and given us the ability to lead in even the darkest of times. We should never forget that our birthright as Americans is a gift from God, and that we must strive to honor Him in all that we do.

To return to God and greatness, we need to follow the example of Jacob, who valued his birthright and held onto it at all costs. Similarly, as Americans, we must recognize and value the birthright that we have been given, and hold onto it tightly. We must return to the moral values and principles that made America great, and make them a priority in our lives once again.

This requires a personal commitment to live according to God's word and to seek His will for our lives. We must also work to rebuild our families and communities, and foster a culture that supports and upholds the values of faith, hope, and love.

As we hold onto our birthright and turn back to God, He will bless us and restore us to greatness. We can trust in His promises, knowing that He is faithful to those who seek Him with all their heart (Jeremiah 29:13). If, however, we decide that satisfying our short-term desire is better than our long-term benefits, then we risk losing our birthright and giving into sin.

The consequences of not valuing our birthright and choosing not to return to God are dire. We risk losing not only our superpower status in the world but also our immortal souls. In the story of Esau, we see that he lost not only his birthright but also the blessings that came with it. Similarly, if we as a nation continue to turn away from God and embrace moral decay, we risk losing the blessings and favor that God has bestowed upon us.

Yet we must remember that God has blessed America in incredible ways. He has given us the ability to lead in even the darkest of times, such as world wars, famines, and diseases. He has provided us with the resources and creativity to tackle some of the greatest challenges of our time, from landing on the moon to eradicating diseases. We cannot forget these blessings and the responsibility that comes with them.

In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses reminds the Israelites that their prosperity and success are dependent on their obedience to God. He says, "If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world." (Deuteronomy 28:1 NLT). Similarly, if we as a nation turn back to God and hold fast to our birthright, we can once again experience the blessings and favor that come with obedience to God. But if we continue down the path of moral decay and turning away from God, we risk losing everything that makes America great.

As we reflect on the story of Esau, we must recognize that America stands at a crossroads. We can choose to continue down the path of moral decay, family breakdown, and turning away from God, or we can choose to hold fast to our birthright and return to the values that made this nation great. We have been blessed with the ability to lead and make a difference in the world, even in the darkest of times. But to do so, we must stand firm in our faith, and commit ourselves to building strong families, upholding moral values, and putting God first. Let us choose wisely, so that future generations may look back on our time and say that we stood firm in God's grace, and passed on the blessings of our birthright to them.

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

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 28:1 American Standard Version

The wicked flee when no man pursueth;
But the righteous are bold as a lion.

Morning Scripture Reading - Ephesians 1:15-23 American Standard Version

For this cause I also, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is among you, and the love which ye show toward all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; having the eyes of your heart enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to that working of the strength of his might which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and he put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Evening Scripture Reading - Romans 13:6-7 American Standard Version

For for this cause ye pay tribute also; for they are ministers of God’s service, attending continually upon this very thing. Render to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 104:8-10 American Standard Version

(The mountains rose, the valleys sank down)
Unto the place which thou hadst founded for them.
Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over;
That they turn not again to cover the earth.
He sendeth forth springs into the valleys;
They run among the mountains;

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 27:26-27 American Standard Version

The lambs are for thy clothing,
And the goats are the price of the field;
And there will be goats’ milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household,
And maintenance for thy maidens.

Morning Scripture Reading - Jeremiah 17:5-8 American Standard Version

Thus saith Jehovah: Cursed is the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from Jehovah. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in Jehovah, and whose trust Jehovah is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, that spreadeth out its roots by the river, and shall not fear when heat cometh, but its leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

Friday, May 12, 2023

Evening Scripture Reading - 2 Samuel 7:18-29 American Standard Version

Then David the king went in, and sat before Jehovah; and he said, Who am I, O Lord Jehovah, and what is my house, that thou hast brought me thus far? And this was yet a small thing in thine eyes, O Lord Jehovah; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant’s house for a great while to come; and this too after the manner of men, O Lord Jehovah! And what can David say more unto thee? for thou knowest thy servant, O Lord Jehovah. For thy word’s sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou wrought all this greatness, to make thy servant know it. Wherefore thou art great, O Jehovah God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God besides thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears. And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem unto himself for a people, and to make him a name, and to do great things for you, and terrible things for thy land, before thy people, whom thou redeemedst to thee out of Egypt, from the nations and their gods? And thou didst establish to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever; and thou, Jehovah, becamest their God. And now, O Jehovah God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, confirm thou it for ever, and do as thou hast spoken. And let thy name be magnified for ever, saying, Jehovah of hosts is God over Israel; and the house of thy servant David shall be established before thee. For thou, O Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee a house: therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee. And now, O Lord Jehovah, thou art God, and thy words are truth, and thou hast promised this good thing unto thy servant: now therefore let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee; for thou, O Lord Jehovah, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 104:6-7 American Standard Version

Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a vesture;
The waters stood above the mountains.
At thy rebuke they fled;
At the voice of thy thunder they hasted away

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 27:25 American Standard Version

The hay is carried, and the tender grass showeth itself,
And the herbs of the mountains are gathered in.

Morning Scripture Reading - Joshua 3:7-13 American Standard Version

And Jehovah said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee. And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, ye shall stand still in the Jordan. And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of Jehovah your God. And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Hivite, and the Perizzite, and the Girgashite, and the Amorite, and the Jebusite. Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into the Jordan. Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, for every tribe a man. And it shall come to pass, when the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of Jehovah, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, even the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand in one heap.