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Daily Devotionals For December 2005

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December 1st
December 2nd
December 3rd
December 4th
December 5th
December 6th
December 7th
December 8th
December 9th
December 10th
December 11th
December 12th
December 13th
December 14th
December 15th
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December 18th
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December 20th
December 21st
December 22nd
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December 24th
December 25th
December 26th
December 27th
December 28th
December 29th
December 30th
December 31st


List of main devotionals written by Jerry for these December 2005 Devotionals (not posted elsewhere on this site):

It Is Well With My Soul - December 9th
The Meaning Of Christmas - December 16th


Daily Devotional for Thursday December 1st/05

Nothing Is Too Hard

"Is there anything too hard for the LORD?" (Gen. 18:14).

Here is God's loving challenge to you and to me today. He wants us to think of the deepest, highest, worthiest desire and longing of our hearts, something which perhaps was our desire for ourselves or for someone dear to us, yet which has been so long unfulfilled that we have looked upon it as only a lost desire, that which might have been but now cannot be, and so have given up hope of seeing it fulfilled in this life.

That thing, if it is in line with what we know to be His expressed will (as a son to Abraham and Sarah was), God intends to do for us, even if we know that it is of such utter impossibility that we only laugh at the absurdity of anyone's supposing it could ever now come to pass. That thing God intends to do for us, if we will let Him.

"Is anything too hard for the Lord?" Not when we believe in Him enough to go forward and do His will, and let Him do the impossible for us. Even Abraham and Sarah could have blocked God's plan if they had continued to disbelieve.

The only thing too hard for Jehovah is deliberate, continued disbelief in His love and power, and our final rejection of His plans for us. Nothing is too hard for Jehovah to do for them that trust Him . --Messages for the Morning Watch

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Friday December 2nd/05

The Preacher

If he is young, he lacks experience; if his hair is gray, he is too old.

If he has five or six children, he has too many; if he has none, he is not setting a good example.

If his wife sings in the choir, she is forward; if she does not, she is not interested in her husband's work and is probably backslidden.

If he speaks from notes, he has canned sermons and is a bore; if extemporaneously, he is not deep enough.

If he suggests changes for improvement of the church, he is a dictator; if he makes no suggestions, he is a figurehead.

If he makes use of illustrations, he does not give enough Bible; if not, his teaching is not clearly understood.

If he fails to please somebody, he is hurting the church; if he tries to please everybody, he is a fool.

If he preaches the truth, he is insulting and meddling; if he does not preach it, he is a hypocrite.

If he preaches an hour, he is tiresome; if only twenty minutes, he is lazy.

He must have the wisdom of the owl
courage of the eagle
enterprise of the jay
disposition of the dove
and eat what keeps a canary.

He must be an economist, politician, fund-raiser, marital adviser, father confessor, disciplinarian, taxi-driver, preacher and pastor.

He must visit all the sick, and everybody else, teach a Sunday school class, direct the Y.P. and deliver sermons that are fit for publication.

Author Unknown.

Know anyone like that?

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Daily Devotional for Saturday December 3rd/05

Here is an excellent book with messages on soulwinning. If you want to rekindle your fire and fervour to reach the lost, you will truly appreciate this book. I am enjoying reading it again, and looking forward to seeing all the chapters up on BBB's study site.

The Golden Path to Successful Personal Soul Winning - By John R. Rice
Unfortunately, the copyright on this book has been renewed.

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Daily Devotional for Sunday December 4th/05

The following devotional is taken from The Comfort Of The Scriptures.

THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me" (Ps. 23:4).

The power of the Bible to concentrate into one brief statement an inexhaustible source of comfort is nowhere more wonderfully illustrated than in the central verse of the best loved chapter in the Old Testament, Psalm 23.

Here is a believer overshadowed by death. He is walking through the very valley of the shadow. What does the LORD, the SHEPHERD who has led him throughout life, have for him now? GOD gives the divine revelation that a dying Christian is simply walking through a dark valley. He will not be remaining long in that dreadful place. There is light ahead beyond the darkness.

Moreover, to the believer this is only the shadow of death, not death itself, for he possesses eternal life. He can never die. It is as though a twentieth century Christian were driving along an expressway. A truck passes and its shadow momentarily reaches out and covers him. He thinks, it is better to be run over by the shadow of a truck than by the truck itself. The shadow of death is quite a different thing from death itself.

The believer fears no evil in the dark valley because his LORD is with him. In the early part of the psalm, David is seen talking about his SHEPHERD who went before him in the past is now right by his side. Therefore he talks to Him rather than about Him. He says, "Thou art with me." He is not alone. He has a divine COMPANION with him. The One who has gone before him throughout life, leading him beside waters of quietness, and who has followed him with goodness and mercy all the days, is now with him in a way never before experienced.

Just as the shepherd's rod and staff bring assurance to a helpless sheep surrounded by enemies, so the knowledge that the GREAT SHEPHERD has power to deliver even from death comforts the Christian when he has reached the end of his earthly pilgrimage.

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Daily Devotional for Monday December 5th/05

I have truly enjoyed reading through EXPOSITORY NOTES ON THE PROPHET ISAIAH by Harry A. Ironside, and would like to pass on the following chapter. The spiritual comparisons Ironside brings out from the Scriptures between the two garments are very rich in doctrinal and devotional content.

Isaiah 59 - ADDERS' EGGS AND SPIDERS' WEBS

Unfortunately, the copyright on this book has been renewed, though we have quoted this chapter to give you a sample of the book.

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday December 6th/05

"Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me: for Thou art the God of my salvation; on Thee do I wait all the day." --Psalm 25:5

When the believer has begun with trembling feet to walk in the way of the Lord, he asks to be still led onward like a little child upheld by its parent's helping hand, and he craves to be further instructed in the alphabet of truth. Experimental teaching is the burden of this prayer. David knew much, but he felt his ignorance, and desired to be still in the Lord's school: four times over in two verses he applies for a scholarship in the college of grace. It were well for many professors if instead of following their own devices, and cutting out new paths of thought for themselves, they would enquire for the good old ways of God's own truth, and beseech the Holy Ghost to give them sanctified understandings and teachable spirits. "For thou art the God of my salvation." The Three-One Jehovah is the Author and Perfecter of salvation to His people. Reader, is He the God of your salvation? Do you find in the Father's election, in the Son's atonement, and in the Spirit's quickening, all the grounds of your eternal hopes? If so, you may use this as an argument for obtaining further blessings; if the Lord has ordained to save you, surely He will not refuse to instruct you in His ways. It is a happy thing when we can address the Lord with the confidence which David here manifests, it gives us great power in prayer, and comfort in trial. "On Thee do I wait all the day." Patience is the fair handmaid and daughter of faith; we cheerfully wait when we are certain that we shall not wait in vain. It is our duty and our privilege to wait upon the Lord in service, in worship, in expectancy, in trust all the days of our life. Our faith will be tried faith, and if it be of the true kind, it will bear continued trial without yielding. We shall not grow weary of waiting upon God if we remember how long and how graciously He once waited for us.

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday December 7th/05

God's Best

"Take the arrows... Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice and stayed. And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times" (2 Kings 13:18, 19).

How striking and eloquent the message of these words! Jehoash thought he had done very well when he duplicated and triplicated what to him was certainly an extraordinary act of faith. But the Lord and the prophet were bitterly disappointed because he had stopped half way.

He got something. He got much. He got exactly what he believed for in the final test, but he did not get all that the prophet meant and the Lord wanted to bestow. He missed much of the meaning of the promise and the fullness of the blessing. He got something better than the human, but he did not get God's best.

Beloved, how solemn is the application! How heartsearching the message of God to us! How important that we should learn to pray through! Shall we claim all the fullness of the promise and all the possibilities of believing prayer? --A. B. Simpson

"Unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Eph. 3:20).

There is no other such piling up of words in Paul's writings as these, "exceeding abundantly above all," and each word is packed with infinite love and power to "do" for His praying saints. There is one limitation, "according to the power that worketh in us." He will do just as much for us as we let Him do in us. The power that saved us, washed us with His own blood, filled us with might by His Spirit, kept us in manifold temptations, will work for us, meeting every emergency, every crisis, every circumstance, and every adversary. --The Alliance

(Taken from Streams In The Desert Devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Thursday December 8th/05

It is amazing how something that you have read in the past - but possibly didn't have a lot of impact on you at the time - suddenly hits you with new freshness and meaning after you have more personally experienced some of what the author is relating. I read this 4th chapter of Spurgeon's book Till He Come 11 months ago and liked it (as I did the rest of the book), but only today did it speak to me with comfort and exhortation in a way it didn't last year. I actually was looking through a book of sermons I had at home for some encouragement and strength. I started reading this one, thinking the title sounded familiar, but the text seemed new to me - and it hit me in a way it did not do before. I hope it is a blessing to you as well.

Over The Mountains - Sermon by Spurgeon

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Daily Devotional for Friday December 9th/05

It Is Well With My Soul

This is the theme and passage that I preached on this evening.

Read 2 Kings 4:8-37 - especially noting verses 23 and 26.

2 Kings 4:23 And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, It shall be well.

2 Kings 4:26 Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well.

This woman was distraught, but chose to trust the Lord and His promises rather than focus on her situation. She kept her eyes on the Lord and sought Him (through seeking the man of God). She didn't understand why the Lord took the life of the child He had given her by promise, but she knew He was in control, and knew it would be well with her. For all true believers in Jesus Christ, the Lord is working out all things for our good - and even in the midst of tragedies and trials, it can be well with our souls. Circumstances don't change our salvation, nor separate us from our Heavenly Father's love. When we put our eyes solidly on the Lord, rather than stumble and falter by putting them on our distressing situations, it is well with our souls.

The following was taken from a music tape, as the Introduction to this hymn:

In 1873, a Christian named H.G. Spafford wrote the hymn, "It Is Well With My Soul." It has since become a classic and is one of my favourite hymns. My heart broke when I learned the story behind the hymn. This hymn, which has been an encouragement and brought comfort and assurance to thousands of believers, was written during the darkest hour of his life.

He lived in Chicago with his wife and four daughters. His home was destroyed in the Chicago fire of 1871. During this time of tragedy, Mr. Spafford was known for his many deeds of special kindness to those in need. He suffered financial losses in 1873 and in November of that year, he decided to take his family for a visit to Europe. But as they were preparing to leave for the trip, Mr. Spafford was called away on business. He sent his wife and four daughters on ahead by ship, promising to meet them in Europe. Mr. Spafford did not know then that he would never see his children again on earth.

In the blackness of a November night, their steamship collided with another vessel and sank in the Atlantic Ocean. Over 200 people lost their lives, among them were Mr. Spafford's four daughters. Back in Chicago, Mr. Spafford heard that the ship had gone down. He waited for a message from his wife. When the message came, it read, "Saved alone." He then realized that his four precious children had been drowned. Mr. Spafford took a ship to Europe to join his wife. And while on the way, the ship passed over the place where his children had drowned. And it was here, with a broken heart and a mighty faith in God, he wrote these words:

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
"It is well, it is well, with my soul."

Chorus:
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin - oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
"Even so", it is well with my soul.

For a little more in-depth look at the story behind It Is Well With My Soul: Whatever My Lot

I ended the message with relating a little of what is happening with my Dad's health, and my family's (ie. Aunts, Uncle, stepmom and half-sister) choice not to resuscitate him the next time he stops breathing. My Dad is unsaved - and so far has rejected the Lord. When my Mom died a little over two months ago, I was able to deal with her loss because I knew she went home to Heaven and I would see her again. Focusing on my Dad's situation made me stumble and falter - UNTIL the Lord brought this hymn and this passage of Scripture back to my mind, and then I chose to focus solidly back on the Lord again.

Though trials should come, whatever my lot, it is well with my soul. Is it well with your soul?

Do you have the assurance of sins forgiven through the shed blood of Jesus Christ? Do you have the confidence that you have a home in Heaven and nothing can separate you from the love of God? If not, why not turn from your sin to the Saviour today? Then you can have the assurance that all is well with your soul and that the Lord is working out all things for your good. God is still in control.

Revelation 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

"Even so", it is well with my soul.

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Daily Devotional for Saturday December 10th/05

He Freely Gives

"He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32).

If this is not a promise in form, it is in fact. Indeed, it is more than one promise, it is a conglomerate of promises. It is a mass of rubies, and emeralds, and diamonds, with a nugget of gold for their setting. It is a question which can never be answered so as to cause us any anxiety of heart. What can the LORD deny us after giving us Jesus? If we need all things in heaven and earth, He will grant them to us: for if there had been a limit anywhere, He would have kept back His own Son.

What do I want today? I have only to ask for it. I may seek earnestly, but not as if I had to use pressure and extort an unwilling gift from the LORD's hand; for He will give freely. Of His own He gave us His own Son. Certainly no one would have proposed such a gift to Him. No one would have ventured to ask for it. It would have been too presumptuous. He freely gave His Only-begotten, and, O my soul, canst thou not trust thy heavenly Father to give thee anything, to give thee everything? Thy poor prayer would have no force with Omnipotence if force were needed; but His love, like a spring, rises of itself and overflows for the supply of all thy needs.

(Taken from Faith's Checkbook by Spurgeon)

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Daily Devotional for Sunday December 11th/05

He Will Return

"I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you" (John 14:18).

He left us, and yet we are not left orphans. He is our comfort, and He is gone; but we are not comfortless. Our comfort is that He will come to us, and this is consolation enough to sustain us through His prolonged absence. Jesus is already on His way: He says, "I come quickly": He rides posthaste toward us. He says, "I will come": and none can prevent His coming, or put it back for a quarter of an hour. He specially says, "I will come to you"; and so He will. His coming is specially to and for His own people. This is meant to be their present comfort while they mourn that the Bridegroom doth not yet appear.

When we lose the joyful sense of His presence we mourn, but we may not sorrow as if there were no hope. Our LORD in a little wrath has hid Himself from us for a moment, but He will return in full favor. He leaves us in a sense, but only in a sense. When He withdraws, He leaves a pledge behind that He will return. O LORD, come quickly! There is no life in this earthly existence if Thou be gone. We sigh for the return of Thy sweet smile. When wilt Thou come unto us? We are sure Thou wilt appear; but be Thou like a roe, or a young hart. Make no tarrying, O our God!

(Taken from Faith's Checkbook by Spurgeon)

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Daily Devotional for Monday December 12th/05

"The voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day." --Genesis 3:8

My soul, now that the cool of the day has come, retire awhile and hearken to the voice of thy God. He is always ready to speak with thee when thou art prepared to hear. If there be any slowness to commune it is not on His part, but altogether on thine own, for He stands at the door and knocks, and if His people will but open He rejoices to enter. But in what state is my heart, which is my Lord's garden? May I venture to hope that it is well trimmed and watered, and is bringing forth fruit fit for Him? If not, He will have much to reprove, but still I pray Him to come unto me, for nothing can so certainly bring my heart into a right condition as the presence of the Sun of Righteousness, who brings healing in His wings. Come, therefore, O Lord, my God, my soul invites Thee earnestly, and waits for Thee eagerly. Come to me, O Jesus, my well-beloved, and plant fresh flowers in my garden, such as I see blooming in such perfection in Thy matchless character! Come, O my Father, who art the Husbandman, and deal with me in Thy tenderness and prudence! Come, O Holy Spirit, and bedew my whole nature, as the herbs are now moistened with the evening dews. O that God would speak to me. Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth! O that He would walk with me; I am ready to give up my whole heart and mind to Him, and every other thought is hushed. I am only asking what He delights to give. I am sure that He will condescend to have fellowship with me, for He has given me His Holy Spirit to abide with me for ever. Sweet is the cool twilight, when every star seems like the eye of heaven, and the cool wind is as the breath of celestial love. My Father, my elder Brother, my sweet Comforter, speak now in lovingkindness, for Thou hast opened mine ear and I am not rebellious.

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday December 13th/05

We just started posting a new study here, and I am truly looking forward to reading the rest of it. If you love the story of Jonah, you will certainly love these studies from this book of the Bible. J. Vernon McGee has such an easy reading style, he is a pleasure to study.

Jonah - Dead or Alive? - by J. Vernon McGee

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday December 14th/05

When We're In The Dark

"I will give thee the treasures of darkness" (Isa. 45:3).

In the famous lace shops of Brussels, there are certain rooms devoted to the spinning of the finest and most delicate patterns. These rooms are altogether darkened, save for a light from one very small window, which falls directly upon the pattern. There is only one spinner in the room, and he sits where the narrow stream of light falls upon the threads of his weaving. "Thus," we are told by the guide, "do we secure our choicest products. Lace is always more delicately and beautifully woven when the worker himself is in the dark and only his pattern is in the light."

May it not be the same with us in our weaving? Sometimes it is very dark. We cannot understand what we are doing. We do not see the web we are weaving. We are not able to discover any beauty, any possible good in our experience. Yet if we are faithful and fail not and faint not, we shall some day know that the most exquisite work of all our life was done in those days when it was so dark.

If you are in the deep shadows because of some strange, mysterious providence, do not be afraid. Simply go on in faith and love, never doubting. God is watching, and He will bring good and beauty out of all your pain and tears. --J. R. Miller

The shuttles of His purpose move
To carry out His own design;
Seek not too soon to disapprove
His work, nor yet assign
Dark motives, when, with silent tread,
You view some sombre fold;
For lo, within each darker thread
There twines a thread of gold.

Spin cheerfully,
Not tearfully,
He knows the way you plod;
Spin carefully,
Spin prayerfully,
But leave the thread with God.

--Canadian Home Journal

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Thursday December 15th/05

It has been a while since I have picked up the four volume autobiography I have on Charles Spurgeon (haven't read it since I moved this summer and packed it away) - and I forgot how much I really enjoyed reading about this man of God, whom many have called the Prince of Preachers. Reading about his zeal as an young Christian to get the gospel out through whatever means has been a good exhortation and reminder of what is important. I wanted to share this quote from the book which was a personal blessing to me this morning (from page 179 of volume 1):

"As Jesus passed forth from thence, He saw a man named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom, and He saith unto him, Follow Me; and he arose and followed Him." This is a little bit of autobiography. Matthew wrote this verse about himself. I can fancy him, with his pen in his hand, writing all the rest of this Gospel; but I can imagine that, when he came to this very personal passage, he laid his pen down a minute, and wiped his eyes. He was coming to a most memorable and pathetic incident in his own life, and he recorded it with tremendous emotion. This verse reads to me so tenderly that I do not know how to communicate to you just how I feel about it. I have tried to imagine myself to be Matthew, and to have to write this story; and I am sure that, if I had not been inspired as Matthew was, I should never have done it so beautifully as he has done it, for it is so full of everything that is touching, tender, timid, true, and gracious.

I know another man, not named "Matthew" but "Charles," and the Lord said to him, "Follow Me;" and he also arose, and followed Him. I do not know all that He saw when He looked upon me, I fear that He saw nothing in me but sin, and evil, and vanity; but I believe that He did say to Himself concerning me, "I see one to whom I can teach My truth, and who, when he gets a hold of it, will grip it fast, and never let it go, and one who will not be afraid to speak it wherever he is." So the Lord saw what use He could make of me. There is an adaptation in men, even while they are unconverted, which God has put into them for their future service. Luke was qualified to write his future Gospel because he had been a physician; and Matthew was qualified to write the particular Gospel which he has left us, because he had been a publican. There may be something about your habits of life, and about your constitution, and your condition, that will qualify you for some special niche in the Church of God in the years to come. O happy day, when Jesus shall look upon you, and call you to follow Him! Happy day, when He did look upon some of us, and saw in us what His love meant to put there, that He might make of us vessels of mercy meet for the Master's use! - C.H.S.

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Daily Devotional for Friday December 16th/05

This is the message I will be preaching today (Friday), Lord willing. Wanted to remind everyone about the meaning behind the holiday we profess to be celebrating:

The Meaning of Christmas

1) The Person (ie. the names used):

Who was the person born in that manger 2000 years ago? It was God manifest in the flesh (see 1 Timothy 3:16 and John 1:1, 14), the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Isaiah 43:3 For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.

Isaiah 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

Isaiah 45:21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

2) The Promise - the forgiveness of sins:

This is the main reason why Jesus came:

Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Luke 2:10-11 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator;
If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist;
If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist;
If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer;
But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Saviour!
~Source unknown~

3) The Present (ie. the Gift given):

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

What do you do with a gift? You receive it. Have you received God's gift of salvation, found only in the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Saviour?

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

December 14th/05
Jerry Bouey

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Daily Devotional for Saturday December 17th/05

The following excerpt is taken from chapter four of Jonah - Dead Or Alive? by J. Vernon McGee.

The first verse of Chapter Three of Jonah has a most heartening statement for faltering and fumbling men. This word of encouragement is as follows: "The word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time." This verse presents to us the GOD of the second chance...

Five Examples of Man's Second Chance

1. Jacob failed again and again until he became a disgrace and a source of embarrassment to GOD, but GOD did not let go. At Peniel He tackled this man directly and brought him to the place of decision. After this, Jacob was different. Let us rejoice that GOD did not reject Jacob after the first mistake, and the second, and the third. He is faithful.

2. David commited an awful sin and men have wanted to stone him for it. But GOD never did give him up. He made David give up the sins. David wrote the 23rd, the 32nd and the 51st Psalms after his awful failure. Are you not happy that GOD did not reject David?

3. Peter stumbled and fell, getting himself dirty, but he got up and started out again. He failed his LORD, but his LORD never failed him, and Peter was restored.

4. John Mark failed on the missionary journey with Paul and Barnabas. Even Paul refused to take him on the next venture, but GOD never refused him, and we read that even the great Apostle Paul changed his mind regarding Mark, "Take Mark and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry." This appears in the "swan song" of the Apostle, his final letter to Timothy, his death-bed statement. Mark made good. Paul admitted he was wrong - GOD was right.

5. For the fifth illustration of GOD's second chance to man, I should like to tell of a modern "Jonah." This series of messages was given in 1946 on Dr. Talbot's radio program which he was conducting then at nine o'clock every evening. After the writer had spoken of this heartening statement concerning the second chance given to Jonah, a medical doctor in Beverly Hills wrote me a very interesting letter, telling a story which has been repeated at least a thousand times: This doctor, like Jonah, had stumbled and fallen. He had occupied a prominent position in a large church, but was properly relieved of all offices and was unceremoniously excluded from fellowship in the church.

He was assured that he was finished, as far as his church was concerned, and no one made an attempt to restore him. The doctor accepted this ultimatum as the decision of the LORD; consequently, he became very bitter.

Even though he greatly desired to return to the LORD many times, he did not know how to do so. When I told of the prodigal son coming home in confession and that GOD's method for a sinning son to come home is found in I John 1:9 - "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" - he wrote that he fairly ran back into the arms of JESUS in confession, stating also that Jonah 3:1 had become the most important verse in the Bible for him.

If Jonah Had Refused to Go to Nineveh the Second Time, What Would Have Happened?

The question has been logically asked, "If Jonah had refused to go the second time, what would have happened?" The answer, we believe, is obvious. There would have been another experience within a fish. If Jonah had bought a second ticket to Tarshish there would have been another fish prepared to receive him. GOD would have seen to it that His servant did not go to Tarshish.

There is another element involved here. GOD's purpose of grace cannot be frustrated. If there were any possibility that Nineveh would turn to GOD, then GOD would see to it that Nineveh heard the message. If Jonah would not go, then another messenger would be raised up to go. If we, in this present day, will not preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth, then GOD will raise up another instrument. GOD is not, and was not in Jonah's day, limited by the lack of vision or the hardness of heart on the part of His chosen messenger.

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Daily Devotional for Sunday December 18th/05

The following Illustrations are taken from Knight's Master Book of New Illustrations

Wild Sheep!

"I was a guest at a big sheep ranch. The rancher and I were riding along a ridge, flanking a deep canyon, when three sheep appeared from among the boulders. They stood for a moment with heads up, eyes frightened, one front foot up, poised to run, then crashed through the canyon and were gone.

"I voiced my surprise that wild sheep were still to be found on this ranch.

"'Not so,' replied the rancher, 'these are the sheep that my herder failed to count in three evenings ago.' Three thousand gentle sheep grazed in the valley below us. Three nights without a shepherd had made this difference!

"In JESUS' parable, it is suggested that the shepherd felt deeply the loss of his sheep or feared what the wolves might do to it. But his distress was also caused by fear of what would happen within the sheep itself.

- United Evangelical

A Matter of Tense

When Hudson Taylor was on his way to China, he was accosted one day by the Ship's captain.

"Taylor, do you think the heathen will be lost if you don't go to China?"

"I think the heathen are lost. That's why I go to China."

- Sunday School Promoter

Misdirected

A terrible blizzard was raging over the eastern part of the States, making more and more difficult the progress of a train that was slowly racing its way along.

Among the passengers was a woman with a child, who was much concerned lest she should not get off at the right station. A gentleman, seeing her anxiety, said:

"Do not worry. I know the road well, and I will tell you when you come to your station."

In due course the train stopped at the station before the one at which the woman wanted to get off.

"The next station will be yours, ma'am," said the gentleman.

Then they went on, and in a few minutes the train stopped again.

"Now is your time, ma'am; get out quickly," he said.

The woman took up her child, and thanking the man, left the train. At the next stop, the brakeman called out the name of the station where the woman had wished to get off.

"You have already stopped at this station," called the man to the brakeman. "No, sir," he replied, "something was wrong with the engine, and we stopped for a few moments to repair it!"

"Alas!" cried the passenger, "I put that woman off in the storm when the train stopped between stations!" Afterwards, they found her with her child in her arms. Both were frozen to death! It was the terrible and tragic consequence of wrong direction being given! Still more terrible are the results of misdirecting souls!

- Billy Sunday

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Daily Devotional for Monday December 19th/05

The following illustrations are taken from Knight's Master Book of New Illustrations

Should Not Be Postponed

In 1871 I preached a series of sermons on the life of CHRIST in old Farwell hall, Chicago, for the nights. I took Him from the cradle and followed Him up to the judgment hall, and on that occasion I consider I made as great a blunder as ever I made in my life. It was upon that memorable night in October, and the court-house bell was sounding an alarm of fire, but I paid no attention to it. You know we were accustomed to hear the fire-bell often, and it didn't disturb us much when it sounded. I finished the sermon upon "What Shall I Do with JESUS?" and said to the audience:

"Now I want you to take the question with you and think it over, and next Sunday I want you to come back and tell me what you are going to do with Him."

What a mistake! It seems now as if Satan was in my mind when I said this. Since then I never have dared give an audience a week to think of their salvation. If they were lost, they might rise up in judgment against me. "Now is the accepted time."

I remember Mr. Sankey singing, and how his voice rang when he came to that pleading verse:

"To-day the SAVIOUR calls,
For refuge fly!
The storm of Justice falls,
And death is nigh!"

After the meeting we went home. I remember going down LaSalle street with a young man, and saw the glare of flames. I said to the young man:

"This means ruin to Chicago."

About one o'clock Farwell hall was burned; soon the church in which I had preached went down, and everything was scattered. I never saw that audience again.

- D. L. Moody

Saving the Clothes

Someone has illustrated the value of a soul with a modern parable in this striking manner.

A householder took a trip into a far country and left with his servant a child and the child's clothes. After awhile he returned and the servant said to him: "Sir, here are all the child's clothes. They are in excellent condition - clean, and mended, and pressed. But as for the child, I know not where it is." So in the last day some one will say "LORD, here is my body. I have neglected nothing that belongs to it. It is strong, and well, and beautiful. But as for my soul - I have lost it!"

- The Presbyterian

All Were Lost Alike!

It was a dark, winter's night. The rain was falling fast, and there was nothing more inviting than the warm glow of the fire before which we were sitting.

There was a knock at the front door. The farmer went to answer it, as the rest of the household had gone to their beds.

Coming back to me he said, he had heard that all his sheep were missing from the field where they had been placed by him. He must go to find them.

So, having prepared with waterproofs and lanterns, we went forth into the darkness.

In one of the hedges of the field, where the sheep had been left, the farmer discovered what he called "a bolting hole." A strong sheep had worked its way through at that point, and would be followed by all the others.

It was either in the third or fourth field that we came up with the straying animals. And then we found them scattered over the pasture. No two of them seemed to be together. Each had chosen its own course, regardless of the path another had taken. All were lost alike.

Then, each had followed its own heart. "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way!" ALL sinners are lost alike. But each sinner has gone the way of his own choosing!

- Watchman-Examiner

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday December 20th/05

God Manifest In Flesh

When Jesus described the heart He called it a treasure chest, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth good things; and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things." (Matthew 12:35)

Whenever I read this text I always think of a treasure chest, a place where the real nature of a man abides. Inside every one of us there is a strongbox of treasured values and morals and deepest beliefs. This is where we keep our memories, our loves and hates, our ambitions and our attitudes. These we guard jealously and protect as our own peculiar treasure. You have a treasure chest in your bosom and so do I. The Saviour said so.

Much of the treasure that is stored away in our hearts is never brought out and put on display. It is too private, too personal, too peculiar, and many times it is too perverse. We would be embarrassed for others to know what rubbish we have been saving up.

We will close the lid on the contents of our treasure chest. But I must tell you that the contents of our treasure chests are not all secret. The Saviour said, "…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." (Matt. 12:34) He says the treasure chest leaks, it overflows into our words. Solomon described this overflow as being like a spring, "Keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life." (Proverbs 4:23)

A survey of the Scriptures reveals some painful facts.

Our words and our works and our attitudes and our relationships and our appearance and our worship conspire to show others what is in our treasure chest. Embarrassing, isn't it?

But this treasure chest analogy has a bright side to it as well. You see, the Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ is God incarnate. All His words and works and relationships and appearance and worship of God blended harmoniously to reveal the heart of God. It is true that our Lord concealed His own glory in His humanity. But it is also true that He revealed the glory of the Father in all He did.

When my Saviour opened the treasure chest of His heart, He brought forth the Diamonds of His Deity, the Rubies of His Righteousness, the Pearls of His Power, the Gold of His Father's Glory, the Garnets of His Grace, the Jasper of His Justice, the Sapphires of His Sovereignty, the Jade of His Joy, the Amethysts of His Affections, and the Opals of His Omniscience.

Is it any wonder the temple guards returned empty handed when they were sent to arrest Him, saying, "Never man spake like this man!" Is it any wonder Niocodemus honoured our Lord with the words, "No man can do these works that thou doest except God be with him?" Is it any wonder the apostle Paul described his own life goal as being, "That I may know Him?" Is it any wonder we who know Him find Him to be altogether lovely?

Is it any wonder that we fall down speechless at His feet in eternal wonder that He has bestowed His treasure in these earthen vessels?

All glory to His Name!

Buddy Smith
[email protected]
Used With Permission

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday December 21st/05

THE EVERLASTING ARMS

"The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them" (Deut 33:27).

Something extraordinary must be contained in a phrase which continues to be cherished for 3500 years, as has the text before us. The eternal GOD is our refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. What does it matter if an abyss yawns before us, since the arms of GOD are waiting to catch us as we reach the brink? These words are like manna to the weary who long for rest and to the lonely who think no one cares whether they live or die.

This is only one of several references in Deuteronomy 33 revealing the LORD's personal interest in His own. Look at verse 3, "Yea, he loved the people." We are in His heart! He who loved the world and gave His Son for it loves the saved in a special way. We cherish the words of Galatians 2:20, "the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me," and Isaiah 43:1, "I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine."

Verse 3 (of Deut. 33) continues, "All his saints are in thy hand," which opens to us another body of truth. If we fall, we are not utterly cast down, for the LORD upholds us with His hand as we stumble (Ps. 37:24). He will never leave nor forsake us. He has graven us upon the palms of His pierced hands (Isa. 49:16). We are encouraged to pray, "let thine hand help me," (Ps. 119:173), and to say with assurance, "thy right hand upholdeth me" (Ps. 63:8).

Another comforting revelation is suggested by verse 3: "They sat down at thy feet; every one shall receive of thy words." We too have the privilege of sitting down to learn of Him as did the demoniac of Luke 8:35, and as Mary who "sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word" (Luke 10:39).

One more suggestive phrase appears in Deuteronomy 33:12, "he shall dwell between his shoulders." The plural form is important here. Although the government of the universe is to be upon His shoulder (Isa. 9:6), when it comes to the salvation of lost sinners, He bears them on His shoulders (Luke 15:5).

Here is true comfort and assurance. We are upon GOD's heart, in His hands, at His feet, upon His shoulders, and in His arms. Happy are we: who is like us, a people saved by the LORD! (Deut. 33:29)

(Taken from The Comfort Of The Scriptures)

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Daily Devotional for Thursday December 22nd/05

IN THE FURNACE OF AFFLICTION

"Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction" (Isa. 48:10).

If we think sometimes our experiences are so grievous that it is almost as though we had been cast into a fiery furnace like the three Hebrew young men in Babylon, we are on solid scriptural ground. A number of Bible texts liken the trials of a life well pleasing in GOD's sight to a furnace of affliction. It was in such a furnace that GOD chose Israel, and through such a furnace we all must pass on our way to glory.

The New Testament speaks of "the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire." It refers also to "the fiery trial which is to try you" (I Pet. 1:7; 4:12). These startling figures have their roots in the Old Testament.

There is, for example, Proverbs 17:3, "The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts." We may place alongside this text Psalm 66:10, "Thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried." Our hearts need divine discipline. Faith must be tested to show its genuineness.

Furthermore, like the people of Israel we need to be refined. The LORD said He would "refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried" (Zech. 13:9). "I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin" (Isa. 1:25).

We need refining so that we may be purified. "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver" (Mal. 3:3). To these texts may be added one more. "Wherefore glorify ye the LORD in the fires" (Isa. 24:15).

King Solomon in his prayer at the dedication of the temple referred to Israel as "thy people, and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest forth out of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron" (I Kings 8:51). If our furnace of affliction seems almost more than we can bear, we must remember that we too will be brought forth from it some day. In the meantime, we can pray, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psa. 139:23-24).

(Taken from The Comfort Of The Scriptures)

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Daily Devotional for Friday December 23rd/05

The following illustrations on the Love Of God are taken from Knight's Master Book of New Illustrations.

The Gospel Mirrors

A banker in New York had a great desire to get the Gospel to the soldiers at Sandy Hook, but was not permitted to carry the message to them in person. But his longing desire to help these men was not to be easily thwarted, so he called on a firm which manufactured advertising novelties and had them make several thousand small mirrors about three inches in diameter. On the celluloid back of each of these mirrors he had printed the words of John 3:16. Beneath the words of this inscription was written, "If you want to see who it is that GOD loves and for whom He gave His Son, look on the other side." These mirrors were distributed among the soldiers with the permission of the officers, and thus each man looking into the mirror would see the object of GOD's love and the one whom the SAVIOUR came to save.

- From The Doctors Best Love Story by Walter L. Wilson, M.D.

Herein is Love

A gentleman who was a professed Christian was taken seriously ill. He became troubled about the little love he felt in his heart for GOD, and spoke of his experience to a friend. This is how the friend answered him: "When I go home from here, I expect to take my baby on my knee, look into her sweet eyes, listen to her charming prattle, and, tired as I am, her presence will rest me; for I love that child with unutterable tenderness. But she loves me little. If my heart were breaking it would not disturb her sleep. If my body were racked with pain, it would not interrupt her play. If I were dead, she would forget me in a few days. Besides this, she has never brought me a penny, but was a constant expense to me. I am not rich, but there is not money enough in the world to buy my baby. How is it? Does she love me, or do I love her? Do I withhold my love until I know she loves me? Am I waiting for her to do something worthy of my love before extending it"?

This practical illustration of the love of GOD for His children caused the tears to roll down the sick man's face.

"Oh, I see," he exclaimed, "it is not my love to GOD, but GOD's love for me, that I should be thinking of. And I do love Him now as I never loved Him before." "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us" (I John 4:10).

- Gospel Herald

Letting the LORD Love Her

An old Scotch woman who was alone for the greater part of the day was asked, "What do you do during the day?" "Well," she said, "I get my hymn book, and I have a little hymn of praise to the LORD." Then she added, "I get my Bible and let the LORD speak to me. When I am tired of reading, and I cannot sing any more, I just sit still and let the LORD love me."

- Moody Monthly

Not Changed by the Wind

C. H. Spurgeon was talking to a farmer who had on his barn a weather vane on the arrow of which was inscribed, "God is love." He said to the farmer: "What do you mean by that? Do you think GOD's love is changeable - that it veers about as the arrow turns in the wind?" The farmer answered, "Oh, no! I mean that whichever way the wind blows, GOD is still love."

- Christian Digest

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Daily Devotional for Saturday December 24th/05

The following was posted in part by someone else, and I found some more passages to add to the theme. Worthy of meditation.

Just a Few Responses of Willing Servants

Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Matthew 4:19-20 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

1 Samuel 3:10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, "Samuel, Samuel". Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

Acts 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

Genesis 6:22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

Genesis 39:9 There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?

Daniel 3:17-18 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

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Daily Devotional for Sunday December 25th/05

Mary Had A Little Lamb - A Christmas Message

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Daily Devotional for Monday December 26th/05

Call Back

"It shall turn to you for a testimony" (Luke 21:13).

Life is a steep climb, and it does the heart good to have somebody "call back" and cheerily beckon us on up the high hill. We are all climbers together, and we must help one another. This mountain climbing is serious business, but glorious. It takes strength and steady step to find the summits. The outlook widens with the altitude. If anyone among us has found anything worth while, we ought to "call back."

If you have gone a little way ahead of me, call back -
'Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track;
And if, perchance, Faith's light is dim, because the oil is low,
Your call will guide my lagging course as wearily I go.

Call back, and tell me that He went with you into the storm;
Call back, and say He kept you when the forest's roots were torn;
That, when the heavens thunder and the earthquake shook the hill,
He bore you up and held you where the very air was still.

Oh, friend, call back, and tell me for I cannot see your face,
They say it glows with triumph, and your feet bound in the race;
But there are mists between us and my spirit eyes are dim,
And I cannot see the glory, though I long for word of Him.

But if you'll say He heard you when your prayer was but a cry,
And if you'll say He saw you through the night's sin-darkened sky,
If you have gone a little way ahead, oh, friend, call back -
'Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track.

--Selected

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday December 27th/05

Remember His Benefits

Rejoice In The Lord Always

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday December 28th/05

The following two quotes were taken from Spurgeon's Autobiography, Volume 1, pages 203-204, 206-207.

If a man be truly called to the ministry, I will defy him to withhold himself from it. A man who has really within him the inspiration of the Holy Ghost calling him to preach, cannot help it, - he must preach. As fire within the bones, so will that influence be until it blazes forth. Friends may check him, foes criticise him, despisers sneer at him, the man is indomitable; he must preach if he has the call of Heaven. All earth might forsake him; but he would preach to the barren mountain-tops. If he has the call of Heaven, if he had no congregation, he would preach to the rippling waterfalls, and let the brooks hear his voice. He could not be silent. He would become a voice crying in the wilderness, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord." I no more believe it possible to stop ministers than to stop the stars of heaven. I think it no more possible to make a man cease from preaching, if he is really called, than to stay some mighty cataract, by seeking, in an infant's cup, to catch the rushing torrent. The man has been moved of Heaven, who shall stop him? He has been touched of God, who shall impede him? With an eagle's wing, he must fly; who shall chain him to the earth? With a seraph's voice, he must speak; who shall seal his lips? And when a man does speak as the Spirit gives him utterance, he will feel a holy joy akin to that of Heaven; and when it is over, he wishes to be at his work again, he longs to be once more preaching. Is not the Lord's Word like a fire within me? Must I not speak if God has placed it there?

In my earlier days, I read, somewhere or other, in a volume of Lectures upon Homiletics, a statement which considerably alarmed me at the time; it was something to this effect: - "If any man shall find a difficulty in selecting a text, he had better at once go back to the grocer's shop, or to the plough, for he evidently has not the capacity required for a minister." Now, as such had been very frequently my cross and burden, I enquired within myself whether I should resort to some form of secular labour, and leave the ministry; but I have not done so, for I still have the conviction that, although condemned by the sweeping judgment of the lecturer, I follow a call to which God has manifestly set His seal. I was so much in trouble of conscience through the aforesaid severe remark, that I asked my grandfather, who had been in the ministry some fifty years, whether he was ever perplexed in choosing his theme. He told me frankly that this had always been his greatest trouble, compared with which, preaching in itself was no anxiety at all. I remember the venerable man's remark, "The difficulty is not because there are not enough texts, but because there are so many, that I am in a strait betwixt them." We are something like the lover of choice flowers, who finds himself surrounded by all the beauties of the garden, with permission to select but one. How long he lingers between the rose and the lily, and how great the difficulty to prefer one among ten thousand lovely blooms! To me, still, I must admit, my text-selection is a very great embarrassment, - embarras de richesse, as the French say, - an embarrassment of riches, very different from the bewilderment of poverty, - the anxiety of attending to the most pressing of so many truths, all clamouring for a hearing, so many duties all needing enforcing, and so many spiritual needs of the people all demanding supply. I confess that I frequently sit hour after hour praying and waiting for a subject, and that this is the main part of my study; much hard labour have I spent in manipulating topics, ruminating upon points of doctrine, making skeletons out of verses, and then burying every bone of them in the catacombs of oblivion, drifting on and on over leagues of broken water, till I see the red lights, and make sail direct to the desired haven. I believe that, almost any Saturday in my life, I prepare enough outlines of Sermons, if I felt at liberty to preach them, to last me for a month, but I no more dare to use them than an honest mariner would run to shore a cargo of contraband goods.

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Daily Devotional for Thursday December 29th/05

If you want to be a better soulwinner - I highly recommend John R. Rice's book, The Golden Path to Successful Personal Soul Winning. If you have the time and inclination, I would suggest reading the whole book; but if you are unable to do that certain chapters, like the following, would be of tremendous asset.

Our Sinful Neglect
Unfortunately, the copyright on this book has been renewed.

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Daily Devotional for Friday December 30th/05

THEY SHALL BE COMFORTED

"Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted" (Matt. 5:4).

The Beatitudes have primarily in view that future time when the meek shall inherit the earth, the pure in heart shall see GOD and the persecuted will receive their reward. However, there is a present application.

CHRIST is to "comfort all that mourn" when He comes again (Isa. 61:2), but one reason for His first coming also was to comfort afflicted humanity (Luke 4:18). He promised not to leave us comfortless but rather to turn our sorrow into joy: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy" (John 16:20).

How does He bring comfort to His people today? He calls Christians to engage in the ministry of healing the broken hearted for His sake. To these persons who refresh the saints, whether they be SPIRIT-taught pastors or godly men and women in other walks of life, the words of Isaiah 40:1 come with peculiar force, "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God."

He also permits certain of His people to pass through tribulation so that they will be able to comfort others who are in trouble, by the comfort wherewith they themselves have been comforted of GOD (II Cor. 1:4). A strange and wonderful divine touch is given to some believers, which enables them to minister to others in time of need.

Our GOD also speaks directly through the Bible to those who mourn. The psalmist said of the Word upon which the LORD had caused him to hope, "This is my comfort in my affliction" (Ps. 119:50). Bereaved Christians are admonished to "comfort one another with these words" (I Thess. 4:18). There is a noticeable difference during a time of sorrow between believers who have lived in the Word of GOD and those who have not. A knowledge of the Bible provides supernatural strength for such an hour.

There can be no doubt that in addition to these revealed sources of comfort, a personal ministry is carried on by the HOLY SPIRIT in the hearts of Christians. Many have testified to it. "Though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies" (Lam. 3:32). He has said, "I, even I, am he that comforteth you" (Isa. 51:12), and again, "As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you" (Isa. 66:13).

(Taken from The Comfort Of The Scriptures)

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Daily Devotional for Saturday December 31st/05

51. No Time To Sleep

"What meanest thou, O sleeper? Arise, Call upon thy God" (Jonah 1:6).

GOD commissioned Jonah to go to Nineveh and warn that city of its approaching doom; but instead, he took ship to Tarshish, and while on board fell asleep. Here is a man asleep:

I. WHILE PURSUING A DEPLORABLE COURSE OF CONDUCT

1. He is on his way from GOD; not physically, (this is impossible), but morally. What a distance there is between some and their MASTER.
2. This is true of all who reject GOD's offers of mercy, disobey his commands, harden their hearts, forsake his house.
3. Whither they travel who go away from GOD:

- To a death whose night is starless.
- To a judgment that will be appalling.
- To a hell whose fires are unquenchable.

II. ASLEEP WHILE IN GREATEST PERIL

1. GOD permits him to have his way, the ship ready - Jonah pays his fare, honest with men, but not with GOD - glides away, falls asleep.
2. GOD begins to act; sends out a great wind, (Jonah 1:4) so that the ship was likely to be broken.

III. ASLEEP AND IMPERILING HIS OWN CREW

How many a man is imperiling his own family, neighborhood, church, while he sleeps calmly on.

IV. ASLEEP WHILE OTHERS CALL UPON THEIR GOD

1. What would become of our homes, our churches our country, if the godly ceased to pray!?
2. How many there are who should be praying for mercy and calling upon GOD for deliverance instead of slumbering.

V. ASLEEP WHEN MYRIADS OF HEATHEN HAVE NEVER HEARD THE GOSPEL

Nineveh, with its vast population of men, women and children, dying - starving for the bread of life, and Jonah ASLEEP!

1. O, SINNER AWAKE!
2. FLEE FROM THE WRATH TO COME.

(Taken from Preach The Word)

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