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Daily Devotionals For March 2006

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List of main devotionals written by Jerry for these March 2006 Devotionals (not posted elsewhere on this site):

Why I Am An Ambassador For Christ - March 4th
Running The Race Of The Christian Life - March 18th


Daily Devotional for Wednesday March 1st/06

"And the Lord said unto Moses, Is the Lord's hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not" (Numbers 11:23).

Sometimes when things are discouraging it is hard for the strongest Christians to trust GOD completely and against hope to believe in hope. Moses himself was ready to say, "Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?" (Psalm 78:19) Surely this was his weakness.

"Is the Lord's hand waxed short?" If Moses had remembered the years of the right hand of the Most High, he would not have doubted GOD's Word now. Had he forgotten what wonders GOD worked for Israel when He sent the plagues upon Egypt, divided the Red Sea, brought water out of the rock, and rained bread from heaven? Had that power abated? Was GOD weaker now than He used to be?

Regardless of what our unbelieving hearts may think, GOD's hand has not waxed short, for with GOD nothing is impossible. Therefore, when human means fail, let us ask ourselves, "Is any thing too hard for the Lord?" (Genesis 18:14)

Consider who "measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance!" (Isaiah 40:12) This ought to silence our fears.

"Thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not." When GOD speaks, it is done. Regardless of what may happen in this world, it is comforting for GOD's people to remember that JESUS said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:35).

(Taken from Moments Of Meditation by Matthew Henry)

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Daily Devotional for Thursday March 2nd/06

Do you ever have doubts about your salvation? Do you ever wonder if you've done what God has said to get into Heaven? Would you like to have full assurance of salvation, based completely on the Word of God - assurance that you can rest your heart and soul on for eternity? Here is an excellent book that looks at this very important issue.

Full Assurance by Harry Ironside

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Daily Devotional for Friday March 3rd/06

"And of his fulness have all we received." - John 1:16

These words tell us that there is a fulness in Christ. There is a fulness of essential Deity, for "in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead." There is a fulness of perfect manhood, for in Him, bodily, that Godhead was revealed. There is a fulness of atoning efficacy in His blood, for "the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin." There is a fulness of justifying righteousness in His life, for "there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." There is a fulness of divine prevalence in His plea, for "He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him; seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them." There is a fulness of victory in His death, for through death He destroyed him that had the power of death, that is the devil. There is a fulness of efficacy in His resurrection from the dead, for by it we are "begotten... again unto a lively hope." There is a fulness of triumph in His ascension, for "when He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men." There is a fulness of blessings of every sort and shape; a fulness of grace to pardon, of grace to regenerate, of grace to sanctify, of grace to preserve, and of grace to perfect. There is a fulness at all times; a fulness of comfort in affliction; a fulness of guidance in prosperity. A fulness of every divine attribute, of wisdom, of power, of love; a fulness which it were impossible to survey, much less to explore. "It pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell." Oh, what a fulness must this be of which all receive! Fulness, indeed, must there be when the stream is always flowing, and yet the well springs up as free, as rich, as full as ever. Come, believer, and get all thy need supplied; ask largely, and thou shalt receive largely, for this "fulness" is inexhaustible, and is treasured up where all the needy may reach it, even in Jesus, Immanuel - God with us.

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Saturday March 4th/06

Here is the message I preached on Friday (partly based on several points my pastor brought forth last Sunday):

Why I Am An Ambassador For Christ

Many people ask why Christians are so concerned about what others believe about spiritual matters - especially in regards to salvation (where they will spend eternity). I have heard someone say, "What business is it of yours?" It matters to me and is my business, because God Himself has made me (and all true believers in Christ) an ambassador.

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ.

What is an ambassador?

An ambassador is an official representative of his own king or country - often sent with a message. As a Christian, I am a representative of the King of Kings, the Lord Jesus Christ, who has saved me by His grace. Not only do I represent my King, He has also given me a message to declare to others.

Five Reasons Why I Am An Ambassador:

1) Because of my home in Heaven.

I am assured of and know of this country and how to get there (ie. how to have peaceful relations with it, and one day dwell permanently there).

2 Corinthians 5:1-4, 6-9 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

My current body is a tabernacle (tent), a temporary dwelling. It is getting old and decaying - but my permanent home is in Heaven. I know the way there and can show others how to get there. How? Because I walk by faith - I trust the Word of Another, who has given assurance that those who believe in Him will have this eternal home. The moment they place their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, they are made citizens of that same Heavenly country. Though our temporary bodies (tabernacles) are decaying, all true believers have an eternal home in Heaven - that is the first reason I am an ambassador for Christ, sharing the hope that is laid up for me.

1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

2) Because of future judgment.

2 Corinthians 5:10-11 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

One day I will have to give account for my service to my King. Have I represented Him faithfully? Have I told others how they can have peace with my Lord? Have I carried this message of salvation to those around me, or have I neglected this area of service? One day all my work will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ (where only believers will be judged) - not my salvation, that has already been determined the moment I received the Lord Jesus Christ, trusting in His finished work upon the cross of Calvary. Will I receive rewards or lose them based upon my faithfulness of lack thereof? Out of fear and reverence toward my Heavenly Father, I am an ambassador for Him, representing Him to others. Because I love Him, I don't want to sin against Him - and when I do, it grieves me afterwards. That is one type of the fear of the Lord, having utmost respect for my Lord and wanting to serve Him faithfully. This fear will keep me from sin and clinging close to Him, will keep me in His Word and in His will. This is the fear that our Heavenly Father desires that all His children have.

There is another type of fear. That is the fear or terror the lost person has of one day being judged by God for their sins, being judged by the Saviour they rejected. In Revelation 20, the Bible talks about the Great White Throne Judgment (where only unbelievers will appear and be judged) - where all the lost will be judged for their evil deeds and rejection of the Saviour and His gift of salvation. That is the terror of the Lord. The only way to avoid this terror and learn the proper fear of the Lord, is to repent of your sins and to trust the Saviour to save you from them. He already bore your penalty and died in your place - now it is up to you to turn to Jesus and receive Him as your Saviour.

That is the second reason I am an ambassador for Christ - I do not to have to give account for neglecting my service to my Lord; nor do I want other believers to have to give account for their lack of faithfulness to Him, or if they are unsaved, for rejection of the Saviour.

3) Because love compels me to.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

Because of the love of Christ, I am an ambassador. God's love constrains me, compels me, convicts me to go out and speak to others about Him. Because of the fact that my Saviour died and rose for me, I should die to myself and live for Him. Because of all that Jesus has done for me in saving me and providing for all my needs, I should present my body as a living sacrifice, and in love serve Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. When my love for others wanes, I need to be quickened and revived at the thought of my Saviour's love for me, and then I am constrained once again to be an ambassador to others.

4) Because I am a new creature.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

I am an ambassador for Christ because when I placed my faith in Him, He saved me forever, gave me eternal life, and made me a new creature in His sight. I no longer have the same desires, I have new ones - everything has been changed, my sin has been forgiven and cleansed, washed away in Christ's blood. Now I have the Holy Spirit indwelling me, teaching me from His Word, giving me grace and power to live acceptable to Him, filling me with His love to reach out to others.

I know the difference salvation makes in my own life, and I am an ambassador because I know the Lord desires to save others and make them new creatures in His sight. If you have never turned to the Lord Jesus Christ, you can turn from your sins and receive Him today - then He will cleanse you, make you new, give you a new beginning and a new purpose in Him.

5) Because God gave me this ministry of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:18-21 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

I am an ambassador because the Lord gave me His message of salvation to carry to others. I don't carry my own message, but one which He has given me in His Word - the ministry of reconciliation, telling others how to be reconciled to God.

Reconciliation carries this idea: through sin man has turned his back upon God, and out of holiness and righteousness, God had to turn His back upon man. But out of love for fallen man, the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. When Jesus died upon the cross, the Father was in the Son reconciling the world unto Himself - because of Jesus' sacrifice for our sins, because of His shed blood, the Lord turned back to man and compels man to turn back to Him. My ministry as an ambassador is to tell you how to be reconciled to the Saviour, how to turn to Him - so that you and God may be face to face, reconciled and at peace with one another. (By the way, it is only through Jesus that you can have this peace with God - that is the only way the Lord has provided and will accept.)

When God looks at fallen man, He sees our unrighteousness - apart from Him, all our righteousness are as filthy rags in His sight (see Isaiah 64:6), compared to His perfect righteousness and holiness, any "good" that we do is corrupt and unworthy. That is why we could never earn salvation - we could never be good enough. We have already failed and broken God's laws, we have already missed the mark. The wages of our sin is death and eternity in Hell, separated from God forever. But the Lord Jesus Christ paid that penalty for our sins, He took our judgment when He died in our place. If we are willing to receive Him as our own personal Saviour, we will be clothed in His righteousness, and be reconciled to God. Jesus Christ bore our sin, and we can have His righteousness through faith - we can be clothed in God's sight, we don't need to be found naked when judgment day comes.

This is my message, my ministry of reconciliation, the authority I have been given by God to be His ambassador and represent Him to others. I am to tell others of my home country (Heaven) and how to get there; warn them of the dangers of Hell and its reality, as well as warn that we must all give account to the Lord someday; His love constrains me, and as a new creature I have the desire to win others to Him; and lastly, I have been given this wonderful ministry and message of reconciliation.

Are you reconciled to God? You can come to Him today.

2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

March 5th/06
Jerry Bouey

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Daily Devotional for Sunday March 5th/06

Alone With God

"And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day" (Gen. 32:24).

Left alone! What different sensations those words conjure up to each of us. To some they spell loneliness and desolation, to others rest and quiet. To be left alone without God, would be too awful for words, but to be left alone with Him is a foretaste of Heaven! If His followers spent more time alone with Him, we should have spiritual giants again.

The Master set us an example. Note how often He went to be alone with God; and He had a mighty purpose behind the command, "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray."

The greatest miracles of Elijah and Elisha took place when they were alone with God. It was alone with God that Jacob became a prince; and just there that we, too, may become princes -- "men (aye, and women too!) wondered at" (Zech. 3:8). Joshua was alone when the Lord came to him. (Josh. 1:1) Gideon and Jephthah were by themselves when commissioned to save Israel. (Judges 6:11 and 11:29) Moses was by himself at the wilderness bush. (Exodus 3:1-5) Cornelius was praying by himself when the angel came to him. (Acts 10:3) No one was with Peter on the house top, when he was instructed to go to the Gentiles. (Acts 10:9) John the Baptist was alone in the wilderness (Luke 1:80), and John the Beloved alone in Patmos, when nearest God. (Rev. 1:9)

Covet to get alone with God. If we neglect it, we not only rob ourselves, but others too, of blessing, since when we are blessed we are able to pass on blessing to others. It may mean less outside work; it must mean more depth and power, and the consequence, too, will be "they saw no man, save Jesus only."

To be alone with God in prayer cannot be over-emphasized.

"If chosen men had never been alone,
In deepest silence open-doored to God,
No greatness ever had been dreamed or done."

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Monday March 6th/06

The following is from chapter three of Harry Ironside's Addresses On The Gospel Of John. While you may or may not agree with his interpretation of this verse, he does present some very sobering food for thought. I wanted to share that with you.

"No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him." He has fully manifested the character of God.

But now look at the first clause of this verse, "No man hath seen God at any time." What does that mean? Do we not read again and again in the Old Testament of people who saw God? Is it not taken for granted that when Adam and Eve lived in the garden in all their purity and heard His voice as they walked in the garden in the cool of the day, when He called unto Adam, that in some sense they saw God, and hid themselves among the trees of the garden, their guilty consciences condemning them?

Abraham saw that mystic One of the three who came to him as he sat in the tent-door, and he talked to Him as the Lord Jehovah. Moses said, "Shew me Thy glory," and the Lord said, "Thou canst not see My face: for there shall no man see Me, and live... Behold, there is a place by Me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while My glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with My hand while I pass by." And we read that Moses saw God.

Ezekiel had visions of God. Again and again in the Old Testament we have these marvelous scriptures that tell of men beholding God, and yet it says here, "No man hath seen God at any time." What does it mean? It means this: that all of these to which I referred were but theophanies. Men did not actually see God in His essential Being, but He manifested Himself to them - as a man to Abraham, as an angel to Daniel, as a marvelous appearance to Ezekiel. No man has seen Deity at any time, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth," and a spirit is not visible to mortal eyes.

But what do these words mean then: "No man hath seen God at any time"? If this was the only passage in which these words were found we should take it for granted that the meaning was that until Jesus Christ came into the world no man had seen God, but that when they saw Him they had seen God, because He was "the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father." But when we turn over to the First Epistle of John (4:12), we find exactly the same words again, and these words were written many years after the Lord Jesus Christ had gone back to heaven. Here we read, "No man hath seen God at any time." Now observe, these words were written when John was an old man, and again he says, "No man hath seen God at any time." What, then, are we to gather from this? Simply that Deity as such is invisible.

When Jesus was here, men in seeing Him did not see Deity. What they did see was a man like themselves, as far as they could tell; but He was not a sinner as they were; He was the Holy One of God. But Deity was enshrined within that Man, for "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself." But men could only see His humanity. Now He is gone back to heaven and the word comes to us again, "No man hath seen God at any time." God is still making Himself known to man, but He makes Himself known through those who walk in fellowship with Him. If you are walking in love you are manifesting God.

It is a very solemn thing to realize that I as a believer am here in this world to make God known, both by life and testimony. Jesus did this fully and completely. The closer I walk with Him, the more God will be seen in me.

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday March 7th/06

"For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?" (Deuteronomy 4:7, 8)

Moses, you recall, begged Israel again and again to hear GOD's law, teach it to their children, and live according to it. As their leader, he was faithful to teach them; he knew that in order to practice GOD's law, they must know it.

In these verses Moses reminded Israel, and he reminds us, of the peculiar favors we enjoy as GOD's people. GOD was near them in all that they called upon Him for; He was their "refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1) Whenever we call upon the LORD, we will certainly find Him within reach and find Him ready to give an answer of peace to every prayer of faith. This is the special privilege that makes Christians (GOD's spiritual Israel today) truly great and honorable. By hearing GOD talk to us in His Word and by talking to GOD in prayer, we may keep up communion with Him and enjoy the highest honor and happiness of which we are capable in this world.

JESUS teaches us that all the law is fulfilled in one word - love. The law of love is the sum and substance of all the laws and statutes which Moses taught. Love is a short word. Love is a precious word. If love is the fulfilling of the law, surely GOD's law is very easy for us to observe. "Charity never faileth." (1 Corinthians 13:8)

(Taken from Moments Of Meditation by Matthew Henry)

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday March 8th/06

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." (Deuteronomy 6:4, 5)

Containing the first principles of faith and obedience, these verses give us a brief summary of religion. The Jews considered these two verses one of the choicest portions of Scripture and had this saying about it: "Blessed are we, who every morning and evening say, Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God is one LORD."

"The LORD our God is one LORD." The GOD whom we serve is eternally perfect, self-existent, and self-sufficient. Since our GOD is the only living and true God, we agree with David when he said, "Happy is that people, whose God is the LORD." (Psalm 144:15)

"Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart."

Down through the ages Christians have and will continue throughout eternity to admire the wonders of divine grace that made love the first and great commandment of GOD's law. It's always a pleasure for Christians to think of God, to hear Him speak to them from the pages of His Holy Word, to talk to Him in prayer, and to serve Him each day they live.

We must love GOD with all our heart, and soul, and might. Instead of saying we love GOD when our hearts are far from Him, we must love Him with a strong sincere love that truly comes from the heart. JESUS said: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength." (Mark 12:30)

(Taken from Moments Of Meditation by Matthew Henry)

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Daily Devotional for Thursday March 9th/06

"Perfect in Christ Jesus." --Colossians 1:28

Do you not feel in your own soul that perfection is not in you? Does not every day teach you that? Every tear which trickles from your eye, weeps "imperfection"; every harsh word which proceeds from your lip, mutters "imperfection." You have too frequently had a view of your own heart to dream for a moment of any perfection in yourself. But amidst this sad consciousness of imperfection, here is comfort for you -- you are "perfect in Christ Jesus." In God's sight, you are "complete in Him;" even now you are "accepted in the Beloved." But there is a second perfection, yet to be realized, which is sure to all the seed. Is it not delightful to look forward to the time when every stain of sin shall be removed from the believer, and he shall be presented faultless before the throne, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing? The Church of Christ then will be so pure, that not even the eye of Omniscience will see a spot or blemish in her; so holy and so glorious, that Hart did not go beyond the truth when he said --

"With my Saviour's garments on,
Holy as the Holy One."

Then shall we know, and taste, and feel the happiness of this vast but short sentence, "Complete in Christ." Not till then shall we fully comprehend the heights and depths of the salvation of Jesus. Doth not thy heart leap for joy at the thought of it? Black as thou art, thou shalt be white one day; filthy as thou art, thou shalt be clean. Oh, it is a marvellous salvation this! Christ takes a worm and transforms it into an angel; Christ takes a black and deformed thing and makes it clean and matchless in His glory, peerless in His beauty, and fit to be the companion of seraphs. O my soul, stand and admire this blessed truth of perfection in Christ.

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Friday March 10th/06

"There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky. The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." (Deuteronomy 33:26, 27a)

Moses, in the last words he wrote, teaches us to praise GOD from whom all blessings flow.

"There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun." Where we look for God to bless us, we must bless Him by praising His holy name. Why? There is none like Him!

Our GOD rides upon the heavens. Riding upon the heavens, GOD manifests His greatness and glory to the upper world and brings His own counsels to pass in the lower world. He is the eternal GOD, and His arms are everlasting. His eternity is boundless; He was before all worlds; and when time and days shall be no more, He will be.

The eternal GOD is our refuge, or, as the word signifies, our "habitation or mansion house." Every true Christian is at home in God - "Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble." (Psalm 32:7) And "he that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." (Psalm 91:1)

"Underneath are the everlasting arms." The almighty power of GOD cares for and protects all who trust in Him. To keep their spirits from sinking and to keep their faith from failing the Christian leans upon the everlasting arms; for "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea." (Psalm 46:1-2)

(Taken from Moments Of Meditation by Matthew Henry)

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Daily Devotional for Saturday March 11th/06

Open The Trenches

"And he said, Thus saith the LORD, Make this valley full of ditches. For thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts. And this is but a light thing in the sight of the Lord: he will deliver the Moabites also into your hands" (2 Kings 3:16-18).

To human thinking it was simply impossible, but nothing is hard for God.

Without a sound or sign, from sources invisible and apparently impossible, the floods came stealing in all night long; and when the morning dawned, those ditches were flooded with the crystal waters, and reflecting the rays of the morning sun from the red hills of Edom.

Our unbelief is always wanting some outward sign. The religion of many is largely sensational, and they are not satisfied of its genuineness without manifestations, etc.; but the greatest triumph of faith is to be still and know that He is God.

The great victory of faith is to stand before some impassable Red Sea, and hear the Master say, "Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord," and "Go forward!" As we step out without any sign or sound - not a wave-splash - and wetting our very feet as we take the first step into its waters, still marching on we shall see the sea divide and the pathway open through the very midst of the waters.

If we have seen the miraculous workings of God in some marvelous case of healing or some extraordinary providential deliverance, I am sure the thing that has impressed us most has been the quietness with which it was all done, the absence of everything spectacular and sensational, and the utter sense of nothingness which came to us as we stood in the presence of this mighty God and felt how easy it was for Him to do it all without the faintest effort on His part or the slightest help on ours.

It is not the part of faith to question, but to obey. The ditches were made, and the water came pouring in from some supernatural source. What a lesson for our faith!

Are you craving a spiritual blessing? Open the trenches, and God will fill them. And this, too, in the most unexpected places and in the most unexpected ways.

Oh, for that faith that can act by faith and not by sight, and expect God to work although we see no wind or rain. --A. B. Simpson

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Sunday March 12th/06

The following devotional was printed in the flyer from Henry Morris's memorial. It was noted as being pasted in the flyleaf of his Bible.

Others May, You Cannot

If God has called you to be really like Jesus, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility, and put upon you such demands of obedience, that you will not be able to measure yourself by other Christians; and in many ways, He will seem to let to let other good people do things which He will never let you do.

Other Christians and ministers, who seem very religious and useful, can push themselves, pull wires and work schemes to carry out their Christian goals, but these things you simply cannot do. Others may boast of their work or their writings or their success, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing, and if you ever try it, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, but most likely God will keep you poor, because He want you to have something far better than gold, namely, a helpless dependence on Him and the joy of seeing Him supply your needs day by day out of an unseen Treasury.

The Lord may let others be honored and keep you hidden and unappreciated because He wants to produce some choice, fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade. He may let others do a work for Him and get the credit for it, but He will make you work on and on without others knowing how much you are doing; and then, to make your work still more precious, He may let others get the credit for the work which you have done, and thus make your reward ten times greater when Jesus comes.

The Holy Spirit will rebuke you for little words or deeds or even feelings, or for wasting your time, which other Christians never seem to be concerned about, but you must make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign and He has a right to do whatever He pleases with His own. He may not explain to you a thousand things which puzzle your reason in the way He deals with you, but if you will just submit yourself to Him in all things, He will wrap you up in a jealous love and bestow upon you many blessing which come only to those who are very near to His heart.

Settle it then, that He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue, or chaining your hand, or closing your eyes, in ways that He does not seem to use with others. Now, when you are so possessed with the living God that your secret heart becomes pleased and delighted with this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your live, then you will have entered the very vestibule of heaven itself.

G.D. Watson (1845-1924)

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Daily Devotional for Monday March 13th/06

"And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live." (Deuteronomy 8:3)

To encourage the children of Israel to keep all the commandments, Moses reminded them that while they were in the wilderness their Heavenly Father cared for them and supplied their every need.

GOD suffered them to hunger and then fed them with manna. Surely the extremity of their want made the supply more acceptable and GOD's goodness to them more remarkable. Very often GOD brings His people to extremities so that He may have the honor of helping them. In a spiritual sense, can't we say that the manna of heavenly comforts is given to those who hunger and thirst after righteousness?

"Man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD." The Bible is the revelation of GOD's will for us; and when we receive it by faith, doesn't it become food for our souls?

The manna was a type of CHRIST who is the bread of life. Just as the bread we eat is the staff of life, so CHRIST is the staff of our spiritual life. Just as the manna was freely given to Israel, so CHRIST is freely given to Christians who are the spiritual Israel today. Just as there was manna enough for all the people, so in CHRIST there is a fulness of grace for all believers. Finally, just as Israel lived upon the manna until they came to Canaan, so we, too, will live upon CHRIST, the eternal Word of GOD, until we come to the heavenly Canaan!

(Taken from Moments of Meditation by Matthew Henry)

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday March 14th/06

The World Knew Him Not

That's what it says in John 1:10, "He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not."

The world knew Him not.

That is an amazing fact. At face value, the Scripture teaches that creation did not recognise its Creator.

Have you ever wondered how complete was the humility of Christ in His incarnation? The Holy Spirit has described the humiliation of our Lord Jesus in these words, "...being in the form of God (He) thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Phil. 2:6-8).

Since we know from this text that He came incognito into our world, we may well ask, "How well cloaked was the glory of the Son of God? How completely did He hide the transcendence of His nature from His creatures? How perfectly did He conceal His glorious attributes when the Infinite God became an Infant Man?"

Our text seems to indicate that He was totally successful.

The world knew Him not.

It was not always so. Before His Incarnation all His creatures knew Him. The stars in their courses, the sun in its strength, the earth in its orbit, all these sprang forth at His Word and marched at His command. The sea stood up for ramparts and Jordan uncovered its pebbly bed when He required. Fire fell from a cloudless sky upon Elijah's altar, the great fish swallowed the errant prophet, and the fiery furnace lost its heat when He said so. His creation knew Him from the beginning, and rejoiced to do His will.

And it will recognise Him in the end. The elements shall melt with a fervent heat and pass away with a great noise at the unveiling of His full glory. All the dusty, ashy atoms of all the dead will hear their Maker and reassemble at His command. Without exception they will stand before Him at the judgement.

But our text says the world knew Him not at His Incarnation. Is it possible that when He came into His world the habiliments of His humanity concealed the glory of the Son of God so well that no created thing knew Him? Concealed at least until He began to speak the Words His Father gave Him to speak, until He began to work the works the Father gave Him to work, until He began to fulfill the Will of His Father. And when He did, His creatures awoke to His true identity. Water became wine gladly at His will. Blind eyes blinked seeingly against the light of day. Atrophied limbs heard His Word and moved with strength. Deaf ears and dumb tongues were released from their restraints. The atoms of a lad's lunch multiplied at His blessing and fed a multitude. The fish in the sea heard His call and rushed to fill the nets. The stormy waves of the sea lay down at His command and licked the sides of the boat. The bodies of the dead felt new life at His touch and arose to serve Him.

If atoms and red blood cells and every other created thing had the ability to speak, they would have lifted their voices again and again and shouted, "Our Master has come! Our Creator has come down to walk among us! Let us do His will!" Did not our Lord tell us that the stones themselves would cry out if His praise was hindered by the religious mutes of Jerusalem?

There seems to be only one of His creatures that did not leap up in joyful recognition when they heard His Words, and saw His Works. Man only, with his granite heart and his flinty mind received Him not. John the Baptist exposed the blindness of their unbelief when he told them, "There standeth One among you, whom ye know not" (John 1:26). They didn't know their Creator. Man, the one creature made in his Creator's likeness, did not recognise Him!

So God sent them a man, a prophet, a witness. He bore witness of the Light they could not see. And God blessed His Word to their salvation so that John testified, "We beheld His glory! We recognised our Creator! We know who He is! He is the Word! He is the Eternal God! He is the Light of the world! He is the lifegiver! He is the only begotten Son of God! He is the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world!"

The psalmist describes the return of Christ as a time of great joy. "Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord: for He cometh..." (Psa. 96:11-13a). Ah, yes, all creation will recognise its Maker and rejoice at His coming.

And we will join our voices with theirs. One of our hymns will be, "We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

Today would be a good day for choir rehearsal.

We need not wait for His coming.

Let His praises begin.

Buddy Smith
[email protected]
Used With Permission.

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday March 15th/06

"Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak: and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass." (Deuteronomy 32:1, 2)

In this chapter, Moses left the children of Israel a song, reminding them not to forsake God. Read it! It's wonderful!

In the introduction which we have here, Moses appeals to Heaven and earth concerning the truth of what he was about to say to a rebellious nation. Surely the heavens and the earth are more faithful than a careless and indifferent people, for "they continue to this day according to thine [God's] ordinances." (Psalm 119:91)

The subject is doctrine - "My doctrine shall drop as the rain." It is a song of instruction. When we sing songs, we are not only to sing praises to GOD; but we are to teach and admonish one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.

The doctrine is compared to rain. Sometimes rain comes as a judgment. To the rebellious, GOD's Word is a savor of death unto death; but to all who receive it in the right way, it is a savor of life unto life, a refreshing dew.

"My speech shall distil as the dew." The Word of God is apt to do us good when it comes to us quietly and gently, when we see the beauty and glory of it, when the power of it sinks into our hearts, and when we love and admire GOD's mercy and grace in sending it to us like the small rain upon the tender grass.

As we think on these things, let us seek to let GOD's Word sink into our hearts and soften them like the rain softens the earth so that we may be more faithful and more fruitful in GOD's kingdom.

(Taken from Moments Of Meditation by Matthew Henry)

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Daily Devotional for Thursday March 16th/06

The following is taken from part five of Hebrews by M.R. DeHaan:

How may we receive a conquering victorious faith which lifts us above all the circumstances of life? It is not a new faith, but a development of "little" faith into "great" faith. It is a development, a growing up in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ...

There are three principle stages of this growth suggested by the first three heroes of the faith mentioned in Hebrews eleven. It is significant that three, and only three men who lived before the flood, are included in the category of faith. They are Abel, Enoch, and Noah. All the others lived after the judgment of the Deluge. These three men illustrate the three steps or stages in the growth of faith. They are in their order:

1. Abel - Worshiping by faith.
2. Enoch - Walking by faith.
3. Noah - Working by faith.

Abel worshiped God at the appointed altar. It was a picture of Christ as the Lamb of God, dying upon the altar of the Cross. Here all faith must begin. The next man mentioned is Enoch, who walked with God for three hundred years. In addition to the worship of Abel, and as a result of it, we now walk and fellowship with God, living a life of separation with God, and prove to the world that it is possible to walk with God in the most wicked age of the world's history. And then the last of the antediluvian heroes is a man who "worked" for God. He was Noah who built the Ark, and who put his faith in action.

Same Order In Pentateuch

We have the same order followed in the first five books of the Bible. The first book, Genesis, is the record of the fall, and the entrance of death by sin. Exodus is the book of redemption by the blood of the Passover Lamb. But the record does not end there with a redeemed people out of Egypt. Their goal is the land of victory in Canaan. And so we have three more books of Moses which may be called the books of:

1. Leviticus - Worship.
2. Numbers - Walk.
3. Deuteronomy - Work.

The book following Exodus (the book of redemption) is Leviticus, with its laws and regulations for the sacrifices, service and worship in the Tabernacle. This is followed by Numbers, which is the record of Israel's walking in the wilderness. And then follows Deuteronomy which, as the name indicates, is the book of the law, and speaks of works and full obedience to God's commands. This is the path of victory. Until we have learned to worship, we shall never be able to walk, much less to work acceptably for God. This order cannot be violated. God is more interested in our worship than in our work, for He knows that unless we first worship, our work will be only in the energy of the flesh. Before we can begin to walk and work, we must stop at headquarters to receive our orders and equipment for the journey and the task. The reason so much Christian work and activity accomplishes little or nothing is because it is not preceded by worship, quiet study of the Word and time for prayer. Before Martha's service can be at its best, she must first take Mary's place. Abel precedes Enoch, and Enoch precedes Noah.

Does your service for Christ seem fruitless and discouraging? Then ask yourself, How much time have I spent in worship, in getting orders from the Word, in seeking guidance by prayer? We can be so busy in ceaseless religious activities that we become powerless from lack of worship. How much time have you spent today in worship? When we see the programs of many churches, with two pages of the church bulletin filled with announcements of activities, meetings, clubs, societies, committees and plans for baseball games and church sales and suppers, and yet see so little spiritual fruit and results, it is safe to say that the prayer meeting is the poorest attended meeting of the week, and precious little time is left for worship. The Lord not only seeks workers for the harvest, but seeks also those to worship Him (John 4:23).

Then Walk

The rest comes naturally and should be easy. If your prayer life, your communion, is healthy and strong, it will be reflected in your walk. The people in Acts four, when they saw the boldness of Peter and John

"...marvelled; and they took knowledge [notice] of them, that they had been with Jesus" (Acts 4:13).

Our walk too will reflect the time we have spent at Jesus' feet. Our testimony will mean little unless our walk is above reproach. And then work will follow. Until we have worshiped and our walk is in itself a testimony, our work will avail but little.

All this is suggested in the record of the heroes of the faith in Hebrews eleven and wonderfully illustrated in worshiping Abel, walking Enoch and working Noah. But it was not without a sacrifice. Many were the obstacles in their way. Abel had to face the hatred of his brother Cain. Enoch had to separate himself from the world in his walking with God. Noah had to face the jeering and scoffing of the crowd while he built the Ark on dry ground, and preached of coming judgment.

The secret of it all, however, was a matter of perspective. They looked beyond the immediate and the present. They translated all their trials into terms of the future; they weighed all their sacrifices in the balances of eternity. They had their eyes on the reward. They were not satisfied with "little" faith, but strove for conquering faith. They, like Paul, counted all things but loss for the prize at the end of the race.

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Daily Devotional for Friday March 17th/06

Son Of The Living God

In The Midst

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Daily Devotional for Saturday March 18th/06

This was one of those weeks when I got an opportunity to preach twice, yesterday and today. This is the basic message I preached today:

Running The Race Of The Christian Life

The Bible uses different metaphores to describe the Christian, such as a farmer, a workman, a soldier, a wrestler, etc. One of my favourite is that of a believer being pictured as a runner in a race, the race of the Christian life.

Note that the race is for believers, and they are running against themselves to determine their rewards - it is not a race to determine whether someone will get to Heaven or not. That is determined on what you do with the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. If there was a time and place when you turned from your sin and turned to Jesus Christ to save you from your sins, believing in your heart that He is the only Saviour and that He paid the complete penalty for your sins when He died on the cross, then at that moment you entered into this race.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Unlike a regular race, where only one prize is available or offered to all, in the Christian life the prize is available to everyone that competes in the race - all believers have the same opportunity to be faithful and rewarded by the Lord. In this race, we are not racing against other believers, and hoping we are the best one serving the Lord - we are racing against ourselves. We are exhorted by the Apostle Paul to run in such a manner that we will win the prize, win the rewards our Heavenly Father is offering (and wants to give) to each one of us.

The Greek word for "strive" in the above passage is: agonizomai, meaning to struggle, literally (to compete for a prize). It is this word we get our English word "agonize" from. As we can see, winning the race will involve some discipline (temperance) on our part, it will involve agony, it will involve us striving against ourselves and our sinful natures, if we hope to win the prize. We are not competing for a corruptible crown of laurel leaves, but for the victor's crown, one that is eternal and incorruptible. There is a definite aim and discipline involved if we hope to attain the prize. See Philippians 3:12-14.

2 Timothy 2:5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

The word for "strive" here is athleo, where we get our word athlete from, meaning a contest in the public lists; to contend in the competitive games. We cannot win the victor's crown, unless we are striving according to the rules - and the rules for the Christian life are found in the Word of God. If we hope to be rewarded for our service to the Lord, we need to run according to the plan He has for our lives, according to His will as revealed in His Word.

The last passage comes right after Hebrews 11, the victory chapter where we see how the heroes of the faith all conquered by their faith. In light of these witnesses and the testimony we find of them in the Word of God, we are exhorted to run the race:

Hebrews 12:1-4 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

"Patience" here means to persevere, endure. We are to lay aside those weights and sins that would hinder us in our Christian life, lay aside those things that sidetrack, lay aside our unbelief, lay aside anything that dampens our devotion or cools our fervour. We are to persevere in this race - how do we do so, when at times we may stumble and falter, grow wearied and faint? By looking unto Jesus.

As a younger believer, I thought the emphasis of the Christian life was in putting out those sins and weights - but now I realize more than ever that our focus is to be on the Saviour, and as we run this race with our eyes steadfast on Him, He gives us the grace to lay aside those weights and sins that are in our lives. The difference is the focus - not on putting out the sins, but on running with the Saviour. As He gives us wisdom and strength, we take the necessary steps in our lives to draw closer to Him and cast out those weights. Where is your focus?

We can see the exhortation to persevere in the Christian life comes from looking unto Jesus. He came to fulfill the will of His Father for His life (which was in fulfilling the law, and shedding His blood and dying for our sins on the cross of Calvary). Even so, when we are tempted to give up or slow down in the race, we need to remember what Jesus endured for us, knowing that He can identify with all of our struggles - and give us the grace and strength to overcome in all of them. We can fulfill the will of God for our lives if we keep our eyes on our great Example, on our Saviour.

To cap off the message, I read the following poem. As you read it, though it is describing a physical race, think of it as a spiritual race - think of yourself as the runner, and the father in the poem as your Heavenly Father. The last stanza makes a reference to the race of life, but I want to focus on the race of the Christian life, which starts the moment a person truly turns to the Lord Jesus Christ to save them - then the race begins.

The Race

Whenever I start to hang my head in front of failure’s face,
my downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.
A children’s race, young boys, young men; how I remember well,
excitement sure, but also fear, it wasn’t hard to tell.

They all lined up so full of hope, each thought to win that race
or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place.
Their parents watched from off the side, each cheering for their son,
and each boy hoped to show his folks that he would be the one.

The whistle blew and off they flew, like chariots of fire,
to win, to be the hero there, was each young boy’s desire.
One boy in particular, whose dad was in the crowd,
was running in the lead and thought “My dad will be so proud.”

But as he speeded down the field and crossed a shallow dip,
the little boy who thought he’d win, lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself, his arms flew everyplace,
and midst the laughter of the crowd he fell flat on his face.

As he fell, his hope fell too; he couldn’t win it now.
Humiliated, he just wished to disappear somehow.
But as he fell his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,
which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win that race!”

He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit that’s all,
and ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall.
So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win,
his mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again.

He wished that he had quit before with only one disgrace.
“I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”
But through the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face
with a steady look that said again, “Get up and win that race!”

So he jumped up to try again, ten yards behind the last.
“If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to run real fast!”
Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight, then ten...
but trying hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.

Defeat! He lay there silently. A tear dropped from his eye.
“There’s no sense running anymore! Three strikes I’m out! Why try?
I’ve lost, so what’s the use?” he thought. “I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.

“Get up,” an echo sounded low, “you haven’t lost at all,
for all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
Get up!” the echo urged him on, “Get up and take your place!
You were not meant for failure here! Get up and win that race!”

So, up he rose to run once more, refusing to forfeit,
and he resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been,
still he gave it all he had and ran like he could win.

Three times he’d fallen stumbling, three times he rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.
They cheered another boy who crossed the line and won first place,
head high and proud and happy -- no falling, no disgrace.

But, when the fallen youngster crossed the line, in last place,
the crowd gave him a greater cheer for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last with head bowed low, unproud,
you would have thought he’d won the race, to listen to the crowd.

And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
“To me, you won,” his father said. “You rose each time you fell.”
And now when things seem dark and bleak and difficult to face,
the memory of that little boy helps me in my own race.

For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.
And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
And when depression and despair shout loudly in my face,
another voice within me says, “Get up and win that race!”

Author Unknown

Study written March 18th/06
Jerry Bouey

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Daily Devotional for Sunday March 19th/06

"Looking unto Jesus." --Hebrews 12:2

It is ever the Holy Spirit's work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan's work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, "Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you have not the joy of His children; you have such a wavering hold of Jesus." All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within. But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: He tells us that we are nothing, but that "Christ is all in all." Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee - it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee - it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument - it is Christ's blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith. We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by "looking unto Jesus." Keep thine eye simply on Him; let His death, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, His intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look to Him; when thou liest down at night look to Him. Oh! let not thy hopes or fears come between thee and Jesus; follow hard after Him, and He will never fail thee.

"My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness:
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name."

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Monday March 20th/06

The following is taken from Sermon Seeds From the Psalms.

PSALM ONE HUNDRED FOURTEEN

1. When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language;
2. Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion.
3. The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back.
4. The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs.
5. What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back?
6. Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams; and ye little hills, like lambs?
7. Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob;
8. Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters.

A Psalm of Salvation

The people of GOD were in bondage in Egypt. Sin brought them into slavery. Sin always makes slaves.

Some are slaves to wine, whiskey, beer, while others are slaves to tobacco. Some are slaves to pride and passion, while others are slaves to pleasure. Some are slaves to the movies while others are slaves to side shows.

The fact is, all are slaves of JESUS CHRIST or slaves of sin and Satan. There is no neutral ground. Men may boast of freedom but none are free unless they have been made free by CHRIST and have become His bondslaves. This is the only real and lasting freedom.

The seed of Abraham were saved by virtue of a bleeding lamb. "Behold the Lamb of God." "Where is the lamb?" asked Isaac. "Behold the Lamb," replied John the Baptist 2000 years later.

Salvation was thus obtained by and through the bleeding lamb. The blood of the lamb was applied to the lintels and doorposts. It was not the blood alone that saved them. It was not the blood in the lamb or the blood in the basin that saved them, it was the blood on the lintel and doorposts of the houses in which they lived. It was the blood applied.

The blood of CHRIST must be applied to the soul of the individual penitent. There must be an appropriation. Salvation is by blood. Salvation is through the blood of the Lamb. Salvation is through the personal-faith-appropriation of the blood of the Lamb. Salvation is also by power, the power of GOD. "The sea... fled: Jordan was driven back. The mountains skipped."

The power of GOD and the blood of the Lamb brought salvation to all who believed and obeyed.

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday March 21st/06

Justice Satisfied

"And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt." (Exodus 12:13)

My own sight of the precious blood is for my comfort; but it is the LORD's sight of it which secures my safety. Even when I am unable to behold it, the LORD looks at it and passes over me because of it. If I am not so much at ease as I ought to be, because my faith is dim, yet I am equally safe because the LORD's eye is not dim, and He sees the blood of the great Sacrifice with steady gaze. What a joy is this!

The LORD sees the deep inner meaning, the infinite fullness of all that is meant by the death of His dear Son. He sees it with restful memory of justice satisfied and all His matchless attributes glorified. He beheld creation in its progress and said, "It was very good" (Genesis 1:31); but what does He say of redemption in its completeness? What does He say of the obedience even unto death of His well-beloved Son? None can tell His delight in Jesus, His rest in the sweet savor which Jesus presented when He offered Himself without spot unto God.

Now rest we in calm security. We have God's Sacrifice and God's Word to create in us a sense of perfect security. He will, He must, pass over us, because He spared not our glorious Substitute. Justice joins hands with love to provide everlasting salvation for all the blood-besprinkled.

(Taken from Faith's Checkbook by Spurgeon)

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday March 22nd/06

The Dross Purged

"And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is My people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God." (Zechariah 13:9)

Grace transmutes us into precious metal, and then the fire and the furnace follows as a necessary consequence. Do we start at this? Would we sooner be accounted worthless, that we might enjoy repose, like the stones of the field! This would be to choose the viler part -- like Esau, to take the pottage and give up the covenant portion. No, LORD; we will gladly be cast into the furnace rather than be cast out from Thy presence!

The fire only refines; it does not destroy. We are to be brought through the fire, not left in it. The LORD values His people as silver, and therefore He is at pains to purge away their dross. If we are wise, we shall rather welcome the refining process than decline it. Our prayer will be that our alloy may be taken from us rather than that we should be withdrawn from the crucible.

O LORD, Thou triest us indeed! We are ready to melt under the fierceness of the flame. Still, this is Thy way, and Thy way is the best. Sustain us under the trial and complete the process of our purifying, and we will be Thine forever and ever.

(Taken from Faith's Checkbook by Spurgeon)

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Daily Devotional for Thursday March 23rd/06

The following is taken from chapter four (The Family Altar and the Blessing of Persuasion) of How to Have A Family Altar by Norman V. Williams:

PERSUASION IS ANOTHER OF the great blessings of the family altar. By persuasion I mean the winning of the lost to our Lord. Many a godly father and mother have stood upon the promise of Acts 16:31 to claim salvation for their boys and girls. And we do rejoice in all the comfort this great promise of household salvation has brought to so many multitudes of believers.

But we would warn against a vain hope and a false confidence. We believe it is unscriptural to claim the promise of household salvation and at the same time neglect speaking of the Word to all that are in the house. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house," is followed immediately by this significant statement: "And they spake unto him the Word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house" (Acts 16:32).

In the case of the Philippian jailer, it is clear that the result of speaking the Word to all within the house was glorious saving faith, for we read: "And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house" (Acts 16:34).

If there are unsaved ones in your family, set up the family altar now; "speak the Word" to all in your home, and see GOD work to convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment.

Recently a young father told me how his little three-year-old boy had prayed that very day at mealtime. He said the little son quoted scripture after scripture, pleaded GOD's promises, and asked GOD to save his unsaved loved ones, and to bless father and mother. At three years of age he was not only saved, but he had a real burden for souls. What is the secret of this beautiful, consecrated life?

It is this: the child's parents had spoken to him the Word of GOD. This they did, not haphazardly, but daily. As a result, he rejoiced and believed.

Through the family altar we have the pre-eminence of the Word of GOD, not only in the worship of the home but in the total life of the home. In Deuteronomy 6:5, we find the great command to "Love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."

We generally stop there and are quite content, but carefully notice the command does not stop there. In the next few verses we read: "And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thy heart, and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates."

Notice, GOD tells us five things about His Word and its relationship to the home. We are to:

1. Enshrine His Word in our hearts
2. Teach His Word diligently to our children.
3. Talk of His Word under all conditions
4. Bind His Word upon all we do (hands) and see (eyes)
5. Write His Word and send it out; (on posts of our house and on our gates)

Notice GOD's order: first, the Word is cherished and enshrined in the heart and then it is taught to the children, and talked in the home. Then GOD mentions the binding of the Word on all we see and do and, of course, this saturation of the household with GOD's Word naturally results in a real missionary concern for others, and so the Word is to be written on the posts and gateway for the outside world to see.

These five exaltations of GOD's Word make up what may be rightly called the full meaning of the family altar.

The family altar is more than a set devotion within the home - it is in its fullest meaning to be the life of the home. The enshrining, teaching, and talking of the Word are especially emphasized and carried out in the time set aside for the family worship.

Without a definite daily time for family worship, the Word of GOD will never in any wise be enshrined as it should. The devotion of family worship naturally becomes a vital part of family living. Thus the family altar as worship and devotion cannot logically, experimentally, or Scripturally be severed from the family altar as life. The deep and simple wisdom of the divine order appears from the fact that we can't live something we do not know.

We may know more than we live and witness, but we will never live and witness more than we know.

Paul said in II Timothy 3:10, 11: "But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions." Your home is a Christian home only if GOD's Word is exalted within the home as GOD commands that it shall be. The family altar is really diligent teaching of the Word of GOD to ourselves and to our children. The greatest Bible institute in the world is a father reading the open Bible to his family.

C. R. Howell in JESUS in the Family says: "Family religion follows upon personal religion. The life of the first is the strength of the second. The neglect of either is the death of both." "If any provide not for his own... house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel" (I Timothy 5:8).

A Christian's home, and all it holds within is "sanctified by the Word of God and prayer"; and it is sanctified in no other manner. JESUS cannot be said to live in a home which is not sanctified by these domestic means of grace; nor can the head of such a home properly be called Christian.

Someone has likened a family without prayer to a house without a roof, open to all foul winds and weather.

A truly Christian home has been well said to be "the only bliss of paradise that has survived the fall."

"Happy the home where JESUS' name
Is sweet to every ear;
Where children early lisp His fame,
And parents hold Him dear."

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Daily Devotional for Friday March 24th/06

Flowers In The Canyon

"For our profit" (Heb. 12:10).

In one of Ralph Connor's books he tells a story of Gwen. Gwen was a wild, wilful lassie and one who had always been accustomed to having her own way. Then one day she met with a terrible accident which crippled her for life. She became very rebellious and in the murmuring state she was visited by the Sky Pilot, as the missionary among the mountaineers was termed.

He told her the parable of the canyon. "At first there were no canyons, but only the broad, open prairie. One day the Master of the Prairie, walking over his great lawns, where were only grasses, asked the Prairie, 'Where are your flowers?' and the Prairie said, 'Master I have no seeds.'

"Then he spoke to the birds, and they carried seeds of every kind of flower and strewed them far and wide, and soon the prairie bloomed with crocuses and roses and buffalo beans and the yellow crowfoot and the wild sunflowers and the red lilies all summer long. Then the Master came and was well pleased; but he missed the flowers he loved best of all, and he said to the Prairie: 'Where are the clematis and the columbine, the sweet violets and wind-flowers, and all the ferns and flowering shrubs?'

"And again he spoke to the birds, and again they carried all the seeds and scattered them far and wide. But, again, when the Master came he could not find the flowers he loved best of all, and he said:

"'Where are those my sweetest flowers?' and the Prairie cried sorrowfully:

"'Oh, Master, I cannot keep the flowers, for the winds sweep fiercely, and the sun beats upon my breast, and they wither up and fly away.'

"Then the Master spoke to the Lightning, and with one swift blow the Lightning cleft the Prairie to the heart. And the Prairie rocked and groaned in agony, and for many a day moaned bitterly over the black, jagged, gaping wound.

"But the river poured its waters through the cleft, and carried down deep black mould, and once more the birds carried seeds and strewed them in the canyon. And after a long time the rough rocks were decked out with soft mosses and trailing vines, and all the nooks were hung with clematis and columbine, and great elms lifted their huge tops high up into the sunlight, and down about their feet clustered the low cedars and balsams, and everywhere the violets and wind-flower and maiden-hair grew and bloomed, till the canyon became the Master's favorite place for rest and peace and joy."

Then the Sky Pilot read to her: "The fruit -- I'll read 'flowers' -- of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness -- and some of these grow only in the canyon."

"Which are the canyon flowers?" asked Gwen softly, and the Pilot answered: "Gentleness, meekness, longsuffering; but though the others, love, joy, peace, bloom in the open, yet never with so rich a bloom and so sweet a perfume as in the canyon."

For a long time Gwen lay quite still, and then said wistfully, while her lips trembled: "There are no flowers in my canyon, but only ragged rocks."

"Some day they will bloom, Gwen dear; the Master will find them, and we, too, shall see them."

Beloved, when you come to your canyon, remember!

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Saturday March 25th/06

Be Definite In Prayer

"And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee... Deliver me, I pray thee" (Gen. 32:9, 11).

There are many healthy symptoms in that prayer. In some respects it may serve as a mould into which our own spirits may pour themselves, when melted in the fiery furnace of sorrow.

He began by quoting God's promise: "Thou saidst." He did so twice (9 and 12). Ah, he has got God in his power then! God puts Himself within our reach in His promises; and when we can say to Him, "Thou saidst," He cannot say nay. He must do as He has said. If Herod was so particular for his oath's sake, what will not our God be? Be sure in prayer, to get your feet well on a promise; it will give you purchase enough to force open the gates of heaven, and to take it by force. --Practical Portions for the Prayer-life

Jesus desires that we shall be definite in our requests, and that we shall ask for some special thing. "What will ye that I shall do unto you?" is the question that He asks of every one who in affliction and trial comes to Him. Make your requests with definite earnestness if you would have definite answers. Aimlessness in prayer accounts for so many seemingly unanswered prayers. Be definite in your petition. Fill out your check for something definite, and it will be cashed at the bank of Heaven when presented in Jesus' Name. Dare to be definite with God. --Selected

Miss Havergal has said: "Every year, I might almost say every day, that I live, I seem to see more clearly how all the rest and gladness and power of our Christian life hinges on one thing; and that is, taking God at His word, believing that He really means exactly what He says, and accepting the very words in which He reveals His goodness and grace, without substituting others or altering the precise modes and tenses which He has seen fit to use."

Bring Christ's Word -- Christ's promise, and Christ's sacrifice -- His blood, with thee, and not one of Heaven's blessings can be denied thee. --Adam Clarke

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Sunday March 26th/06

Leviticus 1:9 But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.
Leviticus 1:13 But he shall wash the inwards and the legs with water: and the priest shall bring it all, and burn it upon the altar: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.
Leviticus 1:17 And he shall cleave it with the wings thereof, but shall not divide it asunder: and the priest shall burn it upon the altar, upon the wood that is upon the fire: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.

How sweet the offering up of the Son was to the Father! "Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour" (Ephesians 5:2). The burnt-offering was an imperfect type of His entire devotion to His Father's will. When Jesus saw the inability of man to keep the holy law, and volunteered to magnify it, and make it honorable; when He laid aside His glory, and stepped down from His throne, saying, "I delight to do Thy will, O My God" (Psalm 40:8); when He became obedient even to the death of the cross - it was as sweet to God as the fragrance of a garden of flowers to us.

Let us never forget the Godward aspect of the cross. The sacrificial fire fed on every part of the sacrifice, on the inwards as well as the carcass; so did the Holy God delight to witness the spotless and entire devotion of the Son to the great work in which the entire Godhead was most deeply interested. The fragrant graces of Christ were made manifest on the cross, and are perpetuated in His intercession.

There is a sense also in which our consecration to God is fragrant and precious. When we see His claims, and yield to them; when we submit to His will, and commit our lives wholly to His direction; when we offer and present ourselves to Him, a living sacrifice, keeping nothing back - His heart is gladdened, and His fire of complacency feeds on our act. Always count on this; you may feel no thrill, and see no light, but reckon on God, believe that He accepts what you give, and will crown your sacrifice with the fire of Pentecost.

Who to-day will surrender to God, and become an offering of a sweet savor?

(Taken from Our Daily Homily by F.B. Meyer)

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Daily Devotional for Monday March 27th/06

Leviticus 6:13 The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.

This is an emblem of the perpetual work of God for man.

The Love of God. - There never was a time when God did not love. The bush that Moses saw gave no fuel to maintain the holy flame that trembled around it, because the love of God to Israel and to the human race demands no sustenance. Through the ages it burns and will burn; however much indifference and neglect and rejection are heaped upon it, or poured over it, like barrels of water over Elijah's sacrifice, it never goes out. It is as fresh and vigorous today as ever, and waits to consume your sin and mine; for God is a consuming fire.

The Intercession of Christ. - As the ages pass, this sacrifice retains its merit. What He did as Priest on the cross, He does as Priest on the throne. It is always "this same Jesus" (Acts 1:11). What He was, He is, and will be; and as generations of saints bring their gifts to the altar, He takes them, and lifts them up to God, as the fire bears up the substances which are submitted to it. He ever liveth to make intercession; and the fire that burned through the long night in the Tabernacle bore witness to the undimming, unwaning virtue of our Saviour's work.

The Ministry of the Holy Ghost. - The fire that was lit on the Day of Pentecost burns still in the Church. There has been no intermission to its presence from the first day till now. Multitudes of unknown sects and persecuted saints have kept that fire burning in the world. On the perpetuity of its existence in our midst depends the constancy of our own love and purity and prayer. If the fire shall never go out in our hearts; if the life in our spirits is indeed ever-lasting - it is because He lives and loves always.

(Taken from Our Daily Homily by F.B. Meyer)

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday March 28th/06

I have finished proofreading and posting The Holy War by John Bunyan. It is a great book - very much like Pilgrim's Progress, where each character and situation represents something about salvation and our walks with the Lord - though it is an entirely different story: looking at salvation from the perspective of the lost soul. In this story the town of Mansoul represents the lost sinner who was conquered by Diabolus and needed to be recaptured by Emmanuel. About the only problem with the book is the occasional references to characters called Doubters - as they represent doubting some of the aspects of Calvinism (John Bunyan was a Calvinist). If you overlook those references or take them in a general sense of the devil conquering in our lives when we give in to doubts (doubts about God's salvation, about God calling us to be saved, about God electing believer according to His foreknowledge - to redefine these according to the Bible), and not in reference to specific Calvinist doctrines, I believe you can glean much from this book - especially the end. When I finished posting the book I was in a shouting mood! You can also download The Holy War book module for the SwordSearcher Bible program, if you are interested and have that program. Click on the above link to download the zip file for the program - unzip it and then put it in your User folder for the SwordSearcher Bible program - the next time you open the program, it will be accessible. (If you have downloaded this module from EC in the past, it has been edited, with all Bible references and formatting problems fixed, and spelling errors corrected.)

Today and tomorrow, there are two good devotionals on forgiveness from the book of Leviticus. Worthwhile meditation:

Leviticus 4:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them:

Sin is something more than that of which our conscience convicts us. Our conscience may excuse or palliate our sins, or may fail to detect them for want of proper enlightenment, or may be misled by the practices and sentiments of those around. Therefore we may do things which are grievously wrong in God's sight without realizing their evil or bemoaning it.

All such sin must be met and atoned for ere God can admit us into His holy presence. Sin must be dealt with and put away, not only as it appears to us, but as it is in itself and in the sight of the All-Holy. So, in the types of Leviticus, provision was made for sins of ignorance; and the blood of Jesus cleanseth from all sin, whether known to us or not.

There is more sin in us than any of us know. If we think we have passed a day without conscious sin, we have only to wait till an intenser light is flashed on our motives and intentions - for firelight to be exchanged for electric light - and we shall see specks and flaws. If we do not actually violate known commands, there may be a grievous coming short of the infinite standard of the Divine perfection. Who shall dare to say that he has loved God with all his heart, and soul, and strength? Besides, there is always the liability to sinfulness; and this needs to be perpetually met and atoned for.

It is very needful, then, for us to be perpetually cleansed in the precious blood of Christ. We must ask to be forgiven for the many sins which we know not, as well as for those we know. The work of confession and forgiveness must therefore go on to life's end, applied to each heart and conscience by the Holy Spirit.

(Taken from Our Daily Homily by F.B. Meyer)

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday March 29th/06

Leviticus 5:5-6 And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing: And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.

It is said that sometimes a soldier will come from the battle bleeding from a hidden wound which he has received without knowing it. So in the rush of life we may contract defilement by touching uncleanness, or speaking rashly, which in the sight of God will leave a foul stain upon the white robe of the soul.

The presence of unconscious sin with us is the reason why we are often unable to pray or read the Word of God at night. We are aware of a certain distance, a vail, a cloud, which has settled down between us and the beatific vision. At such times we do well to examine ourselves and the past more critically; for probably we shall be able to detect the hidden cause, which, when we know it, must be confessed and placed on the head of our guilt-offering, whilst we yield ourselves to God as a whole burnt-offering, in a new act of self-surrender.

But confession is all important. We must confess our sins, if the faithful Lord is to forgive them. Confession is taking God's side against ourselves. It is the act of judging evil in the light of the Throne. It is like the unpacking of a box, in which one begins with the lighter things at the top, and works steadily down to the heavy articles underneath. It is the repetition in the heart of Joshua's calling the roll of Israel until Achan, the son of Carmi, was taken.

When the atonement has been made as touching sin "in any of these things" (Leviticus 5:17), there is forgiveness. Dare to believe that this is so, O penitent soul, who hast made Christ's soul an offering for thy sin. He says: "I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins" (Isaiah 44:22). Go thy way, and sin no more.

(Taken from Our Daily Homily by F.B. Meyer)

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Daily Devotional for Thursday March 30th/06

Please pray for me this coming week. My Dad died yesterday, and my family has made arrangements for me to fly out there on Saturday. The funeral is Tuesday, and I will be coming back on Wednesday. None of my family on my Dad's side is saved, and as far as I know they all think he is in Heaven, though he has rejected Christ in the past (I can only hope that his seriously declining health this past two years has caused him to reflect on eternity and respond to the witness I or my brother have given him). I really need wisdom as to how to interact with them - I do not know them very well, and it has been about 9 years since I have been out that way. Pray for opportunities to witness, safe travel, God's provision (not just this week, but this coming month as I have to take four days off of work for this funeral).

I will be bringing out some copies of my new poetry book and trying to see if I can print up some copies of the eulogy I preached at my Mom's memorial last year, as that might open doors for witnessing. Also, please pray that I might be able to see my brother while I am out there - he didn't come to our Mom's memorial and has not contacted me or my sister since then (6 months ago).

I am not sure whether I will be able to send out some of the devotionals for next week before I go to Saskatchewan, so please understand why if I cannot do so. Thanks.

A couple of years ago, I had read several chapters of a book on missionary biographies sent out in one of the mailing lists I receive. I really appreciated those, and was recently reminded of them. Doing a search online, I found that this book is now in the public domain and can be posted. So far I have been able to post four chapters of it, and will post the rest as I am able. I hope that it is a blessing to you. If you are interested, there is contact information to order the book if you'd like a copy for yourself and your family or to pass on to others. May the Lord bless you in your walk with Him as you read about these dedicated servants of the Lord.

Giants Of The Missionary Trail - by Eugene Myers Harrison

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