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Daily Devotionals For November 2004

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List of main devotionals written by Jerry for these November 2004 Devotionals (not posted elsewhere on this site):

Like A Tree - November 4th


I have preached some of these devotionals on Fridays at the Gospel Mission. They are now marked with asterisks by the date, for those who might be interested.

Daily Devotional for Monday November 1st/04

"Hitherto hath the Lord helped us."
1 Samuel 7:12

The word "hitherto" seems like a hand pointing in the direction of the past. Twenty years or seventy, and yet, "hitherto the Lord hath helped!" Through poverty, through wealth, through sickness, through health, at home, abroad, on the land, on the sea, in honour, in dishonour, in perplexity, in joy, in trial, in triumph, in prayer, in temptation, "hitherto hath the Lord helped us!" We delight to look down a long avenue of trees. It is delightful to gaze from end to end of the long vista, a sort of verdant temple, with its branching pillars and its arches of leaves; even so look down the long aisles of your years, at the green boughs of mercy overhead, and the strong pillars of lovingkindness and faithfulness which bear up your joys. Are there no birds in yonder branches singing? Surely there must be many, and they all sing of mercy received "hitherto."

But the word also points forward. For when a man gets up to a certain mark and writes "hitherto," he is not yet at the end, there is still a distance to be traversed. More trials, more joys; more temptations, more triumphs; more prayers, more answers; more toils, more strength; more fights, more victories; and then come sickness, old age, disease, death. Is it over now? No! there is more yet-awakening in Jesu's likeness, thrones, harps, songs, psalms, white raiment, the face of Jesus, the society of saints, the glory of God, the fulness of eternity, the infinity of bliss. O be of good courage, believer, and with grateful confidence raise thy "Ebenezer," for--

He who hath helped thee hitherto
Will help thee all thy journey through.

When read in heaven's light how glorious and marvelous a prospect will thy "hitherto" unfold to thy grateful eye!

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday November 2nd/04

I have decided to do something a little different today for Tuesday's and Wednesday's devotionals. I normally do not send out poems or songs on this mailing list, unless they are part of a study; however, I have truly been blessed by some hymns I have come across recently, and some poems I read again this morning. As you meditate on the lyrics, I'm sure the fire of your devotion to the Lord will be stirred up.

Here is the first hymn. I was quite impressed with the story behind the last stanza. It shows God's grace in the midst of darkness.

The Love Of God

Words: Frederick M. Lehman; he wrote this song in 1917 in Pasadena, California. The lyrics are based on the Jewish poem Haddamut, written in Aramaic in 1050 by Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai, a cantor in Worms, Germany; they have been translated into at least 18 languages.

One day, during short intervals of inattention to our work, we picked up a scrap of paper and, seated upon an empty lemon box pushed against the wall, with a stub pencil, added the (first) two stanzas and chorus of the song…Since the lines (3rd stanza from the Jewish poem) had been found penciled on the wall of a patient’s room in an insane asylum after he had been carried to his grave, the general opinion was that this inmate had written the epic in moments of sanity.

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

Chorus:
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race -
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

Last week I was studying out some things in the life of Jacob, and came across this hymn with several stanzas I had never read before. (Cyberhymnal lists all the stanzas for many older hymns, and is a great source for midis, especially if you have your own website and want background music on some of the pages.) I especially appreciate the verses referring to Jacob and Moses.

This Is My Father's World

Words: Maltbie D. Babcock, 1901. While a pastor in Lockport, New York, Babcock liked to hike in an area called “the escarpment,” an ancient upthrust ledge near Lockport. It has a marvelous view of farms, orchards, and Lake Ontario, about 15 miles distant. It is said those walks in the woods inspired these lyrics. The title recalls an expression Babcock used when starting a walk: “I’m going out to see my Father’s world.”

This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world: why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!

This is my Father’s world, dreaming, I see His face.
I ope my eyes, and in glad surprise cry, “The Lord is in this place.”
This is my Father’s world, from the shining courts above,
The Beloved One, His Only Son,
Came - a pledge of deathless love.

This is my Father’s world, should my heart be ever sad?
The lord is King - let the heavens ring.
God reigns - let the earth be glad.
This is my Father’s world. Now closer to Heaven bound,
For dear to God is the earth Christ trod.
No place but is holy ground.

This is my Father’s world. I walk a desert lone.
In a bush ablaze to my wondering gaze God makes His glory known.
This is my Father’s world, a wanderer I may roam
Whate’er my lot, it matters not,
My heart is still at home.

I had read about this hymn before and had even read one of the stanzas, but last night was the first time I had ever seen the whole hymn. No wonder it is a classic! What I appreciate most about it is the fact that it doesn't just deal with the lost sheep, but the cost it took for the Shepherd to find it! Oh how Jesus loves you and me!

The Ninety And Nine
(Words: Elizabeth C. Clephane, 1868. Music: Ira D. Sankey, 1874.)

Sankey spotted these words in a British newspaper while on an evangelism tour in Scotland with Dwight Moody. He tore the poem from the paper, put it in his pocket, and forgot about it. Later that day, at the end of their service in Edinburgh, Moody asked Sankey for a closing song. Ira was caught by surprise, but the Holy Spirit reminded him of the poem in his pocket. He brought it out, said a prayer, then composed the tune as he sang. Thus was born “The Ninety and Nine.” This was Sankey’s first attempt at writing a hymn tune. Not bad for a first try!

There were ninety and nine that safely lay
In the shelter of the fold.
But one was out on the hills away,
Far off from the gates of gold.
Away on the mountains wild and bare.
Away from the tender Shepherd’s care.
Away from the tender Shepherd’s care.

“Lord, Thou hast here Thy ninety and nine;
Are they not enough for Thee?”
But the Shepherd made answer: “This of Mine
Has wandered away from Me;
And although the road be rough and steep,
I go to the desert to find My sheep,
I go to the desert to find My sheep.”

But none of the ransomed ever knew
How deep were the waters crossed;
Nor how dark was the night the Lord passed through
Ere He found His sheep that was lost.
Out in the desert He heard its cry,
Sick and helpless and ready to die;
Sick and helpless and ready to die.

“Lord, whence are those blood drops all the way
That mark out the mountain’s track?”
“They were shed for one who had gone astray
Ere the Shepherd could bring him back.”
“Lord, whence are Thy hands so rent and torn?”
“They are pierced tonight by many a thorn;
They are pierced tonight by many a thorn.”

And all through the mountains, thunder riven
And up from the rocky steep,
There arose a glad cry to the gate of heaven,
“Rejoice! I have found My sheep!”
And the angels echoed around the throne,
“Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!
Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!”

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday November 3rd/04

These were taken from a poetry booklet entitled Poems For Sunshine And Shadow. Unfortunately these specific ones below did not have an author listed. These are all ones I am familiar with, and am blessed to read again, except for the last one called The Preacher's Wife, but I thought it worth passing on.

The Secret

I met God in the morning,
When the day was at its best,
And His presence came like sunrise,
Like a glory in my breast.

All day long His presence lingered,
All day long He stayed with me,
And we sailed in perfect calmness,
O'er a very troubled sea.

Other ships were blown and battered,
Other ships were sore distressed,
But the winds that seemed to drive them,
Brought to us a perfect rest.

Then I thought of other mornings
With a keen remorse of mind,
When I too had loosed the moorings,
With Thy presence left behind.

So I think I know the secret,
Learned from many a troubled way,
You must seek Him in the morning,
If you want Him through the day.

When I Met The Master

I had walked life's way with an easy tread,
Had followed where comforts and pleasures led;
Until one day in a quiet place
I met my Master face to face.

I had builded my castles, had reared them high
With their tops had pierced the blue of the sky;
I had sworn to rule with an iron mace
Till I met the Master, face to face.

With station and rank and wealth as my goal
Much thought for my body and none for my soul;
I had entered to win in life's mad race
When I met the Master face to face.

I met Him and knew Him and blushed to see
That His eyes full of sorrow were fixed on me;
And I faltered and fell at His feet that day,
While my castles melted and vanished away.

Melted and vanished and in their place
Naught else did I see but the Master's face.
And I cried aloud, "O make me meet
To follow the steps of Thy wounded feet."

My thoughts are now for the souls of men
I have lost my life to find it again
E'er since one day - in a quiet place
I met the Master face to face.

The Weaver

My life is but a weaving
Between my Lord and me,
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.

Oftimes He weaveth sorrow,
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I, the underside.

Not till the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He had planned.

The Preacher's Wife

There is one person in your church
Who knows your preacher's life.
She's wept and smiled and prayed with him.
And that's your preacher's wife!

She knows one prophet's weakest point,
And knows his greatest power
She's heard him speak in trumpet tone,
In his great triumph hour.

She's heard him groaning in his soul,
When bitter raged the strife,
As hand in his she knelt with him -
For she's a preacher's wife.

You tell your tales of prophets brave,
Who walked across the world
And changed the course of history
By burning words they hurled.

And I will tell how back of them
Some women lived their lives,
Who wept with them and smiled with them.
They were the preachers' wives!

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Daily Devotional for Thursday November 4th/04

Like A Tree 

Meditating on various verses this morning, especially some from Jeremiah, caused me to question what type of tree was I? My intention here is to bring out some general thoughts in this devotional, and not to do an in-depth study. Though I would encourage anyone that is interested to do a study on the various trees in Scripture, the characteristics of each, and how they each picture the righteous or the wicked. I have heard a sermon each on The Cedars Of Lebanon and The Olive Tree, and I have found them both very profitable, in light of the many Bible passages that do portray them. 

1) Are you a tree planted by the waters or like useless chaff that is blown away? 

Psalms 1:1-3 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in His law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 

What are the influences you allow into your life? Are you walking in the counsel of the ungodly? If you want to be a tree planted by the rivers of water, you need to only drink from pure water sources (those based firmly on God’s Word), not contaminated ones! (See Proverbs 19:27) Are you standing in the way of sinners? You know they will not lead you right. It is better to walk with the Lord, obey His Word, and stand in the old paths alone, rather than compromise to keep and fit in with your unsaved friends. (See Jeremiah 6:16) Are you sitting in the seat of the scornful? Are you letting those who mock or explain away God’s Word teach you and make the decisions in your life? (See Genesis 3:1 and 2 Peter 3:3-7) 

If you want to be fruitful and productive in your service to the Lord, watch those influences! Look at the contrast here between the righteous (above) and the wicked who disregard Bible commands and principles, who refuse to be ruled and guided by the Word of God. They are like chaff, useless, good for nothing. 

Psalms 1:4-6 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. 

A friend of mine, upon reading this passage, once stated that she worked on a farm and she understood what chaff was. She said that chaff was irritating (itchy), useless, and it gets up your nose! Let’s not be irritating and useless to God or others. 

2) Are you like a tree planted by the waters or like a heath in the desert? 

Jeremiah 17:5-8 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. 

A heath is a shrub, a type of juniper. Easton’s Bible Dictionary states, "Its gloomy, stunted appearance, with its scale-like leaves pressed close to its gnarled stem, and cropped close by the wild goats, as it clings to the rocks about Petra, gives great force to the contrast suggested by the prophet, between him that trusteth in man, naked and destitute, and the man that trusteth in the Lord, flourishing as a tree planted by the waters." Smith’s Bible Dictionary states it is “a dwarf, stunted juniper which grows in the most sterile parts of the desert.” 

The contrast is pretty clear: either we trust fully in the Lord day by day and are like a tree planted by the waters, whose roots always have abundance – thriving, abundant, flourishing, fruitful, not wilting in the heat – or we trust in our own resources (ourselves), our own strength, or the strength of men, and are like a heath in the desert – lifeless, wilting, parched, thirsty, unfulfilled and unfruitful. It is interesting that God states that those that trust in man are not only like a heath in the desert, but are in a salt land not inhabited! Not only dry and thirsty, but parched and desperate, but no water is in sight! 

Are the waters in your life stagnant or flowing (living)? 

John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. 

John 7:37-39  In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) 

3) Are you like the olive tree, the palm tree, and the cedar, or are you like the bay tree? 

Psalms 52:8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever. 

Green, fruitful, and useful for so many things. 

Psalms 92:12-14 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; 

Many palm trees produce fruit all year round. Obviously here, the picture is one of a flourishing, healthy, productive tree, producing fruit and still thriving even when mature. The stately cedars are able to withstand storms that come their way – they just grow stronger and send their roots down deeper. Are you like that? Are you abiding in Christ, growing stronger in your walk with the Lord, drawing closer to Him, producing fruit that will remain? (See John 15:2, 5, 8, 16)  

Or are you like the bay tree? All leaves and no substance? No fruit? Not useful to the Lord? 

Psalms 37:35-36 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.  Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found. 

4) Are you a tree of life? 

Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. 

Some of the fruits a Christian produces are good works and godly words, but the main fruit God left us here to produce is the fruit of soulwinning. Are you sowing the seed of the Gospel, witnessing of the salvation found in the Lord Jesus Christ? If you want to be a tree of life, fruitful and pleasing to the Lord, be wise and be a soulwinner. 

Obviously I have only touched the surface of looking at these trees in Scripture. Maybe this devotional will give you something to think about the next time you read more about them – and as you look at the fruit in your own life.

November 4th, 2004
Jerry Bouey

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Daily Devotional for Friday November 5th/04

The Lord Jesus has chosen us to be his soldiers. We are in the midst of a great campaign: let us endure hardness, as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, and strive above all things to please Him (2 Tim. ii. 4). Amongst other things, let us be sure not to entangle ourselves in the affairs of this life. What purpose could a soldier serve who insisted on taking all his household goods with him on the march!

There is no pause in the warfare. We can never, like Gideon's soldiers, throw ourselves on the bank and quaff the water at our leisure. Every bush may hide a sharp shooter; every brake an ambuscade. It becomes us to watch and pray; to keep on our harness of armour; to be on the alert for our Captain's voice. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the hosts of wicked spirits in the heavenly places; we need to be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might, and to take unto ourselves the whole armour of God, that we may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.

But the release will come at last. When the soldier has fought the good fight, the time of his departure will come, and he will go in to receive the crown which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give in that day. "Come," said the dying Havelock to his son, "and see how a Christian can die." Sometimes it demands more of a soldier's courage to wait than to charge. Remember that long waiting on the field at Waterloo, when the day passed from morning to evening. If you can do nothing else, wait. Be steadfast, immovable: lying still to suffer, to bear, to endure. This is fighting of the noblest sort.

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

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Daily Devotional for Saturday November 6th/04

Why The Doctor Arrived Too Late

It was almost one o'clock in the morning when the phone rang in the Winters' home. Dr. Leon Winter, the highly acclaimed Chicago surgeon, was awakened with a start.

Tonight it was a young boy, they said, tragically mangled in a late night accident. Couldn't someone else handle it? Not this time. This time his hands were possibly the only ones in the city, or maybe in the whole region, which were skilled enough to save.

The quickest route happened to be through a rather rough area, but with time being a critical factor, it was worth the risk. He almost made it through the worst of the neighborhood. Almost. Then, at a stop light, his door was jerked open by a man in a gray hat and a dirty flannel shirt. "I've got to have your car!" the man screamed, pulling him from his seat. Winters tried explaining the gravity of the situation, but the man was not listening.

The doctor wandered for over 45 minutes looking for a phone. When the taxi finally got him to the hospital, over an hour had passed. He burst through the doors and into the nurses' station, but the nurse on duty only shook her head. Too late. The boy had just died about 30 minutes earlier. "His dad got here just before he died," the nurse told him. "He is in the chapel. Go see him, would you? He is awfully confused. He could not understand why you never came."

Without explaining, Dr. Winter walked hurriedly down the hall and quietly entered the chapel. At the front knelt the huddled form of a weeping father, in a gray hat and a dirty flannel shirt. Tragically, he had pushed from his life the only one who could save.

How many today are pushing from their lives the only One* who can save?

(Taken from a church bulletin - unsure of original source)

**(The Lord Jesus Christ)

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Daily Devotional for Sunday November 7th/04

1. FOUNDATION

Remember that you will build your Christian character on a foundation which has been made and laid entirely apart from your own efforts. The apostle Paul said, "Other foundation can no man lay then that is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 3:11); and so the young Christian, like the old Christian, has only one resting-place, and that is Jesus Christ.

You have only just passed from sinking sand to solid rock, but you are as safe and secure as the Apostles himself, or as any other famous Christian, because you are on the same footing as they: "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" (Eph. 2:8-9).

From the beginning have confidence and assurance that Jesus is the Rock on which you rest, and also on which you rear your castle of character; and that Rock will not melt away, or vary with the wind or the times. Be strong and of a good courage, and anchor your soul to these words: "The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are His" (2 Tim. 2:19).

2. FAITH

This is an essential, because God says, "without faith it is impossible to please Him" (Heb. 11:6). Now, faith is absolute confidence in the Word of God as the truth. Don't say, with the little schoolboy, "Faith is believing what ain't." No! Faith is believing what is. Faith is taking God at His word and refusing to doubt Him.

Soon you will meet with some worldly-wise people who will proceed to show you what they call "the mistakes of the Bible," and "the illogical position of the believer." Well, when they have had their say, just tell them that you prefer to believe God, who cannot lie (Titus 1:2).

Also, at times you will very likely be troubled with inward feelings, such as unrest, doubt, fear, and no assurance; and just at that season Satan will whisper, "You cannot be saved after all, or you would be peaceful and happy." Meet him with the shield of faith and say, "I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me" (Acts 27:25), for "He cannot deny Himself" (2 Tim. 2:13).

Dear friend, repeat this verse of Scripture very often and it will help you: "This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith" (1 John 5:4). The way to get faith is by knowledge of the Bible, because "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17). That leads to our next thought.

3. FOOD

I Give you two mottos: first, "Without faith it is impossible to please God"; second, "without food it is impossible to grow in godliness." You must have nourishment for your soul, just as you must have it for your body. The Bible is a table spread with good things, and you must sit down and dine there daily.

When the Lord raised the ruler's daughter from the dead, He commanded that food should be given to her (Luke 8:55); and now that He has raised you from the death of sin, He orders food to build you up in stalward, spiritual strength. "Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read" (Isaiah 34:16), He commands; and as you turn to obey, you will find the Bible both milk and meat for your soul.

Begin on the milk by reading John's Gospel, Paul's Epistles to Timothy, the Psalms, and the First Epistle of John; then take a little meat from Romans and Ephesians, and, later on, turn to the solid food of the prophets and the Revelation. Ever bear in mind, a growing, healthy Christian needs the whole Bible.

Robert Murray McCheyne once wrote: "No life without a Bible. It is just the breathings of God's heart." The wise Dr. Samuel Johnson, on his deathbed, said, "Young man, attend the the voice of one who has possessed a certain degree of fame in the world, and who is about to appear before his Maker: read the Bible every day of your life." Let us urge you to follow his advice.

4. FIDELITY

Dear young Christian, confess Jesus before others. Be loyal and faithful to Him in the hard place. Yes, and when He tells you to do anything, don't run away like Jonah, but do it, even if it means offering your dearest treasure, as Abraham was called to do (Heb. 11:17). You may not understand why now, but you will know hereafter; so never flinch from your fidelity to Christ.

"Do not be ashamed to own Him,
Or obey your Lord's command;
In your every word and action
Show the world just where you stand."

5. FELLOWSHIP

Learn to know Christ intimately, even as you came to know your best friend. How did you do that? By talking to him. Well, talk much to Jesus. Pray every morning, and don't rush your prospects for the day; ask Him to guide you. He is better than a king's counsellor, and He will guide you with His counsel (Ps. 73:24); only you must ask Him. Then pray for others, and especially for some unsaved friend. Be a praying Christian, and you will be a powerful one. Dwell in the secret place of the most high, and you will "abide under the shade of the Almighty" (Ps. 91:1). That is royal fellowship.

William Wilberforce, the great statesman, once wrote to his son; "Let me conjure you not to be seduced into neglecting, curtailing, or hurrying over morning prayer. Of all things, guard against neglecting GOD in the closet. There is nothing more fatal to the life and power of religion. More solitude and earlier hours- prayer three times a day at least. How much better might I serve if I cultivate a closer communion with God." At any cost strive to cultivate that close communion. It will make you Christlike.

"Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,
The Christian's native air;
His watchword at the gates of death;
He enters heaven with prayer.

6. FIRE

God says, He maketh "His ministers a flame of fire" (Heb. 1:17). Well, ask Him to make you a flame, and then go out into the world and be fiery.

John the Baptist was "a burning and a shining light" (John 5:35). Aim to be like him. Blaze out the story of "the great salvation" from your life, your lips, and your love. Seek to win other souls. Seek to stir other Christians. Don't be one who learns, but one who leads. Never get off boil, or you may become lukewarm, and then cold, and then -- calamity! Oh, be fiery! Remember, the place to keep hot is not with Christ's enemies by a fire of coals, like Peter in John 18:18, but, rather by Christ's cross.

Every morning at the foot of the Cross renew your first love and zeal. Keep your first love for Christ ever fresh and fervent, and often repeat Mr. Moody's prayer: "Lord, let me die, before the fire dies out in me."

"Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Till I am wholly Thine,
Till all this earthly part of me,
Glows with Thy fire divine."

7. FINISH

Dear Friend, it is not enough to start well, or even to go half-way well, you must finish well. "Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof" (Ecc. 7:8). There was joy when you were born again. There is joy now in the Christian life; but there will be "joy unspeakable and full of glory" at the finish, to all those who "hold the beginning of (their) confidence steadfast unto the end" (Heb. 3:14).

So, "be not weary in well doing." Don't fall behind in the race, but "so run, that ye may obtain" (1 Cor. 9:24). "I have finished my course," declared the great Apostle Paul on the eve of his departure for Heaven; an so, may God enable you, like Paul, to finish the race set before you will credit and with honour.

In the time of England's peril, in 1805, Lord Nelson wrote home, "If I fall on the glorious occasion (of battle), it shall be my pride to take care that my friends shall not blush for me. These things are in the hands of a just and wise Providence, and His will be done. My mind is calm. Whatever happens, I have run a glorious race." He did indeed "run a glorious race" for his king and country, and surely we should endeavor to do the same for our great King -- the Lord Jesus Christ.

In a Baptist church in Sydney, there is a tablet erected to the memory of a departed servant of the Lord Jesus, and the writing on it has often inspired me -- three short sentences grandly describing the life of the departed one:

"Life's work well done."
"Life's race well run."
"Life's crown well won."

(Taken from Baptist Bible Believers Study Site)

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Daily Devotional for Monday November 8th/04

A friend of mine gave me his notes for an awesome sermon he preached last month in our church. He has graciously allowed me to put it online and share it with others. This is a message that we can all benefit by, and I pray it will be a blessing to you. (This is the way David Garner had his notes typed up - I just added in the Scripture references.)

Last week, I posted a study entitled The Garden Of Eden, which was the first in a series of studies that I am putting together. This is not the second study (which will be entitled The Garden of Gethsemane) - that one will probably be posted within the next several days when I get an opportunity to type it up. While David Garner's study and mine are both on the same general topic, they look at the Garden of Gethsemane from different angles.

Have You Knelt At Gethsemane?

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***Daily Devotional for Tuesday November 9th/04***

I have finished typing up the second part of my series on The Story Of Three Gardens - The Garden Of Gethsemane. I hope it is a blessing to all who read it, and my prayer is that those who do not yet understand the Biblical story of Redemption will come to an understanding of what salvation means through reading this series.

The Garden Of Gethsemane

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday November 10th/04

The king of terrors. Job 18:14

So the ancients spoke of death. They were constantly pursued by the dread of the unknown. Every unpeopled or distant spot was the haunt and dwelling-place of evil and dreadful objects. But the grave, and the world beyond, were above all terrible, and death the King of Terrors. It is difficult for us, who inherit centuries of Christian teaching, to realize how dark and fearsome was all the realm that lay under the dominion of death and the grave. What a shiver in those words, King of Terrors!

But for us how vast the contrast! Jesus has abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light. He has gone through the grave, and come again to assure us that it is the back door into our Father's house, with its many mansions. At his girdle hang the keys of death and Hades; none can shut the door when He opens it, and none open when He keeps it shut. He was Himself dead; but He lives for evermore, and comes to the side of each dying saint to escort him through the valley to his own bright abode.

There is something better. In the case of immense numbers, who shall be alive and remain when He comes again, death will be entirely evaded. "He that liveth and believeth in Him shall never die." They shall be caught away to meet the Lord in the air. Suddenly, in the twinkling of an eye, this mortal shall put on immortality, this corruptible incorruption. At his coming the grave shall be despoiled of its treasures, and death shall miss its expected prey.

"0 death, where is thy sting! 0 grave, where is thy victory! Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

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

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Daily Devotional for Thursday November 11th/04

The devotion today is on Psalm 16, one of the Messianic Psalms. This study is taken from the book Psalms of Victory by Robert Parsons (Moody Press).

THE INHERITING SON

"The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage." (Psalm 16:6)

Here is a most remarkable Messianic utterance. Remember that the psalm is a prayer of Jesus Christ, the One who left the ivory palaces of heaven to enter a world of woe; the One who laid aside the splendor of a Prince to wear a cloak of human poverty; the sinless One who came to bear the iniquity of a fallen race. Remember that as He prays He is fully aware of the suffering and shame that lay ahead.

In verse 6 the Lord Jesus says: "The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage." Can this be true of one whose whole earthly life was a painful prelude to a sacrificial death?

The last part of the verse offers a key to the answer: "I have a goodly heritage." But to apply the key, we must understand the meaning of His "goodly heritage." Could it be that we (born-again believers) are His heritage? In verse 3, Jesus had said that the saints in the earth were His delight. In Ephesians 1:11 we read that He is the One "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance." And we must not forget that we are the sheep of His pasture.

Our salvation from the guilt, penalty and power of sin; our peace and joy in an unfriendly world; our hope of glory - all these blessings and ten thousand beside - were to be accomplished by His servitude and suffering. The "lines" had fallen pleasantly because He knew that His sacrifice would accomplish redemption, and that the redeemed ones would die with Him, rise from the dead with Him, live for Him, and one day reign with Him forever. He knew also that the Father's will was perfect and right.

Add to this the joy of constant fellowship with the Father, and verse 6 becomes logical, understandable, and beautiful.

"The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places." This may be our testimony too. We may enjoy unbroken fellowship with our Lord (1 John 1:3, 7). The future is bright with blessing; and today, no matter how much we are called upon to suffer or how fearful the prospects of tomorrow may appear, we may trust our heavenly Father, and rest in full assurance that His will is best for us. The road ahead may not be an easy one; but be the wilderness what it may, God is not diminished by it.

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Daily Devotional for Friday November 12th/04

The devotion today is on Psalm 16, one of the Messianic Psalms. This study is taken from the book Psalms of Victory by Robert Parsons (Moody Press).

THE CONFIDENT SON

"I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved." (Psalm 16:8)

During His earthly life, Jesus lived in unbroken communion with the Father. His was a perfect, yielded life, controlled by one great purpose. "I have set the Lord." The verb 'set' expresses purpose and indicates that this was His heart's choice. The adverb always points to the constancy of both. First, last, and always, the choice and purpose of the Lord Jesus Christ was to seek the Father's face and do His will.

Because He could say, "I have set the Lord always before me," Jesus could affirm: "Because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved." Nothing, not even the devil (Matt. 4:1-11), moved the Saviour from the work He came to do. The price to be paid was appalling, but Jehovah was at His side. God was at His right hand before Caiaphas, before Annas, before Pilate, before Herod, on the road to Golgotha, and even when the Father's face was momentarily hidden from Him at Calvary. So He could say, "I shall not be moved." In other words, "I shall complete the work of redemption."

In what sense and in what measure can be apply this verse to our lives? We cannot, of course, say that we have always set the Lord before us. None can affirm, "I have had no other motive but to please the Lord; I have had no other thought than to honor Him." Most of us share the feeling of the late Harry A. Ironside, who said, "The best I can say after half a century of service is, 'I have set Jehovah sometimes before me. I wish I had done it more.'"

But Jesus is still our example, and the Bible still exhorts us to "walk, even as he walked" (1 John 2:6). Our sincere desire and honest purpose should be to set the Lord ever before us. And if this be our choice, He will be at our right hand to strengthen in time of weakness; to comfort in the hour of trial; and to guide through the tangled, complex ways of life.

Is there a task to do? Is there a duty to perform? With Him at our side we can go forward confidently, singing:

"I shall not be, I shall not be moved;
Just like a tree that's planted by the waters --
I shall not be moved."

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Daily Devotional for Saturday November 13th/04

One phrase in particular, which is found in Mark's account, is of terrible import. This is it: "He prayed that the hour might pass away from Him." He who had set His face as a flint to go up to Jerusalem for this very hour, now prays that it might pass away from Him. He had constantly spoken of "the hour," and it was vividly in His consciousness. To the owner of the upper room He had sent the message, "My time is at hand; I keep the Passover at thy house with my disciples." Luke says, "When the hour was come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him." John says, "Jesus knew that His hour was come; ... having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end." Just before Gethsemane, according to John, Jesus had said, "Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour; but for this cause came I unto this hour." And just after His discourse in the upper room, in His high-priestly prayer, He had turned to His Father with the words, "Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify Thee."

I do not suppose the human mind can grasp the import of the prayer that the hour might pass away from Christ. This was the hour for which He had left His throne and come into the world. This was the hour to which the eternal counsels of the Almighty had pointed when the Lamb had been slain from the foundation of the world. This was the hour of the redemption of God's whole creation, the central hour of the ages, the hour when the holiness of God would meet the sin and unholiness of a rebel world, and redeem it from destruction. But when the hour actually comes and its force strikes against Him, Jesus falls to the ground and prays to His Father that the hour might pass away from Him.

What if the hour had passed away from Him! What if the cost had proved too high! What if He had not been willing to drink the cup! The heart can hardly conceive the infinite loss and disaster that would have come to mankind if He had been saved from that hour, if the very hour for which He had come into the world had been allowed to pass from Him, and He had been unable to drink the cup. And Jesus knew this. Then what was facing Him in that hour that caused such a prayer? What did that cup contain to make the strong Son of God shrink from it in sorrow and amazement and horror?

(Editor: The author then goes on to relate his own experience with a nervous breakdown, where he endured such unspeakable thoughts and mental horrors for about two years.)

...How could I forget such an experience? How shall I ever forget! But it was that experience which helped me to understand to some extent Christ's agony in Gethsemane. When my mind grasped a little of the impurity and the wickedness and the foul loathsomeness which He faced in that hour when He bore our sin, my question was answered; and it changed to deep, adoring wonder that He had been willing to face that cup for our sakes. I found myself exclaiming, "Father, if He had not shrunk from that unspeakably detestable cup, if His soul had not been filled with sorrow even unto death, and with infinite aversion and abhorrence when 'the hour' brought before Him the shame and impurity and wickedness and iniquity of 'us all' that 'was laid upon Him,' then He could not have been Thy most holy Son, sharing Thy holy nature."

...Gethsemane's prayer is Love's agony in the face of Sin!

(Taken from Gethsemane by Robert W. Cummings)

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Daily Devotional for Sunday November 14th/04

Christ went to Gethsemane to fully and adequately deal with my sin. He wore the crown of thorns to do away with the curse that rested on my brow. He was scourged that He might provide ointment and medicine for my infirmities. He went to the cross to remove the sting of death and sin; into the tomb to break death's hold on me. He took my place in Gethsemane, on Calvary, and in the rock-hewn tomb, that He might deliver me from the power of evil. If it was for me, then my life must be the proof of the efficacy of His finished work.

How? Through living faith in the power of the risen Christ. This is the proof of His victory that Christ desires. He wants to show in my life the greatness and the power of what He accomplished on the cross and in the resurrection.

Christ wants my victory over sin to prove Gethsemane. He wants my victory over the curse and death to prove Calvary. He wants my resurrection into newness of life to prove the power and reality of His resurrection.

We were studying the subject of the Resurrection in a Bible class in India. The question was raised, "Why did the Lord Jesus appear only to His disciples after His resurrection? Why did He not appear to Pilate, to the chief priests and elders of His people, to the Jews who had rejected and crucified Him?" Many answers were given, helpful and to the point; but the answer given by one of the members of the class deserves to be read and pondered by every man and woman who claims to believe on the Lord Jesus, the risen Christ. The answer was this: "Our Lord wanted His disciples to be the proof of His resurrection."

He did not want the truth of the resurrection to rest upon some miraculous, awe-inspiring appearance to the world, but upon the victorious lives of those who believed on Him. Our Lord became incarnate, lived, died, and rose from the dead in order to transform the lives of those who believed on Him. Therefore He wanted them to be the proof of His resurrection. He did not rise from the dead in order to impress the world with the greatness of His miraculous power; so He did not want His resurrection to be proved by awe-inspiring appearances of one who had been dead and had risen again. He rose from the dead as one who had conquered on our behalf. He came forth on the Resurrection morning, the Victor over man's sin, not His own, for He never sinned; the Victor over man's curse, not His own; the Victor over man's bondage to death and the fear of death. He rose to deliver man and to set man free.

...Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Did you not see that it was my sin, my curse, my sorrow, my pain, and my death that He bore? And because it was my grief, sorrow, sin, and pain that He bore, when He rose, I looked and saw, and behold, in His resurrection my death was swallowed up of life; my sorrow was turned into joy; my defeat was blotted out in the finality of His victory!

Lord Jesus, make me a living, incontrovertible proof of Thy resurrection! I stand with the hosts of the disciples of the ages, in the room where we have closed ourselves in for fear of the unbelieving, cruel world, and suddenly He stands in our midst, saying, "Peace be unto you!" He shows us His hands and His side. He breathes on us, saying, "Receive ye the Holy Spirit." You see My hands. They are conquering hands, conquerors of sin, death, and the cross. You see My side. From it flows the double cure. Henceforth these hands are with you. This side is ever present. You are witnesses of God's cure for the curse. Tarry until ye receive power - the resurrection power - then go forth, witnesses unto Me, the living, victorious Christ, Conqueror of Gethsemane and Calvary and death."

(Taken from Gethsemane by Robert W. Cummings)

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Daily Devotional for Monday November 15th/04

A BUTTERFLY USED TO ANSWER PRAYER

(Taken from Illustrations of Bible Truths by Harry A. Ironside)

"Is there anything too hard for me?" (Jer. 32:27)

An English evangelist, whom I have learned to know and love, Mr. H. P. Barker, tells an interesting story of a poor woman who was being pressed by a tradesman to pay an account which she knew she had already settled. In that case he demanded that she produce a receipt; quite certain she had received one she hunted and hunted, but was absolutely unable to find it. She went through piles of papers and letters, but to no avail - the receipt was not forthcoming. Finally the tradesman came to her again and made a very angry demand upon her for immediate payment.

In her distress she turned to the Lord in earnest prayer, asking Him to bring the receipt to light. Then in a moment or two, a butterfly flew into the room through an open window, and her little boy, eager to catch the beautiful creature, ran after it. The frightened insect flew over to the wall on one side and down behind a trunk. The boy in his eagerness to catch it, pushed out the trunk, and there, behind it on the floor lay the missing receipt! Snatching it up triumphantly, the poor widow showed it to the tradesman, who went away discomfited. As his own handwriting declared, the debt had been paid.

Who can doubt but that He who notes the sparrow's fall and who would have us learn lessons from the ant and the coney and other small creatures, directed even the movements of a butterfly in order that He might answer His handmaiden's prayer!


True Story From The Newspaper
(Posted by one of the Admins of BBBSB)

Incredibly just after I posted this last piece about the butterfly, I picked up our morning paper to see the most incredible sight. A young Christian family had just lost their kindergarten aged child, in fact, I'll post these words from the paper.

The mother's sobs were the first sound people heard as they took their seats in the sanctuary.

It wasn't the soft crying someone makes when trying to hold in their grief. Rather, it was a wailing, a howling - and even those who had come to the service determined not to break down began to dab their eyes.

At times, the crying sounded muffled, as if by a kind shoulder, but nothing anyone could say or do seemed to provide much comfort then.

Just a few days earlier, these young parents youngest daughter was out chasing butterflies. They never would have guess that the end of summer also would bring her life's short season to a close. Samantha was five years old when she died of unknown causes.

The day before she died, Samantha played all day. She caught about a dozen butterflies, cupping them gently in her little hands so she could show them to her mom before letting them fly away.

That night she crawled into bed with her parents. She wasn't feeling well, so they let her stay with them. The next morning she collapsed. Her heart stopped beating in the ambulance. She was pronounced dead shortly after she got to the hospital.

The Pastor and the others speakers at the service said Samantha was like those butterflies she so loved to catch. Although her time on Earth was short, she had shed her cocoon and gone on to a beautiful, joyful life in heaven.

Balloons shaped like butterflies flew at the front of the sanctuary near huge bouquets of red and orange flowers. Her body lay in a small white casket. On it, friends and family had written messages in permanent marker, almost as if it were a plaster cast and Samantha had broken her arm.

Instead of get-well-soon wishes, however, the notes were more serious. "We'll see you in heaven," read one from mommy and daddy.

The mother was the last to exit the church. As she left the church, people noticed a flutter on the sleeve of her white cotton sweater. It was a butterfly perched on her arm, opening and closing its wings, but not flying away.

It stayed with her during the ride to the cemetery and as she sat beside her daughter's grave. It remained long after the service was over.

"That's so bizarre," one of the mourners gathered around her afterward said, marveling at the insect's continuing presence.

"It's not bizarre," Samantha's mother said, no longer crying, "It's God."

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday November 16th/04

THE BIBLE A MIRROR

"If any man be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was" (Jam. 1:23-24).

I ran across an illustration the other day that I think pictures this admirably. An elderly gentleman, who was very nearsighted, prided himself on his ability as an art critic. On one occasion he was accompanying some friends through a large gallery and was seeking to display his real or fancied knowledge of pictures to these friends. He had left his glasses at home and not able to see things very clearly. Standing before a large frame, he began to point out the inartistic features of the picture there revealed. "The frame," he said, "is altogether out of keeping with the subject and as for the subject itself (it was that of a man) it is altogether too homely, in fact, too ugly, ever to make a good picture. It is a great mistake for any artist to choose so homely a subject for a picture if he expects it to be a masterpiece."

The old gentleman was going on like this when his wife managed to get near enough to interrupt. She exclaimed, "My dear, you are looking into a mirror." He was quite taken back to realize that he had been criticizing his own face.

Now the Word of God is such a mirror. It does not hide our deformities. It shows us up just as we are. But we are not to be occupied with our old selves. The Spirit of God would turn us away from self altogether to occupation with the risen Christ, and as we are taken up with Him, we are kept from sin. It is when we get our eyes off Christ and become self-occupied or taken up with the world around us that we fail. And who of us does not so fail? We all have to confess our failures from day to day, but our ever living Saviour is not only our High Priest to minister all needed grace and help, but even when we fail to avail ourselves of that as we should, He is our Advocate still and the moment we fail, He takes up our case with the Father. Mark, it does not say, "If any man confess his sin, we have an advocate," but rather, "If any many sin, we have an advocate." The moment we fail He is in the Father's presence about us, and as a result of His gracious advocacy, the Spirit continues His work in our hearts, bringing us to repentance and confession, and "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

(Taken from Illustrations of Bible Truths by Harry A. Ironside)

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday November 17th/04

HOLDING ON TO SPIKES

"And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation" (Gen. 7:1).

Noah, like Abraham, is a very striking example of one who has been declared righteous because of his faith. It was faith that led him to prepare an ark for the saving of his house, when there seemed no evidence of a coming flood. It was faith that led him to obey God and enter that ark, with all his family, when commanded to do so by God. Inside the ark all were secure until the deluge was over. They were kept by omnipotent power. The ark bore all the brunt of the storm. Noah and his household were shut in by God, who had Himself closed the door. The same hand that shut them in shut all the unbelieving antediluvian world outside. The ark was a type of Christ. All who are in Christ are eternally secure.

Suppose when the ark was completed God had said, "Now, Noah, go and get eight large, strong spikes and drive them into the side of the ark." Imagine Noah procuring these spikes and doing as commanded. Then when each spike was securely fastened, let us presume that God said, "Come thou and all thy house and take hold of these spikes, and all who hang on the end of the flood will be saved." How long do you think Noah and the rest would have been secure?

I can imagine each one taking hold of a spike -- then the waters rising as the rain poured down. In a few minutes they would have been soaked to the skin. Then think of the terrific strain on joints and muscles as the ark was lifted from the earth and began its perilous voyage through the raging waters. I think I hear Noah calling to his wife, "Mother, how is it going; all is well?"

And she calls back, "I'm holding on. Do pray for me that I may be able to hold out to the end!"

Soon poor Mrs. Ham would cry out, "It's no use, can't hang on any longer. I am going to backslide." And she would let go and be swept away by the flood. How long do you suppose it would be before every one of them would be obliged to let go and so go down to death?

Thank God, that is not a true picture of His salvation. He is not calling men to hang on to Christ. But just as Noah entered into the ark and found there perfect security, so every believer is in Christ and saved for eternity. It is not a question of our ability to hang on, but of Christ's ability to carry us safely through to the glory. He who has begun the good work in us will perfect it until the day of manifestation.

(Taken from Illustrations of Bible Truths by Harry A. Ironside)

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Daily Devotional for Thursday November 18th/04

Unanswered?

"Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily." (Luke 18:6, 7)

God's seasons are not at your beck. If the first stroke of the flint doth not bring forth the fire, you must strike again. God will hear prayer, but He may not answer it at the time which we in our minds have appointed; He will reveal Himself to our seeking hearts, but not just when and where we have settled in our own expectations. Hence the need of perseverance and importunity in supplication.

In the days of flint and steel and brimstone matches we had to strike and strike again, dozens of times, before we could get a spark to live in the tinder; and we were thankful enough if we succeeded at last.

Shall we not be as persevering and hopeful as to heavenly things? We have more certainty of success in this business than we had with our flint and steel, for we have God's promises at our back.

Never let us despair. God's time for mercy will come; yea, it has come, if our time for believing has arrived. Ask in faith nothing wavering; but never cease from petitioning because the King delays to reply. Strike the steel again. Make the sparks fly and have your tinder ready; you will get a light before long. - C. H. Spurgeon

I do not believe that there is such a thing in the history of God's kingdom as a right prayer offered in a right spirit that is forever left unanswered. - Theodore L. Cuyler

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Friday November 19th/04

The righteous also shall hold on his way. Job 17:9

When the real life of God enters the soul, it persists there. Genuine religion is shown by its power of persistence. Anything short of a God-given faith will sooner or later fail. It may run well for a time, but its pace will inevitably slacken till it comes to a stand. The youths faint and are weary, and the young men utterly fall. The seed sown on the rock springs up quickly, and as quickly dies down and perishes. But where there is the rooting and grounding in God, there is a perpetuity and persistence which outlives all storms and survives all resistance.

You shall hold on your way because Jesus holds you in his strong hand. He is your Shepherd; He has vanquished all your foes, and you shall never perish.

You shall hold on your way because the Father has designed through you to glorify his Son; and there must be no gaps in his crown where jewels ought to be.

You shall hold on your way because the Holy Spirit has deigned to make you his residence and home; and He is within you the perennial spring of a holy life.

It is said that there was once a debate in heaven, as to which kind of life needed most of God's grace. That of a man who after a lifetime of gross sins was converted at the eleventh hour, or of a man that for his whole career had been kept from destruction. And finally the latter was agreed to be the most conspicuous miracle. And there is no doubt that this is so. Yet for this also shall God's grace avail: and He shall enable thee to hold on thy way till heaven open to thee.

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

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Daily Devotional for Saturday November 20th/04

Psalms 22:1 My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?

Spurgeon rightly says: "We must lay emphasis on every word of this saddest of all utterances. 'Why?' What is the great cause of such a strange fact as for God to leave His own Son at such a time and in such a plight? There was no cause in Him, why then was He deserted? There was no cause in Him, why then was He deserted? 'Hast,' it is done, and the Saviour is feeling its dread effect as He asks the question; it is surely true, but how mysterious! It was no threatening of forsaking which made the great Surety cry aloud, He endured that forsaking in very deed. 'Thou': I can understand why traitorous Judas and timid Peter should be gone, but Thou, My God, My faithful friend, how canst Thou leave me? This is the worst of all, yea, worse than all put together. Hell itself has for its fiercest flame the separation of the soul from God. 'Forsaken': if Thou hadst chastened I might bear it, for Thy face would shine; but to forsake me utterly, ah! why is this? 'Me': Thine innocent, obedient, suffering Son, why leavest Thou Me to perish? A sight of self seen by penitence, and of Jesus on the cross seen by faith will best expound this question. Jesus is forsaken because our sins had separated between us and our God."

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Daily Devotional for Sunday November 21st/04

Who's Your Attorney?

After living what I felt was a "decent" life, my time on earth came to the end. The first thing I remember is sitting on a bench in the waiting room of what I thought to be a court house. The doors opened and I was instructed to come in and have a seat by the defense table. As I looked around I saw the "prosecutor." He was a villainous looking gent who snarled as he stared at me He definitely was the most evil person I have ever seen. I sat down and looked to my left and there sat My Attorney, a kind and gentle looking man whose appearance seemed so familiar to me, I felt I knew Him. The corner door flew open and there appeared the Judge in full flowing robes. He commanded an awesome presence as He moved across the room. I couldn't take my eyes off of Him. As He took His seat behind the bench, He said, "Let us begin."

The prosecutor rose and said, "My name is Satan and I am here to show you why this man belongs in hell." He proceeded to tell of lies that I told, things that I stole, and in the past when I cheated others. Satan told of other horrible perversions that were once in my life and the more he spoke, the further down in my seat I sank. I was so embarrassed that I couldn't look at anyone, even my own Attorney, as the Devil told of sins that even I had completely forgotten about.

As upset as I was at Satan for telling all these things about me, I was equally upset at My Attorney who sat there silently not offering any form of defense at all. I know I had been guilty of those things, but I had done some good in my life - couldn't that at least equal out part of the harm I'd done? Satan finished with a fury and said, "This man belongs in hell, he is guilty of all that I have charged and there is not a person who can prove otherwise."

When it was His turn, My Attorney first asked if He might approach the bench. The Judge allowed this over the strong objection of Satan, and beckoned Him to come forward. As He got up and started walking, I was able to see Him in His full splendor and majesty. I realized why He seemed so familiar; this was Jesus representing me, my Lord and my Savior.

He stopped at the bench and softly said to the Judge, "Hi, Dad," and then He turned to address the court. "Satan was correct in saying that this man had sinned, I won't deny any of these allegations. And, yes, the wage of sin is death, and this man deserves to be punished." Jesus took a deep breath and turned to His Father with outstretched arms and proclaimed, "However, I died on the cross so that this person might have eternal life and he has accepted Me as his Savior, so he is Mine." My Lord continued with, "His name is written in the book of life and no one can snatch him from Me. Satan still does not understand yet. This man is not to be given justice, but rather mercy." As Jesus sat down, He quietly paused, looked at His Father and said, "There is nothing else that needs to be done. I've done it all."

The Judge lifted His mighty hand and slammed the gavel down. The following words bellowed from His lips... "This man is free. The penalty for him has already been paid in full. Case dismissed."

As my Lord led me away, I could hear Satan ranting and raving, "I won't give up, I will win the next one." I asked Jesus as He gave me my instructions where to go next, "Have you ever lost a case?" Christ lovingly smiled and said, "Everyone that has come to Me and asked Me to represent them has received the same verdict as you, "PAID IN FULL."

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Daily Devotional for Monday November 22nd/04

In light of today's push for ecumenicalism, political-correctness, and modernistic churches and false teachers that abound, I thought it would be prudent to send out a good study that I have read in the past and obtained permission to use on my study site. Let's see what the Bible says on the issue of judging false teachings and false teachers.

Is It Right To Judge? - by E.L. Bynum

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday November 23rd/04

I thought it would be worthwhile to post a few short articles or illustrations, with links to where I found them, so as to be a blessing. There are several IFB ladies websites I am familiar with through Angela, and through responses to my poetry and Bible study sites. I wanted to pass on two of them to you. The one for today is: Marantha! (Kate Plourde's website)

The 23rd Psalm Simplified

The Lord is my Shepherd
That's relationship!

I shall not want
That's supply!

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures
That's rest!

He leadeth me beside still waters
That's refreshment!

He restoreth my soul
That's healing!

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
That's guidance!

For His name sake
That's purpose!

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
That's testing!

I will fear no evil
That's protection!

For thou art with me
That's faithfulness!

Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me
That's discipline!

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies
That's hope!

Thou anointest my head with oil
That's consecration!

My cup runneth over
That's abundance!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
That's blessing!

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
That's security!

Forever
That's eternity!!

Author Unknown

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday November 24th/04

The second IFB ladies website I wanted to pass on to you is Momof9's Place (Chris Cheedie's website)

Five Sponges

There are five sponges laying on your kitchen counter. Each member of your family has been cleaning up different areas of your home, but all the sponges look the same. You are curious as to what was cleaned, but you can't tell by looking. They all look the same. So, what do you do? As you squeeze the first sponge you see that cola comes out, and you decide that someone cleaned the kitchen with that one. Upon squeezing the second sponge, you find tub and tile cleaner. That one was used in the bathroom. In the third sponge you find motor oil. Someone cleaned the garage. In the fourth sponge, baby power puffs out. The baby's nursery was cleaned with that one. In the last sponge is floor wax. That was the one you used on the hall floor. As you lay the last one down, you look again at their similarity.

They all look the same until they are squeezed. Christians are the same!

As life squeezes us, different things come out: anger, revenge, tears, remorse, greed, untruth, lust and finally, from one saint, pours forth the love of Christ. Just like the sponge, we can only squeeze out what is put in. Stay in the Word daily and be in continuous prayer so that when life puts the squeeze on you, Jesus, and Jesus alone will shine forth.

As you think upon this, ask yourself, if I was squeezed, would Jesus and Jesus alone shine forth?

Author Unknown

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Daily Devotional for Thursday November 25th/04

"Continue in prayer." Colossians 4:2

It is interesting to remark how large a portion of Sacred Writ is occupied with the subject of prayer, either in furnishing examples, enforcing precepts, or pronouncing promises. We scarcely open the Bible before we read, "Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord;" and just as we are about to close the volume, the "Amen" of an earnest supplication meets our ear. Instances are plentiful. Here we find a wrestling Jacob--there a Daniel who prayed three times a day--and a David who with all his heart called upon his God. On the mountain we see Elias; in the dungeon Paul and Silas. We have multitudes of commands, and myriads of promises. What does this teach us, but the sacred importance and necessity of prayer? We may be certain that whatever God has made prominent in His Word, He intended to be conspicuous in our lives. If He has said much about prayer, it is because He knows we have much need of it. So deep are our necessities, that until we are in heaven we must not cease to pray. Dost thou want nothing? Then, I fear thou dost not know thy poverty. Hast thou no mercy to ask of God? Then, may the Lord's mercy show thee thy misery! A prayerless soul is a Christless soul. Prayer is the lisping of the believing infant, the shout of the fighting believer, the requiem of the dying saint falling asleep in Jesus. It is the breath, the watchword, the comfort, the strength, the honour of a Christian. If thou be a child of God, thou wilt seek thy Father's face, and live in thy Father's love. Pray that this year thou mayst be holy, humble, zealous, and patient; have closer communion with Christ, and enter oftener into the banqueting-house of His love. Pray that thou mayst be an example and a blessing unto others, and that thou mayst live more to the glory of thy Master. The motto for this year must be, "Continue in prayer."

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning and Evening devotional)

Spurgeon makes some reference to this hymn in his devotional, and I wanted to share it with you as well:

Prayer Is The Soul's Sincere Desire
(lyrics: James Montgomery)

Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire,
Unuttered or expressed;
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.

Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear
The upward glancing of an eye,
When none but God is near.

Prayer is the simplest form of speech
That infant lips can try;
Prayer, the sublimest strains
That reach The Majesty on high.

Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath,
The Christian’s native air,
His watchword at the gates of death;
He enters Heav’n with prayer.

Prayer is the contrite sinner’s voice,
Returning from his ways,
While angels in their songs rejoice
And cry, “Behold, he prays!”

The saints in prayer appear as one
In word, in deed, and mind,
While with the Father and the Son
Sweet fellowship they find.

No prayer is made by man alone
The Holy Spirit pleads,
And Jesus, on th’eternal throne,
For sinners intercedes.

O Thou by Whom we come to God,
The Life, the Truth, the Way,
The path of prayer Thyself hast trod:
Lord, teach us how to pray.

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Daily Devotional for Friday November 26th/04

A SEVENFOLD COMPOSITE PICTURE OF A CHRISTIAN AND HIS DUTIES
(2 Timothy chapter 2)

In this chapter the Christian is presented in seven successive pictures and in each of these pictures his duties are pointed out, appropriate to the picture itself.

1. "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus" (1-2). A Christian is a son, and as such he is to be strong in grace. And it is the duty of each one of us, as much as it was of Timothy, that the things which we have received we should commit to faithful men able to teach others also.

2. "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ" (3-4). Being a soldier is quite different from being a son. A son in his father's house may be strong in grace, but a soldier in the army must endure hardship, and he must separate himself from everything in order to devote himself absolutely to the task in hand. "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."

3. "And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully" (5). Here the Christian is pictured as an athlete contending for a prize. Just as a contestant in the athletic games must observe the rules or be disqualified, so the Christian in the struggle in which he engages must carefully observe the instructions for his guidance laid down in the Word of God. Of course the prize for which the Christian is striving is not salvation, for that is a gift. it is rather the reward promised the faithful servant (1 Cor. 3:11-15).

4. "The husbandman that laboreth must be first partaker of the fruits" (6). The Christian here is pictured as a farmer, and a farmer must labor if he is to partake of the fruits of his farming.

Verses 7 to 14 do not need detailed exposition. It is interesting to point out that in the 8th verse, we are instructed, by all means, to "Remember Jesus Christ!" Have many Christians forgotten Him?

Then in verses 12 and 13 it is a wonderful thing to remember that nothing can effect the faithfulness of God (compare 1 Cor. 1:1-9). Our promise is that "he abideth faithful."

5. "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (15-19). Here the Christian is presented as a skilled workman, an artisan, and as such he must study, always with the object before him that he might be approved unto God. He must learn how to "rightly divide the Word of truth," for the truth has certain right divisions. The Bible is built according to a certain law of structure, and it is only as this fact is recognized, observed, and obeyed, that the Christian workman may obtain God's approval. The Word of God must not be set aside to give way to "profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker." The same word for canker is also used for the sickness of gangrene. Hymenaeus and Philetus had departed from the truth and were teaching that there was no future resurrection, and had overthrown the faith of some. "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure," having a seal with two inscriptions, one on either side; first, "The Lord knoweth them that are his," and, second, "Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."

6. "But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor. If a man therefore purge himself from these (that is, from the vessels to dishonor), he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work" (20-22). Here the Christian is presented as a vessel, and as such he must be a clean vessel, sanctified, or set apart, and meet, that is, fit for the Master's use. And in order that he might qualify for the Master's use and be prepared unto good work he must "flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, love, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart." He must avoid foolish and unlearned questions, knowing that they do gender strifes.

7. "And the servant of the Lord must not strive" (24-26). Notice the contrast between the picture of the Christian as a soldier, and the picture of a Christian as a servant. As a soldier the Christian's business is to strive, to earnestly contend (Jude 3); but as a servant of the Lord he must not strive, he must be submissive. He must "be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."

(Taken from Brief Meditations In Second Timothy by William L. Pettingill)

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Daily Devotional for Saturday November 27th/04

Carrots, Eggs and Coffee

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee. You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what, do you see?"

Carrots, eggs, and coffee, she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity... boiling water. Each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?

Author Unknown

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I wanted to share a daily devotional with you that I receive in my email from Institute for Creation Research. It is entitled Days Of Praise. I emailed them, but could not obtain permission to use their devotionals, but because I have been blessed by these short articles/devotional studies, I wanted to pass on the link where you could either read them online (from their website) or receive them yourself in your email. You can also access any previous issues of this devotional from 1992 onwards, if you so desire.

Mostly they are on the theme of creation, but they also deal with the authority of the Scriptures and other aspects of our walk with the Lord. I like them because they are informative, point out things in the passage I might not have noticed, and reinforce how true science does not conflict with creation or the Bible. These devotionals are also based on the King James Bible.

Daily Devotional for Sunday November 28th/04

Upper Springs

"And Caleb said unto her, What wouldest thou? Who answered, give me a blessing; for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs" (Joshua 15:18, 19).

There are both upper and nether springs. They are springs, not stagnant pools. There are joys and blessings that flow from above through the hottest summer and the most desert land of sorrow and trial. The lands of Achsah were "south lands," lying under a burning sun and often parched with burning heat. But from the hills came the unfailing springs, that cooled, refreshed and fertilized all the land.

There are springs that flow in the low places of life, in the hard places, in the desert places, in the lone places, in the common places, and no matter what may be our situation, we can always find these upper springs.

Abraham found them amid the hills of Canaan. Moses found them among the rocks of Midian. David found them among the ashes of Ziklag when his property was gone, his family captives and his people talked of stoning him, but "David encouraged himself in the Lord."

Habakkuk found them when the fig tree was withered and the fields were brown, but as he drank from them he could sing: "Yet will I rejoice in the Lord and joy in the God of my salvation."

Isaiah found them in the awful days of Sennacherib's invasion, when the mountains seemed hurled into the midst of the sea, but faith could sing: "There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God. God is in the midst of her: she shall not be moved."

The martyrs found them amid the flames, and reformers amid their foes and conflicts, and we can find them all the year if we have the Comforter in our hearts and have learned to say with David: "All my springs are in thee."

How many and how precious these springs, and how much more there is to be possessed of God's own fulness! --A. B. Simpson

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Monday November 29th/04

"Remember the word unto Thy servant, upon which Thou hast caused me to hope." --Psalm 119:49

Whatever your especial need may be, you may readily find some promise in the Bible suited to it. Are you faint and feeble because your way is rough and you are weary? Here is the promise--"He giveth power to the faint." When you read such a promise, take it back to the great Promiser, and ask Him to fulfil His own word. Are you seeking after Christ, and thirsting for closer communion with Him? This promise shines like a star upon you--"Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled." Take that promise to the throne continually; do not plead anything else, but go to God over and over again with this--"Lord, Thou hast said it, do as Thou hast said." Are you distressed because of sin, and burdened with the heavy load of your iniquities? Listen to these words--"I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions, and will no more remember thy sins." You have no merit of your own to plead why He should pardon you, but plead His written engagements and He will perform them. Are you afraid lest you should not be able to hold on to the end, lest, after having thought yourself a child of God, you should prove a castaway? If that is your state, take this word of grace to the throne and plead it: "The mountains may depart, and the hills may be removed, but the covenant of My love shall not depart from thee." If you have lost the sweet sense of the Saviour's presence, and are seeking Him with a sorrowful heart, remember the promises: "Return unto Me, and I will return unto you;" "For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee." Banquet your faith upon God's own word, and whatever your fears or wants, repair to the Bank of Faith with your Father's note of hand, saying, "Remember the word unto Thy servant, upon which Thou hast caused me to hope."

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday November 30th/04

He giveth quietness. Job 34:29.

QUIETNESS amid the accusations of Satan. -- The great accuser points to the stains of our past lives, by which we have defiled our robes and those of others; he says that we shall fall again and again; he imputes evil motives to our holiest actions, and detects flaws in our most sacred services; he raises so great a hubbub that we can hardly hear another voice within our souls. Then the great Intercessor arises and saith, "The Lord rebuke thee, 0 Satan; the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: I have loved with an everlasting love, I have paid the ransom. So "He giveth quietness."

Quietness amid the dash of the storm. -- We sail the lake with Him still, and as we reach its middle waters, far from land, under midnight skies, suddenly a great storm sweeps down. Earth and hell seem arrayed against us, and each billow threatens to overwhelm. Then He arises from his sleep, and rebukes the winds and the waves; His hand waves benediction and repose over the rage of the tempestuous elements. His voice is heard above the scream of the wind in the cordage and the conflict of the billows. Peace, be still! Can you not hear it? And there is instantly a great calm. "He giveth quietness."

Quietness amid the loss of inward consolations. -- He sometimes withdraws these, because we make too much of them. We are tempted to look at our joy, our ecstasies, our transports, or our visions, with too great complacency. Then love, for love's sake, withdraws them. But, by His grace, He leads us to distinguish between them and Himself. He draws nigh, and whispers the assurance of his presence. Thus an infinite calm comes to keep our heart and mind. "He giveth quietness."

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

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