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Daily Devotionals For October 2004

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October 1st
October 2nd
October 3rd
October 4th
October 5th
October 6th

October 7th
October 9th
October 10th
October 11th
October 12th
October 13th
October 14th
October 15th
October 16th
October 17th
October 18th
October 19th
October 20th
October 21st
October 22nd
October 23rd
October 24th
October 25th
October 26th
October 27th
October 28th
October 29th
October 30th
October 31st

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

Praise God - October 11th
Of How Much More Value Are We? - October 26th
 


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 Friday October 1st/04 ***

The Silversmith's Reflection

And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. Malachi 3:3

While reading Malachi chapter 3, a group of women in a Bible study came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse: "And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

One woman spoke up and said the verse was intended to convey the sanctifying influence of the grace of God. Then she said she would visit a silversmith and report to the other women what he said on the subject.

She went accordingly and, without telling the object of her errand, begged to know the process of refining silver, which the smith described to her.

"But, sir," she said, "do you sit while the work of refining is going on?"

"Oh, yes, ma'am," replied the silversmith. "I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining is exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured."

The woman at once saw the beauty and comfort of the expression, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." God sees it needful to put His children into a furnace: His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for them. Their trials do not come at random: "the very hairs of your head are all numbered."

As the woman was leaving the shop, the silversmith called her back and said he had forgotten to mention that the only way to know when the purifying process is complete is when he can see his own image reflected in the silver.

Author Unknown.

The Answers Why

I asked the Lord one day why there were so many mountains in my life,
So much grief and heartache, so much trouble and strife?
I read His Word very carefully, looking for the answers why,
And deep within my soul, I heard His Spirit reply.

I am working all things out for your good;
Removing the debris that shouldn't be there.
There is so much damage that sin has done,
There is so much I need to repair.
There are works that I am doing - if you could only understand -
I am fulfilling all My promises according to My Plan.

The mountains are for reminding you of My goodness and My love,
The weakness is to cause you to lean upon My arms above.
Rest upon My provision, and trust that I will guide you along Life's way,
And rejoice in My grace and mercy that will lead you safely Home one day.

There's a work I am doing inside your very heart,
So one day up in glory, My likeness to you I will impart;
So don't fret about the things that you don't understand,
Just trust my eternal wisdom, and know it's all according to My Plan.

Poem written December 20th, 2002
Jerry Bouey

Being confident of this very thing,
that He which hath begun a good work in you
will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:6

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Daily Devotional For Saturday October 2nd/04

Unfortunately, I cannot remember the source I got this story from.

The Necklace

There is no usefulness except in the Lordship of Jesus. Do not feel sorry for those who permit Him to be Lord in their lives; they are enjoying billion-dollar diamonds while you play with tawdry ten-cent store tinsel. Joy unspeakable and full of glory is ours when He is truly Lord of our lives.

The story is told of an evangelist, of another generation, who lived in Chicago. He and his wife had only one daughter. At the time of the experience, which I am about to relate, this little girl was almost 10 years of age. She was beautiful and had long, blond, curly hair.
For several years, since she had been large enough, she had met her dad at the door when he came in from his office and/or special meetings. She would have his house shoes and bath robe in the living room, along with a cold coke or lemonade. When he was comfortably seated, she would crawl into his lap and smother him with hugs and kisses saying, "I love you more than anything or anybody!"

One day this dad decided to put his little daughter's love to a test. After having enjoyed his welcome home, with all the usual niceties, and while she was hugging and kissing him, declaring that she loved him more than anything or anybody, he interrupted her and told her that he wanted her to give him her little necklace. It had cost ten cents at the local five and dime store (it might cost $3.85 today, with inflation!). She looked puzzled and asked him what he would do with it? He answered by saying that he wanted to burn it in the fireplace, and that if she really loved him more than anything or anybody that she would not mind. She reaffirmed her love for him but refused to give up the necklace. She left him, went into the kitchen, and told her mother that he wanted to burn her necklace and that she liked it very much and believed that he was acting crazy.

For the next three days, when dad came home, she met him with less enthusiasm and less favors.

Each day, he told her that he wanted her to give him her necklace, that if she loved him more than anything or anybody, why should she care? After three days, with her decreasing enthusiasm and favors, she did not welcome him home, show any favors, or express any love for 18 long days--that made three full weeks, since her dad had originally made the request.

Then, the next afternoon, when he came in, she met him with all of her favors and smothered him again with hugs and kisses, saying that she loved him more than anything or anybody, and saying that he could have her necklace and burn it. She cried a little when she gave it to him but insisted that she really wanted him to have it. Then, while they watched it burn she cried a little more but assured him, again, that she wanted him to do it because she did love him more than she loved anything or anybody.

This certainly included the cheap little necklace!

When the necklace was burned and gone, her dad went to the closet where his coat was hanging. He took a little box out of the pocket and began to open it for her. In great excitement, with tear-stained face, she was saying, "Daddy, what is it?" He said, "Sweetheart, it is a string of genuine pearls for you. I paid hundreds of dollars for it." "Oh," she said, "Daddy, how long have you had these pearls?" His reply was, "My dear, I have had them for three weeks." Then, she said, "But Daddy, why didn't you tell me?" He said lovingly, "Sweetheart, I would not tell you, or give them to you, until you were willing to give up the cheap little necklace you had!"

Beloved, are we not guilty of holding on to cheap, tawdry tinsel when He wants to give us billion-dollar diamonds? But it can happen only after we yield to Him as Lord. Then comes the joy unspeakable and full of glory!

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Daily Devotional For Sunday October 3rd/04

Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening Devotional

"So she gleaned in the field until even."
--Ruth 2:17

Let me learn from Ruth, the gleaner. As she went out to gather the ears of corn, so must I go forth into the fields of prayer, meditation, the ordinances, and hearing the word to gather spiritual food. The gleaner gathers her portion ear by ear; her gains are little by little: so must I be content to search for single truths, if there be no greater plenty of them. Every ear helps to make a bundle, and every gospel lesson assists in making us wise unto salvation. The gleaner keeps her eyes open: if she stumbled among the stubble in a dream, she would have no load to carry home rejoicingly at eventide. I must be watchful in religious exercises lest they become unprofitable to me; I fear I have lost much already.

O that I may rightly estimate my opportunities, and glean with greater diligence. The gleaner stoops for all she finds, and so must I. High spirits criticize and object, but lowly minds glean and receive benefit. A humble heart is a great help towards profitably hearing the gospel. The engrafted soul-saving word is not received except with meekness. A stiff back makes a bad gleaner; down, master pride, thou art a vile robber, not to be endured for a moment. What the gleaner gathers she holds: if she dropped one ear to find another, the result of her day's work would be but scant; she is as careful to retain as to obtain, and so at last her gains are great. How often do I forget all that I hear; the second truth pushes the first out of my head, and so my reading and hearing end in much ado about nothing! Do I feel duly the importance of storing up the truth? A hungry belly makes the gleaner wise; if there be no corn in her hand, there will be no bread on her table; she labours under the sense of necessity, and hence her tread is nimble and her grasp is firm; I have even a greater necessity, Lord, help me to feel it, that it may urge me onward to glean in fields which yield so plenteous a reward to diligence.

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Daily Devotional For Monday October 4th/04

Just passing on a few quotes I have come across lately regarding our relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Quotes on Intimacy With God and God's Discipline:

"Many churches today will tell the Christian they must deal with sin in their life to have fellowship with God and end it there.  This is true, but it is not the end in itself.  We must certainly ask God to show us any sin in our life that stands between Him and us.  We must do this every day.  I do this every morning when I start my day.  I ask God to show me if there is any sin that stands between Him and me.  We then must confess and repent from that sin with the intention of forsaking the sin.  Then we have fellowship.  Now we are on speaking terms with God.

"Let me see if I can get this across.  In the book of Ephesians the Apostle Paul explains that the relationship between Christ and the church is like the marriage of a husband and a wife.  In fact the Bible says, that the church is the bride of Christ.  When we get saved we become part of the church or the bride of Christ.  Ephesians 5 explains the intimacy of that relationship.  Watch closely, I just explained how to get on speaking terms with God.  My relationship with my wife would be pretty miserable if all we were ever on was just speaking terms.  There is a whole lot more to having a relationship than just being on speaking terms. Listen to me carefully, my relationship with God must be a passionate relationship!  I need to seek after God.  “Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you.”  I need to love the Lord.  I must passionately seek after Him.  It is more than just being on speaking terms.  Then and only then will he reveal himself to me.  We must have a dependent personal relationship with our Lord.  This is a true passionate love relationship. It is my responsibility to develop in my wife and children a passionate desire for the Lord.  It is my responsibility as your pastor to develop in you a passionate desire for the Lord."  - Terry L. Coomer.

"When he questions his sonship. There are not a few Christians who, when the rod descends upon them, conclude that they are not sons of God after all. They forget that it is written "Many are the afflictions of the righteous" (Ps. 34:19), and that "we must through much tribulation enter the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22). One says, "But if I were His child I should not be in this poverty, misery, pain." Listen to verse 8: "But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons." Learn, then, to look upon trials as proofs of God’s love purging, pruning, purifying thee. The father of a family does not concern himself much about those on the outside of his household: it is they who are within whom he guards and guides, nurtures and conforms to his will. So it is with God." - Arthur Pink.

"But mark, ye people of God, in all these chastisements for sin there is no punishment. When God chastises you he does not punish as a judge does, but he chastens as a father. When he lays the rod on, with many blows and smart ones, there is not one thought of anger in his heart—there is not one look of displeasure in his eye; he means it all for your good; his heaviest blows are as much tokens of his affection as his sweetest caresses. He has no motive but your profit and his own glory. Be of good cheer, then, if these be the reasons. But take care that thou dost fulfill the command—'Be zealous, therefore, and repent.'" - Charles Spurgeon.

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*** Daily Devotional for Tuesday October 5th/04 ***

 Six Things The Lord Opened

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Lord willing, this is the devotional I will be preaching this Friday at the Gospel Mission.

I did preach it and it went very well. I think it gave some people food for thought that they had not considered before!

***Daily Devotional For Wednesday October 6th/04***

The Reasons Why Jesus Came

I have significantly added to and developed this study and have placed it on a separate page on this website.

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Daily Devotional for Thursday October 7th/04

Matthew Henry's comments on Song Of Solomon 6:1

Song of Solomon 6:1 Whither is thy Beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy Beloved turned aside? that we may seek Him with thee.

Here is, I. The enquiry which the daughters of Jerusalem made concerning Christ, v. 1. They still continue their high thoughts of the church, and call her, as before, the fairest among women; for true sanctity is true beauty. And now they raise their thoughts higher concerning Christ: Whither has thy beloved gone, that we may seek him with thee? This would be but an indecent, unacceptable, compliment, if the song were not to be understood spiritually; for love is jealous of a rival, would monopolize the beloved, and cares not that others should join in seeking him; but those that truly love Christ are desirous that others should love him too, and be joined to him; nay, the greatest instance of duty and respect that the church’s children can show to their mother is to join with her in seeking Christ. The daughters of Jerusalem, who had asked (ch. 5:9), What is thy beloved more than another beloved? wondering that the spouse should be so passionately in love with him, are now of another mind, and are themselves in love with him;

for, 1. The spouse had described him, and shown them his excellencies and perfections; and therefore, though they have not seen him, yet, believing, they love him. Those that undervalue Christ do so because they do not know him; when God, by his word and Spirit, discovers him to the soul, with that ray of light the fire of love to him will be kindled.

2. The spouse had expressed her own love to him, her rest in that love, and triumphed in it: This is my beloved; and that flame in her breast scattered sparks into theirs. As sinful lusts, when they break out, defile many, so the pious zeal of some may provoke many, 2 Co. 9:2.

3. The spouse had bespoken their help in seeking her beloved (ch. 5:8); but now they beg hers, for they perceive that now the cloud she had been under began to scatter, and the sky to clear up, and, while she was describing her beloved to them, she herself retrieved her comfort in him. Drooping Christians would find benefit themselves by talking of Christ, as well as do good to others.

Now here, (1.) They enquire concerning him, "Wither has thy beloved gone? which may must we steer our course in pursuit of him?’’ Note, Those that are made acquainted with the excellencies of Christ, and the comfort of an interest in him, cannot but be inquisitive after him and desirous to know where they may meet with him.

(2.) They offer their service to the spouse to accompany her in quest of him: We will seek him with thee. Those that would find Christ must seek him, seek him early, seek him diligently; and it is best seeking Christ in concert, to join with those that are seeking him. We must seek for communion with Christ in communion with saints. We know whither our beloved has gone; he has gone to heaven, to his Father, and our Father. He took care to send us notice of it, that we might know how to direct to him, Jn. 20:17. We must by faith see him there, and by prayer seek him there, with boldness enter into the holiest, and herein must join with the generation of those that seek him (Ps. 24:6), even with all that in every place call upon him, 1 Co. 1:2. We must pray with and for others.


I wrote this poem to comfort some of our missionaries who lost their son to cancer last year. He was saved and is now in the presence of Jesus in Heaven.

He Gathers His Lilies

The Lily of the Valleys, oh the savour of His name,
The blessed Rose of Sharon, age to age still the same.

Like the Lily of the Valleys, so are His children here,
Precious to the heart of God, beloved and so dear.

Jesus feeds among His lilies - the fellowship is sweet,
In the garden of their hearts, where they so often meet.

Scattered throughout this darkened field, their colours are so bright,
Bearing the savour of Christ, they sing songs in the night.

Jesus gathers His lilies, and with joy He takes them home,
This precious harvest of souls arrayed around His throne.

Oh the glory of these lilies, clothed in robes of purest white,
Growing in their Saviour's presence, flourishing in His light.

October 7th, 2004
Jerry Bouey

The field is the world.
Matthew 13:38
I Am the Rose of Sharon, and the Lily of the Valleys.
Like the Lily among thorns, so is My love among the daughters.

Song of Solomon 2:1-2
My Beloved is mine, and I am His: He feedeth among the lilies.
Song of Solomon 2:16
My Beloved is gone down into His garden, to the beds of spices,
to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.

Song of Solomon 6:2

"To gather lilies, wherewith he is pleased to entertain and adorn himself. He picks the lilies one by one, and gathers them to himself; and there will be a general harvest of them at the great day, when he will send forth his angels, to gather all his lilies, that he may be for ever glorified and admired in them." - Matthew Henry.

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Daily Devotional for Saturday October 9th/04

(Taken from chapter one of The Way Into The Holiest, by F. B. Meyer.)

Hebrews 1:1-2 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds;

And yet, throughout the Bible, there is an indubitable unity. What else could have led mankind to look upon these sixty-six tractlets as being so unmistakably related to each other that they must be bound up together under a common cover? There has been something so unique in these books that they have always stood and fallen together. To disintegrate one has been to loose them all. Belief in one has led to belief in all. Their hands are linked and locked so tightly that where one goes all must follow. And though wise and clever men have tried their best, they have never been able to produce a single treatise containing that undefinable quality which gives these their mysterious oneness; and to lack which is fatal to the claims of any book to be included with them, or to demand the special veneration and homage of mankind.

 The world is full of religious books; but the man who has fed his religious life upon the Bible will tell in a moment the difference between them and the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. The eye can instantly detect the absence of life in the artificial flower; the tongue can immediately and certainly detect the absence or presence of a certain flavor submitted to the taste; and the heart of man, his moral sense, is quick to detect the absence in all other religious books of a certain savor which pervades the Bible, from Genesis, the book of beginnings, to the Apocalyptic announcements of the quick coming of the King.

And in the possession of this mysterious attribute, the Old and new Testaments are one. You cannot say there is more of it in the glowing paragraphs of the Apostle Paul than in the splendid prophecies and appeals of the great evangelic prophet, Isaiah. It is certainly in the Gospels; but it is not less in the story of the Exodus. Throughout, there is silence on topics which merely gratify curiosity, but on which other professed revelations have been copiously full. Throughout, there is no attempt to give instruction on science or nature; but to bend all energy in discussing the claims of God on men. Throughout, the crimson cord of sacrifice is clearly manifest, on which the books are strung together as beads upon a thread. And throughout, there is ever the subtle, mysterious, ineffable quality called Inspiration: a term which is explained by the majestic words of this opening verse, "God, having spoken of old to the fathers, hath at the end of these days spoken to us."

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Daily Devotional for Sunday October 10th/04

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional.)

Providence Of Loss

"It came to pass . . . that the brook dried up" (1 Kings 17:7).

The education of our faith is incomplete if we have not learned that there is a providence of loss, a ministry of failing and of fading things, a gift of emptiness. The material insecurities of life make for its spiritual establishment. The dwindling stream by which Elijah sat and mused is a true picture of the life of each of us. "It came to pass . . . that the brook dried up"--that is the history of our yesterday, and a prophecy of our morrows.

In some way or other we will have to learn the difference between trusting in the gift and trusting in the Giver. The gift may be good for a while, but the Giver is the Eternal Love.

Cherith was a difficult problem to Elijah until he got to Zarephath, and then it was all as clear as daylight. God's hard words are never His last words. The woe and the waste and the tears of life belong to the interlude and not to the finale.

Had Elijah been led straight to Zarephath he would have missed something that helped to make him a wiser prophet and a better man. He lived by faith at Cherith. And whensoever in your life and mine some spring of earthly and outward resource has dried up, it has been that we might learn that our hope and help are in God who made Heaven and earth. --F. B. Meyer

Perchance thou, too, hast camped by such sweet waters,
And quenched with joy thy weary, parched soul's thirst;
To find, as time goes on, thy streamlet alters
From what it was at first.

Hearts that have cheered, or soothed, or blest, or strengthened;
Loves that have lavished so unstintedly;
Joys, treasured joys--have passed, as time hath lengthened,
Into obscurity.

If thus, ah soul, the brook thy heart hath cherished
Doth fail thee now--no more thy thirst assuage--
If its once glad refreshing streams have perished,
Let HIM thy heart engage.

He will not fail, nor mock, nor disappoint thee;
His consolations change not with the years;
With oil of joy He surely will anoint thee,
And wipe away thy tears.
--J. D. Smith

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Daily Devotional for Monday October 11th/04

Praise God

It is Thanksgiving Day here is Canada (where I am from), and I thought it would be beneficial to post some of my favourite verses on giving of thanks or praising God.

I had posted Psalm 100 in my Devotional on Sevens In Scripture, and have decided to include those observations here as well:

Psalms 100:1-5 A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before His presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations.

Seven Ways to Praise God:

1. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
2. Serve the LORD with gladness:
3. come before His presence with singing.
4. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
5. and into His courts with praise:
6. be thankful unto Him,
7. and bless His name.

Seven Reasons to Praise God that will never change if you are saved (so you can always praise Him!):

1. Know ye that the LORD He is God:
2. it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves;
3. we are His people,
4. and the sheep of His pasture.
5. For the LORD is good;
6. His mercy is everlasting;
7. and His truth endureth to all generations.

Seven times the phrase "be glad and rejoice" is used in the Bible:

1) Psalms 9:2 I will be glad and rejoice in Thee: I will sing praise to Thy name, O thou most High.

2) Psalms 31:7 I will be glad and rejoice in Thy mercy: for Thou hast considered my trouble; Thou hast known my soul in adversities;

3) Song of Solomon 1:4 Draw me, we will run after Thee: the king hath brought me into His chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in Thee, we will remember Thy love more than wine: the upright love Thee.

4) Isaiah 25:9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.

5) Joel 2:21 Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.

6) Zephaniah 3:14-15 Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, He hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.

7) Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.

Psalms 103:1-5 A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's. (Hm, seven things here as well! - if you count being crowned with lovingkindness and crowned with tender mercies as two things.)

You might also be blessed by downloading a special set of four free computer backgrounds with the lyrics of It Is Well With My Soul, the beautiful hymn by H. G. Spafford. Looking Unto Jesus Backgrounds (located in the middle of the page)

Are you thankful for God's blessings today? Can you say, with the hymnwriter, that it is well with your soul?

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday October 12th/04

Luke 3:4-5 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;

The voice crying in the wilderness demanded a way for the Lord, a way prepared, and a way prepared in the wilderness. I would be attentive to the Master's proclamation, and give Him a road into my heart, cast up by gracious operations, through the desert of my nature. The four directions in the text must have my serious attention.

Every valley must be exalted. Low and grovelling thoughts of God must be given up; doubting and despairing must be removed; and self-seeking and carnal delights must be forsaken. Across these deep valleys a glorious causeway of grace must be raised.

Every mountain and hill shall be laid low. Proud creature - sufficiency, and boastful self-righteousness, must be levelled, to make a highway for the King of kings. Divine fellowship is never vouchsafed to haughty, highminded sinners. The Lord hath respect unto the lowly, and visits the contrite in heart, but the lofty are an abomination unto Him. My soul, beseech the Holy Spirit to set thee right in this respect.

The crooked shall be made straight. The wavering heart must have a straight path of decision for God and holiness marked out for it. Double-minded men are strangers to the God of truth. My soul, take heed that thou be in all things honest and true, as in the sight of the heart-searching God.

The rough places shall be made smooth. Stumbling-blocks of sin must be removed, and thorns and briers of rebellion must be uprooted. So great a visitor must not find miry ways and stony places when He comes to honour His favoured ones with His company. Oh that this evening the Lord may find in my heart a highway made ready by His grace, that He may make a triumphal progress through the utmost bounds of my soul, from the beginning of this year even to the end of it.

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)


I also wanted to send this out. It is worthwhile to put in the front of your Bible, especially if you have a New Testament that you use for soulwinning. That way you will always have it handy if questions come up.

For Whom Did Jesus Die?

He died:

1. For all (1 Timothy 2:6; Isaiah 53:6)
2. For every man (Hebrews 2:9; 1 Timothy 4:10)
3. For the world (John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:19)
4. For the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2)
5. For the ungodly (Romans 5:6)
6. For false teachers (2 Peter 2:1)
7. For many (Matthew 20:28)
8. For Israel (John 11:50-51)
9. For the church (Ephesians 5:25)
10. For me (Galatians 2:20)

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday October 13th/04

Whatever The Cost

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

"Because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son...I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven;…because thou hast obeyed my voice" (Gen. 22:16-18).

And from that day to this, men have been learning that when, at God's voice, they surrender up to Him the one thing above all else that was dearest to their very hearts, that same thing is returned to them by Him a thousand times over. Abraham gives up his one and only son, at God's call, and with this disappear all his hopes for the boy's life and manhood, and for a noble family bearing his name. But the boy is restored, the family becomes as the stars and sands in number, and out of it, in the fullness of time, appears Jesus Christ.

That is just the way God meets every real sacrifice of every child of His. We surrender all and accept poverty; and He sends wealth. We renounce a rich field of service; He sends us a richer one than we had dared to dream of. We give up all our cherished hopes, and die unto self; He sends us the life more abundant, and tingling joy. And the crown of it all is our Jesus Christ. For we can never know the fullness of the life that is in Christ until we have made Abraham's supreme sacrifice. The earthly founder of the family of Christ must commence by losing himself and his only son, just as the Heavenly Founder of that family did. We cannot be members of that family with the full privileges and joys of membership upon any other basis. --C. G. Trumbull

We sometimes seem to forget that what God takes He takes in fire; and that the only way to the resurrection life and the ascension mount is the way of the garden, the cross, and the grave.

Think not, O soul of man, that Abraham's was a unique and solitary experience. It is simply a specimen and pattern of God's dealings with all souls who are prepared to obey Him at whatever cost. After thou hast patiently endured, thou shalt receive the promise. The moment of supreme sacrifice shall be the moment of supreme and rapturous blessing. God's river, which is full of water, shall burst its banks, and pour upon thee a tide of wealth and grace. There is nothing, indeed, which God will not do for a man who dares to step out upon what seems to be the mist; though as he puts down his foot he finds a rock beneath him. --F. B. Meyer

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Daily Devotional for Thursday October 14th/04

Two quotes from Matthew Henry's commentary on the book of Genesis:

Genesis 2:21-23 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

That the woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved. Adam lost a rib, and without any diminution to his strength or comeliness (for, doubtless, the flesh was closed without a scar); but in lieu thereof he had a help meet for him, which abundantly made up his loss: what God takes away from his people he will, one way or other, restore with advantage. In this (as in many other things) Adam was a figure of him that was to come; for out of the side of Christ, the second Adam, his spouse the church was formed, when he slept the sleep, the deep sleep, of death upon the cross, in order to which his side was opened, and there came out blood and water, blood to purchase his church and water to purify it to himself. See Eph. 5:25, 26.

Genesis 3:17-19 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

How admirably the satisfaction our Lord Jesus made by his death and sufferings answered to the sentence here passed upon our first parents. (1.) Did travailing pains come in with sin? We read of the travail of Christ’s soul (Isa. 53:11); and the pains of death he was held by are called oµdinai (Acts 2:24), the pains of a woman in travail. (2.) Did subjection come in with sin? Christ was made under the law, Gal. 4:4. (3.) Did the curse come in with sin? Christ was made a curse for us, died a cursed death, Gal. 3:13. (4.) Did thorns come in with sin? He was crowned with thorns for us. (5.) Did sweat come in with sin? He for us did sweat as it were great drops of blood. (6.) Did sorrow come in with sin? He was a man of sorrows, his soul was, in his agony, exceedingly sorrowful. (7.) Did death come in with sin? He became obedient unto death. Thus is the plaster as wide as the wound. Blessed be God for Jesus Christ!

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Daily Devotional for Friday October 15th/04

Hebrews 1:1-3 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

(Taken from The Five Warnings Of Hebrews by John W. Lawrence)

Consider Who the Son is, 1:2-3.

1. HEIR of All: "Whom he hath appointed heir of all things." He is the focal point of all the universe. Colossians 1:16 tells us: "All things were created . . . for him."

2. CREATOR of the Ages: "by whom also he made the worlds" i.e., "the ages." He is the beginning point of all the universe. He brought time into being and all things connected with time. Time is His creation and is subject to Him.

3. CO-ESSENCE of Deity. "who being the brightness of his glory." The word "brightness" signifies to "flash forth" and thus "to radiate." The SON is the outshining of Deity to a world in darkness. He is the true Shekinah Glory of GOD.

4. True PERSONALITY of Deity. "and the express image of his person." He is the exact reproduction of His essence. All that is He is the exact reproduction of His essence. All that is in the FATHER is in the SON. He stands separate from the created universe, and a distinct person of the Godhead.

5. SUSTAINER and GOVERNOR of the Universe. "and upholding all things by the word of his power." He is active today within the universe in order to have all creation accomplish His purpose and program. He is master of ceremonies for all that occurs.

6. REDEEMER of Men. "when he had by himself purged our sins." This was not done by speaking nor by being, but by dying. He provides complete and perfect redemption for the universe. He alone provided -- no one else helped or contributed to it.

7. SOVEREIGN of Men. "sat down on the right hand of the MAJESTY on high." His work is finished. He is seated above the universe as its SOVEREIGN and JUDGE. It is His right to reign and He shall some day put down all opposing rule and authority. His present position reveals His absolute authority.

By seven quotations, the SON is shown to be superior to the angels who are referred to in the Old Testament as Sons of GOD.

The seven Old Testament quotations are as follows:

1&2) Verse five quotes from Psalm 2:7 and 2 Samuel 7:14
3) Verse six quotes from Psalm 97:7
4) Verse seven quotes from Psalm 104:4
5) Verses eight to nine quote from Psalm 45:6-7
6) Verses ten to twelve quote from Psalm 102:25-27
7) Verse 13 quotes from Psalm 110:1

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Daily Devotional for Saturday October 16th/04

Hebrews 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. The word for labour means "to use speed, i.e. to make effort, be prompt or earnest; be diligent." Paul (and the Holy Spirit) are exhorting us to earnestly strive for victory in Christ, to be diligent to ensure that we do not lose this victory through our willful unbelief, through our lack of trust in the Lord. How do we achieve or maintain this victory? The next five verses give us three things to continue in, three things that are so essential if we are to be victorious, three things that will enable us to abide in the rest of victory that Jesus Christ offers to the child of God:

1) Stay continually in the Word of God. Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. It is interesting to note that right after we are given the command to enter into His rest, we are reminded of the means to do so: it is the Word of God that gives us the faith we are to walk by (Romans 10:17), teaches us how we are to live and please the Lord day by day, and, like a mirror, shows us what we are like in God's sight and what we should be like. When the Holy Spirit reveals to us what we need to change in our lives, let us seek His wisdom and His strength to do so. (See James 1:22-25) Let us take and apply what God's Word teaches us, and stand where His Word commands us to.

2) Look continually to Jesus Christ. Hebrews 4:13-15 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us remember that Jesus can sympathize with us in all our infirmities. He was tempted in all points as we are, yet He never gave in to sin; therefore He is the only person who can truly understand our weaknesses and struggles, and can give us victory over all of them! He can give us the strength and faith to overcome the spiritual battles in our lives! Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. (See also Proverbs 5:21 and Psalms 139:23-24)

3) Pray continually, and come continually to the throne of grace. Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. When we sin, and lose the victory through our unbelief, we need God's mercy (that is God withholding what we do deserve) - we need His forgiveness and cleansing daily. (See Lamentations 3:22-23; Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:9) Then we need the Lord's grace (that is Him freely giving us what we don't deserve) - to regain the victory, to retake the land that we have let the Canaanites conquer in our lives.

This is a day by day, moment by moment, battle!

The Greek word for "help" in verse 16 (quoted above) literally means "to run to the cry". When we earnestly cry out in prayer, Jesus will run to our cry and give us the victory. He has promised to give us all the help we need when we look to Him in faith.

Taken from my study entitled Rest For Your Souls - The Rest Of Victory In Christ.

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Daily Devotional For Sunday October 17th/04

Seven Comparisons between Psalms 22, 23, and 24:

This was neat. It is from The Treasury Of David by Spurgeon. Hope it is a blessing to you.

Psalm 22
1) The Good Shepherd (John 10:11)
2) The Saviour
3) The Foundation
4) Christ Dying
5) The Cross
6) He Gives His Life
7) Grace

Psalm 23
1) The Great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20)
2) The Satisfier
3) The Manifestation
4) Christ Living
5) The Comforter
6) He Gives His Love
7) Guidance

Psalm 24
1) The Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4)
2) The Sovereign
3) The Expectation
4) Christ Coming
5) The Crown
6) He Gives His Light
7) Glory

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Daily Devotional for Monday October 18th/04

The Lord Is Like An Eagle

"As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings" (Deut. 32:11)

1. The eagle's nest also has a great lesson for us.

The eagle ladens its nest with glass and sharp stones that she finds along the ground. After the nest is sufficiently uncomfortable - the eagle then finds a rabbit and such like and takes its soft downy pelt and lines the nest with it.

When the eaglets are hatched, they find themselves in a most comfortable domain. Their mother has insured they will spend their times as chicks in an environment so soft and pleasant.

Alas, the time comes when it is time for the eaglets to leave their nest. Rather than hold a long talk with her babies about the necessity to spread their wings, she does something rather cruel - to our standard. She pulls away the soft down of the rabbit and exposes her young to the jagged rocks and sharp glass. The eaglets, finding this most uncomfortable - decide it is time to leave the nest.

A pastor told me once who like the Lord this is. When it is time to move - He often makes circumstances unbearable. Some have been led to leave a church for this very reason. Perhaps it is a job situation, or a geographical change. The Lord may use oppression to make His children move.

A lesson in history shows us that Israel is still God's chosen nation. God desired that Israel would return home again so that she could once again become a nation in 1948. Unfortunately, the Jewish people had become comfortable in their adopted lands - many becoming quite wealthy through trade and craft. God rose up a Hitler, a demonic fiend, to cause His people to flee to their native land. God took away the feathery down of the nest and exposed His beloved people to the rocks.

2. The eagle takes her young to great heights in order to teach them to fly.

One-by-one the great eagle takes her young unto her wing and begins the arduous process of flight training. Higher and higher she soars to incredible heights and drops her baby. Downward, downward does the eaglet fall - helpless, without the knowledge or the skill to flap its wings - with greater and greater velocity it falls toward the earth.

Fortunately for the chick, an eagle can fly downward faster than her babies can fall. Before the baby can smash upon the rocks the mother eagle swoops under her babe and carries it back up to the heavens.

How often, Christian, have we felt like we were falling only to discover our great God often at the bottom of our fall. How often must we learn that it is at the bottom of ourselves - when we have no other course to turn to - that we find the Lord an ever present help. Yet, is this not the Lord's way to bring maturation to His child?

So, the eagle mounts again into still greater levels; then she will try again, and the little one is cast off into the immeasurable air, and it begins to understand the mechanics of flight. But so soon does it tire and again fall. The eagle again descends and receives its babe in its mighty iron pinions - claws of death - claws of life.

Thus the process is continued until the eaglet is trained to fly - the eaglet becomes strong - drops its inexperience - and becomes complete. The eaglet turned eagle, the worm turned butterfly - has been trained to swim in God's air, to fly in God's firmament, and to beat its strengthened wings in the face of the sun.

Again, is this not God's way with us? We so often fly poorly - if at all. We fall, but we find that the wing of the Most High is under us - and we rest upon it. So we fly a little and soon find our weakness, and before our testimony can crash on the rocks below and again we find that we rest in high-places in the midst of the danger.

We do not always fly as we ought and fear is often stronger than the little strength we think we have. We are scoffed at and jeered at by the wicked - but take heart, my companion in Christ - we are only still learning to fly.

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

It is so easy to stand on the ground and laugh at the young eaglets in their early flight training - but God's wings are under us. God will not forsake us - not a sparrow falleth to the ground without our Father.

(Used with permission from: Baptist Bible Believers Website)

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday October 19th/04

The Devil's Armour

As related in a conversation between Diabolus (the Devil) and the town of Mansoul (man's soul). This was taken from John Bunyan's allegory entitled The Holy War. As you read this, contrast it with the Armour of God in Ephesians 6, and realize how much Satan is a deceiver and counterfeiter of the truth and of spiritual things.

Up, and stand to your arms, that now, while you have any leisure, I may learn you some feats of war. Armour for you I have, and by me it is; yea, and it is sufficient for Mansoul from top to toe; nor can you be hurt by what his force can do, if you shall keep it well girt and fastened about you. Come, therefore, to my castle, and welcome, and harness yourselves for the war. There is helmet, breastplate, sword, and shield, and what not, that will make you fight like men.

‘1. My helmet, otherwise called an head piece, is hope of doing well at last, what lives soever you live. This is that which they had who said, that they should have peace, though they walked in the wickedness of their heart, to add drunkenness to thirst {De 29:19}. A piece of approved armour this is, and whoever has it, and can hold it, so long no arrow, dart, sword, or shield can hurt him. This, therefore, keep on, and thou wilt keep off many a blow, my Mansoul.

‘2. My breastplate is a breastplate of iron {Re 9:9}. I had it forged in mine own country, and all my soldiers are armed therewith. In plain language, it is a hard heart, a heart as hard as iron, and as much past feeling as a stone; the which if you get and keep, neither mercy shall win you, nor judgment fright you. This, therefore, is a piece of armour most necessary for all to put on that hate Shaddai, and that would fight against him under my banner.

‘3. My sword is a tongue that is set on fire of hell, and that can bend itself to speak evil of Shaddai, his Son, his ways, and people. Use this; it has been tried a thousand times twice told. Whoever hath it, keeps it, and makes that use of it as I would have him, can never be conquered by mine enemy. {Ps 57:4; 64:3; Jas 3:6}

‘4. My shield is unbelief, or calling into question the truth of the word, or all the sayings that speak of the judgment that Shaddai has appointed for wicked men. Use this shield: many attempts he has made upon it, and sometimes, it is true, it has been bruised; but they that have writ of the wars of Emmanuel against my servants, have testified that he could do no mighty work there because of their unbelief. Now, to handle this weapon of mine aright, it is not to believe things because they are true, of what sort or by whomsoever asserted. If he speaks of judgment, care not for it; if he speaks of mercy, care not for it; if he promises, if he swears that he would do to Mansoul, if it turns, no hurt, but good, regard not what is said, question the truth of all, for it is to wield the shield of unbelief aright, and as my servants ought and do; and he that cloth otherwise loves me not, nor do I count him but an enemy to me. {Job 15:26; Ps 76:3; Mr 6:5-6}

‘5. Another part or piece,’ said Diabolus, ‘of mine excellent armour is a dumb and prayerless spirit, a spirit that scorns to cry for mercy: wherefore be you, my Mansoul, sure that you make use of this. What! cry for quarter! Never do that, if you would be mine. I know you are stout men, and am sure that I have clad you with that which is armour of proof. Wherefore, to cry to Shaddai for mercy, let that be far from you. Besides all this, I have a maul, firebrands, arrows, and death, all good hand weapons, and such as will do execution.’

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday October 20th/04

I have put a book up on Eagle's Wings Ministries entitled A Dreamer And His Wonderful Dream - the story of John Bunyan and his Pilgrim's Progress. (It was typed up and put online by Baptist Bible Believers Website, and is in the Public Domain.) If you have ever read Pilgrim's Progress (or would like to), you will greatly enjoy this explanation of it (basically an in-depth and Bible study on the contents of the Pilgrim's Progress). The first two chapters are an account of the biography of John Bunyan, his salvation, and his imprisonment which led to the writing of his precious allegory - which, for over three hundred years, has been second only to the Bible in many Christians' lives - maybe because it contains so much of God's Word in its story. I would encourage you to read these two chapters first - so you know a little about John Bunyan and who he was, but also so you can see his own struggles and triumphs that he has pictured within his allegory. If you have children or lost family members who have read John Bunyan's great classic, here is a way that will help you explain the truth behind the allegory - what John Bunyan was teaching through his story. I have also provided a link on the main page for A Dreamer And His Wonderful Dream to an online edition of Pilgrim's Progress, so you can read them both side by side if you so desire.

This excerpt is taken from chapter three of A Dreamer And His Wonderful Dream:

THE BOOK IN HIS HAND

The book Graceless held in his hands was the Bible -- God's Word. It was the reading of this book that had opened his eyes to see himself as he really was. The Bible is a light that reveals our sins; a mirror that reflects our thoughts; a sword that cuts right to the heart. It shows us that the Scripture is true when it says, "The heart is deceitful above all things and is desperately wicked; who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9) God's Word is like a camera, or better still, like an X-ray machine, that brings to light the hidden things of darkness.

If we would see ourselves as we really are, we must read the Word of God. It will tell us the truth about ourselves. It will reveal our sinfulness, rebellion, pride, and desperate need of salvation. It will also show us the wonderful provision that God has made for that need in the gift of His Son, Who was made sin for us, He Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him! (2 Cor. 5:21). Is it any wonder then, that this man, realizing his fearful plight and his utter inability to deliver himself, cried from his heart, "What must I do to be saved?" Would that every reader, awakened in the mercy of God to see his need, would re-echo his cry, and seek earnestly and sincerely to be saved from the consequences of his sins. Thus has John Bunyan graphically described the lost and ruined state of all by nature. Happy is that person who sees in Graceless a picture of himself; for the next best thing to knowing oneself to be saved, is to know oneself to be lost!

THE EVANGELIST

One day as he thus wandered in the fields, he opened his Bible and read these words, "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Heb. 9:27). At this he cried aloud the same pitiful cry, "What must I do to be saved?" In response to this plea, a man named Evangelist came to him who asked him what he wanted and why he cried thus, to which Graceless answered, "Sir, I perceive by the book in my hand that I am condemned to die, and after that to come to judgment, and I find I am not willing to do the first nor able to do the second." "But why not," inquired Evangelist, "seeing this life is attended with so many evils?" Graceless replied, "Because I fear this burden upon my back will sink me into hell." At this, Evangelist asked, "They why do you stand still?" Graceless answered, "Because I know not whither to go." Then Evangelist give him a roll of parchment on which was written these words, "Flee from the wrath to come!" (Matt. 3:7); Graceless, next inquired, "Whither must I fly?" and Evangelist pointing with his finger said, "Can you see yonder Wicket Gate?"; Graceless replied, "No!" "Then do you see yonder shining light?" next asked Evangelist. Graceless replied, "I think I do." Then Evangelist said, "Keep that light in your eye, and go up directly thereto, so shalt thou see the gate; at which, when thou knockest, it shall be told thee what thou must do."

The meaning of this is perfectly simple. Evangelist is a picture of a true child of God, who, having been delivered from the burden of sins himself, is in the position to tell others the way of salvation. The Lord Jesus commands all who know and love and trust Him to "Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). What a privilege and honor it is to point a poor, sin-burdened soul to the Lamb of God "that taketh away the sin of the world!" You will notice that Evangelist did not attempt to take off Graceless' burden -- only God can do this, when Christ is received into the heart by faith. The Wicket Gate is a picture of the willingness of Christ to receive sinners. He said, "I am the Door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved." The shining light is an illustration of the Word of God which is described as "A lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path" (Psa. 119:105). As the sinner follows the light of the Scriptures, it will bring Him to the One of Whom the Bible speaks -- the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of sinners -- Who loves us and gave Himself a ransom for all (1 Tim. 2:5-6).

Graceless then did what every sin-burdened soul should do. He began to run in the direction of the light that Evangelist had pointed out. No sooner, however, had he started to run than his wife and children, perceiving it, began to cry after him to return; but Graceless, remembering his need, placed his fingers in his ears to shut out their entreaties, and as he ran he cried, "Life! Life! Eternal Life!" Others of his neighbors did their best to prevent him from leaving the City of Destruction. They used ridicule and laughed at him for being such a fool. Others threatened him with violence if he did not give up the idea; but Graceless had wisely stopped his ears to shut out the pleas of his family, and the jeers and threats of his one-time friends.

What a true picture this is of the difficulties of starting out on this greatest and most important of all journeys! The Devil will see to it that all his opposition will be exerted against the poor sinner who seeks to escape from his clutches. He will seek by all the means in his power to prevent the soul from being saved, for he realizes that once a person trusts Christ as his Saviour he has lost him forever. He will use friends and enemies alike to keep the sinner from turning from his evil ways. All sorts of obstacles will be forthcoming. There will be ridicule, scorn, reasoning, and active opposition, even from one's own family. The truly anxious soul, however, will be undeterred by these things, and like Graceless, will pay no heed to anyone or anything that would prevent him from fleeing from the wrath to come. It is well worth noting that Graceless did not try to make himself any better before he started out. He did not try to mend his rags or cleanse himself from his filthiness; but just as he was, in all his sin and need, he fled for refuge to the hope laid before him.

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Some days I am scrambling to find or write a new devotional, and other days I have to hold myself back because I have too many I want to post all at once!! I pray that these next few devotionals will be a real blessing to you.

I also wanted to let everyone know that I have finally ;) finished putting up the Psalms of David by Isaac Watts on the Trenholms of Kelowna. Psalms of David In Metre and by Isaac Watts.

Daily Devotional for Thursday October 21st/04

A True Story of the Titanic

John Harper was born to a pair of solid Christian parents on May 29th, 1872. It was on the last Sunday of March 1886, when he was thirteen years old that he received Jesus as the Lord of his life. He never knew what it was to "sow his wild oats." He began to preach about four years later at the ripe old age of 17 years old by going down to the streets of his village and pouring out his soul in earnest entreaty for men to be reconciled to God.

As John Harper's life unfolded, one thing was apparent...he was consumed by the word of God. When asked by various ministers what his doctrine consisted of, he was known to reply "The Word of God!" After five or six years of toiling on street corners preaching the gospel and working in the mill during the day, Harper was taken in by Rev. E. A. Carter of Baptist Pioneer Mission in London, England. This set Harper free to devote his whole time of energy to the work so dear to his heart. Soon, John Harper started his own church in September of 1896. (Now known as the Harper Memorial Church.) This church which John Harper had started with just 25 members, had grown to over 500 members when he left 13 years later. During this time he had gotten married, but was shortly thereafter widowed. However brief the marriage, God did bless John Harper with a beautiful little girl named Nana.

Ironically, John Harper almost drowned several times during his life. When he was two and a half years of age, he almost drowned when he fell into a well but was resuscitated by his mother. At the age of Twenty- six, he was swept out to sea by a reverse current and barely survived, and at thirty-two he faced death on a leaking ship in the Mediterranean. Perhaps, God used these experiences to prepare this servant for what he faced next.......

It was the night of April 14, 1912. The RMS Titanic sailed swiftly on the bitterly cold ocean waters heading unknowingly into the pages of history. On board this luxurious ocean liner were many rich and famous people. At the time of the ship's launch, it was the world's largest man-made moveable object. At 11:40 p.m. on that fateful night,an iceberg scraped the ship's starboard side, showering the decks with ice and ripping open six watertight compartments. The sea poured in.

On board the ship that night was John Harper and his much-beloved six-year-old daughter Nana. According to documented reports, as soon as it was apparent that the ship was going to sink, John Harper immediately took his daughter to a lifeboat. It is reasonable to assume that this widowed preacher could have easily gotten on board this boat to safety; however, it never seems to have crossed his mind. He bent down and kissed his precious little girl; looking into her eyes he told her that she would see him again someday. The flares going off in the dark sky above reflected the tears on his face as he turned and headed towards the crowd of desperate humanity on the sinking ocean liner. As the rear of the huge ship began to lurch upwards, it was reported that Harper was seen making his way up the deck yelling "Women, children and unsaved into the lifeboats!" It was only minutes later that the Titanic began to rumble deep within. Most people thought it was an explosion; actually the gargantuan ship was literally breaking in half. At this point, many people jumped off the decks and into the icy, dark waters below. John Harper was one of these people.

That night 1528 people went into the frigid waters. John Harper was seen swimming frantically to people in the water leading them to Jesus before the hypothermia became fatal. Mr. Harper swam up to one young Man who had climbed up on a piece of debris. Rev. Harper asked him between breaths, "Are you saved?" The young man replied that he was not.

Harper then tried to lead him to Christ only to have the young man who was near shock, reply no. John Harper then took off his life jacket and threw it to the man and said "Here then, you need this more than I do..." and swam away to other people. A few minutes later Harper swam back to the young man and succeeded in leading him to salvation. Of the 1528 people that went into the water that night, six were rescued by the lifeboats. One of them was this young man on the debris. Four years later, at a survivors meeting, this young man stood up and in tears recounted how that after John Harper had led him to Christ. Mr. Harper had tried to swim back to help other people, yet because of the intense cold, had grown too weak to swim. His last words before going under in the frigid waters were "Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus and you will be saved."

Does Hollywood remember this man? No. Oh well, no matter.

This servant of God did what he had to do. While other people were trying to buy their way onto the lifeboats and selfishly trying to save their own lives, John Harper gave up his life so that others could be saved.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." [John 15:13] John Harper was truly the hero of the Titanic!

Sources for this article: "The Titanic's Last Hero" by Moody Press 1997; John Climie, George Harper, & Bill Guthrie

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Daily Devotional for Friday October 22nd/04

Taken from Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan:

Sir, said Christian, I am a man that am come from the City of Destruction, and am going to Mount Zion; and I was told by the man that stands at the gate at the head of this way, that if I called here you would show me excellent things, such as would be an help to me on my journey.

Then said the Interpreter, Come in; I will show thee that which will be profitable to thee. So he commanded his man to light the candle, and bid Christian to follow him; so he had him into a private room, and bid his man open a door; the which when he had done, Christian saw the picture of a very grave person hang up against the wall; and this was the fashion of it: it had eyes lifted up to heaven, the best of books in his hand, the law of truth was written upon his lips, the world was behind its back; it stood as if it pleaded with men, and a crown of gold did hang over its head.

Then said Christian, What means this?

The man whose picture this is, is one of a thousand. He can beget children, travail in birth with children, and nurse them himself when they are born. And whereas thou seest him with his eyes lift up to heaven, the best of books in his hand, and the law of truth writ on his lips; it is to show thee, that his work is to know, and to unfold dark things to sinners; even as also thou seest him stand as if he pleaded with men. And whereas thou seest the world as cast behind him, and that a crown hangs over his head; that is to show thee, that slighting and despising the things that are present, for the love that he hath to his Master's service, he is sure in the world that comes next to have glory for his reward. Now, said the Interpreter, I have showed thee this picture first, because the man whose picture this is, is the only man whom the Lord of the place whither thou art going hath authorized to be thy guide, in all difficult places thou mayest meet with in the way: wherefore take good heed to what I have showed thee, and bear well in thy mind what thou hast seen, lest in thy journey thou meet with some that pretend to lead thee right, but their way goes down to death.

Taken from A Dreamer And His Wonderful Dream by Alfred P. Gibbs:

THE PORTRAIT OF A TRUE BELIEVER

The first scene to which Graceless was conducted was the framed picture of a man with a grave countenance. His eyes were lifted up to heaven; the best of books was in his hand; the word of truth was written upon his lips; the world was behind his back; he stood as though he pleaded with men, and a crown of gold was over his head. When Graceless inquired what this picture represented, the Interpreter told him that it was a description of a real Christian who could be recognized by the characteristics seen in this picture. What a searching lesson is this for all who profess to be believers on the Lord Jesus! It is one thing to profess to be a Christian, but another thing to prove by the life lived, the reality of having been regenerated by the Spirit of God. Christ said: "By their fruits ye shall know them," and this applies to Christians as to everyone else. Let us look at the picture a little closer, and test ourselves by it and see whether we are real, or merely imitation Christians.

You will notice that this man's face was turned heavenward. This teaches us that a true believer in the Lord Jesus will be a heavenly minded person, because he has been born from above (John 3:3), and is going to dwell eternally above. In the meantime, while living in this world, his citizenship, and all he holds dear, is in heaven. Thus the Christian is more interested in heavenly things than in earthly things: "For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself" (Phil. 3:20-21), and "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth" (Col. 3:1-2).

Next notice that the best of books, the Bible, was in his hand. The true child of God will love, revere and study the Word of God and will say like David, "The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver" (Psa. 119:72). And again, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee" (Psa. 119:11). And once more, "O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day" (Psa. 119:97). We next see that the law of truth was upon his lips, thus indicating that not only did he study God's Word, but that he also sought to tell it to others.

The world was behind his back. The Christian should be recognized by the fact that though he is in this world, he is not of it; and that he is obedient to the word which says, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but of the world" (1 John 2:15-16). He should be able to say like Paul, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Gal. 6:14). The Christian thus turns his back upon all the vanities of the world and its lusts.

Next, see what he is doing. He is pleading with men. The really born again person counts it the greatest privilege of his life to present the Person and work of Christ to others. He gladly confesses Christ as his Lord and loves to show forth to sinners far and near the praises and virtues of Him who has brought him out of darkness into His marvelous light. In other words, he obeys the command of his Saviour who said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).

Last, but by no means least, the crown of gold over his head signifies that the fearful Christian is looking forward to the glad day, when, at the coming of his Lord and Saviour, he shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. It will be ample compensation for all the trials and difficulties of life's path to hear Christ's "Well done thou good and faithful servant! Enter thou into the joy of the Lord!"

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Recently I have sent out some devotionals taken from Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. If you have ever read and enjoyed that book, or would love to begin reading it (by yourself or with your family), here are two links you might be interested in:

An online edition of Pilgrim's Progress - the classic book by John Bunyan:

An Audio Dramatization of Pilgrim's Progress

I have greatly enjoyed listening to this audio version of Bunyan's allegory! As far as I have been able to tell, the edition of the book available to read (above) is basically the same as the edition that is being dramatized - so you can listen to the audio while you follow along in the book. Treat yourself - this book is a tremendous blessing to hear and to read! (Unfortunately, I have found out since providing this link that the whole book is no longer available to be listened to online. From what I have heard so far, I do believe it would be a worthwhile purchase to make.)

Another thing I love to do is listen to the King James Bible while I am reading it. You can hear it being read by Alexander Scourby at Audio-Bible.

Daily Devotional for Saturday October 23rd/04

PSALM 23

The Davidic authorship of this Psalm has been questioned. We believe firmly that David is the writer; and yet a man feels as he reads the Psalm that it is so personal, so true to his own individual experience, that he could fain claim to have written it himself. It might seem as though the promises and precious things set forth in this Psalm lie beyond our reach; we have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep, but "one of like passions with ourselves has passed that way before and has left a cup to be let down, with his name and story written on the rim, and we may let that cup down into the well and draw a draught of the deep, refreshing water."

THE LOCATION OF THE PSALM

Have you ever noticed just where this Psalm is located? It lies between the Twenty-second and the Twenty-fourth Psalms. A very simple statement that - but how deep and wondrous a lesson lies hidden therein!

The Twenty-second Psalm. What is it? It is "The Psalm of the Cross." It begins with the words uttered by Christ on the cross: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" It ends with the exclamation of the cross: "He hath done it," or, as it is seen in the New Testament, "It is finished!" The Twenty-second Psalm, then, is the Psalm of Mount Calvary - the Psalm of the Cross.

What is the Twenty-fourth Psalm? It is the "Psalm of Mount Zion" - a picture of the the KING entering into His own. How beautifully it reads: "Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory." The Twenty-fourth Psalm, then, is the Psalm of the coming Kingdom of Glory.

There you have the two mountains; Mount Calvary and Mount Zion. What is it that lies between two mountains? A valley with its green grass, its quiet waters, its springing flowers, with shepherd and grazing sheep. Here, then, is the lesson we learn from the location of the Psalm: it is given to comfort, help, inspire and encourage God's people during this probationary period of our life, between the cross and the crown.

Is not this the reason that the tenses of the Psalm are present tense? "The LORD is my shepherd"; "He maketh me to lie down"; "He leadeth me." Even the last verse, "I will [not I shall] dwell in the house of the LORD forever," describes the present attitude of the soul of the Psalmist, who determines by no means to miss participation in the fellowship of the saints in heaven....

We also love the Christ of the throne and the glory. It may be that at times we have trembled and feared as we have thought of the coming judgment; but when we have remembered that He who sits upon the throne is our Elder Brother, bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh; that He left His throne in the glory and took on Him the form of a servant, dying the ignominious death of the cross that He might redeem us and save us from the just wrath of God against sin; that some day, He who loved us and gave Himself for us will say: "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world"; then we take courage and look forward with joy to the time when, having washed the last sleep from our eyes in the river of life, we shall gaze with undimmed vision upon Him, whom having not seen, we have yet loved.

We love the Christ of the cross, the Christ of the past, the Christ of Mount Calvary. We love the Christ of the future, the Christ of the throne, the Christ of Mount Zion. But more precious to us, and we say it reverently, than the Christ of the past, or the Christ of the future, is the Christ of the present; He who lives with us now, dwells within us, walks by our side every moment and every hour of the day....

THE PRESENCE OF THE SHEPHERD

Many of us feel that we would have given anything to have walked by the side of the Christ in the days of His earthly pilgrimage, and we almost envy those who saw His face in the flesh. Some of us know the thrill of joy that came to our hearts when we trod the sands of Galilee that once were fresh with His footprints, trod the Temple's marble pavements that once echoed with His tread, and sailed the blue waters of Galilee that once were stilled by His wonderful word.

(Taken from The Shepherd's Psalm by William Evans)

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Daily Devotional for Sunday October 24th/04

The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned (Isa. 50:4).

...He came meek and lowly to do the Father’s will.

"He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned" means the Lord Jesus was studying the Word of God. The question is asked, What did the Lord Jesus do the first thirty years of His life? Generally the answer is that He worked as a carpenter. But that is only half the truth. The other half is that He studied the Word of God. How tremendous! If He needed to study the Word of God, what about you? What about me? I think we need to get with it!

It is nonsense to say, "Oh, I believe the Bible from cover to cover; I will defend it with my life," when you don’t study it! If God has spoken between the pages of Genesis 1:1 and Revelation 22:21, then somewhere between God has a word for you and for me. If God is speaking to us, we ought to listen.

The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back (lsa. 50:5).

This speaks of the Lord’s true submission in His crucifixion. In Exodus 21:1–6 we are told that when a servant wanted to become a permanent servant, his master would bore or pierce a hole in his ear. "Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever" (Exod. 21:6)... It indicated that he was a slave for life to his master.

Now the reason he would become a slave forever is twofold. First, he loved his master; and second, he had married a slave girl and he refused to go without her.

Do you see how this was applied to the Lord Jesus? The psalmist, referring to this custom, wrote, "… mine ears hast thou opened …" (Ps. 40:6). Now notice how this is quoted in Hebrews 10:5: "Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me." In the psalm it says, "mine ears hast thou opened," and in Hebrews it says, "a body hast thou prepared me." When the Lord Jesus came down to this earth and went to the cross, His ear wasn’t "opened" or "digged"; He was given a body, and that body was nailed to a cross. He has taken a glorified body bearing nail prints back to heaven. He did more than have his ear bored through with an awl; He gave His body to be crucified because He loved us and would not return to heaven without us!

(Taken from J. Vernon McGee's Thru The Bible Commentary on Isaiah)

Additional comments from Jerry:

Many times in the Gospels, we are told by Jesus, the Son of God, that He came to do His Heavenly Father's will. He fulfilled it completely, thus purchasing salvation for all who will place their faith in Him. He took the place of a bondservant, dedicated to serving His Master (Father), and was obedient in all things.

Philippians 2:5-8 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, 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.

Hebrews 5:8-9 Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; And being made perfect (complete), He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.

If you are saved, are your ears opened to hear your Heavenly Father's will? Are you striving to fulfill it? Are you listening morning by morning, day by day, for the voice of God in His Word? Are you learning from Jesus, learning of Him, growing in grace and in the knowledge of your Lord and Saviour? (Matthew 11:29; 2 Peter 3:18) Let us follow His steps! Like Paul at the end of his life, will you be able to say that you have fought a good fight, that you have finished your course, that you have kept the faith? (2 Timothy 4:7) Let us follow Paul as he followed Jesus Christ!

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This article is to cause some who may be unsaved to reflect on their reasons for not receiving Jesus Christ and His free gift of salvation - and to think about the alternative. It is not intended to be lighthearted - though at the beginning it may seem to come across that way.

Daily Devotional for Monday October 25th/04

"HELL HAS ITS ADVANTAGES"

Yes, hell has its advantages for some people. There will be no:

1. PREACHING
2. PRAYING
3. PAYING
4. PROGRAMS
5. PERFECT PEOPLE
6. PROPHESYING
7. PRIDE

PREACHING -- Many people hate preachers and preaching. They say preachers are nosey and meddlers.

Although there will be no preaching, there will be plenty of preachers in Hell -- lots of them. There will be plenty of men who stood behind a pulpit in a church and said "There is no Hell!"

The false prophet was cast into the lake of fire. A false prophet is a preacher who doesn't know or, at least, doesn't tell the truth.

PRAYING -- Some churches have one or two prayer meetings a week. Others pray all night. This practice is despised by thousands. There won't be any prayer meetings in hell. That ought to be a relief for some, although everyone there will be begging for relief. (Hmm, maybe there will be prayer in Hell).

PAYING - A number of pastors are just plain beggars. They are always, always taking an offering. They want more money, so they can erect larger buildings, etc. What do they mean begging for money for churches in other countries when we have people starving in our own country, That preacher sure collects a lot of money -- guess he wants to buy a Cadillac or something!

All that will stop in hell. No offering plates down there, and no collections taken.

PROGRAMS -- Churches seem to compete with one another for the best program. The committees sit up until late at night, putting together some program that is repulsive to many.

What are the doing wasting all that gas for those big clunky busses. What are they doing going to good peoples' houses and trying to steal their children away to their church so they can turn the kids away from their parents religion. What are all those noisy kids doing in my neighbor's back yard! What is all that singing, it is keeping me from my nap!

There will be no programs in hell. What an advantage to those who are irritated by these things.

PERFECT PEOPLE -- Some folk leave the impression they think they are perfect. How presumptuous. Whoever heard of a perfect person. That crowd won't be in hell -- another good thing about the hot spot.

PROPHESYING -- A host of traveling evangelists are always stirring up people to a frenzy by their predictions. They assert that an unbelievable calamity, yes, a catastrophe, will probably take place at any time.

Those guys have scared some people and made plenty of folk mad with their fear-based dogmas. All such lecturing will be missing in hell.

PRIDE -- Those poor souls who go around bragging about themselves are full of pride. But you'll never be able to detect pride in any form after entering the place where fire is not quenched.

PROBLEM -- One big problem I see about going to hell is that all the hypocrites will be there -- not just a few like there are in the churches, today. How folk rant and rave about these religious imposters. They can't stand them. Jesus couldn't either. He denounced them sternly and consigned them to hell.

PARDON OR PUNISHMENT -- Hell is a place for eternal punishment with everlasting destruction from the glory of the presence of God to all those that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ -- all those unsaved, including unregenerated professors of religious creeds - but lacking Christ's pardon. If a person is not pardoned, he must be punished.

A thrice holy God prefers to pardon. Will you let him do this for you? "Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13). Who wants to go to hell in spite of its advantages? Not I. Surely not you! Just pray: "Lord, I am a sinner. Save me for Jesus' sake. I invite Thee into my life as my Saviour." "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John 1:12).

-- A. Woods

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***Daily Devotional for Tuesday October 26th/04 ***

Just reading in Matthew this morning, and was reminded of a few similar passages... Hope it is a blessing to all who read it today!

Of How Much More Value Are We?

1) Sheep.

Matthew 12:11-12 And He said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.

Many times in Scripture believers are compared to sheep, and many wonderful applications are made. Then Jesus states that we are so much better than a sheep! If men care for sheep, even so, God's love for us is so much greater! He will rescue us, seek and save us (see Luke 15:4-7; Matthew 18:11-14), have compassion on us (Matthew 10:36), and bring us into His fold (through faith in Christ - John 10:16).

Luke 12:31-32 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is the Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

2) Sparrows.

Matthew 6:25-26 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

Matthew 10:29-31 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

God cares for all of His creation, but He considers us of so much more value than anything else on this earth. Several places in the New Testament and the Old Testament, God compares the believer to sparrows. As God knows the number of all the sparrows, and knows the number of hairs on each of our heads, so too He knows all about us, and cares for each of us.

Luke 12:6-7 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

God will not forget His children! They are of infinite value to Him!

The Lord meets the needs of all His birds, even so He will meet all your needs! (See Luke 12:24) Are you casting all your care on Him? He does care for you!

If you are saved, you will only be at home in the presence of God - despite whatever comforts and attractions the world may offer you. (See Psalm 84:1-4)

3) Lilies.

Luke 12:27-28 Consider the lilies how the grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will He clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Matthew 6:28-30 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

As our Heavenly Father clothes the flowers of the field, so He clothes His children. We need not fear or worry about our daily needs - we simply need to have complete confidence and trust in the Lord to provide them, and faith in the promises of God stored for us in His Word!

Like the other two comparisons above, God's children are also referred to as lilies in the Song Of Solomon. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Lily of the Valleys, and we are as the Lily. (See Song of Solomon 2:1-2. Also see the comparison in Hosea 14:5)

Song of Solomon 2:16 My Beloved is mine, and I am His: He feedeth among the lilies. (Also see 6:2-3)

The Lord delights to fellowship with His children. Are you taking time out each morning to seek Him first? Are you seeking His righteousness and His will for your life each day?

Matthew 6 and Luke 12 are wonderful passages to read and meditate on - especially when you are fearful and fretting about your daily needs. Your Heavenly Father wants you to trust in Him and not be afraid. Go claim some promises today!

If you have never placed personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, trusting in His finished work on the cross of Calvary and received Him as your Saviour, then you cannot claim these wonderful promises until you do so. Please carefully read the following Gospel tract in order that you may clearly understand what the Bible teaches about how to be saved (according to the Bible):

God's Simple Plan Of Salvation

Written October 26th, 2004
Jerry Bouey

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday October 27th/04

Ready To Move

"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" (2 Cor.5:1).

The owner of the tenement which I have occupied for many years has given notice that he will furnish but little or nothing more for repairs. I am advised to be ready to move.

At first this was not a very welcome notice. The surroundings here are in many respects very pleasant, and were it not for the evidence of decay, I should consider the house good enough. But even a light wind causes it to tremble and totter, and all the braces are not sufficient to make it secure. So I am getting ready to move.

It is strange how quickly one's interest is transferred to the prospective home. I have been consulting maps of the new country and reading descriptions of its inhabitants. One who visited it has returned, and from him I learn that it is beautiful beyond description; language breaks down in attempting to tell of what he heard while there. He says that, in order to make an investment there, he has suffered the loss of all things that he owned here, and even rejoices in what others would call making a sacrifice. Another, whose love to me has been proven by the greatest possible test, is now there. He has sent me several clusters of the most delicious fruits. After tasting them, all food here seems insipid.

Two or three times I have been down by the border of the river that forms the boundary, and have wished myself among the company of those who were singing praises to the King on the other side. Many of my friends have moved there. Before leaving they spoke of my coming later. I have seen the smile upon their faces as they passed out of sight. Often I am asked to make some new investments here, but my answer in every case is, "I am getting ready to move." --Selected

The words often on Jesus' lips in His last days express vividly the idea, "going to the Father." We, too, who are Christ's people, have vision of something beyond the difficulties and disappointments of this life. We are journeying towards fulfillment, completion, expansion of life. We, too, are "going to the Father." Much is dim concerning our home-country, but two things are clear. It is home, "the Father's House." It is the nearer presence of the Lord. We are all wayfarers, but the believer knows it and accepts it. He is a traveller, not a settler. --R. C. Gillie

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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***Daily Devotional for Thursday October 28th/04***

I have two friends who are worlds apart. They have both gone through various difficulties and trials within the last few years, but there is a world of difference between their responses to these trials.

One friend is an unsaved man named Brian. He has recently gone bankrupt, been divorced, and now he is dealing with the court case with his ex-wife. These and other difficulties in his life have brought him to the point of despair. He sees no purpose in his life - it is empty, vain, pointless. He does not see any reasons for the trials he is going through. He has no perspective to look at them through that would give him any hope. I have sought to witness to Brian to give him that hope and purpose that is only found in the Lord Jesus Christ, but only time will tell whether he will turn to the Lord or not.

The second friend is named Adam Aulin. About four or five years ago, he went through a terrible accident that severely injured him and his friend, and killed a third friend. All three are Christians. Adam knows that he will see his friend in Heaven, and he also knows the Lord is working out all things for his good. He does not understand all that God is doing with this accident, but he is trusting His Heavenly Father and leaving it all in His capable hands. The Lord does have a plan, and Romans 8:28 is still in the book. Adam has a purpose and a means to gauge all that the Lord allows or places into his life. The Lord is in control. This faith-based confidence has given him hope and peace through this trial.

Here is a short testimonial by Adam regarding the Lord's hand in this accident:

Romans 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.

The promise given here is one which should be believed and cherished by every child of God.

My name is Adam Aulin, and I found this to be true when at fifteen years of age, myself and two other friends were involved in a serious motor vehicle accident - an accident which resulted in the fatality of one of my beloved friends and sister in Christ. When one looks circumspectly at the incident: as a passenger in the vehicle, the damage done should have inevitably resulted in the loss of my life as well, but the Lord had different plans.

By God's mercy, my battered body was pried out of the wreckage and into the ambulance. Life for me at that point was still very questionable, having sustained life-threatening blows to the head and having over 2 1/2 pints of blood lost through damage done to my body. For the next three weeks, whether or not I would live through that whole ordeal was still in question.

However, the Lord sustained me through that time, and through His strength I spent the next several months astounding the doubting doctors by regaining the ability to breathe without assistance, walk independently, and eat on my own. Consequently, for the rest of my life, I will suffer from this severely traumatic brain injury, and my broken body will suffer pain and slight loss of mobility. Nevertheless, the residing effects caused by that accident are minimal in comparison to the miracle in which the Lord performed in saving me from it.

Through all of this, I learned the extreme fragility of life and the importance of seizing every moment of every day, because as the Word of God states, "life... is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."  (James 4:14) This whole experience was one of those things in which Romans 8:28 speaks of; one of those things that worked out together for good in my life.

During that trial and even since then, throughout the many seasons of my life, I have found refuge through reading Jerry Bouey's poems in this book, and meditating on the truths and Bible promises contained therein. I trust that,  as you read them, you too will find the same encouragement and spiritual strength in the Lord Jesus Christ as I have.

Saved to serve,
Adam Aulin
December 2003
(Taken from the Foreward to The Seasons Of Your Pilgrimage, my second poetry book)

My friend, do you have that hope and assurance that the Lord is working out all things in your life for your good? If you are unsaved (do not know Jesus as your personal Saviour), then you cannot have that confidence until you turn from your sins to the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. Not only did He come to save you from the judgement and penalty that your sins deserve (eternity in Hell), He also came to give you an abundant life in Him and a home in Heaven. Will you turn to Him today and receive Him as your Saviour?

For more about this free gift of salvation, please go here:
God's Simple Plan Of Salvation

More on Romans 8 tomorrow...

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***Daily Devotional for Friday October 29th/04***

God Is For Us

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***Daily Devotional for Saturday October 30th/04***

The Story Of Three Gardens:
The Garden Of Eden

The basics of this message was what I preached at the Gospel Mission yesterday. Lord willing, I plan to present two more Gardens in the following weeks: The Garden Of Gethsemane, and The Garden With The Tomb (see John 19:41).

The Garden Of Eden

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Daily Devotional for Sunday October 31st/04

Here we end on the same note - and the same passage - that we began this month on. While it is a similar theme, I still wanted to share it. The first one was a story relating this passage from Malachi, now here is a great poem on the passage. Hope it is a blessing to you!

The Old Refiner

"He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver" (Mal. 3:3).

Our Father, who seeks to perfect His saints in holiness, knows the value of the refiner's fire. It is with the most precious metals that the assayer takes the most pains, and subjects them to the hot fire, because such fires melt the metal, and only the molten mass releases its alloy or takes perfectly its new form in the mould. The old refiner never leaves his crucible, but sits down by it, lest there should be one excessive degree of heat to mar the metal. But as soon as he skims from the surface the last of the dross, and sees his own face reflected, he puts out the fire. -- Arthur T. Pierson

He sat by a fire of seven-fold heat,
As He watched by the precious ore,
And closer He bent with a searching gaze
As He heated it more and more.

He knew He had ore that could stand the test,
And He wanted the finest gold
To mould as a crown for the King to wear,
Set with gems with a price untold.

So He laid our gold in the burning fire,
Tho' we fain would have said Him 'Nay,'
And He watched the dross that we had not seen,
And it melted and passed away.

And the gold grew brighter and yet more bright,
But our eyes were so dim with tears,
We saw but the fire--not the Master's hand,
And questioned with anxious fears.

Yet our gold shone out with a richer glow,
As it mirrored a Form above,
That bent o'er the fire, tho' unseen by us,
With a look of ineffable love.

Can we think that it pleases His loving heart
To cause us a moment's pain?
Ah, no! but He saw through the present cross
The bliss of eternal gain.

So He waited there with a watchful eye,
With a love that is strong and sure,
And His gold did not suffer a bit more heat,
Than was needed to make it pure.

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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