Monday, August 31, 2015

Bows and Arrows

“Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. Children …are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.” - (Psalm 127: 3 -4)

In our culture today it is obvious that we do not have the values of God in many areas of the way we live. In this magnificent little psalm Solomon declares that children are a gift from God – we should be filled with joy when we realize we are going to be parents. Although millions of people do agree with God on this value, there are many millions who do not. That is painfully obvious as many, many millions of children are aborted every year simply because they are not wanted.

In this beautiful psalm Solomon gives us an inspired metaphor. He writes that children are like arrows and their parents are like bows from which they are thrust out into life. This means that being parents is a solemn and serious responsibility. The way some young people are thrust into life makes me think of the poet who wrote: “I shot an arrow into the air; it fell to earth I know not where.”

As David faced the giant Goliath, he said magnificent and wonderful things. The king was watching from the top of a hill. The king asked his general “Whose son is that young man?” When David reported to the king with Goliath’s head, the king asked the same question. It is as if he was saying to David “You are a beautiful arrow, but I want to meet the bow from which you were thrust into life.”

If you are a parental ‘bow,’ rejoice and trust God to make you more than the best bow you can be.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

How to Experience Christ's Peace

John 14:27-31
"My peace I give to you” (John 14:27). Jesus spoke these amazing words just hours before His crucifixion. His peace isn’t dependent upon external circumstances, but rather, it transcends them. Although He gives His peace to every believer as a gift, our experience of it is related to our faith in the following truths:
  • God is in control of everything. Without this assurance, the world is a scary place.
  • He loves me and will see me through every circumstance, no matter how difficult or painful it may be.
  • To have Christ’s peace, I must surrender my life to Him. When I hold onto my ways and plans, I’ll experience turmoil.
  • I have a limited perspective and understanding of my circumstances and God’s purposes for allowing them. His goals for me are greater than my immediate comfort.
  • The Lord promises to work all things out for my good. He is continually working to transform my character into Christ’s image.
  • I must live in sync with God, walking in the Spirit and promptly confessing and repenting of sin.
  • Scripture is my foundation for peace. It increases my trust in the Lord’s goodness, assures me that He keeps His promises, and reminds me of His sovereignty over every situation.

Sadly, many Christians live their whole lives without consistently experiencing this incomprehensible peace. Perhaps faith and submission are the most challenging issues. But only as we surrender control of our lives to Christ and trust in His plans for us will we discover tranquil rest for our souls.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Source of Confidence

Psalm 33:12-22 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth—he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you.
In what or in whom do you put your confidence? What gives you hope? What causes you to breathe a sigh of certainty?
Too many people look in the wrong place for confidence. Some find comfort in the right political party, military muscle or economic strength. Personally, we strive for the right job or financial security. Let’s face it. We like to place our bets on strong, charismatic people and money.

God laughs at our misguided assurance. Human strength, no matter how convincing or clever, is no match for God. He keeps his eye on those “whose hope is in his unfailing love.” At the end of the day he alone is our only Deliverer, our only Helper, our only Shield. The wise person waits in hope for the Lord.

Father, I confess I am tempted to look to military strength, political leaders and money as sources of confidence. Forgive me. May I always put my trust in you alone. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Join us on The Journey at to listen to today’s broadcast. For more resources from Ron Moore, visit

Friday, August 28, 2015

Faith Sets the Bow

"And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud"   (Genesis 9:14).

Just now clouds are plentiful enough, but we are not afraid that the world will be destroyed by a deluge. We see the rainbow often enough to pre- vent our having any such fears. The covenant which the LORD made with Noah stands fast, and we have no doubts about it. Why, then, should we think that the clouds of' trouble, which now darken our sky, will end in our destruction? Let us dismiss such groundless and dishonoring fears.

Faith always sees the bow of covenant promise whenever sense sees the cloud of affliction. God has a bow with which He might shoot out His arrows of destruction. But see, it is turned upward! It is a bow without an arrow or a string; it is a bow hung out for show, no longer used for war. It is a bow of many colors, expressing joy and delight, and not a bow blood-red with slaughter or black with anger. Let us be of good courage. Never does God so darken our sky as to leave His covenant without a witness, and even if He did, we would trust Him since He cannot change or lie or in any other way fail to keep His covenant of peace. Until the waters go over the earth again, we shall have no reason for doubting our God.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Godly Living in an Ungodly Age

Titus 1
Our Founding Fathers created a governing framework based upon biblical principles. Slowly, we have changed from “one nation under God” to a group of people who no longer want Him to be involved.

Tragically, we’ve become, in numerous ways, an ungodly nation: many are driven by materialism and power; immorality and rebellion are prevalent; empty philosophy and false doctrine are widely acceptable. Underlying it all is a vocal decision to take God out of the nation’s “official business.”

Yet even in an unbelieving society, people can, as individuals, follow Jesus. But the world will continually disseminate faulty teachings, so believers must be discerning. Otherwise, erroneous messages can lead Christians to compromise their convictions. Then affections and priorities may change. Don’t let the world’s clamor make the Spirit’s voice less audible. Without His guidance, our minds become vulnerable to lies.

The Word of God is a compass that keeps us headed in the right direction—even in the midst of confusing messages all around. We need to be consistently filled with truth by reading, believing, meditating upon, and applying Scripture. God also tells us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). If our minds are focused upon Him, unholy beliefs will not be able to take root.

The Word is our guidebook. We will still face difficulty as we live in this imperfect world—it is a confusing, dark place that entices us but never fulfills our true longings. Yet God’s truth will bring confidence and boldness, and His Spirit will direct and strengthen, enabling us to live victoriously.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Unity, Liberty, and Charity

“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” - (John 17:20–21)

Have you ever noticed there are some people who like to fight? They like to argue, and they are unhappy when they are happy. So they find something to get worked up about, something new to debate. They love conflict. It’s a sad way to live.

When I was a younger Christian, I felt that it was my job to set everyone straight. I had been a Christian for about a year and had been reading the Bible and going to church almost every night of the week. I thought, I’m going to set everyone straight. That was the way I was.

I knew everything. I had the answer to every question. And if you held a view different from mine, then I was going to talk you out of it and into mine.

I don’t feel that way anymore. Obviously, I want everyone to believe in Jesus. But if you have a slightly different take on a theological truth than I do, I don’t feel that it is my job to convince you. I like this statement regarding believers: “In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” The word essentials refers to the most important theological doctrines like that of the Bible being the Word of God, Jesus Christ being the only way to the Father, and salvation coming through Christ and Christ alone. Those are the essentials. In essentials, unity. We don’t ever flex on essentials.

But in nonessentials, liberty. What are nonessentials? Things like the style of music. Some people like it loud. Some people like it quiet. Some people like a certain style. Some people like another style. These are secondary issues. We should never divide over them. In nonessentials, liberty.
Finally, in all things, charity, which is another word for love. Be loving.

Do you love conflict and do you want to set others straight? How much is charity a part of your approach?
Copyright © 2015 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
For more relevant and biblical teaching from Pastor Greg Laurie, go to

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A New Struggle

by Colin Smith
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Mark 8:34)
Christ gives his people a new heart and a new Spirit, but then he also gives us a new struggle. Don’t expect the road ahead to be easy.

That’s what we learn from both the story of David and the story of Jesus. After David was anointed he had to put up with Saul. What happened after the Spirit descended on Jesus at his baptism?

The Spirit immediately drove Jesus out into the wilderness where he was tempted by the devil. He launched out into public ministry where he faced intense opposition and the relentless demands of the crowds. Then he goes to a cross where he suffers and dies in agony—no crown yet.

There was a great struggle between the day of Christ’s anointing and the day when he rose from the dead and ascended in power and glory to take his seat on the throne. The pattern for David was the pattern for Jesus, and the pattern for Jesus will be the pattern for us!

Christ gives you a new heart. He fills you with his Spirit. Then it’s back into the world with all its pressures and relentless demands – back to that difficult marriage, that secular school, that hostile environment. Why? To honor Christ there!

So Christ offers us a new heart, a new spirit, and a new struggle. Saul had none of them. David had all of them. Saul lived with a crown, and in the end he lost it. David lived without a crown, but in the end he gained it.
Which of these two would you rather be?   
[Based on the sermon series "A Tale of Two Kings"] 
For more resources by Colin Smith visit Unlocking the Bible, where you can request a free sample of LifeKEYS Daily devotional, listen to the radio program, or browse other gospel-centered, Christ-exalting resources. You can also follow Colin on Twitter.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Do You Scare Yourself?

by Paul Tripp
Are you scared of you? Some mornings I look in the mirror and scare myself, but there’s something much less comical and much more destructive that I should be afraid of. It’s the dark condition of my heart.
In Psalm 51, we encounter a man terrified of himself. David, after being confronted by the prophet Nathan, pens this phrase: “Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.” (Psalm 51:2-3, ESV) David doesn’t explicitly use the words, “I’m afraid of me,” but he employs a “trinitarian vocabulary” to express his fear.

1. Iniquity

Iniquity is moral uncleanness. We don’t become morally unclean because we commit acts of moral uncleanness. Rather, because we’re morally unclean from our beginning, we’re capable of committing morally unclean deeds.
The reason we think those vile thoughts and say those hurtful words and commit those violent actions is because we’re unclean in our soul. We ought to be terrified of our iniquity and the harm it can cause. It’s only when we recognize the depth of our uncleanness that we will reach out for purifying grace from the Divine Trinity and begin to experience personal change.

2. Sin

Sin means “missing the mark.” Select your most skilled archer, hand him the finest bow, and wait for the day with the most beneficial weather conditions. Even at the peak of human effort, the target is too far away for any archer to hit.
That’s our righteousness - on our best day, our deeds are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). We ought to be terrified of our sin and the inability it causes. It’s only when we recognize the depth of our helplessness that we will reach out for empowering grace from the Divine Trinity and begin to experience personal change.

3. Transgression

Transgression is trespassing. It’s parking in the “No Parking” zone, even though you tell yourself you’re going to be in the store for just three minutes. You know the law has been established, but in that moment, you couldn’t care less.
When you yell at your spouse or child, when you browse the Internet for explicit content, or when you cheat someone, you’re not doing so out of ignorance. We ought to be afraid of our transgression and the boundaries it enables us to cross. It’s only when we recognize the depth of our rebellion that we will reach out for rescuing grace from the Divine Trinity and begin to experience personal change.

A Divine Trinity

This “terrible trinity” of words captures with power and clarity the dark and destructive nature of our hearts. Iniquity, sin, and transgression ought to produce fear in our soul and drive us to seek the help and hope that can only be found in the Divine Trinity.

We need a Father who will exercise sovereign power to establish a plan that will rescue us from us. We need a Son who will take our punishment and earn forgiveness on our behalf. We need a Spirit who will dwell within in us and empower us to do what we would not be otherwise able to do.

So yes, you should be scared of you, but you shouldn’t feel hopeless. You haven’t been left to the ravages of the “terrible trinity,” because you've been rescued by the power and love of a Divine Trinity.

Pray this with me: Thank you, Sovereign Father, for your unshakeable plan. Thank you, Sacrificial Son, for standing in our place. Thank you, Warrior Spirit, for your empowering presence. In you, Triune Lord, we really find help and hope for personal change.
God bless
Paul David Tripp

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Step Toward Freedom

From Good Morning, Lord by Sheila Walsh
Today I will take a step toward freedom and away from the brokenness in my past. 

His father was a violent alcoholic who beat his family mem­bers every day. His mother’s paranoia made her no source of comfort. Furthermore, she tended to set the two brothers up in competition with each other. This young man realized that nothing he accomplished would ever be enough to please his parents. Even when he later gave his life to Christ, he still dealt with fear that was rooted in the pain of his childhood—but now he didn’t deal with it alone. Every time he sensed the beast of fear and shame approaching, he could invite the love of God into that dark place.

What kind of brokenness have you experienced? Whatever it is—how­ever irreparable the damage seems—you can do what my friend does and what I do: invite God’s light into that darkness. Ask God to flood every part of your wounded soul with his love and to shine his light into every dark corner. You can fall on your knees and take any crippling thoughts about your past or haunting fears for your future to God’s throne of grace. Although he does not guarantee us pain-free passage through this world, he does promise the companionship of Christ and a peace that passes understanding.

Light brings healing to wounds, comfort to fears, and guidance to confusion. In what specific ways has God—who is light—been any or all of those things to you?

Saturday, August 22, 2015


by Max Lucado

We’ll try anything to get rid of our loneliness. But should we? Should we be so quick to drop it? Could it be that loneliness is a gift? A gift from God? A friend turns away. The job goes bad. Your spouse didn’t understand. The church is dull. One by one he removes the options until all you have left is God. He would do that?  Hebrews 12:6 tells us, “The Lord disciplines those he loves.” If he must silence every voice, he will. He wants you to discover what David discovered and to be able to say what David said, “You are with me.”

Loneliness. Could it be one of God’s finest gifts? Scripture says, “Perfect love casts out fear.” If a season of solitude is his way to teach you to hear his song, don’t you think it’s worth it? So do I.

From Traveling Light

Friday, August 21, 2015


By  Pastor Bob Hanna

Scripture Reading: Philippians 3:9

The apostle Paul defined Israel's self-imposed barrier to securing salvation: "They being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God" (Romans 10:3). And Paul declares, regarding his own spiritual condition, as "not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith" (Philippians 3:9). "I know that in me, (that is, in my flesh), dwelleth no good thing" (Romans 7:18).

The prophet Isaiah describes the condition of natural man: "We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6). And David stated, "In thy [God's] sight shall no man living be justified" (Psalms 143:2). It is clear that man, by his own efforts, cannot attain to righteousness. This state of affairs has been pondered since time immemorial. Job asked, "How should man be just with God?" (Job 9:2.) The answer can come only from God Himself. He sent His Son and " ... made Him to be sin for us, [Him] who knew no sin: THAT WE MIGHT BE MADE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM" (2 Corinthians 5:21). We, being saved by grace, are "in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us ... righteousness" (I Cor. 1:30).

That righteousness is attained by faith, and is the only way acceptable to God, has always been the one approach. "Even Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness" (Galatians 3:6).

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Look at What You Have

by Max Lucado
Linger too long in the stench of your hurt, and you’ll smell like the toxin you despise.  I spent too much of a summer sludging through sludge.  Oil field work is dirty at best.  But the dirtiest job of all?  Shoveling silt out of empty oil tanks. The foreman saved such jobs for the summer help.  Thanks boss!  My mom burned my work clothes.  The stink stuck!
Your hurts can do the same.  The better option?  Look at what you have.  Your hurts and pain took much, but Christ gave you more! Catalog His kindnesses.  Everything from sunsets to salvation—look at what you have.
Let Jesus be the friend you need.  Talk to Him.  Spare no detail.  Disclose your fear and describe your dread. Will your hurt disappear? Who knows?  And in a sense, does it matter? You have a friend for life. What could be better than that?
from Facing Your Giants

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Judgment is Coming

So many are groaning about the increasing persecution of the churches and Christianity in our country in these Last Days. I would suggest to you the complacency in the pews have not only accepted but demanded the wimpishness in the pulpits coupled with false teaching and preaching even as prophesied to come by the Apostle Paul to his son in the faith Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:3 & 4:
 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
I have been preaching that at every ordination service I have been invited to participate in for nearly thirty years.
                How many demand wimpy preaching that must not offend, where hearers feel they have been ill-used if the sermon goes over twenty minutes; runs past the noon hour, or effects their place in line at the local restaurant. How many have attended travesties called prayer meetings where one forgettable “Polly wants a cracker” general prayer is uttered for the sick and shut-in to be followed by ridiculous ill prepared talk about some Bible passage?
                Let me share with you the first prayer uttered in the Continental Congress of the United States by Jacob Duche’ the rector of Christ Church in Philadelphia at 9a.m. 7 September 1774:[i]
“O Lord our Heavenly Father, high and mighty King of kings, and Lord of lords, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth and reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the Kingdoms, Empires and Governments; look down in mercy, we beseech Thee, on these our American States, who have fled to Thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent only on Thee. To Thee have they appealed for the righteousness of their cause; to Thee do they now look up for that countenance and support, which Thou alone canst give. Take them, therefore, Heavenly Father, under Thy nurturing care; give them wisdom in Council and valor in the field; defeat the malicious designs of our cruel adversaries; convince them of the unrighteousness of their Cause and if they persist in their sanguinary purposes, of own unerring justice, sounding in their hearts, constrain them to drop the weapons of war from their unnerved hands in the day of battle! 
Be Thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation. That the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that order, harmony and peace may be effectually restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety, prevail and flourish amongst the people. Preserve the health of their bodies and vigor of their minds; shower down on them and the millions they here represent, such temporal blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world and crown them with everlasting glory in the world to come. All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior.”
                I submit to you that if we had more praying like that to begin our solemn assemblies in the House of God we would have less problems in the Nation today. But this was not even a church meeting but the conduct of the critical business of seeking the sort of freedom they believed God would have His people to possess. If the Presbyterian Church has men who prayed like that today perhaps it would not be turning against Israel and tolerating all manner of evil to be creeping in! But then they are but one of the religious bodies that have left their first love in America!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Pure Word

“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.” (Proverbs 30:5)
When the inspired writer of Proverbs testified here that God’s Word was “pure,” he did not use the usual word for, say, moral purity or metallic purity. Instead, he asserted in effect that every word of God had been refined and purified, as it were in a spiritual furnace, so that any and all contaminants had been purged out, leaving only the pure element.
The same truth is found in the great psalm of the Scriptures (Psalm 119). “Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it” (Psalm 119:140). David used the same word in another psalm, where it is translated “tried” in the sense of “tested for purity.” “As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried. He is a buckler to all those that trust in him” (Psalm 18:30). The word for “buckler” in this verse is the same as for “shield” in our text. Thus, God equips with a perfect shield against the weapons of any foe, because “His way is perfect” and “every word” in Scripture has been made “pure” before the Spirit of God approved its use by the human writer.
This surely tells us that the human writer of Scripture (that is, Moses or David or John or whomever), with all his human proneness to mistakes or other inadequacies, was so controlled by the Holy Spirit that whatever he actually wrote had been purged of any such deficiencies. Thus, his final written text had been made perfectly “pure,” free from any defects. This control applies to “every word,” so that we can legitimately refer to the Scriptures as verbally inspired and inerrant throughout.
As the apostle Paul stressed, our spiritual armor in the battle against evil is “the shield of faith” and “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:16-17). HMM

Monday, August 17, 2015

Our Responsibility Has Eternal Consequences

You wicked, lazy slave, . . . you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.
—Matthew 25:26–28 (Not King James)

The first two servants in Jesus’ parable of the talents were faithful to obey what the master asked them to do. As a result, the master rewarded them with much.
Notice the response, though, of the third servant: “The one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours’” (vv. 24–25). Apparently this third slave forgot all about the master. He probably figured the master wasn’t coming back, so he started using his life as he wanted to use it. The master’s return caught him by surprise. So when the master came back, he panicked and all he could think to do was to make excuses about why he hadn’t obeyed the master’s command. He starts accusing the master. He says, “The reason I did this is because you are a cruel person. You sow where you do not own land. And you reap property that is not your own. That’s why I was lazy and did not do what you told me to do.” By the way, this is how unbelievers treat God. There are many people out there right now who profess to be believers, but as soon as their back is up against the wall, they start attacking the character of God. It simply reveals they never knew God to begin with. 
Notice how the master responds: “You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest” (vv. 26–27). Now I don’t think the master is admitting to what he was accused of. I think what he is saying to the third slave is this: “If you really thought I was cruel and unfair, then shouldn’t you have done what I asked you to do? Shouldn’t you at least have put my money in the bank where it would have earned interest every year? No, the problem is your wickedness and your laziness.” 
This verse reminds me of what the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 3:19 about the Day of Judgment. He says that on that day, every mouth will be silenced and the whole world will be accountable to God. When the great judgment comes, no excuses will be acceptable in God’s eyes. And notice what the master said about this third slave. He said, “Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents” (v. 28).
That leads to the fourth principle. Our faithfulness in using our opportunities here on earth has eternal consequences. Why take away from the one who only had the one talent and give it to the one who had ten talents? Jesus said, “For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away” (v. 29). 
Jesus doesn’t end this parable the way I would have ended it. You see, if I were to end this story, I would say something like, “He who has little in this life will have a great deal in the next life. And he who has a great deal in this life, will have very little in the next life.” Doesn’t that seem fairer to you? It doesn’t sound right to say, “He who has little will lose what he has in the next life. And he who has much will have more in the next life.”
But that’s exactly what Jesus is saying when it comes to opportunities for serving Him. If you have been faithful to use what God has given you in this life, then you will have even more in the next life. If you have been unfaithful to use what you have in this life, you will have even less in the next life.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Smallest Life Form Discovered

Mark 8:7-8  "And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them. So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets."

A bacterium has recently been photographed that is so tiny, researchers have debated about whether it could even exist. The bacterium has a volume of only .009 cubic microns. To put that into perspective, a micron is one millionth of a meter. This means that more than 150,000 of them could fit on the tip of a single human hair.

Despite their small size, these bacterium have everything they need to survive and reproduce. And what they don't have, they borrow. For instance, these bacteria have tiny string-like structures called pili. Scientists suspect the bacteria use these pili to link up with other microbes so they can borrow key nutrients from them.

Now, don't let evolutionists tell you it would be easy for evolution to produce a life form as tiny as this bacterium. If anything, its small size speaks loudly of an incredibly intelligent Creator. Consider, for example, the phone in your purse or pocket. Today's typical smart phone is so technologically advanced, it has far more computing power than computers from the past that filled up entire rooms. And they can do far more than make phone calls. Hey, we call them smart phones for a reason!

Little things can accomplish astonishing things in the hands of a great God. Jesus took a few small fish and used them to feed thousands. God took a little boy and used him to vanquish a giant. So don't ever think you are too small or insignificant to do great things with God.

Heavenly Father, from the tiniest life form to the greatest galaxy, You have created them all! Amen.

E. Brodwin, "Scientists have finally found and photographed the tiniest life on Earth,"

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Love so Amazing, so Divine - Days of Praise

“In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.” (Colossians 1:22

The past two days, we have been studying the verses of the hymn “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” We have seen insights into the sufferings of Christ on the cross for our behalf, the love which led Him there, and its bountiful gift to believers. We are now prepared to consider our response.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

The author, Isaac Watts, begins verse four with a mention of creation. If we were to own it, it would not suffice as a suitable gift, for He is the Creator of all (Colossians 1:16-17), including the vastness of space, the intricacies of life and Earth systems, the mighty spiritual angels, and even the creation of His image in man. “There is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him” (1 Corinthians 8:6). He is Lord of all! He knows us better than we know ourselves, and yet He loves us so.

The most amazing line of the hymn is the final couplet. A fitting response to His love would be a complete offering of one’s soul, life, and all. He is our great Creator and the offended Judge. He gave up aspects of His eternal essence in order to take up our likeness and die for us. He is our everlasting King! It all focuses in on the cross—the wondrous cross!

“My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you” (John 14:27). “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever” (1 Timothy 1:17). JDM

Friday, August 14, 2015

His head, His hands, His feet

“Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side....And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My LORD and my God.” (John 20:27-28)

Perhaps no other means of execution ever inflicted more physical pain than Roman crucifixion. Today as we ponder verse three of the precious hymn “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” we reflect on the facts that when Christ was crucified a cruel crown of thorns was mashed down upon His head and His body was held suspended in place by painful Roman spikes nailed through His hands and feet. He knew what awaited Him, for a description of the dying process had been written long beforehand (Psalm 22). Yet He endured it all out of love for us.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

We get some perspective of His love from these verses: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10).

He has done it all for us. We cannot earn salvation, but we have an obligation to conform our lives to His example, even His death. Scripture informs us that we can “know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” (Philippians 3:10). His death on the cross and His resurrection pave the way for us to follow. JDM

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Are We the Shepherd's Sheep?

We may judge ourselves tonight by considering whether or not we are Christ's sheep. Do we acknowledge ourselves as belonging to him, spirit, soul, and body? Do we regard ourselves as being, in relationship with him, no wiser, no stronger, than sheep to a shepherd? I know some who are certainly not sheep of Christ's flock, for they will be led by nobody in heaven, or on earth; but must have their own sweet way. They are critics of the Bible, not disciples of it. They might be very good dogs, but they are very abnormal sheep. They would make very respectable wolves, for they are great with destructive criticism; but they certainly are not sheep; and their disposition and spirit are such that they would scorn the character, if they understood it. "What! to go where I am led? To lie down where I am told to lie down? Not to choose my own way? Just to see nothing, and know nothing; but to have my eyes always on the Shepherd, and my wisdom subject to his? To be shepherded by another mind than my own? Is it so? Am I to be nothing but a sheep to the Lord Jesus?"

Yes, it is true; and therefore the modern wise man and woman are indignant, and proudly repudiates the character of a sheep. As for us, we accept all that the name implies. O brothers and sisters, we can act as a man or woman before other people, but when we come before our Lord, as the sheep is a mere animal in comparison with its shepherd, so we feel ourselves to be less than that. How often have we cried with David, "I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you." [Psalm 73:22] O my Lord, in your presence I sink as low as low can be, and you become very high, yes, everything to me, the Shepherd of my weak, vacillating, trembling spirit!

--C.H. Spurgeon

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Came to Save

Luke 9:56 For the Son of man is not come destroy men's lives, but to save them. …..

In spite of what you might think, Jesus did not come to this earth to mess up your life! But he will. Jesus did not come to cause confusion for you. But he will. Jesus did not come to cause you unhappiness, loneliness, or, heart break. But he will. 
Jesus will do what ever to bring mankind back to his redeemed position with GOD.
Jesus will not force anyone to accept him as their savior. Jesus will draw, persuade, and, use people and places to win lost souls. 
When Jesus saved us, he left us here to be soul winners. One problem with our churches today is folks are waiting for others to do the work. Some people think church is where we go to watch others and criticize them for doing a poor job.
NO! Christian friend, church is where we go to pray, to worship, to praise the name of Jesus. We go to fellowship with like believers, to get strengthened that we might go into this world as a better witness.
So you see, neighbor, Jesus did not come to destroy nor kill. Jesus came to save the soul, to heal the sick, and point the way to the Heavenly Father.

Are you glad you know Jesus?
God Bless;
Walter D. Hill D. Min.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Nothing Is Impossible With God

One of the greatest verses in the Bible is, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Do you believe it? It’s what the angel told Mary, the mother of Jesus, when he announced that she would give birth to God’s son as a virgin.

If you are facing a particularly tough challenge where you need strength and wisdom beyond yourself, will you believe nothing will be impossible with God? 

If you are in a season of grief and not sure you can make it, will you believe nothing will be impossible with God? 

If you are facing discouragement, disappointment, depression, or despair, will you believe nothing will be impossible with God? 

If you are struggling in your family, will you believe nothing will be impossible with God? 

Mary did and because she did, Jesus came to be our savior. He died and rose, conquering sin and death for you and me. The story of Jesus reminds us of how nothing will be impossible with God.

Monday, August 10, 2015

What Would I Give In Exchange

What would you give in exchange for life?  What is precious to you?  Would you cut off your arms to save your life?  Poke out your eyes?  What do you prize above all things?  Would you give it in exchange for another’s life?  Personally, I question myself.

Millions of people give blood to help save complete strangers’ lives.  Some people are willing to give up their kidneys, parts of their liver in order to save a loved one.  Several months ago, I saw a news account of a coffee-shop owner who gave a kidney to a customer.  Would I risk my life for another?  I think about police officers and firemen who risk their lives every day to protect us–soldiers who fight to keep us free.  I think about Christians around the world who risk their lives to study the Bible, to share the Gospel, to simply profess their faith in Christ.  Would I do that?  I’d like to believe I would, but I don’t know.  God knows.

God gave Egypt to the Babylonians as ransom for Israel. He gave Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for Israel’s release. Even though Israel was stiffnecked and stubborn, God gave life in exchange for life.  He did this because…because He loved Israel. 
”Because you are precious in My sight and honored, and because I love you, I will give men in return for you and peoples in exchange for your life.” Isaiah 43:4
They were precious in His sight.  He loved them.  Today God continues to ransom those whom He loves. Through Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, He has paid the final ransom for our sin-blackened souls.  There are no more sacrifices to be made.  No more exchanges.  Jesus is the propitiation–the appeasing offering–for our sin, the wages for our death sentence.  Paid in full.

Because God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son to die on Calvary to set us free from the bondage of sin and everlasting punishment. Because He first loved me and you, He gave.  Simply “because”.

“Because you are precious in My sight…and because I love you.”

“I love Him because He first loved me.” 1 John 4:19 
Because He loves me, and because I love Him…What will I give in exchange?

What does He ask of us?  Go, tell, baptize, make disciples, teach.  So we can’t teach.  So we can’t make disciples.  So we can’t baptize.  So we can’t go.  Can we at least tell?  Can we at least tell others what God gave in exchange for our lives?
© Hariette Petersen, SelahV Today, 2011

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Has Your Heart Become Calloused?

Ever know you ought to do something, but just don’t feel like it?  The desire is not there.  You ought to encourage, but don’t.  You ought to give, but won’t.  You ought to change, but remain the same. I get that way sometimes and wonder if perhaps I’ve hardened my heart to the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
“For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.” Matthew 13:15
When our hands become calloused, we are able to do work with less to no pain.  We can actually cut away some of the skin and not feel it.  The same is true with our hearts.  We become so conditioned to the world’s troubles we lose feeling for others.  We become so comfortable with our own security we cannot see the insecurity of others.  We are so consumed with our own needs, we cannot notice another’s.  We are so intune to our own thoughts, we cannot hear the despair of others.

Jesus spoke to his disciples in the above verse.  He was preaching to a crowd and some within the crowd were only there because of the miracles they’d seen Jesus perform.  Yet still, they could not see the Miracle before them.  Others, the leaders, only followed Jesus to gather information and trick him.  They really were not interested in what Jesus had to say.  They had no intentions of following Him; they’d calloused their hearts and made up their minds that they had all the answers.  Therefore they could not be healed–or saved.

I don’t want to be like that. I don’t want to feel calloused toward truth the Lord wants to show me.  I want to be so sensitive to God’s voice that I not only hear Him whisper, but discern a pinprick from the Holy Spirit upon my heart.
How about you?  Are your eyes closed to the truth?  Have you turned a deaf ear to His teachings?  Is there someone in your life with whom you need to reconcile?  What holds you back?  Is there some temptation you are unwilling to resist?  Will you turn it over to the Lord now and let Him heal you? 
PRAYER:  O LORD, for those who find these words touching them today, I pray Your grace abounds.  Let them accept the mercy You give.  Give them strength, and wisdom and discernment and let them live abundantly in Your goodness.
© Hariette Petersen, SelahV Today, 2011

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Staying On Track

I often ask God to help me know His voice. To help me stay on track and not sway from His direction in my life. You see, I don’t want to get lost in the world.  I know I’m human and I’m not too big in my own britches to think that someday I might make a terribly wrong choice that could mess up everything I’ve worked so hard for in my life.

Integrity and honesty are important to me. My values and morals are something I take seriously. I love my God and I love His commands. Yet the world has a very strong pull. And all it takes is one little concession on my part that will lead to a bigger concession and a bigger one. I have to be intentional and vigilant about the choices and decisions in my life.

In Isaiah 30, verse 21, it says, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’

That is my heart’s plea and desire. That God will be ever-present in my heart and life so that I will hear His voice when He speaks to me and tells me which path to walk on. And if I don’t? If I should get on the wrong path? Then with everything in me, my prayer would be that God would direct me back to the right path.
You see, I pray for myself AHEAD OF TIME. I ask God to help me and to hold on to me. For He is faithful and I know that a prayer I say today, He will remember a year from now when I’m struggling or feeling rebellious.

I pray that my ears will hear my God when He speaks. That my heart will feel Him and that my mind will know Him. And may my lips only speak from a soul that is consumed with His love.

~ Dionna Sanchez (