Devotions

The Wayside Net

Today’s Verse: They have spread a net by the wayside…. ~Psalm 140:5b The word “wayside” describes the side of a road. It is not the beaten path that is commonly traveled. In driving, this could be considered the shoulder of the road, where cars pull off after a mechanical failure or accident, or for a road violation. To everyday travelers, the wayside had the idea of a location that was not preferred or prominent. It was farmland to the side that was not broken up and ready for sowing. In traveling, it could represent a ditch on the side. Let us see, this morning, the peril of the wayside net. We see the wayside snare. The psalmist said, “They have spread a net by the wayside.” A wayside net

A Good Work

Today’s Verse: This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. ~1 Timothy 3:1 God uses many recurring words and phrases to strongly emphasize a precept, principle, priority, or practice for the Christian life. These recurring words and phrases make for encouraging and enlightening Bible study that strengthens us in our convictions and walk with God. One of these phrases is “a good work.” This phrase emphasizes a practice that is highly-esteemed in the eyes of God. It is a “best practice” approach to living for and serving our Lord. This morning, let us briefly look at three good works. There is the work of pastoring. Paul said that if a man desires the

Model Homes

Today’s Verse: In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble. ~Proverbs 15:6 New housing developments will have model homes for potential buyers to survey and walk through. Model homes are designed to have the most up-to-date appliances, colors, furniture, and other amenities to appeal to a buyer’s taste. Some people enjoy walking through model homes to get ideas for the current home they are living in. Everything about a model home is to give a “picture perfect” idea of a home that someone will enjoy living in. Solomon refers to the house of the righteous as being a home where there is much treasure. Let’s see how the house of the righteous is

The Broken Net

Today’s Verse: And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. ~Luke 5:6 Commercial fishing is perhaps one of the hardest and most-demanding occupations in the world. This kind of fishing is done mainly at night when it is dark and cold. It is rewarding work when the evening catch is very good (filled nets) and very disappointing when the catch is dismal to nothing. Cleaning the nets and the boat is a daily necessity in order to be ready for the next night’s expedition. I imagine that most fishermen suffer from insomnia due to sleep deprivation. Next, to not catch any fish is to discover that you have a broken net while fishing. This morning, let

Fed Horses

Today’s Verse: They were as fed horses in the morning…. ~Jeremiah 5:8a As we read the Word of God, we find the Lord using many colorful images to describe a situation. Since the people who lived during the time that the Bible was written lived in an agrarian society, the Lord used real-life examples to more powerfully convey the message He was trying to get across. An example of this is frequent usage of seed sowing and reaping or sheep and a shepherd. In our study this morning, the Lord uses the phrase “they were as fed horses” to describe the carnal condition of the people of Judah. We see a woeful dearth. “Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek

A Soft Answer

Today’s Verse: A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. ~Proverbs 15:1 Publius once wisely said, “I have often regretted my speech, but never my silence.” I think all of us can think of one or more times when we answered or reacted too quickly to something said to us and, later, regretted that we spoke too soon. Solomon said in a later proverb that “a fool uttereth all his mind.” This morning, let us examine the virtue of a soft answer. We see a common reality. In life, we are faced with many different confrontational situations. The way someone approaches us, speaks to us, or asks us a question can be received as threatening, invasive, insulting, or “in our face.”

No Other Doctrine

Today’s Verse: As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, ~1 Timothy 1:3 The book of 1 Timothy is known as one of three pastoral epistles. Paul wrote this letter to a young pastor whom he trained and mentored. He starts off this letter to Timothy by telling him to stay at Ephesus, where he was pastoring, and to deal with issues that, as a pastor, he needed to address in the church. One of these key issues was that other teachers and influential leaders should teach no other doctrine than what Paul had taught them. We see a battle. There are two major battles that rage in every church. The first o

No Other God

Today’s Verse: Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort. ~Daniel 3:29 What does the phrase “no other” bring to your mind? It is a term of comparison that demonstrates the greatness and superiority of one object over another. It is a way of saying that a person or thing is incomparable. Other ways we would express “no other” is by saying “nothing like this,” “one of a kind,” or “no comparison.” King Nebuchadnezzar made a powerful public statement when he said,

Unlimited Capability

Today’s Verse: And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, ~Luke 4:1 One of my dreams during my lifetime is that someone would develop an automobile that would have unlimited capability for driving, without needing fuel or maintenance. Of course, if something like this was developed, it would be incredibly expensive, given it would change the way the automobile industry does business. In our devotion this morning, our Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated the unlimited capability of the Spirit life and its profound results in the lives of the people we minister to. We see the personal imperative. We are commanded to walk and live in th

God's Tender Mercies

Today’s Verse: Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; ~Psalm 103:4 Mercy is pity and undeserved favor given to someone who is in trouble. When someone is tried in a court of law and found guilty, he desires the mercy of the court and the judge upon him. Mercy extended to a condemned man exonerates him from the charges he has been found guilty of. One of God’s great attributes is His mercy. The psalmist used the phrase “tender mercies” to enhance the meaning behind this word. His mercies are passionate. The description of tender mercies emphasizes the passion God has for our restoration, forgiveness, and productivity. The Hebrew word

Who Will Build?

Today’s Verse: Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. ~Ezra 1:3 New housing construction statistics are vitally important in gauging our economy’s growth and health. A booming housing construction indicates strong consumer spending and confidence in the future. I have had the privilege of seeing my church go through three building phases. Each of them tested the willingness of the congregation to fund down payments and ongoing monthly costs. Cyrus was a Persian monarch whom God raised up to stir His people, the Jews, to rebuild the

Continual Burnt Offering

Today’s Verse: And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the LORD; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering. ~Numbers 28:3 The nation of Israel was commanded to observe various offerings and ceremonies as part of their spiritual relationship with God. Each of these offerings and ceremonies was designed to keep them conscious of and committed in their relationship to God. This morning, we are considering the continual burnt offering. It was a sacrifice. The burnt offering involved the sacrificial death of a lamb of the first year in the morning and in the evening. The lamb that was offered had to be wit

The Son of Eleazar

Today’s Verse: Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. ~Numbers 25:11 This morning, our attention and focus is on the son of Eleazar and the grandson of Aaron. His name is Phinehas. His name means “the face of trust.” He is noteworthy for being righteous and doing the right thing at the right time. We see his moral conviction. “And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand.” Israel fell lusting after the gods of the M

Timothy, My Son

Today’s Verse: But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel. ~Philippians 2:22 Yesterday, we looked at John Mark and his mentoring by Peter. This morning, we are looking at Paul and his mentoring of Timothy. The principle of spiritual mentoring is given to us in 2 Timothy 2:2: “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” We see the importance of closeness. Paul referred to Timothy’s closeness to him as “a son with the father.” This had very special meaning in the first century. In family businesses and in farming, the son followed his father

Marcus, My Son

Today’s Verse: The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son. ~1 Peter 5:13 When we introduce or refer to family members, we typically refer to their relationship to us with descriptions like “my wife,” “my husband,” “my daughter,” or “my son.” Peter refers to a special relationship that he had with a young man he took under his wings. John Mark, or Marcus, is referred to Peter’s spiritual son in the faith. We see John Mark, the member. “And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.” John Mark showed signs of spiritual potential and was recruited to be

Warning Sign

Today’s Verse: And the sons of Eliab; Nemuel, and Dathan, and Abiram. This is that Dathan and Abiram, which were famous in the congregation, who strove against Moses and against Aaron in the company of Korah, when they strove against the LORD: And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up together with Korah, when that company died, what time the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men: and they became a sign. ~Numbers 26:9-10 When driving, are you good at reading the signs? We have various road signs that we must be familiar with for the protection of ourselves, other drivers, and pedestrians. All of them are various, obvious directions, such as stopping, yielding, railroad crossing

Outside the Camp

Today’s Verse: Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. ~Hebrews 13:13 The camp in the Old Testament was the sanctuary area where there were altars for burning sacrifices and incense. There was the brazen altar, where blood sacrifices were made. Then, there was the golden altar, where incense was burned in the morning and evening, representing the prayers of God’s people. The bodies of the animals offered as a sin offering had to be taken outside of the camp and burned completely. There is a special meaning for us when we go outside the camp. It speaks to us vividly about our identification with Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. Let us go forth to Jesus in acti

There is in This City

Today’s Verse: And he said unto him, Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honourable man; all that he saith cometh surely to pass: now let us go thither; peradventure he can shew us our way that we should go. ~1 Samuel 9:6 A few years ago, I was preaching in the state of Virginia for a pastor friend. He took me to visit Mt. Vernon, which is famous as the place where George Washington lived and made his residence. That city is keenly identified with George Washington. This morning, we read of a city that was famous because in it lived a man of God named Samuel. The servant of Saul told him, “There is in this city a man of God.” Let us see why God places a high premium

Tongue-Tied

Today’s Verse: And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. ~Luke 1:20 Being tongue-tied is when a person is speechless or does not have the words to say what they want, perhaps out of shyness or embarrassment. This morning, we are considering a man who was “tongue-tied” because he did not believe the Word of the Lord and was unable to speak for nine months. This man is Zacharias, whose name means “remembered of Jehovah.” We see Zacharias and his service. According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the

The Friend of God

Today’s Verse: And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. ~James 2:23 Of the many wonderful things to describe a man’s relationship to God, being called the Friend of God in Scripture ranks as one of them. This morning, we want to examine why Abraham stands out as a man who is called the Friend of God. There is the necessity. To not be a friend of God is to be at enmity with God. Our sins have separated between us and God, thus making us His enemies. To remain as the enemy of God places us under the terrible consequence of spending eternity in Hell. To be without Christ means we are li

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