Burnt with Fire

Today’s Verse: And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for ever, even a desolation unto this day. ~Joshua 8:28 Fire can be a friend or it can be a foe. When put to proper use, fire serves as a means for heat and is used for boiling, cooking, or smelting. Fire can be devastating when it is not controlled or when used for the wrong intent. Forest fires burn large amounts of landscape and leave a beautiful area blackened, scorched, and ruined. A household fire destroys valuables, memories, and even lives. Our God is described as a consuming fire. Fire is very descriptive in the Bible as God’s means to burn away. We see the ruin of a fire. “Joshua burnt Ai.” This means the entire city was burne

No Hurt

Today’s Verse: And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. ~Acts 28:5 All of us have different levels of pain tolerance. I remember, when I was in elementary school, the fear of getting a shot at the doctor’s office. The kind nurse would prepare for it by saying that it would be fast and I might just feel it a little bit. What a relief when, after I got the shot, I could say, “That didn’t hurt.” As a Christian, the world is watching us to see what hurts us. They are watching to see if we live as victors or victims. We see a venomous bite. “And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.” P

Too Late!

Today’s Verse: And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me: when shall I intreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only? And he said, To morrow. And he said, Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the LORD our God. ~Exodus 8:9-10 Are you a procrastinator? Are you prone to put things off? Do you find it difficult to make the right decision when the opportunity is before you? Moses asked Pharaoh, “When shall I intreat for thee?” Pharaoh said, “To morrow.” Let us see why tomorrow could be too late. We see the reason. “And the river shall bring forth frogs ab

Voice Recognition

Today’s Verse: The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. ~Psalm 29:4 Technology has developed software that has the ability to recognize our voices. God has given each of us a voice that is unique to us. Each voice has a different pitch, tone, and sound that make us unique. Psalm 29 speaks to us about the voice of the Lord. David said that it is powerful and full of majesty. Do you recognize His voice when He speaks? We see the means. God speaks to us through His holy Word. God’s Word is God’s mind revealed to us in writing. Everything we need to counsel, instruct, lead, and warn us is found in His Word. God uses the pastor/preacher of a local church to spe

Just When I Need Him

Today’s Verse: The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. ~Psalm 28:7 Sometimes, we will leave a voice message or send an electronic message requesting a response from another party, but they do not get back to us as quickly as we would like them to. We might say to someone else, “I haven’t heard from him.” In our human nature, we want to hear back from the other person. We feel the same way towards God when we do not receive an immediate answer from Him. However, God hears our prayers! God is there for us just when we need Him. We see the distressing concern. “Unto thee will I cry

Shout It Out!

Today’s Verse: Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee. ~Isaiah 12:6 Do you shout when you get excited? Shouting is when we let out a loud vocal noise or words that reflect our enthusiasm or our grief. When Isaiah wrote this 12th chapter, God had revealed to him how the future would turn out for Judah and God’s people. Isaiah’s faith was bolstered and he said, “I will trust, and not be afraid.” As he closed this chapter, he unashamedly testified of God’s faithfulness. Let us grasp the words of Isaiah and shout out loud Who our God is. Shout it out because God is holy. Isaiah referred to God as the Holy One of Israel. The word “holy

Do You Desire This One Thing?

Today’s Verse: One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. ~Psalm 27:4 As I write this devotion, our entire state is under a shelter-in-place order. Everyone is under orders to stay indoors and to avoid contact with other people except for family and essential needs. In addition, gatherings such as church services are banned. We have had to resort to livestreaming the preaching to keep our church family connected in the worship of God. With this anticipated to last a few more weeks, do you miss going to church? Do you miss real church? Do you de

Whom Shall I Fear?

Today’s Verse: The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? ~Psalm 27:1 As I write this devotional, the world is experiencing a pandemic known as COVID-19. This virus attacks the respiratory system and, if not dealt with quickly, it will be fatal. Each day, there is a large increase of newly-confirmed cases. The medical system is overwhelmed with the people being tested and treated. The public at large is afraid of being infected. Fear is seen in the panic buying and hoarding that people are doing. It is seen in the eyes and manner in how people are acting. What do you do when these fears are all around us? David sh

When Water Turned into Blood

Today’s Verse And Moses and Aaron did so, as the LORD commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. ~Exodus 7:20 As I write this devotional, our world is experiencing a plague known as COVID-19. It is a disease and contagion that is widespread. It is officially a pandemic in that it has spread around the world. In Exodus 7-12, we have the account of ten horrifying plagues sent as judgments against Egypt. This first plague was when all of the water in Egypt was turned to blood. Where water once was available, it had become blood—real, l

Born of God

Today’s Verse Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. ~1 John 5:1 Being born means being the product of birth. It implies that life was produced. The Bible uses different phrases such as “born of a woman,” “born of water and of the Spirit,” “born again,” and “born of God.” The phrase “born of God” distinguishes a birth as being from God. It is speaking of spiritual birth and not natural birth. This phrase is only found in 1 John and is used six different times. What does it mean to be born of God? We see the means. “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” A person is b

Clean Hands

Today’s Verse The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger. ~Job 17:9 One of the basic and most important ways of staying healthy is to wash your hands frequently. A lot of people get ill because of germs they get on their hands that are not washed off fast enough. In the past, the mortality rate for surgeries and mothers giving birth to babies was very high due to a lack of enforcement of doctors and nurses to wash their hands. Clean hands are essential for good health, medical procedures, food preparation, and social contact. Job said, “He that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.” We see the priority. “Draw nigh to God,

The God of the Rod

Today’s Verse For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods. ~Exodus 7:12 One of the great power-hitters in baseball was Roberto Clemente, who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Though he carried a big bat, the power was in the batter and not the bat. This morning, we see an exciting account about Aaron’s rod. The rod he carried with him did some incredible things, but it wasn’t the rod: it was the God of the rod. We see a contrast. The rod of Aaron was similar to a walking stick that was about ¾ the height of a man. A rod was large branch that was cut off from a tree and, thus, lifeless. Moses received a lesson on how God can use a l

The Eensy Weensy Spider

Today’s Verse The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces. ~Proverbs 30:28 Perhaps you are familiar with the children’s nursery rhyme “The Eensy Weensy Spider.” Like ants, conies, and locusts, spiders are little upon the earth but exceeding wise. Two things are said about the spider. The first is that it “taketh hold with her hands.” The second is that she “is in kings’ palaces.” There are two lessons that we see from the spider. The first is in the area of service. The use of our hands is a picture of work. Solomon said, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.” Jesus said that we should put our hand to the plow. There is a second lesson: that lesson is

Strength in Numbers

Today’s Verse The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands; ~Proverbs 30:27 Solomon spoke of four animals that are small but exceeding wise. We saw the ant and the coney. This morning, we are considering the wisdom in locusts. They speak to us about the strength in numbers and unity of a group of people. Let us see how locusts are valuable lessons on the wisdom of federation, or banding. We see their community. They have a close-knit community. That’s what a local church is: a close-knit community. It is a community that consists of saved, baptized individuals of like-precious faith: not people who bite and devour one another, but people who build up and are devoted to on

The Wisdom of Conies

Today’s Verse The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks; ~Proverbs 30:26 Solomon spoke of four animals that are little upon the earth, but exceeding wise. This morning, we are examining the wisdom of the coney. The coney is a small, rodent-like animal that is related to the rabbit, but also known as the pika or hyrax. Let us see the wisdom from the life of the coney. We see the feeble. Conies are easy prey for predators. Predator birds flying high above can spot easy prey and snatch it unsuspectingly. Predators that lurk on the rocky hillside look for conies that are careless and have traveled too far from their den. We must remember that we are vulnerable pre

Ant Wisdom

Today’s Verse The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer; ~Proverbs 30:25 Solomon speaks about four things that are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise. We tend to despise small things. For instance, have you ever said, “I’ll crush you like an ant”? Small things are not strong in our eyes, but they are exceeding wise. God uses small things. He used a little maid to tell Naaman about Elisha. He used a little lad who gave five small barley loaves and two small fishes to feed a large multitude. He used a widow’s little mite as a powerful sermon illustration. Let us see a lesson from the ant about the importance of foresight. Ants are insignificant

Truth Defenders

Today’s Verse Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. ~Ephesians 4:25 A couple of years ago, I was witnessing to a man from a certain foreign country. As I was explaining the concept of sin, I used the example of lying and speaking the truth. Surprisingly, this man told me that almost everyone from his country of origin was used to lying. He did not consider lying a sin because lying is a way of life for his government, the media, businesses, and politics. The city of Ephesus was just like that. The people were used to lying. Every facet of life was corrupted by lies, dishonesty, and deceit. Then, Paul brought the gospel to E

Are You Overflowing?

Today’s Verse …My cup runneth over…. ~Psalm 23:5c Without question, Psalm 23 is one of the most well-known and well-loved psalms in the Bible. It is memorized by most Christians, quoted at many memorial services, and referred to during difficult times. The focus in this psalm is the Lord Jesus Christ as our Great Shepherd. The writer pictures God’s people as sheep under the protection and care of our Great Shepherd. As our Great Shepherd, He laid down His life for the sheep so that our sins could be paid in full. As our Great Shepherd, Jesus rose again from the dead. As our Great Shepherd, He makes us perfect in every good work to do His will, working that which is well-pleasing in His sight

Going After the Ark

Today’s Verse And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it. ~Joshua 3:3 This morning, we are studying one of my favorite passages of Scripture: the crossing of the Jordan River. The crossing of the Jordan is a beautiful picture of the sanctification of the believer. It symbolizes how we have crossed over to a life of victory in the Lord. It is also a powerful picture of faith and the power of God. Perhaps the key phrase in Joshua 3 is “the ark of the covenant.” Right before the crossing of the Jordan, Joshua and the priests told the people, “When y

Knocked Down, but Not Knocked Out

Today’s Verse For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard. ~Psalm 22:24 In boxing, the knockdown of an opponent is considered an advantage. The opponent is shaken and possibly injured from the hit. The audience gets excited because they are sensing a possible defeat of the one knocked down. However, the one knocked down must decide to stay down for the count or to get up and get back in the fight. The momentum of the fight changes when the one who is knocked down gets back up and fights. He is declaring that even though he is knocked down, he is not knocked out. This morning, we see a passa

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