Handle With Care

Today’s Verse: Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. ~Exodus 20:7 Your name represents who you are. Solomon said, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.” A bad character reflects badly on a name. When God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, He gave him absolute requirements that are necessary for a society to be civil, orderly, and God-fearing. When the Israelites left Egypt, it is likely that there were some people who cursed and swore in the name of the Lord. There was a triteness and irreverence that the people had towards God and His holiness. Let us remember the importance of name

Hinds Feet

Today’s Verse: The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments. ~Habakkuk 3:19 The word “hind” describes an animal that could be a mountain deer or, perhaps, a goat or ram. The hind was an animal that was much admired and respected by Bible writers and was used in an analogous way. At a time when he was humbled and brought to the realization of his dependence upon God, Habakkuk said that the Lord made his feet like hinds' feet. We see the barren. “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fiel

The Lord Stood by Him

Today’s Verse: For Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of the LORD, and out of the house of the king, and of the princes, and gave it unto the king of Assyria: but he helped him not. ~2 Chronicles 28:21 As of this writing, several pastors in the state of California have been issued cease-and-desist orders and have been fined for opening their churches up for indoor services. God has commanded that His people assemble for worship as a local church. I doubt any of us would have imagined an America where a church would be told to cease and desist its assembly and worship. The weight these pastors are carrying is very heavy and burdensome. There has been an outpouring of support that these

Failed Help

Today’s Verse: For Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of the LORD, and out of the house of the king, and of the princes, and gave it unto the king of Assyria: but he helped him not. ~2 Chronicles 28:21 Perhaps one of the most troubling concerns that some people have is why their troubles don’t seem to go away. Their life story is that things go from bad to worse. It seems like it doesn’t just rain on them, but, instead, it is pouring on them. They say, “I tried praying, but it doesn’t work.” Whatever it might be, everything they do doesn’t seem to change their circumstances. Our devotion this morning helps us to see what I call “failed help.” We see the challenges. “And Tilgathpilnese

Are You Disaster-Proof?

Today’s Verse: When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. ~Isaiah 43:2 Here in Northern California, we have seen our share of natural disasters. Torrential rains have lead to dry creek beds, streams, and rivers overflowing. Raging fires that have started in the wilderness or hard-to-get-to areas have spread quickly and burned everything in their path. The loss of forests, animal life, property damage, and human life has been tragic and heart rending. Spiritually, we face disasters that are compared to fire and floods. Ye

How to Reverse Aging

Today’s Verse: My flesh and my skin hath he made old; he hath broken my bones. ~Lamentations 3:4 Are you feeling the effects of aging? Aging is when we are getting older. As we attain a new age, we realize that there are activities and things we did when we were younger that now are more difficult. We have more aches and pains. We get injured more quickly. Parts of our body wear out. We are not as fast. If we do not keep up an exercise regimen, our physical strength and endurance diminishes. There is physical aging, but there is also spiritual aging. Let us see how spiritual aging can be reversed. We see the eventual. Spiritual aging is unavoidable. In Lamentations 3:4, aging is attributed t

Comfort for the Comfortless

Today’s Verse: For these things I weep; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me: my children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed. ~Lamentations 1:16 Comfort is what we all need when tragedy or unexpected circumstances come into our life. Spurgeon is quoted as saying, “Troubled one, you will enjoy calm yet.” That was his way of saying that comfort is on the way. Another quote of his is, “The night shall not hang its darkness for ever over our souls.” Jeremiah uses the word comfort six times in the first two chapters of Lamentations. In each case, he said that there is none to comfort or no comforter. Can you imagine be

Five Truths for Troubled Hearts

Today’s Verse: Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. ~Isaiah 41:10 At least once in our life, we will face a problem or trouble that looks so overwhelming that we will panic and lose faith in everyone, including God. Fear brings torment. God knows this about us and gives us today’s verse to encourage us about five truths on how to deal with trouble in our life. We see the truth of fearlessness. “Fear thou not….” The first truth directs us to dig deep within us and to have courage when we are in trouble. For us to be fearless, we must believe right at

Oil Shortage

Today’s Verse: And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. ~Matthew 25:8 Oil in the Bible was a necessary commodity of life. Since olives were abundant, olive oil was processed for many uses. It was used for cooking. It was applied to the skin to give moisture in the hot and humid climate. It was used to anoint kings. It was fuel for keeping a lamp burning for lighting at night. Oil had many practical uses. Oil is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Our devotion this morning looks at the tragedy of an oil shortage. We see the individuals. “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the br

How to be Thief Proof

Today’s Verse: But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. ~Matthew 24:43 Have you ever been the victim of a thief? If you have, you probably felt a great sense of intrusion and violation. Once you have been a victim, you take great care in preventing yourself from having this happen again. Jesus uses the illustration of a thief who takes advantage of a homeowner to emphasize the importance of being ready for the coming of our Lord. We see the stealth. A thief prefers to break into a home that is unoccupied and when it is dark. He might come earlier to scope out hou

Bride of Christ

Today’s Verse: Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day. ~Ruth 4:10 The Book of Ruth is one of the most touching and beautiful books of the Bible. Boaz is the kinsman redeemer who purchases the inheritance of Naomi and Ruth as his own. Ruth, who is a Moabite, is brought into the lineage of Elimelech and Boaz through his action as the kinsman redeemer. Ruth is a picture of the sinner brought into God’s family by grace. She is also a picture of the church, the bride of Christ. W

Cut Your Losses

Today’s Verse: And Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The LORD is able to give thee much more than this. ~2 Chronicles 25:9 One of the basics to investing is understanding risk and reward. The higher the rate of return, the higher the risk. There are risks that we take that are very profitable. There are other risks that result in losses. Experts will tell you to set your losses at a minimum amount in order to “cut your losses.” This means to take a loss now and hope to recover it in a future investment. God teaches us this morning about learning to cut our losses. We see the hast

The Author

Today’s Verse: And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; ~Hebrews 5:9 An author is someone who is the writer of a book, literature, or music. He is considered a creative genius. As an author, he has written something that is informative, influential, and impactful. The writer of Hebrews says of our Lord Jesus Christ that He is the Author of eternal salvation. How well do you know Him as Author? We see the rise. The Greek word for author is used only once in the original language in the Bible. It refers to the one who is the causative power. The idea and its availability are the product of the author. He is the originator. Our Lord Jesus Ch

White Out

Today’s Verse: Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. ~Micah 7:18 In his book How to Keep God Alive from Nine to Five, John Chervokas wrote about opaquing fluid. He said, “Opaquing fluid is the magical liquid that covers over your errors, your typos, your unfortunate slip-ups. You brush on the liquid and start all over again—hopefully this time with no unfortunate slip-ups. Opaquing fluid is forgiveness, an obliteration of a goof with no telltale traces that the goof happened at all.” We know this wonderful fluid by its brand name Wite-Out®. Mic

The Test of Rest

Today’s Verse: There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. ~Hebrews 4:9 The word rest connotates taking a breather or a season of time that is needed for renewal and strength. In Hebrews 4, the word rest is used nine times and if we include Hebrews 3, a total of eleven times. Rest is referring to a future time when our spiritual inheritance in Christ is complete and we are glorified. It is the reward for faithfulness. It also implies a present rest in which we must have faith and focus. It is the rest in doing God’s will, God’s work, and God’s woes (afflictions and trials) for our life. However, the sin of unbelief can hinder us from entering our rest. Let us see four exhortations

VIP Treatment

Today’s Verse: Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger? ~Ruth 2:10 Have you ever unexpectedly received VIP treatment? If you have, you probably were over-elated about the attention, care, and treatment you received. VIP stands for “very important person.” Every child of God is a very important person. In our devotion this morning, Ruth was humbled at the VIP treatment that Boaz extended to her. She asked, “Why have I found grace in thine eyes?” We see the who. “And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech

Like the Horn of the Unicorn

Today’s Verse: But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil. ~Psalm 92:10 In mythology, the unicorn is a mythical, magical horse that is identified by a sharp horn that protrudes out of its forehead. The unicorn in the Bible is mentioned nine times and is thought to have been a strong, wild ox that had a large single horn that protruded from its forehead. A few think it could refer to the rhinoceros due to its significant horn, strength, and speed. The unicorn symbolizes power and strength. The horn also symbolizes strength. The psalmist speaks of his horn being exalted as the horn of a unicorn. We see the adversaries. “When the wicked spring a

Heart Advice

Today’s Verse: Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. ~Hebrews 3:12 Atherosclerosis, sometimes called "hardening of the arteries," occurs when fat, cholesterol, and other substances build up on the walls of arteries (MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia). When the plaque build-up in the neck or heart arteries is not dealt with, an individual is at a high risk for a heart attack or stroke. A cardiologist who specializes with the heart or arteries will give advice that needs to be followed. This morning, we see a passage of Scripture that gives us heart advice against a hardened heart. We see the diagnosis. The believers whom P

Do You Have What It Takes?

Today’s Verse: But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. ~Matthew 20:22 The Navy SEALs is one of several elite, specialized, tactical military groups that go through very intense and rigorous training for high-risk covert missions. In order to be selected to serve as a SEAL, a candidate must go through a serious and intense vetting process. Only a small handful out of a large class make it to the end. Every candidate starts out highly confident that “he has what it takes” to be a SEAL. Those who make it are humbled that they passed ev

Better Late Than Never!

Today’s Verse: And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? ~Matthew 20:6 A workers strike can have a very serious impact on necessary services. Examples of this are if the nurses working for a hospital or the workers of a city’s waste management service strike, their unavailability can cripple and greatly hinder necessary services. It is an incredible relief when the collective bargaining reaches a satisfactory agreement at the “eleventh hour.” The eleventh hour means the latest possible time before things could get bad. This morning, let us see the importance of deciding at the eleventh hour, or better lat

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