Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30, 2012 … Waiting on God’s Legacy …

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 2nd Samuel 5 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Passage of the Day #2: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 1st Chronicles 11-12 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passage of the Day #1: … From 2nd Samuel 5: 1-5 [See also 1st Chronicles 11: 1-3, linked below] … 1 All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, "We are your own flesh and blood.2 In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord said to you, 'You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.'" 3 When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. 4 David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years.5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years. ============
Highlight Passage of the Day #2: …  Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 1st Chronicles 11: 1-3 … To study this passage go to this link -

My Journal for Today: Day 121 in my chronological read through the Bible this year; and it’s the last day in April; and today I was essentially led to read the same thing, written into God’s chronicles in the life of King David in two separate books/chapters of our Bible. And it’s of interest to me when the same thing is written into God’s word by two separate author’s, who were compelled by God’s Spirit, to document something in God’s history … for God’s reason and for the legacy of God’s people. When this happens, I think one should take note and see if there’s something God’s people in the 21st century should learn or apply here.

And I think God is telling us about David’s third anointing as King in these two separate places in Scripture to insure that we see David’s patience in allowing God to set the timetable on David’s legacy. Well over 20 years had passed in David’s life from the time he was anointed as Israel’s coming king by Samuel and this time of his third anointing where he became king over all of God’s people, … Israel in the north and Judah in the South. Sometimes it takes a period of time quite longer than we might consider is logical or reasonable for God’s timing in our lives to unfold. David went through an awful lot, over many years of time, before the promise of his legacy of becoming King over ALL of God’s peoples became reality.

Have you ever been in a place in life where you just knew that you were on God’s track; but it just seemed like it was taking a long time for the dream you have had from God to unfold, … maybe longer than you’d like for it to come to reality? Well, I’m right there, … right now. I’m almost 70 years old; and God led me, about 20 years ago, into a ministry to help Christians deal with the onslaught of hypersexuality in our culture. If you’re reading here and you’d like to know more about this ministry, you can GO TO THIS WEBSITE.

Well, my personal dream would be to see many more Christians, especially men, to find their way to freedom from habitual bondage to sexual sin and … i.e., to be able to walk free from these tarpits of sinfulness. However, it seems that God has led me to deal in such spiritual warfare … one man, one life, one marriage, one family at a time, … rather than have me lead this effort by seeing hundreds, if not thousands, freed in my lifetime. The battle ground is world wide; and the warfare is a world-wide social plague; and at times it seems like I’m trying to empty the ocean with a tea cup.

 I plod through life, battling as God has led me to battle, … much as David must’ve felt like when he was moving from cave to cave as he battled Saul in those wilderness times. But David – in faith – battled on; and so must I, … knowing that God is leading me in the direction HE has brought me, … for HIS reasons, … in HIS timing, … for HIS glory. Patience may not be the most mature fruit in the fruit basket of Spirit-imparted gifts God has given me as a Christian (see Galatians 5: 22-23); but it is one that the Lord is developing in me by me letting GOD lead me, … again in HIS time and for HIS glory toward HIS legacy. I pray that God is allowing you to move toward YOUR legacy for HIS glory as well. Be patient. It’s worth it!

My Prayer Today: … Lord, oh how I dream for You to be glorified by what YOU lead me toward … even this day. Your timing, Lord … Your timing! Amen

Sunday, April 29, 2012

April 29, 2012 … Count Your Blessings

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 102-104 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passage of the Day: … From Psalm 102: 1-3 ... Hear my prayer, O LORD, … And let my cry come to You. 2 Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my trouble; … Incline Your ear to me; … In the day that I call, answer me speedily. 3 For my days are consumed like smoke, … And my bones are burned like a hearth. 
Highlight Passage of the Day #2: … From Psalm 103: 1-2 ... Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! … 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, … And forget not all His benefits.

My Journal for Today: Today in day 120 of my chronological Bible read, it’s back to the Old Testament Song book, the Psalms, … more specifically Psalms 102-104, which I’d charge any reader along with me today to take in from the link above. And when you do, I think you’ll be impressed, as I was, with the attitude of the psalmists (anonymous in Psalms 102 & 104 and King David for Psalm 103). And right at the outset of Psalm 102, verse 2b is one of my favorite images in the Psalms. You read it above in the English NIV version; and it pleads to God in a prayer from someone in a bad place, “… incline Your ear [Lord] to me.”

If you do a little Hebrew study on that phrase, the word “incline” in this context is the Hebrew word “natah,” which pleads for someone to “bend down” … so that that person can hear a weakened one with a desperate plea. And that is the context of Psalm 102, … a person who is really down, … maybe physically, … maybe emotionally, … maybe spiritually, … maybe all three; but it is someone who has a weakened voice and needs for God to bend down so that He can hear the desperate plea of His weakened child.

Have you ever been there, my friend, … way down and weakened and you need for God to bend down, i.e., to incline His ear, to hear you? I have; and it’s a tough place to be. But in the next Psalm, number 103, David has a prescription which is a fool proof attitude shifter when one is way down and needs to be lifted up; and you read that very well know lifter-upper in the first few verses of Psalm 103, which are copied above. And if you read that, you may be, as I was this morning, led to translate that Davidic encouragement into the words of a famous old Irving Berlin song, ”Count Your Blessings.”

Maybe you’re not old enough to remember that song; but I am. I remember seeing it in the old movie, White Christmas, in the mid 50s sung by Bing Crosby. If you want to hear it, click on this link . It’s a great old song with a solid prescription for any down place in life. If you’re worried … stressed out … or down-and-out, just “Count Your Blessings,” as the Psalmist David did in Psalm 103 … and another anonymous psalmist did in Psalm 104 as well.

David, in consciously remembering and singing about the greatness of God and all the Lord had down for God’s people, was able to take his focus off any of any worldly stresses and focus on the truth that God is always there for God’s people with the hope of the Messiah on the horizon. And we, here-and-now Christians, have the advantage that we have the reality of the already come Messiah whom we know has come to save us and will come to give us the hope of eternity. How blessed is that to take us out of the doldrums of life’s problems, counting our blessings as the old crooner sings in the movie White Christmas?

I hope you can count your blessings, my friends, just as the psalmists did in Psalms 103 and 104, and just as Bing Crosby sings in the old Irving Berlin song. And when we do, we can be lifted up by the hope of the One Who will always bend down to hear us when we’re down, … lifting us up with the Hope, Who is Christ.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, You do bend down to hear me when I’m down and need to be lifted up; and You are always there, providing me with the hope of eternity. Amen

Saturday, April 28, 2012

April 24, 2012 … Moving On WITH God

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 1st Chronicles, Chapters 7-10 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passage in NIV: … 1st Chronicles 10: 13-14 ... 13 Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance, 14 and did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.
Highlight Passage in NKJV: … 1st Chronicles 10: 13-14  ... 13 So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the LORD, because he did not keep the word of the LORD, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance. 14 But he did not inquire of the LORD; therefore He killed him, and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.

My Journal for Today: Today in my chronological Bible reading session I come to the end of the chronicles of God’s people from Adam all the way to the remnant of Israel who came back to Jerusalem after God’s people were exiled into Babylon. And in 1st Chronicles, Chapter 10 [hopefully you have read from the link above], we have the transition of Saul’s reign, after his suicide in defeat at the hands of the Philistines, to King David. And right at the end of 1st Chronicles 10, in verses 13-14, we have a most interesting and biblically (i.e., theologically) packed two verses. If you’re reading along with me, please take the time to read and meditate on these verses, copied above for your study in two Bible versions.

First, no matter what English translation of the ancient Hebrew, concerning these two verses, one reads [and I took in several this AM in my study – see NIV and NKJV above], it clearly indicates that Saul’s death (i.e., his suicide) was attributable to his unfaithfulness to God and even was fashioned by God for God’s purposes. This is a hard word, especially for those who’ve lost a loved one due to suicide. And I’m not going to get into a discussion about that issue directly here in my journaling today. However, it’s clear, with regard to Saul, that God was directly involved with Saul’s death after Saul had consciously and chronically rejected God’s anointing in his life.

And in terms of personal application, it raises the question, at least to me, “Am I living a Proverbs 3: 5-6 life, or one that conforms to Jesus’ command of His disciples to deny self and follow Him and only Him (see Luke 9: 23)?” Because, if I am not so living, I’m no better than Saul, who was a believer in the God of Abraham, the same God Whom I worship. I’d like to think – and I pray so – that I’m more like David, even with his sinful failures, as a “man after God’s heart,” rather than being a Saul, who could not – or rather WOULD NOT – surrender his will to God’s.

So, as we move in transition in 1st Chronicles in my daily chronological Bible reading, I will pray here that I am given God’s mercy, grace, and favor, as was David, to grow into a man after God’s own heart, … rather than becoming a Saul, who could not set aside his pride and simply and humbly follow his Lord.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, … You are my LORD! And I pray this day to become the man You would have me be; … more like You today than yesterday; and more like You tomorrow than today. Amen

Friday, April 27, 2012

April 17, 2012 … God’s Holiness Found In His Word

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 81 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 88 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 92 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 93 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Highlight Passage: … Psalm 93: 5 ... Your statutes, Lord, stand firm; holiness adorns Your house for endless days.  

My Journal for Today: After having read through the four Psalms in today’s chronological reading segment, I came to the last verse of the last Psalm [#93]; and it almost jumped off the page for me. These five songs were written by Asaph and at least one other of the post-Babylonian court for God’s people to worship their Lord, … during celebrations and other times of corporate worship. And these songs are not all that different from those which we use in today’s, contemporary, worship services to promote our worship connection with a Holy God Who wants us to come into His presence with our gathering to worship Him, … the One Who is all holiness and worthy of our praise.

I don’t know about you, but I’m lifted out of myself – OFTEN – when our church comes together on Sunday mornings, gathering in corporate worship of the living Lord. And in this time, the music helps to bring me out of my self and into the presence of a HOLY GOD. And often in these journal entries in the past, you’ve read of me referring to links to worship music which helps me in my own, personal worship times (each morning) as I use such music to help me be in the presence of God’s holiness.

But, this last verse in Psalm 93 also reminds me that being in the presence of God’s word, i.e., His HOLY Word, is also how I make connection with His holiness. Note what the anonymous author of Psalm 93, in verse 5 pens as one of the main ways that we can move ourselves, as sinners, into a right – and Holy – relationship with God; and that is by being in His word, which is an eternal signpost to God’s manifest holiness.

Let me put several versions of this same scripture here for you to read aloud, as I have this morning, and to meditate on this truth:
Again, note the NIV: Your statutes, Lord, stand firm; holiness adorns Your house for endless days.  
From the NKJV: Your testimonies are very sure; holiness adorns Your house, O LORD, forever. From the MSG: What You say goes—it always has. "Beauty" and "Holy" mark your palace rule, GOD, to the very end of time..

Now, … I don’t know about you; but it is uplifting to read and realize that when I choose to get into God’s word each day, I am choosing to put myself into the presence and the power of God’s holiness, … i.e., to experience God’s very cleansing holiness, which emanates from His word (or as the Psalmist declares in other versions, God’s “testimonies”). Doesn’t that make you want to do all you can to insure that you will come to God’s temple (i.e., our heart), as I have on this day, and to willingly and longingly go into the presence of God’s Holiness by diving headlong into God’s HOLY word?

It does that for me; and I pray that it does so for you.  

My Prayer Today: … Lord, I relish being in the presence of Your Holiness by being in Your word. Amen

Thursday, April 26, 2012

April 26, 2012 … Common Men Do Uncommon Work for God

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 1st Chronicles, Chapters 6 … To study this chapter, go to this link -

Highlight Passage: … 1st Chronicles 6: 49 ... But Aaron and his descendants were the ones who presented offerings on the altar of burnt offering and on the altar of incense in connection with all that was done in the Most Holy Place, making atonement for Israel, in accordance with all that Moses the servant of God had commanded. 

My Journal for Today: Today I was read “only” Chapter 6 in 1st Chronicles, which seemed like an easy assignment in my chronological Bible reading for this date; but getting into this chapter, as I’d charge you, who’re following along, to do as well, … one finds a chronicle of some critical and heavy-duty men whom God chose to carry out some very critical and out-there duties for God’s chosen people. Consider these: Moses, … Aaron, and … Samuel. And when one sees their names being listed in this heritage-listing of God’s people, it’s sort of like reading a “who’s who” of leadership in Israel when the nation of God’s children was formed.

But when one – like me – looks closer, though these men are giants in the pantheon of God’s book of faith, they are still just common men who were chosen to carry out their own uncommon calling in God’s kingdom. And when you really look at them, these men were not all that special when God called them out. Moses was a shepherd in the wilderness lands of Canaan. Aaron just happened to be a brother who was extremely loyal to Moses. And Samuel was just a child of promise. But look where God led them when they became surrendered and obedient to their Lord.

And that’s my point of application today. I am certainly not anything special as a man in God’s kingdom; but I need to realize that I am something special when I remember that God sent His only Son to save me from my self. And the Lord of all led me through all kinds of desserts of sinfulness to finally call me out for service in His kingdom. And like some of these men in 1st Chronicles 6, I have surrendered to do service in obedience to my Lord’s calling. So, though I may not be anything special in the eyes of mankind – and certainly not in my own eyes, I am something special to God and His kingdom.

And so are you, my dear one! Because if you’ve surrendered yourself to the Lordship of Jesus Christ; and you believe God has a purpose (i.e., a calling) for your life (which, of course, He does!), whatever you are doing within that calling, for the kingdom of God, is special in God’s eyes … just as special as a Moses leading God’s people across the sea in deliverance from Pharaoh, … or Aaron being a God’s priest, … or Samuel standing for God as His Prophet.

When any of us – just common folks in the family of God – are doing, OBEDIENTLY, what God has called us to do; and we’re doing it to the best of our abilities in the kingdom of God, WE ARE SPECIAL in God’s eyes! No, we may not be big names in the chronicles of God’s kingdom, like those listed in 1st Chronicles 6. OR … we may not have a big name in today’s kingdom chronicles, maybe names like a Billy Graham or a prominent name in your church, like that of your Pastor. But anyone who is doing what God called him or her to do for His glory is a common person making a BIG NAME for himself or herself in God’s kingdom book of service.

So, this meditation today has spoken loudly to me to just keep on, keeping on, doing what God has called me to do … day after day after day after day … for God’s glory.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, You called me to serve; and I will serve you today. Amen

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April 25, 2012 … How Great Is Our God

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 17 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 35 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 54 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Highlight Video of the Day #1: Chris Tomlin sings How Great Is Our God For your personal worship … go to this link -
Highlight Video of the Day #2: Carrie Underwood sings and Vince Gill plays How Great Thou Art For your personal worship … go to this link -

My Journal for Today: Oh, my dear following reader and fellow Christian (oh, how I pray that is so!), … the tears are rolling down my cheeks from my devotional time this morning. And a lot of that has to do with the reality that I just listened to – and am re-listening as I write this – the wonderful, live version of Chris Tomlin singing his glorious praise song, How Great Is Our God, which came to my mind today as I read through my chronological Bible read in Psalms 73, 77, and 78 today, all Psalms either written or compiled by King David’s song leader, Asaph.

And if you’re reading and meditating along with me here, may I suggest that you use the link above and with your computer audio volume turned up a bit, to go to the You Tube video of this resounding Tomlin praise song. If you do, I believe it will set your heart right before (and maybe during) your read of these three Psalms. Then, if you really want to explode with worship and joy after reading these three Asaph psalms, go to the second You Tube link above and hear (and see) Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill sing the great old hymn, How Great Thou Art.

And when you do this, as I have this morning, as you read through the Psalms compiled by Asaph, in this morning’s read, you’ll understand why David’s song leader was motivated to compile (or write) these songs to help the people of Israel in David’s day remember and worship their God for all He had done for His people. Psalm 78, for example (linked above), is a rather long song of remembrance for all God had done from the times of Moses until the Lord anointed David as the leader of God’s people. And though music and song are only a small part of what our worship of God is and should be, it can, as I believe Asaph and David knew, enhance our very personal and genuine worship of the One and Only Living God.

 I hope (and will pray below) that we all worship our Lord with our 24/7 life of choices and actions, which prayerfully glorify our Father (as Jesus spoke about in Matthew 5: 16) by shining His light in/through us. But perhaps you have songs, as these two to which I’ve linked you above, which help you have times of special and very personal worship with our Lord. I’m convinced that’s why Asaph and David wrote their Psalms; and I love to worship God with our more contemporary songs as well, … like the two I’ve used today, which certainly will remain a big part of my worship routine to help me start my day in worship of our Lord.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, I pray that You always come alive in my worship, with our without the music and lyrics which Your music makers, like Asaph or Chris Tomlin, have created for us to worship You with more depth of purpose. Amen

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April 24, 2012 … Life Changing Prayer

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 1st Chronicles, Chapters 3-5 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Highlight Passage: … 1st Chronicles 4: 9-10 ... 9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, "I gave birth to him in pain."10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request. 

My Journal for Today: Well, here I am this morning, back in the book of 1st Chronicles, where God is listing and helping the people remember all the chosen peoples who came before them; and today, the reading assignment being 1st Chronicles, Chapters 3-5, it was not difficult for me to locate a highlight passage; because in these chapters. in what many consider a very dull listing of God’s peoples after the Babylonian captivity, we come upon that little segment where one man and his prayer is documented.

This, of course, is the two verses in 1st Chronicles which were popularized a few years ago by Rev. Bruce Wilkinson, who wrote a smash, landmark best seller, entitled The Prayer of Jabez, a book which was on the best seller lists for months and sold mega-millions of copies. And it began a series of books by Dr. Wilkinson called the “Breakthrough Series,” leading to a ministry, about which the reader here can read by going to this link. But I’m not here today to promote Dr. Wilkinson or his ministry; I’m here today because of what God shared with His people in 1st Chronicles in those two brief verses, highlighted and copied above, as a powerful documentation of one man’s life and one man’s prayer.

And as you’re reading through these chapters with me, one can’t help but be surprised that, of all the people listed and chronicled in 1st Chronicles, the author of the book stops to document only one by anything that man did or said; and that one is the man Jabez. All these people; and only one is cited by God’s word for something special; and that something special is the man’s prayer life. And not only that, God’s word cites what this man’s prayer life was all about.

Now, I’ve read Bruce Wilkinson’s book about Jabez’s prayer; and I know the book has been somewhat controversial in Christian circles. In fact if you have about 30 minutes and you’d like to hear Wilkinson commenting on The Prayer of Jabez, as well as two of his subsequent books, you can go to this link for Dr. W being interviewed.

But you don’t need to research Dr. W’s book[s] to see that God’s word does, in fact, separate this man, Jabez, out; and it does so by documenting, rather specifically, his prayer life. And in doing that, we actually have a model prayer which could be used, as Wilkinson teaches, as a template for our prayer life.

And for what does Jabez pray? Well, he prays (and I might add, he cries out to God in prayer, emotionally) for God to help him avoid that for which he was named (“jabez” in Hebrew means “pain”). And even more specifically Jabez prays for four things … [1] that God would bless him, [2] that God would enlarge his territory, [3] that God’s hand would be upon him, and [4] that God would protect him from harm and pain. And then the author of 1st Chronicles documents that God granted Jabez a “YES” answer to his prayers.

Now, I’m not going to go into all the ramifications of how this can be interpreted or how the prayer of this man, Jabez, might lead you to alter your prayer life. This, of course, Dr. Wilkinson has written about in his book. But I will say that Jabez, being cited as special by God’s word in the midst of all of these people who were merely named; and having that special citation be because of Jabez’s prayer life, is impressive to me; and most certainly this little segment in 1st Chronicles is a reminder to me that my prayer life could be more active and powerful as I live out my life, like Jabez, certainly seeking God’s blessing and His protection from harm and pain.

I’ll leave it to you to meditate on this little passage in the midst of God’s chronicles and see how it influences you. Maybe you might want to read Wilkinson’s book. But certainly I think we could all let this little passage be a prompt to do a self inventory of the quality/quantity of our prayer life … and to see if we believe that God, as He did with Jabez, truly honors His children who prayer ardently and often, from a heart of humility and total obedience, as was modeled by the prayer life of His Son, Jesus, asking our God to bless us and to protect us ever day.

 How about you? Are you like me and convicted today to be more like Jabez? What would happen if all of us prayed humbly, and with a contrite heart, for God’s blessing and protection? Wilkinson clams it would change your life; … what do you think?

My Prayer Today: … Lord, You know my heart. You hear my prayers today. And I do seek Your blessing and protection this day and all days. Amen

Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23, 2012 … The Anointing Light of God’s Spirit

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 43-45 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 49 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 84-85 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 87 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passage: Psalm 43: 3 Send me Your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy mountain, to the place where You dwell.
Highlight Passage #2: Psalm 119: 105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.. 
Highlight Passage #3: 1st John 2: 27 As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him

My Journal for Today: Today I was led back to seven of the Psalms in my chronological Bible reading “assignment;” and I didn’t have to read very far until a passage jumped out at me, which I’ve copied above from Psalm 43, verse 3. And then, in doing some meditation and cross reference study on that verse. I was led to remember/locate two other passages [see above] which I believe God’s Spirit was giving me to apply and upon which I should journal this morning.

Many times in life I think we become engulfed in circumstances which seem to send us into a fog of confusion, discouragement, or doubt; and we just can’t seem to see our way forward. Ever been there?

Well, today the Psalmist helps us – as believing Christians – to remember or realize that we can pray for – and really always have – the anointing light of God’s Spirit to give us the illumination we need to light our way and give us direction in life.

God’s light for the Christian is, as we read in the passages above, the anointing of God’s Spirit, which is imparted into the “Temple” of every believer when he/she is born again; and it is our seeking faith that can – and will – provide us with the light unto our path. But then, you might ask, “Why then does the path get so foggy and confusing at times?” And to that we have the declaration of the Psalmist in Psalm 119, who sings that it is God’s word which provides us with a light unto our path. And so, when things get murky in life, how many times do we find ourselves trying to grope our way through the circumstances of life without seeking God’s light (i.e., going to God’s word for guidance). Why do you think our enemy tries to use his ploy of confusion, doubt, and/or discouragement? It’s to move us into self and away from the truth found in the light of God’s word.

And in the 1st John 2: 27 passage above, we must remember the truth that God’s light is His anointing Spirit which resides in the hearts of all born-again believers. When we grope in the darkness, we do so because we have relented to trying to see life through our own eyes, rather than to use the enlightenment of God’s Spirit. But when we seek God’s light, through the faith He has available to us through His grace, we can find the light out of the darkness; and again, the best - and first - place to seek that anointing of enlightenment is in God’s word.

So, my friend, if today – or some other time – we seem to be groping in a fog of life, I charge us to seek out the light of Christ, which He has provided for us through His word. Because when we do, as is proclaimed in Psalm 119: 105, He will be THE LIGHT unto our path.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, shine Your path brightly today that I may see it and follow You in the darkness of this world. Amen

Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 22, 2012 … Remembering Whose We Are

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 1st Chronicles, Chapters 1-2 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passage : 3: 16 …  For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 

My Journal for Today: Today I’m taken, by the chronological Bible reading, to the book of 1st Chronicles, Chapters 1-2; and it seems like a drag, on the surface to be asked to read through this “Who’s Whom” in the list of the descendents of Adam. However, when you consider what’s being remembered here, one is (well, at least I am) stricken by how God, through the author of 1st Chronicles [likely Ezra by Jewish tradition], wanted His people to remember exactly from WHOM they were descended. And we, who are New Covenant believers, must take this into account when we realize, recognize, and remember exactly from WHOM we are grafted into God’s Holy Covenant.

And it was that remembrance which took me right back to the one verse in the New Testament which most Christians would remember as their jumping-off Scripture when it comes to how they were grafted into the reality of God’s New Covenant as believers, which was established by the life, death, and resurrection of God’s only Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus. And that verse would most likely be John 3: 16, and the verse which I’ve copied above, though most reading here could likely site if from memory.

So, today, I first REMEMBER THE REDEMPTIVE LOVE which became mine through the love of my God. And I do languish this morning in the memories of what God did by sending and sacrificing His only Son that I would have the blood-bought gift of the Lamb of God. He came to live FOR ME. He came to die FOR ME. And He was raised from the dead FOR ME that I might be raised for eternity to live WITH HIM. And going through the beginnings of these chronicles this morning, which were written into God’s word so that His chosen people might remember God’s love, has taken me back to remember that I am one of those who has been written into God’s chronicles of chosen ones. This morning I remember, as I hope you do, WHOSE I am in God’s book of life.

Secondly, in my reading through 1st Chronicles today, I RELISH THE REPENTANCE which allowed me to receive God’s free gift of saving grace … by believing in and receiving the blood which Christ shed FOR ME. I am a sinner who was redeemed by the blood of The Lamb; and today I’m so grateful to remember and realize that I’m on my way to be with my God forever because I was willing to surrender my life TO HIM … to become HIS … forever.

And finally, this reading today has helped me to RELIVE THE RESTORATION which is now my life IN CHRIST. As Paul wrote about in 2nd Cor. 5: 17, I am one of those redeemed, renewed, and reformed NEW CREATIONS in Christ. As Paul also wrote about in Gal. 2: 20" I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” 

And so, having been prompted by reading in 1st Chronicles how God wants His people to remember those who came before them, I come to this place today to remember who I am and, more importantly, Whose I am, … in Christ. Hence my remembrance in John 3: 16; and it is my prayer this morning that we all take in these chronicles as reminders of the reality that we, who have been grafted into this line of believers, can remember, relish, and relive our listing in God’s book of life, … being written in, through our faith in the One Who now brought us into His family forever.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, I am renewed today in my remembrance of being one of the redeemed, now listed in Your Book of Life. Amen

Saturday, April 21, 2012

April 21, 2012 … Fools Are We

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 6… To study this Pslam, go to this link -
Passage #2 : Psalms 8-10 … To study this passage, go to this link -
Passage #3 : Psalm 14 … To study this passage, go to this link -
Passage #4 : Psalm 16 … To study this passage, go to this link -
Passage #5 : Psalm 19 … To study this passage, go to this link -
Passage #6 : Psalm 21 … To study this passage, go to this link -

Highlight Passage : Psalm 14: 1-3 1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. … 2 The LORD looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. 3 All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. 

My Journal for Today: My chronological Bible read today had be read/meditate through eight (8) of the Davidic Psalms; but as I pray and as it happens each day, one passage stood out in my mind/heart to ponder; and that one is highlighted above from Psalm 14: 1-3.

In all of these Psalms which David wrote for my study today, the song writer, David, is extolling the greatness of God and giving the reader the reasons why he, David, had placed all his trust and faith in God, the Creator of all. These were songs about God’s greatness and how our Lord was worthy of our praise. But in the midst of all of this glorious praise and adoration is a reality check in this short passage I’ve copied for reflection above. And David points out that it is the fool who says, “in his heart,” that there is no God; but then he points an even more stark reality; and that is that WE ALL either are or can be fools.

And when I read this short passage, penned by David, I realized that he probably was inspired by an earlier Prophet, Isaiah, who wrote, under inspiration by God, (found in Isaiah 53: 6) … We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 

And in this expression, David was reinforcing what Isaiah wrote about the Messiah Who would come for God’s chosen people, … the One Who would take away the sins of all of His chosen ones. And this, of course, was why Paul wrote for God that we all are sinners and fools (see Romans 3: 23) who must come to the realize that we must repent of our foolishness of disbelief and choose to believe in the only One Who can save us from our selfish and foolish selves (see Romans 10: 9-13).

Oh, my fellow reader, I hope, as I have, you have come to that place of realizing that we’re all fools; and we have a heart which can turn inward to self [see Jer. 17: 9] and away from the only One Who can save us from our selves; and that, of course, is the same Messiah Whom David looked forward as His Savior, and the One Whom we look forward to coming again for those of us who believe as did David … that our God saves! 

My Prayer Today: … Dear God, … You are my Yahweh, my God, Who has saved me from myself; … come soon, Lord, and take us home. Amen

Friday, April 20, 2012

April 20, 2012 … Leaders Lead By Following God

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 2nd Samuel 1-4 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Highlight Reference Passage : 2nd Samuel 3: 1-5 … To study this passage, go to this link -
Highlight Reference Passage #2 : Deuteronomy 17: 14-20 … To study this passage, go to this link -
Highlight Reference Passage #3 : 1st Timothy 3: 1-13 … To study this passage, go to this link -

My Journal for Today: Okay, … today my chronological reading plan through the Bible leads me into the historical book of 2nd Samuel, where the chronicle of David’s trek to power in Israel is written; and these early chapters I was led to read this morning, 2nd Samuel, Chapters 1-4 are documenting the civil war which ensued between Israel in the north, led by several brothers who were vying for power in Israel and about David, who became King of Judah in the southern portion of God’s kingdom.

This civil war went on for a number of years after Saul’s death before David could solidify the rule for which he had been anointed by Samuel as a young boy to assume. But as the years wore on and David was jockeying for power, knowing and trusting that God would bring his rule and kingship into a reality, David forgot – or minimized - his responsibilities in the role of KING of God’s chosen and solidified peoples.

We remember from earlier studies that God did allow the people to have a king, following all the years when they were led by “Judges.” However, when God established the kingship of His people, He set some boundaries for those who would become KING; and those boundaries were delineated in God’s Law in the passage I have linked any fellow reader today from Deuteronomy 17: 14-20; and I would charge any reader here to review that passage with the link above.

When you do, and you review the highlight passage from 2nd Samuel 3: 1-5, as I did this day, it became apparent to me that David, in ignoring God boundaries for any who would become King, was setting himself up for troubles. Yes, David was a “man after God’s own heart;” however, he was not above letting his guard down and transgressing God’s charge of kingly discipline by taking many wives and very likely not living up to God’s commands to be in God’s Book of the Law daily. And as we know from later studies into God’s word, David would pay heavy penalties in his kingship and in his personal life for not maintaining the spiritual disciplines which God had charged anyone who would become King of God’s chosen peoples.

I bring this up with regard to the application of what it takes to become and remain a leader in God’s New Covenant Church. Above, I’ve linked any fellow reader to the passage in the New Testament, 1st Timothy 3: 1-13, where the criteria were laid out by God, through the Apostle Paul, for any who would become leaders in the Church under the New Covenant, i.e., Christ’s Church. And much like the rules and regulations for kingship under the Old Covenant, God is very strict about who would become a leader of His people, ... a Pastor, Elder, Bishop, Minister, Overseer, or Deacon, … i.e., any church leader, … under the New Covenant.

Being a called and ordained Elder and Minister in God’s New Testament church, I shudder to think what an affront it would be to God for me to claim the role of leadership in God’s church without doing all I could to maintain a right relationship with God by living up to God’s own rules, if you will, for His leadership. Most certainly I know that my leadership capabilities would be compromised and most certainly dampened by any transgressions from God’s standards of leadership; and that’s exactly what would ultimately happen to David in his later years as the anointed King of God’s people.

Today, in my studies, I was led to be reminded and solidify my commitment to live up to – as much as I’m capable – those standards of leadership God has forged in his word for those of us who are called and ordained to lead in His church. And may God grant us (and me, personally) His grace in leading His people for His glory.

My Prayer Today: … Oh, Lord, help me to live by Your established standards of leadership as You impart Your enabling grace to leaders in Your church. Amen

Thursday, April 19, 2012

April 19, 2012 … The Only One Who Can Help!

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalms 121-130 To study these chapters, go to this link -
Highlight Reference Passages: From above, see Psalms 121, 123-125, 128-130
Highlight Reference Verse: From above see Psalms 121: 1-2 … 1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the Lord, … the Maker of heaven and earth.
Highlight Reference Verse #2: From above see Psalms 130: 5 … I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.

My Journal for Today: Today the Chronological Reading Plan takes its readers (and that’s me!) to a list of similar Psalms which were written by unknown authors in Israel. Possibly King Hezekiah could have been the author of several of them. But these songs of God’s people sing out their reliance on the Creator of all and the one and only God who saves.

My friends, this would be a good group of Psalms to read when and if one is down-hearted or needs assurance from whence our help comes. Don’t you agree that there are going to be events or circumstances where we cannot put our clinging trust in mankind or the institutions created by man?

Let’s face it, in today’s economy, do you put your faith/trust in our government … as vast and as powerful as it is? Do you trust our President or the Congress to bring us through these rough times? What about science? Do you trust the smartest scientists on earth to have the answers to physical challenges like cancer, or Alzheimer’s Disease, or AIDS? What about education; … do you think our educational systems are going to raise up saviors to deliver us from the world’s problems.

I think you get where I’m headed here. My friend and fellow reader into God’s word, I put my trust only in my God; and I look only to His word for my guidance. Meditate on the two highlight verses which I’ve copied for you above; and as you do, in paraphrasing these verses, I declare, “My help ONLY comes from the Lord;” and “I wait for the Lord, … and in His word I put my hope.”

TRUTH: … The world is falling apart; and these songs from God’s word today express the only place God’s people can look for help and that is from our God as He has written our course of life into His word. So, are you with me, … my dear one? Will you say, as do I, “My help comes only from my God!”

My Prayer for Today: Lord, You are the only One Your people can look to for help; so, we pray for that help in these times of trouble. … Amen

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April 18, 2012 … Those Who Obey … AND … Those Who Don’t

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 1st Samuel 28-31 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 18 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

My Journal for Today: No specific highlight verses in today’s chronological reading through 1st Samuel 28-31 and Psalm 18; but the reading today – at least for me – was a confirmation of what I’ve been relearning about those who obey God and those who don’t.

The character of Saul, of course, shows us what happens to a life who is called out by God for service but cannot or will not obediently and/or humbly seek God’s way and His will for moving through life. David, of course, is our characterization of the man (or woman, if you will) “after God’s own heart,” … the one who does his (or her) best to follow God’s will by continually seeking what the Lord would ultimately command God’s disciples … i.e., … to deny self and follow the Lord (see again, Luke 9: 23).

And we see in today’s reading where Saul’s disobedience, impatience, and selfishness led him, … to utter and personal destruction, having to fall on his own sword to end a life of self-driven disobedience. Saul started out right, with God’s anointing and favor, having the grace of God at his disposal. But his own willfulness and disobedience did him in; and he was never able to humbly reach out to receive God’s grace to become the man God had purposed him to be.

But when you read Psalm 18 from this morning’s reading assignment, you get the exact opposite picture when we see how David approached His God; and the victories David sings about in this psalm cry out why God favored David and blessed the one after God’s own heart with victory and providential protection.

So, getting these two pictures of God’s free gift of grace in the lives of two of God’s chosen, … one who was UNwilling to gather God’s favor and the other who did nothing but humbly seek and receive God’s grace, … it becomes our choice to apply the lessons from these two lives to our relationship with God. Do we want to receive God’s blessing of His enabling grace and favor for our lives? Well, if so (which I would assume we would), we must live as David did (at least early in his life); and we must do all we can to avoid the pitfalls of Saul, … living out our lives in pursuit of obedience and surrender to the calling God has for each of us. That is my prayer for you and me today.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, help those who read here today, including this humble servant, to follow You daily, living selflessly as You did when You walked among us. Amen

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April 17, 2012 … Seeking God’s Protection

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 17 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 35 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 54 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 63 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passage of the Day #1: Psalms 17: 8 … Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings …

Highlight Passage of the Day #2: Deuteronomy 32: 10-11 … 10 In a desert land he found him [i.e. Israel], in a barren and howling waste. … He [God] shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye, 11 like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft.

My Journal for Today: Four more of the Davidic Psalms today in my chronological read; and all of these passages are more of the very emotional songs written by David as he felt so alone and oppressed when he was being pursued by Saul and his enemies.

Have you ever felt lonely in your relationship with God? I’d bet we all have, … in those times when our prayers just seem to be going out but nothing seems to be coming back from God.

Well, … of all the powerful pleas from David during these psalms, one verse, the #1 highlighted passage above, stood out for me with some very poignant and powerful word pictures, reminding me how God is always out there watching over me and protecting my spirit, if not my physical being.

Meditate closely on Psalm 17, verse 8 above. Note the word picture of David’s plea to have God protect him “… as the apple of [God’s] eye,” which is the Hebrew word, “iyshown,” which translates literally into English as “the pupil of the eye.” The eye, of course, is the organ of sight and therefore one of the most precious human organs in our body; and we know that God protects the pupil, i.e., the vessel of vision, with a covering, … the eye-lid. Here David is pleading with God to cover his ability to see life with the covering that only God can provide when we’re having trouble seeing our way through life. And isn’t that a wonderfully accurate picture of how we all feel at times when our “vision” of life seems obscured or blurred by what is going on in our circumstances. Oh, how we desire that God would help us see His way and His will during such times … i.e., for Him to protect our vision.

And then David follows this plea for protection with another very poignant word picture, pleading for God to cover him protectively … just as a mother eagle covers her chicks with her wings of protection from the elements. Actually David may have known these images from a song written by Moses into God’s Book of the Law (copied above in highlight passage #2 from Deut. 32: 10-11), where Moses sung of how God protected His beloved chosen ones, i.e., “Israel,” … as the “apple of His eye” and under His wings of protection.

Dear one, when our vision seems to be obscured by life’s oppressive circumstances; and when we feel very vulnerable to what life is showering down upon us, we must remember that God will always be there – for the obedient believer – covering us as the apple of His eye and like the chick who needs the covering of the mama eagle with her wings protecting us. God’s promise is that He will always be there, never leaving us or forsaking us (see Deut. 31: 6,8 and Heb. 13: 5).

My Prayer Today: … Lord, cover me; ... with your ever protective wings and as the apple of Your eye. Amen

Monday, April 16, 2012

April 16, 2012 … Praise God for A Loving and Forgiving Wife!!

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 1st Samuel 25-27 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passage of the Day #1: 1st Samuel 25: 23-24 … 23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground. 24 She fell at his feet and said: “Pardon your servant, my lord, and let me speak to you; hear what your servant has to say [intervening for her husband, Nabal].”
Highlight Passage of the Day #2: 1st Samuel 25: 39 … When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Praise be to the LORD, who has upheld my cause against Nabal for treating me with contempt. He has kept his servant from doing wrong and has brought Nabal’s wrongdoing down on his own head.” Then David sent word to Abigail, asking her to become his wife.

My Journal for Today: These days, it’s of interest to find that Christians often name their kids from the Bible based upon character names of those people who were honorable in God’s sight. No one names their kids “Ahab or Jezebel or, most certainly, Judas” because of the dishonorable character traits of these people; but quite often we hear children named after very honorable characters in the Bible, … like “David or Joseph, or maybe after one of the Apostles, like Peter.” Now, some of these characters may not have been perfect people; but their lasting positive character traits in the Bible often motivate people to name their children after these characters which were honored by God in His word.

ABIGAIL is one of those positive biblical names. And we read of her in the first of the three chapters, I was led to read of in today’s chronological reading passages; and if you’re following along with me or this year-long study plan, I hope you take the time to read all of Chapter 25 of 1st Samuel; and if you do, you’ll see why people are so positively inclined to name their little girls “Abigail” today.

ABIGAIL was a woman, who, in a culture where women were not listened to or to whom much attention was given, especially my men of power in those days, got David’s attention; and, when her husband, who was a fool and a reprobate, made David angry with his lack of hospitality, intervened to try to save her husband from being killed by David. And David listened to Abigail’s pleas, sparing Nabal, Abigail’s husband, even though he refused to offer David and his men the normal hospitality of the day, which could have lead to Nabal’s demise at the hand of David.

And later, when Nabal died at the hands of God’s judgment, as we read in this chapter, David was so impressed by Abigail’s character and forthright intervention for her husband that he, the anointed king-to-be, married Abigail when she was widowed; and in this story we have a lesson in life worthy of noting. And it’s no wonder that people these days name their girls “Abigail” after this strong and positive woman in the Bible.

The name ABIGAIL has come to represent a woman who was willing to stand up for her husband even when he was weak and foolish; and I’m here to tell you, if you’re reading along with me today, I’m one of those husbands who has an “Abigail” type wife. Though people don’t know the name “Elly” like they might the name “Abigail” from the Bible, there are many times when my “Elly” has stepped forward and saved the day for me when I was making poor, even impulsively selfish choices; and one of those times (too long of a story for now), it was my “Elly’s” loyalty and forgiving spirit which literally saved me from spiritual death.

So, in reading about “Abigail” today, I was led to remember and try to honor with this journal entry a wife (and a woman of God) who, like Abigail, was willing to stand in the gap for her husband; and I pray the name of “Elly” gets great honor by God as He has honored the name of “Abigail” in His word. And I hope that any married man who might be reading this takes a few moments to honor and recognize your wife this day … especially if, like me, you’ve been given a wife who is willing to be patient and stand up for you, … even when you don’t deserve such loving patience and loyalty.

Today, I will have my wife, with the Godly honored name “Elly,” read this as my tribute to a loving woman and wife in my life who has helped me grow in the Lord and has cared for me and kept me in spite of times of foolishness and selfishness. And I thank my Lord, and declare it openly here in this journal entry today, for giving me an “Abigail” type of wife.

My Prayer Today: … Praise You, Lord, for my dear and loving wife, Elly!!! Amen

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April 15, 2012 … Overcoming Human Sorrows/Disappointments

Blogger’s Note: Posting the second journal entry, below for this morning’s entry; but these two entries were those for my last two days of entries, posted late due to internet connection difficulties during travels to a Christian men’s retreat during the past two days.

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 56 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 120 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 140 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 141 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 142 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passage: [NLT] … Psalms 56: 3-4, 6 ... But when I am afraid, … I put my trust in you. 4 O God, I praise your word. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? … What can mere mortals do to me?
8 You keep track of all my sorrows. …You have collected all my tears in your bottle. …You have recorded each one in your book.

My Journal for Today: Five more Psalms for this morning’s chronological read and for my devotional, which will have to be posted online in retrospect again today, though I’m in a delightful state of mind this morning writing here after having had such a beautiful and joyful day yesterday with 27 Christian brothers, catching rainbow trout on the Little Red River in Arkansas, where our churchmen traveled for a weekend retreat.

And so it’s admittedly a little hard for me to break my own personal, and very joyful, context this morning to read David [and maybe Hezekiah] writing these Psalms under the oppression he [or they] experienced as they were being pursued by relentless and worldly forces who wanted to rout and even kill these men of God so trying to be Godly men.

And in today’s reading of Psalms, especially the highlighted passage from Psalm 56, verses 3-4 and 8 above, we read of God’s reality for true believers, for disciples of the Living God, … we who may feel the oppression of the world but know that even the taking of our lives cannot break our forever relationship with our God. David knew that; … and he openly an unabashedly expressed his trust and confidence in God in these Psalms.

The question becomes for us, … do we really believe this when the world seems to be crashing down around us? Perhaps some of us are experiencing horrible financial burdens. Perhaps others are being attacked in some personal or very emotional battles in life. Others may be under the oppression of ill health, maybe even the big “C” – terminal cancer. Those who know the truth of Romans 8: 28 and yet we may be under the pursuit of some of such circumstances of doom/despair and are being tested of the heart. Does God really work in ALL things for the good of those of us who love God and are His called ones? Hard to have such faith as David was singing about in such dire circumstances, isn’t it?

But that’s our life lesson today; and we really need to latch on to it and hold dear to the promises of God just as David was able to do. Our life is dear, especially as it’s lived out to love, obey, and serve God in the context of family and our callings on earth; … BUT … no matter what we may encounter in this life, we can – AND MUST – know, beyond all doubt, this life is merely staging and preparation for our eternal and heavenly bound relationship with our God.

Hold on to that, dear one, as this journey through life may try to pummel you. Remember with me, together with me as you read this, that our Lord never leaves us, … always loving us, … and forever carrying us under His loving arms into that glory that awaits.

My Prayer Today: … As I sit here watching the sun rise in a beautiful and so comfortable spot, Lord, … help me to see this little glimpse of glory as a very small glimpse of what You have waiting for me with You in eternity. Amen

April 14, 2012 … Go to God in Trouble

Blogger’s Note: Posted a day late today because of wifi connection problems while traveling. Will likely be late again tomorrow for the same reason; but here is my offering from yesterday from the Little Red River in Arkansas.

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 7 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 27 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 31 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 34 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 52 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

My Journal for Today: This morning I’m sitting on a dock at a fishing resort on the Little Red River in Arkansas, out for the weekend with a bunch of Christian men, some of whom have brought their sons to get away, fish for rainbow or brown trout (or maybe some catfish or bass) out on the river today, getting away from some of the troubles and concerns of the world; and just being out with God in His creation. Sometimes we just feel we need to get away from all those pressures out there in the world or in our own hearts which tear away at our souls, don’t we?

If you read through the Psalms which our chronological read has me meditating on today, if one studies the context of why David wrote all these poetic songs, you realize that the young king-to-be was deeply embroiled in escaping the existing King, … Saul, and David was trying to do all he could to buck up under the pressures of Saul trying to kill him and use His kingly influence to discredit David; but the only place David could really go for refuge was to and with His Lord, Yahweh; … and as one reads these Psalms, we see that’s exactly where any/all of us should go when we’re down-trodden or discouraged or in despair.

Of all these five psalms, I was asked to read today, you’ll note that I emboldened the link to Psalm 34, which I’d ask any who’re reading/meditating along with me here to take some time upon which to meditate more deeply; and here is what my Parsons DVD commentary says about Psalm 34, which I think very nicely summarizes what insights David had gleaned form God and was sharing in this wonderfully encouraging Psalm.

Parsons Commentary on Psalm 34: God promises great blessings to his people, but many of these blessings require our active participation. He will set us free from our fears (34:4, 6), guard and rescue us (34:7), show us goodness (34:8), supply our needs (34:9), listen when we call to him (34:15), and redeem us (34:22), but we must do our part. We can appropriate his blessings when we seek him (34:4, 10); cry out to him (34:6, 17); trust him (34:8); fear him (34:7); reverence him (34:9); refrain from lying (34:13); turn from evil, do good and seek peace (34:14); are brokenhearted (34:18); and serve him (34:22).

You will, as did I, have to go back and see the reference points made on this commentary; but when you do, you’ll discover the application points for any of us who’ve every sought after God’s enlightenment, enablement, and/or empowerment when we felt down-and-out or broken down by life’s pressures, stresses, or circumstances. Can I get an “Amen!” of identification?

Some of us are deeply embroiled in temptations, troubles, or trials; and we just don’t know where to turn. Some are burdened by past emotional wounds and have let our feelings bind us up in self-directed, comfort-zone pursuits, trying to find ways to cope with our fears, feelings, and fragile emotions. Can I maybe now get an “Amen!” of identification?

My friend, and dear Christian brother or sister, as God directs us through David and his historical trials, written into these psalms, our Lord is ALWAYS where to go to seek protection and empowerment. Right now I’m thinking of another passage which another Prophet, Isaiah, wrote, directly quoting God, to help Israel [or any believer] to be lifted from any fears they (or we) might have. It is Isaiah 41: 10, which says in the NLT, Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

And when I’m down an out, that’s one verse, along with a few others, which I draw up from my cache of memory verses to do exactly what David was pursuing when he wrote the five Psalms to which I’ve linked any reader here today. Other New Testament verses which help me in tough times are Phil. 4: 13, the verse which brought me to God and shows me where I get my strength; in 1st Cor. 10: 13, God is telling me that He’ll never put me into any situation which I cannot handle with His help; in 2nd Cor. 12: 9, God encourages me, telling me that it will be HIS strength to lift me up when I am weak; and in all of Romans 8, but especially verse 31, God shows me that nothing in this word can overtake me as long as I rely on my God, in Christ, to be with me.

My friend, you’re probably dealing with something this very day which may seem overwhelming. Well, go through the five songs from David above and be lifted up, redirected, and empowered to deal with life’s challenges and seemingly overwhelming pressures. God is with us, my dear one, and He will lift us up.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, you are my protector, my guide, my EVERYTHING!!! Amen

Friday, April 13, 2012

April 13, 2012 … The Outcome of Spiritual Shortcuts

Blogger's Note: It was 29 years ago today that God brought me to place of brokenness where I could receive Him as my Lord and Savior. So, I praise God today for my Rebirthday in Him. ... wrb

Passage of the Day
: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 1st Samuel 21-24 …
To study these chapters, go to this link -

Passage of the Day #1: 1st Samuel 21: 1-2 … 1 David went to Nob, to Ahimelek the priest. Ahimelek trembled when he met him, and asked, “Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?” … 2 David answered Ahimelek the priest, “The king sent me on a mission and said to me, ‘No one is to know anything about the mission I am sending you on.’ As for my men, I have told them to meet me at a certain place. 3 Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.” … 4 But the priest answered David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread on hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here—provided the men have kept themselves from women.”
Passage of the Day #2: 1st Samuel 22: 18-21 … 18 The king [Saul] then ordered Doeg, “You turn and strike down the priests.” So Doeg the Edomite [Saul’s servant] turned and struck them down. That day he killed eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod. 19 He also put to the sword Nob, the town of the priests, with its men and women, its children and infants, and its cattle, donkeys and sheep. … 20 But one son of Ahimelek son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled to join David. 21 He told David that Saul had killed the priests of the LORD. 22 Then David said to Abiathar, “That day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, I knew he would be sure to tell Saul. I am responsible for the death of your whole family. 23 Stay with me; don’t be afraid. The man who wants to kill you is trying to kill me too. You will be safe with me.”

My Journal for Today: Today’s chronological read in 1st Samuel, Chapters 21-24, especially the first two chapters, gives us the first glance into a weakness in David’s character when he copped out to a lie of expedience, apparently in denial or defensiveness, in order to get some bread (i.e., holy bread) from the Priests under the supervision of the head Priest, Abimelech [see the focus passages copied above]. And we see in these highlight passages, that this lie ultimately led to the execution, under the orders of Saul, of 85 priests, their families, and the destruction of all their possessions.

This is a gruesome reminder that any believer, even a dedicated servant of God in pursuit of God’s own heart, like David, can be vulnerable to spiritual shortcuts and capable of deceit – even in the self-perceived service of God [see Jer. 17: 9]. Most certainly leaders, God’s shepherds, like David, must be ever vigilant not to cut spiritual corners and make unGodly decisions, because the results can be devastating, as we read in these chapters of 1st Samuel.

I can recall a season of time some years ago when the Elders of my church, i.e., Central Church in Collierville, TN, abrogated our responsibilities to watch over the flock in our church by allowing our Senior Pastor to make decisions without our due vigilance of oversight; and we allowed our Pastor to make decisions without our oversight or accountability; and this short-cutting of God’s spiritual oversight almost led to the torch of God’s Spirit being lifted from our church with our church going through the worst spiritual crisis in it’s 100+ year history. But God, in His mercy, much like He did with David, allowed us to learn from this mistake; and with our repentance and restoration to leadership, in unity, we were able to confess, come together, and build a unity of proper leadership, allowing God’s light to shine from our church again with a new purpose of oversight and vigilance to correct our shortcuts of leadership in the past.

But all Christians, especially ordained and anointed leaders, must remain vigilant and refuse to exercise selfish shortcuts as we read of David doing in this instance so that God’s Spirit might be grieved and dampened by our decisional denial. God’s way and His will must not be compromised; and when it is, there ALWAYS will be consequences; and those consequences can be horrible as we read, involving David above. Now later we will read of another shortcut David will take, which will be just as horrible as this one we read about today; but we’ll look at David’s back-sliding of leadership involving Bathsheba and his murder of Uriah later.

Right now, we need to set a battle plan in motion which allows us to have oversight and/or accountability, with feedback from other believers, probably more mature and insightful and discerning that are we, to prevent us from taking spiritual shortcuts in our lives. Is your “battle plan” of vigilance and accountability in place?

My Prayer Today: … Lord, thank you for surrounding me with a number of cohorts of responsibility and accountability in my life, due to my tendency to be gullible and to relent to my Jer. 17:9 heart. Amen

Thursday, April 12, 2012

April 12, 2012 … A Friend Closer Than a Brother

Blogger's Note: While you read through my journal entry today, click here and let this music play quietly in the background ...

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 1st Samuel 18-20 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 11 … To study this song, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalm 59 … To study this song, go to this link -

Highlight Reference Passage #1: 1st Samuel 18: 1-4 … 1 After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. 2 From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. 3 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 4 Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.
Highlight Reference Passage #2: 1st Samuel 19: 1-3 … 1 Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan had taken a great liking to David 2 and warned him, “My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding and stay there. 3 I will go out and stand with my father in the field where you are. I’ll speak to him about you and will tell you what I find out.”
Highlight Reference Passage #3: 1st Samuel 20: 1-4 … 1 Then David fled from Naioth at Ramah and went to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to kill me?” >>> 2 “Never!” Jonathan replied. “You are not going to die! Look, my father doesn’t do anything, great or small, without letting me know. Why would he hide this from me? It isn’t so!” >>> 3 But David took an oath and said, “Your father knows very well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said to himself, ‘Jonathan must not know this or he will be grieved.’ Yet as surely as the LORD lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death.” >>>
4 Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you.”

My Journal for Today: Have you ever had a friend? … No, I mean A REAL FRIEND, … like the friendship modeled by Jonathan in his covenant friendship with David. Actually, I only have one friendship which approaches the covenant relationship which we read about in the passages I’ve highlighted today, which shine a light on the almost super-friendship which is chronicled in the book of 1st Samuel between Saul’s eldest son, Jonathan, and David, the man with whom Saul had a love/hate relationship.

And my covenant friend, … really the only friend I know I can count on always, … is Jesus. And you can read about the essence of my covenant relationship, as described by Jesus Himself in John 15: 9-17; and I’m afraid that MY FRIEND, Jesus, is closer in His covenant with me than I am with Him; but I still aspire to love my Friend, Jesus, just as He loves me.

Now, in my world of human friends, I can only say that I’ve experienced a remnant of the friendship which was modeled by Jonathan in the friendship he had with David. Jonathan was willing to give up and risk losing everything, … even his birthright, for his friend, David. He loved him enough to risk his very life and even the relationship he had with his father for the covenant he established with David. Do you have a friend like that in this world of horizontal relationships? … Very few of us do?

Really, the covenant relationship we read about above between Jonathan and David is a prototype picture of the relationship Jesus was to have with all who received His “friendship” in being born-again into an eternal “friendship” with Himself as Lord and Savior. Jonathan is a picture of Jesus, the One Who was willing to given up even the relationship with his Heavenly Father and to die for his friend, David, … David being the picture of you and me when we come into covenant relationship with our Friend, Jesus.

Sure, I’d love to have a human friendship who even comes close to that modeled by Jonathan and David; but I can always know that I have such a friendship; because I have my covenant and eternal brotherhood with Jesus to rely upon forever. .

My Prayer Today: … Thank you for being my Friend, Jesus! Amen

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April 11, 2012 … Monuments to Self

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 1st Samuel 15-17 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Reference Passage : 1st Samuel 15 … To study this passage, use the link above to read all of Chapter 15 in 1st Samuel, and especially note verse 12:Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, “Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal.”

My Journal for Today: As I have this morning, I hope you read through all of the three chapters in 1st Samuel through which the chronological reading plan leads us through today. We continue to see the character breakdown of Saul; and we’re introduced to Israel’s next King, … David. However, there is one focus point of application which jumped out at me today which has me under conviction; and perhaps it might help you as well if you’re reading along.

In reading Chapter 15 of 1st Samuel today, we read of Saul coming to a critical point of rebellion and disobedience against God’s will which ultimately will cause God to seek another to be the King God would anoint to lead His people … i.e.., a man after God’s own heart, whom we know will be David.

However, in today’s focus verse, i.e., 1st Samuel 15: 12, we see that Samuel, in searching for Saul in his early days of kingship, finds out that the king has built a monument to himself, probably highlighting all the victories over his nemesis enemies, the Philistines. But we also read in Chapter 15 that Saul, in winning a victory over the Amalekites, clearly ignored God’s commands and was not even able to see his own sinfulness until Samuel came to lay out the truth and rebuke the king. And by the time Samuel preached the truth to Saul and the king was able to see his own sinfulness, God moved His Spirit from Saul and as we read in Chapter 16, Samuel moved on, under God’s guidance, to find and anoint the next king of God’s chosen, … the young lad, David. And in Chapters 16-17 of 1st Samuel, we read the story of young David, and even his early victory over the giant Philistine, Goliath.

There are many great stories and applications in these three chapters which could yield powerful applications for my life or yours; but today, it’s this simple – but very self convicting – story of Saul building a memorial to himself for what God had accomplished through Saul for God’s glory. And therein springs my conviction from this reading today.

And I’m asking myself, “How many times do I make decisions or take action to lift myself in the eyes of others when it is God who should have all the credit and glory for what I’ve accomplished?” I’m afraid I’m too often guilty of trying to elevate my own image in the eyes of others when God should get all the glory for whatever I’ve accomplished. Perhaps that is something which we all need to evaluate and contemplate in our lives.

And I praise my Lord this day for keeping my tendency to build monuments to myself in check. May I be ever vigilant in seeing that anything I accomplish is because God is with me and it is HIS purposes and will which drive me to live for HIS glory.

My Prayer Today: … Thank you, LORD, for reminding me that it is for You I live and move and have my being. Amen

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April 10, 2012 … Trusting in GOD’S Timing

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 1st Samuel 13-14 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Highlight Reference Passage : 1st Samuel 13: 5-14 … To study this passage, go to this link -

My Journal for Today: Okay, … God’s people get what they want … a King; and he is Saul; and as we read from yesterday’s chronological read in 1st Samuel, Saul has all the tools to become a great king. However, today, we read that Saul got off with a rough start; and his character weaknesses shine through early in his reign. If you read from my link above, at the outset in their strife with the Philistines, Saul’s son, Jonathan, who will play a prominent role later in the reign of David, wins a battle for which Saul takes the credit. And from there on, we read that Saul can’t seem to trust Yahweh the way he’s been called on – as God’s anointed one – to follow God as the leader of the Lord’s chosen ones.

In the highlight passage, linked for your more specific study above, we read of Saul becoming impatient, seeing his men bolt from fear; and thinking a sacrifice to God was necessary to bring the army into line and court God’s power, Saul takes over for Samuel, who appeared to be tardy – in Saul’s mind – to perform the ritual sacrifice. And as you can read in 1st Samuel 13, when Samuel finally showed up, he rebuked Saul with the disquieting prophesy that Saul’s kingdom would come to an end as God searched for “… a man after God’s heart,” who would become the king one day in Saul’s stead.

Have you ever been in a situation when God just didn’t seem to be there for you in the timing you desired or as you had prayed for; and God just didn’t seem to be cooperating with life in the time sequence you felt was necessary? And as I ask that question, I can’t help but think of a passage written by a later king, … Solomon, who said, in Proverbs 3: 5-6, [NKJV] …Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. I all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.

Saul’s pridefulness and impatience could not live by that truth; and his heart was not the heart God needed in the role of the King of His people. So, with Saul’s disobedience he set a series of events into motion which would later lead, as we know from past reading of God’s word, to the search for, anointing, and conflict with a young man who would one day become the “man after God’s own heart,” … as David becomes the next King of God’s chosen people.

The point of application for us today is very straight forward, prompting these questions …

>>> Do we have the faith and trust in our God to wait on Him, especially those of us who know and believe in His written promises and His proclamations of truth from His word? In other words, can we live by Proverbs 3: 5-6?
>>> Can we be what Jesus demands of His disciples (in Luke 9: 23) and deny our selves to follow Him?
>>> Do we believe and can we trust (as Paul wrote in Romans 8: 28) that ALL things in our lives, as Christians, are somehow for our good, even though God’s will and timing seem to be so, so slow?

And until we can answer “YES” to all of those questions, perhaps we should refrain from being critical about how Saul handled things early in his reign. Perhaps we should just take what we read into consideration as God’s word, showing us through the life of Saul, how we need to develop the faith and trust in God which helps us become “a man (or woman) after God’s own heart.”

My Prayer Today: … Lord, help me to develop the fruit of patience which You have given me from Your Spirit so that I will trust, this day, that You are leading me in the path which will help me to become a man after Your heart. Amen

Monday, April 09, 2012

April 9, 2012 … God’s Anointed

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 1st Samuel 9-12 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Reference Passage : 1st Samuel 10: 6-7 … 6 The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. 7 Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.

Highlight Reference Passage #1 : Acts 1: 8 … [Jesus speaking to His disciples just before His ascension just prior to Pentecost] … “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

My Journal for Today: Yesterday in my reading and study (in 1st Sam. 8), we read about the Israelites pressing Samuel, as their main-man prophet, for a king to rule them in lieu of Judges; and God warned them of the potential of having a king who would relent to his sin-nature and rule out of selfishness rather then from the anointing of God. But the people wouldn’t listen to Samuel; and so God, as He will do, turned them over to their own desires; and granted them a king.

And in 1st Samuel, Chapters 9-12, we read of the coming and anointing of Saul to become the first king of Israel. And more specifically, as I read today’s highlight passage, copied above, another passage in the New Testament bubbled up from my memory; and that is the second passage (Acts 1: 8, which you probably know from memory yourself).

My friend and fellow Christian, do you realize that we, you and me as born-again Christians, are anointed (i.e., called out for rule) just as was Saul in the Old Testament? And the same Holy Spirit, which came upon Saul to give him the power he needed to be the King of Israel, is Spirit of the Lord which abides in our lives. The difference is that now that Christ has come and has died on the cross and has been resurrected (what we celebrated at Easter yesterday), we New Covenant Christians have the full and forever anointing of God’s Spirit and His Spirit, residing in our hearts for eternity, not just for a season of time as the Lord anointed and came upon Saul.

But that same Holy Spirit, Who empowered Saul, giving him the power to become and remain king of Israel as long as He submitted himself to God’s Spirit, is the same Spirit who is in my heart and giving me the power to do what God would lead me to do for His Kingdom. That is a daunting and almost haunting thought, isn’t it?

And in many respects, the same thing could happen to me which we’ll soon read will happen to Saul. Though I have God’s full measure of fruitfulness available to me (see Galatians 5: 22-23), I can grieve God’s Spirit and dampen God’s power in and through myself when I do not choose – in my free-will – to exercise the fruit of the Spirit (including self control), which, through humility and meekness, release God’s power in me to empower me to do His will.

Now, God’s Spirit will never leave me (or you, if you’re truly born-again) as the Spirit left Saul; but like Saul, we cannot be the vessel of God which God intends for us to be, or as Saul was intended to be, if we pridefully act on our own, rather than in obedience to God’s will.

Oh, I can be a Saul so easily by striking out on my own rather than surrendering my will to God’s; because when I can – and do – the latter, living with humility and meekness, as did Jesus in surrender to His Father, God can do great things in and through me. And when I live as we’ll soon read of Saul, in selfishness and carelessness, I can dampen God’s Spirit in me; and I cannot be the person God has purposed for me to be. Oh, how scary is that thought.

But, the saving grace which has anointed me in Christ’s Name, is the grace which will never leave me as it did Saul. And, being born-again and gifted with God’s sanctifying Spirit, I can choose to surrender to the Lord’s Spirit anytime and be transformed in my humility and meekness of character into the very image of my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. And that, my friend, is the “Hallelujah” thought for the day.

I am an anointed one; and so are you, my fellow Christian; now – today – what we must do is live like God’s anointed ones.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, I thank you, Holy Spirit, for living in me; empower me today to choose to follow You and to avoid myself. Amen