Dodging Destruction



Today’s Reading: Psalm 37-39, Acts 26

Today’s Reflection: Psalm 39:13 O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.

Today, I am writing to someone in ministry whose strength is spent up! You’ve gone as far as you can go. You know that unless The Lord restores your soul, you are done. 

If that is you, then make this verse your prayer today, dear friend. As the Psalmist prayed, ask our Heavenly Father to recover your strength before you come to your end, whatever that may look like. 
I can tell you this; Jesus cares very much to aid and assist you in your recovery as you continue to seek strength with which to serve Him. 

Just a few days ago, perhaps you may have read the following verse in your reading with us in Psalm 34:19, which says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.” This reminds us that, though the frequency of battles come regularly, and the duration of the battles often last a good long while, yet regardless of their length or frequency, there is not a single instance where the Lord will not deliver us! 

So, as we pray our desperate prayers begging God to spare us, God has already given us a promise that He plans to do just that. Dear reader, do not let satan get an advantage over you by convincing you that it is over for you, because if you have not yet been delivered, then that simply means God will not rest until you are! 

Stand on His promise of deliverance, and await His majestic intervention. It is just a matter of time before He makes good on His promise by allowing to manifest in time what has already been spoken from eternity. 

Your strength may indeed be small, but His strength remains steadfast for ever and ever. You will soon find that the best thing that can ever happen to you is for you to lose all of YOUR strength.  
We often feel like we are at a disadvantage when our strength fails us, but if the truth be known, in God’s Kingdom we are at the disadvantage when it is OUR strength that we rely upon. In other words, you are in the best shape ever, spiritually speaking, when you are totally dependent upon the Lord to see you through. 

It may not even FEEL like it, but rest assured that His strength will carry you through ESPECIALLY during the times that your faith is so tried that you can’t even sense His presence at work in your life. Keep trusting Him all the way through your trouble.

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Blessings Birthed by Burdens



Today’s Reading: Psalm 33-34, Acts 24

Today’s Reflection: Acts 24:27b …Felix, willing to show the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.

What do you do when the pain of serving God comes as a consequence of another man’s pleasure? What reward is this? That a servant is rewarded suffering for sacrifice, abandonment for allegiance, and jail time for preaching the liberating Gospel? 

Oh, but before you rush to judgement, know this; the death blows of your enemy are not your reward. It is the lie of the enemy to ask and taunt you while in your chains, “Where is your God now? Is this how He pays?” 

If you’re not careful, you will mistakenly classify your suffering as your reward. It may very well be a reward, but make no mistake about it; this reward is not from your Heavenly Father! Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him (see 1 Cor. 2:9)! 

You may have heard of the old missionary couple who had been working in Africa for years and who had returned to New York to retire. As they returned, they discovered they were booked on the same ship as President Teddy Roosevelt, who was returning from one of his big-gaming hunting expeditions. 

No one paid any attention to the missionaries. They watch the fanfare that accompanied the President’s entourage, and as the ship moved across the ocean, the old missionary said to his wife, “Something is wrong. Why should we have given our lives in faithful service to God in Africa all these many years and have no one care a thing about us?” 

Later that night the man’s spirit broke. He said to his wife, “I can’t take this; God is not treating us fairly.” His wife replied, “Why don’t you go in the bedroom and tell that to the Lord?” 

A short time later he came out from the bedroom, but now his face was completely different. His wife asked, “Dear, what happened?” “The Lord settled it with me”, he said. “I told Him how bitter I was that the President should receive this tremendous homecoming, when no one met us as we returned home. And when I finished, it seemed as though the Lord put His hand on my shoulder and simply said; “But you’re not home yet.” 

Dear child of God, it’s not over until God says it’s over. Press on, it won’t be very long and we’ll all be home, entering into the joy of our Lord!

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How to get DELIVERED!


Today’s Reading: Psalm 31-32, Acts 23:16-35

Today’s Reflection:  Psalm 31:1 In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.

The Lord is righteous to deliver such as put their trust in Him!  Moreover, The Lord would be unrighteous NOT to do so.  For you see, His compensation for trust IS deliverance!  How often has our Lord promised in His precious Word that those who put their trust in Him shall not be ashamed?  Let us consider just a few by way of reinforcement.  

Proverbs 30:5 says, “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.”  
Psalm 2:12b says, “Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” And then 1 Chron. 5:20 says, “And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was intreated of them; because they put their trust in him.” 

There are dozens if not hundreds more, but how many times does our Lord have to promise deliverance for those who put their trust in Him before we believe it?  He need only say it once, but in His grace He repeats this principle over and over throughout the entire Bible.  In fact, I’d dare say this is the overwhelming theme of redemption itself, and that’s what the Bible is ALL about!  

Now, with that established, let me point out the mechanism by which He will deliver us.  In our text, the Psalmist prays, “Deliver me IN THY RIGHTEOUSNESS!” (emphasis mine).  You see, David knew that were the Lord to deliver him according to his (King David’s) own righteousness, it just wasn’t going to happen.  He also knew enough to know that with God, faith is imputed (counted) for righteousness (see James 2:23).  This means that even when we are guilty, if we will come to God with repentant faith, He will transfer His own righteousness to our account, and give us the deliverance that only He would or could deserve.  

So, here is the good news; Child of God, quit pouting over your sins.  Stop feeling sorry for yourself.  Quit just accepting your miserable state, assuming that God is and will continue to punish you because you deserve it.  Do you realize that whatever trouble your sin has led you into, His righteousness can lead you out of?  I cannot tell you HOW He does it, but I can assure you that He does, because He said so Himself!  Lean on HIS righteousness to deliver you!

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Each Flame has a Name!



Today’s Reading: Psalm 29-30, Acts 23:1-15

Today’s Reflection:  Psalm 29:7 The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.

Every flame has a name!  Consider Psalm 104:4, which says of our Lord, “Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:”  We see here multiple ministers ablaze as from one fire, namely The Lord.  That is, these ministers are as the flames which split off the same fire to conduct each their own displays of God’s power and glory.  

Just as a fire splits off into multiple flames which gives it its spreading and all-consuming capabilities by which to touch everything in its path, even so God through the power of the Holy Spirit can raise up ministers in like fashion.  Ministers which burn from the same source, The Holy Spirit, but who have their unique audiences and assignments to which they are called.  

Do not fault the brother who is not bent in the same fashion as you in ministry if he burns from the same source!  Are there not many facets to Christ’s Kingdom which need to be addressed.  Do not certain people have stronger gifts in particular areas than others?  Do not we find that each flaming minister has his own overall emphasis of ministry uniquely his, but uniformly Biblical none the less?  

We are indeed to preach the whole councel of God.  I believe that simply means that whatever God has counseled you to preach, THAT you preach, and leave NOTHING He said out!  You see, if each of us focused on our gifting and callings, then God would see to it that the church as a whole is addressed as it should be.  Think of it this way; He has other people for that which you are not uniquely gifted or called to address, but which needs to be addressed.  That’s HIS business.  

We see another reference of this concept in Acts 2, verses 2-3, which states, “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”  

The word cloven means to divide or to part or to partition thoroughly.  Just as God divided the gift of tongues on the day of Pentecost and gave each flame their name (aka assignment), and as each language group was specifically addressed as The Spirit distributed the flames, even so are we to allow God’s voice to put us right where He wants us, and leave the rest to Him.


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Waiting on God's Response!



Today’s Reading: Psalm 26-28, Acts 22


Today’s Reflection: Psalm 28:1 Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit. 

The Psalmist is not simply praying to his Lord, but also expecting a reply. It is not enough that we simply send up prayers, but also with them we should send up urgent expectations for our Lord’s timely response. 

It is not the prayer of demand which offends our Lord, but the prayer which has no demands for response at all that offends Him. And to the Psalmist, the anticipated response of God to him is as precious as the oxygen in his lungs. In fact, he implies that for God to not respond with His voice would render him as good as dead, so to speak. 

Question; how often do we pray with little patience to endure the waiting room of the Divine for His life-sustaining response? Are we in such a hurry that we only have time to speak TO God, but not enough time to wait patiently FOR His voice? Do we so put God in a rush that, unless He answers us in our time allotted, we simply stop listening for His response and move on to the next prayer as if the previous were not heard? 

What does it say of our faith to give up on a prayer simply because we have not yet heard God’s response? Is God’s silence a clear indication that He has nothing to say on the matter? Or could it be that His silence is a means by which He strains our prayers of their impurities such as doubt, insincerity, vain repetition, and impure motives? 

Perhaps God responds most often to the prayers to which we commit ourselves in unwavering faith for Him to respond. After all, it is to the cry of the desperate that Our Lord most readily responds. But if we come to him in religious form for the simple sake of checking our prayer off our daily task list so we can move on to our next item of things to do, then He may be silent more often that we wish or sometimes even notice. 

God forbid that we reduce our prayer life to such a rushed, frenzied, and mechanical routine that we do all the talking and take not the time to wait for His voice. Don’t get me wrong; there are times that a prayer is of necessity offered in haste, and a speedy response needed. In these times, God is able and often does respond as He is needed. However, I find through personal experience that the richest prayer life is known by waiting for His voice! 

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Power to Choose



Today’s Reading: Psalm 23-25, Acts 21:18-40

Today’s Reflection:  Psalm 25:12 What man is he that feareth the LORD?  Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.

Often when we think of making decisions which we hope will please The Lord, we get caught up in indecisiveness.  No doubt we mean well, but please know that The Lord teaches those who make choices with which to move forward, not those who are indecisive.  

Now, I do realize that there are times that our Lord may specifically instruct us to “stand still” and watch Him work.  However, also note that those are the exceptions and not the rule.  

IN (as you are going) all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths (Prov. 3:6).  A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps (Prov. 16:9). And again in our text, “Him shall he teach IN THE WAY that he shall choose.”  

So, “stand still” moments seem to be the exception, and “in the way” or in other words, God teaching us AS WE’RE GOING seems to be the rule.  

I said all of that to say this, which will be a shock to some; God gives you the freedom to choose.  Has it ever occurred to you that as life moves on while you walk with God, that there will be many times that you have more than one good choice that you can choose from?  

For example, you can be praying about what career path to choose with which to provide for your family, and as far as you can tell, you have more than one option, neither of which would violate your conscience or get you in trouble with The Lord morally speaking.  

You fear The Lord and do not want to do anything to offend Him or sin against Him, and so you’ve already narrowed your options down to just a handful of choices, and you still have to make a choice.  

It is in these moments that we need to be careful not to allow indecisiveness to hinder us from moving forward with confidence that God will bless us.  

Look at the text one more time; What man is he that feareth the LORD?  Him shall he teach in the way that HE shall choose.  In other words, as long as all of your options fall within the guidelines of fearing (morally reverencing) the Lord, then God will become your teacher in whichever path YOU choose.  

Let that sink in!  God is big enough to bless more than one path, any path, or EVERY path that is based on reverencing Him.  So, make YOUR choice, then watch HIM teach!


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Unloading Burdens in Unlikely Places



Today’s Reading: Psalm 20-22, Acts 21:1-17

Today’s Reflection: Acts 21:3 Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre: for there the ship was to unlade her burden.

Often God will invite us to unload our burdens in unsuspecting places. As we journey through life in our walk with The Lord, we seem naturally to pick up weights along the way which become grievous burdens to be carried. 

Disappointments, hardships, losses, pain, sickness, you name it; if it can happen, it usually does, because, after all, we are in a battle and our enemy will take every chance he can to weigh us down. So then, occasionally our precious Lord leads His dear children along to places of harbor where we can unload, rest, and be restored. 

What is interesting to me is that Tyre was such a place for God’s servants. I assume you will remember with me that Tyre was previously under the judgement of God for her wickedness. Although she was a place where ships were notorious for coming in and out for trade, and many princes came to trade there (Isa. 23), yet it would be “laid waste”. In fact, Isaiah 23:1 says “The burden of Tyre. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them.” 

So get this; a place which had been under a curse was the very place where these disciples would find lodging in her ports and unload their burdens. A place that was already “burdened” would yet take on the more as other’s burdens would be unloaded there. 

Are you seeing what I’m seeing? Dear reader, as Christ hang on the cross of Calvary, He who knew no sin became sin for us, and became a curse for us! There, He took on the burdens of the entire world to pay sin’s debt for whosoever will. And wouldn’t you know, the place of the curse for Christ thus becomes the place of harbor and rest for weary sinful souls to unlade their burdens at the foot of the cross! GLORY! 

It is my honor and privilege to invite you to come to Christ’s harbor of hope today and cast ALL your care upon Him, for He careth for you! He can handle ANY burden you have, because He’s already won the victory on your behalf. You have sins? He has forgiveness and grace! You have sorrow? He has gladness of heart! You have tears of regret? He has morning joy for a new day! He wants to trade with you; will you trade?


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Finish with Joy



Today’s Reading: Psalm 18-19, Acts 20:17-38

Today’s Reflection: Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

Paul the Apostle had developed a level of spiritual maturity as a seasoned soldier of the Cross so much so that nothing but God Himself could “move” him. That is, nothing could sway him from either the place or the purpose to which he was sent. 


The enemy threatened, tortured, and tormented Paul every chance they could get, and yet Paul says, “But none of these things move me…”. In other words, he had a made up mind, and NOTHING was going to change it. He was determined to finish his course. Not only was he determined to finish his course, but look at HOW he was determined to finish it…with JOY! 

Paul developed a closeness with The Lord that gave him a joy that was deeper than any pain or problem in his life. In fact, perhaps he may have meditated on this verse in Nehemiah 8:10b, which says, “…neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” 

Dear reader, the life of the servant of Christ will often invite by its very existence an opposition from the enemies of Christ which may cause much affliction in this world. Our precious Lord will in fact send us into hostile territory to present His love to a lost and resistant world who will often literally hate us for doing so. Even still, we are to find our joy in knowing that the Lord is pleased, and not that men are appeased. 

When our source of joy is not in this world, then it can never be taken away! It is the author’s opinion that the very reason Paul had such a determination to walk on with God no matter how painful it became, was because of this deep abiding joy. To put it plainly, Paul could not be moved, because his joy could not be moved! 

What about you? What is your source of joy? Is it in pleasing The Lord, or appeasing those around you? The truth is, when we yield to the temptation of appeasing people, we are CONSTANTLY “moved”, because trying to please people is like trying to hit a moving target. Here’s why; people change. Not only will different people have differing demands, but many times the SAME person changes his own demands. Let us determine today to find our joy in Jesus alone!

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