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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God gives for keeps!



Today’s Reading: Psalm 16-17, Acts 20:1-16

Today’s Reflection: Psalm 16:5 The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.

Would you rather have the gift, or the giver? If we were talking about mere men, it could be argued, depending upon the circumstances, that in some cases one might prefer a gift over its giver. However, we’re not just talking about mere men in our text. 


The psalmist is saying that The LORD is his inheritance! He did not say that The Lord gave him nice things. He did not say that he had a mansion just over the hill top! No, but he said THE LORD is his portion!! 

Now, just in case you didn’t know, The Lord is the greatest giver of them all! When God gives, He holds nothing back. Not convinced? Then what about John 3:16? For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son!! There’s nothing greater to give than His son for us. 

But then, let me remind you of Romans 8:32, which also says, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Do you see that? He is teaching us that, again, when God gives, He holds NOTHING back! And the best thing? IT’S ALL FREE to us. 

It came at great expense to HIM, but WE are the beneficiaries of His grace at no charge to us. Now, THAT’S a portion worth noting! You didn’t know you were so rich in Christ, did you?!? 

AND, it get’s better. NOT ONLY is God and everything that comes with Him freely given to us through faith in Christ His son, BUT what HE gives us is also “low maintenance” on our end! 

Think about this for a second. Have you ever received a gift that, in and of itself was great, but the maintenance for its upkeep was still out of your financial reach? If not, I’m sure you’ve heard of others who have experienced this kind of “gift”. But before you receive a gift from another man, you better make sure that the maintenance is within your means, or the “gift” becomes a “taker”! 

BUT, God is SO thorough, that He gives us Himself, the giver, AND the maintenance man! Do you see it? “Thou maintainest my lot.” God will give you more than YOU can handle, but that’s only because He intends on handling it as well! 

OH GLORY! Listen dear reader, The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. This means that whatever He gives you, He holds in place for you to keep! SHOUT!

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You can get your JOY back!




Today’s Reading: Psalm 13-15, Acts 19:21-41

Today’s Reflection: Psalm 14:7 Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad. 


Hear the Psalmist yearning for the salvation of God’s people from those who held them in captivity! Why? Because he knows that once The Lord delivers them out of captivity that the gladness and rejoicing of the people will return unto them! He no doubt remembers a time when Israel was rejoicing with gladness. 


What about you? Was there ever a time (assuming you have trusted The Lord as your Savior) that you rejoiced in The Lord, only to look back now with a yearning to experience such a season of gladness again? If so, then perhaps you, too, are needing deliverance from some form of captivity in which you find yourself imprisoned today. 

Perhaps it is the prison of doubt, fear, or willful sin. Perhaps it is the prison of bitterness, unforgiveness, hatred, or revenge. Perhaps it is simply the prison of knowing you are not where you either need to be or once was with The Lord. 

Regardless, know this; the place where you lost your joy is the place where you can pick it back up! Oh, I know that some things are humanly impossible to reverse the effects of once you have made the wrong choice; however, regardless of the bad choices you have made, you can repent in your heart before The Lord and start afresh and anew, seeking HIS power to enable you to never make those same joy-robbing mistakes again. 

Today, I believe that more now than ever, God’s people suffer from the lack of gladness, joy, and rejoicing in the camp, because of the captivity they find themselves in. But, if we are to be jubilant, victorious, and effective in serving God, we MUST get our joy back! 

My friends, serving God ought not to be a drudge or a duty, but a delight! As my pastor used to say so often, we can be both happy and holy all at the same time! It is simply up to us to figure out what joy robbers exist in our lives so that we can resolve to rid ourselves of them immediately! 

If there is unconfessed and unrepented sin, get it under the blood, receive your forgiveness, then walk in the joy of salvation that God will restore unto you in that moment. Refuse to ever allow yourself, satan, or society rob you of your gladness or joy ever again! Get free today & stay free.

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Can we be SURE we have a Reliable Bible???



Today’s Reading: Psalm 10-12, Acts 19:1-20

Today’s Reflection: Psalm 12:6-7 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. 


Sadly, if one were to listen to the average liberal seminary graduate today, you would be led to believe that we cannot be sure that we have a pure, preserved, trustworthy, and reliable copy of the words of The LORD for this generation.  


But what does the Bible say? Verse seven says, “Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” So either man is wrong, or God is wrong, and I’ll take my chances with God that He is the One who is right! 

You see, the word “keep” means to put a hedge about, or to guard, or to protect, or to attend to, or to keep watch over. And then the word “preserve” means to maintain. This scripture teaches us that God personally supervises the oversight of His words written down in the earth so that every generation after it was originally written has a perfectly preserved copy. 

So the question, then, is this; how can we know for sure which Bible is the preserved word of God for our generation? Before we offer some thoughts on that, we must first agree that things which are different are not the same. 

If we have two or more Bibles that say vastly different things with the changing of the words, then they can’t all be right, right? That said, one must be careful when selecting a Bible that he or she selects one where the source (set of manuscripts used), the style of translation (word for word, paraphrase, etc.), and the system used when translating (for checks and balances) are all of utmost integrity and as detailed as possible for the most accurate and reliable translation results. 

And after careful studying, it is my conclusion that there is no other Bible translation in the English language today that is superior to the accuracy and care given in the translation of the King James Bible. 

I encourage you to do your own homework on this to draw your own conclusions, but one thing is certain; we must agree that if God’s Word promises He will preserve His word to all generations, then there must be a superior text to all others thereby signifying God’s hand in its preservation. Today, we can thank God that His Word is preserved!

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The Power of a Baby's Mouth



Today’s Reading: Psalm 7-9, Acts 18

Today’s Reflection: Psalm 8:2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. 


This is a most fascinating truth, but before we shout about it, let’s makes sure we understand it first! Here, we learn that God ordains strength out of the mouth of infants. 


The word “ordain” means to be fixed, like that of laying a foundation, so as to be founded or established. Now, let’s get our heads wrapped around this; God ESTABLISHES strength, or LAYS THE FOUNDATION of strength…out of the MOUTH of infants. 

Before an infant can mature enough to comprehend or understand or become self-sufficient or even strong enough to protect and provide for itself, it is given the very foundation of strength…in its mouth! And if you’re wondering how that is, just think about it! The infant in and of him/herself is not strong at all; however, the power that the child beckons from its parents when it cries is only as limited as the parents themselves. 

OH GLORY! When I’m weak and frail and unable to provide for and/or defend myself, GOD has already put the FOUNDATION of strength within my mouth, so that when I but CRY OUT to Him, my cry beckons a strength that is only as limited as the God of the Universe! So, it is not the cry itself that has any power, but rather the One who responds to the cry that gives it strength!! 

Now, with that understanding, go ahead and shout! But while you’re shouting, also see this; THE REASON God did this was so that He could still His enemy! He knew His enemy would want to destroy His children, and since His children were not strong enough in and of themselves to defeat the enemy, God gave them the only thing they would need to call Him immediately to the scene; a mouth to cry with! 

God knows the voice of His children, because He created them! He knows YOUR voice…CALL on Him today! Cry out to your Heavenly Father, Who’s strength will be beckoned by your child-like faith in Him to help. 

You don’t have to be strong, you don’t have to be mature, you don’t even have to be able to articulate with words of an adult and have an adult-like conversation; all you have to do is cry aloud to your Heavenly Father as an infant would, and He is ON THE SCENE!

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How to Turn the Tide of Trouble in Your Life!



Today’s Reading: Psalm 4-6, Acts 17:16-34

Today’s Reflection: Psalm 4:1 …thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress…

Have you ever heard the expression, “I was between a rock and a hard place!”? Furthermore, have you ever been in one? If so, then you will understand what David meant when he mentioned that he was at one point “in distress” before The Lord helped him. 


The word “distress” here implies a narrow, small, tight, rocky place of trouble and discomfort where an adversary has you pinned in. This reminds me quite literally of the time when David was running for his life and at one point was seeking shelter in a cave for refuge.  

He knew what it was to be in a tight spot! Moreover, he also knew what it was to be helped while he was there! In verse one, he starts out by praying, “Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness; thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress…” He is reminding God of what He has already done, and calling on Him for assistance again! 

And what is he reminding God of? He is reminding God of the fact that when he was in a tight spot, God “enlarged” him. Now, here’s what I want you to notice; first, David was IN distress. This references the PLACE (or the circumstance, if you will) that he was located. And second, although he was IN distress (a tight place), yet God enlarged HIM. 

See it? The text says, “…thou hast enlarged me…” Here’s the point; God did not change the location David found himself in, but rather He simply made David BIGGER than the location he was in!  
When I first read this verse, admittedly I thought that God set him in a larger place to get him out of his tight spot. And isn’t that what we often ask God to do? We often ask God to move us away from the difficulties in which we find ourselves. But what if God wants to change YOU and make you bigger than your circumstances, rather than relocating you to get you away from trouble? 

What if God wants you to grow in strength and favor with Him to become an overcomer, so that no matter what trouble comes, you won’t look to be delivered out of that place, but rather become bigger than that place? 

Because here’s the truth; once you become bigger than your environment, you will no longer be the one to have to change, because the place will have to make room for you! When this happens, now it is the trouble that is in a tight spot!

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PUT THE DEVIL ON NOTICE!!!




Today’s Reading: Psalm 1-3, Acts 17:1-15

Today’s Reflection: Psalm 2:1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

Is the psalmist worried about the strength of his enemies here? Is that the spirit in which he asks his question? Is he asking despairingly, as if he is living in dread of their strength? 


Before I answer these questions, let me ask YOU, dear reader! When you read this verse, from what attitude do you read it? Are you in such dread and fear over the alleged strength of the wicked in today’s world, that when you read these words, you assume that you are relating to a fear that the psalmist must have been feeling when he wrote these words? If so, then STOP RIGHT THERE! 

Here in our text, David is not wandering around through a maze of bewildering questions, in a fret and in a panic, feeling sorry for himself and wondering why The Lord is just allowing his enemies to prevail over him. NO, NO! Read the whole chapter again! 

King David is not talking about his problems, seeking for answers and the comfort of pitiful, defeated sympathizers. Instead, his question is directed in boldness directly at his enemy, with courage, faith, and confidence that what his enemy is up to is indeed a vain and meaningless effort! 

He is in fact TAUNTING his enemy from a position of strength through faith in his God! For instance, in verse four, he serves notice to his enemy that in essence, God is going to get the last laugh! And then again in verses ten through twelve, he gives them wise counsel as to how to avoid and to escape their eminent destruction! 

Now, again, in light of that confidence in God, even with his back against the wall, read it with me again! “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?” In other words, “Devil, I don’t know why you’re raging as if you have already won, because I know you have already been defeated!” 

In other words, “Devil, your plans and your plots are all in vain! Your efforts to destroy me are COMPLETELY POINTLESS because I’m a child of God!” Are you getting the spirit in which he is asking the question now? 

If so, then hear this; the next time you feel like you are backed into a corner with no way out by YOUR enemy, begin to declare to your enemy and serve him notice that his days are numbered, unless he surrenders to YOUR king! Dear reader, WE are with the advantage, NOT our enemies!!

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