Monthly Archives: April 2022

A Prayer Against The Bully

To “bully” someone is, according to “Oxford Languages”, is “to seek to harm, intimidate, or coerce (someone perceived as vulnerable)”. The “bully” seeks out someone he or she perceives is weaker to push around in order to build up his or her self esteem or ego. Anyone can be bullied. Though David is the King of Israel, he was being bullied by others. We don’t know exactly WHO was bullying David – maybe a member of his cabinet, or perhaps it was his son Absalom who was rebelling against his throne. We don’t know, but we can say for sure:

Your position or place in life does not protect you from the bullies. Bullies target perceived weaknesses in those
around them in order to make themselves feel more worthy or valuable.

We live in a day where bullying is king – particularly on social media. Bullies hide behind electronic walls, attacking those they disagree with. Sadly today people no longer have civil discussions over weighty matters. We are “feeling” driven as a people.

When someone does not agree with my “feeling”, the acceptable practice is to bully until your opponent is shamed into agreeing with you.

Children are bullied in schools. I grew up being bullied, up until the age of 17 when I met the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. Jesus taught me that I was cherished, and that I was to stand up against the bullies. When I did, the bullies quickly backed down and sought easier prey. But bullies still abound. A scholarly article in the Journal of Adolescent Health called “Bullying and Suicide: A Public Health Approach” notes: “Several recent studies have found an association between bullying and depression or bullying and… Continue reading

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My People Have …

Adam and Eve were given rule over all the earth. “They were both naked … and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25). They were stewards of all creation in God’s stead. What happened? The Serpent (a picture of Satan – see Revelation 12:9 & 20:2) came into Eden and, like Monty Hall, offered Adam something in place of what he already had. Adam took the bait. He switched a ten dollar bill for a figment of his imagination hundred dollar bill. Adam didn’t just lose Eden. Adam didn’t just lose the world. Adam lost his relationship with God. Adam traded his relationship with God for something worthless.

We repeat this pattern over and over.

In the Book of Jeremiah, the Prophet is speaking to a nation (Israel), warning them that destruction is coming. Last time we were in this Book, we were in chapter one. There God gave Jeremiah two visions. He had the vision of:

Jeremiah 1:11 … a rod of an almond tree… Continue reading

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Without …

God hates sin. Sin calls for death, separation from God. God despises sin because it causes His creation (us) to be far from His embrace. Sin separates us from God (Colossians 1:21). Evil is sin’s outworking.

BEFORE THE CROSS the ONLY place you could receive forgiveness for sins was at the Temple.

BEFORE THE CROSS the ONLY way you could receive forgiveness of sins was by sacrifice of animals via the priests of Israel.

What Animal Sacrifices Teach Us

Only by the shedding of blood is there remission of sin. Why was it shedding of animal blood? Because a sinner cannot pay for the sins of another sinner. Man is fallen. We are all broken, all sinners. Innocent animals were sacrificed to cover man’s sins, but this covering was temporary and insufficient.

A perfect Man was needed to make proper payment for our sins. There were no perfect Men, so God made one!

The broken cannot make a perfect Man – so God decided to do so. God Himself entered into His creation as Jesus Christ. The Book of Hebrews tells us that it is only Jesus that can make purification for sin (Hebrews 1:3). It is only Jesus Who – among all humans – entered this world without sin. It is Jesus that the Father said,

Hebrews 1:8 (ESV) “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom”

Jesus Christ is God the Son, Who came into this world to save us from our sins. The Scripture says:… Continue reading

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The Apostle’s Prayer

What can we learn from this prayer?
1. A prayer does not have to be LONG to be effective – but it must glorify God. There are many short prayers in Scripture that God answered. There is the Prayer of Peter, when he was walking on water and started sinking:

“Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:30)

Jesus answered that prayer, for He reached out His hand to catch and keep Peter from drowning. There is the Prayer of Blind Bartimaeus, who asked Jesus,
“Lord, let me receive my sight.” (Mark 10:51)

Or the Prayer of the Ten Lepers,

“Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” (Luke 17:13)

Jesus Christ is LORD. He is MASTER. The Bible says:

Philippians 2:8-10 And being found in fashion as a man, {Jesus} humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted… Continue reading

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Prayer Makes Us Like God’s Own Heart

As this is Wednesday night and our focus is “Prayer Meeting”, I have taken to giving a devotional that focuses on Biblical Prayers. Tonight we are looking at a prayer of David found in Psalm 16. God said of David:

Acts 13:22 (ESV) … I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.

Why did God call David “a man after my heart”? Was it because David was flawless? No, for David as King allowed sin to entice him into evil. Everyone knows of David’s murdering of Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:9-10), so that he could take Bathsheba to be his wife. David already had a wife, King Saul’s younger daughter Michal (1 Samuel 18:20-27), when he pursued Bathsheba. While David was a fugitive, running from King Saul, he married Abigail (1 Samuel 25:39-41), the widow of a surly shepherd named Nabal. David also “took Ahinoam of Jezreel” (1 Samuel 25:43) to be his wife. David also married “Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur, the mother of Absalom” as well as “Haggith”, the mother of Adonijah (1 Chronicles 3:2). To say that David had a “complicated” family life is an understatement!

David was flawed, but David pursued God in prayer. God was the true Love of His life. … Continue reading

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Resurrection Changes Everything

People die. This is the nature of life. Founders of businesses die, founders of religions die. The founder of Islam, Muhammad died in 632 AD. The founder of the Indian Independence Movement, Mahatma Gandhi died from an assassin’s gun in 1948. People die. The Scripture says:

Hebrews 9:27 … it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment

Today we commemorate the death of another Founder, and we will celebrate His death by partaking of what we call “Communion” or “The Lord’s Table”. There is one big difference in the death of Christianity’s Founder and the death of all others.

Jesus didn’t stay dead!

Executed on a Roman Cross after several hours of brutal torture, Jesus’ death was not a mistake nor a miscarriage of justice. Jesus told His disciples:

John 10:15 … I lay down My life for the sheep {His people}

The Great Shepherd, Jesus willingly allowed Himself to be slandered and railroaded into an execution. But Jesus told us:

John 10:17 … I lay down My life, that I might TAKE IT AGAIN …

Jesus promised that – though He would die willingly on that terrible Cross – that death would not be able to hold Him. On the Day of Pentecost – some 50 days after Jesus rose from the Grave – Peter preached:

Acts 2:22-24 (NLT) People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know. 23 But God knew what would happen, and His prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed Him to a cross and killed Him. 24 But God released Him from the horrors of death and raised Him back to life, for death could not keep Him in its grip.

Death could not hold Jesus. Jesus told us:

Matthew 12:40 (ESV) For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Jesus Christ died on that Cross so that we who believe in Him can have access to the Holy Father, Creator of all things. God the Father covered our sins by the death of Jesus. The Apostle says, … Continue reading

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My God Enlarges Me

Turn with me in your Bibles to Psalm 4 – one of the wonderful prayers of a Prayer Warrior and King named simply “David”.

Psalm 4 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. 2 O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah. 3 But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him. 4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. 5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord. 6 There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. 7 Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. 8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.

One of the greatest weapons that a Christian has is the weapon of prayer. One of the great prayer warriors of yesteryear, E.M. Bounds said:

“God shapes the world by prayer. Prayers are deathless. They outlive the lives of those who uttered them. … Prayer honors God, acknowledges His being, exalts His power, adores His providence, secures His aid … Prayer is a trade to be learned. We must be apprentices and serve our time at it. Painstaking care, much thought, practice and labor are required to be a skillful tradesman in praying. Practice in this, as well as in all other… Continue reading

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Who Is This Man? A Palm Sunday Message

As Jesus headed to the unnamed Ruler’s home, a woman in the crowd, “diseased with an issue of blood for twelve years” (Matthew 9:20) saw Jesus. Thinking to herself, she said:

Matthew 9:21 … If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole

Touching Jesus – just the hem of His garment – caused her to be healed immediately! Jesus told her,

Matthew 9:22 … Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith has made thee whole!

Who is this man who can heal without a thought? But He is more, more than just a Healer. When He reaches the Ruler’s home, the mourners are crying over this twelve year old girl who has died. This Man said:

Matthew 9:24-25 … Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. 25 {Jesus responded, and} He went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose.

Who is this Man Who not only heals, but raises the dead? The crowds around Jesus grow larger and larger every day. Then it comes time when the Jew must go to Jerusalem, to celebrate the Feast of the Passover. What a special time Passover is! It commemorates the time that God saved Israel from Egypt. The lamb without spot or blemish was to be taken into the home, … Continue reading

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Who Is In Jesus’ Family?

His earthly mother Mary is at the door of the house, but cannot get to Jesus. God used Mary to bring forth Christ. Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Savior of all who will believe on Him. Jesus is …

Revelation 1:5 … Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own Blood …

Jesus is Man. Jesus is Perfect Man. Jesus is Sinless Man. You ask, “How can there be a sinless Man?”, and my answer is, “Only if He is a Unique Creation and God”. Adam was sinless in the Garden of Eden, but when Adam sinned, “by one man – Adam – sin entered into the world, and DEATH BY SIN; and so death PASSED UPON ALL MEN, for that all have sinned.” (Romans 5:12). All humans born naturally are born sinners. This is a problem because, though God loves us, God is holy, without sin (1 Peter 1:16; Isaiah 57:15).

God is holy – but we are not! How can the gap be bridged between God and Man?

A Perfect Man, a Messiah, a Savior, cannot come through human effort. Humans are fallen. God must make a way. God must enter the creation as Man. This is what happened in Jesus. Jesus Christ is ETERNAL GOD THE SON. He declared Himself …

Revelation 1:8 … Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

“Alpha and Omega, Beginning and the Ending” is a title given only to God, “The Almighty”. Our Lord Jesus existed with God the Father and God the Spirit from eternity past. God left eternity, and came to this earth through a virgin named Mary. Yet though Jesus has a beginning as a human,… Continue reading

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Who Is God?

Turn with me in your Bibles to Jeremiah chapter 1. Jeremiah comes right after Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Solomon, Isaiah, JEREMIAH. Jeremiah was known as the “Weeping Prophet”. Why? Because God had been good to Israel, but Israel turned away from God. God’s people were chasing sin. God’s people had become indistinguishable from the lost peoples around them. So God sent Jeremiah to a hard hearted people with an uncomfortable message.

Jeremiah preached to Israel more than 40 years. The Book of Jeremiah, is the longest book in the Bible by Hebrew word count. It has 22,285 Hebrew words.

Jeremiah Teaches Us The Goodness
& Faithfulness Of God

We see God’s goodness in Jeremiah’s appointment: We are told in Jeremiah 1:1 that these are “the words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin” (1:1). Jeremiah is the “son of Hilkiah”. Jeremiah’s father “Hilkiah” is the Hebrew חִלְקִיָּה Chilqîyâh, {pronounced khil-kee-yaw’}, which means “The LORD {YHWH} Is My Portion”. The Priestly Tribe of Israel, the Levites, were given no land when they entered Canaan. As priests, God was their Portion (Deuteronomy 10:9; 18:1-8). As the son of a Priest,… Continue reading

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