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Is It Worth It?

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Is It Worth It?

woman taking notes and reading a book and looking at her laptop


Tori Troncone – cbn.com

I’m frugal. I’m the bargain-shopper that my mother raised me to be. It’s not like I don’t like spending money. I just really like saving money.

Before any big purchase, I spend days (sometimes weeks!) comparing different brands and options to see if I can get a similar value for a lower cost. Before making the final purchase I always ask myself, “Is this worth it?”

While I am often very proud of my bargain shopping, one place where I don’t want to count costs or look for a better deal is in my walk with Christ. Walking with Christ often requires different kinds of sacrifice. Whether it be our finances, free time, personal plans, or social status, there are many things we may need to fully surrender to Christ. When I know I need to surrender something to the Lord, I might ask myself, is it worth it?

Mark 14:3-9 is the account of Jesus’ anointing at Bethany. An unnamed woman pours a flask of pure nard over Jesus’ head. In other words, this woman used an entire year’s worth of wages in very expensive oil to glorify Christ as her King and Savior. Some sitting around the table are furious about what they’ve just seen:

Some of those at the table were indignant. “Why waste such expensive perfume?” they asked. “It could have been sold for a year’s wages and the money given to the poor!” So they scolded her harshly (Mark 14:4-5 NLT).

But Jesus doesn’t scold her.

But Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. Why criticize her for doing such a good thing to me? … Wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed” (Mark 14:6,9).

This was a beautiful, sacrificial act of worship, exalting Jesus as the Messiah, that we still talk about today! But it came at a very high cost. She didn’t use just some of the oil. She didn’t try to do just enough to get by. She spared no expense when it came to Jesus.

Are we willing to do the same with our lives? Maybe we’re afraid to give our lives fully to Christ because we’re afraid of looking foolish. When we make sacrifices to honor Christ, others may not understand. Just like those at the table in Bethany, they might think of it as a waste of time, money, or energy. But Christ says:

“If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23).

When we love God and live for Him, we get to spend eternity with Him. We can spend days, weeks, and even years trying to replace a relationship with Christ with the things of this world, but in this case, there is nothing of similar value for a lower cost. No better deal exists!

Father God, teach us to worship and honor You as You deserve without worrying about what it will cost us. Give us the wisdom and strength to lay down the things of this world at Your feet and to walk in right relationship with You, regardless of what the world may think of us for doing so.

“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever” (Psalms 16:11).

Finding Peace in Calamity

  HABAKKUK 3:17-19

Though . . . the fields produce no food . . . yet I will rejoice in the Lord . . . in God my Savior.

—  Habakkuk 3:17-18

After watching the daily news, our media listener Natasha shot us a note: “How can I find peace and joy in the midst of what’s going on today?”

Perhaps you find yourself asking the same question as you follow the news or receive a worrisome personal update. How do you respond to bad news and reports of trouble and struggle in so many ­places? What happens to your walk with the Lord?

Today we turn to one of the most powerful affirmations of faith in all of Scripture. Faced with news of an upcoming war, the prophet Habakkuk anticipates food shortages and hunger throughout the land. But in the face of such calamity, he declares that he will still rejoice in God his Savior. External circumstances are not going to stop him from finding personal peace and joy in the Lord.

As Christians, we can rejoice in the midst of the most challenging circumstances because of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Even in the toughest of times—such as having to look death in the face—we know that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

In the midst of bad news and hard times, never forget that God loves us, no matter what. By his Spirit he comforts us. He is always in full control of our lives. That joyful reality gives us peace even in the most difficult of times.

Lord, thank you for being with us always! Give us strength to rejoice in you, no matter what troubles we face. Amen.

The solar eclipse

By: Charles Spurgeon

“I form the light, and create darkness.” Isaiah 45:7

Suggested Further Reading: Ecclesiastes 1:1-10

Since God has made the ecliptic, or the circle, the great rule of nature, it is impossible but that eclipses should occur. Now, did you ever notice that in providence the circle is God’s rule still. The earth is here to-day; it will be in the same place this day next year; it will go round the circle; it gets no further. It is just so in providence. God began the circle of his providence in Eden. That is where he will end. There was a paradise on earth, when God began his providential dealings with mankind; there will be a paradise at the end. It is the same with your providence. Naked you came forth from your mother’s womb, and naked you must return to the earth. It is a circle. Where God has begun, there will he end; and as God has taken the rule of the circle in providence, as well as in nature, eclipses must be sure to occur. Moving in the predestined orbit of divine wisdom, the eclipse is absolutely and imperatively necessary in God’s plan of government. Troubles must come; afflictions must befall; it must needs be that for a season you should be in heaviness, through manifold temptations. But I have said, that eclipses must also occur in grace, and it is so. God’s rule in grace is still the circle. Man was originally pure and holy; that is what God’s grace will make him at last. He was pure when he was made by God in the garden. That is what God shall make him, when he comes to fashion him like unto his own glorious image, and present him complete in heaven. We begin our piety by denying the world, by being full of love to God; we often decline in grace, and God will bring us back to the state in which we were when we first began.

For meditation: This sermon was occasioned by the anticipation of the solar eclipse on the following day. Meditate on the significance of the most important solar eclipse in all history. Remember this was not an astronomical eclipse, since it occurred at Passover—full moon (Luke 23:44-46)!

Present privilege and future favour

‘The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.’ Deuteronomy 33:27

Suggested Further Reading: Hebrews 13:8,20–21

I wish you to notice those two words which are the pith of the text. ‘The eternal God,’ ‘everlasting arms.’ The eternal God.’ Here is antiquity. The God who was before all worlds is for ever my God. O how I love that word ‘eternal;’ but, brethren and sisters, there are some people who do not believe in an eternal God, at any rate they do not believe in him as being theirs eternally. They do not believe that they belonged to Christ before they were born; they have a notion that they only had God to be theirs when they believed on him for the first time. They do not believe in covenant settlements, and eternal decrees, and the ancient purposes of the Most High; but let me say that for comfort, there is no thought more full of sweetness than that of an eternal God engaged in Christ Jesus to his people; to love, and bless, and save them all. One who has made them the distinguished objects of his discriminating regard from all eternity, it is the eternal God. And then there are the ‘everlasting arms,’ arms that will never flag, arms that will never grow weary, arms that will never lose their strength. Then put the two words ‘eternal’ and ‘everlasting’ together, and they remind us of another sweet word—unchangeability. An everlasting God that faints not, neither is weary, that changes not, and turns not from his promise, such is the God we delight to adore and to use as our eternal shelter, our dwelling-place, and our support.

For meditation: Each person of the Trinity is eternal; it should be no surprise that the eternal God has secured an eternal salvation for all who believe (1 Timothy 1:16–17Hebrews 9:12,14–1513:8,20). Knowing the eternal God is life eternal (John 17:3). What right have we to question this?

We Will Be There Soon


We Will Be There Soon

happy mom and her daughter in a red car


Marissa Nordlum – ,  C’BN.com

I grew up in a road trip-taking family. You know one when you see one. My parents would pile all my siblings and me into the car, pack sandwiches for lunch on the road, and play road trip games like “punch buggy”—remember that game? Our summer vacations always consisted of long road trips, sometimes traveling across the country. While those days were long, I have fond memories of those trips and the many hours I spent in the car with my family.

Anyone who has ever taken a road trip with children knows the age-old question that is always asked: “Are we there yet?” My siblings and I would ask that exact question on every single road trip, almost every hour of the drive. To which my parents would reply, “Not yet. We will be there soon.”

When I think of the “end times” or the second coming of Christ, I often ask myself as an adult the same question I did as a child on a road trip, “Are we there yet?” If we take one look around at our world and culture today, it is no surprise that we are experiencing what some would call signs of the end times. We live in a broken, hopeless world filled with war, famine, and disaster. We absolutely need a savior, and the second coming of Christ sometimes feels so very near. However, the Bible is certain that while we won’t know the day or the hour, we can be prepared.

Mark 13:32-33 (ESV) states,

“But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come.”

The Bible is clear that we do not know when Christ will return. However, we can be prepared in the waiting. It is easy to go about our life and our day-to-day routine without living in the light of eternity. We must make the conscious decision to be alert and awake, prepared for Christ’s return to arrive, just as it tells us in the book of Mark.

So, what does that mean for you and me to stay on guard, prepared for Christ’s return? Maybe that means joining a small group at your church, volunteering with a local shelter, or witnessing to your family and friends who do not yet know Jesus. Maybe that means devoting yourself to prayer, reading your Bible every day, or even coming back to an intimate relationship with Jesus as your Lord and Savior. It is never too late to return to Christ, and the Bible tells us that today is the day of salvation. What a beautiful hope we have in that! 2 Corinthians 6:2 says,

“…Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

Jesus is waiting with arms open wide. He welcomes us in and calls us sons and daughters of the King (2 Corinthians 6:18). Today, if we have “fallen asleep” to the things of God, would we wake up and be on guard again? Would we invite Christ into our lives to transform us and then ask Him to show us how to witness to those around us?

We know Heaven is the road trip destination to our life here on earth, and while we are on the journey, we can be prepared and alert, ready for Christ to arrive.

When It’s Not Your Day

MARCH 13, 2023

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

d3.13-23After rounding the first corner of a fitted sheet over my mattress, I moved to the second corner but discovered I had started with the short end. Rotating the sheet, I tried again. But as I smoothed the second corner, the first popped off. Ugh!

I jerked at the sheet in frustration, muttering, “Not my day.”

Wait a minute. Where did that come from? Had I not written to my Facebook friends about the joy of the morning just hours before? “It’s a beautiful morning. Sun shining, cool breeze, birds singing, warm mug of coffee … Happy moment!”

Yet suddenly, my mouth spouted words that categorized the entire day as bad because of one obstinate bedsheet.

In the scheme of things, a fitted sheet is a blip on life’s radar. And no matter what struggles enter my day, I don’t need to default to a “bad day” mentality. God is still on the throne, He is good, He loves me, and His blessings embrace every aspect of my life.

Still … I catch myself thinking those irrelevant, negative phrases more often than I care to admit:

You always do that.
They’ll never change.
I’m not good enough.
I can never do anything right.

I know they’re not true. And I could wave my thoughts aside, justifying them in the emotion of the moment, but the problem is, if you and I say or think those negative ideas often enough, they become like tiny seeds that germinate and take root in the well-watered corners of our memories. Soon, the same thought comes more frequently with greater intensity, and we accept as truth what is actually a lie our enemy would have us believe.

I like the how-to advice Paul gave the Corinthian church in 2 Corinthians 10:5: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Why should we destroy and imprison arguments and statements that go against what God says? Because if we don’t, they are free to run wild. They’ll take up residence in our brains. Eventually we’ll say them, and those who hear us will be infected too. Those casual, untrue statements are as unwholesome as any foul language and do nothing to build up our faith or benefit those who overhear us. (Ephesians 4:29)

We can’t prevent those thoughts from sounding in our brains, but we can refuse to mull over them. Think about the imagery Paul used: “take captive every thought.” Like putting up a blockade to divert unwanted traffic, we have the choice to confine our negative thoughts and false words. We refuse to let the thoughts continue; in fact, we walk away from their influence.

Another of Paul’s letters encourages us to keep our minds focused on what is true, just, lovely and admirable. (Philippians 4:8) As you read that, you might think, But my thoughts are true! Just not always positive …

If that’s you, consider this: Looking at the positive or lovely reveals just as much truth as looking at the negative side of things — so why not balance our talk with positive words?

I considered this as I took a breath and unclenched the sheet in my fists. It was my day. More importantly, it was God’s day because He made it. Nothing had to separate me from thoughts about the great love God has for me — not even a fitted bedsheet.

You don’t have to let unruly negative talk infect your day either. Fight back with the words God has spoken about who He is and who you are through Him.

The Deeds of the Lord – Streams in the Desert – March 13

  • 202313 Mar

They sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb: “Great and astounding are your deeds, Lord God, the All-Powerful! Just and true are your ways, King over the nations! (Rev 15:3)

The following incident is related by Mrs. Charles Spurgeon, who was a great sufferer for more than a quarter of a century:

“At the close of a dark and gloomy day, I lay resting on my couch as the deeper night drew on; and though all was bright within my cozy room, some of the external darkness seemed to have entered into my soul and obscured its spiritual vision. Vainly I tried to see the Hand which I knew held mine, and guided my fog-enveloped feet along a steep and slippery path of suffering. In sorrow of heart I asked,

“’Why does my Lord thus deal with His child? Why does He so often send sharp and bitter pain to visit me? Why does He permit lingering weakness to hinder the sweet service I long to render to His poor servants?’

“These fretful questions were quickly answered, and through a strange language; no interpreter was needed save the conscious whisper of my heart.

“For a while silence reigned in the little room, broken only by the crackling of the oak log burning in the fireplace. Suddenly I heard a sweet, soft sound, a little, clear, musical note, like the tender trill of a robin beneath my window.

“’What can it be? surely no bird can be singing out there at this time of the year and night.’

“Again came the faint, plaintive notes, so sweet, so melodious, yet mysterious enough to provoke our wonder. My friend exclaimed,

“’It comes from the log on the fire!’ The fire was letting loose the imprisoned music from the old oak’s inmost heart!

“Perchance he had garnered up this song in the days when all was well with him, when birds twittered merrily on his branches, and the soft sunlight flecked his tender leaves with gold. But he had grown old since then, and hardened; ring after ring of knotty growth had sealed up the long-forgotten melody, until the fierce tongues of the flames came to consume his callousness, and the vehement heart of the fire wrung from him at once a song and a sacrifice. ’Ah,’ thought I, ’when the fire of affliction draws songs of praise from us, then indeed we are purified, and our God is glorified!’

“Perhaps some of us are like this old oak log, cold, hard, insensible; we should give forth no melodious sounds, were it not for the fire which kindles around us, and releases notes of trust in Him, and cheerful compliance with His will.

“’As I mused the fire burned,’ and my soul found sweet comfort in the parable so strangely set forth before me.

“Singing in the fire! Yes, God helping us, if that is the only way to get harmony out of these hard apathetic hearts, let the furnace be heated seven times hotter than before.”

Today’s Devotions


March 13

Numbers 22:31-32 31Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown. 32The angel of the LORD asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.

It is interesting that animals can see the spiritual realm, but man must have his eyes opened. Balaam’s donkey had tried to avoid the angel in the road with a drawn sword. Because Balaam could not see the angel at first, he beat his donkey for what he thought was stubbornness. The angel of the LORD (whom I believe is Jesus) enabled the beast to talk. Then the angel asked why Balaam had beaten his donkey. It seems God cares for these beasts. Proverbs tell us that a righteous man regards the life of his beast.

Though the LORD gave Balaam permission to go visit with the leaders that wanted to curse Israel, we later find out that Balaam’s heart was giving in to greed. He knew God did not want to curse them, but he was holding out hope that he could somehow receive the reward offered. We have to watch carefully for these subtle heart changes from obedience and submission to greed. Don’t dwell on what the world has to offer.

The LORD was angry with Balaam, even though they seemed to be on talking terms. The more we know, the more we are accountable. Balaam knew God and communed with Him, but greed captured his heart. He spurned his relationship with God by going after gain. When our path is a reckless one that will harm us, the faithfulness of God comes to oppose our recklessness. That is the mercy of God.

Meditation: Have I met the resistance of God opposing my recklessness? Do I recognize it as God’s mercy?

Moving Forward in Faith

Moving Forward in Faith



Gordon Robertson – President and CEO, CBN

As Christians, we are on a journey of faith where our ultimate destiny is heaven. The Israelites’ exodus from Egypt is like a pilgrim’s progress that serves as a lesson for our journey today. They saw the Red Sea part. They were given manna and water in the desert. Yet when it was time to enter Canaan, they didn’t believe God—so they wandered 40 years in the wilderness.

Their leader, Moses, was a friend of God who spoke with Him face to face and received the law at Sinai—yet was not allowed to enter the Promised Land. He told the people in Deuteronomy 3:26,

“The Lord was angry with me on your account.”

Yet God also gave Moses a wonderful promise:

“I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him” (Deuteronomy 18:18).

Jesus fulfilled this as a prophet, ruler, and priest. God poured out all of His wrath on His Son, which means there is none left for you and me.

Of course, like the Israelites, we need to recognize that God is a consuming fire. We must watch to see where He is moving at every point along our journey so we can advance from glory to glory. And as we focus on our ultimate destination, we want to equip others for the journey as well.

God told Moses:

“Command Joshua, and encourage him and strengthen him; for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which you will see” (Deuteronomy 3:28).

It’s vital for each generation to transmit the faith to the next generation and teach them how to inherit God’s promises. Moses said in Deuteronomy 4:5:

“I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess.”

Paul echoed this in writing to Timothy:

Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:13).

So, who is your Timothy? Who is your Joshua? May God bless you on your journey as you share your faith with the next generation.

Today’s Devotions


March 12

Numbers 21:8-9 8The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” 9So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived.

After more wandering in the wilderness because of their refusal to trust God, the Children of Israel became impatient. They began to complain again about their conditions. It was their own actions and their own requests that had placed them there, but they began to blame it on Moses. It is always easier to point the finger at someone else than to blame ourselves.

God sent poisonous snakes amongst them as a judgment. (There are still poisonous snakes with a fiery bite in that region of the desert) The people began to cry out to Moses for help. Our song changes from a whine to a plea when we are in a life and death situation.

The LORD’s instruction was to take a pole and place upon it a bronze snake. If the people would just turn and look at it they would be healed from the deadly venom. Here is another wonderful picture of what God did for us. Bronze is representative of judgment. The snake is the cursed being that was used by Satan to trick Eve and thereby bring the venom of sin and death into the world. One day that sin would be judged upon a pole (John 3:15). All we need to do to be cured of sin’s deadly venom is to look and live. If we will have faith that sin has been judged in the One who hung there, we will live. Thank the LORD for His wonderful plan of salvation. Look and live!

Prayer: Thank You Lord, for making it so easy for me to come to You. Help me look to You daily and live.

Streams in the Desert – March 12

  • 202312 Mar

So Moses extended his staff over the land of Egypt, and then the Lord brought an east wind on the land all that day and all night. The morning came, and the east wind had brought up the locusts! and the Lord turned a very strong west wind, and it picked up the locusts and blew them into the Red Sea. Not one locust remained in all the territory of Egypt. (Exod 10:13,19)

See how in the olden times, when the Lord fought for Israel against the cruel Pharaoh, the stormy winds wrought out their deliverance; and yet again, in that grandest display of power—the last blow that God struck at the proud defiance of Egypt. A strange, almost cruel thing it must have seemed to Israel to he hemmed in by such a host of dangers—in front the wild sea defying them, on either hand the rocky heights cutting off all hope of escape, the night of hurricane gathering over them. It was as if that first deliverance had come only to hand them over to more certain death. Completing the terror there rang out the cry: “The Egyptians are upon us!”

When it seemed they were trapped for the foe, then came the glorious triumph. Forth swept the stormy wind and beat back the waves, and the hosts of Israel marched forward, down into the path of the great deep—a way arched over with God’s protecting love.

On either hand were the crystal walls glowing in the light of the glory of the Lord; and high above them swept the thunder of the storm. So on through all that night; and when, at dawn of the next day, the last of Israel’s host set foot upon the other shore, the work of the stormy wind was done.

Then sang Israel unto the Lord the song of the “stormy wind fulfilling his word.”

“The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil…Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters.”

One day, by God’s great mercy, we, too, shall stand upon the sea of glass, having the harps of God. Then we shall sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb: “Just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.” We shall know then how the stormy winds have wrought out our deliverance.

Now you see only the mystery of this great sorrow; then you shall see how the threatening enemy was swept away in the wild night of fear and grief.

Now you look only at the loss; then you shall see how it struck at the evil that had begun to rivet its fetters upon you.

Now you shrink from the howling winds and muttering thunders; then you shall see how they beat back the waters of destruction, and opened up your way to the goodly land of promise.
—Mark Guy Pearse

“Though winds are wild,
And the gale unleashed,
My trusting heart still sings:
I know that they mean
No harm to me,
He rideth on their wings.”

Election and holiness

By: Charles Spurgeon

“Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is. Only the Lord had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.” Deuteronomy 10:14-16

Suggested Further Reading: Isaiah 45:1-13

Preaching a few months ago in the midst of a large congregation of Methodists, the brethren were all alive, giving all kinds of answers to my sermon, nodding their heads and crying,“Amen!” “Hallelujah!” “Glory be to God!” and the like. They completely woke me up. My spirit was stirred, and I preached away with an unusual force and vigour; and the more I preached the more they cried, “Amen!” “Hallelujah!” “Glory be to God!” At last, a part of text led me to what is styled high doctrine. So I said, this brings me to the doctrine of election. There was a deep drawing of breath. “Now, my friends, you believe it;” they seemed to say “No, we don’t.” But you do, and I will make you sing “Hallelujah!” over it. I will so preach it to you that you will acknowledge it and believe it. So I put it thus: Is there no difference between you and other men? “Yes, yes; glory be to God, glory!” There is a difference between what you were and what you are now? “Oh, yes! oh, yes!” There is sitting by your side a man who has been to the same chapel as you have, heard the same gospel, he is unconverted, and you are converted. Who has made the difference, yourself or God? “The Lord!” said they, “the Lord! Glory! Hallelujah!” Yes, cried I, and that is the doctrine of election; that is all I contend for, that if there is a difference the Lord makes the difference. Some good man came up to me and said, “Thou’rt right, lad! thou’rt right. I believe thy doctrine of election; I do not believe it as it is preached by some people, but I believe that we must give the glory to God; we must put the crown on the right head.”

For meditation: The doctrines of God give God all the glory. The doctrines of man seek to steal some of God’s glory to give to man instead (Isaiah 42:6-8).


The Secret to Staying in the Spirit’s Flow


The Secret to Staying in the Spirit’s Flow

cupped hands holding water


Gordon Robertson – President and CEO, CBN

Our lives should overflow with the Holy Spirit so much that we are infectious—spreading God’s presence wherever we go. Yet why is the Spirit’s flow hindered sometimes?

One obvious blockage is sin. The good news is that we simply need to repent and turn to Jesus, and He will cleanse and restore us.

Another major hindrance is unforgiveness. We may feel justified in holding a grudge because someone hurt us, stole from us, mocked or betrayed us.

Yet Jesus says,

“If you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you” (Mark 11:25 NKJV).

While I was living in the Philippines, a man betrayed me in a big way. It was tempting to daydream about getting even. Fortunately, I had to leave for India, where I was supposed to minister with evangelist D.G.S. Dhinakaran. When he looked at my countenance, however, he said, “You are not ready to minister to anybody right now.”

When you hold onto an offense, bitterness gets deep in your spirit. It affects what you say and do, and you can’t minister to anyone.

He gave me the verse,

I pour out my complaint before Him (Psalm 142:2).

He explained that this doesn’t mean you complain to God; rather, you pour out your complaint before Him—and as you do, forgive.

Then he looked at me and said gently, “When Jesus was betrayed, He said,

‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do’” (Luke 23:34).

He added, “Jesus poured out His forgiveness for them, and at that point He entered into His greatest ministry.”

Those words changed my life. I have learned that the secret to staying in the flow of the Spirit is to continue to forgive. Something amazing happens when you say, “I’m not going to hold that against them anymore,” and you release forgiveness toward those who hurt you.

Once you get in the habit, you can quickly sense dislocation in your relationships and take steps to make things right. Pour unforgiveness out of your spirit and out of your heart—and if it ever comes back into your memory, pour it out again.

Offenses will come into your life; yet Ephesians 4:26-27 says,

Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.

Being Merciful to Others

By Emily Rose Massey, Crosswalk. com

“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, [t]expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:35-36, NASB).

A couple of months ago, I shared in a blog post about a situation some years back where my husband and I were unnecessarily judged with some harsh words spoken behind our backs by some former pastors. They were warning others to not make associations with us because we are “dangerous.” I offered the readers some wisdom found in Luke 6But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28, NASB).

I was trying to make the point in the blog post that instead of holding onto a grudge and allowing bitterness to form in my heart, I needed to forgive and pray for these pastors just as Christ encourages us to do. Then recently, I received an email from a reader criticizing this blog post and explaining how we can only forgive someone of the wrong that they have done to us unless they repent. This individual essentially was making the assertion that since God holds someone’s sin against them (when they are not in Christ), we needed to do the same. This argument cannot be found anywhere in the Bible, dear ones. On top of the criticism, I was accused of being prideful, not sincere, not a believer, spreading falsehoods about the gospel, and was told to “be dammed.” What a perfectly timed opportunity for me to put these scriptures on showing mercy into practice once again!

Friends, we don’t have to look very far in the scriptures to see how we are to treat others who have sinned against us (some helpful passages are listed below). In fact, Luke 6 is a wonderful chapter to reflect upon. I mentioned Luke 6:27-28 above, and Jesus repeats this sentiment again further in this same passage:

“But love your enemies, and do goo, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:35-36, NASB).

Today’s Devotions


March 9

Numbers 14:28, 33 28So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the LORD, I will do to you the very things I heard you say:

33Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the desert.

The nation had come right up to the boundaries of the Promised Land and been afraid to trust God. They wanted to kill Moses and Joshua and elect a new leader to take them back to Egypt. Their lament was, “If only we had died in Egypt or in this wilderness.” So God gave them their request. They wished they had died in the wilderness, and their sentence is exactly what they asked for. God’s sentence is often to give man what he demands. If we could just have faith that what He has planned for us is so much better than our own ideas, we would move forward into the Promised Land. Instead, many demand death in the desert.

That is sad, and yet it is what we asked for. But the saddest of all is that our children suffer from our faithless choices. While we are wandering in the wilderness, they are wandering with us. Instead of settling them down in the Promised Land, and giving them a better start in life, we leave the battles ahead to them. Faith and the fruit of it are the greatest inheritances you could possibly leave your children. A nice cave in the desert near a spring does not compare.

How is your life affecting your children? Are you beginning a legacy of faith or building a foundation on shifting sand? Our lives are so much more important than our own daily comfort. What are you sowing?

Meditation: What kind of spiritual legacy will I leave my childr

Lessons in the Tunnel


Lessons in the Tunnel


Lori Wilkerson Stewart – 700 Club Producer

I was crossing a bridge on my drive home from church. With an excruciating headache, I’d left the Sunday morning service after worship, and now regretted missing the sermon. But, I was well aware the Holy Spirit could speak to me while driving home. So as I came to the bridge, I began to think about the bridge being a metaphor for Jesus — His death on a cross made a way for me to come to God. As I thanked the Lord for His sacrifice, I asked the Lord a question, “If bridges have a spiritual meaning, what about tunnels?”

Silently, I waited for an answer. Living near the Atlantic coast, you put up with two things — bridges and tunnels. I prefer bridges because you can see where you’re headed. Tunnels, I strongly dislike. But tunnels are necessary too. As I listened, the Holy Spirit had much to say on the subject.

1. Tunnels allow huge boats to cross above. When we’re in a tunnel we have no idea what’s going on above. For instance, ships too large to sail under a bridge can easily glide over a tunnel. God showed me that when we’re in a place in our lives where it may seem nothing’s happening, He is moving and shifting big things into place. God is leading us into something, but not all the pieces of the puzzle are in position yet.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9 NIV).

2. In a tunnel, I can only see directly in front of me. This is what makes me nervous about tunnels. I feel totally dependent on the car in front of me. I can’t take my eyes off his brake lights — if he slows, I must slow. I must stay completely focused. As Christians, we can be assured God is driving the car in front of us, He knows where He’s going, and all we have to do is simply follow Him. In life, sometimes we can’t see down the road. All we can see is today. Therefore, we must live today to the best of our ability, focus on the task at hand, and trust God to reveal more information in time.

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him (Matthew 8:23).

3. In a tunnel, we can’t change lanes. Most of us have experienced God placing us in a position we didn’t choose. Sometimes, we want a new assignment, but God is saying, “Stay where you are. Stand still. Don’t move to the right or to the left. Follow Me.”

“Now then, stand still and see this great thing the LORD is about to do before your eyes” (1 Samuel 12:16)!

So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left (Deuteronomy 5:32).

4. Once we’re in the tunnel, there’s no turning back. If we’ve committed to going into the tunnel, guess what? No U-turns. No stopping. Not even an emergency lane. In fact, if we attempt any of those things, we will cause a dangerous accident affecting everyone else in the tunnel. We’ve all known believers who turned away and quit. Look around at the damage they left behind—pain, hurt, disappointment, divorce, disease, and even death.

Our hearts had not turned back; our feet had not strayed from your path (Psalm 44:18).

5. There’s light at the end of a tunnel. I love when light appears and I can finally see I’m almost at the end. Any anxiety I feel disappears, and I know I’m going to make it out ok.

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you” (Isaiah 60:1).

6. Every tunnel takes us to the other side. What’s on the other side? Daylight, fresh air, an open sky, a panoramic view, a new place, a destination, fresh hope, and a bright future — all good things!

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

If we’re in the tunnel, it’s imperative we trust God and stay close to Him — pray, listen, and pray some more. It’s never easy or enjoyable in the tunnel, but it’s only temporary! We will make it to the other side!

United for His Glory

Pin on Truth


Gordon Robertson – President and CEO, CBN

God makes an astounding pronouncement in Isaiah 41:5:

Behold, I will make you into a new threshing slege.” (NKJ

When I read this, the image that immediately came to mind was of a giant harvester—a huge machine that swiftly threshes entire fields of wheat.

God has called us as His followers to serve together as a massive harvester going throughout the whole earth, gathering millions of souls for His kingdom.

At the same time, we are to be mindful of the value of each individual. In 1994, when Jesus appeared to me at the Godavari River in India, He called me by name and said: “Gordon, if you were the only one to believe, I still would have come just for you.”

That same message is also for you. Jesus would have come if you had been the only one. And when you really understand this, it changes you. It has definitely changed me.

Jesus gives us this beautiful picture in Luke 15:4-6:

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’”

Never forget that He went looking for you. And every life is a thought from God. The Apostle Paul says:

He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world. … For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 1:4, 2:10)

How amazing to think that God tailored events in history so that you and I would participate in this time of global harvest.

There are different styles of ministry, just as there were differences between Paul and Apollos in the New Testament. Yet Paul instructs us to be united in our labor for the Lord:

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building (1 Corinthians 3:6-9)

This passage is wonderfully empowering and equalizing. We are all in this together. I’ve always marveled that God chose us as His fellow workers—because if I were God, I wouldn’t have. I would have chosen angels who do exactly what they’re told. They don’t argue or complain. They just obey.

Yet God has chosen us. And the amazing thing is that God believes we can do it. He has faith in us. He trusts us with the Gospel. He trusts us with the eternal destiny of other people, because they are God’s field and His building.

Sometimes we may be tempted to run away from our destiny. The task may seem overwhelming, or the things of this world may be distracting. Yet when we understand that God has nothing but good in store for us, it becomes easy to go all in and say, “Okay, God; I’ll do it your way.”

When a student asked me how to move forward with God in a certain situation, I replied, “Well, have you died today?” We all need to die daily as we do the ministry of the Lord.

Jesus tells us in Luke 9:23-24:

“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.”

We should regularly ask ourselves, Is my life surrendered or have I taken it up again? As Hudson Taylor said, “Christ is either Lord of all, or He is not Lord at all.”

We may be tempted to take a break from following the teachings of Jesus; however, that can cause us to miss out on what God has for us today. His thoughts are not limited to this particular moment in time. He is always thinking about eternity. We don’t want to miss any divine appointments, when the lost would turn if they could see Jesus in us in that moment.

That’s why it is important to check our motivations. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to examine our aspirations and the inner longings of our hearts. Why do we want certain things? Are they of the world or the kingdom of God? Are we working to be recognized, out of personal pride? The Bible is very clear.

Streams in the Desert – March 8

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So now, O Lord, may the promise you made about your servant and his family become a permanent reality! Do as you promised, so it may become a reality and you may gain lasting fame, as people say, ‘The Lord who commands armies is the God of Israel.’ David’s dynasty will be established before you, (1 Chr 17:23-24).

This is a most blessed phase of true prayer. Many a time we ask for things which are not absolutely promised. We are not sure therefore until we have persevered for some time whether our petitions are in the line of God’s purpose or no. There are other occasions, and in the life of David this was one, when we are fully persuaded that what we ask is according to God’s will. We feel led to take up and plead some promise from the page of Scripture, under the special impression that it contains a message for us. At such times, in confident faith, we say, “Do as Thou hast said.” There is hardly any position more utterly beautiful, strong, or safe, than to put the finger upon some promise of the Divine word, and claim it. There need be no anguish, or struggle, or wrestling; we simply present the check and ask for cash, produce the promise, and claim its fulfillment; nor can there be any doubt as to the issue. It would give much interest to prayer, if we were more definite. It is far better to claim a few things specifically than a score vaguely.
—F. B. Meyer

Every promise of Scripture is a writing of God, which may be pleaded before Him with this reasonable request: “Do as Thou hast said.” The Creator will not cheat His creature who depends upon His truth; and far more, the Heavenly Father will not break His word to His own child.

“Remember the word unto thy servant, on which thou hast caused me to hope,” is most prevalent pleading. It is a double argument: it is Thy Word. Wilt Thou not keep it? Why hast thou spoken of it, if Thou wilt not make it good. Thou hast caused me to hope in it, wilt Thou disappoint the hope which Thou has Thyself begotten in me?
—C. H. Spurgeon

“Being absolutely certain that whatever promise he is bound by, he is able also to make good” (Rom. 4:21, Weymouth’s Translation).

It is the everlasting faithfulness of God that makes a Bible promise “exceeding great and precious.” Human promises are often worthless. Many a broken promise has left a broken heart. But since the world was made, God has never broken a single promise made to one of His trusting children.

Oh, it is sad for a poor Christian to stand at the door of the promise, in the dark night of affliction, afraid to draw the latch, whereas he should then come boldly for shelter as a child into his father’s house.

Every promise is built upon four pillars: God’s justice and holiness, which will not suffer Him to deceive; His grace or goodness, which will not suffer Him to forget; His truth, which will not suffer Him to change, which makes Him able to accomplish.

You Have No Choice But to Forgive

By Clarence L. Haynes Jr., Crosswalk.com

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” – Colossians 3:13

When you think about the marks of a Christian, there is one mark that should be present, which sometimes we can too easily gloss over. That mark is forgiveness. When we need forgiveness, it is amazing how we seek after it. Yet when we must give forgiveness, sometimes we can be a little slow on the draw. Have you ever wondered why that is? One reason is we forget how much we have been forgiven, and when that happens, we can treat the act of forgiving someone else as if we are doing them a favor instead of extending grace that we ourselves have received. I want to remind you if you are going to be a true follower of Christ, then you must exercise forgiveness. You really have no choice if you truly want to follow Christ.

Why Must You Forgive?
There really is one good reason why you must forgive. Because God has forgiven you. That alone should be enough to motivate you to forgive others, and yet, many times, it is not. I want you to look back on your life for a moment and think about all the sins you have committed against God and against other people. (I would ask you to start writing them down, but you will soon discover that list is going to get very long.) Regardless of how long that list is when you came to Christ, that entire list was wiped clean. God forgave all your sins because of the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for you. You don’t need any other reason to forgive someone because this one reason is enough

A Terrible Example of Forgiveness
In Matthew 18, Jesus tells the story of the unmerciful servant. Allow me to sum up the story for you. A man owed the king a debt of ten thousand bags of gold. Just for perspective, one bag of gold was the equivalent of twenty years of a day laborer’s salary. This servant owed ten thousand bags. It would have taken him two hundred thousand years to repay the debt, which means the debt was never going to be repaid. Not by him, not by his family, nor by any generations of people that came after him. However, even though he owed the king this much debt, the king chose to show him mercy and forgive his debt. This same servant then went out and found a man who owed him a hundred silver coins which was the equivalent of a day’s pay. This man could have easily repaid this debt, possibly in as little as one day. However, this servant had the man thrown in jail because he could not repay him. When the king heard this, he rebuked him and had him thrown in jail because he failed to show mercy and forgiveness for a small debt after he had received it for his big debt.

May I ask you to guess who we are in the story? By comparison, we are the man who owed a debt we would never be able to repay, and yet God, in his mercy, forgave us. After having received so much mercy, why then do we harbor unforgiveness toward those who have hurt us? Unfortunately, saying “but you don’t know what they did to me” is not good enough. If you should ever feel this way, all you have to do is remember how big your sin list was and how many times you violated God’s commands and yet today, you stand forgiven. Let me say this. There is no reason to justify not wanting to forgive someone. It does not matter what they have done. To think otherwise is to behave like this unmerciful servant forgetting how big a sin debt you really owed. Let’s not be that person.

A Practical Exercise
As you look inward today, ask the Lord to show you if there is anyone you have not forgiven, and then forgive that person. Forgiveness does not mean you forget; it means you no longer hold it against that person. When you can do that, you are operating in the grace and forgiveness you have received. I promise you will be thankful that you did.

He Is Yahweh: The Eternal God Will Carry You Through

He Is Yahweh: The Eternal God Will Carry You Trough

family walking together on a sunny day with a mountain in the background


Paul J. Palma – Professor, Regent University Biblical Studies & Christian Ministries

The journey of fatherhood remains filled with immense reward. One of my wife and I’s favorite pastimes has always been going for outdoor walks together. We love hitting the trails at local parks to soak in the fresh air, get in a cardio workout, and behold the beauty of God’s creation. When our son and first child, Joseph, was born, we decided to take him along for our weekly outdoor adventures. Accomplishing this meant strapping him to my chest in a snugli. He enjoyed the ride and smiled ear to ear to have the front seat view. And I didn’t mind the added weight, which equaled a better leg workout and more calories burned.

I carried our little guy up and down the rolling hills, around winding trails, and through rugged terrain for miles at a time. Of course, I had to exercise care. Some paths were too treacherous to tread with a toddler in tow.

Similarly, God looked after the Hebrew people as he led them through the barren land of the Sinai wilderness:

The LORD your God, who goes before you, is the one who will fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your very eyes, and in the wilderness, where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, just as one carries a child, all the way that you traveled until you reached this place (Deuteronomy 1:30-31, NRSVEU).

For 40 years, “the Lord” (Hebrew, Yahweh) ushered the Israelites through unfamiliar desert lands, revealing Himself strong on their behalf amid hunger, dehydration, and the many quarrels threatening to divide them. He steered his people’s course and, in due time, brought them into Canaan, the Promised Land.

Since Joseph, we added two more kids to the mix—our twin girls, Katarina and Theresa. While it’s not practical to strap two kids to my chest in snuglis, we found a double stroller and started taking the girls on many of the same excursions as when it was just three of us. As our kids grow up, I aim to be there for them, to guide and see them through no matter what obstacles lie in their path. I will walk beside them through whatever valleys they have to cross or mountains to climb for as many years as I have on God’s green earth.

Yet, as surely as the terrain changes, my days on earth are destined to come to an end. Thus it behooves my wife and me to build into our kids a solid foundation in the faith, teaching them the ways of God’s Word and the power of prayer. This way, even after our time on earth comes to an end, they (and we) can rest assured that Yahweh (literally, “I am the I am”) will carry them through. The meaning of this Hebrew name implies the self-existence and eternality of God. The life and purposes of Yahweh are not conditioned on any other being in the universe; indeed, He created everyone and everything. He is the eternal God, existing from the beginning of time (even before time since He’s the author of time itself). Because God has always been and always will be, I find consolation in the reality that although my days here on earth are numbered, He will still be standing by to look after my children long after I am gone.

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you (Isaiah 46:4, NIV).

Our heavenly Father walks beside us to steer our course and direct our path through whatever wilderness we face, now and forevermore. Indeed, even after we grow old and weary, Yahweh is still keeping watch over our posterity to guide, sustain, and rescue our dear ones in their hour of need. We can have confidence that the Eternal One will one day bring to fruition His plan, ushering every child of God into the Promised Land.<< The Crosswalk Devotional

Why Tests of Faith Are Important

By Liz Lampkin, Crosswalk.com

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1

Faith in God is something all believers have. When we ask for anything through Christ Jesus, it is our faith that drives the assurance that we will receive it. However, faith is not only the confidence that we will receive what we ask according to God’s divine will for our lives. It is also having confidence that God will provide all that we need and trusting Him no matter what the situation looks like. Imagine praying for a son and watching him grow. As you watch him grow, so does your love for him. Then you’re told to sacrifice Him. This was one of Abraham’s tests of faith. God commanded Abraham to take Isaac to Mount Moriah and offer him as a sacrifice. Without question, Abraham gathered his things, two men, his son, and wood for a burnt offering, and went to where God told him to go. As they traveled, on the third day, Abraham saw Mount Moriah from afar. He instructed the young men traveling with them to stay where they were, and he and Isaac would continue towards the mountain to worship. When they were done worshipping, they would return to this place.

Then, Abraham gathered the wood, fire, and a knife, and he and Isaac went towards the mountain. As they went forth, Isaac saw that there was no lamb for sacrificing. He says to Abraham that he sees the fire and wood, and then he asks where the lamb is. Without hesitation, Abraham told Isaac that God would provide a lamb for a burnt offering. As they arrived to the place where God instructed them to go, Abraham built an altar, laid the wood in order, bound his son, and placed him on the wood. He then took the knife in his hand and prepared to sacrifice his son, but not before an angel of the Lord called out to him, commanding him not to lay a hand on Isaac. The angel knew that Abraham feared and trusted in God because of his willingness to sacrifice his son without question. When the angel said this to Abraham, he looked behind him and saw a ram caught in a bush by its horns. He then took the ram and offered him up as a burnt offering instead of his beloved son.

Abraham’s faith was tested by God to see how much he trusted Him. Not only this but his obedience was tested. He didn’t question God, He didn’t try to reason with God or compromise His instructions. He simply went forth, in faith and obedience, knowing that the outcome would be what God wanted and it would work out for his good.

God Acts on Our Behalf

By: Charlles Stanley, InTouch ministries

March 7

God Acts on Our Behalf

Isaiah 64:1-4

The Lord is a God of action. Even when He rested on the seventh day of creation, it wasn’t because He was tired and needed to recuperate. Although He deliberately made a choice to stop His creative activity, He never ceased working. While the Lord is always controlling the universe, He is, at the same time, intimately involved with individual lives.

God has a plan for each one of us and wants us to know what it is. Every time we take a step of obedience, He sheds more light on our path. But sometimes He asks us to pause awhile, and we may not know why. We long for direction in a particular matter, but our prayers just aren’t being answered, and we wonder, Why does He delay?

When you aren’t seeing any answers, it doesn’t mean that God is not working. He’s still actively involved in your life, but He works in ways that are not always visible He orchestrates circumstances, changes people’s hearts, and protects His children from making hasty decisions that will have disastrous consequences. Perhaps the Lord knows you’re not yet ready for the next leg of your spiritual journey. Waiting times are opportunities for growth in character, obedience, and faith. He may also need time to train you for future responsibilities and ministries.

When you intentionally choose to be still, God unleashes His mighty power on your behalf. He has planned good things for those who wait, and I believe what He has in store for your life will surpass all expectations. When He knows you’re ready to receive His blessings, they’ll flow into your lap.

Today’s Devotions


March 7

Numbers 13:30-32 30Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” 31But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size.

Twelve spies went out to the Land of Promise, the land that God promised to Abraham. Upon their return, only Joshua and Caleb believed that they could take the land. These men were generals, the leading warriors in Israel’s army. The other ten spread a bad report and warned that they would all be devoured by the enemy. Looking back, it seems amazing that they did not have the faith to proceed. God had promised to go before them and drive out the enemy. They had evidence of wonderful fruit. The generals said it could be done. The alternative is to stay in the desert. Why would they listen to the eight pessimists?

Indeed, why do we? We have the promises of God. We have seen His provision. We have seen the wonderful fruit from the Land of Promise in the lives of those who have gone in before us. The Generals (Apostles and Prophets) all say, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” And yet we listen to the pessimists.

What giants are you fearing? Do you really want to wander in the desert? Are the giants so big in God’s eyes? And whose battle is it anyway? Obey the call of God, and march forward in faith. The Lord will go before you and the land and all the fruit of it will be yours. Walk by faith and not by sight!

Meditation: Am I listening to the voice of faith or doubt?

The Rich Young Ruler


The Rich Young Ruler

man reading a book


Terry Meeuwsen – cbn.com

One of the most poignant stories in the Bible to me is the story of the rich young ruler. This impressive young man had made many “right” choices in his life and he was obviously from a successful, affluent family. I imagine he was admired and highly respected as a young man of both character and position. He realized that his wealth and influence came with responsibility and he seemed to embrace that.

And yet, something was still missing… despite all that he was and had, he inherently knew that he needed to be saved. His stuff wasn’t enough! He also recognized that there was something extraordinary about the authority and teachings of Jesus. In the gospel of Mark it says he RAN to Jesus – and then, this wealthy, influential man KNELT DOWN and humbly asked the simple sandal-shoed carpenter, “What must I do to have eternal life?” That’s quite a picture, isn’t it? Jesus saw the young man’s desire to measure up to the mark. He saw his hunger to hear from a man he considered a great teacher. He saw his willingness to do the right thing.

Jesus said, “You know the commandments: Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not testify falsely. Do not cheat, honor your father and mother.”

“Teacher, I have obeyed all these laws since I was a child.”

Before Jesus responded to the rich young ruler, the Bible says He looked at him and He felt great love for him. Then Jesus said, “You lack only one thing—go and sell all you have and give your money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow Me.” The Bible says the man’s face fell and he went sadly away because he had many possessions (see Mark 10:17-31).

What was that conversation all about? Jesus was extending an invitation to this man to embark on a “God-adventure” with Him. It was up to the man to choose what he would do. As much as he loved God, as much as he obeyed the law, he was entangled in and limited by his possessions. Jesus wanted to give him a new identity—a new name. He was inviting him to come along with Him into a life of walking in God’s plans and God’s purposes where God leads and supplies all that is needed. That’s an exciting invitation but a frightening one. It’s an invitation that is extended to every true believer. You see, God isn’t just out to touch our hearts and forgive our sins. He wants to CHANGE us. Then He wants to USE us. The more we are willing to be changed, the more He is able to use us. I wonder what might have happened if the rich young ruler had said “yes.” I wonder how many times he asked himself that question over the years.

What about you? You are created for God-adventures, you know. Don’t settle for a mediocre life because it is safe and predictable. The King of the Universe is inviting you to walk with Him. You have to let go of everything else so you can hold on to Him. Don’t miss out on His purposes for you. Say “yes!” and grab hold.

Today’s Devotions


March 6

Numbers 12:1-3 1Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. 2“Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the LORD heard this. 3(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)

Moses family didn’t approve of his marriage. We don’t know what happened to Zipporah, his first wife. The new wife was an Egyptian, probably one of the multitude that came out with the Israelites to worship the God of the Hebrews. I think Moses was big enough to make his own decisions, and godly enough not to be second-guessed. The real issue is leadership. Who has the final say? “Shouldn’t we vote on whether or not this is the right decision? God speaks to us too! Why should he remarry at his age (over eighty-years-old)?”

Yes, God does speak to them. We just saw in the last chapter how His Spirit was placed upon the elders. The question remains; who will have the final say? It is a power struggle, and not the last one we will see in the desert. The power belongs to God. He’s in charge. He is leading through his servant Moses, but helping him through the elders. This most humble of men did not defend himself and his decision to marry, but God defended him.

We can know that if we are walking with the LORD, in humble submission to Him, that we need not defend ourselves. The office of the prophet as the intermediary between God and man has since ceased (Luke 16:16). The Holy Spirit communes with each of us, and we have His Word. Still, the principle is the same. We will often be questioned, and sometimes our whole family will be against us (Matthew 10:36). We should know that we need not argue our case. If it is a righteous decision, the LORD will defend us. If it is not a godly decision, we will see by the fruit and learn from our mistake. That is genuine humility.

Meditation: Can I trust God to defend my godly decisions?

Always Trusting – Streams in the Desert – March 6

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But we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. Not only this, but it is now the third day since these things happened (Luke 24:21).

I have always felt so sorry that in that walk to Emmaus the disciples had not said to Jesus, “We still trust”; instead of “We trusted.” That is so sad—something that is all over.

If they had only said, “Everything is against our hope; it looks as if our trust was vain, but we do not give up; we believe we shall see Him again.” But no, they walked by His side declaring their lost faith, and He had to say to them “O fools, and slow of heart to believe!”

Are we not in the same danger of having these words said to us? We can afford to lose anything and everything if we do not lose our faith in the God of truth and love.

Let us never put our faith, as these disciples did, in a past tense—“We trusted.” But let us ever say, “I am trusting.”

The soft, sweet summer was warm and glowing,
Bright were the blossoms on every bough:
I trusted Him when the roses were blooming;
I trust Him now…

Small were my faith should it weakly falter 
Now that the roses have ceased to blow; 
Frail were the trust that now should alter, 
Doubting His love when storm clouds grow.
—The Song of a Bird in a Winter Storm

Predestination and calling

By: Charles Spurgeon

“Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called.” Romans 8:30

Suggested Further Reading: 1 John 3:19-24

The testimony of sense may be false, but the testimony of the Spirit must be true. We have the witness of the Spirit within, bearing witness with our spirits that we are born of God. There is such a thing on earth as an infallible assurance of our election. Let a man once get that, and it will anoint his head with fresh oil, it will clothe him with the white garment of praise, and put the song of the angel into his mouth. Happy, happy man, who is fully assured of his interest in the covenant of grace, in the blood of atonement, and in the glories of heaven! Such men there are here this very day. Let them “rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say rejoice.” What would some of you give if you could arrive at this assurance? Mark, if you anxiously desire to know, you may know. If your heart pants to read its title clear it shall do so before long. No man ever desired Christ in his heart with a living and longing desire, who did not find him sooner or later. If you have a desire, God has given it to you. If you pant, and cry, and groan after Christ, even this is his gift; bless him for it. Thank him for little grace, and ask him for great grace. He has given you hope, ask for faith; and when he gives you faith, ask for assurance; and when you get assurance, ask for full assurance; and when you have obtained full assurance, ask for enjoyment; and when you have enjoyment, ask for glory itself; and he shall surely give it to you in his own appointed season.

For meditation: Are you content with a logical possession of God’s salvation, or do you long for a heart-felt assurance? Both head knowledge and heart knowledge are important. (1 John 2:3-53:14,19,244:135:2,13,19-20).

The Value of Salt

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The Value of Salt

salt storage and shaker


Kimberly Poteet – cbn.com

Sprinkled along the emerald-green hillside, oddly-shaped flowers appeared to bloom. Upon closer inspection, these yellow blooms were actually blocks of salt.

On our family farm, my dad scattered these salt blocks for our cattle. And the cattle loved them – as was evident by the indentions worn into the blocks by a hungry cow’s tongue.

The purpose of the salt was to encourage thirst. The cow’s frequent trips back and forth to the pond made it evident that the salt was serving its purpose. As dairy cattle drank more water, they produced better milk.

The Bible talks about how we, as Christians, are to be like salt. So truly, there should be something in our lives that encourage others around us to have a thirst for the Living Water that comes from knowing Jesus.

Mark 9:50 (NLT) says:

Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? You must have the qualities of salt among yourselves and live in peace with each other.

Matthew 5:13 also says,

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?…

So, if God said we, as Christians, are to be salt, what is the significance of that?

Besides something that prompts thirst, salt was used for so many things during biblical times:

  • Salt was traditionally rubbed on newborns (Ezekiel 16:4);
  • Salt was used to mark a continual covenant (Numbers 18:19);
  • Salt was both an additive and preservative of food (Leviticus 2:13);

Salt was even used as currency. The Oxford Dictionary tells us that salt was once so valuable, the Roman army was sometimes paid with salt instead of money. Their monthly allowance was called “salarium” (since “sal” is Latin for salt.)

At a time in history when there was no refrigeration, it was important to preserve meats, often with salt. And preserving foods meant preserving lives!

So, when the early Christians were told that they were to be “salt,” they were being told that they were highly valuable to the world. In fact, they had something to offer the world that meant life!

But the early Christians were also warned not to allow anything to negatively impact their effectiveness – like salt is impacted when impurities are mixed with it.

So, if we are to be salt, we should always remember our true purpose as believers – and not be tainted by this world. We are from a different kingdom – a place where we promote life and point people to Jesus!

Today’s Devotions


March 5

Numbers 11:27-29 27A young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 28Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ aide since youth, spoke up and said, “Moses, my lord, stop them!” 29But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!”

When Moses was too burdened with caring for all the people, the LORD had him bring all the elders together and put His Spirit on them. They all began to prophesy. Two men who were not called were out in the camp, and they were prophesying also. Moses’ general, Joshua, insisted they be stopped. Moses answer shows us the heart of a genuine God inspired leader.

“Are you jealous for my sake?” “What are you saying Joshua? Do you think I should be jealous that they too have been given the Spirit? Do you want everyone to look to me? Do you think God should work only within the confines of our choices (in recognizing who is an elder)?” Moses never wanted to be the number one man. His mistakes and years of humbly shepherding sheep had taught him who he was. Do you know who you are? Once we see the depravity of the human condition, we will desire that everyone be full of the Holy Spirit. It is not a competition! We are working together to see people choose the Kingdom of Light.

Leadership positions often foster rivalries. That is the petty jealousies of men. It is blindness to the Kingdom perspective and focused on the success of an individual. People today say the same thing as Joshua when people in the congregation are anointed to serve. A person who is not an official elder, but one in heart, will teach from the Word. That is how we recognize they are an elder. The life comes before the title. Eldad and Medad were not officially recognized by anyone but God. Encourage the expression of the gifts in everyone. Recognize God’s choices. Quench not the Spirit.

Meditation: Am I jealous for my leadership or for God’s kingdom?

A Message for the Fearful Hearted

By Kyle Norman, crosswalk.com

“Say to those with fearful hearts, “be strong, do not fear, your God will come. He will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” (Isaiah 35:4)

“Little pig, little pig, let me in!” “Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin!”

We know the story. We’ve all heard the tale about how the big-bad wolf pursues the three innocent pigs, attempting to blow their houses down. Two of the pigs find their residences blown to shambles, while the final pig, the smart pig, the faithful pig, withstands the huffs and puffs of the wolf.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our lives were like that? Wouldn’t it be great if the gusts of problems and struggles never affected us? Sadly, we know the truth. There are times where we feel that life is against us. It could be a result of a job loss, a tornado, a war, a death, or a diagnosis, but in those moments, we feel our footing is unsure, and our spiritual houses shake more than we would like.

Scripture often uses the term “fearful hearted” to describe such a state. Being fearful-hearted is not the same thing as being merely disappointed or dismayed. We are fearful in heart when we face a threat or an obstacle which appears too big for us to manage. Like Israel feeling trapped in the exile, we feel alone and abandoned. We may even question whether God has forsaken us.

But God hasn’t forsaken us. God has not forgotten us. In fact, Scripture holds before us the glorious truth that when we feel overwhelmed, discouraged, or fearful, God comes to us. In the places of our fear and discouragement, God acts in healing and restoration.

The Lord speaks a word of hope, not condemnation, to those who are fearful in heart. Isaiah cries out “Say to those with fearful hearts, “be strong, do not fear, your God will come.” We are called to recognize that the struggles we face are never the full story. The divine promise is that God comes to us. God calls us to keep our eyes turned heavenward, to boldly stand in faith, and to audaciously hold onto hope.

Is your heart fearful today? If so, listen to Isaiah, and dare to believe that there will be an end to what you face. This reality is assured because it is a reality rooted in God’s presence, not your own ability. We can be strong despite our struggles, and faith-filled amid our fears because we do not stand alone. Isaiah speaks confidently, God will come! God will come with vengeance and retribution. God will come to save. Despite the huffing and puffing blowing against you, the Lord promises to come in power. God never enters our life as a passive observer. God never sits on the sidelines. This is the promise of God.

These are not just empty words. These are not saccharin niceties the faithful say to make themselves feel better. If we ever need proof of this in our lives, all we need to do is look to Jesus. These affirmations are written in history and proven in blood. Jesus is the proof that God’s love and power flow into our life. The very thing that Israel looked forward to, the very future to which they hoped, is the truth we grasp; Jesus stands with us in the messiness of life and brings redemption out of the darkest of places. For anyone who is fearful hearted, hear the good news: Jesus has stepped into your world.

Trusting God for Daily Provision

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Trusting God for Daily Provision

By Ashley Moore, Crosswalk.com

“Give us this day our daily bread…” – Matthew 6:11, ESV

It is so hard to make decisions when we aren’t sure if we will have the resources to follow through. For example, based on where we sensed the Lord leading, my husband and I put our three kids in a very expensive school when we weren’t sure how we would pay the monthly tuition. Another time, my husband was in between jobs and we felt sure it was time for him to launch a business but we had no idea how to get started. Then other times, we would be so close to hitting a certain savings goal only to have a big unexpected expense come and obliterate the account.

Those are a few more extreme examples, but there have been small ones as well. Maybe you can relate to the following scenarios.

Have you ever felt prompted to give financially to a cause but the amount exceeded the number in your bank account?

Or have you ever chosen to send a few Christmas presents to a family in need even though you still needed to shop for your family and friends?

Perhaps you received a large refund from your taxes and thought about buying the car you’ve had your eyes on, but decided instead to tithe the money first and trusted the Lord to make your car last a little longer.

In each of these situations, the temptation to worry about the future presents itself. We often withhold generosity for fear that we may not have enough in the future. But something the Lord continues to remind us through His Word is that He provides daily. This means each day, God gives us generously what we need and enough that we can also share with others (2 Corinthians 9:8). What would it look like to live as though we believe that God will give us our daily bread?

Streams in the Desert – March 4

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Followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises (Heb. 6:12).

They (heroes of faith) are calling to us from the heights that they have won, and telling us that what man once did man can do again. Not only do they remind us of the necessity of faith, but also of that patience by which faith has its perfect work. Let us fear to take ourselves out of the hands of our heavenly Guide or to miss a single lesson of His loving discipline by discouragement or doubt.

“There is only one thing,” said a village blacksmith, “that I fear, and that is to be thrown on the scrap heap. “When I am tempering a piece of steel, I first beat it, hammer it, and then suddenly plunge it into this bucket of cold water. I very soon find whether it will take temper or go to pieces in the process. When I discover after one or two tests that it is not going to allow itself to be tempered, I throw it on the scrap heap and sell it for a cent a pound when the junk man comes around.

“So I find the Lord tests me, too, by fire and water and heavy blows of His heavy hammer, and if I am not willing to stand the test, or am not going to prove a fit subject for His tempering process, I am afraid He may throw me on the scrap heap.”

When the fire is hottest, hold still, for there will be a blessed “afterward”; and with Job we may be able to say, “When he hath tried me I shall come forth as gold.”

Sainthood springs out of suffering. It takes eleven tons of pressure on a piano to tune it. God will tune you to harmonize with Heaven’s key-note if you can stand the strain.

Things that hurt and things that mar
Shape the man for perfect praise;
Shock and strain and ruin are
Friendlier than the smiling days.

The peculiar sleep of the beloved

“So he giveth his beloved sleep.” Psalm 127:2

Suggested Further Reading: Psalm 4

It is God who steeps the mind in drowsiness, and bids us slumber, that our bodies may be refreshed, so that for tomorrow’s toil we may rise reinvigorated and strengthened. O my friends, how thankful should we be for sleep. Sleep is the best physician that I know of. Sleep has healed more pains of wearied bones than the most eminent physicians upon earth. It is the best medicine; the choicest thing of all the names which are written in all the lists of pharmacy. There is nothing like sleep! What a mercy it is that it belongs alike to all! God does not make sleep the boon of the rich man, he does not give it merely to the noble, or the rich, so that they can keep it as a peculiar luxury for themselves; but he bestows it upon all. Yes, if there is a difference, the sleep of the labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much. He who toils, sleeps all the sounder for his toil. While luxurious effeminacy cannot rest, tossing itself from side to side upon a bed of soft down, the hard-working labourer, with his strong and powerful limbs, worn out and tired, throws himself upon his hard couch and sleeps; and waking, thanks God that he has been refreshed. You know not, my friends, how much you owe to God, that he gives you rest at night. If you had sleepless nights, you would then value the blessing. If for weeks you lay tossing on your weary bed, you then would thank God for this favour. But as it is the gift of God, it is a gift most precious, one that cannot be valued until it is taken away; yea, even then we cannot appreciate it as we ought.

For meditation: Possession of spiritual blessings in Christ should not make us forget to thank God for our continued enjoyment of his common grace (Matthew 5:45Acts 14:17).

Having Anxiety or Depression Doesn’t Mean Your Faith Is Flawed

MARCH 3, 2023

“… I have loved you with an everlasting love …” Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)

Out of the blue, as a new mom, I started having panic attacks, debilitating insomnia and anxiety … and I didn’t know why.

On top of that, I found it hard to confess I was struggling emotionally because people might question my faith. They might accuse me of not trusting God enough or just tell me worry was a sin. If I told them I was feeling numb, lonely, anxious or depressed, they might say I just wasn’t praying enough, reading the Bible enough or applying Scripture correctly.

But mental health issues happen to everyday people — even to believers who have strong faith and godly community. I know because it happened to me.

Unfortunately, some Christians did make me feel ashamed about my emotional struggles. But as I discovered God’s view on healing, I realized my hardship wasn’t caused by flawed faith. It was others’ views toward mental health and faith that were incorrect.

Still, I didn’t want anyone to think I was broken, so I kept quiet and prayed it would go away.

But God wanted to heal me, not shame me.

My PTSD therapist told me a soldier doesn’t experience trauma when he’s fighting on the battlefield but when he’s finally home — safe to face what was too difficult to process at the time. It’s a function of the human nervous system, designed by God to protect us when hurt, fear or loss is too overwhelming.

I’d never experienced physical abuse. But what my therapist said next changed everything: “Did you know emotional abuse has the same impact as physical abuse? Emotional wounds need healing too.”

Feeling emotionally broken is not a sign that your faith is weak. In fact, seeking healing for your heart may be the most powerful act of faith God is calling you to today.

To encourage you, here are three myths and truths that I discovered as I researched Scripture during my own healing journey:

  1. Myth: Jesus commanded us not to worry, so if you worry, you are failing God and disappointing Him.Truth: Jesus tells us not to worry because He cares about us. He’s lovingly concerned about how worry affects our well-being.

In Matthew 6:25, Jesus encourages us not to worry because God promises to provide for us just as He does for the birds and flowers. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect or worry-free, and He understands why we worry. He tells us not to worry because, out of His unconditional love, He doesn’t want us to live a life ruled by worry or fear. He comforts us in all our troubles. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) The more we learn to run into His arms, the less worry owns us.

  1. Myth: If you don’t have peace or joy, you must not be trusting God enough.Truth: Emotional honesty is part of faith, as is the intimate act of trusting God with your real self instead of hiding how you feel or trying to do more.

Jesus whispers, “Don’t hide.” He invites us to come and rest, (Matthew 11:28) whether we’re weary, anxious, angry or stressed. Jesus tells us to come as we are — imperfectly His.

  1. Myth: If you read God’s Word more, pray more, praise more and give thanks more, you’ll have peace surpassing all understanding.Truth: Faith is not emotional amnesia. Faith in God gives us the courage to face the brokenness of life and seek healing for the losses we’ve suffered.

Jesus Himself obeyed, prayed, praised and gave thanks perfectly. Yet He suffered emotional anguish, overwhelmed by impending physical and emotional abuse, abandonment and betrayal: He said, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Mark 14:34, NIV).

You matter to God, and how you feel matters to God. In Jeremiah 31:3, He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Especially when you’ve been hurt, He wants to take care of you with His powerful, healing presence.

Moving by faith with Jesus toward wellness is unique to each woman. For some, healing with Jesus means being more honest when we pray and receiving God’s comfort instead of hiding our emotions. Healing may involve asking Jesus to give you courage to draw healthy boundaries in toxic relationships so you can flourish instead of living in constant stress and fear.

Healing with Jesus also includes breaking the code of silence. When we share with faith-filled women for support, encouragement and prayer, our hearts heal. And if you, like me, have suffered emotional trauma or loss, God can give you strength and wisdom to investigate and heal your wounds with the help of a Christian therapist or counselor.

God’s Word will give you strength to heal, with His hand holding yours. “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18, NIV)

Let God love you. You are beloved.

Compassion for the Crowd

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Compassion for the Crowd

volunteers boxing food donations


Benjamin Brittain – cbn.com

“In those days there was another large crowd with nothing to eat. So Jesus called his disciples and said to them, “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have already been here with me three days, and they have nothing to eat” (Mark 8:1-2 NET).

As I sit in the airport waiting to board my flight to Adana, Turkey, I can’t help but be overwhelmed by the immense devastation and suffering ahead of me. The country of Turkey, or Turkiye, was rocked in early February by two back-to-back major earthquakes, and I am deploying to assist Operation Blessing’s international disaster relief team. The thousands of people affected by this disaster have many immediate needs: food, water, shelter, and medical aid.

It can be easy to feel disheartened and discouraged when we start to think about the significant needs locally in our communities and internationally around the world. But before we lose hope, let us look back to the story in Mark to see how Jesus responds to the needs in front of Him:

“Then he directed the crowd to sit down on the ground. After he took the seven loaves and gave thanks, he broke them and began giving them to the disciples to serve. So they served the crowd. They also had a few small fish. After giving thanks for these, he told them to serve these as well. Everyone ate and was satisfied, and they picked up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full” (Mark 8:6-8).

What is Jesus’ response to seeing the hungry people around Him? He meets their immediate need miraculously!

We see in this passage that genuine compassion for the crowd leads Jesus to action. The same should be true for His followers. We may not have the natural ability to multiply bread and fish on demand, but God has gifted each one of us with time, money, and other resources to use for His glory. When we see a need around us, love and compassion from the Holy Spirit should push us into action.

Who is the “crowd” in your life that Jesus is calling you to have compassion for? Who has God placed on your heart to help? No matter how daunting the task is at hand, you can find motivation and reassurance that God is calling you to action for His purpose and glory. Remember that the disciples had to begin distributing the food before they could see that the food would not run out. When we step out in obedience and faith with compassion for others, we make room for Jesus to move in miraculous ways.

Jesus, thank You for your compassion and love for me. This week, show me who You are calling me to meet the needs of specifically. I know You are not overwhelmed by these needs, so give me the boldness to turn my compassion from You into action that points people to who You are. Thank You that I can be a part of Your plan to reach my community and the world! In Your name, I pray. Amen.

Streams in the Desert – March 3

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And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him (Mark 9:26).

Evil never surrenders its hold without a sore fight. We never pass into any spiritual inheritance through the delightful exercises of a picnic, but always through the grim contentions of the battle field. It is so in the secret realm of the soul. Every faculty which wins its spiritual freedom does so at the price of blood. Apollyon is not put to flight by a courteous request; he straddles across the full breadth of the way, and our progress has to be registered in blood and tears. This we must remember or we shall add to all the other burdens of life the gall of misinterpretation. We are not “born again” into soft and protected nurseries, but in the open country where we suck strength from the very terror of the tempest. “We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”
–Dr. J. H. Jowett

Faith of our Fathers! living still,
In spite of dungeon, fire and sword:
O how our hearts beat high with joy
Whene’er we hear that glorious word.
Faith of our Fathers! Holy Faith!
We will be true to Thee till death!
Our fathers, chained in prisons dark,
Were still in heart and conscience free;
How sweet would be their children’s fate,
If they, like them, could die for Thee!

Today’s Devotions


March 3

Numbers 11:14, 16-17 14I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me…

16The LORD said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the Tent of Meeting, that they may stand there with you. 17I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit that is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to carry it alone.

There is only one man that is meant to be the leader whom all look to, Jesus of Nazareth. God brought Moses to the place where he recognized that carrying the burden of all the people was not meant for an under-shepherd. Jesus is the Great Shepherd, and He employs many under-shepherds. Even when we cast our burden upon the Lord, it can just get to be too much for us to deal with. We were meant to share the load with our brothers and sisters in the faith. As we gather with them, God places His Spirit upon them (now within them) so they can be His instruments. They help God ordained leadership carry the burden of the people.

When we try to carry it alone we find ourselves facing depression as Moses was here. He asked the Lord to put him to death. The people’s many complaints just became overwhelming. But when we stand together with a team filled with the Spirit, we share the load and build one another up. Each finds his place of ministry and we work together as God intended.

Jethro had given Moses this advice earlier, but what was lacking? The elders needed the Spirit to enable them to carry Moses’ burden for the people. A worker can do physical activities and make decisions, but a Spirit filled worker helps to carry the burden for the people.

Meditation: Do I rely on the Spirit to help me carry the load in the fellowship I attend?

Sanctification Isn’t Passive – In Touch – March 3

By: Charles Stanley

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

Did you know that God didn’t save you just to keep you from hell and get you into heaven? His top priority while you are here on earth is to shape you into the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29). But at this stage of our sanctification, He doesn’t do it all for us. We have a responsibility to cooperate with Him and actively participate in the process. Yet many Christians have a passive attitude about the life of faith. They tolerate sin and smooth it over with the age-old excuse, “Nobody’s perfect!”

When you received Christ as your Savior, you took the first step in your walk with Him–a walk that will last the rest of your life. However, you also stepped into spiritual warfare with Satan. The Enemy may have lost your soul, but he’s going to do everything he can to hinder, sidetrack, and discourage you. The last thing he wants is a saint who’s on fire for the Lord and useful in the kingdom.

But many believers have abdicated their responsibility to live holy lives. In fact, some of them look and act just like the unbelieving world. Sexual immorality is one area of compromise that the apostle Paul addressed specifically, but in truth, we should abstain from anything that interferes with godliness.

Have you allowed something in your life that shouldn’t be there? If so, you need to drop it now. You don’t want a thread of sin to become a rope, then a chain, and finally a cable that traps you in a stronghold. Turn back to the Lord, and let your sanctification continue.