Christian Growth, Devotionals

‘Sea to Shining Sea’

 

 

 

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From sea to sea …

“May he also rule from sea to sea
And from the River to the ends of the earth (Psalm 72:8 NASB).”

Atlantic to Pacific…

“From sea to shining sea!”

‘America the Beautiful’ 1911 version

[Lyrics: Katharine Lee Bates/ Music: Samuel A. Ward/ Public Domain]

“O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!” 

 

 

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals

The Reflection

photo credit: mariateresa toledo <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/87063841@N00/49160028333″>Devi e lo specchio</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a> 

Mirror, mirror on my heart…

What does God see?

“As water reflects the face,
so the heart reflects the person (Proverbs 27:19 HCSB).”

Is my reflection in the mirror distorted by sin?

“Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was (James 1:23-24 HCSB).” 

Lest I forget…

“Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart (1 Samuel 16:7 HCSB).”

 

Christian Growth, Devotionals, Prayer

From Discipline to Restoration

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Discipline…

“The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. Therefore the Lord brought the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria against them, and they captured Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze chains and took him to Babylon (2 Chronicles 33:10-11 NASB).”

Distress…

“When he was in distress, he entreated the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers (2 Chronicles 33:12 NASB).”

Prayer…

“When he prayed to Him, He was moved by his entreaty and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God (2 Chronicles 33:13 NASB).”

Restoration…

“Now after this he built the outer wall of the city of David on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entrance of the Fish Gate; and he encircled the Ophel with it and made it very high. Then he put army commanders in all the fortified cities of Judah.  He also removed the foreign gods and the idol from the house of the Lord, as well as all the altars which he had built on the mountain of the house of the Lord and in Jerusalem, and he threw them outside the city.  He set up the altar of the Lord and sacrificed peace offerings and thank offerings on it; and he ordered Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel (2 Chronicles 33:14-16 NASB).”

Christian Growth, Devotionals, Prophecy

Fear of the Dark

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Are you afraid of the dark?

Maybe you fear what could be in the nighttime darkness.  

Fear not.

The darkness is only temporary!

“Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever (Revelation 22:1-5 NASB).”

 

 

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals

Woe is Me…

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Woe is me…

Were you a Hee-Haw fan?

Maybe you still are.

If so, you likely recall a regular segment.

Several of the cast regulars were sprawled out on the floor. Sometimes, guest stars joined in the singing lament. 

“Gloom, Despair & Agony On Me (If it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all)!”

What a pity party.

The group needed a good dose of old time religion.

“Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance (James 1:2-3 HCSB).”

It’s easy for me to fall into the devil’s trap of despair, despondency and depression.

That’s when I need to turn to God.

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
and delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is near the brokenhearted;
He saves those crushed in spirit.

Many adversities come to the one who is righteous,
but the Lord delivers him from them all (Psalm 34:17-19 HCSB).”

 

Christian Growth, Crucifixion, Devotionals, Redemption, Resurrection, Salvation

But God!

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“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst,  just as you yourselves know— this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power (Acts 2:22-24 NASB).”

He’s Alive!

“and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living One among the dead?  He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee,  saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again (Luke 24:5-7 NASB).”

Bible Studies, Devotionals, Resurrection, Salvation, The Church

Palm Sunday… where will you be?

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“Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Hosanna in the highest (Matthew 21:9b NKJV)!”   

Palm Sunday… where will you be?

Most of us will remain in our homes; worshiping through television, radio or internet connections. Others will gather at church drive-in Palm Sunday worship services.

We may not be waving palms.

We will be praising the LORD Jesus.

“Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice:

‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing!’

And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:

‘Blessing and honor and glory and power
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever (Revelation 5:11-13)!”

 

Christian Growth, Devotionals

Shut In

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COVID-19 has us shut in.

Don’t fight it.

God shut Noah in.

“In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;

They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.

And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life.

And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the Lord shut him in.

And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth Genesis 7: 13-17 KJV).”

The LORD protected Noah, his family and the animals.

“And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.

And God spake unto Noah, saying,

Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.

Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth (Genesis 8:14-17 KJV).” 

The earth is in the grips of Coronavirus. It’s in multiplication mode.

Fear not; wait for the rainbow!

 

 

 

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals, Missions, Salvation

The Great Compelling

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The Great Commission…

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen (Matthew 28:18-20 KJV).”

What is my reaction, my response?

Am I compelled to obey by a sense of compassion and urgency?

Has the Great Commission of Jesus become the great compelling need?

“And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled (Luke 14:23 KJV).”

Christ followers are commissioned, called to go, to share the gospel.

I can’t help but notice the opening and close of the Great Commission.

It opens with “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth (Matthew 28:18 KJV).”

The passage closes with “lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ Amen (Matthew 28:20 KJV).”

Jesus is the authority behind the commission. He provides His presence and power to carry it out.

 

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals

Horseshoes Superstition

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The superstitious believe that horseshoes bring them good luck.

I’m not superstitious; I don’t believe in luck (good or bad). In case you’re wondering; I don’t have a horseshoe hanging over my door.

I do believe in blessings.

“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:

The Lord bless you, and keep you;

The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.’

So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them (Numbers 6:22-27 NASB).”  

Blessed by horseshoes?

No; yet, my feet are shod with the gospel of peace.

Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:14-15 NASB).”