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The Ransom

Most have heard of the 1932 Charles Lindbergh case.  Lindbergh paid a large ransom and yet his child was murdered.

Our attention is drawn to kidnapping situations.

What if someone we loved was kidnapped and held hostage?

What would we do?

Would we pay a ransom?

Kidnapping dramas are acted out on stage; television and in movies.

Act One:

The family usually receives a ransom note or a phone call with no specific leads to follow. They hear only the terrible news; the kidnappers are holding their spouse or child captive. The kidnapper tells them not to notify the police. If they do, the one taken will be killed.

Next, there are sleepless nights and frantic pacing.

The family waits; they wait for the next note or call.

Act Two:

The 2nd message has detailed step-by-step instructions. Come alone and bring a designated amount of cash (usually in small unmarked bills) to a secluded area. Family members begin to pull large sums of money together. At this point, the police and FBI often become involved. The law tries to rescue the kidnapped and comfort the family.

Act Three:

Results vary. Many times the FBI and police out maneuver the kidnappers. They free the one who has been held hostage. If not, there is heartache and sorrow for the survivors.

Do you realize that as a Christian you were once held captive to sin? The lost have been abducted by Satan’s lies.

JESUS frees us; the ransom has been paid!

“…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28b HCSB).”

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Bible Studies, Devotionals

‘If’ You Get My Drift

I recall an incident when our Son, Lee, was two or three years old. We were shopping with his Grandmother and she pointed out a toy Volkswagen, asking him, “Can you say Volkswagen?”

In a matter of fact way, he answered that his mouth wasn’t big enough.

Words do not have to be long or difficult to pronounce to be powerful, “if” you get my drift.

The tempter tried to manipulate Jesus with ifology.’

“Then the tempter approached Him and said, ‘If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread (Matthew 4:3 HCSB).”

When that failed he tried to convince Jesus to jump from a temple high place.

If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:

He will give His angels orders concerning you,
and they will support you with their hands
so that you will not strike
your foot against a stone (Matthew 4:6b HCSB).”

You must admit it; the devil is persistent.

Showing Jesus a worldly kingdom, he tempted Him again.

And he said to Him, ‘I will give You all these things if You will fall down and worship me (Matthew 4:9 HCSB).”

The master of deception fell in defeat when he challenged the Master.

 Jesus reigns triumphant! He is the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6)

“Then Jesus told him, ‘Go away, Satan! For it is written:

Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only Him.

Then the Devil left Him, and immediately angels came and began to serve Him (Matthew 4:10-11 HCSB).”

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Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Christmas, Devotionals, Salvation

Gift…Through the Generations

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“And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 1:16-18 KJV).”

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Devotionals, The Church, Worship

Call to Worship

I sang in many church choirs during the last 50 plus years.

Churches had gifted choir directors, choir members and soloists.

people standing inside church

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Most directors were dedicated, cordial and appreciative. I remember only once being required to audition for a church choir.

Back in the early 1970’s, J. Lamar Alexander was serving as choir director at the First Baptist Church of Lake Providence, Louisiana. He had me sing notes of the scale. I’m surprised that I got up the courage. I’d say he was a master at his craft…

He mastered the traditional form of worship service.

Lamar Alexander believed in call to worship opening selections. To this very day I recall the holy hush following our offerings of ‘The Lord is in His Holy Temple.’

“But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him (Habakkuk 2:20 KJV).” 

The lyrics, based on Scripture, called us to worship, submission and praise.

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Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals, Redemption, Salvation

In HIM

 

blue and white metal fence

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“Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord, O my soul!
While I live I will praise the Lord;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. (Psalm 146:1-2 NKJV).”

My help…

My hope…

My help, my hope is in the LORD; in HIM.

“How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
The sea and all that is in them;
Who keeps faith forever;

Who executes justice for the oppressed;
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free (Psalm 146:5-7 NKJV).”

 

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Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals

A Heart Reality

three red heart balloons

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How do I define eternity?

Is it fact or fiction?

Eternity is a heart reality.

“He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NASB).”

God’s work spans from beginning to end.

Ponder eternity; can we comprehend it?

Micah did.

“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.

His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity (Micah 5:2 NASB).”  

Days of mankind…

“So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12 NASB).”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Christian Growth, Hymns, Salvation

Do you; do I?

Trusting the LORD…

Obeying Him…

Do you: do I?

‘Trust and Obey’ by John H. Sammis 1887 (Public Domain)

When we walk with the Lord
in the light of his word,
what a glory he sheds on our way!
While we do his good will,
he abides with us still,
and with all who will trust and obey.

Refrain:
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear,
not a sorrow we share,
but our toil he doth richly repay;
not a grief or a loss,
not a frown or a cross,
but is blest if we trust and obey. [Refrain]

But we never can prove
the delights of his love
until all on the altar we lay;
for the favor he shows,
for the joy he bestows,
are for them who will trust and obey. [Refrain]

Then in fellowship sweet
we will sit at his feet,
or we’ll walk by his side in the way;
what he says we will do,
where he sends we will go;
never fear, only trust and obey. [Refrain]

 

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Devotionals

The Riddle

photo credit: sylvar <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/44124401501@N01/847720104″>A nearly empty closet</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a> 

I have a riddle.

Are you ready?

What was it?

It wasn’t one size fits all.

We didn’t buy it at a department store ready to wear department.

It was never hung in our bedroom clothes closet and was not handed down to the next child in our family.

What was it?

Answer: Our birthday suit!

“As he had come naked from his mother’s womb, so will he return as he came. He will take nothing from the fruit of his labor that he can carry in his hand (Ecclesiastes 5:15 NASB).”

 

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Christian Growth, Devotionals

‘Sea to Shining Sea’

 

 

 

photo credit: Chancy Rendezvous <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/40510080@N04/28658410188″>Some Flag-Waving</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

 

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!” 

 

 

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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).”

 

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