Love – Hate

I John 4:20-21, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?  And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”

A few years ago I was talking with a friend and the topic of conversation came to a certain individual in their local Church.  The friend I was speaking with said that he “hated ____”.  I just cringed inside.  The person I was talking to will tell you that they are a Christian.  This verse came to mind.  I did not feel at that time that God wanted me to rebuke this individual.  I wanted to so badly and maybe that is why I was to refrain so as to not make things worse.

I Have even heard many Christian teenager say they “hate” so and so.  I normally correct them in love.  The world hates people who name the name of Christ.  So for Christians to hate someone is worldly (and satanic I might add).  We need to overcome this.  Look at the words of I John 5:4, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”  There are things that even God Himself hate; but, we are not to be hate mongers that go around hating others.  We are to follow the example of Jesus and love people.  We need to exhibit Christ-like love and allow others to see Him in us.

As God’s children we need to love those He loves and hate what He hates.  We need to hate sin; but, love the sinner.  If we do this we are on the road to a balanced life.  Far too many of us are off balance in our lives.

So, are you a child of God?  Have you been born-again?  You say you cannot know.  Ah, the Word of God says otherwise.  Look at I John 5:11-13, “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”  We can know for sure and when we look at our lives we can tell by the fruits of our lives.  If we love God…

So, how are you doing?

Today’s reading:  Psalm 30, 60, 90, 120, 150; Proverbs 30; I John 3, 4; II John

Do You Swear To Tell The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth?

I John 1:1, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;”

As I was musing on the above passage of Scripture a thought came to my feeble mind.  That thought is, “If Jesus Christ were put on trial in our court system would I be able to be called by the defense as a witness?”  This stopped me dead in my tracks.  My mind splattered.  Well, would I be able to be a witness?  It is my prayer that I would be called as a so-called expert witness.  However, let’s be truthful.  I might be able to be a witness.

So what is a witness, anyway?  Look at I John 1:2, “(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)”.  A witness is someone that has seen the person, place or thing.  A witness, can show you how to have eternal life and they manifest it.

Basically, a witness is someone that tells what they know.  Nothing more and nothing less.  Look at I John 1:3, “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”  How about you friend?  Could you tell someone what Jesus has done for you?  I don’t mean the time you prayed and said something like, “God if you will deliver me from this situation I will _____.”  you see, if you have never been born-again then God cannot even hear your prayer.  Don’t trust some experience.  Trust Jesus.

When you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ and your sin is forgiven you will have joy like you have never had before.  Look at I John 1:4, “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”.  Joy is a result of having Christ as your Saviour.  Happiness is depends upon your circumstances.  Joy is sustained by a relationship with Jesus through trials and tribulations; but, happiness depends upon whether or not you are experiencing a trial or not.  Big difference. A life of true joy will be a great witness of Jesus Christ in our lives.

So, how are you doing?

Today’s reading:  Psalm 29, 59, 89, 149; Proverbs 29; I John 1, 2, 3


II Peter 3:17-18, “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

A few years ago I had a good friend.  For some reason he began to drift away from what the Word of God teaches.  It was sad.  I tried my best to show him that he was drifting away.  I still love this man as a brother in Christ.  I believe he is saved as he at one time had the fruits of salvation in his life.

For whatever reason this man left the clear teaching of the Bible for the teaching of man and in his mind they held equal weight.  How sad.  Truthfully, the saddest thing is that the devil was laughing his head off at this man because he was rendered  nearly useless for the cause of Christ because he began teaching error.  People that once looked up to him no longer did so because they saw the fallacy.  The only person who could not see it was this man himself.  It still to this day breaks my heart every time I think of him and his family.  This once godly family was nearly ruined by such damnable doctrine of devils.

We need to be people of “steadfastness” as our Scripture teaches us today.  We need to be like a post that has been planted in concrete.  We need to not sway back and forth like some that change direction with every wind that blows by.

You know that sometimes it is sin that erodes away at our lives until we are moved from where we need to.  Look at Proverbs 28:13, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”  If we are going to be effective for God we need to be people that keep a short account with God.  By that I mean we need to confess and forsake sin often and early on in our lives.  Get a handle on it quickly so that it will not destroy you.  The devil loves nothing better than to render Christians useless because of sin.  Beware!

So, how are you doing?

Today’s reading:  Psalm 28, 58, 88, 118, 148; Proverbs 28; II Peter 1, 2, 3

Be Ready

I Peter 3:15, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”

I have been told from the beginning of my ministry that I should always be ready to preach, pray, sing or die.  This came home in a real way to me a couple years ago.

I was attending the wedding of some friends when the bride asked me if the groom had asked me to say something at the ceremony.  I told her that her knight in shining armor had not, in fact, asked me to say anything; but, I would be priviledged to say a few words.

They were wed in a beautiful courtroom as the Judge was a friend of the couple.  The good Judge stood and told those in attendance that I would conduct the “religious” part of the ceremony and that he would follow up with the State’s part.  Wow!  I was not ready for that one.  However, God gave me the words to say.  I received many wondeful thanks from guests and family.  What an honor it was to do that.

Everything comes into our lives for a purpose, I am convinced.  What if I had not been spending time in prayer and Bible study?  Maybe, I would not have known what to say and ruined the biggest day of this couple’s life. 

Have you ever thought about being prepared yourself?  Oh, maybe not to conduct a wedding; but, how about if someone asked you to pray for them or their family.  Would you be prepared and know that you could get your prayers answered?  Think about it…

So, how are you dong?

Today’s reading;  Psalm 27, 57, 87, 117, 147; Proverbs 27; I Peter 3, 4, 5

Being Much More Precious

I Peter 1:7, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”

Yesterday we celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday.  I am sure there were many people who were and are thankful for deliverance from trials.  I know that my first instinct is to pray for deliverance from the trials.

Maybe I have the wrong attitude about these trials.  What?  Yes, maybe I have the wrong idea about the trials that come to my life.  I know, you think the cheese has slipped off my cracker now.

Think about our passage of Scripture today.  It says in I Peter 1:7, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”.  You see God is not some big ogre in Heaven waiting to smash us with His fist.  He is our loving Father and He wants the best for each one of us.  He wants us to produce gold.  the way that we do this is when trials of fire come into our lives.  Believe me, I don’t like them anymore than you do; but, they do serve a purpose.  That purpose is to purify you and I along with purifying our works.

It is much like the day that our Pastor at the time responded to my, “Why me?” with, “Why not you?”.  Think about that one for a while.

The ultimate purpose in all of this is like that of I Peter 1:15-16, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”  God is transforming you and I into His image.  He uses trials as a major part of that transforming process.  It hurts like fire sometimes; but, it is for our good and His glory.  Praise God!

So, how are you doing?

Today’s reading:  Psalm 26, 56, 86, 116, 146; Proverbs 26; James 5; I Peter, 1, 2


James 2:15-16, “If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?”

I have so many fond memories of Thanksgiving from my years on this planet.  The most memories I have are of my Grandma Kiger working the night before Thanksgiving getting the turkey ready and into the oven.  She was an outstanding cook.  I miss her so much as does my wife.

I remember one year Grandma had a migraine headache.  I remember her sitting in front of the stove in a kitchen chair cooking in spite of the fact she did not feel well.  There was always (2) two pumpkin pies and (2) two pecan pies for desert.  I miss her homemade noodles and the oyster dressing.  Oh, others make the same basic meal; but, it is jut not Grandma’s cooking.

As I was reading our Scripture passage for today I thought about how I need to be thankful.  I don’t remember a time when we did not have food to eat.  Now that I am an adult with a family of my own there have been some times that when we looked into the refrigerator and there was nothing there.  I remember looking into the cabinets within the past year and finding nothing.  However, God provided for us just what we needed.

This year we need to reflect and be thankful for what God has provided.  We need to be thankful for how God has protected us.  There is so much to be thankful for that I don’t think we could ever thank Him for all of it, truthfully.

Today as you go spend time with your family I would challenge you to ponder what you have to be thankful for.  Remember there are those in our society that are homeless and will not have a hot meal or a dry place to sleep.

So, what are you thankful for?

Today’s reading:  Psalm 25, 55, 85, 115, 145; Proverbs 25; James 2, 3, 4

Lift up the Hands

Hebrews 12:12-13, “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.”

The other day I was speaking with an acquaintance who happens to be living in a mission for a while.  He was telling me that the mission is finishing a homeless shelter that will have twenty (20) beds in it upon completion.  That is wonderful!

The news did a story on a couple that were taking turns going out to a very busy main road in a large city near us.  The followed the couple without their knowledge.  It was quite interesting how it all played out.  The couple would stash their nice Cadillac automobile at a walking distance away so people would not see them get into it.  They even left a child inside the vehicle on a day when it was far too hot for a child to be left alone in a car.  They took people for a lot of money.  If I remember they were arrested for the child being left in the vehicle and rightly so.

The holiday season is here.  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  I am thankful for you my readers.  I appreciate so much your taking time out of your busy schedule to read this blog.  Let me challenge each one of us to live a life that shows our thankfulness.  Look at the words of Hebrews 13:5, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  The Bible word “conversation” means your manner of life.  We should not be covetous.  Why?  Simple really.  Look at the latter end of the verse, “… for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  It is not much more plain than that.  God is our provider.

I know that God has used others to help us during this dry season of unemployment.  He has used your prayers and gifts to meet our needs.  Why?  Look at Hebrews 13:6, “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”  If God is your helper then you and I have nothing to fear.  Easily said, I know and not so easily done.  This is true; but, we need to trust Him to be our Helper.

Today and tomorrow take time to look back and see what you need to be thankful for and you will be surprised.  Don’t forget when God puts someone on your heart that needs help to do just that.  Help them.  You will not be sorry.

So, how are you doing?

Today’s reading:  Psalm 24, 54, 84, 114, 144; Proverbs 24; Hebrews 12, 13; James 1

What Will Your Life Say?

Hebrews 9:22, “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”

We all have one appointment that we will all keep.  That appointment is our appointment with death.  If you have been born you will one day step out into eternity.  This is heavy upon my heart as a family in our Church is coming to grips with the loss of a Grandson, a Father and a Husband.  It hurts, I know.  The one thing about it though, if the individual knows Christ as his Saviour then that changes things.  We can rejoice with assurance that the one wo knows Christ as Saviour will be immediately in Heaven.

When we take that last step into eternity what will we leave behind?  I like the words of Hebrews 11:4, “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.”  The last phrase always sticks out to me, “… he being dead yet speaketh.”  Our testimony will continue on long after we have gone to Heaven.  What will your life say after you have taken your last breath?

A dear saint of God has also gone home to Heaven.  Dr. Stephen Goens met his Master on Sunday morning.  He did not awake to go Church and when his wife went to wake him she found he had gone on home.  We will deeply miss those who have taken there last step and walked on into eternity; but, we have this promise that, “he being dead yet speaketh.”  The lives of our loved ones will continue to speak long after their departure.

By the way, when you go, what will your life say?

So, How are you doing?

Today’s reading:  Psalm 23, 53, 83, 113, 143; Proverbs 23; Hebrews 9, 10, 11

Eternally Secure

Hebrews 6:4-6, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

I have so many fantastic memories of working at the fairs, farm shows and flea markets with Amazing Grace Mission.  I met some pretty awesome people.  On the other hand I have met some real stinkers too.

I remember a group of teenagers yelling at me that I will die and go straight to hell for eternity because I believe our topic for today.  It was so sad to see them yelling as loud as they possible could yell across the street at me.  They did not take time to think about the scene they were causing and the negative attention they were drawing and worst of all they were dragging the name of Christ through the mud.

Nevertheless, we have before us today a wonderful passage of Scripture that tells us that once we have been saved we cannot be “unsaved” or “lost” again.  How can you be forever saved by the grace of God and then suddenly become forever lost and then forever saved again?  This confuses me terrible.  Why can we not believe the Bible the way it is?  It says here in our Scripture, “For it is impossible…”.  I God is big enough to save me then He is surely big enough to keep me saved.

I love the words of Hebrews 6:19, “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;”  Hope is the expectation of future good.  I don’t know of any better future than the future we have as God’s children.

I believe that God being all powerful is able to save us and to keep us saved and I further believe that is what the Bible teaches.  It takes someone truly perverting the Word of God to make it say anything contrary.  Look at Hebrews 7:25, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”  In the words of the songwriter, “I am saved to the uttermost that’s all that I am…”.

So, how are you doing?

Today’s reading:  Psalm 22, 52, 82, 112, 142; Proverbs 22; Hebrews 6, 7, 8

God’s “let us” Patch

Hebrews 3:13, “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

Growing up on the farm we had a garden and there were many wonderful vegetable.  Thankfully we did not grow anything like unholy okra or asparagus or the like.  We grew turnips, green beans, corn, tomatoes and such.  I remember many times going out to the turnip patch and pulling one and running it under the outside spigot and cleaning off the mud.  Then I would use my trusty pocket knife to peal it and then eat it.  Those were the days.

We can approach God’s Word just like it is a garden.  Did you know that?  We can go to the Word and pick what we need from it also.  Just like the following verses we are about to look at, we can go to “God’s let us patch” and pick what He has for us today.  Let’s go.

Hebrews 4:1, “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.”  I know we are all tired.  It seems that is a plague today.  God tells us to fear or to be in awe of Himself.  Fear can also be a reverential respect.  We can rest in God and just be in awe of Him and have proper respect for Him.  Look at what He has done for us.  This is the week of Thanksgiving so maybe we need to take some time and just rest in Him as we sit in awe and reverential respect of He who died for us.

Hebrews 4:11, “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”  There is nothing like a good day of hard work.  I remember many days like this growing up on the farm.  When you go to bed at night there is that good, tired feeling.  God says that we need to labor for Him.  We do not work to be saved.  We work because we are saved.  What are you doing for God?

Hebrews 4:14, “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.”  I think when we are born again we cannot loose our salvation.  I do not for one second believe that you can be eternally saved and then eternally lost and then eternally saved again over and over again. I think we are being challenged to live a life that is a good testimony of our salvation.  In other words we live like a Christian so that others can see a difference in us.

Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”  I do not know anyone who does not have a need of some kind or another.  God tells us here that we can come with confidence to Him in his throne room and ask Him for what we need and He will hear us and help us.  There is something to truly be thankful for in a day of such hardship and trials.  We do not go running into His throne room.  That is not what this is saying.  It is telling us we can have confidence and go.

So, today as you go to Church or whatever you do on Sunday, the Lord’s Day, remember to take a walk through God’s “let us” patch.

So, how are you dong?

Today’s reading:  Psalm 21, 51, 81, 111, 141; Proverbs 21; Hebrews 3, 4, 5