Sunday, June 18, 2017

In our next post, Bill talks about how to quench your spiritual thirst.

Friday, January 10, 2014


    The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. -- Proverbs 18:10.
    Every man's name is one of his most important treasures. Down through history names have always been symbolic of strengths and weaknesses in character of those to which they were applied. King Solomon's proverb concerning the name of God has been held in the hearts of countless Christians down through the centuries as a promise of divine help and protection in time of need.
    Most certainly, God wants us all to call upon him and is always ready to help us and make a difference in our lives when we call upon him.
    Many different names were applied to God in the Old Testament. They were all important in defining the characteristics of the Lord concerning a particular attribute of God. One such name, Elohim, referred to the true God as creator. In Genesis 17:1, God appeared to Abram as El Shaddai, or Almighty God. The Bible translator C. I. Schofield believed that "all-sufficent" would be the best translation of the name given to God numerous times in the earliest books of the Old Testament.
    In Exodus, Moses introduced the name of God as Jehovah, which means, I am, the eternal living one. The Jews became afraid to utter the name, fearing their mention of the name would cause them to be punished by death. Thus, the high priest pronounced it only once a year on the Day of Atonement.
    Actually, the Bible tells us in the Old Testament that God's name will be revealed. "Therefore the LORD himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)
    The prophecy was brought to pass in Matthew 1. An angel appeared unto Joseph and told him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife. "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shall call his name JESUS; for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." (Matthew 1:21-23)
    The Apostle Paul declared in Philippians 2:9-11: "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
    So, now the whole world should know God's most holy name. After all it was publicly announced to all by an angel from heaven. Be sure that God didn't look through Heaven and send a little boy down here to die for you. He came himself! He's a do-it-yourself God!

Saturday, December 1, 2012


    Also, I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I, send me. -- Isaiah 6:8
    Have you ever heard the voice of God? Has He ever called your name as he did the man, Samuel, in I Samuel, chapter 3? Maybe He didn't speak your name audibly, but you sensed God speaking to you within, in your heart?
    If that has happened to you, how did you react? What did you do? Did you seek to answer God in some manner? I sure hope so, because the Bible makes it clear that you can be called by God.
    How has the experience affected you? Has it changed your whole life? If you did not respond positively to God, why not? Perhaps you were simply afraid or unsure about whether it was God or not. 
    Samuel thought at first it was his friend and teacher, the prophet, Eli, calling. When he heard the voice on each of the first two instances he ran and replied to Eli. The prophet answered that he had not called, and then recognized that something else was going on. He then instructed the youth to go back to his room, and when he heard the voice again, to ask God what he wanted.
    Read the story. You'll find that God did call again and Samuel answered obediently.
    The Bible makes it plain that it is not God's will that any perish. God issues an invitation of Salvation to "whosoever will" and in verse 3 that author calls it "the common salvation" because it is available to all.
    In order to obtain what God offers us, we must qualify for it. You must take advantage of what He says is required to receive it.
    Concerning Salvation, for instance, Jesus told Nicodemus that "no man can see the kingdom of God" (let alone enter into it) unless he is "born again" (John 3). Because of His great love for us, Christ shed enough blood to save us all. Still, unless we obey God's instructions for putting the blood atonement into effect, we remain lost. Without the "born again" experience, people die without hope because they have not obeyed the Gospel's instruction on how to break the curse of death that sin brings.
    God certainly is merciful. In Genesis 6, God decided the wickedness of man was so widespread that He was sorry for ever creating mankind. He seriously considered wiping him from the face of the earth. In the very next verse, 6:8, though, He declares, "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord."
    Noah found grace because he was responsive to both God's call and instructions. The Genesis account tells us that God told him to build an ark as a means of Salvation to all who heard him. As he worked on the ark, Noah preached that God's wrath would soon rain down. Building the ark took over 100 years, but Noah obeyed God. Genesis 6:22 tells us that as a result all who heard Noah (his family) escaped and gave mankind a new start. 
    The Bible tells us much about God's choosing of men. Isaiah heard God's call at first and pleaded he was a "man of unclean lips" (Isa. 6:5). In response, God sent an angel with a live (hot) coal in his hand to touch his lips which had been purged. So, while we may feel unworthy, if God has called us, he will equip us to carry out his purpose.
    Look at God's calling of so many great men of the Bible--Abraham, Joshua, Samson, Samuel, David, Peter, Paul, Cornelius--the list goes on and on. He's still calling today, still looking for a few good men and women to serve and carry out his purpose in the earth.  
    He has declared that His church (the "called out ones" who will be His bride and rule and reign with Him through Eternity, must be without spot or wrinkle. Above reproach, if you will. God teaches, cherishes and enables faithfulness.
    Paul told the church at Rome that the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. (Romans 11:29). Thus, if you've heard His voice, and maybe are hearing it now, pay attention. If you do, I can assure you that will find your life fulfilling the real reason you are here.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


    Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. -- I Kings 19:18
    Elijah, the Tishbite, the great prophet of God, did some wonderful exploits on behalf of the Lord during his lifetime. But even Elijah had at least one moment when he was afraid and believed himself to be all alone--the only servant of God who was left.
    After all, he had just received word from a messenger sent by Jezebel, that most wicked queen of Israel, that she planned to hunt him down and kill him before another 24 hours had elapsed. Well, God quickly let Elijah know the truth, that indeed God had thousands who were still faithfully serving him. (See I Kings 19:18)
    When you look at Elijah's life and note the giant successes he racked up in his walk with God, it might seem that he would be the last person to ever become discouraged or afraid. But the thing to remember is that he, like all of us, was human.
    In his New Testament epistle, the writer James notes that, "Elias (Elijah) was a man subject to like passions as we are." But he continues, "and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months."
    The reason Elijah prayed that prayer, of course. was because of the great wickedness that was prevailing under the leadership of King Ahab. "As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word," the prophet told the king to his face. (I Kings 17:1.)
    Sure enough, God shut the heavens up for 42 months. No rainmaker was able to make it rain. In fact, do you know when it rained again ? Not until after Elijah himself prayed and petitioned God to lift the drought.
    Read about it in I Kings, beginning at Chapter 17, and you'll learn of how God used him to save the life of a widow woman and her son; how he later raised the boy from the dead, and of his great victory in a contest that pitted Elijah and his God against 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the grove with the whole host of Israel as witnesses.
    "And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. (I Kings 18:21.)
    Elijah called for two bullocks, one for Baal's worshipers, and one for himself. Each bullock was cut in pieces and laid on wood, but in each case, no fire was put under it.
    "And the God that answereth by fire, let him be God," Elijah declared (I Kings 18:24).
    He allowed Baal's people to choose their own bullock, dress it, and then to call on the name of their gods.
    "And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon saying, O Baal hear us. But there was no voice nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.
    "And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awakened.
    "And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them." (I Kings 18:26-28) The next verse says that they "prophesied until the time of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any answer, nor any that regarded."
    Then it was Elijah's turn. He repaired the broken down altar, took 12 stones and built an altar in the name of the Lord, and then made a trench about the altar, cut up the bullock, and laid him on the wood. Then he instructed 12 barrels of water to be poured on the sacrifice. Then he had the same amount of water poured on the sacrifice two more times. Then, he filled the trench with water.
    Finally, Elijah began to pray and said, "Hear me O, Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou has turned their heart back again." (Verse 37).
    The next two verses:
    "Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
    "And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God."
    What a victory!
    However, that sent Ahab crying to his wife, and led to Jezebel's rage and her vow against the man of God. With all of his successes, you would think that Elijah could not be affected by the threats of an evil woman. But he was, because he was human.
    God, of course, encouraged him, and Jezebel never got him. In fact, Elijah was later to prophesy the deaths of both Ahab AND Jezebel as God poured  out His judgments against them. And, the prophesy came true just as the prophet said it would. 
    So, my Christian friend, it's important to stay encouraged when things go wrong and it looks as it the devil's about to take over. Let's learn from Elijah's experience and never, ever forget that God is still in full control.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


    I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.-- Psalm 27:13 
    Life certainly has its trying moments for all of us. Perhaps you've seen that whole list of sayings that go along with Murphy's Law. You know the crux of Murphy's Law is that if something can go wrong it will.
    Let me clue in one thing. I've found that whether you are a Christian or not there are times in our lives that Murphy's Law seems to rule. But, as well, there's certainly also a lot of truth to that old adage, "When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade." That may not always be the easiest thing to do, but in many, if not all cases, if we really scrutinize the situation from every angle we can conceive of, we really can often find at least a partial or temporary solution. 
    After all, people like Erma Bombeck, the late columnist, have been making a good living for years just making fun of all the besetting problems of life and our attempts at handling them. There's a lot to be said for that method of looking at life's problems for all of us. 
    You haven't completely been defeated when you can find a little humor in what's been happening to you, and thereby retain an attitude that sooner or later--hopefully sooner--that with God's help things are going to turn around. And, all's well that ends well.
    Nothing good is ever accomplished by simply sitting around griping, worrying or crying over our problems. As Jesus taught in his parable in Luke 18, "men ought always to pray, and not to faint." (Luke 18:1). Prayer can and will help, if you seek God's help in sincerity, from your heart.
    While some of today's religions that teach that all the answers to life's problems are inside of you, Christ teaches that the TRUE ANSWERS really are not within us. They are outside of us. Instead they are IN HIM.
    Jeremiah 10:23 declares, "O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." David, in Psalm 37:23-24, tells us more: "The steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand."
    James 5:16 assures us that, "The effectural fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
    We have to keep the faith we've invested long ago in God, and we have to continue to believe in ourselves and His love for us. He's promised never to leave us nor forsake us. He won't because He cannot lie. So, hang in there my friend, things will get better, and even if they don't, we'll understand it better by and by.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How To Quench Your Thirst

    Come, see a man, which told me all the things that I ever did: is not this the Christ?--John 4:29
    The hot sun was beating down on her as the woman carried her pot across the clearing to Jacob's well for her daily supply of water. Life in Sychar had not been good to her, especially with the women and the elders who ruled the city. After all, she was well known to her neighbors and they had branded her as a harlot--and rightfully so.That's likely why she chose to brave the noonday sun each day as she made her trip to the well.
    The "good people" of Sychar made it a point to draw their water early in the morning before it got too hot. This was the best time for her, however, because there was seldom anybody else at the well at this time and she didn't have to endure ridicule from any of the townsfolk who knew her. 
    This day, though, there was someone else at the well, a man quietly sitting there. It was almost as if he had been waiting for her to come by. It was obvious to her that he was Jewish. Oh, boy, what kind of trouble was she in for now?
    "Give me to drink," he said.
    How can he ask me a question like that, she wondered. Aloud, she replied, "How is it that thou, being a Jew, asketh drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans?"
    "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou would have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water," the stranger replied.
    Her response to that statement was one of shear wonder and perhaps unbelief. "Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
    "Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle"
    Lots of questions. But, then she was like a lot of people who are so quick to question Christ. Perhaps it's because He really is still such a stranger to them. And, for sure, they've never ever met anyone like Him before.
    John 4:13 records Jesus' next response to her as:
    "Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I give him shall be in him a well of living water springing up into everlasting life."
    As you might expect, the woman gave a quick, affirmative reply, at least verbally. "Sir, give me this water that I thirst not, neither come to draw," she said. Inwardly, she had to be wondering, just how does he think he's going to do it? Or, in other words, Oh yeah, let me see you prove you have such abilities.
    Jesus told her: "Go, call thy husband and come hither."
    "I have no husband," she retorted, probably thinking, I've got you now.
    "Thou hast well said, I have no husband," Jesus told her. "For thou has had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that thou sayest truly."
    "Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet," she acknowledged.
    Take a moment and read the rest of that exchange in John 4. There's a good chance you may find Jesus waiting on the sidelines somewhere in your life sometime when you least expect it, but need Him most.
    The woman, by the way, went back and told her neighbors: Come, see a man, which told me all the things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? They were so moved by her experience that they not only listened to her, but went out to see Him for themselves.
    Have you checked out this amazing man with the living water yet?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


    Life is an incredible adventure that includes highs and lows, the good, the bad, and sometimes the ugly. As someone has said, it is not a sprint, but a marathon in which we are required to cope with whatever situation comes our way.
    One of my favorite expressions is "Only one life, it will soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last."
    This life is not forever, it is a fleeting thing. In the Bible James tells us that even the rich are here temporarily, "But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof faileth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways." (James 1:10-11.)
    The next verse tells us to hold fast to Christ for the opportunity to live forever. "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." (James 1:12.)
    No, this life is only a temporary experience for all of us. Moses, in Psalms 90:10, advises, "The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be forescore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away."
    Last May I reached the age of 72, so I'm well aware that sometime ago I entered the fall of my life. While some people call this lifetime segment the golden years, I have reached a stark conclusion that there are a number of things I once did well and almost without thinking, I cannot do as well--or even at all--today.
    Unlike the way it may have been in our youth, we have learned while passing through the marathon of life what chronic aches and pains are, we have experienced our share of personal heartaches, and we have endured and enjoyed a myriad of ups and downs.
    While I may no longer be as young or agile as I once was, life still holds plenty of joy for me--and I hope for you as well, if you have reached a similar stage in your life.
    We still treasure our family as well as the friendships we have put together over the years. We have had the joy of watching our children grow into adulthood and go out on their own., We have known the joy of seeing grandchildren and even great-grandchildren come into the world.
    We still have our faith and the hope of seeing Christ for ourselves as we are invited to enter into eternal life someday. So, while life may end as we know it down here, we look forward with much anticipation to what may be over the horizon for us. We are only pilgrims in this life and are simply rehearsing for what lies ahead in a land where we'll never die. I do want to see Christ Jesus in peace one day, don't you?