Weekly Devotional

This insight into the Gospel of Jesus Christ, “The Good News,”

was gleaned by reading Spurgeon’s Daily Devotional.

November 2, 2020

Come and see what God has done, (Psalm 66:5)

Come with me now and let us witness to the reality of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and His ministry among us. Where we are weak and heavy laden, He will strengthen us and easy our burdens; where we are deaf and dumb to hearing His word and praising His name, He will give us ears to hear His voice and mouths to raise tributes upon our lips to His amazing grace; where we hunger and thirst to be fed the Truth and Drink the Wine of forgiving mercies, He will provide an everlasting abundance of these products of the Holy Spirit unto the Promise of Eternal life!

Come with me now, take my hand and let us walk together to the cross of Jesus Christ. Let us fall upon our knees and confess to our Redeemer that we are desperate to be forgiven of all our sins; let us ask Him to take pity on us, to have compassion for us, to show kindness to us and wash us clean of all our inequities by the power of His sacrificial blood, which alone can save us from the corruption of our sinful human natures.


Come with me now and let us rise up upon our feet and set out upon the straight and narrow road, rejoicing in the victory which is ours over sin and death through the grace we have been given to believe that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, lives and is this very moment walking with us…

And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth.  Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always , even unto the end of the world. (Matthew 28:18-20)

Come with me now, my brothers and sisters in the body of Christ, and let us, together, bear witness to what our Savior is doing for us by virtue of His unconditional love… 

how awesome his works in man's behalf! (Psalm 66:5)

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

October 5, 2020

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. (Galatians 5:1) 

 

There are people born to be fed by silver spoons, and then there are the rest of us: folks of modest means, lucky to have a decent meal every now and then. Whatever our status in life, be the food we eat of special delights or only of ordinary staples – common to all of us is the fact that we are slaves to our appetites – and, spiritually speaking, Satan will do everything in his power to keep us feeding on junk food, rather than have us eat at the table of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

One of the most insidious ways Satan uses to prevent us from satisfying our hunger for the truth is to fill our bellies full of empty calories, tasty sweet things, candies and pastries that make us fat, and soft, and lazy, sleepy even, feel good stuff that has no nutritional value for the strengthening of our hearts, minds and bodies that would empower us to break away from the bonds of sin with which he enslaves us – be it with chains of hardened steel or cords of delicate silk.

 

Spiritually and physically speaking, we are what we eat! At the last super, 

 

Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it; and he gave to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body. And he took a cup, and gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28)

Beware of the kind master of slavery, the one who lets you eat and drink yourself into unconsciousness, for the morning is coming when you will have to sober up and, like Gulliver in his travels, you may find you are all tied up – your freedom taken away from you while you slept in a drunken stupor.

Rich or poor, the Promise of Eternal Life is only given to people free from sin, folks cut loose from the chains Satan holds within his hands that keep us from seeking the liberty found only in being obedient to following in the footsteps of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Oh, how sad it is that so many of us are gluttons for punishment.

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

September 28, 2020

“Bring him unto me.” (Mark 9:19)

Whatever burdens we carry upon our hearts for the safety and wellbeing of mothers and fathers, wives and husbands, sons and daughters, extended family members and friends alike (no matter the weight of the ache or pain, worry or fear, trouble or affliction, be the encumbrance a recent load placed upon our backs or an impediment we have long suffered throughout our lifetime) – can be lifted from our shoulders by responding to this open invitation of Jesus Christ:

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  (Matt 11:28-30)

By grace, through faith in the resurrection power of the Son of God, we believe in our Savior’s miraculous ability to do for others what He has done for us: forgiven us of all our sins unto the Promise of Eternal Life.

And what our Redeemer has done for us, He will do for the people we love that we bring to Him in prayer and, in the offering, Jesus will relieve our personal sadness, sorrow, agony and stress by taking the people we love up into the care of His Almighty Hands.

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

September 21, 2020

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

(Jeremiah 33:3)

Don’t whisper them, but shout them out: all the questions you have about the mysteries of the universe, chief among them, why we are conscious of how small we are in relation to the stars shinning in the heavens above.

What is the meaning of our circumstances; the reason we are here on earth; the rational for all of creation?  Why do we know so much about pain and suffering, our weaknesses and disabilities, the vagrancies of our human nature and, yet, have so little understanding of the purpose for our lives?

Ask these questions with a humble heart, in the spirit to gain wisdom, and the Great “I Am,” Who gave you a voice to query Him, will reveal Himself to you in all His Glory, His Passion and Love in the Person of Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God.

The simple truth is God wants to be known, not as a hard task master; but as a kind and merciful Father. And that is why He sent our Lord and Savior into this world to teach us all things about His unconditional love for us.

Our Redeemer went to the cross to make known to us the greatest miracle of all:  that by grace, through faith in His body and blood, broken and shed for the remission of all our sins, we are made children of God, destined to receive the promise of Eternal Life.

Still puzzled about the why for of your existence? Well, then, fall upon your knees and call upon the King of kings to enlighten you: 

For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. (John 5:20)

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

September 14, 2020

A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, "If you are willing, you can make me clean." (Mark 1:40)

What we witness the leper suffering from on the outside of his body is no different than what every child born to man is afflicted with within the core of their beings: the general corruption of sin. And while the symptoms of this fatal disease are impossible to hide from people in society that appear, on the outside, of good standing, upright moral character, there is no hiding from the eyes of Jesus Christ the true condition of our hearts.

So, what are we to do about this sad state of affairs: all the deep, dark secrets we dare not let anyone see for fear of being rejected by hypocrites like ourselves? The answer is to fall on our knees and beg the Son of God to make us clean.

 

The wonder of our Lord and Savior is this: He knows every sin we ever committed that has broken us down, sapped our strength, wormed its way into our flesh and bones, making us offensive with the stench of death, and, despite all that, is willing to reach out and touch our filthy rags, making them white as snow at the very instant we recognize, by grace, through the gift of faith in His atoning sacrifice for all our sins upon the cross, that His blood has the ability to wash us clean, make us whole, give us victory over all of our infirmities unto the promise of Eternal Life.

 

Feeling depressed; like there is no hope in your life to conquer the power addictions have over you; like you don’t want to wake up to another day of the same old thing: walking around in the dark on legs of clay?

 

Well, then, take this opportunity to be cured from all that ails you! Here, now, this very moment – fall upon your knees and let Jesus Christ heal you! Feel His hand upon you and let the Son of God, your Redeemer, shower His mercy, His forgiveness, His unconditional love upon your heart and change your life forever!

Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured. (Mark 1:41-42)  

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

September 7, 2020

"Then have them make a sanctuary for me,” (Exodus 25:8)

God gave to Moses explicit instructions of how to build the ark of His covenant here on earth. It was to house the tablets of the Ten Commandments and the people were to donate to the cost of its construction by free-will offerings. It was to be made of pure gold and carried into the tabernacle on poles of acacia wood, overlaid with gold, so that the hands of man would not defile the inanimate object bearing witness to God’s Testimony about Himself: His Holiness, His Righteousness, His Everlasting and Immutable Laws. 

The ark was made portable so that wherever the people went they could take it with them and continue bringing offerings of worship to God from the bounty of their wealth to the tabernacle, wherever it was established in all of their wanderings.

This relationship, “and I will dwell among them (Exodus 25:8),” between God and His people lasted for centuries. And in all the years man carried around the physical ark of God’s covenant, not one person was able to fulfill the spiritual intent of the laws therein. Not one! Least not until the Word of God was made flesh and Jesus Christ dwelt among us.

By grace, through faith in the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior upon the cross, we have received a new covenant. And by the blood of Jesus Christ all our sins are washed away, opening our hearts to prayer, praise and thanksgiving to the Son of God for doing for us what we could never do for ourselves:

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Matthew 5:17)

Gone is the weight of old covenant written in stone and given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai, a burden too heavy for us to carry; Here is the promise of the new covenant, guaranteed by the Living Word of God, our Redeemer, established by His unconditional love for us:

"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. (John 11:25)

Question is:

Do you believe this?"  (John 11:26)

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

August 31, 2020

A generous man will prosper; (Proverbs 11:25)

There are countless ways for us of being charitable that have nothing to do with money; in fact, giving away cash here on earth, from the perspective of garnering spiritual rewards to the giver in the hereafter, is of least currency in heaven, because most often it is the easiest thing for us to do here and now.

Writing checks, making financial donations and giving money from the abundance of our wealth is all fine and good; but it is not the kind of generosity that enables our souls to prosper in heartfelt appreciation to Jesus Christ - Who died a pauper on the cross to give us the Promise of Eternal Life.

It is not money that our Savior dispensed in all-embracing quantity here on earth; but His wisdom, His mercy and His unconditional love for us. And from the wellspring of these gifts which we have received by grace, through faith and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, our Redeemer would have us do unto others what He has done for us:

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. (John 14:12-14)

Jesus healed the sick: when is the last time we visited a hospital bed? Jesus fed the hungry: when is the last time we volunteered to prepare food at a soup kitchen? Jesus praised the name of His Father in heaven before all men: when is the last time we praised the name of our Lord and Savior in the public square?

There is nothing miserly about what the Son of God has given us to share: the Joy, Praise and Thanksgiving that comes with the knowledge of an endless supply of the things that the Son of God has given us to give away - up close and personal, one on one, among the people we associate with day to day down there on Main Street - where we find our generosity is invigorating, rejuvenating and in all ways proof of this proverb:

He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:25)

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

August 24, 2020

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

August 17, 2020

Watchman, what is left of the night? (Isaiah 21:11)

This is a question asked not of someone who has been slumbering; but of a person wide awake through the hours of darkness, while everyone around them sleeps. The inquiry begs an answer: Tell us, dear Christian, have you been faithful to your duty to keep observant until the coming dawn, that no spiritual harm shall befall your fellow citizens; no spark of sin flame up and burn out of control; no enemy use the night as a cover to invade the peace and tranquility of those resting in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and disturb the heavenly dreams of men?

Watchman, what is left of the night?" 

Hear now, fellow Christian, that we have been faithful at our post: that we did not doze off; that we have kept our eyes on the Morning Star so as the coming of the Son of God will not catch us unawares; but find us conscious of our Redeemer’s sacrifice upon the cross for the redemption of all our sins and praying, so as not to be asked by our Savior upon His return:

"are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." (Mark 14:37-38) 

Watchman, what is left of the night?" 

What say you, dear Christian?

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

August 10, 2020

"Do not be afraid.” (Exodus 14:13)

Fear can freeze a man in his tracks, make him useless to himself or anyone else engaged in combating pain and suffering in this life. Fear can be horrifying, terrifying and immobilizing. Fear can turn anyone’s soft, pliable core at the center of their beings into cold, hard blocks of stone; anyone’s heart, that is, except for those having received the gift of the Holy Spirit. 

By grace, through faith in the atoning sacrifice of the Son of God for the remission of all our sins upon the cross, all our fears are washed away and replaced by an incredible Respect of, and Love for, our Father in heaven.

Trusting in our Father’s plan of redemption, we never freeze up; never become useless; never fear what lies ahead because we know that we are presently like the Israelites of old, settled along the shore of the Red Sea, patiently waiting for our Moses, our Leader, our Redeemer to deliver us safely into the Promised Land.  

Today, even this very hour, our Father in heaven may stretch out His hands and part the waters between His will be done and our Kingdom Come.

Question is, will He find us standing on the Rock of our Salvation?

“Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today.” (Exodus 14:13)

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

August 3, 2020

The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out. (Leviticus 6:13)

By grace, we receive the gift of faith and of a sudden the darkness, within the world we were stumbling about in, is made light; and our path made clear: set ablaze with joy and adoration for the miraculous work Jesus Christ has done in calling us to Himself; to the foot of the cross to be sanctified by His body and blood, broken and shed for the remissions of all our sins.

Oh, how high the flame; how bright the light; how warm and comforting the glow upon the altar of our hearts when first we realized all our sins consumed, burned up, melted away by the purifying heat of our Savior’s Holiness, Righteousness, Godliness, which refined our souls clean of all contaminates. And now, how sad to come to this: flickering doubts, cooling embers, dyeing flames where once the Bonfire, the Beacon of Light, the Torch of Spiritual Liberty - Jesus Christ - burned so intensely unto the promise of Eternal Life.

If the light of our faith in our Savior’s promises is growing dim; if the flames of trust in our Redeemer’s power to save us is going out; if the altar of our hearts, wherein the Son of God chose to abide in all of His glorious splendor, is now growing cold, it is not for lack of the grace of God; but for our willful disobedience in not doing our part to making sure the fire the Holy Spirit first lit within our hearts continues to burn and does not go out.

The remedy for warding off the darkness in our minds and warming up the alter of our spiritual souls is repentance: falling upon our knees in prayer and asking Jesus Christ to do for us which only He can do: soften our cold, hard hearts:

“For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.” (Matthew 13:15) 

Thank You, Dear Jesus, for keeping the home fires burning: for massaging our hearts this day with Your nail pierced hands and the oil of Your unconditional love, whereby fulfilling Your promise to heal us.

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

July 26, 2020

God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning — the first day. (Genesis 1:5)

Right from the get-go, our Creator was about the business of drawing a distinction among the objects He formed out of the mind of His Pure, Holy and Righteous Imagination. Think of it: No snowflake is similar; no grain of sand exactly alike and every human being upon God’s earth wears a different face – no two smiles are the same.

 

Our God, Who Is, Was and Always will remain The Same has a divine sense of humor:  in that everything He placed in the universe, fashioned with His hands, is governed by the law of change. And there is no greater example of this fact than the transformation in the heart of man which occurs when God, by grace, gives His children the gift of faith to believe in Jesus Christ and His promise of Eternal Life in the Kingdom of Heaven to come.

 

Christians are not the same people they were prior to hearing the voice of their Savior say, "Come, follow me," (Matthew 4:19)

 

Oh, how great is the change in our lives that is wrought by the life sustaining blood of our Lord and Savior which washes over us and gives us a new perspective on life – one where the prizes of the Joy, Peace and Unconditional Love of God, are ours to claim in the defeat of Satan through the victory of our Redeemer over sin and death.

 

Contrast! Without it, how mundane our lives would be!

 

At once they left their nets and followed him. (Matthew 4:20)

 

And the birds were singing in the morning; and the frogs were croaking throughout the night; and, in the midst of all of these disparities, these similarities were made crystal clear by Divine Intervention – their lives were changed forever!

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

July 19, 2020

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:4

This, the coming of the Holy Ghost into our lives is a Supreme Act of Love by the will of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, and remains no different today as when  “purifying tongues of fire” descended upon the original apostles and made them agents of change in this world of sin and death, by these attributes of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit:

  1. His help in all our endeavors;

  2. His supremacy over the forces of evil in this world;

  3. The good gifts He gives us of what we ask for of our Father in heaven;

  4. The grace we receive, by faith, to believe by the cross of Jesus Christ we are forgiven of all our sins and, as a consequence, are given the ability to forgive those who sin against us;

  5. The authority on earth to make disciples of our Lord and Savior by baptizing children of God in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit;

  6. To be ourselves “born again” into the promise of new life in the Kingdom of Heaven;

  7. To obey the commands of our Redeemer to love Him as we should love ourselves and others as the Counselor, the Spirit of Truth, makes way our path to follow in the footsteps of the Lord of Life 

  8. To remember all the things Jesus taught us about His unconditional love  for us;

  9. And, most effectively, be powerful witnesses to the cross upon which Jesus died and the empty tomb form which He arose again from the dead.

 

When the Holy Spirit descends upon us and brings the Light of the Light of the world into our hearts, He also gives us the ability to read, interpret and speak a different language: the Word of God, which becomes a blessing to us and others unto the promise of Eternal Life.

 

1. (John 14:26);  2. (Acts 1:8); 3. (Luke 11:13); 4. (Matthew 12:32); 5. (Matthew 28:18-19); 6. (John 3:5-7); 7. (John 14:15-17); 8. (14:25-27); 9. (Acts 1:8)

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

July 13, 2020

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

June 29, 2020

"These were potters, and those that dwelt among plants and hedges: there they dwelt with the king for his work." 1 Chronicles 4:23 KJV

Wherever came the silly notion that Monday through Saturday we work for ourselves, and Sunday is the only day in the week we need to be concerned with dwelling in the presence of our Savior?

Jesus said, “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew28:20) Where in this promise of our Lord and Savior is any suggestion of Christ taking a break from assisting us in our everyday labors; not helping us carry the burdens we bear on a daily basis; not being our source of strength, peace and hope throughout every hour, of every day, of every month, in every year we walk upon this earth?  

Know this: whatever our profession, we work our entire lives for nothing if our motive is only for personal wealth and gain. Status symbols, creature comforts and all the trimming of fortune and fame are worthless if, in obtaining them, we fail to give appreciation, praise and thanksgiving to our Redeemer for the work He did with His nail pierced hands to redeem us.

It is the blood of our Redeemer that washes us clean of all our sins. And by the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, no matter our vocation, makes all of our toil and drudgery bear witness to the reality of Him working with us to perform acts of loving kindness; wherever we are, however we are exerting ourselves, whatever we are doing to support our families.

There is nothing easy about doing manual labor in our society. It is the way of the world that most people, including Christians in the body of Christ, are employed in jobs requiring them to get their hands dirty. “I hate my job!” is a common refrain heard down there on the street, where most of us make a living.

However, “I hate my job!” is not an exclamation you will ever hear coming for the lips of a disciple of Jesus Christ; for Christians know, like the potters of old, that every day, in every week, in all the work of their hands - the hands of the Lord are employed with them to accomplish His will for the purpose of our lives, which is: that we find contentment, peace and rest, in the midst of all our endeavors in the knowledge of the unconditional love that our Lord and Savior has for us.

If we lift our eyes to heaven only one day out of the week, we will never discover, on Sunday morning, the rest for our souls we seek.

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

June 22, 2020

If anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. (1 John 2:5-6)

Oh, so much fumbling, mumbling and grumbling among God’s children in the universal church today, with its countless factions, divisions, and splinters. What is it about our sinful human nature that fosters contentions, apprehensions, and dissentions among God’s children here on earth? 

Might the reason that the whole of Christendom does not currently present to the world, in a cohesive way, a church of healing, a church of refuge, a church of worship “Unified in the Body of Christ,” be because we, disciples of the Son of God, are not being obedient to His Word?

From “One” Redeeming moment in time, from “One” singular act of atoning sacrifice for the forgiveness of all our sins, from “One,” and only “One, Holy and Righteous Son of God,” flows the cleansing blood of mercy, forgiveness and salvation into the hearts of repentant sinners living in this world.

And one of the main reasons why the church, universal, remains disjointed in the world is because of the sin of our stubborn human pride, which keeps us from obeying the “One” and “Only Command” that can truly make us complete in Jesus Christ:

“A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:34-35)

 

It is not how we praise His Name; It is not where we praise His name; It is not when we praise His name;  It is only that we all, together, lift up praises to His Holy Name in “One” voice and bear witness to the unconditional love of Jesus Christ in our lives - the Unifying Power that binds us together unto the Kingdom of Eternal Life.

 

All unity in Christ is lost when, by vanity, we take our eyes off of the cross.

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

June 15, 2020

LORD, do not forsake me; (Psalms 38:21)

Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, faced Judas, His disciple who betrayed Him with a kiss; He faced Caiaphas, the high priest, who, along with a mob of self-righteous hypocrites, accused Him of speaking blasphemy when He confirmed that they were right to say that He is the Son of God; He faced Pontius Pilate, the ruler in this world, who sentenced Him to death; He faced the soldiers who whipped Him and the legion guards who pushed a crown of thorns upon His head, piercing His flesh, making blood run down on His head; He faced all in the crowd who laughed at Him, mocked Him, spit on Him, cursed Him on His walk to Calvary, on the day of He sacrificed His life for the forgiveness of all our sins; He faced His executioners when they stripped Him of His clothes and stretched out His hands and feet and  nailed His limbs to a tree; He faced the curious and spiteful onlookers from the height of the cross where He listened, in agony, to them saying: 

“He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself! He's the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, 'I am the Son of God;" (Matthew 27:42-43)an

He faced the unquenchable thirst of a dying man who wants to live, the thirst that only comes before breathing his final breath, and in that moment He looked at John, the disciple He loved dearly, in the company of Mary Magdalene and His mother, with some of her relations and friends and said: "Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, "Here is your mother. (John 19:26-27)

And, lastly, the most heart wrenching of all the events that took place on the day our Savior died, He faced the sinner on the cross next to Him and said, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43)

Jesus faced all these things before proclaiming “It is finished,” (John 19:30) for this purpose: That we would know that He is always near and will NEVER TURN HIS BACK ON US!

 be not far from me, O my God. (Psalms 38:21)

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

June 8, 2020

Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, (Romans 8:17)

So, things aren’t going so well right now; the world is experiencing the consequences of a viral pandemic and what were common and familiar routines in our lives have been turned upside-down. All of a sudden, people are in a panic: locking themselves behind four walls; afraid to pass one another on municipal sidewalks; hiding their faces behind masks which, ironically, is a crying shame because now everyone looks the same - who is that person approaching me? God only knows!

Speaking of God, three questions are on everyone’s lips: (1). Where is God Almighty in the midst of all this turmoil? (2). Why doesn’t He do something to straighten out this horrible mess? (3). What purpose can there be for all this pain and suffering? 

First things first: God is everywhere; He is omnipotent; He is the creator and sustainer of all things and reigns Supreme in heaven above in the Personification of God the Father, our Maker; God the Son, our Savior and God the Holy Spirit, our source of Divine Illumination. God, three in one – United in Love for everyone!

Second: there is no greater tragedy known to mankind than having to surrender all the blessings we have accumulated over the course of a lifetime to the stench of death, none! And in this, our demise, the rottenest deal of all, we have been dealt a new hand, by the hands of Jesus Christ nailed to a tree. It is by His sacrifice for all our sins upon the cross that every horrible mess we have gotten ourselves into is straightened out, made right, totally rectified. What can be done to redeem everyone has been accomplished by God’s Holy Son. 

Lastly, all human suffering is but a drop in the ocean of our Lord’s passion which he endured for this purpose: that we, by grace, through faith in His unconditional love for us, would be made heirs of God, co-heirs with Jesus Christ in the promise of Eternal Life, if….

“indeed, we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” (Romans 8:17)

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

June 1, 2020

"Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me." (John 5:7)  

 

There are many reasons why people today remain blind to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; paralyzed in long suffering in their inability to help themselves feast upon the Word of God, His promise of Eternal Life; linger in hopelessness and despair, even when they see others around them, in worst circumstances than their own, accomplishing incredible feats of victory over the limits imposed upon them by their physical and mental disabilities –  And this man, prostrate, thirty-eight years at the pool of Bethesda, is an example of a person with the lamest excuse of all for never making progress in his life; for never getting off his back; for never standing up on his own two feet – “I have no one to help me.”

 

Satan would have us believe this lie: that we are alone in our afflictions, without an advocate to help us get through difficult times, with no assistant to pick us up, dust us off, and send us on our way, again, again and again; but all these expressions of self-pity are false – proven untrue by the life, death and resurrection of the Son of God, our Lord, Savior and Redeemer. 

 

There is no debilitating force on earth that cannot be overcome by the gift of grace, and faith in the resurrection power of the Lord of Life! None!

 

And the only question we have to ask ourselves, in midst of all our physical and spiritual infirmities, to access the almighty strength of the arm of God to sustain us, each and every day of our lives is this: Do we want Jesus to help us? 

 

Every person answering yes, Lord, please help me, hears this command of their Savior saying, through the voice of the Holy Spirit: 

 

"Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." (John 5:8)

 

And from that day forward it is our delight to witness to the joy of our salvation!

 

At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. (John 5:9)

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

May 18, 2020

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

May 11, 2020

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37

What weakness have we strengthened, by grace, through faith in the body and blood of our Lord nailed to the cross for the forgiveness of our sins? What failing of character has been improved upon by His sacrifice on our behalf that bears witness to His Sprit, alive within us, which removes all doubt of the reality of the Promise of Eternal Life? What flaws have been corrected in our many imperfections that gives us the ability to believe in the reality of our Redeemer’s resurrection?

 

Point is, if we have no foibles to confess, we are defeated, more or less; because this, and this alone, give us victory over the powers of destruction in our lives: The unconditional love of Jesus Christ, which makes us more than conquerors in all things unbecoming of a dearly loved, died for, child of God.

 

Without confession, daily reflection upon our imperfections, we cannot make incremental progression toward ultimate perfection: 

For by His grace, mercy, alone

Are we forgiven, His love made known;

And in our victories – Satan’s defeat –

Our faith in Jesus made complete.

It is the battles we win over sin in our lives, by being obedient to surrendering our will to follow Jesus Christ on the straight and narrow road, which convinces us, like the Apostle Paul…

 

“that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

May 3, 2020

They said to each other, "Didn't our hearts feel strangely warm as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?" Luke 24:32

On this side of heaven, every disciple of Jesus Christ walks with their Redeemer like the followers of our Savior did on the road to Emmaus, after the events of Good Friday and the upshot of Easter Sunday.

While we are miles away from fully understanding the depth, breadth and unconditional love the Son of God has for us, demonstrated by His sacrifice for us upon the cross outside the gates of Jerusalem, still, by grace, through the gift of faith, we appreciate what He did to guarantee us the Promise of Eternal Life; and the desire of our hearts is to know more about Him: to recognize His purpose for our lives in our associations, conversations and situations.

 

Jesus fulfilled every divination about Him written in the history of Moses and all the prophets as foretold in the Scriptures. “Wasn't it clearly predicted by the prophets that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his time of glory," said Jesus. (Luke 24:26-27)

 

We know the facts; but do we believe them - Him, the Word of God, the Lord of our Salvation?

 

He is Risen! 

 

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire."   (Hebrews 12:28-29)

 

Oh, hasten the day when the Lord of Life calls us unto Himself and the warmth we feel for Him within our hearts leads to spontaneous combustion, where upon we are made perfect in the blazing glory of Jesus Christ.

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

April 27, 2020

"The place which is called Calvary." Luke 23:33

“Footprints” 

We would not know the height and depth 

Of the Love of Jesus Christ,

Except for the mountains and valleys low

He walked in His life;

And these, the final steps He took

To save a wretch like me, 

Upon the hill known as the Skull:

His last, at Calvary.

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

April 20, 2020

Then Pilate asked him, "Don't you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?" Matthew 27:13

 

What puzzled Pilate most, throughout his interrogation of Jesus, was that our Savior did not voice any objections in the midst of the accusations being leveled against Him. 

 

Pilate, knowing that the guilty always have a tale to tell as to why they did what they did contrary to the norms of society - and that it usually involves some convoluted story where somebody else is, for some other wrong, perpetrated on the offender for some other reason, to blame for the crime they committed - was baffled by the fact that the Word of God, standing before him, spoke not.

 

More bewildering still, to the Governor of Jerusalem, was that Jesus did not act like any other innocent man that had been brought before him for judgment in the past: no lawyers argued in His defense; no character witnesses were brought forth to testify on His behalf; and, when given the opportunity during the official court proceeding to express His opinions, explain His innocence, the defendant, the Son of God, remained silent. 

 

But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge — to the great amazement of the governor. Matthew 27:14

 

Therein lays Pilate’s conundrum: No blame game played to sway damnation; no argument made to grant salvation - for that this mystery would be made known: justice belongs to God alone.

 

And this is what amazes me: that I, a sinner, someday will be

Found innocent by Jesus Christ, speaking up to save my life.

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

April 13, 2020

The high priest said to him, "I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God." (Matthew 26:63)

Oh, beware the sin of human pride

By which Caiaphas denied

Rabbinical Truth, when asked the question,

Paramount to his profession.

Pity the high priest so proud,

Of his vocation before the crowd,

That he called curses down upon his head

When he heard what Jesus said:

 "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied.” (Matthew 26:63)

Let us not fear to profess

Jesus Christ, His righteousness;

But humbly bow before His throne

And proudly claim Him as our own.

"But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." (Matt 26:-64)

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

April 6, 2020

"But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you." Psalms 39:7

What a mess we have gotten ourselves into with all our travelling about, and why are we so obsessed with speed: faster and faster modes of transportation? Where are we going in such a rush? What is so important that it can’t wait another moment to be said, to be done, to be experienced? 

Might not the real fear in our hearts, caused by the current pandemic facing the world today, be in the pause it is causing us to take in the midst of our fondness for running to and fro as we go about the business of living?

Might not the real anxiety in our hearts be because of the interval it is imposing upon us to take a respite from the energies we are investing in accumulating wealth?

Might not the real dread in our hearts today, from the crisis confronting mankind, be the break we are being forced to make – the intermission we now have to take – from all the hustle and bustle of our daily routines?

Might not the real panic in our hearts today come from the slowing down of the time in which we live in, to the point where we are forced to catch our breath and consider the true meaning of our lives?

Might not we prefer absolute chaos than this: Sitting quietly by ourselves and, with the peace that passes all understanding, pray that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will increase our faith to completely trust in His promise to be with us always, “even to the end of the age?” (Matthew 28:20)

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

March 30, 2020

"We're not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves." 2 Kings 7:9

Oh, were we not once the most despicable of creatures, loath to look into our hearts and see the destitution there? Were we not formerly infected to the core of our beings with the fatal disease of sin and, like people with leprosy of old, hiding our filthy rags from the eyes of respectable society? Were we not once pariahs of affliction, hopelessly stuck in cycles of misery, immorality and self-gratification?

Of course, we were! So, why are we keeping the “Good News” of the physical and spiritual transformation of our hearts, minds and souls to ourselves? Have we not been forgiven of all are sins? Has not the blood of our Redeemer healed us, restored us, washed us clean of all our inequities and made us good enough, righteous enough and holy enough to enter into the presence of our Father in heaven, and receive the promise of Eternal Life?

No ands, ifs or doubts about it:  the grace we have received to believe, by faith, in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is a miracle worth sharing with friends, family and strangers alike.

Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” (John 12:32)

Consequently, we are not doing right if the only time we lift up the Name above all names, Jesus Christ, in prayer, praise and thanksgiving, is within the walls of the churches we regularly attend on Sunday mornings and, through all the other days in the week (at home, at work and out and about), keep the “Good News” to ourselves.

Are we being selfish or selfless? Are we sharing the precious gift we have received or keeping it all to ourselves?  Are we doing the right thing by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

March 16, 2020

"Ye must be born again." John 3:7

When the Holy Spirit gives us ears to hear, eyes to see, the grace to renew our minds and the faith to believe in the promises of the Son of God: His power to save lost souls through His broken body and the shedding of His blood upon the cross for the remission of all sins – then, and only then, are we “Born Again.”

My, how you have changed! No drinking; no smoking; no gambling; no carousing with women; no angry outburst; no jealous rages; no condemnation of enemies; no gossiping about friends; no petty hatreds and no more resentments!

Oh, my God, look at you now! Full of compassion; tender mercies; empathy; sympathy; understanding; kindness; benevolence; usefulness; helpfulness; goodness and, most apparent to friends and strangers alike – devotion, reverence, adulation and love for the Lord of Life, Jesus Christ!

The irony in being “Born Again” is found in the testimony of the Apostle John, when he was informed that Jesus Christ was baptizing sinners in the name of the Holy Spirit, and is as true today as when our Savior walked upon the earth: “He must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30)

The greatest evidence of being “Born Again” is none other than the miraculous way in which we begin to die to our selfish wants and live to proclaim the name of our glorious Redeemer, the Giver of all good things and the Provider of all our needs.

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

March 9, 2020

One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving. Psalms 62:11-12

 

There are many people in this world that think our faith in Jesus Christ is nothing more than a sign of weakness, an example of people with feeble minds, just another coping mechanism to get us through hard times: like alcohol, drugs and hospital wooden crutches.

There are many people in this world that look at the life and death of Jesus Christ as a lesson in futility; a useless waist of thirty years living upon this earth; a pointless, ineffective, senseless tragedy of epic proportions. Lacking grace, and faith to believe in the Redeemer of this world, they see no value in our Lord’s suffering, only a sorrowful, worthless, hopeless example of utter impotence. 

Oh, how wrong they are in their thinking; how blind they are in their seeing; how dull they are in their perceiving, those whom have yet to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Sadly, they have no Spiritual Counselor to enlighten them and open their senses to appreciating the – Joy of “our” Salvation.

By grace, through faith in the Lamb of God, we are privileged to understand that our hope for Eternal Life lies not in weak philosophies; but in the strength of the Son of God, whom suffered the passion of the cross – the nails in His hands and feet; the crown of thorns upon His head; the jeering howls of sinful men, standing at the base of His dying body, with fist raised in anger and animosity in their hearts shouting “… save Yourself , and come down from the cross" (Mark 15:30) - in obedience to the will of His Father in heaven. Weakness? I think not!  Courage? I think yes!

It is none other than a Super Human Being, whom - knowing our weaknesses, understanding our limitations, aware of all our vulnerabilities - had the fortitude, the stamina, the guts to suffer the righteous wrath of God on our behalf. 

There is “One thing Jesus Christ has spoken to everyone He calls unto Himself,” and that is this: “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:54)

And the two things that guarantee the fulfillment of this promise of our Savior to us is the strength of His Almighty Arms to save us, and the Power of His unconditional love to redeem us.

Oh, how great is our expectations manifest in our faith in Jesus Christ, the source of all our strength, alone!

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

March 2, 2020

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

 

In order to fashion a block of granite into the universal symbol of love, the shape of a heart, it must first be cut out of the mountain quarry by industrial means; then transported on semi-trailer trucks to the mason’s back yard where, often times, for years even, it may weather the seasons entirely unaffected by rain, snow, scorching heat of the noon day sun and crows perching upon it.

There is nothing pliable about a heart of stone. And because it is a hard thing, a dense thing, an object impervious to emotions, it feels no pain when the craftsman brings it into his studio and picks up the tools of his art, hammer and chisel, and begins striking the stone, chipping away at its surface, forming it to his will – making it into a representation of the wellspring of all human sympathies, empathies, sentiments and passions: the heart of man.

Amazingly, impermeable objects like this can, in viewing them, bring a person to tears. Michelangelo’s sculpture, the Pietà, fashioned out of a block of marble comes to mind. This depiction of the mother of Jesus, holding the body of her dead son in her lap, has brought many stone-cold hearts to crying out to the Son of God for mercy, absolution and forgiveness of their sins. And this by the hands of a Master Carver of stone!  Imagine, then, what our Father in heaven can do if we pray for Him to applying His hands to the work of changing the hearts of people we love who are currently in a petrified state of estrangement, misunderstanding and resentment with us?

Oh, how precious is the unconditional love of our Savior that goes straight to penetrating frozen hearts, transforming them from

 

Blocks of granite -

Hard,

Cold,

Impenetrable stones

Which can be fashioned,

Shaped,

Chiseled

Piece by piece;

Hammered into dust;

But never cut –

 

Into soft, tender organs of flesh

Filled with appreciation

For the bleeding heart of our Redeemer,

Jesus Christ.

And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. (Ezekiel 36:27)

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

February 24, 2020

I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. Hosea 2:19

Oh, the wonder of our Beloved, Jesus Christ: His Redeeming grace by which we believe, by faith, in His unconditional love for us; His death; His resurrection; His promise of eternal life.

It is the blood of our Redeemer that washes us clean of all our sins and makes us holy. His sacrifice upon the cross, on our behalf, annulled the divorce - the break up between God and man which occurred in the Garden of Eden.

When Jesus gave up His life for us the justice we fully deserve, for being like Adam and Eve and exercising our free will to disobey the commands of God, was served upon Him. And “at the moment the curtain in the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom; the earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened,” (Matthew 27: 51-52) a wedding of Biblical Proportions took place, a union that no man can put asunder because the vows spoken were made to us by our Father in heaven, by virtue of the Son of God and His redeeming love and compassion for us.

      "I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD. Hosea 2:20"

Truly, a marriage made in heaven.

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

February 17, 2020

"Therefore, brethren, we are debtors." Romans 8:12 

Are we being fully responsible with the grace we have received to believe, by faith, in the Son of God and His work of redemption for us upon the cross? Are we paying our dues, so to speak, in appreciation for His body, broken for us; His blood, shed for the remission of all our sins? What, exactly, is our obligation to our Risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; now that He has paid the price, in full, to cancel the debt we owe to our Father in heaven for having violated His immutable laws; disobeyed His absolute authority; squandered our righteous inheritance in the Kingdom of God to come on fleeting, earthly pleasures?

Is it not true that our Redeemer has set us free from the prison of sin and death? Does not the promise of Eternal Life, we received from the Guardian of the keys to the Gates of Heaven, obligate us to living lives of reformation? Are we not now forever beholden to our Liberator, the Lord of Life?

Of course we are! And, as debtors of our Savior’s unconditional love, freely bound to bear interest in the investment He has made in us –

        “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that 

         your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” (John 15:16)

Abba, Father, grant us the grace to yield our lives to You in ever increasing measure and unlimited service, not for our glory, but that the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, may be glorified now and forevermore. 

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

February 10, 2020

"Without the shedding of blood is no remission." Hebrews 9:22
 

See the blood of our Redeemer:

Our atonement flowing down

And washing all our sins away

From hands, and feet, and thorny crown.

See His passion, full compassion –

Complete forgiveness; Eternal Life –

All by grace and that by faith

In our Savior, Jesus Christ!

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

February 3, 2020

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:27

 

No one born again, by receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit, open their eyes the next morning and finds the world has changed in any material way.  Overdue bills still need to be paid; the grass still needs to be mowed; aspirin still remains the most common remedy for what ails us.  And that is because the miracle of faith, freely given, is not a “Get out of jail card; a guarantee of health or wealth; a conscious altering phenomenon that immediately changes all our circumstances, fixes all our screw ups, makes all our troubles go away.

 

Fact is, many disciples of Jesus Christ, after being converted, by grace, to believe in the Son of God and the forgiveness of their sins by the blood he shed for them upon the cross are no better off in the “Real World” than they were before proclaiming the risen Lord of life as their savior:  Christians die in prison; Christians die of cancer; Christians die from persecution.

 

No, the specter of our demise does not disappear the instant our Redeemer’s tender mercy floods our hearts with His amazing grace, but what does change, in that split second of enlightenment, is this: our perspective on the hereafter, which makes everything happening to us here and now meaningful. 

 

What do we have to worry about from the moment our Father in heaven guarantees us the promise of eternal life through faith in the unconditional love of his Son, Jesus Christ?

 

Nothing really.

 

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself, each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:34

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

November 23, 2020

"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. (John 6:67)

There are no slaves in the Kingdom of God; no forced laborers. No soul enters through the gates of heaven except by the exercising of their own free will.

True: we are predestined by grace, through the gift of faith, to respond to the call of Jesus Christ to follow Him by the indwelling of His Holy Spirit; but the option to turn our backs on the cross, to deny the power of our Lord’s resurrection in conquering sin and death, to stray from the path on the straight and narrow road is an ever present choice available to us all the days of our lives. 

Obedience to following in the footsteps of the Son of God, in appreciation for His mercy, His sacrifice, His unconditional love for us, is our calling to humbly do today, or not. 

Fidelity to our Lord and Savior is always an open question: Stick with Him and gain victory over all the temptations of this day, or, depart His company for fleeting, earthly pleasures? Pick one or the other! And don’t blame God for the consequences.

Jesus said,

“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” (John 6:37)

 

Oh, how precious are these words of our Redeemer: that He accept us just the way we are, warts and all; and that He will never drive us away from entering into His presence in “Thy Kingdom Come!”

 

Today, we have a decision to make. And that is to answer the question upon which the Promise of Eternal Life rests:

"

You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve.  

 

And may it be our good judgement to respond to Jesus and say, like Simon Peter -

“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." (John 6:68-69)

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

November 30, 2020

Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast. None of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. (John 21:12)

Thank God for new days, new beginnings, and new opportunities to feed on the Gospel of the Son of God, Jesus Christ! 

 

Thank God for the grace by which our faith in our Lord and Savior makes it possible for us to continue in our labor no matter the difficulties, hardships and disappointments that often accompany our efforts.

 

Thank God that we know our Redeemer, the Preparer, Provider and Preserver of our faith and are invited to take nourishment unto the Promise of Eternal Life:

 

Then he took a cup of wine, and when he had given thanks for it, he said, "Take this and share it among yourselves.  For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come."  

 

Then he took a loaf of bread; and when he had thanked God for it, he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, "This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." (Luke 22:17-20)

 

Thank God for the sacrifice of our Redeemer upon the cross for the forgiveness of all our sins, and the sacrament He gave us by which to remember His unconditional love for us until we drink the wine of our salvation and eat the bread of Eternal Life at the table of His second advent…

 

When none of us will ask Him, “Who are you?” because all of us will know He is our Lord.

May this interpretation of God’s Holy Word be a blessing in your life this week. Amen!

ADDRESS

First Baptist Church
337 Piper Road
West Springfield, MA 01089

(413) 737-3753

 

firstbaptistws1@gmail.com

  • YouTube - White Circle