Weekly Devotional

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

was gleaned by reading Spurgeon’s Daily Devotional.

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!

ADDRESS

First Baptist Church
337 Piper Road
West Springfield, MA 01089

(413) 737-3753

 

firstbaptistws1@gmail.com

  • YouTube - White Circle