After Jacob's first encounter with God in the wilderness, he named the place Beth-el, which means "the house of God." Much later, after he had suffered and sinned and repented, and discovered the insignificance of all earthly things, he changed the name of the place to El-beth-el; which literally means "the God of the house of God." So Jacob had shifted his emphasis from the sacred place to the God he had met there. God Himself now took the center of his interest.
Each of us should ask ourselves if we ever get beyond Beth-el. Is God in our thoughts but never been given first place. Love and faithfulness to the local church is a good thing; but when the church becomes so large and important that it hides God from our eyes, it may become a good thing wrongly used. On the negative side, if the local church has major problems, and some do, many just disappear from the Christian scene. Always, God must be first-and we ought never forget that the church was never intended to substitute for God! What is our primary interest? Is it Beth-el or El-beth-el? Is it my church or my Lord? Is it my creed or my Christ?
"He built there an altar, and called the place El-beth-el: because there God appeared unto him." Genesis 35:7
"Deeper, deeper, in the love of Jesus. Daily let me go;
Higher, higher in the school of wisdom, More of grace to know.
Oh, deeper yet, I pray, and higher every day,
And wiser blessed Lord, In thy precious, holy Word"
Charles P. Jones
God's blessings on all today, and remember that you are loved!!!
Just as the children’s chorus states, “It’s amazing what praising can do!” Our outlook is transformed, people around us respond differently when there is a brightness of spirit and thankfulness from both our lips and our hearts. Doctors tell us that thanksgiving affects the entire body and we also heal more rapidly from all kinds of illnesses. It should not be amazing that rejoicing and a positive outlook are related to “those whose walk blamelessly.”
"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise; ....." Psalms 110:4b
Praising in Amazing! Bless God today, and be blessed. Have a Great Thanksgiving Day, and remember that you are loved!!!
The fields are about empty now, and so are the gardens. Last spring, with hope, the farmers planted their fields, as did the gardeners. Dirt was turned over, seeds sown and young plants set. Then with water, fertilizer, care and good weather, a day comes when the corn is harvested or the tomato picked from the vine. Between planting and harvesting is watering, cultivating, fertilizing, protecting and patience.
In a world that wants instant gratification, the farmer and gardener go against the flow. In a word, they show good patience, in a world that usually goes for fast food. But we see that James is speaking of a particular kind of patience, the one that gets us through the long summers of our life. It is a patience that is based on a certain hope-that one day Jesus will come again.
"Be patient therefoe, brethern, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient: stablish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." James 5:7-8
May the Lord bless you today, and remember that you are loved!!!
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right" Ephesians 6:2
"Obey" – no stronger word could be used to show that God’s command to parents is to exercise parental authority, and to children to practice complete obedience.
"Your parents." Though the headship of the family resides in the father, yet here the scripture states "Your Parents" pointing out that this is a plural form, both parents are to be involved, and the front needs to be united.
"In the Lord." The atmosphere of a Christian home, which is surcharged with the mother’s loyalty to and reverence for the father, and the father’s love for and tender care of the mother, will instill in the child the desire to copy their example of mutual submission by an obedience that does not spring from being compelled, or from fear, but from love and respect.
"For this is right." From the standpoint of both the human and divine, such obedience is right. Obedience is a fundamental law in all God’s universe, so of course it must be in the most intimate of relationships. From every angle it is right; for God’s glory, the home’s harmony, and the child’s good.
"Honor thy father and thy mother; which is the first commandment with promise" (6:2). To honor parents implies genuine deference to their wishes, respect for their judgment, and trust in their love. Willing, heartfelt honor is instinctively given. This increases the childs probable of honoring their teachers and other schools leaders, government, and most importantly our Heavenly Father.
Our Sunday School class will be covering this scripture in the morning, please come and set in. God bless, have a GREAT SATURDAY, and remember that you are loved!!!
There's a story of some people who lived in slavery a long time ago. They never had a day off, a vacation or a holiday just to rest from their hard work. They asked their ruler if they could have some time off just to get away, take a three day trip and worship their God. The answer was no, and the ruler thought they needed more work, not less. However, their God is the true and living God; He sees all things, knows all things, and is all powerful. He delivered them from that slavery and brought them into a free land, where they could worship Him.
For their benefit, their God set down some commandments for them to live by. One of those commandments was to work six days, and rest one. It's reported that those ex-slaves looked forward to that one day off.
"Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
May the Lord bless and keep you today, and never forget that you are loved!!!
Monday morning is a time to look forward. We are never to look back except for a brief time to praise Jesus for His mercy and grace that saved us. A. W. Tozer put it this way.
It is one of the devil's oldest tricks to discourage Christian believers by causing them to look back at what they once were. It is indeed the enemy of our souls who makes us forget that we are never at the end of God's love. No one will make progress with God until the eyes are lifted to the faithfulness of God and we stop looking at ourselves! Our instructions in the New Testament all add up to the necessity of looking forward in faith-and not spending our time looking back or just looking within. Brethren, our Lord is more than able to take care of our past. He pardons instantly and forgives completely, and his blood makes us worthy! The goodness of God is infinitely more wonderful than we will ever be able to comprehend. If the "root of the matter" is in you and you are born again, God is prepared to start with you where you are.
God bless, have a GREAT MONDAY, and keep in mind throughout this day that you are loved!!!
Paul was a zealous fighter of Christianity; but Jesus by Himself, was more than enough to bring a radical conversation to Paul. And He is all any of us need.
"And it came to pass, that as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And He said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest…And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go…" (Acts 22:6-10).
Paul never forgot this experience, for he retold the story time and time again throughout his ministry. What a mighty savior we have! The following are just some of the descriptions of our Lord:
"The Lion of the tribe of Judah" (Gen. 49:10);
"The Angel of the Lord" (Ex. 3:2);
"The Captain of the Lord’s Host" (Josh. 5:14)
"The Root and the Offspring of David, and the Bright and Morning Star" (Rev. 22:16).
"Thou shalt call His name JESUS; for He shall save His people from their sins" (Matt. 1:21);
"they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us" (Matt. 1:23).
"In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was God" (John 1:1).
"Come unto Me" (Matt. 11:28).
"I am the living bread" (John 6:51);
"I am the Light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12);
"I am the Good Shepherd" (John 10:11),
"For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10);
"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (John 14:6).
Thank you Lord for being all I need.
When we remember that God wants us to conform to His son's image, it may be most important for us to start by discovering how Jesus describes Himself. He doesn't say: "I am wise and powerful," or "I am holy and eternal," or "I am all-knowing and absolute deity." It seems that he spoke very directly only once, when he pulled back the veil, and let us see His heart of hearts. So I believe we should pay close attention.
"That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing," Colossians 1:10a
Living for Jesus a life that is true,
Striving to please Him in all that I do,
Yielding allegiance, glad-hearted and free,
This is the path-way of blessing for me.
"He that hath My commandments and keepeth them,
he it is that loveth Me;
And he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father,
and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him."
"Jesus answered and said unto him,
'If a man love Me, he will keep My words;
and My Father will love him,
and We will come unto him,
and make Our abode with him.'"
1 John 2:3
"And hereby we do know that we know Him,
if we keep His commandments."
We don’t need to complicate this. If we love Jesus we will make every effort to obey Him, which pleases the heart of God. And when we know that we are pleasing God, we are happy. It was Augustine who said, "Love God and do as you please." He knew that if you truly love God, what pleases you, will be what pleases God.
Be blessed today, and never forget that you are loved!!!
A young boy arrived home from school complaining of a pain in his stomach. His mom said, "Well, sit down and I'll fix you something to eat. Your stomach hurts because it's empty. It'll be all right when you get something in it."
Later, his dad came home from the office and complained of a headache. "That's because it's empty," said his son. "You'd feel better if you had something in it."
Now if we come home at the end of a day after rubbing elbows with this world, and we find ourselves feeling spiritually weak and empty, what are we to do. Should we begin by listening to more news. Maybe we would feel better if we feed our soul. Let's pick up our favorite Bible and feast on His word. Listen to our favorite Christian music. Keep Christian periodicals around the house, and read them. I'm made to believe, that weak and empty feeling will disappear.
"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4
Henry D. is from Southern Indiana and writes these wonderful daily devotionals to encourage those at the Dogwood Community Church located in Paoli, Indiana. Henry has graciously agreed to share these wonderful devotionals here at Without Excuse Ministries to encourage you our valued guest!