Daily Reading: September 4th


#DailyDevotion There Is One Who Is Always Faithful To You

September 4th

Read 2 Kng 2:1–18

2Ki 2:1-3 ESV  Now when the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.  (2)  And Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, for the LORD has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.  (3)  And the sons of the prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the LORD will take away your master from over you?” And he said, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.” 9-11 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.”  (10)  And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.”  (11)  And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

 

Three times Elijah tells Elisha to stay and let him be taken and three times Elijah insist on remaining with Elijah.  It is very much like when Ruth pledges to stay with Naomi.  They had a love for each other and particularly the younger for the older that they would stay with them until the end.  They would not be dissuaded.

 

Sometimes it seems as if Christ and our Father in heaven are like that.  We do not hear their voice telling us to leave them.  Rather it is the circumstances of our lives that tell us that try to persuade us to leave God and to leave Christ.  “Stay there” or “Go back to your country” or “Don’t follow me anymore” is the impression we get because the circumstances of our lives make us think the Lord no longer loves us and wants to be around us.  But like Elisha and Naomi we must insist that we shall cling to Christ Jesus no matter what.  Our faith is being tried and tested to purify it and make it whole.

 

Elisha stayed and remained with Elijah, even amidst the flaming chariots of the horses of Israel.  It must have been a terrible sight.  But because Elisha remained faithful to Elijah, a double portion of Elijah’s spirit was given to Elisha.  What this means is that Elisha would be twice as capable as Elijah in his ministry to Israel.  When you undergo the fiery trials of your life and you remain faithful know that the strength of your spirit will be increase.  Spiritual dross will be removed and your faith with be stronger.  This is good, because the Lord Jesus never leaves us alone.  He is never satisfied with our state of being.  Jesus begins, continues and perfects our faith and He does it through trials and tribulations.  Our Heavenly Father continually disciplines us until He calls us home  even as He called Elijah home to Himself.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, grant us Your Spirit that we may remain faithful unto you through the trials and tribulations in our lives knowing that you are purifying our faith and preparing us to be called home to you one day. Amen.

Daily Reading: Sept. 3rd


#DailyDevotion God Is More Patient With Us Than We Are With Others

September 3

1 Kng 19:1–21

1Ki 19:14  He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.”…18  “Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

 

God is so much more patient with us than we are of other people. We’re reading this after the last couple of chapters and we are thinking, “Come on Elijah! The Lord answered with fire from the sky not that long ago. The Israelites gathered killed the prophets of Baal. And now you are afraid of a mere mortal who wants to kill you? Have you not been paying attention yourself to the Lord your God?” Well that’s what I am thinking as I read this.

 

But the Lord is patient and feeds Elijah on his escape from Israel and strengthens him with an angel.  The Lord finally comes to Elijah and very fatherly asked him what he is doing here. Elijah spouts off this rather pitiful excuse (like we would no doubt). Then the Lord sends clouds, a fire, an earthquake! But he is not in those things. In the quietness of the place he speaks gently to Elijah and calls him out and ask him again and again he gives the same answer. He is all by himself.

 

Well the Lord will have none of that. He sets a plan in motion to remove the wicked kings through the anointing of new kings (who won’t fair much better over time) and then he assures Elijah that he is not alone. He gets a helper, Elisha and the assurance there are at least seven thousand in Israel who are faithful to the Lord God of Israel.

 

The Lord may not speak audibly to us as he did to Elijah but he has given us these words, Mat 16:18 “…on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” And he has promised us, Mat 28:20 “…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

 

The world around us may seem like it is going mad. The Church may seem as if her influence is gone and she is shrinking to nothing and we worry what will happen to us. But we have these words from Jesus to encourage us to have faith and to trust in God and to trust in him. We need not fear the world and what it may do to us. God, Jesus, is for us. Who can be against us. We may always face the world with good courage knowing our Lord is with all the time, no matter what, just as he was with Elijah. He is also patient with us like Elijah so we need not fear going to him and telling him we are afraid. His word will build us up again to face this world of darkness until we see the world of light prepared for us.

 

Heavenly Father, help us always to remember we need not fear for you are with us always even to the end of the age. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: Sept. 2


#DailyDevotion So Which God Is The Real God?

September 2nd

Read 1 Kng 18:20–40

1Ki 18:36-40 ESV  And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word.  (37)  Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.”  (38)  Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.  (39)  And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God.”  (40)  And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there.

 

There are many gods or lords in the this world, though they are really are nothing.  They are not.  There be demons behind whatever idol man has ever erected who seek to tear us away from the loving hand the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

The Lord prompts Elijah to challenge the false prophets of Baal to a contest.  It’s simple, the god which is True will answer with fire to accept the sacrifice.  Well needless to say Baal does not answer.  The Lord answers magnificently.  I won’t say we should try to do the same unless we had a word from the Lord to do so like Elijah did.  Jesus teaches us that we have Moses and the Prophets, we should listen to them.

 

There are not many gods and there are not many ways to a better afterlife.  Indeed there is only One God and there is only One Way to a better afterlife.  As one author recently wrote, and I paraphrase, “To say these gods are all the same and that they all teach that we are all going to the same place even if by different routes, is to not take their teachings seriously.”  Every god is jealous for its worshippers and different faiths certainly teach completely different after-lifes.

 

The God of Israel, Jesus Christ, teaches us that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  No one enters eternal life apart from faith in Him alone.  The afterlife Jesus gives us is a resurrected body in a resurrected cosmos.  He raises our bodies perfect without sin or defect.  He raises us into a world where sin has had no effect.  Those who wish to get into this life or any other life apart from faith in Him is raised to everlasting perdition, an eternal lake of fire, where the worm does not die and fire does not go out.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, grant us such faith in you that we are raised to eternal life when you return. Amen.

Daily Reading: Sept. 1st


#DailyDevotion You Aren’t A Troubler If You Are Teaching Correctly

September 1

1 Kng 18:1–19

1Ki 18:17-18  When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?”  (18)  And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the LORD and followed the Baals.

 

It is often the case that those who are actually causing the trouble blame others for the trouble which they have cause. This is particularly so in the Church. We know that Jeroboam caused a rift when he set up separate sanctuaries and made idols so the Israelites would not go up to Jerusalem to worship. Yet, when called to repentance they said those prophets who called them to repentance were causing trouble. Ahab goes and marries a none Israelite, adopts her pagan practices and sets up idolatrous temples throughout the land of Israel and when Elijah calls him to repentance, he calls Elijah a troublemaker.

 

Well Elijah will have none of it. It doesn’t matter that his preaching isn’t popular. It doesn’t matter that all Israel is behind Ahab and his false teaching. Elijah places blame directly on whom it belongs. The blame lies on Ahab and his father’s house. They are the ones who brought false belief to the people and had them follow it.

So it is today. False teachers abound as the Lord Jesus Christ said they would. They say and do things in the name of the Lord, yet Jesus never knew them. St. Paul knew of our day as well. He wrote, 2Ti 4:3-4 “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,  (4)  and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” Well it was even happening in the days of St. Paul.

 

We have the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures, those witnessed to by the early Church, those who knew the apostles. In his Word we have all that we need to judge the truth of God’s Word. That won’t stop some from trying to twist God’s Word to say what they want it to say. We must be vigilant then and even when someone quotes the Word that they are quoting it properly, in context of what was written.

 

We should not let our beliefs be bullied by what is new and fashionable or who is big and successful and let that determine our beliefs or actions. We have the landmarks of our faith in the Scriptures. We have witnesses of those landmarks in our creeds and in the history of our faith. We can and should build up our simple faith with knowledge from the Word of God and what our fathers before us taught (not that our fathers cannot err, Ahab’s did).

 

Never think that you are alone in the faith. See that in today’s account, Obadiah was faithful to the Lord’s ways from his youth and hid the prophets of the living God. There are always others who believe and follow the Word of the Lord correctly. You are never alone. And always, at the least, you have the Lord Jesus Christ dwelling in your heart, making it his throne. His promise to us is that He will never leave or forsake us.

 

Heavenly Father, grant us your Holy Spirit, that we may have the courage of heart to remain faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ no matter what may come, that we may enter into your eternal glory on the day of his return. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: August 31st


#DailyDevotion Have You Left The Faith Of Your Fathers?

August 31

1 Kng 16:29—17:24

1Ki 16:33  And Ahab made an Asherah. Ahab did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.

1Ki 17:14  For thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain upon the earth.'”

 

Ahab, king of Israel thought it no light thing to not only follow in the sins of Jeroboam but he decided to double down on those sins. He did this by marrying outside of the faith of the Lord and then adopting the foreign gods of his wife Jezebel. When the kind did this he set up temples and high places to these false gods and the people of Israel followed Ahab in this sin against the Living God who had delivered their fathers from the Egyptians.

 

This thing angered the Lord, the God of Israel. He would have to show the Israelites who the true living God was and who were the false gods who could not help them. To this purpose the Lord brought on a drought in the land through the mouth of the prophet Elijah.

 

Now the Lord purposed to take care of Elijah and he brought Elijah to the home of widow foreigner who did not know the Lord. He promised that widow that she would always have flour and oil to feed him and her family. So it happened that her oil and flour never ran out. You might think that would convince someone the Lord was the true God not only of Israel but of all the earth. But it was only when Elijah brought her son back from the dead that she believed that Elijah was a man of God.

 

Have you been angering the Lord, the Living God by following other gods? Have you doubled down in your sins because you don’t believe our Lord Jesus Christ sees your sins? Your gods need not be like those of the ancient pagans. They are simply the things, persons, or activities that you turn to in order to receive every good. Some people look to their jobs, their families or even their churches for every good. Some people turn to alcohol, drugs or sex for every good. Some people turn to eating, money (in all its forms), or material possessions to provide them every good. Now the thing is all these things appear to be good and they are in themselves. But they were never meant to provide us with every good thing in life. Many of them are the good things in life. But we are called to look to the One who created all these things and us and to worship him.

 

So we all need to repent of our breaking the 1st commandment, “You shall have no other gods.” Jesus has promised us the Father knows what we need. He has promised us God will provide for us if we but seek his kingdom and his righteousness. This comes about by turning from our sins and believing Jesus won for us and gives to us forgiveness of sins and his righteousness. To prove this to us he rose from the dead on the third day just as he promised. Put your faith and trust in Jesus to provide all your needs of body and soul. You will not be disappointed.

Heavenly Father, you call all to repentance and faith in your Son Jesus Christ. Grant us such repentance and faith so that like the widow we may know your Son Jesus Christ to truly be the Son of God and by believing have life in his name. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Readings: August 30th


#DailyDevotion Do Your Actions Demonstrate You Don’t Trust God’s Promises?

August 30th

Read 1 Kng 12:20—13:5, 33–34

1Ki 12:25-31 Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. And he went out from there and built Penuel.  (26)  And Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom will turn back to the house of David.  (27)  If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the temple of the LORD at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn again to their lord, to Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.” …1Ki 13:33-34 After this thing Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but made priests for the high places again from among all the people. Any who would, he ordained to be priests of the high places.  (34)  And this thing became sin to the house of Jeroboam, so as to cut it off and to destroy it from the face of the earth.

 

Do we not trust in the Word of the Lord like Jeroboam? What do you mean?  Simply this, Jeroboam had a word from the Lord that the he would get ten tribes from the house of Israel to rule over and his dynasty would be established by the Lord if he followed the ways of the Lord.  This passage demonstrates he didn’t trust that word.  He devises evil to keep the Israelites from going down to Jerusalem to worship there.  He’s afraid if he doesn’t do this, the heart of the people the Lord had given him would turn again to David’s house as they worship in Jerusalem.

 

Do we ever do things because we don’t trust the Word of the Lord to do what it says it’s going to do?  I see many churches for fear of losing members to other churches or to the world adopt the practices of other churches and the world which simply aren’t in accordance with the Word of God.  They don’t trust the Word of God to do the work which Jesus promised them it would do.

 

So they do one or several things.  They water down the Word of God because some people may find some things in it offensive, foolish, or just down right plain against common sense.  They may develop worship styles and music that get people all excited and their emotions running and they think that this is faith in God and Christ.  They don’t trust the Word of God itself to move people’s hearts and minds.  So we adopt the ways of the world and its vain philosophies and pass it off as the Word of God.

 

Well it didn’t end up well for Jeroboam’s house.  It’s dynasty eventually ended up in ruins.  It took a couple of hundred years but down it went and his people went down to destruction.  Those pastors and congregations that follow Jeroboam’s ways will end up the same way.

 

But we have a sure and certain Word of God.  The gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church.  There will always be a remnant upon the face of the earth of believers.  We are called as Christians to trust the Word of God and His promises and to live our lives according to them.  The Word of God is mighty and powerful, the gospel, the forgiveness of sins being the power of God unto salvation.

 

Lord, let us be faithful to your Word.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Readings: August 29th


#DailyDevotion Don’t Look For Advice Until You Hear What You Want To Hear

August 29th

Read 1 Kng 11:42—12:19

1Ki 12:6-11  Then King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men, who had stood before Solomon his father while he was yet alive, saying, “How do you advise me to answer this people?”  (7)  And they said to him, “If you will be a servant to this people today and serve them, and speak good words to them when you answer them, then they will be your servants forever.”  (8)  But he abandoned the counsel that the old men gave him and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him.  (9)  And he said to them, “What do you advise that we answer this people who have said to me, ‘Lighten the yoke that your father put on us’?”  (10)  And the young men who had grown up with him said to him, “Thus shall you speak to this people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you lighten it for us,’ thus shall you say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s thighs.  (11)  And now, whereas my father laid on you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.'”

 

Pride comes before the fall and youth are prone not to listen to the advice of their elders.  King Rehoboam does a good thing by seeking out the advice of the old men who stood before his father.  They give him some pretty good advice.  Apparently, Rehoboam doesn’t care for that advice and goes to his young friends who have no experience.  It looks like he prefers their advice over that of those who are experienced.  In doing this, the Lord’s Word comes true which was spoken by the Lord to Solomon.  The kingdom would be divided and Judah would have but a small portion of Israel to rule over.

 

It is unfortunate that we in our sinful state will either ignore or overlook that advice which we don’t want to hear.  We have the voice of experience which has been molded with wisdom but it won’t justify what we want to do.  So we keep seeking out counselors until we find someone who agrees with us so we may justify our actions.

 

We also do the same thing with Holy Scripture.  We know what the Scriptures say or maybe we don’t but we are looking for some “religious” knowledge and we turn to those who may know what the Bible says about something.  When we find out it goes against what we want to do, we either find another teacher who will explain away what the scripture says or we may simply ignore it and make up our own minds as to what we want the Bible and God to say.

 

In doing so, we too will lose the Kingdom our Heavenly Father has planned on giving us.  It’s not that our Father in Heaven doesn’t want to give us  the Kingdom nor does He desire for us to not be happy, joyous and free.  But He has designed life to be a certain way and has told us in His Word what that is.  Our sinfulness keeps us from seeing that His way is a way which generally leads to a better life.  It’s not always an easy life and because of the sinfulness of others and ourselves even when we are doing our best to follow His way things still do go wrong, but following His way can help prevent that from being our fault.

 

When do fall however, we can be certain that if we admit our faults, confess our sins and seek out His forgiveness on account of the King of Kings, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Kingdom’s door will be open to us and we will be welcomed as His children.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, ever give us the Holy Spirit, that we might seek to live our lives according to Your Word and not according to the desires of our sinful flesh.  And when we do fail, grant us repentance unto life everlasting. Amen.

Daily Reading: August 28th


#DailyDevotion Watch The Company You Keep As A Christian

August 28th

Read 1 Kng 11:1–26

1Ki 11:1-2  Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women,  (2)  from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. ..:4  For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father…11-13  Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant.  (12)  Yet for the sake of David your father I will not do it in your days, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son.  (13)  However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem that I have chosen.”

 

If you didn’t have a good grip on who you really are and how you really act you would have to be asking yourself, “What’s wrong with these people!?”  The Lord actually spoke to David and he was a murderer and an adulterer.  The Lord actually spoke to Solomon twice and bestows upon him blessing after blessing and he departs from the ways of the Lord.

 

While the Lord our God is merciful, kind and forgiving, He is also just and He keeps His promises.  He had promised Solomon if he were faithful then the Lord would bless him and his children after him but if he departed from the Lord’s ways then what he was given it would be taken away.  So the Lord let’s Solomon know that He is going to keep His just and righteous word.

 

Solomon’s downfall was his wives.  Instead of converting them to the faith of Israel, they converted him to their pagan idols.  Like Adam before him, he thought more of his wives than the Lord.  We should take note of this also.  If we are not married, we should only seek a spouse who is the same faith as us and is faithful to that faith.  Paul has written, 2Co 6:14-15  “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?  (15)  What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?” And again, 1Co 7:39  “A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.”  Paul is certainly following the principle given by the Lord on Sinai which Solomon ignored.

 

Now the Lord is faithful and he is faithful to David.  Even though David’s house has departed from His ways, the Lord preserves a remnant to rule over.  It is through this remnant that the Lord would preserve the line through which He Himself would be born into the world.  He would become Kind David’s greater Son whose throne would last forever.  His kingdom would be the one where righteousness reigns.  Jesus is the Lord who becomes born of David’s line according to the flesh and He has given us this promise, if we but trust in Him, we will reign with Him in His kingdom.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, help us turn away from anything or anyone that tries to pull us away from our faith in you and keep us faithful unto life everlasting in your eternal kingdom. Amen.

Daily Reading: August 27th


#DailyDevotion What’s In Your Wallet Or Who Is Your God?

August 27th

Read 1 Kng 9:1–9; 10:1–13

1Ki 9:4-9  And as for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my rules,  (5)  then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’  (6)  But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them,  (7)  then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples.  (8)  And this house will become a heap of ruins. Everyone passing by it will be astonished and will hiss, and they will say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and to this house?’  (9)  Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the LORD their God who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore the LORD has brought all this disaster on them.'”

 

In today’s lesson, the Lord repeats his promise and curse which he gave to Solomon when He first appeared to Solomon.  It is the same promise and curse He laid before David.  They are both very similar promises and curses made to Israel by the Lord while they were in the wilderness.  If they were going to be blest and upheld by the Lord then they must follow the Lord’s ways and not follow after other gods.

 

It is probably important to note that the Lord is not asking Solomon to be perfect.  He’s asking him to walk before the Lord as David did.  We know from earlier readings that not only was David not perfect, he was an adulterer and a murderer.  But David did not run after other gods.  When confronted with his sin, David repented.

 

Not only that, but the Lord, Himself, in the Law, gave through the sacrificial system a means for dealing with sin.  When you sinned, you were to make use of the sacrificial system, in faith of the promises of God that your sins would be atoned for.  The Lord could put up with a lot of sins if the people repented and looked to Him for mercy, love and forgiveness.  The one thing He just didn’t put up with was when Israel, Solomon and the peoples and rulers of Judah and Israel running after other gods.  Our Lord is a Jealous God.

 

So we too then should take heed and learn from this.  What the Lord wants most of all is for us to trust in Jesus.  He wants us to believe that Jesus has done everything necessary for us to be delivered from sin, from death and from the power of the devil.  He does not want us worshipping other gods.  He does not want us turning to created things, visible or invisible, tangible or intangible to get us through the day or get us through the night.  He simply and only wants us, wants you, to trust in Jesus for every aspect of your life and every aspect of your death.  Mastercard, Visa, American Express, cash, possessions, husbands, wives, children, jobs, political parties or leaders, diets, exercise programs, philosophical systems, self-help systems and the like are things we can and do treat as we should be treating Jesus.  Jesus can put up with a lot of sin.  Indeed He made atonement for every sin you ever committed which would get you in dutch with God.  But if you don’t trust Him, then all that is left between you and an angry God is your sin.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, grant us such faith in you that you are our everything.  Only you get us through the day and get us through the night.  Help us to turn aside from every creature or creation that calls us away from you and help us to use such creations as you intended. Amen.