Verse of the Day and Devotion 3/21/2019

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by Bible League International

Verse of the Day and Devotion

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”  – Matthew 13:45-46 NKJV

Devotion

All of us are seekers. We’re all seeking truth. In point of fact, we’re all seeking the basic truth, the fundamental truth, the truth that can turn your life around, the truth that can save you. There are many options out there. There are many religions that claim to possess the truth about life and reality. They can’t all be true. Indeed, there can be only one that’s true. We’re seeking that one. Like the merchant seeking the pearl of great price, we’re seeking the one truth that is worth more than all the others put together.

Among the many options, there is the Christian religion. It’s the option of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s the option that says salvation can be found in His name alone. As the Apostle Peter says, Jesus is the “‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:11-12) There are many religions out there, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only one that can actually save you. (Romans 1:16)

What do you do when you find the pearl of great price? You do what the merchant does in our verse for today. You go and sell all you have in order to buy it. So likewise, when you find the truth, the fundamental truth, the truth that can actually save you, you do what you have to do to acquire it. You sacrifice for it. It’s because you have to have it. You can’t let it pass you buy. Your very life hinges on acquiring it. Indeed, if you fail in this regard, then death and destruction are all that’s left for you. It’s obvious why you must sacrifice for it.

What must you sacrifice? You must sacrifice everything. (Romans 12:1) You must surrender your life to Jesus and follow Him. (Matthew 16:24) When it comes to the pearl of great price, it’s an all or nothing proposition. So likewise, when it comes to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it’s an all or nothing proposition.

Go, then, and do what you have to do.

Til the Whole World Know

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What Is Steampunk and Why Would a Christian Want to Write It?

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by Sophronia Belle Lyon

Sophronia Belle Lyon

Sophronia Belle Lyon

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Gems From Pastor Jim 3/19/2019

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by Jim Hughes

CrossIs. 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you!

This is not a maybe promise! God say He WILL keep in perfect peace all who trust in Him. Perfect peace is the absolute knowledge that God is real in the heart. It is knowing that we have held nothing back from Him, that we have confessed all of our sins. It is knowing that God is in control and will never fail to be with us or let us down. It is knowing that the desire of the heart is that God’s will be done and not our own. It is knowing that God is able and putting all of our trust in Him. It is knowing that God is eternally the same and can never change.

Perfect peace comes to those who trust in the Lord with all their heart, mind and soul. It happens when we cease to doubt God, when we believe in His absolute goodness and holiness to the point where we know that He always acts on our behalf out of love and for our good.

Perfect peace comes to those who fix their thoughts on Him. There is so much to occupy our minds with. We are constantly being bombarded with things to think about. Since the world is for now Satan’s playground, it stands to reason that much of what we are exposed to is evil. It takes a disciplined mind to not focus on evil. A mind fixed on the Lord consistently and regularly feeds on godly things. There is much time spent in God’s Word and prayer. There is time spent surrounded by godly people. There is time spent seeing the world through God’s eyes. We train our minds to think of the world as a place of pain and not pleasure. A trained mind understands the lostness of the world and how precious it is to not be lost anymore.

Perfect peace is being able to rest in the knowledge that all is well with our souls. It is keeping our souls pure before God by confessing our sins and striving to live life by Christ’s righteousness in us. It is a heart fully surrendered to the lordship of Christ over us.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim HughesSpending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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If …

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by Rebekah Beene

I woke up this morning and heard the word IF.

When we said our vows so many years ago none of them included the word if. When we birthed three babies we never included in our adoration of those babies the word if. Those words have never come up in all these years of conversation. My husband is my soul mate – it’s just so. Our kids are our kids – it’s just so.

Yet IF is in Scripture! Was God giving a caveat to His Word? Was He holding back?

Oh beloved, God speaks volumes in a two-letter word this morning! He speaks to you! He wants to stop right now this day and settle something with you forever. It’s this word IF. He wants you to know that If He is for you, who could be against you means BECAUSE He is for you! And because He is for you it doesn’t matter about who is against you. He is For you – He is your provider, your guard, your watchman, your advocate, your source of all blessing, and more! What if, this very morning, you got this settled in your heart, once and for all? Would it make a difference? Let’s see…

IF God is for you, and He is – then when things happen you can walk in His comfort. You can walk in His confidence. You can walk in His favor. You can walk in all the things He says you are in His Word! Talk about a Game Changer! Such a leap of faith is impossible with man. Such an assurance is impossible with man. But beloved, with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! This God of the Universe placed His Son on a cross for you – don’t ever wonder if God is for you again! That same Son walked through hell and took away the keys – don’t ever wonder if God is for you again! The Son came out of the grave so you too can walk in newness of life – don’t ever wonder if God is for you again! And, the icing on the cake, the premier blessing – His Spirit dwells in you to quicken your new life – don’t ever wonder if God is for you again! It’s unprecedented what God has done, it’s unprecedented what He is doing and it’s unprecedented that your life is so hidden in Him that the naysayers will return to you and ask you for the hope that is in you! Glory!

God loves you and He’s for you – not a single IF there. It’s hard to convince, but once you know this in your mind your heart will follow. Because, beloved believer, even when you are walking the wrong way God’s love is shadowing you to return you to the right way! His love will beckon you back through it all for He is the One who left the 99 to seek out the one! He’s not angry with you nor is He about to lower the boom on you! You are HIS! He loves His own! Rejoice this morning that you get to live in the presence of such wondrous love! And go out and live it for your life depends upon this truth!

Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

2 Corinthians 3:4 Such confidence we have through Christ toward God.

Psalm 90:17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.

Psalm 40:3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear And will trust in the Lord.

Micah 7:18 Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in showing mercy!

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God (His unmerited favor and blessing) has come forward (appeared) for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind.

About the Author:

Rebekah Beene

In a Christian Women’s meeting in 1983, Rebekah was given a prophetic message that she would write books. Several years ago she began writing stories about special holiday memories and travels, sharing God’s love and care through each story. God has gifted Rebekah with the ability to look at the natural and see the supernatural. Both Rebekah and her husband Danny have a heart to share the Gospel and the riches of life in Christ to everyone they meet. They have served in the local church and in ministry to motorcyclists. Danny is an ordained minister and they both have been Bible study teachers for many years. Rebekah also speaks at women’s retreats and conferences. Her tag line says it all “God loves you and He’s for you”.

My website is http://rebekahbeene.wordpress.com

My first book in print is Oh Beloved! Live in the Light of His Word.
Link to buying the book via paypal is on the website.
As well a link to purchasing the ebook on Amazon is there too.
I’m also on twitter @rebekahbeene, tumblr http://rebekah-beene.tumblr.com/
and of course facebook as Rebekah Beene (Warren) I included my maiden name for old friends.
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Faith’s Checkbook: God Is a Sanctuary

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by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Banished from the public means of grace, we are not removed from the grace of the means. The LORD who places His people where they feel as exiles will Himself be with them and be to them all that they could have had at home, in the place of their solemn assemblies. Take this to yourselves, O ye who are called to wander! (Ezekiel 11:16).

God is to His people a place of refuge. They find sanctuary with Him from every adversary, He is their place of worship, too. He is with them as with Jacob when he slept in the open field, and rising, said, “Surely God was in this place,” To them also He will be a sanctuary of quite, like the Holy of Holies, which was the noiseless abode of the Eternal. They shall be quiet from fear of evil.

God Himself, in Christ Jesus, is the sanctuary of mercy. The Ark of the Covenant is the LORD Jesus, and Aaron’s rod, the pot of manna, the tables of the law, all are in Christ our sanctuary. In God we find the shrine of holiness and of communion. What more do we need? O LORD, fulfill this promise and be ever to us as a little sanctuary!

If you would like your own copy of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals by Charles Haddon Spurgeon click the image below.

Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotionals

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Verse of the Day and Devotion 3/14/2019

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by Bible League International

Verse of the Day and Devotion

I will be your God throughout your lifetime-until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.  – Isaiah 46:4 NLT

Devotion

It’s true, I must confess, the Lord has been my God throughout my lifetime. He cared for me and carried me along from the day I was born. He had a plan for my life and He made sure that I was able to fulfill the plan. (Jeremiah 29:11) It’s also true, I freely admit, that there have been times when I deviated from His plan for me. Thinking I knew best, I struck out on my own and got myself in a lot of trouble. Even then, nevertheless, the Lord cared for me and carried me along. He led me back to the plan and He helped me to get there.

That, however, was then. That was in the days long gone. What about now? The years have begun to pile up. My hair is turning white. I’m not what I used to be. Will God still care for me and carry me along now? Do I still figure into His plans, or have I reached the end of what He can do with me? After all, this side of glory, death is still a factor to be reckoned with. As I approach the end of my days, will the Lord’s care and concern for me wind down? Will the limits of His plans and purposes for me be reached?

Our verse for today has the answer. Nothing changes. The Lord has been my God throughout my lifetime and that won’t stop just because my hair is turning white. He made me and He’ll still care for me. He’ll help me deal with the special issues of this stage of life and carry me along. I won’t stop being a factor in life. The psalmist says, ‘”Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, “The Lord is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!”‘ (Psalm 92:14-15)

That’s a promise worth holding on to. That’s what I believe will happen to me. I’m going to stay vital and green right to the end. I’m going to produce fruit until the day I go to glory.

Til the Whole World Know

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On Death: The Hope that is in Christ

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by Parker J. Cole

Death has a way of making you stop, evaluate, and reflect on where you are in your life and your walk in Christ. It makes you ponder your beliefs about everything, as it should. And hopefully, you find rest and assurance in the hope that is in Christ.

Recently, a dear friend of mine’s mother passed away. When I got the news, my heart wrenched for her pain.

Throughout the week, as I went back and forth to her house to help out, to listen, to talk, to laugh, or hug her, I remember thinking that although her mother was not here on this Earth anymore, I knew I would see her again.

The hope that is in Christ is sure. Death has no victory over the believer. On the day of the funeral, we were all sad but it wasn’t despair. The pastor talked about her mom’s life and how she had helped others. He talked of her smile, which I remembered the most, and of her gentle affinity for children, particularly those with special needs.

I watched my friend succumb to the loss, the finality of not seeing her mom on THIS side of the veil. But what wonderful hope there is in know that because Christ lives, she lives also in the presence of the Eternal King.

Over the past two months, a number of friends and people close to my family have passed away. Each time they have, though their crossing over made us sad, we could wipe our tears away. The hope that is in Christ overshadows the harbinger and the finality of death.

I remember once reading a book. In the book, the young boys’ parents had been killed in an accident and his uncle now had custody of them. In response to the little boys’ question about their parents’ death, the uncle said, “It’s rather like going into another room and closing the door.” Yes, the finality in THIS room as the door is shut. But for the believer, we know can hear shouting, laughter, and praise on the other side.

And one day, at God’s choosing, we as believers will join in that celebration on the other side of the door.

About the Author:

Parker J. ColeParker J. Cole is a writer and radio show host who spends most of her time reading, knitting, writing, cooking, and concocting new ideas for stories. Her first novel, Dark Cherub, won Best of Spring Reading 2013 from eMediaCampaigns. She lives in Michigan with her husband and beloved dog Sarah.

Visit her site at http://www.ParkerJCole.com

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Gems From Pastor Jim 3/12/2019

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by Jim Hughes

CrossIs. 9:6-7 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

A great deal has been said and written about these titles for Jesus over the years. Little can be added to it, but I do want us to linger for a moment and reflect again on them. It is good for us to not only think about our Lord, but then to visualize ways in which we know these things are true in our lives.

He is our Wonderful Counselor. He is all-knowing and full of compassion. He does not leave us in the dark on how we ought to be living. He is not insensitive to us and lovingly instructs and guides us in the ways we should go. The Lord is the way and will never advise us to go a different way other than the way that leads us to heaven and a deeper walk with God. Imagine the problems we would have if He were to hide the way from us and demand that we in our own wisdom find it. Instead He makes himself known to us and instructs us how to know Him in His goodness, righteousness and holiness.

He is our Mighty God. He is able. There is no need of life we will ever have that He is not able to handle. There is no sin that He is not able to forgive. There is no battle He is not able to win. There is no crisis of life that He is not able to see us through. There is no limitation in His power, love, wisdom, grace, mercy, and ability to make us into a holy people, a people after His own heart.

He is our Everlasting Father. There is no end to His fatherly love and care for us. There is no end to His desire to do good for us. There is no end to His protective care over us. There is no end to His working in our lives to make us fit for heaven.

He is our Prince of Peace. He is the crowning glory of peace. He alone is able to give us peace that satisfies our souls. He alone is able to give us the calm confidence we need to weather the storms of life. There is no real peace apart from Him.

There is so much more that could be said about our Lord. I have not even scratched the surface of just how wonderful He is. Linger for a moment at His feet and think about these things. Feast on the Mighty God we serve. He is such a Wonderful Counselor as He leads us through our life journey. He watches over us at all times and forever shall be our Father in heaven. He is our Prince of Peace amidst the storms of life. God has given us everything we need in life.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim HughesSpending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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Faith’s Checkbook: Whose Battle?

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by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saith not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:47).

Let this point be settled, that the battle is the LORD’s, and we may be quite sure of the victory, and of the victory in such a way as will best of all display the power of God. The LORD is too much forgotten by all men, yea, even by the assemblies of Israel; and when there is an opportunity to make men see that the great First Cause can achieve His purposes without the power of man, it is a priceless occasion which should be well employed. Even Israel looks too much to sword and spear. It is a grand thing to have no sword in the hand of David, and yet for David to know that his God will overthrow a whole army of aliens.

If we are indeed contending for truth and righteousness, let us not tarry till we have talent, or wealth, or any other form of visible power at our disposal; but with such stones as we find in the brook, and with our own usual sling, let us run to meet the enemy. If it were our own battle we might not be confident; but if we are standing up for Jesus and warring in His strength alone, who can withstand us? Without a trace of hesitancy let us face the Philistines; for the LORD of hosts is with us, and who can be against us?

If you would like your own copy of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals by Charles Haddon Spurgeon click the image below.

Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotionals

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Our Substance Blessed

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by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store”   (Deuteronomy 28:5).

Obedience brings a blessing on all the provisions which our industry earns for us. That which comes in and goes out at once, like fruit in the basket which is for immediate use, shall be blest; and that which is laid by with us for a longer season shall equally receive a blessing. Perhaps ours is a hand-basket portion. We have a little for breakfast and a scanty bite for dinner in a basket when we go out to do our work in the morning. This is well, for the blessing of God is promised to the basket. If we live born hand to mouth, getting each day’s supply in the day, we are as well off as Israel; for when the LORD entertained His favored people He only gave them a day’s manna at a time. What more did they need? What more do we need?

But if we have a store, how much we need the LORD to bless it! For there is the care of getting, the care of keeping, the care of managing, the care of using; and, unless the LORD bless it, these cares will eat into our hearts till our goods become our gods and our cares prove cankers.

O LORD, bless our substance. Enable us to use it for Thy glory, Help us to keep worldly things in their proper places, and never may our savings endanger the saving of our souls.

If you would like your own copy of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals by Charles Haddon Spurgeon click the image below.

Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotionals

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