Daily Devotional


Wednesday, April 14, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jesus, The Great Physician”

John 5:1-15 (Series – John’s Portrait of Christ)

TEXT: "3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, 'Do you want to be made well?'" John 5:3-6

“A great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. Here we see a multitude of people lying around waiting for the waters to stir. Picture if you would hundreds, even thousands of sick people lying around waiting for the moving of the waters. And only the first one would be healed. What about the rest? "I’m still sick but it’s not my fault" "I wanted to get in the water but somebody beat me to it." "I am not responsible for my circumstances." Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. The NIV says he was an invalid for thirty-eight years. The Greek word translated 'infirmity' - astheneia - literally means feebleness, malady, frailty, disease, infirmity, sickness, weakness. None of these words give any indication that the man was a cripple, paralyzed or had anything that would prevent him from walking, other than the fact that he had laid there for thirty-eight years. It may be that he had a condition that made it difficult for him to walk so he just quit trying. Muscles became atrophied. Those who have been bed ridden for a long period of time find it difficult to just get up and walk. Not that there is any physical problem but the muscles have to be strengthened and trained again. Worse than that, his will had become atrophied. But it wasn’t his fault you see. So Jesus questions the man, "Do you want to be made well?" Seems like a rhetorical question. Who wouldn’t want to be made well? It was a question to the man’s will rather than the man’s physical condition. Rather than answer Jesus’ question with a yes, he makes excuses. "I can't be healed. Nobody will put me into the pool. If I try, somebody gets there before me. It’s not my fault." It seems that Jesus is moving toward a healing of the will.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: John 5

Pray or do: The question for us this week – How many times have we expressed the victim mentality and how can we overcome it.


Monday, April 12, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jesus, The Great Physician”

John 5:1-15 (Series – John’s Portrait of Christ)

TEXT: "After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, 'Do you want to be made well?' 7 The sick man answered Him, 'Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.' 8 Jesus said to him, 'Rise, take up your bed and walk.' 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. 10 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, 'It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.' 11 He answered them, 'He who made me well said to me, 'Take up your bed and walk.' 12 Then they asked him, 'Who is the Man who said to you, Take up your bed and walk?' 13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, 'See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.' 15 The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well." John 5:1-15

I want to begin today’s sermon with a story from Max Lucados "The Applause of Heaven". 

"I have everything I need for joy!" Robert Reed said. "Amazing!" His hands are twisted and his feet are useless. He can’t bathe himself. He can’t feed himself. He can’t brush his teeth, comb his hair, or put on his underwear. His shirts are held together by strips of Velcro. His speech drags like a worn-out audiocassette. Robert has cerebral palsy. The disease keeps him from driving a car, riding a bike, and going for a walk. But it didn’t keep him from graduating from high school or attending Abilene Christian University, from which he graduated with a degree in Latin. Having cerebral palsy didn’t keep him from teaching at a St. Louis junior college or from venturing overseas on five missions trips. And Robert’s disease didn’t keep him from becoming a missionary to Portugal. He moved to Lisbon, alone, in 1972. There he rented a hotel room and began studying Portuguese. He found a restaurant owner who would feed him after the rush hour and a tutor who would instruct him in the language. Then he stationed himself daily in a park, where he distributed brochures about Christ. Within six years he led seventy people to the Lord, one of whom became his wife, Rosa.  Robert spoke at a conference. The attendees watched other men carry him in his wheelchair onto the platform. They watched them lay a Bible in his lap. They watched his stiff fingers force open the pages. People in the audience wiped away tears of admiration from their faces. Robert could have asked for sympathy or pity, but he did just the opposite. He held his bent hand up in the air and boasted, ";I have everything I need for joy."  His shirts are held together by Velcro, but his life is held together by joy.  Many of us suffer from the victim mentality. Our society tells us that we don’t have to take responsibility for our actions. We can blame someone else. The onset of Freudian psychology began to permeate our culture with the idea that every wrong action you take can be blamed on things that happened to you in your early childhood. You don’t have to accept any responsibility; you are the victim.”

Today I want to look at a couple of passages to see how Jesus responded to the victim mentality, and how the early church responded. As the Great Physician Jesus was concerned with the man’s healing but more importantly Jesus was concerned about the whole man – his will and his salvation. Hopefully we can come away today seeing that we can go from being victims to becoming victorious. 


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: John 5

Pray or do: The question for us this week – How many times have we expressed the victim mentality and how can we overcome it.


Saturday, April 10, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jesus, The Soul Winner” John 4:1-14 (Series – John’s Portrait of Christ)

TEXT: "Jesus said, “Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest?' Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” John 4:35

We must labor for the harvest is ripe and the task is urgent. The heart of Jesus was upon the harvest of souls. The challenge of Jesus was, “Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields.” The fields of souls are white already: they are ready for harvesting right now. We must lift up our eyes in order to look. We must look where we are so that our eyes will see the reality of what is around us. What follows gives a picture of exactly what Christ had been saying about laboring for God. Many “believed on Christ” because of the woman’s testimony. The seed had been sown in the woman’s heart by the prophets of old and through the first five books of Scripture (cp. John 4:12, 19-20). Jesus reaped her soul. She in turn went and bore her testimony within the city. And “many...of that city believed on Him for the saying [testimony] of the woman.” Other opportunities were given. The new believers begged Christ to stay with them. They wanted to learn more, and they had friends who needed to hear Him as well. “Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, And the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LORD And who meditate on His name.” (Malachi 3:16). Many more believed that Jesus was “the Christ, the Savior of the world.”


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: See scriptures above!

Pray or do: Pray for two people today whom you know are not Christians, to come to faith in Jesus Christ.

Bonus Material:

Dieter Zander, the pastor of the first GenX church in America speaking at a conference about reaching people in the age of relativism. He cited a Barna study that asked people to use single words to describe Jesus. They responded, "wise, accepting, compassionate, gracious, humble."

Then he asked them to use single words to describe Christians, they said, "critical, exclusive, self righteous, narrow and repressive." "There is a difference between knowing the good news and being the good news"; Zander said. "We are the

evidence! How we live our lives are the evidence. Everything counts--all the time. With previous generations, a strong preacher could give a good message, even if the church was hypocritical and critical and people would still get saved," Zander continued, "but not anymore. I’m seeing a change in what seekers are looking for. Not something they can relate to. They are looking for a transcendent God. They don’t want to be

entertained they want to be transformed."

Evangelism is not what we tell people, unless what we tell is totally consistent with who we are. It is who we are that is going to make the difference. If we do not truly enjoy our faith, nobody is going to catch the fire of enjoyment

from us. If our lives are not totally centered on Christ, we will not be Christ-bearers for others, no matter how pious our words.  (Show and Tell, Citation: Madeleine L’Engle, quoted in Christian Reader (May/June 1998, p. 50)



Friday, April 9, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jesus, The Soul Winner” John 4:1-14 (Series – John’s Portrait of Christ)

TEXT: "Jesus answered and said to her, 'Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.'" John 4:13-14

Jesus is the only water that will quench your thirsty soul. Men have two thirsts: a physical thirst and a spiritual thirst. The deer goes to the water brook to satisfy its physical thirst. David said his soul pants (thirst) for God (Psalm 42:1). The prophet Zechariah described a time when God will open a fountain to take care of sin and uncleanness. 'In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.'  (Zechariah 13:1).  Men know immediately how to quench their physical thirst, but their spiritual thirst is a different matter. Within their hearts men sense a thirst for...

 Purpose

 Fulfillment

 Something to fill the void, the emptiness and the loneliness

Men have a problem, however. They usually misunderstand the spiritual thirst and try to quench it with the stagnant waters of the flesh and of this world. The result is poison and death. The

stagnant waters of the flesh are such things as lust, immorality, drunkenness, indulgence, and pride. The stagnant waters of the world are such things as the love of money, cars, houses, lands, clothes, extravagant living, position, and power. The stagnant waters of the flesh and the world never quench a man’s thirst. They are like salt water; they only make a man crave for more and more. 'For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns--broken cisterns that can hold no water. (Jeremiah 2:13) You should note several facts about the living water. The living water comes from Christ. He and He alone is its source. Jesus said, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” (John 7:37). The glorified Christ said, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. (Revelation 21:6)  The living water keeps a man from ever thirsting again. His inner thirst is gone forever. It is quenched and fully satisfied. “The LORD will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. (Isaiah 58:11) The living water is “a well of water” placed “in” the man. The well is not placed outside the man, not placed anywhere out in the world, not in his home, nor in his business. It is placed “in” him. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:38-39).  The living water springs up and continues to spring up and bubble, flowing on and on. It is ever in motion. “Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation. (Isaiah 12:3). The living water springs up into everlasting life. It will never end. “And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:17).


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: See scriptures above!

Pray or do: Pray for two people today whom you know are not Christians, to come to faith in Jesus Christ.

Bonus Material:

I heard a story one time of a foreigner here in America who saw a water fountain for the first time in his life. But he could not see how to make it work. It had no tap, no buttons to press. He became very angry and frustrated.  He was about to turn away when somebody pointed out to him a little sign on the bottom of the fountain that simply said, "Stoop, and drink." Well when he stooped over he discovered that an electric eye detected his presence and the water automatically came flowing out. You see, when we come to Jesus, He will provide us with living water…a spiritual satisfaction…a spiritual contentment that we cannot find anywhere.


Wednesday, April 7, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jesus, The Soul Winner”

John 4:1-14 (Series – John’s Portrait of Christ)

TEXT: "Jesus answered and said to her, 'If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.'" John 4:10

Jesus as the Living Water is the Soul Winner who brings salvation.  Just like living water Jesus is alive. Living water is alive. To the Jew, living water was water that was always flowing and moving along, such as a creek fed by springs or a lake with both an inflow and an outflow. Dead water was stagnant water such as ponds or pools that were always sitting still with no inflow or outflow. However, when Jesus spoke of “living water,” He meant much more than living streams and lakes.

This living water is “of God”. It is of Him who is living, always has and always will be living.  The water that God gives is the most alive water there is. No other water, no matter how alive it may be considered, can compare with the living water that is of God. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. Psalm 36:9  Living water is “the gift” of God. The word “gift” means it is freely given, is not earned and is not deserved. Isaiah the prophet relayed God’s message,  "Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (Isaiah 55:1) As Paul confirmed to the Ephesian believers, For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9  not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9  Living water is given by asking for it. Note what Jesus said: "If you knew... you would have asked Him” The woman had never received living water because she had never known about it and had never asked for it. It was now available simply by asking for it.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: John 4

Pray or do: Pray for two people today whom you know are not Christians, to come to faith in Jesus Christ.


Monday, April 5, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jesus, The Soul Winner” John 4:1-14 (Series – John’s Portrait of Christ)

TEXT: "Therefore, when the Lord knew that  Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), 3 He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. 4 But He needed to go through Samaria. 5 So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, 'Give Me a drink.' 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, 'How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?' For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered and said to her, 'If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.' 11 The woman said to Him, 'Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?' 13 Jesus answered and said to her, 'Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.' John 4:1-14

Jesus offered the Samaritan woman living water, and she showed an intriguing interest. However, there were some matters that she had to straighten out before she could ever have the living water. There was the matter of

 sin in her life,

 worship,

 the Messiah, and

 laboring for God.

Therefore, Jesus began to discuss these subjects with her one by one. Jesus was on a mission. He left Judaea out of necessity. He left for John’s sake. The crowds were leaving John and coming to Jesus, and the religionists were using the fact to downgrade John’s ministry. Jesus did not want to create a competitive scene and damage John’s ministry, so He left the area and returned to Galilee. Note the words, “He needed to go through Samaria.” The word needed (edei) means necessity, compulsion, destiny. Jesus was driven to go through Samaria for the sake of His mission. Samaria needed the gospel as much as other areas. Jesus left Judaea to confront a Samaritan woman. He entered Sychar, a city of Samaria. He sat on the wall of a well, for He was both tired and thirsty from His journey. While sitting there, one of the events for which He had come into Samaria happened: He confronted a woman with the claims of the Messiah. She came to draw water, and He struck up a conversation by asking her for a drink of water. She was shocked, for the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans. She asked Jesus why He would ask her, a Samaritan, for a drink. It was this question, this subject of water, which Jesus took and used... to discuss one of the greatest truths of spiritual life, that of living water, to present the claims of God upon a life.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: John 4

Pray or do: What do you see as your mission when it comes to being a witness for Jesus.


Wednesday, March 31, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jesus, The Divine Teacher”

John 3:1-21 (Series – John’s Portrait of Christ)

TEXT: "There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2  This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, 'Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.' 3 Jesus answered and said to him, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.' 4 Nicodemus said to Him, 'How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?' 5 Jesus answered, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'"  John 3:1-7

Nicodemus is being taught by the wisest of men. He comes to Jesus to meet him face to face. They acknowledge that Jesus is “a teacher come from God”. Nicodemus even calls Jesus Master. A teacher of Israel is applying that title to Jesus as well. He says that Jesus is “a man approved of God by miracles and wonders”. He and others saw the miracles Jesus did, and they knew something: only a man from God could do such miracles. Others had spoken of Jesus after encountering Him. They said, “Never man spoke like this man”. It has been pointed out that “The relation of the person of Jesus Christ to all that He has to teach and reveal to the world is altogether different from that of all other teachers of all sorts of truths, to the truth which they proclaim. You can accept the truths and dismiss into oblivion the men from whom you got them. But you cannot reject Christ and take Christianity”.  The Expositor's Dictionary of Texts, Volume 1, Part 1: Genesis through Proverbs. You must come face to face with Jesus if you are going to be saved. Jesus said “you must be born again” vs. 3. Nicodemus was asking, “Who are you? The miracles show that God is with you, but you are claiming to be the Messiah, the Son of God. Are you—truthfully—in all honesty?” Jesus did not answer Nicodemus directly. He saw into the empty, searching heart of Nicodemus and saw the honesty of his question. So Jesus went right to the heart of the matter. Miracles and signs were not what was important. What was important was for Nicodemus to be changed: spiritually,

within, and completely—to undergo such a spiritual change that it could only be described as

being born again.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: John 3



Monday, March 29, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jesus, The Divine Teacher” John 3:1-21 (Series – John’s Portrait of Christ)

TEXT: "There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, 'Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.' 3 Jesus answered and said to him, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.' 4 Nicodemus said to Him, 'How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother';s womb and be born?' 5 Jesus

answered, ';Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again.' John 3:1-7

“Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a separatist and a member of the Sanhedrin. They were serious about knowing the will of God. They cared about truth. They were proud and self-righteous. They longed for the kingly reign of Yahweh. The reason of tradition was to glorify God and prepare for the kingdom. Nicodemus approached Jesus. He was a ruler (archon) of the Jews. This means he was a senator or a member of the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of the Jews. He was the master of Israel (v.10); that is, he held some official position of the highest rank. He was either the leading official or the leading teacher of Israel who was either authorized or accepted as such by the public. He apparently was wealthy. He spent a great deal of money on the burial of Jesus (Jn. 19:39). He was silent at the trial of Jesus, saying nothing to defend Jesus, but he boldly stepped forth after the Lord’s death to publicly help in the burial of Jesus (Jn. 19:39–42). He came in behalf of the religionists. He said, “We know.” Some of the religionists wondered if Jesus were the true Messiah, thinking that perhaps He was. Some eventually become believers (see Lu. 13:31; Acts 6:7; 15:5; 18:8, 17). Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah and performing the spectacular works that were prophesied of the Messiah; therefore, He was the talk of everyone throughout the nation. The rulers were questioning and wondering: Is He really the Messiah? This was the question, the thing that Nicodemus felt compelled to find out. Nicodemus came to Jesus at night. He apparently did this because he feared the other leaders who opposed Jesus. John seemed to be saying this at the burial of Jesus (see Jn. 19:39).” Leadership Ministries Worldwide. (2004). The Gospel according to John (p. 59). Chattanooga, TN: Leadership Ministries Worldwide.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: John 3

Pray or do: What is one thing you have learned about Jesus from these first three messages that you didn’t know before?


Friday, March 26, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jesus, The Son of Man – The Social Christ” John 2:1-11 (Series – John’s Portrait of Christ

TEXT: "On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, 'They have no wine.' 4 Jesus said to her, 'Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.' 5 His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it." 6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, 'Fill the waterpots with water.' And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He said to them, Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast. And they took it. 9 When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, 'Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!' 11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him. John 2:1-11

The Lord Jesus expressed to His mother a truth that all of us need to understand. He said to her “Mine hour is not yet come” (John 2:46). Jesus was demonstrating His omniscience (all-knowing) is this statement. He was showing that everything He did was to demonstrate who He was. This is the reason why His miracles, for the most part were called signs – miracles, not performed for their own sake, but to show who He was. No one can persuade Him to go against His timetable. No one can command Him to do anything. He has a timetable for everything. He never does anything prematurely or too late. He’s always on time. At the wedding feast Mary’s concern is a picture of the social concern of men. Mankind has many social needs. Society—whether social workers or communities of individuals—is concerned with social:

 Health

 Comfort

 Plenty

 Housing

 Peace

 justice

It is true that Christ desires to and does meet the needs of mankind on a societal level through His disciples. However, Christ does not stop there. Meeting the physical and material needs of society is not enough. Christ met the deeper concern of man:

 Life

 Assurance

 Happiness

 Fulfillment

 Love

 Security

 Satisfaction

 completeness

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). POSB Commentary

Jesus is concerned about your physical, mental, social needs but more importantly He is concerned about your spiritual need. Will you allow Him to meet your need today?


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: John 2

Pray or do: Ask God to give you a deeper and richer understanding of Jesus the Son of God – Son of Man.


Thursday, March 25, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jesus, The Son of Man – The Social Christ” John 2:1-11 (Series – John’s Portrait of Christ

TEXT: "On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, 'They have no wine.' 4 Jesus said to her, ';Woman,  what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.' 5 His mother said to the servants, 'Whatever He says to you, do it.' 6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, ';Fill the waterpots with water.' And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He said to them, 'Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.' And they took it. 9 When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, 'Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!' 11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him. John 2:1-11

The portrait of Jesus in chapter two as that of the Son of Man who is involved in a social setting, a marriage feast. He is in the city of Cana, a village about eight miles north of Nazareth, and the home of Nathanael (John 21:2). It would have been the scene of many a wedding feast. Three days after Phillip and Nathanael became Christ’s disciples (John 1:43), Jesus is with His mother at such a wedding feast. Jesus honored the wedding occasion with His presence. He was invited to the

wedding as were His disciples. He did not refuse to go: He also took His disciples. (The fact, that Joseph did not go, is indicative of the fact that he must have died before that occasion.) Jesus began His public ministry with a miracle at a place of merriment. He did not criticize people for making merry. He did not immediately tell them that they ought to be saved. Jesus had a balanced point of view. He was conscious of the necessity of proclaiming the Gospel, but He knew how and when to proclaim it. When we witness for Christ, the important thing is not only the discharge of our duty of witnessing, but also the effectiveness of our witnessing. Jesus’ mother knew something of Jesus as special in that He was from God but she was not totally aware of His capabilities. In not fully understanding her Son, Mary portrayed her humanity. Even though she had lived with her Son for thirty years, she could not fully understand the God-man. Even so, in the fullness of His being, he is beyond our comprehension. As Paul points out, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,” Colossians 2:9 (NIV). She did not demand anything of Him. She simply told Him that the wine had all been used. He Himself must have known it, but in this, His first miracle, we see the tenderness of the relationship which existed between Jesus and His mother. As a mother, she observed a material need which she did not hesitate to express to her Son. In spite of the need -- be it great or small we should never hesitate to go to Jesus who is infinitely able to supply that need. Mary actually did not tell her Son what to do but simply stated the need. We too should never tell the Lord what to do but only state our need. He knows best how and when to fulfill that need. Mary was not as concerned about her own need as she was about the need of others. She simply said, “they have no wine” (vs. 3). Jesus’ answer in verse 4 is the second time that the Lord Jesus expressed to His mother their beyond human relationship. The first time He expressed this relationship was when He was twelve years old. In returning to Nazareth from Jerusalem, His mother said, to Him:  'Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.' Luke 2:48 (NIV). When she used the word translated “son” she was really calling him “child” so in this verse is was indicative of a relationship than a beginning. Jesus in His humanity was not only the child of Mary but the Son of God. In His eternal relationship with the Father, Jesus was not generated by God, but in His human relationship, He was indeed generated by Mary. At the wedding feast in Cana Mary calls Jesus “child” and He calls her “woman” not mother. His purpose now was to reveal not His obedience to her, but the fulfillment of the purpose for which He came into the world. He spoke here not as a child, but as the Son of God, and in that relationship, His mother was exactly what her cousin Elizabeth had called her – “blessed among women” (Luke 1:42). She was chosen by God to bear in His humanity the Lord Jesus who would become the Savior of the world. 


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: John 2

Pray or do: Ask God to give you a deeper and richer understanding of Jesus the Son of God – Son of Man.


Wednesday, March 24, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jesus, The Son of Man – The Social Christ” John 2:1-11 (Series – John’s Portrait of Christ)

TEXT: "On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, 'They have no wine.' 4 Jesus said to her,  'Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come' 5 His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it.' 6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, Fill the waterpots with water.' And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He said to them, 'Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.' And they took it. 9 When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, 'Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!' 11 This beginning of signs Jesus

did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him." John 2:1-11

Now let us examine how Jesus used the phrase – Son of Man. He uses this phrase at least 34 times in the gospel, more than any other phrase. He used this phrase in a way that indicated the claim to heavenly majesty associated with it (from Daniel) Though the phrase “Son of Man” did not necessarily give the idea of full deity or Godhood, the way that Jesus used it did encompass a glory that exceeds that of a normal human being. Jesus probably used the phrase to hint at deity without actually declaring it. Given all of the ways that Jesus used the phrase, at the very least he was laying the groundwork for people to think more of him than a common man. Jesus preferred the “safe” title “Son of Man” over the more controversial title “Son of God.” Jesus many times avoided making direct statements regarding his deity and the title “Son of Man” helped him to do that. In a broader, higher, and perhaps more generally received Hebrew sense, 'the Messiah.' In the N. T. sense, where the term is used some eighty times, it means Christ in incarnate form and relation, Dan. 7:13; Matt. 9:6; 12:8; 18:11; Mark 2:10; John 1:51; 3:13; 6:53. One of the advantages of the title “Son of Man” is that in Jewish thinking it did not carry the full divine, Godhood, implications of the title “Son of God” or “Messiah”. The Gospels do not record any blasphemy charges against Jesus for calling himself “The Son of Man.” As a matter of fact, at his trials, we find this: ““If you are the Christ,” they said, “tell us.” Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.” They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You are right in saying I am.” Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.”” Luke 22:67-71, NIV. They wanted him to be plain about his claim to Godhood, Son of Man was not enough, Son of God was what they wanted to condemn him. We also find Jesus using the title “Son of Man” in the 3rd person. Jesus does not say I must suffer many things, be rejected and then killed; no it’s in the 3rd person, the Son of Man... Jesus made it vague for a reason. Because of the way that Jesus used it the leaders had insufficient legal evidence to condemn him until he said, “I am the Son of God”. Jesus’ preference for a safe title over a title that makes a clear statement of deity has led some to conclude that Jesus never intended to claim deity, Godhood. We find in Luke 9 and Matthew 16 privately with his disciples that he definitely accepts the clear title to Godhood.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: John 2

Pray or do: Ask God to give you a deeper and richer understanding of Jesus the Son of God – Son of Man.


Monday, March 22, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jesus, The Son of Man – The Social Christ” John 2:1-11 (Series – John’s Portrait of Christ

TEXT: "On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, 'They have no wine.' 4 Jesus said to her, 'Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.' 5 His mother said to the servants, 'Whatever He says to you, do it.' 6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, 'Fill the waterpots with water.' And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He said to them, 'Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.' And they took it. 9 When the master of the feast had tasted  the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, 'Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!' 11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him." John 2:1-11

Last week we examined John’s Portrait of Christ in chapter one – Jesus The Son of God. This week we examine John’s Portrait of Christ in chapter two – Jesus, The Son of Man – The Social Christ.

In chapter 2 of John’s gospel we find Jesus at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. He along with the disciples is a guest of the festivities. He is socializing with the people. It is here He performs his first miracle since His anointing by the Holy Spirit. While the phrase “Son of Man” is not used here we find Jesus being social and interacting with the people. Let us look a little further in the gospels to find the occasion Jesus uses that term of Himself. The first 3 gospels all contain an episode with his disciples during the ministry of Jesus around Galilee. At this time Jesus knew a great deal about his death even though it was a few years in the future. “And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, 'Who do the crowds say that I am?' 19 So they answered and said, 'John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again.' 20 He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?' Peter answered and said, 'The Christ of God.' 21 And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, 'The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.' Luke 9:18-22. The plan was being orchestrated by God and also Jesus Christ to bring about the salvation of mankind through the cross. Part of the plan involved that phrase in Luke 9:22 that Jesus used- the Son of Man. For most of us this is not that big of a deal. Yes, Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Son of Man. Son of Man referring to his humanity and Son of God referring to his divinity, Godhood. However, for the people of that day, these terms had slightly different meanings. Where did this title come from? Mainly it comes from here: Daniel 7:13-14 'I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. 14  Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.” In this apocalyptic vision this son of man approached the heavenly throne of the Ancient of Days (who can do that?) while riding on the clouds. God gave him authority over all creation for eternity. What mortal man will have all that? Jews were looking for one who would be appointed by God to be ruler and judge over all.

(In the next devotional we will look at how Jesus used the term of Himself.)


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: John 2

Pray or do: Ask God to give you a deeper and richer understanding of Jesus the Son of God – Son of Man.


Friday, March 19, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jesus, The Son of God” John 1:1-10 (Series – John’s Portrait of Christ

TEXT: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him." John 1:1-10

The reason Jesus is The Son of God is because of His purpose for coming in the flesh. Yes! He was rejected by the world He created. They did not know him (by experience). They would not receive him. They were filled with doubt and willfully rejected Him. But this does not include all men for some do not receive Him. They believed in Him. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:” (John 1:12) They were born spiritually. Not by blood relationship nor by the decision of the will of a man. They were born spiritually by God Himself. It is through Jesus that they received power to become sons or daughters of God. I want to conclude today with the question, “What do you think of Jesus? Who Is he really?” These same questions have occupied the minds of men down through the centuries. It was the question that was continually raised during the Lord’s earthly ministry. As Jesus rode a donkey into the city of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the people turned to one another and asked, “Who is this?” (Matthew 21:10). Even his disciples asked the question among themselves when Jesus stilled the storm on the Sea of Galilee: “Who can this be, that even the winds and waves obey Him!” (Mark 4:41). When Herod first heard about Jesus he asked, “John I have beheaded but

who is this of whom I hear such things!” (Luke 9:9). That still remains the question, “Who Is Jesus?” and what you decide will determine your eternal destiny.

Is he...

 a good prophet,

 a great teacher,

 a wonderful role model, or

 is he more than that?

He certainly claimed to be more.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: See above scriptural references.

Pray or do: Who is Jesus to you?

Bonus Material:

C.S. Lewis, British theologian and author of “The Chronicles of Narnia”, continues, "I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ’I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to." (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, The MacMillan Company, 1960, pp. 40-41.)


Thursday, March 18, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jesus, The Son of God”

John 1:1-10 (Series – John’s Portrait of Christ

TEXT: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him." John 1:1-10 (NKJV)

Jesus is life and He came to give life. In John 1:4 John said, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” “He made the light of the material universe but He is the light of men.” Jesus said, “I am come that they may have life.” Observe where this light shines – The light shines in darkness. “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. (John 12:46) “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6 Observe the effect of its shining. “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:5) The darkness apprehended it not because it is the darkness of willful unbelief and their wicked deeds. “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19) Whether questioning God is okay or not depends on the motive. Questioning in search of knowledge with faith is okay. Many have done that in the Bible. Questioning because of unbelief is sin.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: See above scriptural references.

Pray or do: Who is Jesus to you?

Bonus Material:

Jesus said, “I and My Father are one." John 10:30

They are one in their attributes. Jesus is omnipresent as the Father is. “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.” John 3:13

Jesus is omniscient (all knowing) as the Father is. “Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God." John 16:30

Jesus is omnipotent as the Father is (all powerful). “who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” Philippians 3:21

Jesus is unchangeable as the Father is. “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” Matthew 11:27


Wednesday, March 17, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jesus, The Son of God”

John 1:1-10 (Series – John’s Portrait of Christ

TEXT: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him." John 1:1-10 (NKJV)

Why do we believe that Jesus is the Son of God?

First of all He is eternal. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2  He was in the beginning with God.” (John 1:1-2) He is the “Word” who took on human flesh, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) The Apostle Paul confirms this when he writes, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14  in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. 15  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17  And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:13-17)

The key to this is found in the phrase, “was in the beginning”. Was – (ane) – speaks of a time before the beginning of things. (vs. 1, 2, 4, 8, 9 and 10) “Was” is known as a durative imperfect, meaning “continued action.” In fact the sense of the entire verse is “In the beginning was continuing the Word, and the Word was continuing with God and the Word was continually God.” The Word was in the beginning. What beginning? Just as far back as you want to go. He was already there when the beginning was. “Well,” somebody says, “there has to be a beginning somewhere.” All right, wherever you begin, He is there to meet you, He is already past tense. (John Hamby) (John 8:58; Micah 5:2; Revelation 22:13) Jesus is “the Word” of God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) In Greek “Word” is logos which is the eternal counsel of God. Jesus being the “Word” indicates that the “Word” is separate and distinguishable from the Father. He is a separate person. In a simple yet profound way John offers us a glimpse of the Trinity. Jesus came to reveal who God is. He came as a servant (Philippians 2:7) with the purpose of glorifying God (Philippians 2:11)

Jesus was the creator of everything. In John 1:3 the apostle writes, “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (Col. 1:16) In creation Jesus demonstrated his power. Smith and Lee wrote, “Without Him God did nothing, so Without Him we can do nothing”. So Jesus proved Himself as the Son of God through His eternal presence, in His being the “Word of God”, separate from the Father yet revealing who the Father is and in His power to create the universe.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: See above scriptural references.

Pray or do: Who is Jesus to you?


Monday, March 15, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jesus, The Son of God” John 1:1-10 (Series – John’s Portrait of Christ

TEXT: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him." John 1:1-10 (NKJV)

In “the World’s Great Religions, Huston Smith observed, “Only two people ever astounded their contemporaries so much that the question they evoked was not “Who is he?” They were Jesus and Buddha. The answers these two gave were exactly THE OPPOSITE. Buddha said unequivocally that he was a mere man, not a god – almost as if he foresaw later attempts to

worship him. Jesus, on the other hand, claimed…to be divine?” The Jesus Complex Joseph Klausner wrote, “It is universally admitted…that Christ taught the purest and sublimest ethics… which throws the moral precepts and maxims of the wisest men of antiquity far into the shade. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount has been called the most superlative teaching of human ethics ever uttered by an individual. In fact, much of what we know today as ‘equal rights’ actually is the result of Jesus’ teaching.” This week I listen to a LGBT so called minister say that Jesus was a racist because of the way he spoke and dealt with the Syrophoenician women. Jesus was not a racist. He did not repent nor need to repent. He did not call her a dog. He used the expression that was used in that day by the Jews of those of other races and it was used in His testing of her faith. She responded with faith and Jesus responded by healing her daughter, doing the same thing he would have done if she had been Jewish. Jesus could not be without sin and have committed sin. He even said that He came to give His life for the world. Deacon Bob Schnell wrote, “the proof of whether or not someone is a racist – by which is meant someone who is prejudiced against another by reason of that person’s race – is how a person acts.” God cares about people regardless of their ethnicity, nationality, and social status according to Deut. 10:17-19. Paul state unequivocally, “We are all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body – whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” 1 Corinthians 12:13. Reference (James 2:9, Acts 10:34-35; Revelation 7:9-10; Ephesians 2:14-18).  Historian Will Durant, a non-Christian, said of Jesus that “he lived and struggled unremittingly for ‘equal rights’; in modern times he would have been sent to Siberia. ‘He that is greatest among you, let him be your servant’ this is the inversion of all political wisdom, of all sanity.” The gospel according to John is different from the synoptic gospels. The Gospel of John was one of the last books of the New Testament to be written. It appears to be written from the city of Ephesus where the apostle John was the pastor after the destruction of Temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The first three gospel accounts had already been written and were in circulation. For this reason, John did not recount many of the events already recorded in the other Gospels, nor did he set out to write a chronological account of the life of Jesus.

In fact, John states his purpose in writing this account in John 20:31, “but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” John offers two primary reasons for his writing, that you might believe in Christ as your Savior and having believed you might have life. Jesus, The Son of God connects Jesus’ divine sonship with his royal office as Messiah. It demonstrates His divinity thus salvation and His High Priesthood.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: John 1

Pray or do: Who is Jesus to you?


Friday, March 12, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Stand Up – Be a Man” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

TEXT: "Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done with love." 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

In order to “Stand Up” you must be strong. Here Paul is using a passive form of the verb which means “be strengthened” or increase in strength (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). In Ephesians 6:10 it is “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” And to the Philippian believers he writes, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. Philippians 4:13. We need strong Christians who can persevere against hardship, who can sustain hope in the midst of tragedy, who can encourage others by their example and their Christian commitment, consistency, and compassion. We need strong Christians who will resist Satan and the world standing in defense of the Gospel against the forces of darkness. In order to stand you must have a firm foundation. In order to have a firm foundation you must know the word of God for yourself. To become and stay strong as believers we must:

 Read your Bible daily. The word of God is spiritual food which will give you strength. –

Psalm 119:28 “…Strengthen me according to Your word.”

 Pray regularly. Through prayer, we speak with God. Luke 21:36 (HCSB) But be alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place and to stand before the Son of Man.”

 Fellowship with other Christians. Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”

 Put on the Armor God has given us. Ephesians 6:10-11 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

Paul concludes with the next verse which says that all that you do must be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14 (NKJV) May all your actions be motivated by love. It doesn’t matter if a man is strong, brave, and watchful if he doesn’t act out of love. We should be careful that Christ’s love not only reigns in our hearts, but that it also shines in our lives. – copied

Philippians 2:15 says, “that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: John 14:15, 1 John 4:11

Pray or do: How are you standing for Christ and the gospel?


Thursday, March 11, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Stand Up – Be a Man” 1

Corinthians 16:13-14

TEXT: "Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done with love". 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

In the KJV it goes like this, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” 1 Corinthians 16:13 (KJV)

Quit you like men – “andrizo” is literally “play the man”. The term Paul used means, to render one manly or brave; to show one's self a man; that is, not to be a coward, or timid, or alarmed at enemies, but to be bold and brave. Paul is using a military command “Act like men” In light of the spiritual war that is raging around us it’s time for us to grow up and show the courage to live radically courageous and bold Christian lives. There is a great lack of spiritual maturity among Christians which is the source of most of the turmoil that occurs within churches and of Christians falling prey to doctrinal heresy and being distracted by the world. Ephesians 6:14 “we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” Be not like children tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine; 

 let your understanding receive the truth;

 let your judgment determine on the absolute necessity of retaining it;

 and give up life rather than give up the testimony of God.

Peter says, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18

Many Christians have a peter-pan syndrome where they want to live in a child';s care-free attitude toward life, doing whatever makes them feel good, avoiding anything that might obligate them, and have committed themselves to non-commitment. Paul uses this self-illustration. He writes, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11 Paul is telling the Corinthians to grow up and behave in a manly manner, not to be fickle children but have the

courage to live for Christ in a world that is hostile to Christianity.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: 1 Corinthians 13

Pray or do: How will you grow in grace and knowledge today in order to develop spiritual maturity?


Wednesday, March 10, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Stand Up – Be a Man” 1

Corinthians 16:13-14

TEXT: "Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave,  be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done with love." 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Paul tells us to “stand fast”. If you are not “watching” you will not be able to obey the command to “stand fast”. It is almost impossible to stand when you are sleeping. Also, this is a military command and to be found sleeping is an executable offense. Those who were found sleeping while guarding endangered those whom they are responsible to protect. As good Christian soldiers we are commanded to stand fast in the faith. We are commanded by Christ, “Don’t break the ranks!” Be firm in holding and defending the truths of the Bible. Do not yield to any foe, but maintain the truth, and hold fast to your confidence in God and to the doctrines of the gospel with unwavering constancy. As believers in Jesus Christ, we are engaged in spiritual warfare with unseen wicked forces. To overcome our enemy in the power of the Holy Spirit, we must remain resolute in our confidence in God and determine never to accept defeat. A story from the Korean War illustrates this attitude.

As enemy forces advanced, Baker Company was cut off from the rest of their unit. For several hours no word was heard, even though headquarters repeatedly tried to communicate with the missing troops. Finally a faint signal was received. Straining to hear, the corpsman asked, ";Baker Company, do you read me?" "This is Baker Company," came the reply. "What is your situation?" asked the corpsman. "The enemy is to the east of us, the enemy is to the west of us, the enemy is to the north of us, the enemy is to the south of us." Then after a brief pause, the sergeant from Baker Company said with determination, ";The enemy is not going to get away from us now!"  Although surrounded and outnumbered, he was thinking of victory, not defeat. 'A great Oak is only a little nut that held its ground’.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Galatians 5:1; Ephesians 6:13-14

Pray or do: How are you watching for the enemy of your soul and his tactics? What do you do to “stand fast”?

Bonus Material:

As a young man Philip was kidnapped and held as a hostage in Greece. There he remained for several years. During this time he received a military education. Then he returned to his homeland, which had conceded many defeats and had lost much land. Within five years he had become king. Philip II of Macedon desperately needed his army to stand firm. He is remembered for two major innovations. First is the sarissa, a very long spear. Second is a rectangular military

formation known as a phalanx. A core of highly-trained infantrymen armed with Philip’s longer spears stood shoulder to shoulder in files normally eight men deep. As long as they stood firm and did not break rank they were virtually invincible and struck fear into the hearts of their enemies. Using this tactic, Philip united the city-states of Greece and took the city of Philippi (which is named after him) in 356 BC. – copied


Monday, March 8, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Stand Up – Be a Man” 1

Corinthians 16:13-14

TEXT: "Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done with love." 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

William Jones, captain of the Marines on the 28-gun frigate the Providence, advertised in the March 20, 1779 Providence (R.I.) Gazette the need for 'a few good Men' to engage in 'a short Cruise' giving the Marine Corps a recruiting slogan they would use two hundred years later.  In Ezekiel 22, God was looking for a man who would stand in the gap to lead the nation of Israel in His way. Among all Israel, God found none who would stand up and therefore God allowed national destruction and degeneration to occur. I believe that God is looking for a few good men to “man up” and stand in the gap for Christ today. Paul in the closing of his first epistle to the church at Corinth lays out some very practical advice on Christian living, calling for Christian men to “Stand up and man up”. While his focus is primarily toward men it is also great advice for anyone within the Body of Christ. There is a cost or price for standing for the gospel of Jesus Christ:

 loss of popularity/notoriety

 loss of friends/friendships

 loss of family members

So! What are you standing for?

When we talk about standing we are speaking in the terms of belief or what you know is right in the sight of God. There is a blessing in standing for the gospel of Jesus Christ: Eternal life and the assurance of His presence in the midst of the storms of our life. Yes! There are times when it seems that God is silent, times when we are tempted to doubt God care of us and even doubt His existence. Corrie Ten Boom was sent to a Nazi Concentration camp. Her father died ten days after their capture. Corrie and her sister Betsie would endure much suffering during their time there. Corrie wrote two statements which speak to us today. The first statement is “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God” and the second statement is “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark. You don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” Before Betsie died she told Corrie “There is no pit so dep that he (God) is not deeper still”. Twelve days later Corrie was released. Her release was a clerical error. One week after her release the women of Corrie’s age were sent to the gas chamber. Corrie was delivered to tell her story and the other women died but not before they had been led to faith in Christ. They were in  “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may  “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may Christ presence – a place of joy forevermore (Psalm 16:11).  In verse 13 of our text Paul tells the Corinthians to be watchful, alert, aware, and awake. Keep your eyes open for the attacks and activities of Satan. Peter wrote,Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Far too many of us claiming to be followers of Christ are slumbering along having been lulled to sleep by the lullabies of the world and Satan. Paul was telling the Thessalonica believers, “Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7  For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8  But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.” 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: 1 Corinthians 16

Pray or do: How will you answer the question, “What are you standing for?”



Friday, March 5, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Love Expressed” Third in a series “Amazing Love” Matthew 22:38-40

Text: “This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the

Prophets." Matthew 22:38-40

Did you know there was an eleventh commandment? Peter wrote, “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one

another fervently with a pure heart,” (1 Peter 1:22)

There are eleven Commandments—the ten given by God through Moses, and the eleventh, the New Commandment given by the Lord Jesus: "That ye love one another as I have loved you." We love the Lord Whom we have not seen (1:8); we must love our brethren whom we have seen and do see. The latter is indeed the test of the former. “If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” 1 John 4:20 Religions things are good but they can enslave a person if he is not careful. They enslave you when they are the most important thing you do and you neglect, ignore and fail to demonstrate love to those in need. In fact, a man loves God only if he truly loves his neighbor. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one

another." John 13:34-35


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: John 13

Pray or do: How will you apply the Eleventh Commandment this week?

Bonus Material:

Sermons in Shoes

In Birmingham, Alabama, many years ago lived a Presbyterian pastor, James Bryan. Throughout the city he was known as 'Brother Bryan.' There were many preachers stronger in pulpit oratory, but none preached better sermons than he did with his life. Like Jesus, he went about doing good. It was a common thing for him to come home on a cold day without his overcoat. He had given it to some poor man who had none. One spring day he was driving a horse and buggy through the countryside. He saw a farmer standing dejectedly in the field. It was time for his spring plowing, but his only horse lay dead. Brother Bryan unhitched his horse and gave it to the man, and then walked home. It was fitting that when his biography was written it was called A Sermon in Shoes. John Donne might well have had persons like him in mind when he said, "Of all the commentaries on the Scriptures, good examples are the best."

Go, and do thou likewise! My Favorite Illustrations.


Thursday, March 4, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Love Expressed” Third in a series “Amazing Love” Matthew 22:38-40

Text: “This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 22:38-40

Jesus tells us that love includes all the commandments. In fact, the term 'the law and the prophets' is a term often used to refer to all Scripture. What Christ really says is that all Scripture hangs on love for God and love for one's neighbor. Christ actually paints a picture by using the word 'hang'. He says that love for God is a hanger and love for neighbor is a hanger. Upon these two hangers hang all that God has ever said, whether commandments or revelation of truth, or practice of ceremony and ritual. The sum and substance of all that God has said and done is love. And the sum and substance of all that God wants of man is love: love of God and love of neighbor. For "Love is the fulfilling of the law" (Romans 13:10). "Now the end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart" (1 Tim. 1:5). "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets" (Matthew 7:12).


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Romans 13:8-14

Pray or do: Who can you demonstrate the love of God too this week?


Wednesday, March 3, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Love Expressed” Third in a series “Amazing Love” Matthew 22:38-40

Text: “This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the

Prophets." Matthew 22:38-40

The great commandment to love God flows downward into another great commandment—to love our neighbor as ourselves. "God commendeth [demonstrated] His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us"; (Romans 5:8). When a man really sees the love of God for him, he cannot help but love God and share the love of God with his neighbors. It is the love of Christ for us, His death and sacrifice that compels us to go and love all men everywhere. "We love him, because he first loved us....and this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also" (1 John 4:19, 21) (2 Cor. 5:14-15).

We are to love ourselves. There is a corrupt love of self that feels the world should center on oneself. This self-love...

 wants all attention centered around oneself

 pushes self forward

 insists on one's own way

 demands and revels in recognition

 shows conceit and ignores others.

However, there is a godly love for self that is natural and pleasing to God. It is a love that stirs a strong self-image, confidence, and assurance. It is a love that even helps in preventing some illnesses such as ulcers, tension, and high blood pressure. The godly love of self comes from knowing three things. That one is actually the creation of God: That one is actually the object of God's love: That one is actually the trustee of God's gifts. The godly love of self has three traits that are clearly seen. It esteems others better than self. It does esteem self ever so highly as God's glorious creation, but it esteems others more highly. (Phil. 2:3). It looks on the things of others. It looks on one's own things as a trustee of God's

gifts, but it also looks on the things of others. (Phil. 2:4). It walks humbly before others.  "But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted" (Matthew 23:11-12). (1 Peter 5:5).

We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. To love our neighbor is a command, not an option. To love our neighbor arouses the question: Who is our neighbor? Christ answers the question Himself in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. A good neighbor is he that shows mercy on any who need mercy—even if the needy person is socially despised (Luke 10:25-37, esp. Luke 10:36-37). To love our neighbor is a very practical command. It involves some very practical acts that are spelled out in Scripture. 1 Cor. 13 Between loving our self and loving our neighbor is loving our family. The home life can be the training ground in how we are to love God. We identify 1 Corinthians with the love of one spouse for another. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, Ephesians 5:25 If you love your family in God and for God then you cannot love them too much. In the love a husband has for his wife or the wife for her husband we have a dim reflection of the love the Christ has for His church.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: 1 Corinthians 13

Pray or do: What “neighbor” have you shown the love of God too recently?

Bonus Material:

Love Made the Difference. Someone has illustrated love as the fulfilling of the law in this way: A woman was married to a man whom she did not love. He made her get up every morning at five o'clock, cook his breakfast, and serve it at six o'clock sharp. He made her wait on him, and was exacting in his demands on her time. Her life was made miserable trying to satisfy the requests of her husband. Finally he died. After a few years she married again. This time she married a man whom she really loved. One day while clearing out some old papers, she came across the strict set of rules her former husband had written out for her to obey. Carefully she read them over. 'Get up at five. Serve breakfast at six sharp.' On and on she read. Then she stopped and thought, and realized that she was fulfilling every single one of his demands, but she had not realized it because this time she was doing it for love's sake. So it is not difficult to serve the Lord Jesus when we

really love Him. Sunday School Superintendent Knight';s Master Book of New Illustrations.


Monday, March 1, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Love Expressed” Third in a

series “Amazing Love” Matthew 22:38-40

Text: “This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law of the

Prophets." Matthew 22:38-40

Christ gave a second commandment: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." (Leviticus 19:18.) The lawyer had not asked for the second greatest commandment, but the first commandment is abstract. It cannot be seen or understood standing by itself. There has to be a demonstration, an act, something done for love to be seen and understood. A profession of love without demonstration is empty. Love is not known without showing it.  The first thing we need to know is that love is an active experience. That is what Christ is pointing out. Love for God acts. Love acts by showing and demonstrating itself. It is inaccurate and foolish for a man to say,'I love God,' and then be inactive and dormant, doing nothing for God. If he truly loves God, he will do things for God. Any person who loves does things for the one loved. The primary thing God wants from us is love for our neighbors, not the doing of religious things. Doing religious things is good, but it is not the first thing God wants. God wants us to make loving our neighbor the first order of our lives. To do religious things is only dealing with things such as:

 rituals

 observances

 ordinances and

 laws

Such things are

 lifeless

 unfeeling and

 unresponsive

 They are immaterial

They are not helped by our doing them; we alone are helped. They make us feel good and religious which is beneficial to our growth, but religious things are not what demonstrates our love for God. Loving our neighbor is what proves our love for God. A man may say he loves God, but if he hates and acts unkindly and spitefully toward his neighbor, everyone knows his religion is profession only.  "If a man says, 'I love God,' and hate his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment have we from him, that he who loves God loves his brother also" (1 John 4:20-21).” POSB Commentary


Larry Hudson

Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Our text.

Pray or do: What “neighbor” have you shown the love of God to recently?


Friday, February 25, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “I Love You God” Matthew 22: 34-40 Second in a series “Amazing Love”

Text: "Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and great commandment. Matthew 22:37-38.  A part of Jesus response comes from Deuteronomy 10:12-13. 'And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,  and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good?  In it are these five commands which require obedience:

1. Fear the Lord your God. (vs. 12)

2. Walk in all His ways.

3. Love Him with all your heart and soul.

4. Serve Him with all your heart and soul.

5. Keep His commandments and statutes (vs. 13)

We are to keep the commandments of Christ. He said,  'If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15  Jesus also includes a part of Deuteronomy 30:6 “circumcise thine heart” This is true circumcision, of which fleshly circumcision was only a picture. (Rom. 2:25-29; Php. 3:3-5; Col. 2:11). Circumcision of the heart means taking away all hindrances to obeying truth. (Deut. 10:16; Jer. 32:39; Ezek. 11:19; 36:26).


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Our text.

Pray or do: Where is God on your list of priorities? Does God get the best of your time? 

Does he get the first of your income? 

Do you love the Lord?

Bonus Material:

What's on Your Mind?

A man sat on the second row each night during the revival meeting. He never took his eyes off the preacher, but no matter what the preacher said, the man never changed his expression. He didn't join in laughter at the funny stories; neither did he weep at the sad stories. This intrigued the preacher, so that he was determined to find out what was on the man's mind. Finally, one night he pointed to the man and asked, "Tell me, what are you thinking about?" Impulsively the man shot back, "Pigs!"  Confronted with the preaching of the gospel and all he had on his mind was pigs! My Favorite Illustrations.


Thursday, February 24, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “I Love You God” Matthew 22: 34-40 Second in a series “Amazing Love”

Text: "Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. Matthew 22:37-38  Why and how do we love God? The psalmist David gives us some insight. “I love the LORD, because He has heard My voice and my supplications. 2 Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live. 3 The pains of death surrounded me, And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow. 4  Then I called upon the name of the LORD: 'O LORD, I implore You, deliver my soul!' 5  Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful. 6  The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me. 7  Return to your rest, O my soul, For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. 8  For You have delivered my soul from death, My eyes from tears, And my feet from falling. 9  I will walk before the LORD In the land of the living. 10  I believed, therefore I spoke, I am greatly afflicted. 11  I said in my haste, All men are liars. 12 What shall I render to the LORD For all His benefits toward me? 13  I will take up the cup of salvation, And call upon the name of the LORD. 14  I will pay my vows to the LORD Now in the presence of all His people. 15  Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints. 16  O LORD, truly I am Your servant; I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; You have loosed my bonds. 17  I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the LORD. 18  I will pay my vows to the LORD Now in the presence of all His people, 19  In the courts of the LORD'S house, In the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD!'” Psalm 116:1-19  Why? What has the Lord done for me? “I love the Lord because…” (vs 1)  He heard my voice and request. He saved me. God has dealt bountifully with me. God has What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits towards me? Therefore I will:

1. Call upon Him (His Name) (vs. 2, 13)

2. Walk before the Lord while I live (vs. 9)

3. I will pay my vows before God’s people (vs. 14, 18)

4. I will offer up the sacrifice of Thanksgiving to the Lord (vs. 17)

If you want to know if God is number one, look at your calendar and your check book register.

These tell us what our true priorities are. We show our families that we love them by placing them at the top of our list of priorities; we show God that we love him by placing him at the top of our list.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Our text.

Pray or do: How will you honor the Lord for all His benefits towards you?



Wednesday, February 23, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “I Love You God” Matthew 22: 34-40 Second in a series “Amazing Love”

Text: "Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'"; This is the first and great commandment. Matthew 22:37-38

The first place one must begin in order to truly love God is to establish a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The “your” in our text “You shall love the Lord your God” establishes the fact that you must have a personal relationship with God through Christ. Loving God is an act that is alive and active, not dead and inactive. We are, therefore, to maintain a personal relationship with God that is alive and active. You must love God with all of your being. Christ breaks our being into three parts: the “heart, the soul, and the mind”. Love for God must come from:

1. The heart: all inward affections (all verses in our text)

2. The soul: all consciousness (all verses in our text)

3. The mind: all thoughts (Matthew 22:37)

4. Strength: physical ability (Deut. 6:5)

While a person's heart, soul, and mind can be focused upon anything, God demands that we focus our whole being upon Him. Love is man's chief duty. Man is responsible to maintain a loving relationship with God. Very practically, loving God involves the very same factors that loving a person involves. A loving relationship involves commitment and loyalty. True love does not covet; it does not care for a carnal definition of love that allows fleshly acts and sensual relationships with others. The first commandment deals with commitment and loyalty. A personal relationship can be maintained only through communication: we must talk to God and allow God to talk to us through prayer, His Word, and the presence of His Spirit. A loving relationship involves trust and respect for the person loved. We love God because of Himself, because He is who He is. We love Him because...

 He is the Creator and Sustainer of life.

 He is the Savior and Redeemer of our souls.

 He is the Lord and Owner of our lives.

A loving relationship involves the giving and surrendering of oneself. The root of sin is the temptation to control our loves. We do not like the word surrender because in our culture it means to give up, to quit. The biblical use of the word is to yield or submit. When we surrender our lives to Jesus, we give him control. (See Bonus Material below) A loving relationship involves knowing and sharing. We are to know and share with God, learning, growing, working, and serving ever so closely with Him.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Our text.

Pray or do:

Bonus Material:

Bruce Larson tells how he helped people struggling to surrender their lives to Christ: For many years I worked in New York City and counseled at my office any number of people who were wrestling with this yes-or-no decision. Often I would suggest they walk with me from my office down to the RCA Building on Fifth Avenue. In the entrance of that building is a gigantic statue of Atlas, a beautifully proportioned man who, with all his muscles straining, is holding the world upon his shoulders. There he is, the most powerfully built man in the world, and he can barely stand up under this burden. ’Now that’s one way to live,’ I would point out to my companion, ’trying to carry the world on your shoulders. But now come across the street with me. 'On the other side of Fifth Avenue is Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, and there behind the high altar is a little shrine of the boy Jesus, perhaps eight or nine years old, and with no effort he is holding the world in one hand.' My point was illustrated graphically. We have a choice. We can carry the world on our shoulders, or we can say, ’I give up, Lord; here’s my life. I give you my world, the whole world.’ Bruce Larson, Believe and Belong.


Monday, February 22, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “I Love You God” Matthew 22: 34-40 Second in a series “Amazing Love”

Text: "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength." Deuteronomy 6:5  "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13  and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good?" Deuteronomy 10:12-13 "And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live." Deuteronomy 30:6 "Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul,

and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.'" Matthew 22:37-38  "But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 'Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?' 37 Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 22:34-40

“Jesus had just met His third group of challengers, the Sadducees. He had silenced and routed them. The Pharisees, the strict religionists of that day, heard about Christ conquering His challengers again. In their minds, His threat to their security had increased. All three attempts to discredit Him had failed. They felt that they must somehow discredit Him before the people in order to break His hold on them. There was a very live possibility that the people might follow through with their proclaiming Him to be the Messiah by rising up against the Roman authorities. The responsibility for such action, of course, would lie at their feet as Jewish leaders; and they would be replaced as the ruling body of the Sanhedrin, losing their position, authority, esteem, and livelihood. They met together to plan and plot again. This time they took a different approach. They had, over the last few hours, challenged Christ as a body of questioners; now they chose from among their body one who was most brilliant and versed in the law, a lawyer or a Scribe. However, there was something about this brilliant lawyer that the others did not know. Apparently, his heart had been touched by Christ. There are two indications of this. First, Mark tells us that the man was present when Christ was 'reasoning together' with the Sadducees (Mark 12:28), and he perceived 'that [Christ] had answered them well.' Second, at the conclusion of his own discussion with Christ, Christ said to the man, 'Thou art not far from the kingdom of God' (Mark 12:34). This indicates that the lawyer had been in deep thought about Christ and was under conviction. Something about Christ struck a chord within this man. His heart was touched and stirred rather deeply. True, he was being put forward by the official body to challenge Christ; but personally, the spirit, the wisdom, the self-consciousness, the authority—something about Christ when He was answering the Sadducees—had stirred his heart to wonder and to want to search more into Christ. Christ used the occasion to teach man the greatest provision and duty of human life: love. Love will provide for every need man has; therefore, love is the greatest duty of man.” POSB Commentary

The question of how we are to love God arises in the Great commandment of the law. The religious leaders of the Jewish people had the law. The Scribes divided them into 248 affirmative ones to correspond with the number of the members of the body, and 365 negative ones to correspond with days of the year, making 613 commandments, the number of letters in the Decalogue (Ten Commandments). They considered some great and some small, so here Jesus was being tempted as to whether He was in harmony with accepted truth or not. Which is the great commandment in the law? Christ's answer was powerful; it is an eye opener to people steeped in man-made religions.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Our text.


Friday, February 19, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “The Amazing Love of God”

John 3:14-21 First in a series “Amazing Love”

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God. John 3:14-21

Our text this week reveals that intense suffering is implied in the fact of God giving up His Son unto the death for us all, and in that the Son yielded Himself to be lifted up upon the Cross for the sins of the world. “Then Jesus said to them, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.” John 8:28 Our sin caused soul agony for the Father and the Son. Sin is such a fearful thing that even God Himself cannot deal with it but at the expense of terrible personal suffering. The only way a person can be transformed into a child of God is through the sufferings of God – giving up His Son, and the Son shedding His blood for us. “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. Acts 20:28

The Love of God is:

1. Inextinguishable in its flame of affection Song of Songs 8:7

2. Limitless in its flow of supply Romans 8:32-37

3. Untiring in its attention of service John 13:12

4. Indispensable in its sustenance of grace Ephesians 2:4-5

5. Instant in its readiness of help 2 Corinthians 14

6. Unchangeable in its character 1 John 4:16

7. Inseparable in its strength of holding Romans 8:9


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. Read: John 3

Pray or do: How have you responded to The Amazing Love of God

Bonus Material:

“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 Here we see the infinite width of the love of God, it was the world that God so loved so much that He gave His only begotten Son. It was not to a nation He gave His Son; it was not the good people; it was not only the people who loved Him; it was the world.

• The unlovable and the unlovely,

• the lonely who have no one else to love them,

• the one who loves God and the one who never thinks of God,

• the one who rests in the love of God and the one who spurns the love of God ALL are included in this vast inclusive love, the love of God.

As St. Augustine said: "God loves each one of us as if there was only one of us to love."



Wednesday, February 17, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “The Amazing Love of God”

John 3:14-21 First in a series “Amazing Love”

Text: And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God. John 3:14-21

In Greek there are three words for love. Phileo means brotherly love, the affection between family or friends. Eros refers to romantic or sexual love. However the word used for God’s love, is agape, a term absolutely distinct from the words used to describe human relations. It is the perfect, unfathomable, unconditional love of God. It refers to a sacrificial love. It is completely unselfish, forgiving, and dedicated to your complete welfare. Now on our own we cannot generate or experience this kind of love, it can only come from God.  God does not just do loving acts, His whole being is love! God’s love is eternal and consistent, in fact the truth of the matter is God has always loved you, and He always will love you. “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,” Ephesians 2:4.  The depth and intensity of God's love can only be measured by the unworthiness of the objects, and the greatness of the Gift.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: John 3

Pray or do: How will you imitate the Love of God this week?

Bonus Material:

Love's Superlativeness

1. Love is seen in its highest form—1 John 3:16.

2. Love is revealed in its lowest stoop—1 John 4:9.

3. Love is made known in its purest grace—1 John 4:10.

4. Love is manifest in its greatest sacrifice—John 3:16.

5. Love is unveiled in its sublimest essence—1 John 4:8.

6. Love is bestowed in its mightiest power—1 John 4:16.

7. Love is communicated in its intense blessing—1 John 4:17-21.

1000 Bible Study Outlines: Study Helps and Sermon Outlines.



Tuesday, February 16, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “The Amazing Love of God” John 3:14-21 First in a series “Amazing Love”

Text: And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God. John 3:14-21

Sometimes Christianity is presented in such a way that it sounds as if God had to be pacified, as if God had to be persuaded to forgive. Some people draw a picture of a stern, angry, unforgiving, legal God, and a gentle, loving, forgiving Jesus. Sometimes we present the Christian message in such a way that it sounds as if Jesus did something which changed the attitude of God to us from condemnation to forgiveness. But this text tells us that it was with God that it all started. It’s all too easy to think of God as looking at mankind in our heedlessness and our disobedience and our rebellion and saying:

• ‘I'll break them:

• I'll humble them and lash them,

• I’ll discipline them and punish them,

• I’ll scourge them until they come back to me.

It is easy to think of God as seeking the allegiance of mankind in order to satisfy His own desire for power, and His own desire for what we might call a completely subject universe. “BUT God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The tremendous thing about this text is that it shows us God acting, not for His own sake, but for our sake. It was not to satisfy His desire for power that God acted. And it was not to bring the universe into submission. Rather and more importantly it was to satisfy His love. God is not like an absolute monarch who treats each person as a subject to be reduced to an abject obedience. God is the Father who cannot be happy until His wandering children have come home. God does not smash us into submission rather He yearns over us and woos us into His loving relationship.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: John 2

Pray or do: What do you think of God? 

Why?

Bonus Material:

Love of God

1. Unmerited in its object—1 John 4:10.

2. Unsought in its action—Rom. 5:8.

3. Universal in its offer—John 3:16.

4. Unbounded in its work—Eph. 2:4.

5. Unknown in its fullness—Eph. 3:19.

6. Unbroken in its ministry—Rom. 8:39.

7. Unending in its character—Jer. 31:3.

1000 Bible Study Outlines: Study Helps and Sermon Outlines.



Monday, February 15, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “The Amazing Love of God” John 3:14-21 First in a series “Amazing Love”

Text: "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God." John 3:14-21

This is the first devotional this week on “The Amazing Love of God”. Next week’s message will be about how we are to love God and then the last sermon in this series will be about how we are to love one another.  To understand about this amazing love of God we first must know about the great need that man has. "How can these things be?" said Nicodemus, in answer to Christ's most searching statements regarding the 'new birth.' The verses indicated above may be taken as our Lord's full and perfect explanation of how a man can be 'born again' even when he is old. As

such they are of vital significance to every man. These scriptures contain the revelation of a great need. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, John 3:14. There was great need for Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness, because it was God's remedy for a serpent-poisoned people. So must the Son of Man be lifted up for a sin-poisoned world. The lifting up of the serpent was to attract the eye of the perishing, that they might look and live. 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 4:12. Jesus is lifted up that men may look to him for the healing of their souls.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: John 1

Pray or do: What does Jesus claim about Himself in vs 13-15? 

Do you believe it? 

If so what have you done about it

or what will you do about it?



Friday, February 12, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jonah Silenced” Jonah 4:7-11

Text: But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered. 8 And it happened, when the sun arose, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah's head, so that he grew faint. Then he wished death for himself, and said, "It is better for me to die than to live." 9 Then God said to Jonah,"Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?" And he said, "It is right for me to be angry, even to death! 10 But the LORD said, "You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left--and much livestock?" Jonah 4:7-11

God uses two powerful arguments to silence the doubts and fears of His servant. The first is an argument from the point of view of God’s sovereignty. “But the LORD said, "You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night.” Jonah 4:10 God has a right to do as He will with His own. Proud man would even question this right and show displeasure at God's dealings, because he cannot comprehend His meaning. They are presumptive to think that the purposes of God are to be subordinated to the reasoning’s of men. Paul reminds us in his argument for God’s sovereignty, “But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, why have you made me like this?" Romans 9:20 Next God argues from the point of pity. “And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left--and much livestock?" Jonah 4:11. The Lord reminds Jonah that there are 120 thousand persons in Nineveh that cannot discern between the right hand and the left many of which were infants. What a place the children have in the heart of God; what a claim their utter helplessness makes upon Divine mercy. Nineveh was spared, partly through the mute intercession of these infant priests. You cannot tell how much your home has been blessed because of these helpless children. We hear no more from Jonah. God has silenced him. Jonah allows God to have the final word and so should we. God’s Word will silence our arguments with him. A writer reminds us “Don't keep up a controversy with the Almighty. Yield your will to Him, and what you cannot grasp

with the intellect, believe with the heart.”


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Jonah 4

Pray or do: God will bless those whom He conquers. Have you allowed him to conquer you?


“There is a story in ancient history of a monarch who, when some of his subjects rebelled against him, subdued them then loaded them with precious gifts. One of his nobles asked why he was so kind to his enemies. He said, "I subdued them by my power, I must now win them by my love." It is thus that Jesus Christ, the greater than Jonah, would win us to Himself.”


Wednesday, February 10, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jonah Silenced” Jonah 4:7-11

Text: But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered. 8 And it happened, when the sun arose, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah&'s head, so that he grew faint. Then he wished death for himself, and said, "It is better for me to die than to live." 9 Then God said to Jonah, "Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?" And he said, "It is right for me to be angry, even to death!" 10 But the LORD said, "You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left--and much livestock?" Jonah 4:7-11  

God now ask another question, "Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?" Jonah 4:9a  Jonah's answer was that of a man who is perfectly honest, but whose heart was likely to deceive him. "It is right for me to be angry, even to death!" Jonah 4:9b  God is trying to teach Jonah a lesson here. It is “Sin” that “works death” in individuals and in nations. Nineveh was a wicked nation but Israel had also turned away from God with its idolatry. These sins were the worm affecting those nations. They like any nation needs to remember that “Righteousness exalts a nation”. Nineveh was going in that direction. They were seeking God by humbling themselves in prayer and fasting. God is faithful to His word, “Them that honor me, I will honor” (1 Samuel 2:30).  Jonah had been more concerned about his own comfort and justification than he was about the salvation of a wicked city. It is faith in God that will put an end to self-interest and self-promotion.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Jonah 4

Pray or do: Pray for all levels of our government to make righteous decisions that will allow God to exalt our naton.



Tuesday, February 9, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jonah Silenced” Jonah 4:7 11

Text: But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered. 8 And it happened, when the sun arose, that God prepared avehement east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah's head, so that he grew faint. Then he wished death for himself, and said, "It is better for me to die than to live. 9 Then God said to Jonah, "Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?" And he said, "It is right for me to be angry, even to death!" 10 But the LORD said, "You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left--and much livestock?" Jonah 4:7-11

The overcoming trial begins. “And it happened, when the sun arose, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah's head, so that he grew faint…” Jonah 4:8

It is a sad thing when someone’s joys are bound up in their circumstances instead of in God. We can be more concerned about the gifts rather than the Giver. We may be perplexed at first by  the way God deals with Jonah. God prepared a gourd to cover him, then a worm to vex him, then a wind to smite him. We may find fault, but we cannot fix it. The Divine Teacher is not obliged to explain Himself to His stupid pupils. A great and merciful purpose is here. This piercing east wind upon Jonah's defenseless head was a sore trial. It had a purpose. God has been trying to get Jonah’s attention and it has been with gentleness. Jonah has to learn the hard way, many of us do. What does the worm mean? Jonah did not use the blessing properly. The worm will smite the blessing. The wind can be deadly and destructive. How often in the Bible did God use the wind? Look it up. The winds are in His fists, and are flung out, not at random, but for a definite purpose. Jonah fainted. Like the seed scattered on rocky soil, in the Parable of the Sower, Jonah withered away when the scorching sun fell upon it. David said, "I had fainted, unless I had believed." If we have no faith in God we have nothing to save us from fainting in the time of trial. To you who are growing faint thinking there is no salvation for you, "Only believe." To weary workers, remember that "He giveth power to the faint."


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Jonah 4

Pray or do: How will you prepare for the next “worm” in your life? When it comes look to Christ in faith and you will not faint.



Monday, February 8, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jonah Silenced” Jonah 4:7-11

Text: But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered. 8 And it happened, when the sun arose, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah's head, so that he grew faint. Then he wished death for himself, and said, "It is better for me to die than to live." 9 Then God said to Jonah, "Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?" And he said, "It is right for me to be angry, even to death!" 10 But the LORD said, "You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left--and much livestock?" Jonah 4:7-11

Everything in our present world is imprinted with uncertainty. Things eventually deteriorate and people die. Nature is constantly changing. Kingdoms come and go. There are changes in our families, among our friends and co-workers. When all earthly things shall wax old and pass away like a garment, the unchanging Savior still remains. Therefore ";Blessed are all they that trust in Him." Jonah is about to learn an important lesson. The pleasure he is receiving from the previous day’s gourd is gonna be short lived. The scriptures say, “But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered.” Jonah 4:7  God prepared a “great fish” to act as a submarine and now God prepares a worm to destroy the leaf that was giving Jonah relief from the heat. It is important for us to remember that while we are enjoying our gourd of pleasure, there may be a worm at the root. How many little unseen things may be at work in the night? Receive your mercies with humble thankful hearts. Are there not many whose gourd has suddenly withered. Oh, this world is strewed all over with withered gourds. Each ruin says to us, "Set not your heart on the things which are seen, for they are temporal." Every earthly thing has its worm. The worm of time is already working at the root of your present worldly pleasures. That gourd of false profession will turn out a lifeless mass on the day of God's fierce anger. God has prepared a worm that will bring to ruin every refuge of lies. What an awful discovery to awaken on the resurrection morning, to find our hopes, like Herod's body, eaten up of worms. The incorruptible Christ has paid an incorruptible price for your incorruptible soul. The heart that has laid hold on Christ has received a portion that can never fade away.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Jonah 4

Pray or do: List the things that you are thankful for today.


Friday, February 5, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “The Displeasure of Jonah” Jonah 4:1-6

Text: But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. 2 So he prayed to the LORD, and said, ";Ah, LORD, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. 3 Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!" 4 Then the LORD said, "Is it right for you to be angry?" 5 So Jonah went out of the city and sat on the east side of the city. There he made himself a shelter and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city. 6 And the LORD God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant. Jonah 4:1-6 (NKJV) The Lord prepared a gourd, and made it come up over Jonah, so Jonah was exceeding glad. (vs. 6) How quickly God can turn our sadness into gladness. The gourd is thought to be the castor-oil plant. Its supposed resemblance to the extended palm of the hand have gained for the plant the name of Palma Christi, or palmchrist. Every leaf might remind him of the hand of the Almighty. What a shelter—to be covered with Jehovah's hands—no wonder he was glad. This sheltering gourd was the gift of God—a handful on purpose for a weary, downcast pilgrim. How often has God raised a gourd for us in our day of trouble. It was given for a twofold purpose. (1) To be a shadow over his head. (2) To deliver him from his grief. Is not this what you need—shelter from danger, and deliverance from inward grief. This gourd raised by the Lord seems to be a passing shadow of the Cross. Here sinners find a refuge from the piercing rays of Divine vengeance and deliverance from their sins and sorrows. This double salvation every one of us need.” Handful on Purpose


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Jonah 4

Pray or do: Give praise and thanks to God for His wonderful salvation from our sins and the wrath of God that is to come.

Bonus Material:

“We can see from the Book of Jonah how intertwined its message is with the message of Jesus. Jesus and the disciples faced a storm when crossing the Sea of Galilee. They were crossing over to the Gentile side of the lake.

There Jesus would minister to Gentiles. But instead of being a reluctant and disobedient missionary, Jesus was quite the opposite of Jonah. The message of the Father’s mercy was made available to all who would repent and believe on Him. Instead of being angry, Jesus rejoiced over the reconciliation of sinners. No one deserves His mercy, but He offers it willingly. Whereas Jonah was willing to die rather than preach repentance to Nineveh, Jesus actually died to save sinners.”


Thursday, February 4, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “The Displeasure of Jonah” Jonah 4:1-6

Text: But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. 2 So he prayed to the LORD, and said, "Ah, LORD, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. 3 Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!" 4 Then the LORD said, "Is it right for you to be angry?" 5 So Jonah went out of the city and sat on the east side of the city. There he made himself a shelter and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city. 6 And the LORD God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant. Jonah 4:1-6 (NKJV)

Due to his unjustified anger with God, Jonah request God to kill him. "O Lord, take my life from me, it is better for me to die than to live" (vs. 3). Is it better for Jonah to die? How would he know? This kind of request is a manifestation of selfishness. It is “better for me” with no consideration for how it will affect others. This reveals a problem with some in Christian service. They are “self-seeking”. It is all about them. Of course God doesn’t grant that request. In verse five we see that Jonah goes out of the city and “made him a shelter” to sit under so he could see what God was going to do. He might have shared the hospitality of the king but he preferred a shelter outside the city. Do you know anything about calmly waiting to see what God will do? It is a solemn time. There are times in Christian work when we know not what to do; we have to sit down like Jonah till we might see what the Lord will do. God is worth waiting on. Beloved friends, have patience with God. "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength" (Isa. 40:31).


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Jonah 4

Pray or do: Take a few moments to examine your motives for Christian service. What do you need to change about your motives?


Wednesday, February 3, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “The Displeasure of Jonah” Jonah 4:1-6

Text: But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. 2 So he prayed to the LORD, and said, "Ah, LORD, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. 3 Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!" 4 Then the LORD said, "Is it right for you to be angry?" 5 So Jonah went out of the city and sat on the east side of the city. There he made himself a shelter and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city. 6 And the LORD God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant. Jonah 4:1-6 (NKJV)

No matter what you are feeling it is always good to pray. Though Jonah was angry he still prayed. This is the remedy for all unholy passion—get to your knees. It is wonderful how our beliefs get corrected in our prayers. Open up your heart to God, and your crooked things will be made straight. In Jonah's prayer there is a revelation. Here we get the reason why he fled from God at the first. He says: "I fled, for I knew that thou art a gracious God." Isn’t that the very reason we who follow Christ fled to Him in the first place. Jonah was probably afraid that if he proclaimed judgment upon Nineveh and then no judgment

came then his preaching would have been in vain and he would have been mocked since the judgment didn’t come true. Jonah’s testimony about God’s character is wonderful and so accurate.'Gracious, merciful, slow to anger, of great kindness, and ready to turn from judgment.(vs. 2b).  We should not be angry at God because He is gracious to consider the sinner's need, and merciful to forgive their iniquities. Do you know Him today? Did you know that He is slow to anger? Did you know that He is merciful? We live in a time when everything is “hurry, hurry”. The devil knows his time is coming to an end and he is working overtime in this world to turn men from God. He is always in a hurry to get us to give in to temptation. God is just the opposite. He is slow to anger but quick to forgive. This is the reason why some of you are spared till today, which have been wasting your time in selfishness and sin. 'God is slow to ange' Why would you despise such great kindness and wear out the patience of God? Oh, remember, that although God is slow to anger, when He does strike, it will be the blow of the Almighty.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Jonah 4

Pray or do: Are you upset with God? This is a good time to talk to Him about it.


Tuesday, February 2, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “The Displeasure of Jonah” Jonah 4:1-6

Text: "But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. 2 So he prayed to the LORD, and said, 'Ah, LORD, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. 3 Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!' 4 Then the LORD said, 'Is it right for you to be angry?' 5 So Jonah went out of the city and sat on the east side of the city. There he made himself a shelter and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city. 6 And the LORD God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant. Jonah 4:1-6 (NKJV)

There is a great difference between mere obedience and sympathy. Every parent sees it when the one child has to be driven to obey, and when the other delights in it because it is in full sympathy with the parents plans and purposes. The elder brother in the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke  15) had been obedient, but he had no sympathy with the father in making such a major production over the returning prodigal. There are many Christians like this, they obey from sheer necessity, but they have no joy in the will and purposes of God. This seems to have been the character of Jonah. He obeyed from a powerful sense of duty, but had not entered joyfully into all the mind of the Lord. Jonah begins with a complaint. He was as mad as a hornet! 'It displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry,' (vs. 1) He saw now what perhaps he did not expect to see—Nineveh in sackcloth and prayer. The Assyrians, being the enemies of Israel, he probably was secretly rejoicing in the prospect of their downfall. It is so easy to mix our own selfish motives with the purposes of God and bring confusion to our own souls. It is here where thousands fail; they set up then own opinions and think that God is bound by His honor to conform to their plans. Perhaps Jonah was thinking of his own honor as a prophet when he got so excited. He had been crying, 'Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown.' Now that God was going to spare the city, what would they think of him as a prophet? We are not much use in the Lord's service until we are willing to become fools for Christ. It is ours to obey and to trust. Opinions formed apart from the light of God's Word will sooner or later bring embarrassment and confusion.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Jonah 4

Pray or do: Examine your motive(s) when it comes to doing the will of God. What needs to change? What can you do to change them if they need changing?


Bonus Material:

THE OBEDIENT MULE

There is a story about a farmer who wanted to sell his mule so he put the add in the local paper. One day a man from another community came to the farm. The two farmers got to talking and eventually they got around to talking about the mule. The farmer who wanted to buy the mule asked if the mule was a good worker. The reply was that the mule did a day's work. The next question that was asked is did the mule obey every command. The owner said yes. The farmer asked if they could hitch the mule up to see how he worked. The owner said no problem. They got the mule into his harness and the farmer took the reigns and told the mule giddy-up. The mule just stood there. The farmer tried a couple of more times and still the mule didn’t move. He looked at the owner and said, "I thought you told me this mule obeys?" "He does," says the owner, who then picked up a 2x4 and walked to the front where he was facing the mule. He then hit the mule as hard as he could with the 2x4. He then walked back and said to the farmer, "Try again." The farmer did and the mule obeyed. The owner said, "This mule always obeys, but you have got to get his attention first."


Thursday, January 21, 2021


Text: "Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the fish's belly. 2 And he said: 'I cried  out to the LORD because of my affliction, And He answered me. 'Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, And You heard my voice. 3  For You cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, and the floods surrounded me; all Your billows and Your waves passed over me. 4 Then I said, I have been cast out of Your sight; Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple. 5 The waters surrounded me, even to my soul; The deep closed around me; Weeds were wrapped around my head. 6  I went down to the moorings of the mountains; The earth with its bars closed behind me forever; Yet You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD, my God. 7  When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; And my prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple. 8 Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy. 9 But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.' 10 So the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah  onto dry land. Jonah 2:1-10

Jonah was a type of Christ in that he was alive after He was buried. He was an alive and conscious, active soul who had been cast into the sea. From the text we can assume the Jonah was not immediately devoured by the great fish the moment he was flung overboard. He himself tells us that 'The waters surrounded me, even to my soul; The deep closed around me; Weeds were wrapped around my head. 6  I went down to the moorings of the mountains; (Jonah 2:5-6a). When Christ was buried, His friends mourned Him as dead; but while they were preparing the spices for His body, He was preaching to the spirits in prison, those—we believe—who had died in the faith of His Coming, and who waited His resurrection. Jonah was also a type of Jesus in his own resurrection. 'So the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.(vs. 10). He came out of the depths with the same individuality with which he was cast in. It was the same Jesus that rose from the dead, that was buried in the  tomb. Neither of them saw corruption. The casting of Jonah upon the dry land is but the earnest of that time when both earth and sea shall vomit out the dead that are in them; some to the glory of eternal life, some to the darkness of eternal shame and contempt.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Jonah 4

Pray or do: Spend time today meditating upon the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ which made possible our restoration to fellowship with God.

Bonus Material:

Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus) by Chris Rice

(Sang by Dan Becker this past Sunday)


Weak and wounded sinner, Lost and left to die

O, raise your head, for love is passing by

Come to Jesus, Come to Jesus, Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden’s lifted, And carried far away

And precious blood has washed away the stain, So Sing to Jesus, Sing to Jesus, Sing to Jesus

and live!

And like a newborn baby, Don’t be afraid to crawl

And remember when you walk Sometimes we fall.

So Fall on Jesus’, Fall on Jesus, Fall on Jesus

and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely, And steep and filled with pain

So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then

Cry to Jesus, Cry to Jesus, Cry to Jesus and live!

O, and when the love spills over, And music fills the night

And when you can’t contain your joy inside, then

Dance for Jesus, Dance for Jesus, Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat, Kiss the world goodbye

Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory’s side, and

Fly to Jesus, Fly to Jesus, Fly to Jesus and live!


Wednesday, January 20, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jonah Praying in His  Grave”. Jonah 2:1-10

Text: "Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the fish's belly. 2  And he said: 'I cried  out to the LORD because of my affliction, And He answered me. Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, And You heard my voice. 3  For You cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the floods surrounded me; All Your billows and Your waves passed over me. 4  Then I said, I have been cast out of Your sight; Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple. 5 The waters surrounded me, even to my soul; The deep closed around me; Weeds were wrapped around my head. 6 I went down to the moorings of the mountains; The earth with its bars closed behind me forever; Yet You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD, my God. 7  When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; And my prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple. 8  Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy. 9  But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.' 10 So the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah

onto dry land." Jonah 2:1-10

The Jews required a sign and Jesus said the only other sign they would see is “the sign of the prophet Jonah” (Matt. 12:39). They had had many signs. One yet remained to be given—the  sign of His resurrection. How was Jonah a sign of Christ? First it was in his burial. Jonah was cast forth; so was Christ cast out by His brethren the Jews. They led Him outside the gate and then put Him to death. Jonah was buried in the heart of the sea; Christ in the heart of the earth. Notice that the purpose for which they both were cast forth was the same— to make peace. "Cast me forth," said Jonah, "and it shall be calm for you.'  (1:12)

How did Christ bring peace? He did it through His blood shed on the cross. Paul confirms this in his words to the brethren at the church of Colossae. “and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. 21  And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled” (Colossians 1:20-21) The sin was in Jonah; the sin of the world was on Jesus.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Jonah 3

Pray or do: Spend time today meditating upon the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ which made possible our restoration to fellowship with God.



Monday, January 18, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jonah Praying in His Grave”. Jonah 2:1-10

Text: "Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the fish's belly. 2 And he said: 'I cried out to the LORD because of my affliction, And He answered me. Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, And You heard my voice. 3 For You cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the floods surrounded me; All Your billows and Your waves passed over me. 4 Then I said, I have been cast out of Your sight; Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple. 5 The waters surrounded me, even to my soul; The deep closed around me; Weeds were wrapped around my head. 6  I went down to the moorings of the mountains; The earth with its bars closed behind me forever; Yet You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD,

my God. 7 When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; And my prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple. 8 Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy. 9  But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.' 10 So the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. Jonah 2:1-10

God has many ways of working and dealing with His servants. The absentee prophet was caught by a storm, swallowed by a fish, and landed safely on shore. What an encouragement to those who may be praying for disobedient sons and daughters. You may have had no contact for a long time, but trust the God of Jonah to be dealing with them. With the rod of affliction He may draw them out of their disobedience and sin, and yet He can encourage your heart with unexpected good news.

A question from this story that folks often ask is “did a whale swallow Jonah?” Scientist say that the throat of a whale is too small to swallow a man, and many have been quick to magnify the difficulty. Though a recent article on the internet spoke of the ability of a sperm whale to swallow a man whole. People have speculated if it was a shark which abounds in the Mediterranean Ocean. In several cases they have been known to swallow a man when thrown overboard. But notice Jonah does not say it was a whale or a shark, he says: 'The Lord

prepared a great fish.' (1:17). God was able to create a special fish that would be able to swallow Jonah and keep him alive in its belly until the Lord was finished with Jonah. Another question concerns the use of the phrase “three days and three nights”. “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:40 Adam Clark Commentary points out “That days and nights do not, among the Hebrews, signify complete days and nights of twenty-four hours, (see Esther 4:16, compared with 5:1; Judges 14:17, 18.) Our

Lord lay in the grave one natural day, and part of two others; and it is most likely that this was the precise time that Jonah was in the fish's belly.” How awesome is our God that He can create a special creature to be a part of the restoration of Jonah to ministry and in the process gives a sign of the coming Messiah to the Jews of Jesus day and to all men throughout history. This same God can minister to you and anyone who is walking out of relationship with God.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Jonah 2

Pray or do: Take time today to pray for anyone in your family who is walking out of fellowship with God through Christ.

Bonus Material:

In the year 1758, a man went about exhibiting a shark that had swallowed himself. The story is that he left the ship to bathe, and was swallowed by the shark. The captain shot it, the man was vomited up and rescued little the worse of his double dip. The shark was taken and presented to the man who had been swallowed by it. If a shark could swallow and vomit a sailor, what is to hinder it from doing the same with a prophet? Look on the internet about those who have been attacked by sharks and even whales.



Friday, January 15, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jonah Found Out and  Thrown Out”. Jonah 1:4-15

Text: "And he said to them, 'Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you. For I know that this great tempest is because of me.' 13  Nevertheless the men rowed hard to return to land, but they could not, for the sea continued to grow more tempestuous against them. 14  Therefore they cried out to the LORD and said, 'We pray, O LORD, please do not let us perish for this man's life, and do not charge us with innocent blood; for You, O LORD, have done as it pleased You.' 15  So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. Jonah 1:12-15 (NKJV) 

Jonah responded to their question with this noble answer, 'Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you. For I know that this great tempest is because of me.'" Jonah 1:12 (NKJV) He acknowledges his guilt and understands that God is working in this. Therefore he willing  offers himself in order to save the sailors. I heard someone on radio the other day, (I can’t remember who it was) say that “a great leader of a nation or a company is willing to put others first above himself. When they do that country or company will not only survive but thrive”. Are you willing to give of yourself, even sacrificially, that others might be blessed? The sailors were unwilling to throw Jonah overboard at this time. That says something positive about them. They were of noble character. The scripture says, “Nevertheless the men rowed hard to return to land, but they could not, for the sea continued to grow more tempestuous against them.” (Jonah 1:13) This teaches us that hard work will not do when sacrifice is demanded. Man by his works and efforts cannont thwart the wrath of God against sin. There must be sacrifice. “the men rowed hard to return to land, but they could not,”If you wish to work out your own salvation you must see that it is God who works in you. Finding their efforts useless, they cry unto the Lord that this man's life may not be laid to their charge “So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. (Jonah 1:15) The sacrifice of Jonah was made and God accepted the offering because immediately 'the sea ceased from its raging..'  The key to all this is found in Christ's own words. ) Jonah then is a sign. “ 

He acknowledges his guilt and understands that God is working in this. Therefore he willing  offers himself in order to save the sailors. I heard someone on radio the other day, (I can’t remember who it was) say that “a great leader of a nation or a company is willing to put others first above himself. When they do that country or company will not only survive but thrive”. Are you willing to give of yourself, even sacrificially, that others might be blessed? The sailors were unwilling to throw Jonah overboard at this time. That says something positive about them. They were of noble character. The scripture says, “Nevertheless the men rowed hard to return to land, but they could not, for the sea continued to grow more tempestuous against them.” (Jonah 1:13) This teaches us that hard work will not do when sacrifice is demanded. Man by his works and efforts cannont thwart the wrath of God against sin. There must be sacrifice. “the men rowed hard to return to land, but they could not,”If you wish to work out your own salvation you must see that it is God who works in you. Finding their efforts useless, they cry unto the Lord that this man's life may not be laid to their charge “So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. (Jonah 1:15) The sacrifice of Jonah was made and God accepted the offering because immediately 'the sea ceased from its raging..'  The key to all this is found in Christ's own words. "And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say, ''This is an evil generation. It (Jews) seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.” (Luke 11:29) Jonah then is a sign. “For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this  generation.” (Luke 11:30) 

Jonah was a sign of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus willingly offered Himself as a sacrifice for us. The sin of one man, Jonah, was disobedience, and by the disobedience of Adam, one man, many were made sinners. By the obedience (death upon the cross), of one man Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:8), and His resurrection (Luke 24:51) many were saved.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.

Read: Jonah 4

Pray or do: How are you serving others? Find someone in need to serve with the “mind of Christ”.


Thursday, January 14, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jonah Found Out and  Thrown Out”. Jonah 1:4-15

Text: "Then they said to him, 'Please tell us! For whose cause is this trouble upon us? What  is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?' 9  So he said to them, 'I am a Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.' 10  Then the men were exceedingly afraid, and said to him, 'Why have you done this?' For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them. 11  Then they said to him, 'What shall we do to you that the sea may be calm for us?'--for the sea was growing more tempestuous. 12 And he said to them, 'Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for

you. For I know that this great tempest is because of me.' 13  Nevertheless the men rowed hard to return to land, but they could not, for the sea continued to grow more tempestuous against them. 14  Therefore they cried out to the LORD and said, 'We pray, O LORD, please  do not let us perish for this man's life, and do not charge us with innocent blood; for You, O LORD, have done as it pleased You.' 15  So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging." Jonah 1:8-15 (NKJV) 

Three questions are posed to Jonah. The first is “What is your occupation”? (vs.8). How sad.  They didn’t know that Jonah was a prophet. They knew Elijah was a prophet. They knew the apostles were followers of Jesus. If men have to ask us if we are Christians, after being in our company for a time, it is surely proof enough that we are lukewarm and even cold. Another heart-searching question is put to Jonah: "Why have you done this?" Jonah had no response. We can have many good reasons why we are running to God but there is no good answer for why we are fleeing from God. If you are a child of God and are running from God’s calling how will you answer that question. If you are not a follower of Christ what will be your answer to this question concerning your rejection of Christ. "What shall we do unto you that the sea may be calm unto us?" (vs. 11) Men understood the doctrine of substitution from the very beginning because when Adam and Eve sinned God slew an animal and covered them with its skin. In the day we are living men have despised the Divine truths found in the scripture. A 100 years ago you were not to speak about 'the fall of man,' it is 'the ascent of man.' Now we are not to teach that God made man in His own image, but that he sprung up from a drop of dirty water, called protoplasm. The apostasy of the last days is here. Tomorrow we will look at Jonah’s response and its implication.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Jonah 3

Pray or do: Do you need to answer these question? How will you answer them?



Wednesday, January 13, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jonah Found Out and

Thrown Out”. Jonah 1:4-15

Text: "But the LORD sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up. 5 Then the mariners were afraid; and every man cried out to his god, and threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten the load. But Jonah had gone down into the lowest parts of the ship, had lain down, and was fast asleep. 6  So the captain came to him, and said to him, 'What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish.' 7  And they said to one another, 'Come, let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this trouble has come upon us.' So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah." Jonah 1:4-7

The sleeping prophet is aroused from his slumber. “So the captain came to him, and said to him, 'What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish.' Jonah 1:6 

This captain evidently believed in prayer. There are many today who believe in prayer but only when they are in crisis. An unbeliever on an airplane who thought nothing of God when it was smooth flying cries out to God to save him when the plane was about to go down. Such fair-weather sinners are common. Now Jonah realized that he cannot outrun God. He has been found out. When the sailors cast lots for the guilty party the lot “fell upon Jonah”. Jonah 1:7 The scripture is still true, Be sure your sins will find you out. Lot’s transgression was endangering others. One Christian, whose life is not in harmony with the will of God, may hinder the cause of Christ. Achan's sin hindered the whole army of Israel (Josh. 7:8-18).  We need to learn the folly of attempting to flee from God. As a sinner, you may be permitted to flee into the wilderness of eternal ruin, but as a servant, God is sure to pull you up. Judas sold our Lord, committed suicide, and went to his own place. Peter denied our Lord, but through the prayer of his Master, he wept, and was restored. In hiding from God we are tempting Him to shut us out from His presence —which is life for evermore. Jonah fled from God. HE WAS FOUND OUT! David fled to God and he found Him. Where will you flee?


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Jonah 2

Pray or do: Is there anything you are doing or not doing that may be a hindrance to others coming to Christ? Will you repent and correct the sin?


Monday, January 11, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jonah Found Out and  Thrown Out”. Jonah 1:4-15

Text: "But the LORD sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the  sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up. 5 Then the mariners were afraid; and every man cried out to his god, and threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten the load. But Jonah had gone down into the lowest parts of the ship, had lain down, and was fast asleep. 6  So the captain came to him, and said to him, ";What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish." 7  And they said to one another, "Come, let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this trouble has come upon us." So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. Jonah 1:4-7

The disobedient prophet fled with all speed to Joppa, Disobedient feet are sure to run quickly. But God's messengers are swifter than the feet of any runaway. He sent out the storm as His detective to apprehend His guilty servant. The seamen are alarmed, and take to lighting the ship; the cargo and possessions are cast into the sea. It is the old story. 'All that a man hath will he give for his life.' Many who have led godless lives take to lighting the ship when death is staring them in the face. But possessions cannot appease the storm of God';s wrath against sin. In verse five we find the prophet of God sleeping. He was exhausted from his rushed journey fleeing from God’s will. Running from God will make you weary. It is true that the way of the transgressor is hard. We have all heard the expression, “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions” but it is also sprinkled with many tears. When someone is running from God they long to drown out the guilt and shame of their sin. How many convictions have been drowned in drugs and alcohol, and smothered in the secret places of sinful pleasure. Drowning out your guilt and shame is not security. Jonah slept, while his companions on board were in desperation about their lives. I am afraid a good many professing Christians are playing the Jonah here, enjoying selfish ease instead of seeking to help perishing souls. A sleeping Christian is not only helpless and useless, but is a positive hindrance to others. What was the cause of this great storm that was about to destroy this ship? It was the disobedience of the servant of God. Think of the solemn responsibility resting upon us as the servants of Christ. It is possible to endanger the souls of others by our failure to love God as we should. The lessons we learn from Jonah is God is inescapable and our disobedience does affect other.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Jonah 1

Pray or do: Have you ever run from God’s will for your life? What was it like? What would keep you from running the next time He calls?



Friday, January8, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jonah the Runaway”. Jonah  1:1-3

Text: "Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 'Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before  Me.' 3  But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD." Jonah 1:1-3

Jonah proceeded to run in a different direction than the city he was called to go to.  For the sinner whom called is calling to salvation, they will often treat God’s call the same way. They heard the Word, know they ought to believe and be saved, but turn away from it and flee from the Lord. For Jonah a servant of God was displeased with the call of God and decided that he was going to resign his office of prophet. It is much easier to resign than to face a stern difficulty.  The reason Jonah runs is first of all due to the difficulty. Nineveh was a great city in size, strength, and sin. It was a dangerous place for a Hebrew to go to because of its cruelty to other peoples. Jonah also knew that God was compassionate and forgiving. He did not want God to spare them due to his pride and prejudice as a Hebrew. Jonah believed that they were God’s chosen people and therefore special to God. Too many of us choose sin and selfishness over service. We are disobedient to God’s will. The Bible tells us that we are to be: Saved “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9; Spirit filled “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,” Ephesians 5:18; Sanctified “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;” 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Submissive “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men-“- 1 Peter 2:15; and Suffer “Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.” 1 Peter 4:19.

The lessons we learn from Jonah is God is inescapable and our disobedience does affect other.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Jonah 4

Pray or do: Think of the sin of it, "fleeing from the presence of the Lord." It is much better to flee to Him.



Thursday, January 7, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jonah the Runaway”. Jonah  1:1-3

Text:"Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 "Arise, go to  Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me." 3 But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD." Jonah 1:1-3

Why did God send Jonah to Nineveh of all places? God was sending His servant with a task and  that task was to “cry against” the city because of its wickedness. All that Jonah had to do was obey God’s call and then leave the outcome to God. He did not have to be concerned about whether he was successful or not, that was God’s concern not his. One person to a whole nation may have seemed like a little pebble thrown into a vast lake. A little pebble would hardly cause any disturbance in the lake. We may feel like our witness will not matter at all in our world. Yet, Christ has called us to be witnesses. We are not only to be witnesses about Jesus who came to save men we are also to “cry out against” the wickedness of our day and generation. This present generation with its: 

 Drug addiction

 Alcholism

 Pornography

 Abortion

 Prejudice

 Loose morals

 The list could go on

Oh, that all God';s prophets would "cry against it." But, you say, they only mock me when I try  to witness. Well, better be mocked for your faithfulness than your cowardliness. Many people would read this passage and think about the judgment of God but fail to see the love and compassion of God for sinful men. God is concerned about the wickedness of the entire

world. All nations are accountable to God. All people have a responsibility before Him.  Yes it is true that God must deal with sin. He is a righteous and holy God. God sees us and knows everything about us. But it was His compassion and love motivated Him to deal with our sin through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. Jonah heard the call and got the message. This call and message was personal. God knew who He wanted. He didn’t make a mistake when He called Jonah. When God calls you He doesn’t make a mistake. The call can be accepted or rejected but once it comes we are never the same. God doesn’t give up on us nor does He change His mind. He is a persistent God. 


Larry Hudson

Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Jonah 3

Pray or do: Has God called you to service? Then yield to Him and fulfill that calling. Are you fulfilling a call to  service? Know that God didn’t make a mistake and God recognizes your faithfulness.



Wednesday, January 6, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jonah the Runaway”. Jonah  1:1-3

Text: "Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me." 3 But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD." Jonah 1:1-3

Now Jonah receives his commission. The Lord said to Jonah: "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it." This was a sudden and startling call, but all God's calls are sudden.  When God gave His call to Jonah he did it with 3 imperative verbs, “arise”, “go” and “cry”. We do not know how He issued it, but in times past: God used wind and fire in His call to Moses and a still small voice to Elijah. Sometimes God speaks to us in a dramatic way and sometimes in a simple and quite way. God’s call is for Jonah to go to Ninevah. It was an old yet great city with a mighty king. This was probably the greatest city and king of that day. The wall around the city was about 8 miles in length though including the enwalled parts was about sixty miles on its borders. The walled city contained miles of streets and avenues. The wall was about thirty three feet tall and wide enough for three chariots to ride side by side upon them. The population has been estimated to be between 100,000 to over 200,000. This was a people of great wickedness and violence. Their devotion to sensual pleasure arose to the throne of God. Even their secret sins were seen by God. This is still true today. The secret sins of our modern cities cry louder in the ears of God than the roar and rattle of the traffic in the streets. If we had the ears of God, nothing would strike us more, I think, than the longsuffering patience of our God. Friend, think of it, every sin unforgiven is a voice crying to Heaven for vengeance. Nothing can silence that cry but the precious Blood of Jesus. As the old hymn says, “What can wash away my sins, nothing but the blood of Jesus” and “O the blood of Jesus, O the blood of Jesus, O the blood of Jesus, It washes white as snow”. 


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Jonah 2

Pray or do: Take time to acknowledge your unforgiven sins, faults and failures to God and yourself and ask God for  forgiveness and help to overcome them.




Monday, January 4, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Jonah the Runaway”. Jonah 1:1-3

Text: "Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 'Arise, go to  Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.' 3 But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. Jonah 1:1-3

This is one of the most romantic of all the books of the Bible. To those who can read between the lines, it is more fascinating than the most popular novel. One of the unfortunate things about the book of Jonah is: most people know only about the great fish, but they know nothing of the great God. Jonah is for real! He was a prophet who prophesied in the time of Jeroboam II, about 780 BC. Our main concern should not be whether a man can live inside a fish, but does the spirit of Jonah live in us?  So who was this Jonah? From 2 Kings 14:25, we learn that he was the servant and prophet of the Lord. What an honor! The writer of 2 Kings 14:25 wrote about Jonah, “He restored the territory of Israel from the entrance of Hamath to the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word of the LORD God of Israel, which He had spoken through His servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet who was from Gath Hepher.” His name means "Dove."  If it was an expression of his nature, then perhaps this is one reason why he fled from great and wicked Nineveh. He knew his life would be threatened if he went there. His father';s name is shrouded in obscurity. All great men don't spring from great parents. Although the world has never missed your father that is no reason why it should not miss you when you are gone. Don't trifle with the days of your youth. Jonah was the author of this book which bears his name. In it he reveals his own faults and  failures. Yet we should be careful in our criticism of him. How many of us would write a book and expose our faults and failures for everyone to read. We are reminded from God’s word that all the things we say and do are being recorded in heaven. 


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Read: Jonah 1

Pray or do: Take time to acknowledge your unforgiven sins, faults and failures to God and yourself and ask God for  forgiveness and help to overcome them.




Saturday, January 2, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Milestones” the End of  Year Sermon. Deuteronomy 17:16; Joshua 3:4

Text:  "But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt  to multiply horses, for the LORD has said to you, 'You shall not return that way again.'" 

Deuteronomy 17:16

"Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do  not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before." Joshua 3:4

The next milestone is the new assurance of the presence of Christ in our lives.  It is recorded in Numbers 9 and 10 the instruction from God to the children of Israel concerning the presence of God by the Passover, the ark of the Covenant, the “pillar of fire by night and the pillar of cloud by day” and the trumpets. This is year two and first month of their journey in the Wilderness. The Ark represented the presence of Christ. In the “Tent of Meeting” was the “Holy Place” which included the candelabra, table of showbread and the Altar of Incense. You then came to the veil which divided the “Holy of Holies” from the “Holy Place”. In the “Holy of Holies” was the Ark of the Covenant with the Mercy seat on top of it with the seraphim’s. 

Inside the Ark were Aaron’s Rod that budded and the bowl of manna.  At the time of Jesus crucifixion the veil of the temple was torn, “Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,” (Matthew 27:51) This was not an accident. This was a God thing. God was showing that by Jesus death and the shedding of His blood we who believe in Christ now have access to the presence of God. “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20  by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21  and having a High Priest over the house of God,” (Hebrews 10:19-20) therefore “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,” (Hebrews 10:21-24) The Pillar of cloud and fire implied God’s protection, the timing of God’s will and direction for them (Numbers 10:11-12). The conclusion of chapter 10 has this verse: “Now Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses father-in-law. "We are setting out for the place of which the LORD said, 'I will give it to you.' Come with us, and we will treat you well; for the LORD has promised good things to Israel." (Numbers 10:29) As Moses implored Hobab to join them on their journey to the promised land I wanted to implore, even beg, those young people who were raised in the our church, heard the gospel, participated in Christmas and Easter programs, made a confession in faith Christ but in your teenage years dropped out of church, to rejoin us in our journey to our heavenly home. Many of you have children of your own. Please give them the same opportunity you had to get to know Christ and the hope of salvation. God doesn’t have any grandchildren. Each of them must come to faith in Christ and begin to follow Him if they are to have the hope of eternal life with Christ. Oh that I could persuade many today to “come with us” to the promise land. 


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Pray or do: Give thanks to God for the past milestone when God forgave you of your sins when you put your trust in Jesus Christ.


Bonus Material

Let the mind of self-emptying be in you which was in Christ.

Seven steps in His humiliation:

1. Christ was consecrated to humble Himself (Php. 2:5).

2. Christ laid aside His divine form (Php. 2:6).

3. Christ made Himself of no reputation (Php. 2:7).

4. Christ took the form of a servant (Php. 2:7).

5. Christ was made in the likeness of human beings (Php. 2:7).

6. Christ humbled Himself (Php. 2:8).

7. Christ became obedient unto death (Php. 2:8).


Friday, January 1, 2021


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Milestones” the End of  Year Sermon. Deuteronomy 17:16; Joshua 3:4

Text:  "But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the LORD has said to you, 'You shall not return that way again.'"  Deuteronomy 17:16

"Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do  not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before." Joshua 3:4

The next milestones are about “the way by which you must go” in Christ. “Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before." Joshua 3:4

When you come to Christ it is true that all things become new. There are new opportunities. You begin to see things differently. There are new duties, experiences, ideas, hope and determinations. You begin to take on the “mind of Christ” that Paul desires for the followers of Christ.Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2  fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3  Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5  Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6  who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7  but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:1-8) The more we take on the “mind of Christ” the more we “become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. (Philippians 2:13-15).

I have known so many who, upon their conversion, have described this change of outlook. They began to see the world through the eyes of God revealed by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. It reminds me of the story of two men in prison; one for his crimes and one who was imprisoned for his faith in Christ. The one looked out the bars of his window, looked down and only had sorrow and regret with no hope. The Christian looked out the bars of his window, looked up and

saw the stars and had hope. What does your OUTlook see?


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Pray or do: Give thanks to God for the past milestone when God forgave you of your sins when you put your trust in Jesus Christ.


Bonus Material

Let the mind of self-emptying be in you which was in Christ.

Seven steps in His humiliation:

1. Christ was consecrated to humble Himself (Php. 2:5).

2. Christ laid aside His divine form (Php. 2:6).

3. Christ made Himself of no reputation (Php. 2:7).

4. Christ took the form of a servant (Php. 2:7).

5. Christ was made in the likeness of human beings (Php. 2:7).

6. Christ humbled Himself (Php. 2:8).

7. Christ became obedient unto death (Php. 2:8).


Thursday, December 31, 2020


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Milestones” the End of Year Sermon. Deuteronomy 17:16; Joshua 3:4

Text:  "But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the LORD has said to you, 'You shall not return that way again.'" Deuteronomy 17:16

"Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do  not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before." Joshua 3:4

Two other milestones in our spiritual journey are sorrows and mistakes. We have all experienced them. Our sorrows come from the grief, pain, remorse and sadness we get from our sins. God’s children experience the discipline that comes with discipleship. The writer of Hebrews explains  that disciplining process. “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11) Even though Jesus did not sin he experienced sorrows and grief. Isaiah prophetically announced that the messiah would be “despised and rejected by men, A  Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.” (Isaiah 53:3) That is because he was going to bear our sins. That is one example of godly sorrow. When we experience the disciplining process we should not look at the process, the hills we have to face or the steps we will go through. We are to look at the results, 'nevertheless afterward'. We all make mistakes. When we do we should not dwell on them and be overwhelmed with regrets. Regrets will often weaken us and open the door for “discouragement because of the way”. You cannot retrieve or retrace the mistakes. Learn to profit from them and then decide on a better way forward. 


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. Isaiah 35:10

Pray or do: Give thanks to God for the past milestone when God forgave you of your sins when you put your trust in  Jesus Christ. 


Bonus Material

"In the center of the circle

Of the will of God I stand;

There can be no second causes,

All must come from His dear hand.

All is well! for 'tis my Father

Who my earthly life hath planned.'

Shall I pass through waves of sorrow?

Then I know it will be best;

Though I cannot tell the reason,

I can trust and so am blest. 

God is love, and God is faithful,

So in perfect peace I rest"



Wednesday, December 30, 2020


The devotional today is from the Pastor’s message this past Sunday “Milestones” the End of Year Sermon. Deuteronomy 17:16; Joshua 3:4

Text:  "But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the LORD has said to you, 'You shall not return that way again.'" Deuteronomy  17:16

"Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before." Joshua 3:4

Never this way before—never this way again! Milestones are helpful, not only to show the way, but also as reminders of distance traveled and as encouragement for what is still to be covered. Sometimes we use maps with their roads, landmarks, towns and cites as milestones. We use mileage signs as a way to know how far the next city or our destination is from where we are. Some highways even use “tenth of a mile” markers as milestones. There are different types of milestones we use in our everyday life. Birthdays and anniversaries are useful though some people do not like to be reminded of their birthday or their age. The New Year is a helpful milestone for past and future, although every day, according to Thomas Carlyle, is 'the confluence of two eternities.' This week I want to share with you about the milestones of your past and your future that can help you to your ultimate destination. I also want to give you the key to making your journey to that ultimate destination easier and more enjoyable. When Moses was giving instructions to the children of Israel about their future he reminded them what God had said, “you are not to ever return to Egypt”. Sin like Egypt reminds us of bondage. God delivered us from sin (a milestone of our past) and we are not to return to sin. God has forgiven us and covered our sins in spite of Satan’s best efforts. Notice the language God uses to describe what he has done to our sins. He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. "You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea." Micah 7:19;  "Indeed it was for my own peace That I had great bitterness; But You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, For You have cast all my sins behind Your back." Isaiah 38:17; "I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, And like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you." Isaiah 44:22; "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." Hebrews 8:12


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Meditate upon the scriptures above.

Pray or do: Give thanks to God for the past milestone when God forgave you of your sins when you put your trust in Jesus Christ.



Sunday, December 27, 2020


LOVE BLOWS OUR MINDS

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have  power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." —Ephesians 3:17-19

There is so much we don’t know about the universe. Google “mysteries of the universe” and you can easily go down a black hole, pun intended, of mind-blowing topics.  What goes on in black holes, with gravity so powerful and dense that not even light can escape? What exactly is dark matter and how does it work to hold fast-moving galaxies together? And what about dark energy that seems to be pushing the universe apart, expanding more and more quickly? Incredible imagery from the orbiting Hubble Telescope, Chandra X-ray Observatory, and infrared Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed

exploding supernovae like the Crab Nebula, as well as thousands of other galaxies  across deep space. It seems the more astronomers and physicists discover, the more there is that we don’t understand. Maybe we never will. For our God who is infinite and eternal, nothing is impossible. And if He is the Creator of a potentially infinite universe, then love is in and of His entire cosmic work, wherever His presence reaches, without end. Is your mind bending yet? And we think the oceans are deep! This is the same endless love embodied and extended to us in Jesus. Paul says the love of Christ surpasses knowledge. Nothing can contain it. Everything pales in comparison to it: our pains and problems, our complaints and questions, even our very existence and universe. Let’s open our hearts as widely as possible to God’s unfathomable love in this season and always. 

What is your concept of eternity? 

What will you do to let your mind and heart be blown

by God’s all-consuming love this Christmas?




Saturday, December 26, 2020


LOVE RESPONDS

"We love because he first loved us." —1 John 4:19

The young girl was traveling from her Mexican village to the nearby chapel to visit  the Nativity scene. Pepita was upset because she had no money to buy a gift to offer the baby Jesus during the service. But as she walked, she picked a bouquet along the roadside—weeds really. She was discouraged at her lack, but her cousin reminded her that even the most humble gift given in love would be acceptable in God’s eyes. When Pepita brought her offering to the Christ child, her bouquet miraculously transformed into beautiful red flowers, known as cuetlaxochitl—poinsettias.  Our own Christmas tradition of giving and displaying poinsettias comes from Mexico. The first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett, brought the plant home in 1828 to study and cultivate it. He began giving them to friends as the lovely red flowers bloomed around Christmas, and a Pennsylvanian botanist soon began growing and selling them as the tradition spread. The original legend of Pepita reminds us of human love’s humble response to God’s love. “We love because he first loved us.” When we are able to receive God’s love, in all of its unconditional fullness, we are able to be vulnerable, accepted, and unashamed. We are aware there is nothing we can do to deserve this love. We understand our frailty and our smallness. There is nothing we can give to impress God, but all He wants is us. There is freedom in this realization, freedom to receive His love and to offer it back. There is even freedom to pass this love on to others, as John continues to write in 1 John 4. Our love is not an obligation or a duty we must grit our teeth and force. It is a renewing fountain continually flowing from the source of love Himself. Let’s drink deeply from the true source of love this Christmas and rediscover its refreshing flow. 

Do you feel loved? 

How can you remind yourself throughout the day of God’s unfailing,  never-ending love for you?

Outreach 2020, Inc.



Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas!


LOVE YOUR ENEMIES

"You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your  enemy.” But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." —Matthew 5:43-44

From a distance, the priest thought it must be roadkill left by wild animals. But as  he drew closer, he heard humanlike moaning, and he could tell it was a man’s bloodied body. Robbers had done this, stealing all the man had and leaving him to die. The priest moved as far away as he could. “He’s almost dead anyway,” he thought. “I don’t have time for this.” He hurried on. The next man who passed reacted similarly. “I can’t  get involved with this unclean mess,” thought the priestly assistant as he veered around the scene of the crime. The third man who eventually came along was a Samaritan who immediately stopped. After some first aid, he lifted the victim onto his donkey and transported him into the city. He treated the man’s wounds all day and night, then paid the innkeeper to continue. “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor?” asked Jesus. “The one who had mercy on him,” the expert in the law replied (Luke 10:36-37). Did you ever notice the man trying to prove a point to Jesus couldn’t even bring himself to say the word Samaritan? That’s because the Jews hated the Samaritans. The prejudice went back thousands of years in their shared ancestry when the tribes of Jacob split. Talk about a grudge! The groups had fought battles and disagreed about worshiping God (the Samaritans had their own temple, as if the Jews would have let them in at Jerusalem anyway). 

But when Jesus told a story to illustrate God’s command to love your neighbor as yourself, He flipped the religious teachings on their head. The hated Samaritan lived out God’s love. He loved his enemy. He pleased God. And as Jesus taught, God’s love and salvation are for everyone, enemies included. There is freedom in loving others, even those we don’t like. 

Who do you have trouble loving? 

How can you reach out to them with love this week?

Outreach 2020, Inc.


Thursday,  December 24, 2020


LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so  you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." —John 13:34-35

Harley Davidson riders are known by their leathers. Surfers are known for their board  shorts. Gangs identify by their colors. You can spot a Las Vegas Raiders fan by the black and silver skulls. A cheese hat? You’re loyal to the Green Bay Packers. You knew Groucho Marx by his glasses and bushy mustache. Abraham Lincoln’s top hat was a dead giveaway. Early punk-rockers were recognizable by their three-foot mohawks. Flannel was the ‘90s mark of grunge rockers. Handlebar mustaches now reveal a hipster. Braided beards and ruthlessness? Pirates. Reggae and dreadlocks often reveal a  Jamaican, mon. Brazilians are known for their expressive warmth. What are Christians known for? Jesus said it should be our love for other people. Early  on, the church shone with Christlike love as believers shared all they had to care for each other’s needs. When pandemics hit Roman cities, Christ followers chose to tend to the sick even while the persecuting Romans fled. But there have been clear collective blunders, like invading countries and killing innocent women and children during the Crusades. So how are we doing now? Are our churches known for who we’re trying to keep out or who we are welcoming in? Are we known by our service or our self-preservation?  Our willingness to listen or our quickness to shout down? Our devotion to our political party or our devotion to Jesus? Does our encouragement or criticism come through louder? Are we marked by anger or grace? Outrage or compassion? Are we recognized by our expressions of Christ’s love or our indignation about what others call the holiday? Are we too busy to show love and kindness in our daily interactions? Let’s let everyone know we are Jesus’s disciples this Christmas by our love for others.  

What do others know you for? 

What can you do to put Jesus’s love into action?

Outreach 2020, Inc.



Wednesday, December 23, 2020


UNFAILING LOVE

"For I am convinced 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

The Great Plague was London’s last major outbreak of bubonic plague, but it claimed as many as 100,000 lives from 1665 to 1666. It spread to the Derbyshire village of Eyam, about 160 miles north of London, in a bale of cloth infested with carrier fleas. Forty-two villagers died in September and October. The plague had been killing millions of Europeans for centuries. These villagers didn’t understand all of the science, but they knew the plague spread from person to person. By spring, the remaining citizens prepared to flee their homes to survive. But the newly appointed rector, William Mompesson, with the help of the trusted former rector, Thomas Stanley, convinced the villagers to remain and quarantine themselves in their village. By staying, they knew they were choosing death, but they knew they would also avoid spreading the plague to other villages. They chose to protect the lives of others beyond their own boundaries. Death hit Eyam hard, killing 260 of its 300-800 inhabitants in a year. “It must have been terrifying, but every single family would have had that strong belief in God, and would not have feared death,” Joan Plant, Eyam churchwarden and direct descendant of one of the survivors, told the BBC. The citizens of Eyam must have clung to the truth of Paul’s words, that nothing in all the universe or eternity can separate us from God’s love, not even death. Despite suffering and grief, they chose to love and protect their neighbors in nearby villages even more than themselves. They knew they were held firmly in the embrace of God’s love no matter what.

What feels like it is separating you from the love of God? 

If there is truly nothing that will break the bonds of God’s love for you, what courageous step will you take?

Outreach 2020, Inc. 



Tuesday, December 22, 2020


LOVE DEFEATS FEAR

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear  has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." —1 John 4:18

There are a lot of things that could have kept those wisemen at home. Most of them  would have come down to fear. There was fear of the unknown: a new star, a journey to a new land wherever this star would lead them. There was fear for their safety: Traveling the harsh, desert roads of the ancient Middle East was a dangerous venture. Besides the inhospitable terrain for you and your vehicles, aka livestock, you had to stay vigilant against robbers or warlords. The Magi could have easily feared loss. We know they carried gold, frankincense, and myrrh to give to Jesus. It seems they were wealthy. They must have been a target to would-be assailants. Fear of ridicule could have kept them at home. What if they were wrong about this star? They would have had hours and hours to second-guess themselves as they plodded onward. Fear of power could have derailed them or thwarted their mission as they were called before the mighty ruler Herod. Fear could not stop the Magi. Nothing would stop them on their mysterious journey. They came as if called. They came to worship and give powerfully symbolic gifts—gifts fit for a king—to the infant Jesus. They also came as representatives of the message that the gift of Jesus is for every race, every people, every nation. Love thrives in the absence of fear. And as John describes, perfect love drives out fear. The love of God embodied in Jesus fills us with the courage to cross borders and face danger and discomfort. It  frees us from insecurity and rejection and judgment. It frees us from the divisive fear of the other and brings us together, united as God’s children. 

What fears are troubling your heart? 

How can you step out against fear, empowered by

God’s perfect love?

Outreach 2020, Inc.



Monday, December 21, 2020


LOVE HONORS OTHERS

"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. " —Romans 12:9-10

They were a young couple, eking out a living in New York City. They had each other  but little else. Oh, and their most prized possessions: Jim’s gold pocket watch that had been his grandfather’s and Della’s beautiful, cascading hair. Both had secretly tried saving for months to buy a Christmas present for the other, but $1.87 was all Della had. In a moment of Christmas Eve inspiration, Della sold her hair for $20 to buy Jim a perfectly simple gold chain to match his pocket watch. As Jim arrived home, Della feared he would no longer find her beautiful. He held his wife close and gave her a set of combs she had long admired. “My hair grows so quickly,” she told him. At least there was the perfect watch chain, which she excitedly gave him. Jim smiled as he told her he had sold the watch in order to buy her combs. “Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are the most wise,” wrote O’Henry to close his famous 1905 story The Gift of the Magi. “Everywhere they are the wise ones. They are the magi.” Is there a love more sincere than that which puts another first? Jim and Della didn’t give gifts to each other out of compulsion or obligation. They didn’t think twice about sacrificing their most prized possession to bring happiness to their true love. Their spirit is the same as that of the Magi, who gave freely to Jesus. The Magi are the source of our  practice of Christmas gift giving. And, of course, theirs and our gifts are just a reflection of God’s gift of Jesus. His love in action through us, as Paul describes in Romans, is sincere, good, devoted, and honors others before ourselves. 

What gift are you most excited to give this Christmas? 

What other way can you honor  someone above yourself in this season, even without money or means?

Outreach 2020, Inc.




Sunday, December 20, 2020


JOY RESTORED

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within  me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." —Psalm 51:10-12

Christmas trees can trace their roots all the way back to ancient cultures, including  the Egyptians and Romans who decorated with evergreen boughs to mark the Winter Solstice. The Christmas tree tradition we know got started in Germany in the 16th century, and it’s believed that Martin Luther first added candles to light the tree and made it part of Christian celebrations. German settlers in Pennsylvania brought the tradition to the U.S. in the 1830s. But the trees became widely popular across the U.S. and Great Britain in 1846, when a London newspaper showed an illustration of Queen Victoria, the German Prince Albert, and their children celebrating around their Christmas tree. From the beginning, evergreens have been loved for their constant reminder of flourishing life through the long, dark winter. Even through December’s shortest days, the evergreens promise a restoration of life and growth. 

Sometimes we need a restoration of joy just like King David did when he wrote Psalm  51. His famous prayer followed the darkest days of his adultery with Bathsheba and the arranged murder of her husband. David had finally hit his low and poured out his confession and remorse to God, asking for forgiveness and renewal. He longed for a restoration of the joy of his relationship with God. How often we too need a cleansing fresh start! So much can jade our hearts and choke

our joy, whether it’s our own sin or the busyness and pressures of the holidays. Sometimes we need the honesty of confession and the simplicity of quiet reflection. No matter where we’ve been or what we’ve done, Jesus is here, welcoming us with restorative joy. 

What is coming between you and God? 

How will you pour out your heart to God? 

Outreach 2020, Inc.



Saturday, December 19, 2020


UNITED IN JOY

"I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has  clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a  bride adorns herself with her jewels." —Isaiah 61:10

Is there anything more radiant than a bride on her wedding day? She is the picture  of beauty. We are captivated by weddings, and the bride is the center of attention. That’s true whether it’s your cousin’s ceremony or England’s Royal Wedding. Whatever the setting, the bride is the princess on her wedding day. Some little girls begin dreaming of that day as preschoolers twirling around in princess dresses and their mother’s oversized high-heeled shoes. There is a beauty in the union of a bride and groom, and a purity in the moment when the bride appears and walks down the aisle to her soon-tobe husband. A wedding is one of the most joyful celebrations we can have on this earth. It’s one the Bible compares to our relationship with Jesus. Isaiah says God has clothed us like a bride or groom, fixing us up in our finest through His salvation and restoration. He has given us reason to experience joy like a wedding day. Jesus compared Himself  to a bridegroom when He taught on earth. John used the imagery when he described Christ’s return in Revelation 19:7: “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.” 

When we think ahead to our eventual union with Jesus, we can find joy in the celebration of all it represents: Instead of sorrow, pain, or death, there will be joy, wholeness,  and life. When we remember the significance of Jesus’s birth and our first encounter with Him, we can experience joy that flows from His perfect, unconditional love. 

What memories of your relationship with Jesus bring you joy? 

What do you imagine the  wedding of Jesus and His followers will be like?

Outreach 2020, Inc.



Friday, December 18, 2020


FEEDING JOY

"When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s  delight, for I bear your name, LORD God Almighty." —Jeremiah 15:16

What is your favorite Christmas feast? Are you a traditional American big meal person, loading up the table with platters of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet  potatoes, casseroles, cranberry relishes, and pies for dessert? Do you prefer or include other cultural delicacies? Does your table include tamales, latkes, Christmas pudding, Buche de Noel, suckling pig, lutefisk, or other dishes passed down by heritage or family preference? Food plays a big part in holiday traditions around the world. It certainly  draws us together as family and friends to reunite and celebrate and share the joys— and sometimes the painful awkwardness—of each other’s company. 

How do we choose joy when the painful moments of the season or life in general feel crushingly heavy? One way is to devour God’s Word like Jeremiah, who said,  “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight.” In the same way, they are our spiritual sustenance. They feed us. The principle of “You are what you eat” applies to our spirits as well. As we take in the words of God, savoring and digesting them, they are able to refuel and renew us. They change our perspective and nourish joy within us, and they fill us with the strength to grow stronger, no matter what we are facing. Let’s feast on the promises of God throughout this Advent season. 

How is your spiritual diet? 

What Scripture will you choose to savor and return to throughout this week?

Outreach 2020, Inc.



Thursday, December 17, 2020


CHOOSE JOY

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials  of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." —James 1:2-4

If you’ve spent much time in nature, you’ve probably come across the odd sight  of a tree growing out of a rock. In the city, you’ve probably seen a flower blooming out of a tiny crack in a sidewalk or street. Plants like that make a stark contrast to our expectations. They go against the grain of what we normally expect from nature and science. We know plants of all kinds need soil to grow and live. Yet these hardy botanical survivors somehow find a way to send roots through the tiniest crevices or to draw  nutrients from the most meager supplies. They defy their harsh environments and find a way to thrive. Joy allows us to do the same. It gives us the strength to persevere even when our circumstances look bleak and we are surrounded by cold, hard reality. Does it make  sense to feel joy when we face trials? No. But when we choose joy, when we choose to look with thankfulness for what God will do even in our bleakest days, we can find the strength to persevere another day, and another, and another. And we continue to grow stronger in our rocky surroundings. It’s not easy. Maybe that’s why Paul said it twice: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will  say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). He knew we needed reminders often. He had certainly lived through the difficulties of prison, beatings, hatred, ridicule, loneliness, injustice, and more. Yet Paul continued to choose the action of joy, to rejoice, and to place his focus on God, even when life felt like nothing but a rock and a hard place.  

What is the rock you are facing right now? 

What step will you take to choose joy even when it’s hard?

Outreach 2020, Inc.


Wednesday, December 16, 2020


CELEBRATE JOY

"Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." —Nehemiah 8:10

Christmas was a fairly forgotten holiday in London and most of England by the 1840s. Easter was celebrated. So was Boxing Day. But Christmas? Meh. So publishers didn’t see why anyone would want to read Charles Dickens’s latest book, A Christmas Carol. Turned out, everyone did. As we know, Dickens’s story was a hit, and still is. Because of that book, Dickens has been credited with saving Christmas and shaping the way we celebrate the holiday today. Not just in England, but in the U.S. too. Of course, we all know the story of Mr. Scrooge and his “Bah, humbug!” It’s ultimately a tale of Scrooge’s redemption, but the Crachit family serve as a reminder of the joy of the season, no matter how miserly and harsh the world is around us. Long before Dickens, Israel’s leader Nehemiah led the Jewish people back from exile in Babylon to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. He also led them back to God and to the worship they had forgotten. When Nehemiah had God’s Law read to the people,

they wept with remorse and regret. But as a representative of God’s work and voice, Nehemiah was a reminder of grace and restoration. His declaration was to celebrate

and embrace the joy of the occasion, “for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

We know that the pace and activities of our holidays can bring a mixture of emotions that threatens to chase joy into the shadows. As we choose to cling to the joy of

the Lord, let us embrace and experience the joy of the season in His hope, peace, and

love in our lives.

What is squashing your Christmas joy? What can you say no to in order to say yes to joy

this season? 



Tuesday, December 15, 2020


JOY COMES IN THE MORNING

"How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide  your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? … But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me." —Psalm 13:1-2,5-6

When 11-year-old Riley moves across the country to San Francisco, her world is  thrown for a loop. So are the five core emotions inside the headquarters of her brain: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust. If you’ve seen the Disney movie Inside Out, you know those colorful characters are the ones who run the control panels of the girl’s actions, experiences, and memories. Spoiler alert: After a meltdown in emotional headquarters, Riley’s world is in upheaval. But there’s a touching scene at the end when Joy hands over the controls of the emotional console to Sadness. Sadness is able to let Riley cry and let out all the bad feelings. As her parents support and hug her, Riley cries and smiles contentedly at the same time. And Sadness and Joy hold hands and form a new memory together. 

Sadness and joy are often the same for us. Life is hard, and pain is real, even in the  “joyous” Christmas season. Rather than putting on a fake smile or trying to power our way to happiness, it’s important to express our hurts and sorrows. God wants us to pour out our hearts to Him. The psalmists give us great examples in their prayerful songs and poems. When we are willing to cry out, “Where are you God?” and allow Him to hold and support us, He can fill us with the comfort and strength to choose joy and experience His presence. As King David put it in Psalm 30:5, “Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” 

What sadness or pain do you need to express to find support? 

How can you create your

own personal psalm to pour out your heart to God?

Outreach 2020, Inc.



Monday, December 14, 2020


JOY FINDS A WAY

And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God  my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed.” —Luke 1:46-48

Have you ever been to Yellowstone National Park? It’s an amazing place, filled with nature’s majesty. It’s also a unique place, basically sitting above a super volcano beneath  the earth’s surface. That’s where the park’s famous geysers come from. All that geothermal heat and combustion down there has to go somewhere, so it rises to the surface, escaping through vents we know as geysers. Some like Old Faithful spout water 180 feet into the air. Others heat large hot spring pools and churn up kaleidoscopic minerals. Others ooze out in slowly bubbling mudpots. Joy is kind of like those geysers. It’s our feel-good emotion, and when it’s there, it’s going to find a way out. Sometimes it’s quick to burst out. Sometimes it takes a while to work its way through the mud in our lives. Sometimes it’s a combination of both. Maybe that’s the way it was for Mary and Elizabeth, two miraculous mothers-to-be in Luke’s Christmas account. Both women were facing a mixture of emotions in their unexpected pregnancies. Behind Elizabeth’s elation were decades of shame, scorn, and crushed dreams of having children. Maybe that’s why she spent five months in  seclusion. Behind Mary’s wonder were judgment and scorn from others, and certainly some fear and confusion of her own. Maybe that’s why Mary hurried to the hill country, away from the judgmental eyes of her neighbors. But when the two women united, joy erupted. Elizabeth’s baby, John the Baptist, leaped in the womb. The Holy Spirit filled Elizabeth, and she joyfully blessed and  affirmed Mary. Then Mary burst into song, praising God and rejoicing. All the fear, uncertainty, and pain faded in the face of encouragement and joy. 

How is your sense of joy in this season?

Who can you reach out to in order to find encouragement or to encourage?

2020 Outreach, Inc.



Sunday, December 13, 2020


THE INVITATION TO PEACE

"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." —Matthew 11: 28-30

The shepherds gained a special place in history on the night of Jesus’s birth, but in  their time, they were nothing special as far as society was concerned. The shepherds were the everyman, the working class. They labored under the sun and stars. They tended animals. They probably smelled like the animals they kept. They had no entitlement. They were probably looked down on by the religious elite. And they probably would have immediately understood and embraced the agricultural example in Jesus’s teaching years later: the yoke of walking in step with Jesus and following His lead. They would have embraced his invitation to come and find rest. They were weary with the burden of never-ending labor and scratching out a living in the fields. What an invitation to peace! “For I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.” It was no accident that the angels showed up above the fields outside of Bethlehem to make their proclamation of “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” It was a triumphant signal that God was there for the humble and lowly and weary and broken. Those people had a place in the stable to encounter the Messiah. Jesus’s invitation extends to us today. We can come and experience the deep rest of His peace. 

What burden feels heavy right now? 

What step will you take as Jesus welcomes, "Come  to me”?

2020 Outreach, Inc.


Saturday, December 12, 2020


PLANTING PEACE

"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then  peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness."—James 3:17-18

When their small boat set sail in Chile to cross the notoriously treacherous Drake  Passage to Antarctica, there was so much that could go wrong. The 2004 expedition would attempt to be the first to climb an unnamed peak in Antarctica. First, they had to trek by foot for weeks across the ice. Most had no sailing or mountaineering experience. And all of them came from opposite sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The “extreme peace mission” was the idea of Heskel Nathaniel, an Israeli outdoorsman, and sponsored by Israel’s Peres Centre for Peace. But the group was not made of peace activists. Some had served in different armies and served time for attacks on the other side. Others were political activists. Some had lost family members in bombings. But they had to work together for success and survival. “I’m not so naive as to believe we will bring peace,” one of the team members said. “But I think it will push forward other groups of people to go ahead and talk, just sit and talk.”  The crew was ultimately successful in summiting its peak and raising awareness for Israeli-Palestinian cooperation and potential peace. But first they had to be willing to  extend grace, mercy, forgiveness, and trust to their teammates from across the border. These are qualities of “wisdom that comes from heaven,” as James describes them. And he likens the process of finding peace to planting: When we plant and cultivate peace, we harvest and experience righteous fruit. Often peace means taking the first step and planting the seeds of peace one at a time. 

What conflict is keeping you from shalom wholeness? 

What step of forgiveness or grace will you take to cultivate peace or heal a relationship?

2020 Outreach, Inc.



Friday, December 11, 2020


THE PAUSE OF PEACE

"And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that  it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are  perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. " —Mark 4:37–39 NKJV

Have you ever experienced a hurricane? Have you ever passed through the eye of a  hurricane? It’s an eerie experience. There truly is a stillness right at the center of a circling hurricane. After the worst of the storm comes a stillness. They eye is surrounded by the eyewall, a ring of towering, ferocious thunderstorms that are the violent vortex of humid air that feeds the hurricane. But then the winds calm. The rains cease. It’s a pause in the maelstrom. It’s temporary. But it’s kind of like those freeze frame moments in a movie when everything slows down to one brief moment of reality while life or chaos or catastrophe happen all around the character like a brief millisecond of clarity. Jesus has the power to calm our storms. Even in the worst of the gales howling around us. The disciples experienced it physically in that storm at sea with Jesus. We can experience it spiritually. “Peace, be still,” Jesus says. As we cry out to Him, He is able to bring calm to the winds that rage within and around us. He is able to bring pause and clarity. Jesus is our peace, no matter how bad the storm we are facing.

What storm are you facing? 

How will you pause today to, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)?

2020 Outreach, Inc.



Thursday, December 10, 2020


"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." —Philippians 4:6–7

“How can this be?” Mary asked the angel, according to Luke.  It must roughly translate to, “Wait! What?!  Conceive…give birth…Son of the Most High?  How can I have a baby?!  Everybody knows there’s only one way to have a baby!”  We don’t know exactly how or when Mary told Joseph.  Apparently it didn’t go well.  Joseph was crushed.  The betrayal stung beyond words.  How could Mary do this?  He loved her.  He didn’t want to hurt her, but he couldn’t take this pain of his own.  He wouldn’t make a public scene, but he would break off the engagement, the equivalent of a divorce in the marriage process and customs of the day.  You know what happened.  There were angels and messages directly from God, and both Mary and Joseph chose to believe them and trust.  But you also know how people are.  If Joseph had a hard time believing Mary’s story, just think about their neighbors and customers and townsfolk.  Both Mary and Joseph must have been targeted with their scorn and judgment.  It wouldn’t have been an easy nine months.  It wouldn’t have been an easy journey to Bethlehem by foot or by donkey.  It wouldn’t have been an easy parenting journey.  But Mary and Joseph continued to trust.  They continued to stay faithful.  The questions and uncertainty must have continued to come too.  And they must have  continued to remember God’s work they had witnessed.  They must have thanked Him for all they had seen.  They must have prayed and petitioned God, turning their focus on Him.  We know the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guarded their hearts and minds even in their most difficult moments—just as He has promised it will do in ours.  

What are you feeling anxious about? 

What is your prayer and request from God today?

2020 Outreach, Inc



Wednesday, December 9, 2020


PEACE REIGNS

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will  be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." —Isaiah 9:6

A young priest named Joseph Mohr took the long way home one winter night in  1816, less than a year after the ravages of the Napoleonic Wars.  As Mohr looked out across the scene, he was struck with a profound sense of peace.  Snow blanketed the small village in the Alps.  Candlelight glowed from cottage windows.  Smoke trailed skyward from cozy hearths within.  Overhead, countless stars twinkled with radiance.  When he got home, Mohr wrote the lyrics we now know as “Silent Night.”  Two years later, Mohr asked his friend and choir director Franz Gruber to write a melody for guitar.  And on Christmas Eve 1818 in Oberndorf, Austria, the two performed “Stille Nacht Heilige Nacht” at the evening mass.  The carol’s startling simplicity captivated listeners.  Traveling folk singers began to spread the song, and eventually it crossed continents and languages.  In 1914, soldiers during World War I, came out  of their trenches and crossed the battle lines to sing “Silent Night” together in French, German, and English in a profound evening of peace.  We know that not all was peaceful on that first Christmas night.  There was a frantic search for lodging after a grueling journey forced by a foreign government.  There was the pain and exhaustion of labor and childbirth.  There was terror at the angels first appearance.  But there must also have been moments of profound silence as a new mother cradled her sleeping son and breathed in the newborn scent of his head.  The  shepherds must have felt it as they settled their flocks again in the fields, filled with wonder and gazing into the sparkling night sky.  Sometimes it’s in the darkness and silence that we are most aware that the Prince of Peace rules.  

When is the last time you listened to “Silent Night?” 

How can you set aside a few moments to step into the peace of this son who has been given, the Prince of Peace?

2020 Outreach, Inc.


Tuesday, December 8, 2020


THE PEACE OF WHOLENESS

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the  world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." 

—John 14:27

Don’t you love those moments when everything seems right with the world?  Maybe  it’s when your baby is sleeping in your arms. Maybe it’s holding your spouse close after a long absence.  Maybe it’s when your children are home from college, together again.  Maybe it’s the whole family laughing together at Christmas.  Or maybe it’s after all the in-laws go home again.  In the Jewish culture, peace is much more than the absence of conflict.  It’s more like those brief moments of everything being right in your world.  The Old Testament word is shalom, used still today as a greeting and a blessing.  The concept of shalom is a concept of wholeness.  It is an understanding that life is complex with many moving pieces, responsibilities, relationships, and more, but in shalom there is completeness, unity, safety—peace.  Through the giving of the Law to Moses and God’s covenant with Abraham and his descendants, there was God’s shalom, restoration, relationship, and spiritual wholeness.  And in the coming of the Messiah, the Prince of Shalom would realize this sense of ultimate peace.  So you can be sure the disciples remembered and clung to Jesus’s words in the days after His death and resurrection.  “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.”  This was His shalom that would calm their hearts and overcome their fears, even when the world reeled around them. Jesus knew the hard times and even horrific days that lay ahead for His disciples, but He wanted them to know His Spirit would sustain them with peace.  He knew the work of complete restoration He was accomplishing.  It’s the same work He is working in us.  Jesus is making us whole.  His peace can calm our hearts and overcome our fears.  What is making you afraid?  How can you speak words of peace, shalom, today?

2020 Outreach, Inc.


Monday, December 7, 2020


UNSTOPPABLE PEACE

"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on  whom his favor rests.” —Luke 2:14

It’s kind of a miracle that A Charlie Brown Christmas ever got made, much less aired  on national television.  We know it as a beloved Christmas tradition, but in 1965, the TV executives were sure it was going to flop.  They thought it was too slow.  The now iconic jazz music didn’t belong in a cartoon.  The voices were too  amateurish.  Charlie Brown and his pals used too big a vocabulary.  And Linus can’t quote the Bible on TV.  Even Charles Schultz’s own creative team tried to talk the illustrator out of that scene, but Schultz would not be dissuaded.  Because Coca-Cola had bankrolled the show and TV guides had already listed it, CBS execs had no choice but to reluctantly air it.  As you know, the show was a hit.  Its triumph was Linus announcing to Charlie  Brown “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown,” and proclaiming to the  world the words of the angels from that first Christmas night: “Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on  whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:10-14). 

That message is the same for us today.  It’s OK.  You don’t have to be afraid.  Christ has  come. Peace is here.  Let’s rest in that enduring promise throughout this Advent season.  

What restores your sense of peace? 

How can you take a daily pause to refocus and let

God’s peace wash over you?

2020 Outreach, Inc.



Sunday, December 6, 2020


HOPE FOR OUR INHERITANCE

"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you  may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people." —Ephesians 1:18

You’ve seen the movies or heard the stories. Maybe you’ve dreamed of it happening to you.  A long lost relative who you never knew you had dies and unexpectedly leaves a fortune for you. Turns out it really does happen sometimes.  Take the case of Zsolt and Geza Peladi.  The brothers were living in a cave outside of Budapest,  Hungary, in 2009 when they learned they would inherit $7 billion from their long-lost grandmother.

The Peladi brothers knew their mother had come from a wealthy family, but she had severed ties with her family and later abandoned her sons. Their grandmother had died with no other heirs, and her next surviving relatives were tracked down: Zsolt and Geza and their sister who lived in the United States.  The brothers told reporters they hoped their newfound money would allow them to find love and a normal life.  It’s probably unlikely that you or I will inherit $7 billion—but apparently not impossible.  Regardless, we have the most incredible and satisfying inheritance of all: “the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,” as the apostle Paul describes it.  In Ephesians 1, Paul recaps the power of the promise that God has fulfilled in Jesus.  One day, we will receive the fulfillment of eternal life, complete restoration to wholeness and unity with God.  In the meantime, God’s Spirit fills us with hope for the day when we will see this work complete.  In Advent, we expectantly hope for the celebration of Christmas, and we look beyond with hope to

Christ’s return and our invaluable spiritual inheritance.

What would you do if you knew you were about to inherit a billion dollars? 

How will you live knowing the power of Christ to defeat death is alive in you today?

2020 Outreach, Inc.



Saturday, December 5, 2020


HOPE OVERFLOWS

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." —Romans 15:13

There was someone else there that day when Mary and Joseph brought their infant son to the temple. Another who had been faithfully watching and waiting and believing it was only a matter of time before she saw the fulfillment of God’s longstanding promise. Anna was a prophet, eighty-four years old. She had been married once, long ago, for seven years before her husband died. This would have given her a difficult life

in ancient culture, making her dependent on others for a well-being that was probably then meager. None of that seemed to slow Anna down. She spent all her time in the temple, worshiping, fasting, and praying. Her service might have even been part of some official group or capacity.

Like Simeon, Anna was ready when Jesus arrived. Maybe she approached the young family at the same time as Simeon. Maybe later. Whatever the timing, her worshipful response was similar. But Luke tells us even more. Like Simeon, Anna was overjoyed to see this long-expected gift from God. She certainly must have felt fulfilled as well. But Anna wasn’t done. Her hope overflowed, and she told everyone she could about what she had seen.  Anna’s hope is the kind described by Paul, when he prayed, “… that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Isn’t that just like hope? It’s the kind of hope we see in children on Christmas morning: expectant, unbridled, uncontainable, overflowing. And it’s the same kind from the God of hope that sustains through the ages. 

How is your hope-ometer these days? 

What hope have you given up on that God is calling to renew in you?

2020 Outreach, Inc.



Friday, December 4, 2020


HOPE SUSTAINS US

"Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been  poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit [which] was given to us. "

—Romans 5:5

He had been waiting. The old man was ready. Luke calls him righteous and devout.   Simeon had been faithfully serving God for decades and watching for the fulfillment of His promise to send a Messiah. Each morning, he might have asked, “Is this the day?” Then came the day when he felt that nudge by God’s Spirit: Go to the temple. Something exciting is about to happen. I have a surprise for you. When Simeon saw the young family across the temple courts, he knew. This was the moment he had been waiting for his whole life. He probably ran to them, taking the baby from the surprised parents, lifting him skyward, then cradling him in his arms. And Simeon worshiped. He told God he was fulfilled, content; he could now die a happy man. “For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel” (Luke 2:30-32). 

Simeon is the perfect example of the man described in Jeremiah 17:7: “Blessed is  the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD.” Simeon reminds us that hope does not disappoint. Why? Because, as Paul says, “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit [which] was given to us.” God’s never-ending love for us will always come through in God’s perfect timing. The hope of Christ will never fail us. 

How would your hope compare to Simeon’s? 

How might you spread a sense of hope by

some small expression fueled by God’s love?

2020 Outreach, Inc.



Thursday, December 3, 2020


WHEN HOPE SEEMS GONE

"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name;  you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;  and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." —Isaiah 43:1-2

When commercial fisherman John Aldridge went sprawling overboard 40 miles off  the coast of New York in 2017, he knew his partner, Anthony Sosinski, sleeping below decks would never hear his cries for help. When the boat motored ahead on autopilot and disappeared over the crest of a wave, Aldridge knew he was alone. As he tread water in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean without a life vest, he knew this was the way he would die.  But then he discovered that he could create an air pocket in his fishing boots. They floated. It was a flicker of hope to literally cling to. Aldridge made it through the night. He eventually spotted a fishing buoy and was able to cling to it. Twelve hours after he had fallen into the sea, a Coast Guard helicopter pulled Aldridge to safety. Against all hope, the man overboard survived.  Sometimes we just need something, one thing, to cling to in the darkness and the  depths. God’s Word is filled with promises, such as Isaiah 43:1-2 above. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.” In Jeremiah 29:11, we’re told, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God has given us hope we can cling to. No matter what we are facing, we can turn to the Bible and find His words come alive to renew  hope within us. 

What Bible verses are speaking to you today? What Scripture can you write down or  memorize as a source of renewed hope? 

2020 Outreach, Inc



Wednesday, December 2, 2020


HOPE CONQUERS FEAR

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great  mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade". —1 Peter 1:3-4

It was the night before the Christmas Eve service when church organist Lewis Redner came up with the tune to “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” Waking in the night, he felt like he had heard the whisper of an angel, and he wrote down the melody of the

beloved carol we still sing nearly 150 years later.  The lyrics were a poem written by Phillips Brooks, minister at Holy Trinity Church in Philadelphia. Several years later, in 1865, Brooks had visited Bethlehem on horseback during a trip to the Holy Land. He saw shepherds tending their flocks in the countryside surrounding the small village and attended a Christmas Eve service in the Church of the Nativity. He remembered the moving experience several years later as he prepared for Christmas Eve worship. Brooks and Redner thought their combined composition would only be sung for that evening’s service, but, as we know, the song quickly spread and endured.  Among the song’s beautiful lyrics is this line: 'The hopes and fears of all the years / Are met in thee tonight.' It’s a reminder that no matter how great the fear—even the fears of all history—the hope that Christ brings is greater. In Jesus, hope overcomes all our fears, and this hope is alive. Peter calls it a living hope. Because Christ has come to live and die and rise again, this hope of life conquers the fears of death. Because of Jesus, when fear and hope collide, hope wins.

How is fear darkening your life? How can you grab hold of this living hope in Jesus?

2020 Outreach, Inc.



Tuesday, December 1, 2020


HOPE TO CARRY ON

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will  soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." —Isaiah 40:31 

The pictures show him sharply dressed in a navy blue blazer, decorated with military medals, behind the walker that he uses to get around. That walker didn’t stop  Captain Sir Tom Moore. Neither did his 100 years of age. Captain Tom, as he became famously known, walked 100 laps around his backyard and became a viral sensation who raised $40 million for the British health care system in the midst of the COVID-19

pandemic. It started as a challenge from his son-in-law and went viral when posted to  a fundraising website. Captain Tom’s sense of steady perseverance inspired Great Britain during a time it needed hope. “The first step was the hardest,” Captain Tom told reporters after. “After that, I got into the swing of it and kept on going.”  Isn’t that always true? The first step is always the hardest. But hope gives us the push to get going. Captain Tom began walking with the hope that he might be able to help someone.  Hope spurs us to take that first step in a difficult time. Hope enables us to keep walking, one more step at a time. And hope sustains us with the vision that there

is a better ending. Isaiah reminds us that our strength is renewed when we put our hope  in the Lord. The hope that Christ has brought into the world allows our spirit to soar like an eagle. It fuels us to keep walking, one step at a time. 

Where is hope leading you? What is the next step God is leading you to take this Christmas season?

2020 Outreach, Inc.



Monday, November 30, 2020


The first Sunday of Advent signifies the hope people felt in their hearts for the promised Messiah to lead them out of dark and hard times. We all have one of those days, weeks, or years. As we begin this season of Advent, we will spend the next seven days rediscovering the hope in our hearts that Jesus continues to bring to our world. In addition to the daily devotions, take time this week to light the first candle in your Advent wreath. (See Introduction for instructions.) Remember all that is fulfilled in Jesus, express your desires for this season, and place your hope in the light of the world, who was born a baby in Bethlehem and who is coming again.  But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.  The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” —Luke 1:29-33

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God with us’).” —Matthew 1:21–23

HOPE SEES BEYOND

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all.   Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps  us in our weakness. —Romans 8:24-26

Have you ever seen the movie A Christmas Story? You know, the one with Ralphie and  his friend who gets his tongue stuck to a frozen flagpole? The 1983 holiday classic centers  around Ralphie’s longing for a Red Ryder BB gun. He has built it up as the be-all, end-all of his nine-year-old existence, and there is nothing he wants more. For most of the movie, other people, including a department store Santa, pour cold water on his dream, but he continues to keep hope alive. When Christmas morning comes, it seems Ralphie’s hope is crushed when all the presents are opened and there is no Red Ryder. Spoiler alert: Of course, there is one more hidden gift, and Ralphie’s greatest wish comes true.  At that point, Ralphie doesn’t need hope anymore. He can’t hope anymore. His hope is fulfilled. As Paul writes, “Hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?” Paul is talking about the completion of God’s work within and around us, the fulfilled restoration of our bodies and souls and all of creation. Paul explains that this is reality already, made possible because Jesus has come, and lived, and died, and risen. Now, with help from His Spirit, we wait patiently to see His work fulfilled. This was the promise God gave at the beginning and continued through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the history of the Jewish people. Our hope is fulfilled in Jesus. 

What is your deepest hope this Christmas? What step can you take to experience the

strength of God’s Spirit to renew hope and realize His work all around us?  2020 outreach,Inc.




Friday, November 27, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Christian Life – Part 2” 2 Corinthians 9:8

TEXT: "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all  sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:8

What is the secret of the Christian life we learn from this passage? It is first of all that God is the supply of grace.  It is not of us but God’s own life in our soul. It is not of our works but only of the free favor and blessings of God both in our physical life as well as our spiritual life.  This secret is in the variety of grace which is found in the word “all”.  This grace is given to “all” good works.  All grace is every earthly blessing that will give them opportunity of blessing others.

The secret is found in the measure of grace. There are two “abounds” found in this chapter.  The first is God’s grace that “abounds” to us.  This grace is abounding towards you and me for our own personal and eternal needs.  Someone once said, “God is able to pay us back what we give."  In fact note exactly what God says and note the fulness of God's gifts in the words 'all' and 'always':  God will more than return what the giver gives.

Secondly we are to “abound” to every good work. The purpose of God's gifts to them is that they may share them with others.  God’s grace is adapted “towards” you.  God is giving you just what is required.  Since He is the source of grace then all you and I have to do is rely on God, abide in Him and receive from Him this grace we need.

Believe it - "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by

Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:19

Expect it - "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or

think, according to the power that works in us," Ephesians 3:20

Thank Him for it - “while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:11


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: See Scriptures below!

Pray or do: Believe it! Expect it! Thank Him for it! God’s Amazing Grace.

Bonus Material:

Paul challenged believers to “always” be abounding in the work of the Lord

1 Corinthians 15:58 "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."

2 Corinthians 9:8 "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:"

Paul expected and hoped that with boldness he would magnify God in his body. 

Philippians 1:20 "According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death."

2 Corinthians 4:10 "Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body."

Paul wanted all of us to be confident in Christ and zealous in good things.

2 Corinthians 5:6 "Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:"

Galatians 4:18 "But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you."

Paul acknowledged the obedience of the Philippians.

Philippians 2:12 "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

The good remembrance of the apostles by the Thessalonians

1 Thessalonians 3:6 "But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you:"

And finally Paul prayed for God’s peace upon all believers

2 Thessalonians 3:16 "Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means.  The Lord be with you all."




Wednesday, November 25, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Christian Life – Part 2” 2 Corinthians 9:8

TEXT: "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work."  2 Corinthians 9:8

The second factor is the need of the Christian life.

We have a present resource, 'having... sufficiency' and that resource is God. God does not want us to either be bankrupt (without the means of self- support) nor self-contained (so abundantly blessed we feel like we don’t need God).

God gives us “all sufficiency” which means we have sufficient resources.  His resources are outflowing to us so that we are never lacking in our home, business or church life.  This resource is permanent because it is 'always having all sufficiency'. God is not taken unawares.  He is adaptable to our need. He knows how to meet them.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: See Scriptures below!

Pray or do: Are you tapping into the resources God has provided for you?  What does that mean to you?

Bonus Material:

Paul was always praying for: Thessalonian, Roman, Ephesian, Philippian, Colossian and believers in general:

2 Thessalonians 1:11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:

Romans 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Philippians 1:4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,

Colossians 1:3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, And specific individuals as well

Philemon 1:4 I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, Paul also acknowledged the prayers of Epaphras for his prayers for the saints

Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.




Tuesday, November 23, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Christian Life – Part 2” 2 Corinthians 9:8

TEXT: "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work."  2 Corinthians 9:8

Paul shows us that the object of the Christian life is "that ye... may abound in every good work." This is demonstrated in our practical living.  The world will know us by our fruits.  They will experience Christianity by observing us.  This “abounding to every good work” springs forth from 'a true and lively faith.'  When Paul says, “every good work” he is not saying “some” but all good works. Therefore our Christian life must be constant (over time) and consistent (truthful).  Though we are not saved by

our works they are a witness to our salvation.  We must be intentional about our “works”.  It is a matter of the will.  Our physical life is maintained by processes which never cease: lungs breathing, heart beating, etc. but these are automatic and not dependent on the will, whereas the moral life needs will power.  Is it possible to 'will' good works?  Scripture says yes, for the Christian; there is no excuse for inconsistency, and there is always the conscience, ready to admit a fault.  Therefore, 'every' good work:

 labor sometimes,

 play sometimes,

 sleep sometimes,

 eat sometimes

 but 'work' at all times.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: See Scriptures below!

Pray or do: Are your works for God constant and consistent or do you need to work on those two things.

Bonus Material:

Paul was always giving thanks for believers in Thessalonica.  

1 Thessalonians 1:2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;

1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; 

Paul was always giving thanks to God for: God’s grace

1 Corinthians 1:4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you

by Jesus Christ;

Causing us to triumph in Christ

2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and

maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

For all things

Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;




Monday, November 22, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Christian Life – Part 2” 2 Corinthians 9:8

TEXT: "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work."  2 Corinthians 9:8

St. Paul was always desirous that Christians should realize fully their possessions and possibilities.  The Gospel speaks of inheritance and refers to present as well as future realization of it.  Paul wrote, “ while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.” (2 Corinthians 9:11) The word “enriched” comes from the Greek word 'ploutos' which means wealth, rich, enriched and fullness.  This shows the wealth or fullness of God available for us.  Paul also keeps prominent the idea of a vigorous Christian life.  He does this on every possible occasion and in connection with the simple facts of every-day living.  Wherever opportunity offers, he drives it home by way of counsel, or encouragement, or warning, or command.  Here, he urges his readers to liberality in sowing, or giving—'God loveth a cheerful giver'—and, consequently, in reaping, or getting—'God is able to make all grace abound.'

Thus the illustration leads up to the universal principle of the text, which has within it three great facts for every Christian.  This week we will examine these three facts.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: 2 Corinthians 9

Pray or do: Meditate upon the wealth and fullness of God available to you through Christ.




Friday, November 20, 2020

The devotionals this week are from my message “The Christian Life – Part 1” Psalm 16

TEXT: I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel; My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.  8 I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Psalm 16:7-8

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  Psalm 16:11

In the Christian life God is our Crown.  He is at our right hand now which means He is steadfast and dependable.  We are at His right hand which means we have satisfaction.  In the scripture the phrase “right hand” represented favor, honor and glory.  We see an example of it in Matthew 25 when Jesus talks about the “sheep and goat” nations.  The “sheep nations” were separated and placed at His right hand.  As our “crown” God is Lord of our life and the ultimate goal of our life. He has showed us the “path of life” which is a true life of fellowship with God that leads to “fullness of joy” and “pleasures for evermore” in the life to come. This is not so much a contrast between life here and the life hereafter as it is a contrast between life without God and life with Him.  So how does one begin this life? It begins with trust (vs. 1) “Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust.”  This trust is illustrated here.  “As rowers in a boat turn their backs to the shore, and trust to the man at the helm, whose eye is fixed upon it; so should we proceed in duty through life,—turn our back from our anxious cares for the future and leave the guidance of them all to God, who guides the helm.” New Cyclopedia of Prose Illustrations: First Series.  How is this life to be lived?  The answer is found in the declarations David make here.

David declares:

“I have” (vs. 6) “The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance.”

“I will” (vs. 7) “I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel; My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.” God's inward voice heard in hours of quietness, is one of the chief blessings of His people.

“I set” (vs. 8) “I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.”  “I have set The Lord” is the constant, deliberate, and conscious exercise of faith.

“I rejoice” (vs. 9) “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope.” The primary reference is not to the dead body in the grave, but to the continuance of bodily life on earth.  David then gives us insight into how it will end.

“Thou wilt not” (vs. 10) “ For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.” And then what he will do (vs. 11) “Thou wilt”  “ You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right

hand are pleasures forevermore.”


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Psalm 23

Pray or do: God is your companion in life’s journey. Set your “face” towards God and seek His “face” daily.



Wednesday, November 18, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Christian Life – Part 1” Psalm 16

TEXT: I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel; My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.  8 I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Psalm 16:7-8

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right and are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

In this Christian life we know that God is our companion.  Our faces are toward God “here” in worship, prayer, seeking His face and waiting upon the Lord.  His face toward us in the (“there” - hereafter) is with rewards and blessings.  When we use the word “face” it denotes presence, nearness and grace.  When we us the word “there” it is a continuation of “here” and it is the crown of “here”.  Our faces towards God and His face towards us is proof of this companionship we have with each other.  God has manifested Himself to us and we have been able to gain knowledge of God and His ways.  We have new methods of manifestation but same God.

 God revealed Himself as He “walked with Adam and Eve”

 God revealed Himself through “dreams and visions”

 God revealed Himself through the prophets.

 God revealed Himself through His Word

 God revealed Himself through His Son

We have new capacities of apprehension for us.

 I know about Him through Creation

 I know about Him through His Word

 I know about Him through His Holy Spirit

 I know about Him by my experiences in my life as I walk with Him


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Psalm 11

Pray or do: God is your companion in life’s journey. Set your “face” towards God and seek His “face” daily.



Tuesday, November 17, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Christian Life – Part 1” Psalm 16

TEXT: "I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel; My heart also instructs me in the  night seasons.  8 I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved."  Psalm 16:7-8

"You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."  Psalm 16:11

In this Christian life we have God as our counsellor.  Jesus is prophesied in the Old Testament, to be our “counselor” (Isaiah 9:6).  God is our counsellor now (vs. 7) and throughout life and into the future (vs. 11).   A traveler needs a guide along the way.  There are many kinds of guides when you travel. 

 A tourist guide

 A gas station attendant (obsolete – knowing this one will reveal your age)

 A gas station clerk

 A map

 GPS – Car

 Google Maps

 And of course my favorite – ME!

Thankfully the Lord will be our Guide, not me, not only at the end of life but all along.  We have  God’s Word which is a “light” and a “lamp” and His Holy Spirit who will “lead us into all

truth” (John 16:13)   The Lord leads us in this 'life' even if it dips into the valley of the shadow. “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope.  10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.”  Psalm 16:9-10

Because we have this personal relationship with God through Christ we have His light, which is sufficient, to lighten our path through this life. Jesus is that sufficient and perfect light.   The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?  The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1  Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill And to Your tabernacle.  Psalm 43:3 (NKJV)  Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."  John 8:12 (NKJV) 

All problems are mitigated here and now and will be solved in the hereafter in the presence of  God. Mitigated means to lessen in force or intensity, as wrath, grief, harshness, or pain; moderate, to make less severe: to mitigate a punishment, to make (a person, one's state of mind, disposition, etc.) milder or more gentle.  Because we have this personal relationship with God and the resources He offers then all of our problems, pains, sorrows and pressures are mitigated.  Therefore we can have joy and peace no matter what we face in this life. 


Larry Hudson

Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Psalm 4

Pray or do: Remember the Lord is your "counselor” whenever you have need of knowledge, understanding and  wisdom. Seek His counsel first.




Monday, November 16, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Christian Life – Part 1” Psalm 16

TEXT: "I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel; My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.  8 I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved."  Psalm 16:7-8

"You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right and are pleasures forevermore."  Psalm 16:11

In this psalm we have a confident and joyous prayer.  David is expressing his great satisfaction in God and those who are God’s saints (16:2-3).  These saints have rejected idolatry because of its cruelty and impurity (vs. 4).  They have found that the Lord is their inheritance in the present through God’s blessings and provision (vs. 5-7).  They have also found that God will show them the “path of life” both in this life and in the future.  The Christian life is summed up in the realized presence of God now (v. 8), “I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved” and the reality of the presence of God in the hereafter (v. 11), “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”  We know that our future is secured in Christ because of the experience of God’s presence here in this life.  Notice the connection between the Lord our teacher now and the Lord my Leader into the future.

THE LORD MY TEACHER (v. 7) THE LORD MY LEADER (v. 11)

“The Lord has given me counsel” “You showed me the path”

The Lord before me (v. 8) I before the Lord (v. 11)

The Lord at my right hand (v. 8) I at the Lord's right hand (v. 11)


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Psalm 16

Pray or do: Pray this prayer in Psalm 16 and make it your own as you pray it.

Bonus Material:

“The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance”

“The Messiah speaks.  Jehovah is the portion of mine inheritance; I seek no earthly good; I desire to do the will of God, and that only.  It is God who has given me this lot—to redeem mankind—to have them for mine inheritance.  From him I have received the cup of suffering, which I shall drink for their sake, through which I shall impart to them the cup of consolation.  He, by the grace of God, has tasted death for every man; and he has instituted the cup of blessing to commemorate his passion and death.” Adam Clarke's Commentary.




Friday, November 13, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Christian Walk” Amos 3:3

TEXT: "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?"  Amos 3:3

The secret of a Christian life is found in a relationship that is in agreement.  Amos wrote, ";except  they be agreed."  The Revised Version of the Bible list it in the margin as "Meet by

appointment”.  This same idea is used of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, especially in connection with three of its main parts:

The Mercy Seat—"there I will meet with thee"  (Exod. 25:22). “And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.”  The blood-stained ark typified Christ's sacrifice and propitiation for sin—God's presence is there.  We must meet Him at the Cross or no Christian walk is possible.

The Altar of Burnt Offering—"where I will meet you" (Exod. 29:42)  “This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the LORD, where I will meet you to speak with you.” The priest stood at the door of the Tabernacle and sacrifice was made every morning.  This offering meant entire consecration.  Paul spoke of the Christians sacrifice in Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”  There is no Christian walk possible without a living sacrifice of service and ministry in the Kingdom of God.

The Altar of Incense—"where I will meet with thee" (Exod. 30:36) “And you shall beat some

of it very fine, and put some of it before the Testimony in the tabernacle of meeting where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you.” This sacrifice was a sweet scent that was offered daily.  This sacrifice typifies prayer and communion, no Christian walk is possible without them.  When we are in agreement with God then we will experience reconciliation, sanctification and relationship and intimacy.  Have you “made your appointment” with God.  If not you can do so today.  Come to God by the cross.  This means you come to God through Christ and His sacrifice for your sins.

Finally—"they shall walk with Me in white" (Rev. 3:4) “You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. This will be your last walk and it will last for eternity.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: See above scriptures.

Pray or do: Ask the Lord to help you mature as you “walk with Him”.

Bonus Material:

Then all is peace and light

This soul within;

Then shall I walk with Thee,

The loved Unseen;

Leaning on Thee, my God,

Guided along the road

Nothing between!




Wednesday, November 11, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Christian Walk” Amos 3:3

TEXT: "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?" Amos 3:3

This Christian walk is also Two Walking Together. Two walking together implies intimacy and fellowship.  John wrote, “that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also  may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.”  

There is reciprocal knowledge (1 Cor. 13:12); “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then  face to face.  Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”  We shall know more of God and spiritual things.  He already knows us. Now we will know Him more completely.  There is reciprocal love (John 15:12); “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”  And a reciprocal endeavor (2 Cor. 6:1) We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.” 

When two walk together their steps are in unison (2 Cor. 6:14) “Do not be unequally yoked  together with unbelievers.  For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?  And what communion has light with darkness?”  There are two men recorded in scripture who walked with God: First there was Enoch (Gen. 5:22).  This scripture indicate fellowship between Enoch and God.  “After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters.”  Is such a life possible?  Enoch lived that life, without the wonderful helps that are ours in Christ Jesus, and for three hundred years, too, till God took him.  

Then there was Noah (Gen. 6:9).  Again the scripture indicate faithfulness on Noah’s part. “This is the genealogy of Noah.  Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations.  Noah walked

with God.”   Those two elements, fellowship and faithfulness make up any friendship.  In the Old Testament there was but one "friend of God," Abraham; And the Scripture was fulfilled which says,"Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God.  (James 2:23) (See also 2 Chronicles 20:7) whereas in the New Testament all believers are called friends of Christ (John 15:13-15).  “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.  14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command  you.  15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you."


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: See above scriptures.

Pray or do: Ask the Lord to help you mature as you “walk with Him”.




Tuesday, November 10, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Christian Walk” Amos 3:3

TEXT: "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?" Amos 3:3

A “walk” together is also implied.  This is not a solitary walk.  Notice the prepositions that are used in scripture in connection with walking.

1. "With" implies companionship.  After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. (Gen. 5:22)

2. "Before" implies sincerity.  When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless."  (Gen. 17:1)

3. "After" implies obedience.  You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. (Deut. 13:4)

4."In" implies union.  As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.  (Col. 2:6)


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Romans 8:1, 4

Pray or do: Ask the Lord to help you mature as you “walk with Him”.

Bonus Material:

“In one part of the North of England, it is customary when announcing the courtship of a couple to say: "So-and-so are walking out together."  That is the very phrase used here, as descriptive of a wonderful possibility for man.  To be a Christian means more than to accept a Creed, or even to accept a living Christ, it means to walk out with God day by day and all our days.  Walkout with Him!  Prior to walking out with Him we must agree regarding certain facts.  There must be four prior agreements.

1. Agreement as to Place.

That is the place of meeting.  He has made an appointment for sinners, and that is that they should meet Him in grace at the Cross of our Lord Jesus.  That is the place of meeting.  Will you keep the appointment?  If not, another appointment will be made—at the Great White Throne, in Judgment.

2. Agreement as to Goal.

Agreeing that the glory of God be the aim, and motive of life; and by-and-by, Heaven.

3. Agreement as to Pace.

Keeping step with the Master, neither lagging behind nor going on ahead.  Walking at the same pace.  Ask Him to take your hand, and then you will walk together. 

4. Agreement as to Cost.

A walk with God is costly.  It means many a persecution, many a sorrow, many a tear, but very much joy, and His smile.”  Handfuls on Purpose Vol. 10-12.




Monday, November 9, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Christian Walk” Amos 3:3

TEXT: Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? Amos 3:3

“The Christian life is described and illustrated in Scripture by various actions of the body.   Examples of this are as follows: 

1. Seeing—"Look... and be ye saved" (Isa. 45:22).

2. Hearing—"Hear... and your soul shall live (Isa. 55:3).

3. Grasping—"Take hold of My strength"; (Isa. 27:5).

4. Tasting—"O taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psa. 34:8).

But perhaps the commonest, the most suggestive and the most complete figure of speech for the Christian life is that of Walking.  It is of frequent occurrence in both Old and New Testaments, as for instance in the Epistle to the Ephesians, where it is used seven times (2:10; 4:1; 4:17; 5:2;  5:8; 5:15). “in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, (Ephesians 2:2) is how we once walked as unbelievers. Now we walk as believers, “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,” (Ephesians 4:1)

Walking is one of two or three perfect forms of exercise, said to utilize all the muscles of the human body (cf. swimming and bed-making).  It is therefore appropriate as applied to Christianity, which deals with the entire life of man.  Our text has its primary application in the relation between God and His ancient people, and since that is one of the things written aforetime for our learning we may properly apply the figure, not only to the marriage relation, as is so often done, but also to the Christian life, the relation between Christ and the believer.”  A Commentary on the Holy Bible Paul says it is the nature of the Christian life, “Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;” (1 Thessalonians 4:1)

When we talk of someone as walking we imply at least five things.  One “there is life”.  Only those who live can walk.  Dead people cannot rise up and walk.  If you are “dead in your sins” then you cannot “walk” with God.  A person must be “dead to sin” and alive in Christ if they want to “walk” with Christ.  Walking implies activity which is a primary expression of life. Walking also implies health for as the scripture says, only the strong can "rise up and walk.”  The fourth thing implied is progress.  The moment you are saved you have the power source from God to; start a new life, walk a new walk, beat that habit, holy living, prayer, Bible reading, to give tithes etc. but you got to nourish it by obedience to the word of God and make it grow.  Finally “destination” is implied.  The Christian life is not a saunter with no object, nor yet a spurt with no staying power.  There is a goal in mind and that is spiritual maturity.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: 1 Corinthians 1:10

Pray or do: Ask the Lord to help you mature as you “walk with Him”.




Friday, November 6, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “Christian Character” Colossians 4:12

TEXT:  Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring  fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. 

Colossians 4:12

WHO IS YOUR EPAPHRAS?

In addition to our text Paul in Colossians 1:7-8 describes one of those benefits of being a part of a church.  “As you also learned of Epaphras our dear fellow servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.”  Paul also mentions this person in Philemon 23 when he asks the Church in Colossi to say “hello” to Epaphras calling him “a fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus”.  Not only is Jesus with us always (Matthew 28:20) but He has provided someone “with skin on” to walk with us through some of the most difficult times of our lives (see Bonus Material).  We all need an Epaphras in our life.  One of the best things about the Christian journey is that we do not have to walk it alone.  Today I am going to give you one of the best pieces of advice I know.  Find at least one, preferably more, mature Christians to help you pray through the difficult times in your life.  You CANNOT carry the burden alone.  God has given us brothers and sisters in this life to help us along the way.  We all come to those difficult times when we need the prayers of others.  None of us are immune from life’s trials and tribulations.  We have to have people in our life upon whom we can call, who will pray for us during those difficult times.  Finally, be an “Epaphras” to someone else.  Be willing to pray for someone when they are in need and call upon you.  We all need and “Epaphras” and we all need to be an “Epaphras” to someone else.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Colossians 4

Pray or do: Who will you call today to be an Epaphras for you?

Bonus Material:

During a night time thunderstorm, a little 4 years boy was frightened by the crash of thunder.  He scurried to his parents’ bedroom.  "I’m afraid of the storm" he cried, "I want you to come lay down by me!"  His mother replied, "Son, God is always with us.  He’ll be right at your bed side to protect you." 

Disappointed, the little boy finally made it back to his own bed.  No sooner had he pulled up the covers, than another loud boom of thunder shook the house.  The little lad made it back to his parent’s bedroom.  "I’m still afraid of the storm!" he cried.  His mother said, "Didn’t I tell you that God was at your bed side and He’d protect you?"  To this the boy replied, "Yes, but I need someone with skin on!"




Wednesday, November 4, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “Christian Character” Colossians 4:12

TEXT:  Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring  fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. 

Colossians 4:12

Paul says that Epaphras prayer was that their standing, maturity and completeness will be “in all the will of God.”  That is the secret of Christian character.  The will of God is found in the sphere of daily meditation!  “This is another important aspect of prayer.  Prayer rightly expresses steadfastness, ripeness and assurance.  When we are “steadfast”, persevering in faith and works, when we are “ripe”, mature in the Word of God and when we have full assurance of faith then we will desire to be in the “Will of God”.  The will of God is revealed in God’s Word. We can discover God’s will:

By daily meditation! “This is another important aspect of prayer. Prayer rightly expresses concern for brothers and sisters in need.  But prayer is also to reflect concern for the glory of God.  We urge God to act, not only that we may be blessed, but that He may be glorified.  First John observes that "if we ask anything according to [God's] will, He hears us"  (5:14).

Nehemiah (chapters 1 and 9) gives us a simple way to check whether our prayers are in God's will.  Does a prayer express concern for others?  Does a prayer seek an answer which will glorify God?  If the answer to these questions is yes, we can be confident that our prayer is in God's will.  The 365-Day Devotional Commentary

By hourly remembrance!  David said, “When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.”  (Psalm 63:6).  Jonah the prophet said, "When my soul fainted within

me, I remembered the LORD; And my prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple."  (Jonah 2:7)

By constant obedience!  Obedience is the culmination of the “Will of God”.  herefore: Learn, Love, and Live the Word, and find the secret of true Christian life and character.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Colossians 4

Pray or do: Examine your prayers.  Do they qualify for being in the will of God and to accomplish the will of God?




Tuesday, November 3, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “Christian Character” Colossians 4:12

TEXT:  Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring  fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.  Colossians 4:12

Epaphras prayer was that they be “perfect”.  This does not mean they were perfect in the sense of being without sin.  It is about maturity.  Maturity realizes the end of our faith.  Paul considered many of the Corinthian believers to be “babies”. “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as  to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.  2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;” As babies they can only handle the basics of the Word of God.  They should have been able to handle and understand the deep things of God but they had remained as babies.  They had not “ripened”.  In Hebrew 5:12-13 they were over-ripened.  “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.  13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.”  Here are those who have heard the basics but instead of maturing in the Word of God they need to hear the basics again.  They either were forgetful or they were misunderstanding even the basics. There should be the 'happy medium'—with a clearness of spiritual perception, a charm of spiritual attractiveness, and a fruitfulness of spiritual influence.  The next thing he prayed for them to be is “complete”. The A.V. 'fulfilled' and the R.V. 'fully assured' He prayed for them to be abundant in the understanding of the gospel.  Paul wrote, “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.” 

1 Thessalonians 1:5 .  As believers they could have the full assurance of faith, understanding and hope.  As believers they were privileged to have assurance of; acceptance by God – we are His possession; of fellowship with God – we can commune with God through His Word and by His Spirit; of resources from God for He is our provision.  Notice some of the things we have. 

Answers to prayer.  1 John 3:22; 5:14-15.   

Comfort in affliction. Ps. 73:26; Luke 4:18-19; 2 Cor. 4:8-10, 16-18. 

Continuance in grace.  Phil. 1:6.

Crown.  2 Tim. 4:7-8.

Eternal life.  1 John 5:13.

Glorious resurrection. Job 19:26; Ps. 17:15; Phil. 3:21; 1 John 3:2.

Kingdom.  Heb. 12:28; Rev. 5:10.

Peace with God by Christ.  Rom. 5:1. 

Preservation.  Ps. 3:6, 8; 27:3-5; 46:1-3.

Support in death.  Ps. 23:4.

Their adoption.  Rom. 8:16; 1 John 3:2.

Their election.  Ps. 4:3; 1 Thess. 1:4.

Their redemption.  Job 19:25.

Their salvation.  Isa. 12:2.

Unalienable love of God.  Rom. 8:38-39.

Union with God and Christ.  1 Cor. 6:15; 2 Cor. 13:5; Eph. 5:30; 1 John 2:5; 4:13.

Confident hope in God restores.   Ps. 42:11.” Holman Concise Topical Concordance.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the NKJV unless otherwise noted.  Daily reading: Colossians 4

Pray or do: Pray that you neither be unripe nor overripe but rather mature in the faith.



Monday, November 2, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “Christian Character” Colossians 4:12

TEXT:  Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring  fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.  Colossians 4:12

It has been suggested and it may be significant that there seems to be a lack of emphasis in Paul's  Epistles on an appeal to win or evangelize others—contrast, 2 Timothy 4:5 “But you be

watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.   But in writing to churches there is a constant emphasis on... 

 Christian life,

 character, and

 holiness,

 with the necessity of realizing full privileges.

Could it be that there is a connection between the brevity of evangelizing and an abundant emphasis upon the Christian life.  If the inner life is right, soul-winning will be the natural and necessary outcome.  With this in mind, let us consider a prayer of one of Paul's companions, Epaphras, for his converts and friends, as recorded by the Apostle.  In his prayer we find the elements of Christian Character. The first is found in the word “stand” which is also translated “steadfastness”.  We “stand” when we resist temptation and false doctrine.  James said, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love  Him.” James 1:12  Christ set the example for us.  There were many things which might have daunted Christ.  Think of— 

1. The denial of Peter—Luke 22:61.

2. The Betrayal of Judas—Mark 14:43-46.

3. The forsaking of His friends—Mark 14:50,

4. The agony of Gethsemane—Luke 22:44.

5. The suffering of Gabbatha—John 19:1-6.

6. The forsaking by God—Matt. 27:45, 46.

7. The piercing of the Cross—John 19:16-18.

8. The sin He was to be made—2 Cor. 5:21.

9. The curse of a broken law He would endure—Gal. 3:13.

10. The judgment He would bear—Rom. 8:3.

11. The wrath through which He would pass—Rom. 8:32-34.

12. The life He would lose—John 12:24-33.

13. The shame He would suffer—Heb. 12:2. 

14. The death He would die—1 Peter 3:18.

1000 Bible Study Outlines: Study Helps and Sermon Outlines.

Steadfastness also means enduring patiently.  A steadfast person is one who is reliable, faithful, and true to the end.  Paul said Jesus was a person of steadfastness (Rom. 15:3-4).  The NAS  translates steadfastness with “perseverance” (2 Thess. 1:4).  James said that trials that test our faith produce steadfastness (1:3 KJV “patience”; AS “endurance”; NIV “perseverance”).  HBD.  The following ministries require “steadfastness”. 

 Sunday School,

 Youth ministry,

 visitation

 witnessing “do the work of an evangelist”

 Acts of service

 Taking care of God’s house

 Music ministry

 Deacons


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: 1 Thessalonians 5

Pray or do: Commit to being steadfast in your endeavors for the Lord.  Pray for those who are ministering in your  church.




Friday, October 29, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “True Christianity” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-28

TEXT:  pray without ceasing, 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 23  Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless  at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.  25 Brethren, pray for us.  1 Thessalonians 5:23-25

We demontstrate we are believers by Prayer to God (vs. 17, 23, 25).  Our praying is to be without ceasing.  This doesn’t mean that we pray non-stop twenty-four hours a day.  We should pray regularly, daily, in times of needs and in times of crisis.  Our prayers should include, worship, thanksgiving, intercession and our own request.  Most importantly we should never stop praying.  Though we may be going through troubles, trials and temptations we should never give up nor stop praying.  We should pray for those over us in the Lord.  Paul tells them, and us, “Brethren, pray for us.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:25) 

We are believers because we Trust in God (vs. 23, 24).   If a believer will behave properly—if a person will follow the exhortations given in this passage—he will experience four things. 

1. His peace. “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your  whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23) 

The believer experiences the presence of the God of peace: peace means to be bound, joined, and weaved together.  Only God can bind, join, and weave a person together.  Only God can  bring peace to a person's soul—the kind of peace that brings absolute assurance, confidence, and security to a person's heart. 

2. His preservation.  The believer experiences sanctification: the word sanctification means to be set apart and separated to God.  The believer who follows the exhortations of this passage is

greatly blessed by God: God takes the person and sets him apart unto Himself.   The person is very special to God; therefore God gives him a special relationship with Himself.  And note the word 'wholly': the believer is wholly set apart to God, under God's special care, protection, and provision. 

3. His faithfulness. “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:24 )  In that day when the Lord returns, the believer will be preserved blameless.  He will be acceptable to God and receive a full reward

4. His fulfilment.  The believer experiences the assurance of God, the very faithfulness of God. God called the believer; therefore, God completes His work in the believer. 


Larry Hudson

Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: 1 Thessalonians 5

Pray or do: Practice the four verses in our text today.




Wednesday, October 28, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “True Christianity” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-28

TEXT: Do not quench the Spirit.  20 Do not despise prophecies.  21 Test all things; hold fast what is good.  1 Thessalonians 5:19-21

So how does a believer be a believer?   First it should be know that a person is a Christian by the Spirit of God.  As such they should not “quench the Spirit” by which they have been made a Christian.  One of the descriptions of The Holy Spirit is that of fire.  Therefore to “quench the Spirit” is to stifle, snuff out or stop the Holy Spirit from doing His work in our life.  “The Holy Spirit is always working in the life of the  believer to lead him to do God's will.  The believer quenches the Spirit's work by

(a) ignoring Him,

(b) neglecting Him,

(c) disobeying Him, or by simply

(d) procrastinating.

The command to "quench not the Spirit" is surrounded by a series of positive commands.”  POSB Commentary

We are believers by the Word of God (vs. 20, 21) We are to read, meditate, study and practice the Word of God when we have rightly divided it. One aspect of the Word of God is that of prophecy.  Paul says we are not to “despise prophecies.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:20).  Prophecy is the  gift of proclaiming the gospel and of predicting the future under the influence of the Holy Spirit.  Both proclamation and prediction are included in the gift.  Note the exhortation: a person is not to minimize or despise the gift despite the abuse of the gift by some.  The Word of God is to be used.  That is what Paul says, "Test all things; hold fast what is good."  (1 Thessalonians 5:21). “The word 'prove' (dokimazete) means to test and to prove.  Both the  gifts and behavior of believers are to be tested.  If a person claims to prophesy—whether

proclaiming the gospel or predicting some event to strengthen believers for some coming  trial—all should be tested.  We are not to blindly accept what people say, even if it is the preacher or servant of God.  Neither are we to blindly accept people themselves.  Every person—what he says and does—is to be tested and proven.  How?  By measuring what he says and does by the Scripture.  But note: the Scriptures must be studied in order to measure what people say and do.   The only way to know truth from error is to the know the Scripture.” POSB Commentary


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: 1 Thessalonians 5

Pray or do: Practice the three verses in our text today.



Tuesday, October 27, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “True Christianity” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-28

TEXT: Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.  12   And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake.  Be at peace among yourselves.  1 Thessalonians 5:11-13

The true Christian is marked by helpfulness.  They are looking outward.  Ministers are actively endeavoring to “labor” among God’s people.  Believers are to comfort and edify one another.  Believers are to “know” those who minister.  The word 'know' (eidenai) means to acknowledge, appreciate, respect, and know the value of.  POSB Commentary

Believers and ministers are to work at being at peace with each other.   Their endeavors are various.  Paul writes, “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.  15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.”  1 Thessalonians 5:14-15). So they are to: 

 Warn the unruly

 Comfort the fainthearted

 Hold up the weak

 Be patient

 Pursue what is good for everyone

The next mark of a Christian is happiness.  They are looking inward (vs. 16-18).   They have joy.  “Rejoice always,” (1 Thessalonians 5:16).  We have so much to rejoice over.  God has saved us, and He looks after and cares for us.  They are to “pray without ceasing,” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)  Prayer is God's ordained way for man to receive things from Him.  God moves, acts, and responds to prayer.  Prayer is a law that He has established throughout the universe.  Why?  Because prayer stirs fellowship and communion with God and brings about a greater knowledge and understanding of God.  The true Christian demonstrates happiness by their giving thanks.  “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:18).  What God means is to thank Him for His presence and power as we walk through such trials.  In Christ Jesus there is victory and triumph over all, no matter how terrible.  The fourth mark of a true Christian is holiness (vs. 22-23).  They are looking upward.  Yes there is a negative side.  Paul tells them to “Abstain from every form of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:22)  It does not just say to abstain from evil, but to abstain from the very appearance of evil.  If something even appears or borders on evil, get away from it.  If there is any chance whatsoever that it could be wrong, leave it alone.  If there is even a suggestion that it  could be wrong, flee it.  A believer must have nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with evil—not even the appearance of it.  There is also a positive side to holiness.  Paul says, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NKJV) 

The believer will experience four things by looking upward.

1. The believer experiences the presence of the God of peace: peace means to be bound,  joined, and weaved together. 

2. The believer experiences sanctification: the word sanctification means to be set apart and separated to God.

3. The believer has his spirit, soul, and body preserved blameless in the Day of Judgment.

4. The believer experiences the assurance of God, the very faithfulness of God.   God called the believer; therefore, God completes His work in the believer. 


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: 1 Thessalonians 5

Pray or do: Pray for peace among the believers and ministers in your church.



Monday, October 26, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “True Christianity” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-28

TEXT: But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should  write to you.  2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.  3 For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman.  And they shall not escape.  4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.  5 You are all  sons of light and sons of the day.  We are not of the night nor of darkness.  6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.  7 For those who sleep, sleep at night,  and those who get drunk are drunk at night.  8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.  9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10  who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-10

Paul is writing to the Thessalonians, from Corinth, not long after he had left them (See Acts  17:1-14).  This is one of if not the earliest letters Paul wrote.  In this letter he highlights the coming to faith and spiritual development of the Thessalonian believers (1 Thessalonians 1:6-10). 

In the last chapter (chapter 5) Paul gives a summary of the true Christian faith, of what a true Christian is and does.  The true Christian is marked by hopefulness.  It is a looking forward to the future that God has promised us as believers. This hopefulness is based upon what Paul had already taught them in his initial visit.  “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.  2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.  3 For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman.  And they shall not escape.  4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.  5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day.  We are not of the night nor of darkness.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:1-5).  Paul had already covered the “times” (chronon) the chronological time, the events that follow one another and roll in and away from one another.  He had covered the "Seasons" (kairon), the particular time and the nature of the events that are to take place.  

Therefore he had covered the order of events that were to happen in the end time.  The thing that  we know is that God is in control.  Only God could know when He is to return.  (Isaiah 13:9-11)  

(Zeph. 1:14-16) (Malachi 4:1) (Jude 14-16)

If God is the only one that can know when He will return then the believer is to be marked by watchfulness.  Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.  7 For

those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.  8 But let us  who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.  9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 1 Thessalonians 5:6-10

The believer is to be watching so he will be ready for the coming of the Lord.  His coming will be as a thief in the night – suddenly and unexpectedly.  The unbelievers will be caught completely off guard.  They will be in shock when Christ appears.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Acts 17:1-14

Bonus Material:

John Walvoord puts it in simple and striking words: "The Day of the Lord is a period of time in which God will deal with wicked men directly and dramatically in fearful judgment.  Today a man may be a blasphemer of God, an atheist, can denounce God and teach bad doctrine.  Seemingly God does nothing about it.  But the day designated in Scripture as 'the day of the Lord' is coming when God will punish human sin, and He will deal in wrath and in judgment with a Christ-rejecting world.  One thing we are sure of, that God in His own way will bring every soul into judgment.  (The Thessalonian Epistles, p.76).



Friday, October 23, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Godly Life” 2 Kings 18

TEXT: He trusted in the LORD God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all  the kings of Judah, nor who were before him.  6 For he held fast to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses.  7 The LORD was with him; he prospered wherever he went.  And he rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.  2 Kings 18:5-7

Living the godly life means we are “following”.  Hezekiah "Departed not from following Him" (v. 6)  We never stop following Christ.  Our relationship is not static.  It continues to grow.  Obeying is a key part of living the godly life.  Hezekiah "Kept His commandments" (v. 6)  The outcome of all is practical obedience.  We are obedient because we love and trust God with our lives.   The realization Hezekiah had was that the “Lord was with him" (v. 7).  Because Hezekiah was striving to live a godly life the result was “the Lord was with him”.  Hezekiah was practicing  the “presence of God”.  Dake offers this advice.  “Begin to practice a realization of the presence of God in your life.  If you have yielded your life to Him, He is with you.  He sees you and He is interested in every detail of your life.  He is your partner now; so do not ignore Him in any  activity of life.  Do nothing that you would not do if He were bodily present.  Say nothing that you would not like Him to hear.  Go no place where you would have the least doubt that He would go.  If you will follow these simple principles, your life will be happy and victorious, and God will  make you prosperous in all things of life, as you ask in faith, nothing wavering.” (Dake) 

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that  He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  Hebrews 11:6 (Jas. 1:5-9).  The result will be prosperity. “The LORD was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth” The Lord will be with you and you will prosper wherever you go when you live a godly life. 


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: See below!

Pray or do: Father, help me to live a godly life that honors and pleases you.




Thursday, October 22, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Godly Life” 2 Kings 18

TEXT: He trusted in the LORD God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all  the kings of Judah, nor who were before him.  6 For he held fast to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses.  7 The LORD was with him; he prospered wherever he went.  And he rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.  2 Kings 18:5-7

The second secret to living a godly life is to “clive to the Lord” (2 Kings 18:6).   The idea is of adhesion.  The Hebrew means “to catch by pursuit :- abide fast, cleave (fast together), follow close (hard after), be joined (together), Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary. We see this kind of adhesion when used of: 

 bone and skin,

 girdle and loins,

 tongue and mouth,

 man and wife,

 Israel and God,

 Ruth and Naomi. Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.  Ruth 1:14

When Paul debated with the Athenians in the Areopagus some mocked and others wanted to hear  more but some “clave” unto Paul and believed.  “However, some men joined (clave to) him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.” (Acts 17:34).  The things that bound them together was loyalty, love and fellowship.   The twofold aspect of “clave” is resistance – against the enemy of our soul and persistence with vigorous tenacity – never giving up with all strength and resolve therefore holding on to God.  The idea is found in Paul’s advice to young Timothy. “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  2 And the things that you have heard from me among many

witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.  3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2 Timothy 2:1-3)

Living a godly life implies separation from the world and attachment to God.  There is nothing that can separate us from God when we have Jesus with us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  36 As it is written: 'For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.'  37 Yet in all these things we are

more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:35-39


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: See below!

Pray or do: Let us hold fast unto the Lord with all that is within us.

Bonus Material:

Seven Ways to Seek the Lord:

1. With all the heart (Deut. 4:29)

2. Continually (1 Chron. 16:11)

3. By humbling self (2 Chron. 7:14)

4. By prayer

5. By turning from sin

6. By preparing the heart (2 Chron. 19:3)

7. Diligently (Hebrews 11:6)

Ten Blessings of Seeking the Lord:

1. He will be found (1 Chron. 28:9).

2. He will hear and answer (2 Chron. 7:14).

3. They will not want any good thing (Psalm 34:9-10).

4. Life (Psalm 69:22; Amos 5:4-6)

5. Righteousness (Hosea 10:12)

6. Glory (Romans 2:7)

7. Honor

8. Immortality

9. Eternal life

10. Rewards (Hebrews 11:6) Dake Topical Index.



Tuesday, October 20, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Godly Life” 2 Kings 18

TEXT: He trusted in the LORD God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all  the kings of Judah, nor who were before him.  6 For he held fast to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses.  7 The LORD was with him; he prospered wherever he went.  And he rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.  2 Kings 18:5-7

God wants us to live a life that is godly.  The godly life is much the same essentially, at all times.   These verses summarize Hezekiah's life before they enter upon the details of it.  They sum up our life also.  What are the secrets of all true life? 

The first secret is TRUSTING!  Hezekiah “trusted in the Lord God of Israel" (v. 5).  The Old Testament and the New Testament have much to say about trust. The great passage of Hebrews

(chapter 11) tells us “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things  not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.  4 By faith Abel…. and the list of notable men and women of faith continues: 

 Enoch

 Noah

 Abraham

 Sarah

 Isaac

 Jacob

Time will not allow me to tell of the others who subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness and obtained promises from God.  In the Hebrew language trust means “credit—lean on, roll on, devolve, commit, stay, take refuge.”  It is the word (chacah)]; figurative to trust, be confident or sure :- be bold”.   In the Greek language trusting is (pascho); reliance :- confidence, trust.  Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary. 

Here the significance of the word is to lean on God as a foundation.  We are to take refuge in God.  We are to have confidence in God and His Word.  We are to commit to staying the course  no matter what comes our way.  Hezekiah was taunted with his trust.  Sennacherib’s general gave this message to Hezekiah and the people of the city, “Have I now come up without the LORD against this place to destroy it?  The LORD said to me, "Go up against this land, and destroy it." (2 Kings 18:25).  He falsely claims that Jehovah God has sent him to take the city.  He warns the people, don’t “let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, "The LORD will surely deliver us; this city shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria."  2 Kings 18:30

What does Hezekiah do?  He goes to God in prayer because he trusts God.  “And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.  15 Then Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said:  "O LORD God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.  16 Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God.  17 Truly, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, 18 and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men's hands--wood and stone.  Therefore they destroyed them.  19 Now therefore, O LORD our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the LORD God, You alone." (2 Kings 19:14-19).

Whenever we have a crisis in our life we demonstrate our trust in God when we take our needs to Him in prayer.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: See below!

Pray or do: Lord, teach me to trust in you for my every need.

Bonus Material:

Five Secrets of Answered Prayer

1. Freedom from condemnation (Romans 8:1)

2. Confidence in God (note, Acts 4:13)

3. Asking (Matthew 7:7-11; Luke 11:9-13)

4. Keeping commandments (1 John 3:23-24)

5. Pleasing God (Hebrews 11:6; James 1:5-8)




Monday, October 19, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Godly Life” 2 Kings 18

TEXT: He trusted in the LORD God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all  the kings of Judah, nor who were before him.  6 For he held fast to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses.  7 The LORD was with him; he prospered wherever he went.  And he rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.  2 Kings 18:5-7

Hezekiah’s name means “Yahweh is my strength”.  How appropriate for a king who went to God  in prayer in every crisis.  Hezekiah was the son and successor of Ahaz as king of Judah (716/15-687/86 B.C.).  That he ended up as one of the righteous kings is amazing considering Ahaz, his father did everything he could to hinder the work of God during his reign.  What did Ahaz do?  Holy things are cut in pieces (2 Chronicles 28:24).  In our day casting discredit upon the Bible is doing the same thing.  The ungodly are trying, with tongue and insinuation, to destroy the testimony of God’s servants.  The way of access is closed. "He shut up the doors of the House of the Lord" (v. 24). 

Denying God and then shutting others out from the acknowledging of Him as God.  Blocking the

way for others to worship God is one way that is done.  Men closing the door to their heart to their own loss and destruction.  The door of communion with God may be shut by our love of and delight in the things which He hates.  The door of Divine love and light may be closed by our own pride and prejudice.  The door of faith and prayer is shut up by the unbelief of our own hearts.  The light of testimony is quenched. "They put out the lamps"; (2 Chronicles 29:7).  We cannot afford to let the light of our Christian testimony be “put out” for it is an insult to God and a grieving of the Holy Spirit, whose character and mission is to make us as a flame of fire.  The offering of incense is given up. "They have not burned incense" (v. 7).  When the lamp of testimony has been put out, the offering up of the incense of prayer and adoration will speedily

cease.  These two are vitally connected—they live or die together.  Testimony for God will be but as sounding brass and tinkling cymbals where the sweet incense of believing prayer is lacking.  There is a general departing from the worship of God.  "Our fathers have forsaken Him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the Lord, and turned their backs" (v.6).  There is great need for a revival when the multitudes turn their backs upon the House of God as we are seeing in our day.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Above scriptures!

Pray or do: Lord, teach us the wisdom that comes from observing ants and how to apply that wisdom to our lives and church.

Bonus Material:

See below for background information leading up to today’s devotional.

“Unwilling to court the favor of Assyrian kings, Hezekiah reopened the temple in Jerusalem,

removed idols from it, sanctified temple vessels desecrated during Ahaz's reign, and initiated

sacrifices.  Hezekiah invited Israelites from the north ruled by Assyria to join in the Passover in Jerusalem.  Places of idol worship were destroyed.  Hezekiah even destroyed the bronze serpent Moses had erected in the wilderness (Num. 21:4-9) so the people would not view the bronze serpent as an object of worship.  Hezekiah organized the priests and Levites for conducting religious services.  The tithe was reinstituted. Plans were made to observe the religious feasts called for in the law.  In 711 B.C. Sargon II of Assyria captured Ashdod.  Hezekiah anticipated the time when he would have to confront Assyrian armies, so he fortified Jerusalem and organized an army.  Hezekiah constructed a tunnel through solid rock from the spring of Gihon to the Siloam pool and extended the city wall to enclose this important water source.  Isaiah warned Hezekiah not to become involved with Assyria (Isa. 20:1-6). The critical time came in 705 B.C. when Sennacherib became king of Assyria.  Hezekiah gave him a heavy tribute of silver and gold.  In 701 B.C., Hezekiah became seriously ill (Isa. 38:1-21). Isaiah warned the king to prepare for his approaching death, but Hezekiah prayed that God would intervene.  God answered by promising Hezekiah 15 more years and deliverance of Jerusalem from Assyria (Isa. 38:4-6).  Sennacherib besieged Lachish and sent messengers to the Jerusalem wall to urge the people to surrender. Hezekiah, dressed in sackcloth and ashes, went to the temple to pray.  He called for Isaiah, who announced that Sennacherib would "hear a rumor" and return to his own land where he would die by the sword (2 Kings 19:7).”  KJV Master Study Bible: The Cornerstone Encyclopedia of Bible Knowledge.




Friday, October 15, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “You Can Learn A lot From An Ant” Proverbs 6:6-8; 30:25

TEXT: "Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, 7 Which, having no  captain, overseer or ruler, 8 provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. 9 How long will you slumber, O sluggard?  When will you rise from your sleep?"  Proverbs 6:6-9

The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer.  Proverbs 30:25

The fourth lesson the ants teach us is about perseverance.  Ants continue to survive no matter what the weather is like and no matter what the circumstances are.  They have a wonderful  (except when it is my kitchen countertops) ability to endure and overcome.  Kick over their mound and they will rebuild it.  Hit it with water from a water hose and in no time they have built it back.  They know how to persevere.  Fire ants know how to protect themselves.  You learn that very quickly if you are not paying attention and step on their nest.  They will begin to swarm you and their bites are painful.  

How are you performing in life?  On the job…..with your family……for the Lord?  Are you doing  your best?  Are you a partner in the ministry of the church?  We need workers! We need for every member of  this church to participate in its ministry! 

Are you prepared for the future? Is your family prepared for the future?  Are you and your family ready to meet the Lord? If not get ready and make things right with God!


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Above scriptures!

Pray or do: Lord, teach us the wisdom that comes from observing ants and how to apply that wisdom to our lives  and church.



Wednesday, October 14, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “You Can Learn A lot From An Ant” Proverbs 6:6-8; 30:25

TEXT: "Go to the ant, you sluggard!  Consider her ways and be wise, 7 Which, having no  captain, overseer or ruler, 8 provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.  9 How long will you slumber, O sluggard?  When will you rise from your sleep?"  Proverbs 6:6-9

The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer; Proverbs 30:25

The third lesson we receive is about preparedness.  Being prepared means you’re not guilty of  procrastination.  The ant doesn’t wait until the weather turns cold to start preparing for winter.  They gather food whenever and wherever they can.  When you think about their lifespan (45 to 60 days) you realize that the ants will work hard all day and never eat the food they are preparing because they will die before cold weather.  They are making sure that their families will be taking care of.  “Provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.”   (Proverbs 6:8) “The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer;” (Proverbs 30:25) 

Jesus said that we must work when it is day time, when night comes, no one can work (John 9:4).   We must make use of every opportunity to evangelize and win souls and not let the opportunity slip by.  They prepare for their family. They work all the time making sure to not only feed themselves  but the young and future generations as well. It only makes sense to make sure that our families will be taken care of in the future if something should happen to us.  That’s just plain good common sense, and stewardship.  They prepare for their future. They are constantly looking to the future. They are constantly preparing for the future.  Are you prepared? Are you preparing for the next generation? Are you prepared for eternity?  Are you prepared to stand before God and give an account?  Is there something God has told you to do or is leading you to do….and yet you’ve put it off?  Do it now! Prepare now! 


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Above scriptures!

Pray or do: Lord, teach us the wisdom that comes from observing ants and how to apply that wisdom to our lives  and church.




Tuesday, October 13, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “You Can Learn A lot From An Ant” Proverbs 6:6-8; 30:25

TEXT: Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, 7 Which, having no  captain, Overseer or ruler, 8 Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest. 9 How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep?  Proverbs 6:6-9

The ants are a people not strong, Yet they prepare their food in the summer; Proverbs 30:25

The next lesson we learn from ants is about partnership.   There is solidarity.  The ant colony is a community.  They build these colonies sometimes to a depth of 35 feet below the ground....it is like a city for ants.  There are complex buildings with

rooms for various activities.  They all live together in this colony.  You very seldom see an ant by  itself. They live together as a family and work together as a team to get done what needs to be done.  We as believers we are co-laborers with the Lord.  We have to work together, and pull together or we’ll pull apart!  There is sharing.  They share their food, their facilities, and even look after and take care of each other’s young. 

Once upon a time there were a pig and a cow living together on a farm.  The cow was popular while the pig was not.  This puzzled the pig.  "People speak warmly of your gentle nature and your sorrowful eyes," the pig said to the cow.  They think you’re generous because each day you give them milk and cream.  But what about  me?  I’m going to give them everything I have.  I’ll give bacon and ham.  I’ll provide bristles for brushes. They’ll even pickle my feet!  Yet not one likes me. Why is that?"  The cow replied, "Perhaps it is because I give while I’m still living."

Are you giving while you have the opportunity?

There is support.   We are to support each other by each of us doing our part. God puts us together in community and each of us is to use our particular gift. When we discover and use our gifts then we are contributing our part. 


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Above scriptures!

Pray or do: Lord, teach us the wisdom that comes from observing ants and how to apply that wisdom to our lives  and church. 

Bonus Material: 

A quote from a evolutionist:

“On their own, each ant’s behavior is relatively useless, but when swarms of ants come together, the patterns optimize naturally and allow them to accomplish tasks that should be far beyond their reach.  To the outside observer, their self-organizing efforts seem to be directed by some larger force or collective intelligence.  Theirs is a society that is truly more than the sum of its parts.” Did you catch that phrase ……..” larger force”.  We call that larger force God.  He created the ant, and they fulfil their purpose!


Monday, October 12, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “You Can Learn A lot From An Ant” Proverbs 6:6-8; 30:25

TEXT: Go to the ant, you sluggard!  Consider her ways and be wise, 7 which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, 8 provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.  9 How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep?  Proverbs 6:6-9

The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer; Proverbs 30:25

Myrmecology is the study of ants.  Solomon tells us along with other passages in the Bible that we should consider the ways of the ants.  There are over 10,000 different species of ants.  They are able to lift 20 times their own body weight. That means that if I had their strength I could lift approx. 4000 lbs.  Ants have been found to build structures 500 times their own height.  The brain of one ant has 250,000 cells whereas the human brain has 10,000 Million brain cells.  Ants also have 2 stomachs.  One for storing up food to share with others later, and one for itself.  The life expectancy of an ant is 45-60 days.  Yet these tiny creatures accomplish much in your short life-span.  One might ask, "Why are you telling us about 'ANTS' in church?"  Prov. 6:6 states "Go to the ANT…consider her ways and be wise."  The first thing ants teach us is about performance.  To perform with efficiency there must be a plan.  At first glance at a anthill, and you just see a lot of activity.  Ants running around everywhere…..but they have a plan.  We as a church must have a plan and a vision for our future.  Every organization, every committee, every class within the church should be geared towards reaching people, and eaching people!  Southside’s Vision/Mission Statement: We desire to bring our community and our world into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ thus fulfilling God’s Great Commandment (Luke 10:27) and Christ’s Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).  We desire our church body to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to worship and to use our spiritual gifts to be of service to Christ and humanity.  To perform with efficiency there must be participation.  Take a look at an anthill, and you want see many if any ants just sitting around or standing around doing nothing.  Everyone one of those ants have a job, and no one has to tell them what it is…..and no one has to push them to do it!  Ants work together in harmony.  You know how they’re able to do it!  Each one is responsible!  And they’re so busy doing what their supposed to do that they don’t have time to fight among themselves! “and whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, (Colossians 3:23).  To perform with efficiency there must be peace.  One of the reasons that ants can get so much accomplished despite their size and in such a small amount of time is because of harmony.  The Palmist said, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! (Psalm 133:1) Rarely do you see 'lone ranger' ants.  The same should be said of each of us.  We need others in our lives, and as Christians, we need to have common goals – Those goals should be to glorify God and spread the message of the Lord Jesus to a lost and dying world.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Above scriptures!

Pray or do: Lord, teach us the wisdom that comes from observing ants and how to apply that wisdom to our lives and church.



Friday, October 9, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “Awards and Rewards in the Kingdom of God” Revelations 3:11

TEXT: Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your  crown. Revelation 3:11

There are not only crowns to be given but rewards as well.  There will be rewards for giving to  the work of God.  “He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a

prophet's reward.  And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.  42 And whoever gives one of these little ones only a  cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward."  (Matthew 10:41-42) 

The Lord remembers all the labor of love that we have rendered to his servants. “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” (Hebrews 6:10)

The Lord wants us to lay our treasures in heaven. "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  (Matthew 6:19-21)

We should focus our efforts on accumulating eternal treasures and not waste our life chasing the vanity of earthly wealth and possessions. “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.  18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, ) All those who have been blessed by our giving will welcome us when we reach heaven.  There are rewards for helping the poor and needy. “Then He also said to him who invited Him, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”  (1 Timothy 6:17-19) All those who have been blessed by our giving will welcome us when we reach heaven.  There are rewards for helping the poor and needy. “Then He also said to him who invited Him, 'When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid.  13 But when you give a  feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.  14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.'"

(Luke 14:12-14) (Matthew 6:1-4) 

We should live extremely useful lives spent in the service of suffering humanity.  Whenever we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and those in prison, we are really doing it for the Lord himself and he will reward us abundantly. (Matthew 25:31-46) We should not live selfishly. We should eagerly seek opportunities to help others and it will bring eternal rewards to us. Our desire for eternal rewards prevents us from seeking honor from men.

All our acts of charity will have pure motives because we not want to lose our eternal reward by pursuing earthly fame.  “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.  2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)  We should seek to help those who cannot do anything to help us in return. Then we will be rewarded in heaven.

There are also rewards for using our gifts and talents as we discover in the Parable of the Talents.  (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-27) We should use all the gifts and talents that God has given to us.  We should not be lazy and waste our resources.  When we are faithful in the earthly

responsibilities, the Lord will reward us with greater responsibilities in eternity.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Above scriptures!

Pray or do: May all of our works of charity and service be motivated by our love for Christ and for His glory.

Bonus Material:

Surprise Reward at the End of Bill Broadhurst’s Marathon In July 1981, Bill Broadhurst entered the Omaha, Nebraska, Pepsi 10k.  Broadhurst is slowed by a brain aneurysm he suffered 10 years earlier, which left him partially paralyzed on the left side.  He made it his goal to finish the 10k despite this obstacle.  He was determined to run because Bill Rogers, his hero and a world-famous distance runner, was in the race that day.  Rogers, great runner that he is, placed first in a time of 29 minutes and 37 seconds.  One hour in, for Bill Broadhurst, his partially paralyzed left side started to feel like dead weight.  After two hours, the cars were back in the streets, and getting through intersections became difficult.  At two hours and twenty minutes the pain was so intense and throbbing, he didn’t think he could go on.  Then he saw the end.  But as soon as he saw it, his heart sank: the banner was gone and everybody had left.  Still, having come this far, he decided to push through to the end.  As he approached the finish line, he perceived a small gathering of people off to the side.  Then they moved out to greet him, and he saw Bill Rogers at the front crowd.  They had been waiting for him.  As Broadhurst crossed the finish line, Rogers opened his arms, and hugged him.  Rogers took the gold medal from around his own neck, and put it around the neck of the last runner to cross the line. "You’re the winner, man," he said. "You take the gold."

What a beautiful picture of our life with Christ. Jesus, the first runner of this race, has not forgotten us, struggling runners that we are.  No, he has taken hold of us, he is making us fit for the race, and he is cheering us on toward the goal, and he’s waiting for us to give us the prize that he earned.  And so, let us not forget Him Let us fix our eyes on Him, the author and perfecter of our faith, as we live our lives in an unhindered pursuit of his love and grace.




Wednesday, October 7, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “Awards and Rewards in the Kingdom of God” Revelations 3:11

TEXT: Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. Revelation 3:11

The next crown is the “Crown of Righteousness” which is awarded for finishing our race in  holiness. These individuals have lived a holy life and finished their course without losing their integrity.  Paul expressed it best in his famous testimony to young Timothy, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.  7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:6-8  Paul challenged the Corinthian believers and those who would follow how to run this race.  “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things.  Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.  26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty.  Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.  27  But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified."  1 Corinthians 9:24-27

To continue in the works of the flesh would keep us from receiving our inheritance in Christ.

“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21 (Matthew 7:13-23;

Revelation 21:8, 27)

The “Crown of Glory” is the next crown and it is awarded for faithfulness in ministry.  Peter addresses the subject of how to qualify for this crown. “The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:  2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.” 1 Peter 5:1-4

All our work for the Lord will be tested by fire.  “For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, you are God's building.  10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it.  But let each one take heed how he builds on it.  11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is.  14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.  15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”  1 Corinthians 3:9-15.

Therefore we should serve the Lord with pure motives and with a heart full of genuine love for the Lord and for our fellow men. “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life

dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.  25 And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.  26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men.  27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.  28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” Acts 20:24-28

(to be continued)


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Above scriptures!

Pray or do: Father! May our motives be pure, our hearts filled with love and our actions holy as we serve you.





Tuesday, October 6, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “Awards and Rewards in the Kingdom of God” Revelations 3:11

TEXT: Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your  crown. Revelation 3:11

The second “crown” Christ will give is the “Crown of Life” which will be given for enduring  trial, testing’s and tribulations.  James said, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12 

It is trials that will mold your character and prepare you for eternity.  Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:10-12

The crown of life, along with the other crowns, will be presented after the Lord returns and when  you and I have passed the tests, trials and tribulations victoriously.  Again Jesus says, “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer.  Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days.  Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”  Revelation 2:10

Therefore we should not be discouraged when we are faced with the conflicts and difficulties in this life.  Christ has assured us of great glory and reward when we endure sufferings. “And if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him,  that we may also be glorified together.  18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:17-18 (NKJV) (II Timothy 2:12; Mark 10:28-30) 

For clarity the word translated “tribulation” means pressure, to crowd in upon you.  We have all experienced it even though we may not have been able to express what we are feeling.  Jesus does  know and understand what you and I go through.  There is peer pressure – the pressure to conform to the world, to be what everyone else expects or wants you to be.  We often associate peer pressure with youth, but actually all of us have peers, and all of us feel the pressure of conformity from different circles of: 

 our peers –

 the circle of our immediate family;

 our wider family;

 our neighbors;

 our friends;

 our local church family;

 our team mates; 

 our schoolmates;

 our co-workers etc.

The pressure from society comes in many forms; the pressure to conform to its standards, to be sexually loose, to play the field, to cast off the prohibitions of God’s Word (which are designed to protect and dignify us) and to behave like dogs in the street – you are better than that, the pressure to be less than honest at times, to cut corners in our business, to bend the truth to our advantage, the pressure to tolerate that which God will not.  To agree that certain ways of living are OK, that one man’s choice is as good as another.  The pressure to treat truth as relative, to live  without absolutes.  The pressure to get drunk, do drugs etc.  When you resist those pressures, let me tell you trouble will come.  You instantly become a target – and the world will make trouble for you.  That is what Paul meant when he said, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2Tim 3:12) 

(to be continued)


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Above scriptures!

Pray or do: Father, help us to endure trials, testing’s and tribulations so we may bring glory to you and victory in our  lives.




Monday, October 5, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “Awards and Rewards in the Kingdom of God” Revelations 3:11

TEXT: Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your  crown. Revelation 3:11

This past Sunday we celebrated our 56 years of ministry in our community.  What a wonderful  time we had in worshiping God, fellowshipping, sharing a meal and then delivering meals to those in our church family who are not able to attend due to the pandemic.  The message I delivered was to acknowledge the contribution of so many to the work of God in our church and community.  The Word of God tells us that there are great and wonderful awards and rewards in the kingdom of God.  Salvation is free but the awards and rewards in the kingdom of God must be earned.  The Lord does not want us to live an aimless life.  Nor does he want us to trust in Christ only for earthly benefits.  There is a glorious eternity waiting for every believer and the Lord wants us to use our life on earth as a priceless opportunity to earn eternal rewards.  The scriptures reveal to us the pathway of gaining eternal rewards and lay our treasures in heaven.  This week’s devotionals will briefly examine the Crowns and awards that our promised to us in scripture. 

First there is the “Crown of Rejoicing” which is the soul-winners crown.   All those whom we have reached for the Lord and have discipled will be our crown.  We should carefully watch over them lest the devil lead them astray and cause all our labor to be in vain.  Paul wrote that that you are our hope, joy and crown.  “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing?  Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?  20 For you are our glory and joy. 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 (see also Philippians 4:1; Daniel 12:3) 

It is good for those who watch out for your soul to do it with joy.  That make the work they do profitable for you.  The writer of Hebrews wrote, “Obey those who rule over you, and be

submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account.  Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” (13:17)  You do not want those who watch over you to waste their efforts.  They will have “run in vain” and you will lose the benefit of their labor.  “I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.” (Galatians 4:11)  Paul expounds on that when he writes to the Philippians and Thessalonians, “Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and

perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” (Philippians 2:14-16) (I Thessalonians 3:5)

(to be continued)


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Above scriptures!

Pray or do: Lord, raise up soul-winners in the church that many will come to Christ during this pandemic.

Bonus Material:

“I read a story involving the Butterball Turkey Company, which set up a hotline to answer

consumers’ questions about preparing holiday turkeys.  One woman called to ask about cooking a turkey that had been in her freezer for 23 years.  The operator told her it might be safe if the freezer had been kept below 0 the entire time.  But the operator warned the woman that, even if it were safe, the flavor had probably deteriorated, and she wouldn’t recommend eating it.  The caller replied, “That’s what we thought.  We’ll just give it to the church.”

Disclaimer: The food we served for our Church Anniversary was fresh from “Wood Grill” and

we were careful to abide by Covid-19 protocols. Our food was not frozen except for the delicious

desserts.



Friday, October 2, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Christian and His Finances” Luke 16:11 and Various  Proverbs

TEXT: If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit  to your trust the true riches?  Luke 16:11 (KJV) 

The spiritual values of a Christian and his finances concludes:

STEWARDSHIP

The key to understanding God's will in finances is to have the proper understanding of stewardship.  A steward is one who manages another's property.  We are merely stewards of God's

property while we are on earth.  He can choose to entrust us with as much or as little as He  desires, but in no case will we ever take ownership.  Quite often the demonstration of our stewardship is not how much we give but how we react when there is not much to give.  We cannot experience peace in the area of finances until we have surrendered total control of this area to God and have accepted the role of steward. 

There is one who scatters, yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds  what is justly due, but it results only in want.  Prov 11:24

Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to  share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.  1 Tim 6:18-19

"Do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat; nor for your body, as to  what you shall put on.  For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.  And do not seek what you shall eat, and what you shall drink, and do not keep worrying.  For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows you need these things.  But seek for His kingdom, and these things shall be added to you.  Sell your possessions, and give to charity.  For where your treasure is,  there will your heart be also."  Luke 12:22-23,29-31,33-34

THANKFULNESS

Are we grateful for what we have, rather than resentful for what we don't have?  When we look around, there's always someone else who has more.  It's easy to ask, "Why did he (or she) get that  instead of me?"  Satan tries to get us to be discontented by comparing ourselves to others.  The way to counteract that is to praise God for what we have and not let what others have affect  us.  Thankfulness is not based on an accumulation of assets; it is a positive attitude toward life.   The poor man utters supplications, but the rich man answers roughly.  Prov 18:23

"What woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, `Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!'"  Luke 15:8-9

In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thess 5:18

TRUST

Are we willing to put God totally in control of our finances?  Will we give away the last dime or dollar we have, even if it looks like we'll do without as a result of giving?  If we really trust God with everything we have, He will satisfy all our needs as He promised.  God gives small things at first because we are only capable of trusting Him for small things.  But the more we exercise our faith, and our trust in Him grows, the more He will supply.  

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Prov 3:5-6

An arrogant man stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the Lord will prosper. Prov 28:25

"For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on.  Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not worth much more than they?  And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life's span?  And why are you anxious about clothing?  Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these.  But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do so for you, O men of little faith?  Do not be anxious then, saying `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `With what shall we clothe ourselves?'  For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Matt 6:25-34

WISDOM

When we have problems, the first thing we should ask for is wisdom - not money, not power, but wisdom.  That's the key that will unlock all the doors.  God's Word says that if we trust Him He will grant wisdom to us liberally and without reproach.  How can we seek God's wisdom in our finances?  God's Word promises that if we ask anything according to His will, and believe we will receive it, it will be given to us.  That includes wisdom, which is fundamental in the area of finances if we are going to make sound financial decisions.

How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding.  For its profit is better than the profit of silver, and its gain than fine gold.  She is more precious than jewels; and nothing you desire compares with her.  Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.  Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast.  The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens.  Prov 3:13-19

How much better it is to get wisdom than gold!  And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.  Prov 16:16

By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  Prov 24:3-4

The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.  James 3:17

I heard the voice of many angels...and the living creatures and the elders saying with a loud voice, 'Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.' Rev 5:11-12”


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: See above scriptures!

Pray or do: Ask the Lord to help you to apply these spiritual values to your everyday living.

Bonus Material:

LARRY BURKETT THE WORD ON FINANCES (c) 1994 Christian Financial Concepts, Moody Press. Used by permission. All rights reserved.




Wednesday, September 30, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Christian and His Finances” Luke 16:11 and Various  Proverbs

TEXT: If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit  to your trust the true riches? Luke 16:11 (KJV) 

The spiritual values of a Christian and his finances continues.

HUMILITY

Even though Christ is the most exalted being in the eternal kingdom of God, He assumed the lowliest, most humbling position possible during His lifetime.  God wants us to question the condition of our hearts.  Do we really consider ourselves higher than someone else simply because we may have the ability to earn more money or have more advantages?   We might not have even earned the money but, instead, inherited it.  Either way, having humility means we can  accept God's blessings without feeling superior to any other individual.  "Better is he who is lightly esteemed and has a servant, than he who honors himself and lacks bread."  Prov 12:9

Jesus called them to Himself, and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles  lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.

It is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave."  Matt 20:25-27

"Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, and the other a tax- gatherer.  The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself, `God, I thank Thee that I am not like other people; swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax- 

gatherer.  I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.'  But the tax-gatherer,  standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, `God, be merciful to me, the sinner'  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted."  Luke 18:10- 14

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of  you regard one another as more important than himself.  Phil 2:3

OBEDIENCE

Since finances are one of the most often discussed topics in the New Testament, it would seem obvious that God would use that area to test our obedience to Him.  We must come to the point that God's approval is more important than the world's riches.  Being obedient means being willing to do what God's Word says, regardless of the cost.  Only then will the full measure of God's peace and power be experienced.  Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.  Prov 14:34

"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or  he will hold to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and mammon."  Matt 6:24

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's  daughter; choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin; considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.  Heb 11:24-26

PAYING VOWS

A vow can be defined as'an earnest promise to pledge that binds one to perform in a certain manner.'  Repeatedly in the Bible the term is used to refer to a promise or pledge, and the  emphasis is that such promises are binding.  Few scriptural principles are clearer than that of keeping our vows - literally keeping our word both to God and to others.  When we give our word to do something, we are obligated to do it.  When we obligate ourselves financially, we must pay.  "You shall be careful to perform what goes out from your lips, just as you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God, what you have promised."  Deut 23:23 

"Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High; and  call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me."  Ps 50:14-15 

"It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay."  Eccl 5:5

POSITIVE ATTITUDES

According to God's Word, having a positive attitude simply means that we trust God, we are thankful for whatever He provides, and we seek His help in knowing how to use what we have.   Not only should we be positive about our own finances, but we should be able to praise God when He benefits someone else, even though we may not have as much.  If we can praise God when someone else is prospering, we have a positive attitude toward finances. 

"All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the Lord weighs the motives."   Prov 16:2

"To do righteousness and justice is desired by the Lord rather than sacrifice."  Prov  21:3

"I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone  who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." Rom 1:16 


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: See above scriptures!

Pray or do: Ask the Lord to help you to apply these spiritual values to your everyday living.  

Bonus Material:

LARRY BURKETT THE WORD ON FINANCES (c) 1994 Christian Financial Concepts, Moody Press. Used by  permission. All rights reserved.




Tuesday, September 29, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Christian and His Finances” Luke 16:11 and Various  Proverbs

TEXT: If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit  to your trust the true riches? Luke 16:11 (KJV) 

The spiritual values of a Christian and his/her finances continues.

COUNSEL OF OTHERS

Balance is what God teaches us - the balance between verses that say it is a wise person who seeks the counsel of many others and verses that warn if we listen to too many people we will go astray.  Somewhere in between is the balance.  God wants us to be open, listen to people with the  same value systems, but not follow their direction for our lives too closely; rather, use it cautiously - as counsel in finding God's direction.

1. A wise person listens to counsel.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to  counsel. Prov 12:15

2. A wise person receives counsel.   

Through presumption comes nothing but strife, but with those who receive counsel is wisdom. Prov 13:10

3. A wise person receives correction with grace.   Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, but he who regards reproof will be honored.  Prov 13:18

4. A wise person seeks several counselors.

Where there is no guidance, the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is  victory.  Prov 11:14

5. A wise person knows he will give account of himself.

So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God. Rom 14:12

FAIRNESS

The first step in establishing the principle of fairness is to recognize that all people are important,  regardless of their position.  God is not concerned about what others think is fair, only what He  thinks is fair.  From God's perspective, fairness is determined by your attitude toward other people and the way you treat them.  Do you treat others the way you would want them to treat you if the situations were reversed?   What is desirable in a man is his kindness, and it is better to be a poor man than a liar.  Prov 19:22

Nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his dispute.  Ex 23:3

Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course.   Prov 2:9

"For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a certain king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.  And when he had begun to settle them, there was brought to him one who owed him ten thousand talents.  But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made.  The slave therefore falling down, prostrated himself before him, saying, `Have patience with me, and I will repay you everything.'  And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt.  But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, `Pay back what you owe.'  So his fellow slave fell down and began to entreat him, saying, `Have patience with me and I will repay you.'  He was unwilling however, but went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was  owed.  So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened.  Then summoning him, his lord said to him, `You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you entreated me.  Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, even as I had mercy on you?'  And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him.  So shall My heavenly Father also do to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart."  Matt 18:23-35

He was saying to them, "Take care what you listen to.  By your standard of measure it shall be measured to you; and more shall be given you besides."  Mark 4:24

FORGIVENESS

The biblical principle of financial forgiveness is a clear one.  It means that you put aside a wrong suffered, never to be remembered again, even if someone has deceived you or cheated you financially.  How far does forgiveness extend?  As far as the Lord is concerned, it stretches without end.  In our society, we all will have an opportunity to exercise forgiveness.  He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. Prov 28:13

"If you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions."  Matt 6:15

"A certain moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.  When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both.  Which of them therefore will love him more?"  Luke 7:41-42

"Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him."  Luke 17:3

HONESTY

Our usefulness to God is directly proportional to our honesty.  We should never allow ourselves to be trapped into anything that is unethical, immoral, or dishonest, no matter how inviting it

seems.  According to God's Word, honesty means telling the whole truth, regardless of how much it costs.  It means revealing the whole truth, even when it isn't necessary.  There are no small lies - only lies; there are no small thefts - only thefts. 

Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.  So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man. Prov 3:3-4

"The good man out of his good treasure brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth what is evil." Matt 12:35”


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: See above scriptures!

Pray or do: Ask the Lord to help you to apply these spiritual values to your everyday living.

Bonus Material:

The Word on Finances was never meant to be a book.  It actually began in 1971 as my personal study into what God's Word has to say about finances.  After a Monday morning men's Bible study, at which I mentioned that the Bible had more than a hundred references on the subject of money, I was challenged by a participant who said, "I just don't think money is that important to God."  Being a pragmatist about nearly everything, I simply went home, took out a brand new Bible, and began my own study on what the Bible says about money.  As I read through the Bible in my study time, I yellow-lined every passage that dealt specifically with finances.  I discovered that there are more than 1,000 references to money in the Bible - second only to the subject of love.  I had my secretary type out all the verses I had yellow-lined, thus creating a sequential reference.  Then I studied each reference carefully and sorted them by topic, i.e., borrowing, lending, saving, investing, stealing, cheating, and so on.  Once these were retyped, I had an index for the biblical principles of finances.  Over the years I have used this "index" or reference thousands of times in writing.  It is always on my desk when I am working on some new project about family finances from a biblical perspective.

LARRY BURKETT THE WORD ON FINANCES (c) 1994 Christian Financial Concepts, Moody Press. Used by permission.  All rights reserved.




Monday, September 27, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Christian and His Finances” Luke 16:11 and Various Proverbs

TEXT: If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit  to your trust the true riches? Luke 16:11 (KJV) 

The Lord Himself said that if we are not found faithful in the use of money (mammon) we will  not be found faithful in other things; so, money really is that important to God.  Right attitudes in the area of finances determine our relationship with God.  Our relationship with God is determined in great part by our attitudes.  Having right attitudes doesn't just mean learning to live on a budget and tithing to the Lord.  Right attitudes include total commitment to God, listening to the counsel of other people (including husbands or wives), dealing fairly and honestly with other people, being humble and thankful, and forgiving others (in terms of debts that are owed).  The right attitudes God will honor are spiritual values being

reflected through finances.

COMMITMENT

God calls each of us to a radical lifestyle - total commitment to Him.  You can determine a great deal about spiritual commitment by what Christians treasure.  God's Word says that our treasures  will be wherever our hearts are.  All that truly matters is what we can do for the kingdom of God.  Certainly, the things we accumulate are not important.  They are simply tools for us to use in accomplishing God's work.  Sometimes commitment breaks down when a sacrifice is required.  We must make a choice about our commitment and there are only two choices.  We cannot serve God and mammon.  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Prov 3:5-6.  Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matt 6:33-34

"He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is  unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much....No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to one, and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and mammon." Luke 16:10, 13. 

"I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus  my Lord...and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ."  Phil 3:8

CONTENTMENT

In the area of finances, contentment does not mean complacency.  Complacency means that I have a problem and I suffer through it with a good attitude; but contentment means I know that  I'm in the center of God's will.  I change the things I can.  The things I can't change I am willing to accept and be content with because I know the One who is in control.  The secret of a happy life is learning how to deal with both the good times and the bad and, like the apostle Paul, knowing how to be content with either. 

1. Learning to be content.

Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure and turmoil with it.   Prov 15:16

Jesus said to him, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."Matt 8:20

"Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.  I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of

being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction."  Phil 4:11-14

Godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment.  "For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.  And if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content." 1 Tim 6:6-8

2. Those who minister must learn to be content.  Shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness. 1 Peter 5:2

"I have coveted no one's silver or gold or clothes.  You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me.  In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, `It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" Acts 20:33-35

3. Determine to focus on the spiritual.

Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. Col 3:2

4. Learn thankfulness in every situation.

In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thess 5:18


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: See above scriptures!

Pray or do: Ask the Lord to help you to apply these spiritual values to your everyday living. 

Bonus Material:

The Word on Finances was never meant to be a book.  It actually began in 1971 as my personal study into what God's Word has to say about finances.  After a Monday morning men's Bible study, at which I mentioned that the Bible had more than a hundred references on the subject of money, I was challenged by a participant who said, "I just don't think money is that important to God."  Being a pragmatist about nearly everything, I simply went home, took out a brand new Bible, and began my own study on what the Bible says about money.  As I read through the Bible in my study time, I yellow-lined every passage that dealt specifically with finances.  I discovered that there are more than 1,000 references to money in the Bible - second only to the subject of love.  I had my secretary type out all the verses I had yellow-lined, thus creating a sequential reference.  Then I studied each reference carefully and sorted them by topic, i.e., borrowing, lending, saving, investing, stealing, cheating, and so on.  Once these were retyped, I had an index for the biblical principles of finances.




Friday, September 25, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “What the Proverbs Say About Words” Various Proverbs

TEXT: A man's stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth, from the produce of  his lips he shall be filled.  21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.  Proverbs 18:20-21

Christ motto would come from James when James wrote, "So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath" James 1:19

For some people this motto is often reversed.  

They are slow to hear, quick to speak and always

angry.  What does that mean?  Someone wrote:

1. Swift to hear = quick to learn the truth.

2. Slow to speak = be cautious in speaking falsely.

3. Slow to anger = don’t be provoked to wrath and destroy your character.

Here are to other sayings concerning the tongue.

“Men have two ears, and but one tongue, that they should hear more than they speak.”

“The ears are always open, ever ready to receive instruction; but the tongue is  surrounded with a double row of teeth, to hedge it in, and to keep it within proper bounds.” 

The writer of Proverbs wrote, “When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise.”  (Proverbs 10:19) and “A word spoken at the right time is like gold apples on a silver tray.”  (Proverbs 25:11).  Here is a poem that tells us the effect of our words whether they are good or bad.

Death Or Life In Words

"A careless word may kindle strife,

A cruel word may wreck a life;

A bitter word may hate instill,

A brutal word may smite and kill;

A gracious word may smooth the way

A joyous word may light the day;

A timely word may lessen stress,

A loving word may heal and bless." Knight's Master Book of New Illustrations.

James told his congregation to “speak words that are good for building up someone who is in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.”  (Ephesians 4:29).  Speaking isn’t the problem, it's controlling our tongue.  It’s letting the Holy Spirit guide us in our speech.  Remember the wise words from Pinocchio, “When bad boys become good, their looks change along with their lives.”


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: James 3:1-12

Pray or do: “Lord. I dedicate and consecrate my tongue to you today.  I submit my mind, and heart to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  I ask the Holy Spirit to be my guide through which all my words, spoken and written will pass from me today.”




Wednesday, September 23, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “What the Proverbs Say About Words” Various Proverbs

TEXT: A man's stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth, from the produce of his lips he shall be filled.  21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.  Proverbs 18:20-21

Here are three practical ways the scriptures from the first two devotionals will affect you.   First your vocabulary will change when your heart changes. Speaking or writing words that are not true is not the problem – it’s a heart problem – it’s a surrender problem.  Adrian Rogers wrote of the problem when he said, “The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart.”  We can’t control our tongues until we let the Holy Spirit control us.  That only happens when we submit ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  

Secondly what you say and write inevitable reflects the kind of person you are.  In all or little that  we say and write becomes a flashing billboard to those who hear and read our words.  

Here are three sayings you may have heard before.  “Remember WHO you are and remember WHOSE you are.”  Whatever you speak or write you should stop and think about how this reflects upon you and what kind of person you want to be known for.  When we stop and think we remember that we are sons and daughters of God and we represent Him.  “You are what you eat,” “Garbage in and garbage out.”  And the next one, “What’s in the well comes up in the bucket!”  For some people, even for Christians with potty-mouths – it’s time to change, what we take in, and wells.  

When we were baptized the preacher took us down under the water from our toes to our nose – it  all got dunked.  This not only symbolizes we are changed from being sinners to sons and daughters of God but it also represents a changed heart, a changed life and a change of speech. 


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: James 3:1-12

Pray or do: Whatever you do or say today, take a moment before you say or do it to think about how your words or  actions will represent Christ and your character.



Tuesday, September 22, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “What the Proverbs Say About Words” Various Proverbs

TEXT: A man's stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth, from the produce of  his lips he shall be filled.  21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.  Proverbs 18:20-21 

“The power of the tongue is life and death — those who love to talk will eat what it  produces.” That is an amazing statement – “Live and death are in the power of the tongue.  Of all the powers that man possesses, the power of speech can be the most potent.  The same words can be given in a harsh, sarcastic or loving manner.  It is all in how it is presented with tones, facial expressions and body language.  The New Cyclopaedia of Prose Illustrations: First Series illustrates this with this prose, “Hard words are like hailstones in summer, beating down and destroying what they would nourish were they melted into drops.”  We have all heard the expression, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” I agree with the person who said it is a lie straight from Satan.  All our words have consequences – good and bad.  When we use words, with people, that are hurtful and critical then we grieve God.  As Christians our words should be words of life to everyone we speak to.  The Psalmist wrote, “He also taught me, and said to me: 'Let your heart retain my words; Keep my commands, and live.'” (Proverbs 4:4) and “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul  and health to the bones.” (Proverbs 16:24). 


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: James 3:1-12

Pray or do: Speak words of life into someone today.

Bonus Material: 

There was a T-shirt made that said, "Lord, make my words sweet as honey because tomorrow I may have to eat  them."



Monday, September 21, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “What the Proverbs Say About Words” Various Proverbs  

TEXT: A worthless person, a wicked man, walks with a perverse mouth; 13  He winks with his eyes, he shuffles his feet, he points with his fingers; 14 Perversity is in his heart, he devises evil continually, he sows discord.  15 Therefore his calamity shall come suddenly; Suddenly he shall be broken without remedy.  Proverbs 6:12-15

I do believe all the words in this book.  And if God’s Word tells me that he hates a lying tongue I’m going to believe it.   I’m sure that every one of us has said something or written something that we wish we had never said.  Mark Twain said, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.”  Words spoken can’t be unspoken.  Once they leave our lips there is no way to get them back.  Throughout the book of Proverbs there are over 150 verses that speak to us about the power of our words.  On average, a reference to speech appears five times in EACH of the 31 chapters.  This week, in our devotionals, I will examine three Proverbs that deal with the tongue and then three applications about our tongue.  The first Proverb is found in our text today.  This proverb tells us of a dishonest person which the writer considers worthless.  He/she is a troublemaker and is in rebellion.  He/she is perverse and a schemer who devises evil and sows discord.  This person is lost without God and eternal life with Him unless they have a change of heart and repent.  A second proverb says, “These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:  17 A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, 19  A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.: (Proverbs 6:16-19)  Here are seven things God hates and five of them deal with body parts: the eyes, tongue, hands, heart and feet. Prideful eyes, blood covered hands who have shed the life of innocence, a wicked heart, swift feet running to evil, one who speaks falsely and a sower of discord among a group.

Two are characteristics of someone that God doesn’t like – a lying tongue and a liar.

In the story of Pinocchio the cobbler created an imaginary character who gets in trouble for lying– only to find his nose growing.  At the end of the story Pinocchio changes – he goes from being a bad boy to being a good boy. Gepetto said, “When bad boys become good, their looks change along with their lives.”

When God changes us from the bad to the good by imputing His righteousness He expects everything about us to change, including our speech.  Paul speaks to that in his letter to the Corinthian church.  “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived.  Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.  11 And such were some of you.  But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”  (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) Yes!  We use to be and do the same things until Christ changed us.  Now we have been washed in the blood of Jesus, sanctified from the world and justified before God by the power of the Holy Spirit.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: See above scriptures!

Pray or do: When someone needs reproof then give it in a spirit of love. When you receive reproof from the Lord receive it as a positive in your life.

Bonus Material:

HE'S SHAVING YOU!

An influential man in town was sitting in the barber's chair having a shave and a haircut.  He saw a pretty woman who was working in the office there and started flirting with her. "You're cute!"  "How about a date tonight?" he said to her.  The pretty woman smiled and said, "I'm sorry, but I'm married.  That's no big deal!" said the arrogant man.  "Call the bum up and tell him you will be home late tonight!"  The woman smiled and said, "Why don't you tell the bum yourself.  He's shaving you right now!"  James said the tongue has the power to destroy your life! (James 3).





Friday, September 18, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “Refusing Reproof” Proverbs 1:20-33

TEXT: Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares.  21 She cries  out in the chief concourses, at the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words:  22 "How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?  For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge.  23 Turn at my rebuke; surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.  24 Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, 25 Because you disdained all  my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke, 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, 27 when your terror comes like a storm when distress and anguish come upon you.  28 Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.  29 Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, 30 they would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke.  31 Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies.  32 For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy  them; 33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil."  Proverbs 1:20-33

Reproof brings wisdom into our lives – This is the positive aspect of reproof.   The Children of Israel cross the Red Sea after their deliverance from the Egyptians.  This is what the writer of Exodus observed about that occasion.  “Thus Israel saw the great work which the LORD had done in Egypt; so the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD and His servant Moses.” Exodus 14:31.  God’s reproof of Egypt brought wisdom to God’s people for they “feared the Lord”. 

Christ gives reproof because He loves us.  When Jesus addressed the churches in Revelation He said, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.  Therefore be zealous and repent.”   Revelation 3:19

Therefore as believers we should:

 Delight in those who give reproof to us. Prov. 24:25.

 Give reproof to others when needed. Lev. 19:17; Eph. 5:11.

 Give no occasion for reproof. Phil. 2:15.

 Love those who give reproof to us. Prov. 9:8. and

 Receive reproof kindly. Ps. 141:5.

The Word of God declares reproof to be:

Better than secret love. Prov. 27:5.

Better than the praise of fools. Eccles. 7:5.

An excellent oil. Ps. 141:5.

More profitable to believers than stripes to a fool. Prov. 17:10. 

Finally the Word of God lets us know that eventually reproof will bring more respect than flattery will.  “He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward than he who flatters  with the tongue.” Proverbs 28:23


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: See above scriptures!

Pray or do: When someone needs reproof then give it in a spirit of love. When you receive reproof from the Lord  receive it as a positive in your life.




Wednesday, September 16, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “Refusing Reproof” Proverbs 1:20-33

TEXT: Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares. 21 She cries  out in the chief concourses, at the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words: 22 "How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?  For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge.  23 Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.  24 Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, 25 Because you disdained all  my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke, 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, 27 When your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.  28 "Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.  29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD, 30 They would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke.  31 Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies.  32 For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; 33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil."  Proverbs 1:20-33

Chuck Swindoll gave four reasons why reproof is refused.

“First there is willful refusal.”

“Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one  regarded,” Proverbs 1:24a.  Refuse implies “to directly refuse” and is used most often to indicate the refusal of established authority.” 

Three Examples of Hating Reproof:

1. Ahab (2 Chron. 18:7; Proverbs 17:4)

2. The Jews (Amos 5:10)

3. The Pharisees. “But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for  themselves, not having been baptized by him.” 

“The second reason reproof is refused is insensitivity. “…I have stretched out my hand and  no one regarded,” Proverbs 1:24b.  The idea is “lacking awareness or alertness: In the New Testament the thought of being “dull of hearing” is implied.  Indifference is the third reason.  Because you disdained all my counsel, Proverbs 1:25a.  They distained God’s counsel.  This implies “Neglect – “to let something go; to leave alone” One who neglects counsel acts as if it makes no difference and has no importance” 

Finally there is the reason of Defensiveness.  “…And would have none of my rebuke, Proverbs 1:25b.  They had the attitude of “unwillingness; the refusal to give consent” This defensiveness is characteristic of the individual who keeps reminding himself that it is the other person who should change, not him.”


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Luke 4:16-30

Pray or do: Determine to never refuse God’s counsel.




Tuesday, September 15, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “Refusing Reproof” Proverbs 1:20-33

TEXT: Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares.  21 She cries  out in the chief concourses, at the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words: 22 "How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge.  23 Turn at my rebuke; surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.  24 Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, 25 because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke, 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, 27 When your terror comes like a storm, and your  destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.  28 "Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.  29 Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, 30 They would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke.  31 Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies.  32 For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; 33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil." Proverbs 1:20-33

windoll says “Conviction is God’s personal criticism”.  Here is the connection between wisdom and reproof.  God uses reproof as a way to bring wisdom  into our lives.  “Reprove” means “to convince” and carries the idea of conviction. Chuck Swindoll says “Conviction is God’s personal criticism”.  When you pay proper attention to reproof that becomes proof of wisdom. ‘But he who receives correction is prudent.’  Proverbs 15:5b.  God uses two ways to point out our weakness, shortcomings and failures. 

1. Direct Means: For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light; Reproofs of  instruction are the way of life, (Proverbs 6:23) God’s Word shines upon our minds and God speaks through His Word to correct us. 

2. Indirect Means: God uses people and circumstance to correct us.   Ministers should give reproof: 

 With all authority. “Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority.  Let  no one despise you.” Titus 2:15

 With Christian love.  “Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a  brother.” 2 Thessalonians 3:15

Some of the character traits God wants to develop in all of us are:

 Compassion

 Consistency

 Dependability

 Discipline

 Gentleness

 Mercy

 Humility

 Love

 Self-control

 Unselfishness

 Many others…


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.  

Daily reading: Scriptures below!

Pray or do: Father. What character traits do you want to develop in me today?

Bonus Material: 

God sends reproof because of:

Fearfulness. Mark 4:40; Luke 24:37-38.

Hardness of heart. Mark 8:17; 16:14.

Hypocrisy. Matt. 15:7; 23:13, etc.

Not understanding. Matt. 16:9, 11; Mark 7:18; Luke 24:25; John 8:43; 13:7-8.

Oppressing fellow believers. Neh. 5:7.

Reviling Christ. Luke 23:40.

Sinful practices. Matt. 21:13; Luke 3:19; John 2:16.

Unbelief. Matt. 17:17, 20; Mark 16:14.

Unrepentance. Matt. 11:20-24.

Unruly conduct. 1 Thess. 5:14.

Vain boasting. Luke 22:34.




Monday, September 14, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “Refusing Reproof” Proverbs 1:20-33

TEXT: Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares.  21 She cries  out in the chief concourses, at the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words:  22 "How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?  For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge.  23 Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.  24 Because I have called and you  refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, 25 Because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke, 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I ill mock when your terror comes, 27 When your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.  28 "Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.  29 Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, 30 they would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke.  31 Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies.  32 For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy  them; 33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil." Proverbs 1:20-33

God wants to teach us the things that will help us to know Him and to mature in Him.  He would  love for us to hear and then readily apply what we have been taught.  All too often we are disobedient to His commandments and teachings.  In the process we become offensive to others and become detrimental to ourselves.  This is when God brings reproof to us.  There are many ways that God brings that reproof. 

 His Word

 His Spirit

 Those with the ministry gifts

 Apostles

 Evangelist

 Pastors

 Teachers

 Friends

 Circumstances

How we respond to the reproof will determine if we will benefit from it or suffer the  consequences from refusing it.  So what is wisdom? 

Chuck Swindoll defines it as “the ability to see life and ourselves as God sees each”.  (Proverbs 1984 p. 6) True wisdom is to justify God and condemn self.  Dake's Wisdom is understanding what is really important in life.  NCV Dictionary.  Wisdom is a moral rather than an intellectual quality.  To be 'foolish' is to be godless.  (Ps 14:1 )  True wisdom is a gift from God to those who ask it (Jas 1:5). 'Wisdom' in Prov 1:20 may be  regarded not as a mere personification of the attribute of wisdom, but as a divine person, 'Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God'. (1Co 1:24). Illustrated Bible Dictionary: 

In Proverbs 1:20-21 we find that wisdom is available to us.  Wisdom is available to us through the Word of God, sermons and Sunday School lessons.   This wisdom can be spurned, because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, 25 because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke, Proverbs 1:24-25

Three types of people refuse reproof:

1. The simple – those who are wide open, easily deceived and enticed.

2. The scoffer – those who are skeptical and given to mockery and contempt.

3. The fool – those who misuse what they hear and believe they can survive without God

Five examples of despising wisdom:

1. Cain (Gen. 4:6-8)

2. Hophni and Phinehas (1Sam. 2:12,25)

3. Nabal (1Sam. 25:25)

4. Rehoboam (1Ki. 12:13)

5. Athenians

Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him.  And some said, "What does this babbler want to say?"  Others said, "He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods," because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection. Acts 17:18

And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, "We will hear you again on this matter."  Acts 17:32

When a person spurns wisdom it brings serious and bitter consequences.  When continually rejected wisdom (personified) says, “I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, 27 When your terror comes like a storm, And your destruction comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. 28 Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.” Proverbs 1:26-28

“Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies.  32 For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them” Proverbs 1:31-32

God gives ample opportunity for us to hear and respond positively to His wisdom.  We can choose to ignore and refuse God’s wisdom and there will come a time when the consequences of our refusal will bring its consequences.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Proverbs 1

Pray or do: Father. Help me to understand the relationship between Wisdom and Reproof.




Saturday, September 12, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Benefits of the Fear of God” 2 Corinthians 7:1-7

TEXT: Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.  2 Open your hearts to us.  We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have cheated no one.  3 I do  not say this to condemn; for I have said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together.  4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf.  I am filled with comfort.  I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.  5 For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side.  Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.  2 Corinthians 7:1-5

So what are the benefits of fearing God? (Continued)

11. “The Holy Spirit teaches us more about God’s will for our life, relationships and ministries  when we consistently fear the Lord.  David wrote, "Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.” Psalm 86:11

Ask God to help you learn more about God’s will for your personal life, relationships and  ministries through a growing reverence for the Lord. 

12. The Holy Spirit helps us learn how to be content and satisfied with a healthy fear of God.  Moses wrote, (vs. 1) "What does the Lord require of you, but to fear Him……(vs. 2) for  the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty and awesome God." (Deuteronomy 10:12-17)  "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all  your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good?  14 Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the LORD your God, also the earth with all that is in it.  15 The LORD delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day.  16 Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer.  17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe.  Ask God to help you to find greater contentment, fulfillment and satisfaction through your healthy fear of God. 

13. The Holy Spirit helps us overcome our wants, desires and urges with a fear of God.   David wrote, “Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.  The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing. Psalm 34:9-10.  Ask the Lord to help you overcome your carnal desires, wants and urges with an increasing fear, reverence and trust in our God. 

14. The Holy Spirit gives greater endurance to those who fear the Lord.  David wrote, “The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. Psalm 19:9  Ask God to give you greater perseverance and knowledge of what is best as a result of your fear of God. 

15. The Holy Spirit gives us greater peace of mind, purity of thoughts and an upright conscience when we fear the Lord.   Paul wrote, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.  2 Corinthians 7:1  Ask God to help you to cleanse your mind, emotions and perceptions with a healthy fear and reverence for the Lord. 

16. The Holy Spirit gives you the ability to conquer you fears of people and problems with a fear  of God.  Solomon wrote, “The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.” Proverbs 14:27   The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.  Proverbs 29:25  Ask the Lord to help you find more of your answers in the fear of God as a way of drawing more strength from the Lord’s infinite resources.” Contributed by Paul Fritz


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Above scriptures!

Pray or do: Thank you Holy Spirit for the benefits you bring to me as I fear God.

Bonus Material: 

TRUE FEAR VERSUS FALSE FEAR.

The fear of God is not the same as the emotional reaction we get to creaking doors at night or childhood worries  over possible monsters under the bed.  Those responses trivialize godly fear.  Blaise Pascal distinguished between true fear and false fear.   “True fear", he said, "is the fear of losing God.  False fear is the fear of finding God.  True fear comes from faith; false fear comes from doubt.  True fear is joined to hope, because it is born of faith, and because men hope in the God in whom they believe.  False fear is joined to despair, because men fear the God in whom they have no belief.  The former fear to lose Him; the latter fear to find Him."




Friday, September 11, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Benefits of the Fear of God” 2 Corinthians 7:1-7

TEXT: Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.  2 Open your hearts to us.  We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have cheated no one.  3 I do  not say this to condemn; for I have said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together.  4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf.  I am filled with comfort.  I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.  5 For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side.  Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.  2 Corinthians 7:1-5

So what are the benefits of fearing God? (Continued)

5. The Holy Spirit shows us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all sorts of wisdom.  (Prov. 1:7) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom  and instruction. 

6. The Holy Spirit teaches us that He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him.  He also hears their cries and saves them from defeat.  (Psa. 145:19)  He will fulfill the desire of those who  fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.  Ask the Lord to help you fear God so you can see more of your desires fulfilled through His mighty power. 

7. The Holy Spirit helps us make do with what we have when we fear God.  Solomon wrote,  "Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil."  (Prov. 15:16)  Ask God to help you to increase in your fear and reverence of the Lord so you are able to make do with whatever He provides. 

8. The Holy Spirit helps us cleanse our minds, emotions and spirits with a healthy fear of God.  (Psa. 19:9)  The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD

are true and righteous altogether.  Ask the Lord to help you sanctify your mind, will and  emotions with a greater fear and respect for God. 

9. The Holy Spirit encourages us to grow spiritually and bear more fruit with the fear of God.  (Eph. 4:15) But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ

10. The Holy Spirit helps us maintain a reverential trust in God with a hatred for evil by teaching us more about God’s holy attributes.  John wrote, “Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and  glorify Your name?  For You alone are holy.  For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested."  Revelation 15:4  Ask the Lord to help you to continually grow in your knowledge, intimacy and confidence in the knowledge of the Holy One’s attributes. 


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.  

Daily reading: 2 Corinthians 7

Pray or do: Thank you Holy Spirit for the benefits you bring to me as I fear God.




Thursday, September 10, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Benefits of the Fear of God” 2 Corinthians 7:1-7

TEXT: Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.  2 Open your hearts to us.  We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have cheated no one.  3 I do  not say this to condemn; for I have said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together.  4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf.  I am filled with comfort.  I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.  5 For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side.  Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.  2 Corinthians 7:1-5. 

So what are the benefits of fearing God?

1. The Holy Spirit helps us maintain a reverential trust in God with a hatred for evil by teaching  us more about God’s holy attributes.  John wrote, "Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name?  For You alone are holy.  For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested."  Revelation 15:4

Ask the Lord to help you to continually grow in your knowledge, intimacy and confidence in the knowledge of the Holy One’s attributes.

2. The Holy Spirit reminds us that we are commanded to fear the Lord and keep all of His commandments.  Moses wrote, “You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.” Deuteronomy 13:4.  Ask the Lord to help you to fear God out of obedience, service and your need for His support.

3. The Holy Spirit motivates us to fear the Lord with all kinds of rich incentives.  Solomon wrote, "By humility and the fear of the Lord is riches, honor and life."  (Prov. 22:4)

Ask God to help you motivate others to fear God by teaching them about the Bible’s rich incentive plan.

4. The Holy Spirit helps us worship the Lord in spirit and complete truth when we fear the Lord.  It is impossible to worship the Lord without a proper reverential fear of His holy name.

Ask the Lord to help you grow in your respect, awe and admiration for the Lord to enhance the quality and quantity of your worship.

5. The Holy Spirit encourages us to fear the Lord in order to come underneath God’s protective care.  Isaiah wrote, "Fear not for I am with you.  Be not dismayed for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and will help you and will uphold you with my righteous right hand."  (Isa. 41:10) Ask God to help you encourage others to fear the Lord so they too might enjoy all of His protective benefit package.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: 2 Corinthians 7

Pray or do: Thank you Holy Spirit for the benefits you bring to me as I fear God.




Wednesday, September 9, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Benefits of the Fear of God” 2 Corinthians 7:1-7

TEXT: Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.  2 Open your hearts

to us.  We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have cheated no one.  3 I do  not say this to condemn; for I have said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together.  4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf.  I am filled with comfort.  I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.  5 For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side.  Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.  2 Corinthians 7:1-5

We fear men so much because we fear God so little.  William Gurnall.

This week’s devotions begin with a definition of the “Fear of God”.  The fear of God is a sense of holy reverence of and respect or honor toward God.  It is the loyalty and duty that we owe God by placing him first above everything else.  The fear of God in its fullness represents a perfect relationship with the Creator.  Solomon wrote, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: fools despise wisdom and instruction."  (Prov. 1:7).  Wisdom and knowledge begin  when God is placed first in our lives, and our entire world revolves around our worship of him.  We find an example of the Fear of God in the book of Ecclesiastes.  Solomon came to understand the importance of the fear of God as he explored all the wisdom in creation.  (Eccl. 1:13). As you read the book of Ecclesiastes you get a sense of the despair Solomon began to experience.  Everything turned out to be meaningless to him and he expressed it as “all is vanity and vexation of spirit” (NKJV) 

Everything proved to be meaningless, including the paths of ...

 pleasure and hedonism (2:1-11),

 intellectualism and madness or folly (2:12-16),

 toil and labor (2:17-26),

 social status (4:13-16),

 wealth and prosperity (5:8-12), and

 philosophy and science or the 'scheme of things'  (7:25-29 NIV).

He decided that wisdom was to be preferred over physical power (9:16), but a little folly could overwhelm wisdom and honor (10:1).   He learned that accumulating a wealth of human wisdom and knowledge simply increases the grief, pain, and confusion in life (Eccl. 1:13-18).  His despair was alleviated by one single truth found in the final two verses of the book.  If these two verses are omitted, then the writer of Ecclesiastes is left floundering in the gloomy vision we find in the agnostic and atheistic existential and postmodern philosophies of our recent history.  What is the only way out of our misery and desolation?  Only by fearing God, and obeying his Word or commands are we able to make sense of this world.  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all.  14 For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Proverbs 1

Pray or do: Holy Spirit teach me to fear God with a true understanding of what that means.

Bonus Material: 

JESUS AND THE FEAR OF GOD

"The fear of Jehovah is to hate evil; I hate pride and conceit (self-love) and the evil way (deeds), and the perverse mouth"  (Prov. 8:13).

Godly people express their fear of the Lord by refusing to engage in sinful attitudes and actions.  Jesus lived a perfect and sinless life.  As such, he personified the fear of God.  He was in the Father and the Father was in him (John 14:10).  He was in his very nature God (Phil. 2:6-11). "I and the Father are one," he said (John 10:30). His entire life reveals to us the model of a person who never takes his eyes off the Father, an acknowledgement of the absolute holiness of God and a perfect expression of the fear and holiness of God.  Christians must conduct themselves in reverence and fear of God in all their work and activities.  (1 Pet. 1:17-18).




Friday, September 4, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “Only the Beginning” 5th in the series “The Second Coming of  Jesus?” from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Rev. 20 - 21

TEXT: Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth  had passed away.  Also there was no more sea.  2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.  4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."  5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new."  And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."  6 And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  I will  give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.  Revelation 21:1-6

Heaven is a place of riches. But riches are not the reason we want to go there.

The New Jerusalem has

• Foundations which represent permanence

• Walls symbolize protection

• Gates symbolize provision

• Streets represent glory and praise

Building foundations are usually underground, and cannot be clearly seen, but this one is visible,  and not only visible, but 12 layers thick!  And each of the 12 foundations is garnished with a different jewel.  All of these colors represent something about the character and nature of the Lord Jesus: Blue for deity, white for purity and purple for royalty John saw a wall.  “And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates

twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the  children of Israel:” Rev. 21:12

In Bible days, walls were all about protection…an un-walled city was vulnerable, an easy target.   And the enemies of earth will be no more…sickness cannot scale those walls, heartache cannot tunnel under…no crime or perversion, nothing to harm, nothing to molest, nothing to injure, nothing to destroy, and so, nothing to fear!  No viruses, no disease, no pestilence, and no public enemy #1…death!  John saw Gates, twelve of them (21:12-13, 21), made of a pearl.  Why a pearl?  A pearls value comes from how it is made.  A grain of sand or other foreign object enters the oyster’s shell and begins to irritate the oyster.  The oyster begins to secrete that white, milky substance…layer after layer, it hardens, and finally you have a perfectly formed, brilliant, round, shiny pearl.  The pearl is the oyster’s answer to that which wounded it!  The pearl owes its existence to the will of the oyster to “cover” that which hurt it!  Here is the spiritual lesson.  Sin invaded God’s perfect world, and it cut away at the heart of God, but He was willing by His own blood to cover it!  “Calvary covers it all, my past with its guilt and shame, my sin and despair, Jesus took on Him there, and Calvary covers it all!”   Calvary was God’s answer to man’s sin…and as we walk thru those gates we’ll be reminded of this fact!  We cannot enter in and of ourselves…we won’t be there because of us, but because of Him, and He made us His pearl of great price!  The streets he saw were paved with pure gold (vs. 21).  Gold is a symbol of the glory, honor and majesty of God.  And we will praise Him.  Heaven is a place of righteousness because God is there.  Heaven is a place of refuge (vs. 22-27).  There will be no need of a sanctuary because God and His son will be there.  There will be no need of the sun or moon because their glory will light the city.  And the main point is very clear.  In the end Satan will be defeated (20:7-10), the curse of sin will be broken (22:3) and the Father and Son will be present with us (21:3).  For those who belong to Christ, the end of the world is only the beginning of eternal life.  “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 6:23

This devotion concludes our main sermon series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is”.  I trust that you know Him today.  I hope that you know Him better than ever before.  If you don’t know Jesus as Lord of your life you can call upon Him today and He will hear you and honor your request.   If you have questions about having a relationship with Christ or if you commit your life to Christ please feel free to email me.  I would love to hear from you.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Revelations 21

Pray or do: Lord, I look forward to the day when I’ll see your face. Help me to live my life with that end in mind.   Come, Lord Jesus.




Thursday, September 3, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “Only the Beginning” 5th in the series “The Second Coming of Jesus?” from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Rev. 20 - 21

TEXT: Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth  had passed away.  Also there was no more sea.  2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.  4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."  5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all

things new."  And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."  6 And He said to me, "It is done!  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  I will  give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.  Revelation 21:1-6

Heaven will be a place of relief (vs. 4).  We will be relieved from all sicknesses and death.  There will be no need for hospitals, caskets or burial plots.  We will live forever in our glorified bodies.  

A 5 year old girl had never stayed the night with a friend before.  She was nervous, but gave it a  try.  She did fine during the daytime, but when it got dark she got nervous in a strange place.  The friend’s mother perceived this: “honey, are you getting homesick?”  With childlike innocence she replied, “No ma’am, I’m getting here sick!”   And the more you may go thru down “here”, the sweeter heaven will be for you!  Romans 8:18  

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with  the glory which shall be revealed in us.  Heaven is a Place of Refreshing (v. 6)  When you get really, really thirsty there is nothing that will satisfy your thirst but water.  How satisfying it is when you get it. 

And in heaven, every righteous desire that we have will be perfectly and completely satisfied, once and for all!  Here on earth we pursue happiness, but don’t ever completely find it, but in heaven that thirst will be quenched!  We will be able to find the answers to all the questions we have.  Relationships will be renewed.  And in heaven, we’ll know as we are known…all life’s thirsts quenched!  Heaven will be a Restricted Place (v. 8).  Right here in the middle of this positive, beautiful description of heaven, God gives us a list of some who won’t be there.  Why does God include this info?  Perhaps to show that the sin which has cursed and ultimately destroyed this world will NOT be allowed into the next!  

The fearful—never accepted Christ, afraid to take the stand.

The unbelieving—didn’t believe at all in Christ or the Bible.

The abominable—not just sinners…these have committed abominations. 

From God’s perspective, there’s no difference between big and little sins…but this is encouragement of what WON’T be there and we need to understand from a human perspective.  

What are some abominations?

Lev. 18:22 says homosexuality is.

Deut. 17:3 says astrology and horoscopes are abominations.

Deut. 18 says consulting a medium, fortuneteller, a wizard, or somehow communicates  w/ the dead, they have committed an abomination. 

Prov. 20 says cheating in business is an abomination. “false balance”

Prov. 12 says compulsive lying is an abomination.

Prov. 16 says a heart full of pride is an abomination.

And heaven is off limits to all of these things.  

Don’t miss this truth however: any of these people can get saved, and you don’t have to commit

an abomination to be lost, just one sin!


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Revelations 21

Pray or do: Heavenly Father, as I near the end of my journey through the Bible, help me to get a clear understanding  of the essential Jesus.



Wednesday September 2, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “Only the Beginning” 5th in the series “The Second Coming of  Jesus?” from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Rev. 20 - 21

TEXT: Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.  Also there was no more sea.  2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.  God Himself will be with them and be their God.  4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."  5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new."  And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."  6 And He said to me, "It is done!  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.  Revelation 21:1-6

Heaven is a place that will remain.  This is what John saw.  “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.  Also there was no more sea.  (Revelation 21:1).  Nothing you see on this physical earth is going to last…nothing will remain. Don’t get attached to the things of this earth because they will pass away. The only thing that remains is your soul and the treasures you have stored up in heaven.  Jesus tells us to lay up treasurers in heaven by giving and serving.  One of the greatest possible experiences we could have when we get to heaven is to have someone come up to us and tells us how our witness, testimony, prayers and mission giving helped to bring them to Christ.  Heaven is a prepared place.  This is what John saw, “the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (vs. 2).  Just as a bride takes weeks and even months to prepare for her wedding, the Lord is preparing a home for us.  He has been preparing for over two thousand years.  Remember this; all of creation only took 6 days.

R.G. Lee wrote, “Heaven is the most marvelous place the wisdom of God could conceive and that the power of God could prepare.”  We can only imagine its glory and beauty.  Paul put it this way, “But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”  1 Corinthians 2:9

What will be most wonderful about the new heaven, new earth and New Jerusalem is relationships.  If the streets were not gold but gravel, if the walls were particle board and not jasper, if mud was knee deep and weeds over our heads, it will still be heaven because Jesus is there!  The worst thing will be for those who are lost without God.  They will have no relationship with Him for all of eternity.  We who believe sing,

“What a day that will be

when my Jesus I shall see.

When I look upon His face

The One who saved me by His grace”

Oh! What a day that will be!

At the same time we will not be able to help but think, as we behold Him, of what it cost Him to provide a way for us to be there.  His nail scarred hands and feet will be a constant reminder.  Someone once said, “We’ll be elated, yes, but only because we’re RELATED!”  We will be there not because of our good deeds but because we are sons and daughters by faith.  We put our trust in God and He adopted us into the family of God.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Revelations 21

Pray or do: Heavenly Father, as I near the end of my journey through the Bible, help me to get a clear understanding of the essential Jesus.




Monday, August 31, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “Only the Beginning” 5th in the series “The Second Coming of  Jesus?” from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Revelations 20 - 21

TEXT: Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth  had passed away.  Also there was no more sea.  2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ";Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.  God Himself will be with them and be their God.  4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."  5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new."  And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."  6 And He said to me, "It is done!  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts."  Revelation 21:1-6 (NKJV)

Human history began in paradise…the Garden of Eden.  And it will all end in paradise…the New Jerusalem.  The verse that sums up the last two chapters of Revelation is verse 5.  God will “make all things new”.  What began in Genesis is brought to completion in Revelation.  Notice this comparision:

GENESIS - REVELATION

1:1 - heavens & earth created 21:1 - New heavens & earth

1:16 - Sun created 21:23 - No need for the sun

1:5 - Night established 22:5 - No night there

1:10 - The seas created 21:1 - No more seas [exiled on Patmos!]

3:14-17 - The curse announced 22:3 - No more curse [satan, serpent, soil]

3:19 - Death enters history 21:4 - No more death

3:24 - Man driven from paradise 22:14 - Man restored to paradise

3:17 - Sorrow & pain began 21:4 - No more tears or pain

Don’t you look forward to going to heaven?  “What a day that will be…”

So what do we learn about “heaven”?  Where will we spend eternity?  The reality is “right here on earth”.  The New Jerusalem will come down from God and land on earth and that is were we will spend eternity.  Notice these ten facts about this New Jerusalem.

1. Heaven is a Real Place. It is not a “state of mind” or “wishful thinking”.  It was Jesus Himself who said, “I go to prepare a PLACE for you…there you shall be also” John. 14

It’s literal, tangible, described in detail. John “saw” what God revealed to him, with his own eyes.  We who are raptured will have real though glorified bodies like Jesus did after his resurrection.  He could pass thru walls, but yet he could touch people, sit down and eat…praise God!  It will be a different existence, but as real as it gets!

(Part 2 tomorrow)


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Revelations 20

Pray or do: Heavenly Father, as I near the end of my journey through the Bible, help me to get a clear understanding of the essential Jesus.




Friday, August 28, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Day of the Lord-Don’t Be Alarmed”4th in the series “The Second Coming of Jesus?” from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

TEXT: Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.  3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.  5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?  6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.  7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.  8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.  9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.  2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

What about those who follow the Antichrist?  Who are they and what happens to them?   Paul tells us they are those who do not believe the truth.  They have been deceived by the Antichrist so God “sends them strong delusion”.  Their unbelief and rejection of God causes them to believe the lie of Satan.  They loved the pleasures of all kinds of sin which results in their perishing without God.  God is not willing that any should perish but that all would come to repentance but God will not force anyone to believe in or follow Him.  Whitney T. Kuniholm in his booklet The Essential Jesus: 100 Readings through the Bible's Greatest Story sums up this chapter.  “So what does all this mean for us today?  Simply this: We shouldn’t become "unsettled or alarmed” (v. 2) if world events seem out of control.  The Bible teaches that God will let things get worse before he steps in to fix it once and for all.  But remember; we’ve already peeked at the end of the story; Jesus is coming back, and that’s all we really need to know.” 


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

Pray or do: Lord, this world would be a really scary place if I wasn’t sure that you were coming back someday.  Please show me how I can serve you best until that day.





Thursday, August 27, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Day of the Lord-Don’t Be Alarmed”4th in the series “The  Second Coming of Jesus?” from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

TEXT: Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.  3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.  5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?  6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.  7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.  8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.  9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.  2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 (NKJV)

So who is this “Man of sin”?  He is “The Antichrist” (2:4-9) (continued).

The danger was so great Paul reminds them again who the antichrist is.  “Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? (2 Thessalonians 2:5).  It is so important that this be taught in the church so God’s people can be warned.  His revelation to the world will occur in the middle of the tribulation.  He will “be revealed in his own time” (vs. 6-7).  For now he is being restrained by the Holy Spirit.  “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains… will do so until He is taken out of the way.  (2 Thessalonians 2:7a)  But when the restraint is removed then he will appear.  “…And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.”  (2 Thessalonians 2:7b-8a)  When the antichrist is revealed he will carry out his work by the power and spirit of Satan himself.  “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,”  (2 Thessalonians 2:9).  Paul goes on to describe the Antichrists’ end. “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.” (2 Thessalonians 2:8)


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

Pray or do: “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth” (Psalm 57:11).




Wednesday, August 26, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Day of the Lord-Don’t Be Alarmed”4th in the series “The  Second Coming of Jesus?” from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

TEXT: Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering  together to Him, we ask you, 2  not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.  3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, 

and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above  all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, 

showing himself that he is God.  5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? n6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his  own time.  7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.  8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.  9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  11 And  for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 (NKJV) 

So who is this “Man of sin”?  He is The Antichrist (2:4-9).  There are many antichrists who have risen throughout history to carry on Satan's work with great severity.  John spoke of him in his first letter to the church.  He said, “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour (1 John 2:18).  However, Paul is not speaking of these men who stand against Christ and His followers.  By the terms 'that man of sin' (lawless one) and 'theson of perdition' Paul means the most infamous antichrist who is to appear in the end time.  He is to be Satan's instrument in the most severe way.  How?  By being filled with Satan's spirit (2:9).  Paul did not identify the antichrist and 1 John 2:18 speaks of many antichrists.  These two facts are a warning to us, a warning to guard against hastily identifying some world leader as the antichrist.  The antichrist is most assuredly a person.  The descriptions of this passage, as well as others, have to be terribly misconstrued to make them fit any force or system other than a person.  Our Lord's words in Mark 3:26, where He uses the masculine participle, identify him as a person.  (Mark 3:26)  What do we know about the AntiChrist character?  Let us look into the scripture to find out.  Verse 4 of our text tells us a lot. “Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:4.  He is in rebellion against God.  He is the “Man of sin” and “lawlessness”.  He is the embodiment of lawlessness or total rebellion against God. He is the “Son of perdition”.  He will be so evil that he will be just like the devil himself.

He is an adversary and oppose to God.  He will oppose Christ and everything Christ stands for: love, mercy, morality and justice.  He will lead men into a life of immorality, injustice, selfishness and indulgence.  He will mistreat those who profess

Christ.  He even goes so far as to claim to be God. As he claims to be God he will be sitting in the reconstructed temple of God in Jerusalem thus setting himself up to be worshipped.  “We have a perfect example in the worship of the emperor of the old Roman empire.  Images of the emperor were placed in temples all around the world and the citizens were expected to worship the state.  Remember what Rome had done.  It had brought peace to a war torn world.  Because of this many people were willing to worship the ideal of the state.  Think how some people worship science and technology today.  And just imagine what would happen if a person arose upon the world scene who could either mobilize or force the nations of the world...

 to live at peace with each other.

 to solve the hunger problem by coordinating the growth and distribution of food for everyone in the world.

 to solve the problems of the world such as homelessness, unemployment, poverty, lack of medical care, crime, and on an on.  Imagine how the vast majority of people would worship the person and state that could bring about this kind of Utopian state for the peoples of the world.  Natural man would gladly follow such a leader—his science and technology, his will and desire.” POSB Commentary

(more to follow in tomorrows devotional).


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.

Daily reading: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

Pray or do: “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth” (Psalm 57:11).




Tuesday, August 25, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Day of the Lord-Don’t Be Alarmed”4th in the series “The  Second Coming of Jesus?” from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

TEXT: Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or  by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.  3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.  5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.  7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.  8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.  9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.  2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 (NKJV)

There have been many books and Bible Studies written about the afterlife. Many of them are excellent books by Christian authors.  They go into great detail and give excellent understanding of eschatology (the study of the end times).  One such book was described at “the definitive book on the afterlife”.  While there are many good books about the afterlife, the Bible is the definitive one.  The devotionals this week concern the writings of the Apostle Paul to the church at Thessalonica and give us another puzzle piece for the picture of the second coming we’ve been forming from these messages.  The first thing we learn from Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians is that some people were sensationalizing the second coming, or simply spreading misinformation about it.  They were being persecuted and thought that Day had come.  As a result, many believers worried they had  been left behind.  Paul wanted to guard them from being shaken or troubled by the Day of the Lord. He says we are to look to the coming of the Lord not to the judgment of that Day.  We are  to be looking for the rapture (gathering together) of the believers to Christ.  “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,” 2 Thessalonians 2:1 (NKJV)  He says that they are to let nothing shake or trouble them about that day, “not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by  letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.” 2 Thessalonians 2:2.  The word "shaken" means to be tossed about, agitated, shocked; and "troubled" means a continued state of tension and nervousness.  Paul says “don’t let anyone deceive you” (v. 3), and he proceeds to remind them of the basics: When Jesus returns, his followers will be with him.  There will be two things that must happen before the “Day of the Lord” occurs and you will know when it happens.  There will be “A great falling away” Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, 2 Thessalonians 2:3a

(NKJV) and the revelation of the antichrist “and the man of sin is revealed, the son of  perdition:, 2 Thessalonians 2:3b (NKJV) 


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

Pray or do: “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth” (Psalm 57:11).




Friday, August 21, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “Waiting for…?”3rd in the series “The Second Coming of Jesus?”  from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” 2 Peter 3:1-18

TEXT: and consider that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation--as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.  17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory both now and forever.  Amen. 2 Peter 3:15-18

Things believers are to do (continued)

Believers must count the Lord's long-suffering as salvation.  God is working to save more and more people (v.15a).  Paul confirms the same point (v.15b).  Believers must beware lest they be led into error (v.17) which will cause them of fall from their own stability in the faith.  Finally believers must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord (v.18).  When we do these things then we bring glory to God in the present and in the future.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Hebrews 12:22-29

Pray or do: Lord, I ask for your help to live a holy and godly life while I wait to meet you face to face someday.




Wednesday, August 19, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “Waiting for…?”3rd in the series “The Second Coming of Jesus?”  from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” 2 Peter 3:1-18

TEXT: Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you  to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?  13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.  14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 2 Peter 3:11-14

Since the Lord is looking for preparation what is it a Christian must do to prepare for Jesus’ coming.  We should focus on living “holy and godly lives”. (vs. 11)  Holy means that our behavior is sanctified, that is, set apart unto God; separated from the world and given over to God; given over to live pure and righteous lives.  Godliness means that we live like God and seek to be a godly person; that we live and do all things in the reverence and awe of God; that we are so conscious of God's presence that we live like God would live if He were walking upon earth.  Then we’ll be drawing closer and closer to Jesus while we wait for that day when we meet him face to face.  “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12

Believers must look for and speed up the Day of God. (vs. 12)  The word “looking for” means to  wait; to wait patiently but expectantly; to eagerly anticipate and long for the day of God; to be in expectation (W.E. Vine. Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words).   Believers must look for the new heavens and new earth (vs. 13).  So that the world will be perfect and nothing but righteousness will exist therein.  God has ordained a perfect world, a world in which only righteous people will live.  God wants a world where there will be no more sin and evil, no more accidents, disease, suffering, murder, drunkenness, drugs, adultery, sexual perversion, war, or death.  Believers must be prepared for the coming of Christ (vs. 14).  This means that when the Lord returns He will find His followers in peace, living spotless lives before men and be found blameless before men. 

(To be continued)


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Hebrews 12:22-29

Pray or do: Heavenly Father, when it comes to the second coming, I sometimes feel like this: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).




Tuesday, August 18, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “Waiting for…?”3rd in the series “The Second Coming of Jesus?”  from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” 2 Peter 3:1-18

TEXT: But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a  thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.  10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.  2 Peter 3:8-10

Peter tells us we are not to be ignorant about why Christ has not returned yet.  The Lord does not  measure time the same as man.  Here is a philosophical response.  God is outside of time (v. 8);  he doesn’t sit around marking his calendar like we do.  The Lord is not slow in sending Christ back to earth, but longsuffering, cp. v.15 (v.9)  He doesn’t want anyone to perish (v.9a).  What He wants is for everyone to repent (v.9b).  As a  result, what seems like a long delay is actually a big opportunity for more people to come to know him.  When the Word of God says God is longsuffering it means that God is patient with us as He was with the Children of Israel in the Old Testament.  He bears and suffers a long time with us, perseveres and is constant in suffering with us and is steadfast and enduring in being patient with us. 

The Day of the Lord is coming (vs. 10).  This is how He will come.

1. As a thief—unexpected (v.10a)

2. The heavens will pass away with a great noise (v.10b)

3. The elements will melt with intense heat (v.10c)

4. The earth will burn up (v.10d)

5. All things shall be dissolved (v.10e)

While there is debate in the Christian community about whether this is a literal fire or a spiritual

fire (God is a “consuming fire” Duet 4:24; 9:3; Hebrews 12:29) we know that God is renewing

not destroying the earth.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Hebrews 12:22-29

Pray or do: Heavenly Father, when it comes to the second coming, I sometimes feel like this: “I do believe; help me  overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).




Monday, August 17, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “Waiting for…?”3rd in the series “The Second Coming of Jesus?”  from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” 2 Peter 3:1-18

TEXT: Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure  minds by way of reminder), 2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken

before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and  Savior, 3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying,"Where is the promise of His coming?  For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation."  5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.  7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.  

2 Peter 3:1-7

There was a college production of Waiting for Godot, the famous play by Samuel Beckett about two tramps, Vladimir and Estragon, who spend the entire play anticipating the arrival of a person named Godot.  They talk, they have conflict, they meet other characters, but in the end Godot never shows up.  Although Beckett refused to explain the play, his message was clear: life is meaningless if we spend it waiting for something that never happens.  Whitney T. Kuniholm The Essential Jesus: 100 Readings through the Bible's Greatest Story.

That’s exactly how some first-century Christians were beginning to feel about the second coming of Christ.  They were waiting, waiting, waiting, but nothing was happening.  And to make matters worse, skeptics were becoming more vocal with their taunts.  They were saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation."  (2 Peter 3:4) Today, it’s over two thousand years later, and Jesus still hasn’t returned.  Have Christians been suckered into some meaningless play with Vladimir and Estragon?  “Absolutely not!” is how the apostle Peter would answer, and he devotes the last section of 2 Peter to explaining why.  We need to understand that scoffers will come.  Peter says we must “stir up” (vs. 1) our pure minds by remembering.  He drives his point home in each of these verses (vs. 1, 2, 3 and 8).  There is a lot of fascination with end time events.  It seems that each year one of the tabloids will have a front page article about “Armageddon” or other end time prediction.  It will get sales because some people are totally fascinated by that.  What we need to remember is God is not after fascination but preparation.  A biblical response is found in vs 2.  We are to remember the words of the prophets and what Jesus and the Apostles preached.  So let us hear what the Apostle Peter says.  The first thing is: “that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts,” 2 Peter 3:3.  Scoffers will follow their own desires and lust.  They will scoff and ridicule the return of Christ (vs. 4) because if they accept the return of Christ then they will have to change their lifestyle, repent and turn to Christ or else live under the fear of eternal judgment.  Therefore they are willingly ignorant (vs. 5-7) of the coming of the Lord.  They refuse to believe that God by His Word created the world, destroyed it by water in the flood, preserves the world and will

ultimately bring judgment upon it.  The reality is, people have always doubted God’s Word.  So Peter reminds his readers that when God speaks, things happen, like at creation and at the great flood in the time of Noah.  And since God’s Word says the second coming will happen, we can be sure it will.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: 1 Peter 3

Pray or do: Heavenly Father, when it comes to the second coming, I sometimes feel like this: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).

Bonus Material:

The Greek really means the last hour, the midnight hour when the world is to end.  The end time does not mean annihilation; it does not mean that everything will cease to exist.  As William Barclay describes so well: "In biblical thought the last time is the end of one age and the beginning of another.  It is not only a time of ending; it is a time of new beginning.  It is not only a time of destruction; it is a time of recreation.  It is last in the sense that things as they are pass away; but leads not to world obliteration, but world recreation.  In other words, the last hour and the last days lead not to extinction, but to consummation"

(The Letters of John and Jude. "The Daily Study Bible." Philadelphia, PA: The Westminister Press, 1958, p.71).




Friday, August 13, 2020


The devotional today is from Sunday’s message “If I Should Die Before I Wake” of “The Second Coming of Jesus”  Series of “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Main Series (1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11). 

Text: 1 Thessalonians 4:13 - 5:1:11

The second practical teaching concerning the second coming of Jesus concerns how we are to live in the present while we wait for His return.

Paul writes, “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as  a thief.  5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day.  We are not of the night nor of darkness.  6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.  7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.  8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.” (1 Thessalonians 5:4-8) 

We are not to live the lifestyle of the world but rather the lifestyle that reflects Jesus Christ.  A lifestyle that pleases God.  While we do not focus on the exact time or date of His returning we are to live as if He will return today.  We are to be alert!  We are to be living by faith and with love for God and man.  Like a breastplate this will protect our heart.  We are to wear the “helmet of salvation”.  The salvation we have through faith in Christ will protect our minds from the onslaught of our enemy, the devil.  Paul gave this same advice to the Ephesian believers.  “But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”  (Ephesians 4:20-24)  “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness  in the heavenly places.  13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  14  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—(Ephesians 6:10-18)

Are you ready for the coming of the Lord? “It is high time to wake up, for now is your full and final salvation nearer than when ye believed” (Rom. 13:11)


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: See above scriptures!

Pray or do: Spend some time praying about the ways you could become more ready for the return of Jesus Christ.




Wednesday, August 12, 2020


The devotional today is from Sunday’s message “If I Should Die Before I Wake” of “The Second Coming of Jesus”  Series of “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Main Series (1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11). 

Text: 1 Thessalonians 4:13 - 5:1:11

In our text, Paul gives us two practical teachings which will enable us to keep a balanced understanding of the second coming of Jesus.  

Today’s devotional will focus on the first one.  

While the Lord told us He will return He did not tell us when He would return.  He only told us  the conditions that would be present when He did return.  Paul expressed it like this. " But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.  2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the

night.  3 For when they say, 'Peace and safety!' then sudden destruction comes upon them,  as labor pains upon a pregnant woman.  And they shall not escape."  (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3) 

This reflects what Jesus told the disciples just before His passion, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Matthew 24:36 (NKJV) and before His ascension. "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” (Acts 1:7)   Therefore we are not to waste time trying to know the exact time or date of Jesus return. You and I cannot be distracted by this debate which continually arises.  What we do know is that if we’re not prepared, Jesus’ return will take us by surprise.  It will be like a “thief in the night”.  For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so  comes as a thief in the night. 1 Thessalonians 5:2 (NKJV)

 

Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Matthew 24

Pray or do: Heavenly Father, “keep us in [your] grace, and guide us when perplexed; And free us from all ills, in this  world and the next” (Martin Rinkart).



Tuesday, August 11, 2020


The devotional today is from Sunday’s message “If I Should Die Before I Wake” of “The Second Coming of Jesus”  Series of “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Main Series (1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11). 

Text: 1 Thessalonians 4:13 - 5:1:11

Here is the basic teaching of the gospel on the subject of the rapture “catching away” of the saints and the second coming of Jesus.  “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 4:14 and “Then we  who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”  1 Thessalonians 4:17

In our text Paul gives us the description of what the return of Jesus will be like.   That the Lord will Come Again. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16 It is the coming of "the Lord Himself" (Mathew 24:1-51)  That those who sleep in Jesus will come with Him (v. 14). Only departed believers will arise; no unbeliever will be resurrected, not at this point. Only those who are "dead in Christ"—who died believing in Jesus Christ—will be resurrected when the Lord rents the skies.  That the dead in Christ shall rise first (v. 16).  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in this first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power.  The rest of the dead, who have died in their sins, shall not be raised till one thousand years after (Rev. 20:5, 6).  That all shall be caught up together (v. 17).  When Christ comes those Christians who are living  on the earth shall be "changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," and together with those who have been raised from the dead will be "caught up" to meet the Lord in the air.  That we shall be forever with Him (v. 17).  Then shall Christ's own prayer be answered, "With Me where I am" (John 17:24).  Surely we may comfort one another with these words (v. 18).  That this will be an awful day for the unbelieving.  When is Christ returning? When the earth has reached such a depraved condition that it is hopelessly lost forever and ripe for the judgments of "the day of the Lord." While they are saying "Peace and safety."  He shall come as a thief in the night, then "sudden destruction shall come upon them" (vv. 1-3). 


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: 1 Thessalonians 5

Pray or do: Heavenly Father, “keep us in [your] grace, and guide us when perplexed; And free us from all ills, in this  world and the next” (Martin Rinkart).




Monday August 10, 2020


The devotional today is from Sunday’s message “If I Should Die Before I Wake” of “The Second Coming of Jesus”  Series of “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Main Series (1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11). 

Text: But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.  14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.  15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.  16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.  And the dead in Christ will rise first.  17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And thus we shall always be with the Lord.  18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.   1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.  2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.  3 For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman.  And they shall not escape.  4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.  5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day.  We are not of the night nor of darkness.  6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.  8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.  9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.  11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

People throughout the ages have been intrigued by this question: what happens to me after I die?  Here are two examples of what men have come up with from their own imaginations.  One had written on his tombstone "I was not; I became; I am not; I care not" (an ancient tombstone).  Another wrote, "There is hope for those who are alive, but those who have died are without hope" (Theocritus).  They are both wrong.  There is only one who has died and rose again and that was Jesus.  He proves by His resurrection that there is life after death.  His ascension and His promise to return gives us hope.  “What happens to me after I die” is exactly the question the believers in the first-century city of Thessalonica were pondering, and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11 is the Apostle Paul’s answer to them.  The concern of the believers at Thessalonica involved dead believers.  Would their loved ones who had died share in the resurrection when Christ returned to earth?  Remember: the church at Thessalonica had just been founded; it was brand new.  It was also being bitterly persecuted and was under savage attack.  Some of the believers were dying; perhaps some were even being martyred and Christ had not yet returned.  They were eagerly looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ.  Would believers be resurrected when Christ returned?  The Thessalonian believers knew the gospel just as we know it: the gospel proclaims that Jesus Christ is returning to earth to receive believers unto Himself.  This week’s devotionals will focus on not only answering the question presented but also how we are to respond to His second coming.


Larry Hudson


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: 1 Thessalonians 4

Pray or do: Heavenly Father, “keep us in [your] grace, and guide us when perplexed; And free us from all ills, in this world and the next” (Martin Rinkart).




Saturday, August 8, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Greatest Sequel of All Time” 1st in the series “The Second  Coming of Jesus?” from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Acts 1:1-11

TEXT: The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.  4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."  6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"  7 And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.  8  But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."  9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."  Acts 1:1-11

Why did Jesus publicly ascend into heaven?  The implication of the phrase “while they looked steadfastly” is a slow, dramatic and spectacular ascension.  This was for the disciples benefit.

Christ needed to dramatize His final departure.  He was dramatizing His departure for additional confirmation of who He is.  He was showing that it will take place exactly as He said.  They are  not to be standing around “gazing up into heaven”.  They were to be about the Father’s business fulfilling Christ’ Great Commission.   The two men dressed in white (angels) said Jesus “will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” (v. 11).  He would return just as He left not in a different way (Rev. 1:7) 

This "same Jesus" is the One who will come back.

This “same Jesus” who will return is the One who ascended into heaven.   The Jesus in heaven is the same Jesus the disciples knew—

 the One who was their Lord and Savior

 the One who came to earth to be their close companion

 their Advocate

 their Mediator

 their Representative before God. 

Therefore when He returns, He will be coming back to receive all believers unto Himself.  He

will be coming back that we may all be where He is (John 14:2-3). POSB - Commentary

Just imagine what that would be like if it happened today!   If you knew Jesus was returning within the next thirty days, what difference would it make for your plans and priorities? 


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading:

Pray or do: Lord, I can hardly imagine what it will be like when you return.  All I know is that I’m so thankful that  you’ve made a way for me to be with you forever. 

Bonus Material: 

He is the ascended:

Lord.

Mediator between God and man.

Advocate of man before God.

 The Holy Spirit is God's Advocate on earth with men.

 Jesus Christ is man's Advocate with God.

Son of God, the One who came "out of" heaven to earth to save man.   High Priest of God who makes reconciliation for the sins of men (Hebrews 2:17-18) 

 who is touched with the feelings of our infirmities and delivers and succors us through all trials (Hebrews  2:15-16) 

Christ (Messiah) who makes intercession for us (Romans 8:34).






Friday, August 7, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Greatest Sequel of All Time” 1st in the series “The Second  Coming of Jesus?” from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Acts 1:1-11

TEXT: The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.  4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."  6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"  7 And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.  8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."   9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."  Acts 1:1-11

We have all heard the expression some people use, “If I see it I will believe it”.  For some, seeing is not always believing.  With all of the evidence Jesus has given them even the disciples cannot get over their assumption that Jesus is Israel’s national hero.  They said, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"  (Acts 1:6).  Over the years I have noticed that many people have assumptions about Jesus. Some have it right. Some have it wrong.  People get it wrong when they look to the entertainment industry. When people put their own ideas and

assumptions into print or video and mix it with a little bit of the Bible then you get some false ideas about the Kingdom of God, the Godhead, end time events, heaven, etc.

One of the best ways to get a true picture of the essential Jesus today is to prayerfully read what the Bible says about him.  Another way is to rely on the Holy Spirit.  Earlier Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit would help his disciples understand the truth of the gospel after his death, resurrection and ascension (John 16:13).  However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.  John 16:13.  Christ worked and taught 'through the Holy Spirit.'  While He was on earth in the flesh, Christ was totally dependent upon the Holy Spirit.  He had to surrender Himself and to make Himself available to the Spirit.  Just think! If Christ was so dependent upon the Spirit of God, how much more are we!  How much more do we need to make ourselves available to Him, available for His gifts and power!  Now Jesus says the Holy Spirit will give his followers power for sharing that truth with a needy world.  But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.  Acts 1:8

Therefore our task, our commission is to be effective witnesses by our words and actions. We are not to focus upon the setting of dates.  We are to be looking for the second coming of Jesus.  In the meantime we are to be focusing on sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with those whom we

come into contact with.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Matthew 28:19-20

Pray or do: Lord, I ask that you would send the Holy Spirit to “guide me into all truth” about your death, resurrection, ascension and second coming.




Thursday, August 6, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Greatest Sequel of All Time” 1st in the series “The Second  Coming of Jesus?” from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Acts 1:1-11

TEXT: The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and  teach, 2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.  4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father,"Which," He said, "you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly  baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."  6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"  7 And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.  8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."  9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, ""Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."  Acts 1:1-11

Luke, the writer of Acts, is setting up the greatest sequel of all time; he’s preparing us for the second coming of Jesus Christ.  He does that by describing the dramatic conclusion to Jesus’ life on earth.   Luke had finished his Gospel account with a reference to the ascension of Jesus (Luke 24:50-53), but here he gives a fuller description of that unforgettable event. “to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” Acts 1:3 

He makes a point of reviewing the growing body of evidence for Jesus’ resurrection.   Here are two proofs of the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ.  “Jesus showed (paristēmi), presented Himself alive.  There are ten resurrection appearances of Jesus recorded in the New Testament. 

1) He appeared to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9-11; John 20:11-18).

2) He appeared to the women running to tell the disciples about the empty tomb (Matthew 28:8-10)

3) He appeared to Peter, probably to assure him of his restoration (Luke 24:34; 1 Cor. 15:5).

4) He appeared to the two Emmaus disciples sometime in the early evening (Mark 16:12; Luke 24:13-42).

5) He appeared to the disciples with Thomas absent (Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25).

6) One week later, He appeared to the disciples who had gone fishing (John 20).

7) He appeared to 500 believers (1 Cor. 15:6).

8) He appeared to the apostles (Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-18).

9) He appeared to James, the Lord's half-brother (1 Cor. 15:7).

10) He appeared to the believers at His ascension (Mark 16:19-20; Luke 24:44-53; Acts 1:3-12).

It should be remembered that since Jesus' ascension He has appeared at least two other times.

1) He appeared to Stephen at his martyrdom (Acts 7:55-56).

2) He appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3f).

There were apparently many more appearances not recorded (cp. John 20:30-31; 21:25).

Secondly, Jesus gave many infallible proofs of His resurrection.  The word 'proofs' (tekmēriois) means positive proof; infallible proof; convincing proof; sure signs and ways.  The infallible, positive proofs and appearances went on for forty days.”  POSB - Commentary

There were many eyewitnesses.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Above scriptures!

Pray or do: Lord, I ask that you would send the Holy Spirit to “guide me into all truth” about your death,  resurrection, ascension and second coming.




Wednesday, August 5, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Greatest Sequel of All Time” 1st in the series “The Second  Coming of Jesus?” from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Acts 1:1-11

TEXT: The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and  teach, 2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.  4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "Which," He said, "you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."  6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"  7 And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.  8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."  9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."  Acts 1:1-11

The Bible tells us that as Jesus was ascending into heaven after his death and resurrection, two angels appeared and said to the disciples, “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."  (Acts 1:11)  Ever since, the second coming of Jesus has been eagerly anticipated by his followers in every age.  As early as the first century, however, questions began to emerge.  Some people thought that the second coming had already occurred and that they had been left behind.  Others thought that would never happen and they mocked Christians who were still waiting.  Still others used the confusion over the second coming to teach their own kooky views of the end of the world.  What’s ironic is that all those things are still happening today.  This last mini-series of the main series, “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is”, will help us to better understand who Jesus is but will give us a quick survey of what to expect about the second coming of Jesus.  This week we will delve into the scriptures concerning the ascension of Jesus to heaven.  The next four sermons will look at what the Apostle Paul and the Apostle Peter will have to say about the return of Christ and finally at what the Apostle John in the last two chapters of Revelation as to say about the eternal Kingdom of God on earth.  There have been many books and teachings produced over the years concerning the second coming of Jesus.  Years ago a conference was held that was dealing with the subject of the book of Revelation.  The first night a speaker began his presentation by saying, “With all of the symbols, visions and Old Testament references in the book of Revelation it is hard to understand and takes years of study to comprehend”.  The next night a speaker began his presentation by saying “When correctly studied the book of Revelation is easy to understand”.  It is easy to see why many are confused about the second coming of Jesus even today.  Whitney T. Kuniholm in his work “The Essential Jesus: 100 Readings through the Bible's

Greatest Story” writes, “The answer, I believe, is that people take the information in the Bible to one of two extremes.  Some make too much of the second coming; their whole worldview is built around the most obscure details of the end times. Others make too little of the second coming; for them, it might happen, it might not, but who cares?”  This short series of sermons and devotionals will attempt to present a balanced, biblical view of the second coming.  Because the one thing that is beyond question is that someday Jesus will come back in the same way that he went up into heaven.  As the old gospel song proclaims, “What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see, when I look upon His face”.  What a joyous day that will be!


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Acts 1

Pray or do: Lord, I ask that you would send the Holy Spirit to “guide me into all truth” about your death, resurrection, ascension and second coming.




Friday, July 31, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Challenge “To Know Who Jesus Is” 5th in the series “Who is  Jesus to You?” from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Luke 9:18-27

TEXT: "But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God."  Luke 9:27

The reward for a disciple is God’s Kingdom.  The believer enters the Kingdom of God  immediately upon believing.  Standing there in the crowd before Christ, some were to be eye-witnesses of the death and resurrection of Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit.  They were to taste and experience the Kingdom of God.  Since that day, many have been saved and have seen the Kingdom of God before experiencing physical death (cp. John 3:16; John 5:24; John 8:52; 

Hebrews 2:9, 14-15).

But Jesus didn’t come to earth to help people memorize a textbook answer about Himself.  He came so that everyone could have a personal relationship with him.  So he presses the point; perhaps this is what he had been praying about earlier (v. 18).  “Who do you say I am?” (v. 20);  that’s the essential Jesus challenge.  And it is Peter, the impulsive fisherman, who rises to the challenge: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16; see Luke 9:20).  The disciples still had a lot to learn about Jesus, and a lot to go through with him (Luke 9:21-27).  But they had crossed a threshold in their relationship with Jesus.  As we’ve discovered in our journey through the Bible, what you believe about Jesus is the most important issue you’ll ever face.  My prayer is that you’ll join Peter and countless millions throughout the ages, who have affirmed with all their hearts, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” because when you do, you will have crossed the threshold into eternal life.  What do you really believe about Jesus? 


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.

Daily reading: Luke 9

Pray or do: Spend a few minutes talking to Jesus, imagining that he has personally addressed his challenge to you:  “Who do you say that I am?”




Wednesday, July 29, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Challenge “To Know Who Jesus Is” 5th in the series “Who is Jesus to You?” from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Luke 9:18-27

TEXT: Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me."  Luke 9:23

Being a disciple of Christ is more than just “believing in Jesus” and Jesus made that clear in our  text today. Here He gives us the terms or conditions of being a disciple of His.  Jesus was to bear the cross for man as he had just discussed with His disciples (Luke 9:22).  Now He said there was another cross—a cross which man was to bear for Him.  If a man wished to follow Christ, he had to bear this cross.  There was no option. Discipleship demanded it.  So here are the terms of discipleship. 

A person must deny himself.  The believer is to deny himself by discipline and control and by loving and caring, sacrificing and giving, helping and ministering.  A person must take up his cross, and do it daily.  A person must follow Jesus.  However, man's tendency is to follow someone else and to give one's first allegiance to something else.  Within the world, there are many things available for a man to serve and to put first. 

There are...

 service organizations

 humanitarian needs

 religion (institutional)

 family

 recreation. Etc.

Paul clarifies what it means to follow Jesus, "This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall  not fulfil the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16). "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour"  (Ephes. 5:1-2)

Jesus then gives a warning.  He says, "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it." Luke 9:24

The POSB Commentary defines “life” this way. Note the word 'life' (psuchē).  In this context it means the natural, animal life; the earthly life that quickly passess away; the fading, aging, decaying, corruptible life of the earth.  The warning is twofold.  Do not save your life for yourself.  If a person saves his life, that is, works to please himself on this earth, he will lose his life eternally.

A man does not have life...

 to indulge himself: getting all he can of the comforts and pleasures and interests of life.

 to hoard life: keeping all the good things of life and seldom becoming involved in giving and

sacrificing to help those who do not have.  "And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection" (Luke 8:14).

Jesus gave us abundant life and eternal life that we might use that life for His sake.  This life was

given to us that we might know God and have fellowship with Him.  John wrote, “that which we

have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.  1 John 1:3

Jesus also gave us life that we might know men and fellowship with them.  “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.  1 John 1:7  This life we have been given is not to be wasted but rather used to help others lost in sin to come to a saving knowledge to him.  That is why He sends us.  So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you!  As the Father has sent Me, I also send you."  John 20:21


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Luke 9

Pray or do: Heavenly Father, I thank you for everything you’ve taught me during my journey through the Bible.  Please show me anything else you want me to know before it comes to an end.




Tuesday, July 28, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Challenge “To Know Who Jesus Is” 5th in the series “Who is  Jesus to You?” from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Luke 9:18-27

TEXT:  And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, "Who do the crowds say that I am?"  19 So they answered and said,  "John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again."  (Luke 9:18-19) 

The thought of the common people of Jesus day was that he was a great man.   The scene was that of Jesus being off to the side, away from the disciples and all alone.  He was seeking the face of God and agonizing in prayer.  Then all of a sudden He quit praying as the disciples came over to Him.  Immediately He asked them, "Whom say the people that I am?"  Why did Christ ask this question?  What was He doing?  The disciples concept of the Messiah needed to be corrected.  Their concept was the popular concept that saw the Messiah only as the greatest of men.  The problem is the popular concept of Jesus would only doom the world if it was not corrected.  Some thought Jesus was John the Baptist, that is, the forerunner of the Messiah (Malachi 4:5).  Both John and Jesus were doing a unique and great work for God.  Some thought Jesus was Elijah.  Elijah was considered to be the greatest of the prophets and the predicted forerunner of the coming Messiah.  Even today the Jews expect Elijah to return before the Messiah.  Some thought Jesus was one of the old prophets.  The same false confessions about Christ exist in every generation.  The Apostle John wrote, “and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God.  And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”  (1 John 4:3).  Peter would come to the conclusion that Jesus was the Messiah under the inspiration of God.  When Jesus said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"  Peter answered and said, "The Christ of God."  (Luke 9:20).  Peter was the spokesman for all, and he emphatically declared that Jesus was the Christ of God.  Jesus was the fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies

concerning the Messiah.  This question, “Who do you say that I am?” was meant to be very personal because the answer determines a person’s eternal destiny.  The scripture says, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10) The answer of faith is the answer that brings eternal salvation.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Luke 9

Pray or do: Heavenly Father, I thank you for everything you’ve taught me during my journey through the Bible.  Please show me anything else you want me to know before it comes to an end.




Monday, July 27, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Challenge “To Know Who Jesus Is” 5th in the series “Who is  Jesus to You?” from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Luke 9:18-27

TEXT:  And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, "Who do the crowds say that I am?"  19 So they answered and said, "John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again."  20 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"  Peter answered and said, "The Christ of God."  21 And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day."  Luke 9:18-22

On this occasion Jesus makes His first prediction concerning His coming death.  The question, “Who is Jesus to you?” is before us.  This question is the most important question a person must answer.  In our text we find Jesus praying alone. “And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, "Who do the crowds say that I am?" Luke 9:18.  Jesus sensed a deep need for prayer.  He prayed for personal strength.  He was 'setting His face toward Jerusalem,' which means that He was setting His face toward the cross where He was to die for the sins of men (Luke 9:51).  The disciples needed a very special quickening from God.  They, too, had to face the issue of the cross that the Messiah had to die for the sins of the world in order to save men.  The popular concept at that time said that the Messiah was to be the Son of David, the promised King who was to come and free Israel from her enemies and set up the Kingdom of God over all nations of the earth (Matthew 16:21-28).  Jesus was about to give them a very special revelation into His person.  It was time for them to grasp and confess without any hesitation that He was the Messiah, the very Son of God.  Three important lessons on prayer can be gleaned from what Christ was doing.  We must pray before momentous events.  Jesus said, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." (Matthew 7:7).  We must pray for others, that they might have special insight and the quickening power of the Spirit upon their lives.  Paul wrote to the Ephesian church and said, "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints"  (Ephes. 6:18).  We must pray for strength to withstand severe trials that we might be enabled to bear whatever cross lies ahead.  Jesus understood what we were going to face.  Therefore He said, "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."  (Matthew 26:41)


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Luke 9

Pray or do: Heavenly Father, I thank you for everything you’ve taught me during my journey through the Bible.  Please show me anything else you want me to know before it comes to an end.




Friday, July 24, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “No More Shame” 4th in the series “Who is Jesus to You?” from the  main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Acts 9:1-19

TEXT: Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went  to the high priest  2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.  Acts 9:1-2

Paul was arrested by Christ, convicted of his sin (Acts 26:13-14) and then acknowledged Christ  as "Lord" (Acts 26:15) and then bears his testimony to his obedience to the "Heavenly Vision" (Acts 26:19). 

That"vision" .......

1. Gave him a sight of himself. “although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor,  and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.”  1 Timothy 1:13 

2. Caused him to appreciate Calvary.  “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

3. Made him to see the Risen Christ. “Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. 1 Corinthians 15:8

4. Brought him forgiveness of sins.  Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins;” Acts 13:38

5. Fired him with a holy passion.  “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;” 2 Corinthians 5:14

6. Moved him to sacrifice himself.  “Even if I am to be poured as a libation upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.” Philippians 2:17  (RSV)

7. Opened his eyes to a different outlook.  "teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, Titus 2:12. 

“Paul was the kind of a preacher whom you would expect to see walk down the pulpit-stairs straight into his coffin, and then stand before his God ready for his last account.”  Spurgeon.  New Cyclopaedia of Prose Illustrations: First Series.

What is the next step you could take in your relationship with Jesus?


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: John 9:1-19

Pray or do: Ask Jesus for the courage to take next step in your relationship with him.




Wednesday, July 22, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “No More Shame” 4th in the series “Who is Jesus to You?” from the  main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Acts 9:1-19

TEXT: Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Acts 9:1-2

I accepted Christ as my Savior at a very young age.  My testimony would not be anything like the Apostle Paul’s testimony.  Mine was not dramatic.  There was no vision or conversation with  Jesus or even angels.  There is no need to apologize for that.  Most often conversion happens gradually and over time.  That is why the scripture says, "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?  6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.  7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.”  1 Corinthians 3:5-7

Even Saul’s conversion demonstrates this:

 he grew up in a religious environment,

 developed a passion for God,

 had a dramatic encounter with Jesus, but then

 received support from the Christian community in Damascus.

Notice Paul’s experience, “And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, 'Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit'"  18  Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.  19 So when he had received food, he was strengthened.  Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.  Acts 9:17-19  It took all these steps to transform the angry young man into God’s chosen instrument who could preach that Jesus is the Son of God.   But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.  Acts 9:15

Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.  Acts 9:20


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: John 9:1-19

Pray or do: Heavenly Father, I ask that you enable me to see one or two things I can do to draw closer to you.




Tuesday, July 21, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “No More Shame” 4th in the series “Who is Jesus to You?” from the  main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Acts 9:1-19

TEXT: Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.  Acts 9:1-2

Why does Jesus make some people so mad?  For some it has to do with their unwillingness to  give up a particular lifestyle.  Others feel they’ve been betrayed by a Christian loved one.  Still others can’t accept Jesus’ claim to be the only way to God.  “Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  John 14:6

But often, all of these reactions are a smoke screen for a deeper issue: External anger at Jesus can  be a clue that an internal spiritual struggle is going on.  That seems to be the case with Saul.  

There was no question about his passion for God.  Elsewhere in the Bible we learn that he  devoted his life to Judaism; he was a model Pharisee.  “But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, 'Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!'"  (Acts 23:6). 

“To our shame, I say that we were too weak for that!  But in whatever anyone is  bold--I speak foolishly--I am bold also.  22 Are they Hebrews?  So am I.  Are they Israelites?  So am I.  Are they the seed of Abraham?  So am I.”  (2 Corinthians 11:21-22).  But when Saul literally “saw the light,” it burned off all his anger.  He still had questions (Acts 9:5), but until he let go of the anger he couldn’t hear the answers.  That’s true for us as well. 


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: John 9:1-19

Pray or do: Heavenly Father, I ask that you enable me to see one or two things I can do to draw closer to you.


Bonus Material:

This is Paul’s description of himself.

Six-fold Former State of Paul:

1.  Blasphemer of Christ (1 Tim. 1:13) although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent  man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 

2.  Persecutor of Christians (Acts 8:1-3)  Now Saul was consenting to his death.  At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.  2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.  3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off

men and women, committing them to prison.

3.  Injurious-killed saints (Acts 9:1)  Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest.

4.  Ignorant of the gospel (1 Tim. 1:13) although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

5.  An unbeliever in Christianity (1 Tim. 1:13)

6.  Chief of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15)  This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.  Dake Topical Index.


Monday, July 20, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “No More Shame” 4th in the series “Who is Jesus to You?” from the  main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Acts 9:1-19

TEXT: Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest  2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.  Acts 9:1-2

We learn from our text that Saul was a young man and had some anger issues.  Acts 7 v 58  reveals Saul contributing to the persecution and execution of Christians. “and they cast him

(Stephen – a deacon in the early church) out of the city and stoned him.  And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.”  Jesus and Paul were boys at the same time in different villages, and Paul's antipathy to Christ was increasing.  He hated everything about Christ. He was going down then with writs  (subpoenas) in his pockets to have Christ's disciples arrested.  He was not going as a sheriff goes—to arrest a man against whom he has no spite—but Paul was going down to arrest those people because he was glad to arrest them.  The Bible says: "He breathed out slaughter."  He wanted them captured, and he also wanted them butchered.”  Bible Characters

Saul demonstrated his hatred for Christians in that he tracked them down and threw them in  prison  (Acts 9:1-2). 

Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went  to the high priest Acts 9:1 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Acts 9:2

So much for religious tolerance!


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: John 9:1-19

Pray or do: Heavenly Father, I ask that you enable me to see one or two things I can do to draw closer to you.






Friday, July 17, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “No More Shame” 3rd in the series “Who is Jesus to You?” from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” John 4:1-42

TEXT: Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a   from me, a Samaritan woman?"  For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.  10 Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water."  11 The woman said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep.  Where then do You get that living water?  12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?"  13 Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.  But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."  15 The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw."  16 Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here."  17 The woman answered and said, "I have no husband."  Jesus said to her, "You have well said, 'I have no husband,' 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly."  (John 4:9-18) 

Jesus let the Samaritan woman know that soon all people would be able to have a relationship  with God.  It wouldn’t be just the Jews and Samaritans but everyone would be able to worship God in spirit and in truth.  He said, “You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.  23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.  24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:22-24) 

That hour would only be possible because God’s promised Messiah had arrived.  When the  woman said, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ) "When He comes, He will tell us all things." Then this opened for Jesus to say to her, "I who speak to you am He."  (John 4:25-26) 

By the end of the encounter, the woman accepted Jesus not just as a man (John 4:9) or as a prophet (John 4:19) but as “the Savior of the world” (John 4:42).  And that’s what turned her burden of sin and shame into a source of joy.  She could invite her friends to meet the man “who told me everything I ever did” (vv. 29, 39) because he had forgiven her. "Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did.  Could this be the Christ?" (John 4:29) And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, "He told me all that I ever did."  John 4:39  And that joy is available to everyone who believes in Jesus today.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: John 4:1-42

Pray or do: Lord, you know everything I’ve ever done. I ask that you would forgive me and then fill me with your living water.




Wednesday, July 15, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “No More Shame” 3rd in the series “Who is Jesus to You?” from the  main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” John 4:1-42

TEXT: Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a  drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.  10 Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water"  11 The woman said to Him, "You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep.  Where then do You get that living water?  12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?"  13 Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.  But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."  15 The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw."  16  Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here."  17 The woman answered and said, "I have no husband."  Jesus said to her, "You have well said, 'I have no husband,' 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly." (John 4:9-18) 

This encounter with Jesus would dramatically change her life forever.   First he revealed that he was the source of “living water” (vv. 10, 13-14); she probably thought he meant “running water” from a moving stream.  Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have

asked Him, and He would have given you living water." (John 4:10) A little later in the  conversation Jesus said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.  But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." John 4:13-14

This living water is alive.  To the Jew, living water was water that was always flowing and  moving along, such as a creek fed by springs or a lake with both an inflow and an outflow. Dead water was stagnant water such as ponds or pools that were always sitting still with no inflow or outflow.  

However, when Jesus spoke of 'living water,' He meant much more than living streams and  lakes. He was saying that this “living water” is of God.  It is of Him who is living, always has and always will be living.  The water that God gives is the most alive water there is.  No other water, no matter how alive it may be considered, can compare with the living water that is of God.  The Psalmist David wrote, For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. (Psalm 36:9) 

Not only is it “of God” it is a “gift” from Him. The word means it is freely given, is not earned and is not deserved.  Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money,  Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (Isaiah 55:1) Paul confirms this in his letter to the Ephesians. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9  not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

This water comes to an individual by the individual asking for it. Jesus said: "If thou knewest...thou wouldest have asked."  The woman had never received living water because she had never known about it and had never asked for it.  It was now available simply by asking for it.  So in fact, he meant the Holy Spirit; that’s what Jesus offers to all who follow him. 


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: John 4:1-42

Pray or do: “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are  radiant; their faces are never covered with shame” (Psalm 34:4-5). Let this be your prayer this week.




Tuesday, July 14, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “No More Shame” 3rd in the series “Who is Jesus to You?” from the  main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” John 4:1-42

TEXT: Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a  drink from me, a Samaritan woman?"  For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.  10 Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water."  11 The woman said to Him, "You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep.  Where then do You get that living water?  12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?"  13 Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.  But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."  15 The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw."  16 Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here."  17 The woman answered and said, "I have no husband."  Jesus said to her, "You have well said, 'I have no husband,' 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly."  (John 4:9-18) 

This woman was carrying a far greater weight than a bucket of water.  She was being burdened  down with the weight of her sins and shame.  How do we know?  First, she was a Samaritan, a group of people who were ostracized by the Jews.  Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?"  For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.  John 4:9

Next, she was a woman; many at that time, including even Jesus’ disciples, would have considered her a second-class citizen.  And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled  that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, "What do You seek?" or, "Why are You talking with her?" John 4:27  Finally, she had lived a sinful life that produced a series of broken relationships.  The woman answered and said, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You have well said, 'I have no husband, 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your  husband; in that you spoke truly."  John 4:17-18

No wonder she went by herself in the heat of the day – she didn’t want to deal with the smirks, accusing looks and snide remarks.   Many today deal with the guilt and shame that comes from their sins and failures.  Some can’t forgive themselves for a terrible sin in their past; others have been deeply wounded by someone else’s sin.  Either way, sin and shame can leave us feeling broken, unworthy and alone.  But sometimes our lowest moment is when we are closest to God.  “The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.”  (Psalm 34:18)  That’s what

happened to this woman.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: John 4:1-42

Pray or do: “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to him are  radiant; their faces are never covered with shame” (Psalm 34:4-5). 

Let this be your prayer this week.




Monday, July 13, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “No More Shame” 3rd in the series “Who is Jesus to You?” from the  main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” John 4:1-42

TEXT: Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), 3 He left Judea and departed again to Galilee.  4 But He needed to go through Samaria.  5 So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.  6 Now Jacob's well was there.  Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well.  It was about the sixth hour.  7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water.  Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink."  8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. (John 4:1-8) 

About 750 years before the birth of Christ the Assyrians had conquered the ten northern tribes of  Israel.  The custom of the Assyrians at that time was to deport the nobles and wealthy to Assyria leaving only the poor and then in order to complete the assimilation they sent their own people to  the conquered land to settle.  This land that was settled was the central part of Palestine known as Samaria.  Judaea would be the southern section below Samaria and Galilee would be north of Samaria.  Over the 750 years, by assimilation, the Samaritans would become a mixed breed.  They would be a mixed breed by the birthing process and they would be a mixed religion because the transplanted heathen would have brought their own gods with them.  Eventually the God of Israel won out, but the Samaritan religion never became pure Judaism.  When the Jews of the two southern tribes (Benjamin and Judah) known as Judah returned from their captivity there arose a bitter hatred between the Jews and Samaritans.  The Jews saw the Samaritans as corrupted by the pagan influences and would not let the Samaritans help in the rebuilding of the temple.  The Samaritans therefore built a rival temple on Mount Gerizim.  They twisted the scriptures and history to favor their own people and nation.  By the time of Jesus this hatred and contempt on both sides was firmly engrained in the mindset of both peoples.  This gives us the background for the meeting between Jesus and the woman Jacob’s well in Samaria. 


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: John 4:1-42

Pray or do: “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are  radiant; their faces are never covered with shame” (Psalm 34:4-5). Let this be your prayer this week.




Friday, July 10, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Bottom Line” 2nd in the series “Who is Jesus to You?” from  the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” John 3:1-21

TEXT: “Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born  again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."  John 3:3  

Do not marvel that I said to you, "You must be born again." John 3:7

When a person finally accepts that truth, they begin a whole new life.  The things that Jesus said to Nicodemus were hard for him to swallow all at once.  There is no evidence that Nicodemus accepted what Jesus said at this first meeting.  What did happen is Jesus planted a seed that night  which would find fruition later.  We do know that Nicodemus later, when the Pharisees wanted Jesus brought before them, would defend Jesus.  He said, "Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?" (John 7:50-51)Nicodemus at the burial of Jesus would identify himself as a follower of Christ.  “After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked  Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission.  So he came and took the body of Jesus.  39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds.  40 Then theytook the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.  41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid.  42 So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.  (John 19:38-42)

Some people put their trust in Jesus the first time they hear the gospel message.  For others, believing in Jesus is a process with many steps.  But no matter how it happens or how long it takes, the bottom line is this: you must be born again.  "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."  (John 5:24).

Where are you in the process of believing in Jesus? 


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: See above scriptures.

Pray or do: Spend a few minutes talking to Jesus, imagining that he has personally addressed this challenge to you: “You must be born again.”




Thursday, July 9, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Bottom Line” 2nd in the series “Who is Jesus to You?” from  the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” John 3:1-21

TEXT: “Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born  again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3

Do not marvel that I said to you, "You must be born again." John 3:7

“You must be born again.” Jesus interrupts Nicodemus with these words.  Here is the great revelation and it is accompanied with the words of God’s great love to mankind (John 3:16-17).   It reminds us that just going to church or even knowing a lot about the Christian faith does no good unless we’ve been truly born again.   But what exactly does it mean to be born again?  Many claim to be.  Those who are “born again” are mocked and accused of trying to push their beliefs down people’s throats.  Politicians look upon them as a voting block to be manipulated.  But Jesus defined them as people who believe that he is the Son of God, the one who died on the cross to save humankind from sin.  (John  3:14-18)  What we do know is this: The new birth is a necessity, an imperative.  Jesus said, “You must”.  The new birth is a spiritual birth.  It was being born of water, even of the Spirit. "Except a man be born of water, even the Spirit, He cannot enter into the kingdom of God."  Romans 8:11; Ephes. 2:1)

The new birth is a true experience, a definite experience. "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God"  (Romans 8:16).  The new birth can be rejected.  "Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness.  12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?"  John 3:11-12

The new birth is revealed only by Jesus. “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven". John 3:13

Jesus paid the price for our sins and all that a sinner has to do is believe in Jesus and begin to follow Him.  “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  John 3: 14-15


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: See above scriptures.

Pray or do: Lord, in addition to knowing about you, please show me how I can have a relationship with you as I read your Word today.



Wednesday, July 8, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Bottom Line” 2nd in the series “Who is Jesus to You?” from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” John 3:1-21

TEXT: John 3:1-21   

Nicodemus acknowledged Jesus only as a teacher from God.  He and others saw the miracles Jesus did, and they knew something: only a man from God could do such miracles.  In essence, Nicodemus was asking, "Who are you?"  The miracles show that God is with you, but you are claiming to be the Messiah, the Son of God.  Are you—truthfully—in all honesty?"

Jesus did not answer Nicodemus directly.  He saw into the empty, searching heart of Nicodemus and saw the honesty of his question.  So Jesus went right to the heart of the matter.  Miracles and signs were not what were important.  What was important was for Nicodemus to be changed: changed spiritually, changed within, and changed completely—to undergo such a spiritual change that it could only be described as being born again.  So many who are searching for God want to know about Him and they want to understand what He is saying through His Word.  They think that in the answers they will get what they need.  But God knows that what we need is to have faith in Him and to have a relationship with Him.  The

only way that will happen is through His Son, Jesus Christ.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Today’s text.

Pray or do: Lord, in addition to knowing about you, please show me how I can have a relationship with you as I read your Word today.


Tuesday, July 7, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message "The Bottom Line" 2nd in the series "Who is Jesus to You?" from the main series "The Quest to Know Who Jesus is" John 3:1-21

TEXT: There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.  2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him."  3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."  4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old?  Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"  5    Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'  8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."  9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, "How can these things be?"  10 Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?  11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness.  12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?  13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.  14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.  21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."  John 3:1-21

Whitney T. Kuniholm in his work, The Essential Jesus: 100 Readings through the Bible's Greatest Story, tells of the time he worked in a nonprofit organization.  He said, “I’ve worked in nonprofit organizations all my life, and that’s given me many opportunities to try my hand at fundraising.  I once telephoned a man I had never met; I was hoping to begin a relationship that would someday lead to a contribution.  I had my phone script all prepared, but before I got even a few seconds into it the man cut me off, “What’s the bottom line; how much do you want?"

In our text today Nicodemus approaches Jesus with a question. Here is the story.  

"There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.  2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him."  John 3:1-2 (NKJV)

What we learn about Nicodemus from our text is this.  He was a ruler (archon) of the Jews.  This means he was a senator or a member of the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of the Jews.  He was a Pharisee.  He was the master of Israel (John 3:10, ho didaskalos); that is, he held some official position of the highest rank.  He was either the leading official or the leading teacher of Israel who was either authorized or accepted as such by the public.  He apparently was wealthy.  He spent a great deal of money on the burial of Jesus (John 19:39).  He was silent at the trial of Jesus, saying nothing to defend Jesus, but he boldly stepped forth after the Lord's death and publicly helped in the burial of Jesus (John 19:39-42).

When Nicodemus said,  “We know” then it is understood that he came in behalf of other religious leaders.  They like he were wondering about Jesus.  Is Jesus a prophet?  Is He simply a great teacher?  Or could it be He is the promised Messiah we have been expecting?  According to these scriptures (cp. Luke 13:31; Acts 6:7; Acts 15:5; Acts 18:8, Acts 17) some would eventually become believers and followers of Jesus.  We also know from the text that Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night.  It may have been due to the fact that there were other leaders who opposed Jesus and they would have disapproved of any Pharisee conversing with Jesus. (Continued tomorrow)


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.

Daily reading: Today’s text.

Pray or do: Lord, in addition to knowing about you, please show me how I can have a relationship with you as I read your Word today.



Friday, July 3, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Rich Do-Gooder” 1st in the series “Who is Jesus to You” from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: Matthew 19:16-30

There were two things that were preventing this young man from gaining eternal life: His attachment to wealth and his belief that an individual earned his salvation through good deeds.  This brings us to the fourth step to enter God's kingdom is to give all you are and have to Christ.  Jesus could see his heart.  He also sees our hearts.  This young man had made a god out of his wealth.  He was unwilling to let it go.  The scripture tells us, “But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions".  (Matthew 19:22).  “The young man rejected Christ for three reasons.  Unbelief: he was not willing to entrust his life to Christ.  There was some lack of belief that Jesus Christ was really God's very own Son standing before him.  Self-righteousness and pride: his concept of religion was keeping laws and doing good in order to secure God's acceptance. He felt that he had the power and goodness to make God approve and accept him.

Love of the world: he was rich and was unwilling to give up the comfort and possessions he had obtained.  He made the fatal mistake that so many make with wealth, power, and fame.  He loved the things of the world more than he loved people. He loved the things of the world more than he loved the hope of eternal life.  He loved the position and recognition and esteem and power of the earth more than he loved Christ.” POSB Commentary

In the end, Jesus made it clear that there is only one way to get to heaven: “Follow me” (vv. 21,

28).  That means believing in Jesus and living like him, and he had been saying that all along.  Are there things that prevent you from completely following Jesus?  If so, what are they, and what would it take for you to remove them?


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Today’s text.

Pray or do: Spend a few minutes talking to Jesus, imagining that he has personally addressed this challenge to you:  “Follow me.”




Wednesday, July 1, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Rich Do-Gooder” 1st in the series “Who is Jesus to You”  from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: Now behold, one came and said to Him, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do  that I may have eternal life?"  17 So He said to him, "Why do you call Me good?  No one is good but One, that is, God.  But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."  18 He said to Him, "Which ones?"  Jesus said, "You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and your mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself."  20 The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept from my youth.  What do I still lack?  21 Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."  22 But when the young man heard that

saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.  23 Then Jesus said to His  disciples, "Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.  24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."  25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?"  26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them,  "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."  27 Then Peter answered and said to Him, "See, we have left all and followed You.  Therefore what shall we have?"  28 So Jesus said to them, "Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.  30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first. Matthew 19:16-30

This rich young ruler thought he had it all figured out.  Eternal life will be mine if I do good things. He asked the question of Jesus, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?" Matthew 19:16

If the first step to enter the Kingdom of God is to seek eternal life then the second step to enter God's kingdom is to know that God alone is good.  The rich young ruler failed at one critical point: he lived a self-righteous life.  He did not know that the only good person was God and  God alone.  This is what Christ was saying to him. The rich young ruler had a wrong concept about the nature of man and saw Christ only as a man.  To him man could be good.  He called Jesus "Good Master."  By Master he meant "Good teacher, good Rabbi," acknowledging that Jesus was an honorable person to be highly regarded.  But he saw Jesus only as a highly regarded teacher.  He did not consider Jesus to be the Son of God.  He perceived Jesus to be only a mere man, not God.  He thought Jesus was a man who had achieved unusual moral goodness and by such had become a "Good Master," one capable of teaching the truths of God and life.  He asked, "What good thing shall I do?"  He had a religion of works not of faith.  He thought he could secure eternal life by being good. If he could just keep some great rule and live a clean life, then God would accept him.  He believed that his acts of morality and good works piled up a balance sheet and made him acceptable to God.  Christ had to correct these two errors.  He attempted to do so by asking a pointed question, "Why callest thou me good?  There is none good, but one, that is, God."  He was saying to the young man, "God alone is good.  No man is good, not in comparison to God, not even good enough to stand before God in righteousness.  If I am but a mere man, a good teacher, then I am not good and do not have the words to eternal life.  But if I am God, then you can address me as good and I do have the words to eternal life."  POSB Commentary

The third step was to keep the commandments.  The commandments Jesus listed were about our relationship with other people.  The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?" (Matthew 19:20) That’s what many people believe today.  They imagine a giant cosmic scale, and if your good deeds outweigh your bad, bingo, you’re in!  But Jesus pulls the rug out from under that perspective.  First, he challenges what it means to be good.  So He said to him, ";Why do you call Me good?  No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments." (Matthew 19:17)  He then carries the philosophy to its logical extension: just being good isn’t good enough; to earn your salvation you must be perfect.  The man made the phenomenal claim that he had kept all five of the commandments that Christ quoted.  Of course, as is true with all men, he had not kept them—

 not perfectly, not in God's eyes,

 not in the spirit in which God intended them to be kept.

 He was not generous enough with others,

 not giving and helping like he should.

Christ was ready to show him this.  Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."  Matthew 19:21  Excuse me?  Even the disciples were baffled; if a good, rich man can’t get in, who can? When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" (Matthew 19:25)


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Today’s text.

Pray or do: Lord, I ask that you clear my mind and heart of every distraction so that I can have a fresh encounter with you today.




Tuesday, June 30, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Rich Do-Gooder” 1st in the series “Who is Jesus to You” from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: Now behold, one came and said to Him, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do  that I may have eternal life?"  17 So He said to him, "Why do you call Me good?  No one is good but One, that is, God.  But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."  18 He said to Him, "Which ones?"  Jesus said, "You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery,You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 & Honor your father and your mother, and, & You shall love your neighbor as yourself."  20 The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept from my youth.  What do I still lack?"  21 Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."  22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.  23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.  24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."  25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?"  26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."  27 Then Peter answered and said to Him, "See, we have left all and followed You.  Therefore what shall  we have?"  28 So Jesus said to them, "Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.  30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first." Matthew 19:16-30

The Lord's approach to this young man has often seemed perplexing.  There are three reasons for the perplexity.

1. The young man called Christ "Good Master," but Christ denied that He was good.  How  can Christ, who claims to be God, deny that He is good? 

2. The young man asked how he might receive eternal life.  Christ said nothing about  believing, but told the young man to keep certain laws. 

3. The third perplexity is shocking.  Christ told the young man that he had to sell all that he  had and give it to the poor in order to receive eternal life. The question immediately arises, does Christ really demand that a person give all he is and has in order to be saved?  These three facts are puzzling.  However, when we study the passage and understand what was happening, the puzzle fades. Christ led the young man through the steps that are needed to receive eternal life. 

Step 1: seek eternal life (v.16). 

Step 2: know that God alone is good (v.17).

Step 3: keep the commandments (v.18-20).

Step 4: give all you are and have to Christ (v.21-22).” POSB Commentary

Notice that the rich man’s ice-breaker was about eternal life.  Now behold, one came and said to Him, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?"  Matthew 19:16  In spite of all his wealth in this world, he was worried about what would happen to him in the next.  That’s still the “big issue.”  The rich young ruler was seeking eternal life.   Regardless of who you are, who you know or how much you’ve accomplished in life, at some point everyone must come to grips with this question: how do I get to heaven? 


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Today’s text.

Pray or do: Lord, I ask that you clear my mind and heart of every distraction so that I can have a fresh encounter  with you today. 

Bonus Material: 

Over the years, I’ve heard some people, usually those with lots of money, express frustration with the story in  Matthew 19:16-30:  “Well, I guess we’re all supposed to give away everything and live like St. Francis, is that it?”  I’ve also heard other people, usually those who wish they had more money, express satisfaction with this passage, 

“Well, I guess rich people don’t really understand the gospel, do they?”   But a careful reading of what Jesus said reveals that he was talking not only about money and possessions but also about something far more serious.  Jesus is talking about the cost of following Him.




Monday, June 29, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Rich Do-Gooder” 1st in the series “Who is Jesus to You”  from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: Now behold, one came and said to Him, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?"  17 So He said to him, "Why do you call Me good?  No one is good but One, that is, God.  But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."  18 He said to Him, "Which ones?"  Jesus said, "You shall not murder, & You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and your mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself."  20 The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?"  21 Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."  22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.  23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.  24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."  25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?"  26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."  27 Then Peter answered and said to Him, "See, we have left all and followed You.  Therefore what shall we have?"  28 So Jesus said to them, "Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.  30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first. Matthew 19:16-30

Have you ever met someone and made an assumption about them and then found out later that your assumption was wrong?  They may have made a great first impression but then you found out they were not as good as you thought they were.  Or maybe you were not impressed with your first meeting and after a period of time you found they were much better than what you thought.  In this mini-series we are going to look at the experiences of five people who had encounters with Jesus and the consequences of their decisions.  The rich young man walked away from Jesus because he loved his money.  Nicodemus didn’t believe Jesus at first, but over time, he became a follower.  Once the woman at the well got over her shame, she accepted Jesus as her Savior.  Saul had a dramatic encounter with Jesus that changed his life, and the world, forever.  And Peter gave a stunning affirmation of Jesus even though he didn’t yet understand all that it would cost him.  But the thread that holds them all together is that each person had to make a personal decision about Jesus.  The decision you and I make about Jesus are our responsibility.

Whether you heard the sermons or read the devotionals of The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is you must come to your own conclusion about Jesus.  If you haven’t yet made your decision to become a follower of Jesus I hope you will do so by the conclusion of this series.  Don’t let this sermon series be the end of your times in the Bible.  Let it become the beginning of a lifetime of meeting God every day in the Bible and prayer.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.

Daily reading: Today’s text.

Pray or do: Lord, I ask that you clear my mind and heart of every distraction so that I can have a fresh encounter with you today.

Bonus Material:

Whitney T. Kuniholm in this book The Essential Jesus: 100 Readings through the Bible's Greatest Story tells a story from his youth.  When I was growing up, we had a tradition in our home that I didn’t like very much.  Each year on Good Friday, from noon until 3 p.m., my mother would make me and my siblings go to our rooms and write out the answer to this question: Who is Jesus to you? 

I knew the reason she made us do this is because those were the hours that Jesus hung on the cross: “It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour” (Luke 23:44).

But I didn’t like it because at that time of the year it was just starting to get warm, and I always wanted to be outside playing baseball.  It seemed that on every Good Friday the weather was perfect for baseball.  But usually, in spite of my grumpy attitude at first, when I finally sat down to write my answer, it became one of the most meaningful things I did all year.  I’m a grown man now, with children and grandchildren of my own, but I still get by myself on Good Friday from noon until 3 p.m. and write in my journal about Jesus.  I love to remind myself of how much he has done for me.




Saturday, June 27, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Message-Part 4–Neither Hot nor Gold” 5th in a series on the  Early Church of Jesus–from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

Text: "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, These things says the  Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:  15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot.  I could wish you were cold or hot.  16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.  17  Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked-18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.  19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.  Therefore be zealous and repent.  20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock . If anyone hears My voice and

opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.  21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.  22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." Revelation 3:14-22.  As Jesus was waiting to come into the life of the church in Laodicea He is waiting to come into your life as well.  Here is His promise.  “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.  22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." Revelation 3:21-22 (NKJV)

The overcomer shall sit upon the throne of Christ and of God.  The person who overcomes the lukewarmness and half-hearted commitment to Christ, who repents and turns his life over to Christ, shall sit upon the throne of Christ and of God.  What does this mean?  That we shall rule and reign with Christ forever and ever.  That we shall be assigned certain duties in the new heavens and earth, given the responsibility to oversee and manage the universe for Christ (Matthew 25:21, 23; Luke 19:17, 19).  That we shall rule and oversee the work and duties of angels (1 Cor. 6:2-3).  It means that we shall rule as kings with Christ throughout the whole universe and for all of eternity (Rev. 14:13; 21:24-27.)


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Revelations 3:14-22

Pray or do: Pray about one way you could show your love for God this week, no matter what people think about you.




Friday, June 26, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Message-Part 4–Neither Hot nor Gold” 5th in a series on the  Early Church of Jesus–from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, These things says the  Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:  15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot.  I could wish you were cold or hot.  16  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.  17  Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked--18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.  19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.  Therefore be zealous and repent.  20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and

opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.  21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with

My Father on His throne. 22  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to he churches." Revelation 3:14-22

Jesus now turns to His warning to the Laodicians. “So then, because you are lukewarm, and  neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.  17 Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing';--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—(Revelation 3:16-17)  Even with this church Jesus gives wise counsel and the ability to be restored. He says, “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.  19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.  Therefore be zealous and repent.  20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” 

(Revelation 3:18-20)

Christ advises the church to do three things.  First they are to buy spiritual gold, spiritual  clothing, and spiritual eye salve.  They needed the true wealth of the fruit of the Spirit.  "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law". (Galatians 5:22-23).  Secondly they needed to buy white clothing which represents the righteousness of Jesus Christ.  His righteous life and the offering of His righteousness is the only thing that makes us acceptable before God in that it covers our sins.  "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him". (2 Cor. 5:21).  Finally they needed to buy eye salve to open their blinded eyes. They could not see their distancing themselves from Christ, the sins of those around them nor Christ Himself.  They could not see the power of Christ and the difference He could make in their lives.  They could not see spiritual truth.  He was light but their vision had been dimmed.  "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, 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).

Christ counsels them to repent and then to be zealous for Him.  The Lord's rebuke and chastening hand is for one purpose only: Christ loves them and wants them to see their wrong, correct their behavior, and change their lives.  Sometimes we may think that when bad things happen, God is out to get us. That may be so, but he’s out to get us to repent.  Finally Christ counsels them to open the door of their heart and to let Him in.  The famous painting of Jesus standing at the door is pictured here.  The standing Christ shows He is ready to enter the life of a person.  "The lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit" (Psalm 34:18; Psalm 145:18). The knocking Christ shows He is the seeking Christ. “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."  (Luke 19:10).  He is the pleading Christ which shows His compassion.  "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; through they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" (Isaiah 1:18; Rev. 22:17).

He is the penetrating Christ.  His presence and power changes lives.  He causes the person to be born again (John 3:3-5).  He makes a new creature out of the person (2 Cor. 5:17).  He makes a new man out of the person (Ephes. 4:24; Col. 3:10). He changes the person's corruptible nature into an incorruptible nature.  Born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever" (1 Peter 1:23).  He gives the person a new divine nature, the very nature of God Himself.  "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through  lust." (2 Peter 1:4).

He is the companion Christ.  This symbolizes fellowship.  "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord."  (1 Cor. 1:9; Ephes. 3:17-19).


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Revelations 3:14-22

Pray or do: Use this prayer of David as the basis for your daily prayer with this devotional. “Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!” (Psalm 66:20).




Thursday, June 25, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Message-Part 4–Neither Hot nor Gold” 5th in a series on the  Early Church of Jesus–from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, These things says the  Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot.  I could wish you were cold or hot.  16  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.  17 Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked--18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.  19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.  Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.  21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.  22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Revelation 3:14-22.  Jesus has nothing good to say about the church. He only has words of condemnation.  “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.” Revelation 3:15.  They were only half-committed to Christ and their work was half-hearted. They were focused upon ritual, ceremony and programs as a way to be acceptable to God.  

A lukewarm church is only half-committed:

 teaching the Word of God. (2 Tim. 4:2-4)

 evangelism and missions. (Matthew 28:19-20)

 stressing holy and pure living for Christ. (1 Peter 1:22)

 self-denial and  sacrificial living, to stressing that its people must deny themselves and

sacrificially die to self. They seldom stress that total sacrifice is demanded, that a person must give all he is and has to reach the lost and meet the desperate needs of the world.  (Luke 9:23)

 the church. (Hebrews 10:25)

 attending and staying awake and learning in the services of the church. (Romans 15:4)

 supporting the church. (1 Cor. 16:2)

 witnessing. (1 Peter 3:15)

 Bible study and prayer. (2 Tim. 2:15)

 daily devotions. (Romans 15:4).

Don’t attend church just to salve your conscience or to make you feel acceptable to God.  Don’t believe that God will not reject you in the end. Christ completely contradicts that kind of thinking. This kind of person is the hardest person of all to arouse and set afire for Christ.  Jesus then warns them that their relationship with Him is intolerable. “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.  17 Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked”-- Revelation 3:16-17

The person who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ is claiming to be a part of His body, claiming to be nourishment for His body, a part of the growth of His body.  But when the person he church was spiritually 'blind'.  They could see only what was in the world: money and is lukewarm, he is none of this.  Jesus rejects them for their false claim of wealth and prosperity somehow being tied to their spirituality.  They focused upon their capability instead of Christ. They depended upon their ability instead of Christ. They relied upon their resources instead of Christ. The scriptural warning applies to them, "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall". (1 Cor. 10:12).  The lukewarm are rejected because of their true condition: they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.  They were spiritually inferior and were missing out on the experience of the power of Christ working in them and the church.  The church was spiritually poor. (1 Tim. 6:5).  The church was spiritually blind.  They could see only what was in the world: money and human ability and effort.  They did not look beyond to the spiritual need of the human soul nor to the possibility of spiritual and supernatural power working within the church and the lives of people.  The church was spiritually naked.  They believed they could be good enough and do enough good to become acceptable to God on their own. (Rev. 16:15).


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Revelations 3:14-22

Pray or do: Use this prayer of David as the basis for your daily prayer with this devotional. “Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!” (Psalm 66:20).

Bonus Material:

There is only one historical fact that seems to have a bearing upon this letter. Laodicea was the chief city of Phrygia—an extremely wealthy and prosperous city. It lay astride three of the most important highways of its day.  It was a city of enormous wealth.  The city had three particular claims to fame.

It was...

a financial and banking center

a clothing manufacturing center

the location of a famous medical school renown for the eye salve which it produced.

Perhaps the condition of the church in Rev. 3:17—poor, blind, and naked—has reference to these three industries.  Paul prayed for the Laodicean church (Col. 2:1-2) and wrote a letter to them (Col. 2:1; Col. 4:12-16).  Archippus is said to have been the first Bishop (pastor) of the church (The Apostolic Constitutions, 8:46.

Information from The Pulpit Commentary, Vol.22, p.114).  This seems to have some significance for what Christ says to the church, for Laodicea is a church that Christ does not commend. In writing Colossians, Paul exhorts Archippus, Laodicea's pastor: Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfill it.  (Col. 4:17). The corruption and degeneration could have begun under his ministry.




Wednesday, June 24, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Message-Part 4–Neither Hot nor Gold” 5th in a series on the Early Church of Jesus – from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, These things says the  Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:  15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.  16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.  17  Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked-- 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may  be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.  19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.  Therefore be zealous and repent.  20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.  21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.  22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to he churches."  Revelation 3:14-22

“People who are passionate about God today are often labeled “extremists.”  A society that worships a valueless form of tolerance is threatened by anyone who knows what they believe and is willing to talk about it.  Of course, we shouldn’t try to cram our beliefs down the throats of others; that does more harm than good.  But there’s nothing wrong with making God our first priority; that’s what he wants (Matthew 6:33). 

In Revelations 3:14 Jesus Christ describes Himself to the lukewarm and half-committed church  and believer.  Jesus Christ is the 'Amen.'  This is a title that Christ says belongs to Him.  It is a term that declares and guarantees the truth. (John 14:6; 18:37) Therefore, Jesus Christ is the Amen, the declaration, the guarantee of the truth.  This means two things to a lukewarm church.  The lukewarm church can trust the promises of Christ.  He will meet the needs of any church that will repent and turn from its lukewarmness and wholly commit its life to Christ.  The lukewarm church had better heed the warning of Christ.  He is the Amen; His words of judgment will be carried out.  Jesus Christ is the 'faithful and true witness.'  (John 8:14) Jesus Christ is faithful to God the Father and He bears a true witness to God the Father.  He has not kept a single thing from us that God wanted us to know about Himself.  Jesus Christ is the faithful and true witness; He is just what the church is not.  The church is lukewarm.  It only tells part of the truth, only bears part of the witness.  It is only half-faithful to Christ and God.  Jesus Christ is the "beginning of the creation of God."  (Col. 1:16)  The churches only hope for life is to trust Him who is the beginning of creation, Him who alone can give the church life both abundant and eternal life.” The Essential Jesus by Whitney T. Kuniholm


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Revelations 3:14-22

Pray or do: Use this prayer of David as the basis for your daily prayer with this devotional. “Praise be to God, who  has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!” (Psalm 66:20).





Friday, June 19, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Message-Part 3–Dead or Alive” 4th in a series on the Early  Church of Jesus–from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.  7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, These things says He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens.  8 I know your works.  Revelation 3:1; 7-8

Sardis was near death.  Here is a church that is alive and faithful.  The Lord Jesus Christ commends this church for three things.

1. The church used the open door of evangelism and missions to reach people for Christ.  The church was strategically located on an imperial road and in the midst of three towns.

2. The church kept Christ's Word; that is, they were faithful to the Word of God.  They obeyed the Lord Jesus Christ, kept His commandments.

3. The church confessed Christ; they did not deny the name of Christ.  They witnessed, endured opposition and confessed Christ in all they did. 

There was no condemnation therefore no warning was needed.  There was nothing they needed a remedy for.

To Sardis there is a promise to those who do not defile themselves as well as to the overcomers.

There are those who had not defiled themselves. This means there were a few faithful believers in the church.  They had kept themselves .  They were not activity centered nor program centered, but Christ centered.  The faithful and pure believer "walks with Christ in white” walking in victory, confessing sin and focusing upon Christ. The overcomer will not be blotted out of the book of life.  The overcomer will be acknowledged by

in the church. They had kept themselves "unspotted from the world" (James 1:27).  They were not activity centered nor program centered, but Christ centered.  The faithful and pure believer "walks with Christ in white” walking in victory, confessing sin and focusing upon Christ. The overcomer will not be blotted out of the book of life.  The overcomer will be acknowledged by Christ before God.  To Philadelphia the churches and believers who remain alive and faithful to Christ have five wonderful promises.  They shall receive five glorious things.

1. They will be made a pillar in the temple of God. This means that they will become a permanent part of God's house, of the eternal worship and service of heaven.

2. They will receive security; they will never again have to go in or out of the city in order to be safe.

3. They will receive God's name.  This is a symbol of possession and of belonging.

4. They will receive the name of the city of God, the New Jerusalem.  They will become the citizens of the New Jerusalem, of the capital of the new heavens and earth.

5. They will receive the Lord's new name.  What will this new name be?  No one knows but God

Himself, and He has not yet revealed it.  Perhaps the most encouraging thing from this passage is that whether you find yourself in a dead church or one that is truly alive, Jesus says you will “walk with me” (v. 4) if you remain faithful to him and his Word.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Revelations 3:7-13

Pray or do: Spend this time praying for the church you attend and for all the churches near where you live.




Thursday, June 18, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Message-Part 3–Dead or Alive” 4th in a series on the Early  Church of Jesus – from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.  7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, These things says He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens: 8  I know your works. Revelation 3:1; 7-8a

John describes Jesus as being holy. Jesus Christ is holy. The word holy is a description of  God Himself.  Jesus Christ is claiming to have the very same nature as God the Father, to be perfectly holy even as God is perfectly holy.  Jesus Christ is the One who is true.  The word true means the true as opposed to the false, the genuine as opposed to the counterfeit, the real as opposed to the unreal.  As King Hezekiah had a faithful servant who was named Eliakim to whom he gave the keys to the House of David so no one could gain entrance into the king’s presence without coming through Eliakim so Jesus has this same authority to God’s throne.   Here is what Jesus says to the church at Philadelphia. "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, These things says He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens.  8 I know your works.  See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.  9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie--indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.  10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.  11 Behold, I am coming quickly!  Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.  12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more.  And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God.  And I will write on him My new name.  13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."  Revelation 3:7-13

The POSB Commentary says “There are five historical facts that seem to have a bearing upon the message to the church.  Philadelphia was founded as a border town to spread Greek culture to surrounding areas.  In fact, it was situated right on the borders of Lydia, Mysia, and Phrygia.  The church knew exactly what it meant to be missionary minded, to have an open door for the spread of the gospel (Rev. 3:8; cp. Acts 14:27; 1 Cor. 16:9; 2 Cor. 2:12; Col. 4:3).  The name Philadelphia means brotherly love.  The very name of the church gave the believers a constant reminder: they must love one another if they were going to fulfill their missionary calling.  Philadelphia knew what it was to live in the midst of insecure surroundings and under constant stress and strain.  The city sat over a large earthquake fault.  In A.D. 17 a terrifying earthquake hit a huge area.  It completely destroyed Sardis and ten other cities.  Philadelphia was spared total destruction. But for years the city was hit by unending tremors—each adding its own panic and crumbling walls to the devastation.  The experience of having to constantly run in and out for safety terrorized the population.  The experience was never forgotten by succeeding generations.  The church knew what it was to be given the hope of becoming a pillar in the temple of God; and the promise to the over comer that he shall go no more out"  (Rev. 3:12).

Philadelphia, after its destruction by the earthquake, was given aid by the emperor Tiberius for rebuilding.  In appreciation the city changed its name to Neocaesarea, the New City of Caesar.  The church knew what it was to be given a new name (Rev. 3:12).  Philadelphia had a Jewish synagogue within its city limits.  The Jews claimed to be the only followers of the true God (Rev. 3:9).  They claimed the keys of David, the right to open and to shut the door to God and His kingdom (Rev. 3:7).  The church knew what it was to trust and know Him who alone is true [and]...hath the key of David [and]...openeth.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Revelations 3:7-13

Pray or do: Heavenly Father, I want to be “dead to sin” but “alive to God” (Romans 6:11).Please show me how I can do that today.




Wed June 17, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Message-Part 3– Dead or Alive” 4th in a series on the Early Church of Jesus–from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, These things says He who has the  seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: I know your works, that you have a name that  you are alive, but you are dead.  7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, These things says He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens.  8 I know your works.  Revelation 3:1 & 7

The POSB Commentary gives us background information that helps us to understand this message of Christ to the church at Sardis.  “There are two historical facts that seem to have a bearing on the letter.  Sardis was a city with two sections.  The first development sat on a ridge that jutted out from the side of a mountain.  It was fifteen hundred feet straight up and it seemed impregnable, perfectly safe from any enemy. However, when the city outgrew this ridge, a second development was begun at the base of the mountain in the valley.  Legend has it that gold was discovered just lying around in the river that flowed through the city. The city's history was one of wealth and security from all enemies.  However, by the time John wrote Revelation, the city's flourishing wealth had passed and much of its glory had faded.  The population had become flabby and soft, lethargic and complacent, living on the city's past reputation.  The church knew what the Lord meant by having a name that they lived, but they were dead (Rev. 3:1).  They knew what it was to have received the best of everything, but now they needed to repent (Rev. 3:3).  (This is what we need today in our society)

Sardis had been conquered only twice.  Both times had been due to a false sense of security behind their impregnable fortress.  They failed to post adequate watches to overlook the walls of the steep fortress.  While under attack by Cyrus of Persia, a guard of Sardis was seen to drop his helmet over the steep wall and climb down the crevices to recover it.  The city was taken that very night by a small band of soldiers climbing up the same crevices.  Under one of the subsequent rulers to Alexander the Great, the incident was remembered, and again the city was taken in the same manner.  The church knew from history what the Lord meant by "watch and strengthen...hold

fast...I will come on thee as a thief...." (Rev. 3:3).

This church received only a condemnation.  There was no commendation.  This is a dying church.  It had a wonderful reputation among the other churches.  They probably heard of all the ministries, programs and prosperity of the church.  On the surface it seemed as a progressive and active church.  Yet Jesus said it was dead.  What does this mean?  It means to die spiritually; it means to...

 have a form of worship but to deny the power thereof (2 Tim. 3:5).

 focus upon ritual, ceremony, and worship instead of Jesus Christ.

 focus upon activities instead of Jesus Christ.

 hold services and activities for social fellowship instead of for spiritual growth and edification.

 lose one's zeal for witnessing and sharing Christ and for seeing others grow.

 become complacent and lethargic in the study of God's Word and in prayer and spiritual growth.

 sit in worship and Bible classes as a matter of form instead of hungering and thirsting after righteousness.

 to preach and teach as a matter of form.

 to use the ministry as a means of livelihood instead of preaching and teaching to win and grow people in Christ.

Such an active church can seldom be convinced that it is dead and lifeless because of its bustling activity.  The remedy is to “watch and strengthen” the works that still have some life in them.  They

had not been focusing on Jesus.  They were asleep at the wheel.  The Amplified New

Testament says,"Rouse yourself and keep awake."

They needed to rethink

 why they and the church were on earth,

 what their calling was,

 why they were meeting together as a church,

 why they were claiming the name of Christ and doing works and carrying on ministries in the name of Christ.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Revelations 3:1-6

Pray or do: Heavenly Father, I want to be “dead to sin” but “alive to God” (Romans 6:11).Please show me how I can do that today.




Tuesday, June 16, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Message-Part 3 – Dead or Alive” 4th in a series on the Early Church of Jesus – from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.  7  And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, These things says He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens.  8 I know your works. Revelation 3:1 & 7-8

Whitney T. Kuniholm in his work The Essential Jesus: 100 Readings through the Bible's Greatest Story  tells us about his experience with renewing a dead church.  He writes, “Years ago I attended an urban church that some of my friends thought was dead.  It was part of a denomination that was drifting away from the Bible.  The church was located in a transitional neighborhood, and  we struggled to maintain a large stone building that hadn’t been filled in fifty years.  But a small group of us began meeting in a side chapel once each week to pray for the church.  As a result, God did a wonderful thing: he didn’t suddenly fill the pews, but he made those of us who prayed spiritually alive.”  Jesus now speaks to a dead church, the church at Sardis. "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.  2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.  3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent.  Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.  4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.  5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."  Revelation 3:1-6

First notice that Jesus Christ has the seven Spirits of God.  What does that mean?  This is a  reference to the Holy Spirit of God.  The number seven means the seven-fold ministry of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ Himself spelled this out in the upper room (John 14) where He revealed who the Holy Spirit was to be: He is the: 

 Comforter, the other Helper (16)

 Spirit of truth (17)

 personal presence of Christ (18-20)

 very special manifestation of Christ within the believer (21-22)

 abiding presence of the Trinity (23-24)

 teacher (25-26) 

 peace of Christ (27).

Some commentators point out that this is a reference to the seven-fold ministry of the Holy  Spirit found in Isaiah.  "And the spirit of the lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of  wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord" (Isaiah 11:2). He is The Spirit of: 

 the Lord

 wisdom

 understanding

 counsel

 might

 knowledge

 fear

The number seven also means completeness, fullness, or perfection in the Bible.  Therefore, the seven Spirits means the Holy Spirit in all His fullness.  What a lifeless and dying church needs is the Spirit of God. 


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Revelations 3:1-6

Pray or do: Heavenly Father, I want to be “dead to sin” but “alive to God” (Romans 6:11).Please show me  how I can do that today.




Saturday, June 13, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Message- Part 2” 3rd in a series on the Early Church of Jesus – from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:  13 I know your works, and where you dwell, 18 And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: 19 I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.  (Revelations 2:12-13 and 2:18-19) 

First Jesus commends the church in Thyatira. “I know your works, love, service, faith, and  your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.” (Revelation 2:19)  The members of the Church at Thyatira also had some good points; they were a loving, faithful, serving and persevering congregation.  They also had some things that Jesus condemns them for and accompanies it with a warning.  But the church in Thyatira had the same problem as Pergamum: they were tolerating false teaching, and notice that it led to immoral behavior.  “Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.” Revelation 2:20. 

When human reason takes a higher place than biblical principles, the church begins to look no different than the world.  In our day many are seduced into accepting the world’s view concerning issues like abortion, sex identity, euthanasia, and a host of other view’s thus compromising and even refuting the righteousness and holiness of God and His Word.  With consistency Jesus calls them to repentance.  Though she refused the Jezebel of the church was given the opportunity to repent.  Jesus concludes with a promise to both churches.  To Pergamum he says, “To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat.  And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.  (Revelation 2:17) 

To Thyatira He says, “And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I  will give power over the nations--27 He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels--as I also have received from My Father; 28  and I will give him the morning star.” (Revelation 2:26-28) 

A church as a whole may go astray, but it is the believer who must personally overcome.  How?  Let him who has an ear hear what the Spirit says, and let him heed and do what the Spirit says.  If he does then he will be an overcomer.   But all this raises an important question: how do we live with the fact that there’s no perfect church? Jesus says, “Hold on to what you have until I come” (v. 25). 

We are to hold fast until Christ comes. We are to hold fast...

 to the commitment that we have already made to Christ.

 to the spiritual growth that we have already achieved.

 to the ministries that we have already launched.

We are not to give in to the seductions of the world no matter how appealing and attractive. In

other words, remain faithful to the gospel and God’s Word, and eagerly look forward to his

return. We can do that no matter what church we belong to.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Revelations 2:12-29

Pray or do: Lord, you know the church isn’t perfect and neither am I. Even so, help me to hold firmly to the gospel  and to look eagerly for your return. 


Bonus Material:

1. An Ideal Believer. "Hold fast that which is good" (1 Thess. 5:21).

2. A Faithful Witness. "Holding fast the faithful word" (Titus 1:9).

3. A Tenacious Evangelist. "Hold fast the form of sound words" (2 Tim. 1:13).

4. A Cleaving Confessor. "Hold fast our confession"; (Heb. 4:14, R.V.).

5. An Expectant Waiter. "Hold fast the confession of our hope" (Heb. 10:23, R.V.).

6. A Resolute Steward. "Hold fast till I come" (Rev. 2:25).

7. A Jealous Watcher. "Hold fast that which thou hast" (Rev. 3:11).

1000 Bible Study Outlines: Study Helps and Sermon Outlines.




Friday, June 12, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Message- Part 2” 3rd in a series on the Early Church of Jesus – from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: 13 I know your works, and where you dwell,..” 18 "And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:  19 I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.  (Rev. 2:12-13 and 2:18-19)

Next Jesus speaks to the church in Thyatira (vv. 18-29). "And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: Revelation 2:18

Thyatira: there are two historical facts that seem to have a bearing upon the Lord's message to the church.

1. Thyatira was a frontier town—the least important city of the seven mentioned in Revelation.  It lay on the road that stretched through a long valley between Pergamos and Sardis.  It had no

defensible surroundings.  Its citizens could only hope to fight a delaying action for Pergamos.  The church knew what it was to hope in One who could see all circumstances and who could

trample all enemies under His foot (Rev. 2:18, 26-27).  The church knew what it was to hold fast (Rev. 2:26-27).

2. Thyatira was renowned for its trade guilds or unions.  These guilds had two prime functions: business and social.  The city's two major industries were dye and wool.  These products plus the major road that ran through the city brought merchants from all over the world.  The very life of the community was centered in the trade guilds or unions.  Their functions often involved a meal that was usually held within the temple precincts.  The social included a sacrifice to the gods and frequently ended up being a drunken immoral affair.  The church knew the attraction of Jezebel's seductive teaching.  This probably refers to a woman within the church who was teaching an idea that seemed to be very practical and reasonable.  What was it?  That believers could support the social functions of their trade guilds or unions, even if the social function was worldly.  Believers had to participate in the community's social and business functions in order to secure themselves and their jobs and in order to prosper.  Lowering Christian holiness and morality was necessary in order to guarantee social acceptance and the survival of one's job or business (Rev. 2:20).  It was felt that God would understand.  But the church knew "Him who has eyes like a flame of fire and sees all (Rev. 2:18-19).  It knew Him who was to trample all enemies under His feet (Rev. 2:18) and who was to search

the hearts of all and reward them according to their works (Rev. 2:23).  Thyatira is the city from which Lydia, the seller of purple, came (Acts 16:14, 40).” POSB Commentary


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Revelations 2:12-29

Pray or do: Give thanks to God for all the ways your involvement in the church has helped you grow closer to him and to others.




Thursday, June 11, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Message- Part 2” 3rd in a series on the Early Church of Jesus – from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: 13 I know your works, and where you dwell,..” 18  "And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: 19 I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.

(Revelations 2:12-13a and 2:18-19)

Jesus commends Pergamos.  He says, “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan's throne is.  And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.” (Revelation 2:13).

The Church at Pergamum had a wonderful history: they had remained true to Jesus during a period of unusual stress and persecution.  They were serving Christ by sharing the Word of God through biblical teaching and preaching.  They were involved in ministering to those in need.  Antipas was an example of one of them who did not deny the faith even unto death as a martyr.  But that spiritual victory was long past; now they were being enticed by false teaching.  Jesus then gives a word of condemnation with a warning.  “But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to  commit sexual immorality.  15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.”  (Revelation 2:14-15)  His warning followed.  “Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.” (Revelation 2:16)

There are churches and denominations today who have a wonderful history of evangelism and

outreach but who have lost their commitment to the gospel and biblical teaching.  Jesus remedy is repent.  It was in the Old Testament “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)  Repentance is the key to restoration with God:  For a church!  For an individual!


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Revelations 2:12-29

Pray or do: Give thanks to God for all the ways your involvement in the church has helped you grow closer to him and to others.




Wednesday, June 10, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Message- Part 2” 3rd in a series on the Early Church of Jesus – from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:  13 I know your works, and where you dwell,..”  18 "And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:  19 I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.  (Revelations 2:12-13a and 2:18-19)

I know people who have been searching for the perfect church all their lives.  They evaluate (and criticize) the pastor, preaching and programs wherever they attend, and then move on.  It’s

important to find a church that loves Jesus and believes the Bible, and that may take some looking. But as Groucho Marx once said, “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” Churches aren’t perfect because they’re made up of imperfect members.  The two churches in Revelation 2:12-29 certainly weren’t perfect; in fact, they had the same basic problem.  The third church Jesus speaks to is Pergamum (Pergamos) in verses 12 to 17.  "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: Revelation 2:12.

“Pergamos (2:12): the city had three overriding claims to fame that seem to have had a bearing upon the message to the church.

1. Pergamos was a beautifully situated city with an air of royalty about it.  It sat on top of a huge mountain, arising ever so steeply and majestically out of a beautiful valley. The city's citizens could see the Mediterranean Sea some fifteen miles away.  To the approaching traveler the city struck him with a sense of stately awe and royal authority.  The church had a ready picture of "Satan's seat," (Rev. 2:13) of what it was to suffer persecution at the hands of a royal city under the power of the prince of this world.

2. Pergamos was one of the cultural and religious centers of the world. It had been a capital city for some 400 years.  Its library was second only to Alexandria, Egypt.  But the's most prominent feature was its acropolis, rising about a thousand feet in the midst of the city.  Temple after temple had been built upon it.  For example, there was a temple to Asclepius, a serpent-like god of healing.  It was famous for its college of medical priests.  But the most famous pagan altar was built to Zeus.  It was an overpowering sight, built on a huge ledge that jutted out and towered above the city.  It was the largest, most ornate, and most famous altar in the world.  It was forty feet high and ninety feet square.  The church knew what it was to live in a pagan society, as though Satan's seat itself was there (Rev. 2:13).  They knew what it was to be persecuted (Rev. 2:13).  But they also knew what it was to place their faith in Him with the two-edged sword (Rev. 2:12).  They knew Him who could provide the true spiritual manna (Rev. 2:17) and assure them a new name in the future (Rev. 2:17).

3. Pergamos was the imperial and administrative center of Asia.  As such, it was the first city in Asia to openly support imperial worship, that is, the worship of the state and its leader.  What happened was this: Rome's conquest of the world had brought about peace by which food and trade and prosperity could more easily be secured.  Life became much easier and more comfortable for many.  As a result, a Roman spirit arose in many quarters.  Roman government capitalized on this unifying spirit and began to center it in the Emperor Caesar himself.  Gradually the government erected temples, altars, and images in Caesar's honor and he became a god.  Finally, a law was issued requiring every citizen throughout the empire to go to the temple once a year and bow and say, "Caesar is Lord."  To prove that a man had performed this loyal act to Rome, a written certificate was required to be in his possession. 

The church again knew what Christ meant when He claimed to be the One with the 'two-edged sword' (Rev. 2:12). They took great confidence in the fact that He knew 'where they dwelt' (Rev. 2:13).  They knew what it was to live where 'Satan's seat is' (Rev. 2:13), and what it was to suffer martyrdom because they refused to deny Christ (Rev. 2:13).” 

POSB Commentary


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Revelations 2:12-29

Pray or do: Give thanks to God for all the ways your involvement in the church has helped you grow closer to him and to others.




Monday, June 8, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Message” 2nd in a series on the Early Church of Jesus – from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, 'These things says He who holds he seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: 2 I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil.'  And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, 'These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life:  9 I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Revelation 2:8-9

There are promises Jesus made to these two Pastors and Churches.  To Ephesus there is the promise that they can be overcomers.  The word overcomer has the idea of conflict and struggle. The overcomer is a person who overcomes and conquers and gains the victory.  He is the victor and conqueror.  What is it that he is to overcome? Everything that pulls his heart and love away from Christ and attaches it to the world. Whatever possessions, whatever pleasures, whatever it is that has dampened the believer's first love for Christ—it is that thing that the believer must overcome.  The promise is made to individual believers; “to him who overcomes” therefore, all believers are to hear the messages to the churches.  A church as a whole may go astray, but it is the believer who must personally overcome. How?  Let him who has an ear hear what the Spirit says, and let him heed and do what the Spirit says.  If he does then he will be an overcomer.  The overcomer shall be allowed to eat of the tree of life.  This is the tree of God, the tree that gives life, both the fullness of life and eternal life.  The overcomer shall become a citizen of the paradise of God.  Paradise is heaven, the very dwelling place of God, the place...

• of eternal perfection and life

• of eternal fulfillment and completeness

• of eternal love and joy

• of eternal peace and control

• of eternal work and pleasure

• of eternal duty and honor

• of eternal service and satisfaction

To Smyrna the overcomer shall receive a crown of life.  This simply means the reward of eternal life. The overcomer shall be delivered from the second death.  What is the second death?

Scripture clearly tells us.  'And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death'.   (Rev. 20:14).  Christ tells the church that more persecution is coming.  The devil is going to arouse the unbelievers of the world to attack them for ten days.  The idea of ten is that of brevity, for just a short time.  God was allowing the persecution, and the reason is given—that the believers might be tried.  The counsel of Christ is a clear message to the church when it is being persecuted: do not fear but be faithful.  Today, the churches around the world that are facing the greatest persecution are also experiencing the fastest growth.  That doesn’t mean we should throw our own churches into turmoil in an effort to boost attendance.  But it reminds us that when Christians stand strong for the gospel, as they must in persecution, the church will attract people.  Jesus calls that faithfulness (v. 10), and that’s what he wants to see in his church.

 If you are poor – be faithful

 If you are rich – be faithful

 If you are sick – be faithful

 If you are well – be faithful

 If you are going through trials – be faithful

 If everything is great – be faithful

 If you are being persecuted – be faithful

 If you are at ease in Zion – be faithful

 No matter what your situation – BE FAITHFUL!


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Revelations 2:1-11

Pray or do: Spend a few minutes praying for the churches you’ve been part of or come into contact with in your life.




Thursday, June 4, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Message” 2nd in a series on the Early Church of Jesus – from  the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, These things says the First and  the Last, who was dead, and came to life: 9 I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan."  Revelation 2:8-9

Smyrna is known as the Persecuted Church.  There are three historical facts about Smyrna, the second church Jesus speaks to, that seem to have a bearing upon the message to the church.  Myrrh is a gum-like resin taken from a shrub in Asia Minor and it was very bitter.  It was used in making perfume (Psalm 45:8), oil (Exodus 30:23), for embalming (John 19:39), and for relieving and dulling pain (Mark 15:23).  It was one of the leading commercial products.  Remember that it was one of the gifts brought to Jesus by the Wise Men which hint at the bitter suffering Jesus  would go through upon the cross. The city of Smyrna gets its name from the Myrrh which means “bitter”.  This church was experiencing what its name said: bitter sorrow, affliction, and persecution (Rev. 2:9-10).

Smyrna was a proud city—proud of its culture, its beauty, its commercial wealth, its social life.  Its citizens called it the first city in Asia.  There was a municipal vanity among the people.  Everyone tried to climb the social ladder a step further than his neighbor.  Everyone wanted the first place, the highest seat, the most recognition.  To these, Christ proclaims loudly and clearly, "I am the first and last" (Rev. 2:8); & "I am the one who has the crown of life"  (Rev. 2:10).

Smyrna was persecuting the church severely.  The city had a large number of Jews who were influential in city politics.  Jews were, of course, steeped in the Old Testament and the prophecies of the Messiah.  Many of the early converts to Christ were Jews.  Here in Smyrna, the reaction of the Jews was severe.  They reacted severely and did all they could to influence the city officials to stamp out the church.  The Christian believer knew God personally and intimately; therefore, he could not worship or participate in the festivals to the god and goddesses of his day.  He was marked.  In some cases jobs were lost, and in all cases, social life within the city was severed.  Mockery, abuse, scorn, and persecution were applied.  When Jesus says He is the first and the last, it is a promise that He is with the believer through it all—from the very first to the very last (Rev. 2:11).  He knows what the believer is going through, for He has suffered not only the threat of death, but death itself (Rev. 2:8). 

Smyrna was one of two that were singled out for commendation only.  (The other is in Philadelphia [Revelation 3:7-14].)  Smyrna was commended for their works, the tribulation they were experiencing and the poverty they endured.  Jesus says though “you are rich” they were outwardly poor, but inwardly they were rich toward the Lord and His mission.

They were faithful to the Lord...

 loving Him and one another and even those who opposed them (agapē love).

 ministering to all in need.

 studying and teaching the Scriptures.

 living righteous and holy lives.

They were faithful in the midst of persecution and trials.  To the casual observer the church in Smyrna may have looked like a failure.  They were poor, they were being criticized, and their members were about to suffer persecution and imprisonment (vv. 8-10).  That’s not such a great formula for church growth.  Or is it?  Join me tomorrow for the conclusion to Ephesus and Smyrna’s message from Christ and the implication for us today.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Revelations 2:1-7

Pray or do: Lord, there are lots of things that get in the way of my love for you.  Help

me to start over with you today as I hear your Word.




Wednesday, June 3, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Message” 2nd in a series on the Early Church of Jesus – from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: "To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, these things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:  2 I

know your works," …Rev. 2:1-2a

The good news about this body of believers is that they were activists; they were willing to work hard (v. 2).  They would labor to the point of weariness and the limits of their abilities.  They practiced “patience”.  The word patience means to persevere and to be steadfast in serving Christ and in standing against all the temptations and trials of life.  The church was steadfast in studying and proclaiming the gospel and in ministering to the needs of the needy.  Not only that, they were careful to avoid false teaching and even suffered for their beliefs.  “Cannot bear them who are evil” - This refers to sin and evil, men who were corrupt and polluted and who lived for the world instead of living for God.  The church could not tolerate the sin and shame, dirt and pollution, filth and destruction of evil. 

You have tried them who were not apostles and found them liars.  The church tested all the preachers and teachers of the church and rejected the false.  The test: Confession that Jesus

Christ, the Son of God, had come in the flesh.  They did just what Scripture exhorts: they tested the spirits of the teachers.  The bad news was they’d forsaken their first love, Jesus (v. 4).  They were like a husband who provides everything his family needs but who is unfaithful to his wife.  The church had lost its first love.  This probably means two things.  The church and its believers had lost their feelings for Christ.  Believers had left their first love.  Christ was no longer first in their lives.  They were

putting themselves and their own affairs first, and they were putting the church first—the programs, services, ministries, and fellowship of the church.  They had become more attached to the church than they were to Christ.  The church had lost its love for people.  The church saw a rupture take place in its fellowship and in its love for one another.  When the church was first founded, a deep love existed among the members (cp. Acts 20:17-38).  The church had a loving heart and a helping hand—a readiness to labor together even through persecution. But something happened.  If there’s not true love for Jesus in the church, its members are just going through the motions, and Jesus doesn’t like that.

The Lord counsels the church to return to him.  When a church or a believer goes astray, the Lord issues the very same call that He issues here: return.  Three steps are involved in returning.  

First, remember from where you have fallen.  Think back over your former love for the Lord.  Remember His presence:

 the feelings of warmth and tenderness

 the fervor, spark, and unction

 the fellowship and communion with Him

 the prayer and sharing

 the consciousness and awareness of His presence

 the joy and rejoicing of His presence that filled your heart

Second, repent: turn away from whatever has pulled you away from Christ and turn back to Christ.  Something has drawn you away from Christ.  You are attached to something more than you are to Christ.  Something is consuming your thoughts and energies and keeping your mind from focusing upon Christ and fellowshipping and communing with Him. You are not flickering your mind to Him in prayer as you walk throughout the day.  You are not sharing and communing with Him like you did.  Something has replaced Him in your thoughts and attention.  And you are more attached to that thing than you are to Christ.  Repent-turn away from that attachment and turn back to Christ.  The way to rekindle dying love is to repent and start over again (v. 5).

Christ warns the church that loses its love for Him.  The warning is twofold.  There is the warning that Christ will remove the church (the candlestick) from its place.  Christ will remove the church...from being a true church; from being a true representative of Christ upon earth.

There is warning that doctrinal purity is not enough.  This warning is going to be shattering to some when Christ returns.  Why?  Because many are doctrinally sound but they have lost their first love for Christ.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!  Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Revelations 2:1-7

Pray or do: Lord, there are lots of things that get in the way of my love for you. Help me to start over with you today as I hear your Word.

Bonus Material:

Ephesus is the Orthodox Church (Rev. 2:1-7).  Ephesus was, of course, a great commercial city.  Its natural harbor and strategic location on one of the main roads of the world made it such.  However, in the middle of the first century, the harbor had silted up so badly that trade had declined dramatically from the days of Ephesian glory.  There had been attempts to drag the silt out, but the efforts were half-hearted and finally abandoned.  Ephesus still enjoyed successful and profitable trade from its religious cult.  The great temple of Diana, or Artemis, was there.  The worshipping pilgrims found their satisfaction in prostitution with a host of priestesses who plied the cult of the goddess.  A great trade of silversmiths had developed over the years, and tourist commercialism boomed year-round.  This accounts for the guild of silversmiths finding the crowds an easy mark for arousing opposition against Paul

(Acts 19:24)




Tuesday, June 2, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Message” 2nd in a series on the Early Church of Jesus – from  the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT:  To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, "These things says He who holds the  seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:  2 I know your works.…" Rev. 2:1-2a

Churches are different.  There is a lot of variety out there.  Different styles of preaching and  music.  Some are inward focused and others are mission-minded.  Architecture and atmosphere varies like the landscape.  Some had lots of people and resources, some didn’t.  For a variety of reasons they all had their strengths and weaknesses.  Why is the letter addressed to only seven churches in Asia?  Why was it not addressed to all the churches down through the centuries?  The following chart clearly shows what we are asking: 

Revelation was addressed to these churches in Asia

⇒ Ephesus

⇒ Smyrna

⇒ Pergamos

⇒ Thyatira

⇒ Sardis

⇒ Philadelphia

⇒ Laodicea

Revelation was not addressed to these churches in Asia

⇒ Troas (Acts 20:5; 2 Cor. 2:12)

⇒ Miletus (Acts 20:17)

⇒ Colosse (Col. 1:2)

⇒ Hierapolis (Col. 4:12)

Church history even tells us that there were other churches in Asia beyond these eleven.  John certainly knew of them all.  Why then address the Revelation to only seven of the churches?   John does not say.  There has to be a reason, for Jesus Christ was giving the Revelation so that all of His servants would know about the events of the end time (Rev. 2:1).  The seven churches must be representative of other churches.  The conditions that existed in each of the seven churches differed, and as we study the different types of churches in society and throughout history, we clearly see that there are seven types of churches.  Therefore, in addressing the seven churches, Jesus Christ was addressing all the churches of the earth.  The messages to the seven churches were given for personal application.  Jesus Christ expects us—all churches and all believers—to apply the messages to our own situation.  Jesus Christ expects us to search our hearts and to heed the messages given to these churches.  That’s the sense we’ll get as we read Jesus’ assessment of the churches in the first century.  This week’s devotionals will examine Jesus’ assessment; the commendations, condemnations and the remedy.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Revelations 2:1-6

Pray or do: Lord, there are lots of things that get in the way of my love for you.  Help me to start over with you today as I hear your Word.



Friday, May 29, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Vision” 1st in a series on the Early Church of Jesus – from the  main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants--things  which must shortly take place.  And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.  3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.  Rev. 1:1-3

This first chapter of Revelations ends with Jesus having something to say to the churches of the first century.  Jesus says, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and,  "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea." Revelation 1:11

Of the seven churches mentioned in Revelation, five fall into a “good news-bad news” category.

Look at the ten points of similarity in the letters

1. In nearly all of the letters there is a reference to one or more of the details of the description of Christ in Rev. 1:12-16.

2. Each is addressed to the pastor.

3. Each church is commended for its works except the last one.

4. Each church is rebuked except the second and the sixth.

5. Each church is commanded to repent except the second, fourth, and sixth.  The fourth has

sin of which to repent, but is not commanded to do so.

6. Warnings of judgment are given to all the churches except the second and sixth.

7. Each church was more corrupt than a preceding one except the first, second, and sixth.

The first one was commended for ten things; the last one condemned for ten things.

8. Promises to over-comers are in each.

9. Each has the same admonition to hear.

10. John is told to write in each case.

When he finishes one letter he is directed whom to write and what to write, until the last is completed.  Then he is told to write "the things which shall be hereafter" the churches

(Rev. 1:19; 4:1) Dake's Annotated Reference Bible:

It reminds us that he knows and cares what goes on in our churches too, which is a sobering

thought.  We know that the church is not a building; it is a body. Jesus cares so passionately about the church because he is one with it.  Listen to His prayer again that He prayed to the Father for them and for us today. "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.  John 17:20-21

Remember He is praying for you individually and for us collectively. He is interceding in our behalf. He knows what we are going through and what we are doing.  May we do everything for the glory of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Selected scriptures above.

Pray or do: Heavenly Father, I ask that you would give me a clearer vision of your Son, Jesus Christ, as I read and pray today.




Thursday, May 28, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Vision” 1 st in a series on the Early Church of Jesus – from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants--things which must shortly take place.  And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.  3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.  Rev. 1:1-3

There are some new things we learn about Jesus from John’s revelation.  We see Him in His majestic and glorified appearance.  We hear his powerful voice that is like the sound of a mighty waterfall.  Hear John’s description. “Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me.  And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.  14  His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;  15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;” Revelation 1:12-15.

Here we have an “eight-fold description of Christ.

1. His body was clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded with golden girdle

(Rev. 1:13; cp. Dan. 10:6).

2. His hair was white like wool and snow

(Rev. 1:14; Dan. 7:9).

3. His eyes were as a flame of fire

(Rev. 1:14; 19:12; Dan. 10:6; cp. Heb. 4:12).

4. is feet were like fine brass

(Rev. 1:14; 10:1; Dan. 10:6).

5. His voice like many waters.

 (Rev. 1:14; 8:5; 10:2-4; 11:15; 14:2; 16:17-18; 19:6;   Ps. 29; Heb. 12:26; Dan. 10:6).

6. His right hand held seven stars, which were the pastors of the seven churches. 

(Rev. 1:20).

7. His mouth had a two-edged sword coming out of it.

Rev. 1:16; 2:12,16; 19:15,21; Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12).

8. His countenance shone like the sun.

Rev. 1:16; 10:1; Dan. 10:6).” 

Dake's Annotated Reference Bible:

When Jesus was on earth, John got as close to him as anyone.  But in the vision of Revelation 1,

John sees Jesus in all his heavenly glory.  That contrast only highlights the miracle of the

incarnation; in Jesus the God of the universe became one of us.  The next thing we notice is Jesus’ description of Himself: He is eternal, He is alive, and He will decide who goes to heaven or hell. “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore.  AmenAnd I have the keys of Hades and of Death.” (Revelation 1:17-18) That’s why we must take our decision about him very seriously.  It will have eternal consequences for every individual.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Selected scriptures above.

Pray or do: Heavenly Father, I ask that you would give me a clearer vision of your Son, Jesus Christ, as I read and pray today.





Wednesday, May 27, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Vision” 1 st in a series on the Early Church of Jesus – from the  main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures. 

TEXT: The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants--things  which must shortly take place.  And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.  3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.  Rev. 1:1-3

Yesterday we continued “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” with an introduction to “The  Vision” given to John by God.  The introduction was the covering of our progress since we began this quest.  Now we will examine the consistency and agreement between John’s perspective and the rest of the New Testament. 

Jesus was both a witness and a martyr (Rev. 3:4; 1Pet. 2:24; Heb. 3:2) Greek: martus is  translated both witness and martyr (Rev. 1:5).  He is the “prince of the kings of the earth” (Rev. 1:5).  The "chief"; (Lk. 11:15; 14:1); the "chief ruler" (Jn. 12:42); and "magistrate" (Lk. 12:58)  Jesus is “the firstborn from the dead” (v. 5); “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” Colossians 1:15 “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” Colossians 1:18  He loved us (Rev. 1:5; Jn. 3:16).  He has freed us from sin “by his blood” (v. 5); “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” Romans 5:9 “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” Ephesians 1:7.  His followers are “a kingdom and priests” (v. 6); and “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” 1 Peter 2:9

They pierced Him (Rev. 1:7; Jn. 19:34)

To Him be glory and dominion forever (Rev. 1:6; Isa. 9:6-7; Dan. 7:13-14; Lk. 1:32-33; Rev. 11:15; 22:4-5).

Someday Jesus will come again and “every eye will see him” (v. 7).  “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name

of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those  under the earth, 11  and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

He is God (Rev. 1:8; Heb. 1:8; Isa. 9:6-7; Jn. 1:1-2; Acts 20:28)


Pastor Larry

Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Selected scriptures above.

Pray or do: Heavenly Father, I ask that you would give me a clearer vision of your Son, Jesus Christ, as I read and  pray today.





Tuesday, May 26, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Vision” 1 st in a series on the Early Church of Jesus – from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea." Revelation 1:10-11

Over the years Rhonda and I have attended churches of all types and sizes.  One was a small country church that was “family owned and operated”.  Another church was one of our leading churches in our denomination.  They were running close to 2000 people in their worship services.  They had great preachers and many programs throughout the week but it was too busy for us to connect with anyone.  Another church was a large church of about 500.  It was there that we settled into and became involved in lay ministry of teaching.  We liked the music, their Sunday School and children’s ministry.  We were able to connect with some of the folks.  Our next section covers the first three chapters in the book of Revelation, which is the record of a vision the apostle John had nearly sixty years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  In the vision it’s as if Jesus himself has been a newcomer in seven first-century churches, and he describes the unique dynamics within each one.  Imagine what Jesus would say if he visited our church next Sunday!

We are going to discover that the main point of the next several sermons is this: Jesus knows what’s going on in the church, and he really cares about it.  So let’s get going and see if we can piece together what Jesus thinks about his church.  This series is all about Jesus.  We started in John’s Gospel and found that “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God” (John 1:1)

In Genesis He was present at the creation of man. “And God said, “Let US make man in OUR image, after our likeness” Genesis 1:26

I believe Jesus, the pre-incarnate Christ, was the one who met with Abraham as He was going with the angels to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Remember “No man has seen God at any time” (John 1:18)

It was Jesus, The Angel of the Lord, who appeared to Gideon and the parents of Samson.  Judges It was Jesus, the pre-incarnate Christ, who astonished Nebuchadnezzar.  The scripture says, “and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, "Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?" They answered and said to the king, "True, O king." 25 "Look!" he answered, "I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." Daniel 3:24-25

The we come to know Jesus as the babe born in a manger, who took on human flesh and divested Himself of “the form of God”.  For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9 A paraphrase of that scripture in A Commentary on the Holy Bible is: (9) But let me remind you of the great love of Christ, who divested Himself of the riches of His glory and became poor for your sakes, that by His self-denial and humility you might inherit eternal salvation.  Then we see the ministry of Jesus to the church as head of the church. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, Ephesians 1:22  And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. Colossians 1:18

The rest of the week we will examine how Jesus sees the church and what He has to say to the

church.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. Daily reading: Revelations 1

Pray or do: Heavenly Father, I ask that you would give me a clearer vision of your Son, Jesus Christ, as I read and pray today.

Bonus Material:

Revelation is to unveil or uncover.




Friday, April 24, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Need for Church Life” 2nd in a series on the Easter Challenge – from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do  not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.  We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” 

Christ has called us to be the church which we know to be the assembling together of people who  have put their trust in Christ as Lord and Savior.  Our need to gather together goes beyond what we can get done or do; it actually affects who we are and what we become.  We find in the Bible that the followers of Jesus are meant to be fueled by, equipped by, and connected to the local church.  You don’t have to go to our church, but the Bible says we should be connected to some church.

In Colossians 3:16, Paul said, “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” The message of Christ dwells among us.  We are called to go deeper in our relationship with Jesus, to experience greater freedom in His Spirit, and to undergo a more complete transformation into His likeness.  But did you see how that happens?  The next line shows us: “As you teach and admonish one another.”  Admonish means to caution, correct, and urge.  We all have different blind spots, different experiences, different strengths and weaknesses.  If you want to grow to the next level in the way you follow Jesus, you have to get beyond your own voice and your own interpretation of God’s Word.  When has going beyond average evernbeen easy?  When has being sold out and being all in for anything ever been comfortable?  This meeting or assembly is important for our growth, our unity, and our purpose. No wonder why the Bible so clearly tells us we shouldn’t forsake it.  One of our big problems is that we need constant reminders of the truth (See bonus material).  Like the couple, when we gather here, we are reminded of the truth of God’s Word, the truth of who God is, and the truth of who we are in Jesus. We also gather together to bring real help and support for life’s difficulties.


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Revelations 3:7-13

Pray or do: Pray for many to understand the need they have for being part of a local body of believers.

Bonus Material:

A couple went to the doctor for a check up and before they left he mentioned to them they might need to write down things so they could remember better.  Later that night, while watching TV, the man gets up from his chair.  “Want anything while I’m in the kitchen?” he asks.  

“Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?”

“Sure.”

“Don’t you think you should write it down so you can remember it?” she asks.

“No, I can remember a simple bowl of ice cream.”

“Well, I’d like some strawberries on top, too.  Maybe you should write it down.”

He says, “I can remember that.  You want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries.”

“I’d also like whipped cream.  I’m certain you’ll forget that.  Write it down,” she says.

Irritated, he says, “I don’t need to write it down.  I can remember it!  Ice cream with strawberries and whipped cream, for goodness’ sake!”

After about twenty minutes, the man returns from the kitchen and hands his wife a plate of bacon and eggs.  She stares at the plate for a moment and asks, “Where’s my toast?”





Thursday, April 23, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Need for Church Life” 2nd in a series on the Easter Challenge – from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.  We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.”

It is true that some people hate organized religion.  They have seen organized religion at its worst when it was all about structure, hierarchy, power and money instead of reaching people with the Gospel.  There is good in organized religion and that is the power of organizing to accomplish something good.  God has called us to gather together to find ways to live, share, and spread the truth and power of the Gospel.  We have a common mission and call.  According to today’s text we can’t complete it without each other.  You can get some things done all by yourself, but it’s like a thumb without a hand or other fingers.  A thumb can do some things but it is limited.  But in conjunction with fingers, there is no end to the things your thumb can grasp, open, move, pull, or shape!  It’s the same way with the body of Christ.  Our different gifts working in conjunction with one another open up ministry and Gospel opportunities we could never imagine on our own! You can’t be all you’re created to be without us.  We can’t be all we’re created to be without you. 

The trends may say church attendance is down, but we don’t have to be subject to the trends of our culture.  In fact, we are called to change and shape our world together with the power of the Gospel.  It’s the power that God gave us when we come together.  That’s why God tells us in Hebrews 10:25, not to give up “meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing.”  I’m not asking you to add another thing to your already busy life; I’m suggesting that we all make the work of the kingdom of God a priority in our lives since it’s the only work that really matters.  One essential expression and work of that priority is for us to keep meeting together!


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.

Daily reading: Hebrews 10:19-39

Pray or do: How are you contributing to the work of God through the church (the gathering of people in Christ)?

Bonus Material:

Why She Came

We have in the church of which I am a member a woman who is very old, very deaf, and whose eyes are bad, but she is always at church, even though she does not hear a word.  On Saturday she is given a church bulletin and she looks up and reads the hymns and Scripture lesson.  One day she remarked that all she gets out of the service is that received from the bulletin, and I told her what a fine thing it is that she comes.  She replied, "Well, you know, the Psalmist said, 'The Lord is in his holy temple,' and I come here to meet the Lord." Of how many who attend church can that be said, I wonder.—Sunday School Times




Wednesday, April 22, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Need for Church Life” 2nd in a series on the Easter Challenge – from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and  blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.  18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.  Matthew 16:17-18

In verse 19 Jesus committed to us (the church – a gathering of people in Christ) a tremendous power and responsibility.  He said, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”  Now we know that only God can forgive sins and only God can save people.  So this isn’t the power to go down a line and say, “You’re saved.  You’re not saved.  No that is not what it means.  So what does it mean that we as the local church have the power to bind and loose things on earth and in heaven?  The power to bring freedom and to break chains is found in the Gospel.  The Gospel doesn’t need us.  But Jesus values you so much.  Jesus wants to be in relationship with you so deeply, and He wants you to be a part of His work so He says, “Here’s the Gospel.  Here are the keys.  Where are you going to take it?”  The church has the authority to bring the full power and truth of heaven with it to a hurting and sinful world . . . or we can hide it.  We are to take these keys and go forth by His power under the protection of His grace, and through the leading of His Spirit so that what is loosed here on earth by His power may be loosed in heaven for all of eternity and see what this Gospel of Jesus Christ can do.  And the gates of hell will not stand against us!


Pastor Larry


Please feel free to share and/or to respond!

Scriptures are from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Daily reading: Romans 1:16

Pray or do: Pray that you and I will take this saving, liberating, powerful Gospel to our world.

Bonus Material:

"There Is No Difference"

Remember, the man on Skid Row is not different in kind from the rest of us.  He is merely worse in degree.  On Skid Row we see fallen man at his dismal worst.  In the better neighborhoods we see him at his polished best, but he is the same man for all his disguise.  In the gutter we find him chained by dope and drink and dirt.  On the Avenue we find him bound by pride and greed and lust.  To God there is no difference.  He sees beyond appearances and he knows what is in every man.  His remedy for every man is the same, a new birth and the impartation of a new kind of life.  The Gospel is the power of God operating toward the moral and spiritual transformation of man.  And it works!  Thousands will testify that it does.  No man who wants to climb up out of his past and find a new and better life should overlook the Gospel.  It is God's way out, and there is no other.

—Pacific Garden Mission News Knight's Master Book of New Illustrations.




Tuesday, April 21, 2020


The devotionals this week are from my message “The Need for Church Life” 2nd in a series on the Easter Challenge – from the main series “The Quest to Know Who Jesus Is” Various Scriptures

TEXT: Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and  blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.  18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:17-18

One of the main reasons church attendance is down in America is that members attend with less frequency than they did just a few years ago (Thom Rainer, the former CEO of LifeWay  Christian Resources).  Whereas twenty years ago active church members attended three times a week now it is three times a month.  Schools, civic and sports organizations in the past did not schedule activities on Sunday but now they do even into Morning Worship times.  Parents often allow their commitment to the Lord and church to be cut into.  Blended and single-parent families often must split the amount of time families can spend at church. For these and other reason the commitment to church attendance has waned.  Though disappointed I am not ready to give up on the church.  The reasons I have such great hope for the Church is that Jesus established it and promised that it would preva