Matthew 4:1-11, “1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry”
The third temptation in my judgement is the most subtle work of satan so clearly working among believers and yet so blindly received. In the age of feelings and emotions, vast majority do not plumb line feelings and emotions by God’s word and that is a recipee for disaster. Satan appears as an angel of light pretending to fight for believers however his aim is to turn men against God, rebel against God like he did. While pretending to be an angel of light and even using people in authority, he speaks fluttery words to create an appetite. 2Corinthians 11:13-14, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light”
Luke 15:11-31, “21 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood… 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’
While we know the story of the prodigal son having taken his inheritance and gone to a far country and wasted it all, I would like to dwell on his coming back home because it’s a powerful message most churches have forgotten. Repentance is the forgotten doctrine in most churches, foreign to many coming to God, no wonder General William Booth the founder of Salvation Army said, “The Chief danger of Christianity in 20th century will be…Religion without the Holy Ghost; Christianity without Christ; Forgiveness without repentance; Salvation without regeneration; Politics without God; And heaven without hell”.
1Corinthians 2:1-5, “1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God”
Today marks our 11th Year Anniversary of writing devotionals, glory be to God for great things He has done and this far He has brought us. When I think about His faithfulness, all I do is humble myself because He has shown Himself so strong on behalf of those who put their confidence in Him. He uses the weak, the despised, the rejected to get His work done so that He gets all the glory for working in such a life. As Paris Reidhead in 1963 preached this message, “THE ONLY POSSIBLE WAY THAT JESUS CHRIST WILL GET GLORY OUT OF A LIFE THAT HE’S REDEEMED WITH HIS PRECIOUS BLOOD IS WHEN HE CAN FILL THAT LIFE WITH HIS PRESENCE AND LIVE THROUGH IT HIS OWN LIFE.”, so on this truth do I stand.
These 11 years have been a true great experience of learning about our amazing God through the pages of the bible and sharing it with the world. The writings have been a great tool the Lord has used to open my eyes and I give Him all the praise. He has brought brethren to minister along side of me especially Pastor Phil Sessa, and I can honestly say, the Lord is not a respecter of any man. I have learnt that God is not looking for those with abilities to use, He is looking for those available to use.
Over the years, hundreds of messages have gone out and hundreds of testimonies have been received of how the Lord has used these messages to impact lives. Today I hope you join us in celebrating what the Lord has done.
John 12:4-6, “4 But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, 5 “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denari and given to the poor?” 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the moneybox; and he used to take what was put in it”
I never get tired of preaching the gospel or hearing it preached, why? The gospel is the power of God unto salvation, Romans 1:16. This is so powerful that it’s not a sinners prayer or belief or saying sorry that saves, it’s only the power of God that can free one from the slavery of sin. Yes these things I mentioned can bring us closer to be saved; the ultimate work is in the hands of the Lord who we yield to. Psalm 3:8, “Salvation belongs to the LORD”. Continue reading →
2Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching”
Paul reached churches through his preaching and his writings, when it came to Timothy, he had special place for him. He took time to invest truth in him as he journeyed with the Lord. In 2Timothy 4, sounded like Paul’s journey on earth was coming to an end, and he takes time to impart in Timothy to what I would call the last words. People are intrigued by other people’s last words before they pass. I have read last words of some famous people and they left me thinking. Continue reading →
Psalm 138:2, “I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name For Your loving kindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.”
I am drawn to hymns primarily for their packed theology. Read the lyrics of many of our songs today and compare to the lyrics of some of the old hymns, you find a huge difference. The hymns are so rich in God’s Word transcending feelings, they are grounded in truth. For the last few years I have had the privilege of tapping into teachings by some long gone preachers and I find again that their preaching and teachings are far different from many of the preaching and teaching we hear today. Their messages just like in the hymns were packed with theology. Oh I praise God for the age of technology (internet) giving us the ability to find materials lost over the years. Continue reading →
Matthew 13: 3&5-6 “3Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. … 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away!”
Part of my early life was spent in the farm. If we wanted to see crops grow for harvest, one crucial thing was to get the soil ready. You could not expect a harvest on unprepared ground regardless of whether you had good seeds or not. We had to plow and plow and plow, dig deep, turn the soil, rake it, remove rocks, pull out weeds, get rid of thorns and bushes. Prepping the ground until it was ready before we planted any seed expecting it to grow, do weeding and expect a harvest.
Matthew 13:3&9, “3Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. … But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
There is something unique about these people who encountered with God. Think of Isaiah in Isaiah 6; the publican in Luke 18; the prodigal son in Luke 15; David in 2Samuel 12; Peter in Luke 5; the jailer in Acts 16; one of the criminals on the cross with Jesus in Luke 23; Nicodemus who came to Jesus by night in John 3; the hearers of Peter preaching on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 etc.
Romans 12:1, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (NASB)
In the light of Christmas season, where family time involves exchanging of gifts, what do we give Christ the reason for the season? On birthdays we give gifts to those we celebrate their birthdays. On Christmas day, we celebrate the birth of Christ and exchange gifts. What best gift can we give to Christ?, I will take Romans 12:1 and make it my Christmas gift to the Lord.