“ For Want Of A Nail “
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
Often times, we are so overwhelmed by all that there is to do in this world, that we fail to realize what an integral part we all play in God’s plan, as individuals. Being a good grandparent, parent, spouse, sibling, church member, friend or neighbor means a dedication of time, energy and love. You are of great value, else God would not have placed you here. Be of Affect! Never think that your contribution is too little, consider the widows mite. Never think of your opportunities to serve God as trite or coincidental, remember Mordecai’s words to Esther “ ... and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” . Never let present circumstances determine the value of your sacrifice, think of Jesus, “ ...; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame,...”
For all the grandeur of what Christ accomplished on the cross, it could not be accomplished without something so small as a nail, three to be exact.Don’t be the one wanting.
“And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.”
Our Immutable God !
His Person Changes Not James 1:17
17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
It is so good to know that God is always the same. He is no respecter of persons. He is not vacillating in judgement. He is not emotionally unstable. He is good to us all of the time. Even when we are rejecting His Leading, His heart is always yearning for our good. People may change over the years, but not our God.
His word changes not Matthew 24:35
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
They say it is a good thing when a man’s word is as good as his bond. God’s word is greater than ours. He has exalted His word above His name. The most important thing to God is that He keeps His word. While man may try to revise it or change it, add to it, or subtract from it, I am glad that He has preserved it, An ever refreshing source of examination, conviction and joy. It yields the same fruit all of the time because it changes not
His purposes change not Isaiah 55:11
11So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
So many things in this life so often seem to be in disarray. This is because we cannot see the end from the beginning. Sometimes to us life seems like a car out of control, but in reality it is like a roller coaster ride. It shocks, jreks us, and wisks away in seeming uncontrol. In reality, a roller coaster has a designer who has considered what is nessecary for maximum enjoyment and safety. So God has a Plkan for our life, our world and our souls. He has designed it all for maximum enjoyment and safety. Don’t get out of the car or jump the the tracks. He has a plan for you.
My First Christmas
“ And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him
in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger;" Luke 2 :7
If you are like me ,you’ve celebrated Christmas every year of your life whether you were conscious or not .Few are the parents that failed to take pictures of their first child’s first Christmas .Many of us may even remember when we first realized that there was no such person as “ Santa Claus “( O, sorry ,did I burst your bubble ?) .Well , of all of the Christmas’ that I have celebrated ,my most favorite one was my first Christmas .
My first Christmas was a common one - as common as the birth of child.Much like the commonness of the birth of Christ .He was born the same way we all were .So like us was He that Herod had all of the male children from two years old and down killed because there was no way to tell Him apart form the other boys .He had no halo about his head .He did not walk around with a dove perched on His shoulder or carry a “cross “ shaped cane .” For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.... Surely he hath born our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. “ Isaiah 53 :2-4 .My first Christmas was as common as yours.
My first Christmas was a quiet one - well , at first it was.Like the quiet of the country surrounding Bethlehem that night .A quiet bespoken by the sheep that rested carelessly under the watch and care of the shepherds that night .How long and hard they must have pressed to arrive on time for the census .How gladly they must have flung themselves into the repose of that field .Quiet like the air that night ,not a cloud in the sky .A quiet that yielded a voluminous blanket of shimmering stars ,but then a bright light splashed upon them .An angel was speaking ,glory was shining , a heavenly host was singing .Well ,it was quiet - at first .
My first Christmas was a calming one - Much like the calm that must have nestled itself into the hearts of all of those who understood the import of the goings on that night .Like the calm of the shepherds hearts as they found all things just as the angel had said .Like the calming given Simeon and Anna , who could now depart in peace having seen the promise of God .
My first Christmas was not the one way back in 1962 ,the year I was born .My first Christmas was not the first time that I can remember a tree or presents .My first Christmas .my first real Christmas was the one that I celebrated the very first year that I was saved .I remember how humbled I was that He came in the form of sinful flesh to die for me .I remember how thrilled I was as the quietness of my “old “ world of thought was suddenly shattered by the revelation of the true meaning of Christmas and its personal applications to me ,for unto me was born a Savior which is Christ the Lord !! I remember how satisfied I was as the calm of the realization of my peace in Christ enveloped me in God’s warm embrace and I sang with a never before known joy ,the old old songs of Christmas .
Let us cherish ,with joy ,the celebration of the wonderful onset of our God’s great plan of salvation in the birth of Christ .Let us ,like the shepherds be Awakened ,Awed ,Aright ,Assured ,and Acclaiming .Merry Christmas !!!
“ Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen
his star in the east, and are come to worship him. “
“ Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; “
Perseverance - steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
There are three things suggested by the use of the word “perseverance “, in this text:
Firstly, there is a need for steadfastness. We must be steadfast in our resistance to sin and worldliness (1Peter 5:9). We do not want to become as salt that has lost its savor. It is a holy life that keeps us fresh and useful. We must be steadfast in our work for God (1 cor. 15:58). We cannot afford to have a slack hand in God’s work. None but His children can do it. We must be about our Father’s business. We must be steadfast in our Faith (Heb. 3:14, 6:19, Col. 2:5, Psalms 78:8). God has never failed. He is the “ Faithful and True” one. Depend on Him.
Secondly, There will be difficulty. There will be difficulty through trials (1 Peter 4:12). All who live godly lives will have persecution in this world. There are many hard choices to make if you would live for Christ, but they are “the better part”. There will be difficulty because of heresies (1 Cor. 11:19). God says that the church is the “ pillar and the ground of truth. We must be diligent students of God’s word so that we may silence gainsayers and heretics alike. People need us to know and speak the truth, it is the only thing that will set them free. There will be difficulties in the flesh (Romans 7:23, Galatians 5:17). The apostle Paul, himself, told us of this struggle. He said that there was a war in his members. Let us devote ourselves to casting off the old man and putting on the new, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thirdly, There will be success. Because of His Word (Isaiah 55:11). God’s word shall never return void. When God says “yea” who can say “nay”? Because of His Power (Romans 4:21). Our omnipotent God can never fail or be sidestepped or stopped. All must yield to His power. Because of His Grace (2 Co. 12:9). God leaves nothing to chance. He has dedicated Himself to accomplish our salvation and eternal rest with Him. He has left nothing undone. How sweet to know that we are secure in Him.
Persevere dear Christian . The battle needs you, The Holy Spirit leads you and Heaven anxiously awaits our arrival!
“And God hath set some in the church, … helps,…”
1 Corinthians 12:28
There are many talented people in the world. By that, I mean that there are many people whose accomplishments are set forth for us to behold and admire. This is not the result of talent, so much, idare say, as it is of willingness, desire, and surrender. Paul tells us that one of the areas of ministry is in helps. God has given everyonr talents and ability and even if you are not willing or able to surrender yours, if you have limbs that function to any degree, you can certainly help.
Praying is Help 2 Corinthians 1:11
"Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf." praying can be done anytime, any where. Pray for those who labor, but don’t stop there, put feet to your prayers.
Girding is Help Acts 27:17
“Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven.” Girding means “to secure or encircle with a belt or band.” The purpose for girding is to add strength. Even if you can’t design or plan, you can certainly encourage those who do by adding your strength to the task.
Labor is Help Philippians 4:3
"And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life."
Nothing is quite so rewarding as being able to say “ I had a hand in that”. Don’t cheat yourself of God’s rewards. We all have things to do, make sure that at the top of that list is “things to do for God”. Helping increases joy and decreases discontent.You’ll be so glad that you helped.
The Water Of God’s Word!
“...he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow.”
The Bible tells us that God’s word is like water. His water has many uses. His water is used for cleansing. In the book of Ephesians 5:26, It the means by which Christ Purifies His Bride the Church. Indeed, when we find ourminds defiled by the filth of the world ,it would us well to go to God’s word for cleansing.
His water is used for sustaining life. Psalms 143:6 says “… I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah. “ While a dessert is a deadly place for lack of water, it is not strange because we expect that to be the case. A dry land, however, is dry because of an unexpected lack of rainfall. When we were lost, we were a waste howliong wilderness, but now as God’s children, He expects us to be a fruitful Garden. Let us drink deeply of the water of His word that His life in us might flourish.
His water is used for soothing. The rich man, in hell, asked for a drop of water to relieve his torment in the flame. When temptation and sin are pressed hard upon our hearts, it burns with a great heat. The Bible speaks of our burning lusts.In the midst of this egregious flame, we must pour the water of God’s word. It is the only help to put out the raging flames of our wicked lusts and give a soothing, lasting peace. As has been well noted; “This book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book. “
Snow is like water in store kept back by cold. When the warm winds blow, it melts the snow, letting the water flow to the dry land below. Let us seek God to allow the Holy spirit to blow on the cold chambers of our hearts and allow His Stored word to have free course in our lives, that we might be clean, thriving, and soothing in this world, for Him.
“ The Night Before Christmas “
( With no apologies to Mr. Moore )
‘ Twas the night before Christmas, and all through our place, peace and contentment shown from every face. The children were tickling and laughing with glee, as I sat with my wife cuddled up next to me. We had both been so busy, much wearied in mind; so we thought we would sit down and try to unwind
When suddenly my mind awoke with a start, as I thought of the night Christ entered my heart. I was back in the barracks ,where I’d surrendered at last, as He washed away with His blood all the sins of my past. The dawn of a new life had started to glow and my sins, which were scarlet ,were now white as the snow.
When what to my wandering heart should occur, but the sins of that day; they had found me for sure. For the “Sword of the Spirit “, so powerful and quick, had divided within me and made my soul sick. As wretched as ever, they filled me with shame, I knew I must repent and call them by name; whether uncleanness, idolatry, variance or strife, envyings, murders, reveling and such like. From the depths of my soul to my Father I did call and He washed away, washed away, washed away all.
As Naaman’s leprous skin clean and soft as a babe was made, when he washed in the Jordan and on God’s Word his faith laid, So my soul was washed clean and my heart made anew, I was forgiven of sin and still His child too.
And then in an instant my mind filled with dread as I thought of what evil may lie ahead. As I drew in my mind all these pictures I found that evil was lurking, indeed , did abound.
It was shrouded in black from beginning to end, all it touched it tarnished and made to offend. A bundle of woes it had flung on its back and it seemed any moment that it would attack. Its beginnings so subtle! Its consequences dire!Its pains far greater than burning in fire! A slick little trick it had up its sleeve, a trick that too many are quick to believe!
A set of broken chains it held in its hand, it was then that I realized how I could stand. Its power became small and its allure like the dross for I saw myself at the foot of the cross. My Saviour died there but He hangs there no more and the price that He paid is to endure! The blood that He spilt and the thorns on His head soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
‘Twas faith in His Word and trust in His work that filled me with joy, I’d been such a jerk. Then Laying His hand upon my heart, and giving assurance I had a fresh start!
My heart leapt with Joy and my soul gave a whistle and my cares flew away like the down of a thistle!And I heard Him exclaim as I held my wife tight, “ Don’t worry my son, It has been all made right.”
Three Import”Ant” Lessons
Ants are amazing creatures. Smash their hill, and they rebuild it, not once, not twice but everytime. Erase their track and they keep searching till they find it, because it is their only way home. Put them in peril and they will fight until they die or win. There is just no quit in them.
We are often faced with many burdens in this life. In our struggle to meet these demands we are often encumbered by doubt, discouragement and disdain. We sometimes feel, and correctly so, that we are taken for granted, unappreciated, even forgotten. In these times, we tend to succumb to laziness, lethargy and lust. Ants, however, are unmoved by our motives, muses or our meanness. I believe that is why God has shown them to us. In Proverbs 6:6-8 the Bible says “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. “. There are three things the Ant has that we would do well to import into our lives.
1. She has Initiative.. She knows her business and gets to it. She needs no one to instruct her, she has been imparted with knowledge of what to do. She needs no one to keep her tally, she will do all she can. No one has to force her, it is her life to do what is needed. Even so we as Christians ought to take the initiative to serve God. We have Knowledge imparted from God’s Word, through the Holy Spirit. We have power to do all things through Christ which strengthens us. We are crucified with Christ and He is our newness of life. A Christian is not living until he is serving.
2. She has Ingenuity. She provideth her meat. That means she sets it up. Some ants are farmers, harvesting specific molds. Other ants are ranchers, with herds of aphids. Some dig traps. We, as Christians, have access to knowledge of witty inventions. Paul sought to be all things to all men that he might by all means save some. Surely we can find some way to plant some seed in some field.
3. She has Incentive. She knows when harvest time is and never fails to show up because it is her reward. The Bible tells us that we are to redeem the time because the days are evil. There is a harvest for us to be part of, but when we are distracted from our purpose, disengaged from thoughts of the possibilities of service, we shall be disappointed when we find a meager or non existant reward.
The Voice Of God
There are many things associated with the sound of an abundance of water as it careens over the edge of a precipice. If you have ever been to a large waterfall, such as Niagra, it is not something you forget. I believe God made those great water falls so that we could understand the grandeur of His voice. Consider these three aspects.
The Rush - As you gaze upon a great waterfall, you cannot but help to feel a sense of exhilaration. To see such a volume of water, to ponder the effects of its impact below, to feel the spray, and comprehend the mist. These all highten the senses and stagger the imagination. So it is to hear the voice of God. To have Him speak eternal truths and simple love equally cause our hearts to stir and our minds to fill with anticipation of Him. It is in a word, Exhilarating
The Rapids - If one were to look a little ways upstream, they might see a seemingly, gently rolling river. When one comes to the falls, however, one sees the truth of the rapidity at which the river flows. Nor does it take long for the water to complete its journey over the edge, and yet, it is not finished for it rolls on and new water falls afresh over the edge. How like the voice of God and His precious word. It is quick and powerful. Often I have found that after God has spoken to me I have gained a renewed vigor and zeal for life. While I read the same Bible everyday and no new verses are added, yet each time the age old truths are fresh and new. They do not stop producing when they flood my soul, nor do they stop flowing from Heaven above. It is in a word, Quickening.
The Roar - In the midst of the exhilaration of the senses and the quickening of the heartbeat there is the knowledge that herein is great power. The depth of the water, the weight of that volume, the power of the water not just to crush but errode, sweep away and cleanse. Oh, how deep the word of God! How powerful His voice! How effectual the myriad ability to cause, to create and to cleanse! Oh, the precious voice of God! How omnipotent ! When one hears Him they are struck with, in a word, Reverence.
Mere words that were printed on a poster;
“No Smoking” didn’t bother him the least.
Said he,”rules were made to be broken,
limits were set to be breached.”
Mere words,”Speed Limit 55” along the highway,
which he ignored as 85 he reached.
After all, “Rules were made to be broken,
limits were set to be breached.”
Small wonder when we go to church on Sunday,
God’s word is read, but our hearts it has not reached.
The Pastor’s sermons are mere words he wrote on paper;
at invitation we stand like statues at our seats.
But in Heaven,when all things to us are opened,
you’ll understand why those preachers yelled and screeched;
For,rules were not made to be broken ,limits were not set
to be breached.
There is nothing mere about the Bible!!
Let us tremble at God’s Word when it is Preached !!!
I Woke Today
I woke today, quickly dressed and hurried out the door
I gave no thought to yesterday or what went on before
I only knew I had today to finish every chore
I woke today, my muscles ached, my eyes to tired to see
I only thought of sleeping in and pampering lil’ ol’ me
I grudgingly rose to face the day and all that had to be
I woke today a muttering grump, angered by yesterday’s woes
I bitterly thought of fitting ways to bring vengeance on my foes
I swaggered out into the day intending to bruise some toes
I woke today astounded by my terrible lack of prayer
I thought each day of only me as though the Lord weren’t there
I bitterly wept o’r opportunities missed the gospel I did not share
I woke today
“ Awake to righteousness, and sin not;
for some have not the knowledge of God:
I speak this to your shame. “
1 Corinthians 15:34
"Thy Word Is Like A Symphony"
Thy Word is like a symphony , Lord
of music pure and good.
The songs so varied in their ways
Yet, thru strings one melodious chord.
Thy instruments are like the writers, Lord
Their selves as frail as we.
Thy grace sufficient, in their weakness
Bespeaks thy Majesty.
Thy notes are like the masses, Lord
Who give themselves to thee.
Each one set in their proper place
Give life its harmony.
So through the Bible , that blessed word
with books so many and old ;
I see that crimson cord of blood
Run to the streets of gold.
t.p. 6 - 12 - 97
“ And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. “
We all admire, as we should, Jesus and His continual pleasing of the Father. Longing to imitate Jesus’ example, we try but find the flesh is weak and our understanding can be dim.How can we please the Father?
It all starts with faith.” But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” We must believe in God’s eternal person. Who He says He is,not whom we perceive Him to be in our own conceits. We must believe in His endless power, His ability to provide for us. We must believe in His earnest passion. He longs for an enduring relationship with us. He is not a spare tire or a magic lamp.
It continues with obedience. “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.“ There are few things as annoying as a destructive, disrespectful, disobedient child. How often have we “known” what those parents should do. Yet, just like that little brat, we expect God to bless us and give us our desires, while we pay little, or no homage to His holy person and expectations. Being self-willed is not pleasing to God.
It is completed through Growth.” That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; “ Here are some areas of growth we need to concentrate on:
Sacrificial Giving “ But to do good and to communicate forget
not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”
Spiritual Thinking “ So then they that are in the flesh cannot
Separated Living “ But when it pleased God, who separated me
from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,”
" Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,
saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will
Never stop trying to bring a smile to His face. Pleasing Him is its own reward.
“ Living for Jesus, a life that is true, Striving to please Him in all that I do; Yielding allegiance, glad hearted and free, This is the pathway of blessing for me.
Living for Jesus through earth’s little while, My dearest treasure, the light of His smile;
Seeking the lost ones He died to redeem, Bringing the weary to find rest in Him.
O Jesus, Lord and Savior, I give myself to Thee, For Thou, in Thy atonement, didst give Thyself for me. I own no other Master, my heart shall be Thy throne. My life I give, henceforth to live, O Christ, for Thee alone.”
trp 9 - 28 - 2014