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November 2023 Devotions

November 1

Job 40:1-2

How could anyone contend with the Almighty? And yet we do so often. The word translated “contendeth” was also translated “debate.” Have you ever debated with God? It may have sounded like this, “I don’t think I can do that.” Or, “I’m just not good at those kinds of things, so I’m sure You didn’t ask me to do that.” O, we may not state it that way, but in our hearts we often debate such things with our Lord. The question is a good one, how could anyone contend with the Almighty.

His power is Almighty and His wisdom is immeasurable. There is no limit to His understanding of things past, present or future. He knows my downsitting and my uprising and understands my thoughts afar off. (Psalms 139:2) The Lord fully knows the limitations of my abilities and my knowledge. Having said that, would He ever call upon me to do something beyond my capacity without providing me with the wherewithal to accomplish His will?

How could one contend with God concerning what is right or what is wrong? Who makes those determinations? Does not the Lord Himself? Absolutely! It is He that determines what is right and what is wrong, what is sinful and what is acceptable. All morals come from Him, and so the question of what is moral or immoral can only be answered by the Lord. Why then should humanity debate with God on such issues? Humanity will forever debate with God on such things, but you and I who know Him as Lord and Savior must never! Let’s endeavor to never finds ourselves in the position of debating with the Almighty! Amen!

November 2

Matthew 24:45-46

My Papaw Pressley, my mother’s dad, was the grandparent that moved in with us when I was 12 years old, and it was his faithfulness to his church that was instrumental in my salvation. He just never missed. He wasn’t so vocal about his faith. I can’t remember him ever asking me if I was saved. He just knocked on my door every Sunday and ask me if I would go to church with him that day. He knew that if I sat under the Gospel, he might get the chance to see me walk the isle for Christ. And he did.

Never underestimate faithfulness. Just being faithful to the Lord sends a message of the genuineness of your relationship with Jesus Christ. It lets folks around you know that your faith is real and that the object of your faith is real. Now this is not to minimize the importance of verbally and personally witnessing to others, but your consistent faithfulness is a loud testimony to all around you.

Almost every Sunday, when Lynn and I drive past the recreation park in Canton on the way to Church there are people out walking. Many times it is the very same people we see each week. They see us also. We don’t stop and ask them why they aren’t going to church, and they don’t ask us if we are going to church, but they know. My prayer is that when they see us, the Holy Spirit might work in their hearts with the thought that they need to get right with God. You may recall that that very thing happened to me when I was growing up watching a neighbor that lived below us driving past on his way to church every Sunday. I don’t remember ever talking to him, but his faithfulness talked to my heart often. I can still hear that message clearly. Let’s be faithful followers of Christ. Perhaps our faithfulness just may be the message some lost soul needs so desperately to hear.

November 3

Obadiah 1:15

“…as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee….”

Paul wrote something similar to this we find in Obadiah; “Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7) Obadiah was condemning the Edomites for their treatment of the Children of Israel. His message was a warning to them that what they had sown they were going to reap; and they did just that.

Many are of the opinion that if they don’t get caught doing their wicked deeds they have gotten by, that there will not be any consequences for their sins. They are wrong. He that keeps the records knows all of the deeds of the wicked and, as Obadiah proclaimed, “…as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee….” It is estimated that less that half of the murders committed in the United States are ever solved, and some estimates are less than thirty percent. Does that mean that the murderers have gotten by with their crimes? They may have gotten by for now as far as the judicial system is concerned, but not with God.

Can I share with you a blessed thought? There is a doctrine of Scripture that is very precious to every child of God. It is the doctrine of imputation. You can read about this in Romans 4. What this doctrine teaches is that Jesus Christ took all of your sins and died for them on Calvary. All of your sins were placed on His account. He then took His righteousness and placed that on your account. Praise God! All of those sins and acts of godlessness committed in our past have been forgiven, as well as those of our future. As the song says, “Jesus paid it. All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.” Thank God for His amazing grace!

November 4

Hebrews 5:8-9

The Incarnation of Christ is one of the great mysteries of the Bible. God condescended to this earth, taking upon Him the form of sinful flesh, yet without sin. Speaking of the early days of His humanity, Luke wrote, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in tabour with God and man.” This is a great mystery! It is for He never ceased being God, but He did willingly limit Himself and allowed Himself to develop in His human grown, stature and wisdom. With that in mind, read again our passage for today’s devotional thought. Through the things He suffered, the Lord Jesus learned what it meant as a human to “obey,” to be obedient to the will of God the Father. Through that obedience, He became “perfect,” or complete. Consequently, “He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that believe.” Now you understand why I say this is a great mystery.

This truth of our Savior should do several things for us. For one, it should motivate us to be completely obedient to the will of our Heavenly Father, seeking ever to do those things that please Him. It should also humble us to see what our Lord was willing to do in order that He might become “the author of eternal salvation….” Of course, it should also fill us with joy and with a sense of worship for the One Who purchased for us “eternal salvation” made possible to us through faith in His death, burial and resurrection. Amen! Praise the Name of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!

November 5

Deuteronomy 23:23

The Lord’s will for His own is that they be good for their word, that we “perform” that which is gone out of our lips. In the context, the subject being dealt with is that of making vows to God. The writer of Ecclesiastes wrote, “When thou lowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin….” (Ecclesiastes 5:4-6a) In the days of the law, if a person made a promise to God, He expected them to live up to that promise, that is if it was made in keeping with Scriptural principles.

If everyone lived up to this requirement found in Deuteronomy, there would be no need for contracts of any kind. Unfortunately, contracts are made to hold sinners to their promises. If I purchase something requiring some type of time payments, I will be required to sign a contract binding me to that agreement. This is required because of the sinfulness of humanity. Although it is required, it really shouldn’t have to be for the follower of Jesus Christ, for all that know Him should be honest and good for their word.

Aren’t you glad that the Lord is good for His Word. If He promised it, it is certain. It is as simple as that! He promised to save, and those who place faith in Christ are guaranteed eternal life. The word of our unchanging God is set in stone and never to be broken. Praise His Name for that security and assurance. Should we not endeavor to be trustworthy, honest and good for our word as we follow His perfect example?

November 6

2 Corinthians 3:17

In the context of this verse, Paul compared the law, with its condemnation, with the life given to the believer through faith in Christ. He referred to the law as the “ministration of death.” In Romans 7:13 he wrote, “Was then that which is good (Here he is referring to the law) made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.” I would remind you that the law was never given to make us righteous, but to reveal to us that were were not righteous, but sinners. And, as the Scripture has declared, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:20) As Paul wrote in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death….” So, as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3, the law was the “ministration of death.”

With that in mind, consider again what Paul wrote in our verse for today; “…where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” For those who are in Christ, the law’s ministration of death no longer condemns, for the Lord Jesus took those condemning sins and died for them on the Cross. The believer was given the “earnest of the Spirit” upon conversion, and that life He granted in regeneration conquered the spiritual death caused by sin. Now the believer has the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit dwelling within, and “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Amen!

We that are saved have been truly liberated by the Holy Spirit, for “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36) The law’s condemnation no longer serves to us as the “ministration of death,” for the Holy Spirit has given us liberty. Praise the Lord for the Holy Spirit’s work in our life, for “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Amen!

November 7

Jonah 1:13

Jonah would rather have died in the sea than to carry the Word of the Lord to Nineveh. It wasn’t because the prophet so despised the people of Nineveh, but because he knew that the Lord would use Assyria to judge the Kingdom of Israel. The Assyrians were especially cruel to those they conquered, and Jonah knew that if they repented at his preaching the Lord would spare them of the Divine judgment against them he was to proclaim. (See 4:1-2) The Assyrian Empire, with Nineveh as its capital, did indeed overthrow the Ten Northern tribes of Israel as a Divine judgment against them for their idolatrous ways.

I see an interesting thing in our verse for today’s devotional thought. The mariners tried feverishly to keep from having to toss Jonah into the sea. While they were unsaved idolaters, they had compassion on Jonah and could not bear the thought of casting the backslidden prophet into the raging waves. They knew he couldn’t survive that tempest and that he would drown. When he first suggested they throw him out of the ship they refused, rowing even more intently endeavoring to save the ship and the wayward man of God. They actually showed more compassion than Jonah, who had fled from the presence of the Lord, and was willing to die in the sea rather than to carry the message God had called him to preach to the Ninevites.

Christian, we must have compassion on those who know not the Lord, for they are facing a Christless eternity. We have the truth that could spare them of that loss. Like the mariners in Jonah’s day, we should do all within our power to see that the message of grace is carried to the unsaved. May the Lord give us the burden we need for the lost, and the wherewithal to share with them the Gospel of Christ, for that is their only hope.

November 8

1 Samuel 4:21

The birth of a child should be a joyous occasion, but the one we read of in today’s verse certainly was not. This baby was named Ichabod, meaning “no glory.” HIs mother said, “The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband.” Her father in law and her husband were both dead, and the ark was taken because of wickedness. Her father in law was Eli, the high priest of Israel, and her husband, Phinehas, his son. These men, and the other son of Eli, had greatly polluted the office of the priesthood with their sin, and consequently the ark of God was taken into battle with the Philistines, and was lost in battle like some good luck charm. Because of their sinful behavior, the glory of God had departed from Israel, and the child named Ichabod was testimony to that truth throughout his life.

Scripture declares, “Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people.” This truth applies to the United States, as well as any other nation in the world today. Historically, our country was blessed with a certain glory; the glory of her greatness and of the peace and prosperity with which her citizens were so enriched. Some might conclude, and rightly so, that her glory was actually the blessings of God she enjoyed. Could it not be said that the glory of this country was the glory of our God that shined upon us. I fear that that glory is departing, or perhaps already has departed. When so many in this land no longer believe in or endeavor to honor God in their lives, when the country seems to be so far removed from godliness and Biblical purity, should we wonder why the glory of God seems to have departed?

If that be a fair assessment of the current situation in our land, and it certainly seems to be so, that departure of God’s glory must not be a reality in the house of God. The Church is not dependent upon society or upon the government of this land to maintain the glory of God’s presence and power. May we ever keep the prayer of Paul in mind recorded in Ephesians 3:21, “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

November 9

Ephesians 4:1

“…walk worthy….”

As a Christian, one who has been saved through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, you have been blessed beyond words. Forgiveness, pardon, sonship with the Father, the promise of eternal life and the ever abiding indwelling Holy Spirit to secure and guide you are all yours through your relationship with the Lord. In a world of sinful darkness and separation from God, you have been given by grace the distinction of being called a “child of God,” an heir of God, and joint-heir with Jesus Christ. (See Romans 8:17) What a blessed position in Christ! What a gracious calling! What a glorious “vocation!” (meaning a calling, an invitation, a Divine invitation to embrace God’s salvation)

Can you see the challenge presented to us who have been so blessed by God’s grace? The challenge is expressed in those two words above, “…walk worthy….” The thought is “walk suitably,” “walk as is becoming of,” or “walk in a manner that is worthy of….” There’s the challenge. God’s will for us is that we that have been so blessed and enriched by the goodness of His grace should reflect that in our lives, that we “should walk worthy of the vocation wherewith” we have been called. Are we worthy? Absolutely not! But the Lord has made us worthy through His grace and glorious salvation. Can we walk worthily? Yes! We can do all things through His strength. (Philippians 4:13) We can, and we must! Let’s accept this challenge and trust in God’s enabling power to help us to “walk worthy.”

November 10

Song of Solomon 1:3

“…and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” There is no name like the name Jesus. I know that there are people that are called by that name, but there is really only one Jesus. His name speaks peace and hope to my soul. It cheers my heart, and fills my heart with hope. While I am typing these words, music is playing in the background, and the song that is playing is, “I Surrender All.” That song says, “All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give.” That’s a song that all who have trusted Him as Savior can, and must sing.

Shakespeare asked the question, “What is in a name?” He followed that by stating, “That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” The name of Jesus was chosen from eternity past. When Joseph was told, “thou shalt call his name Jesus,” that name was chosen by Almighty God. The name means “Savior.” He was called “Savior: for he shall save his people from their sins.” No other would-be savior of men could be called Jesus. He is Jesus. He is Savior. He is our Savior. Praise His Name!

His name is above every name, and God has decreed that the day will come when every knee will bow and confess that He is Lord. He is Lord! Carry that name well, child of God. Represent Him well in all you do, and share that name with all. Continue to hold that name dear to your heart, and never hesitate to call upon that name in times of trouble, as well as in times of adoration and praise. “What is in a name?” Everything, when that name is Jesus Christ, our Blessed Redeemer! Amen!

November 11

Esther 4:14

This Book is a fascinating read. You would do well to spend some time with it, gleaning spiritual truths from this event that happened to the Jews in the days of the captivity. Esther had been promoted by God’s providence to the place of queen in the land of the Persian empire under Ahasuerus. It was a massive kingdom of one hundred and twenty seven provinces. Through a wicked plot of Haman, all the Jews in Persia were to be slain on a given day. Mordecai, Esther’s uncle, had called upon her to go before Ahasuerus on behalf of her people, the Jews. When she showed reluctance, Mordecai spoke the words of our text for today’s devotional thought.

“…and who knoweth whether thou are come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” What a challenging question? His question took into consideration the providence of our omniscient God. God had orchestrated that which brought Esther into favor with Ahasuerus, giving her the opportunity to be the agent through which the Lord would work to deliver the Jews from the wicked plan of Haman. This book beautifully portrays the working of our God behind the scenes of life to accomplish His great plans. Mordecai’s counsel to his niece was wise, warning her that if she help her peace, deliverance would arise from another source, but the Lord was giving her this opportunity to be used of Him for His Divine purposes.

What a challenge this is to all Christians! Consider, beloved, that God has brought you to this place in your life where you could be used of Him in the accomplishing of His purposes. If we fail to avail ourselves of the opportunities He has afforded us, He will use others to do His bidding, but we will miss the blessing of being used by the Lord. Mordecai’s counsel is wise advise for us all. Let’s avail ourselves of the opportunities God has given us to be used in His service. Amen!

November 11

Micah 4:1

What a glorious prophecy! This prophecy looks forward to the day when the Lord Jesus will set up His kingdom upon earth, ruling the world from Jerusalem as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The “mountain” in passages like Micah 4:1 speaks of a government. In this prophecy, the Lord’s government will be set up “in the top of the mountains,” or other governments of the world. “And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Read Revelation 19:11-21 and 20:1-6. There is a bright day on earth’s horizon. It is the day when Jesus Christ reigns over the world as King. It will be a day of unparalleled peace and prosperity on the earth. What a glorious day that will be!

Beloved, the world will never know peace until the Prince of Peace comes to reign on this earth. Men have longed for peace. They have prayed for peace. Great efforts have been made by men to achieve peace, but, “There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.” (Isaiah 48:22; 57:21) Peace will only come when the Lord reigns supreme.

Is this coming kingdom of Christ to be considered a literal kingdom on this earth? Absolutely! Will Christ literally reign as King from David’s throne in Jerusalem? Without question! This is a glorious hope in our world, and it is as certain as God’s Blessed Word is true. He is coming, and He is coming to set up His kingdom on this earth. Praise God for that glorious hope! For the present, however, you and I that know Him as Savior must be living for Him, and sharing His message of grace to all. This message, the Gospel of Christ, is the world’s only hope, and it is the only message that can bring life eternal to those who believe. May the Lord help us to look forward to the blessed future awaiting us, and to serve Him in the present until He comes. Amen!

November 12

2 Samuel 22:4

David sang the words of this song, found in Verses 1-51, in praise of the Lord Who had delivered him from the “hand of Saul.” It is a lengthy song of adoration of God for His mighty hand of deliverance in David’s life. It is a song of praise such as should fill the lips and hearts of all who have been saved by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

We, too, faced an enemy who sought to destroy our souls eternally. (1 Peter 5:8) This enemy was too great for us. We were no match for his wisdom and strength. Thankfully, the “Author and Finisher” our our faith, the “Captain of our salvation” brought deliverance through His death on the Cross and through His resurrection from the dead. His deliverance far exceeded that of David’s deliverance from Saul, for our Savior delivered us from eternal loss. For that we sing praises unto His name.

“Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul.

Thank you, Lord, for making me whole.

Thank you, Lord, for giving to me,

Thy great salvation so rich and and free.”

Sing this little song today to your Savior! He’s worthy of all praise and adoration. Know this, beloved, one of the thrills for the child of God through all eternity will be the singing of praises to the Lamb who died to take away our sins. “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:9-10)

November 13

Micah 7:19

“They’re underneath the blood,

Of the Cross of Calvary,

As far removed as darkness is from dawn,

In the sea of God’s forgetfulness,

That’s good enough for me.

Praise God, my sins are gone.”

The mistakes of our past can haunt us if we allow them to, but our Lord has given good news to sinners like you and me. Those mistakes of our past have been forgiven through the offering of the Lord Jesus, forgiven and forgotten. They have been “cast…into the depths of the sea.” As the Psalmist said in Psalms 102:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” Praise the Lord!

Our enemy often brings our sins to mind and through that tries to defeat us. Sometimes it works, but it must never. Once Lynn and I were on a cruise ship, standing at the rail looking down into the water. The captain of the vessel had just spoken over the loudspeaker to tell us that the water at that point was 2500 feet deep. Standing there looking down into the water, I took a dime out of my pocket and flipped it up into the air. We watched it as it hit the water and disappeared. Its down there somewhere today, buried in the sands on the bottom of the ocean. Maybe a fish saw its shining sides and swallowed it before it hit bottom. Perhaps the Lord will tell us someday about the fate of that dime, but like my sins it was cast into the depths of the sea. The next time the adversary brings up your past errors, praise the Lord for the fact that He will never dredge up your sins for He “cast all my sins behind his back,” (Isaiah 38:17) removing them as far as east is from the west, and dumped them into the depths of the sea. “In the sea of God’s forgetfulness, that’s good enough for me. Praise God, my sins are gone.”

November 14

Nahum 1:7

As a child, I was taught to pray, “God is great, God is good. Let us thank Him for our food. By His hand we all are fed. Give us Lord our daily bread. Amen!” That was a little simple prayer with a profound message for a little mind to consider. It spoke truth, and one of the truths of that little prayer is “God is good.” He is good to all, even those who refuse Him, despise and ridicule Him. He allows them to live on His earth, breath His air and benefit from His bounty. He causes His sun to shine on them, His rain to fall upon their ground and permits them to breath His air. Every second of their lives, lives that refuse to give Him the honor He is due, is a gift from Him. God is good!

God is good to all, but He is especially good to those that believe, trust and love Him. He is gracious, loving and kind to His own. His eye is ever upon them, watching over them with a Father’s loving care. Our very best interests are ever upon His heart. He knows when we fail, understands our deepest thoughts and is concerned with the most mundane aspects of our lives. Nothing about His own is unimportant to our Heavenly Father.

God is good! He has been good to me, and He has been good to you. Let’s thank Him today for His goodness, and let’s tell others about how good our God truly is. If they don’t know Him through the Lord Jesus, they are missing out on one of the greatest blessings in life; that is the relationship they could have with our “good” God through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

November 15

Habakkuk 3:17-19

Habakkuk was a prophet of coming judgment, and as such he was living in a troublesome time, facing even greater troubles as the days sped by. He saw things as a prophet of God that others did not see, knew things that others did not know. He saw a time of great difficulty and hardship on the horizon, but he maintained his faith in the goodness and justness of God.

As he closed out his prophecy, he concluded by saying that regardless of the circumstances he was facing, he would “rejoice in the Lord,” and that he would “joy in the God of my salvation.” How could he do that? How could he have such a positive attitude and mindset? He could because he drew his strength from the Lord. He knew that the Lord would give him what was needed to endure what he was facing, and that He would enable to him to walk on a higher plain in the midst of troublesome times.

He will do the very same for us, regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in. We sing the song “Higher Ground” in which we sing, “Lord lift me up, and let me stand, by faith on heaven’s table land; a higher plain, that I have found. Lord plant my feet on higher ground.” Don’t let the troubles of the day get you down, child of God. The Lord will be your strength, and He will lead you to that higher plain that you might walk with Him. Amen!

November 16

2 Corinthians 13:14

Paul closed out his second letter to the Church at Corinth was a prayer; a threefold prayer that verifies our doctrinal belief in the Trinity. In this prayer, Paul sought a blessing upon his readers that really is a prayer for all that know Christ as Savior.

First, he prayed that the Corinthian believers might experience the “grace of our Lord Jesus Christ” in their lives. They had experienced his grace for salvation, but this grace Paul is speaking of is grace for living the Christian life, grace to enable them to face their challenges through the grace of the Lord Jesus. He then prayed that they could be enveloped in the love of God. O, what a need in our lives, especially in a world that is so void of love. God’s love encourages, builds up, strengthens and soothes the weary heart. Finally, the prayer speaks of the “communion of the Holly Ghost. Again, nothing could be more important than the child of Gd being able to commune with his Lord. Everything is made bettter with time spent talking to the Lord.

This prayer is for you and me, a desire of our Lord expressed in His Word. He knows what we need, what is most important to us as His own. Before you lay down this devotional thought, take a moment to meditate on the great benefits of experiencing the grace of our Lord Jesus, being blessed with thoughts of the love of God and the joy of communing with the Almighty through the intercessory work of the Holy Spirit. Enjoy that today, beloved.

November 17

James 3:18

Do you know who benefits most when obedience to the Lord and His Word is a priority in life? Of course, when a believer determines to base and guide his or her life on the principles of Scripture, everyone around them are the beneficiaries. However, the real blessings are reaped by the obedient.

God’s Word is filled with warnings for that which must be avoided. It is also filled with commands, those actions and deeds He has given for His dear ones to add to their lives. When we do so, the blessings of obedience are ours to enjoy. You see, beloved, our Father in heaven knows exactly what robs His children of joy and peace, just as He knows what makes them content and happy.

For instance, when we are told to lay aside weights and sins, our Lord knows that if we fail to do so we are “beset” with actions and attitudes that are negative and harmful to us. (See Hebrews 12:1-2) When we are commanded to “…be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,” (Ephesians 4:32) the Lord knows that if we obey that command we are much the better for it. A simple illustration is when your parents told you not to touch that shiny leaf, they knew that poison oak can be a horrible nightmare. When they told you not to touch the hot stove - well, you get the point. The Lord has forever known what is best for us, and His Word is designed for just that; what is best for us. Amen!

November 18

Romans 15:30-33

The song says, “I need the prayers of those I love….” Paul did, and so do we. He longed for, and often requested that believers would remember him on their knees in prayer. See 2 Corinthians 1:11; Ephesians 6:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:25; 2 Thessalonians 3:1. He knew that he faced opposition wherever he traveled to proclaim the Gospel, so he needed prayer. He also knew that we have an awful adversary, with great power and tremendous hatred for the cause of Christ. Consequently, he coveted the prayers of his friends.

James admonished us to “pray one for another.” (James 5:16) That really should be a regular part of our prayers, that is of lifting up our friends, our brothers and sisters in prayer. We all have our difficulties, our challenges and our crosses we are called upon to bear. Doing so is much less challenges when we know that we have folks we love praying for us. This is certainly true for me as a pastor. I know there are sweet church members that remember me and Lynn regularly in prayer, and that is a comforting and strengthening resource worth more than words could ever express. Many times missionaries will express the desire for the prayers of churches they visit, stating that prayer support is more important than financial support. That’s not to minimize the necessity of financial support, but it is to maximize the real need for prayer warriors remembering our frontline Gospel warriors.

This presents a challenge to us all. Let’s take one another to the Lord in prayer regularly. Pray for the elderly that are battling the challenges of age. Pray for the young that the Lord would guide them in all they do. Pray for parents still raising their children, and for children that are truly facing an onslaught of attacks from the adversary. Pray for souls, for our governmental leaders, and for Israel’s peace and safety. And, of course, please pray for your pastor and his wife, that the Lord would guide and use them for His glory. Let’s just “pray one for another.” Amen?

November 19

Ecclesiastes 5:6

“Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin….”

Enough said! Actually, I was very tempted to let this be the only devotional thought for today; something for us all to meditate on throughout the rest of the day. There are many ways that I can allow my mouth to cause my flesh to sin. I can speak without thinking, and live to regret it, for to engage the tongue before engaging the mind is a prescription for disaster.

James said, “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” “Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!” (James 3:2,3) Some folks live their entire lives just spurting out the very first thing that comes to their minds without weighing consequences of harsh words spoken. For those the Lord admonishes,

Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin….”

This counsel covers many areas. I can commit myself to something with my mouth that a bit more thought might have saved me much anguish and woe. In anger, I can open my mouth and do irreparable damage. My tongue can get the rest of me in real danger when unleashed without thought. “He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction” (Proverbs 13:3) “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.” (Proverbs 21:3) Get the idea? “Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin….”

November 20

1 Peter 3:18

“…that he might bring us to God….”

This simple statement provides an answer for many questions. Why was Jesus born in Bethlehem in Judea? Why did He live His entire life in total obedience to the law and will of His Father? Why did Jesus suffer so in the Garden of Gethsemane, in the presence of Caiaphas or in Pilate’s Hall? Why the scourge, the beatings, the mocking and the Cross? He did so “that he might bring us to God….?

Why did the Lord send forth Paul and Barnabas on the first Missionary journey, in essence birthing missions into being? Why did He build His Church, and commission His Church to carry the Gospel throughout the world? The answer is simple, it was done that He might bring precious souls to God. This also explains why He wants His children to live holy lives in obedience to His will. He wants this that through their testimony and through the witness of the lives and their lips souls might be brought to Him in saving faith. Everything thing that the Lord has done he has done “that he might bring us to God.” You have been reading your Bible today. He left us His Word “that he might bring us to God.” The Holy Spirit is working in the world today that He might bring men and women, boys and girls to Himself through the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This tells us much. It tells us that in our natural state we were separated from God because of our sins. If the Lord had not intervened “that he might bring us to God,” we would have remained separated from God eternally in a Christless hell. If He had not condescended to earth, died on the Cross and conquered death through glorious resurrection, that separation from God would never have been rectified. He has done all “that he might bring us to God.” When you bow your head to pray today, thank the Lord Jesus for bringing us to Himself through all that He suffered. We will praise Him throughout eternity for bringing us to Himself. Amen!

November 21

Genesis 3:5

Jesus said the following words about Satan; “He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” He lied to Eve. He lied when he told her that she would be as gods. He lied when he lead her to believe that God was unjust in not allowing her to eat of the forbidden fruit, that He was somehow cheating her out of something that would really have been good for her. It was lie after lie that he told her to convince her to disobey God and eat of that which had been forbidden. Eve believed his lies, partook of the tree and plunged all of her descendants into sin. He lied, she believed and sin entered into the world.

He continues with his lies today. Souls are convinced every day that God is not real, He is not approachable if He does exist or there will always be plenty of time to approach Him should there ever be that desire to do so. His lies have been most convincing when he has told people that sin is more pleasing than righteousness, and that wickedness is much more appealing than holiness. Satan has convinced most that dishonesty is the best policy and that doing right will only get you further behind. Souls are convinced daily that there is plenty of time for everything except God.

His lies have deceived all, and if you will be honest with yourself, you have not been exempt from the deception peddled by the deceiver. He is a liar, and he is the father of lies. He invented lying and mastered the art of lying, handing down that dubious trait to all who will take it up after him.

Thank God for truth! “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) Let’s be truthful, and ever bear the truth of grace to a world that is blinded with Satan’s lies. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life….” (John 14:6) Satan is a liar, Jesus is truth! Let’s walk in His truth!

November 22

1 Peter 5:5-6

“…clothed with humility….”

Many clothed themselves with pride as they started their day today; pride in their accomplishments, their wealth, their ancestors or their education. Some clothed themselves in the pride of their self-righteousness. There is a truth in God’s Word about pride that is worthy of note; “A man’s pride shall bring him low….” (Proverbs 29:23)

The child of God should ever be clothed with humility, genuine humility. It really isn’t difficult when we realize that nothing we have, and nothing we can ever accomplish could be done so without the Lord. No goodness we may possess, no righteousness or purity in our lives would be possible outside the grace of our Lord. We are what we are by God’s grace.

Humility is not self-degradation or contempt. It is a realistic look at one’s self in light of the goodness and grace of God. It is a realization of where one would be without the Lord, and of all the benefits and blessings bestowed by our gracious Lord. Humility recognizes that there “is none good, no not one,” (Matthew 19:17) and that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) The walk of humility is a walk of gratitude for the goodness of God. When you rise in the morning and put on your garments for the day, put on the clothing of humility and walk humbly with your Lord throughout the day He provides you. Amen!

November 23

Proverbs 11:12

“…a man of understanding holdeth his peace.”

Admittedly, there are times when it is not wise to hold your peace. There are times when it is necessary to speak up, to voice your opinion or to let your disapproval be known. At those times, holding your peace, keeping your thoughts to yourself, would simply be the wrong thing to do.

On the other hand, speaking up or speaking out may be the very worse thing you could do in certain situations and circumstances. Dad would say, “Son, sometimes its best to let people think you are a fool, than it is to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” The really important thing to know is when its best to speak up and when its best to hold your peace. What is really needed is “understanding” as mentioned in our verse for today. The Hebrew word translated “understanding” was also translated “discretion.” Let’s face it, there are times when discernment and discretion is the call of the hour and this is especially true when it comes to speaking up and giving out information or expressing opinions that are best kept quiet.

Here is where we need the help of the Holy Spirit. We need for Him to grant us His discernment, His wisdom to guide us in our interactions with others around us. We need His understanding. How do we get that? We glean that from reading His Word and from spending time with Him. James said it this way, “ If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5) Father, help us to know when its best to keep our thoughts to ourselves, and when its best to speak up and let our thoughts be known. Give us that discernment. Amen!

November 24

1 John 5:21

The prophets in Scripture cried out continually against the worship of idols, often mocking the practice in no uncertain terms. See the following passages: Jeremiah 2:26-27; Psalms 115:4-8; Isaiah 44:9-17. These “dumb” idols were the works of their own hands, yet they bowed themselves down to them and trusted in them as their “gods.” Foolishness!

We need to think about this, child of God. We read things like this and wonder how the Children of Israel could have been so foolish as to bow down to idols. But think about this, why did the Holy Spirit inspire John to write the words of our devotional text today? He did so because of the tendency, the natural tendency for humanity to bow down to idols. You and I are not exempt from that tendency, or else we would not have been so warned. It is so easy to make an idol out of something. You see, anything that takes your time and devotion that should be dedicated to your Lord becomes an idol. It can be a hobby, a job, a past time, a favorite item, whatever you dedicate yourself to becomes an idol.

Now understand this, child of God, hobbies are not wrong. Past times are not wrong. Jobs certainly are not, but anything that takes the place of the Lord in your life becomes your idol before which you bow in dedication. This is what must be avoided, what we must keep ourselves from. It is very easy to allow the time, the devotion and commitment that should be reserved for the Lord to be given to something else. For this reason, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”

November 25

Amos 5:6

“Seek the Lord, and ye shall live….”

Life can be lived oblivious of the Lord. People do it everyday. In fact, the vast majority do just that; they live without seeking the Lord in any way in their lives. He is not in any of their thoughts ever, and yet they live. But do they? They exist. They work and play, raise their families, and do the things required to maintain life, but do they live?

How could it ever be possible to know and experience life in its fullest without knowing and seeking the Lord? Life’s meaning and purpose is impossible to know without the Lord. Amos was speaking to a people that were backslidden on God, people that should have known better, and were facing Divine judgment because of their current state. To them, the Lord gave this ray of hope, that if they sought Him they would live. The fact is, however, regardless of our current situation, the only way we can know and enjoy real life is to do so through the Lord. The reason is simple; He created and sustains life, and only through Him can be found fulfillment in life.

“Seek the Lord, and ye shall live….” Seek His guidance, for life is filled with choices and decisions that must be made. Seek His wisdom, for life is filled with challenges for which Divine wisdom is a must. Seek His will, for life lived in the will of God is life well lived. Seek His Word, for in His Word there are warnings, detours and guide posts to lead the way through life in victory. Seek His face and commune with Him, for life walked with the Lord is a wonderful life. “Seek the Lord, and ye shall live….”

November 26

Psalms 19:14

Is what I think and what I say of any importance to the Lord? Without doubt! Is He concerned at all with the thoughts of my heart and the words for my mouth? Absolutely! For this reason, the Psalmist prayed this simple prayer in Verse 14.

Know this, child of God, the Lord is concerned with every aspect of your life. His Word has counseled, no, demanded that your life be lived in keeping with His revealed will. And, He has informed us that as an individual “thinketh in his heart, so is he….” (Proverbs 23:7) We examined the fact just the other day that our words are of the utmost importance, that the proper use of our tongues is a topic dealt with much in the Bible. So, the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart are very significant and important to our Lord.

Actors make their living pretending to be something or someone that they are not. (By the way, why then would it be wise to listen to, to follow or to idolize someone who is always playing a part?) The Lord does not want us to merely act out Biblical principles in our lives, to simply be Christian actors on a stage. He wants our lives to be real, our testimonies to be real and the actions and deeds of our lives to be real. For this reason, the Psalmist prayed this simple prayer. It would be wise for us to pray this prayer regularly, and mean it from the depths of our hearts. Amen!

November 27

John 1:42

“And he brought him to Jesus.”

This was Peter’s first introduction to Jesus. Andrew, Peter’s brother, after meeting and briefly following the Lord, went and found Peter and brought him. This is a simple thought expressing a profound truth. The Lord has chosen for needy souls to be brought to Christ through other needy souls that have already had the privilege of being brought to Him. Did that seem a bit wordy? Its true!

Everyone that knows the Lord today was brought to him through the efforts of another. It may have been a personal witness, an invitation, the sharing of a gospel tract or some other method of bringing, but all have been brought to Christ through the aid of another. One friend of mine came to Christ on the side of a rode after hearing a Gospel message on the radio in his vehicle. For me personally, it was the efforts of my grandfather that brought me to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus. For you, it may have been a parent, friend or a husband or wife, but you were brought to the Lord by someone that knew Him.

This is exactly what Jesus had in mind when He told His own that they were to be His witnesses to others. Peter met the Lord because his brother, Andrew, cared enough for him to introduce him to Christ. Beloved, this is the Lord’s will for us that know Him as Savior. We should ever be concerned with bringing others to our Lord. The woman of Samaria ran into town and told everyone she came in contact with, “Come. See a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” Because of her testimony, many in that town became followers of the Lord Jesus. They had been “brought to Him” through the witness of the woman that met Him at the well. Let’s sincerely pray about bringing others to our Lord that they might have the privilege of knowing Him as Savior and Lord. Amen!

November 28

Revelation 1:10

The Book of Revelation is a great book, a book that promises a blessing to all who will read it. Through this book we are given light concerning the future, a future that is most bright because of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. John was given wonderful prophesies, glorious truths that were designed for our generation, for we are surely that generation that will be eye witnesses of many of the things John saw.

Our verse gives us a simple truth about John’s spiritual condition and faithfulness that enabled him to be the recipient of this magnificent book. He noted, “I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day….” His living condition is unknown, only that he was exiled on the Isle of Patmos. This is a thirteen square mile island not far from the Turkish mainland that was used as a prison island in John ’s day. It is doubtful that his living conditions were pleasant, but that did not keep him from being in the spirit on the Lord’s day. In other words, John was being consistent in his walk with his Lord regardless of his living conditions.

This thought encourages me. It encourages me to seek to walk with the Lord and to be consistent in my life as a follower of Christ in every situation I find myself in. It challenges me to seek to be “in the Spirit,” of a spiritual mind, communing and seeking my Lord’s face continually. John’s faithfulness on the Lord’s day set an example for me to seek to always make the Lord’s day a special day of meditation and prayer, of worship and praise. While I should endeavor to be “in the Spirit” everyday of the week, I should certainly seek to be so on the Lord’s day.

John was used of our Lord in a mighty way to allow His Church to be informed concerning her future. He was so used because he was “in the Spirit.” May the Lord help us to ever seek to be “in the Spirit,” that He might be able to bless and to use us for His glory. Amen!

November 29

Ezra 1:1

“…that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled…..”

Jeremiah had prophesied that the captivity would last seventy years, and that at the end of the seventy years the children of Israel would be allowed to return to their land. Isiah had even prophesied of King Cyrus, calling him by name many years before his birth. (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1) This detailed prophecy, even including the naming of a Gentile king many years before the king’s birth, was fulfilled in every minute detail. What confidence this inspires in the Word of God!

“…that the word of the Lord…might be fulfilled….” Know this, child of God, every prophecy of God’s Word, every precious promise and every fearful prophetic revelation will see complete, detailed fulfillment. The Lord by this has not left His own in the darkness concerning the future. He has given His Church information, promises and detailed explanations of the world’s condition prior to His coming, and indicators of His coming that allow us to be informed and prepared. Paul wrote, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” (1 Thessalonians 5:4-4)

Recent events in Israel are just a reminder of the great plans God has for that people in the future, plans that will see fulfillment just as Jeremiah’s prophesies of Cyrus saw fulfillment. The Lord truly has left us His light, light that will guide us as we draw nearer to His coming. It is, therefore, incumbent upon us to be knowledgable of that light. It is required that we read it, study it and walk in its light. Let’s do that, beloved, that “that day” not “overtake” us a a thief. Amen!

November 30

Genesis 50:25-26

Joseph is one of the greatest Old Testament characters. His story is most interesting, and worthy of an in-depth study. He has the distinct privilege of being one of the few people in Scripture of which no fault or sin is mentioned. He was a sinner, but God did not choose to record any of his errors.

Sold by his brothers into slavery at the age of seventeen, Joseph ended up in Egypt. There, through no fault of his own, he was placed in prison. At the age of thirty, through Divine providence, Jospeh was released from prison and promoted to second in command of all Egypt, only the Pharaoh being superior to him. Though God’s direction, Jospeh not only protected Egypt from a dire famine in the land, he also took care of all the family of Jacob. God truly prospered and blessed both Egypt and Israel through Joseph’s life, wisdom and leadership. But then we read, “So Joseph died….”

Many great men and women have lived their lives in service to God, and have left a great example for us to follow. But until Jesus comes, there will always be found a notice that reads somethings like this, “So Joseph died….” Every faithful child of God mentioned in the Bible has died, but the work of the Lord has continued. The cause of Christ has had to endure the passing of many precious, faithful servants of God, but the cause continues to move forward and to prosper.

The work continues, but there is ever a need for a Joseph, or a David, or a Priscilla and Aquila to take up the baton of service. That need continues today, child of God. The challenge of all of God’s children is that we be faithful in His service, in fellowshipping with Him and in representing Him to a lost world. And, the challenge for younger Christians is that they step and become that new generation of faithful souls in Christ’s kingdom work. Heavenly Father, bless Your Work with faithful “Jospehs” that will serve you throughout their lives. Amen!


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