Posted in Hiding His Word

And Now, Brethren, I Commend You to God

2 Kings 17:1–18:12; Acts 20:1-38; Psalm 148:1-14; Proverbs 18:6-7

Ye Know…After What Manner I Have Been with You
And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: and how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
 – Acts 20:17-21

And Now, Behold, I Go Bound
And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
 – Acts 20:22-24

And Now, Behold, I Know Ye Shall See My Face No More

And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
 – Acts 20:25-28

For I Know This…Shall Grievous Wolves Enter

For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
 – Acts 20:29-31

And Now, Brethren, I Commend You to God

And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.
– Acts 20:32-33

Ye Yourselves Know, That These Hands Have Ministere

Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
 – Acts 20:34-35

And When He Had Thus Spoken, He Kneeled Down, and Prayed

And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.
 – Acts 20:36-38

Hezekiah Did that Which Was Right in the Sight of the Lord
Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan. He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. For he clave to the LORD, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses. And the LORD was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not. He smote the Philistines, even unto Gaza, and the borders thereof, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.
 – 2 Kings 18:1-8

Praise Ye the LORD
Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.
 – Psalm 148:1-5

A Fool’s Mouth is His Destruction
A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes. A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul
. – Proverbs 18:6-7

Posted in Hiding His Word

Thus Did Urijah the Priest…

2 Kings 15:1–16:20; Acts 19:13-41; Psalm 147:1-20; Proverbs 18:4-5

Thus Did Urijah the Priest, According to ALL that King Ahaz Commanded
And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus: and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof. And Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus: so Urijah the priest made it against king Ahaz came from Damascus. And when the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar: and the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon. And he burnt his burnt offering and his meat offering, and poured his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings, upon the altar. And he brought also the brasen altar, which was before the LORD, from the forefront of the house, from between the altar and the house of the LORD, and put it on the north side of the altar. And king Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, Upon the great altar burn the morning burnt offering, and the evening meat offering, and the king’s burnt sacrifice, and his meat offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings; and sprinkle upon it all the blood of the burnt offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice: and the brasen altar shall be for me to inquire by. Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that king Ahaz commanded. –
2 Kings 16:10-16

King Ahaz did not worship God. He wanted an altar like he saw in Damascus and ordered Urijah the priest to build it, adding to and taking away parts of the altar that God designed. Urijah, the high priest, did anything the king commanded, disobeying the law of Moses. Moses was commanded to make the tabernacle according to what God showed him, and then the temple was constructed according to the plans God gave to David. God does not like compromise or mixture.

Urijah, the priest, followed the King’s command rather than God’s. The king ordered the changes, but Urijah is the one that made the changes.

This kind of mixture still happens today. Somebody sees something out in the world that would “fit” into the Lord’s work and perhaps make it more pleasing to the outside world, thus drawing the people in. The church starts to imitate that and, slowly, one compromise at a time, starts to look more like the world than the church God designed.

Like Urijah, the same type of compromise and mixture can happen in our hearts if we aren’t more tuned to God’s Word and God’s voice than we are to man’s. Urijah knew God’s laws, as do we. Each time there is known compromise, we have a choice to cooperate with the changes or to stand firm in God’s commands. We are the temple of the Holy Ghost, and we should take as much care of lining our hearts and souls to His, as Moses took of obeying God’s designs for the tabernacle and David for the temple.

Please help us, Lord, to see our own compromise and address it swiftly as You reveal these things. I ask this in Jesus’ Name! Amen!!!

Jesus I Know, and Paul I Know; But Who are Ye?
Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed. –
Acts 19:13-20

His Understanding is Infinite
Great is our LORD, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
– Psalm 147:5

The Wellspring of Wisdom
The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.
– Proverbs 18:4

The words of a man’s mouth are like deep waters [copious and difficult to fathom]; The fountain of [mature, godly] wisdom is like a babbling stream [sparkling, fresh, pure, and life-giving]. – Proverbs 18:4 AMP




Posted in Hiding His Word

The Way of the Wicked He Turneth Upside Down

2 Kings 13:1–14:29; Acts 18:23–19:12; Psalm 146:1-10; Proverbs 18:2-3

The Way of the Wicked He Turneth Upside Down
The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.
– Psalm 146:9

Happy is He that Hath the God of Jacob for His Help
Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, In whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; In that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the LORD his God. – 
Psalm 146:3-5

O My Father, My Father, the Chariot of Israel, and the Horsemen Thereof
Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows. And he said to the king of Israel, Put thine hand upon the bow. And he put his hand upon it: and Elisha put his hands upon the king’s hands. And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the LORD’s deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them. And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed. And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice. And Elisha died, and they buried him.
 – 2 Kings 13:14-20a

Have Ye Received the Holy Ghost Since Ye Believed?
And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, he said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied
. – Acts 19:1-6

A Fool Hath No Delight in Understanding
A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.
 – Proverbs 18:2

A [closed-minded] fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his personal opinions [unwittingly displaying his self-indulgence and his stupidity]. – Proverbs 18:2 AMP

We all know people that give an opinion on everything but neglect to think through what they are saying. They love to hear themselves talk and often speak in fifty words what could be told in three or four. According to Proverbs, these people are fools. 

Please help me, Lord, to talk less and listen more when it comes to others and also when it comes to You, Father. Help every word out of my mouth to line up with Your holy Word. In Jesus’ Name. Amen!

Posted in Hiding His Word

Separating Yourself (from God and Man)

2 Kings 10:32–12:21; Acts 18:1-22; Psalm 145:1-21; Proverbs 18:1

Having Separated Himself (from God and Man)
Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom. – Proverbs 18:1

Intermeddleth – to interfere, hamper, hinder, obstruct

He who [willfully] separates himself [from God and man] seeks his own desire. He quarrels against all sound wisdom. – Proverbs 18:1 (Amp)

Great is the Lord
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.

The LORD is gracious, and full of compassionslow to anger, and of great mercy

The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.

The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.

The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.

The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.

He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.

The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.
 – Psalm 145:3,8,9,13,14,17,18,19,20

Your Blood Be Upon Your Own Heads
And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.
 Acts 18:4-6

Hold Not Thy Peace
Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them
. – Acts 18:9-11

God Save The King
And he brought forth the king’s son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, God save the king. And when Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people into the temple of the LORD. And when she looked, behold, the king stood by a pillar, as the manner was, and the princes and the trumpeters by the king, and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets: and Athaliah rent her clothes, and cried, Treason, Treason. But Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains of the hundreds, the officers of the host, and said unto them, Have her forth without the ranges: and him that followeth her kill with the sword. For the priest had said, Let her not be slain in the house of the LORD. And they laid hands on her; and she went by the way by the which the horses came into the king’s house: and there was she slain
. – 2 Kings 11:12-16

Posted in Hiding His Word

He that Hath Knowledge

2 Kings 9:14–10:31; Acts 17:1-34; Psalm 144:1-15; Proverbs 17:27-28

He that Hath Knowledge
He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.
– Proverbs 17:27

But Jehu Took No Heed to Walk in the Law of the LORD God of Israel
Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel. Howbeit from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, to wit, the golden calves that were in Bethel, and that were in Dan. And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel. But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin.
– 2 Kings 10:28-31

Jehu did much that the Lord wanted him to do, and God made him a promise that his children to the fourth generation would sit on the throne of Israel. But – but this chapter ended by telling us that Jesus took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord with all of his heart. How often do we follow some of God’s instructions, and God blesses us, and we turn around and compromise. We take no heed to continue to walk in the law of the Lord. We do that…again and again. Help us, Lord. Please help me!

He Hath Appointed a Day
Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
– Acts 17:22-31

Blessed be the LORD
Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.
– Psalm 144:1-2

My strength. My goodness. My fortress. My high tower. My deliverer. My shield.



Posted in Hiding His Word

Cause Me to Hear Thy Lovingkindness in the Morning

2 Kings 8:1–9:13 Acts 16:16-40 Psalm 143:1-12 Proverbs 17:26

Cause Me to Hear Thy Lovingkindness in the Morning
Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. – Psalm 143:8

The phrase “Cause me to hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning” reminded me of strawberry fields. The summer before I entered high school, my siblings and I worked, along with many other kids, picking strawberries in the strawberry fields in Washington state. Every morning before daybreak, a bus came by our house to pick us up and returned us in the afternoon. It was hard work bending over and filling those flats full of strawberries. After the strawberries were picked, we moved on to the raspberry fields.

It was my very first job and it was hard work. I made $242.00 that year picking fruit and spent every bit of it on clothes for school. I came away with a great appreciation for those that work or ever have worked in such an environment especially the migrant workers that worked in adjacent fields and were housed in meager temporary shelter while all of us children returned to our homes.

After that summer, I despised the smell and taste of strawberries. But then one day about 30 years later – I suddenly wanted a strawberry again.

Teach Me to Do Thy Will
Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
– Psalm 143:10

Let Them Come Themselves and Fetch Us Out
And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go. And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in peace. But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out. And the serjeants told these words unto the magistrates: and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans. And they came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city. And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed. –
Acts 16:35-40

Because Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown in prison openly, having done no crime, when the magistrates told the keeper to set them free, Paul and Silas refused to go. They said no, let them release us themselves.

The Man of God is Come Hither
And Elisha came to Damascus; and Ben-hadad the king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, The man of God is come hither. And the king said unto Hazael, Take a present in thine hand, and go, meet the man of God, and inquire of the LORD by him, saying, Shall I recover of this disease?

So Hazael went to meet him, and took a present with him, even of every good thing of Damascus, forty camels’ burden, and came and stood before him, and said, Thy son Ben-hadad king of Syria hath sent me to thee, saying, Shall I recover of this disease?

And Elisha said unto him, Go, say unto him, Thou mayest certainly recover: howbeit the LORD hath shewed me that he shall surely die. And he settled his countenance stedfastly, until he was ashamed: and the man of God wept. And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord? And he answered, Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child. 

And Hazael said, But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing? And Elisha answered, The LORD hath shewed me that thou shalt be king over Syria.

So he departed from Elisha, and came to his master; who said to him, What said Elisha to thee? And he answered, He told me that thou shouldest surely recover. And it came to pass on the morrow, that he took a thick cloth, and dipped it in water, and spread it on his face, so that he died: and Hazael reigned in his stead. – 2 Kings 8:7-15

To Punish the Just is Not Good
Also to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity.
– Proverbs 17:26

Posted in Hiding His Word

Thou Art My Refuge and My Portion

2 Kings 6:1–7:20; Acts 15:36–16:15; Psalm 142:1-7; Proverbs 17:24-25

Thou Art My Refuge and My Portion
I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. – Psalm 142:4-5

How many times have I felt all alone? How many times have I cried out to You? How many times have You shown me that You alone are my refuge and my portion?

Open His Eyes, that He May See
Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel? And one of his servants said, None, my Lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber. And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan. Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about. And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. – 2 Kings 6:11-17

Lord, I pray thee, open my eyes, that I may see!

So Were the Churches Established
And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem. And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily. – Acts 16:4-5

If people that walked with Jesus needed churches established, how much more do we in this day need them? It says here that churches were established in the faith. What does it mean to be established?

Establish – to bring into being on a firm and stable basis; to bring about permanently; to enact, appoint, or ordain for permanence.

When these churches were established, the Bible says they increased in number daily. Are churches not growing today because while the churches have been established, we have not been ourselves established? We begin and feel like it is permanent, but we want to run at the first pinch. We will stay faithful….unless we get upset about something or offended in some way, or bored. We go through a dry season, or God takes us through a season of waiting, and instead of holding fast and true in those seasons as God does His excellent work in our lives, we cast blame on the church. So many run to the next place at moments of difficulty, saying they are not being fed. But before they run, they pull away and start attending less. Indeed, they are not fed because they aren’t there? People are called to build and establish churches, but they are also called to be part and establish themselves. You are the Holy Spirit’s temple, and you are along with every believer, the church. Faithful in it – through good times and hard times – working together in it.

Yes, I well know there are some churches people need to flee from. Some have “Icabod” written on them. But many a God-fearing, Bible-believing, Holy Ghost-filled church is established with a handful of people now attending because they weren’t as glamorous and didn’t have the number of programs as the bigger church down the street. True, our smaller church resources are more limited. But the Holy Ghost isn’t!!! And the Word isn’t!!! And the power of God isn’t!!! And you know what? At a smaller church, we don’t have the strain of debt that some larger churches have. That strain bleeds down to the people.

Help us, LORD!!! Please help us to be faithful where You have set us. Help me to remain so.

Wisdom is Before Him that Hath Understanding
Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth. – Proverbs 17:24

The wise person has understanding, not because of anything of himself, but because He fills his mind with the Word of God and learns to discern and distinguish between worldly and fleshly things and the things that are of God. As you fill your mind with the Word and meditate on it, you receive counsel from God that brings that wisdom.

By contrast, the fool searches but has no wisdom. His eyes are not fixed on God and God’s Word but the ends of the earth. He looks everywhere except God’s Word for his answers. He looks to the wisdom of man, the knowledge of scholars, the thoughts and meditations of false religions, the occult, and even to drugs for enlightenment.   

Heavenly Father, I come before You today, and I praise You and thank You. There is no God like You. You have been with me when no one else has been in these last days. You alone have been my refuge and my strength. You alone have sustained me and shown me how to navigate this new place I find myself. You alone have set me amid a small but great company of believers that search to know and honor YOU more than they search to be known by many. Thank You for Your church, oh God. Father, in our time in Your precious Word today, we learned of a servant whose eyes were opened to see in the spiritual. I ask today that You open my eyes in that way. Help me see what is unseen by the natural eye that I might clearly know Your way for me and that I might not fall into the enemies’ traps. Show me Your glory, Lord. Set me on FIRE once again and refill me to overflowing with Your Holy Spirit that I might be a light in my world today. Please help me keep Your Word always before me to meditate on it day and night and receive understanding from Your Holy Ghost. That I might know You, lift Your Son, and share the GOOD NEWS that He died for in this dark and dying world. I ask these things in Jesus’ Name. Amen! Amen!

Posted in Hiding His Word

Why Tempt Ye God?

2 Kings 4:18–5:27 Acts 15:1-35 Psalm 141:1-10 Proverbs 17:23

Why Tempt Ye God to Put a Yoke Upon the Neck of the Disciples?
And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them. But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
 – Acts 15:4-11

So often because we feel conviction to live certain ways and to do or not do certain things, that God is calling every one to live in the same way. When we try to force little things that we have made big things onto others we risk putting a yoke on them that even we can’t bear? There is only One standard to live by and that is the Word of God – the entire Word…not just bits and pieces. 

Help me, Father to see where I fail in this area. Please help me live and walk as a faithful follower of Jesus, looking more and more like Him each day. I ask that in Jesus’ precious Name. Amen!

Now I Know That There is No God in All the Earth, But in Israel
So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant. But he said, As the LORD liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused.
 2 Kings 15:9-16

It is interesting how often the first thing we want to do when God does a miracle through someone is to lift that person up. In this passage, Naaman wanted to give the prophet an offering. But Elisha knew it was not him, but God that did the miracle, and he refused gifts for what God had done.

The LORD Pardon Thy Servant in this Thing
And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules’ burden of earth? for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD. In this thing the LORD pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon thy servant in this thing. And he said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way.
 2 Kings 15:17-19

Naaman was healed and He knew it was God. He gave God the glory and wanted to worship Him but He also knew that He worked for a master that bowed to an idol and that he would be required to do that. He asked the Lord to pardon him when we was made to bow. Elisha told Naaman go in peace. God looks at the heart. 

Set a Watch, O Lord, Before My Mouth
LORD, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee. Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties
. – Psalm 141:1-4

Please Lord!

To Pervert the Ways of Judgment
A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.
– Proverbs 17:23

Posted in Hiding His Word

Through Much Tribulation…

2 Kings 3:1–4:17; Acts 14:8-28; Psalm 140:1-13; Proverbs 17:22

Through Much Tribulation…
Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, and saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them. And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed. And after they had passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia. And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia: and thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled. And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles. And there they abode long time with the disciples
. – Acts 14:14-28

In this passage, Paul has seen a miracle, and while he did his part to point them to Jesus and the Gospel, the people saw these men instead as gods themselves and wanted to make sacrifices to them. Paul and the men tore their clothes and cried out – Why are you doing these things? We are men like you, but we bring to you the Gospel of Jesus Christ that you might turn from idols and worship the One, true and living GOD. Jews came and won over these same crowds, and they ended up stoning Paul. They took him out of the city, assuming he was dead, but as the disciples gathered around him, he got up and went back to the town. The next day he and Barnabas went on their way, returning to cities they had been to before. There they preached the good news and made disciples. They encouraged the believers to remain firm in the faith, letting them know that it is through many tribulations and hardships that we must enter the Kingdom of God. They appointed elders, prayed over them and went on their way until they reached Antioch – the place where their missionary journey began. These were the ones that had sent Paul, so he spent time with them telling all that the Lord had done on the journey – the successes and the failures.

This story in our New Testament reading touched me today because I have been sent. I have faced opposition while in another place and came back having felt I failed in my mission. I am the one that returned and stood to tell all that happened during the journey – the successes and the failures. I am the one that has spent the last few years going nowhere and content with that for a season. I did my fair share of asking, “Why?” But, then, after several extended seasons of fasting and in the midst of a pandemic – I found in my heart the longing to go once again. 

Today, the Holy Ghost has reminded me once again that we must through much tribulation enter the Kingdom of God.

Thou Hast Been Careful for Us
And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread. And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither. And it fell on a day, that he came thither, and he turned into the chamber, and lay there. And he said to Gehazi his servant, Call this Shunammite. And when he had called her, she stood before him. And he said unto him, Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host? And she answered, I dwell among mine own people. And he said, What then is to be done for her? And Gehazi answered, Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old. And he said, Call her. And when he had called her, she stood in the door. And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And she said, Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid. And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life. 
– 2 Kings 4:8-17

I love how Elisha acknowledges all this woman has done for him, all the care she has given him. He asks her, now what can I do for you? He offers suggestions – can I speak to the king or other important people on your behalf? I love her answer even more. She says I live here among my own people in peace and security. I do not need any special favors. She did all she did not to gain anything but because she had a heart to care for the man of God. Now, she was blessed beyond measure for her care of him, but the posture of her heart was to serve God through serving the man of God and making his assigned tasks a little easier. There is a great lesson here.

The Upright Shall Dwell in Thy Presence
I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor. Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.
 – Psalm 140:12

Good Like a Medicine
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
– Proverbs 17:22

Posted in Hiding His Word

He that Exalteth His Gate

2 Kings 1:1–2:25; Acts 13:42–14:7; Psalm 139:1-24; Proverbs 17:19-21

He that Exalteth His Gate
He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction. – Proverbs 17:19

If you love to argue, you love sin. If you praise and promote yourself, your position, your authority – you are working to destroy yourself.

In Scripture, gates were places where legal and business transactions were handled. Rulers met at the gate and counsel was given there, as well as public announcements. The gates were meeting places where you could speak at one time to large groups. Those with position, titles, and authority could be found sitting at the gates to proceed over things. It was the courts of their day. The gate was also a place of protection. Everyone came in or went out through the gate. If a nation controlled the gates of a city, they had conquered that city.

Exalt – To elevate by praise; to raise in rank, power, or character.
Seek – To go in search of; to try to acquire or gain

The Spirit of Elijah Doth Rest on Elisha
And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel. And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head today? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.

And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho. And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head today? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.

And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the LORD hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on. And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan. And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground.

And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.

And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; and he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.

And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him. – 2 Kings 2:1-15

A Light to the Gentiles
And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. – Acts 13:44-49

Whither Shall I Go From Thy Spirit?
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. – Psalms 139:7-12

Once you figure out that there is no where you can go that God isn’t there, you can stop wasting your prayer time begging God to show up and praise Him and thank Him because He always has…and always will. 

Thank YOU, Father!!! Thank YOU, Jesus!!! Thank YOU, Holy Ghost!!!