Thursday, February 28, 2013

A NAME ABOVE EVERY NAME, Daily Devotional, Thursday, February 28, 2013

32 Days to Resurrection Sunday
Philippians 2:9 “…A name which is above every name…”

9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

REFLECTION:  Before He was born Jesus had a name.  Luke tells us, “His name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel, before he was conceived in the womb.” (Luke 2:21)

Some have names with no specific significance.  Some have significant names but no significant success.  But Jesus had a significant name with matchless success. 

In heaven the angels will sing of the Crucified: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” (Revelation 5:12).“Things in heaven.”(Philippians 2:10)

Every part of the creation that Christ himself spoke into existence, everyone, in every place, in heaven, on earth, under the earth, and in the sea, will declare of the Risen One, “Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever!”(Revelation 5:13).“Things in earth, and things under the earth.” (Philippians 2:10)

The sanctified children of God will testify of their Savior, “THOU WAST SLAIN AND HAST REDEEMED US TO GOD BY THY BLOOD…” (Revelation 5:9).That’s a song the holy angels cannot sing.

But what of those who neglect and reject our Jesus?  What of those who have blasphemed His name? What of the many who have no regard for His name—who carelessly take his name in vain? 

Ah they too shall confess in that day!  For “Every knee should bow…and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”Without exception, every child of Adam, and Adam himself will bow. 

It is not IF we bow that settles our eternal destiny, for all will bow at the last judgment.  It is WHEN we bow, and when we confess, that finally determines whether we will hear, “depart from me,” or “enter thou into the joys of thy Lord.” 

PRAYER:  Our Father, Hallowed be thy name!  From the depths of our hearts we thank you for sending your only Begotten Son to be:
our Advocate,
the Bread of Life,
the Christ of God,
the Dayspring from on High,
the Everlasting Father,
the First and the Last,
the Good Shepherd,
the Holy One of Israel,
the great I AM,
the King of Kings,
the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world,
a Man of Sorrows,
the Nazarene,
the Only Begotten Son,
our Prophet, Priest, and King,
the Quencher of thirst for the water of life,
the Resurrection and Life,
the Sun of Righteousness,
the Truth,
the Unleavened bread that came down from heaven,
the Vine of whom we are but branches,
the true Witness,
him who speaks from His more Xcellent glory,
the Yea and Amen, and
the Savior of Zacchaeus! And our Savior too!
In the name above every other name, the name of Jesus, Amen. Our Father, &c.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

LET THIS MIND BE IN YOU, Daily Devotion, Wednesday, February 27, 2013

33 Days to Resurrection Sunday
Philippians 2:5 “…Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus…”

3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

REFLECTION: To have the “mind which was also in Christ Jesus ,”I LET GO”—purposefully turning away from self-centered thinking, (repentance is a thorough change of mind),and “LET GOD,”— purposefully letting the mind of Christ reign in my life.

The self-centered mind is fed by feelings of self-importance and the accoutrements of authority.
The mind of Christ, compelled Him to willingly leave the worship and majesty of His heavenly throne to live among us.

The self-centered mind longs to be well-thought of by others.
The mind of Christ made himself of no reputation.

The self-centered mind demands to be served.
The mind of Christ was determined to serve.

The self-centered mind considers itself better than the average, or the best of all.
The mind of Christ came to minister to the average and below.  “He came to me!”

The self-centered mind is proud.
The mind of Christ was humble.

The self-centered mind submits to no authority.
The mind of Christ submitted to men with no ultimate authority, and became obedient unto death.

The self centered mind recoils at the thought of sacrifice.
The mind of Christ was willing to suffer the shame and disgrace of the cross.

If only one person in each relationship (i.e. home, church, or work) would “let the mind of Christ” reign supreme it would be a wonderful blessing.  Decide now to be that person.

PRAYER: Our Father, We thank you today for the example you set before us. We pray that we would have “the mind of Christ.”  If we are self-centered in any area of our life, forgive and cleanse us we pray.  May we ignore the praises of men and crave the approval of God.  May we serve Thee and others willingly and without complaint. May we humbly submit to your authority and submit to all who are in authority over us.  And may we live everyday saying, “Not my will, but Thine be done.”  All this we pray in the Name of Jesus. Amen. Our Father, &c.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


35 Days to Resurrection Sunday
Isaiah 53:5 “…and with his stripes we are healed…”

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

REFLECTION:  Look again at maladies and the cures in Isaiah 53:5:

The malady: Transgressions.
The cure: He was wounded.Nails, thorns, and a spear wounded our meek Savior. (John 19:37)

The malady: Iniquities.
The cure: He was bruised.Fists bruised our Lord’s sinless body. (Matthew 26:27)

The malady: No peace
The cure: He was chastised.A reed that served as a mock scepter was taken from His hand and then used to beat his thorn-crowned head.  (Matthew 27:30)

When we come to the fourth cure, “By His stripes,” no specific malady is cited.  We know that the whip of the Roman Legionnaire shredded the flesh of our Lord’s body leaving the stripe-marks here mentioned. (Matthew 27:26).But Isaiah does not explicitly tell us what it is that the “stripes” will heal.

“Transgressions,” “iniquities,” and “peace-lessness,” are spiritual conditions.  We usually assume that the “stripes” were to bring about physical healing, but the context surely demands a spiritual significance.

That the Lord miraculously healed and heals the physically sick we are sure.  We are witnesses of His power over nature. Yet we are also sure that every person our Lord healed during his ministry, even those whom He raised from the dead, ultimately passed through the valley of the shadow of death. 

We believe that the cure for transgressions is permanent.  We believe that the cure for iniquities is enduring.  We believe that the cure for peace-lessness is lasting.  But if we see the stripes as the remedy for“physical ailments,” we must admit the cure is temporal at best.

The Apostle Peter refers to this Scripture in his first letter to the persecuted Church.  He urges suffering Christians to follow in the footsteps of Christ, who, “his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes we are healed.” (I Peter 2:24).  Here again there is no specific mention of physical ailment.  There is an explicit reference to spiritual health, evidenced by “righteousness.”

While in the Recovery Unit at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, the doctors asked the respiratory therapists to remove the ventilator from my Father’s face.  He looked at his anxious wife and two sons, faintly smiled and whispered, “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:  Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercies.” (Psalm 103:1-4). I can’t tell you how thrilling that was for our family. 

Then within twenty-four hours my father was again requiring the ventilator.  Nine weeks later he was breathing the ethereal air of heaven.  He testified, “Bless the Lord… who healeth all thy diseases…” then infection took him from us. 

What is this healing to which David and Isaiah and Peter refer? It is first and foremost that healing of the sin sick soul.  That old African-American Spiritual had it right:
“There is a balm [cure] in Gilead
to make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead,
to heal the sin sick soul.”

Marvelous truth.  Christ came not only to forgive transgressions, wash away iniquities, and speak peace to troubled souls, He came to bring spiritual health to sin-prone souls.

He came so that we might be filled with “all the fullness of God,”(Ephesians 3:19) and that“the very God of peace” could and would “sanctify wholly.”He suffered outside the gate that He might sanctify us with His blood. (Hebrews 13:12) He did all that was necessary so that “our whole spirit and soul and body would be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).  To those who doubt the possibility of such spiritual healing, sanctifying grace, the Apostle Paul testifies, “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

PRAYER: Our Father, “My heart is thrilled when ere I think of Jesus!  That blessed name, which sets the captive free!  The only name, through which I find salvation! No name on earth has meant so much to me.”  I cannot possibly comprehend all that Christ accomplished “wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed,” but I can offer a heartfelt “Hallelujah!” for your sacrifice for me.  “I long to be perfectly whole, break down every idol, cast out every foe, now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow!”  Bless and make me a blessing today.  In the strong name of Jesus, Amen.Our Father, &c.

Monday, February 25, 2013

WE ESTEEMED HIM SMITTEN BY GOD, Daily Devotional, Monday, February 25, 2013

Isaiah 53:4 "We esteemed him smitten and stricken by God..."

4. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

REFLECTION:  How like fallen men:  The Savior is crucified and thy rationalize God is responsible!  Standing near the cross outside the city wall, pacing through the Temple downtown, huddling along the streets of Jerusalem in hush conversations, his accusers justified themselves:

It wasn't our fault that nailed Him to the cross, it was His.
It wasn't our sin that nailed Him to the cross, it was His.
It wasn't our deceit that nailed Him to the cross, it was His.
It wasn't our blasphemy that nailed Him to the cross, it was His.
It wasn't our hypocrisy that nailed Him to the cross, it was His.
It wasn't our blindness to see the truth that nailed Him to the cross, it was His.
It wasn't our self-sufficiency that nailed Him to the cross, it was His.
It wasn't our self-righteousness that nailed Him to the cross, it was His.

"We don't see things as they are; we see things as we are," the Talmud remarks.  How true.

His accusers justified themselves.  Yet they were the ones who needed to be justified.  So Jesus died, the "just and the justifier." (Romans 3:26).

I like to think that if I had been there I would have seen the Savior for who He was, and is. I like to think that if I had been there I would have resisted the influence of the crowd, even though they were the leaders of the most spiritual church in town. I like to think that if I had been there I would have defended Him, and indicted myself.

But I fear that at best I would have run away with His disciples, and at worst--oh dreadful thought--I would have added my voice to the mob shouting "Crucify Him!"

Jesus was certainly not "stricken, smitten of God and afflicted."  It was my sin--my pride, my folly, my rebellion, my disobedience--that nailed Him to the cross.

Man of Sorrows! what a name
For the Son of God who came,
Ruined sinners to reclaim,
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood,
Hallelujah, What a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless we,
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
"Full atonement!" can it be?
Hallelujah, What a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die;
"It is finished was His cry;
Now in Heav'n exalted high.
Hallelujah, What a Savior!

When He comes our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew His song we'll sing,
Hallelujah! What a Savior!
            Words and music by Philip Bliss

PRAYER: Our Father, Hallowed be Thy Name.  We confess that we are easily confused.  Too often we accuse when we are at fault.  We recoil from thinking of our sins.  We resist the truth of our sin.  But you, Our Loving Heavenly Father, seeing the whole sorry scene, yet saw in us something of such infinite worth that you sent your only Begotten to redeem us from all iniquity!  How can we say thanks? What can we do to express the depths of our love for you today?  "Here Lord, I give myself away, 'tis all that I can do!"  Humble me. Teach me. Forgive me. Indwell me. Sanctify me. And make of me what you will.  This I pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.  Our Father &c.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

WHO HATH BELIEVED OUR REPORT? Daily Devotional, Sunday, February 24, 2013

36 Days to Resurrection Sunday
Isaiah 53:1-4  “…Who hath believed our report?”

1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Who hath believed our report?  Who believes?

Not those who are blind.
Bertrand Russell, that famed atheist from the last century once quipped that if he ever did face God he would  “reproach Him for not giving us enough evidence.”  The Psalmist exalted: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” (Psalm 19:1-3).  Russell saw scant evidence for God.  The Psalmist looked at the same universe and saw evidence everywhere!

The Apostle Paul saw the evidence and believed everyone who would could see for themselves, “The invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead;”  Everyone has seen enough that they are “without excuse:”  Paul warns that disbelief leads to darkness, and darkness to decadence.  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Romans 1:20,21)

Not those who are of hard heart.
We say, “A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.”  And so it is.  When a man’s heart is hard, he will not believe though mountains of evidence point to the truth.

The disciples found it difficult to believe after witnessing amazing miracles.  Jesus reasoned with them: “Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? Perceive ye not yet, neither understand? Have ye your heart hardened? Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven. And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?”(Mark 8:17-21). 

Hardening of the heart is as spiritually fatal as hardening of the arteries is physically fatal.  The Writer to the Hebrews urges his readers, “Exhort one another daily, while it is called today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”  (Hebrews 3:13)

Not those who could not believe.
John was a first-hand witness to the resistance of the Jews to trust Christ: “Though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:  That the saying of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, “Lord, who hath believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?” Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again, “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.” (John 12:37-40).

St. Augustine, a convert to Christ in the 4th century commented on this passage, “If I be asked why they could not believe? I immediately answer, Because THEY WOULD NOT." Aug. Tract. 53.

They could not because they would not.  And they would not because they were unwilling to do the of God.  Only the willing will believe and know.  Jesus said, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” (John 7:17)

Count Me In
As for me, “When they number the ones who believe in Him, count me in!”  I’m with Paul, “Iknow whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12). 

If you’ve struggled to believe, pray with the Father who brought his afflicted son to Jesus, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:24). 

You will discover that faith is proportional to your willingness to see, to sense, and to surrender to the Suffering Servant so aptly pictured in Isaiah 53. 

Who hath believed our report? Ah we have!  And we are so glad.  We can never be same again.

PRAYER: Our Father, The thought that you would reveal your mighty arm to us—That you would reach down, lift us from the horrible pit of sin, and set our feet joyfully traveling up the highway of holiness—is beyond our understanding.  To think that when we could not come to where Jesus was, “He came to me,” thrills our soul!  Lord open our eyes to see more of Thee.  Soften our hearts to sense more of Thy love. And may our wills be at one with your “good, acceptable, and perfect will,” for now and for all of eternity.  In the name of our crucified Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen. Our Father &c.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER, Daily Devotion, Saturday, February 23, 2013

37 Days to Resurrection Sunday
Psalm 69:9 “…the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.”

SCRIPTURE READING: PSALM 69:1-4, 13-21; 29-36
This Psalm is one of the most frequently quoted in the New Testament.  The Prophecies will appear in bold print.  The New Testament fulfillment will appear in italic print.

1 Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.
2 I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.
3 I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.
4 They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.

John 15:24-25, Jesus speaking.
"If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause."

8 I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children.

John 1:11 
"He came unto his own, and his own received him not."

9 For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up;

John 2:13-17 
" 13 And the Jews passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, 14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: 15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers money, and overthrew the tables; 16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Fathers house an house of merchandise. 17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up."

and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.

Romans 15:3 
"For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me."

13 But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.
14 Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.
15 Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
16 Hear me, O Lord; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.
17 And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily.
18 Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies.
19 Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee.
20 Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.

Mark 14:33-41 
" 33 And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; 34 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. ... 37 And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour? ... 40 And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him. 41 And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners."

21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

Matthew 27:34 
"They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink."

29 I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.
30 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
31 This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.
32 The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God.
33 For the Lord heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.
34 Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and everything that moveth therein.
35 For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession.
36 The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein.

REFLECTION: Writing a millennium before the Messiah, King David offers detailed prophecies of our Lord’s Passion.  He would be hated without cause. He would be rejected. He would be disowned.  He would be reproached.  He would look for some to take pity and offer comfort but would find no one. He would be offered gall and vinegar to drink.

Yet it is His zeal for the Temple, the House of God that arrests our attention just now.  Christ began and ended His ministry by cleansing the temple of money-changers.  He faced them and demanded,
“Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer?”  He charged those religious profiteers with turning God’s house into “a den of thieves.”   (Mark 11:17)

Christ jealously guarded His Father’s house against the encroachment of secularism—the malignancy of “this-worldliness.” Worship was not to be an occasion for money making.  Worship was not to be about glorifying the worshippers—the singers, the givers, the pray-ers, or the preachers.  Worship was not to entertain or to wow worshippers with hi-tech and psych-techniques. Worship was not about being relevant. It was about being reverent. 

Oh that the zeal for God’s House would grip God’s people.  Certainly then God’s house would be filled with fervent praying, not frivolous playing.  Surely then we would see God’s glory and the salvation and sanctification of His people.

In the New Testament we are taught that our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Ghost. If Christ was zealous to preserve the sanctity of that temple made with hands, how much more does he desire that the temple made with His hands be wholly and holy His?“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Just as the Temple made with hands was to be “a house of prayer,” so our Temple should be hallowed with prayer.  Paul urges us, “pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).So, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

PRAYER: Our Father, Creator and Preserver of all that is good, we lift our hearts to you in sincere praise and humble adoration.  We long to know the joy of your presence in our worship.  We pray that we would be not only zealous to worship, but that we would be zealous to worship in the way that pleases you. May we deny ourselves and delight in you.  “O the glory of His presence, O the beauty of His face, I am His and His forever, He has won me by His grace!”  In the name above every name, the name of Jesus, Amen.  Our Father &c.

Friday, February 22, 2013

WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME? Daily Devotion, Friday, February 22, 2013

38 Days to Resurrection Sunday
Psalm 22:  “My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

SCRIPTURE READING: PSALM 22:1-2; 6-8; 11-21; 26-31.
1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head saying,
8 He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.

14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
19 But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
28 For the kingdom is the Lord's: and he is the governor among the nations.
29 All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.
30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

REFLECTION: The 22nd Psalm, written by King David one-thousand years before Messiah, offers both personal and prophetic testimony. 

Like every man“after God’s own heart,” David knew the thrill of victory and the crush of defeat.  He knew the utter loneliness that belongs to men who stand for right.“Why hast thou forsaken me?”He knew the total dependence that belongs to men who rise up with the Lord againstblaspheming giants. “O Lord: O my strength, haste to help me!”  And he confidently knew that victory was certain for “The Kingdom is the Lord’s.”

But it cannot be coincidence that this one Psalm contains no less than 12 specific prophecies that were fulfilled at the death of Jesus of Nazareth.  It is no wonder that students of the Word call this a “Messianic Psalm.”

After writhing in excruciating pain on the cross for nearly six hours, the mid-afternoon sky now veiled in darkness, Jesus summoned enough strength to utter, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me!”This fourth saying from the cross was a direct quote from the first verse of the 22nd Psalm.  For centuries the Jews believed this Psalm referred to their coming Messiah.  Though His strength was fading, by whispering these words Jesus was pleading with His lost brethren to know Him as their Savior.  “He loved them unto the end.”

Some have supposed that at this moment the divine nature departed from Christ so that only his human nature was left to bear the punishment we so certainly deserved. The Gnostics of the ancient world and the followers of The Watchtower commonly known as Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that today.  But take away deity from any redeeming act of Christ and redemption is ruined.

The Psalmist prophesies of One…
… who would be verbally abused, ( v.6  But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. v.7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head saying…)
…whose trust in God would be ridiculed,(v. 8 He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him)
…who would be surrounded by enemies,(v. 12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round…)
…who would be physically weakened, (v. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. v. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.)
…who would be thirsty, (v.15)
…who would be surrounded by enemies (v.16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: …)
…whose hands and feet would be pierced (v.16… they pierced my hands and my feet.)
…whose bones would not be broken (v. 17  I may tell all my bones…)
…who would be stared at by the people (v. 17… they look and stare upon me.)
…whose clothing would be won by gambling (v. 18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.)
…whose prayers would be heard by God (v.21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen)

Every one of these prophesies is specifically mentioned and confirmed in the New Testament. In fact, fulfilled prophecy throughout all of Scripture is one of the most powerful evidences that God’s Word is inspired and without error.  “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable…”

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!”Christ endured the cross alone in time that we would never endure that unspeakable loneliness of Christlessness in eternity.

PRAYER: Abba Father, We stand on a sliver of finitude between two infinities.  Had it not been for Calvary we would not be standing.  Had it not been for your sacrifice, we would have only known infinite loneliness, unfulfilled desire, and the torments of hell.  Yet you were not willing that we should perish.  You loved us.  You cared for us. You taught us.  You showed us. You prayed for us. You suffered for us. You died for us.  You rose again for us.  You ascended to heaven to intercede for us.  And, Hallelujah, You are coming again for us!  May we live today, and every day, honoring that sacrifice you made for our unworthy souls. In the name of God’s Holy Son, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.  Our Father &c.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

JEHOVAH JIREH Daily Devotion Thursday February 21 2013

Genesis 22:14  “…And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh…”

9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11 And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.
15 And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,
16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
19 So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beer-sheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beer-sheba.

REFLECTION: Each time God called Abraham, the Patriarch replied in the Hebrew tongue-- “Hineni.” We translate the word, “Here am I,” but it ought not to be interpreted in the physical sense alone.  There is a far deeper spiritual significance: “Look through me.  I am available.” 

When God called Abraham to make the sacrifice of his Son, Abraham replies, “Hineni” “Look through me!”  When Isaac asked his father about the sacrifice, Abraham replies, “Hineni” “Look through me!”  When God holds back Abraham’s knife wielding hand, Abraham cries, “Hineni” “Look through me!”

Men of faith and integrity are willing for God and other men to “Look through them.”  They have nothing to fear for they have made themselves wholly available to their God.  Would we dare say to /    God, “Look through me”?

Abraham’s faith, evidenced by His obedience and his willingness to sacrifice his nearest and dearest, would favor him with God’s promise, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.”  And God kept His promise!  The Apostle Paul tells us, “the blessing of Abraham came to the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Galatians 3:14). 

Living, active faith not only blesses us, it makes us a blessing!

Moses, the inspired author of Genesis tells us, “Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.” (Genesis 22:14).  Jewish translations read, “In the mount where the LORD is seen.”Realizing that it was at this very place, 2000 years later, that the Lamb of God would suffer and die, Abraham’s title was most fitting.  Certainly this is a mount “Where the LORD is seen!”

And there is one more facet of truth that shines from that gem, “Jehovah-Jireh!”  It is sometimes translated, “The LORD will provide.”  Now the meaning is complete.  “The Lord is seen! And the Lord is seen as our provider!”  He provided a ram for Abraham to sacrifice.  He provided the Lamb of God as a sacrifice for my sins, and for the sins of the whole world!  “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!”

PRAYER: OurFather, which art in Heaven, how thankful we are that you are not hidden, but you are seen and known as our great provider When we needed an example, you came to us.  When we needed understanding, you showed us.  When we needed a sacrifice, you sent your one and only Son to die for us.  When we needed your sanctifying and sustaining presence, you sent your Spirit.   “All we have needed thy hand hath provided, Great is Thy Faithfulness!”  We pray that today you will “Hineni”—literally “look through us.  With the Psalmist we pray, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23,24).  In Jesus’ name.Amen  Our Father &c.

Pastor Rick Jones

2969 N. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Ann, MO 63074   Cell Phone (314) 607-1424; Fax (314) 298-7442


Wednesday, February 20, 2013


We trust you that will be enriched by the teaching, edified by the preaching, and encouraged by the fellowship throughout the convention.

We are certainly meeting at a momentous hour.  Global tension, national insecurity, economic uncertainties, moral decline, and spiritual declension are the order of our day.  Jesus told us of day when “there shall be…distress of nations with perplexity…men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken…Then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” (Luke 21:25ff).

I always expected that the world would be “distressed” and have “hearts failing for fear,” as the coming of Christ drew near.  I never expected that God’s people would be!   

Certainly there are inevitable consequences that we all will suffer as a result of this world’s determined rebelliousness. But should “heart failure” be one of them?  The Apostle John affirms, “God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God…Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness…there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” 1 John 4:16-18.

We are convinced that as we sail uncharted waters into the last great storm of human history, we as God’s people can and ought to be rejoicing evermore, praying without ceasing, and in everything giving thanks!”  John Wesley, that great proclaimer of Scriptural holiness was certain that rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks, was the inevitable fruit of the sanctified heart.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Genesis 22:8 “…my son, God will provide himself a sacrifice…”

1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you,
6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

Long before the foundations of Jerusalem were laid, before the walls were raised and Solomon’s temple was dedicated, before prophets and priests and kings walked the streets of the Holy City, there was on that very site a most astounding happening.

Two thousand years before Christ entered Jerusalem, God called Abraham to go to that place and offer up his only son—the son he so dearly loved—as a sacrifice. 

Abraham obeyed.  Men of faith always do.  Abraham, Isaac, and two young men rose up early to begin their trek.  Men of faith obey immediately.

When the mount of sacrifice came into sight, Abraham instructed the two young men to wait.  He said, “I and the lad will go yonder and worship and come again to you.”  Abraham took the wood he had brought for the sacrifice and laid it upon Isaac, his only begotten son.  He himself took the knife and the fire. 

As they walked up that rocky hillside Isaac asked the obvious, “Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”  Abraham prophesied, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb.”

An altar was built.  The wood was laid on the altar.  Then Abraham’s only son laid down on the altar, bound and ready to die.

Isaac may have been 33 years of age, his father133. Isaac could have run. Abraham could have refused. But both steadfastly obeyed—Abraham obeyed God.  Isaac obeyed his father.  Here is living,active faith.  “See how [Abraham’s] faith worked, and by works [his] faith is made perfect?” James explains.  “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness, and he was called the Friend of God.” (James 2:22-24).

That day a voice from heaven halted Abraham’s sacrifice of his son. 

But two thousand years later there was no voice from heaven to halt the sacrifice of God’s Son. On that fateful day, there was only a cry lifting from earth to heaven—“Into thy hands I commit my spirit.”  God had “provided himself a lamb!” 

“But God commended His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!” (Romans 5:8).

PRAYER: Our Father in Heaven, How sincerely thankful we are today for the sacrifice of your only begotten Son.  We look at the cross and stand amazed. We sing “When He was on the cross, I was on His mind.” How marvelous! But it is our prayer that you will be on our mind throughout this day.  Keep us mindful that your ears are listening to us, your eyes are watching over us, and your Spirit is looking through us.  May all that we do bring honor, and glory, and praise to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  To God be the Glory! In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.  Our Father &c…

Monday, February 18, 2013

THE SEED OF THE WOMAN, Daily Devotional, Tuesday, February 19, 2013

41 Days to Resurrection Sunday!
Colossians 1:20  “ shall bruise thy head…

Prophetic references to the cross will be our focus for the next several reflections.

15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

REFLECTION: Moments after he lured, deceived, and ensnared Eve, the serpent was sentenced—“the seed of a woman will crush your head!”  Too often we point to Eve’s tragic choice and fail to observe that it was a descendant of Eve’s—born of a virgin—without the involvement of any man, who would conquer that old serpent the devil. (Revelation 12:19; 20:2).

That final conquest would not be painless.  Indeed the serpent would wound and kill his destroyer. But “death could not hold him prey, Jesus my Savior!  He tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!”(He Arose, by Robert Lowry).

The enmity, or hostility that exists between Satan and the Savior can never be resolved by negotiation, accommodation, or compromise.  “What communion hath light with darkness? What agreement has Christ with beliel?” (2 Corinthians 6:15,16).  Some moderns have proposed that unity at any price is preferable to callingour enemy and his impish allies by name and engaging them in battle.   But there is an enmity between Satan’s seed and Christ’s that can never be resolved. Failure to acknowledge and accent that difference is the genesis of compromise.

John the Beloved tells us, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”  (1 John 3:8).  What Christ came to do, He did!  His sacrifice expunges the guilt of sin, defeats the authority of sin, delivers from the power of sin, sanctifies us from the nature of sin, protects us when enticed to sin, and saves us from the penalty of sin.

But there is more.  We who are born of God, having His seed within us (1 John 3:9),will like our Christ be bruised through persecution and temptation. Yet through it all, we can rejoice that the power to triumph over every solicitation of Satan is ours through our conquering Savior.  “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37). 

PRAYER: Our Gracious Heavenly Father, With the Apostle we say, “Thanks be unto God, for His unspeakable Gift!”  To know that from the very foundation of the world you were making provision for the redemption of fallen man is wonderful evidence of your great love for us.  Open our eyes to see our enemy, to recognize his subtle as well as his straight-on attacks, and to appreciate our conquering Savior.  Forgive us for yielding to the allure of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Our heart’s desire is to be wholly and holy on the Lord’s side.  Savior we are Thine!  May all that we say and do this day bring glory to the Savior in whose name we pray. Amen.  Our Father &c.


National Security Experts tell us that just before a terrorist attack intelligence chatter (communications intercepts of messages sent and received over terrorist networks) spikes in volume, intensity, and significance.  The CIA has neutralized a number of threats to our security by aggressively responding to chatter.
The culture is in moral free-fall.  The political outlook is grim.  Our national defenses are weakening. The economic future is uncertain.  The Confessing (read orthodox) Church is threatened.  
THE APOSTLE URGED GOD’S PEOPLE, “AS YE SEE THE DAY APPROACHING…” to “Hold fast your profession without wavering,” “consider one another,” stay together “not forsaking the assembling of yourselves,” “exhort one another,” be careful to avoid “willful sin,” endure the “great fight of afflictions,” not “cast away your confidence,” and “live by faith.”   (Hebrews 10:23ff).
We have come to see that HOLINESS IS AN AFFECTION – spurning the love of the world, the flesh, and the devil, we come to love God with all our heart.  When we settle in our hearts to love God “His Spirit bears witness” and we begin to walk in holiness and righteousness.  I think this is what we have witnessed as we are praying with those seeking to be sanctified through and through. 
As we walk the Highway of Holiness, we see that HOLINESS IS A DISCIPLINE – a determined obedience to bring every thought and every act into alignment with the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God.  Certainly there are some reflexes to sin—pride, greed, self-pity, selfishness—that are immediately remedied by the Spirit of Grace.  But there are other reflexes that require what Peter O’brien calls, “continuous, sustained, strenuous effort.”  As the reflex to self-love is transformed into a impulse toward divine-love there will be a moment when “perfect love casts out fear” and every other idol.
And finally HOLINESS IS A TRANSFORMATION – so that our will sincerely prays and accepts, “not my will but thine be done.”  Now the work of the Spirit of Grace is complete.  The will is so radically cleansed that both subjectively and objectively we are wholly holy. 
Some doubt the possibility of so great a change.  But the Apostle prayed that “ the very God of peace” would “sanctify [them] wholly,” so that their “whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.”  To the doubters Paul declares, “faithful is he that calleth you who also will do it!” (1 Thessalonians 5:23,24).
We must not retreat. We must advance!
We must not retire.  We must refire!
We must not compromise.  We must hold fast!
We must not doubt.  We must believe!
We must not become self-absorbed. We must be Spirit-consumed!
We must not justify our sin. We must seek after “salvation through sanctification!”—so that we might be “washed, sanctified, and justified” of our sin!
We must not hide from God!  We must run as fast as we possibly can to the Throne of Grace!
And “AS WE SEE THE DAY APPROACHING” we must gather our families, our friends, and as many as we can find, to prepare for CHRIST’S RETURN.
THE ST. LOUIS HOLINESS CONVENTION IS WORTH YOUR TIME AND TRAVEL!  There will be great discussions.  Fervent praying.  Powerful preaching.  And the Church Militant will advance!  

Food is provided for a free-will offering. We can provide transportation to any who need.  The
Evangelist James Plank
Evangelist Noel Scott
Evangelist Ben Crawford
Evangelist P L Liddell
Pastor Troy Bolen
Supt. Dale Hayford
Bishop Marsh Jones, Ph.D.
Pastor Sam Lorton
Missionary Brian Rauschenbarger
Missionary John Poff
Missionary Steve Gibson
Missionary Andrew Street
Pastor Don Raines
Pastor Maurice Roll
Pastor Andrew Durst
Dr. Gene Hood
Author Wallace Thornton
Sister Becky Schenck – LADIES’ CONVENTION

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 7:00 PM Evangelist P L Liddell

Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 
9:00 AM Prayer & Devotions
10:AM Opening Challenge
1:00 PM HOLINESS OUTREACH - Andrew Durst
2:00 PM  DISCUSSION FORUM - The Church in Contemporary Culture
4:00 PM IMPACT HOUR - Ben Crawford

Friday, February 22, 2013 - 
9:00 AM Prayer & Devotions
10:AM  Sam Lorton
11 AM MORNING SERVICE - Dale Hayford
1:00 PM HOLINESS OUTREACH - Steve Gibson, Brian Rauschenbarger, John Poff, Andrew Street
2:00 PM  DISCUSSION FORUM - Essential Holiness
4:00 PM IMPACT HOUR - Noel Scott




Pastor Rick Jones

2969 N. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Ann, MO 63074   Cell Phone (314) 607-1424; Fax (314) 298-7442