Category Archives: Daily Devotional

Father’s Day

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

— Ephesians 6:4

Well, dads, this is your day—Father’s day, and what is the state of fatherhood in modern America today? One lady, a few decades ago, put it like this: “Women need a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” That is what she said. That is what Gloria Steinem, one of the leading gurus of the feminist movement said.

And so, men, fathers, it seems that we are obsolete. We are unneeded. There has been a huge denigration of fatherhood and maleness in our country in our generation. It is even said that maleness is a recessive and repressive gene, and it’s a big mistake. We’d be better off without any men in this world. I’ve got news for those ladies. There wouldn’t be any civilization without men, but I guess they are working on that next.

America is suffering from a serious case of fatherlessness. An absentee or brutish father, an abusive father, a weak father, has an enormous impact upon the children. Scientists have discovered that you, gentlemen, as godly fathers, as faithful fathers, have an impact and an importance which is vastly greater than anybody imagined many years ago. Yes, it seems that fish need bicycles, doesn’t it?

God has chosen earthly fathers to essentially be His representative on earth to their children. Therefore, let all Christian fathers strive to be great examples to our children.

Lord, help us to realize the importance of our relationship to our children. Help us to fulfill our vows that we made to bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord…

IN HIS STRENGTH, WE CAN REFLECT OUR
HEAVENLY FATHER TO OUR CHILDREN.

God Keeps Watch Over His Own

“Then the king of Aram was fighting against Israel, and he took counsel with his servants, saying, ‘At such and such a place will be my camp.’”

— 2 Kings 6:8

God uses different means to achieve His good purposes. In the days of Elisha the prophet, Ben-Hadad, the wicked king of Aram, wanted to go to war against Israel, the northern kingdom. So he sent one of his bands of marauders into Israel to take prisoners and gather substance and treasure. These marauding bands of Ben-Hadad were sent frequently into Israel. But all of a sudden something had happened. Every time they would go to lay a trap for the king of Israel, he would be forewarned and he wouldn’t be there.

Finally, Ben-Hadad was much troubled. He thought there must be a traitor in their midst, but his captains assured him there was no traitor among them. Rather, it was that prophet Elisha who was being such a problem because he could hear the very words of the king of Aram, which were spoken in his bedchamber, in a distant land.

Now the fame of Elisha had spread since God had used him to cure Naaman,  general of Syria, of his leprosy. And the word had gone out. They knew he was the prophet of Israel, and so Ben-Hadad, foolishly, decided he was going to capture him.

Despite Israel’s many shortcomings, God was keeping watch over His own. He used the man of God Elisha to prevent His people from being destroyed. God uses different means to protect His own. Only in heaven will we be able to see the myriad ways in which the Lord has protected us.

Lord God, Keeper of Israel, thank You for also keeping me. Thank You for keeping me from sin and keeping watch over my comings and goings. Most of all, thank You for keeping my soul safe for eternity…

BY GOD’S STRENGTH,
WE ARE KEPT SAFE.

A Time to Weep, A Time to Act

“So the king said to me, ‘Why is your face troubled though you do not seem sick? This is nothing but a troubled heart.’”

— Nehemiah 2:2

Nehemiah was the cupbearer of the Persian king, Artaxerxes. He was among the Jews left in Persia who had originally been taken into captivity by the Babylonians. When Nehemiah got word that the walls of Jerusalem and its temple were in total ruins, he was very sad.

We might go out in this day as Nehemiah did and survey the spiritual wall around America; then ask ourselves the question: Is that wall broken down or is it in good condition? It was true in Nehemiah’s day that if the wall was destroyed the temple would be destroyed and the faith of the people of God would be greatly set back. So today, if America falls, the Church of Jesus Christ will be greatly set back, since about 75 percent of all the money and manpower for the world mission cause of Jesus Christ originates from North America.

What did Nehemiah do when he heard about Jerusalem’s broken walls? He wept. He fasted! He prayed! We need to pray that that wall around America may be built again.

Lastly, Nehemiah went to Jerusalem to work. God grant us the faith to pray and the faith to work that the nation may survive, that the Church may continue, and the Gospel of Christ may go out into all of the earth. There comes a time when we have to pause from the ordinary course of things to take a look at the walls which make all of the rest possible.

Lord, if ever a nation needed to turn back to You, such is the case with our land. Thank You that You care about the broken walls in our country. We ask for Your grace that there be true repentance and revival throughout our nation…

BY GOD’S STRENGTH, WE
WEEP AND THEN WE ACT.

Angels and Their Roles

“Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voices of many angels, numbering ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands…”

— Revelation 5:11

A comforting truth in the Scripture is that there are innumerable angels—these supernatural servants and messengers of God. There are myriads of myriads of killiads of killiads, vast hundreds of millions of billions of angels, and there is no doubt that the angels of God outnumber the enemies of God. Not that they need to. If one of them can handle 185 thousand fully armed soldiers in one night (2 Kings 19:35), they don’t need to outnumber them, but they do outnumber them.

One of the things about angels is that they are present a lot more than we realize. I’m sure they are all about us all of the time. They are sent to minister unto the heirs of salvation Hebrews tells us, and they are watching over us. They have a great interest in and they are commanded to watch over the people of God. Now what a wonderful thought that is. Nonetheless, we are not to worship them, but only God alone.

There are different times when human beings encounter angels, and they mistakenly bow down to worship them. Here is an example: “I, John, am he who saw and heard these things. When I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. But he said to me, ‘See that you not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brothers the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God!’” (Revelation 22:8-9).

Father, thank You for Your servants, the angels. Thank You that we who are saved have received something they have never experienced, Your divine redemption. We praise You that You are so holy that the angels hide their faces from You…

BY GOD’S STRENGTH,
WE RECEIVE DIVINE HELP.

Hiding God’s Word In Our Heart

“I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation.”

— Psalm 119:99

It has been well said that prosperity is the natural consequence of acting on good advice. Many people have received advice from counselors concerning their financial lives—investments in stocks, bonds or businesses. They have acted on that advice only to discover that the advice given was poor and they destroyed their lives and ruined themselves in the process.

But the advice that is contained in the Word of God is invariably good advice. He who consults Omniscience will be helped by Omnipotence. That is a great truth we should remember. If we will meditate upon His Word day and night and determine to live our lives according to it, then God says that He will make our way prosperous and then we shall have good success.

Marion E. Wade, through meditating on the Scriptures, discovered that success in life would come through reading, meditating, and living according to them. He determined to do precisely that and became the founder and chairman of Servicemaster, Inc., one of the great corporations of this nation.

One popular Bible teacher, as a young man in school, wasn’t doing well with his grades. Someone asked him if he would like to become wiser than all of his teachers. How? By meditating upon the Word of God and hiding it in his heart. And so he learned great passages of Scripture. He went on to teach popular seminars. By hiding the Word of God in our heart and meditating upon it, God will shape us into the person that He would have us to be.

Lord, thank You that You know all things and can do all things, yet You have taken the time to reveal Yourself in the pages of holy writ. Help us, Lord, to do our part in learning what You have shown us there. Forgive us for biblical illiteracy…

BY HIS STRENGTH, WE STUDY TO
SHOW OURSELVES APPROVED.

The Lost Art of Meditating on the Word

“I will meditate on Your precepts and keep my eyes on Your ways.”

— Psalm 119:15

We need to begin and end the day reading the Word of God, memorizing the Word of God, hiding it in our hearts, and then meditating upon it through the day and night: in the morning, to fortify us for the battles of the day; at night, to close the day in the presence of our God who shall make even heavy seasons light through His Word. As we meditate upon the Word of God, He is sculpting us through that Word into His own image and making us what He would have us to be.

It is tragic that there are many people who determine to live according to only part of God’s Word without seeing the big picture of God’s will. They are like the aliens who were brought into Samaria after the people of Israel had been deported into Babylon. The Scriptures say that they feared the Lord Jehovah and served their own gods.

Many people will try to be a little bit righteous but then they want to reward themselves with a little bit of sin. With one foot in the church and the other foot in the world, they suppose they will find the best of both worlds. The truth is that they discover the best of neither, and they miss out on the blessings of good success, which God promises to those who will determine to do all that is written in His Word through obedience to the divine precepts.

Lord, forgive us for our intellectual laziness. Forgive us that we have all sorts of time for recreation and diversions, but no time for Your Word. Give us strength for today to let Your holy Word saturate our minds and hearts…

BY GOD’S STRENGTH, HE IS OUR
“BEST THOUGHT BY DAY OR BY NIGHT.”

True Success

“To him who overcomes and keeps My works to the end, I will give authority over the nations…”

— Revelation 2:26

What the Bible means by success has less to do with the end than with the aspirations—has less to do with reaching our goal than it has to do with setting the goal. That is, it is much more important to aspire toward a noble goal than it is to achieve a lower goal.

The Bible talks about this in terms of faithfulness—to be faithful unto God’s goal for our lives. Was the Apostle Paul a success? He died without leaving any material estate. He died with a headsman’s axe separating his head from the body. Was Jesus a success? He was nailed to a cross and had naught but that which He had on His body. Yet everyone knows that they were great successes because their lives were aimed at the glorious object of the glory of God.

Many people today may aim at wealth and fame. Whether they achieve these or not and whether the whole world applauds them as a success, if their goals have not been consonant with the goals that God has given us in His Word, they are not a success at all. We are to seek first His kingdom and righteousness (Matthew 6:33). “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10). The Apostle Paul said at the end of his life: “I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). That is true success.

Dear Father, we live in a world that is obsessed with worldly success. Help us to not fall for this deception. Help us see that true success in this world involves overcoming this world through Your grace. Lord, give me strength for today to keep the faith…

BY GOD’S GRACE AND IN HIS STRENGTH,
WE CAN BE FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH.

God Has Preserved His Word

“The words of the Lord are pure words; they are silver tried in an earthen furnace refined seven times.”

— Psalm 12:6

Not only are there more manuscripts of the New Testament in existence than any other ancient writing, but the time lapse between the original writing and the oldest existing copy is shorter. Obviously, if that time span increases, there is more time for corruption to creep into the manuscripts.

For example, the time that elapsed between the time that Plato wrote and the earliest extant manuscript of his writings is 1,200 years. In the case of Aristotle, it is 1,400; Thucydides, 1,300; Herodotus, 1,300, and Aristophanes, 1,200.

Compare that with the earliest extant manuscripts of the New Testament. The earliest fragment of the New Testament that has been preserved is called the “John Rylands fragment,” written 35 years after the completion of the New Testament in about 95 A.D. These are names of manuscripts of the New Testament or portions thereof in a relatively short time (by ancient standards) after the completion of the New Testament: the Bodmer Papyrus II written 55 years after the completion of the New Testament; Tatian’s Diatessaron, 75 years; Codex Vaticanus, 230 years; Codex Sinaiticus, 255 years.

Compare these dates with the 1,200, 1,300, and 1,400 years which elapsed in the case of the other writings of antiquity. Do we actually have today what was inspired back then? The New Testament stands upon firmer historical and scientific grounds than any other writing of any kind ever written in antiquity.

Dear God, we thank You that Your Word has been preserved for us and that it was written down by eyewitnesses and the early Christians. Thank You that when all other writings disappear, Your Word will stand…

BY GOD’S STRENGTH, HE SPEAKS
TO US THROUGH HIS WORD.

Like No Other Book of Antiquity

“I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord.”

— Romans 16:22

Consider, if you will, the wonder of the certainty that we may have concerning the Bible. Since no original autograph of any ancient writer is extant today, we always have to rely upon copies of copies.

In many cases concerning historical writings, we cannot be absolutely certain if we have what was originally written by the author. The level of certainty primarily depends upon two factors: First, the number of manuscripts that are extant, and secondly, the time span since they were written. Obviously, if you have but one manuscript, you have no idea if it is what the author actually wrote. If you have two and there is a divergence, you can flip a coin and decide whether he went in or whether he went out. If you have three, four or five, you are beginning to move toward a little more assurance concerning the manuscript. But even this number is hardly enough to give you any great assurance.

Plato, one of the greatest philosophers of all time, has left us seven manuscripts. There are only five of any of Aristotle’s works that are extant. Thucydides, Herodotus and Suetonius, all historians, have each given us eight.

In the case of the New Testament, there are more than 5,000 extant Greek manuscripts. There are more than 10,000 additional manuscripts in other ancient languages. So we have well over 15,000 manuscripts of the New Testament. There is nothing that vaguely approaches this in any other writing of any sort whatever of antiquity. It is, indeed, unique.

Lord, we thank You that we can trust Your Word. Thank You for all the preserved manuscripts. Thank You that in spite of all the attempts to destroy the Bible, it is still the Book of books…

BY GOD’S STRENGTH, HE SPEAKS
TO US THROUGH HIS WORD.

Philosophy vs. Wisdom

“Beware lest anyone captivate you through philosophy and vain deceit, in the tradition of men and the elementary principles of the world, and not after Christ.”

— Colossians 2:8

The word philosophy comes from the Greek and literally means “the love of wisdom.” The Hebrews received God’s revelation, which was greater than human philosophy. The ancient Greeks had no such advantage, and though wise in their way, they were like blind men searching for light in a darkened room, whereas the Hebrews were in a room which was brilliantly illuminated. For them all that was possible was to approach unto the light and try to penetrate into it more deeply and understand it more thoroughly. This was called by the Hebrews not philosophy, but wisdom, and there is a great difference between that “vain philosophy” as it is called in the New Testament and the wisdom of God.

When the Bible speaks about wisdom, it is talking about an understanding of the revelation of God. It is talking about a heart that seeks to know and to understand, and that seeking to know and understand is aimed particularly at an understanding and knowledge of God. Over and against this are set all of those who have no desire to learn. The person who does not desire to learn is repeatedly set forth in the Scriptures as a fool—as a man or woman of folly whose end is destruction.

It is tragic that many people today reject God’s wisdom because they falsely assume it has somehow been discredited by philosophy. Such “philosophers” are described by Paul: “Claiming to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22).

God of wisdom and might, thank You for revealing Yourself to us mortal beings. Help us to become wise by studying Your Word and knowing You. Thank You that with You, there is wisdom and understanding…

BY GOD’S STRENGTH AND KNOWLEDGE,
WE CAN BECOME WISE.