All posts by Charlie Artner

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…


The Peace That Passes Understanding

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

— Philippians 4:7

James Cash Penney, better known as J.C. Penney, built that tremendous chain of retail stores. Penney was a Christian, but he, like many Christians, had not yet fully learned the lesson of walking by faith. Though his business survived the economic crash of 1929, he had become involved in some personal commitments that were causing him great trouble and stress. In fact, the stress was so severe that it caused the dormant virus of chicken pox, which he had had as a child, to spring to life again in the form of that very, very painful disease of shingles.

He was so crushed and overwhelmed by the constant pain and agony of this disease that he came to the very end of himself and had to be hospitalized. That night in the hospital he was sure he would not survive, so he wrote farewell letters to his wife and son.

He finally went to sleep. The next morning he awoke to singing. It was coming from the hospital chapel just a few doors from his room. He managed to get up, put on his bathrobe, and shuffle into the chapel where he heard a group singing a hymn. As he listened to the words, he was transformed. This was the turning point for him. He said later, “I am seventy-one years old, and the most dramatic and glorious minutes of my life were those I spent in that chapel that morning listening to the hymn: ‘God Will Take Care of You.’”

Oh Lord, our hearts cry out to You for Your grace and Your protection from ourselves. Indeed, lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one. Thank You that You alone are able to keep us from falling and to present us before Your glory…


Preservation in Faith

“I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

— Philippians 1:6

Jude is one of the shortest books in the New Testament, but it has much to say. For example, even in the opening, after identifying himself as the author, Jude speaks of those to whom he is addressing his letter: “To those who are sanctified and called by God the Father and preserved in Jesus Christ…”

We see that when we are Christians we have been called by God, by His Holy Spirit unto Him. This is that effectual calling, which by the Spirit, combining with the Word, quickens a person from the deadness of sin and brings them into a condition of saving faith and repentance. They also have been preserved.

Here is the perseverance of the saints—we are preserved by God. We are kept, as Peter says, by God. It is good to know that we are saved by Christ, we are saved by His grace, but we are also kept by that same grace.

The very same grace that saves us, keeps us, and holds us. At this point in my Christian life, after decades of following the Lord, it is more astonishing to me that He has kept me over all of these years than that I was converted in the first place. And when I think of all of the ways that I have failed Him, and have come so far short of what He would have had me to be, I am astonished that He preserves me in the faith. What the Lord has started, He promises to finish.

Faithful Father, thank You for keeping us in the faith. Thank You for upholding us by Your mighty hand and thank You that You will complete the work You started in us…


Avoiding Cheap Substitutes

“For to me, to continue living is Christ, and to die is gain.”

— Philippians 1:21

This statement from Paul should be engraved like an intaglio upon the heart of every Christian. However, there are many cheap substitutes that clamor for our attention that we must eschew. To live is…


“For me to live is pleasure,” cry a whole host of voices today. For surely the Bible says that sin has its pleasure for a season—then come the consequences.


There are others who would replace Christ with “money.” “For me to live is money.” They spend most of their waking hours, energy, and thoughts, trying to gain money. But to what ultimate end?


Others would say: “For me to live is fame.” They give their whole lives to its accomplishment. Perhaps they rise to the top of the ladder, but where are they then? They find themselves saying, “Is this all there is?” How many realize that the ladder they have sold their soul to climb is leaning on the wrong building?


To live for Him is the secret of life. He goes on to say, “…and to die is gain.” Consider the other substitutes: For me to live is pleasure/wealth/fame/etc., and to die is an unutterable tragedy; it is the loss of all I spent my whole life working for. How sad it is that so many do not find until they are at the very brink of eternity that they have spent their lives foolishly.

Lord of wisdom and power, give me strength for today to not accept cheap substitutes. Allow me to experience the true riches found in You. Help me to be eternally grateful for Your sacrifice for me. When I come to my own death, let it be my eternal gain…


Christ—the Passion of Life

“So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.”

— Genesis 29:20

We are all familiar with Mel Gibson’s film, The Passion of the Christ. But turn the words around, now that we are saved, Christ should be the passion of our lives.

Someone said that one man with a passion is worth a hundred men with an interest. There are a lot of people here who have an interest in religion, but, alas, I am afraid very few who have a passion for Christ. I have had the joy of knowing a few, and they stand out in my mind. They, indeed, are stars that flash through the heavens.

As the Scripture says, “Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:3 nkjv). They will not suddenly be eclipsed or fade away. They will shine forever.

Is Christ the passion of your life? Jesus came with a heart full of passion. He said, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21 nkjv). So, too, should our hearts beat with a love for Christ.

In Genesis, we read that because Jacob so loved Rachel, the days flew by as he worked for seven years to become her husband. He was a man with a passionate goal, motivated by love.

Who or what are you passionately in love with? What do you long for and love to do?

My Savior and Lord, give me a new passion, a deeper love for You. If ever my love for You grows cold or old, bring me back to the cross and show me anew Your love for me. Thank You for loving us first…


A Gift Every Four Years

“. . . I will sing aloud of Your lovingkindness in the morning.”
— Psalm 59:16


Time is a funny thing—either we have too little of it or too much of it. This year we get an extra day, a gift to do with it what we want—twenty-four shining hours. We were made for eternity; therefore, we are never fully at home in time. Every new day is a gift, and the rays of eternity light it up and show us what is important.

Some of you have planned to serve Christ. You have determined that you would do great things for the Lord. Oh yes, you have planned to be a witness for Him, but you have been so busy. You have no intention to come before Him without one soul with which to greet Him. You do not desire to come into His presence empty-handed.

When we look at all the urgent things we need to do today, we should ask ourselves, “Are these things really important? In light of eternity, will they matter? What will matter a thousand years from now?”

While we go about our duties, let us not get caught up in what has been called “the tyranny of the urgent” and miss that which is truly important. Today, ask God for one beautiful opportunity to do something of eternal value for Him.

Question to ponder:


Fix Your Eyes on Jesus

“Let us look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…”
— Hebrews 12:2

In the early days of my pastoring, I had the pleasure of witnessing to a young man in his twenties, who finally accepted Christ. He was growing in the Lord. The very week after he joined the church, he made the central headlines of the newspaper. The FBI was looking for him for some kind of fraudulent activity he had been involved in before.

In fact, when they found him, he was so overwhelmed by this experience he had a mental breakdown. I visited him in Broward Hospital’s mental ward. When I went into his room, he was like a caged lion. He hardly seemed aware of my presence. He was pacing back and forth across the room, mumbling to himself, moaning, bewailing, and gesturing about what was going to happen to him. He was possibly facing twenty years in prison.

After some time, he quieted down as I read the Scripture to him about how Peter had looked at the waves and had begun to sink. I said to him, “You are looking at the waves, and you are sinking into total mental depression and agony of spirit. Lift up your eyes to Jesus. Fix your eyes upon Him. Look upon Him. Look unto Him.”

Gradually, all of his anxiety and distress just seemed to drain away. He sat down in a chair and began to look at me with eyes that obviously were quite full of understanding. He was restored. Later, the charges against him were dropped. Though your problems seem insurmountable, fix your eyes on Jesus.

Jesus Christ, give me strength for today to focus on You. Forgive me for too often focusing on the problems of life, but not You. If ever I should start to sink, let me say with Peter, “Lord, save me.” Thank You that You have overcome the world…


The Secret to Walking on Water

“Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, bid me come to You on the water.’”
— Matthew 14:28

As we know, one night when the disciples were on the Sea of Galilee and Jesus was not present, a storm came up. They were afraid and even thought they saw a ghost. It was Jesus, walking on the water. Then, impetuous Peter said, “If it is you, let me walk on the water to You.” And Jesus said, “Come.”

Peter, climbing up the gunnel of the ship, steps down upon the water, no doubt very hesitantly. Holding on to the side, he pushes himself away and begins to walk upon the waves, coming to Christ. What an extraordinary experience. Other than Jesus Christ, he is the only other human being I have ever heard of who actually walked upon water.

Now, we may tend to smile at Peter because of the fearfulness that came upon him and his sinking into the waves. But, let us not forget that Peter did walk a number of steps upon the water. How about you? How many steps have you walked on water?

Then Peter took his eyes off Jesus and looked at the boisterous sea. He saw the effects of it in the waves that were dashing about him. And when he took his eyes off of Jesus and looked at the waves, he began instantly to sink.

How many times have you or I lain upon our beds at night microscopically examining the waves and wondering why we were sinking? If you would learn to walk on water, then don’t look at the waves, look at Jesus.

Lord Jesus, thank You for holding us up in life, even through difficult storms. Help us to focus on You and not the wind and waves. Give us the grace to keep our eyes on You through the storms of life…


The Real Super Bowl

“Woe unto the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short.”
— Revelation 12:12

Every year millions of Americans eagerly await the Super Bowl. This is when the two most successful and powerful teams in the country meet together for a final conflict, for the championship of the world, preceded by a long competition leading up to the final event.

But when you think about it, there is a real Super Bowl, which is of far greater consequence than any football game. I am talking about a supernatural bowl in which there are two teams in this world that are involved in a contest for the championship of the world, for the dominion of the world.

So in this “Super Bowl” it is Christians vs. the dragons, and many people don’t know what the outcome is going to be. There are those in our country today who join Satan’s team, really believing they are winning and are going to have the victory, receiving from below the success they are seeking in this world. It is a bowl that should indeed cause great interest, because not merely is there a trophy or ring involved, but the entire conquest and dominion of the world is at stake. This Super Bowl is described in the book of Revelation. Thank God we are on the winning side. As the hymn notes, “So from the beginning the fight we were winning.”

Lord, give me strength for today to serve You, knowing that You have conquered the evil one. Though his “craft and power are great and armed with cruel hate,” You defeated Him, Jesus, on the cross and in Your resurrection. Renew my spirit to serve You with joy…


The God of 11:59 P.M.

“He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea.”
— Mark 6:48

God’s timing is perfect. But sometimes, we may feel that Christ seems far away. Let me assure you He is watching you and is able to come to your aid. It may not be nearly as soon as you would like, but life is a school, and we have to be left to learn the lessons. I believe life’s great central lesson is to learn to trust Him.

As we know, when the disciples were on the Sea of Galilee one night, at Jesus’ instructions, a storm arose suddenly. Sometimes it seems in life that the winds which seem to be fair for others are contrary to us. It doesn’t matter whether you are in a course on storms, economics, sicknesses or hospitals—whatever it may be, that is the course laid out for you in this world by God.

Finally, in the last watch of the night, Jesus came to the disciples walking on the water. No doubt they had been praying for Him to come. But suddenly He appeared in His most astonishing way—walking on the waves, which for them were so troublesome, but for Him they simply provided the pavement for His feet.

The disciples were terrified. They thought they had seen a ghost, a phantasma (as the Greek word is), a phantom. And then Jesus spoke to them. He said, “It is I. Do not be afraid” (Matthew 14:27). Although it may seem God is late, He is never late, even if He may be the God of 11:59 P.M.

My Savior and my God, thank You for always being there for me. Thank You for all the times You stepped in and cleared up a situation for me. Thank You that Your timing is always perfect…