Today's Little Lift
by Jim Bullington
I like some country music; I like some bluegrass music; I don't like any sentiment that demonstrates contempt for God and/or contempt for general moral and ethical values. Almost any popular genre of music has its share of such debasing, degrading, and disgusting lyrics. A well know artist had a hit a few years ago entitled, If Heaven Ain’t a lot like Dixie, I Don’t Wanna’ Go. It will prove worthwhile to seriously think about the sentiment expressed by that song title.
First of all, there are but two destinations for the eternal soul of man, and the last ( Click for more )
There is simply no way to explain some things that are true, at least in terms of the physical universe. To state it another way, some things are inexplicable according to the “laws of nature.” Not all of these are miraculous, but the miraculous would be included in this body of events or things. For instance, God is not a miracle but He certainly cannot be explained according to the laws of this universe. Our devotional thoughts today will deal briefly with one attribute of God which, like so many others, cannot be explained in terms of the natural; it can only be explained ( Click for more )
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound? I suspect you have heard this old question. The answer entirely depends upon how one defines the word sound. Well, I have another question for you; it is not as simple and the answer to this question (unlike the old teaser cited above) has some real and lasting consequences. Here is the question: Is anything sacred?
No, this is not a joke nor is it a diatribe on today’s society and its ills. It is a serious question which deserves serious consideration and reflection. However, before ( Click for more )
An old riddle or brain teaser asks this question: “If you were carrying all the feathers that you could, would you be able to continue if someone added just one more feather?” Of course the answer is obvious, but it becomes a bit tricky if someone observes, “You mean you couldn’t carry just one additional feather?” We will look at this old riddle from a spiritual viewpoint as our devotional thought for the day.
Jesus knew that we would be called upon to bear burdens. He implied as much when He said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, ( Click for more )
The book of Revelation is a word-picture book which teaches two great and fundamental truths; they are: 1) The Worthy Redeemer Lives, and 2) The Redeemed gain victory through the Living Redeemer. Our devotional today will take an extremely limited look at the first of these wonderful lessons.
Revelation chapter 6 begins with a statement that may seem of little consequence unless one reads the context and the verses that precede it. Here is that statement: “Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like ( Click for more )
The first biblical reference to man hearing God's voice involved Adam and the Garden of Eden. It was there that Adam said to God, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” (Genesis 3:10). The voice of God was heard on many other occasions, some of which we will briefly visit in today's devotional.
Moses, of course, heard God's voice as is recorded in Exodus 3. The occasion was noteworthy because God spoke to him from the midst of a burning bush. It was here that God commissioned Moses to return to His people and to ( Click for more )
Three seemingly unrelated passages will be used as the foundation for today’s devotional. They will be cited with minimal commentary and then a summary will tie them together for a needed spiritual lesson.
“So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years; and he died.” (Genesis 5.27). As you are probably aware, Methuselah was the oldest of the biblical patriarchs. His long lifespan has given rise to such clichés as “Older than Methuselah,” or, “He gets around like Methuselah’s grandpa!” By our standards ( Click for more )
Grocery store phone conversations are, to say the least, interesting. On a number of occasions I have overheard portions of such one-ended conversations. One amazing thing about them is that the folks who are engaged in them act as though there is no one else in the world listening to accounts of their most personal (and even intimate) thoughts and actions. Just yesterday I overheard a young lady railing about a man who had wronged her terribly, but as I left earshot of her, she laid it all on the fact that he was a Pisces. Well this young lady was not the first (and won't be the ( Click for more )
The Jerusalem Conference took place about 20 years after the establishment of the church. The superstructure of human traditions was slow to bend even under the weight of God's direct revelation. God had made it clear about 10 years before the conference that He fully accepted the Gentiles into the Body in just the same measure and through the same methods as the Jews. For various reasons, these facts were slow to catch on; men resisted the change, even good and godly men. Finally after the Judaizers were beginning to forge an organized approach to spread their heresies, the brethren ( Click for more )
Worship offered to God is an immensely important responsibility/privilege. Sometimes we might erroneously think that worshiping God is THE most important thing that we can do. The Bible clearly teaches that there are things more important than this august activity. Today's devotion will deal with a few of the things that are of greater importance/priority than worshiping God.
To illustrate that there is at least one thing that falls into category, I will cite the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember ( Click for more )
As far as I am able to discover, Eliphaz the Temanite was the only man in biblical history that explicitly claimed to have experienced horripilation. I have heard of others in post-biblical times who have said that certain religious experiences were accompanied by such phenomenon, but I am no surer of these claims as I am of the one by Eliphaz. After all, many of the rest of his words seemed to be false, so perhaps he lied about his hair standing on end too!
However, I don’t doubt a recent news account in which a particular physicist said that he and a number of his colleagues ( Click for more )
The word woe needs little explanation though it is rarely heard in ordinary speech. It denotes a less than desirable outcome; it speaks of defeat and doom. Isaiah's book of 66 chapters contains 22 verses which pronounce woes upon various people and nations; six of those verses appear in the fifth chapter, the most woe intensive of any of his chapters. Our focus will be on one of these verses in Isaiah 5.
God spoke through Isaiah and said, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet ( Click for more )
In matters concerning God, it is not unusual to encounter extremely complex and mysterious concepts connected to others that are simple and easily grasped. Today’s message will look a passage that connects these kinds of concepts, but one which offers great insight into God’s workings as well as man’s responsibilities to his Creator.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ( Click for more )
Let’s play a little game of biblical word association. I will mention a word (person, place or thing) and you say what comes to your mind. First word – Moses. Now remember what you thought of first. Second word – Samson. Again, remember what you thought of first. Third word – Jared. The same drill applies; remember your first thoughts.
Chances are when I mentioned Moses, you thought of the Ten Commandments, or the Crossing of the Red Sea, two prominent events in the life of Moses. Was that about right? Secondly, when I mentioned Samson, did you think of ( Click for more )
Science is to be credited with a literal multitude of discoveries that have made life as we know it possible. However, there is a realm in which the physical sciences has no ability to discover or react to reality. Today's devotional will consider this realm as Paul referred to it in his letters to the Corinthian Church.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5.17). It has long been realized that the new creation that is spoken of here is spiritual in nature and ( Click for more )
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5.14). Is everyone the light of the world? Are only a few the light of the world? But didn’t Jesus say, “I am the light of the world”? (John 8.12a). If Jesus is the light of the world, how can others be the same? Our thoughts will focus on these questions?
First, it is obvious that the light that is being spoken of is not physical light, but spiritual in nature. When Jesus said that He was the light of the world, He followed ( Click for more )
“Bad news travels like wildfire; Good news travels slow.” At least that is what was claimed in the lyrics of a popular song a while back. Actually, there might be reason to take exception to this maxim. Let’s see if that might not be the case.
I would say that the death of a relatively wealthy and respected couple was bad news, wouldn’t you? Well, this was an event that occurred in the Church in Jerusalem early in its existence. A man named Ananias and his wife Sapphira sold a piece of property they owned and donated to the church what they professed to ( Click for more )
An old adage says, “All good things come to an end.” Except for some heavenly exceptions, this rule is absolutely true. Today’s devotional is about a few good things that came to an end.
The children of Israel had it made for almost half a century. During the period of the wilderness wanderings, the inspired record states, “You [God] did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day, To lead them on the road; Nor the pillar of fire by night, To show them light, And the way they should go. You also gave Your ( Click for more )
Pluralism and the Bible simply will not mix. The rub comes from the fact that the God of the Bible always demanded that His people recognize Him as the ONLY true and living God. That was the basis of the first commandment as recorded in Exodus 20.3 - “You shall have no other gods before Me.” This point of fact was THE issue that always precipitated animosity between Israel and her neighbours. Israel’s neighbours were polytheists and Israel was monotheistic. Pluralism, by definition, can be polytheistic. Hence, Pluralism and the Bible simply will not mix. ( Click for more )
Some things are just too important to skip; today's message will deal, albeit in an abbreviated form, with three verses from the Sermon on the Mount. Two of these culminate The Beatitudes as they address what the blessed ones are; the third and last verse addresses what others do to the blessed ones.
Matthew 5.8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.” In the absolute sense, there is no one that is pure in heart any more than there are any who are righteous due to their own efforts. The pure in heart are those whose heart is singularly focused on God ( Click for more )
The beatitudes were not constructed of new truth; they were merely ignored truths.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit...,” but others had said, “...if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves [poor in spirit], and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7.14).
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn...,” but others had said, “Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy.” (Psalm 126.5).
Jesus ( Click for more )
The effects of a Sermon are not measured in the pews, but in the highways and byways where life happens. When Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount, Luke recorded the following: “He came down with them [the twelve apostles] and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out ( Click for more )
“Who won?” I wonder how many times this question is asked each day in our society. Hundreds, even thousands of sports contests are played each and every day and for each contest there are hundreds or thousands of fans. They are excited, some even into a near frenzy, by the drama of who will win. Add to that the hundreds and thousands of other contests (essays, gambling, bingo, pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, ad infinitum) and one can begin to get a glimpse of just how obsessed we are with the question, “Who won?”
Funny thing is in all of these contests, there ( Click for more )
The beatitudes are not simple little sayings that can be taken lightly. They deserve study even though they contain simple words and phrases. Allow me to demonstrate this with today’s focus text.
Here is the actual quote: “Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5.4). The word mourn is not a difficult word; it simply means to lament or be sorrowful over the loss of something or someone of great value. Typically it is associated with death and the feelings of loss that follow it. Did Jesus mean that everyone who mourns will be comforted? ( Click for more )
The Sermon on the Mount was a specific discourse delivered by Jesus Christ and probably repeated in whole or in part on numerous occasions. It contains several memorable sayings, a few of which are: 1) What we call The Lord's Prayer, 2) The Golden Rule, 3) The Parable of The Wise Man and the Foolish Man, 4) The Judge Not that you Be Not Judged text, and 5) The Beatitudes. This week's messages will focus on The Beatitudes.
The Sermon on the Mount was spoken almost two thousand years ago, and yet its truths are just as refreshing and poignant as they were when they were first uttered. ( Click for more )
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