Today's Little Lift
by Jim Bullington
Gideon is one of the better known heroes of the Old Testament. In fact, an international organization has been distributing Bibles using his name for well over a century. Chances are good that you have seen one of their free Bibles in a motel nightstand. Gideon was an ordinary man of extraordinary faith. It was this measure of faith that led the Hebrews writer to include Gideon’s name in the Hall of Faith listed in Hebrews 11. Today’s title was extracted from the words which God spoke to Gideon as he prepared to fight the Midianites, a perennial enemy of the Israelites ( Click for more )
Some incorrect ideas absolutely will not die. Some of them are based on biblical passages, or at least those who hold them claim that they have such a basis. One idea that will not die is the belief that the bible, and more specifically Jesus, teaches that it is wrong to judge. Of course, the stock passage that is used to justify this idea is, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” (Matthew 7.1). My purpose today will be to add Matthew 7.1 to my list of Vindicated Verses.
First, Jesus did not say, “Judge not.” The only way to make Jesus say “Judge ( Click for more )
In 1981, the rock band U2 released an album entitled October. One of the songs on this album, I Threw a Brick through a Window, contains a line which says, “No one is blinder than he who will not see.” This line is a corruption of the words of Jesus in John 9.40-41. In this passage Jesus talked about the blindness of certain Pharisees who had closed their eyes to some very obvious facts. Today’s devotional deals with other people in the ministry of Jesus who were blind of their own choosing, yet who feigned the desire to see.
The crowds had lingered long to ( Click for more )
Common sense is hard to define. However, we can usually spot it when it is present, and/or when it is not present. A quotation from Horace Greeley says, “Nothing is quite as uncommon as common sense.” Regardless of how uncommon it is, or how difficult it is to define, Jesus appealed to common sense on a number of occasions as a means of proving some very important theological points. Several times He reasoned from the lesser to the greater, a type of common sense logic that is readily accepted by most people (at least those with common sense). Today’s devotional ( Click for more )
There is only a slight difference ordinarily between singular and plural words. Yet, there can be a tremendous difference in their respective meanings. Today's focus text and message takes note of the change from the plural to a singular and the implications of that change. Consider the following passage: “Then they said to Him, 'What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?' Jesus answered and said to them, 'This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.'” (John 6.27-28).
The question Jesus was asked was a generic question which anticipated ( Click for more )
We resume our discussion of the four conditions that Paul listed in order to enjoy the mental and spiritual protection that God offers. Citing our text, we read, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4.4-7).
Condition 1: "Rejoice in ( Click for more )
The signs come in all sizes and shapes. They are intended to deter would be intruders from entering the property of others to steal or destroy. "Warning! This property protected by (fill in the blank) Security Company." By paying the dues, anyone can procure such protection. What would it be worth to have God's sentinel guarding your most prized possessions? Paul gives four conditions under which He will do this. Read on to find out how to secure His services.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord ( Click for more )
I don’t think I am any more ignorant today than I was fifty years ago, but I surely know about a lot more things that I don’t know! Can you relate to this statement? All I’m saying is the more I learn, the more I find that I don’t know. I recall wondering as a youngster about heaven. We frequently referred to heaven as being up, but up is relative to some fixed location, not an absolute. It occurs to me now that heaven is the absolute and all physical things are relative! Let’s visit a few select Old Testament passages which talk about heaven.
In ( Click for more )
An absolute favorite story I remember hearing as a child was the story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den. It is hard to say why that particular story appealed to me, but it was likely due to the “larger than life” adventure that was involved. Today’s devotional will deal with that aspect of the story and then make some observations regarding this story and implications it may have in our lives.
We join the story just after the king had been skilfully maneuvered into a position of having to command Daniel to be put in the lion’s den. The Divine record states ( Click for more )
Want some of the world's greatest advice? You can find it here in this column. No, it won't be from the human author; it will be from some of the authors and speakers that I quote. Today's advice cannot be topped by anyone or anything! Here it is; Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6.19-21). ( Click for more )
“God can do anything!” Have you ever said (or heard anyone say) these or similar words. In any case, people who say such things are in great company. Jesus said long ago, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” (Mark 10.27). Given that Jesus spoke the truth when He made this statement, it would seem that the title of today’s message must be wrong. Our message today will deal with the question of God’s ability to do everything, and what limitations, if any, apply to Him.
Now we will consider two passages ( Click for more )
There are a number of figures in the Bible that describe the unstable worth of material things (riches). Today’s message will take a quick glance at some of these figures and then close with a more detailed look at the phrase Uncertain Riches as used by Paul in writing to the young preacher, Timothy.
First, we will take a cursory look at a few “riches figures” as used in the Bible. “Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.” (Proverbs 23.5). “You have sown ( Click for more )
Now tell the truth; did you notice anything peculiar about the title of today’s devotional? Look back; its okay! Do you notice anything now? Today, we will explore the phrase The Wrath of the Lamb.
Here is a contextual quote of the only place in Scripture where this phrase is found. “I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky ( Click for more )
The words we hear must be weighed. An old and wise adage says, “Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see.” This is not a Bible verse, per se, but its truthfulness is borne out by many illustrations. Another way of putting this has to do with the value of words apart for supporting evidence. Another adage says, "Words are cheap!” Today's devotional will explore a couple of biblical incidents and how they point out the value of demanding more than mere words upon which to base our decisions.
“And Stephen, full of faith and power, ( Click for more )
The words we hear must be weighed. An old and wise adage says, “Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see.” This is not a Bible verse, per se, but its truthfulness is borne out by many illustrations. Another way of putting this has to do with the value of words apart for supporting evidence. Another adage says, Words are cheap!” Today's devotional will explore a couple of biblical incidents and how they pint out the value of demanding more than mere words upon which to base our decisions.
“And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great ( Click for more )
The model prayer for disciples, as taught by Jesus, was as follows: “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” (Matthew 6.9-13). Our focus will be on the phrase, “…our daily bread.”
Bread is not all that man needs to survive; in fact, “Man cannot live ( Click for more )
In teaching His disciples to pray, Jesus said, “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” (Matthew 6.9-13). Our focus today will be on the phrase Your kingdom come and some biblical implications that revolve around it.
The kingdom for which Jesus ( Click for more )
What would you think if I told you that Jesus did not pray The Lord’s Prayer? Rather, He taught His disciples to pray this prayer which has erroneously been dubbed The Lord’s Prayer. In fact, this particular prayer would have been totally inappropriate for Him to have prayed inasmuch as it requests the forgiveness of debts (sins – Luke 11.4) and He was the Sinless One (2 Corinthians 5.21). It would be more accurately called the disciple’s prayer due to the fact that Jesus spoke these words in response to the disciple’s request, “Teach us to ( Click for more )
The Sermon on the Mount is a message that can never be fully explored or appreciated. The concepts are so simple and yet they are extraordinarily profound. Our message today will look at one such idea and its greater biblical context.
“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; ( Click for more )
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 )
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