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Today's Little Lift

    by Jim Bullington

Someone has said (perhaps tongue in cheek), “What you don’t know can’t hurt you.” Another person said, “If ignorance is bliss, I am happy and getting happier all the time!” Of course, nothing could be further from the truth than to believe the rule that the lack of knowledge cannot harm. In fact, ignorance of certain facts can result in everything from physical pain to spiritual death. Today’s message deals with a text in which some of the participants were ignorant of an important fact; ignorance of that fact was and is an omission with eternal…  ( Click for more )

“'Therefore I [Jesus] said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.' Then they said to Him, 'Who are You?' And Jesus said to them, 'Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.'” (John 8.24-26).

Maybe when they asked who He was, they really meant to say, “Just who do you think You are?” In any case, they were questioning His truthfulness…  ( Click for more )

August 11, 2020

The question posed by the Jews to Jesus was and is THE question of the ages; it was straightforward and direct. “Who are you?” (John 8.25). This would not be the last time the question was asked as we will see at the end of today’s message. It was also implied at other times during the ministry of Jesus. The important thing is not so much in what Jesus answered, but how He answered. This will be our focus!

Anyone can make a claim. I could claim to be Napoleon. Or, I could claim to have discovered a cure for cancer. Claims are cheap! However, even on occasions…  ( Click for more )

Unusual? Yes! Long passages are usually taboo in articles such as this. However, the text which we are using is also unusual. I beg your attention as you read and glean from this ten-verse text. There are five phrases which you will see that are presented here in bold text. These five phrases will be used as the focus text for each of this week's devotional messages.

“Then Jesus said to them again, 'I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.' So the Jews said, 'Will He kill Himself, because He says, “Where I go you…  ( Click for more )

“Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.’” (Genesis 8.20-22).

There are several firsts…  ( Click for more )

“And when they say to you, ‘Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,’ should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Exodus 8.16-19).

Isaiah’s countrymen were determined to pervert the purposes of God and to honor the pagan practices around them. Their will to follow God was much weaker than their wish to be aligned with the cultures into which they had been assimilated.…  ( Click for more )

“So the LORD said to Moses, ‘Say to Aaron, “Stretch out your rod, and strike the dust of the land, so that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.”’ And they did so. For Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod and struck the dust of the earth, and it became lice on man and beast. All the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt. Now the magicians so worked with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not. So there were lice on man and beast. Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, ‘This is the finger…  ( Click for more )

He was not a stranger to pain whether emotional, physical, or otherwise. Yet, he would write, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8.18). The word consider in today’s focus text is otherwise translated reckon in many places. It indicates a reasoned comparison and analysis; it is not a capricious estimate, but a real and detailed comparison of two quantities or qualities. With this in view, the writer was literally saying, “After much and careful consideration,…  ( Click for more )

Many things which Solomon saw “under the sun” were things that were derived of his own experiences and were, in fact, flawed. Contrary to the axiom, “Experience is the best teacher,” Solomon found out that experience was sometimes deceitful and wrong conclusions could be easily drawn. However, not all his conclusions were flawed even when experience was his teacher. Today's devotional will view one such conclusion and explore the reasons why it was, and still is, true.

Solomon wrote, “When I applied my heart to know wisdom and to see the business…  ( Click for more )

During the Watergate Investigations about three or four decades ago, Sam Ervin, the late Senator from North Carolina, was heard to say, “It sometimes is better to have a good forgettery than a good memory.” His remarks came on the heels of repeated memory failures on the part of then-President Nixon’s staff to remember critical details related to the Watergate incident. While a good forgettery may be a good thing to have in some circumstances, most of the time it is not a blessing, but a curse! Our devotional today will address the human forgettery and God our Creator. …  ( Click for more )

Once saved, always saved is not a biblical doctrine. This doctrine is also referred to by some as the impossibility of apostasy as well as the perseverance of the saints. One New Testament example is adequate to prove that this doctrine is of men and not of God. Today’s devotional will examine this New Testament example. The setting is Samaria, the preacher is Philip the evangelist, and the time is after the scattering of the disciples in Jerusalem as a result of the persecutions that came upon the early church.

First we will go to the end of the story and work our way backward.…  ( Click for more )

From the pen of Jeremiah we are able to read of the horrific spiritual condition of the fallen nation of Israel. Essentially the entire nation of Israel had gone whoring after other gods, the gods of the heathens that surrounded them. The way for this great apostasy was paved by false kings, false priests, false prophets, and covetous masses. Apathy towards the Law of God was rampant even as today’s focus text reveals.

Speaking through Jeremiah, God said: “Therefore I will give their wives to others, And their fields to those who will inherit them; Because from the…  ( Click for more )

“Then Elisha went to Damascus, and Ben-Hadad king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, ‘The man of God has come here.’ And the king said to Hazael, ‘Take a present in your hand, and go to meet the man of God, and inquire of the LORD by him, saying, “Shall I recover from this disease?”’ So Hazael went to meet him and took a present with him, of every good thing of Damascus, forty camel-loads; and he came and stood before him, and said, ‘Your son Ben-Hadad king of Syria has sent me to you, saying, “Shall I recover from…  ( Click for more )

Have you ever marveled at anything? Has anything ever amazed you? Inasmuch as Jesus was as wise as He was and knew all the things that He did, would you think that He would ever have marveled at anything or encountered anything that amazed Him? It is interesting that there are only two biblical events in which Jesus was involved in which it was said that He marveled; look at one of them with me.

“Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, 'Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.' And Jesus said to…  ( Click for more )

“Let’s not haggle about the price; just give me what you think is fair!” There have been times when I have said this to a close and trusted friend. Maybe it was about a bit of carpenter work I did for them, or perhaps they wanted to buy something from me for which I had no particular need. What follows are some thoughts on fairness that came to me after a Sunday morning Bible class.

It all started while we were discussing one of Jesus’ parables, the one sometimes styled The Hired Vineyard Laborers in Matthew 20.1-16. I will summarize it here but please…  ( Click for more )

Years ago, there was a particular mail order catalog which was found in virtually every American household; it displayed items for sale in a very predictable order. This “ranking” also corresponded with the escalating cost of each of item within that grouping. For instance, tires were listed as Good, Better, and Best. The same was true for ladies’ clothing, shoes, and each commodity where there were choices to be made. Today’s message will also look at a “ranking” of items from a biblical perspective; the items being raked are covenants and promises. …  ( Click for more )

Some questions seek information; some questions are posed for effect; some questions are rhetorical. Today’s question (i.e. What is man that You [God] are mindful of him?) is a question of wonderment and awe. On the one hand, God is so mighty and magnificent; on the other hand, man is so weak and non-spectacular. These things being true, why would God stoop to even check on us? Why would He even care? The eighth Psalm answers these questions. Consider the following excerpt and comments.

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars,…  ( Click for more )

“Now Saul [later known as the apostle Paul] was consenting to his [Stephen’s] death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. Then Philip went down to the city of…  ( Click for more )

It is interesting sometimes to contrast the way Jesus saw things and the way His disciples saw the same things; for instance on one occasion His disciples rebuked people for bringing children to Him, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19.14). On another occasion two of His disciples wanted to call down fire from heaven to destroy certain Samaritans, but Jesus said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives…  ( Click for more )

Who was Jesus? What was His demeanor? How did He interact with others? Was He so persuasive and charismatic that He had no enemies? Today’s message will not address all these questions, but it will show that the popular perception of some that Jesus was some sort of a milquetoast pacifist does not square with the facts. In fact, today’s message will show that Jesus could even be seen as confrontational depending on which side of the truth a person comes down on!

The Feast of Tabernacles was the last of the three feasts of the Jews which had “mandatory attendance"…  ( Click for more )

“Therefore He [Jesus Christ] is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.” (Hebrews 7.25-27).

There are a few things from an earthly perspective that are done “once…  ( Click for more )

Many children know that Jesus told a story about a Wise Man and a Foolish Man who built houses with very different outcomes. This story, the parable of the Wise Man and the Foolish Man, is actually the conclusion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. I have sung the children’s song about the Wise Man and the Foolish Man many times; I have watched and heard others sing it many times over! It is truly a classic; it has action, vivid imagery, and sound effects! However, the message of this story is not primarily intended for children; it is a message for thinking adults who are…  ( Click for more )

Forgetting is not always easy, or even possible for that matter. The people of debased and reprobate minds about whom Paul wrote in Romans chapter one had something they wished to forget, but were having a tough time doing so. God had reminded them time and again of His character and His demands for righteousness, but after attempting to call them back, God honored their wishes and “gave them over to a debased mind.” Consider the horrific facts contained in today’s text.

“For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged…  ( Click for more )

Once upon a time there were two chefs. They were equally talented and of equal intelligence. Though they each had very specific objectives and motives, they nonetheless started off business-wise from very similar circumstances. Today’s devotional expands the parable of the two chefs and prompts the reader to examine his spiritual diet and how it is affecting him as far as his spiritual health is concerned.

Chef Bobby began his business career soon after college and launched a small restaurant business on the outskirts of his hometown. His restaurant did extremely well in…  ( Click for more )

In today’s civilized cultures trafficking in slavery (buying/selling people) is unthinkable. It has not been that long since it was commonplace throughout the world. In fact, there are still places where people are bought for a particular sum of money, or for services to be rendered; this does not say that the processes are legal or morally right – just that they are still being done in certain parts of the world.

Today’s message revolves around the fact that as believers we belong to another and hence owe our lives and everything in them to the one who bought…  ( Click for more )

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