Tuesday, September 30, 2008


James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
When James here is referring to adulterers and adulteresses he is talking about spiritual adultery. If we are not careful we can all be guilty of this. It is when we let the things of the world distract us and draw us away from God.
The world definitely has much to attract us. There are activities, recreation, desires to succeed by worldly standards and so many more things.
As a pastor I have always been saddened to see someone buy a camper or a speedboat. It seemed that it would eventually cause them to start missing church. Their excuse was, "I have spent so much on this that if I don't use it nearly every weekend I can't get my money's worth out of it." They would then add "You know we are faithful to church most of the time."
I can imagine a man proposing to a woman and her asking, "Will you be faithful to me always?" I can imagine him answering, "I will be faithful to you most of them time. I might want to take summers and a few weekends off from being faithful but I promise I will be faithful most of the time."
What is your guess as to what she would answer to his proposal. It makes me think ask myself this question, "Am I faithful to God every day, all year long?"
I guess we could all do a little work in separating ourselves from the world and remaining faithful to God.
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Monday, September 29, 2008


Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Today's devotional is a little different than usual. I wanted to just mention the work of the Gideons. The Gideons are a group of professional men that have a ministry of placing the Bible, God's Word, in places where it is needed. If anything is needed today in most places it is definitely the Word of God.
Yesterday in our services we had a speaker come and share the work of the Gideons with our Church. Over the years I have heard many Gideons speak about their work and I have always had a burden to support their work. The speaker yesterday was one of the best I have heard over the years.
In my ministry several times when I did not have my Bible handy at a hospital I was able to use a Gideon bible to share the plan of salvation with someone and led some of them to the Lord.
They place the Bible in schools, hospitals, prisons, jails, motels and in many countries (in 84 different languages). I want to use the devotional today to urge each one reading this to pray for the Gideon ministry. If you have a chance to contribute to this ministry I encourage you to do so. All of the money contributed to this ministry goes to the printing and distribution of Bibles. The Gideons themselves pay their own expenses and cover the administrative costs through support from their on members.
Somewhere in the world there is someone who needs a Bible and wants to get to know God. Pray that the Lord will use your support and the Gideons to get one to them.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Hebrews 11:24-25 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; (25) Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

Moses could have had it all by worldly standards but chose to give it up. God had a bigger and better plan for Moses and even though Moses could not have possibly known how big and how much better that plan was, he turned is back on the pleasures of sin for a season.
When we see someone whose life is ravaged by sin, when they have reached the depths of despair and destruction we sometimes ask, "How could anyone get in that condition?"
The simple answer is one step at a time. Sin is progressive. That is the way it gets it's hold on people, one little step at time. I once heard a sermon by Dr. Adrian Rodgers and something really stuck in my mind from that sermon. He said, "Sin will take you farther than you are willing to stray. Sin will keep you longer than you are willing to stay, and sin will cost you more than you are willing to pay." I am not sure if this was an original thought with him but it certainly has a profound truth.
Most of us are familiar with the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke Chapter 15. If you do not know it I suggest you read and reread it until it is hidden in your heart. The son left his fathers house with his inheritance and squandered it all on sinful living until he wound up eating what the hogs left over. When he came to himself he realized that even the hired labor at his father's house lived better than he did. He went home and was welcomed with open arms by his loving father.
The thing that has always amazed me is that the son could have turned and went home at any time. He didn't have to wait until he hit rock bottom before he separated himself from the sinful pleasures of the world and went home. People can turn around at any time but often they wait until there is no where else left to go.
Don't let sin gradually drag you to the pig pen. Turn around and go back to the Father's house. He is always waiting with open arms.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Separation Series

This is the first in a short series on separation. I hope you get a blessing from it.

Ps 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
It never ceases to amaze me that many of the people who want to counsel others,that is, to give advice, are people who are not really doing so well themselves. Did you ever notice that those with ungodly agendas never seem to be satisfied. They gripe, they complain, they put down everything positive and they never really seem to contribute anything to society. It is best to avoid taking advice from these people. If you are not careful you could wind up as miserable as they are.
When I was young my mother used to tell me that I would be known by the company I kept. What she meant was that if I ran with the wild crowd, no matter what I did, I would be branded as one of them. I learned that not only would I be branded as one of them that I would eventually become one of them. People really want to be accepted by others. If you stand in the way of sinners I have found that they will not accept you unless you engage in their sin. On the other hand I have found that a good spiritual loving church will even accept sinners and will encourage them to change their lives for the better. Other Christians should and usually do set a good example for others an encourage them to a better quality of life.
There are those who mock and ridicule everything. Avoid them if possible, they will cloud your outlook and keep you from seeing the good in yourself and others. Of course we realize that the only good in any of us comes from a good relationship with Jesus. How can the scornful recognize what they have never experienced, being loved and accepted by a loving Savior that loves us in spite of everything.
While the world is telling us that we should be accepting and tolerant of all sorts of ungodly things, the Bible teaches us that we should separate ourselves from some things. Who are we going to listen to, the world, or the one who created it?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Joel 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
Many times each day we come to some point where we must make a decision. Sometimes it is a clear cut decision that doesn't take any thought. Sometimes it is almost automatic such as stepping on our brakes to stop an automobile at a stop sign. We really don't even seem to be conscious of it but because we have done it so many times we are conditioned to do it automatically.
When we do things over and over we form habits and then we do these things without giving it much thought. This can work for good habits or for bad habits. Making the right decisions on the little things in life cause us to form good habits. Good habits make the larger decisions easier.
I was once asked why I was usually in such a good mood. My response was that each day I decided I would be in a good mood. Somewhere a long time ago I decided and it was a decision to be positive and to strive to be in a good mood, it worked and now I am in a habit of being in a good mood. There are certainly times when things dampen my good mood but I usually decide that I enjoy being in a good mood better than a bad one. Life is just much more enjoyable that way, for me, and I hope for those I come in contact with.
Making spiritual decisions is pretty much the same as making other decisions. When we make the decision to try and please God in the smaller ways we begin to form good habits. We then have a much easier time making the bigger decisions.
Decide today to move closer to God. Decide to allow Him to have more of you.
I have gone as far as I can with the signs until I see something else I think the Lord would have me use. It was a decision. I might expand on the subject of decisions later but next I have a short series of devotionals on Spiritual Separation. I hope to be posting them later on in the week. The world keeps telling us to get together with everyone else when the Bible plainly tells us that there we need to be separated from some things. Pray for me as I try to deal scripturally with these issuses.
Thank you so much for allowing me to minister through these devotionals. Pray for me and this ministry that it might bring glory to God.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Mt 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
As you drive down the road you see many For Sale signs as well as the road signs. There are houses, land, vehicles, and many other things there with For Sale signs to attract buyers.
I wonder how many people would that have completely negleted their spiritual life should have a For Sale sign around their necks. Some are willing to sell themselves for popularity, some for pleasure, some for riches.
I want you to imagine that you are on sale at an auction. There are only two bidders. There is Satan and there is Jesus. As you are being auctioned you are the one that takes the bidding and makes the decision.
Satan says "I will give riches."
Jesus says, "I will make you joint heirs with me and all things are in my Father's hands."
Satan says, "I will give you pleasure."
Jesus says, "I will give you peace, and joy, and comfort."
Satan says, "I will give you an exciting life."
Jesus says, "I will give you life eternal and life abundant."
I could go on but you get the general idea. Satan is the father of all lies and all the promises he makes are broken in the end.Jesus demonstrated His willingness to keep his promises by purchasing you with His own life and suffering. He has already paid the price for you. It is just a matter of giving yourself to Him.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


By Jeremy Burkes

Mt 7:7-8 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: (8) For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
What do you want out of life? Do you want riches, fame and fortune, or perhaps popularity. Most people probably want some or most of these things. God wants us to have the best He has for us. When Jesus died the veil of the temple was ripped in half, giving us access to God's throne of Grace. The scriptures in Matthew tell us three ways to approach God. 1. Ask2. Seek3. Knock
What does it mean to ask? Asking is looking for an answer. When we pray we ask God to bless us or someone or to forgive us or forgive someone else. We have all asked God for things. God wants us to ask Him for anything. Jas 4:2 ... yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
God encourages us to ask. We sometimes know we should ask for things but we know deep down that we don't really want them. If you want to be happy, ask God to make you more thankful for what you have, if you want to be liked ask God to help change your attitude. The simple lesson to learn is to ask God for what He wants you to have.
We have all lost things. We might have lost a tool we needed, our wallet, our car keys or some other item. We ask others if they have seen them hoping we can stop looking. When we continue searching for the item we usually find it, right where we left it.
When we lightly study the Bible sometimes we miss a lot. When we really begin to seek God's will we will see things in the scriptures in a completely different way. When we really ask God for something we should be willing to put forth the effort to seek the answer to our prayers. Seeking takes a little more effort than just asking.Seek and ye shall find.
Re 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
We know that Jesus wants us to open up and let Him minister to us. When we invite Him in the Holy Spirit comes in to have continual fellowship with us.
Knocking is a more persistant way of seeking answers from God.When we really want to seek the will of God in our life we must first make sure we are in fellowship with Him and then show our persistence in getting the answer.
He that asketh receiveth.He that seeketh findeth.He that knocketh has doors of opportunity opened for him.
God will hear you, show you, and open the door of service for you. He is always there waiting for you to come to Him.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Matthew 11:27-30 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. (28) Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
We often see signs telling us that there is a bridge ahead that can not handle extremely heavy weights. When I see one of these I sometimes think that I can relate to that. Sometimes it seems that the weight of the world is on me and I just can't support the load. I then remember Jesus giving this invitation to bring all our burdens to Him and he will give us rest.
In a previous devotional about rest I mentioned that we should take time to rest and rejuvenate ourselves. We can't do that if we hang on to our burdens.
I remember a story about an man walking down the road with a heavy bundle over his shoulder. A wagon came along and gave him a ride but instead of putting his bundle in the wagon he kept it in his lap. The driver of the wagon noticed this and said, "Why don't you just lay your bundle and the wagon and you wouldn't have to keep carrying it."
The passenger then replied, "Oh no, I appreciate the ride but I couldn't ask you to carry my burden too."
That may sound a little silly but we sometimes do that in our relationship with Jesus. We are willing to trust Him with our very souls but we don't seem to want to trouble Him with our everyday burdens.
Another person once said, "Many people carry their burdens to the cross and then pick them right back up and hang on to them."
Whatever your burdens may be you can be sure that there is nothing that Jesus can't help you handle. It might be sin in your life, it might be frustration, it might be worries but I can promise you that Jesus can handle anything you trust Him with. Let Him help you carry it and He will give you rest.
Unlike the bridge, Jesus doesn't have any weight restrictions.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Genesis 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
We live in a fast paced world. Businesses operate 7days a week and 24 hours a day. That means their employees are on the same schedule. Even when people have days off they fill them with activities and try to crowd as much into them as they can. Vacations are often hectic and I have even heard people say that they would be glad to go back to work so that they could get some rest.
I remember when I was young on Sundays at my grandparents house we seemed to always have company. After church and after lunch everyone would gather under the big Blackjack Oaks and just sit and talk. The children would play and the adults would just sit and relax and talk. The most energy I remember seeing any of them exert was to sit and whittle on a stick. They all knew how to relax and enjoy a Sunday.
Relaxing and resting is not laziness. I am not talking about being a couch potato sitting in front of the TV or computer. I am talking about just sitting and and enjoying the people around you, or sitting on your porch or in your yard and enjoying God's wonderful creation. Clear your mind and meditate on the blessings of God.
Early in my ministry I was having some physical problems and the Dr. said part of the problem was that my mind and my body were never in the same place. He explained, "When you are in your study your mind is on visiting the hospital, when you are visiting the hospital your mind is on spending time with your family, when you are with your family you think you should be studying. No wonder you are tired, you spend all your time traveling in two directions, your mind in one and your body in the other." The amazing thing was that He was exactly right.
Genesis 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
Personally I do not believe God rested because He was tired. I believe after He finished His creation that He wanted to just enjoy what He had done. I think it is a good idea for us to sometimes just rest and enjoy what God has done for us.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Jeremy Burkes
Matthew 7:24-25 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: (25) And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
Unlike the man that built his house on the sands of the world and his own works the wise man built his house on the Rock, Jesus Christ. How many of you would like to build a house in Jesus neighborhood, I know I would. We need to tear down the beach houses (the ones on worldly foundations). The house or the life with Jesus as foundation can withstand any storm, any fire, or any earthquake.
We as Christians live in fear a lot of the time. Sometimes we don't ask Jesus to help because we don't want him to know what a mess we have gotten ourselves into. Here is a little secret JESUS KNOWS EVERYTHING.
Edward Mote wrote the words to the song, "The Solid Rock". The opening line says "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness." When the storms of sin buffet us we need to go back to the cross. Jesus took our place and paid for our sins once and for all.
Let go of the beach house and upgrade to the rock house.
I heard a message once entitled, "Let Go and Let God." That is the way we must live our life. We should let go of sin, especially our pet sins, and let God handle them. We should let God plow over our sin garden an

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Jeremy Burkes
Matthew 7:24-27 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: (25) And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. (26) And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: (27) And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Have you ever felt alone? Have you ever felt like God has left your side. Maybe we need to look around and behind us and see that we are separated from God by our own sin. Sin raises a barrier between us and God. Sin can make us feel like the whole world is against us.
Sin wears many faces, it can look like a friend, entertaining us, like a TV show we know we shouldn't watch. It can be anger within us that eats away at us like a cancer. It can come in the form of disrespect to others. Sin can grow as we keep it inside. We all seem to have our pet sins. We treat them like a garden, we water and nurture them and we try to keep Jesus away from them.
There are many old sayings that you have probably heard."What you do will catch up to you." "What is done in the dark will come to light." "It will all come out in the wash." We've all heard them but we think they apply to others and not to us.
When we look at the two men in the book of Matthew we are aware that one built his house on the rock and the other on the sand. Which house are you building? We want to say we are building on the rock but if we were honest we would add, but I do have a beach house too.
If you look closely at yourself you might see a little of the foolish man. Foolishness is defined as a fool's act and or idea. We as Christians have foolish ideas sometimes. We often have the idea that we can handle our sins on our own. We tend to give God the heavy stuff but we will hold on to our secret sins and put them in our garden.
Sometimes we play tug of war between God and the world and we are the one being pulled. We want to serve God but we also want to please the world.
It seems that we will never learn.
Don't build on the sand. It is a foolish act. Build your life on Jesus Christ the Solid Rock. There is no greater foundation.
(Tomorrow- The Wise Man)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
A dead end sign means that once you get to a certain point that you can't go any farther. On a road you can go so far and when you get so far you either have to stop or turn around and go back.
As unpleasant as it is to think about in life we will eventually come to the end of life's road. We never know when that will be. When we are young we try not to think about it and assume that we will live to a ripe old age. Sadly that is not always the case.
The truth is that we begin heading for death the moment we are born. The important thing is that we be prepared because even after death there is more to come. To those who have accepted Jesus as their personal Savior there is eternal life. To those who have not there is eternal damnation.
It is important that we recognize how breif this life is and how long eternity is. As we walk this dead end road of life we need to be laying up our treasures in heaven, by doing the will of God, by sharing Jesus with those around us, and by enjoying the blessings God has given us.
This life is short even if you live to be a hundred. Doesn't it make sense to be preparing for eternity.