Friday, October 31, 2008


By Jeremy Burkes

2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

We all have a past. Most of us have things from the past that we keep hidden. Some people suffer because they can not let go of the past and are troubled by the secrets they have. God wants us to confess our sins to Him (we don't have to tell the world about them) and let Him clean up our past. It might be hard but we can let go.
In the animated movie "The Lion King" a young lion is trying to run away from his past but he finally came face to face with his past. That is the way it is with us if we don't let God take care of it. Instead of giving it to God we try to run from it. In the movie the lion encounters a monkey who brings up the past. The monkey slaps the lion in the head. When the lion asks him why he did it the monkey said, "It doesn't matter, it's in the past." The lion responded, "It doesn't matter but it still hurts."
Sometimes the past hurts but it is in the past. Sometimes it is hard to let go and let God heal the hurt. It might seem impossible but it is not impossible with God.
Mark 10:27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.
By the grace of God we can let go of the past.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Ps 12:1 To the chief Musician upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David. Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.

This Psalm of David starts off with the simplest of prayers. It is something that each of us can use every day and most of us need to. David simply says, "Help Lord."
It is short. So many times when we pray we seem think that we must say more to have a better prayer. God doesn't need us to explain what is going on around us. He is aware of everything that is happening everywhere yet we sometimes try to give him a detailed account of our problems as if it might be a surprise to Him. He knows the details ahead of time but he wants us to acknowledge Him and come to Him.
It is to the point. Help. That is usually what we go to the Lord for. Help, I am discouraged. Help, I am surrounded by people who constantly make my life difficult. Help, I am weak and temptation is all around me. Help, I am sick and can't seem to get to feeling better. Help, I am confused and I need direction. Help certainly covers a multitude of situations. Help Lord.
It is directed properly. Help Lord. He is the only one so often than can help. No matter how hectic or unsettled our lives may become He is the only one who can really help us.
As you go through the day and through the coming days just remember it is a short but powerful prayer. Help Lord, I certainly know I need it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


2 Cor 5:14-15 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: (15) And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

There are many books and many aritcles on the subject of movivation. Motivation is causing something to move or putting something in motion. Large corporations spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to motivate there workers to be more productive. We are motivated by many things. Hunger motivates us to work to buy food. Desire for success motivates us to grow and to learn new skills. Wanting companionship motivates us to treat others with kindness and courtesy and causes us to practice the "Golden Rule." Fear is a great motivator. If something suddenly frightens you, it is surprising, even to you, how quickly you can move. I have seen snakes movtivate people to do some extrordinary running that they didn't think they were capable of. We should be motivated in our work for the Lord, and while fear is a great motivator, love is even a greater one. Love motivates us to make sacrifices, to do things for others at our own expense and effort. It is not just the love we have that motivates us but the love others have for us. Children try to please their parents because they know the parents love them. I have used the example many times that my wife does many wonderful things for me. She keeps the house clean, cooks my meals, washes my clothes and the list could go on forever. She does not do these things because she is afraid of me. If she were to stop doing them I would not punish her or banish her. She does things for me because she is compelled by my love for her and her love for me. When we are motivated out of love to do things for others it does not bring resentment but brings us happiness. The same is true for our relationship with Jesus. we should be compelled to serve Him because we are certain that He loves us and we know that we love Him. When we do the work He has for us and are motivated by love, it brings us great joy

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Josh 1:7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
If Christians today are lacking in any one thing I think that it is courage. We find ourselves surrounded by a lost and very confused world and we sit timidly among them and say nothing. We are afraid to offend even the offensive. We are certainly in the later days that the Bible speaks of and it is imperative that we face these days with courage. Now is a time for boldness. We must be bold in our testimony. It is great to witness to others by our lifestyle and let others see that we are different but lifestyle testimony is not enough. We must be bold and tell them Who makes the difference in our lives. For too long we have had a passive ministry. We live and let live or more likely we live and let die. Certainly everyone has the opportunity to learn about Jesus and to study a Bible and learn about His salvation. That is passive. We are taught throughout the Bible that we must be more aggressive. When I say aggressive I don't mean pushy or annoying but at least we need to be verbal. I once heard a story about a very shy Christian man who worked for a very worldly and crude businessman. This businessman would curse and yell at his employees on a daily basis. Once when this man was cursing and chewing out his staff the shy little man found the courage to say, "Mr. Smith, If you just knew Jesus you would be a lot happier and the rest of us would too." The boss was surprised and actually became speechless because he knew how shy this man was. He thought long and hard that night about what was said and he went to the midweek service where the shy man attended church. They were having Bible study and prayer meeting and that night he asked Jesus to save him. His life did turn around and things did get better for him and all those around him because the shy little man had the courage to be a little more aggressive in his ministry. Courage also should make us be bold in our convictions. We need to stand up for the Bible and stand on God's Word. We need to apply it and we need to share it. It seems today that when one stands up for what is right and stands against sin he is called hateful. We all should hate sin, and speak against it. We do this because we hate sin and because we love the sinner enough to know that sin is destructive to them. We certainly do not hate the sinner because we have all sinned but we must be courageous in speaking out against the destructiveness of sin.
Let's strive to be more courageous, by being bold in our testimony, aggressive in our ministry and strong in our convictions.

Monday, October 27, 2008


1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
Sometimes we don't seem to have the confidence in God that we should. We feel that maybe we are missing out on something in life or that others are being blessed more than we are. I have had many people ask me if it was wrong to question why some people seemed to have a lot but didn't live for the Lord while some people were dedicated and faithful and still had to struggle.
I always tell them that it is not wrong to question things but I always assure them also that God does not make mistakes. We find that many people who seem to have much really are not satisfied with what they have. Worse than that many of them already have their rewards and we know our greatest rewards are yet to come.
James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Sometimes we do not get what we ask for because we ask for the wrong reasons. Sometimes God blesses us by not giving us everything we ask for.
We should examine ourselves carefully. Are we using the things that God has blessed us with to Glorify Him? We can be confident that whatever we ask, according to His will, He will hear us. We are facing uncertain times. Politics, the economy, natural disasters, wars, and more are enough to make us pause and think about the future.
Remember we may not know what the future holds for us, but we do know who holds the future. You can be confident that God loves you, God cares for you and His grace is sufficient for you.

Friday, October 24, 2008


1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

We certainly can not always determine our circumstances. We have good times and we sometimes go through bad times. The old saying is true that "Bad things sometimes happen to good people."
It seems that since we don't have absolute control over our circumstances that we might as well give in to them sometimes. The apostle Paul found himself in some pretty harsh situations. He was stoned, he was imprisoned, he was nearly beaten to death. These things seemed to happen quite often to Paul yet he said that no matter what state or situation he found himself in he had learned to be content.
Joseph was sold into slavery and then cast into prison. In each situation he just did the best he could and tried to always be faithful and do the right thing.
Sometimes it is not our circumstances but our attitude toward them that cause us to not to be content. I can't help my physical problems. I can't help my financial situation much. I certainly can't do anything about the behavior of others around me and I quit trying to solve the problems of the world a long time ago. There is only one thing that I have control over and that is me and how I react to things.
I have learned that trying to serve God and being content with my circumstances is certainly great gain. Maybe I am where God can use me the most.
Leave us a comment

Thursday, October 23, 2008


By Jeremy Burkes
Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Is your goal in life to please God or please man? Many times man will let you down, even our friends. God will never let us down. Sometimes even our closest friends and family will turn against us but God never will. People will talk about you, God wants to talk to you. The decision is yours whether you try to please God or those around you.

Jesus tells us in the book of Matthew that we can not serve two masters. I saw a church sign that said, "God wants full custody, Not just weekend visits." While attending church is a good habit it should be much more. We should come prepared to worship God. God truly wants you to receive the blessings He has to offer you.

Serving God and making Him your true Master is a matter of choice. We need to make the same committment to serve Him as Josuah did.

Joshua 24:15 ...but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Monday, October 20, 2008


By Jeremy Burkes
Mattew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
After we are saved, what do we do next? We are often guilty of missed opportunities. How many people have you told about Jesus?

Jesus paid for our salvation. He was crucified, buried, then rose again. He still lives and we need to share that with the world. Witnessing can be hard, but it is something we have been commanded to do. Jesus told His disciples in Matthew to go, I believe he intended that for His modern day followers too.
Most of us know someone who needs to know God. Most of us know people who have questions about spiritual things. They need answers, we have the answers in the Bible. We have the knowledge of Jesus and His plan of salvation. We need to go and tell others.
Fanny Crosby wrote the words "Rescue the perishing, Care for the dying, Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save."
That is a great message for us to share with a world that is truly perishing.
(We will not have a new devotional until Thursday)

Friday, October 17, 2008


By Jeremy Burkes
Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

Most of us have a shelf in our houses where we keep what some would call junk. These nic-nacs or whatever we call them are sometimes treasures to us. We try to keep the kids away from them, we try to keep them from being broken. Not all our treasures are put on a shelf. We might treasure our homes or a vehicle.
Sometimes we try to treasure everything. We will hold onto stuff thinking we might use it later, like a nut or a screw or an old table leg. We might even hold onto a piece of wire that came out of something we can't even remember. Someday all these things will be nothing but dust. We need to stop collecting dust and focus more on God's treasure.
Matthew 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Stuff doesn't make us happy. Only God can make us truly happy and He wants us to be happy by having a close relationship with Him through Jesus. God's Son, Jesus is the greatest treasure in the world. Jesus came to the world to give abundant life to all who want it.
John 10:10 ...I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
God wants us to have a happy abundant life. We may need to leave some of the excess junk out of our lives and store our treasures in heaven and not on earth. Let us strive for the rewards that God has for us. Let us clean the dust out of our lives. After all, "...For where your treasure is, there your heart is also.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Tommie L. Joiner
While I was pastor of First Baptist Church of Newark, Arkansas there were many who were faithful in attendance but none more faithful than Buckwheat. He attended every service regardless of the weather or the seasons, and he wasn't even allowed inside. During Sunday School he would sit under the awning by the Educational Building and wait for classes to dismiss. He would then proceed to the front door and greet members and visitors alike. During the preaching he would leave the front door and move to the side entrance where he could hear better and then return to the front door to see everyone off.
Buckwheat wasn't even a member of the church. Buckwheat was a German Shepherd.
His faithfulness was not just on Sundays and Wednesdays either. Every day as I would walk from the house to the church to study he would walk beside me with his head nuzzled in my hand and would wait by the door until I came out and returned home.
I made the comment many times that I wished the rest of the members were as faithful as Buckwheat. Some commented, "Yes, he is faithful but it is for a different reason."
After hearing this comment several times I realized that they were wrong. His reason for being there was the same reason we should be there. Buckwheat was faithful because he loved his master.
If we love our Master as he did we too will want to walk close to Him. We will be faithful to Him and wait patiently for Him knowing that he is coming back.
Buckwheat, like us sometimes went astray and then he would return. I was always glad to see him come home where he belonged.
The last time he went away he came back wounded. He had been shot by a small caliber bullet and I did not know what the problem was until it was too late.
He came home, laid his head in my lap and died with my arms around him.
I hope I never stray from my master and get destroyed by the world, but this much I know, dogs or people do not live forever.
Like Buckwheat, I hope to be faithful to my Master in this life and when it comes time for the end, I will take my last breath in the loving arms of my Master.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

A person who truly loves children can find great joy and he can learn a lot from them if he stops and thinks about it. Children go through stages and each stage is special in it's own way. One of my favorite stages is the toddler stage. The child is still almost as dependant upon the adult as the infant but they are more aware. They relate to people, acknowledge them, and show affection to them in different measure.

It thrills my heart when a toddler recognizes someone, turns to them with a big smile and runs to them with his hands in the air knowing that they will pick him up and give him a big hug. It especially thrills me when that someone is me. It is not so much that he loves me but that he knows that I love him and he trusts me to show that love by lifting him and giving him a big hug, knowing that I would never do anything purposely to hurt him.

When I think of humbling myself under the hand of God I think that it is then that I must act like a toddler. I must meet Him with a smile, expect Him to pick me up and love me. I must know that He would never do anything to harm me and that I am safe in His arms.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, (14) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Sometimes it is hard to strike a balance between being thankful and being satisfied. We should definitely be thankful, God has blessed each of us tremendously and given us so much. If we are not careful we begin to take the blessings for granted and we become satisfied. We get satisfied with what we are, what we have and who we are. As if we had already "apprehended" or reached the peak of our life.
One great evidence that God still has a purpose for us is that He has not called us home yet. If we are still here, we still have room for growth and we still have things to accomplish.
I confess that at times in my life I have looked behind and felt that I had done about all I was put here to do. Maybe I don't have as many opportunities before me as I used to have but I still have a responsibility to strive to do more.
Each of us should strive to reach a higher level of spirituality and service and be constantly setting higher goals in our Christian life. One thing is certain, when God gets through with us, He will be the one to let us know.

Monday, October 13, 2008


By Jeremy Burkes

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

When someone offers us something free we are often afraid there is a catch. We know that there is very little in this world that is free. There is a gift that is free and has no catch and it is not of this world.
God loves us enough that He sent His own Son, Jesus, to this world to save us from our sins. Everyone has sinned. No one is excluded.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Man can not pay for his own sins. "For the wages of sin is death." But there is more to that. "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Jesus came to pay our sin debt. In this way God opened the door of heaven for all who believe. He loved us enough to give us His Son for a much needed gift.
We all need salvation. There are many lost people who are seeking something better. That something is in Jesus Christ.

Rom. 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Psalm 107:2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;
I have noticed that people are quick to let you know where they stand on many issues. You can see political signs proclaiming support for political candidates. People have flags and banners hanging from their cars in support of their teams as they travel to ballgames. People don't seem to be the least bit shy when it comes to supporting some of their favorite causes. They wear a ribbon in support of some cause or a T-shirt in support of another one.
We as Christians have the greatest cause in the world to support yet we are too often silent. It really shouldn't be that hard. Jesus purchased us to Himself with His own blood and suffering.
1st Corinthians 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
The best way to Glorify God is to identify ourselves with Him, try to conform to His ways and try to tell the world about Him. It think it is time to for "...the redeemed of the Lord to say so,..."

Thursday, October 9, 2008


T. Joiner
I sit alone on a clear afternoon, in a deer stand up in a tree,
And as I gaze at God's creation, I know He's watching me.

There's not much to do in a deer stand except to sit and wait,
But I can make good use of the time, when I pray and meditate.

While I sit and wait for a trophy, and hope I have some luck,
I have come to realize It's not just about me bagging a buck.

I notice the turning of the leaves and the beautiful colors of fall,
And I sit in awesome silence, knowing God created it all.

As a breeze blows in my face, and I sit up in that tree,
It is a special day, and God is watching me.


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.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


T. Joiner
I must watch how I act in public, and be careful what people see,
Because I can never know, when someone's watching me.
I must be careful how I speak and mind the things I say,
Others might be influenced, even a child at play.
We all set an example, either good or bad,
And if I should lead even one astray, that would be too sad.
Our lives should be a compass to help lead the lost,
By pointing them to Jesus by way of the Old Rugged Cross.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


BY Jeremy Burkes
Matthew 11:28-30 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.

My family and I recently took a trip to New York. If you have ever been on a long trip you know that when you see a rest stop it is a welcome sight.
Matthew lets you know that on our journey through life we need rest stops too. God's rest stop is always open to all and is available whenever we need to pull over and rest. When we have a bad or hectic day, or sometimes we just need to stop awhile, God wants us to come to Him for rest. The simple truth is that all we have to do is come to Him.
Psalm 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him:
We need rest to recharge our batteries. Rest for our bodies may be just sitting down or getting a good night sleep, or taking a nice nap. When we need spiritual rest we must go to God.
Maybe God is more like a filling station than a rest stop. We not only get a chance to rest but if we pray, and study His word and fellowship with Him, we come away full and ready to get on our way.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Ga 6:7 BE NOT DECEIVED; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Sometimes we have things in our life that will ultimately bring harm to us. We all know the effects blatant willful sin and how it will destroy us but sometimes we overlook things in our life that will also bring us harm.
There are things like pride, greed, envy, and others that certainly do not bring Glory to God but eat away at us, usually a little at a time.
Someone once told me that it was easy enough to fight off a shark but when you had thousands of tiny fish biting you it was hard to get away from them. Many of us are like that in our spiritual lives. We don't have great shark-like sins but we do have a multitude of little ones we can't seem to shake off.
The only way to deal with this is by self examination. We must ask ourselves, is there something in my life that I need to separate myself from. Are there sins that seem small to me but ultimately damage my relationship to God and others. If so these will eventually eat away at your spiritual life.
What kind of seed are you sowing? Believe me, If you sow a particular type of seed, that is what you are going to harvest.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Psalm 4:1 To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm of David. Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
We live in a wonderful age as far as technology goes. With cell phone technology you don't have to be out of touch with anyone. I think some people probably never are because you can see them everywhere with their little earphone just talking away.
You see people all along the streets and highways and they have their cell phones up to their ears and they are just chatting away.I've heard that some people even ride along text messaging (please don't do that, I might be on the same road with you.)
It is amazing how much people want to communicate-by phone. I sometimes wonder what they could possibly have to talk about that is so important that they have to keep talking in checkout lines, banks, and even public rest rooms.
Many phones have unlimited calling, meaning for a certain fee you can talk as often and as long as you want. This is not really a new concept. God has always had unlimited calling. The problem is that we don't call out to Him often enough. I think we miss a lot of blessings because we don't call out to God the way we should.

Jer 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

Use God's unlimited calling plan. He might want to show you some Great and Mighty Things.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Psalms 2:1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

They rage because of their vain imaginations. It is surprising how some people can not grasp reality. We are always hearing about how we need more money for education. What we need are more people like Abraham Lincoln who wanted to learn so badly that he walked miles each way to school. All the money in the world will not cause a person to learn if he isn't interested in learning.
Another vain imagination is that education will cure all our ills. The only thing that can cure our ills is a change of the hearts of the wicked. The only thing more dangerous than an ignorant wicked man is a wicked educated man. Wickedness is still wickedness.
People vainly imagine that the government can cure all their ills and handle their problems. In our current state of economics many are learning the truth. It is vanity to think that man can do a thing without God's help.
Education my fail us, government will definitely let us down, but rest assured. Jesus has promised to those who love Him, "...I will never leave the nor forsake thee."
The heathen rage because they have nothing to cling to. They have nothing to assure them. Isn't it great to have peace, knowing that God is in control and that He loves us and cares for us?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Things To Make Me Smile

T. Joiner
The world is full of problems, for folks to worry about,
And if you dwell on the bad stuff, the future is filled with doubt,

But you need to forget the headlines,and forget bad news for awhile,
And concentrated on your blessings,and the things that make you smile.

Like family get togethers,with lots of fun and food,
Or a Sunday morning service,when the preaching was really good,

The smile on the face of a boyeating an ice cream cone,
The satisfied look on the face of a dog,as he greedily gnaws a bone,

The happy look of a couple in love,as they walk hand in hand,
Whether a young boy and girl,or an old woman and old man,

Think of a winter wonderland,as kids frolic in the snow,
Or picture the early springtime,as the flowers begin to grow,

Imagine a beautiful sunrise or sunset,and how it makes you feel,
And knowing God always loves you,and that He always will,

So, don't think about the bad news,and act like a frightened child,
Think of God and his blessings,and the things that make you smile.