Wednesday, November 26, 2008


By Jeremy Burkes
Thanksgiving, a time of turkey,Pie, family and games on TV
A time of reflecting on life and the year,Of going afield and hunting for deer,
A time of leftovers, stuffing over and over,Until we are ready to crawl under the cover,
After we've set in front of a ballgame with a plate in our lap,We are finally ready for that afternoon nap.
Whatever you do, have a happy thanksgiving from the Shiloh Church family to yours.
May God bless you. We all have much to be thankful for and let us not forget to give thanks to Him who has blessed us so much.
We will not have a new devotional until next Monday. You can go to to read previous devotionals or to leave us a comment. Why not go back and read some of the earlier devotionals. It is amazing how you can pick up something new when you read something more than once.
God bless you and have a happy thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


1 Corinthians 14:15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

Much emphasis is placed on the Music and singing in our Worship Services in Church. How much attention do we really pay to the words in the songs we sing each Sunday. You may not be familiar with all the songs mentioned in the list below but I am sure you can think of others that we sing- but fail to put into practice.

1. We sing "Sweet Hour of Prayer" and are content with 5-10 minutes a day.
2. We sing "Onward Christian Soldiers" and wait to be drafted into His service.
3. We sing "O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing" and don't use the one we have.
4. We sing "There Shall be Showers of Blessing" but do not come when it rains.
5. We sing "Blest Be the Tie That Binds" and let the least little offense sever it.
6. We sing "Serve the Lord With Gladness" and gripe about all we have to do.
7. We sing "I Love To Tell the Story" and never mention it at all.
8. We sing "We're Marching to Zion" but fail to march to worship or school.
9. We sing "Cast Thy Burden on the Lord" and worry ourselves into a nervous breakdown.
10. We sing "The Whole Wide World for Jesus" and never invite our next-door neighbor.
11. We sing "O Day of Rest and Gladness" and wear ourselves on traveling, cutting grass or playing golf on Sunday.
12. We sing "Throw Out the Lifeline" and content ourselves with throwing out a fishing line.
When you are singing pay attention to the words as well as the melody. There are some great inspirational messages in the Hymns in your songbooks.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Ecclesiastes 10:10 If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct.

This is a simple statement but it is very truthful. Have you ever tried to cut a tree with a dull ax or to cut a piece of meat with a dull knife. You have to put forth much more effort.
Once a man was cutting a tree with a dull axe and he didn't seem to be making much progress. Someone asked him why he didn't stop and sharpen it. "I have too many trees to cut to take time to sharpen my ax," He answered. Truthfully if he had taken the time to sharpen the ax his work would have gone much more quickly.
We are like that in our own lives sometimes. We want to get ahead on our jobs or in school without taking time to make ourselves better.
We can also be much like that in our spiritual lives. A student in a Sunday School class may sometimes think it dull because he is the one who hasn't prepared. You should not wait until you get to church to try to gain spiritual insight. It should be something you work at every day. Try to stay spiritually sharp through prayer, Bible Study and putting into practice what you learn. It might surprise you how much better you handle difficulties when you keep yourself sharp.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Matthew 6:31-34 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (32) (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (33) But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.(34) Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Someone once said that worry is like rocking in a rocking chair. It keeps you busy but it doesn't get you anywhere. Actually rocking in a rocking chair is rather relaxing and enjoyable so you are at least having a good time. I think worry is more like being on a treadmill. Not the usual treadmill you might see at the gym but more like the type in a doctor's office that they use for a "stress" test. It will wear you out and wear you down but it won't get you anywhere.
Worry is paying interest on tomorrow's problems. Anyone can worry but it takes a special person to have real faith.
Most of the things we worry about fall into three categories.


There is really no need to worry about these things. If you can do something about it - do it and quit worrying. Worrying will not change the outcome.


We should try to be prepared for the unpleasant things that are going to happen. We should pray, we should do everything we can to prepare ourselves but if they are going to happen anyway worry will not change things one bit. Many people worry about things like getting older. I have come to the point in my life that it is a chief goal of mine, to keep getting older and if that doesn't work our I am prepared for that too.

I heard of a woman who lay awake almost every night worried about burglars breaking into her home. One night she heard a noise downstairs and as usual she sent her husband (who obviously didn't get much sleep either) down to investigate. He turned on the light in the living room and there he was, a burglar. The burglar was about as frightened at being caught as the man was to catch him. He turned to run but the man grabbed him and held him.
The burglar pleaded, "Please let me go.""No," the man said harshly, "My wife has kept me awake for twenty years expecting you and you are not leaving until she meets you."
Hopefully you will never have a burglar and if you do he might not be as afraid as this one was, but the woman wasted twenty years of good sleep being afraid he would come.
Most things of this nature that we worry about will never happen. If they do, they move up into the category of things that are going to happen anyway.
Get off the worry treadmill. Trust the Lord with your soul and everything else will eventually come out alright.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, AND FOLLOW ME.

Too many of us want to shop for just the right cross instead of taking up the cross of self-denial that Jesus referred to.
Some want a padded cross that's not too heavy. They want to serve the Lord but not if it causes them to make sacrifices and put forth great effort.
Some want a small cross that they can keep concealed. They don't want to draw attention to their Christianity. They want to be secret agents in the Lord's army.
Some want a decorated engraved and jeweled cross so they can flaunt it before the world and attract attention to themselves. It is not about us. It is about Jesus.
Bearing the true cross of Christ means denying self. The cross of Christ was a plain wooden cross that takes a lot of effort to carry. Thankfully we will never have to carry it alone. Jesus will help us to bear it. His "yoke is easy" and His "burden is light."
Don't go shopping for an easier cross. Just take up the one Jesus asked us to carry.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Go Ahead and Do It

James 4:17 Therefore to him that KNOWETH TO DO GOOD, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

People are sometimes hard to get along with. You know that you are supposed to love them but they sometimes really make you angry, go ahead and do it. Love them anyway because it is the good thing to do.
It is hard to put forth great effort to get a program going or to make something a success and see someone get all the credit. Go ahead and do it. It is the right thing to do.
Some people don't deserve forgiveness for what they have done to us. Go ahead and do it. Forgivness is what they need and what we need to practice.
Sometimes it is hard to speak kind words and words of encouragement. People seem to ignore or reject them. Go ahead and do it. It will have a good effect on you even if it doesn't have one on the person you are speaking too.
We sometimes hold our peace and do not witness to others. They might already be saved or they may reject what we have to say. Go ahead and do it. They may come to know Jesus.
Our ideas may fail so we don't share them with others or pursue them ourselves. Go ahead and do it. If you never try you can never succeed.
I could go on with many other examples but you are the only one who knows the good you can do. Go ahead and do it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


by Jeremy Burkes

Psalm 116:12 What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?

The definition of Thanksgiving is the act of showing thanks, and the showing of gratitude for something.
We've all said thank you to someone. We are taught as little children to say thank you. People say it to be polite when you do something as simple as holding the door for them or hand them something. If we are polite and courteous it is said a lot through our lives.
How often do you say it to God? When we say it to God it takes on a deeper meaning. It is more than being polite. If we are really thankful for what Jesus did for us it means giving Him our life as a gift of thanksgiving.
This psalm asks us what we shall render unto the Lord. What do we have to give the Lord that He doesn't already have? We can give him nothing but ourselves. He doesn't want part of us, He wants all of us.
There are truly many things to thank God for. We can thank Him for a new day, for our family, for our health, and so many other things. When we offer Him thanks we give Him Glory for what He has already done for us.

Psalm 48:1 A Song and Psalm for the sons of Korah. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.

Remember as you pray, offer a prayer of sincere thanksgiving.

Monday, November 17, 2008


1 Corinthians 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.

Sometimes we feel insignificant compared to others when involved in the Lord's work. I would advise you to go to the above scripture and read the previous scriptures along with it. I could have easily printed them in with this devotional but sometimes things mean a little more if you have to do a little searching to find them.
Some people feel like if they are not the preacher or they are not playing the piano or leading the singing that they will not be missed in the church services. We should feel that our presence is important and that we are a part of something much bigger than the individual parts, just like our hand is part of the body or our ear or our eyes. The task that we are doing may not depend at the time on a particular part of the body but it is certainly good to have them all present.
No preacher can preach his best sermon to an empty pew. No matter how much talent a song director has he can not lead empty pews to sing. We should have the attitude that our presence is important. When we are not there we are missed.
A little boy was away from home on vacation and the family was unable to go to church for some reason. Since they were not able to go to a regular church service they had devotionals in their motel room. The boy was asked to lead in prayer and he prayed, "Please, God, help my Sunday School teacher and class be able to get along alright without me this morning."
When you are not present in Sunday School and Church you may be missed more than you realize.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Nehemiah 6:3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a GREAT WORK, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?

Nehemiah was rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and realized that the work was a great work. I think there are lots of times that we get so caught up in the day to day routine of our lives that we forget that God has placed us here to do a great work.
A large church was under construction and a man passing by stopped one man and asked him what he was doing. "I am mixing mortar for the stone," he answered. He asked another man the same question. His answer was, "I am a stonemason and I am cutting and laying stone." There was an old woman inside with a broom sweeping up the debris and he asked her the same question. With a smile on her face and evident enthusiasm she answered, "I am helping to build a great cathedral for the Glory of God."
If someone asked you what you are doing, how would you answer. Perhaps you would say, "I am working to make a living." "I am just trying to get by day by day." There are a lot of answers that you might give.
How about if you are a parent. Wouldn't it be great to answer, "I am raising a family for the Glory of God."
A man who worked in a meat packing plant was a very strong witness and witnessed for Jesus every chance he got. When people would ask him what he did he would answer, "I am a witness for Christ, I just pack pork to finance it."
We are a part of God's plan. There is great work for us to do. It would be wonderful if more of us would be as Nehemiah and say, "I am doing a great work and I can't come down."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


1 Samuel 15:23For [rebellion] the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from king.

When we examine this verse of scripture it has some pretty sobering implications. Rebellion is something we might think of as being pretty serious. We know how harmful it is when our children rebel against parental authority. We know how much trouble this usually leads to but we don't think too much about stubbornness.
I know people that seem to take pride in being stubborn. There is nothing wrong with having strong convictions and standing firm on that which is right but when we are stubborn for the sake of being stubborn and getting our way it becomes serious sin.
Many times God deals with us and instead of submitting to Him and His will we just harden our hearts as Pharaoh did and we become stubborn. I am reminded of a little girl who was told to sit on the little stool her mother made her sit on for punishment. She went to the stool and just stood there. Finally her mother told her that if she didn't sit down she would get a spanking. The little girl sat on the stool and looked up at her mother and said, "I may be sitting on the outside but I'm still standing on the inside."
We can be much like that with God. On the outside we are submissive but on the inside we are still resisting the will of God. Let's quit being stubborn and let God mold us into the instruments He can use for His Glory.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


by Jeremy Burkes

Psalm 95:2-3 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. (3) For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

Are you thankful when you pray? Do you approach God with a thanksgiving in your heart? We have so much to be thankful for. God has answered so many of our prayers and blessed us in so many ways.
Too often when we pray we want instant results. We must realize that God doesn't work on our schedules. We are used to microwave popcorn, instant pudding and fast food. God is not in the pudding business, God works according to His own schedule.
When we pray we should pray with thanksgiving. Thankful for every blessing we've already received and thankful for every prayer God has answered in the past.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving and a truly thankful heart.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

Peter and John had gone to the temple. People saw them perform miracles and were astonished but it wasn't the miracles that astonished them most. It was the way they spoke. These ignorant and unlearned men spoke with boldness and authority on Jesus and the resurrection. and the people took notice of that. Wouldn't it be great if people could tell by our speech and our conviction that we had a personal relationship with Jesus.

I read an account once of a small boy in a large city who was selling apples from an old shopping cart. It was on a Sunday and he was passing a large church just as the crowd came out. His basket was overturned and the apples spilled out and the people just walked by and ignored him. Finally a lady came out and helped him pick up the apples and was very kind to him.
He asked her what the big building was and she answered, "That is God's house."
Not knowing anything about religious matters but having heard of the love of God he asked her, "Are you God's wife?"
Wouldn't it be great for all of us if we could express the kind of attitude and behavior that people would at least think that we must be some relation to God?

Friday, November 7, 2008


GENESIS 25:30-34
Ge 25:30-34 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. (31) And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. (32) And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? (33) And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. (34) Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.

We may not realize the importance of the birthright in those days. The birthright was the rights and privileges of the first-born, which were very important, the chief being that they were the family priests it also entitled them to a double portion of their father's inheritance. Esau sold his for a pot of soup and some bread to satisfy his current appetite.
We may think that was not a very intelligent thing for him to do but before we become too critical we need to examine our own lives and think of the times we have sold out too cheap. We sell our freedom for security. We sell our testimony for popularity. We sell our self respect for instant gratification.
Thankfully those who are saved have an inheritance that can not be lost, stolen, or even sold. We are sealed by His Spirit. We can sell out to the world and lose our current blessings though. Before we do something we should count the cost. Nothing is greater than the blessings that God has for us.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Mark 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, EVEN THE ELECT.
Mark 13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

The world is truly changing. We are witnessing things that would have been impossible to believe 50 years ago. You can not take the verses here by themselves and understand the prophecy of end times. It takes years of study and prayer and still no one can answer all the questions about when the end will come.
The book of Revelation speaks of a time when images will come to life and when men will speak and every one in the world can see them at once. Can you imagine the puzzle this must have been to circuit riding preachers a century ago? It does not puzzle or amaze us. An individual with a camera and computer can use the Internet and broadcast all over the world if people would log on to watch.
We are not to know the day and the hour that Jesus will return but when He does we will know it. No one will have to tell us.
What we must do is to take heed, be aware and notice the things going on, that is in society, in politics, in the financial world, and especially in compromising one's beliefs. These are signs pointing toward His coming. We must watch for Him and pray. We are in His hands and no matter what may happen in this World He is bigger than all of it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


(Proverbs 17:22) A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
I have always loved the words to "His Eye Is On The Sparrow". I smile when I hear (or sing) these words, "I sing because I'm Happy, I sing because I'm free, His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me."
Have you ever noticed how much good it does you when you sing a happy song or when you hear one. I do my best singing in the car when no one else is with me. You really don't have to be able to sing to enjoy it.
Do you notice how much better you feel after you hear or see something that is funny. Laughter is good medicine. Maybe each day we should take some short breaks just to be merry. Sing a song, tell something funny, smile and laugh a little.
It will make you feel better and it will usually make those around you feel better. It will keep you from having a broken spirit and the last thing you want is dry bones.
Knowing that God is watching and that He cares what happens to each and every one of us is enough to make our hearts merry.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Ps 14:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

One doesn't have to look far to see the influence of the foolish on the world today. People are doing evil and calling it good. People are looking to man and government to solve their problems. People are doing all sorts of terrible things and then they will attack Christians because we don't agree with them.
Many may not say out loud that there is no God but they live as if they will never have to give an account for their actions. God has been expelled from the classrooms and our schools (meaning our children) are suffering because of it.
Programs on television very seldom mention God unless it is to take His name in vain. If a person has strong faith in God and His Word they are labled as extreme fundamentalist (as if that were an insult). The news media never cover the good things that are done in the name of Jesus. It is only when someone claiming to be a Christian does something horrible that it gets any coverage.
I just want to say, There is a God. He is in control. He is our creator and someday everyone of us will give an account of our lives to Him.
The fool may say in his heart that there is no God but he is in for a terrible shock someday.