Saturday, December 27, 2008


By Jeremy Burkes

1st Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Most of us have made New Year's resolutions at one time or another. There are all sorts of resolutions, to lose weight, to try to be a better person, to break some bad habit, or to spend more time with family are just a few.
Some of us even make resolutions to pray more or to study our Bible more and then we begin to fade as the year goes on. We start with a lot of enthusiasm but then we become tired.
Our entire year would be much better if we would start out with God in the proper place in our lives and end up with Him still in the proper place. You may not make resolutions but as you enter the New Year make an increased effort to keep focused on God and His will.
Happy New Year to all of you.

Monday, December 22, 2008


BY Jeremy Burkes
A Baby born in a manger,Born to the world a stranger,
To save us from sin's danger,
Died on a cross,to save the lost.
He rose on the third day,to prepare the way,
that we might have life,to live with His Father on High.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and may God bless you greatly in the coming New Year. Walk with Jesus as you walk through the new year.
We will probably not post any new devotionals until next Monday. We appreciate you sharing the blessings of this site with us.
Shiloh Baptist Church

Thursday, December 18, 2008


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.
"Be sure and keep your receipt". How many times have you heard that? In addition to manufacturer's warranties and guaranties most reputable retailers will take and item you are not satisfied with back if you keep your receipt. Usually there is a time limit on bringing the item back.
In past years I have had to return some items because they were defective or would not work as advertised. I have bought things that quit working - right after the warranty ran out. I have even taken chances and bought things that were not guaranteed at all. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, that is just a chance you take.
The greatest guarantee in the world is to those who believe in Jesus Christ. It is a forever guarantee, it is life everlasting. You don't have to have a receipt, God keeps up with it all. He has the record of your salvation. You can't lose it, it can't be stolen, you can't wear it out. It is forever.
I am a firm believer in the security of the believer. I believe that God is able to keep everything that is committed to Him. If you have committed your life to Christ, it is in God's hands and that is a permanent situation.
Isn't it great to know that is a guarantee that will never run out?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

There are a lot of things I really love about Christmas. The thing I like best is that for a short while the whole world is focused on the birth of our Savior whether they believe in Him or not.
I like the family gatherings, the food and so many other things. I usually let my wife do the decorating but I help and do what I am told to make things festive. We don't put up a lot of outside decorations and lights but we really do enjoy riding around and looking at the lights that others have.
There are many beautiful light displays, (I sometimes wonder how they afford their utility bills) in lots of places. Some cities make an annual effort to have a "festival of lights" or something like that and they are really beautiful.
Many have gone away from true Christmas themes and gone to less traditional light shows but I still like the Christian ones best.There are lights of just about every color, all of them pretty, but I think I like the natural ones best.
When you ride around and look at the lights this year, regardless of how they are displayed, try to think of the most beautiful light of all, "...The light of the World", Jesus Christ.
God gave us the gift of Light through Jesus, wasn't that a beautiful gift.

Monday, December 15, 2008


By Jeremy Burkes

Genesis 28:16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.

Have you ever been in the presence of God and not realized it? Most of us have. It could be that we are not looking for God most of the time if we are honest with ourselves.
I'll let you in on a little secret that everyone should know, God is everywhere. We are told in the book of Proverbs-
Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
Remember, whether we realize it or not, everything we say, everything we do, and everywhere we go, God is there. Have you been aware of God's presence lately?

Friday, December 12, 2008


by Jeremy Burkes

Psalms 116:1-2 I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. (2) Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.

There are many reasons to love God. One of the reasons is that He answers prayer. When you talk to God in prayer He hears you and He answers you. Sometimes it is the answer you want and sometimes it is not the answer you want. We need to learn to accept God's answer no matter what it is.
Why do we love God? I love God because He first loved me. I love God because He hears and answers my prayers. I love God because He listens to me. There are many reasons we love God. Think of the ones that you can apply to yourself.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


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.

John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

It seems today that when someone makes something they plan on it being obsolete shortly after it comes on the market. They can then sell the new version. Some of the imported items we buy don't even have to become obsolete, they fall apart soon after you assemble them.(If you can understand the assembly instructions that come with them.)
Jesus is a gift that will last forever. In this statement He makes that clear. Before Abraham was, I am. He did not say I was but I am. Jesus is eternal, there was nothing before Him and there is no after Him.
When Moses asked God His name he answered, I Am. I once heard a preacher explain that in very simple terms. He said ,"Jesus Is, He always was Is, He is is, and He always will be is."
It is very comforting to me to know that I will never need an new version of my Savior. I do not need to upgrade. He will not fall apart or fade away. He is a gift that will last forever.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

I am sure you have received some very practical gifts in your life. I am sure you have also received some that were not very practical at all. Sometimes it is not the expense of a gift that makes it special but the thoughtfulness of it. You see something and you fit it to someone and you just know that they can use it and will enjoy it.
Several years ago my daughter gave me a small ratchet and socket set along with the other presents she gave me. I can not count the times that the sockets and ratchet have been useful to me. Every time I use them I think of how thoughtful it was of my daughter to get them for me. It was a very practical gift.
I am a little cautious about giving out too much information on the inter net so I don't use my regular credit cards. There was some software and a few other things I wanted and last year my son gave me a prepaid Visa card for Christmas so that I could purchase them without worrying about identity theft. It was a thoughtful and practical gift.
Sometimes in our zeal we can think something is practical but we can be badly mistaken. Once a group raised money to send plumbing fixtures to a mission field. They were very successful in raising the money and were able to ship a whole cargo container of plumbing fixtures. The only problem was that they had no running water in the village they were sent to. They were completely useless.
Jesus was the perfect gift, The Bread of Life. The world is filled with spiritual hunger and Jesus is the only one who can satisfy that urgent need. What could be more practical than sharing Jesus with someone who is spiritually starved?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


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.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

One of the characteristics of a perfect gift is that it is something a person needs. I can remember many Christmases in the past when I not only got toys and candy and fruit and things I wanted but there was usually a package or two of socks and underwear and maybe some warm gloves for winter that I really needed.
I can't remember a lot of the gifts I recieved as a child but I can remember two because they were gifts I felt I really needed. One was a pair of fur lined gloves, I needed them to play outside in the cold. The other was a pair of overshoes, I needed them to play on the ice and snow (which we had a lot of that year). These gifts were special because they were something I thought I really needed.
Be careful when you pick a gift that you think someone needs. My wife might need a new mop or broom or something else around the house but it would not be very smart of me to give them to her for Christmas.
There is one gift that we all need. Sometimes we think we aren't getting what we deserve and we complain. If we study the scriptures we know what we really deserve and no one really wants that. God knows what we deserve, "the wages of sin is death," but God loves us and He also knows what we need, "the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord". God gave us the gift we need more than anything else.
Jesus is the perfect gift. The wonderful thing about Jesus is that the more we share Him with the world, the more we have of Him.

Monday, December 8, 2008


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.

The next few days I will discuss the Perfect Gift. As we get nearer to Christmas we try to think of the perfect gift and sometimes we end up giving gifts that are way less than perfect. In my life I have received some great gifts, and some that were less than spectacular. So far I have been blessed in the fact that I never received a Chia Pet. This year I received a very special gift early. When we were growing up our family took pictures but instead of photographs we made slides. My sister took all these slides and had them placed on a CD and shared them with our family. If there is such thing as the perfect gift this would be pretty close. A gift of memories, a gift of bringing back special moments of the past. I have spent hours just looking at them. I have promised to take some of them and make a slide show and put them to music and I still intend to but right now I just enjoy looking at them (over and over).
I am sure you have given or received a gift that was nearly perfect.
If you have received Jesus into your heart you have received the perfect gift, and it keeps on giving. Pray for me as I continue to write these devotionals. I will be sharing more on the perfect gift in the next few days. I will try to share some of the things that make a perfect gift.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Psalms 90:9For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.

This verse has always been special to me, probably because I enjoy writing. My life story would probably never be a best seller but there have been some interesting chapters. One of the things I enjoy most is getting together with family or old friends and reminiscing about times past.
As in most lives there are a lot of stories that I would rather leave untold. As we look back we sometimes think, if only I had done differently. The chapters of the past are already written and as much as we might daydream about the future it is uncertain at best. Most of the time it doesn't come out even close to the way we imagine it.
What we have is today. Think of today as a blank page that will be filled with your story. Today is the beginning of the rest of your life. What you do today will make a difference if you work at it. No matter what has been written on the pages of your life in the past you have a wonderful opportunity to write the rest of your future.
What kind of story do you plan to write? Maybe you should make an outline for your story. Some people call it setting goals. When we fail to set goals we just randomly write our life story (that's why sometimes some of the things we did in the past don't make sense).
When you start you day make some plans. Plan to smile a little more. Plan to be a little nicer. Plan to do something to enhance someone else's life and yours too. Plan to let go of some things that are holding you back. Plan to learn something new. Plan some special time with those close to you and plan something special for yourself. Make sure to plan some time to spend with God. Plan to share your Christian faith with someone else.
If you begin to write an outline like this for your day, the story of your life will certainly be a beautiful one.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


James 2:15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, (16) And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? (17) Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
In these verses of scripture James is making a strong statement. Basicly what James is saying is, "Action speaks louder than words."I could give many illustrations or examples but the one below says it much better than I could.

Sharing Our Coat
In an article on China in Eternity Magazine, the writer records a story of Christian love and kindness. "A Chinese cook was put into prison one night. It was bitterly cold. About 26 degrees below zero. He had on his padded clothes and a big fur coat. But a heathen man who was later thrown in with him had no wraps at all. The Christian man began to pray that God would get him out of prison. While he was praying, it seemed God spoke to him. `I won't hear your prayer until you've taken off your fur coat and given it to this man who had none.' `But if I do that, I'll be frozen to death by morning,' the man thought. `Well, if you don't,' he seemed to hear God's reply, `this man will be dead before morning.' So he took off his fur coat and gave it to the man and his life was saved. Later on at a Christian gathering in Communist China, the heathen man who had received the coat got up and gave his testimony. "I am here today because a man shared his coat with me in prison." People are in need. People are suffering. The winning of souls to Christ could well depend on how willing we are to share our coat. (copied)

Remember as we go into the Christmas season what the season is really about. We were given the greatest gift ever when God sent His Son to us to be our Savior. We had a great need and Jesus came so He could sacrifice Himself to fill it.
We live in a country and in a time when we have been blessed with much. When we see people in need it is easy to blame them for their own predicament. Usually they are at least partly to blame because of the decisions they have made in their life. Regardless of how they got there, the fact is they are still there.
This Christmas Season why not ask God to show you an area where you can make a difference. It might be helping to distribute food baskets for your Church. There may be a family that you know of who could use some help or encouragement. If you don't have a specific area you could help in you can always contribute to the Salvation Army. They are one Charity that really does make a difference in people's lives.
When you do it, don't do it so you can feel good about it. Don't do it so you won't feel guilty. Do it for the sake of those in need and so that maybe their greatest need might someday be met by the one who filled our greatest need. Do it so they might come to know Jesus.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Eph 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might BE FILLED with all the fulness of God.
As I was looking for a subject for today's devotional I ran across the following in my files:

VACUUM OR VICTORY A man who drank heavily was converted to Christ and lived victoriously for several weeks. One day as he passed the open door of a tavern, the pungent odor drifting out aroused his old appetite for liquor. Just then he saw this sign in the window of a nearby cafe: "All the buttermilk you can drink--25 cents!" Dashing inside, he ordered one glass, then another, and still another. After finishing the third he walked past the saloon and was no longer tempted. He was so full of buttermilk that he had no room for that which would be injurious to him. The lesson is clear: to be victorious over our evil desires, we must leave no opportunity for them to repossess us. Dwight L. Moody once demonstrated the principle like this: "Tell me," he said to his audience, "how can I get the air out of the tumbler I have in my hand?" One man said, "Suck it out with a pump." But the evangelist replied, "That would create a vacuum and shatter it." Finally after many suggestions, moody picked up a pitcher and quietly filled the glass with water. "There," he said, "all the air is now removed." He then explained that victory for the child of God does not come by working hard to eliminate sinful habits, but rather by allowing the Holy Spirit to take full possession.

Normally when I use something of someone else's I try to give them credit but I am not sure where I got this from but it does make a good point.

WE we become filled with the fullness of God there is no room for sin and the world. The way we become filled with the fullness of God is to know the love of Christ. Since the love of Christ is so great that it surpasses our human knowledge, we must by faith believe that the love of Christ is so amazing that we must allow it to consume us. I honestly do not know the secret to doing that. I do know that when I think about how much Jesus loves us it sure makes all the other things in my life seem less important.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Psalms 33:12 BLESSED IS THE NATION whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years, we read, and those nations progressed through this sequence:
From Bondage to Spiritual Faith - From Spiritual Faith to Great Courage
From Courage to Liberty - From Liberty to Abundance
From Abundance to Selfishness - From Selfishness to Complacency
From Complacency to Apathy - From Apathy to Dependency
From Dependency back again into bondage.
A few years ago, this wonderful United States of ours was 200 years old. The above cycle is not inevitable - it depends on every one of us and on our children and their children, to see that we do not follow that cycle. If the above cycle is applied to a business it just might explain why so many work hard and get about halfway through the cycle and then there sets in the lower half leading to failure. It would appear that people, businesses and nations cannot stand prosperity. (copied)
For weeks we have been hearing about the great economic crises our Nation is facing. Financial experts were predicting that Christmas shopping would be slim and the day after Thanksgiving which is usually the biggest shopping day of the year would probably turn out to be a big disappointment for retailers.
If you have been to a place of business since Thanksgiving day you have probably noticed that people have not seemed to slack up a bit. Were the economic forecasters wrong about the dismal state of our economy? Were they wrong to think that people have reached their spending and credit limits, at least the ones that they can reasonably expect to pay? I don't think so.
I personally think, and this is just my own personal opinion, that we have passed from selfishness into complacency. I believe that we are only a couple of quick steps from dependency and then to bondage. I believe we are there because people have become addicted to things. We have become consumers instead of producers.We don't want to accomplish things, we want to have things and we want to have them whether they are practical or affordable of not. We are not ready to face the facts that we can't spend what we don't have especially to purchase what we don't need. I am certainly not pointing my finger at anyone because I am as guilty as everyone else.
The greatest danger does not lie in our being a generation of consumers. The greatest danger lies in not giving God the place he deserves in our lives. Great nations have failed when their faith was placed in riches, in government, in pleasure or other things instead of having faith in God and honoring Him with what we have.
Please leave us a comment or if you have a question we would like to try to answer it. Your input is appreciated.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Nehemiah 4:10 And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.

Nehemiah and his people were trying to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem but there was so much rubbish that they were not able to start building until they cleaned it up. We know that they eventually did get the walls rebuilt.
Have you ever noticed how much trash a family can produce. We do not have house to house garbage pickup so each morning I take out the main garbage bag as I leave the house and take it to the dumpster. Some people say they would rather have their garbage picked up but I would not. They only pick up the garbage one or two times per week in most places and I am not that fond of living with my garbage for a week. Usually one day a week I gather up the extra trash and make a special trip to the dumpster to get rid of all of it only to start again. Imagine if you never took out any trash. Your home would become unlivable. You would not be able even to get around in it after awhile, not to mention the odor and the unsanitary conditions.
The same is really true with our spiritual lives as well. We sometimes forget to take out the mental and spiritual garbage that hinders us. We may hold on to a secret sin, we may harbor a long time grudge, we may have too much pride. If we continue to let these things build up then "there is much rubbish" and we can't serve God the way we should. Once we go too long we have a much bigger job trying to get things right and cleaned up in our lives.
We should start each day taking the garbage out by confessing our sins to God, asking forgiveness and trying to build upon the day. The garbage may still come in but it sure is easier to get rid of it one day at a time.