Friday, January 30, 2009


As you travel across the United States you cannot help but notice the message of the three silent crosses. Whenever I have taken a long trip I have seen them several times in each state.
Those crosses call to mind a sermon by Myron J. Taylor titled "A Hill With Three Crosses." He said that one cross portrays a thief dying IN sin, and the other a thief dying TO sin. But the center cross speaks of the Redeemer dying FOR sin. It divides all humanity into one of two categories - those who reject Christ and die in sin, and those who receive Christ and can die to sin.
You can tell that someone put in a lot of hard work and effort to place those crosses through our country along the highways so that they will be seen by those traveling by. When you see them remember "A Hill With Three Crosses" and thank God you are dead to sin when you receive Christ as your Savior.

NOTE: Next week there may be some days that there will be no devotional. I have to have some minor heart surgery and could be in the hospital for a few days. I am going to try to make arangements for a devotional to be uploaded while I am indisposed but I am not sure. I will know by Monday about that. Please keep me in your prayers during the coming week.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


1Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth TAKE HEED LEST he fall.

Could the United States be headed down a path similar to that of ancient Rome? Let's look at the five reasons for Rome's downfall, as set forth by Edward Gibbon in his classic work "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire."
They are: 1) The undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home.2) Increasing taxes and spending of public money for bread and circuses. 3) The mad craze for pleasure, with sports becoming more exciting and more brutal. 4) The building of gigantic armaments, when the real enemy is the decadence of the people.5) The decay of religion, with faith fading into mere form.
Do these sound familiar? What happens when we fall? There is no other Nation on Earth who will come to our rescue but rather they will come for the spoils and to utterly destroy us.
This is not really an uplifting devotional but sometimes we need to take a serious look at where we are headed as a Nation. If there is hope for this nation it is found in God's people.
2Chronicles 7:14 IF MY PEOPLE, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and AVOID them.

FROGS: A farmer came into town and asked the owner of a small restaurant if he could use a million frog legs. Naturally he was a little surprised and he asked the farmer where he intended to get a million frog legs. The farmer replied, "There is a pond behind my house that is full of frogs. They croak night and day and I can hardly get any rest. They are about to drive me crazy."
The owner of the restaurant agreed to take a couple of hundred of the frog legs from the farmer if he would deliver them the following week.
A week later the farmer returned looking a little sheepish. He had only four small frog legs. "I was mistaken. There were only two frogs in the whole pond but they sure were making a lot of noise."
LESSON: The next time you hear someone criticizing the teachers, the Preacher, some member or the church in general, remember the story. It is probably no more than a couple of chronic grouches who have nothing more to do than croak. (Pulpit Helps)
This illustration says it a whole lot better than I could have.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Luke 13:6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.(7) Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ()8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: (9) And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

Many times we look at ourselves and examine ourselves by what we are not doing. If we are not engaged in terrible sin we look around at those that are and it makes us feel a little self-righteous and comfortable. Here Jesus is speaking in a parable about bearing fruit. It is interesting that he was just speaking of some that lost their lives, and he was preaching repentance. He warned that if those failed to repent they would likewise perish. He followed this with the parable about bearing fruit.
Sometimes we try to force ourselves to bear fruit for the Lord. That is like grabbing a fruit tree and shaking it and yelling, "Bear Fruit." What we have to do is take care of it. We nurture it by watering, fertilizing it and pruning it. When a fruit tree is healthy the sap rises within it and the overabundance of the sap causes it to bear fruit.
The same is true in our lives as far as bearing spiritual fruit. We drink the living water and feed ourselves from the Word of God. We then prune away the unproductive things in our life and an abundance of the Love of God will cause us to bear fruit.
Eph 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might BE FILLED with all the fullness of God.

Monday, January 26, 2009


2Corinthians 9:12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
When we started this ministry back in July of last year we felt it would be a ministry that a small church (we have about 25 active members) could use to minister on a larger scale. When we first started it I wasn't sure how often I could write a devotional to put online. Thankfully the Lord led Jeremy to help and between the two of us we have mostly been able to post something at least 4 or 5 times per week.
I want to say thank you for being faithful to this ministry and I hope it is a blessing to you. My prayer is that it will continue to grow and be a blessing to others. Through this ministry I know there are some in Arkansas, and at least one in Minnesota that read from time to time. It has allowed me to be aware of prayer needs in many places. I promise you that when I add you to my prayer list I will have prayer for you.
My prayer is that God will use this ministry for His Glory and that it will also give the readers some spiritual food or at least something to think about. I ask that you pray for me and Bro. Jeremy as we continue this ministry. Again I thank you for reading and especially I thank you for your feedback and response. It is great to know that you are a part of this ministry with us.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Phillipians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
1. Never worry over rumors or what someone says, always get the facts.
2. Know definitely your worry problem, write it down, and face it.
3. Worry about only one problem at a time.
4. Set a definite day, afternoon or night for worrying.
5. Never worry in bed, in the dining room, living room or at church.
6. Select an air-conditioned room, lean back and make yourself comfortable.
7. Set a time limit. If you must go beyond it give yourself credit for time and a half.
8. Never worry with a frown, always smile while you worry.
9. Never worry while you are tired, sick, angry or depressed.
10. Never worry while you are working, playing, visiting, shopping,or gossiping.
11. Never worry when you can help the situation and certainly never worry when you can not.
12. Never worry alone. Take it to the Lord.(copied)

Someone once said that worry is kind of like rocking in a rocking chair, "It keeps you busy but it doesn't get you anywhere."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Praying For Others

By Jeremy Burkes

Romans 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;

It is important that when we put a name on a prayer list that we actually pray for them. When we ask someone to pray for us it is important that we continue to pray for ourselves. (Actually it is good to ask people to pray with us instead of just for us.)
So many times we expect others to do all the praying in our prayer relationships. Asking someone to pray for you and then not praying for yourself is like asking someone to help you and not helping yourself.
God has made it clear that He wants us to come before Him with prayer. When we ask others to pray for us we are talking to man, when we pray we are talking to God.
We must not fail to pray for others but certainly we must not leave prayer for ourselves to others. Let's pray.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


2Timothy 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an EVANGELIST, make full proof of thy ministry.
The late Roland Q. Leavell in his book, Evangelism: Christ's Imperative Commission, stated that of all the reported Church members:
5 per cent do not exist,
10 per cent cannot be found,
20 per cent never pray,
25 per cent never read the Bible,
30 per cent never attend Church services,
40 per cent never give any money to the church,
50 per cent never go to Sunday School,
60 per cent never go to Church Sunday night,
70 per cent never give to missions,
80 per cent never go to prayer meeting,
90 per cent never have family worship, and
95 per cent never win a soul to Christ.

If these statistics are correct, they simply mean that as far as evangelism is concerned only 5 per cent of the Church members are obedient to Christ. In my experience I would judge that this figure is actually high.(copied)

These figures make us examine ourselves and the work we are doing for our Lord. I want to ask the readers to pray for me that I will be more diligent in reaching others for Christ. I think sometimes that not sharing our faith is not because we lack opportunity but because we lack courage.

During the civil war a small company of Confederate soldiers was surrounded by the Union troops. They were huddled down, trying not to be discovered, that is all but one of them. He went out into the surrounding woods and began to capture the Yankee soldiers one at a time. By the time morning came the Union troops had moved on but they left behind nearly thirty of their men who had been captured one at a time by the Rebel soldier.

Someone asked him, "How did you capture all those Yankees." "It was easy," he answered," The woods were full of them."

When it comes to sharing our faith with people who don't know Jesus it should be easy. "The woods are full of them."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


By Jeremy Burkes

1Thessalonians 5:22 ABSTAIN from all appearance of evil.

My mother used to tell me, "You may embarrass yourself but you had better not embarrass me." Most of us have done things we thought no one would see. We have things in our lives that we hope no one else knows about. We have watched things and been places we should not have. If our private thoughts were made public it would embarrass us and others.
God is always with us. He is always watching what we do. He is aware of the sin in our lives that makes us ashamed. Shame eats away at us and hinders our effectiveness- even we don't want to embarrass God. We often are so ashamed of our actions we don't want to ask God for help.
God wants us to come to Him, with repentance, and ask or Help. God will help us with our sin and even with our shame. We should choose not to embarrass God. Sometimes we are ashamed to talk to others about God because we are afraid of embarrassing Him.
We need to avoid all appearance of evil so that we do not embarrass God.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Every Christian ought to be ready to stand up courageously and unashamedly for the Lord. How inconsistent that a person redeemed by the blood of Christ experiencing saving power should cower before an unbelieving world! On one occasion Frederick the Great invited some notable people to his royal table. Including his top-ranking generals. One of them by the name of Hans von Zieten declined the invitation because he wanted to partake of communion at his church. Some time later at another banquet Frederick and his guests mocked the general for his religious scruples and made jokes about the Lord's supper. In great peril of his life, the officer stood to his feet and said respectfully to the monarch, "My lord, there is a greater King than you, a King to whom I have sworn allegiance even unto death. I am a Christian man, and I cannot sit quietly as the Lord's name is dishonored, His character belittled", all trembled in silence, knowing that von Zieten might be killed. But to their surprise, Frederick grasped the hand of this courageous man, asked his forgiveness, and requested that he remain. He promised that he would never again allow such a travesty to be made of sacred things. (Copied)
Shortly after I had surrendered to the ministry the company I was working for had scheduled a sales meeting for a Wednesday night. I informed my supervisor that I would not be there for the steak supper they were serving but would be out of prayer meeting in time for the meeting that was to follow. He was not at all happy about it and said, "We have executives from out of town who are going to be here and you should skip church to be there for the meal. I can't make you be there for that part but it looks bad for us and you will miss your steak supper."
When I got to the meeting the executive in charge of the meeting saw me come in and got up from the meal that he was just finishing. He met me as I came in the door and I figured I was about to catch it from him. You can imagine my surprise when he grabbed my hand, shook it vigorously, and began to apologize, "I should never have scheduled this meeting for a Wednesday night, I know that is prayer meeting night but it was the only time I could be in town. I certainly respect you for attending prayer meeting and thank you for getting here in time for the sales meeting. I am glad you are both committed to your church and the company. I told the waiter to keep your supper warm for you and you can eat your meal and listen to what I have to say at the same time."
You could have knocked me over with a feather and the look on my supervisor's face was priceless. He was as shocked as I was relieved and he never mentioned the incident to me later. I learned a lesson then that it is always best to follow your convictions.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

The Untimely Death of Mrs. Prayer Meeting!
We are sorry to announce the passing of Mrs. Prayer Meeting. She died recently at the First Neglected Church on Ho-Hum Avenue. Born many years ago in the midst of a great revival, she was strong and healthy as a child, fed largely on testimony and Bible study she grew into world-wide prominence and was one of the most influential members of the Church family. However, in recent years Sister Prayer Meeting has been failing in health, gradually wasting away until rendered helpless by stiffness of the knees, cooling of the heart, lack of spiritual sensitivity and the concern for spiritual things. Her last whispered words were inquiring about the strange absence of her loved ones, now so busy in the market place and places of wordly amusement on Wednesday evenings! Experts, including Dr. Good Works, Dr. Socializing and Dr. Unconcerned disagree as to the fatal cause of her final illness. They all administered large doses of excuses, even ordered a last minute motivational bypass, all to no avail. A post-mortem examination showed that a deficiency of regular spiritual food, a lack of prayer and Christian fellowship, all contributed to her untimely demise.(copied-source unknown)
This is sad but true. Churches who used to have mid-week prayer meetings seem to let them change to something else. Most churches no longer even promote them as prayer meetings but Mid-Week services.
Prayer brings power into our lives, our families and into our church. I believe that praying together strengthens the spiritual bond between people. I am ashamed to admit it but for years my family, and even my wife and I did not have group prayer at home (other than the ritual blessing at meal time). We all studied our bibles and prayed, we just did not set aside a time to do it together.
Recently my wife and I have started having daily prayer together. I can not tell you what a blessing this has been to us. It is my prayer that this will continue to strengthen us and will grow and spread into our church. Maybe Mrs. Prayer Meeting can be raised from the dead. Jesus does have the power of resurrection.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Psalms 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
(This is a sermon that I wrote last Memorial Day. It is very rare that I write out a sermon. Usually I don't write out my sermons, I just use an outline) but I felt led to write it down. I realize it is a long time until Memorial Day but as we go into a new year and a new political climate, I think it is important for us to remember the price of the luxurious lifestyle we live. It did not come cheap and those who are protecting it are still paying dearly. Let's remember them.
Freedom, born of a brave and violent Revolution.
Rights and yes, even privileges purchased with the lives and sacrifices of brave men who would die, rather than live in bondage.
A Nation whose principles helped them to grow from an infant Nation, just struggling to survive, to what is known today as a World Super Power.
Once torn and divided by issues that caused a split and a great Civil War, a war in which men on both sides were willing to sacrifice for what they believed.
A Nation that men have willingly volunteered to fight for and defend. A Nation who has answered the call not once but many times to defend weaker countries from tyrants and dictators who would rob them of freedom, and liberty, and even life.
A Nation of Brave men who:
Left home and family and comfort behind:
Who faced hardships most of us can only imagine:
The mud and cold and constant gunfire in the trenches of France in WWI, the War to end all wars.
The heat and humidity of the Jungles of the Pacific, rain and wet and Mosquitoes that spread malaria.
The beach landings on D-Day, with bullets and artillery raining down around them as they left the amphibious assault craft and stormed the beaches, their friends dead and dying all around them. They were not brave men because they had no fear, they were brave because they did what they had to do in spite of their fear.
On the ground-on foot, in trucks and tanks they advanced on the enemy while thinking of Home- this great Nation they loved.
In the air, they at first flew and fought against superior numbers while more planes were made by industry at home and more pilots were trained. And eventually they were able to win the battles because America was behind them, supporting them, making sacrifices themselves so that they would have what they needed to be victorious and return home.
Most of the Pacific fleet was destroyed in that one sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, but America met the challenge by rebuilding the Navy until our fleet was not only equal, but superior to our enemy's.
We achieved a great Victory in more ways than one. Not only did we defeat our enemy but instead of being conquerors, we were more than conquerors, we were benevolent victors. We helped them rebuild, we helped them start over with opportunity to be greater nations than they were before.
While we called it the Korean conflict, to our men in the military it was just as much a war as any other. The cold was unbearable, the fighting fierce as multitudes of the enemy attacked their positions. Brave men, wounded and dying amidst the rifle and mortar fire might disagree with the terminology of those who called it a conflict. It was a war and to the veterans of it should go the honor and respect due to men of war.
War has never really been popular, but until Vietnam we always supported and honored our men in uniform. We may not agree with the Wars, that are fought today, but we are the ones who go to the polls and elect the people that make these decisions. The veterans of Vietnam are no less worthy of our support and honor than those of earlier wars. They were no less brave, their sacrifices no smaller, and their deaths no less tragic than the Continental soldiers of the Revolution, those who wore the blue and gray, the doughboy of WWI, or the GI of WWII. Many were wounded, many were killed and many came home with scars that could not be detected by our eyes but surely should be noticed with our hearts. Let us remember them with respect and honor.
Many in the past have been drafted into the Military to serve and to protect our great Nation. Today we have a different military. A military made up completely of volunteers, those who joined, knowing they could be placed in harms way. We have the best trained, best equipped, best qualified men, and yes women, serving in the Armed Forces that this or any other nation has ever known. Whether you agree with the War in Iraq or not, these troops are worthy of our respect, our support, our gratitude and especially our prayers. This Nation will fight terrorists. Not because we chose to but because the nature of terrorists is to attack any Nation whose God is the Lord. We can fight them there or we can wait and fight them here. Right now that choice is ours. It might not always be.
While we remember the fallen, while we honor all those who have served to protect this Nation, let us not forget the ones who still serve and are still in harm's way.
Because our God is the Lord.
When we forget that, or turn from that not only will we no longer be Great, we will be weak, and we will cease to be a great Nation.

Monday, January 12, 2009


By Jeremy Burkes

1Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

There is a Lowes Hardware commercial showing a lady installing new lighting in her home. When she turns on the lights she sees all the faults that she couldn't see before.
When we come before God He shines His light and we can see our own faults. If we really search we can see what we really are. We see all our faults and failures. It is a scary thing but sometimes we need to ask God to show us ourselves as we really are. It is only when we ourselves see our faults that we can begin to make.
More than any hardware store, God has what we need to fix our lives. God sent Jesus to be our remedy. He can glue up the broken pieces, fix up the cracks in our character, and even paint and fix up the rest of us.
The Light might scare us, but it is only when we go to the Light that we can begin to improve.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


James 2:1-4 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. (2) For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; (3) And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: (4) Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?

Sometimes we have a tendency to only want to share the gospel with people like ourselves. People who look like us, talk like us, dress like us and basically live like us. It is natural to feel comfortable with people who are similar to us but we must always realize that Jesus died for everyone.
Honestly I don't have as much trouble approaching those who are less fortunate than I am with the gospel as I do those who are more affluent.
I must admit sometimes I am intimidated by people who seem to be in the higher social circles. It is something I need to work on. They need Jesus too.
The important thing is that we share Jesus with the whole world, whether they are homeless or live in a mansion. It is important to know that no one is truly rich who does not have Jesus. No one is truly poor who does have Him as their Savior.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Only Way

Ephesians 2:8 For BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

A man dies and goes to heaven. Of course, St. Peter meets him at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter says, "Here's how it works. You need 100 points to make it into heaven You tell me all the good things you've done, and I give you a certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When you reach 100 points, you get in."
"Okay," the man says, "I was married to the same woman for 50years and never cheated on her, even in my heart."
"That's wonderful," says St. Peter, "that's worth three points!"
"Three points?" he says. "Well, I attended church all my life and supported its ministry with my tithe and service."
"Terrific!" says St. Peter. "That's certainly worth a point."
"One point? I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for homeless veterans."
"Fantastic, that's good for two more points, " he says.
"Two points!" the man cries. "At this rate the only way I get into heaven is by the grace of God!"
"You got it -100 points! Come on in!"-copied-
I ran across this in some of my old notes and thought it would be good for a devotional. We should never forget the wonderful Grace of God but by the same token it doesn't hurt if we are involved in some of the good works the man in the story was involved in.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


MAtthew 5:15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

The New Year has started, we've already used up a few days. There have been some things going on for a few weeks that have really distracted me from some of the things I really wanted to accomplish. It just came to me moments ago that what I really need to do is not worry about accomplishing and not let circumstances get me down but I need to let the Light of Jesus shine through me.
When things are going great I need to Shine On. I need to conduct myself in such a way that the world knows that Jesus is the one that makes things great in my life.
When things are going rough I need to Shine On. I need to let the world know that it really isn't about me in the first place and that no matter what happens He is still the Light of the World and He shines in me.
Pray for me for 2009. Maybe my motto ought to be Let us Shine in 09. No matter what comes your way this year just make up your mind to Shine On.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


by Jeremy Burkes

Luke 15:8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?

It is frustrating to lose something, it is easy to just forget where we put it. We lose our money, car keys, and sometimes we even lose contact with each other. We will spend a lot of time searching for someone in a store even we just saw them moments ago.
Sometimes we lose something we really need like a pair of glasses or our driver's license. If we are not careful we will lose contact with Jesus. He has promised never to leave us and you can be sure He never will and you can never really lose Him either but we can get into sin and not be aware of Him. We begin to focus on us and not on Him. We sometimes have "I" trouble. There is no "I" in Jesus.
The wonderful thing is that we can never really lose Jesus even though we sometimes let sin cause us "to lose the joy of our Salvation". When we pray and ask Jesus to forgive us He does.
We must realize that sin is all around us and we are not immune to temptation. It is only Jesus who can take our sin away and it is only Jesus who can restore the joy of our Salvation.
Jesus made the way to take our sins away when He died on the cross. We need to lose our sins, repent, and find hope in Him and in His grace.

Jesus is always ready to be sought, and found.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Re 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

We have completed another year and it sure seems like we used it up in a hurry. I hope you had a good year and have many blessings to be thankful for. Much of what I wanted to accomplish is still partially incomplete but I hope to continue some of the things I started and didn't finish.
As a year ends sometimes it is depressing because we feel that we didn't get as much done as we had hoped. On the positive side is that we have a brand new year. It is like an open door filled with many opportunities and many possibilities.
There is great opportunity for service, for spiritual growth, for ministry, and for doing whatever God leads you to do. Every New Year and every open door of opportunity is God's promise that He is not through with us yet.
It is my prayer that you greet this New Year and these opportunities with enthusiasm and a positive outlook that will cause you to fill the days with great blessings for yourself and others.