Daily Devotional; formerly Chaplains Corner

Discussion in 'Religious Discussions' started by ampaterry, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    For God so loved the world he set up a committee...

    Today's made me think of a movie on evangelism I saw many years ago, The Gospel Blimp. A church decided to evangelize it's community so it set up a committee that tried a whole range of ridiculous, even obnoxious schemes. They criticised, then ostracised a family that dropped out of the committee, even became spotty in their church attendance. Months later the family came back with another family who had become Christians. The church wanted to know which one of their schemes was so effective. It turned out the family from the church had befriended the other family, spent time with them, and won the other family to Christ.

    200+ years ago the church in Scotland was the major social factor, providing schooling and welfare for those who needed it. The welfare was provided directly, on a personal level with a view to meeting the physical and spiritual needs of the recipient. With the influx of people into the cities when the industrial revolution came along, the church couldn't cope and the state took over the welfare. Enter bureaucracy.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  2. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    West Tennessee
    The USA has become a welfare state based almost solely on the failure of the churches to step up to the plate and meet the NEEDS of those in dire straits.
    The result is that those in dire straits live off the state.
    And many, many MORE live off the state who are simply lazy.

    For today, I have I have a Bible trivia question for you to answer yourself, then try on a friend. What do the following words have in common? Tishri, Kislev, Nisan, Sivan, and Ab? (Hint: you could also add Adar.)

    Well, it sounds like some Russian towns and a Japanese car manufacturer, doesn’t it?

    No – that’s not it.

    Answer: They are all months in the Jewish calendar.
    For the devout Jew, the calendar was more than a way of marking time. It provided a ready-made way to recall annually God's dealings in the life of the nation. Nisan marked Passover, the time of Israel's deliverance from Egyptian bondage. Sivan brought the Feast of Pentecost, the celebration of yet another bountiful harvest from God. Tishri took the people back to their wilderness wanderings through the Feast of the Tabernacles. Each holiday became a holy day -- a time of recalling, repenting, and renewing old commitments to follow the God of Israel.

    Psalm 77:11 (KJV);
    “I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.”
    Psalm 89:1 (KJV);
    “I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.”
    Isaiah 46:9 (KJV);
    “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,”
    1 Corinthians 1:9 (KJV);
    “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”

    What are we talking about here? Remembering the things of old. Commemorating the things that God has done in the past. Keeping traditions alive which bring to mind how God has dealt with his people throughout history. It’s not a Jewish thing; it’s a believer’s joy.

    May God bless each one of you -

  3. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    God also used visual things to act as reminders.
    Joshua had men take stones from the center of the Jordan and carry them into the Promised Land for a memorial--Jpshua 4. The tabernacle first, then the temple were full of things to remind Israel of God's goodness and blessings.

    Psalm 78 was a poem everyone would have known, a ballad reminding Israel of its up and down history.

    Thanks again Terry.
  4. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    West Tennessee
    Wow, BlackEagle, you hit on the theme of todays devotional.
    I kinda think we are tuned in to the same station - - -

    Leonard Griffith wrote a sermon titled ‘Let’s Talk About Money’. In that sermon, he told this story:
    At one time at the City Temple in London, there was in the congregation a restaurateur named Emil Mettler, who was a close friend of Albert Schweitzer and a kind of agent for Schweitzer in Britain. Mettler would never allow a Christian worker to pay for a meal in his restaurant but once he did happen to open his cash register in the presence of a Secretary of the London Missionary Society. The Secretary was astonished to see among the bills and coins a six-inch nail. What was it doing there? Mettler explained, "I keep this nail with my money to remind me of the price that Christ paid for my salvation and of what I owe Him in return."
    The Word of God tells us:

    Acts 20:35 (KJV);
    “I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
    2 Timothy 2:8-9 (KJV);
    “Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.”
    1 Corinthians 6:20 (KJV);
    For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

    It is impossible to over stress this. We owe EVERYTHING to Jesus Christ. There is no other source of anything good, of anything worth having, of anything worth doing. We should, each one of us, carry around a six inch nail to remind us of the price that Jesus paid for our redemption. If we looked every day upon a reminder of this, it would serve to more deeply convince us of just how precious each day of our lives is on this earth, and should help to keep us focused on doing what is REALLY important.

    May God bless each one of you -
  5. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    Thanks again, Terry.
    I mentioned Hosea 10:12 the other day. The thing that caught my attention was the last half of the verse..."Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord Until He comes to rain righteousness on you."

    I have some ground in my life that has been lying fallow for a while now; it's time to prepare it and start using it again to grow righteousness, because that's one of the things that's really important.

    Just another way of saying what you said here.
  6. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    West Tennessee
    Thank you, BlackEagle -

    Today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, and I ask that we all pray for the families and loved ones of those lost on December 7, 1941. This is what brought the US into WWII.

    That war was not fought only in the European and Atlantic theaters, but here at home as well. Many fine young men and women left their homes to join the armed services then, and many more men and women, both young and old, dedicated themselves here at home to the war effort. Some retired people returned to work. All took part in the rationing that was put in place to ensure that the troops overseas had sufficient food, clothing, and equipment to win that conflict. Industries across our land converted some or all of their capacity from producing goods for consumer consumption to producing war material.

    I worked at Keystone Steel and Wire in Peoria, IL in the 70's, and I have seen the tools that were used during that period. Machines that made barbed wire for ranches were converted to make concertina wire for the war. Machines that made nails for home construction had been converted to make shrapnel for hand grenades. We had a POW camp near our home, and my oldest sister married a soldier stationed there. My aunt worked at a munitions factory, sewing cartridges into ammunition belts to feed the machine guns. The man that would become the father of my wife fought in the Pacific and was captured by the Japanese and endured forced labor and torture at their hands for most of the war. EVERYONE was involved in that war, and we owe them a debt of gratitude for their sacrifices.

    The Word of God tells us of a time when we will have no more wars,
    Isaiah 2:4 (KJV); . . . . and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

    But until that time comes to pass, until Christ returns and sets up his reign of peace, we must be prepared for wars and conflicts, because they WILL come. We can only survive as a nation if we are willing to take up arms and defend not only ourselves, but those nations with which we share common goals and ideals, against those who wish to rule the world through force of arms. Satan is not defeated in this world yet, folks.

    But he will be!

    May God bless each one of you -
  7. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    Dad was winning a state-wide speech contest at the time the Japanese were bombing Pearl Harbor. His speech was one of William Jennings Bryan's on peace.
    Subsequently he rushed through his schooling so he could enlist in the Navy. Mom meantime worked for a company that made LST's and other troop landing vessles.

    This day of infamy changed lives around the world.

    There are physical wars and spiritual wars ongoing.
  8. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    West Tennessee
    True -
    And both the USA and England have done well in the physical wars.
    Not so much in the spiritual, it seems -

    For today:

    I read about some of the humorous letters which some people mail to the IRS. One, accompanied by a money order with no senders name on it said:
    “I have been unable to sleep since I cheated on my taxes last year. Enclosed is a money order for $500.00. If I still can’t sleep, I’ll send the rest.”

    That is a funny story, but the subject it addresses is a very serious one. When Christ enters our hearts, he places in us the NEED to make restitution for the wrongs we have done.

    Here is another story, this one told by S. W. Murray, which addresses this even more directly:
    In the course of his preaching, W. P. Nicholson insisted on the need for restitution where something had to be put right with another person. After one mission held in East Belfast early in 1923, many tools and pieces of equipment which had been taken earlier were returned to the shipyard, and in such quantities that additional storage had to be provided to hold them all. A letter to the evangelist from the management of another firm spoke of the receipt of tools received from one of their own men who signed himself "Ex-worker," and thanked him for his influence in the case.

    Exodus 22:3,5,6,12 (KJV); If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man’s field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution. If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith; he that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution. And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner thereof.

    When we become a Christian, when we accept Christ as the Lord of our lives, we have not reached the END of our journey, but we have only reached the BEGINNING of it. Christ will lead us in new directions, bring us to greater perfection, and make improvements in us which we ourselves could never make on our own.

    May God bless each one of us with the desire and ability to make restitution for all of our wrongs -
  9. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    Restitution is a key part to keeping a clear conscience.

    Romans 13 and Jesus' comment about rendering to Cesar what is Cesar's applies.
    Paul has quite a bit to say about having a clear conscience as part of our relationship with Christ, our ability to witness/minister/pray for each other/have fellowship with each other.

    Thanks again, Terry. Amen and HONK!!
  10. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    West Tennessee
    Thank you!!

    Every day is special, but today is specialer (LOL)
    Today is the first day of the Jewish observance of Chanukah, an eight day festival. For the origins of this holiday, we must go back to the reign of Alexancer the Great, when he conquered Syria, Egypt and Judea. Alexander allowed the people in these areas to continue to practice their own religion, and gave them a certain degree of autonomy. A century later, however, Antiochus the 4th came into power, and was a cruel and despotic ruler. He oppressed the Jewish people and desecrated the temple by having pigs sacrificed on the altar there. The people, who had to a large degree assimilated into Alexanders rule, now went into revolt and threw off their Greek rulers, regaining control of their land. They immediately cleansed the temple and re-dedicated it. There was a problem, though, The temple lamp, called the Menorah, was supposed to burn day and night, but the Greeks had defiled the oil for the lamp. There was only enough pure oil to burn it for one day. They lit it, then dispatched people to secure more oil. It took them seven more days before pure oil could be secured, and during that period the Menorah continued to burn. This was a miracle, and is the reason for this celebration. The Jewish people do not celebrate the success of the revolution, because Jews do not glorify war, but they do celebrate the miracle of the lamp. This is the reason this eight day period is known as the Festival of Lights.

    Due to the proximity of this holiday to the Christian Christmas, the Jews have adopted many of our customs in relation to this, which is actually a rather minor holiday of theirs. They exchange gifts, decorate, and generally celebrate their holiday during the same period that we celebrate ours.

    And where did the Jewish people get such odd practices as an eternally burning lamp in the temple?
    From the book we call the Bible:
    Exodus 27:20-21 (KJV);
    And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always. In the tabernacle of the congregation without the vail, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before the LORD: it shall be a statute for ever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.

    May God bless each one of you!
  11. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    Thanks for the "enlightenment", Terry.
    And now we have the light of God's Spirit living in us.
  12. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    West Tennessee
    and when you think about it, that too is a miracle, BlackEagle -

    For today:

    As you know, we had a new jail built here in Houston County several years ago. Now I don’t remember the figures exactly, but I do know that the construction of a jail is much more expensive than the construction of normal buildings; It used to be $10,000 per occupant. Imagine! In order to house criminals (not to rehabilitate them), that much money must be spent. A detention building for 100 prisoners twenty years ago would cost about a million dollars! And this is just one of many facets of crime control. We have a Sheriff’s election, another cost. And beyond the inflationary spiral involving personnel, there is equipment and litigation. We all pay higher insurance premiums due to crime, before we even get to the higher prices at the store which they must charge due to the cost of goods shop-lifted there. Then we have the higher taxes - - Crime costs! Such is always the story of sin. From the very beginning of humankind, man's transgression has demanded a price. Far beyond the dollar cost, its penalty is eternal death -- separation from God. No man sins cheaply. Even in the life of the believer, transgressions not confessed bring chastisement and loss of joy.

    James 1:13-18 (KJV);
    “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”

    Luke 14:28 (KJV);
    For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?"

    So – when temptation comes upon you, remember that sin does indeed cost – and you need to stop, and consider the cost VERY carefully before proceeding. If you do this, you will find that it is NEVER worth the price you will pay for it.

    May God bless each one of you -
  13. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    The knock-on effect of sin...not only personal, but to the world at large.

    1 Cor. 10:13 says No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

    Just have to look for God's way out.

    Thanks again, Terry. Amen.
  14. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    West Tennessee
    I appreciate the support, BlackEagle!

    As a child, Pastor Allan Emery had an experience which made a deep impression upon him. His father received a call saying a well-known Christian had been found at a certain place drunk on the sidewalk. Immediately his father sent his chauffeured limousine to pick the man up, while his mother prepared the best guest room. The young Emery watched wide-eyed, as the beautiful coverlets were turned down on the exquisite, old, four poster bed, revealing the monogrammed sheets.
    "But, mother," he protested, "he's drunk. He might even get sick."
    "I know," his mother replied kindly, "but this man has slipped and fallen. When he comes to, he will be so ashamed. He will need all the loving encouragement we can give him."

    It was a lesson which Emery never forgot.

    Most of us would ignore this guy, or say he deserved to sleep in the street, or perhaps call the police to have him hauled down to jail to sleep it off. How about you? How would you react in this situation? Would you bring this man home and treat him this way? Or would you pretend you did not know the man, or were busy, or your car was in the shop? Our guide in all situations is the Bible, the Word of God. What does our guide book say to us about this situation?

    In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he tells us:
    Galatians 6:1(KJV);
    “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

    Isn’t it strange how differently most folks react to situations than the Bible tells them to? Why, exactly, do we call ourselves ‘Christian’ if we do not bother to follow the teachings of Christ?

    May God bless each one of you with the guidance - and the strength - to do the right thing.
  15. tcox4freedom

    tcox4freedom Well-Known Member

    Good Lesson Terry.

    It reminds me of what happened on the way to church Sunday.
    There's a "men's" homeless shelter a few miles from us. It's not uncommon to see some of these men trying to hitch a ride the country road close by after being kicked out for drunkenness or being high on drugs. (Sunday morning was one of those mornings.)

    A man saw us coming and stood in the middle of the road trying to get us to stop. I almost had to go on the "opposite" shoulder to avoid hitting him. My son ask me why I didn't stop to give him a ride. I told him that some other time I might. But, he look high of "salts"; besides we didn't have any room in the car unless someone wanted to sit in his lap.

    Anyway, I was concerned about the man. So, I reported him to an LEO friend of mine. (I didn't want to call 911 because drunk or high people walking down the road just aren't a high priority.)

    My friend called his CO. who was on duty. I found out after church that this man was found unconscious beside the road. He was rushed to the hospital and I haven't heard anything since.

    I have had several addicts & ex-cons in my life that I've helped get back on their feet. Some have even lived with us for a short time. We can't help everyone we meet in such a big way. But, I do think most of us can do more than we think; as long as we are willing to step out of our comfort zone and see others through the eyes of Christ.

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