Daily Devotional; formerly Chaplains Corner

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

  1. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    William D. Boyd wrote this in Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome:

    Some years ago a young man approached the foreman of a logging crew and asked for a job. "That depends," replied the foreman. "Let's see you fell this tree." The young man stepped forward and skillfully felled a great tree. Impressed, the foreman exclaimed, "Start Monday!"

    Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday rolled by, and Thursday afternoon the foreman approached the young man and said, "You can pick up your paycheck on the way out today."

    Startled, he replied, "I thought you paid on Friday."

    "Normally we do," answered the foreman, "but we're letting you go today because you've fallen behind. Our daily felling charts show that you've dropped from first place on Monday to last on Wednesday."

    "But I'm a hard worker," the young man objected. "I arrive first, leave last, and even have worked through my coffee breaks!"

    The foreman, sensing the boy's integrity thought for a minute and then asked, "Have you been sharpening your ax?"

    The young man replied, "I've been working too hard to take the time."

    How about you? Have you been too busy, too hard at work to sharpen your ax? You say you don’t know what I’m talking about? Your MINISTRY is your ax! Your witness is your ax. How do you sharpen it? Prayer and Bible study! These two make up the hone that gives you that sharp edge. Without it, the more work you do, the duller you'll get, and the less effective you are.

    Daniel; 9:13 (KJV);
    “As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.”

    Remember those old parting words "Keep your powder dry"?
    We can now add to them "And your ax sharp!"

    God bless each one of you -
  2. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Today is a feast day commemorating the beheading of John the Baptist. This day is celebrated in the Catholic, Lutheran, Church of England and many other Christian churches, and is one of the oldest feasts on the calendar. Eastern Orthadox and some other churches celebrate this as a fast day instead of a feast day.

    The story of the martyrdom of St. John is told in several places. King Herod, lusting after his Step-daughter, promised her whatever she asked. On her mother's advice, she asked for the head of John the Baptist. Harod did as she asked:
    Mark 6:27 (KJV);
    “And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison,”

    Josephus gave an additional reason in
    Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 5, section 2;
    “Herod, who feared lest the great influence John had over the people might put it into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion, (for they seemed ready to do any thing he should advise,) thought it best, by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause, and not bring himself into difficulties, by sparing a man who might make him repent of it when it would be too late.”

    That might explain why Herod did not argue too much against killing this man of God.

    Scripture tells us of the danger of Lust:
    Proverbs 6:25 (KJV);
    Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.

    Matthew 5:28 (KJV);
    But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

    Make sure your heart is right, and your actions are not being directed by lust when dealing with someone of the opposite sex; be very careful not to lose your head over them!

    May God bless each one of you with good judgment -
  3. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Amen, Terry. I made this a watchword for myself a long time ago:
    Job 31:1
    “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman."

    Yesterday's made me think of a verse I've heard Dad quote many times, and have tried to put into my lifestyle...
    Proverbs 27:17
    "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."
    Ever watched a bird? I have noticed some birds constantly whetting their beaks on a branch wherever they perched, constantly keeping their beaks sharp.
    We practice, practice, practice at the range to keep skills up; the same is true with our life in Christ. Word, prayer, witnessing, fellowship are the four skills I need to keep "whetting my beak" on.
  4. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As do I, BlackEagle - and THANK YOU!
  5. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    This is adapted from an illustration on Sermon Central:

    The late Dr. Ralph Byron was an outstanding Christian surgeon. Early in his medical profession he sought for a way to make life count. Professionally and personally, he wanted to be a man of God. One day in his search for godliness, he came across Ezekiel 22:30:

    And I searched for a man among them who should build up the
    wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I
    should not destroy it; but I found no one.

    Dr. Byron pondered this kind of question: "Would God find me standing in the gap?" Here he was a young surgeon with the press of responsibility all around him, and he answered the question honestly, "No, not right now." He concluded that in order for him to be a man of God, he must continually place a priority on prayer. At first, it was very difficult, because his duties were numerous. He decided that the only way for him to have time with God would be to get up very early. He set aside the time of 5:30 a.m., which he called "an unearthly hour." But he did it. It was the best time, in light of his busy schedule. Week after week. The remarkable thing he discovered was that within just two weeks, he began to have a quality of life he had never known before. He saw two men trust Christ. He discovered that a major conflict in their church had been resolved -- dissolved is a better word -- as he committed it faithfully to God in prayer. And so he concluded, "It was apparent to me that I must give prayer top priority, even if it means getting less than six hours of sleep every night."

    There is no limit to what can be accomplished by a mere human being who finally comes to the realization that he can do nothing without God, but that God will work through him to accomplish great things.

    Be such a person! Delve into God’s word, take it to heart, believe it and follow it!
  6. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The early Egyptians depended on annual flooding of the Nile for their good crops. Receding flood waters left a rich black silt and assured the harvest. When the river failed to flood, it meant that the poor soil could produce very little, leading to a winter of hunger, so people thronged to their temples asking their gods to make the Nile overflow. Today the Aswan Dam controls the river's flow, and scientific planning sends the floods downriver at just the right time. In other places farmers often faced droughts that caused crop failure and poverty. All they could do about it was to pray for rain. But now vast irrigation systems have alleviated this condition.

    Does this mean that prayer is no longer necessary? Far from it! We've met some of our need for physical power, but our spiritual strength is actually weakened when we depend on mechanical resources rather than on God.

    We now control our environment in so many ways; when it’s cold, we have a thermostat that brings the heat on higher. When it rains and snows, we hardly notice in our tight, modern, climate controlled houses. We buy most of our food from Kroger, and some of us even forget that it requires rain and a good season to bring the food to us. As we become more isolated from the fundamentals of our daily needs, we have to make a special effort to remember that all comes from God. We must never neglect him, for without his blessings, we could not draw our next breath!

    Revelation 3:17-21 (KJV);
    Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

    May God bless each one of you -
  7. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks, Terry;

    I believe it was Martin Luther who said he had so much to do tomorrow that he must get up at 3 or 4 in the morning to pray through it all.

    Lamentations 3:22-24 is what I thought of from today's message...
    It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
    They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
    The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
  8. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thank you, BlackEagle - that sure fits!

    For today:

    Howard Hendricks told a story about his church in Dallas that was having trouble finding a teacher for a junior high boys class. The list of prospects had only one name -- and when they told him who it was he said, "You've got to be kidding." But he couldn't have been more wrong about that young man. He took the class and revolutionized it. Hendricks continues:
    “I was so impressed I invited him to my home for lunch and asked him the secret of his success. He pulled out a little black book. On each page he had a small picture of one of the boys, and under the boy's name were comments like "having trouble in arithmetic," or "comes to church against parents' wishes," or "would like to be a missionary some day, but doesn't think he has what it takes."
    "I pray over those pages every day," he said, "and I can hardly wait to come to church each Sunday to see what God has been doing in their lives."
    Isn’t that a great story? How do you stack up against that young man? There are MANY Christians today that do not know the names of people they sit behind every Sunday! I remember one young man that I invited to our church in IL many years ago. He asked me about it, and I told him about how it was small and struggling it was. He never come to visit even once. He said he did not care for small churches; he preferred to go to a big church where he could get lost in the crowd, and no one expected him to do anything.

    James 5:16-20 (KJV);
    “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.”

    May God richly bless each one of you!
  9. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Amen, Terry;
    Christian Businessmen's Committee (CBMC) has a thing called their "10 most wanted list"--10 people who are not yet Christians listed on a small card we could keep with us and pray for on a regular basis. At CBMC meetings we would take turns praying for people on each other's lists.

    I have to admit I only carry the list in my head nowdays, and I don't have 10 people listed on it right now, but I could have. TFF has also added a fair number of prayer requests.
  10. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Excellent, BlackEagle!

    Today, I will talk about another person for whom prayer made major changes - not only in their life, but in all of our lives. George Hervey interviewed Samuel F.B. Morse, the inventor of the telegraph. In that interview, he asked, "Professor Morse, when you were making your experiments at the university, did you ever come to a standstill, not knowing what to do next?"
    "Oh, yes, more than once."
    "Then what did you do?"
    "I've never discussed this with anyone, so the public knows nothing about it. But now that you ask me, I'll tell you frankly -- I prayed for more light."
    "And did God give you the wisdom and knowledge you needed?"
    "Yes, He did," said Morse. "That's why I never felt I deserved the honors that came to me from America and Europe because of the invention associated with my name. I had made a valuable application of the use of electrical power, but it was all through God's help. It wasn't because I was superior to other scientists. When the Lord wanted to bestow this gift on mankind, He had to use someone. I'm just grateful He chose to reveal it to me."
    I don’t know how familiar you are with Samuel Morse and his invention, but I have had a fascination with long distance communication my whole life, and have read about all the early inventors in the field. When I read this interview with Samuel Morse, it became very clear to me why Morse chose that first message to ever use the Telegraph: "What hath God wrought!"

    The Word of God tells us how to attain wisdom and knowledge:

    Proverbs 2:3-7 (KJV);
    Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.

    May God bless each one of us with guidance to follow His will -
  11. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    The list could go on, Terry;
    George Washington Carver, I believe he was also a Christian, developed peanut butter.

    An oil prospector many years ago was studying Exodus and delved into the term "pitch" used to describe the substance slathered on Moses' basket to keep it waterproff. It was term for petroleum/tar like substance. He discovered oil in the area described in the Bible.

    One of the amazing things to me is way civilisation developed within a few generations of Adam and Eve...Gen. 4:20-22.

    Man can collect knowledge, but God gives wisdom how to use it.

    Thanks again.
  12. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Great ones, BlackEagle, and the list COULD go on and on.
    Pasteur, for instance, fought against and disproved the then popular theory of spontaneous generation of life based upon his knowledge that only God could creat life. Matthew Maury developed the charts of currents that are still used all over the world, and he searched for them because the Bible spoke of "paths in the sea".
    When the seekers - the scientists - started with a firm Bible belief, the breakthroughs were far more spectacular than from those with an atheist mindset.
  13. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Today is Labor Day! The first Labor Day celebration occurred in 1882 when several Unions organized a parade on the first Monday in September in New York City. The purpose was to show the solidarity of different unions with each other. The founder was either Peter McGuire of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners or Matthew Maguire of the International Association of Machinists.

    Several states recognized Labor Day before it became a Federal holiday in 1894 when President Grover Cleveland signed it into law. The shifting of Labor Day from a union celebration to a general celebration is obvious due to the fact that President Cleveland was distinctly anti-union. He had, in fact, earlier that same year sent federal troops to end a strike by the American Railway Union at the Pullman Co. in Chicago. This action resulted in the deaths of 34 union members.

    Europe, China and other parts of the world celebrate May 1st, May Day, as a holiday to celebrate unions and workers.

    Union membership in the US peaked at 40% of the work force back in the 50's, and has steadily declined to today when only 14% of the workers are in a union. The result of this is that Labor Day has almost completely transformed from a celebration of Unions to a last fling of summer.

    I will address both significances of this day.

    First, for the laborer, you have an absolute right to a fair wage:
    1 Timothy 5:18 (KJV);
    For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

    And second, as a celebration of the end of summer, we first recognize that God is the creator of the seasons:
    Genesis 1:14 (KJV);
    And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

    And we recognize that it is proper to celebrate this work of His creation:
    Psalm 92:4 (KJV);
    For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.

    Have a blessed day, guys, and let us all pray that the current direction of our government to penalize the workers and reward the shirkers will be reversed before it is too late -
  14. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    An honest day's wages for an honest day's work.
    Amen, Terry;
    and thanks.
  15. cutter

    cutter New Member

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    Amen Terry! The post you made before todays sermon was great. I hade never thought of that. I am realizing that nothing is by accident, God is involved in everything even if you don't want him. My most memorable day is when I accepted God and Jesus Christ as my saviour. That was no accident! (please excuss my spelling)
  16. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thank you -
    And that, my friend, is NEVER an accident!!
  17. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Newton received from the Lord some almost unbelievable answers to his prayers, so he often engaged in "large asking." In explaining this he would sometimes tell the story of a man who asked Alexander the Great to give him money in exchange for his daughter's hand in marriage. The ruler consented and told him to request of his treasurer whatever he wanted. So he went to the treasurer and asked for a very large amount of money. The treasurer was startled and said he couldn't give him that much without a direct order. He went to Alexander and argued that even a small fraction of the money requested would be more than enough for this man.
    "No," replied Alexander, "let him have it all. I like that fellow. He does me honor. He treats me like a king and proves by what he asks that he believes me to be both rich and generous."
    Newton concluded the story by saying, "In the same way, we should go to the throne of God's grace and present petitions that express honorable views of the love, riches, and bounty of our King!"

    Ephesians 2:4-7 (KJV);
    “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

    Hebrews 4:16 (KJV);
    “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

    I have talked to many people who do not take things to God because they fear they will ask too much of him. Take this from me, one who has seen many miracles in answer to prayer – the greater danger is that we will ask to little of him than too much! We serve a miracle working God – and nothing is beyond his reach!

    In our firearms practice, we say "aim small, miss small!"
    In our prayer life, let us say "ask large, receive large!"

    May God bless each one of you -
  18. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Amen, Terry;

    And it's not just things we should ask for...
    James 1:5--If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

    Thanks again.
  19. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Excellent point - in fact, wisdom should be the FIRST thing we ask for.
    If Americans had been doing this for decades, we would not be in the mess we are in right now!

    For today:

    There was a mother who, like all Christian mothers, constantly prayed for her son. He was in trouble most of the time, and had not turned his life over to God.

    Then one day she received a telegram from the prison where he was incarcerated which stated that he was dead and asked what she wanted done with his body. Stunned by the news, she opened her Bible and laid the message beside it. "Oh, God," she said, "I have steadfastly believed that You are a rewarder of them who diligently seek You. I felt sure that I would live to see Tom saved and preaching the Gospel; and now this wire says he is dead. Lord, which is true, this telegram or Your promises to me?" Then she knew she had won the victory and she sent this note to the prison: "You must be wrong. My boy is not dead!”

    The prison HAD made a horrible mistake, and her son was not dead.

    Dr. Thomas M. Carter, an evangelist, tells that story. It is the story of his own life, for it is he that was in prison, and whose mother would NOT stop seeking the lord over.

    Matthew 25:35-40 (KJV);
    For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    Hebrews 11:6 (KJV);
    “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

    And the message to us is - -

    Never give up in seeking salvation for someone.

    May God bless each one of you -
  20. BlackEagle

    BlackEagle Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Amen, Terry;

    That sounds like the testimony of George Verwer, founder of Operation Mobilisation, and of Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators. People prayed for them, sometimes for decades, not knowing what was happening until these men happened to visit, shared their testimonies and/or shared about the ministry God was having through them.

    One of the things the Bible talks about has been described as the "Perseverance of the Saints", which could refer to the dogged faithfulness of saints praying for people;
    James 5:16 "...The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

    Or it could refer to the perseverance of God after people, what (I think it was) CS Lewis called The Hound of Heaven.
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