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08-29-17 Loved One’s Devotion WHERE DO WE FIND WISDOM?

08-29-17 Loved One’s Devotion WHERE DO WE FIND WISDOM?

[My awesome, loving and wonderful Grandchildren, and Annika and Kaleigh, whom I love and pray for every day“Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell?…”THE FEAR OF THE LORDTHAT IS WISDOM, and TO SHUN EVIL IS UNDERSTANDING.” (Job 28:20-28)

[Wisdom is the fear of the Lord, why? Look at the history of man in the bible, we see times of great reverence and strong desire to be obedient to God with tremendous BLESSINGS FROM THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY! Then, time and time again man turns away from God and worships idols. No more fear of the Lord, WISDOM IS GONE! So, God stops blessing and protecting his people and they go into captivity. That’s why God said this about Job:]

“…there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; HE FEARED GOD AND SHUNNED [rejected] EVIL.” (Job 1:1)

“After the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends…YOU HAVE NOT SPOKEN THE TRUTH ABOUT ME, AS MY SERVANT JOB HAS. So now…go to my servant Job and…MY SERVANT JOB WILL PRAY FOR YOU, AND I WILL ACCEPT HIS PRAYER …You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job as.” (Job 42:7-8)

[Lord, help us to day to recognize your awesomeness with PROFOUND RESPECT and help us to reject evil!] “After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes and gave him TWICE AS MUCH as he had before.” (Job 42:10)

THE FEAR OF THE LORDTHAT IS WISDOM, and TO SHUN EVIL IS UNDERSTANDING

Notice: [We must understand that the bible says:] THE FEAR OF THE LORDTHAT IS WISDOM, and TO SHUN EVIL IS UNDERSTANDING …”!!] That’s for you: Stephanie, Ethan, Camden, Olivia, Aidan, Landon, Kinsley, Annika and Kaleigh

 

WHERE DO WE FIND WISDOM?

WHERE DO WE FIND WISDOM?

“Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell?…God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells…he looked at wisdom and appraised it; he confirmed it and tested it. And he said to the human race, “THE FEAR OF THE LORDTHAT IS WISDOM, and TO SHUN EVIL IS UNDERSTANDING.” (Job 28:20-28)

[Wisdom is the fear of the Lord, why? As we look at the history of man throughout the bible we see times of great reverence and strong desires to be obedient to God with tremendous and miraculous BLESSINGS FROM THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY! Then, time and time again man turns away from God and worships idols and practices evil. No more fear of the Lord, WISDOM IS GONE! So, God stops blessing and protecting his people and they go into captivity. That’s why God said this about Job:]

“…there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; HE FEARED GOD AND SHUNNED [rejected] EVIL.” (Job 1:1)

[In the midst of Job’s trial, his “friends” making all kinds of accusations against him, Job said:] “As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice, the Almighty, who has made my life bitter, as long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, MY LIPS WILL NOT SAY ANYTHING WICKED, and my tongue will not utter lies…I WILL MAINTAIN MY INNOCENCE and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.” (Job 27:2-6)

[Job was going through a great trial of his faith and all the while maintaining his integrity!]

“After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends…YOU HAVE NOT SPOKEN THE TRUTH ABOUT ME, AS MY SERVANT JOB HAS. So now…go to my servant Job and…MY SERVANT JOB WILL PRAY FOR YOU, AND I WILL ACCEPT HIS PRAYER and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job as.” (Job 42:7-8)

[Lord, help us to day to recognize your awesomeness with PROFOUND RESPECT and help us to reject evil!] “After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes and gave him TWICE AS MUCH as he had before.” (Job 42:10)

OUR LIPS WILL NOT SAY ANYTHING WICKED, AND OUR TONGUES WILL NOT UTTER LIES! HELP US TO MAINTAIN OUR INNOCENCE AND NEVER LET GO OF IT!

-Bill Stockham

08-28-17 Loved One’s Devotion DO YOU LOVE ME?

08-28-17 Loved One’s Devotion DO YOU LOVE ME?

[My awesome, loving and wonderful Grandchildren, and Annika and Kaleigh, whom I love and pray for every day“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you 1LOVE ME more than these?” [all these fish you caught?] “Yes, Lord,” he said, “YOU KNOW THAT I 2LOVE YOU.” Jesus said, FEED MY LAMBS.” (John 21:15)

[This is right after Peter and others caught a big load of fish after following the directions Jesus gave to them. Now Jesus spoke to Peter (who had just told the others that he was quitting the ministry and going back to fishing) the problem: Peter fished all night and caught nothing.]

“Again, Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do YOU 1LOVE ME?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I 2love you.” Jesus said, TAKE CARE OF MY SHEEP.” (John 21:16)

[Jesus was reminding Peter of his DIVINE CALLING! but more importantly revealing to him what it means to LOVE Jesus.]

“The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do YOU 2LOVE ME?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you 2love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I 2love you.” Jesus said, FEED MY SHEEP. (John 21:17)

[Why was Peter hurt? The first two times Jesus said do you *LOVE me? (1agapaō: A love of devotion regardless of the others feelings, godly love). Peter’s response to these first two inquiries was: Yes, Lord you know that I *LOVE you. (2phileō: an emotional love, dependent on another’s actions) now the third time Jesus says: Peter do you phileō me (do you even love me with an emotional love? Jesus taught us that we must…] 1Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your mind.’ This is the FIRST AND GREATEST COMMANDMENT.” (Matt. 22:37-38)

NOTHING IS ABLE TO SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD!

Notice: [We must understand that the bible says:] Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your mind…”!!] That’s for you: Stephanie, Ethan, Camden, Olivia, Aidan, Landon, Kinsley, Annika and Kaleigh

DO YOU LOVE ME?

DO YOU LOVE ME?

“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you LOVE ME more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “YOU KNOW THAT I LOVE YOU.” Jesus said, FEED MY LAMBS.” (John 21:15)

[This is right after Peter and others caught a big load of fish after following the directions Jesus gave to them. Now Jesus spoke to Peter (who had just told the others that he was quitting the ministry and going back to fishing) the problem: Peter fished all night and caught nothing.]

“Again, Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do YOU LOVE ME?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, TAKE CARE OF MY SHEEP.” (John 21:16)

[Jesus was reminding Peter of his DIVINE CALLING! but more importantly revealing to him what it means to LOVE Jesus.]

“The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do YOU LOVE ME?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, FEED MY SHEEP. (John 21:17)

[Why was Peter hurt? The first two times Jesus said do you *LOVE me? (agapaō: A love of devotion regardless of the others feelings, godly love). Peter’s response to these first two inquiries was: Yes, Lord you know that I *LOVE you. (phileō: an emotional love, dependent on another’s actions) now the third time Jesus says: Peter do you phileō me (do you even love me with an emotional love?]

Truly, truly, I say to you…when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go. (John 21:18) [Jesus said, signifying by what kind of death Peter would glorify God with.]

[It would be good for us to ask ourselves “Do I love Jesus with a love of devotion?” No matter what happens to me, or do I just love Him when good things happen? When Jesus was asked: ‘What is the greatest commandment?”]

Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your mind.’ This is the FIRST AND GREATEST COMMANDMENT.” (Matt. 22:37-38)

[So, after serving the Lord for these past 45 years…]

I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else IN ALL CREATION, WILL BE ABLE TO SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:38-39)

NOTHING IS ABLE TO SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD!

-Bill Stockham

PARENTS – SALT AND LIGHT!

PARENTS – SALT AND LIGHT!

“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old HE WILL NOT DEPART from it.” (Pro. 22:6)

This scripture has always been challenging for me. As a grown man when I finally gave my life to Jesus, then within a few years I became a pastor.  I saw many Godly families, my own included, have children that didn’t make the Godliest of choices and some that walked away from their faith all together, at least for a little while. I’ve seen teens from the same families with great support turn out as a poster child for Christian teens and others also with great support end up with their mug shot in the paper. So it’s a verse I’ve struggled with. As a minister and parent, at first glance, it is comforting. But the problem IS IT ISN’T SO EASY as it may seem to be. The only way this will work is if our children SEE THE WORD OF GOD BELIEVED AND PRACTICED in our lives!

The phrase “train up” in the original Hebrew speaks of the actions of a midwife who would dip her finger into crushed dates and then put it in the mouth of a newborn child. The purpose of this was to stimulate the infant’s thirst for milk. So, drawing from this concept, we see that to “train up” a child means to CREATE A THIRST WITHIN THE CHILD “You are the salt of the earth…” (Matt. 5:13)

Salt had two purposes in the Middle East of the first century. Because of the lack of refrigeration, salt was used to preserve food, especially meat which would quickly spoil in the desert environment. Believers in Christ are PRESERVATIVES TO THE WORLD, preserving our children from the evil characteristic in this world.

Second, salt was used then, as now, as a flavor enhancer. In the same way that salt enhances the flavor of the food it seasons, the followers of Christ stand out as those who “ENHANCETHE FLAVOR OF LIFE IN THE CHRISTIAN WORLD. Christians, living under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in obedience to Christ, will inevitably influence the world for good, as salt has a positive influence on the flavor of the food it seasons, we need to have a positive influence on our children. “You are the light of the world…Let your light shine before [our children] in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:14, 16)

The word “child” used in Proverbs 22:6 is used in diverse ways in various passages. In one passage, the word relates to an infant. In another, it speaks of a young boy. In another, it references Joseph at age 17. In another, it is associated with a young man ready for marriage.

So, this verse is really speaking of training children from their infant stages all the way into young adulthood. So, to put it all together, the verse is saying, “Create a thirst in and also give your child external boundaries from the beginning to the end, from INFANCY TO YOUNG ADULTHOOD.”

08-27-17 Loved One’s Devotion BE A COMFORT!

08-27-17 Loved One’s Devotion BE A COMFORT!

[My awesome, loving and wonderful Grandchildren, and Annika and Kaleigh, whom I love and pray for every day“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the GOD OF ALL COMFORT, WHO COMFORTS US IN ALL OUR TROUBLES, so that WE CAN COMFORT THOSE IN ANY TROUBLE with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corin. 1:3-4)

[Comforting or conveying reassurance and wellbeing to one another is a powerful ministry. Our Abba Father who is the ‘God of all comfortdesires for us to minister ‘comfort’ to one another!]

“If we are distressed, it is for YOUR COMFORT AND SALVATION; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which PRODUCES IN YOU PATIENT ENDURANCE of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so ALSO YOU SHARE IN OUR COMFORT. (2 Corin. 1:6-7)

[This word ‘comfort’ occurs eight times in these four verses indicating that this is very important. The devil along with all the forces of darkness, do not want us to have reassurance and wellbeing. Paul states that this comfort produces PATIENT ENDURANCE which allows us to administer this ‘comfort’ to others!]

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE, and I WILL DWELL in the house of the LORD FOREVER.” (Psa. 23:6)

SURELY GOD’S GOODNESS AND LOVE WILL FOLLOW US ALL THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES, AND WE WILL DWELL IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD FOREVER!

Notice: [We must understand that the bible says:] “Surely your goodness and love will follow me ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE, and I WILL DWELL in the house of the LORD FOREVER!!] That’s for you: Stephanie, Ethan, Camden, Olivia, Aidan, Landon, Kinsley, Annika and Kaleigh

 

BE A COMFORT!

BE A COMFORT!

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the GOD OF ALL COMFORT, WHO COMFORTS US IN ALL OUR TROUBLES, so that WE CAN COMFORT THOSE IN ANY TROUBLE with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corin. 1:3-4)

[Comforting or conveying reassurance and wellbeing to one another is a powerful ministry. Our Abba Father who is the ‘God of all comfortdesires for us to minister ‘comfort’ to one another!]

“If we are distressed, it is for YOUR COMFORT AND SALVATION; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which PRODUCES IN YOU PATIENT ENDURANCE of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so ALSO YOU SHARE IN OUR COMFORT.” (2 Corin. 1:6-7)

[This word ‘comfort’ occurs eight times in these four verses indicating that this is very important. The devil along with all the forces of darkness, do not want us to have reassurance and wellbeing. Paul states that this comfort produces PATIENT ENDURANCE which allows us to administer this ‘comfort’ to others!]

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so, through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now IT IS GOD WHO MAKES BOTH US AND YOU STAND FIRM IN CHRIST. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and PUT HIS SPIRIT IN OUR HEARTS AS A DEPOSIT, GUARANTEEING WHAT IS TO COME.” (2 Corin. 1:20-22)

[What an amazing Abba Father we have! He gave us the Holy Spirit to ‘seal’ His ownership of us! As a deposit for the guaranteed promise that awaits us!]

“The LORD is my shepherd, I LACK NOTHING.” [David understood this comforting Spirit; listen to his description in the 23rd Psalm:]

“HE MAKES ME lie down in green pastures, HE LEADS ME beside quiet waters, HE REFRESHES my soul. HE GUIDES ME along the right paths for his name’s sake.”

[It is our Abba Father’s desire for us to be refreshed and comforted so we may comfort others!]

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I WILL FEAR NO EVIL, FOR YOU ARE WITH ME; your rod and your staff, THEY COMFORT ME.”

[Thank you divine Shepherd for your heavenly comfort!]

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE, and I WILL DWELL in the house of the LORD FOREVER.” (Psa. 23:1-6)

SURELY GOD’S GOODNESS AND LOVE WILL FOLLOW US ALL THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES, AND WE WILL DWELL IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD FOREVER!

-Bill Stockham

 

COMPLETELY FILLED!

COMPLETELY FILLED!

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may:

STRENGTHEN YOU WITH POWER

through his Spirit in your inner being

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love may:

HAVE POWER…TO GRASP (to eagerly take, possess, understand)

how WIDE, LONG, HIGH, and DEEP is THE LOVE OF CHRIST,

and to 1KNOW THIS LOVE that surpasses [goes beyond] knowledge

that you may be FILLED TO THE MEASURE of ALL the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19) 1ginōskō: to “KNOW” absolutely, INTIMATELY.

There are some things in God’s word that are so very important for us to understand that the devil will do anything he can to distract us from receiving and putting into practice in our lives. Some people are like seed along the path…As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.” (Mark 4:15)

This is why Paul prays, twice in this passage, that we would have power to understand what the Lord is inspiring him to impart to us. First of all, that Jesus Christ would dwell in our hearts through faith. Secondly, that we would be able to grasp the width, length height and depth of the love of Christ and know with intimate knowledge, this love. What this will do is allow us to be COMPLETELY FILLED with ALL of God’s fullness.

08-26-17 Loved One’s Devotion SO, GOD CAN BE GLORIFIED!

08-26-17 Loved One’s Devotion SO, GOD CAN BE GLORIFIED!

[My awesome, loving and wonderful Grandchildren, and Annika and Kaleigh, whom I love and pray for every day“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that THE WORKS OF GOD MIGHT BE DISPLAYED in him.” (John 9:1-3)

[The condition of this blind man was very sad. He was blind, and had been so from his birth. Jesus stated that the reason for this was to bring glory to God! We realize that light is beautiful, how miserable it must be for a man, all his life, to live in darkness! The blind has no enjoyment of the light, but one who is born blind has NO IDEA OF IT and has never been exposed to the enjoyment of seeing!]

“After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So, THE MAN WENT AND WASHED, AND CAME HOME SEEING.” (John 9:6-7)

[Not only could he see, but he “KNEW HOW TO SEE”! This miracle involved healing and preparing his body to do something that it had never learned to do “SEE”. Our all wise creator and maker has a redemption plan that may include our being examples of HIS awesomeness!]

IF SOMEONE DIES, WILL THEY WILL LIVE AGAIN? ALL THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES WE WILL WAIT FOR OUR RESURRECTION TO COME!

Notice: [We must understand that the bible says:] “THE MAN WENT AND WASHED, AND CAME HOME SEEING…”!!] That’s for you: Stephanie, Ethan, Camden, Olivia, Aidan, Landon, Kinsley, Annika and Kaleigh

SO, GOD CAN BE GLORIFIED!

SO, GOD CAN BE GLORIFIED!

“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that THE WORKS OF GOD MIGHT BE DISPLAYED in him.” (John 9:1-3)

[The condition of this blind man was very sad. He was blind, and had been so from his birth. Jesus stated that the reason for this was to bring glory to God! We realize that light is beautiful, how miserable it must be for a man, all his life, to live in darkness! The blind has no enjoyment of the light, but one who is born blind has NO IDEA OF IT and has never been exposed to the enjoyment of seeing!]

“As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.” (John 9:4-5)

[Jesus as the “light of the world” was present to display the miraculous power of healing for this man and many others that needed healing.]

“After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So, THE MAN WENT AND WASHED, AND CAME HOME SEEING. (John 9:6-7)

[What an amazing Abba Father we have! To organize this all so at just the right time Jesus would come by and perform this miracle, to increase our faith! As the religious officials questioned the blind man about how a “sinner” could heal him, he said:]

“Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. ONE THING I DO KNOW. I WAS BLIND BUT NOW I SEE!” (John 9:25)

[Not only could he see, but he “KNEW HOW TO SEE“! This miracle involved healing and preparing his body to do something that it had never learned to do “SEE”. Our all wise creator and maker has a redemption plan that may include our being examples of HIS awesomeness!]

“…the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? THERE IS NO ONE ON EARTH LIKE HIM; he is blameless and upright, a man who FEARS GOD and SHUNS EVIL.” (Job 1:8)

[In the midst of Job’s suffering and harassment from his “friends” he says this about our Abba Father:]

“He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed [penetrate to the truth of], miracles that cannot be counted…To God belong WISDOM and POWER; COUNSEL and UNDERSTANDING are his…To him belong STRENGTH and INSIGHT; both deceived and deceiver are his…Though he slay me, YET WILL I HOPE IN HIM; I will surely defend my ways to his face…If someone dies, WILL THEY LIVE AGAIN? ALL THE DAYS OF MY HARD SERVICE I WILL WAIT FOR MY RENEWAL to come.” (Job 9:10, 12:13, 16, 13:15, 14:14)

[No matter how dreadful things may be in this life, there is an eternal joy and peace that awaits us, where we will be COMPLETELY FULFILLED!]

IF SOMEONE DIES, WILL THEY WILL LIVE AGAIN? ALL THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES WE WILL WAIT FOR OUR RESURRECTION TO COME!

-Bill Stockham