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BREATH OF LIFE… 

BREATH OF LIFE… 

BREATH OF LIFE… 

“Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils THE BREATH OF LIFE, and the man became a living being.” (Gen. 2:7)

[All along, in the first chapter, God was called Elohim – a God of power; but now YAHWEH ELOHIM – a God of POWER AND PERFECTION, A FINISHING GOD! The Hebrew Tetragrammaton (word without vowels) has also been interpreted as YHWH and transliterated to Yahweh. God’s name is supposed to be “Yahweh.” Why do people call him “Jehovah” instead? About the 13th century the term “Jehovah” appeared when Christian scholars took the consonants of “Yahweh” and pronounced it with the vowels of “Adonai.” This resulted in the sound “Yahowah,” which has a Latinized spelling of “Jehovah.” The first recorded use of this spelling was made by a Spanish Dominican monk, Raymundus Martini, in 1270. Just in case you were wondering!]

“THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE GLORY OF GOD [Elohim]; the skies proclaim the work of HIS hands.” (Psa. 19:1)

[The awesome majesty of our God is “declared” by His creation!]

“Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep…FOR WITH YOU IS THE FOUNTAIN OF LIFE; in your light WE SEE LIGHT.” (Psa. 36:5-9)

[In our God we have a fountain of life, from which the rivers of pleasure flow, Psa.36:8. The God of nature is the fountain of natural life. In him WE LIVE, AND MOVE, AND HAVE OUR BEING. The God of grace is the FOUNTAIN OF SPIRITUAL LIFE. All the strength and comfort we need for our sanctified soul, all of its gracious principles, powers, and performances, are from our awesome Abba Father!]

“Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits– who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who REDEEMS YOUR LIFE FROM THE PIT and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.” (Psa. 103:2-5)

[The redemption of our soul is the most precious gift from God we can ever receive; we cannot begin to grasp the awesomeness of it, and therefore we are more indebted to divine grace that has made it possible, and to our Abba Father, through his Son Jesus, who purchased with His blood, eternal redemption FOR US.]

“The LORD will keep you from all harm– HE WILL WATCH OVER YOUR LIFE; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” (Psa. 121:7-8)

[We could not be in better hands! The disciples ask Jesus to show the way to this new life!]

“Jesus answered, “I AM the way and the truth and THE LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

[You know what is so wonderful about all this? Jesus has chosen to live with us and IN US to finish His wonderful work of perfect redemption! SO WE MAY BE PRESENTED TO THE FATHER WITHOUT “SPOT OR WRINKLE” Eph. 5:27 KJV]

THE LORD IS WATCHING OVER OUR LIFE; THE LORD ALWAYS WATCHES OVER OUR COMING AND GOING…

Bill Stockham

THE BLESSING OF CONTENTMENT…

THE BLESSING OF CONTENTMENT…

“…godliness with 1contentment IS GREAT GAIN. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” (1 Tim. 6:6-8) 1autarkeia: a perfect condition of life in which no aid or support is needed.

The bible declares that when we are living a Christian life and our daily needs are being met, we will experience great contentment!

“Those who want to get rich FALL INTO TEMPTATION and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires THAT PLUNGE PEOPLE INTO RUIN AND DESTRUCTION. For the LOVE OF MONEY is A 1ROOT OF ALL KINDS OF EVIL. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with MANY GRIEFS.” (1 Tim. 6:9-10) 1rhiza: cause, origin, source.

The “I MUST HAVE MORE” syndrome is alive and well today. There are so many items being created and available to bring us an amazing means of pleasure which often keep us from our “GOD PURPOSE”…

WATCH AND PRAY so that you will not FALL INTO TEMPTATION. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matt. 26:41) “Consider it ALL JOY, my brethren, when you FALL INTO VARIOUS TEMPTATIONS, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.(James 1:2-3)

Jesus encourages us not to fall into temptation, James teaches us that if we do, to consider it ALL JOY because the ability to endure temptation will be produced in us.

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; HE WILL NOT LET YOU BE TEMPTED BEYOND WHAT YOU CAN BEAR. But when you are tempted, he will also PROVIDE A WAY OUT so that you can endure it.” (1 Corin. 10:13)

The devil tempts us to steal away our confidence in God, kill our faith and destroy our relationship with God. Our heavenly Father provides US with an awesome godly contentment which gives us access to great gain…

THANK YOU FOR ALWAYS PROVIDING A WAY OUT FOR US LORD!

-Bill Stockham

THE POWER OF WISDOM… 

THE POWER OF WISDOM… 

“By WISDOM a house is built, and through UNDERSTANDING it is established; through KNOWLEDGE its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” (Prov. 24:3-4)

[We are tempted to lust after those that grow rich, and raise their families, and of course all of this lusting (envying) will be to no avail. So, to overcome that temptation, Solomon shows that a person, with practical, godly management, may raise their family by righteous and honest means, with a good conscience, and a good name, and THE BLESSING OF GOD WILL BE UPON OUR EFFORTS; and, if the wealthy raise theirs a little sooner, ours will last a great deal longer!]

“THE WISE PREVAIL THROUGH GREAT POWER, and those who have KNOWLEDGE muster their strength.” (Prov. 24:5)

[What is recommended here is to us having the best influence upon our lives, wisdom, and understanding, and knowledge; that is, both devotion towards Spirit (for that is true wisdom) and carefulness in the management of our outward affairs. We must govern ourselves in everything by the rules of spirituality first!]

“Trust in the LORD with ALL YOUR HEART and lean not on your own understanding; IN ALL YOUR WAYS SUBMIT TO GOD, and HE WILL make your paths straight.” (Prov. 3:5-6)

[We must believe that our Abba Father is able to do what is wise, what is best, and good, according to his promise, TO DO WHAT IS THE FINEST FOR US, if we love him, and serve him. We must, with an entire submission and pleasure, depend upon him to perform all He has promised for us, and we must not lean to our own understanding, as if we could, by any means of our own, without God, help ourselves, and bring our path in life to a good end!]

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. THIS WILL BRING HEALTH TO YOUR BODY AND NOURISHMENT TO YOUR BONES.” (Prov. 3:7-8)

[Our encouragement is to LIVE IN THE FEAR OF GOD and what is promised is that it will as good to us as our necessary food. It will be nourishing: It shall be health to our bodies. It will be strengthening: It will be marrow to our bones!]

“Blessed are those who find WISDOM, those who gain UNDERSTANDING, for THEY ARE MORE PROFITABLE THAN SILVER and yields better returns THAN GOLD. THEY ARE more precious than RUBIES; NOTHING YOU DESIRE CAN COMPARE WITH THEM.” (Prov. 3:13-15)

[We must seek wisdom and understanding. It will be a happy man who, having found it, makes it his own, and gets both an interest in it and takes possession of it, the one who draws out understanding, who receives it from God. Knowing it not in himself, but he draws it with the bucket of prayer from the fountain of all wisdom, WHO GIVES TO ALL LIBERALLY.]

WISDOM IS MORE PROFITABLE THAN SILVER AND YIELDS BETTER RETURNS THAN GOLD…

-Bill Stockham

PAY CAREFUL ATTENTION…

“WE MUST PAY THE MOST CAREFUL ATTENTION, therefore, to what we have heard, so that WE DO NOT DRIFT AWAY.” (Heb. 2:1)

[Paying careful attention is the first way we are to show our reverence of Christ and of the gospel. It should be the great concern of everyone who has submitted to the gospel to give the most serious respect to all of the gospel, we should prize the gospel very highly! We must make up our minds to do whatever we are instructed to do according to the gospel, we must READ the word frequently and MEDITATE on it carefully, and then APPLY our faith to that word. We must EMBRACE the word in our hearts, RETAIN them it in our memories, and finally REGULATE our words and actions according to the word!]

HOW SHALL WE ESCAPE IF WE IGNORE SO GREAT A SALVATION? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.” (Heb. 2:2-3)

[Notice, the severest punishment God ever inflicted upon sinners is no more than what sin deserves: it is a just recompence of reward; PUNISHMENTS ARE AS MUCH DUE TO SIN AS REWARDS ARE TO OBEDIENCE!]

“God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and BY GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT DISTRIBUTED ACCORDING TO HIS WILL. (Heb. 2:4)

[We are empowered to be OBEDIENT TO DO the word of God by His Holy Spirit!]

“But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, SO THAT BY THE GRACE OF GOD HE MIGHT TASTE DEATH FOR EVERYONE. (Heb. 2:9)

[Because of God’s love for us he allowed His only begotten to be crucified for us, what a display of His AMAZING GRACE!]

“…it was fitting that God, should make the pioneer of our salvation PERFECT THROUGH WHAT HE SUFFERED. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are OF THE SAME FAMILY. SO, JESUS IS NOT ASHAMED TO CALL US BROTHERS AND SISTERS. (Heb. 2:10-11)

[Have we ever told someone “I know what you are going through” when we really cannot know! Well, Jesus knows what we are going through and He is right here with us, to help us – EVERY STEP OF THE WAY!]

JESUS WAS MADE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS FOR A LITTLE WHILE, IS NOW CROWNED WITH GLORY!

-Bill Stockham

ARE WE LISTENING…

They have turned their back to Me (God) and not their face; though I taught them, TEACHING AGAIN AND AGAIN, THEY WOULD NOT LISTEN and receive instruction.” (Jer. 32:33)

God is speaking to Jeremiah about the years and years of Israel’s disobedience and is getting ready to turn them over to 70 years of captivity in Babylon because they would not listen to the Lord…Oh, how important it is for us to LISTEN TO AND OBEY the word of the Lord!

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you, LIFE AND DEATH, the blessing and the curse. So, CHOOSE LIFE IN ORDER THAT YOU MAY LIVE, you and your descendants…” (Deut. 30:19)

Years earlier, God gave this word to His people about the choices we have to make, He encourages us to choose life. We know that our adversary, the devil has other plans for us!

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I CAME THAT THEY MAY HAVE 1LIFE, and have it 2ABUNDANTLY. “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” (John 10:10-11) 1zóé: the absolute fullness of life, which belongs to God, 2perissos: over and above, much more than could be imagined.

The devil tries to steal our confidence in God, then kill our faith, which will destroy our relationship but Jesus has come that we may have LIFE! A life we live in Him, that is so much better than we could ever imagine. So, we must resist the devil and He will flee from us

SUBMIT YOURSELVES TO GOD. RESIST THE DEVIL, AND HE WILL FLEE FROM YOU. DRAW NEAR TO GOD, AND HE WILL DRAW NEAR TO YOU.

-Bill Stockham

 

WE MUST BE OVERCOMERS… 

WE MUST BE OVERCOMERS… 

“I write to you, dear children, because YOU KNOW THE FATHER. I write to you, fathers, because YOU KNOW HIM WHO IS FROM THE BEGINNING. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and YOU HAVE OVERCOME THE EVIL ONE.” (1 John 2:14)

[These instructions are given to all the members of the church. All Christians are not of the same standing; there are babes in Christ, there are grown men, and old disciples. As each have their peculiar circumstances, so they have their peculiar duties; but there is a common plea to all! The word of God MUST ABIDE IN EACH ONE; it is our supply of strength; it is the weapon by which they overcome the devil; THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, is what we must use to quench the devil’s fiery darts: and those who have the word of God dwelling in them are well furnished for victory over the world.]

DO NOT 1LOVE THE WORLD or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father IS NOT IN THEM. For everything in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–comes NOT FROM THE FATHER but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but WHOEVER DOES THE WILL OF GOD LIVES FOREVER.” (1 John 2:15-17) 1agapao: the unconditional, divine love of God

[Be crucified to the world, be dead to the affairs and enticements, of it. Each “level” of Christian should unite in this, in being dead to the world. We must be united in this: “LOVING NOT THE WORLD”, our love must be reserved for God; do not throw it away on the world. Now here we see the reasons of this encouragement and caution. They are several dangers in the world; it takes demanding work to discourage followers from the love of the world!]

“I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him REMAINS IN YOU, AND YOU DO NOT NEED ANYONE TO TEACH YOU. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit–just as it has taught you, REMAIN IN HIM.” (1 John 2:26-27)

[Jesus has given us salvation, the most wonderful, beautiful and extremely awesome gift we will ever receive, so hang on to it!]

“And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears WE MAY BE CONFIDENT AND UNASHAMED BEFORE HIM AT HIS COMING.” (1 John 2:28)

THE WORLD AND ITS DESIRES WILL PASS AWAY, BUT WHOEVER DOES THE WILL OF GOD LIVES FOREVER!

-Bill Stockham

TEMPTATION OF CHRIST…

TEMPTATION OF CHRIST…

“…Jesus was LED BY THE SPIRIT into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. (Matt. 4:1)

[Jesus now goes into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, but the devil is puzzled in his tempting of Jesus, because He uses only THE WORD OF GOD as His VERY POWERFUL WEAPON; and our Lord Jesus comes off a Conqueror, and so secures not only comfort, but conquest at last, to all his faithful followers!]

“After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. (Matt. 4:2)

[What was the purpose of this fast? To give Jesus victory, demonstrating to us the importance and the necessity of fasting!]

“But WHEN YOU FAST, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but ONLY TO YOUR FATHER, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, WILL REWARD YOU.” (Matt. 6:17-18)

[Jesus teaches us by demonstrating fasting and the victory it brings!!]

“The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on EVERY WORD that comes from the mouth of God‘” (Matt. 4:3-4)

[As Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD…]

“Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.” “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” (Matt. 4:5-7)

[The devil knows the scripture as well, but he uses it try TO DECEIVE US!]

“Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “ALL THIS I WILL GIVE YOU,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” (Matt. 4:8-10)

[Isn’t that why Jesus came? NO! He came to seek and save the lost…So, you see who the devil is:]

“The god OF THIS WORLD has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corin. 4:4)

[The devil had the authority to make the offer to Jesus “All this I will give you IF…]

“Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and SERVE HIM ONLY.'” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him [Jesus].” (Matt. 4:10-11)

[Just BE FAITHFUL, we must stand and endure whatever comes our way because the Lord God Almighty is ALWAYS HERE TO HELP US THROUGH!]

WE HAVE THE POWER TO WORSHIP THE LORD OUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY!  

-Bill Stockham

WHICH IS EASIER FOR JESUS…

WHICH IS EASIER FOR JESUS…

“Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.” (Mark 2:3-4)

[The presenting of this poor cripple man came to Jesus, to be helped by him. The man was paralyzed, so that he was carried by four friends, on a mat. It was because of his misery, that he needed to be carried, and demonstrates the tragic state of human life; it was the charity, of those who carried him, and speaks of their compassion for a fellow-man in desperate need of help, perhaps these men were doing this, because we never know how soon this kind of distress may BE OUR OWN!]

“WHEN JESUS SAW THEIR FAITH, HE SAID TO THE PARALYZED MAN, SON, YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN. (Mark 2:5)

[Jesus commended their faith, because they brought their friend through so much difficulty. True and strong faith may work strongly, overcoming \the objections of reason; but, however it is demonstrated, it will be accepted and approved by Jesus Christ! Why did Jesus come? To seek and save those who are lost! Jesus claims true believers as his sons: a son, and yet sick of the palsy. This is how God deals with us as His sons.]

“Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, THINKING TO THEMSELVES, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins BUT GOD ALONE?” (Mark 2:5)

[God’s blessings are devoted to those in need of them, and here He shows that he KNOWS OUR THOUGHTS, as well as forgiving our sins. This magnifies the grace of Jesus, in pardoning sin, that he also knows men’s thoughts, and this demonstrates that He knows more than any other can know, both of the sinfulness of our sins and the details of them, and yet is READY TO FORGIVE!]

“Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, Why are you thinking these things? WHICH IS EASIER: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So, he said to the man, “I TELL YOU, GET UP, TAKE YOUR MAT AND GO HOME.” HE GOT UP, TOOK HIS MAT AND WALKED OUT IN FULL VIEW OF THEM ALL. This amazed everyone and THEY PRAISED GOD, saying, WE HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS! (Mark 2:8-12)

[Witnessing a miracle will cause us to willingly and enthusiastically PRAISE THE LORD!]

WE WILL PRAISE GOD AND ALSO SAY, “WE HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS”!

-Bill Stockham

RESTRAINING POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT…

“Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him…LET NO ONE DECEIVE YOU IN ANY WAY. For that day WILL NOT COME, UNLESS the rebellion comes first, and the MAN OF LAWLESSNESS [the dragon, the antichrist] is revealed…so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

The antichrist will deceive the Jews into proclaiming him as the messiah…“All who dwell on the earth will worship him…” (Rev. 13:8)

Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And you know WHAT IS RESTRAINING HIM NOW so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only HE who now restrains it will do so UNTIL HE IS OUT OF THE WAY.

The Holy Spirit is restraining Satan from revealing the antichrist until God’s work is done, when He takes us up, He will be out of the Way

And then the lawless one will be revealed…The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with ALL POWER AND FALSE SIGNS AND WONDERS, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because THEY REFUSED TO LOVE THE TRUTH and so be saved.

All those who refused Christ will be left behind to serve Satan.

Our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father loved us. By his grace God gave us comfort that WILL LAST FOREVER. The hope he gave us is good. May our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father COMFORT YOUR HEARTS. May they make you strong in every good thing you do and say.” (2 Thess. 2:1-10, 16-17)

UP, UP AND AWAY TO ETERNAL COMFORT AND PEACE…

-Bill Stockham

10-14-17 Loved One’s Devotion PRINCE OF OUR PEACE…

10-14-17 Loved One’s Devotion PRINCE OF OUR PEACE…

[My awesome, loving and wonderful Grandchildren, and Annika and Kaleigh, whom I love and pray for every day: As I started this devotion this morning, this song began to play by Laura Story:]

Stay close by My side
And you’ll never walk alone
Keep your eyes on Me
And you’ll never be in need
Though this life is hard
Know that I will always give you perfect peace
I will give you perfect peace

“For to us a child is born, TO US A SON IS GIVEN, and THE GOVERNMENT WILL BE ON HIS SHOULDERS. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, PRINCE OF PEACE. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end… The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.” (Isa. 9:6-7)

[Many great and wonderful things were accomplished when God sent His only begotten Son to us. Isaiah the prophet tells us they shall be done by the Messiah, Immanuel, that son of a virgin whose birth he had foretold (Isa.7:14), and now speaks of, in the prophetic style, as something already done: the child is born, not only because IT WAS AS CERTAIN, and he was AS CERTAIN of it as if it had been done already, but because the church before his incarnation reaped great benefit and advantage by His task being done in His virtue from that first promise concerning the seed of the woman.  As he was the Lamb of God slain, so he was the child of God born, from the foundation of the world!]

“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…” (Eph. 3:16-17a)

[So, we need to be strengthened so we may do our part in sharing this peace with others!]

LET US BE STRENGTHENED WITH POWER THROUGH HIS SPIRIT!

Notice: [We must understand that the bible says:] “…he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, SO THAT CHRIST MAY DWELL IN YOUR HEARTS THROUGH FAITH…”!!!] That’s for you: Stephanie, Ethan, Camden, Olivia, Aidan, Landon, Kinsley, Annika and Kaleigh