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MY WHOLE BEING LONGS FOR YOU…

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, MY WHOLE BEING LONGS FOR YOU…I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because YOUR LOVE IS BETTER THAN LIFE, my lips will glorify you.” (Psa.  63:1-3)

What an extremely romantic expression, which is exactly how we should feel about our Abba Father…

“So, I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul is satisfied…and MY MOUTH OFFERS PRAISES WITH JOYFUL LIPS. When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches…” (Psa. 63:4-6)

Help us keep this in our hearts dear Lord, “as long as I live, I will lift up my hands.”

“For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy. MY SOUL CLINGS TO YOU; Your right hand upholds me. If I go up to heaven, you are there. If I make my bed in hell, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will HOLD ME FAST.” (Psalms 63:7-8, 139:9-10)

The words of a song say: When I fear my faith will fail, Christ will hold me fast;  Jesus says: My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; NO ONE WILL SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY HAND.” (John 10:27-28) The Lord will never leave us or forsake us, we just must make sure that WE DO NOT LEAVE HIM

THANK YOU, LORD, THAT YOUR RIGHT HAND HOLDS US FAST

-Bill Stockham

 

 

 

 

 

 

I SURRENDER ALL…

All to Jesus I surrender
All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him
In His presence daily live

Judson Van de Venter (the writer of this song, 1855-1939) was raised on a farm near Dundee, Michigan. Based on his fervent faith and service to the church, friends encouraged him to leave his field of teaching and become an evangelist. It took five years for him to finally “surrender all“. Perhaps the most important influence that Van de Venter had was on the young evangelist Billy Graham. The Rev. Graham cites this hymn as an influence in his early ministry.

God said to us;  “…take hold of My strength and MAKE COMPLETE SURRENDER to My protection…let them make peace with Me!” (Isa. 27:5)

This is our option surrender it all to God and BELONG TO HIM or hang on to what you want and serve the god of this world (the devil).

“Do you not know that if you surrender yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one YOU OBEY, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, WHICH LEADS TO RIGHTEOUSNESS?” (Rom. 6:16)

When we surrender to God, He leads us into a life of righteousness

“…now that you have been set free from sin and have become surrendered to God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and ITS END, ETERNAL LIFE. (Rom. 6:22)

I WILL EVER LOVE AND TRUST HIM, IN HIS PRESENCE DAILY LIVE.

-Bill Stockham

 

 

 

WHY DO I SEND THESE DEVOTIONS EVERYDAY…

This is my prayer: LET MY TEACHING FALL LIKE RAIN and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.” (Deut. 32:2)

We are unfortunately bombarded daily by various temptations from the devil, who’s mission is to SEPARATE US FROM OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD!

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy THE DEVIL 1PROWLS AROUND LIKE A ROARING LION looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) 1peripateō: one’s way of life, to make due use of any opportunity.

You see, that is the devil’s way of life, to tempt us to fall away; so, what must we doRESIST HIM, STANDING FIRM IN YOUR FAITH, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:9)

There are no “sidelines” in our service to God we are all told to put on the armor of God; “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Stand firm then…the shield of faiththe sword of the Spirit, which is THE WORD OF GOD. (Eph. 6:11, 14-17)

This is where I am involved it is my God called mission, because the devil battles us daily, so, daily I seek the Lord for what is needed, then, with much prayer, send out the Word of God to help fortify our amour…

SUBMIT YOUR SELVES TO GOD, RESIST THE DEVIL AND HE WILL FLEE FROM YOU! (James 4:7)

-Bill Stockham

ON CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK I STAND…

“Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. LEAD ME TO THE ROCK THAT IS HIGHER THAN I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.” (Psa. 61:1-3)

Many are told that when they come to a relation with Christ they will experience love, joy, and peace; which is so very true. But we also need to mention that the consequences of our Christian faith is sometimes faced with hardship, suffering, and struggle. God seems to be more concerned with our character than our comfort. That’s why David prays “Lead me to the Rock.” Because he prophetically knew something of that rock; “…they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and THE ROCK WAS CHRIST.” (1 Corin. 10:4)

The imagery of the rock is important because any builder knows that if you lay the foundation on solid rock it will stand for a very, very long time…

“I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! HE IS THE ROCK, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.(Deut. 32:3-4)

We serve a God who never does wrong, His ways are always perfect and just, that is why He is a strong tower against the enemy…

ALL OTHER GROUND IS SINKING SAND

-Bill Stockham

 

 

 

NOT JUST A TYPICAL DAY ON THE JOB…

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. HE WILL BAPTIZE YOU WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT AND FIRE.” (Matt. 3:1-2)

John came to prepare the way of the Lord and his typical day consisted of preaching the message of repentance and baptizing converts in the river.

“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us TO FULFILL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened. Jesus saw the SPIRIT OF GOD COMING DOWN ON HIM like a dove. A voice from heaven said, THIS IS MY SON, and I love him. I AM VERY PLEASED WITH HIM.” (Matt. 3:13-17)

Imagine John’s reaction to seeing in person: The Almighty One, Alpha and Omega, Author and Perfecter of Our Faith, Bread of Life, Chief Cornerstone, Good Shepherd, Great High Priest, Head of the Church, The I Am, Immanuel, King of Kings, Lamb of God, Light of the World, Messiah, Redeemer, Resurrection and the Life, The Way, The Word, True Vine, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace –

GIVE YOUR LIFE TO JESUS TODAY, IT STARTS WITH FORGIVE ME

-Bill Stockham

 

GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY…

“…there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and AN ANGEL OF THE LORD SUDDENLY STOOD BEFORE THEM, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.” (Luke 2:8-9)

This very important birth announcement was not made to the government officials or to the people of importance but to the very common people of the land…

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I BRING YOU GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is CHRIST THE LORD.” (Luke 2:10-11)

This is indeed good news of great joy, the very Son of God coming into our world to redeem us from all our sins.

“And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, AND ON EARTH PEACE AMONG MEN WITH WHOM HE IS PLEASED.” (Luke 2:13-14)

IT WILL BE VERY PLEASING TO THE LORD IF WE SHARE THIS GOOD NEWS

-Bill Stockham

 

 

 

I HAVE TAKEN AN OATH, I WILL FOLLOW YOU…

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I WILL FOLLOW YOUR RIGHTEOUS LAWS.” (Psa.  119:105-106)

One of God’s requirements for us is that we pray. The Word of God inspires prayer. The Word commands us to pray, and makes promises to us of what God will do if we pray, and tells us stories of great men and women of prayer.

“…the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous person is POWERFUL AND EFFECTIVE.” (James 5:16)

Another requirement from God is that we spread the Word of God…

“…how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:15)

One of our most important requirements is that we love one another, this is the second commandment.

“I give you a new command. Love one another. You MUST LOVE one another, just as I have loved you. If you love one another, EVERYONE WILL KNOW YOU ARE MY DISCIPLES.” (John 13:34-35)

LOVE ONE ANOTHER DEEPLY, FROM THE HEART.

Bill Stockham

 

 

 

HOW PRICELESS IS GOD’S UNFAILING LOVE…

 

“Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, for MY SOUL TAKES REFUGE IN YOU; And IN THE SHADOW OF YOUR WINGS I WILL TAKE REFUGE Until destruction passes by. I will cry to God Most High, To God who accomplishes all things for me.” (Psa. 57:1-2)

Putting our trust in the shadow of His wings is to put our trust in the Divine knowledge of God. Resting in His Divine knowledge and promises, the enemy will try and attack our trust but he will only be attacking a shadow and our trust is untouched by the enemy

“…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as A HEN GATHERS HER CHICKS UNDER HER WINGS, and you were not willing.” (Matt. 23:37)

Jesus came to seek and save the lost, to gather us together under His divine and loving care

“Keep me as the apple of your eye; Hide me in the shadow of Your wings. HOW PRECIOUS IS YOUR LOVING

KINDNESS, O God! And the children of men take shelter in the shadow of Your wings.” (Psa. 17:8, 36:7)

I think that we desire to have someone who is capable of loving us and taking care of us, to do just that for all eternity…

“John heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place IS NOW AMONG THE PEOPLE, and He will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself WILL BE WITH THEM and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain.” (Rev. 21:3-4)

O GOD; LET YOUR GLORY BE ABOVE ALL THE EARTH.

-Bill Stockham

 

 

PREPARING THE WAY OF THE LORD…

“…many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses…it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, TO WRITE AN ORDERLY ACCOUNT for you, most excellent Theophilus…” (Luke 1:1-3)

Who was this man named Theophilus that Luke addresses here and in the book of Acts? A possibility is that Theophilus was a wealthy and influential man in the city of Antioch. There are second-century references to a man named Theophilus who was “a great lord” and a leader in the city of Antioch during the time of Luke. Such a man would fit the description, as many scholars believe that Theophilus could have been a wealthy benefactor who supported Paul and Luke on their missionary journeys. 

“…there appeared to him an angel of the Lord…Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him…the angel said to him, Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and YOU SHALL CALL HIS NAME JOHN.” (Luke 1:11-13)

Now Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth, in her old age, conceived a son and this was the birth announcement for John the Baptist who came to prepare the way of the Lord. At the same the angel visited Mary and let her know that she had been chosen to be the mother of Jesus. The angel continued his announcement…

“…John will be great before the Lord…he will be filled with the Holy Spirit…to turn the hearts of the fathers…and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, TO MAKE READY FOR THE LORD A PEOPLE PREPARED. (Luke 1:15-17)

FOR NOTHING WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD. (Luke 1:37)

-Bill Stockham

 

 

 

 

ARE WE DOING GREATER WORKS…

“Jesus appeared to the eleven as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. “He who has believed and has been baptized SHALL BE SAVED; but he who has not believed shall be condemned. (Mark 16:14-16)

These verses in Mark are not considered to be a part of the original writings by many today there are known as “textual variants.”  

“A textual variant that has received considerable attention from the textual critics concerns the last twelve verses of Mark. Much has been written on the subject in the last two centuries or so. Most, if not all, scholars who have examined the subject concede that the truths presented in the verses are HISTORICALLY AUTHENTIC. The verses contain no teaching of significance that is not taught elsewhere. From the Apologetics Press.

THESE SIGNS WILL ACCOMPANY THOSE WHO HAVE BELIEVED: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:17-18)

Listen to what Jesus teaches us: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and GREATER WORKS THAN THESE HE WILL DO; because I go to the Father.” (John 14:12)

WE ARE PROMISED “GREATER WORKS” LET’S PURSUE THEM

-Bill Stockham