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05-19-18 FaithLine Devotion THE BOTTOM LINE…

My dear brothers and sisters, dedicating your lives to singing for Jesus: “…Let us hear the conclusion of the matter: FEAR GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, FOR THIS IS THE WHOLE DUTY OF ALL MANKIND. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Eccl. 12:13-14)

Solomon brings us to his wise conclusion in the last chapter of Ecclesiastes. He sums up this entire book in two important sentences, reminding us in our search for meaning, purpose and significance our responsibility remains very clear: We are to fear God and keep (obey)His commands. This is our whole duty, the bottom line, the conclusion. We must fully understand the fear of the Lord; the awe and respect aspect and the fear of eternal punishment aspect, if we choose to reject God.

“So, we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For WE MUST ALL APPEAR BEFORE THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (2 Corin. 5:9-10)

We must be sure that our name is written in the Lambs Book of Life, that’s where our name is recorded when we are saved because, “Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:15)

REPENT AND BE CONVERTED SO YOUR SINS WILL BE BLOTTED OUT

FaithLine, the bible says: “So, we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it…”

-Bill Stockham

THE BOTTOM LINE…

“…Let us hear the conclusion of the matter: FEAR GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, FOR THIS IS THE WHOLE DUTY OF ALL MANKIND. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Eccl. 12:13-14)

Solomon brings us to his wise conclusion in the last chapter of Ecclesiastes. He sums up this entire book in two important sentences, reminding us in our search for meaning, purpose and significance our responsibility remains very clear: We are to fear God and keep (obey)His commands. This is our whole duty, the bottom line, the conclusion. We must fully understand the fear of the Lord; the awe and respect aspect and the fear of eternal punishment aspect, if we choose to reject God.

“So, we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For WE MUST ALL APPEAR BEFORE THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (2 Corin. 5:9-10)

We must be sure that our name is written in the Lambs Book of Life, that’s where our name is recorded when we are saved because, “Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:15)

REPENT AND BE CONVERTED SO YOUR SINS WILL BE BLOTTED OUT

-Bill Stockham

GOD CAUSES THINGS TO BE GOOD…

A joyful heart MAKES A CHEERFUL FACE, but when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.” (Prov. 15:13)

Does joy require you to walk around with a smile fixed on your face every single day? Or is joy more than just a happy feeling? Joy is the untiring trust that God knows what He’s doing and has blessed us with the opportunity to be a part of that awesome joy – not in spite of what’s happening in our lives, but because the wonderful joy of the Lord is truly our strength.

A joyful heart IS GOOD MEDICINE, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” (Prov. 17:22)

Could it be so simple that a positive attitude reduces heart disease and stress-related hormones, improves the immune system and leads to a longer life? Yes, because again, the joy of the Lord is our strength…

“…we know that God causes all things TO WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD to those who love God…” (Rom. 8:28)

All things are not good. It would be mockery to say that they are. The death of a child is not good. Cancer is not good, drug addiction is not good, war is not good, blasphemy is not good. But as the Bible says in the above verse God causes things to work for good… In the chemistry of the cross God takes things that, of themselves, are bad, and He puts them together, much as a chemist might take chemicals that, of themselves, may be harmful and mixes them to make a remedy that brings healing.

WORK IN OUR LIVES TODAY, LORD, TO MAKE ALL THINGS GOOD

-Bill Stockham

 

 

COME ON, I DARE YA…

“The Philistine army was camped on one hill. Israel’s army was on another. The valley was between them. A mighty hero named Goliath came out of the Philistine camp…He was more than nine feet tall…Goliath continued, “This very day I DARE THE SOLDIERS OF ISRAEL TO SEND A MAN DOWN TO FIGHT AGAINST ME. (1 Sam. 17:3,4,10)

We are frequently tempted to respond to dares! Dares are more common than we tend to think since they come at us in many subtle as well as not-so-subtle ways. Life is full of people and influences that dare us to do things that are for their profit or pleasurenot for our benefit! Since we humans tend to be driven by vanity and ego, we are sort of programmed to take dares. Pride makes us do foolish things. So, be aware of dares!

David volunteered to fight the giant and said; “…I’ve killed both a lion and a bear. I’ll do the same thing to this Philistine. He isn’t even circumcised. He has dared THE ARMIES OF THE LIVING GOD to fight him.” (1 Sam. 17:36)

We know the story, the giant laughed when he saw David pick up the stones, but David knew that God would help him so, he let the stone fly from his sling and down went the giant. We must remember this, Nothing is too hard for the Lord…” (Jer.  32:17)

OUR GOD IS THE GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE

-Bill Stockham

GO AND LIVE FREE FROM SIN…

A woman was caught in the very act of adultery and the scribes and the Pharisees Brought her to Jesus “Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” Jesus just knelt and began to write on the ground, not responding…

But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:4-7) One by one they all walked away…

Jesus said, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, I do not condemn you, either. Go. FROM NOW ON SIN NO MORE.” (John 8:10-11) Is it possible to live free from sin? Jesus said “Go…sin no more

Paul said to Timothy, “…keep yourself free from sin.” (1 Tim. 5:22) Then Paul taught the believers in Rome, You have been SET FREE FROM SIN and have become slaves to righteousness.” (Rom. 6:18) Paul is teaching us, we are set free from the power of sin. Christ came to be the high priestHe entered the Most Holy Room by spilling his own blood. He did it once and for all time. He paid the price TO SET US FREE FROM SIN forever.” (Heb. 9:11, 12)

BECAUSE OF THE BLOOD OF JESUS, WE MAY GO AND SIN NO MORE…

-Bill Stockham

 

 

 

 

 

 

AM I SIGNIFICANT TO GOD…

Let’s start with a very familiar passage, “God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son. ANYONE who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.” (John 3:16). Where the word ANYONE is, we fill in our name and we will know how much God loves us. If we were the only one on the earth, our Father would still have given His only Son to die on the cross for our sins. Visualize that kind of love for you (and me)!

Another wonderful passage showing our significance to God… For we are HIS WORKMANSHIP, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that WE WOULD WALK IN THEM. (Eph. 2:10) “His workmanship” is best translated “His work of art…” We are God’s individual works of art, each one of us created for a specific work.

“I am the vine, YOU ARE THE BRANCHES; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me YOU CAN DO NOTHING…If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:5-7)

THANK YOU, LORD, THAT WE ARE YOUR INDIVIDUAL AND PERSONAL WORKMANSHIP

-Bill Stockham

 

IS IT POSSIBLE TO REALLY BE AT PEACE…

“For the sake of my brothers and my friends, I will now say, MAY PEACE BE WITHIN YOU.” (Psa. 122:8)

We can make the decision to stop allowing ourselves to get upset, aggravated and frustrated over every little thing. Although we may think, I can’t help it, according to Jesus, we can help it. He offers us peace within us that can keep us from reacting to turmoil…

“Don’t worry about anything. INSTEAD, TELL GOD ABOUT EVERYTHING. Ask and pray. Give thanks to him. And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7)

When we are born again – when we have made Jesus Christ the Lord of our life and we have entered the kingdom of God – then the fruit of that relationship is: righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17).

“LORD, you will give PERFECT PEACE to anyone who commits himself to be faithful to you. That’s because he trusts in you. “Trust in the LORD forever…” (Isa. 26:3-4)

What is perfect peace? Can we define it? Yes, it is a condition of freedom from disturbance within the soul; it is perfect harmony ruled, by God, within us. The Hebrew word “shalom” has in it the idea of soundness of health, so that to be filled with perfect peace is to be spiritually healthy and free from all discord within the soul. There can be no room for jealousy, envy, discontent, uncontrolled temper, selfishness, pride or intolerance in the soul which is filled with perfect peace.

PEACE, PEACE WONDERFUL PEACE COMING DOWN FROM THE FATHER ABOVE

-Bill Stockham

KINDNESS IS AN AWESOME QUALITY…

“What is desirable in a man is his kindness(Prov. 19:22)

One of the little-known secrets of life is that simple, genuine kindness attracts people as an amazing expression of God’s love. Gentleness goes along with kindness…

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Prov. 15:1)

O may I find in anger’s grip
The strength to temper tongue and lip;
But failing that, may God grant me
The courage for apology. —Kilgore

WHAT DOES THE LORD REQUIRE OF YOU but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)

What did God do when He saw us mocking and striking His Son? He gave His Son to us to be horribly crucified, so we could be redeemed…

“We put no obstacle in anyone’s way…but as servants of God we commend ourselves…by PURITY, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, the Holy Spirit, genuine love…” (2 Corin. 6:3-6)

GIVING OURSELVES TO WIN SOMEONE NO MATTER THE COST

-Bill Stockham

 

 

THE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE…

Jesus said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” AFTER THIS MANY OF HIS DISCIPLES TURNED BACK AND NO LONGER WALKED WITH HIM…”

Jesus had just given a lesson to His followers about the bread of life (who was Jesus), that they must partake of this bread if they wanted eternal life. He was giving them a lesson about the intimacy of God! Note that many turned away and stopped following Jesus.  

So, Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? YOU HAVE THE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:65-70)

The twelve apostles recognized that Jesus had the words of eternal life and there was nowhere else they could go to get this wonderful gift of God…

Jesus said, My teaching is not my own. IT COMES FROM THE ONE WHO SENT ME. Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” (John 7:16-17)

JESUS SPEAKS THE WORD OF OUR ALMIGHTY GOD

-Bill Stockham

 

SUCH A SMALL AMOUNT FOR SO MANY…

“There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So, the men sat down, in number ABOUT FIVE THOUSAND. Jesus then took the loaves, and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise, also of the fish as much as they wantedRemember: “In the beginning was the Word…He was in the beginning with God. ALL THINGS CAME INTO BEING THROUGH HIM…” (John 1:1-3) The Word (Jesus) went out:  “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind. AND IT WAS SO.(Gen. 1:24)

When we call on Jesus, there is nothing too hard for Him to accomplish!!!

When they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments so that nothing will be lost.” So, they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.” (John 6:9-13)

IT IS ESSENTIAL FOR US TO REMEMBER THAT NOTHING IS TOO HARD FOR THE LORD

-Bill Stockham