1. Whatsoever Ye Do
“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him… And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:17 & 23-24
Now that many of you have gone back to school, you have probably started thinking about what you want to be “when you grow up”. Some people begin at a very young age with an idea of what they would like to become. Some little boys who say they want to be firemen, actually grow up to become firemen. And some little girls who say that they want to be teachers, become wonderful teachers. But for others, it is hard to know what direction you want to take. The important thing is to let God lead you. Pray and seek God’s will for your life. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Serve God whatever you do and wherever you go.
2. The Harvest Is Great, But The Laborers Are Few
“Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves…And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it… And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire…” Portions of Luke 10:2-7
Jesus appointed seventy and sent them out two by two before Him. We also have the words of our Lord in John 4:35 & 36, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” Sometimes we get discouraged when we invite people to church or witness to them and we never see them come to the Lord. But we must keep on sowing the seed. Pray for God’s men as they stand and preach God’s Word. Pray for souls to be saved. Pray that they won’t be discouraged. Support them financially as well. They have heeded the Lord’s calling and gone forth into His harvest.
3. Alexander The Coppersmith
“Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words. At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.” II Timothy 4:14-17
I am so glad Paul carried the Word of the gospel to the Gentiles. It was not easy for him to do in the midst of the Jews. He had opposition along the way and often felt that he was standing alone for God. He warns Timothy of Alexander the coppersmith. This could be the same Alexander he mentioned in I Timothy 1:20, “Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.” When we stand for God, there will be those who stand against us, just as Alexander the coppersmith stood against Paul. There also may be those who don’t stand up against us, but they forsake us and don’t stand with us. I find it interesting that Paul said of Alexander, “the Lord reward him according to his works…” but when Paul is speaking of those forsaking him, he said, “I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.” Stand up for Jesus. And no matter who stands against us or how many forsake us, we know that the Lord will stand with us and strengthen us.
4. A Little Maid
“Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper. And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife. And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! For he would recover him of his leprosy.”
II Kings 5:1-3
I could talk about several different people in these verses, but I want us to look at the little maid. This child was carried away captive out of her homeland. She lost her home and she may have lost all her family. She was put to work as a maid for Naaman’s wife. I have often imagined her standing and brushing the hair of her mistress and listening to her talk of how bad it is for her great husband to have leprosy. She is not hesitant to speak up, “Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! For he would recover him of his leprosy.” The story continues as word gets to the king of Syria and he sends a letter to the king of Israel with a gift off silver and gold and clothes. “And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy?… And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come not to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.” (II Kings 5:7 & 8) Elisha tells Naaman to wash in the Jordan seven times and his flesh would be clean. The little maid had more faith in God than the king of Israel. She had heard of Elisha and believed. You may feel like you are in a bad situation. You may be away from home, or away from your family. You may feel like you are too young to make a difference in someone’s life. But if someone near you is hurting or in need of God, don’t hesitate to tell them about your God. Have faith and believe… and tell others.
5. King Belshazzar And The Writing On The Wall
“Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand. Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein. Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem;… They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver,… In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.” Daniel 5:1-5
King Belshazzar thought he was great. He had a great feast for a thousand important people. He thought he was so great, he sent for the golden and silver vessels which had been taken from the temple of Jerusalem. Verse 4 says they drank wine and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone. But he left out the one and true God. And he saw the handwriting on the wall. “Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.” (Daniel 5:6) Daniel was called in to read the message… “This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” (Daniel 5:26-28) King Belshazzar thought he was the greatest. But he found out that he was no better than any other man. It could be said of all of us, “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” We can read in Romans, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” and “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:10 & 23) The only hope we have is found in the very familiar scripture John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” From a king, to a beggar, everyone must come through the blood of Jesus to come to God. We can finish the story of Belshazzar in Daniel 5:30 "In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain." This king didn't get a second chance. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "...behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (II Corinthians 6:2)
6. The Deputy Who Wanted To Hear God's Word
“And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus: Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.” Acts 13:6-8
Paul and Barnabas met opposition on their first missionary journey. They were called on by a deputy named Sergius Paulus. When I think “deputy”, I think Barney Fife. But I don’t think this deputy had any resemblance to our TV idea of a deputy. Our verse tells us he was a prudent, practical, reasonable man. And he called Barnabas and Saul to hear the Word of God. But the sorcerer tried to keep them from seeing the deputy. “Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.” (Acts 13:9-12) Satan is still at work in the world today, trying to turn those away from God who are seeking the Lord. They are spiritually blind, not seeing the Son. The devil does not want our leaders to know God. But we read in Luke 6:39, “And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?” We need to pray for our leaders. Pray that the leaders of our country will seek God. “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (I Timothy 2:1-3)
7. A Tale Of Two Kings
“And Rabshakeh said unto them, Say ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein thou trustest?” Isaiah 36:4
“Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, The LORD will surely deliver us: this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria… Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, The LORD will deliver us.” Isaiah 36:15 & 18
I was reading in II Kings this morning about two kings. Sennacherib was a wicked king of Assyria who sent Tartan, Rabsaris, and Rabshakeh to war against Judah. But we read of Hezekiah, “And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. (II Kings 18:1) When I read II Kings 19:10 I could not believe the arrogance of these Assyrians. “Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Let not thy God in whom thou trustest deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.” Then, this afternoon I was reading in Isaiah and came to the exact same time period as I was reading about in II Kings. Once again, I noticed the great arrogance of Sennacherib and his servant Rabshakeh. Hezekiah sent his servants to Isaiah. “And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say unto your master, Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard, wherewith the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed. Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.” (Isaiah 37:6 & 7) More messages of doom were sent to Hezekiah and he prayed, “Now therefore, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the lord, even thou only.” (Isaiah 37:20) Then Isaiah sent further encouragement from the Lord. “Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shields, nor cast a bank against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD. For I will defend this city to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.” (Isaiah 37:33-35) The next verses tell us that the angel of the Lord went in the camp of the Assyrians and killed 185,000 men. And what about the wicked, arrogant king? “So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh. And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword…” (Isaiah 38:37 & 38) The servants of both these kings stood by their leaders. Rabshakeh delivered the arrogant messages of Sennacherib against God and His people and they were smitten by the angel of the Lord. The servants of Hezekiah delivered the messages of the Lord spoken by Isaiah and God saved them. Who is your master? Jesus said, “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Luke 16:13) I am also reminded of the words of Joshua, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve… but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15) Your whole future depends on whom you serve.
8. Friends And Companions
“And Ahithophel was the king’s counselor: and Hushai the Archite was the king’s companion: And after Ahithophel was Jehoiada the son of Benaiah, and Abiathar: and the general of the king’a army was Joab.” I Chronicles 27:33 & 34
Here we read of several of King David’s officers. “And over the king’s treasures was Azmaveth… And over them that did the work of the field for tillage of the ground was Ezri… And over the vineyards was Shimei… And over the herds that fed in Sharon was Shitrai… Over the camels also was Obil… And over the flocks was Jaziz…” (Portions of I Chronicles 27:25-31) All of these men performed important duties and they must have been worthy of their positions. But the one that caught my eye is in verse 33, “… and Hushai the Archite was the king’s companion”. When Absalom rose up against his father, David, Hushai pretended to be on the side of Absalom to turn the counsel of Ahithophel for David’s advantage. You can read about that in II Samuel, chapters 15-17. “And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For the LORD had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom.” (II Samuel 17:14) In this, we see that Hushai was indeed an important person in the life of David. He was called David’s friend (II Samuel 15:37) and the King’s companion. We may not ever realize how important our friendship is to others. It is apparent that Hushai’s friendship was significant in saving the life of King David. Be a companion and friend. No matter what job or occupation you have, you can be a friend to those around you.
9. Spiritual Gifts
“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant… And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?” I Corinthians 12:1 & 28-29
Except for the position of the pastor and deacons, our church elects officers in the fall of the year. Church members vote on the teachers, musicians, and those for various committees. We are blessed to have very good teachers in our Sunday School department. Those people have the gift of teaching. Our pastor has the gift of preaching and he is very knowledgeable in the Word of God. I believe the gifts of governments would be the deacons and those who serve on the finance committee or missions committee. God has given some a great gift of musical talent. Maybe you don’t feel like God has given you one of these gifts. Or maybe you are still searching for your spiritual gift. You may have the gift of “helps”. Some women in our church send cards to all that are sick. Some of the couples visit those that are sick or elderly. The ladies’ class draws names for the widows and widowers and they send small gifts to them on holidays or special occasions. You may be able to help young parents with their children. Try to find your spiritual gift. Pray that God will use you for His glory.
10. Labor Day
“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest therof thou shalt surely die.” Genesis 2:15-17
“In the beginning God created the heaven and earth.” (Genesis 1:1) “And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2:8 & 9) Adam was put in a beautiful garden with every good tree for food. God told him to dress it and to keep it but I don’t think he had to work hard for his food. The mist came from the earth to water the garden and the sun shone on it. If there had never been rain, it seems that there would never have been cloudy days. Adam and Eve had it easy in their garden home. But they did not obey God’s Word and since that day we have had to labor by the sweat of our brow. “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” (Genesis 3:16) And we even call childbirth “labor” and we use the term “labor pains” to describe it. “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:17-19) This was the beginning of labor and it has continued down through the ages of time. I am thankful for this day that our country has set aside to rest from our labor. I hope you have a happy one.
11. A Watchman
“So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” Ezekiel 33:7-9
Let’s go back and look at the first verses of this chapter. “Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” (Ezekiel 33:1-6) The Lord gives Ezekiel the example of a watchman who warns, or does not warn the people of the approaching enemy. Then He told Ezekiel, “I have set thee a watchman…” If Ezekiel had not warned the house of Israel of the coming destruction, their blood would have been required at Ezekiel’s hand. We read the words of our Lord in Matthew 25:13, “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” Christ is coming back. We need to watch and be ready for His coming. And just as Ezekiel was a watchman for the house of Israel, we need to be watchmen today. We need to warn lost souls of the enemy and tell them that Jesus Saves!
12. Clay In The Potter's Hands
“But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.” Isaiah 64:8
Today we can go to the store and buy dishes of glass or plastic that are mass produced for a very reasonable price. But back in Bible days, the work of the potter was very important to the people. The potter took clay and crafted dishes. Even today there are potters who make very beautiful pieces in brilliant colors. We read of the potter’s house in Jeremiah 18. “The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the lord came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.” (Jeremiah 18:1-6) We are the clay, and sometimes we get “bent out of shape” over sin or problems in our lives. We are prone to gripe and complain about things that happen. But in our text above Isaiah said, “O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.” The clay would never complain to the potter, or try to tell the potter what vessel it wants to be. We should be pliable in the Potter’s hands and let God make us into the vessel He wants us to be. We should also be thankful that He doesn’t throw the clay away. He keeps molding us to make us into a vessel that can be used for His honor.
13. Called Of God Before Birth
“Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jeremiah 1:4 & 5
I like this verse. God called Jeremiah to be a prophet before he was even born. We can read of the birth of Samson in Judges 13:3-5, “And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.” God appointed Samson to be a Judge over Israel before he was born. In the New Testament the angel of the Lord appeared to Zacharias and told of the birth of John the Baptist, “and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.” (Luke 1:15) Here are three examples of men in the Bible who were called before they were born. We are not here by chance. God has a purpose for our lives. You may not know what God has put you here to do, but know that you are special in God’s eyes. We can say with the sweet Psalmist of Israel, “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well… How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:13, 14, & 17)
14. Sailors In The Storm
“But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.” Jonah 1:4 & 5
God told Jonah to go to Nineveh, but he boarded a ship to go in the opposite direction. Then the Lord sent a storm into the sea. It was so bad, the sailors were afraid. They woke Jonah and asked what they could do and Jonah told them to throw him overboard. “Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee. So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.” (Jonah 1:13-15) I believe these men were experienced sailors, but they could not control their ship in the storm, much less control the storm. But they realized that God was in control and said, “…for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee.” We meet all kinds of storms on our sea of life. Recent hurricanes have brought heavy rains that have flooded many areas where we live. But we must keep on trusting God, always believing that He is in complete control. The storms may come up on us suddenly, but God is never surprised by the storms. We read the familiar story of Jesus walking on the water in the New Testament. Jesus sent the disciples across the sea, “And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.” (Mark 6:48) Notice the first part of this verse. Jesus saw them toiling in rowing. He sees us in our storms. He is in control of the storms. And if you have rowed all you think you can row, maybe you need to cast yourself at His feet and cry out as Peter did, “Lord, save me.” (Matthew 14:30)
15. Are You A Servant Of The Lord?
“So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well: for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” John 13:12-15
Back in Bible days the people traveled a lot by foot and their feet got dusty and dirty. One of the servant’s duties was to wash the feet of his master. We can turn back all the way to Genesis and read of Abraham sitting in the tent door and the Lord appeared to him. “And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:” (Genesis 18:2-4) Abraham was a great man and had many servants. (When Lot was taken captive with the war against Sodom and Gomorrah we read, “And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.” (Genesis 14:14) He had 318 servants able to go to war.) And yet, when the Lord came Abraham bowed toward the ground and called himself a servant. Now, back to John, “Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.” (John 13:3-4) Jesus gave us an example to serve others. Abraham gave us an example to be a servant of the Lord. Jesus said in John 12:26, “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” Are you a servant of the Lord? One way we can serve God is to be a servant to others.
16. Building The Temple
“And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be builded for the LORD must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death.” I Chronicles 22:5
David wanted to build the house of God, but the Lord told him that Solomon, his son, would build the temple. Even so, King David wanted to have everything ready. We read in portions I Chronicles 22:2-4, “And David commanded to gather together the strangers that were in the land o Israel; and he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of God. And David prepared iron in abundance for the nails… and brass in abundance without weight… Also cedar trees in abundance…” David called for Solomon and said, “Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the LORD an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto. Moreover there are workmen with thee in abundance, hewers and workers of stone and timber, and all manner of cunning men for every manner of work.” (I Chronicles 22:14-15) David went to a lot of trouble to prepare for the temple before he died. But he not only prepared for the physical labor of building the temple, he also prepared the Levites for the Spiritual service of the Lord’s house. He gathered all the Levites from age 30 and older and there were 38,000 men. “Of which twenty and four thousand were to set forward the work of the house of the LORD; and six thousand were officers and judges: Moreover four thousand were porters; and four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith.” (I Chronicles 23:4-5) Thousands of people worked to build the house of the Lord. And thousands more worked in the temple in service for the Lord. Four thousand were given the opportunity to worship in song with praises to the Lord. What are you doing in service for the Lord? We all need to help “build up” our churches. Some are needed for physical labor and others are needed for Spiritual service, but we can all give praise to our wonderful Lord.
“After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought; for by their occupation they were tentmakers.” Acts 18:1-3
Paul was a great missionary for Christ. He traveled from city to city preaching the gospel and helping the churches. When he went to Corinth, he stayed with a couple, Aquila and Priscilla, who were tentmakers, for Paul was also a tentmaker. They were helpful to Paul and let him set up residence with them and work with them. We had a missionary family visit our church some time ago and they were going to another country that wasn’t open to Christianity. They could not enter the country as missionaries. But, they learned a trade that was accepted and needed in that foreign land. In so doing, they were able to go in and begin their business and be witnesses for the Lord in the process. God gave them an occupation and they used it for His glory. You may not feel that you are specifically called to be a missionary. But you can be a Christian on the job and in your own community. Use the occupation and opportunities that God gives you to be a witness for Him.
18. Noah Built An Ark
“And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.” Genesis 6:13-15
I don’t know what Noah did his first 500 years, but one day God told him to build an ark. Noah could not say, “Well, Lord, I have never built anything so big” or “I am pretty old, and I don’t know if I am able to cut down all those trees” or “I just don’t know how you are going to flood the earth, here where we are.” No, we read in Genesis 6:22, “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.” Then God told Noah to put pairs of all the animals on the ark “And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him. And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.” (Genesis 7:5 & 6) God told Noah to build a big boat and Noah built a big boat. God told Noah to put all the animals on the ark, and Noah became a zookeeper. Noah did everything God told him to do. You may have started your college working towards one major and suddenly realized that you really want to pursue another course. You may be in an occupation that you really enjoy, or you may get up and go to work just to get paid. You may have been with a company many years, or you may have just started. Whatever you are doing, wherever you are headed in life, always listen for God’s directions and instructions. He may use you right where you are, in the occupation you have chosen. Or, He may want to lead you in another direction. Don’t shout up excuses to God. Noah listened to the Lord “to the saving of his house.” “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” (Hebrews 11:7)
19. Wise Hearted
“And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen. And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats’ hair… Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work.” Exodus 35:25, 26 & 35
The children of Israel were bringing gifts to Moses for the tabernacle. Verse 10 says, “And every wise hearted among you shall come, and make all that the LORD hath commanded:” All of these verses speak of the people being wise hearted or filled with wisdom of heart. God not only gave these men and women the knowledge to do this work for the tabernacle, He also gave them a willing heart to work with their hands for the Lord. Some people seem to have a special gift or talent in a specific field. My mother has a special talent for sewing. She enjoys sewing and has a willing heart to sew for others. There is a woman at our church who enjoys baking pound cakes of all flavors. She is often seen with a cake box that she has brought for someone at church. She willingly uses her talent to give to others. If we don’t use our gifts in love and charity, Paul says it is nothing. “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.” (I Corinthians 13:1-2) Use the talents God has given you and be wise hearted in all you do.
20. Be A Messenger For God
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” Isaiah 52:7
Long ago it seems as though there were messengers that ran on foot to carry tidings. After the death of Absalom, Ahimaaz said, “Let me now run, and bear the king tidings, how that the LORD hath avenged him of his enemies.” (II Samuel 18:19) Joab told him he could run another day, but Cushi would be the one to run and give news to King David. So Cushi started on his way and Ahimaaz asked again to let him run after Cushi, and Joab let him run. Ahimaaz ran faster than Cushi and got there first. “And the watchman said, Me thinketh the running of the foremost is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok. And the king said, He is a good man, and cometh with good tidings.” (II Samuel 18:27) This must have been an amazing runner. In the book of Esther we read of postmen who rode on horses and other animals to deliver letters. “And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus’ name, and sealed it with the king’s ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries:” (Esther 8:10) I remember watching old westerns on television and the “pony express” riders would ride the fastest horses to another town to deliver the mail. Our parents and grandparents wrote letters that were delivered by the postal service. Today the telephone and computers give us instant messaging. We can communicate with people across town and literally across the world. Are we using this technology to bring good tidings? Use your computer access to tell others the Good News of God’s Salvation.
21. A Barber
“And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber’s razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair.” Ezekiel 5:1
When my fourth son was born I told my husband that it took too much time and too much money for five of them to go to the barbershop. That was 17 years ago, and I have been cutting their hair ever since. I don’t know anything about barbershops in the Bible, but we do have this scripture that refers to a barber’s razor. There are also several Bible verses about hair. I remember two men that got into trouble because of their hair. Samson was a Nazarite and part of the Nazarite vow was that no razor could come on his head. We know how Delilah let him sleep on her knees and called a man to shave off his hair and he was captured by the Philistines. (Judges 13-15) We can also read of Absalom, the son of King David, in II Samuel 14:25-26, “But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. And when he polled his head, (for it was at every year’s end that he polled it: because the hair was heavy on him, therefore he polled it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king’s weight. II Samuel 18:9 tells of Absalom in battle and he rode under a great oak tree and his head caught in the boughs of the tree. Changing your hairstyle is an easy way to change your appearance. But Peter explains true beauty in women. “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” (I Peter 3:2-3) And we are told in Proverbs 20:29, “The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head.” There are many more verses about hair but my favorite records the Words of my Lord, “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Matthew 10:30) This tells me just how important we are to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
22. Building The Tower Of Babel
“And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” Genesis 11:1-4
After the flood men began to replenish the earth as God told Noah. They began to build a tower, “whose top may reach unto heaven”. Maybe they were trying to provide their own way to heaven. But we know that Jesus is the only way. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the like: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) We also read that they wanted to make a name for themselves. Maybe it was pride that led them to build the tower. Whatever the reason, God did not approve of their building. We are also building…and we must build on the proper foundation, which is Jesus Christ. “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (I Corinthians 3:11-15) What are you building? Are you laying up treasures of gold, silver, and precious stones in your work for the Lord? Or, are your works of wood, hay, and stubble, which will be burned by fire? Build on the solid foundation. Live your life for the Lord and your work will last.
23. Nehemiah The King's Cupbearer
“O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer.” (Nehemiah 1:11)
Nehemiah was in Shushan the palace and he asked Hanani and his brethren about the welfare of the Jews that had escaped from the captivity. “And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,” (Nehemiah 1:3 & 4) The next verses record the humble prayer of Nehemiah. He confessed the sins of the children of Israel, but asked God to grant him mercy in the presence of the king. “…I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king, Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence. Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,” (Nehemiah 2:1-2) Nehemiah had a burden for Jerusalem and the Jews. He fasted and prayed and he was bold to go before the king with his request. Because he had never been sad in the king’s presence, the king could tell that this was very important to Nehemiah. The king granted his request to go build the city of Jerusalem and also gave him letters to convey him through the land safely and wood to repair the gates and walls. We need a burden for lost souls. We are to serve the Lord with gladness, "Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing." (Psalm 100:1 & 2) But sometimes our burden for the lost will bring a change in our countenance. We also need to pray for boldness to tell others about the work God has called us to do.
24. Nehemiah Returns To Jerusalem
“And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchers, that I may build it.” Nehemiah 2:5
We have been talking about different occupations in the Bible. Nehemiah was the king’s cupbearer and he asked to go rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Then, he was appointed the governor over Jerusalem and worked there for twelve years. (Nehemiah 5:14) The first thing Nehemiah did in Jerusalem was ride around the city to view the ruins. Even though the walls were torn down and the gates were burned, he was still able to say, “… The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build…” (Nehemiah 2:20) He had faith in God that they would rebuild the city. Before we begin a work for the Lord, after we have prayed and sought God’s guidance, we need to study the work and have a plan of action to get the work done. Chapter 3 tells of the different groups of people and families that worked to repair each section of the wall. He set up the work in small areas and exhorted them to believe that God would help them. They all worked together. Sometimes we think we can’t do a job if it seems too large, but if we work to complete a smaller portion and know there are others working with us, we are able to work better. But their work was not without opposition. “But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.” (Nehemiah 4:1) The enemies conspired to stop the work, “And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah. They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.” (Nehemiah 4:16-17) They kept working and watching for the enemies. There will be those that oppose us when we do a work for the Lord. “So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days. And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.” (Nehemiah 6:15-16)
25. You Can Be An Author
“Oh that my words were now written! Oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever.” Job 19:23 & 24
I have read that Job is probably the oldest book written. Because there is no reference to the Law, it is said that it was most likely written before the law was given. When Job said these words, “Oh that my words were now written! Oh that they were printed in a book!” he had no way of knowing that his words would be printed in a book. But, he not only wanted his words printed, he wanted them to last forever. And here, thousands of years later, God has preserved his words and we can read his book. Job was only one of many authors inspired by God to write part of our Bible. God told Jeremiah, “Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.” (Jeremiah 36:2 & 3) Jehoiakim, the king of Judah burned the roll in the fire and God told Baruch once again to write the words of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah. I am also reminded of the story of King Belshazzar in the book of Daniel. “In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.” (Daniel 5:5 & 6) I don’t think Belshazzar was the only person in the palace whose knees were knocking together. Through the years, God has not only used His spoken Word, but He has also used His written Word to draw people to Him. You too, can be an author. Twenty years ago my mother-in-law gave me a wordless book and I began keeping a devotional journal. I used different Bible verses to relate how God used His Word in my daily experiences. It helped me to keep God first in my life and turn to His Word for peace, comfort, guidance, and help.
26. David The Shepherd
“And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.” I Samuel 16:11-13
God sent Samuel to anoint a new king over Israel. Seven of Jesse’s sons passed before Samuel, but God had not chosen either of those. The Lord chose David, a shepherd boy, to be king over His people. David learned a lot about life being a shepherd. He also learned a lot about His Lord, the Good Shepherd.
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the alley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” Psalm 23
27. Someone To Stand In The Gap
“And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 22:30 & 31
God sent the prophet Ezekiel to warn the children of Israel of judgment to come. In the beginning of his ministry God told him “And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.” (Ezekiel 2:5) Twenty chapters later, Ezekiel is still warning the people. “Son of man, say unto her, Thou art the land that is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation.” (Ezekiel 22:24) He then proclaims God’s Word against four groups. “Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean… Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain. And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken. The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully.” (Ezekiel 22:26-29) Everyone was included with the wicked; the priests, the princes, the prophets, and the people. I think verse 30 is one of the saddest verses in the Bible. “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” We have spent four weeks on the theme of Laboring For Christ. What does God want us to do? I believe He wants us to stand in the gap. My Dad used to have two cow pastures. When the cows would eat all the grass from one area, we would hold up a temporary fence across the drive and stand in the gap while he lead the cows from one pasture to the next. There were a few occasions when a cow would find a space and try to go the wrong way. But as long as we took our places in the gap, the cows knew the right way to go. There are many people today who don’t know which way to go. Our lives should point them in the right direction. Jesus said, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” (John 4:36)
28. A Wife And Mother
“Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” Proverbs 31:28
We have been talking about occupations. I believe one of the most important occupations since the beginning of time is that of being a wife and mother. So much of a person’s life is shaped by the early years he or she spends with Mom. When I think of mothers in the Bible, I first think of Mary, the mother of our Lord. Everyone wondered at the things told by the shepherds, “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19) Then I think of Hannah who prayed for a son and lent him back to the Lord as long as he lived. (I Samuel 1:27 & 28) I also think of the faith of a Hebrew mother who hid her baby in an ark in the bulrushes because he was a proper child and Sara who journeyed with her husband, looking for a better country, and gave birth when she was ninety years old. “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her… She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life… She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands… she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household,…” (Proverbs 31:10-15) These verses of virtues continue through the end of the chapter. “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” (Proverbs 31:26) What is her reward? “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her… Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:28 & 30)
29. Joshua, A Godly Father
“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:14 & 15
Joshua had many jobs during his 110 years on earth. We first see Joshua as a man of war fighting against Amalek in Exodus 17. In Exodus 24:13 he is called a minister, “And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God.” He is a servant in the tabernacle in Exodus 33:11. “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.” In Numbers 14 Joshua and Caleb are the only two of the twelve spies who have faith that the Lord would give them victory in the land of Canaan. Later Joshua became the leader of the children of Israel. Moses spoke to the Lord and said, “Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd. And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him;” (Numbers 27:16-18) In all the things Joshua did, I always think of these words, “…as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua was not only a leader of God’s chosen people; he was a leader in his house. He was a Godly father who led his household to serve the Lord. We need strong men today who will lead their house in service for God.
30. A Doorkeeper In The House Of God
“My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God… For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” Psalm 84:2 & 10
Being a doorkeeper sounds like a small job. We have ushers at our church that are like doorkeepers. They stand at the back of the church and are ready to greet and help those who need help coming in. They can help visitors find where a certain family may be sitting. They can watch over the parking lot if your church is situated where people could cause trouble to the cars while people are in church. There are many things a doorkeeper can do, but they don’t get much recognition as those that have duties that put them in front of the church. But like the Psalmist, “I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” The next verse says, “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11) You may feel like you have only a small job to do for the Lord. But walk uprightly and do all that you do for His glory, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.
31. Nahshon The Prince
“And Ram begat Amminadab; and Amminadab begat Nahshon, prince of the children of Judah;” I Chronicles 2:10
My pastor, David Owen, preached a sermon on Nahshon, prince of the children of Judah. This was the first time I had ever heard anything about this leader of God’s people. Nahshon was a leader in marching, going forward. “And they first took their journey according to the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses. In the first place went the standard of the camp of the children of Judah according to their armies: and over his host was Nahshon the son of Amminadab” (Numbers 10:13 & 14) He was also a leader in money, gifts to the Lord. “And the LORD said unto Moses, They shall offer their offering, each prince on his day, for the dedicating of the altar. And he that offered his offering the first day was Nahshon the son of Amminadab, of the tribe of Judah: And his offering was one silver charger,… one silver bowl… both of them were full of fine flour mingled with oil for a meat-offering; One spoon on ten shekels of gold, full of incense: One young bullock, one ram, one lamb of the first year, for a burnt-offering: One kid of the goats for a sin-offering: And for a sacrifice of peace-offerings, two oxen, five rams, five he goats, five lambs of the first year: this was the offering of Nahshon the son of Amminadab.” (Numbers 7:11-17) He was happy to give to the Lord, and the remaining princes followed his example and gave likewise. And in the little book of Ruth we find that Nahshon was a leader in the Messianic line of our Lord. “And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nashon begat Salmon, And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.” (Ruth 4:20-22) We see this repeated in Matthew 1:4 and Luke 3:32 in the lineage of Jesus our Lord and Savior. Our homes, our churches, our communities, and our countries today need leaders. We need Christian leaders to march forward holding the standard of our most holy God. We need Christian leaders to be an example in money, in giving to the cause of Christ. And we can all be leaders in giving the message that Jesus Christ was born to save us from our sin. Do you want to be a leader for Christ?
32. The Little Jobs
“Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do. Ye stand this day all of you before the LORD your God; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel, Your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water:” Deuteronomy 29:9-11
As we have talked about jobs in the Bible we have talked about some of the important jobs. Jobs of the leaders as the captains and officers mentioned here. But today, I want to look at the other work in these verses, “… from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water.” The people in those days had to have wood cut for their heat and to cook their food. They could not walk over to a thermostat and turn on the heat, or turn the burners on their stove. They also had to draw the water they needed daily from the wells or rivers and streams. This may have been a lowly job. It may have been monotonous for those who carried the water day after day, week after week, and pail by pail. Sometimes we are given jobs to do that may seem simple and of little importance to us. But these people could not have lived without water, and they could not have had heat or cooked their food without wood. The Bible also gives us instructions on things that we should do daily. We should not let the simplicity or continual routine keep us from doing these very important things. Read and think about the Word of God. “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” (Psalm 1:2) In the New Testament Paul gives a good little list of things we should do daily. “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Thessalonians 5:16-23)
33. Faith And Works
“Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died:… Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.” Acts 9:36, 37 & 39
When I got to my desk at work this morning I was met by one of the supervisors who told me one of my co-workers had died the night before. He had not been sick and he was not very old. All she knew was that he said he was dizzy and fell over and died. Later when I was talking with my supervisor, she said she knew he was in heaven because he lived as a Christian and let everyone around him know it. I know that we are not saved by our works. We read in Titus 3:5 & 6, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;” We are not saved by works, but our works can be a witness to those around us. Dorcas died and when Peter came, her friends showed him all the coats and clothes she had made. She was full of good works. What will your friends say about your works after you are gone? I know that when I die, my job will go to someone else. We all can be replaced in the work force. But what about our true works of faith? James said, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” (James 2:17 & 18) Do you have living faith? Do your works point others to Christ?
34. Pray For Physicians
“And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Mark 2:16 & 17
I am thankful for good health. God has blessed my family and me with exceptional health. We have had a few minor accidents and the typical childhood diseases and sicknesses, but overall we have spent very little time in doctors’ offices. I am truly thankful for those gracious blessings from God. But I am also thankful for the doctors and physicians who are available when heath problems do arise. We pray for those that are sick and those that are going into surgery. We ask God to ease their pain and heal them if it is His will. We also need to remember to pray for the doctors and surgeons. Pray that God will give them knowledge and guide their hearts and hands. The next time you find yourself in a waiting room, and you begin to get irritated at the time you feel you are wasting, use the time in meditation. You can pray for those waiting there, just as you are. Their problems may be much worse than yours. You can pray for God’s healing. You can also pray for the doctors and nurses, and be thankful that you have the opportunity to seek their care.
35. A Soldier For The Lord
“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” II Timothy 2:1-4
My uncle is home from Iraq for a little R & R. I asked him how he liked being home, and he said he was ready to go back and complete his term. He told us how the little children over there run up to the soldiers for food. Life there is hard, but he believes in what he is doing to bring hope to the hopeless in Iraq. Paul told Timothy to be strong and endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. He gives the church at Ephesus instructions on fighting against the devil in Ephesians 6:10-17. Read the verses slowly and find meaning in these truths.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”
We are no match for the evils of Satan. We must trust in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and find strength in Him.
36. Use What God Puts In Your Hands
“And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him. And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.” I Samuel 17:38 – 40
We have been talking about occupations in the Bible for five weeks. I want to end this theme with this very familiar story of David and the giant, Goliath. The giant came out against the children of Israel and challenged them to a battle. David told King Saul that he would go against the giant. “And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.” (I Samuel 17:33) You may have opposition from those around you when you step out in faith to do the Lord’s work. But put your trust in God. “David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.” (I Samuel 17:37) Saul gave David a suit of armor, but David was not used to the weight or stiffness of the armor. I like the little words, “…and his sling was in his hand…” He used what was in his hand. We don’t need elaborate equipment or flashy substance to serve God. Use what God has put in your hands. There are so many jobs and opportunities today that it may be hard to find the direction you need to go. But wherever God leads, follow Him, no matter who stands against you. Put your trust in Him and not in your own knowledge, might or power. And finally, use whatever God has put in your hands, for His glory.