A NEW DAY TO SERVE THE LORD:
We aren’t promised tomorrow so we should make the most of every day to serve the Lord while we have life and breath to do so. This is difficult at times because of the hustle and bustle of making a living and raising children and the like; however, the Lord has not commanded us to do anything we are incapable of doing. Time is precious and we should use it wisely. Paul writes concerning this principle: “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,Â Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:15-16). Each day is a day the Lord hath made and after all we are the children of the day and not the night. The obvious conclusion is that our light should shine forth so that others might see our good works and glorify our Father which is in heaven. Jeremiah said that the compassion and mercies of the Lord are new every morning so we need to view each day a NEW opportunity to praise Him for His wonderful works toward the children of men. As the song says, “Help me today, show me the way, one day at a time.”–April 5, 2016–Elder Larry Wise
THANKFUL FOR WHAT WE KNOW:
There are many things that we do not know in this life but it should not hinder our faith in the Lord. We do not know what a day may bring forth so we are to live our lives day by day with a trust in the Lord. We do not know what the future holds for us or our family but we trust in the Lord to provide. However, there are things we can know and of which we can be completely assured. Can we know that we are children of God? The Bible says that we can as we listen to John saying, “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. ” (I John 3:14) If we have passed from death (unborn again), to life (born again), we are children of God by birth in addition to being children of God by choice and by purchase. Nicodemus said that “we know that thou art a teacher come from God, for no man can do these miracles except God be with him.” (John 3:2). Nicodemus knew this much more than by a physical witness because the Lord hath revealed unto him the truth that Jesus came from God but there were many things Nicodemus did not know at this juncture in his life. We don’t know exactly what it will be like in heaven but we can know by faith what the final culmination of all things will be. The apostle John again states, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (I John 3:2). We are thankful for the truth of salvation by grace that makes us free. Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32).Â We can know more by reading and studying the scriptures but what we know now in this life doesn’t compare with what we will know in heaven and immortal glory. So brothers and sisters, we should be extremely thankful for what we know concerning ourselves and the Lord Jesus Christ.–March 3, 2017–Elder Larry Wise
SEEING GOOD DAYS:
We all like to enjoy good days as we travel on life’s journey and the scriptures give us a good recipe to enjoy or have those good days. Peter writes, “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:” (I Peter 3:10). Our tongues can be an instrument of good or evil but as the scriptures give us the analogy that a fountain cannot bring forth both sweet water and bitter water; even so our tongue is not to spew forth that which is evil to go along with the good that might come forth. The God of heaven will bless us with good days of fellowship and peace with Him as we bridle our tongues and keep it in subjection. Paul said that he kept his body in subjection lest after he had preached to others he might become a castaway. The tongue is a part of the body so we need to keep it in subjection. Just because it is a beautiful sun shiny day doesn’t necessarily make it is a good day if we haven’t bridled our tongue. Speak words of love and kindness and enjoy some good days in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.–God bless–October 16, 2017–Elder Larry Wise
RULE OF THE DAY:
Everyone has rules which they follow whether it is in their employment or in their family or even in the church. There is something to be enjoyed when the rules are obeyed and consequences when they are ignored. The heart of a child of God is very precious because it is the innermost seat of affection and needs to be guarded against the wrong type of influence. Paul writes in Col. 3:15: “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” According to Paul, the peace of God can rule in our hearts, and it is something that we have some influence over. It depends upon where our affection lies. This admonition of Paul is immediately after he has instructed the church to put off the things of the flesh and to put on things that become children of God. So if we consistently follow those rules then we can have peace prevailing in our hearts on a daily basis. Sin want be the rule of the day but peace will be the rule. We are told to draw nigh unto God and He will draw nigh unto us in James 4:8. The closer we are to the Lord, the greater peace is enjoyed and will be the rule of the day. May we all be about the Master’s business and let the peace of God rule and when it does, do not forget to be THANKFUL to the God of glory.–October 11, 2016–Elder Larry Wise
WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?
We encounter many people and situations that require us to make decisions that require wisdom and discretion. We don’t know exactly what to do? We might ask the question, “What would Jesus do?” Of course Jesus is not here in person to advise us but we do have His words in John 8:29 which says, “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.” Jesus would do what would please the father. So that is the final criteria for decision-making which is “Will it please the Heavenly Father?” This means that it is an act of faith because “without faith it is impossible to please Him.” (Heb. 11:6). This is why mistakes are made when decisions are made because it does not always please the Father. We are sinners and Jesus was not. However, we have God’s word to guide us in the physical absence of Jesus. Will what we do go against the inspired word of God. If it does violate the teaching of God, then we know to go in another direction. Think on these things.–February 6, 2015–Elder Larry Wise
ONE DAY AT A TIME:
Of course we know we cannot live anything other than one day at a time but we sometimes can’t do anything today for thinking about tomorrow. We are not guaranteed a tomorrow so we should live one day at a time. Our plans are often disrupted but God’s plan can never be disrupted, James gives us the perfect way to look at making our plans each day. James says, “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:Â Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.Â For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” (James 4:13-15). Some time back there was a song entitled “One Day At A Time” which said “Lord help me today, show me the way, one day at a time. One day at a time, please Jesus, help me today show me the way one day at a time.”–October 21, 2014–Elder Larry Wise
We are all prone to needlessly worry about certain things that cause us needless pain and perhaps despair. We have a means to overcome that weakness at the throne of God. Paul writes, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Phil. 4:6). “Be careful” means to not be anxious about things that happen. If we are too anxious, it means we are in a worrisome state. This doesn’t mean we aren’t to be concerned about certain situations but we take it to the Lord in prayer. We sing a song called “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” which tell us that we often forfeit peace because we do not take it to the Lord in prayer. The following verse in Phil 4:7 confirms this as the truth: “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Elder Sony Pyles says he worries “little” over things over which he has no control and he emphasized “little.” If we have control over a situation, then we should be about attempting to rectify the situation. If we have no control, then commit it to the Lord in prayer and supplication. The truth is that through the weakness of the flesh, we are all prone at times to throw up our hands and give up but Jesus gives us the parable of the unjust judge to overcome this tendency. Jesus says as an introduction to that parable: “Â And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;” (Luke 18:1). Â We can come boldly to the throne of grace and find mercy and grace to help in time of need. (Heb. 4:16) . Then Paul tells us that “Mercy” keeps him from fainting. “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;” (II Cor. 4:1). Â We must continue to look up to the unseen things which are eternal and not to the things seen which are temporal. May God give us grace to realize this and then to put it in action!–October 14, 2014–Elder Larry Wise
We often think about things that really doesn’t do us any good, but there are some things worth our meditations. It gets our mind off the things of the world and channeled in a spiritual direction. David said concerning meditation, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14).
There have been many people of God from many states that have stated they love me and are praying for me as heart surgery rapidly advances toward a scheduled August 25, 2014 date. This is something worthy for the heart to meditate upon; that there are people of God that take the time to not only pray for you but also to tell you they are praying. It surely lifts the spirit and gives strength that only comes through our Lord, “my strength, and my redeemer.” This is indeed acceptable in the sight of the Lord who sees all and knows all.
It is wonderful to meditate that the Spirit of the Lord leads people to communicate in times of adversity their concern. Surely the scripture is realized but in a greater degree which states, “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.” (Eccl. 4:9-10). It is indeed a blessing to have friends who display such love and concern. However, we have one above them that even prays for us as He did the apostle Peter that his faith fail not, the Lord Jesus Christ. “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Prov. 18:24). The Lord condescends to think upon us so surely we can think about Him who moves people by His Spirit to minister to those who are poor and needy. “But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.” (Psalm 40:17). —Elder Larry Wise–August 18, 2014
OPEN MY EYES
There are times that we read the word of God and hear it preached that our eyes of understanding seem to be very clouded. Perhaps we would do well to pray with the Psalmist David, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” (Psalm 119:18). There are wondrous things to behold in the law of God, but we cannot see them with closed eyes. The Lord opened the eyes of Hagar to see a well of water that quenched the thirst of her and her child that were ready to die. She knew something after her eyes were opened that she previously did not know. What do we know when our eyes of understanding are enlightened? Paul tells us in Eph. 1:18, “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,”
Notice the knowledge when our eyes are opened so that we know things we had not previously known. We have a hope in Christ but did not know or understand it until our eyes were opened. It is then no wonder we hear the brethren pray from time to time to give us spiritual ears and understanding hearts during the course of the service, but perhaps we need to add “eyes to see” to this prayer as well. There is great treasure in God’s word, but we will not be able to rejoice until we have found and seen the wonder of it all. The Psalmist also said, “I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.” (Psalm 119:162). This is in keeping with a song that we sometimes sing that says, “Open my eyes that I may see glimpses of truth thou hast for me.” May God bless us with better eyesight to behold wondrous things out of His law.–June 29, 2013–Elder Larry Wise
Â Â Jesus is the friend of sinners and knows all our strengths and weaknesses and He was in all points tempted as we were yet without sin. In view of this, we can understand how He is touched when our weakness manifests itself and we are about ready to throw up our hands and give up. Paul tells us in Heb. 4:15: “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15).
Â Â Jesus was touched when the woman who was a sinner came behind Him and washed His feet with the tears from her eyes and wiped them with the hairs of her head. He knew she was a sinner and in need and was this touched. He desire us to feel our need and recognize that they which be whole need not a physician but they that are sick. He give her some good news when He, told Peter, “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” Â (Luke 7:47) Then he specifically told the woman, “And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.” (Luke 7:48). “And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.” (Luke 7:50).
Â Â Jesus was touched with the heartache of Martha and Mary when their brother Lazarus died and they lamented their loss with much weeping. Jesus tarried for some two days to manifest His glory and power and groaned in the spirit when he witnessed their sorrow. This is the first place we find where Jesus wept and it was at a death scene. We may also be weak when we have lost a loved one and wonder if we will make it through the loss. However, Jesus is touched and promises us grace to bear up. Paul tells us, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (I Cor. 10:13). Paul knew from first hand experience that Jesus is touched as he prayed that his thorn in the flesh might depart from him. The Lord tells him, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (II Cor. 12:9). The thorn in the flesh was an infirmity and our high priest is touched. When are we at our strongest? It is when we are at our weakest for Paul goes on to say, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (II Cor. 12:10). What a high priest we have who is perfect in knowledge and power but yet is still touched with the feelings of our infirmities!–August 17, 2012–Elder Larry Wise
The things that are happening in our society give an occasion for concern for our welfare as God’s way seems to be continuing to deteriorate every day. Many may spend their days worrying about all these things; however, that is spending needless time that brings no lasting peace. We have no control over certain things that happen so we should spend little time worrying about those.
Notice I said spend little time because it is in the nature of God’s people to worry. But this is contrary to Biblical instruction. Paul said, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Phil. 4:6). To “be careful for nothing” means to not be anxious and worrisome; don’t wring your hands with these anxious thoughts. We just trust in the Lord because He has promised to take care of His people, both in time and in eternity. When we take our case to the Lord with prayer and supplication, the result is that our hearts and minds are kept in peace and we are spared from needles worry. Paul affirms this right after his admonition of “not to be anxious.” He exhorts the children of God to remember, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7). The admonition to “don’t worry” is easy to say but not necessarily easy to do. However Paul tells us that we can do all things through Christ which strengthens us. (Phil. 4:13). So may we all not “worry” but trust in the Lord and continually praying “Not our will but thine be done.”–June 28, 2012–Elder Larry Wise
Â Â We are all so involved with daily activities of work, family and recreation, that we do not take time to actually stop and meditate on the good things of God. The minister needs to read and study the word but also take time to really meditate on the word and the exact meaning. This is not just true of the minister but of everyone that Loves the Lord, especially members of the church. Many times we meditate on the wrong things and fail to honor God. The Psalmist David’s Â prayer was, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14). The sometimes bitter things of life can be made sweet by proper meditation in the Lord. David again said, “My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.” (Psalm 104:34). Â Peaceful seasons can be enjoyed when we delight in the Lord and spend some time in meditation. Think about sitting by a stream of water and experiencing the peace of the water going on the way God intended. David tells us of this peacefulness and the cause of it. “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.Â And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:2-3). May we all resolve to do more meditation on the word of God and the good things He provides.–June 2, 2012–Elder Larry Wise
Â THINK ON SOMETHING GOOD
Sometimes we all think too much on our troubles rather than think about the One who delivers us out of our troubles. The Psalmist said, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.” (Psalm 34:19). We are so engrossed that sometimes our mind is a million miles away as we are lost in our own world. We think about what has transpired which we can do nothing about now and think about tomorrow which hasn’t come yet; then we compound the problem by thinking about the present which we may have no control over. Think about something good to get your mind off your problems and trouble. The mind is a precious commodity and should be channeled in the right direction. Of course, we must realize that we need to think about what we are doing when we are on the job so we can do a competent job. When we are without other obigations, may we think more about heavenly things than carnal things. Paul tells us that to be carnally minded is death but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Paul gives us a timely exhortation to think in a right manner just after exhortation on prayer. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Phil. 4:8).Â We surely should spend more time thinking upon and meditating upon the Lord and His word because He surely thinks about us as poor and needy creatures. “But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.” (Psalm 40:17). So think upon something good and experience a lift above the care of the world.–February 14, 2012–Elder Larry Wise
WHAT TO DO
Â Â There are many situations that arise in our lives that we are clueless in “what to do” in the midst of trouble. I hope we haven’t tried every remedy before we finally seek guidance from the Lord of Glory. Jehoshaphat and his people were being invaded by the children of Ammon and Moab and they all gathered themselves together to ask help of the Lord. We find Jehoshaphat praying this prayer in the great dilemna they were facing: “O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.” (II Chron. 20:12). Their inquiry was answered as they were told not to fear the enemy for this battle was the Lord’s; they just needed to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. They did not know “what to do” but their eyes were still on the Lord. The Lord gave them victory. The Lord will give us the victory if we keep our eyes on Him and beg for His guidance because of our own earthly wisdom we do not know “what to do”.–Oct. 18, 2011–Elder Larry Wise
Elder Larry Wise
Enter Into His CourtsÂ Â Each time that the saints gather together in the house of the Lord is a special time wherein we hope to feel the Lord’s presence and worship him in Spirit and in truth. Are we glad to be there? I trust that we are. The Psalmist said, “Â Â I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.” (Psalms 122:1). Someone had urged someone else to go into the house of the Lord. One individual surely was glad or else the invitation would not have been made. The one that received the invitation was also glad and we assume they went into God’s house and received a blessing.Â As we enter into the Lord’s house, we just cannot enter in any way we desire. We must put aside the things of the world as well as ourselves and prepare to worship with heart felt thanksgiving. The Psalmist again said, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” (Psalms 100:4). The gates are open for for the righteous so come on in and enjoy a special time with the Lord and His people. This special day is better than all other days; “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.” We’re glad to go and enter.Â We might enter in a cast down condition, but we can come out with a smile on our faceÂ after experiencing the Lord’s grace and mercy. (Psalms 84:10)–Elder Larry Wise–April 1, 2011
The Little Things
Â Â God is not always interested in the monumental things that we do in service to Him. We might not think we have done anything very significant in our Christian service. What matters is the motive whether it be little or small.Â Â Jesus saw a certain poor widow castingÂ all herÂ living into the treasury which consisted of only two mites. What did Jesus say about this? “And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:” (Luke 21:2-3). Jesus tells us that whosoever would give just a cup of cold waterÂ to one of His little ones in the name of a disciple would not lose his reward. (Mark 10:42). The reward is in this life and not in the world to come. The Lord doesn’t forget our labour of love no matter how large or small. “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” (Heb. 6:10). Sometimes it is the little things that count.–Elder Larry Wise–April 8, 2011
This is the Day:
Â Â Each day is a day to be treasured because we do not know exactly how many we will experience on the earth. The Psalmist said, “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalms 118:24). This verse revolves around a prophecy of Jesus as the stone which the builders rejected and He that cometh in the name of the Lord. Whatever day is under consideration, we are to rejoice and be glad in it. The day that Jesus was born surely is a day to rejoice and be glad; the day and hour that Jesus paid the ransom price for the sins of His people is a day to rejoice and be glad; the day He arose from the grave is a day of rejoicing for the people of God. The day the saints gather together to worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth is a day to rejoice and be glad. In short, every day is a day that should be for rejoicing because our life is a vapor that appeareth for a time and then vanisheth away. The time is now with God and with us as His children. Paul tells us, “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)” (II Cor. 6:2). In the darkest of days, we still can find room to rejoice; the concept is NOW because we don’t need to wait to get to heaven to be Sons of God. John says, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (I John 3:2). So this is the day the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it and praise His holy name. April 25, 2011–Elder Larry Wise
What can I do?
Â Â There is something for everyone to do in the church kingdom here on earth. We regret to say there are many that haven’t done the first thing which is to take up their cross and follow the Lord in baptism and become a member of the visible church kingdom. Those already in the church kingdom sometime wonder, “What can I do?” An earlier devotion on this page made mention that the Lord is not always interested in monumental things. So everyone can pray, but that is not a little thing; it is a monumental thing as the very livlihood of the church kingdom is much dependent on prayer. There are opportunities that present themselves to minister to others and we should take advantage of those times. Paul said, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Gal. 6:10). What better thing to do than pray one for another as we are commanded to do! Everyone has a telephone so use it to check on those who are on the prayer list of the church; they would appreciate it very much. Being a member of the household of faith brings a blessing because each member is supposed to be doing good for their household of faith. James tells us that we are blessed as doers of the word and not just hearers. Don’t wait for someone to tell you what you need to do. Your pastor has probably told you over and over some of the things that need to be done. Use what God has given you; everyone has a gift. God asked Moses what was that in his hand? It was a rod. He cast it down and it became a serpent. He took the serpent by the tail and it became a rod again. He used what he had, his rod. We just need to use what the Lord has given us and use it in doing God’s will with all our heart, soul and mind, knowing that the Lord has promised us a blessing if we obey.–May 2, 2011–Elder Larry Wise
We all need to be devout when it comes to our allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ and the cause of truth. Of course there are those that are just as devout but in an erroneous way that often manifests itself in murderous behaviour as witness some of the Islamic suicide missions. The devout child of God is one who is reverent and godly in service to God. We read this about the Gentile named Cornelius: “A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.” (Acts 10:2). This man had never heard a gospel sermon but yet he was a devout man who prayed and gave alms. God had reached him by His saving grace and taught Him internally to love righteousness and hate iniquity. God would open the door of faith to the Gentiles with Cornelius being preached to by the apostle Peter. Simeon was also a just man and devout as he waited for the consolation of Israel and was blessed to hold Jesus in his arms when he was eight days hold and say, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,” (Luke 2:29-30). When we are devout, we are devoted. We may have taken vows, and the Bible teaches that we should pay that which we have vowed. When we keep our vows, it shows just how devoted we are. Our devotion to the Lord will not involve any compromise with the world. May our devotion, prayers and alms come up as a memorial unto God as were those of Cornelius.–May 21, 2011–Elder Larry Wise
What have I done?
There is a song that we sometimes sing that has a verseÂ which conveys the title of this devotion. “What have I done in thy name dear Lord as I come to the close of the day? Have I looked up to heaven and thee or have my steps gone astray?” I trust that we might be able to say that our steps have been in the footprints of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. When we look to ourselves, we will always meet with failure. When we look up to the hills from whence cometh our help, we will experience triumph and our steps will not have gone astray. Sheep are very prone to go astray so we must keep our eye on the shepherd. When we feel the leading of the Spirit of God to do a good deed, we should follow through with that and not procrastinate. We are not to be forgetful hearers but doers of the word, and then we are blessed in the deed according to the apostle James. Then another song says, “If I have wounded any soul today; If I have caused one foot to go astray; if I have walked in my own wilful way, Dear Lord, forgive.” Thank the Lord that he is ever merciful and forgiving, even when we come to the close of the day and look back on whatÂ we’ve done and must plead for mercy and forgiveness because we have not done that which was our duty to do.Â The way we walk each day will determine much of the peace of God we will experience that day. “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” (Col. 3:15). “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.” (Col. 3:17). It is not what we might do, but what haveÂ we done!–June 6, 2011-Elder Larry Wise
Don’t Be Bored
The common complaint that I hear from youngsters today is that they are bored. It is by no means inclusive just to the youngsters as the older generation are also prone to that regard. Children may have dozens of toys to choose from in order to satisfy their boredom. It isn’t long before they are tired of each one and bored; then they crave a new toy. Adults are bored with their activites and attempt to do all things to satisfy their desire to relieve boredom. They are so involved with activites that they relegate church to the background. Serving the Lord Jesus Christ is the only true remedy to relieve boredom. There is always something to do in the kingdom of God; there is no need to invent things and God takes recognition of even the smallest things. The only ones that are bored are those that aren’t doing anything. James tells us about the brevity of life so get excited about serving the Lord and anticipate each day, especially Sunday, as a day to rejoice with joy unpeakable and full of glory. It is the flesh that gets bored; it is always weak. The Spirit is ever ready to rejoice and be focused on Christ. Isaiah tells us, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isa. 26:3). Perfect peace is not boredom. June 25, 2011–Elder Larry Wise
Â Â There are many times in our lives when we feel to be forlorn and alone, but if we have the presence of the Lord, we aren’t alone. Jesus told His disciples that they would forsake Him and leave Him alone, but He would not be alone because the Father would be with Him. He told them the the shepherd (Jesus) would be smitten and the sheep would be scattered.Â Jesus told His disciples many things but gave them a reason to cheer up in the midst of an unfriendly world. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). There is peace in Christ Jesus and heartache in the world. He told His disciples to be of “good cheer” because He had overcome the world. Jesus overcame the world for the sake of the disciples and all the family of God. When we remember that He has overcome the world on our behalf, we can face that same world and be of good cheer because of the faith He has given us in the new birth. This faith helps us to overcome the world in our daily lives. John tells us this faith is born of God and is an overcomer when utilized by God’s children. “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (I John 5:4). We must believe the promises of God and His Son to be of “good cheer’ even when things aren’t going as we would like. Sometimes we are prone to tell someone who is downtrodden, “Come on, cheer up, it’s not that bad.” We don’t really give them any reason to cheer up. Jesus gives a reason to be of good cheer or of good comfort. He has overcome the world.Â The Psalmist said, “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5). Just as God had not left Jesus alone, He will not leave us alone unless we ask Him to (God forbid). This should help us to cheer up and be of good comfort in the midst of a world of tribulation.–July 11, 2011–Elder Larry Wise
Wake Up Call
When I woke up this morning, I asked myself, “What is life about?” I found the answer in my room…the fan said, “Be cool.” The roof said, “Aim high.” The window said, “See the world!” The clock said, “Every minute is precious.” The mirror said, “Reflect before you act.” The calendar said, “Be up to date.” The door said, “Push hard for your goals.” The floor said, “Kneel down and pray”…~
Verse a Day
A good practice for the Lord’s children to follow is to memorize a verse each day and think how it benefits you as one of the Lord’s children and a recipient of grace. This wouldn’t take much time, but in this fast paced world, we find it difficult to do the things that would do us the most good. We allow Satan to hinder us in godly endeavors such as this. I can plead guilty to that accusation. David said is Psalms 104:34, “My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.” Meditating on the goodness of the Lord keeps our mind off whatever troubles might be facing us and lets us know that God will see us through the difficulty. Just a verse a day such as this can make a great difference in our lives.–August 8, 2011–Elder Larry Wise
The Day’s Reflection
Each day of our lives stands or fall upon its own merit whether we have been successful in serving the Lord or not. As we come to the close of each day and we thank the Lord for His blessings of the day, We may want to embrace the sentiment of the song, “EveningÂ Meditations.” Â The song embraces a question we often ask or should ask ourselves, “Oh, what have I done in Thy name dear Lord, As I come to the close of this day? Have I looked up to heaven and thee, Or have my steps gone astray?” If our steps have been following Jesus they will not have gone astray, and this should always be our prayer. Our closing prayer of the day could be the same as the song entitled “Evening Prayer”; the last song in the Old School Hymnal. The song says in the first verse, “If I have wounded any soul today, If I have caused one foot to go astray, If I have walked in my own wilful way, Dear Lord, forgive!” This is a day in reflection.–September 5, 2011–Elder Larry Wise