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
Enter Into His Courts 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, ” 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. 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. We might enter in a cast down condition, but we can come out with a smile on our face after experiencing the Lord’s grace and mercy. (Psalms 84:10)–Elder Larry Wise–April 1, 2011
The Little Things
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. Jesus saw a certain poor widow casting all her 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 water 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:
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?
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 verse 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 what we’ve done and must plead for mercy and forgiveness because we have not done that which was our duty to do. 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 have 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
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. 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. 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, “Evening Meditations.” 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