Daily Word Archives

What Open Door posts on Facebook - February 2013




As we start a new month, we remember the start of the book of Psalms:


Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 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.


There is no pulling of punches here - especially if you read the verses following these. Beginning with the first verse we see two different paths with two different outcomes. The longer we have been on this earth, the more we have seen this work in the lives of people.


From the New Testament:


See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, ~ Ephesians 5:15


Again short and to the point.


Each day may God's wisdom guide us, His love compel us, and His Spirit empower us.




As Christians, one of our goals each day is to live out the new life that is within us and make a difference for the kingdom of God. Sometimes our days are such that we cannot envision or develop something exciting or particularly noteworthy.


We remember the words of Jesus:


That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. ~ Matthew 6:4


The things we do need not be open, public, or something that makes a big noise. When we look to just do something for someone else - meet a need or lighten their load, we are sowing good seed into their lives, our life and into the kingdom of God.


So we do not have to look far in order to consider: Who can I do something for today?




Christians are often asked: Why should I go to church or be a part of a church?


A short answer is: Jesus died and went through all He did to establish it. I would not want to tell Him that I have no interest in it.


Granted - man has done a lot that puts the church in a negative light. But Jesus should know and see that we are very interested and involved in the church He established.




Yesterday we were blessed to take communion and we sang Great Redeemer:


Beneath my great Redeemer's cross, I kneel in streams of mercy

His blood removes my guilty stains, His grace has made me worthy

To stand before His holiness, and bow my grateful soul

Beneath my great Redeemer's cross, I worship Christ alone


Great Redeemer Jesus      

Great Redeemer Jesus


I long to see my Savior's face to gaze upon His beauty

To lose myself in His embrace at last behold His glory

The Lamb of God Who died for me has made my sin His own

And bore my shame upon the cross I worship Him alone


Oh Lamb of God You died for me and Made my sin Your own

And bore my shame upon the cross I worship You alone


We are thankful that we do not have to be just spectators, but can be participants in the kingdom of God.




If are ever been called upon to speak in public, you become very aware of how important it is to say the right words. Even in private conversations we know the feeling when "that did not come out right".


In James 3:2 we read:


For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.


We also know how difficult it is to take words back after we have said them..


Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: ~ James 1:19


May God help us each day to watch our words that they may bear good fruit and minister grace to the hearers.




Yesterday we wrote about saying the right things in the situations we are involved in - recognizing how important words are. When Peter was talking to the church leaders about what happened with Cornelius and his household, he relates that an angel told Cornelius to send for him:


Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. ~ Acts 11:14


What a powerful statement. It reminds us again how important words are - that we might be saved.




The beginning of Exodus 23:2 is interesting:


Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil;...


Today we might call this the work of a mob. It is interesting that Martin Luther said the same thing in regards to the Reformation. He noted that a number of things were wrong in the Catholic Church - but mob violence was worse and would not change things for the better.


For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. ~ James 1:20


As Christians we are told to follow peace. If we do get angry, we are not to sin.




If there is one thing in our nation that people really seem to cherish it is our freedom. We were born into it and likely we take it for granted, but we really do not like to see it taken away from us.


In the Bible we know that one of the missions of Christ Jesus was to set man free:


The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, ~ Luke 4:18


If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:36


But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. ~ Romans 6:22


For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. ~ Romans 8:2


Being free, both naturally and spiritually, is indeed a wonderful blessing. However, we have seen across the world in recent years that just setting people free from an oppressive government does not always bring the results that one would hope for. We will particularly look at this tomorrow.


However, even Jesus and the New Testament warns us about how we use the freedom we have been granted:


For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. ~ Galatians 5:13


As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. ~ I Peter 2:16


Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. ~ Ephesians 4:28


Abstain from all appearance of evil. ~ I Thessalonians 5:22


Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. ~ II Timothy 2:19


Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. ~ John 5:14


There has been a lot of speculation about this last scripture and its complete meaning. But we can say that Jesus was warning this man about his behavior. We are constantly admonished in the New Testament regarding our conduct.


One of the best testimonies we can offer comes from the way we behave ourselves. We may never act perfectly but the people around us should see the difference that Jesus makes in our lives - particularly in the way we conduct ourselves.


Thank you Lord for our freedom and we pray that You are always glorified in it.




Yesterday in our discussion of freedom we ended with a prayer that God would be glorified in our freedom. The Bible has a lot to say about using freedom in the right way and not using it as an occasion for the flesh.


A good comparison might be when our children hit those teen years. We know they want freedom and we know they are heading toward it. We also know both sides of it and pray that they make right decisions, remember what they have been taught, and will stand strong against doing something foolish. Freedom is a wonderful thing but it has a very serious side - especially when good and right are violated.


God help us to be good examples of living the right way in freedom. May we instill both the virtue and understanding of it in our children - especially in this day and time.




We say a good bit about setting standards and priorities. Old hymns like this one help to remind of this:


While passing thro' this world of sin,
and others your life shall view,
Be clean and pure without, within;
Let others see Jesus in you.

            Let others see Jesus in you,
            Let others see Jesus in you.
            Keep telling the story, be faithful and true;
            Let others see Jesus in you.

Your life's a book before their eyes,
They're reading it thro' and thro'
Say, does it point them to the skis,
Do others see Jesus in you?

Then live for Christ both day and night,
Be faithful, be brave and true,
And lead the lost to life and Christ.
Let others see Jesus in you.




In the mornings our microwave ovens often get a workout. We need something quick that will get us going. Spiritually as well we often need something quick as we go out the door that will be both meaningful and productive. This verse is good for every day:


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




These are some interesting verses on salvation and works:


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; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. ~ Titus 3:5-8


We could say it like this: God saves us by grace, then we get to work by faith.


Remember in the Old Testament with all the law, the people were still required to offer the sacrifices. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. ~ Hebrews 9:22


Throughout the New Testament we see that good works are profitable to us and pleasing to God.

But the precious blood of Jesus paid the price for our salvation. ~ I Peter 1:19


Finally once again from Titus: Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. ~ Titus 2:14




He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction. ~ Proverbs 13:3


For parents that have children in school (or were in school years back), you know that discipline things come up. More often than not, children get in trouble for something they said. Sometimes it involves doing as well, but the mouth can send you to the principal faster than anything.


We know it can happen with us as adults as well. We also should realize that our mouth can get us in trouble; but it can also get us out of trouble.


The student that is sent to the principal for something could easily use his words there to at least get him a little mercy. He could even a pardon or another chance. He could also use his mouth to get him into worse trouble.


Our emphasis again is on the power of our words. Regardless of our age, we can use our words to help our situation or hurt it - get us out of trouble or deeper into it. May God help us to develop great skill in this area - that we might know the right thing to say and to mean it.




As we consider the subject of love today, we are reminded of well-known verses


Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. ~ John 15:13


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. ~ John 3:16


From the scriptures we see the love of God in action on behalf of others. May God's love so motivate us also to do what we can for others.




In light on mentioning "others" yesterday, have you ever heard of the hymn by that title?


Lord, help me live from day to day
In such a self-forgetful way
Then even when I kneel to pray
My prayer shall be for OTHERS.



            Others, Lord, yes, others

            This my prayer will be;
            Help me to live for others
            That I may live like Thee.


Help me in all the work I do
To ever be sincere and true
And know that all I do for YOU
Must needs be done for OTHERS.

Let self be crucified and slain
And buried deep, and all in vain
May efforts be to rise again
Unless to live for OTHERS.

And when my work on earth is done
And my new work in heaven begun,
May I forget the crown I've won,
While thinking still of OTHERS.


Whether we have ever sung this hymn or not, living out the words is a great way to demonstrate Christ in our lives.




Anyone can start a project, but what happens as time progresses will often determine its outcome. ~ unknown


Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. ~Winston Churchill


Exercise and weight lifting can build muscle, true strength is an inward characteristic ~ unknown


Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape ~ John Maxwell


If you are facing a problem, you may be just the person God has to solve it ~ unknown



He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends. ~ Proverbs 17:9


Lord help me not to tell everything I think I know about everybody else!




These words from Psalm 18 made a rousing chorus that was a standard in the early years of the charismatic/full gospel period. It is still a good song - even if you just sing it by yourself:


I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.




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; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. ~ Titus 3:5-7


Paul writes that if someone is justified by works, they have wherein to boast ~ Romans 4:2


It is a great blessing to know we do not have to be justified by works. Can't you see the boasting now - I did better than him. Or the opposite - I went several days that were not bad, then I really messed up. I wonder if I am OK.. This type of system would drive anyone crazy.


But as our first scripture says: "being justified by His grace"... this frees us to do the best we can to please our Lord - in word and deed.


Therefore we can stand fast in the liberty wherein Christ has made us free. ~ Galatians 5:1




“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.”
John C. Maxwell

Being able to admit we are wrong and taking constructive criticism graciously will benefit us and enhance our witness for Christ.




Some scriptures on the love of God and we let the Word speak for itself.


And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. ~ Romans 5:5


Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 8:37-39


The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. ~ II Corinthians 13:14


And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ. ~ II Thessalonians 3:5


But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 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; ~ Titus 3:4-5


Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. ~ I John 3:16


In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. ~ I John 4:9


For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. ~ I John 5:3


Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. ~ Jude 1:21




A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. ~ Proverbs 22:3


It is wise to be prepared. But like anything else, we can get in the ditch with this subject.


So many of our problems come about when we get things out of balance. If you've ever had a tire out of balance, you know it really shows up as you pick up speed. So it is in our lives - as things get hectic and fast-paced, the things that are out of balance can really start to wobble.


Our lives are packed with so many things that we need to wisdom of God to keep everything in proper balance. May we also be blessed with a good dose of common sense.




Both praise and criticism can be beneficial to us - as long as the one does not swell us with pride and the other does not crush our spirit.


We should learn to profit from both as we stay on the straight and narrow path.




Twice in the New Testament (II Corinthians 4:4 and I Timothy 1:11), the good news of Christ is called the "glorious gospel".


It is more than just a "good philosophy" or a "nice way to act".


We should live in such a way to show that it is the power of God that will change your life!




We were reminded in church yesterday that we have been blessed to be a blessing. We should remember this as we go out each day.


We know things come up that are troubling, plans go wrong and people need help. May we approach each situation with the motivation to be a blessing, to give some aid, to meet a need, or bear a burden.


With the Lord's help, may we always try to make things better for those we come in contact with.




It was a joy to sing and play this song in church last Sunday: An Endless Hallelujah


Here is a YouTube version - it will supercharge your personal devotion time!






The story of Asa is interesting beginning in II Chronicles 15. Please take the time to read the whole thing.


In the first few verses we read: "The LORD is with you, while ye be with him;..." That should get our attention. We know Jesus said He would never leave or nor forsake us and we are indeed grateful. But we should not intentionally push it either. We should be mindful of our relationship with God just like we are with our relationship with one another - it is worth maintaining!


It is interesting in the Biblical accounts of the kings of Israel and Judah to see how some of them are described. Concerning Asa for example in verse 17: "But the high places were not taken away out of Israel: nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect all his days."


If you read all of the accounts of Asa's reign, you will see things that were not good and that did not please the Lord. Yet he is accounted as good king in the Bible - likely because his heart was right.


This should be an encouragement to us. We do not want to miss it, but if we do we want to keep our hearts right. We will repent and change quickly when necessary, we will commit to doing that which is right, and we can remain confident that He is with us and for us.


If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ~ I John 1:9




Verses from Psalm 103 that should both challenge us and comfort us:


A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's. The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.


May God help us to live in such a way to demonstrate that we believe it and that it works.


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