Daily Word Archives

What Open Door posts on Facebook - March 2013




As we begin the first day of a new month, we note that Proverbs 1 and Psalm 1 both admonish us to make sure we listen to good counsel - the Word of God.


In an earlier post we mentioned a song by Don Francisco entitled: Who You Gonna Listen To

This thought especially hits home when we consider our children. We know what it is like when our children start picking up things that we know are "off the wall" and we wonder who they have been listening to.


It is interesting to note that many who are outspoken against the Bible and Christianity will often buy into doctrines and ideas that are strange indeed. Everyone molds their lives around some type of code, ethic, moral position, what they believe is right, etc. We should all consider our own system of values, ask ourselves why this one that I embrace is good and right, and be able to defend it and share with others.


May this be another way to let our lights shine.


Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge. ~ Proverbs 19:27




Whenever we are in an uncomfortable or difficult place, we will often use our efforts to get out of it. We remember I Corinthians 10:13:


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.


We are thankful that God is our great deliverer, but we also know that it does not always come instantly - we may need to use the ability God gives "to bear it" for awhile.


If we are in such a position, we should use it in the best way possible: How can I please God in it, does someone else need help here (maybe worse than me), can I learn anything in this, is there a way I can fix a situation here?


We are reminded of Joseph in prison. He spent a long time there and we would call it unfair. Yet he made the most of it and essentially ran the place. We remember Paul and Silas in prison - they did not pray to get out. We see God getting them out, but they were used to bring a great blessing to many.


A great challenge for all of us is to let our lights shine under difficult and uncomfortable situations. This should be a part of our praying and preparation for the days ahead.




If you deal with church functions or scheduling in any way, you are always looking forward on the calendar for what is coming up. If you have cantatas or special programs, you often start months in advance. As the celebration of the resurrection occurs at the end of this month, we will sing songs in the Sundays prior that speak to that theme. A few meaningful lines that you might recognize:


Crucified, laid behind a stone

You lived to die, rejected and alone

Like a rose trampled on the ground

You took the fall and thought of me, above all



O how great the kindness our God has shown
We were strangers now we're called His own
His Grace has welcomed the sinner home
Tender mercies lead us to the throne


Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. ~ Ephesians 1:5-6




In thinking of the difficulties in this life we know the following:


1. We do not have the answer to every question

2. We do not know all the facts

3. We do not know the exact stand to take every time


The point is that we face a lot of uncertainty. In every such situation we could say the following:


I side with Jesus - I'm with Him. The WWJD movement put that out to the world. Now WWYD - what would you do?


While we may not always know exactly what to do, our words and actions should demonstrate that we are on the Lord's side. May God show us how to do this effectively.




So much is said in the Bible about praising the Lord. Praise gets our attention and focus in the right area - to God who can do something about any situation we are in.


Even Job in the midst of a situation he did not understand (and challenges us as well), blessed the Lord and would not curse.


Intentionally developing and working on our praise when things are good will help continue in it when things are tough and our feelings may not be in it.


The words from Psalm 113 are good ones to get us started:


Praise ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord's name is to be praised. The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.


Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth! He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people. He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.




One of the greatest skills we will ever learn in this life is to stay in the middle of the road. One area in particular that stands out here regards the things we say.

There are times we should just stop talking. Yet we know if married couples stop talking to each other, real problems are just around the corner.


Yes we need to stay in the middle of the road, and we need to make sure we are on the straight and narrow road that Jesus talked about.




In light of our weather yesterday:


He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes. ~ Psalm 147:16


Wouldn't it be nice if the snow would keep us warm like wool.


We continue to pray that power be restored quickly and that people be kept safe.


Out several days - snow storm and loss of power




We all dealt with difficulties over the last few days and some are still not "out of the woods" yet. During these times the trivial and unimportant things are pushed to the side - the important aspects of life need all of our attention.


This can be true in out spiritual lives as well. When the difficulties or crisis comes - we forget petty disagreements and things less important and know we just need to cling to Jesus.


In these times we need to "lay hold on eternal life" ~ I Timothy 6:19


We pray for all those who still need relief, restoration of power, and for a way to get back to normal life so to speak. We pray for those still working long hours to fix problems - for wisdom, physical strength, and protection.


Thank you to everyone who went out of their way to help others.




Yesterday we mentioned that when times of difficulty come, we deal with the most important things. As our lives get back to the norm, we should realize the important things are still in the same place.


Granted there are numerous little things we do everyday - routine procedures that just help us in our lives.


May we not let these little things, though helpful and important in their own way, choke out or cause the most important things to suffer.


May God help us to get all the little things done and keep the most important things in their proper place.



During this season of the year, we are reminded how much God loves us - that His only begotten Son would be sacrificed so that He could then have more sons and daughters. We can now be part of the family of God.


Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:... ~  I John 3:1


Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: ~ Colossians 1:13




In sharing the gospel and presenting the plan of salvation with others, we often hear the question "Well, don't all good people go to heaven?"


If getting to heaven is based on that, then the next logical question is: How good do you have to be? Further: How long do you have to function at that level before messing up, and then what happens if you do mess up?


It does not take long to see where this line of thinking takes you. How would you ever be sure that you are meeting the standard - continually?


We are told from the scripture that no one is good enough. No good works that we do will pay the price for sin - it takes the shedding of blood.


That is why Jesus came - to pay the price for the sin of man by shedding His blood. Jesus was good enough - both His life and death satisfied the demands of God's justice. The price was freely given and redemption can be freely received.


People would run to the gospel if they could understand this. May God help us to present it properly.




An interesting term to discuss in Christian circles is "compromise". Arguments and points of view go across the board on the subject with some declaring they will not compromise on the subject itself.


As Christians we should know that we do not compromise on obvious doctrine and what is clearly "thus saith the Lord". But we can give a little in making the final decision on the paint color or what to do with the youth this weekend.


We know this in our homes and in our families. There are rules and principles that are solid, but there are also things that are personal preferences.


In the Bible we see times of setting your face like flint: And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. ~ Galatians 2:4-5


In the book of Philemon, there was obviously some situation with a person named Onesimus. Paul did not insist on his way or what he thought was right but we read: But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly. ~ Philemon 1:14.


May God give us the skill and wisdom to know when to be steadfast and unmovable, and when we can be accommodating and yield to the wishes of others.




If you are involved in the church music program in any way, you likely have your Easter selections well under way. We particularly choose hymns and specials along the theme of the cross, resurrection and salvation.


We remember the words of a true standard in this regard:


Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died
On Calvary.


                        Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
                        Pardon there was multiplied to me;
                        There my burdened soul found liberty
                        At Calvary.


By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned
To Calvary.


Now I’ve giv’n to Jesus everything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing
Of Calvary!


Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span
At Calvary!




Proverbs 15:1 ~  A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.


Even if we have to say something that is difficult for the other person to hear, our tone should not make the situation worse. The right voice can often bring good results.






Whenever we read scripture or hear a sermon, what would be a good response? One would be to ask ourselves: How does this apply to me, or how can I be a doer of this word I just heard or read.


Many of us read scripture every day as part of a devotional or study of some type. Once we do that, we should ask God how we can put it into practice. Sometimes the word may be something we can do, at other times it may be something we need to be mindful of. Either way, we want to show the Lord that we consider His Word very important.


But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. ~ James 1:22


The verses go on to state that if we are doers of the Word and the work - we will be blessed in our deed.




May we be vessels of honor as we go to church today. Consider a vessel that would normally be used to hold liquid. It would usually be used both to receive and pour out as the situation required.


We can view ourselves the same way at church - receiving what God has for us and pouring out to minister to and help others. Further, we know this to be our calling daily.


We remind ourselves of this way of thinking as we desire to honor God each day.




And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. ~ Acts 4:33


As Christians we have the opportunity to give witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus - our lives changed and lived in such a way to give glory unto Him.


May we have great grace in order to live it out daily.




On this 19th day of the month we are reminded of the last verse of Psalm 19:


Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.


We remember that the importance of both the mouth and the heart is emphasized throughout scripture:


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. ~ James 3:2


Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. ~ Proverbs 4:23

These are just two examples that remind us how much we need God's help in these areas.




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


In general, we are often the opposite in the natural - quick to speak and quick to wrath.


This verse reminds us of the art of listening, which is a great way to show our concern. We open a door with others when we show them that we care about what they have to say.




Most people are familiar with the term "standard of living". It is usually associated with someone's income or that person's lifestyle based upon the amount of money he has. The whole concept has certainly been in the news as questions are being raised about how much someone has and what that someone should do with it, etc. It is interesting that the term almost always leads our thinking into money and monetary status.


If someone asks us about our standard of living, we as Christians ought to have a very different focus. We should both point out and show by example the standards we have for living. Biblical principles from the Word and the life of Jesus should be our foundation.


It is certainly something we should be considering, and we should be ready to give a good answer about our "standard of living".




As the people were coming in to the promised land, we note these words from Deuteronomy chapter 4:


Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.


Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.


For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?


And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?


Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons;


Israel had a high standard to live up to, and the sacrifices were instituted because they could not fulfill those standards.

Christianity, the New Testament, also has a very high standard. Jesus was sacrificed because we could not fulfill these standards by ourselves. It is a better covenant with better promises ~ Hebrews: 8:6:


But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.


We are called to walk worthy of the Lord now that we have been brought into right standing with God. Colossians 1:10-12


 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;


Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;


Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:




In the Old Testament we know that the people had a tendency to complain about the manna. When you think about it, God did not intend for them to eat it for 40 years. He expected it to be just what they needed for a quick trip through the desert. Once they got to the promised land, the banqueting could begin.


We have the privilege of looking back and seeing the whole thing. The manna was just what they needed for the journey they were supposed to make. They were not supposed to "pig out" and then lounge in their tents. They were supposed to be making a run for the land God had for them.


This is an interesting way to look at God's provision of manna - good nutrition for people on the go!




Today is Palm Sunday. It appears that we may be waving our palms in the snow.


We pray all of our churches be able to have morning services and everyone get home safely.


On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. ~ John 12:12-13




In our message yesterday we discussed a number of things leading up to Jesus' crucifixion and the ultimate fulfillment of the Passover sacrifice.


Because it is called Palm Sunday, we noted what is called the triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

It is often referred to as the King entering in. While certainly as King, Jesus is actually coming in as the Lamb of God. It is noted that His humble way of entering was a fulfillment of Scripture:

All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. ~ Matthew 21:4-5


On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.


From the Old Testament ~ Zechariah 9:9


Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.




He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears. ~ Proverbs 26:17


Learning to keep our outreach "because we care" from becoming an overstep into "meddling" is a great skill to develop. If you are a person who truly has a heart of compassion for those around you, it is likely you have experience with this fine line.


In reaching out to others you sometimes find that it is difficult to help some people. We also know that in some situations, anything that can be misunderstood will be.


These circumstances are ones that can get us over in the flesh - especially if we really were "just trying to help".


But these "life lessons" remind us how much we need God's help and how different His love is than ours. Remember I Corinthians 13 that tells how to respond in the love of God.


Remembering this will take both prayer and training in our lives, and it certainly should keep us humble.




Most of us have lives that demand we develop multitasking skills. There are just so many things to do and be responsible for all at the same time.


As we get to the last week in the life of Jesus on earth, the passage of time slows and we see a more detailed account in regards to what happens.


We note this especially in all that Jesus had to do and keep in mind. Knowing His death is coming, He has to fulfill all of the scripture in regards to Himself, He has the disciples & His prayer for them, the incident with Judas, the Last Supper, the incident in the garden, His admonition to Peter, the intensity of the last 24 hours and what would happen after the crucifixion.


Whenever we think we have a lot on us, we should consider Jesus' last week. We know it will be

preached on and described in different ways. It is just inspiring to see all the Jesus had to deal with and how He handled it - what a wonderful Savior!




Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. ~  Philippians 3:13-14


Many have commented that through Christ, both Paul and the rest of us can put the bad things of the past behind us. That is true but it can also apply to things we may consider good or positive. We cannot rest on the laurels of yesterday - though they may continue to bear fruit and we rejoice.


But today needs tending to with God-given responsibilities - we need our daily bread. We need to continue to press on as Paul writes above. We decide daily to live the Christian life, be a doer of the Word of God, and desire "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;" ~ Colossians 1:10


We are grateful that we can leave our bad behind, we are thankful for any good foundation we have laid in the past, but today and each day ahead we determine to "...run the race that is set before us" ~ Hebrews 12:1


There is no time like the present to either begin or continue this journey with God.




As we come to what we call Good Friday, we remember that for the Hebrew people this was Passover. In the New Testament Paul writes:


Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: ~ I Corinthians 5:7


If you read the entire context, you realize this verse is in conjunction with a situation not very pleasant. If you look at the original situation in Egypt at the time of the Passover, it was not very pleasant either.


Yet considering Christ as the Passover lamb should humble us as we consider "Good Friday".


Remember the circumstances in Egypt. The death angel was coming and there was absolutely nothing God's people could do about it on their own. No amount of wealth, influence, social status, or good works could save the first-born. The Hebrews could not even stand up and say "We are God's people, certainly we will be spared"! Nothing but the applied blood of the lamb would spare them and set them apart.


What a striking picture this is for man today. Death is coming and we have no defense or ability in our own strength. But we should remember: Just as I am, without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me!


Continuing with this song we remember so well from the Billy Graham crusades, we note the last words of the verses that say: I come


Will that describe us today, even if we have confessed Christ and believed for a number of years? Do we recognize Christ as the Passover lamb for us?


May all of God's love demonstrated on this "Good Friday" enrich, bless, and change our lives.


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.




If you had been one of the disciples of Jesus during this time of the crucifixion, what might you be thinking now? Each disciple would have a slightly different emotional attachment and outlook regarding the whole situation.


Would you think it is all over? It was good while it lasted. Well I thought he was the Messiah, was it a hoax? There would be a lot of speculation of course. We are told Peter went back to fishing. We remember what the disciples said to Jesus on the road to Emmaus:


But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. ~ Luke 24:21


They went on the say what the women had told them had happened at the sepulcher. Then Jesus rebuked them for being slow to believe, and expounded to them the scriptures regarding what had happened.


It would be interesting to know all the conversations that went on regarding what the women told them before Jesus finally revealed Himself to them all. Can we imagine and picture the scenes that went on with all the people who had known Jesus - from the crying and anguish over His death to the incredible story from the women - could they dare believe that He was alive?


May we take the time to consider ourselves being back in those hours, how we might react, what we might have said, and what we might have done at the sight of our risen Lord.




Christ the Lord is risen today

The Lamb of God has taken our sins away

Love's redeeming work is done

Raise your voice, the King has overcome

Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!


For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: ~ I Corinthians 15:3-4


For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. ~ II Corinthians 4:6


We pray the light of the glorious gospel would shine in our hearts more and more so that it may shine brightly out to others.


He is risen indeed!

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