Tuesday, May 1, 2018


Jack Davis

“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.” Luke 8:43-45

THRONG: This event took place while Jesus was on the way to the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler, He had urged Jesus to come to heal his only twelve-year-old daughter. The two twelves here are interesting, if not significant. As Jesus made His journey many crowded Him. He was often “thronged” by a pushing, shoving, pressing, crushing, jostling crowd. Then as He went, there came a message that indicated that they were too late; the daughter had died. They said, “trouble not the Master.”

This is how it has been throughout this Age of Grace. There have been tens of thousands and thousands of thousands that have “THRONGED” Him, and many have troubled Him. Some in positive ways, others in negative ways. Thank God, there have also been those who by faith make personal contact with Jesus and “Touch Him.” I have been impressed as I read through the Gospel of Luke of some of the Law’s touchables and untouchables, and also our Lord’s. We who stay in personal contact with Him are made to realize that we are something special in His heart, and in His sight.

Thinking about the first side of the title to this message, it is interesting to consider who the Lord counts as “somebody” and who is otherwise, “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself” – Gal. 6:3. “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” – Rom. 12:3.

Paul asked in I Corinthians 4:7, “Who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hast not received it?” The grace of God had certainly been at work in Paul’s life. The same grace that humbled our beloved brother, also lifted him up and made him that said he was less then the least of all saints, the chief apostle to the church. He plainly and humbly said, boasting only in the Lord, “I am what I am by the grace of God.”

“If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” – I Cor. 14:37. In II Tim. 2:7 we read, “Consider what I say;; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.” I believe these scriptures along with many other corresponding portions, give us the measure of a true church minister. Please excuse me if I seem to over simplify. When asked for my church bylaws by several recently, I said that all we have to go by are Paul’s epistles.

In Gal. 2:6-9, Paul wrote of those that seem to be “somewhat.” We read in Acts 5:29-42 of the wise counsel of Gamaliel, one of the council, a doctor of the law, who was held in reputation among the people. The advice he gives here follows a wonderful prison release of Peter and the other apostles. (Acts 5:19) When the high priests and those that were with Him took counsel to slay them, Gamaliel spoke up and said unto them, “Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.” He then gives examples of those that rose up and drew a following after themselves, and boasted to be “somebody.” But these came to nought. He concluded his advice by telling them to “Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God” – vs. 38-39. So the council beat, threatened, and released them. This is when we find out who the real “somebodies” were. Those apostles departed rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for Jesus’ name.

TROUBLE: In many ways today there are those that will tell us not to trouble the Lord. Thank God we each have the sweet privilege of turning to Him and trusting Him with all our troubles. He is a refuge in times of trouble, and a very present help – Ps. 9:9; 46:1. When Jesus spoke of going to prepare a place for His people, He said, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me” – Jn. 14:1. We are told to be careful for nothing (troubled in mind) but to let our request be made known unto God, and to cast all our care upon Him. While trusting the Lord in times of discomfort, we learn His comforting love by experience. Thus He works in our lives to make us useful in sharing His comfort with others in trouble – II Cor. 1:3-6.

He is most touchable to our faith. He delights in supplying all our need. He said, “I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.” He knows when we are blessed by whole hearted trust in Him. He knows when it is real. He takes note of any who by faith touch Him, and you are made “SOMEBODY” special by His grace, for His glory. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” – Heb. 4:12.

God touches the very depths of our being with His Word, so that having seen our need, we will reach out and touch Him by faith for His delivering work. “He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him” – Heb. 7:25. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed unto the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 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. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” – Heb. 4:14-16. Jesus is on the throne there, “passed into the heavens” having been totally triumphant here and being tempted here in His triune being, and without sin, He is most touchable there on that throne of grace. He is our merciful and faithful high priest. I believe He had a divine, unfallen, human nature. He was never in any way overcome by sin.

TOUCHABLE: Jesus is so touchable to the otherwise untouchables of religious reckoning. Read Luke 7:36-50 and consider. We read here of Simon, the Pharisee, a self-esteemed untouchable, and the woman with the alabaster box, who was a sinner. They both needed Jesus’ saving touch, but one knew it and the other did not. Simon seemed to be certain in his own eyes that he was “somebody.” He, no doubt, felt that he was showing some special favor to Jesus, by inviting Him to eat with him, Simon possibly considered this a great kindness to one somewhat beneath His standing. Yes, he shared his house maybe for a hour, and his meal, but he did not touch Jesus. (vs. 44-46)

Who is worthy to touch Jesus? He came into the world to save sinners. He died for the ungodly. When Simon saw this woman wash Jesus’ feet with her tears, wipe them with the hair of her head, kiss His feet, and anoint Him with the ointment, he was troubled. He condemned Jesus for allowing such a sinner to touch Him. She had manifested much thankful love because she had experienced much forgiveness, but not everyone will reach out by faith and grasp the total forgiveness offered. Therefore most of our love seems to be restrained.

The law made a dead body untouchable. Lev. 21:11. Whoever touched a dead body was considered unclean, and unfit for holy service. In Luke 7:11-16, we read that Jesus and His disciples went to the city called Nain, and there they met at the gate, “a dead man carried out, the only son of His mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto tee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.” Thank God, for the way Jesus in grace overcame and far superseded the authority of the law.

Leprosy in its most dangerous forms was considered unclean, and sometimes contagious. The scaly appearance itself made it repulsive to the touch, as well as its stages of swelling and running sores. The leper was one pronounced unclean and separated from the congregation. In Luke 5:12-13, we read of “a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean, And immediately the leprosy departed from him.”

Today we still have many religious untouchables, and the words of Jesus back then are still appropriate, “And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! For ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers”– Lk. 11:46. Legality acts likewise today being very good at making demands, burdening others but too good to dirty their own hands. There are conditions, traditions, and prohibitions handed down by men that would keep us from enjoying, employing, and showing the grace of God. The apostle Paul speaks of those in Col. 2:21, “Touch not; taste not; handle not:” that only brings satisfaction to the flesh, but no glory to God.

“And they brought unto him also infants (Mk. 10;13) that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him and said, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein”– Lk. 18:15-17. In Mark 10:16 Jesus “took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.” In these verses, we find tender instruction concerning some of our Lord’s “touchables.” We see also the attitude we each must have to enter and enjoy the things of God. Those child-like in faith are born into the family of God. Such are not quick to contradict, but teachable. Those child-like in their faith are uncluttered in their reasoning, and approach Him in spiritual simplicity, unassuming. These also became in a real sense the Lord’s untouchables, “In Christ.” The wicked toucheth not, him that is born of God. Our life is indeed hid with Christ in God. Jesus said, “no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” We are kept by the power of God, and who is able to overthrow Him. The adversaries of all of God’s people are warned, “Touch not mine anointed.” God has said, “he that touches you touches the apple of mine eye.” Satan had to get permission to sift Peter, and to get at Job and that was limited, Praise God!


Anita Clark – Pastor, Carbondale, KS

“For we walk by faith and not by sight” II Corinthians 5:7

The context of this verse is Apostle Paul’s discourse on our mortal bodies being counted as a ‘tabernacle” or tent, just a temporary dwelling place, until we are finally resurrected in our new spiritual body, and go to be with the Lord for eternity. Just previous to this verse 7, He is “confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord.” Paul says, he is willing to be absent from his body and “to be present with the Lord.” This confidence is entirely - “A walk by faith and not by sight.” We too, enter into this assurance - that if we go from this body in death, we will enter a new body one day at the resurrection, when Jesus calls us upward. What a blessedness to believe the Word of the Lord! I Thessalonians 4:13-18 tells us of that beautiful process.

Apostle Paul has much to say about our spiritual “walk.” The word “walk” in Paul’s writings means in the Greek -”to deport oneself or our conduct i.e. - how a person behaves - performance or demeanor.” We’ve all heard the statement of admonition, “Walk with the Lord.”

Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me” John 10:27. If we are the sheep of the Lord, those who are born again, we should walk with the Lord, following Him as our Shepherd.

We read in many places especially in Apostle Paul’s writings concerning the “walk of the believer.” Romans 4:12, says, “Walk in the steps of faith of our Father, Abraham.” Romans 6:4 says, “Walk in newness of life.” Romans 8:1, says “Walk not after the flesh (Old nature).” Galatians 5:16 & 25 says, “Walk in the Spirit.” Ephesians 5:2 says, “Walk in love.” Ephesians 5:8 says “Walk as children of Light.”

So, as we repeat the verse “For we walk by faith and not by sight,” we realize that all these spiritual walks mentioned above are to all be accomplished by FAITH. There is no other way for this to take place in our lives. Our trust and empowerment to accomplish these wonderful traits, mentioned above, is by God’s power and not our own. Our part: UTTER FAITH AND DEPENDENCE UPON GOD. Notice the phrase - “not by sight.” That is real “FAITH.” The old adage, “Seeing is believing” is totally incorrect.

Hebrews 11:1-3, “Now faith is the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders (Old Testament believers) obtained a good report.” Faith is an action word. It speaks of conviction and reliance upon Christ and God the Father. It means “to trust, to have assurance or believe.” The word “substance” used here “ is the Greek word “hupostasis” which means “ a placing or setting under as a substructure - unseen but there.” It means, “that which stands under or underlies what is.” That is what a foundation of a building is. We can’t see it, but it’s there and real. The building would fall down without it. This is a good explanation of “Faith.” Elsewhere in the New Testament faith means “confident” or confidence.”

The word, “things” in the Greek means “a deed.” It states, “The evidence of things not seen.” Faith has given us a “deed.” to what we need, what we are trusting God for. “For by it the elders obtained a good report (Vs.2).” The Old Testament saints are such wonderful examples of faith. By our faith in the Lord, we too can “obtain a good report.”

Verse 3 says “Through faith we understand [comprehend or perceive] that the worlds were framed by the Word of God.” The word “worlds” actually means “the ages.” which speaks of lengths of time from the beginning of time since God created the earth - great plan of successive years and ages, in which He manifest Himself unto man and dealt with them in various ways and means to test them and try their faith. The “Ages were framed,” or the Greek means “prepared, or completed thoroughly and perfectly.” Since the beginning of the creation of the earth, God has tested man in various ways in what is called the Dispensations of Time. These ages were farmed by the “Word of God.” This “Word” is the Greek word, “Rhema” which speaks of the spoken word of God. An example is when God spoke the world into existence saying first, “Let there be light, and there was light.”

How do we gain more faith? Romans 10:17 says “So then Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” If you lack faith to lay hold of the promises of God, there is a power source to get more faith, that is reading and listening to the Word of God. Jude 1:20 says, “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith.” The more you take in the Word of God through preaching of the truth, study and reading, absorbing the truth - the greater your faith will become. You will begin to walk more and more by faith. You will be victorious in your life before the Lord!

Inconceivable, Incomprehensible Grace

Gordon Crook

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy , because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” 1 Timothy 1:12-15

Inconceivable – not capable of being imagined or grasped mentally; unbelievable.

Incomprehensible – not able to be understood.

Paul was the minister of God’s grace to the Gentiles. He had experienced God’s grace. He recognizes his state as the foremost (chief) of sinners. God’s grace is truly understood in the recognition of our terrible state and unworthiness.

God’s grace has been exhibited through all the ages, spoken of by the Psalmist and the prophets. Beginning with Adam and Eve, we find God’s grace shown in the coverings He made for them, and giving them the prophecy of the Savior. No merit on their part, simply the grace of a merciful and loving God.

In Noah’s day, we find God’s grace again on display. One hundred and twenty years God allowed Noah to preach before the flood came. One of the longest ministries ever, and certainly longer than any modern day ministry. Certainly not based on the merit of the people. This is what God has to say about them, “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

David found God’s grace incomprehensible. He could not understand how or why God would make such amazing promises to him when he knew he had no merit for them. “Then went king David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said , Who am I, O Lord GOD? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?” 2 Samuel 7:18.

David clearly knew he did nothing to deserve God’s promise. He was overwhelmed by God’s undeserved generosity. It is not possible to truly appreciate God’s grace unless we have clearly understood our utter lack of worth in ourselves. We are completely unable to help ourselves, to provide for ourselves any kind of standing before God. We cannot offer anything to God to deserve some benefit from Him. Even worse, we were God’s enemies. Incomprehensible grace that would seek us out.

Paul understood God’s grace so well, because he recognized his part in persecuting the church of Jesus Christ. Talk about an enemy of God: doing everything he could to destroy God’s work. Then, inconceivable grace as God arrests Paul on the road to Damascus and makes him the apostle to the Gentiles.

As I consider God’s grace, I think that sometimes, we lose the awe of what it really means. The world in which we live bombards us with the idea of self esteem. We are good and we can do anything we put our minds to. That idea permeates our thinking, and lessens the awesomeness of God’s grace.

The remedy for this is to get into God’s Word, and let the Holy Spirit remind us where God found us. We need to consider the extremes of where we were and where we were headed without Christ, and the amazing place to where God has brought us. (I was going to insert a verse from Ephesians chapter 1, but I think that you should just read the whole chapter).

We get comfortable in this world and forget just how lacking it really is. We also fail to understand the reality of the place God gave us in Christ. Who can truly understand it? Incomprehensible.

I hope we do not take God’s grace for granted. Our hearts should overflow with gratitude and amazement every moment of our lives. The consideration of God’s grace should continually move us to be looking for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. God’s grace should keep our hearts from being contented with the things of this world that are only passing.

I encourage you to take time to consider God’s Inconceivable, Incomprehensible grace in your life. It is in action every day in all aspects of your life. Thank God for His unspeakable gift. 2 Corinthians 9:15.


Verta Giddings

Chapter 18:23-28, & Chapter 19
Third Missionary Journey

When Paul left Antioch of Syria (Starting place – Acts 13:1), for his third missionary journey, he went back through some of the places where he had before ministered. He wanted to help them in their Christian walk. He would go back to Ephesus, for he had promised the Jews he would return if God willed it so. Before Paul even arrived in Ephesus, Priscilla and Aquila had been working with a Jew named Apollos. He didn’t know the whole gospel message about Jesus. He knew only about the baptism of John the Baptist. He did speak in the synagogue what he knew. This couple, Aquila and Priscilla, taught him what they knew – that Jesus was the Christ – the Jewish Messiah. He was greatly used of the Lord to tell other Jews who their Messiah was. He went on to other places ministering about Jesus.

Paul came to Ephesus – Acts Chapter 19.
Vs. 1-7 – When he arrived in Ephesus, he found certain ones, like Apollos, who knew only about the work of John the Baptist. He right away asked them if they had received the Holy Ghost since they believed. They didn’t know about that. They didn’t know, either, that they needed to believe on Christ Jesus, Whom John the Baptist had preached. Paul was able to give them this message. They believed. They were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus (in water like the Ethiopian was). Then Paul laid his hands on them and the Holy Ghost came on them. All 12 of these men spoke with tongues and prophesied. This, then, was really the beginning of the church in Ephesus.

Vs. 8-10 – Paul’s ministry in Ephesus. First, as was his custom, he went into the Jewish synagogue and preached Christ to them. The gospel was given to the Jew first – Rom. 1:16. He preached there for three months before he left them. Since they didn’t really want to hear, he went into the school of Tyrannus. He was able to do this for two years. The Word of God went out from there all over Asia (Asia Minor).

Vs. 11-22 – Miracles and results. V. 11 speaks of “special miracles.” From things which Paul had touched, the healing power went out to the sick and demon possessed. They were healed and delivered. The devil tried to get into the act. Some exorcists, ones who claimed they could get rid of evil spirits, thought that all they had to do to get the same results which Paul did, was to just say, “We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.” This didn’t work at all, for it isn’t just saying the name of Jesus which brings results, it is knowing Jesus like Paul did and having faith in Jesus’ name, which will do the work. Anyway those evil spirits had power, for the man in whom those spirits lived, leaped on these seven men and hurt them badly. This word soon got out to Jews and Greeks alike who lived at Ephesus. They became afraid. The name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. Many believed. They showed that they truly believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and not any more in those magic books, for they brought all kinds of books and things about magic arts and burned them openly. It was and still is, a good idea to get rid of things about magic, the occult, demons, witchcraft, and anything to do with the devil. We don’t even want those things in our homes. They are dangerous. After this, Paul felt he should go on through Macedonia and Achaia, then to Jerusalem, and on to Rome. But he waited there a bit, after sending Timothy and Erastus into Macedonia.

The Uproar of the Silversmiths at Ephesus.
When Christians didn’t use magic anymore, they quit buying the images which the silversmiths made. Demetrius led the riot against Paul and his followers. They figured that if this preaching continued, it would put them out of business. You see, the people in Ephesus were pagans. They believed in what they called a goddess, Diana. They claimed that an image had fallen from heaven. They supposed it was an image of this so-called goddess. They had it enshrined in the temple of Diana. The “worship” of this Diana did not change their lives. They did even worse things than ever.

This big city of Ephesus was rich, was a trade center, but the people there lived very had lives. They gathered people together in a great open-air theater where public meetings were held. The reports from excavators of the ruins say it seated 25,000 people. Lots of the people didn’t even know why they were there, but they started shouting. “Great is Diana of the Ephesians.” They kept it up until the whole city was confused. The evil ones dragged two of Paul’s helpers into the theater. Paul tried to go in, but his followers advised against it. Some of his friends, chief ones of Asia, told him not to go in. He listened to them. It was not safe for him, as they would have torn him apart. At last the townclerk arrived and made the people listen to him. He told them that if Demetrius and those who did that crafting work wanted to go to the law about it, they could. The townclerk said Paul and his followers weren’t hurting anyone,. He said they were in danger to be called in question for causing that uproar. So that was the end of that.

What next? Acts 20:1-6 – After that Paul called the disciples, told them “Good-bye,” and went back over some of the old territory. He spent time with the believers, encouraging and exhorting them. Even then his life was in danger. He made plans to return to Jerusalem.

Results of Paul’s preaching and teaching were evident wherever he went. Many hard things took place, but through it all, Jesus was preached, people believed and were saved. We never know how the Lord wants to use us, but just stand for Jesus every day. Don’t back down when the evil powers give you a hard time. Keep living for Jesus and walking with Him. Paul did. And it paid. It will pay you, also.

Continued in the next issue


Gary Giddings, Sand Lake, MI

I would like to encourage you to read your Bible on a regular basis if you aren’t doing so already. It is vitally important that we take in a portion of God’s Word every day so that we can grow and mature in the Lord. It isn’t just head knowledge because the Living Word of God feeds the New Creation Life within us.

The prayer, “Give us our daily bread” can apply to BOTH our natural AND spiritual food. God provides and so our part is to partake of the provision that He gives to us. Not only is God’s Word “good for you” but it is also sweet and invigorating. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). If we went a week without natural food, we would lose weight, energy and focus. So to go a whole week without the Word of God would make us spiritually weak and out of focus.

Proverbs 24:13-14 13 My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste: 14 So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.

First of all, what is so special about honey? It is the sweetest natural food and it is the only food in nature that doesn’t spoil. God’s Word is the sweetest because it tells us the GOOD NEWS of God’s love to us. God’s Word is relevant and is never out of date. “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times” (Psalm 12:6). Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matt. 24:35).

God made nature to reflect spiritual things, so it is no surprise then that honey is a symbol of God’s Word to us: honey is GOOD and the honeycomb is SWEET. The Honeycomb is more than just the wax structure; according to the Strong’s Concordance, the honeycomb is “a dripping, i.e., of honey (from the comb).” The Gesenius’ Lexicon: “honey dripping from the combs.”

Why is honey sweet to our taste? We have taste buds on our tongue that tells our brain that something is sweet. If you want to taste something, it has to stay in your mouth long enough for your taste buds to process it.

Growing up in America, we may not remember the first time that we had something sweet because we were so young. But we know sweet when we taste it! But there are many people that don’t know the sweetness of God’s Word because they haven’t had a good “taste” of it when they were young. What others say about the Word of God can keep them from tasting the sweetness of the Word. So when people make up their mind about something they’ve never tasted or tested, they will not know or understand the sweetness of God’s Word.

Think of this: the Word of God CAN BE offensive to the sinner at first because the Word tells the truth of our fallen, sinful condition without God. The Word brings conviction! But with a FULL TASTE of God’s Word, sinners can realize the GOOD NEWS, the SWEET NEWS that Jesus paid the price for their sins. How wonderful it is to learn that our sins are forgiven and the oppressive power of sin is broken!

The Bible is a treasure of God’s WISDOM that is GOOD and SWEET to our soul. There is also a promise of reward. Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” That there is a reward means that there is something worth doing. Reading and studying the Word of God is worth doing and is NEVER a waste of time! It is when we open our heart and our mind to the Lord that He ministers to us.

God gives us a HOPE that will come to pass. JESUS is the Word of God and He is “the joy of man’s desire.” God is not tantalizing us with something that we can never have, but He is drawing us to Him with His love and kindness. One day we will be in His immediate presence to know the ultimate “fullness of joy” and “pleasures forevermore.”

We are learning to appreciate the Word of God and so we develop a taste for what is good and right. The prophet Jeremiah said, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts” (Jer. 15:16). How sweet it is to know and experience God’s love. There is nothing in this world that can measure up to it.

Psalm 19:7-11 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

God’s Word is more valuable than gold and is sweeter than any natural sweetness. When we receive God’s Word with an open heart, it goes down into the very depths of our being and meets our every need. Do you need guidance, comfort and encouragement? God’s Word is alive and powerful (Heb. 4:12) for these things. God also warns us through His Word. We have good examples and bad examples in the Bible and we read how God dealt with them. We may think that we are the exception to the rule but the Bible tells us that we will ALL answer to God.

When we have tasted the best, why do we want anything else? Yet our flesh is still drawn to the things of the world. That is why we need to be PROACTIVE and feed the New Creation as early and as often as we can.

Psalm 119:103-104 103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

Because we love the SWEETNESS of God’s Word and the understanding that He gives us, we hate that which is false. When we know how misleading and dangerous false ways are, we should HATE it as much as any stinky, putrid, rotten thing. Not all ways lead to heaven, despite what the religious world has to say about this. We don’t hate people but we hate deceptive customs and traditions that lead people astray.

Proverbs 16:20-24 20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he. 21 The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning. 22 Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly. 23 The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips. 24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

Happiness is elusive to those who pursue it at any cost. But for those who put their trust in God DO find happiness. This “sweetness of the lips” is God’s Word that gives us true learning. God’s words are the most “pleasant words” that are sweet to the soul.

Proverbs 16:25 “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” How can we turn away from the bitter and poisonous things of the world? We need God’s Word to direct our steps in the right way. We have to be careful and guard ourselves against that which would entice us to do wrong. There is a spiritual battle going on for the hearts and souls of men, women and children everywhere. We can’t expect to live in freedom if we are not guarding ourselves against self-tyranny.

Proverbs 5:1-5 1 My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: 2 That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge. 3 For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: 4 But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.

SWEET is a subjective word, just as the word BEAUTIFUL is. It is said that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” but wrongdoing is proved to be UGLY by the fruit that it yields. There is a fascination with evil that troubles human existence. We can read books about it, watch movies about it and even call it “entertainment.” We don’t want it to happen to us or our loved ones, but evil can be very subtle and lead us astray. It is a curious thing that evil can be so seductive, but that is why it is so evil: not showing itself for what it really is, it has to mask itself in order to draw people away from God.

Acts 20:32 “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”

How SWEET it is that we have God’s Word available to us. Let us take advantage of this wonderful treasure: DIG IN and learn more about our Creator who loves us and wants us to be with Him. It is His Word that builds us up and gives us an inheritance.

I encourage you to develop a regular reading of the Bible so that you can FEED your soul with SWEET and GOOD things. Don’t let your feelings or a busy schedule get in the way. God’s Word is too important to leave out of our daily life!

Protraits of Christ

Pastor Earlene Davis - Wichita, KS

A description Apostle Paul gives of Christ in Hebrews 4:14 is Christ, our “Great High Priest.”  “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.” For all our blessings and victories are dependent upon Him.

He is “The Word,” of which the printed page is simply the channel of operation. Verses 12 & 13 states the power of the word of God and that it searches men’s hearts, for it is living and active. Every creature, and all things are opened unto His eyes. He is Omniscient, knowing all things. He has passed into the heavens, in spite of fierce opposition from Satan. The working of God’s might power, raised Christ from the dead, and sat Him at His own right hand, Eph. 1:19-20. He is there in the presence of God in our behalf, our Great High Priest – Heb. 7:25; 8:1.

“Let us hold fast our profession. 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” Vs. 14–15 of Hebrews 4. “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” - Heb  2:18. Succour means He is able to help, aid, relieve or grant protection.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” – Heb. 4:16 – When the fiery law was given to Moses, sinful man could not approach the throne of God. But God’s Son, as High Priest offered Himself, as the sacrifice for mankind, and ascended to heaven with atoning wounds. Now, the throne of law has become the throne of grace. Precious! Precious!

Hebrews 10:21-23 - “And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised).” For we have a Representative in heaven, a Mediator, a Go-between, our Elder Brother, our Lord and Savior. This is how the God of Justice see us, through the wounds of His Son. He died for you, He died for me.

The throne of grace challenges our faith, for the hand of God’s mercy is stretched out to every needy one. We experience unnecessary pain of heart and body when we do not accept the challenge. May we always remember, the power that raised Jesus from the dead is to usward who believe. May we not let Satan hold us down, nor let the flesh rob us of our rights in Christ. Our High Priest waits to serve us. The greatest sin among believers is unbelief, the sin of unbelief.

Jesus said to the father of the demoniac son, “If thou can believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” Immediately the father cried out with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. And Jesus cast out the dumb and deaf spirit. In Matthew 17, the disciples asked Jesus why they were unable to cast out the evil spirit. Jesus answered them, “because of your unbelief.” We are admonished in Hebrews 12:1 to “lay aside every weight, and the sin (of unbelief) which so easily besets us, and run with patience the race set before us.”

I John 2:1, “We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.” I Peter 5:7, “Cast all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” We either believe this or not. Hebrews 11:6 - “Without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”