Wednesday, December 2, 2020

 Joy of Jesus

Jack Davis

“…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” Heb. 12:1-4

No one else in the universe has left such height and wealth of glory, and come to such depth of poverty and  humility as has Jesus Christ, God’s beloved Son. He is the one, the only one, Psa. 19:1-6. He being supernaturally enabled finished His course with Joy. With our focus on Him we draw that which is needed for our race. “Joy to the world:” His birth was announced as “good tidings of great joy,” Lk. 2:10-14. Jesus was to be the cause of occasion of joy on earth, and rejoicing in highest heaven. His obedient life was a great joy to the Father. He greatly enjoyed doing the Father’s will. The word “joy” from the Greek expresses great gladness, delight, cheerfulness, calm delight. Our rejoicing is generally expressing the delight, gladness that is ours because of totally trusting Him - I Pet. 1:8.

HIS JOY IN ANTICIPATION: “The joy set before Him.” In Proverbs eight we read about Jesus as wisdom personified. “Doth not wisdom cry?…I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures – Vs. 1,20-21. As we read of our Lord before and during creation in verses 22-31, the expression of the time element are interesting and worthy of notice. Especially notice, “I was there” verses 27 and 31, “my delights were with the sons of men.”

JOY IN REDEMPTION: In the New Testament we read that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid in Him, Col. 2:3. In Jesus Christ, God hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence according to the riches of his grace (through redemption), Eph. 1:6-8. God has made Jesus Christ unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, I Cor. 1:30. Therefore we may understand that before the first creation Jesus could delight in foreseeing a New Creation. He found enjoyment, and took delight in the fact that one day He would have with Him the ultimate outcome of redemption. Hallelujah! His redeemed would be the amazing, astounding result of grace abounding.

HE ENDURED THE CROSS: As Jesus was coming to the end of His earthly course he experienced deep almost overwhelming sorrow in the garden. This man of sorrows, acquainted with grief deserves the highest and greatest joy. It was said of Him, “Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows,” Psa. 45:7. No one has gone farther in love of righteousness, or hatred of wickedness than our beloved Lord. No one else could be so extended or expended in the measure of our Lord. The full overcomers gladly gives Him all the joy possible from their life, and will always go on their face before Him.

JOY OVER SINNER’S REPENTANCE: There is joy in heaven, in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents, Lk. 15:7,10. Yet, it is only because of redemption that such is possible. All turning to God would be wasted effort if deliverance from the penalty, power and presence of sin had not been paid for. 

JOY IN RESURRECTION: It is prophetically expressed in Psalm 16:9-11. “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh shall also rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see Corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

JOY IN REVELATION: “The seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. Jesus answered, “In this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because you names are written in heaven. In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father; Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him” - Lk. 10:17-22. I especially enjoy considering the things that gave Jesus joy while He walked here, and since that time, and on into the future. The same things should delight our hearts also. As we are receptive to the Holy Spirit, our dear Lord takes great delight in revealing the Father to those that are simple enough to believe His Word. We also enjoy others coming into deeper revelations in Christ Jesus.

JOY IN SPIRITUAL REPRODUCTION: “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” John 15:11. Jesus teaches in this chapter about abiding in Him, obedience, and fruit bearing. He speaks of fruit, more fruit, and much fruit which glorifies the Father. We find there is always room for increase as we abide in the realm of fruitfulness, dependant completely upon Him. His joy becomes our joy as the product of the new creation life. It is only as we abide in Him that He increases our capacity for the fullness of His joy.

JOY AT HIS RETURN: “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” – Jude 24-25. Paul spoke of the saints at Philippi as his joy and crown, Phil. 4:1, and the saints at Thessalonica as his hope, joy, and crown of rejoicing in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming – I Thess. 2:19-20. Shall not our dear Lord have exceeding joy at His glorious appearing in presenting by the side of Himself a glorious church without spot and wrinkle – Eph. 5:27? O, the “exceeding joy in the presence of His glory!!!”


“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew 1:23

As we come to the end of the year, we are coming to the time that we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. While some may argue about the date or timing, what really matters is for us to take time to consider the importance of the birth of Jesus. While every birth is a marvelous gift, the birth of Jesus is more than that.

There is nothing more amazing than to consider that God chose to come and dwell amongst us. Unless, of course, you consider that He did so in order to die for us. It clearly makes no sense to the human thinking. Why would God do that? There is only one reason: so that we can be with Him. John 14:3.

It all started at the beginning of time shortly after God created man. Eve was tempted by Satan and disobeyed God, which created a great separation between God and man. Prior to that, God walked with Adam in the garden and had fellowship there. After Adam and Eve sinned, they were evicted from the garden, and no longer had access to God’s presence. Everyone born after that was also under the same separation because of sin. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23.

Immediately after Adam and Eve sinned by their disobedience, God promised a Savior. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15. And, throughout the Old Testament, God continued to paint pictures of that Savior, and make the promise even more clear.

I encourage you to, not only read these verses, but read the passages around them for more context. These are just a few verses from the Old Testament.

“And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.” Genesis 22:8

“And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.” Exodus 12:13

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

Isaiah 53 – The entire chapter.

God promised that He would come to walk among us, and Jesus is the answer to that promise. That is why His name is called Emmanuel, among other names, since only one name cannot adequately capture who He is.

Jesus was born of the virgin as is clearly laid out in the Gospels. He was fully man, and fully God, something that no one else could be. If you hear a preacher claim that we are all little gods, please run away from that as fast as you can. Only Jesus was man and God. This was necessary for the promise to be fulfilled. God with us.

Jesus didn’t just come to be “with us” for a while and then leave, He came to save us; to set us free from our sin. He came to give us life eternal. “The thief cometh  not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10. He came to make it possible for us to have access to God’s presence. Hebrews 10:19-20. 

Jesus’ life here was important because it let’s us know that He lived the life of a man in the same circumstances and suffered things common to all of us. He was poor, tired, hungry, thirsty. He suffered the most horrible death. This makes Him uniquely qualified to be our High Priest. “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;” Hebrews 7:26.

“Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.” Hebrews 2:17-18

Everything revolves around this idea. God with us. Without Him we are lost and unable to restore ourselves to fellowship with God. Without Him we have no hope for the future or even the present. Without Him we would be stuck wallowing in our sin. He brings salvation and blessing and value to our lives. 

God with us is not just a thought or an idea. It is not just a religious notion that man made up. He really came to be with us, and because of that, today we can have Him with us continually as He comes to abide in our hearts when we trust in Him. “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is  Christ in you, the hope of glory:” Colossians 1:27. “I am crucified  with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth  in me: and the life which I now live  in the flesh I live  by the faith of the Son of God, who loved  me, and gave  himself for me.” Galatians 2:20. “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted  and grounded  in love,” Ephesians 3:17.

Gordon Crook


Anita Clark – Pastor, Carbondale, Kansas

We just had an election for the presidency of the United States. Many are very upset at the outcome. We need to realize that God is in control in this world. In the book of Daniel, it is recorded that many people of Israel were taken into captivity by the kingdom of Babylon. In chapter 2 King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream, He could not find any of his wise men that could interpret the dream. He was about to put all of them to death, which would have included Daniel and his three Hebrew friends. He bravely spoke to the King and got him to give him some time to seek God and find out the meaning of the dream. God enabled Daniel to interpret the dream.

The verses we want to consider is in chapter 2:19-22, which is part of the interpretation Daniel gave. It says, “Then was the secret revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven, Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God forever and ever for wisdom and might are His. And He changeth the times and the seasons, He removeth kings and setteth up kings; he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding..” In the book of Daniel alone there are several times where this is mentioned about the sovereignty of God in putting up and taking down leaders. Our God is in control.

Reading in chapter 4, we see the account of Nebuchadnezzar going insane, and becoming like a wild animal. God caused this to continue for seven years. He had a “beast’s heart given to him.” In verse 17 it says, “This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones to the intent that the living shall know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men and giveth it to whomsoever He will, and setteth up over it the baseth of men.”

The “watchers” are the angels which behold the work of our God. The “Holy Ones” refers to the triune God, who ordains everything that is done and brings it all to pass in His timing and divine will. Verse 32 tells us that Nebuchadnezzar would dwell in the fields eating grass like a wild beast until seven years would pass, until he would come to know, “...that the most High ruleth in the hearts of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will.” In chapter 5:21, again Daniel repeats the story of what happened to this king, “... the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and that He appointeth over it whomsoever He will.” Can you believe the Word of God? He is the Sovereign! 

This is man’s day. Very soon it will be Christ Jesus’ Day! In Acts 1:7, where Jesus was speaking His last words to the disciples, “He said unto them, It is not for you to know the times and seasons which the Father hath put in His own hands.” The word “seasons” means in the Greek, “a space of time, a fixed or special occasion.” 

Apostle Paul said in I Thessalonians 5:1, “...the times and seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you,” God has a great and divine plan, and everything that is happening in flowing out of that with everything according to His will. His plan is absolutely perfect. Jesus said in the pattern prayer He taught the disciples, “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” The will of God is being worked out in this earth right now.

In Psalms 75:5- 6, “ Lift not up your horn on high; speak not with a stiff neck. For promotion cometh neither from the east nor from the west, not from the south. But God is the judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another.” Our Sovereign God is in control! Hear the word of the Lord. Vs. 8 says, “For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and He poureth out of the same; but the dregs thereof all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.” 

God is working His divine plan, We are living in the last days of this age. His sovereign will is being brought forth. We must trust Him. He will bring about everything to promote His perfect plan “after the counsel of His own will.” In Psalms 60:3 it says, “Thou hast showed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment.” If you feel astonished, trust in God. He is in control.


Romans 13:1-7 Apostle Paul says “Let every soul be subject (obey, or yield) unto the higher powers (magistrates). For there is no power but of God, the powers that be are ordained of God.” While Titus 3:1-2 states, “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work. To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men.”

OUR DIVINE RULER IS COMING! II Timothy 3 tells us, “Perilous times shall come.” We see our nation full of sinfulness. We see our nation not only plagued by the Covid virus, but much evil and rioting going on. In I Thessalonians 5:1-9 Paul says, “But of the times and seasons brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them as a woman with child and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren are not in the darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Therefore let us not sleep as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”

One day God’s perfect plan will come to pass. In closing let us look at I Timothy 6:14 speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ Who will reign in God’s perfect will and timing. “That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ; which in His times He shall shew Who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords; Whom be honour and power everlasting.” Walk on, child of God! Be ready for the Lord to appear at any time!


Earlene Davis

Matthew 25


Mt. 25:31-33, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.” The time is set when this shall come to pass, when Jesus comes in His glory, when He reveals Himself to the world ending the tribulation period. Read Rev. 19:11-21 describing that time. Then the living Gentile nations will be judged, It is not at His coming for the church or any portion of it.

“All the holy angels with him” in the original Greek is “messengers.” They are the saints, “the armies of heaven…clothed in fine linen, white and clean – Rev. 19:14. He begins to set up His kingdom on the earth as well as it is in heaven. The word “glory” means the estimated value of something. It cannot be expressed, it is the throne of His glory.

He is seen separating nation from nation. Because God hates a mixture, He always has. He will cast out of His kingdom all things that offend and they that work iniquity. This is not the Great White throne judgment, for that judgment of the wicked dead will come after the reign of Christ (Rev. 20:11-15). These are the Gentile nations that are left after the great conflict, Armageddon. The righteous nations will be separated from the wicked nations. Like a shepherd dividing his sheep from the goats. What determines if they are sheep nations?

Vs. 34-40, “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, yet blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” 

Notice, King is with a capital K. The King of kings and Lord of lords is reigning. He must put down at the outset all rule and authority and power and set in order, placing all other kingdoms as subordinate to His throne (Isa. 24:21). Then it will be manifested that the heavens do rule. Are they for Christ or against Him? Their conduct toward His brethren the Jews in their dark hour of God’s chastening of them will determine their destiny. The righteous will have fed, clothed and harbored His suffering people. There is mercy for them, because they showed mercy. They shall enter into that glad Millennial day, into a state of security and bliss, yet not having their glorified bodies. That will come later at the last trump when all the New creation will be changed. Those righteous nations will be preserved in the world.

V. 41 - “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, yet cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” This is the worst judgment, to be separated from God. Also in everlasting fire, which God prepared for the devil and his angels. God did not prepare everlasting fire for mankind, He gave His Son for all men to be saved. Because they reject God’s Son they will experience this judgment, they identified themselves with the devil and took a stand against Israel.

Vs. 42-46. “For I was an hundred, and yet gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and yet gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and yet took me not in: naked, and yet clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and yet visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hundred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as yet did it not to one of the least of these, yet did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” 

It is a dangerous thing to persecute the people of the Lord, for He counts it as rejection of HIM. The wicked nations on the left hand that did not help the Lord’s brethren the Jews, will be no more, a nation no more. Not the people, but they will no more be a nation. We have seen boundaries moved and nations set up and nations torn down, so will it be at that time. There will be less nations, of course there will also be less people because many will die during tribulation. 

In Revelation 14:6-7, we read that to every nation the preaching of the everlasting Gospel will be sent out before this time, urging everyone to fear God and give glory to Him for the hour of His judgment is come. That is the grace of God, giving them time to repent and accept God’s salvation, warning men to flee the wrath to come.


Debra Isenbletter, Pastor
Springfield, Missouri

Ch. 1:13: “Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to bring it to land; but they could not: for the sea wrought and was tempestuous against them.”

In this verse I can see their Struggle.  They were told by Jonah what to do and they really did not want to do it and did not understand why they should.  It was both an inward and an outward struggle.  In a way they picture all who have God’s Will revealed to them and who struggle against that revealed Will because they do not understand and for whatever other reasons resist, whether it is His will concerning salvation or sanctification.  I think of all the people who look at the crucifixion of Christ on the Cross and struggle with why God would do that, of how God would allow that; of why God would ask that of Jesus, and why Jesus would do what God asked.

“Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to bring it to the land.”  In their Struggle we see their Determination: “Nevertheless, the men rowed hard” and their Desire: “to bring it to land.”  The word “Nevertheless” means “instead of, in spite of or regardless of.” That word should never be a part of our vocabulary or our testimony when the Will of God is revealed by the Word of God.  When Jonah told them what to do: “cast me forth into the sea” they thought they had a choice but they did not because it was a command.  They needed to learn that God had taken the choice away from them and the only way they could realize it was through their struggle. When “the men rowed hard” it means they tried “to force a passage with their oars.” 

The word “to row” means literally “to dig (with oars).” That shows the strength of their effort behind their determination but “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord.” (Prov. 21:30). They were men of conscience but not men of conviction.  I can see that in their effort they thought they had strength in themselves to do this but they needed to learn that they had no strength before God.  That is a hard lesson to learn. They had a desire “to bring it to land.” They knew what they wanted to do, they had a purpose and a goal and yet they learned that that was not enough. They wanted to save the ship and save themselves but they wanted to do it on their terms, not God’s terms. God will strip away from them every hope in themselves.

“but they could not”—This shows they had no strength despite all their effort and they were forced to realize it.  They needed to see God’s strength and the only way they did was to see that had none. In one way they had seen God’s strength in the storm and their helplessness and turned to Jonah. But in another way, they still did not understand how weak they were and God was going to teach them that lesson on another level. We can trust the Lord in some areas of our lives and yet when it comes to other areas we are not willing to utterly surrender and we have to learn the lesson the hard way by seeing how weak we are.

“for the sea wrought and was tempestuous against them.”  The sea is the stumbling-block that stood against their strength, it was the mighty storm that God had raised. They were struggling against “the God of heaven that made the sea.”  We see the intensity of the storm.  The growth of the intensity: “the sea wrought.” The result of the intensity: “was tempestuous.” The direction of the intensity: “against them.” The harder they struggled, the more violent the storm became. The degree of the storm’s intensity matched and exceeded the degree of the effort they were exerting. 

God used the sea and the storm to prove that Jonah’s words were true.  He was proving Himself to them and proving Jonah to them. Jonah had declared God’s power, now they must acknowledge God’s power. It is interesting that God used Jonah, despite himself, to reveal Himself to these men. It does not say that Jonah prayed to his God but Jonah does ask them to believe on his God. God in turn, uses the storm to show His power and His prophet. 

To be continued


A Pattern Prayer
By Dr. Vicky Moots
(Part 4)

“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen” Matt. 6:9-13.

V. 13a: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” This is a “3-D” request when we pray this: We are praying for Direction, Discipline and Deliverance. We can trust God to direct us, to lead us in the right path, but we must be willing to follow. We are instructed in Proverbs 3:5-6 to “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

 His Word is our road map so we understand why or where He is leading us – just trust that He knows what is best for us as our Heavenly Father. When we acknowledge that and are willing to follow then He can direct and lead us. He will not and cannot lead us into temptation. James 1:13,14 declares, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” 

Even though we become a new creation in Christ when we are born again, we still live in this old creation body with its fleshly desires. When we lean to our own understanding and desires, then we can be led astray. If we keep our eyes on the Lord, He will lead us in the right path. When we go down the wrong path by following our own desires, then our Father has to discipline us to deliver us from evil. He does this through circumstances, through His Word (our daily spiritual bread), or through other people. 

Because He loves us, He will chasten us. It is His responsibility as our Father. We are advised of this in Heb. 12:5-6: “My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.” Does He love you? Do you love Him? Then He will chasten you. When we pray, “Deliver us from evil,” we are asking our Father to discipline us when we need it and are willing to submit to His chastening, because we love and trust Him. We find out by experience that Heb. 12:11 is true: “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” 

Sometimes He must allow us to have our own way in order to learn our lesson because we don’t take His word for it, like a child who finally has to touch something hot to find out for himself. Sometimes God gives us the thing that we keep begging for even though He knows it may harm us. He allows us to suffer the consequences of our wrong choices, but that does not mean He doesn’t love us. It means He does love us and He is disciplining us through those circumstances. 

When we come to the end of our own resources, just like the prodigal son, then we will call upon Him again. The prodigal son in Luke 15 finally “came to himself” when he was dirty and hungry in the pig pen and decided to return to the father. I’m sure he remembered the words that his father had spoken to him before he left home. He returned to his father with an attitude of repentance, feeling unworthy to even be called a son. But his father was watching for him and ran to him and hugged him and kissed him, dirt and all.

 The father loved him enough to accept him just as he was, but he loved him too much to leave him that way. He cleaned him up, gave him a clean robe and killed the fatted calf. All this represents the sacrifice of Christ which cleanses us from unrighteousness and then clothes us with His righteousness. He had already been chastened through his experience and had repented and was restored to fellowship with the father who placed him as a son and not a servant. 

Psalm 94:12 says, “Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and him out of thy law [the Word of God].” We are blessed as a result of being chastened. This is how He delivers us when we stray. But how much better it would be if we would just heed His Word in the first place and be able to avoid the chastening! If we stay by His side, He will protect us and guide us on our path through life.

Part 5 next issue

 Signs of Things to Come

A New Danish Bible

The new Bible translation from the Danish Bible Society exposes the latest front in the war against Scripture; by almost completely removing the term ISRAEL from the New Testament and from several passages in the Old Testament. Also the end time book of Joel, The Day of the Lord. But God has not forgotten His ancient people and they have a glorious future which was promised to them.

Ezek. 36:8-11, “But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come.  For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you…, I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.”  

Zech. 10:6, “And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the LORD their God, and will hear them.” 

Rom. 11:2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel…But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men…Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

Microchipping People

Thousands of people in Sweden are inserting tiny microchips under their skin. It is supposed to make daily life convenient. It replaces credit cards and cash, like glorified smartwatches. They can monitor their health and even replace keycards to allow them to enter offices and building. Sweden sees a microchip revolution – ID, wallet, keys as a move into the future. Will it be the next big thing in Europe? It looks like another step toward the people taking the mark of the beast, the coming Antichrist.

Rev. 13:16-18, “…he (the false prophet) causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom… it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”

Rev. 14:9-11, “… If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture…he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night…”.

Rev. 20:6, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

 A condensed e-mail from Uppahar, India

Greetings to you all in the most precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let our hearts swell up with praises to our Lord who has brought us thus far this year, providing all our needs and sustaining us every single moment by His grace.

I Thess. 5:18: “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” We may not feel like giving thanks to the Lord when we are upset over certain problems. But we can certainly be thankful that there is a loving God in heaven who never will let us down. He has done so much for us. The least we can do is to bow our heads before Him and be thankful for His gracious gifts. Thankfulness is the opposite of complaining. Instead of complaining about what we do not have, let’s be thankful for what God has given us graciously. First, He has given us life and breath. Second, He has saved us, who were once dead in transgressions, by His grace we have been saved (Eph. 2:5). Third, He has chosen us, before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight (Eph. 1:4). Fourth, He has made us His children, (Rom. 8:15). Fifth, He has written our names in the Book of life. Sixth, He is coming for us, to be with Him forever (I Thess. 4:16-18). Let us remember that praising God is a previlage. To fail in this is to withhold God’s glory that belongs to Him. He who sacrifices thank offerings honors God. (Psalm 50:23). So, in every situation, before, in and after trials, let us give thanks to the Lord. An attitude of gratitude is a wonderful weapon against unbelief, disobedience, a hard heart and a bitter spirit. May the Lord strengthen and help us to live a holy and blameless life and prepare us to meet Him when He comes again.

Yours in Christ, 

Warm Regards Dr. Rajat Kumar Pani, PhD

Tuesday, November 10, 2020


Jack Davis

“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

I John 4:19, “We love him, because he first loved us.”

I John 4:8-11, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 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. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” 

I John 4:16, “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” 

Perception – “God is love.” How is it possible for us to grasp this marvelous fact? Divine love speaks of far more then the quality that God possesses. Love is what God is in His very nature. The love that he always shows in manifesting Himself, and not that which is occasioned by an outside cause. Thank God for the way He has provided for our perception. We generally think of love as being known by the action it prompts. Yet, we must realize that this does not originate with anything that humanity could produce, but is abundantly expressed in the gift of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God so loved that He gave. Jesus loved me and gave Himself for me. The Holy Spirit sheds abroad that love in our hearts. He delights to saturate our innermost being in the measure that we will allow or submit unto Him. 

Our apostle Paul was inspired to pray that we come to know the full measure of the love of Christ, that we might be filled with all the fulness of God, Eph. 3:19.

Hereby Perceive We: God has provided for our perception in this. Jesus “laid down” His life for us. What wonderful condescension, true humility, in such laying down. Shall we not see the opposite of Satan who tried to lift himself up. This wonderfully expresses a letting go, releasing, turning loose to send forth from the place of abode (His God-given body). Because of His great love for us, Jesus presented His body for the beating, bruising, breaking, bleeding, while bearing our sin on the tree.

“His life” – a possession, His own. That with which He could do as He pleased. He gave it up, or dismissed it. Jesus said, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.” John 10:18, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down His life for His friends,” John 15:13.

Romans 5:6-10, tell us the kind of people we were when Jesus laid down His life. We were: without strength, powerless, helpless, without moral fiber, Godless, unrighteous and unable to get right. We in fact were no good, neither noble, nor lovable, nor beneficial. We as sinners had missed the mark, gone out of the way, and couldn’t find a way home to God. Yet, above all, or below all, we were by unprovoked choice “enemies,” hateful, hostel toward our benefactor.

“For Us:” May we ever thank HIM for dying in our place, on our behalf, and for our benefit. Oh yes, His life was surrendered to the service of God and Father. He could certainly say, “My times are in thine hand.” Yet, He also gave His life for us, so that He could give it to us, and hence live in us, that we might also live in Him, and with Him forever. We are saved by His life, that we may enjoy the consummation of life, being saved unto the uttermost.

Product: We ought (are indebted, obligated) to lay down our lives for the brethren. What a great privilege to have evidenced indeed that we are partakers of the very nature of our father, God is love. Living for self-satisfaction is the opponent of sacrificial living (II Cor. 5:15). We are not knowing nor making known the Love of God when we try to conduct our lives selfishly, greedily, thus consume our life-span on our own desires or interest.

So here we are, knowing that Love begets love, yet we find ourselves in a great and terrible quandary if He that provides the perception doesn’t also product the product. It is clear to receptive hearts that the only means or resource at our disposal to repay our great debt of love to our Father and Lord is to let Him do the living first in us, then out to others. Shall we consider one another to provoke unto love and good works? Is this, or shall this be the path for our feet in the year, months, weeks, days, or moments ahead? AMEN, HALLELUIAH, EVEN SO, COME QUICKLY LORD JESUS!!


“Enter  into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful  unto him, and bless  his name.” Psalms 100:4

We are coming to a time of year where we set apart a day to be thankful. This is a good thing, but if there is only one day of the year that we are thankful, that is not a good thing. We should be thankful every single day.

Romans 1:21 tells us that man is inherently unthankful. It is not in our nature to be thankful. This is easily noticed by paying attention to the way people behave every day. There is a general attitude of being deserving of something or being “owed” something. That is the opposite of gratitude.

For many of us, we may have been taught to say “please” and “thank you,” and maybe we have followed that just because we know it is polite. However, is it true gratitude or are we just saying the words.

True gratitude comes from a true understanding of who God is and who we are, and recognizing that we do not deserve any of what we have received from God. This attitude will permeate our entire life and real gratitude will then be expressed at every situation.

Thankfulness, then, will need to start with our attitude toward God. If we do not have an understanding of how thankful we should be to God, we will never be able to truly be thankful to other people.

“A Psalm or Song for the sabbath day. It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:” Psalms 92:1.

We learn that giving thanks to God is a good thing. Some might ask, “Why does God need our thanksgiving if He is eternal and transcendent?” It is not that God “needs” our gratitude, but that giving thanks to God is actually good for us. Everything that God desires from us is actually for our own good.

Another thing that we learn from Scripture is that giving thanks might not always be easy. Consider Daniel 6:10 where Daniel prayed and gave thanks as usual even thought it might cost him his life. What did he even have to be thankful for? He was a captive in a foreign land. And yet, we see him giving thanks every single day.  

It might not always appear that we have something to be thankful for, but that did not stop Daniel, and it should not stop us. God is good all the time. I saw a sign that said, “God has never stopped being good, we just stopped being grateful.” Something to consider.

My pastor, Jack Davis, always would speak about an “attitude of gratitude,” and that always reminds me that gratitude is an attitude. Attitude results from what is in the heart. What is in our heart depends on what we have allowed the Holy Spirit to do. If we feed off of the world, we will have the same attitudes of the world. However, if we feed on God’s Word, the Holy Spirit will work godly attitudes in our hearts.

In the gospels, we find Jesus giving thanks. In Matthew 15:36, He gives thanks before feeding the multitude. Thankful for a few loaves and fishes. Jesus, the Creator of all things gives us an example of gratitude. He didn’t need to give thanks, He was about to feed a multitude with a miracle. 

In Matthew 26:27, we find Jesus giving thanks for the cup that would represent His blood shed on the cross. I often think about how Jesus did things that might not make sense for the Son of God, the Creator, to do, and yet they are there for our instruction. 

Paul reminds us, in Philippians 2:5-8, to let the same mind be in us that was in Christ Jesus, who humbled Himself unto the death of the cross. This also applies as it concerns Jesus example of gratitude.

Another thing that we find concerning gratitude in Scripture is the importance of showing our gratitude and expressing it to others. Both our gratitude towards God, and our gratitude to others.

“Therefore will I give thanks  unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises  unto thy name.” Psalms 18:49 “I will give thee thanks  in the great congregation: I will praise  thee among much people.” Psalms 35:18. Expressing our thankfulness both to unbelievers as well as other believers. True gratitude is both expressed and shown by our lives so others can know.

Every part of our lives should be characterized by gratitude. In the good times and in the bad times, we have reason to be grateful. God is at work in all things in our lives, Romans 8:28. We are told to give thanks in everything. “In every thing give thanks : for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18. 

It will not always be easy to give thanks, and maybe for that reason it is referred to as a sacrifice. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks  to his name.” Hebrews 13:15. However, it tells us to offer this thanksgiving continually, not just when we feel like it.

There is so much more in Scripture about thanksgiving. The word is “thanks” “giving”. Giving thanks. Not receiving thanks (what we often prefer), but giving thanks. Saying and showing our gratitude with our mouth and our life. First towards God and then towards other people. How often do we fail to show gratitude to the people around us.

Remember that it is an attitude of gratitude, and let it be a part of everything you do and say. “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.” Colossians 3:17.

Gordon Crook


Anita Clark – Pastor, Carbondale, Kansas

“The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit , that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” Romans 8:16-19

Trials are necessary for our growth, and to change us into what God wants us to be. They are God’s tools to shape us and mold us. Trials are like pruning the tree so it will bear more fruit. Our Heavenly Father is in control of all of this. Ephesians 1:11 says God “ everything after the counsel of His own will.” 

I. Spiritual Growth - Ephesians 4:15 says, “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” The words “grow up” means in the Greek, “give increase, or enlarge.” Growth comes through tests and trials the Lord allows in our lives. I Peter 2:2 speaks Of “ born babes desiring the sincere milk of the Word that they may grow thereby.” Peter in II Peter 3:18, says, “But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Paul says in Romans 16:25, “Now to Him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel.” Spiritual growth in Christ comes through suffering and laying hold of God’s Word for victory over whatever circumstance comes our way. 

2. Change - This is very important in the life of a believer. Romans 12:2, states, “And be not conformed to this world, but be ye Philippines by the renewing of your mind...”. “Conform” means in the Gk. “to fashion like” We all were at one time conformed to the world, but Christ “transformed” us, which is the Greek word “metamorphose.” Praise God He is changing us. That work is going on right now. Changed from being a spiritual infant to maturity. The word “change” in the Greek means “transform, refashion, transfigure.”  Philippians 3:21 speaking of Christ says, “Who shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able to subdue all things unto Himself.” We are waiting for this final change, when we go to be with Christ.

3. Our Trials Cause Us to Look at our life With a Different Perspective - Sometimes we may say or think, “Is this all there is?” But we learn as we walk with God that Life is just a preparation for the coming time with the Lord. As a poet named C.T. Studd said, “Only one life, it will soon be passed, only what’s done for Christ will last.” Suffering makes us understand that this life is just temporary. As we turn things over to the Lord in submission to His will, we learn to yield our whole life to Him, and His plan for our life.

4. Trials Teach Us so Many Things-One big and important thing is “Patience” - to not trust our flesh or the flesh of others. He teaches us to wait on His will. We learn to rely on God alone for our needs, and that is exactly what He wants. II Cor. 4:17 says, “For this light afflictions which is but for a moment worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

5. One of the Big Things We Learn When Going Through Trials is Dependence Upon God. Jesus Christ was dependent upon His Father God. In John 5:30, He says, “I can of my own self do nothing.” In His natural life He was totally dependent on His Father. John 15:5, as He was speaking to His disciples, He said, “I am the vine, Ye are the branches; He that abideth in me, and I in Him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, for without Me ye can do nothing.” Trials work this important thing in our lives. We come to the end of ourselves and finally turn it all over to the Lord, and learn to wait for Him and His timing. 

6. Trials Give Us Things to Overcome - Much is said in the Word of God about being an “overcomer.” There is great blessing for the overcomers. All God’s work in our lives is to perfect us and cause us to be an overcomer through His strength. The word “overcomer” found in Scripture text, Means in the Greek, “To subdue, conquer, prevail and get the victory.’ In I Corinthians 9:24-27 Apostle Paul uses the race, no doubt because he was very aware of the Olympic races of the Greeks in his day. Racers run to win, regardless of how much their bodies may be fatigue or hurting from all the effort and pain. This is a picture of triumphing in spite of trials and tests. The Spiritual Race we are running is not a sprint, but a  long distance one. It will go on and on all our lives here in this world. 

We look for Christ to come at any time. That is our hope, but we may have great tests yet to endure, much pain to suffer, or great losses in the natural. How can we be an overcomer, if we don’t have anything to overcome? If everything’s just wonderful? If we’ve asked God to have His way in our lives, then, we must submit to Him in all things. II Timothy 2:12 says, “If we suffer with Him, we shall reign with Him.” The victory over the trials of life will ultimately cause you and me to win the prize of the high calling as we overcome and go on in victory. Phillipians 3:14, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

 23rd Psalm for Times of Crisis

By Vicky Moots

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want of anything.

He maketh me to lie down in safety

and to rest in green pastures of hope and resurrection:

He leadeth me beside the still waters of peace, calming my fears.

He restoreth my soul and my body through the healing of his Word.

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness

through faith so that I may bring glory to his name.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadows of isolation,

illness, death or sorrow I will fear no evil plague

or plan of the enemy,

for I am not alone; thou art with me all the way.

Thy rod and thy staff (thy Word) I shall lean upon,

and they shall comfort me and hold me up

when I am too weak to stand.

Thou preparest a table before me,

providing nourishment for my body and soul

to meet my every need in spite of the presence

of my unseen enemy who has tried to rob me of my supply.

Lord I feast on thee.

Thou anointest my head and mind with the oil of thy Holy Spirit,

so much that my cup of blessing and joy

runneth over and is never empty.

Surely thy goodness and mercy which are everlasting,

shall follow me and protect me from behind

all the days of my life and I shall dwell in thy presence,

never to be separated, in the house of the Lord forever.


Earlene Davis

Matthew 25:14-30
The Parable of the Talents

This parable tells of the separation of servant and servant, which will take place while the King is absent. Special trusts are committed to His servants. We do not believe they are natural gifts, education, nor personality traits; but something added to these. It is according to the abilities of each that they are given. These talents makes each one responsible in the measure that they are given, to gain for Christ and His Kingdom. They are opportunities that lie before each of us. There is an increase in the sphere of service with the wise use of them. 

The sphere of service grows larger as we serve. There must be no hiding of the talents. We are responsible to use all we are and have for our Lord. Five talents can grow to ten (V. 16). Two can become four (V. 17), with experience capacity and capability increases. No one is shut up to uselessness, God gives opportunities for all of His people to increase our talents  and add to His riches.

The one who receives but one talent is called to gain only one more, but this one hides his Lord’s money (V. 18). Because he has little ability and few opportunities for service, he thinks he is not responsible to do anything. Many Christians are like that, inactive and despising their little place, hiding their talent. The Lord gives their unused talent to others (V. 28). 

May we not despise a small place, because with wise use, our sphere of service will increase. The Master’s rule is, To him that hath shall more be given; but from him that hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken away (V. 29). 

It is note worthy, that it is not the amount we are entrusted with that ensures reward, but faithfulness to what we have been entrusted with. For the servant that had five and gained five more and the one that had two doubled his money, are rewarded the same (Vs. 21 & 23). It proves the one with only one talent could have had the same commendation if he had double his capital. So there are lessons for us in this parable.

But V. 30, describes the one that hides his Lord’s gifts as not even a believer. His words and actions are of total unbelief. He had no fear of the Lord. His own mouth condemned him, for if his Master was as he thought, he should have loaned his Lord’s money out to  received interest on the one talent (Vs. 24-26). He is cast into outer darkness away from God and all that is light.

Next lesson we will read the judgment of the nations in the end days. We have had Israel’s portion and the Church’s portion set before us of that time. The living Gentile nations will come into judgment when King, Jesus Christ takes His throne and rules. The Gentile nations had their time to rule, but their time is over. God will set His King upon the holy hill of Zion (Ps. 2:6). 

Next issue: The Parable of the Sheep and Goat Nations.


Debra Isenbletter, Pastor
Springfield, Missouri

V12: “And he said unto them; Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.”

I have divided the verse in the following way.  Jonah’s Response: “And he said unto them.”  Jonah’s Request: “Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea;”.  Jonah’s Reassurance: “so shall the sea be calm unto you.”  Jonah’s Repentance: “for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.”

Jonah’s Response: “And he said unto them.” Their question was “What shall we do unto thee.” Since their question focused on him, on his being the problem and not just “What shall we do,” Jonah tells them what to do with him.  It is interesting that we do not read that Jonah said, “Let me pray to God about this” or even in his answer say, “This is what God told me to do.”  Jonah does tell them what to do but it seems to be what he has decided to do and yet even though this seems to be all Jonah’s decision, the Lord know his thoughts, his intensions and will use what he says to bring about a lesson for both Jonah and the sailors.  The Lord is never caught by surprise and I believe He knew all along that this is what Jonah would say.  Jonah is willing to sacrifice himself but he is still not willing to completely surrender himself to God’s Will.  

Jonah’s Request: “Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea.”  In the words “take me up” and “cast me forth” I can see a picture of both Israel and Jesus.  The phrase “take me up” means both “to lift up” or “to be carried.”  Israel was “carried” away into the nations as part of God’s discipline and chastisement.  Jesus was “lifted up” on the Cross as part of God’s judgment. Looking at Jonah and Jesus there is a huge difference in attitude.  Jonah is forced by circumstances to submit to man because he did not submit to God but Jesus submitted willingly to God and then to man.  His was a voluntary surrendering His will, it was the desire of His heart.  The phrase “cast me forth” means “to be hurled, thrown down” or “to carry away” or “cast out.” Israel was “carried away” and “cast out” of their land when they were dispersed. Jesus said they will be “cast out and trodden under foot by men” (Mat.5:13); that they “shall be led [carried] away captive to all nations” (Luk.21;24). This also shows the rejection and death of Jesus.  The Jews of Nazareth “thrust [cast] him out” and they intended to “cast” him over a hill. (Luk.4:29).  The Jews “carried him away and delivered him to Pilate” (Mark 15:1) and as a result Jesus died “without the camp” (Heb.13:13).

Where was Jonah to be cast? He was to be cast “into the sea”, into the turbulent, stormy waters.  The “sea” pictures judgment.  In the case of Israel, the “sea” pictures the judgment of being cast into the Gentiles nations.  Gentile rulers are called the “princes of the sea” (Ezek.26:16). The Gentile kingdoms in Daniel 7 which picture the Times of the Gentiles rise out of “the great sea” (Dan.7:2) and the Antichrist rises “out of the sea” (Rev.13:1) The “sea” also pictures death.  David wrote of these waters as deep waters (Psa.69:1-2; 14-15).   In fear he describes the overwhelming despair and in faith he describes the overcoming hope.  David was looking forward to Jesus, who would let the waters flow over Him, He would be overwhelmed but He would also overcome.  

Jonah’s Reassurance: “so shall the sea be calm unto you.” What assurance this was!  The stormy, violent sea would suddenly become calm and quiet.  The sea that God created, is the sea that God controls. This was both a promise and a prophecy.  There was a lot of turmoil on that ship and around that ship.  There was an outward turmoil seen in the waves beating at the ship and there was an inward turmoil seen in the fear beating in their hearts. If they believe Jonah, all that turmoil will cease, the storm will stop, the fear will stop. Jonah needed this “calm” in his own soul just as much as the sailors did.  He would keep God’s judgment from them and he would accept God’s judgment upon himself.  Jonah may still be struggling against God’s Will but he has begun his surrender with these words.  On some level Jonah understood the need for a sacrifice, that a price must be paid.  This is what Jesus did and continues to do in our lives.  He takes the turmoil and stills the storm in our hearts and our lives.  

Jonah’s repentance: “for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.”  On some level, Jonah also understood the need for repentance.  He said “I know,” “I understand,” “I acknowledge,” “I recognize” that it is “for my sake.”  He understands the reason for judgment, it is because of my attitude—disobedience to God.  It is because of my actions—Running from God. Jonah takes responsibility for his attitude and his actions.  He takes responsibility for the judgment which is “this great tempest.” Jonah understands that there are consequences for his actions, that what he did affected others and that they suffered because of him.  This is the start of Jonah’s lesson.  On one hand we see his determination to die by telling them to just throw him overboard and on the other hand we see that he understands there is a need to accept the punishment for his actions, even if it means sacrificing himself.  

Jonah’s attitude is a picture of Israel sorrow and submission.  Leviticus admonishes God’s people to do three things. They were to confess their iniquity, they were to humble their hearts, they were to accept their punishment. (Lev.26:40-42). God made a promise to them. That promise begins with confession. That confession brings a humbled heart.  That humbled heart brings an acceptance of God’s chastisement. The day will come when they will see why they are chastened and corrected, confess and humble themselves. As they accept their punishment they will be transformed.

Jonah’s attitude is a picture of Jesus’ sorrow and submission and sacrifice of Himself.  Everything that Jonah did unwillingly, Jesus did willingly.  Jonah may have dragged his feet but Jesus never did.  Jesus fully understood and embraced the need for His submission and sacrifice.  He saw the terrible consequences of sin, of Adam’s sin and though there was no guilt in Him, he took all our guilt upon Himself and was cast into the sea of death so that we might live.  Praise the Lord!

The next four verses  show four attitudes they had towards God’s Will after Jonah told them  to cast him forth into the sea. Struggle (v13). Supplication (v14). Submission (v15) and Sacrifice (v16).

To be continued


A Pattern Prayer
By Dr. Vicky Moots
(Part 3)

“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen” Matt. 6:9-13.

Verse 11: “Give us this day our daily bread.” This shows that we recognize our need and know who to go to in order to have our need met. We know that our Heavenly Father loves us and is willing and able to supply our needs. 

Notice that He provides what we need for today. He wants us to trust Him for each day. Manna was provided daily to the children of Israel in the wilderness as we read in Exodus 16. God knew exactly how much they needed each day for each household. They were instructed to gather one omer for each person (omer=6.7 pints). 

It was not handed to them. They had to go out early each morning and gather it. They could not hoard it. If they gathered too much (more than they were supposed to) and had some left over the next day, it bred worms and stank. There was one exception: They were to gather twice as much on the sixth day in order to have enough for the Sabbath and it would not rot. There would be none provided on the Sabbath since that was the day of rest.

Sometimes we get over anxious and concerned about what may happen tomorrow if nothing is provided. Bread speaks of not just food, but the necessities of life. We need to just trust our Heavenly Father and obey His Word, and He will take care of us as He has promised to do. Even though we are going through a wilderness experience today we need not fear. If we trust Him for today, He will also take care of tomorrow. “Take therefore no thought for the morrow…” (Matt. 6:34).

We need to feed our souls daily. Jesus is the Bread of Life, the true Bread that came down from Heaven.

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Jesus spoke these words when He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. There are many people that only feed their soul once a week on Sunday morning when they go to church and they expect to be spoon fed. They do not want to go out and gather their own manna. If we only ate physical food once a week, we certainly would not have enough strength to do the things we need to do every day. 

We are to ask God to give us each day our daily bread from His Word, a special portion just for us, exactly what our soul needs for this day, to get us through the trials that we will be facing tomorrow. Then we would have enough strength to stand against Satan when he tries to cause us to fear or doubt. There may be some days that God gives us an extra portion of His Word because He knows exactly what we will be needing ahead of time.

Verse 12: “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” “As” means “in like manner” as we forgive. Verse 14 says, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” When Jesus spoke this, they were still under the Old Covenant, the Covenant of the Law. Under the Law forgiveness was conditional. Debts, trespasses or sins would be forgiven based on our ability to forgive others. But this is not really possible in our own strength, apart from becoming a new creation in Christ. Jesus had not yet gone to the cross to obtain forgiveness for us for our sins. As the Lamb of God, He became the final sacrifice for sin. 

His sacrifice fulfilled the Law’s demands. We are now under the New Covenant, the Covenant of Grace. As a result, we are able to forgive others because we have been forgiven. We see this in Eph. 4:32: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” We are now to forgive others in the same manner in which we have been forgiven. What does that mean? Our sins were completely forgiven. Heb. 10:17 tells us, “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” 

When God forgives, He also forgets. We are to do the same: not only to forgive, but to forget. We are not to hold a grudge against anyone, no matter what they have done to us. Jesus forgave those who nailed Him to the cross. He cried out, “Father, forgive them.” It was our sins that nailed Him to the cross, but He forgives us, unconditionally, when we accept Him as Saviour. Now we are to forgive in the same manner, unconditionally through the love of God which is given to us through the Holy Spirit. 

Unconditional forgiveness requires the unselfish, “Agape,” love of God. This kind of love is the fruit of the Spirit. It is not possible through our own self effort. Only through yielding to the Holy Spirit can we possess and manifest that kind of love and forgiveness. If you are having difficulty forgiving someone, ask your heavenly Father to give you more of His love. You must first experience His love and forgiveness in your own life before you can share it with others. You can’t share something you don’t have. Human forgiveness is only shallow and short-lived. We need divine forgiveness that only comes from God. 

Have you received that forgiveness personally? Do you know that your sins have been forgiven? If so, then when you forgive others, you are simply sharing what God has given you. Even if the other person that wronged you does not ask you or God for forgiveness, you can still forgive them for Jesus’ sake, through the power of the Holy Spirit. It will bring honor to your Heavenly Father and healing to your soul.

Part 4 – next issue

Saturday, October 3, 2020


Jack Davis

“Ye…took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance” – Heb. 10:34.

Overcomers of all ages have experienced such as we have recorded in Hebrews ten. In fact all believers have suffered some losses, but not all have been able to take them joyfully. I believe this is mainly because they focused their attention and affections on the temporal instead of the eternal (II Cor. 4:16-18).

The scriptures give us many examples of those focused on either the material or spiritual wealth. We read in Genesis thirteen that there came a separation between Abram and Lot. “And Lot lifted up his eyes and beheld all the plain of Jordan…Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan…and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.” But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly. 

By way of contrast we find Abram allowing God to focus his attention, direct his path, and chose his inheritance. It seems that God was comforting him when He told Abram to lift up his eyes and look from the place that he was. Abram could have been very severely pained by the separation as well as greatly releaved.

In genesis fourteen we read of a war wherein Lot’s property was plundered or “goods spoiled.” Lot had gone away farther, after having pitched toward Sodom, he now dwelt with the losers of this battle, and was thus taken captive. Can we not see the sequel among God’s people today?

“And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there…” and their enemies took all their goods and victuals, and went their way. “And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods and departed” –  Gen. 14:10-12. We next see a real overcoming attitude manifested in Abram. When he heard that Lot was taken captive he went to war, won the victory, and brought back all the plundered goods, even Lot and his goods.

When the king of Sodom went out to meet Abram, the victor and to reward him, Melchizedek king of Salem got there first with bread and wine, and blessed him, saying, “Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth.” Abram is here identified as belonging to God who owns it all, and Abram proved it by his actions. He was surrendered to God, he had solemnly promised by the uplifted hand what he would do when victorious. Therefore when the king of Sodom approached him with the suggestion, “take the goods to thyself” Abram proved that he was indeed living by faith, for he refused his offer. Living by faith in God keeps us from becoming indebted to or dependant upon man.

“After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me…” Gen. 15:1-2.

Abram seemed to need comfort and assurance after such marvelous victories. The possessor of heaven says, “fear not.” Oh, thank God for His fear nots! To our hearts. What better protection could we find, than to have the “I AM” as our shield. And what greater possession than to have the “I AM” as our reward. I believe he manifested an earnest faith, and sincere interest in God’s promise, when he asked, “what will thou give me?”

Faith cannot refuse such an offer. Doesn’t Jesus still offer Himself to believing hearts today as the Prize of the high calling? Oh, how foolish we would be to refuse such an offer, He is worth everything. May our love abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that we may (be able) to approve things that are excellent; that we may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ (Phil. 1:9-10).

“Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred” – Acts 7:14. Joseph had been thrown into the pit by his brothers. Then he was sold into slavery and put in prison. Eventually he came to the palace, and advanced to a place of rulership. We know that He was placed there by God to be instrumental in his brother’s deliverance. He eventually told his brothers, “God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance” (Gen. 45:7). He had been told to tell his father and bothren, “Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours.” V. 20.

It seems that our heavenly Father and our lovely Lord, who was beautifully typified by Joseph, speaks thus to us; about our stuff and the goods of our heavenly homeland, and promised inheritance. Don’t place such high value on that which you all one day leave behind, so as to allow it to hold you back, hinder your progress, but come on, come on, forget those things you have left behind, reach forth to that which I have set before you.


Anita Clark – Pastor 
Carbondale, Kansas

These traits are what the Lord Jesus Christ manifested when He was here on the earth.  We, who are born again have the life of Christ in us.  As we walk in the new life, we will manifest the characteristics of the Lord Jesus.

Titus, a follower of Christ through Paul’s ministry was admonished to manifest Christ in his life toward others in Titus 3:1-5.  Verse 1 says, “ ready for every good work.”  Verse 2, says, “...speak evil of no man, to be no brawler [i.e. to be peaceable], but gentle, showing all meekness to all men.”  Paul says in Vs. 3. “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.” Vs. 4 tells us what changed us, “But after the kindness and love of God our Savior toward men appeared...according to His mercy He saved us...”.  A wonderful change took place.

A good definition of the word “mercy” in the New Testament is “compassion or sympathy, tenderness or tender heartedness, or pity.”  Remember, Jesus was asked by poor miserable people to have compassion on them.  Some examples come to mind from Christ’s time here on the earth - many times when He showed compassion or mercy.  

In Luke 10:30-37, Jesus told the story of the “Good Samaritan.” If you haven’t read this story, do read it.  The poor man had been left to die, wounded and bleeding beside the road.  A certain priest came by, but he could not help the man because he couldn’t touch a dead person. That would never do, he just couldn’t risk his career as a priest of the temple. After all there were rules to follow.  Second, a Levite, a man of the chosen tribe, very religious, who had to keep his life holy came by.  What if this man was dead, this Levite would have to go through a big cleansing process before he could even enter the temple, much less work there. Notice, “They passed on the other side.”

Then, came along a Samaritan.  Jesus calls him. “A certain Samaritan.”  God has “certain” people who show mercy on the helpless and the needy. This Samaritan didn’t hesitate and think, “Now, is this man a moral man or immoral, is he a man who obeys God or not.”  No!  The Samaritan had compassion.

 Another illustration that Jesus used was the story of the “lost son,” found in Luke 15:11-32.  Vs. 20 says, “And he arose, and came unto his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed.” The word “compassion” means “to be moved inside our inner being, to feel sympathy, to pity.”  Where would we be without the compassion that our Father God has for us.

Jesus had compassion on the great multitude of people which came out to hear the Word from Him.  (Mark 8:1-3).  Vs. 2 says, “I have compassion on the multitude because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat...”.  He saw not just their spiritual needs, but their natural needs.  What a good example. We too must be willing in ministering to others to meet natural needs if there are some.  Not only showing compassion for their rescue from sin’s hold, but also for their natural needs.  Sometimes, when we meet the natural needs there is opportunity to share the gospel with them and bring them into the spiritual light of God’s uttermost compassion for their souls.

Another word to study is “forgiveness.”  This word means, “to send forth, lay aside, let go, put away, pardon a sin or offence.” Sometimes someone hurts us so badly that we think we can never forgive them. That’s a lie the devil tells us.  God’s word teaches us that we must forgive others.  This is not only when they ask us to forgive them, but in any circumstance where there’s been a break between persons.  

There’s not a one of us who hasn’t experienced a situation where someone hurt us, or went against the truth of the Word, or some other offense. We often just break fellowship and leave them alone.  Sometimes there’s nothing we can do except to pray for them and commit them unto God.  

Paul says in Ephesians 4:30-32, “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  And be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.”  These descriptive words show exactly what happens when a person is angry at another, and just lets go of all control.  This is truly the fleshly nature being manifested.  How sad that believers sometimes let go and speak in hateful words like this!

Our God is such a wonderful loving God who forgives all our trespasses.  We are human and sometimes we go through very hard things to overcome, but God wants us to enter into forgiveness toward those who have hurt us. Yes, even when they don’t ask for forgiveness. Jesus said, “I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44.)

 Who To Trust?

“Put not your trust  in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.” Psalms 146:3

God’s Word is very clear about not trusting in ourselves or in other men to solve our problems. It is certainly vain to expect help from man for the problems that are a result of the sin of mankind.

“Trust  in him at all times; ye people, pour out  your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. Surely men  of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid  in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.” Psalms 62:8-9

God does not give us reason to trust in one person over another. It matters not how they are thought of by the world, God reminds us that we can only trust in Him. No one can move the balance against God.

“It is better to trust  in the LORD than to put confidence  in man. It is better to trust  in the LORD than to put confidence  in princes.” Psalms 118:8-9

We put our trust in God, not the “right” leader or the “best” choice of men. All of those in power are there by God’s choosing; ALL of them. Let us be content to rest in the mighty power of our God, and in His sovereign choice of those that will carry out His will to bring about His purposes in these last days.

Gordon Crook


Earlene Davis

Matthew 25

In Matthew 25 Jesus is still answering the questions that His disciples asked Him in chapter 24:3. “…Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” We know this by the Words “Then” – Vs. 1, and the word “When” – V. 31. Jesus spoke parables to illustrate the separation of saint and saint, Vs. 1-13; the separation of servant and servant, Vs. 14-30; the separation of nations, Vs. 31-46. These parables are prophecy of that future judgment.


Vs. 1-13 - “Then (at that time) shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out (or going out). But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not ( or recognize you not). Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” 

I added the Greek meaning of some words. The Lord appears as the Bridegroom gathering the guests for the marriage supper. Rev. 19:9, “Blessed are they which are called (or invited) unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Some have an invitation to grace the wedding, they are not the Bride, but the guests. It is plainly evident that the 10 virgins are believers. A virgin signifies their separation from the world, especially the defiling religious condition of the end. God never likens the ungodly to a virgin, which speaks of chastity and purity. All the virgins have lamps speaking of the Word of God, illuminated by the Spirit of God. 

There is a fundamental contrast between the ten, five were wise and five were foolish. The wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps, the foolish took their lamps with out any extra supply of oil. They were not prepared to go out to meet the Bridegroom, their lambs were going out. They all slumbered and slept as the dark night advanced and while the Bridegroom tarried. They were passive as to the truth and witnessing for Christ in those dark days, hiding their light, in fear.

There is a change, a cry is heard. “Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet Him.” It could be the result of the catching away of the overcomers. All the virgins are aroused and all trimmed their lamps, they are now stirred with the fact of the coming of the Lord. Their witness for Christ is revived. But the foolish have no oil to replenish their lamps, their light is dim, compared to those who have oil in their vessels. This is a lesson even for us today. We may have a good enough light, but no active faith in the Bridegroom’s coming.

The foolish now want the oil, the full measure of the Holy Spirit. They appeal to the wise for oil, but it is too late. The wise instruct them to go and buy for themselves. Isa. 55:1, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” Buying tell us that one must thirst, no longer indifferent and slothful. While they went to buy, the Bridegroom came and they that were ready went in with Him to the marriage and the door was shut to the banqueting chamber, not the door of salvation for sinners. For that gateway will never close until the end of time. 

This parable and all other parables, illustrate some principles of divine truths by natural events or natural things. As here there is the figure of the wedding with invited and uninvited guests, to point out an important fact connected with God’s Kingdom. The foolish having gone to get oil that they might shine assures us they are saints. The wise who have oil, having received the Holy Spirit are ready for translation. The door for translation of the Church is over, the door is shut. 

There is a due time, but the foolish did not qualify to attend the wedding. They will remain on the earth, as God’s witnesses, for God must have a witness for Himself upon the earth. They are the last rank of the Church. They will constitute the feet of the body of Christ that will stand on Mt. Olivet (Zach. 14:4). 

The wise virgins figure no doubt the 144,000 that we read of in Revelation of the tribes of the children of Israel. They are mentioned being sealed while on the earth with the Holy Spirit – Chapter 7:3,4. They are seen in heaven – Ch.14:1-5. “They are virgins,” (V. 4) and follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.

There is positive proof in God’s Word that the end of the Church, and her translation will be gradual. There will be a time of transition of God’s dealings with the heavenly to the earthly people, just as there was in the beginning of this Church Age (the first 9 chapters of the book of Acts). Israel was the connecting link at the first and they will be at the end. They (the Church) are translated at different times, the first rank overcomers are seen in heaven Revelation chapters 4 and 5 before tribulation. The great multitude of the Church are translated, coming out of tribulation days, chapter 7:13-17. The I44,000 are seen in heaven, chapter 14.

May we learn from this portion to be ready, watching expectantly for our Lord’s return. discerning the signs of the times. We are children of light, of the day, let us not sleep as do others, but let us watch and be ready. For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ - I Thess. 5:5-9. His appearance to call up the First rank could be any moment now. “The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout…the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive… shall be caught up together with them… to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord - I Thess. 4:16-17.


Debra Isenbletter, Pastor
Springfield, Missouri

Ch. 1:11 - “Then said they unto him; What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? For the sea wrought and was tempestuous.”

This verse is about a question, and it is a question for the prophet not the man. It is the prophet who will give them an answer and although Jonah may think his answer is his idea or his way of escape, it is neither. The God who created and controls the sea will use what Jonah says to these men to test their faith and to test Jonah’s faith. We see the Prophet and the Problem (which is the prophet). They Consult the Prophet: “Then said they unto him…” They said this to Jonah the prophet.  The word “said” expresses an urgency, it can mean “to demand” such as Do Something! Or it can mean “to desire” as in Please do something! They are speaking “unto him,” unto Jonah. Unto the “Hebrew.”  Unto the one who knew “the God of heaven.” Unto the one who knew the God that “made the sea and the dry land.”  Unto the one who “fled from the presence of the Lord.” They believe that Jonah knew God and could speak to God.  

They Consult the Prophet who is the Problem:  “What shall we do unto thee.”  The Question is: “What shall we do?” They know that they need to do something but they did not know what to do. The Quandary is: “unto thee” because they know that Jonah is the problem but he is also the solution. This is not the first time the question of “What shall we do?” has been asked and whenever it has been asked there is both desperation and faith behind the question. When it is asked in faith, despite or because of the desperation, there will always be an answer. 

Manoah asked this question of the Lord concerning Samson and how they should raise him. “O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.” (Judges 13:8). They were given an answer; a detailed answer and they followed those instructions faithfully. Those that are willing to ask: “What shall I do,” must be willing to do whatever they are told to do, even if they do not fully understand. That is faith. The Philistines asked this question concerning the ark (1Sam.6:2-3) and obeyed without question.  

John the Baptist was asked the question “What shall we do” by the people (Luk.3:10); by the publicans (Luk.3:12); by the soldiers (Luk.3:14). John gave an answer to each group, and they could choose to do or not do what John told them. 

Jesus was asked the question: “What shall we do?” (Joh.6:28-29) by those who had a sincere desire to please and serve God. Jesus told them what to do by telling them what to believe. 

The crowd at Pentecost asked Peter, “What shall we do?” (Act.2:37). Their conviction was real, their desire was real and the answer was simple. It was to believe on the Lord Jesus, to show that belief by repenting and being baptized and to take the added step of faith by receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Council at Jerusalem asked the question; “What shall we do to these men?” (Act.4:16). They were talking about the apostles, their preaching, their miracles. They asked this question but they did not really want to hear the answer.  It would have been the same answer that was given by Peter on Pentecost. Simply believe.

These men asked Jonah what they should do because they did not know what to do. They know what the problem is, it is the sea. They even tell Jonah what the solution to the problem is: “that the sea may be calm unto us?”  They know Jonah is the source of the problem, so they believe Jonah will have the solution to the problem. It was the sea that threatened the ship and threatened their lives. If the sea could just “be calm” then everything would be fine. They believed that Jonah’s God (who made the sea) could also calm the sea and since this was Jonah’s God, Jonah would have to ask his God to do this. They saw the danger: “for the sea wrought and was tempestuous.”  They could not ignore it, they could not escape it, they could not stop it.


A Pattern Prayer

By Dr. Vicky Moots

Part 2

“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen” Matt. 6:9-13.

“Which art in heaven:” This phrase separates him from our earthly father. He is our Heavenly Father. A father is a protector and a provider. Earthly fathers are not always capable of doing that. They may lack the strength or the resources, but our Heavenly Father is more than able to meet our needs physically and spiritually. He even knows our needs ahead of time. “…your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matt. 6:8). But He wants us to come into His presence and ask.

How does He supply our needs? Paul tells us how in Phil. 4:19: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Not only can He but He shall. It is His obligation as our Father. (Not all our wants, but our needs.) And He will do it according to His riches in glory. Do you think that is sufficient? Will His supply ever run out? He has abundant riches in glory! They are inexhaustible! And how does He do this? It is by Christ Jesus. In Jesus we find everything that we need. Our Heavenly Father supplies everything that we need through His Son. When we accept Jesus as Saviour we have access to all our Father’s riches. If we reject His Son, then we cannot call Him our Father, and He has no obligation to take care of us.

“Hallowed be thy name:” His name is holy and not to be cursed or used lightly. Many people say, “Oh, my God!” When they are upset or use the initials “OMG” on social media. It is irreverent to use God’s name in this manner. They are obviously not considering God’s name to be holy for they are using it as a byword. When we come before His presence in prayer, we must acknowledge His holiness and give honor to His name. But this should also be true in our daily conversation with others. If we are taught to honor our earthly mother and father, how much more honor should we give to our Heavenly Father? We read in Mal. 1:6, “A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour?” We give Him honor by recognizing His holiness and the authority and power in His name. Then we will be willing to obey Him and live a life that will bring glory and honor to His name instead of disgrace.

Verse 10: “Thy kingdom come:” Jesus likely prayed this too. “Thy kingdom come” meant to Him that He would have to go to the cross to die to fulfill God’s plan. He was in full agreement with God’s plan and we must be also and be willing to submit to it, even as Jesus did when He prayed, “Not my will but thine be done.” We certainly do not agree with the things that are happening in today’s world, but we know that they are in fulfillment of prophecy so we pray in agreement with God’s plan, “Thy kingdom come” and are looking for Jesus’ soon return. We also acknowledge that God is not only our Heavenly Father but a King and has a kingdom. He is ruler of the universe but wants to be King of our lives and set up His kingdom in our hearts. We submit to His authority as Father, God and King and let Him reign over us now. Instead of looking to an earthly ruler or president to bring peace, we need to look to the Lord to give us peace in our hearts. Matt. 6:33 instructs us: “seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness…”. Letting Him reign as King in our lives now prepares us to reign as kings one day in Heaven with Him.

Verse 10 “…Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven:” Jesus was our example when He prayed to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane before His crucifixion in Luke 22:42: “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.” This was spoken by Jesus personally two years after He had given us the pattern prayer in Matt. 6. Jesus submitted to God’s will in Heaven to be done in earth, and so He went to the cross. Are we also willing to bear our cross that is given to us in this life in order that God’s will be done in us? Could God have set up His kingdom on this earth without Jesus going to the cross? He could have, but He had a greater plan. He wanted us to be His sons. God had to sacrifice his Son in order that we could have our sins forgiven and be born again to become sons of God. God could have created us to serve him automatically even as the angels do, but he wanted a family. He wanted us to serve Him out of love. If we love Him, we will trust Him in all things and submit to His will in our lives.

Jesus was the Son of God in Heaven but came to earth in a body of clay. He was then part of the earth as well as Heaven. He wanted God’s will to be done in His earthly body, in earth, as it was in Heaven. Are we willing to do the same, in our earthly body, to submit to God’s will no matter the cost? Can we sincerely pray with Jesus, “not my will but thine be done”? Think about that the next time you pray this prayer.