Thursday, December 2, 2021


Jack Davis

“… she brought forth her firstborn son … wrapped him in swaddling clothes … laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” Lk. 2:7.

All Israel should have been prepared, willing and able to welcome the promised Messiah-King, but we read here a very significant statement “there was no room.” At His birth they found no room, at His death He was buried in a borrowed tomb. Thank God, we read a few hearts were ready to receive Him. “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” Jn. 1:10-11.

As Jesus walked and ministered here and called followers unto Himself, He warned would-be followers, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nest; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” Lk. 9:58. He discouraged those that would put other things first from following Him. He was despised and rejected of men, they cried away with Him, crucify Him, crucify Him. He had come all the way down, and humbled himself even unto the death of the cross, that He night make room in heaven for us, and lift us up. Jn. 14:1-3.

When He told the thief beside Him on the cross, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise,” and when the veil in the temple was rent in the midst, it was evident Jesus had opened up the way and made room for believing humanity. He provided for bringing many sons, unto glory. Jesus would fill whatever space in our hearts and lives that we give Him. But what room does He find today?

Many believer’s days get too full of the temporal, natural earthly attractions and distractions. We get too busy with the everyday mundane, with no time to live or die. Oh, the poor rats in the maze, the poor caged squirrel on a revolving wheel, but where is humanity going? 

It seems most of us find no time, place nor space for the treasures of eternity. By misdirection and misplaced affection, many are neglecting the heavenly spiritual graces. Some of us step off the treadmill to satisfy carnal cravings and seem to get temporary relief, but are never satisfied. Only by feeding the spiritual man with inner nourishment from our Father are we truly satisfied. Therefore we would do well to allow absolutely nothing to crowd the Lord out of our daily living. We need more and more of him all the time. Therefore we are asked, is there room?

God determined He would destroy humanity with the earth, because it was filled with violence through them. But He gave Noah a special room, for Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. God not only warned him of coming judgment, but also gave him the plans for the way of escape. It was Noah’s place also to get ready, make room for the fulfillment of God’s purposes. By full persuasion he was moved to reverent preparation for his believing family’s preservation, but it also meant the worlds condemnation and his rich habitation, or inheritance. Heb. 11:7.

The ark gives us a picture of the believers refuge in Christ, from the coming storm of judgment. Noah was to pitch the ark within and without with pitch, to secure it against the waters of judgment. The same Hebrew word for pitch is translated atonement in other places. The window was placed in the ark “above” so Noah could look up instead of around at the total devastation. A door was placed in the side of the ark wherewith God shut him  in.

Then we find mentioned rooms (nests, compartments, Heb.) and lower, second and third stories (elevations. Heb.) or literally a journey to a higher place, climactic progression to a superiority of station. We read in Amos 9:6, “It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven and hath founded his troop in the earth…”. It is not hard to see ranks figured by these rooms and stories, yet types do not stand on all four legs as it were. Is it possible that the place we will occupy in eternity is related to the room that we allow Him to occupy in our hearts and lives here?

In Genesis 24 we read of Abraham’s eldest servant being sent to find a bride for his son Isaac. The servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, “for all the goods of the master were in his hand.” When Rebecca is found, three request are made of her. Will she give drink to the servant, and the camels? Is there room? Will she go on this long journey to become the bride of Isaac?

What about her attitude concerning the camels, which represent divine providence? They will do their job if fed and watered properly, and ridden enduringly. Rebecca serves them first, then rides them making them her servants. They became the brides ride unto the journey’s end. We each must give room to him (the Holy Spirit) who has the camels in control, and the “goods” of the Master in his hand.

We are taught to receive the Spirit, submit to him, yield to his influence, launch out in his control. In verses 34-36, the servant told Rebecca and her family of the wealth that the son was to come into. Paul said, “that I may know Him.” The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to our hearts with all His unsearchable wealth, (Eph. 3:8) as we give him the time and attention. He also provides room enlargement as Christ dwells in our hearts by faith.

“Then came the day  of unleavened bread, when the Passover must be killed…he sent Peter and John saying Go and prepare us the Passover…and they said unto him, where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said…Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house…And ye shall say into the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the Passover with my disciples? And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready.” Lk. 22:7-12. 

We do well to allow room in our daily course, for the life and development of Jesus Christ in us, and for close fellowship with our heavenly Father, and for the sweet communion of the Holy Spirit. He should be a welcome room maker in us. We also are shown to a place of preparation on our way. Wherever he guides us, there we are to make ready for that special feast of all feasts. The place provided for us of grace is beyond measure, of highest glory, furnished with splendor of our Lord.

Rom. 5:2 – “Grace Wherein We Stand:” Where are we standing today? Do you find favor in the sight of the Lord? How did you get in here? Oh, what a standing! Such a glorious position, what a marvelous sanctuary! Are you an insider? Who let you in? Who brought you  in? Who provided you access? Is it not through our Lord Jesus Christ? Jesus said, “I am the door of the sheep.” In Revelation we read, “I have set before you an open door.” What key fits the door to this wonderful sanctuary? “We have access by faith into this grace…”. When Jesus by the grace of God tasted death for everyman, God was saying; “Come on in!” 

“They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me” Psa. 18:18-19. “I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy; for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities; And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: And hast set my feet in a large room.” Psa. 31:7-8.

Standing in grace gives us such a pleasant present rejoicing and hope. And, Oh, what a marvelous confidence and certainty of a glorious future with our dear beloved Lord!!!

 Hearers? Doers?

Gordon Crook, Pastor  Wichita, Kansas

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

James presents us with the practical side of our Christian life in his epistle. He tells us that our faith should lead to good works. “. . . and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” James 2:18. Many have misunderstood this to mean that we need faith plus works to be saved. However, James is just helping us to understand that if our faith is genuine, it will result in good works. Those that have the life of Christ in them will show the works of that life as they yield.

We are called on to be doers, and not only hearers. Anyone can “hear” God’s Word, or read it for themselves, but many do not take it as something to be obeyed. They might treat it as a good book, or good literature, but those that are true believers should read and hear with the intent to obey. It is the living Word of God and is to be lived in our lives, not just admired from afar.

Jesus speaks about those that hear His words and does them in Luke 6:47-49. Those that do (obey) His words are like the man that built his house on a firm foundation and it prevails against the storm. Taking heed to God’s Word and obeying will certainly make us more stable and resilient to the storms of life.

In Luke 8:15 we find from the parable of the sower that the seed that fell on good ground represents those that hear the Word, and they “keep” it and bear much fruit. This is the purpose that God has in our lives, and this is how He works. As we hear the Word, and we lay hold of it (true desire for it to be real in our lives), and allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, we bear much fruit which is the “doing” part. This is the result that others see in our lives.

James speaks about those that are “hearers only” as deceiving themselves. Hearing God’s Word without any intent or desire to obey it is self deceit. We deceive ourselves if we think we can “hear” God’s Word and then continue our lives as though we had not. This is usually expressed as self righteousness. “I don’t need to do what God says; I’m fine on my own.”

As I was reading Hebrews 11 about the saints of the Old Testament who lived by faith, I was struck with the thought that their faith was always expressed by their actions. Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice. Noah built an ark and preached. Abraham obeyed and went someplace he did not know, and he offered up Isaac. All of these are actions (doing) that was the result of their faith.

They believed what God said, and it elicited obedience even in the face of ridicule. Noah was building an ark where there had been no rain. Sometimes we are reluctant to obey God’s Word because it conflicts with our culture or with something in ourself that thinks we know better.

We need to understand that God’s Word is the only truth that matters, and that it is not to the changing whims of culture. Some have been convinced that we need to make God’s Word fit the cultural norms of the time, or it will become outdated. The correct approach is to realize that our life should conform to God’s Word regardless of the cultural norm around us.

In Psalms 19:11 we find this “Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” Notice the great reward part. God has so much prepared for those that love Him. Even though our ability to “keep” and “do” God’s Word is only by the power of His Holy Spirit, He still has reward for those that yield to Him.

The Psalmist also reminds us that God’s Word is wonderful. Psalms 119:129 “Thy testimonies [are] wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them.” As we continue growing in God’s Word, we come to realize more and more how wonderful it truly is. Obeying is not just a drudgery, or a religious duty, but a real joy.

Are you a hearer only, or also a doer of God’s Word. Do you find joy in obeying God’s Word and having it worked into your life by the Holy Spirit? Those that will be part of the bride of Christ will certainly be those that are doers of the Word, and not hearers only.


Anita Clark, Pastor Carbondale, Kansas

“Grace be unto you and peace from God the Father; and from the Lord Jesus Christ,  Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father; To whom be glory forever and ever, Amen.  Galatians 1:3-5.

 Verse 3 tells us what we have because Jesus gave Himself.   First he gave us “grace” which means  “the gift, benefit or favor.”  Then He gave us “peace.”  Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which  passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” I like  another translation called The Amplified Version in this verse, where it expressed what is meant by the “peace” - “...that peace which reassures the heart, that peace which transcends all understanding [that peace which stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].” Note that this grace and peace come from “God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”


Back to Galatians 1:4, “Who gave Himself...”  No one forced Him.  The word “gave” means in the Greek, “ to be committed, delivered up, grant, offer, suffer and yield.”  How precious that Jesus was willing to come as a little human baby, and grow up to be the sacrifice for our sins!

In II Corinthians 5:21 it states “For He [the Father] hath made Him [Jesus] to be sin for us, He who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” In Galatians 4:4-5, Paul says, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law; to redeem them that were under the law...”

Galatians 1:4 goes ahead to say, “...that He might deliver us from this present evil world.”  We are living in a very “evil world.”  Things and situations are becoming worse and worse.  In Paul’s day it was terrible for the Christians. In Noah’s day, it was terrible.  Just think about it for a moment.  Noah and his wife and three sons and their wives were the only righteous people among thousands and thousands who perished in the Flood.   Jesus said that in the end of time things would be like the days of Noah.

In Galatians 1:4, notice the phrase, “according to the will of God and our Father.” It was decided before the world was ever created that Jesus would come and die for our sins.  Ephesians 1:3-4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.  According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”

Let us read from Philippians 2:6-7, speaking of Christ, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery (or a thing to be grasped at) to be equal with God (because He was God), But made Himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” He abased Himself, to become a man, so he could die for our sins.  As it says in II Corinthians 8:9 “For we know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes, He became poor (a beggar or indigent - homeless), that you through His poverty might become rich.”

 The word “servant” found in verse 7 actually should read “slave” which speaks of “subjection and subservience.”  He did not just become a “slave,” but lower.  Note verse 8, “...He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” The Eternal Lord - to die.   He didn’t die of old age in a nice clean bed.  He died by crucifixion, an instrument of capital punishment, which was so inhuman and horrible.

Let us read in Hebrews 2:9, “But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death...” The words “made a little lower than the angels” should read, “made for a little while lower than the angels.” He was here on the earth at an ordained time.  He grew up from babyhood and childhood and became a grown man to be made the sacrifice for the sins of the world.  Because He was willing to do that, even declaring in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Father, not My will but Thine be done,” Verse 9 says He is “crowned with glory and honor.”

As it says in Philippians 2:9-11 “Wherefore God has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name.  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow ... and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Why did Jesus, the Son of God choose this way of suffering?  Hebrews 2:11, tells us why?  “For it became (orig, suitable, or proper) Him, for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory (orig. honor and praise) to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through suffering.”  The title “Captain” means in the Greek, “the Chief Leader, Author or Prince.”  Hebrews 12:2, states, “Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith; who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” The work accomplished. “It is finished.”


Earlene Davis

Christ’s message to the Churches

Chapters 2 & 3 of Revelation contain Christ’s letters addressed to 7 churches which actually existed. John received this by a vision and they contain many personal lessons for the church. May we remember John was taken to the Lord’s day and looking back at the Church Age. To John it is prophecy of the future, but to us, we are living in the last phase of the Church Age. We will study them first historically and then look at them dispensationally of this Church Age, then for the Personal lessons.

These 7 churches are named for the city they were in. Some of these cities are only ruins today, but Philadelphia, Smyrna and Pergamos still exist, but their names have been changed. Each letter is addressed to the angel of that church, referring to the pastor or ruling elder, responsible as head of the local assembly under Christ. 

The first church addressed is Ephesus which Apostle Paul had a Bible school there for 2 years, so the people were well founded in the truth and purposed to take their place in the heavenlies where the church is provisionally seated (Eph. 2:4-7).

Rev. 2:1, To each church, Christ as Judge appears in one of His official guises as Judge, who walketh in the midst of the 7 golden candlesticks (the church). To Ephesus He comes a “He that holdeth the 7 stars in His right hand.” He has the authority  over the ministers. In Acts 20:29 Apostle Paul called the elders of Ephesus unto him and warned them saying, After my departing grievous wolves shall come in not sparing the flock. Some heeded that warning and held fast to the truth, but some failed. In each of these churches there were overcomers.

Vs. 2-3, Also each letter starts with “I know thy works.” The Judge sees and knows the works of everyone whether they stand for the truth or not. There are 9 things listed for which Ephesus is commended. 

V. 4, But one thing is said against them, they abandoned their first or preeminent love for Christ. Saints, we need to nurture our love for Christ by studying His Word and yielding to Him, so that our love grows and we come to love Him as our Bridegroom. The first step to failing the Lord, is not giving Him first place in our lives.

V. 5, Three words stand out in this verse, “remember,”  “repent” and “do.” Remember, be mindful that you have fallen from your place in the heavenlies. Their state had deteriorated when they began to mind earthly things. The result should be to Repent and Do the first works or chief works out of love for Him. If they do not repent, He would remove their candlestick out of his place. A candlestick speaks of light. He would remove the overcomers from that place (separation as the result of judgment).

V. 6, He commends them again, “thou hatest the deed of the Nicolaitanes,” their deeds are clergy over laity, lording it over the people, not ruling in love. The Lord says, “Which I also hate.” But this is how the church began to go, which is diffidently a deterioration.

V. 7, Every letter ends with, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” We have a responsibility to listen to what He has to say. Let us hear with the ear of our heart. A reward is promised to the overcomers of each church or the condition described there. The promised reward to the overcomers of Ephesus, “I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” 

Satan destroyed the first paradise that man had in the beginning, but Christ triumphed over that and by His death and resurrection has brought man into a relationship where man will be in God’s paradise and feed on Christ for ever (He is the tree of life).

Next issue: Christ’s letter to Smyrna


Debra Isenbletter - Pastor Springfield, Missouri

Jonah 2:9: “But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.”

In this verse we see Jonah’s Promise and his Praise. We hear his voice and we see his vow. We see his testimony of faith, he sees salvation and who alone can save him.

Jonah’s Promise: “But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving.” Jonah promises to offer a sacrifice unto the Lord. The word “sacrifice” speaks of the offerings that were offered on the altar; the burnt, the sin, the trespass, the peace, the meal offerings. All of these were offered by faith. All of these are a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ in His ministry, which is a wonderful lesson in itself. I do not know which of these Jonah offered, he could have offered one or all of them but I believe he made the sacrifice he promised.  Each offering points to his submission to his Savior and points to his Salvation.  I believe that it is the peace offering he would have rejoiced in the most because it was offered in thanksgiving to answered prayer and was present when a vow was made or completed. It was a freewill offering and showed restored fellowship because both man and God received a part of the offering.  We do not know when Jonah did this but he did fulfill his vow and he did make his sacrifice.  He may have done this before he went to Nineveh to preach.  

Until Jonah could offer a physical sacrifice, he offered a spiritual sacrifice. He offered the sacrifice of a surrendered life. This is the sacrifice the Apostle Paul tells us we must offer, and we do this when we present our “bodies a living sacrifice” (Rom. 12:1). There is another spiritual sacrifice that the Lord would have found acceptable until Jonah could offer one or more of the sacrifices upon the altar.  This is the “sacrifice of praise” (Heb.12:13) that can be offered anywhere. Jonah’s prayer, his promise and his praise is a down payment of the sacrifices he would offer later and the Lord found this acceptable and took pleasure in it. This shows that wherever we are, God accepts what we are able to offer. The foundation for Jonah’s promised sacrifice is seen in his voice and his vow. Both are offered before the actual sacrifice but are counted as part of that sacrifice. 

Jonah’s Voice: “with the voice of thanksgiving.” The word “thanksgiving” is a “confession” and also “a sacrifice of praise.” It is “a thanksgiving, offering” that is given before the actual offering is given. Jonah is in a place where he can do nothing and yet he does something wonderful. He gives thanks.  It is interesting that one of the peace offerings was designated as a thanksgiving offering (Lev. 7:12). Jonah can certainly appreciate this because his fellowship with the Lord is restored.   We find Jonah’s voice of thanksgiving in the Psalms, Jonah’s “go to” book. He returns to the Psalms throughout his prayer in chapter 2.  My father had several scriptures he called his “go to” scriptures. The ones he would “go to” in time of crisis. The ones he had committed to memory and would automatically “go to” without even thinking.  Jonah’s voice is the voice of joy: “I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy…” (Psa. 31:7).  Jonah’s voice is the voice of praise that glorifies the Lord: “Whoso offereth praise [a sacrifice of thanksgiving] glorifieth me…” (Psa. 50:23).  Jonah’s voice is the voice of thanksgiving, it is an offering in itself. “And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving and declare his works with rejoicing” (Psa.107:22). Jonah’s voice is lifted up in anticipation of deliverance, it is the voice of faith, it is the voice of hope, it is the voice of expectation.  What an offering this was, what a sweet fragrance it was as it rose up before the Lord. 

Jonah’s Vow: “I will pay that which I have vowed.”  Jonah makes a promise, that promise is part of his prayer and an essential part of his praise.  He says that he will “pay” or “repay;” he will make “restore” or make “restitution” or “amends” to the Lord. The word “pay” comes from a root word meaning “to be safe (in mind, body or estate);” it has the idea of being completed and being at peace. Once Jonah makes amends for the wrong he has done, something has been “restored,” it is his fellowship with the Lord and the result is “peace” with himself and with the Lord.  I believe that all the time Jonah was running and rebelling he was not at peace with himself and certainly not with the Lord.  What a relief it must have been to finally feel that peace of restored fellowship. Jonah made a “vow,” he made a “promise.” We do not know the details of that vow but I believe it was a promise to serve the Lord and obey the Lord.  There is no greater vow than that. Jonah simply surrendered himself, body, soul and spirit to the Lord.  That makes any task easy because the struggle is over and the enabling begins to do whatever the Lord asks. I think that this was a prayerful testimony, that would be a personal testimony and also a public testimony. It is public once he goes into the house of the Lord and offerings those sacrifices and pays those vows.

Jonah made this vow, he made this promise but it is the Lord Jesus Christ who made the full payment by doing His Father’s Will and passing on to us His obedient, submissive nature so that we might do the same. The result is true peace and true restitution and true restoration.  

Jonah’s Praise: “Salvation is of the Lord.” Jonah cries “salvation,” he cries “deliverance” and he did this before it is experienced. He sees it by faith. He sees that it is “of the Lord;” it “belongs to the Lord” (Amplified); it “is from the Lord” (New American Standard).  He cried out for help when he was helpless and knew there was deliverance. He cried out with the same words of faith as others had before him. He cried out again from the Psalms.  He saw that only the Lord could save: “Salvation belongeth unto the Lord…” (Psa. 3:8). He saw the Lord saved the righteous: “But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord …” (Psa.37:39). He saw the God of salvation: “He that is our God is the God of salvation…” (Psa. 68:20). The full reality of that deliverance was not realized but by faith he believed it would happen.  He did not know how he would be delivered or the manner in which he would be delivered, only that he would be delivered. The moment that Jonah gave that cry shows the moment that he accepted God’s grace. Jonah could not save himself. He saw his weakness, he saw his dependence. He accepted God’s grace for himself and was also admitting that grace could be shown to others, even to Nineveh. It was not his place to say God could not save them, or that his preaching could not be used to save them. Therefore, he will preach to them and yet we will see that he may have accepted grace personally pertaining to his need and his sin but he will still struggle with grace shown to the Gentiles. He has learned and yet he still needs to learn.

This is the cry of all men everywhere in every age. The need is the same, the deliverance is the same, the deliverer is the same. Peter preached that there was salvation in no other name than the name of Jesus (Acts 4:12). When we look at the saints in heaven, they all give the same cry, it is a cry of grace, it is the same cry that Jonah gave. It will be the cry of full overcomers (Rev. 5:8-10). It will be the cry of the great multitude (Rev. 7:14). It will be the cry of the remnant of Israel (Rom. 9:27). In each case, it is a cry of joy and a cry of gladness. It is a cry that the Lord is waiting for. It is a cry that I have made, that many have made before me and many will make after me. It is a glorious cry, that “Salvation is of the Lord” and the Lord is the Lord Jesus Christ.

 LET CHRIST BE FORMED IN YOU                 

Pastor Gary Giddings, Sand Lake, MI

Galatians 4:19  “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,”

What is this about? Do we not have Jesus with us since we were born again? Yes, He is in our heart and He has promised never to leave us, never to forsake us. But here’s the question: how much are we like Jesus? How much do we want to be like Jesus? How much do we allow Jesus to rule and reign in our heart? 

Some people who have accepted Jesus as Savior will not obey Him anymore. We want to be those who accept Jesus as Savior and continue to obey Him. There are varying degrees of how much any given Christian obeys the Lord. However much we give ourselves to the Lord will be how much Christ is formed in us. Is it easy to do God’s will? No. But is it worthwhile? Definitely yes! As John the Baptist said of Jesus, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). 

Notice how the Apostle Paul addresses the recipients of this letter: “little children.” This is not a slam or a put down. This is an acknowledgment, first of all, that these people of Galatia were Christians. He even calls them “My little children.” Paul took a personal interest in them.

Paul didn’t give up on these saints: he didn’t disown them but he continued to pray for them and work with them. The Galatian saints had a problem with legalism. They believed the lie that Christ was not enough. Someone told them that they also had to be circumcised and keep the Law in order to be saved. But no one could keep the Law! No matter how hard anyone may try, no one can obey it perfectly. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

The Apostle Paul recognized their position as “saints” but he also called them “little children” because they were not growing in the Lord as they should. Paul was so concerned about them that he used the language of one birthing a child. Paul was “travailing in birth again” because they had lost sight of Jesus and were trying to do things according to their own strength. They had been delivered from idolatry, but now they needed to be delivered from bondage of legalism. 

Someone said it this way: “Under the Law, it is DO and you shall live. Under Grace, it is LIVE and you shall do.” The Law only points to our inability to please God and it only puts us down. In God’s Grace, however, we are alive in Christ and we have the freedom to do God’s will. 

How is Christ formed in us? We surrender to Him so that the New Creation Life in us grows. This is how our character and conduct can change to be more like Jesus. This Christian life is based on a real, ongoing relationship with Jesus our Savior. 

Galatians 4:20  “I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.”

The Apostle Paul was perplexed with these Galatian saints. He was very concerned about them and how he must have prayed and prayed for them! Yet they were “stuck” in legalism. They were trying to live the Christian life by keeping the Law. But the Law can’t show how good we are; the Law only points at our failures. The Law shows us that we need the Savior, Jesus. 

Galatians 3:1-3 - 1. O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2. This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3. Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

As humans, we tend to want to prove (at least to ourselves) that we are good and are doing right. If it isn’t “The Ten Commandments,” then we will make some rules to be our guideline. That is my experience.

My personal testimony is that I was born-again at an early age. I started out in Grace but I found myself believing the lie of the Devil that I was no good and had no talents. I lost confidence in my testimony as a Christian because I knew I didn’t measure up to being a “good Christian.” I let myself be influenced by the world and worldly people around me. I tried to have “fun” in the world but it only disappointed me. I was at a dead end and became depressed and suicidal. I was in pain emotionally, but I didn’t know how to ask for help. I didn’t want to die, but I wanted the pain to end.

After I survived my suicide attempt, the Lord didn’t condemn me but He showed His love for me in a very special way. So I finally decided to live for God and I tried very hard to live right! It was a roller-coaster experience of ups and downs, and it was exhausting! When I did what I thought was right, I was happy! But when I failed, which was sure to happen, then I was down in the dumps and very unhappy. What was the problem? I was trying to live the Christian life on my own terms and by my own strength. I had a list of rules that I tried to keep, but I failed miserably. 

Then it finally dawned on me that I needed to give myself, totally and completely to the Lord without any reservation. I literally bowed down on my knees before the Lord and gave myself to Him. I surrendered all of myself to the Lord. If you haven’t done this, I earnestly beg you to do this, too. I believe that we need to make a conscious decision to let Jesus be our Lord and Master! This is when I started to learn to live by God’s Grace.

1 Corinthians 15:10  “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”

It is the Grace of God by which we are saved, by which we are kept, and by which we learn to be what God wants us to be. Let God uncover the lies of the enemy in your life, whatever they are. We will fail on our own because God wants to be our strength. We are learning that we are weak in ourselves but strong in the Grace of God. This is how Christ is formed in us.


Romans 15:4, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” 

I Peter 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

Colossians 1:5 & 27, “For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel… which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:”

Hebrews 6:18-19, “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;” 

Titus 2:13, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;”

I John 3:3, “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he (Christ) is pure.”

I Peter 3:15, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear (or reverence).”

Monday, November 1, 2021


Jack Davis

“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift – II Cor. 9:15.” God’s immeasurable, inexpressible giving calls forth from us wholehearted thanks-living. That is thoughtful expression of real appreciation, not just lip service, but true deeper from the heart, activating our lives.

“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered him up for us all,  how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Rom. 8:31-34.

We truly give ourselves to God’s beneficial will, when we presently realize how blessed we are even now. Then we also are blessed to consider how good He has been to us in the past. Then yet to know of the great goodness our Father has in store for us for ever with our Lord. Oh to realize that all is made abundantly available unto us is upon the basis of the unselfish sacrifice of our beloved Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, what a long lonesome journey He traveled in order to prepare for us (the dreaded cross, even the lonely tomb), but then, thank God He arose, to return to the place of our soon to be heavenly home! The joyful presence of our Father’s welcome home.

But now thank God through out this age He has also been working in us to get us ready for that glorious place with Him. We now truly more fully express our appreciation as we keep coming back to Him for more and more of all that He has been preparing us for.

See I Thess. 2:11-13: Paul thanked God that those believers would walk worthy of God who had called them unto His kingdom and glory. Such manifested thankful hearts, of those that received the Word of God, not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which works effectually in those that believe. Phil. 2:13: For it is God that works in us the will and do of His good pleasure. 

Thank God for the developing of the life of  Christ in us, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and the effectual working of the Word in us. Oh yes, He said I go to prepare a place for you, and oh how He has faithfully worked. But yet not every eye has seen nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of every man all that He has prepared for them that love Him in return. This plan all originated with our loving Father and our gracious Lord. As we yield our life more completely to God, our lives are made more fruitful unto His glory. Thank God!

He has the best possible worth sharing program there could ever be; and the best security system. He said, I am thy shield and exceedingly great reward. Praise God! They are out of this world. When we give ourselves or of ourselves, let it be of loves appreciation rather than legal requirement. When we let the love of Christ constrain us, such is most beneficial, blessed and eternally enjoyable.


and encouragement thereunto

“Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.” Psa. 68:19. Can we believe it and back our wagon up and load up and share them with others? With thankfulness? When? Early? At midnight I will arise to give thanks unto thee. Psa. 19:62. Shall I leave my rest behind, at opportune times and otherwise? It is our privilege always to have an attitude of gratitude! Is such an aspect of overcoming? How would a full overcomer think of praise and thanksgiving as a sacrifice? Especially in view of all our dear Lord has done and is doing for us, and in us? Oh what a grand and glorious privilege! 

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy loving kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night.” Psa. 92:1-2. When the writer says “good,” it is speaking of that which is most beneficial, to take highest enjoyment therefrom. “Thing” in italics would indicate far more than a singular act, but a precious privileged practice. Paul sings, “In every thing give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I Thess. 5:18. 

Thank God that we can expect Him to make all things work together for our good. Rom. 8:28. We know it is so good for us to enter such a state being thankful, because He repeatedly tells us so. We are glad to do it with delight because He enjoys it, and we have joy in pleasing Him, “Our beloved.”

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” Col. 1:12. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him. Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” Col. 2:6-7.  “...let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” Col. 3:15. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Col. 3:17.

God’s will for our thankfulness is abundantly stated. Our desire to please Him should equate thereunto.

Working Weakness

Gordon Crook - Pastor, Wichita, KS

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” II Corinthians 12:9

God wants to work weakness in your life. It is not really that He needs to “work” weakness; we are weak in ourselves, but that we need to recognize our weakness so that He can work in our lives. It is our very weakness that brings us to His presence.

The culture we live in does not value weakness, and encourages us to rely on ourselves and to be strong. We are told that we do need God. He is for weaklings and people who don’t know any better. Well, we do know better.

“Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed.” Psalms 6:2. Our weakness is what causes us to cry out to God for His grace and mercy. When we are strong in ourselves, we have no need of God’s working grace. When we turn to Him in weakness, then He can show His power and then the glory goes to Him.

Our weakness is found in our humanity. We are unable to rescue ourselves or even help ourselves, even though we tend to want to do it all ourselves. Even Jesus experienced some of the weakness of this humanity. “For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.” II Corinthians 13:4. He was able to die because He had a human body that suffered the same weaknesses as we do. In His humanity, Jesus is able to understand all of our weaknesses. “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.” Isaiah 42:1. Notice that Jesus was upheld by His Father. He was completely dependant upon His Father when He was here.

We, more than Jesus, need to be dependant upon the Father. He is the only one that can sustain us. “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.” Isaiah 40:29. Notice who receives strength and power from God. Not those that are strong and powerful in themselves; those that are faint and have no might.

There are so many examples in the Old Testament of those who God used through their weakness. Consider Abraham who had to wait until he was too old to have a child. God was only able to show His power when Abraham no longer had any chance of doing it on his own.

Consider Joseph who had to go through slavery and imprisonment before God could use him to bring about a great deliverance. Joseph had no possibility, while sitting in prison, of making something great of himself. But out of his weakness, God brought greatness and glory to Himself.

And Gideon, who recognized his weakness, but God still had to reduce his army to just 300 men with pitchers and torches so that God would get all of the glory.

There are many others as well. They are examples to us of what God can do in our weakness. “Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” Hebrews 11:34.

Paul knew and understood the use fullness of weakness in his life, as God had allowed something that taught him to rely entirely on God. He gloried in his infirmities, not because he enjoyed the infirmities, but because he knew God would be glorified through them. “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” II Corinthians 12:10.

Weakness does not mean that we cannot do anything for Jesus. Quite the contrary, through our weakness, God is able to work more for His glory than if we were doing everything we possibly could in our own power. 

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13. Everything that God wants you to do is enabled by His power and His strength. God will work through your weakness if you let Him.


Anita Clark – Pastor, Carbondale, KS

“Then, said He, Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God.  He taketh away the first that he might establish the second.  By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”  Hebrews 10:9-10.

There are two phases to sanctification which need to be known by the believer in Christ.  First, in John 1:29, John the Baptist spoke out and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.” The first part of sanctification, which means “separation, consecration and setting apart,” which were brought about by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ.

II Thessalonians 2:13 Apostle Paul says, “”We are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to Salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” Here the “you” he is speaking of is the whole New Creation (every believer in Christ Jesus) who through the death and resurrection of Christ, were sanctified setting them apart to many benefits. These benefits listed are: our believing (faith), eternal salvation, made a New Creation in Christ, washed in the blood of Jesus and given a new birth and status as a child of God, and set apart for God and whatever He wants to work in us, or through us.  We are set or positioned in the body of Christ, into whatever places He destined us to be in, fulfilling His divine will for us as an individual in the body of Christ.  

I Corinthians 6:9-12, Apostle Paul writing to the Corinthian believers, says, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived.” It is plain that Apostle Paul is speaking of inheritance of the child or believer in Christ.  He lists ten things that are called “works of the flesh” in Galatians 5:19.  Note the word used in our text “inherit.”  Believers who walk after their fleshly desires will suffer loss of the greatest inheritance that the Lord will give to the overcomer once they are in heaven. Notice what Paul says in V. 11, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”  After we are born again we are righteous in God’s sight. Also, we “are sanctified.” which means we are washed in the blood of Christ and made righteous in God’s sight, we are counted a New Creation in Christ. This is our standing before God.  However, as we yield our bodies as living sacrifices unto God and seek to do His divine will for our lives, we live a sanctified (separated) life in the will of God.

Hebrews 10:10-12 tells us “By the which will (God’s divine will) we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ once for all.” His offering set us apart from the penalty of sin.  We are declared “righteous” in Christ, in fact His beautiful righteousness is given to us.  We are redeemed and set free from sin. This power to be separated to God was brought about in our lives because Jesus bore all our sins past, present and future in His own body, with all the suffering He went through on the cross. Hebrews 13:12 says, “Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood suffered without the gate.  Let us go therefore unto Him without the camp bearing His reproach.”  

The Second Phase of “Sanctification” - we call “The Practical side.” This is the side which shows the actual gaining of deliverance from the power of sin.  It is not a one time event, but goes on continually until we stand before Jesus in heaven. In the book of Colossians 3:5-10, we read Paul’s admonition to this group of believers, which applies to all of us. “Mortify (give over to death) therefore you members (bodies) which are upon the earth.” In verses 5-9 He lists how the flesh of mankind operates.  Then, in verse 8 he says, “Put off all these - anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.  Lie not to one another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds. And have put on the new man which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him.” Jesus said in John 17:17 in His prayer to His Father, “Sanctify them through Thy truth, Thy word is truth.”

Victory over the flesh (practical sanctification) and all it does is gained only by trusting in Christ for deliverance. Romans 6:9, 11-13, “Likewise reckon (Greek: “to take an inventory, estimate, think on,”) ye also to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin reign in our mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof.  Neither yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead. And your members (bodies) as instruments of righteousness unto God.”


Earlene Davis

Christ The Judge – Revelation 1

John the Beloved disciple was given visions which are recorded in the book of Revelation. John was on the barren isle of Patmos where they dumped criminals. He was put there for the word of God and for testimony of Jesus Christ (1:9). In spirit he was taken to the Lord’s day, Christ’s day to reign. He heard a great voice behind him as of a trumpet and he turned to see the voice and saw seven golden candlesticks (vs. 10-12). Verse 20 tells us the seven candlesticks are the seven churches. 

Looking back from the view point of the Lord’s day, John was seeing the Church Age. He sees Jesus in the midst of the churches, as Judge. He is judging believers and will give His verdict at the judgment seat of Christ (II Cor. 5:10). He judges by His Word. A nine-fold description of Christ as Judge is in Vs. 13-16. 

1. “Clothed (or endued) with a garment down to the foot.” Jesus Christ has been endued with the authority and power to Judge – (Jn. 5:22). When Christ was raised from the dead, God gave Him to be the Head, the Authority over the church, the body of Christ. He has the right to judge the church, for He gave His life for the church– (Eph. 1:20-23; 5:23,25).

2. “Girt about the paps (or breasts) with a golden girdle.” Breasts are for nourishment, love and mercy, but as judge Christ cannot show mercy, so the breasts are girded up with a golden girdle, gold speaks of deity. When God judges our flesh by the Word, He does not show mercy. Later on in the book of Revelation the saints are girt about the same way, agreeing with Christ when He comes to judge  the world.

3. “His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow.” White speaks of purity and holiness and white hair of His eternal being (ageless), Compare Dan. 7:9 where He is called the Ancient of Days. In Revelation He is seen as “God manifested in the flesh,” in the capacity of His majesty, the Judge.

4. “His eyes were as a flame of fire.” His eyes scrutinize and sees the hypocrisy of men. Heb. 4:13, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” 

5. “His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace.” Brass in scripture speaks of judgment. The brazen altar was made of brass, where the sacrifical animals were slain and burned, the judgment of God on the sacrifice, instead of on the people picturing the sacrifice of Christ. Also Moses was told to put a brazen serpent on a pole. When the snake bit people looked on the brazen serpent, they were healed. Christ likens Himself to that brazen serpent on that pole in Jn. 3:14. Fine brass speaks of intricate judgment, Christ judges thoroughly as He walks among the churches.

6. “His voice as the sound of many waters.” Dan. 10:6 likewise describes the voice of the Judge sounding like many waters. A great water falls makes a mighty roar.

7. “He had in His right hand seven stars.” V. 20 tells us these stars are the angels or messengers (pastors) of the churches. Christ holds them in His right hand, that means they are responsible to Him. Which is more serious then the responsibility to the people. Heb. 13:17, “they must give account.” Acts 20:28, Pastors are responsible to feed the saints which Christ has purchased with His own blood. 

8. “Out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword.” Heb. 4:12, the sword is the Word of God. The sword going out of His mouth speaks of the Word by which He judges. He is the Word of God, the Word made flesh. He speaks the Word or causes others to speak it. We are responsible for the Word we hear, no matter who the vessel is that gives it forth. We are responsible to heed the Word and to let it judge us. The Word cuts back the flesh, but the Holy Spirit heals the hurt.

9. “His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.” His countenance is very bright, for He is the True Light – Jn. 1:4-5,9. Paul saw Him at noon and His countenance was brighter than the noon day sun. Compare Jn. 3:19-21 & 8:12.

John fell at His feet, seeing the awesome Personage of Christ as Judge – V. 17-19. Christ touched John and encouraged him. “Fear not,” I am the Eternal One.  Write the things thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be thereafter. 

Next issue: Christ’s message to the churches


Debra Isenbletter - Pastor Springfield, Missouri

Jonah 2:8: “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.”

After Jonah Fainted and Remembered and Prayed Jonah made a Confession.  At first glance when reading this you would think that Jonah is speaking of others but this is a personal confession and Jonah is speaking of himself. He begins with a Confession: “They that observe lying vanities” and he ends with a Conclusion: “they forsake their own mercy.”  

When Jonah says “They” he is not just referring to others, but himself.  He could be thinking about Israel, for “they” had trusted in “vanities” and of course he could be thinking about the Gentiles, for “they” too had done the same, though they did it in ignorance. But this is personal for Jonah, he is also speaking of himself, for he also had trusted in “vanities.” Jonah says “observe” which is another way of saying trusted.  It means “to regard, to guard and preserve,” that is a striking statement.  To “observe” means to look at and to recognize, the idea is that it is not done in ignorance. To “guard” means to accept it, to believe it, to protect it. That is what is so dangerous.  Jonah’s confession is that he knew what he was doing, he did it with his eyes open, he did it willing, knowing that it was wrong when he ran from the Lord.  

The word “lying” means emptiness” or “falsehood” and “vanities” means “emptiness, something transitory.”  It is like a double emptiness. How sad, how very, very sad for someone who knew the Lord, knew the Word to be taken in by something that was nothing, to be taken in by a lie, by lying to himself.  A lie has no truth, no substance, no reality and although Jonah did not worship an idol, he told himself a lie and believed it to justify himself. These “lying vanities” can be anything we tell ourselves to justify ourselves in disobeying the Lord.  In Jonah’s case I think there were two things that he put before his God that became “lying vanities” and he used them to justify disobeying God.  One was his Pride and the other was his Patriotism.  Pride in being a prophet for Israel, and Patriotism for Israel in his attitude against the Gentiles. When Pride and Patriotism were put before God’s Word and God’s Will they had become idols, something that was empty that could not support or satisfy in time of crisis and the Lord had to show him how very vain these things were.  

In our own lives, these “lying vanities” can speak of deception, either by ourselves or by others. Both are equally dangerous and destructive. We can believe the lies others tell us because that is what we want to hear and we can believe lies we tell ourselves for the same reason.  We can do this when we are discouraged or disobedient. We can do this when we are walking by sight and not by faith.  These “lying vanities” may not be physical idols or statues but they are just as powerless to help us when the time comes to face the consequences of our actions or decisions.  What is so striking is that Jonah, who would have shuddered to go to an idol for help, had fled to Tarshish, to those that trusted in idols. Now, a chastened Jonah, realizes what he has done and makes this confession and identifies himself with those who have done the same.  The result of trusting in “lying vanities” is trouble and turmoil (Psa.88:3; Psa.143:4) and the remedy for “lying vanities” is simply to trust the Lord (Psa.31:6).  

The conclusion that Jonah comes to is striking for he realizes that those who trust in these vain lies have “forsake their own mercy.”  Other translations for this are: “Forsake their own [Source of] mercy and loving-kindness. (Amplified Bible); “Forsake their faithfulness,” (New American Standard); and “Give up their source of mercy” (Complete Jewish Bible).

To “forsake” means to relinquish, to leave, to refuse.” Jonah knew what God’s mercy was, he knew that it belonged to him, that it was his privilege, as did the rest of God’s people. Yet, in disobedience he forsook it, he left it, he refused it, as did Israel in their disobedience.  Jonah, though he did not realize it at the time was refusing God’s “mercy,” His “loving-kindness,” His “goodness;” His “favor.”  He was refusing to believe in God’s “faithfulness” and refusing to be “faithful” in return.  He took it for granted and when he turned away from it, the Lord let him feel how empty his life was without it.  He did not realize what he had turned away from until he denied it and suddenly felt the need for it and could not seem to find it.  Another meaning for “mercy” is “steadfast love,” and despite Jonah’s departure, the Lord was still there and still loved him. Jesus made that same promise to us when He said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” (Heb.13:5).

The real lesson that Jonah learned was that he had mercy at his disposal and he did not accept it.  He failed to show mercy to others when he refused to go to Nineveh and now he saw how precious “mercy” was.  But, Praise the Lord, despite that and because of that realization, the Lord will show mercy to Jonah and he will preach to Nineveh and the Lord will show His mercy to them.

Psalm 23

Last Part

By Vicky Moots

Psalm 23:6a: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…”. Our good and merciful Shepherd goes before us to lead us, and goodness and mercy are following behind us (our rear-guard). We are therefore surrounded by His goodness and mercy and need not fear the attacks of the enemy. Blessings will follow us as we follow Christ. Jesus said in His Sermon on the Mount in Matt. 5:7, “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” As we receive His mercy, we show it to others.

Goodness is one of the attributes of God and actually means “God-ness.” The Scripture plainly tells us that apart from God, there is no goodness. Matt. 19:16-17 relates the story of the rich young ruler who came to Jesus and said, “…Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God…”. Jesus was trying to tell him that in order to call Him “good,” then he must believe that He is God, Emanuel, “God with us,” because only God is good. Did he believe that Jesus was really God in the flesh? We know that he did not actually believe that because verse 22 tells us that he went away sorrowful.

That young man had wanted to know what “good” thing that he could do to earn eternal life. This question is often asked today. In Rom. 3:12 the Apostle Paul quoted Ps. 14:3: “…there is none that doeth good, no not one.” There is therefore no “good” thing that we can do to earn eternal life because there is no “good” in the old creation. Any good that we do is through the life of Christ in us after we are born again, born of God, and become a new creation as sons of God.

Goodness is not a work of the flesh; it is a part of the fruit of the Spirit, listed in Gal. 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…”. God’s goodness will be manifested in us through the fruit that we bear in our lives as we walk in the Spirit, and not through any of our self-works. It is a result of the life of Christ in us.

Goodness and mercy are closely connected to each other as attributes of God. We see this in the words that God spoke to Moses in the mountain. Ex. 34:6-7: “And the LORD passed by before him [Moses], and proclaimed, The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…”. So, we see that the Lord is both merciful and abundant in goodness.

Goodness has already been discussed, but what is mercy? The dictionary meaning of mercy is “kindness in excess of what is expected by fairness; refraining from punishing offenders or harming enemies; the power to forgive or be kind.” All of these meanings were manifested toward us by God when He sent His son to die in our place and to bear our punishment for sin. God did this for us because of His mercy toward fallen mankind. When we deserved death, He gave us life.

Jeremiah declares God’s mercy in Lam. 3:21-23: “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” God’s mercies are new every morning because we need them to be able to start each new day.

Psalm 86 records a prayer of David. Verse 5, “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” In vs. 15-16 we see that David does call upon God’s mercy and says, “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me…”. David in his prayer is echoing some of the words that God spoke to Moses, and they are just as true for us today.

We are also encouraged by the writer of Hebrews to call upon God’s mercy, because we have a High Priest, Jesus, who understands our feelings and our infirmities and short comings, and He is able to intercede for us. Heb. 4:16: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Because of the blood of Jesus, we can come boldly into the presence of God without fear. The judgment for our sin was poured out upon Jesus on the cross so that we could receive God’s mercy instead of punishment. God’s goodness and mercy are always present and available in the person of our Shepherd who leads us.

How long will His goodness and mercy surround us? “All the days of my life,” just as David said. Throughout this life we need His goodness and mercy. His goodness and mercy are unlimited and have a life time guarantee. That means we can call upon His mercy everyday for the rest of our lives as we pray and come boldly unto the throne of grace. David realized that this was a sure thing and left no room for doubt when he said, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”

We don’t have to guess or hope that God will show mercy to us, because it is based on His merit, not our works. Since God’s goodness and mercy are as eternal as He is, we can also say with the Psalmist, “I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever” – Ps. 89:1. So, lift up your voice and sing!

Psalm 23:6: “…and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” Notice that David says, “I will dwell.” He does not say, “I hope to dwell,” but “I will dwell.” If you were to die today, do you know without doubt that you would go to heaven to dwell in the house of the Lord? Perhaps you might say, “I think so,” or “I sure hope so; I’m trying to live right and do the best I can. That’s all God can expect, right?” Can we, like David, really be sure that we will dwell in the house of the Lord?

What does the word “dwell” mean? It means “to take up residence; to abide; to stay.” It does not mean just to visit for a short time, but to live permanently. David desired to dwell with the Lord, to be able to stay in His presence, and so should we. Ps. 27:4, “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life…”.

How can that be possible? What would be required of us in order to be able to do that? David asked that question in Ps. 15:1: “LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill”? There are qualifications for being able to dwell in the house of the Lord, and God showed David the answer in v. 2: “He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.” This is only possible after we are born again and become a new creation in Christ and receive His righteousness. As a new creation we become a part of His family and have a right to dwell in His house. We cannot earn that privilege; it is all by His grace.

Jesus, Himself, assured us of a dwelling place in His house. John 14:2-3, “In my Father’s house are many mansions…I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” The word “mansions” actually means “dwelling places” or “abodes.” 

When Jesus stated, “I go to prepare a place for you,” He meant that He was going to the cross, to prepare the way for us to have a place in heaven to abide with Him. The work was finished on the cross, and the only nails that were used to prepare that place were the ones in his hands and feet. He also promised that He would return for us to receive us unto Himself to dwell with Him. All we have to do is to believe.

But how long will He allow us to live with Him? Is there a limit? Not only was David sure of his dwelling place, but he knew that it would be forever, because God’s love is forever. We can be assured that this is true for us also who believe, because Jesus, our Good Shepherd, promised us that it would be so. John 10:27-28, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto the eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

If we are His sheep, then we are safe and secure in His hand. We are His sheep forever, and He has provided an eternal dwelling place for us so that we can dwell with Him in His house forever.


“I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with Me.” Psalm 13:6

“You have enclosed me and shut me in behind and before and have laid your Hand upon me. Your (in Christ) knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high above me, I cannot reach it.” Psalm 139:5-6

“You are my hiding place and my shield. I wait for your word.” Psalm 119:114

“The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.” Psalm 118:14

“The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me.” Psalm 138:8

Martha Wainright

Friday, October 1, 2021

 Let Us Have Grace

Jack Davis

 “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” Heb. 12:28-29.

Is not Godly fear and Godly fire compatible, by laying faith’s claim to God’s grace? In the second half of this chapter Vs. 18-29, we find such great contrast of conditions in believer’s approach and relations to God. The God of all grace has called us unto his eternal glory by Jesus Christ - I Peter 5:10.

Oh, how marvelously blessed we are today in this age of grace. When we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, we became a part of the heavenly segment of an unshakable kingdom. Our citizenship is in heaven. Our heart’s treasures are above. We are urged now to appropriate by grace the high glories of said kingdom, on a course of faith. It is our privilege to receive and honor now the coming universal King of all kings to the throne of our hearts. 

Our worship today is only acceptable (well-pleasing) as we appropriate His grace. We do well also to allow Him who is the same yesterday, today and for ever, to establish our hearts therewith making us steadfast, unmovable - Heb. 13:8-9.

In our service of worship we are urged to approach our Father’s throne with confidence. Heb. 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

But let us fear ever becoming presumptuous. Be fully aware that He is able to see any and all the dross. He is willing to apply the heat to burn it out.

With the statement of verse twenty-nine we are so very glad that we may worship Him as our God. Heb. 11:16, 

…God is not ashamed to be called their God…”.

 Rev. 21:1,2 

Anita Clark – Pastor
Grace Chapel, Carbondale, Kansas     

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Cor. 5:17).

This is  where we began as a new believer in Christ.  Notice that the above scripture uses the phrase, “ Christ...”  How do we become “in Christ,” and what does it mean to be “in Christ.” 

Here is the answer.  When we accept Jesus to be our Savior and ask Him to rule in our hearts, He accepts us into His family.  We become children of God.  We are recognized as a member of the body of Jesus Christ.  Our faith in Jesus, accepting His salvation which He accomplished on the cruel cross, paid for our sin.

The new life of Christ is placed within us, and from that new life comes attributes of the Heavenly Father.  These things are seen in our lives as new things.  II Peter 1:4 tells us, “Whereby are given to us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

This divine life of Christ within us produces new thoughts, new motives and new actions.  The characteristics that Jesus manifest, such as: love, mercy, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faithfulness, patience, longsuffering and temperance, now are manifest in our lives as we yield to the Lord Who dwells in us.

Since we have become a New Creation in Christ, we can look forward to many new things.  For example, the life as yielded to God is full of joy and peace.  The weight and guilt of sin is lifted.  Our future is bright, whereas before it was dismal and full of fear and judgment.

Romans 8:21-23 tells us, “...the creature itself shall be delivered  from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God...we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption (placing as sons literally in God’s presence) to wit the redemption of our body.” 

 This is the promise - we will have new bodies one of these days.  No more pain, death, sorrow, or crying as we enter into that eternal state with Christ our Lord.  I John 3:2 says, “...but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.”

Phil. 3:21 guarantees this, “Who [Christ]  shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body...”  What does it mean to be glorified?  We think about what kind of body Jesus had after His resurrection.  He was incorruptible, He was eternal, He could go through walls, He could eat, but did not need to, and He appeared here and there, revealing Himself as He willed.  This shows us what it means to be glorified.

We are expecting a new heaven and earth as 2 Peter 3:12-13 says. And John saw in Rev. 21:1,2, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven prepared as a bride for her husband.”  This is our destination.  Because we are new creatures in Christ, we are destined for a new home for eternity.  How wondrous it will be!  Prepare now to live on high with God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit forever.

 Listen And Learn

“A wise man will hear, and will increase  learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:” Proverbs 1:5

Scripture speaks to us about the need to listen more and speak less. Listening is the only way to gain understanding and wisdom. In particular, the Bible is speaking about listening to God’s Word as He speaks to us.

This principle applies in all aspects of our lives. In school, those that were willing to listen more gained more understanding. In marriage, those that are willing to listen more will gain more understanding of their spouse. In business, those that are willing to listen will gain more understanding.

This is not an easy task for most of us, because we tend to prefer to talk, especially if we think we know something about the subject being discussed. However, we tend to lose out on the wisdom and understanding that can be gained by listening to others.

Spiritually, it is even more important that we be willing to listen and gain understanding. Not just listen to some person, even though God does give us teachers and Pastors to teach us His Word, but listen to God’s Word. Measure everything we hear from others against what we read in the Bible.

We need to have an ear to hear the Holy Spirit. He is the one God has provided to teach us as we study our Bible. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” John 16:13-14.

These verses give us some understanding of how we know when we are hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit. He will glorify Jesus. When we hear someone preaching something that does not glorify Jesus, then we need to move away from that. We really do need to have a desire to hear the Holy Spirit. If we are studying the Bible just for some knowledge, we are missing the point. We are not just learning for the sake of learning, we are learning about our beloved Lord.

Each one of us must hear God’s Word personally. This involves getting into the Bible and studying to know what it says. As I notice the great amount of “teaching” out on the internet, in social media, on Youtube and other places, it is clear that there is so much error being taught, that we simply cannot approach that without knowing what the Bible says already. 

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15. The Greek word translated study here speaks of a diligence to know the Word of Truth. The approval that matters is God, not ourself or others.

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:” James 1:19. Today everyone gets to speak their opinion because of social media. There is a lot of speaking, and very little listening. James reminds us that we should listen much more than we speak. 

On social media, people can say anything they want about anything, whether or not it is true, and there will be some that will give them positive feedback which will increase the nonsense. The way to know error is not to study error, it is to know truth and compare everything to that.

When working with audio, we use filters. A filter can be used to cut out certain frequencies or to allow only certain frequencies to pass. Filters can be used to make audio clearer and more understandable.

Christians need a filter every time they approach the world. Everything we take in from the world should be understood through the filter of God’s Word. It allows us to understand clearly what we are hearing or seeing.

It is extremely important that we approach our study of God’s Word without preconceived notions that we have created for ourselves or heard from others. It is the way of human nature to want to make the Bible agree with us, when it must be the other way. We must be willing to agree with the Bible and be willing to hear what God wants to speak to our life when we study.

The more I study, the more I am realizing that God has something He wants to speak to each of us. God has always desired to have close communion with each one of us, and He is doing that through His Word. Our interest in studying God’s Word is in direct proportion to our desire to know our Lord better.

We say we want to be in the bride of Jesus, but the truth is that His bride will know Him intimately, and that will necessitate real, earnest, study while listening to the Holy Spirit teach us. “Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellers.” Psalms 119:24. “I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.” Psalms 119:162.

Is God’s Word your delight? Are you listening? Are you learning? I’m absolutely convinced the time is short for us, and we must be diligent in our relationship with our Lord. 

Gordon Crook


Earlene Davis

The Miraculous Deliverance – Daniel 12

V. 1 - Begins with “And at that time,” the time of the end (11:40) when the Antichrist will come on the scene and vent his fury on Israel. At that crisis time of unparallel trouble such as never experienced before (greater then the holocaust) they shall be given supernatural help. God will fight for His people when they are at their wit’s end. Michael, the great warrior angel for Israel will stand up for their help. It will be a real turning point (after centuries of defeat and misfortune), a complete miraculous overthrow of all Israel’s enemies, never again to be trodden down). It will be the greatest battle ever fought. The clock will strike the hour of their resurrection. The dry bones will begin to shake and there will be a great awakening (Ezek. 37:1-14). Israel will arise from the ashes and put on her garments of Salvation and praise and sing with joy as she has never sang before. 

Notice, not all the natural lineage of Abraham, living and dead or good or bad shall be saved. The deliverance and resurrection is for those that believe, “every one that shall be found written in the book (V.1c). A nation will be new born, the people contrite and humbled, a new creation, a holy seed, a spiritual people. 

In Rev. 12:7-9 we read of a war in the heavenlies, not where God’s throne is but somewhere in the vast expanse above the earth. Amos 9:6 tells us there are spheres of vast extent, stories in the heavens. Satan and his forces (the wicked spirits) have ruled over some of that. This war in heaven precedes the one on earth. When Satan is cast down, his time is short. He stirs up the nations in a combined struggle to exterminate the Jews. For through them Christ shall reign over the earth. He is the King of the Jews and he shall reign when Satan has been bound in hell a thousand years. Satan fights hard with all his power, so there is trouble like there has never been before (Jer. 30:7). It is a travail time for Israel, Her birth pains from which she shall come forth a nation new born (Isa. 66:8). She shall be purged, a glorious kingdom of priests to reign and bring blessing to the whole world.

V. 2 - this statement embraces the millennium. Many of Israel awaken to everlasting life and will precede the many awaken to shame and contempt by a thousand years. Compare Jn. 5:28-29 and Rev. 20:6-7,11-15. But there will be a resurrection. The faithful dead shall come forth out of their graves and participate in the glorious kingdom of Christ. They shall not be part of the earthly population, for they will have glorified bodies and may reign over the earth (Mt. 19:28 & 8:11). The earthly people will not enjoy their glorified bodies until the end of the millennium. We see ranks in the resurrection of Israel, for some worthies of faith of the Old Testament were raised up when Christ arose (Mt. 27:51-52), obtaining a better resurrection (Heb. 11:35). The second rank will arise when Christ will appear and call them out of their graves, but the restored nation will not enjoy their glorified bodies until the end of the 1,000 year reign. Isa. 65:20 says the rebellious will be cut off at 100 years in the millennium, for there will be no toleration of wickedness ( Isa. 65:20).

V. 3 - There will be some “wise ones” spiritual teachers that will exhort the believing remnant. They shall shine in that darkness, adorning the nation.

V. 4 - Daniel’s prophecy was sealed, for the nation did not understand the prophecy, the vail was upon their heart, but in their hour of need, they shall understand. They shall search the writing of Daniel, “knowledge shall be increased” and understand that the end is at hand.

Vs. 5-8 - Two other persons appear beside the Glorious Man which has been with Daniel since the beginning of the vision. The Glorious Personage appears above the water, the other two are standing on the bank of the river, one on the right, the other on the left. One calls to the Man upon the waters, “How long unto the end of these wonders?” The Man lifts up His hands and swears by Him that liveth forever that 3 1/2 year shall be the time in which these closing wonders shall be consummated, agreeing with Ch. 7:25 and 9:27. It refers to the time when the Antichrist shall have absolute power in his hands and shall devastate the Jews. God will allow it for Israel chastening. When His purpose is accomplished He will suddenly put an end to the false despot and his kingdom.

The Jews for that determined time will be utterly helpless and shut up to the mercy of God. They will learn the hopelessness of trusting the flesh, not only their own, but all flesh. They will call upon the Lord with their whole heart. The Lord will preserve a third part of that nation and plant them as a seed in the renewed earth when He is King. They will humble themselves in repentance and he will look on them in grace (Isa. 64:1; 66:2; Mt. 23:39; Isa. 25:9).

Vs. 9-10 - Daniel saw and heard the vision, but did not understand it. But the people of the end will open his prophecy and understand. Daniel is assured that he is a prophet and all declared to him shall be fulfilled at the time of the end.

V. 10 – Many Jews shall suffer, their faith tried in the furnace of affliction. They shall come forth in victory, purified. The fiery trial which will melt the wise and prudent will only harden the heart of the foolish.

V. 11 – another measurement as to end time events, 1290 days between the time “the daily sacrifice is interruped and the abomination of desolation is set up. We know from Ch. 9:27 that it is set up in the midst of the week of 7 years. So reckoning backward from that time, brings us to 30 days before the beginning of the 7 years of 1260 days. When we get our starting point, then the remainder of these dates are simplified. So the basic offering, the daily burnt offering is taken away just 30 days before the covenant with the false prince is ratified. For the Jews to give up this principal offering is equivalent to letting go of their faith in the Messiah, not believing in the God of their fathers, a sign of their apostate condition.

Vs. 12-13 – The second measuring line (1335 day), gives the very day of Christ’s appearing to the Jews. Beginning at the very some time as the tribulation and counting brings us to 75 days after its close. No doubt those day will be spent in mourning for the one they have pierced (Zech. 12:10-14). The Jews who endure to the end of the tribulation will be blessed indeed.

 Waiting Till I Come

‘Midst the darkness, storm and sorrow,

one bright gleam I see,

Well I know the blessed morrow,

Christ will come for me;

‘Midst the light and peace and glory

of the Father’s home,

Christ for me is waiting, 

watching, waiting till I come.

Long the blessed Guide has led me

by the desert road,

Now I see the golden towers –

City of my God;

There a-midst the love and glory

He is waiting yet,

On His hands a name is graven

He can ne’er forget.

There a-mist the songs of heaven,

sweeter to His ear

Is the foot-fall through the desert

ever drawing near;

There made ready, are the mansions

glorious, bright and fair,

But the Bride, the Father gave Him,

still is wanting there.

Christ for me is waiting,

watching, waiting till I come

I behold Him watching, waiting,

wooing me to come home.

     – Anon


Debra Isenbletter, Pastor

Springfield, Missouri

Jonah 2:7: “When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.” This verse is such a wonderful testimony of faith and the power of the Word of God to activate that faith. Jonah fainted, then he remembered the Lord; he remembered the Word, and as he prayed he drew from the Word of God and his faith revived.

Jonah Fainted: This is his desperation, it is the desperation of the “soul,” of the mind, of the heart. When Jonah “fainted” it speaks of an emotional reaction, not just a physical reaction.  I do not think he collapsed in the belly of the fish, he was probably already prostrate, in a position of physical collapse. Jonah was emotionally “overwhelmed,” he had come to the end of himself, the end of his strength, the end of his struggle. The word “fainted” comes from “to shroud” (from the idea of darkness). He needed to see the light of the Word in the midst of the darkness of despair. When he remembers the Word there is light and there is hope! Jonah’s faith will overcome his fears and his feelings. He must stop looking at himself and start looking at his God. The Psalms remind him of those who have fainted and been restored by faith. He is not alone and the testimony of others show him the way. “My flesh and my heart faileth; but God is the strength of my heart” (Psa.73:26). “When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path” (Psa.142:3).

Jonah Remembered: This is his recollection.  Remembering is the first step to victory over despair. It means “to be mindful of; to recall.” It also means “to cause to remember” and trials will do this and the Holy Spirit will do this. It means “to keep in remembrance” and that is the key to victory and overcoming. To know the Word, to remind ourselves of the Word. Reading the scriptures is one way to remind ourselves of the Word, so that we remember it. Mediating on the Word is another way and studying the Word is another way. Each takes a different amount of time and different effort but the end result for each is a storehouse to draw from in time of need. We can do this anytime. The Word is available for us, waiting for us to partake of it and store it up for future use. Jonah remembers that his God made promises to him, and that his God had a relationship with him. He was his prophet and his servant. Jonah remembers what other godly men have said at a crucial time in their lives. He remembered that the Lord was “a very present help in trouble” (Psa.46:1). He remembered that there were others who when their “soul was cast down” also remembered God and were comforted and found hope. (Psa.42:6).  I am always struck by what Jeremiah says in Lamentations. He remembered both the positive and the negative experiences and was able to find a balance and he learned and grew from that remembering. He remembered his affliction and misery (Lam.3:19). He remembered and was humbled (3:20). He remembered and had hope (3:21). He had hope because he remembered His mercy (3:22). In the end he remembered how great was the Lord’s faithfulness (3:23). He remembered and overcame and was not overcome. That is what each of us must do by faith. We see the trial but we see the Lord. We see both and find that the Lord makes the trial bearable until He brings us through. Jonah is waiting for deliverance and so are we.  Paul, showed us by his example, and teaching that we can be more than conquerors, that nothing will separate us from the One who loves us. (Rom.8:37-39). We can choose what to remember and we can look to the Lord and wait for deliverance. Jonah did this. Jesus did this. We do this. 

Jonah Prayed: This is his conviction. Jonah laid hold of his privilege as a servant of the Lord. His prayer was “supplication, it was a “petition” and it was a “praise.”  There is a wonderful balance in our prayer life if we have both praise and petition, instead of just petition, instead of just listing our need. Praise lifts our eyes up above the need so that we can see the One who will meet it. Jonah prayed and he knew that it “came in unto” the Lord. He knew the Lord heard his prayer. The words “came in unto” show the stages of prayer. It means “to depart,” the prayer was sent forth by faith. It means “to enter in, the prayer came into God’s Presence. It means “to abide,” the prayer was heard, received, accepted and was not turned away. Jonah’s prayer was a prayer of need but it was also a prayer of faith. He knew how to pray. He knew Who to pray to. He knew his prayer would be heard. He knew this because he remembered the prayers of others and he remembered their faith. He knew this because the Word told him this. He remembered those in distress who said, “In my distress I called upon the Lord and cried unto my God and he heard my voice” (Psa.18:6) This is the testimony of faith, an example showing us that we must be willing to pray, no matter how dire or difficult the circumstance. Prayer relieves the weight of the burden because the moment we pray we begin to let go of the burden and let the Lord take it up for us. This is not claiming, it is not demanding, it is turning the burden over to the Lord and trusting in Him to carry it for us and deliver us when He chooses and how He chooses.

Jonah Believed: This is his devotion. In 2:4 Jonah said, “I will look toward the temple.” He looked, he prayed and now he says “my prayer came … into thy temple.” Jonah’s look and prayer was directed to where the Presence of the Lord was and His presence can be found in the earth and also in heaven. He can always be found.  In the earthly temple the Presence of the Lord was seen and felt when it filled the house of the Lord. (1Ki.8:10-13). But the Presence of the Lord was just as real, just as powerful when it was seen with the eyes of faith. Isaiah saw by faith the Lord sitting in His temple (Isa.6:1) and he was overwhelmed and overcome. Jonah looked to the earthly and heavenly temple in faith. He could see neither with his natural eyes but he saw both with spiritual eyes. His prayer came into God’s Presence and he knew it.  

Paul reminds us that our prayers are heard, that nothing can separate us from the Love of Christ or the Love of God and he lists all the things that we think might separate us and he says that they cannot (Rom.8:35-39). We can pray with absolute assurance no matter where we find ourselves.

 We look and pray to a heavenly place. This is where our blessings are (Eph.1:3). This is where we are seated by faith (Eph.1:6) and where our Savior dwells (Eph.1:20). Jonah is standing on resurrection ground by faith when he prays and so are we. Praise the Lord!