True Beauty

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Malachi 3-4 & Proverbs 31

Old Testament: Malachi 3- Solid Gold

Malachi 3:3
“He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness.”

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b9a/30989304/files/2014/12/img_1273.jpgSince ancient times, precious metals have been purified using intense heat. The process involved a craftsman stirring a crucible filled with molten gold. Flames, reaching an excess of one thousand degrees, would liquify the gold and send the impurities to the top. The craftsman would then skim off the impurities, thus purifying the gold. The tradition remains largely untouched… Read More

Malachi 4- Sound Of Silence

Malachi 4:4
“Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, Which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.”

The book of Malachi brings the Old Testament to a close. For a period of 1,100 years God at various times and in diverse manners spoke to His people through the prophets. That time had now concluded and for the next 400 years heaven was silent. It was not until the angel appeared to Zechariah and Elizabeth, that this silence was broken. Knowing that… Read More

Proverbs 31- True Beauty

Proverbs 31:1
“The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him . . .”

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b9a/30989304/files/2014/12/img_1277.pngProverbs 31 is a section of Scripture most often taught at women’s conferences or retreats, because it goes to great length describing a virtuous woman. A more careful look will reveal this passage was actually instructions to the King, by his mother. It was her attempt to teach him how to find a godly wife. We find not only the characteristics that a virtuous woman ought to pursue, but also the… Read More

Lessons From Nature

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Malachi 1-2  & Proverbs 30

Old Testament: Malachi 1- The Lord’s Cow

Malachi 1:8
“And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, Is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor!
Would he be pleased with you?
Would he accept you favorably?
Says the Lord of hosts.”

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b9a/30989304/files/2014/12/img_1266.jpgYears ago, I heard a story of a farmer whose cow, after a long and arduous labor, gave birth to twins. He ran into the farmhouse to give the news to his wife, who reminded him of the goodness of God and encouraged him to give one of the calves to the Lord. He agreed immediately, but took some time to make the decision as to which calf would be his and which one would belong to the Lord. After… Read More

Malachi 2- Happy Marriage

Malachi 2:15
“But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? and why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.”

Malachi has a lot to say about marriage. He warns the people of the danger of marrying badly, by choosing an ungodly spouse. He refers to marriage as both, “The Lord’s holy institution which He loves,” and as a “Covenant.” He exhorts husbands to think of their wife as a companion, and to be careful not to deal treacherously… Read More

Proverbs 30- Lessons From Nature

Proverbs 30:24-28
“There are four things which are little on the earth,
But they are exceedingly wise:
The ants are a people not strong,
Yet they prepare their food in the summer;
The rock badgers are a feeble folk,
Yet they make their homes in the crags;
The locusts have no king,
Yet they all advance in ranks;
The spider skillfully grasps with its hands,
And it is in kings’ palaces.”

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b9a/30989304/files/2014/12/img_1267.jpgThis Proverb takes us to the natural world, in order to illustrate spiritual truths. The behaviors of four creatures are used to help us understand how to walk with the Lord.

The ant is an example of being prepared for the future. We are exhorted to live prepared for eternity. We do that by receiving Jesus Christ and walking daily… Read More

 

Stain Removal

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Zechariah 13-14 & Proverbs 29

Old Testament: Zechariah 13- Stain Removal

Zechariah 13:1
“In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.”


It seems like salespeople will make the most preposterous claims, just to make a sale. We hear of miracle products that have the ability to get stains out of anything. The problem is, when we use the product, it rarely meets their claims or our expectations. No matter how hard we work, the kool-aid stain remains imbedded in the carpet, and the grease… Read More

 

Zechariah 14- Ready?

Zechariah 14:1
“Behold, the day of the Lord is coming…”


Paul Revere is famous for warning the the colonial militia of the coming of the British army, before the battles of Lexington and Concord. He actually helped establish an intelligence and alarm system designed to prepare the colonies for the movements of the British troops. A good warning system will help us prepare for what is coming. We may never know how many lives were saved by the efforts… Read More

 

Proverbs 29- Parenting

Proverbs 29:15
“The rod and rebuke give wisdom,
But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.”

Proverbs 29:17
“Correct your son, and he will give you rest;
Yes, he will give delight to your soul.”

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b9a/30989304/files/2014/12/img_1265.jpgBefore becoming the Pastor of Calvary Chapel Vero Beach, I spent eight years teaching in the classroom. The first five years I taught in middle school and the final three in high school. Those years proved to be both a wonderful experience and an excellent training ground for raising my own children. My first year was interesting to say the least. I was 23 years old and newly married. I had little experience dealing with… Read More

Shaky Ground

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Zechariah 11-12 & Proverbs 28

Old Testament: Zechariah 11- It’s Not Worth It

Zechariah 11:12
“Then I said to them,  ‘If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.’ So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.”

As the time of His death drew near, Jesus asked His disciples two very probing questions. First He asked, “What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul”(Matthew 16:26)? The question itself reveals that the soul is of infinite worth, and all the world’s wealth, honor and power would not be worth giving… Read Moe

Zechariah 12- Pierced

Zechariah 12:10
“They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn.”

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b9a/30989304/files/2014/12/img_1263.jpg
Zechariah wrote over 400 years before Christ, and yet, he refers to the cross.

In John 19:36-37 we read, “For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, ‘Not one of His bones shall be broken.’ And again another Scripture says, ‘They shall look on Him… Read More

Proverbs 28- Shaky Ground

Proverbs 28:26
He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.”

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b9a/30989304/files/2014/12/img_1264.jpgWhen faced with decisions, it is not uncommon to be counseled to follow your heart. Solomon suggests that doing so is a very bad idea. He calls it folly. I can think of three reasons why it is foolish to follow your heart.

First, the Bible teaches that the heart is deceitful above all other… Read More

Can’t Eat Just One

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Zechariah 9-10 & Proverbs 27

Old Testament: Zechariah 9- Coronation

Zechariah 9:9
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.”


A few years ago, during the height of the popularity of the tv show “American Idol”, I happened to be in a hotel room in Ghana. I turned on the tv and began  flipping through the channels. Soon I found a show I did not know existed. It was called “West African Idol.” The premise was the same as the American version, but without nearly the budget. Instead… Read More

Zechariah 10- Cornerstone

Zechariah 10:4
“From him comes the cornerstone,
From him the tent peg,
From him the battle bow,
From him every ruler together”

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b9a/30989304/files/2014/12/img_1261.jpgZechariah referred to the coming Messiah as the cornerstone. A cornerstone is the stone which forms the base of a building. It supports the weight of the adjoining walls and is the set stone necessary to plum the rest of the building. If that stone is unstable, or too weak to support the weight of the structure, the building itself will collapse. If that stone is out of… Read More

Proverbs 27- Can’t Eat Just One

Proverbs 27:20
Hell and Destruction are never full; So the eyes of man are never satisfied.”

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b9a/30989304/files/2014/12/img_1902.jpgA few years ago, the Frito-Lay Corporation ran an ad for their potato chips with the slogan, “Bet you can’t eat just one.” The concept was simple, their chips were so good, so addicting, that once you tasted one, you would keep eating until the bag was empty. In this verse, Solomon points out, sin is like that. The word he uses for hell is Sheol, and can mean the grave. He is declaring, just as death is never satisfied, so desire for sin will never be satisfied by sinning. Often, when we are facing greater than normal temptation toward… Read More

 

 

Do The Right Thing

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Zechariah 7-8 & Proverbs 26

Old Testament: Zechariah 7- Do The Right Thing 

Zechariah 7:3
“Should I weep in the fifth month and fast as I have done for so many years?”

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The people in Zechariah’s day were beginning to realize their lifestyle was unacceptable to God. They concluded, the solution to unrighteous living was to fast on certain days. Prior to implementing their new religious program, they approached the prophet for guidance. He declared what they really needed to do was obey the Word of The Lord.

Zechariah 7:7
“Should you not have obeyed the words which the Lord proclaimed through the former prophets…”

There is something about the nature of all men that when we become convicted… Read More

Proverbs 26- Answers

Proverbs 26:4-5 “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest  he be wise in his own eyes.”

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b9a/30989304/files/2014/12/img_1254.jpgSometimes, determining what God wants us to do can be quite difficult. We can have opposing principles, which can be found in the pages of the Word, applied to the same situation. That is the case with the advice Solomon is providing here. On the one hand, it is folly to attempt to correct a foolish man. Since his thinking is irrational, it is impossible to rationalize with him. The conversation becomes nothing more than a vain argument… Read More

Merry Christmas

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Zechariah 5-6 & Proverbs 25

Old Testament: Zechariah 5- Curses

Zechariah 5:2-3
“And he said to me, ‘What do you see?’ So I answered, ‘I see a flying scroll. Its length is twenty cubits and its width ten cubits.’ Then he said to me, ‘This is the curse that goes out over the face of the whole earth…'”

hqdefault-1.jpgOver the years, Hollywood has gone to elaborate ends to depict the results of a curse. The storyline of the hit movie “Pirates of the Caribbean,” is built upon the fact that a group of pirates stole enchanted treasure and were forced to live forever under its curse. The curse forced them to live forever, without taste or feeling.

The Bible teaches we are… Read More

Zechariah 6- Merry Christmas

Zechariah 6:12-13
“Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out… And shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”

christmas-card

The Bible speaks of the riches of the grace of God. Grace is a word that refers to God’s giving nature. James 1:17 puts it this way, “Every good and perfect gift comes from the father of lights in whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” Certainly, life is filled with gifts given from heaven to earth. When we gaze into the face of nature, or a new born child, we cannot help but think of the grace of God. Nevertheless, every other gift pales in comparison to the gift given on the first Christmas morning. God wrapped His Son in human flesh and gave Him to mankind to be Savior and Lord. The young Child who was born in a stable… Read More

 

Proverbs 25- Truth Bearer

Proverbs 25:9
“Debate your case with your neighbor, and do not disclose the secret to another;”

The Bible clearly teaches that we are not to lie. Truthfulness is a very important trait, and is the foundation for healthy relationships. We cannot have a relationship with someone we cannot trust and we cannot trust someone who does not tell us the truth. That being said, it is also important to remember, we are not required to divulge all the information to every one who asks. If you are walking casually through the local department store and make eye contact with a passerby who asks the common… Read More