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Awesome Angels

Posted by: David Carroll

Matthew 28:2-4 (NKJV)

And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

Angels are magnificent creatures. God created them to do his bidding. We read about Gabriel and Michael the archangels. They are powerful; the Lord sent a single angel one evening who cut down every mighty man and captain in the army of Assyria. Just think what a whole host of them could do! When artists of the world paint pictures of angels, they are these sweet, delicate creatures. The bible paints a different picture.

The bible speaks of warfare going on in the heavenly places between forces of evil and of good. The battle for us is for the hearts and souls of men.

See for yourself

Posted by: David Carroll

Psalm 34:8 (NKJV)

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

I can witness, argue, persuade and otherwise plead with you to put your trust in the Lord, but there comes a point in which you must find out for yourself that He is everything the Bible says He is. You don't have to believe me, try it yourself and you will find out.

You have heard it said: "The proof of the pudding is in the eating of it." The world says, "I'll believe it when I see it." The bible says the opposite: "You will see it, when you believe it." Jesus invites us to try an experiment:

John 7:17 (NKJV)

If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.

Mocking the Creator God

Posted by: David Carroll

Matthew 27:27-31 (NKJV)

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him. And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him.

When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.

How incredibly ironic that the God of the Universe would be so mocked and humiliated by ignorant, cruel men. That Jesus, the one who spoke the worlds into existence, willingly went through this for our sake is the most incredible act of love ever. The way to view the crucifixion is as a substitution. Jesus was taking upon himself our punishment.

Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

People today continue to mock Jesus by using his name as a sacrilege in their profanity. You never hear someone yell out "Buddha" or "Mohammed" when they smash their finger with a hammer. But there is coming a day when the tables will be turned.

Philippians 2:9-11 (NKJV)

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Commander in Chief

Posted by: David Carroll

Psalm 33:6 (NKJV)

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.

Psalm 33:9 (NKJV)

For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.

The word of the Lord is awesomely powerful. Even inanimate matter obeys His word. The picture I get from these verses is the instant obedience of the stars to begin their existence and to take their positions in space. Come to think of it, there is really only one thing that does not instantly obey the Lord God. And that is us--Man.

Judges 21:25b (NKJV)

everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Cheering for victory

Posted by: David Carroll

Matthew 26:52-54 (NKJV)

But Jesus said to him, "Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?"

Whenever I read this passage, I find myself wishing Jesus had just gone ahead and called down this twelve legions of angels. Certainly Jesus had no need for a pitiful band of disciples with swords as His defense. A Roman legion would have almost 7,000 soldiers in it. What a sight that would have been, what a story! I would be on the edge of my seat during that battle scene in which the enemy gets wiped out by 78,000 glorious angels. Consider the awesome power that was available to Jesus, yet this is not what happened. The plan had been in place since the foundation of the world. Jesus went on to die an excruciating and shameful death on the cross, receiving upon himself the punishment due us for our sins. In so doing the bigger enemy was defeated, once for all.

1 John 3:8 (NKJV)

He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

Revelation 19:11-16 (NKJV)

Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Revelation 19:19-21 (NKJV)

And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.

Why so much blood?

Posted by: David Carroll

Exodus 29:15-18 (NKJV)

You shall also take one ram, and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands on the head of the ram; and you shall kill the ram, and you shall take its blood and sprinkle it all around on the altar. Then you shall cut the ram in pieces, wash its entrails and its legs, and put them with its pieces and with its head. And you shall burn the whole ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the Lord; it is a sweet aroma, an offering made by fire to the Lord.

When I read the instructions given to Moses for worship and consecration, I am struck with a feeling of revulsion. I find myself thinking, how is it that God is pleased with such horrible activity? Then I am reminded of what this all represents in the mind of God. Jesus Christ became the Lamb of God. His blood was poured out for us. The bible says "without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins." What is it that pleased God? It was that His justice and His mercy would both be satisfied in the ultimate sacrifice.

The feelings we have about the sacrifices are purposely intended to shock us and to repulse us with the magnitude of the unapproachable holiness of God and with the length to which God has gone to provide for us a way to be saved from his wrath.

Romans 3:24-26 (NKJV)

Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

The Holy Place

Posted by: David Carroll

Exodus 28:34-35 (NIV)

The gold bells and the pomegranates are to alternate around the hem of the robe. Aaron must wear it when he ministers. The sound of the bells will be heard when he enters the Holy Place before the Lord and when he comes out, so that he will not die.

The instructions God gave to Moses for the construction and operation of the Tabernacle were very specific. The high priest had to wear a robe with bells around the hem. He had to perform every task in a very particular way when he would enter the Holy Place. This was God's dwelling place. If the high priest were to depart in any way from the instructions, he would die in his duties. It has been said that they would tie a rope around the ankle of the High Priest so that if they ever heard the bells stop ringing, they would know he had died and they would use the rope to pull his body out of there. This is a picture of the complete holiness of our God. The bible says that he is of purer eyes than to behold any sin.

Since Jesus is now our great High Priest, we now can approach the throne of grace with boldness if we have been consecrated to him by accepting his free gift of salvation.

Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Doing nothing is doing harm

Posted by: David Carroll

Matthew 25:30 (NKJV)

And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

This is the end of the parable of the talents. The master gave one five, another two and another one talent. The ones with five and two talents doubled their master's money. The one with one talent buried his not putting it to work for his master. He was called wicked and lazy.

A talent is a large sum of money so by being given only one, the third servant was not slighted in anyway. Many today are living without Christ and many are pretenders. The unprofitable servant was not a murderer or a thief; he just did nothing with what was offered him freely.

Matthew 7:19-20 (NKJV)

Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

A Prepared Place

Posted by: David Carroll

Exodus 23:20 (NKJV)

"Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.

This was a promise given to the Israelites after they had been delivered out of Egypt and before they had come in to the promised land. As a born again Christian, I have been delivered out of "Egypt" an idiom of the world. But I don't consider myself to have arrived at where God wants me yet. I believe God has prepared a place for me and he has put an angel before me to keep me in the way. What a delightful thought that is.

Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV)

A man's heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.

Don't be deceived

Posted by: David Carroll

Matthew 24:24 (NKJV)

For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

When you begin to see wonderful things, be very careful. Test everything against the Word of God.

Even Pharaoh's magicians were able to perform many of the miracles that Moses performed. I've seen some very impressive magic shows but an entertainer magician will always say that they are using slight of hand in their "magic." Notice that Jesus says these signs and wonders will "deceive." They not the real thing; they are deceptive. But it will be a very strong form of deception.

Jesus goes on to say that when He comes, there will be no mistaking it, no doubting. It will be like the lightning going from east to west. It will not be a localized appearance, the whole world will see it in the sky.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 (NKJV)

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.

A prayer for evil doers

Posted by: David Carroll

Psalm 28:4-5 (NKJV)

Give them according to their deeds, And according to the wickedness of their endeavors; Give them according to the work of their hands; Render to them what they deserve. Because they do not regard the works of the Lord, Nor the operation of His hands, He shall destroy them And not build them up.

I was discussing with a friend of mine this morning the abortion industry and all the doctors who perform abortions. We discussed the issue of whether those who kill abortion doctors are justified in their actions. I believe that such retaliation is reprehensible murder and does terrible damage to the cause of Christ. As we closed our conversation with prayer I heard my friend praying that God would keep their cars from starting this morning. I couldn't help but chuckle as I was inclined to agree with him, while not trying to make light of such a grave situation as abortion

Then as I was reading this Psalm how David prayed that God would "Render to them what they deserve." I thought that even though it would be inappropriate for us to take matters into our own hands it would be very appropriate for us to agree with God how horrible the deed of abortion really is. God will by no means clear the guilty but He does offer forgiveness already paid-for if they will have it. Let's pray for mercy, but if mercy is refused by them, let's pray the kind of prayer David prayed.

Matthew 5:44 (NKJV)

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.

Your Mission: Simplify, Simplify

Posted by: David Carroll

Matthew 22:37-40 (NKJV)

Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."

An expert in the law had asked Jesus, of all the laws (the Pharisees had lots of them), which was the greatest. I love the way Jesus answered. Instead of showing him which one command was the most important, he gave him two commandments and then pointed out that if you get these two right, you don't even have to worry about the rest of them. They had become so bogged down with keeping the most minute detail of the law (legalism) that they had forgotten the whole point of it all.

The apostle Paul simplified his life too: he said "this one thing I do ..."

Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV)

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

There are lots of lists in the Bible that help to simplify our thinking about God.

Micah 6:8 (NKJV)

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

How to avoid error

Posted by: David Carroll

Matthew 22:29 (NKJV)

Jesus answered and said to them, "You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.

The Pharisees had tried to trip Jesus up with a question about the resurrection and this was Jesus' reply. Whenever we are confused about something related to God, we should remember this verse. The way to avoid error is to know the Word of God and believe it. More importantly, believing God's word takes an appreciation of His awesome power. So many things just cannot be explained without it.

Matthew 19:26 (NKJV)

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

The Way of Escape

Posted by: David Carroll

Exodus 14:13a (NKJV)

And Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today.

God was about to part the Red Sea. The Israelites were driven to the sea and were hemmed in by the Egyptians. People say "don't just stand there, do something." God says "don't just do something, stand there." A general once said "I am surrounded on all sides by the enemy, thank God, because now we must depend on Him to get us out of this mess." No matter what the situation God has provided the way of escape. The way is to trust Him to take you straight through the problem, and not around it.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

What is answered prayer?

Posted by: David Carroll

Matthew 21:22 (NKJV)

And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."

We talk about how God always answers prayer and go on to explain that sometimes his answer is "not yet" and sometimes his answer is "no." This is how we rationalize the fact that we don't get what we ask for in prayer. We say that we must not have been asking for the right thing. But we need to understand what unimaginable power is available through faith in Jesus Christ.

John MacArthur said: "Mountain-moving faith is unselfish, undoubting, and unqualified confidence in God. It is believing in God's truth and God's power while seeking to do God's will."

The sad part is not that prayers go unanswered but that they go unasked because of laziness and unbelief.

Matthew 17:20 (NKJV)

So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you."

John 14:14 (NKJV)

If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

John 15:7 (NKJV)

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

John 16:23 (NKJV)

And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.

Matthew 7:7-8 (NKJV)

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Are you under the blood?

Posted by: David Carroll

Exodus 12:7,13 (NKJV)

And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.

Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

The instructions for the first Passover supper must have seemed strange to the Israelites, but they dared not question what God had said he was going to do--they had already seen his mighty hand in the previous nine plagues. A lamb was slaughtered and roasted and eaten and his blood was placed on top and on the two sides of the door to the house in the form of a cross. God was painting a picture, a symbol, a sign of the real Lamb of God who was to come so that we might be found under the protection of His blood. What does the blood do? It satisfies God's wrath against our sin when He sees the blood of the innocent Lamb and allows Him to pass over our sin. Danger is coming but there is protection under the blood.

Romans 3:25-26 (NKJV)

... whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

What must I do to be saved?

Posted by: David Carroll

Matthew 19:25-26 (NKJV)

When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Jesus was talking to the rich young ruler who had asked Him this question and Jesus, knowing what was in his heart, had answered him by telling him to keep the commandments and to sell all he had and come follow Him. All of this seemed impossible to his disciples which is exactly the point Jesus wanted to drive home. Man cannot save himself by what he does. You cannot earn your way to heaven. However, God can save you and offers it to you as a free gift if you will accept it.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV)

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Was man made at the beginning or the end?

Posted by: David Carroll

Matthew 19:4-5 (NKJV)

And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?

This is an interesting verse from the perspective of creation. Really, the context is about why divorce is wrong. You can see here an assumption Jesus had about his views on creation and the two chapters of Genesis. He says that man was made at the beginning. If there were billions of years of star and planet formation and then billions of years of evolution before man finally appears on the scene then Jesus should have said they were created near the end rather than at the beginning.

I believe the Bible to be the literal, inerrant, inspired word of God but when Jesus own words confirm it, that really settles the matter for me.

Are you like a little child?

Posted by: David Carroll

Matthew 18:10 (NKJV)

"Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.

In the kingdom of God, all are important, even the least. I love the way this verse depicts the importance of the "little ones." Their angels have direct and continual access to God. Jesus even praises God for having hidden the secrets of the kingdom from the wise and learned having revealed them rather to babes. I don't know whether this "little ones" refers to children or by way of example to new born Christians. Either way, it speaks of the fact that to gain admission to the kingdom, you must become as a little child and that speaks volumes.

Matthew 11:25 (NKJV)

At that time Jesus answered and said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.

I AM

Posted by: David Carroll

Exodus 3:13-15 (NKJV)

13 Then Moses said to God, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?"

14 And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.' " 15 Moreover God said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: 'The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.'

"I AM" is a strange name isn't it? Why would God pick a name such as "I AM"? I am glad he did not say that His name is "I WAS" or even "I WILL BE." You get a glimpse of the idea that God is timeless. Eternity is always in the present. I have thought a lot about the physics of Eternity if such a thing can even be comprehended.

I heard one preacher say that we can think of God's name as I AM ________ where you fill in the blank for whatever you need right now. That is certainly true for God can supply all of our needs. But I think this name must be far more profound. Jesus replied to the soldiers who were looking to arrest him saying, "I am He." In my Bible, the He is italicized meaning that that word is not in the original Greek. He was speaking his eternal name. Then notice what happened to the soldiers, they fell backward to the ground. The force of that name spoken by God Himself must be awesome!

John 18:4-6 (NKJV)

Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, "Whom are you seeking?" They answered Him, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said to them, "I am He" And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. 6 Now when He said to them, "I am He, " they drew back and fell to the ground.

Losers Keepers, Finders Weepers

Posted by: David Carroll

Matthew 16:24-25 (NKJV)

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

Many think that taking up your cross means living with a little discomfort. They will say: "Well that is just my cross to bear." Think about what it meant to Jesus and to those who lived during his time. It meant nothing less than death. The follower of Jesus Christ is to die to himself. But don't stop there; what is the result of such loss of life? It means finding real life, the kind of life Jesus was taking about when he said: "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." [John 10:10b]

Jesus logic always seems to go backwards from the world's. People say if I see it, I'll believe it. Jesus says believe it and you will see it. People say "live today for tomorrow you may die." Jesus says die today and tomorrow you will live.

Whom do you trust?

Posted by: David Carroll

Psalm 20:7 (NKJV)

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.

All this talk of war and terrorism is unsettling. We depend on our government to protect us with its military might. Does this verse mean we should not defend ourselves? No, of course not, but our trust should go beyond what we can do to the One who can answer prayer. Ask God to protect you, to bless you, to bless our leaders, and give them wisdom.

Psalm 127:1 (NKJV)

Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.

The Heavens Speak of God's Glory

Posted by: David Carroll

Psalm 19:1-3 (NIV)

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.

Do you marvel at the beauty of the night sky? Do you wonder what awesome power could have hung them out there in space so far away? With the naked eye you can see about five thousand stars. With my eight inch telescope, I can see about two million. The Hubble telescope can see billions of galaxies, and each galaxy probably contains a trillion stars! David the psalmist says that we all hear the inaudible voice of the heavens and the skies proclaiming God's glory. If the heavens are so big, think how much bigger the Creator is!

That testimony is not enough to bring us to a saving knowledge of God but it is enough to hold us accountable to know that there is a God.

Romans 1:18-20 (NKJV)

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

Power to create

Posted by: David Carroll

Matthew 14:17-20 (NKJV)

And they said to Him, "We have here only five loaves and two fish."

He said, "Bring them here to Me." Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained.

I have always never had a problem believing in Jesus' miracles. So whenever I am considering how it could be possible for God to create the heavens and the earth out of nothing and by his word only, I just look back at Jesus. Think about this miracle of feeding the 5,000. He starts with little bit of baked bread and fish and multiplies them. I wonder when the miracle took place and imagine that it was while the disciples were carrying the baskets over their heads and then another loaf and fish would appear. Think about that loaf. It contained wheat flour mixed with oil and water and yeast, and was baked.

Was there another unseen realm close by where the angels were busy baking the bread to place in the baskets? I think not. The creative power of Jesus Christ is too wonderful to understand! It is a joy to believe and trust in Him, the creator of the universe!

Jeremiah 32:27 (NKJV)

Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?

What are you saved from?

Posted by: David Carroll

As a Christian, we use terminology that is sometimes foreign to those who are not Christians like the word Salvation. A person might ask, "Are you saved?" Of course, the reply will probably be "Saved from what?" That is a great question. We might skip over the bad news and just appeal to the idea that being a Christian means to have the abundant life full of joy. For certain, following our Lord in obedience has great rewards in this life. But that is what we are saved to. People don't like to hear or talk much about hell. Jesus talked a lot about that. The good news is made so much more wonderful by the contrast against the bad.

Are you saved?

Matthew 13:41-43 (NKJV)

The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

How deep do your roots go?

Posted by: David Carroll

Hebrews 11:9-10 (NKJV)

By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God

Abraham was known as a tent dweller. He had a brother named Nahor who was mentioned in the bible as a builder of cities (Gen 22:23, 24:10). Abraham never built a city. The only permanent things Abraham ever built was altars. If you are a child of God, don't set your roots down too deep here. You are a citizen of another kingdom and "just passing through."

2 Corinthians 5:1 (NKJV)

For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

New Devotional

Posted by: David Carroll

I love you Lord...

John 3:16 [NKJV]

For God so loved the world

... because you first loved me.

The Unpardonable Sin

Posted by: David Carroll

Matthew 12:31-32 (NKJV)

"Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

Is there a point of no return in rejecting God's offer of salvation? This verse strongly suggests that there is. The good news in this verse is the incredible extent to which forgiveness of sin is available. You can reject and speak against Jesus Christ and even that sin will be forgiven. You might not understand the words of the Bible. You might not understand what people tell you about God. That is OK. But when the Holy Spirit communicates directly to you, there is no way not to understand. To speak against such divine knowledge is unforgivable and demonstrates a hardheartedness that is incapable of repentance.

Many young Christians have feared that they have committed this unpardonable sin. Not to worry; those who desire to repent, by this very desire, demonstrate that they have not committed this sin!

John 3:36 (NKJV)

He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

Truthfulness, Integrity, Honesty, Fairness

Posted by: David Carroll

Psalm 15 (NKJV)

Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart; he who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor does he take up a reproach against his friend; in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he honors those who fear the Lord;he who swears to his own hurt and does not change; he who does not put out his money at usury, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.He who does these things shall never be moved.

This Psalm lists a few of the attributes we are to expect from persons who claim to be on their way to heaven. It describes a person who is truthful and honest, who treats others with fairness, who keeps their oaths. Are you that kind of person? What motivates a person to be like this? Is it the promise of dwelling with God? Taken with the rest of the Bible we know that heaven cannot be earned or deserved. So what makes a person like this? It is outworking of the Spirit of God dwelling in us that makes us like this.

Accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, love him, obey him and you will become like the man of Psalm 15.

John 14:16-17 (NKJV)

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever--the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

John 14:23 (NKJV)

Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him."

A Precious Invitation

Posted by: David Carroll

Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

Jesus is amazing, on the one hand he says that He is the only way, the only solution. If someone were to say the kinds of things Jesus said about himself today you would say he was an egotistical maniac. But then Jesus says that he is gentle and lowly in heart, and somehow you agree with this statement too. He is at once mighty and humble. That is because he is both God and man. He is the God-man, Emanuel, God with us.

Jesus just says, "Come to Me." He doesn't speak of any difficult requirements to find the rest he speaks of. No doubt we are to serve Him but He says that burden is easy and light. Notice that it is His yoke and not yours. He is carrying it. We are like the little child who wants to help his father carry the heavy load. The father picks it up in the middle bearing most of the weight and allows the child to "carry" one end. If you find it difficult then something is wrong. Could it be that you are carrying a yoke of your own choosing rather than the one Jesus is asking you to carry?

Cries of the heart ... plus faith

Posted by: David Carroll

Psalm 13:1-3 (NIV)

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death.

Despair is a terrible feeling. When we walk through these times we feel like God is ignoring us. We wonder how long must we wait for Him to answer our prayers. It is perfectly alright to feel this way. We see examples of this all through the Psalms. Even Jesus cried out in agony in the garden before he was to be crucified.

Must we just suffer through the waiting? Is there immediate relief in the waiting? You won't be happy about your dire circumstance but you can still trust God and you can still have joy! The psalmist goes on a couple of verses later:

Psalm 13:5-6 (NIV)

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.

Whenever life seems darkest, just step back and look at the bigger picture. Your feelings will betray you. God's word will never fail. Put your trust in that which is trustworthy.