Read: Psalm 92:12-15
The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree ... They shall
still bear fruit in old age. - Psalm 92:12,14
In June of 2006, Israeli doctors and scientists successfully
germinated a 2,000-year-old date palm seed. Found at the Herodian
fortress of Masada on the west bank of the Dead Sea, the seed was
tagged "Methuselah" for the man with the oldest recorded age in
the Bible (Gem.5:27). In addition to the challenge of awakening a
long-dormant seed, the team also wanted to learn more about the
tree praised in Scripture for its shade, food, beauty, and
medicinal qualities. The date palm has an important role in the
Bible. In the Old Testament, the tree is linked to the temple and
presence of God. The New Testament describes excited crowds
praising God and throwing palm branches at the feet of Jesus as
He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. God's promise to bless the
world through a descendant of Abraham also lay dormant for 2,000
years (see Gen.12:13). Finally, the Seed of promise sprouted.
That Seed was Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah. Soon the story of
His resurrected life would go out to every nation on earth.
The miracle is now ours to experience. Time is not a factor.
Neither is the barren ground of circumstance. All that matters is
that we allow our hearts to be the soil in which Christ is
welcomed and worshipped. - Mart De Haan
God's promise like a tiny seed May seem to be an empty thing, But
hidden in that tiny seed Is life that waits the warmth of spring.
- D.De Haan
GOD NEVER MAKES A PROMISE THAT HE WILL NOT KEEP.
Read: 1 Cor.15:42-49
Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that
was set before Him endured the cross. - Hebrews 12:2
In 1728, a young Ben Franklin composed his own tombstone
The body of B.Franklin, printer, like the cover of an old book,
its contents worn out, and strips of its lettering and gilding,
lies here, food for warms. Yet the work shall nor be lost, for it
will as he believ'd appear once more, in a new and more beautiful
edition, corrected and amended by the Author.
In this epitaph, the wry wit of Franklin, the colonial
Renaissance man, rings true to the biblical view of resurrection.
The bodies we now possess are prone to aging, physical decline,
and ultimately death. But the resurrection of Jesus Christ holds
within it the promise of a new supernatural body raised in glory.
The apostle Paul tells us, "The body is sown in corruption, it is
raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in
glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised m power" (1 Cor.
As life takes its course in the aging process, we have the
hope of a new body that will far outshine the original. Despite
our aches and pains, our destiny belongs safely in the hands of
"Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Heb.12:2). -
New bodies will be ours someday According to God's grand design,
Forever with the Lord to reign Praise God for the promise divine!
IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE ... WE SHALL BE CHANGED. - The apostle
Paul (1 Corinthians 15:52).
THE OTHER SIDE OF THANK YOU
Read: 1 Corinthians 13:5
[Love] does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not
provoked, thinks no evil. - 1 Corinthians 13:5
A baby gift came to a young couple who were new parents.
They were grateful for the present, so the mom picked up a
thank-you card, wrote a nice note, and got it ready to send.
Somehow it got buried in an avalanche of paperwork and was never
mailed - and the thank-you was forgotten. The gift-givers waited,
but no acknowledgment came.
A rift developed as one family thought the thank-you had
been given, while the other thought the lack of a thank-you was a
snub. This inadvertent failure to send a card left the giftgiver
feeling slighted, unappreciated, and neglected.
Among the most important words we can speak are the two
words, "Thank you." And while it is vital to be grateful, there's
another side of thank you. If we bestow a gift on another, we
should do so out of a motive that doesn't expect anything, even a
thank-you, in return. True love gives with no expectations.
Love, as described in 1 Corinthians 13:4, "suffers long and is
kind" and is never self-seeking. Love keeps no record of wrongs -
even if someone forgets to thank us for a kindness. The other
side of thank you is a pure heart that reflects God's perfect
love for us. - Dave Branon
I want the love that always sweetly hears Whate'er my Father's
hand may choose to send, I want the love that patiently endures
The wrongs that come from enemy or friend - Anon.
TRUE LOVE HAS NO STRINGS ATTACHED.
ANONYMOUS HAS COME
Read: Titus 3:1-7
The kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared.
- Titus 3:4
Years ago I received a cylinder in the mail that turned out
to be an exquisite, custom-made Jim Schaaf bamboo fly rod and
Bill Ballan classic reel - costly fishing gear that I could not
have afforded. An enclosed handwritten note said simply, "I
wanted to do something for you." To this day I have no idea who
Poet William Cowper also had an anonymous friend who sent
gifts to him but never revealed his name. Cowper's comment on
receiving each gift was always the same: "Anonymous has come." I
think of that phrase often whenever I fish with that rod:
"Anonymous has come:" I will always be grateful to my unnamed
friend for his kindness and love to me.
All through our lives God showers us with His goodness -
gifts of truth, beauty, friendship, love, and laughter, to name
but a few - and we behave as if we don't know the source. God has
been our anonymous Friend.
But He doesn't wish to remain anonymous. If you want to know
more about your secret Friend, read the Gospels, for He is seen
most clearly in Jesus. Love has always been in God's heart, but
in Jesus it "appeared." God, revealed in Jesus, is your kind and
merciful Friend. Will you acknowledge and thank Him today? -
With thankful hearts give praise to Jesus For His blessings
without end; Let's give to Him our full devotion; He's our Savior
and our Friend - D.De Haan
OUR DEAREST FRIEND IS BUT A SHADOW COMPARED TO JESUS.
HIDING MY FACE
Read: Habakkuk 1:1-5
You are of purer eyes than to behold evil. - Habakkuk 1:13
I'm a news junkie. I like knowing what's going on in the
world. But sometimes the atrocities of life make me feel as if
I'm a kid watching a scary movie. I don't want to see what
happens. I want to turn away to avoid watching.
God reacts to evil in a similar way. Years ago, He warned
the Israelites that He would turn away from them if they turned
toward evil (Deut.31:18). They did and He did (Ezekiel 39:241 The
prophet Habakkuk had not forsaken God, but he suffered along with
those who had. "Why do You show me iniquity," he asked the Lord,
"and cause me to see trouble?" (Hab.1:3). God's response to His
confused prophet indicates that even when evil obscures the face
of God, our inability to see Him does not mean He is uninvolved.
God said, "Look among the nations and watch - be utterly
astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would
not believe, though it were told you" (v.5). God would judge
Judah, but He would also judge the invading Babylonians for their
evil (see Hab.2). And through it all, "The just shall live by his
faith" (2:4). When world events cause you to despair, turn off
the news and turn to Scripture. The end of the story has been
written by our holy God. Evil will not prevail. - Julie Ackerman
Lord, we praise You for Your displays of power in the past and
Your promises of victory in the future, for they replace our fear
of the world with confidence in You. Amen.
DON'T DESPAIR BECAUSE OF EVIL; GOD WILL HAVE THE LAST WORD.
TWO WAYWARD BROTHERS
Read: Luke 15:25-32
It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your
brother was dead and is alive again. - Luke 15:32
The sorry of the prodigal son is actually the story of two
wayward brothers and their loving father. It's a universal story
that represents every member of the human race.
I can't fully identify with the prodigal. "Riotous living"
is foreign to me. But the older brother's self-righteous attitude
- now that resonates with my spiritual struggle. His sin was
perhaps more serious than an out-in-the-open immoral lifestyle.
That's because it was hidden - but easy to recognize when it
Here are its characteristics: He chose anger instead of
acceptance (Luke 15:28). He separated himself and "would not go
in" (v.28). He said to his father, "this son of yours" (v.30),
instead of calling him "my brother." Clearly, he hadn't
experienced the wonder of grace.
Yet the father loved both sons unconditionally. With the
prodigal, he ran out to welcome him. And with his older son, he
"came out and pleaded with him" (v.28). There was no harsh
scolding, just joy for the younger son and a longing heart for
his older son. What a wonderful picture of how graciously God
Which son represents you? Have you responded to your
heavenly Father's immeasurable love? - Dennis De Haan
Naught have I gotten but what I received, Grace hath bestowed it
since I have believed; Boasting excluded, pride I abase I'm only
a sinner saved by grace! - Gray
GOD'S LOVE CHANGES PRODIGAL SONS INTO PRECIOUS SAINTS.
Read: 2 Peter 1:16-2:3
No prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2
Some have speculated that William I Shakespeare helped
translate the King James Bible. They say that he inserted a
cryptogram (a message written in code) while he translated Psalm
46. In this psalm, the 46th word from the beginning is "shake"
and the 46th word from the end is "spear." Furthermore, in 1610,
while the King James Bible was being translated, Shakespeare
would have been 46 years old. Despite these coincidences, no
serious evidence supports this theory.
Some people also claim to have found hidden meanings when
interpreting the Bible. Certain cults will cite a verse out of
context, only to lead someone into heretical doctrine. Some quote
John 14:16, for example, and say that the "Helper" refers to
their "new revelation." When compared with other Scripture,
however, the Helper whom Jesus sent to us is obviously the Holy
Spirit (John 16:7-14; Acts 2:1-4).
The apostle Peter wrote, "No prophecy of Scripture is of any
private interpretation" (2 Peter 1:20). To interpret a biblical
passage accurately, we must always consider the context and
compare it with other Scripture. This respects the clear meaning
of the Bible without trying to find hidden meaning in it. -
God's Word does not have secret codes That need a special key;
It's understandable and clear, With truth for all to see. - Sper
THE BEST INTERPRETER OF SCRIPTURE IS SCRIPTURE ITSELF.
Entered on this Website October 2007