Monday, December 31, 2012


663.  "Buildings"                     December 31, 2012
Jude 20-21    Part 13
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  KJV


My church is currently in the process of building a new sanctuary. The first thing done was the leveling the ground, then a cement foundation was poured. Next, the support beams were erected, walls and roof, doors and windows. We are blessed with a construction man in our church that is doing most of the work. He knows what he is doing. He knows the correct steps to take. I have seen the evidence in another church which he worked on and it is very good.
So it is with the Christian life-we need to build up ourselves on our most holy faith, as the key verse says.
Here are some comparisons of building our Christian character and building a physical building:
  • A good foundation and cornerstone are essential for both. (Jesus is not only our foundation, as in 1 Corinthians 3:11, but also our cornerstone, as in Ephesians 2:20.)
  • Positioning the structure is important to both. The center of gravity must fall within the base.(God's Word is what we build into our lives.)
  • It is a progressive work-beams, stones, bricks. (Gold, silver, precious stones are going to build our home in heaven. Their materials are made of love, faith, hope, self-denial, patience)
  • We must build for eternity and inspection in mind. Just as the physical building has to pass inspections and codes, judged by those trained in that area, so the Lord Jesus will judge our works done here.
The readers to whom Jude was writing were to act as moral and responsible agents in these, or were to put forth their own proper exertions to do it. they were to seek to establish themselves most firmly in the belief of the doctrines and practice of duties of that system of religion.  (Barnes Notes on the Bible)

Am I building up my faith or tearing it down? Am I building up the faith of others, or am I tearing it down? Things to ponder.


These two key verses give us some ways to grow:
  1. build up
  2. pray up
  3. keep up
  4. look up
We have discussed building up our faith. It is acheived, acually an ongoing proccess, that is done through the daily reading of Scriptures, memorizing Scriptures, worship, fellowship, and prayer.

Jude tells us to:
  • build up our faith,
  • pray up in the Holy Ghost,
  • keep in love with God,
  • look up for mercy and eternal life in Jesus.
The believer's responsibility is to be obedient and faithful by living out his salvation (Phil. 2:12), while God works out His will (Phil. 2:13).  (John MacArthur)

As I have lived these last two weeks visiting two hospitals of family members, it was a trying time that built my faith, challenged me to pray without ceasing under the Holy Spirit's direction, kept me going in God's love, secured me with His mercy, and focused my thoughts on eternity's being only a breath away.

Here we are at the end of another year, 2012. As I look back over the year, I ask myself:
Did I complete God's assignments for me?
Did I serve and honor Him with all my heart?
Did I allow Him to work in me, through me, and around me?
What have I learned in my walk with Jesus this year?
Have I given Him everything?
Does Jesus know that He is my everything?
Things to ponder.


Keep my faith in Jesus growing. Grow in His grace and knowledge of Him.

Let go of any doubts of His power and abilities.

Stay prayed up.

Remain in God's love.

Look up to heaven, my eternal home.

*Updates: My husband is getting back to normal; sil is eating Jello and talking.
We appreciate everyones' prayers during their stay in the hospital. I hope to visit with Wanda soon.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Contented or Complainer?

662.  "Contented or Complainer?"
 December 28, 2012
Jude 16-19   Part 12
These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want. But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ said. They told you that in the last times there would  be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God's Spirit in them.  NLT


Flattery will get you everywhere.
Have you heard that phrase before?
It may be true for some folks, but it isn't true for me. I can usually see through the flattering words and understand the purpose behind them, which is not to encourage me, but use me to get something for the speaker. Jude is still describing those apostates.
(There are 6 more verses left in this Book, so hang in there with me.) Jude is certainly not using flattery in his writings.

"These grumblers and malcontents follow their own lusts; their bloated words are nothing but flattery," states Liberty Bible Commentary.

I looked up the words that King James uses to find their definition in Thayer's Lexicon:
murmerers-one who discontentedly complains;
complainers-complaining of one's lot; discontent;
lusts-desire, craving, longing; a longing for what is forbidden;
swelling words.

The New Living Translation uses these descriptive words for the apostates:
grumblers, complainers, braggers, flatterers, scoffers, dividers.

The English Standard Version uses these words:
grumblers, malcontents, sinners, loud-mouth boasters, favoritismers (my word).

The New International Version uses faultfinders instead of complainers. followers of natural instincts instead of spiritual.

When an -er is added onto a word, it denotes a person or implement performing the act. (Webster's Dictionary)

So Jude is talking about the people doing these things.
Although I am not one, an apostates, but a follower of Jesus, do I sometimes find myself acting and talking like one?


Here are some things MacArthur Bible Commentary has to say about these verses:
  • This is the only place that the word grumblers is found in the New Testament.
  • Complainers were finding fault; they gave vent to disatisfaction with God's will and way as was the case with Israel, Sodom, the fallen angels, Cain, Korah, and Balaam.
  • The unconverted is described as walking after their own lusts; driven by a desire for sinful self-satisfaction.
  • They mouth great words, speaking arrogantly, pompously, even magnificently, but with empty, lifeless words of no spiritual value.
  • They flatter people, telling them what they want to hear for their own profit rather than proclaiming the truth of God's Word for the auditors' benefit.
Author Charles Swindoll gives us some ideas on what to do about any people we encounter that are this way:
  • Alert others and inform them so they are not surprised by these false teachers.
  • Listen to their words and look at their lifestyle.
  • Keep in shape by keeping in God's Word.
  • Pray and depend on the Holy Spirit.
  • Win people to Jesus.
Paul learned that whatever state he was in, to be content (Phil. 4:11), and with such things as he had (Heb. 13 5).
In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Thess. 5:18


Stay in  Bible study and prayer.

Learn to be content and grateful.

Thank Jesus for all I have and for my situation.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ancestral Line

661.  "Ancestral Line"                        December 26, 2012
Jude 14-15     Part 11
And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.  (KJV)


In my family, I am the third child, the second daughter of my parents. Dad was the second child, the first son in his family; Mom was the sixth child in her family, the third daughter.  That's my ancestral lineage. Go any farther back and I would have to look it up in our book my distant cousin put together. Do you know where you are on you ancestral line?

What about Enoch? Who was Enoch? Genesis 5:18-24 explains:
  • Jared was his father. (verse 18)
  • He became the father of Methuselah at age 65. (verse 21)
  • He walked with God. (verse 24)
  • He didn't die-God took him directly to heaven. (verse 24)
  • He was seventh down the line from Adam. (Jude 14)
  • He lived and prophesied before The Flood.
Prophesied refers to the idea of foretelling future events pertaining especially to the kingdom of God. (Thayer's Lexicon)

The first coming of Christ was revealed to Adam; his second, glorious coming, to Enoch; the seventh from Adam foretold the things which will conclude the seventh age of the world. St. Jude might know this either from some ancient book, or tradition, or immediate revelation. (Westley's Notes)

Enoch, in his translation without death illustrated that truth which he all of his life preached the certainty of the Lord's coming, resurrection of the dead. (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Bible Commentary)

You talk about a blessed man. He knew the Lord. Probably, he heard about what took place in The Garden of Eden. His revelation of the birth of the Messiah and the Lord's second coming resulted in his prophesying; he walked with God; and didn't die. What else could he want?

Will I be known as a woman who walked with God? I want to be, but so many times I have failed and walked in the flesh.


Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinner have spoken against him.

These ungodly men had a lack of reverence for God and infiltrated the church of God to corrupt it and gain riches from its people. (The MacArthur Bible Commentary)

What is Jude saying?
  • The Lord Jesus will come with His saints, believers, to execute judgment during the Lord's  earthly reign.
  •  He used the word ungodly four times in this verse. They mean basically the same thing: ungodliness, to be ungodly, act impiously. (Impiously is defined as lacking reverence for God, profane, according to Webster's Dictionary); destitute of reverential awe towards God, contemning God, impious.
So these apostates, false teachers, false prophets, are ungodly, and ungodly in their deeds (acts), which they have ungodly committed (way), and are ungodly sinners. It was for such people that Christ died. (Rom. 5:6)

How are my deeds, my ways? Am I known as an ungodly sinner, or are my ways righteous, living as Jesus would?

New Living Translation, verse 15b says, He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.

Am I ready for that? I have done some of those. (Had to add this, couldn't let it pass by after I read it in my chronological Bible today.)


Walk with God daily.

Let go of  any ungodly ways.

Be more forgiving and loving, merciful and gracious.

*Thank you all for your prayers for my husband and sister in law, Wanda. Two weeks after open heart surgery, she is awake, can sequeeze a hand to communicate. However, she still has dialysis since kidneys aren't working yet. I am asking for a Wanda Miracle for her to talk, getting the tube out of her throat. Roger made it through the 4 ablations on his heart, to correct the rythm problem. He is recovering at home now, since Friday.
God is soooooooo very good to my family!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

December 25, 2012

Christmas Day

It's the day we have set aside, the world, to celebrate the birth of our Savior and Messiah. Jesus came into the world like one of us, yet not like us. He remained God, as He took on flesh like us. He chose to come in a normal way, not as a king born in a palace, but to be King in our hearts.

The babe lay in a cattle trough made of wood, then later was nailed to wood as a sacrifice for us sinners, wearing a crown of thorns from wood.

Jesus is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world, as John proclaimed. A LAMB, meek and mild, yet strong enough to resist temptations and overcome the devil, strong enough to endure beatings, strong enough to stay on that tree-cross and endure to the end.

And here I am, on this silent night (Christmas Eve). I go outside and see a pale moon and Jupiter shining through the clouds. No other stars shine here. Last week I saw the fork, dippers, a brightly lit sky when I came home alone from the hospital. Jesus is my BRIGHT MORNING STAR. He is the LIGHT of the world.

It's a silent night without trucks on the highway and cars on my dirt road. Folks are home with family. All is quiet when I step outside. Was it quiet when Jesus was born? I think not-angels sang the proclamation to shepherds-Glory to God in the Highest.

Today, I saw two eagles sitting in bare trees in front of my house. My brother told me he saw 20-30 eagles earlier this morning. How beautiful they are, white heads and tail. My favorite verse is Isaiah 40:31:
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

My faith wasn't running nor walking this week. It was a string connected to the heart of God. I was hanging by a thread while my loved ones lives hung in the valance. I prayed and prayed throughout the days and nights for my husband and sister in law. I waited upon the Lord and He renewed my strength. Now I am soaring with a joyful heart and tears. My husband came home Friday. My sister in law has her eyes open tracking others and can squeeze a hand in response. I will soon be visiting and talking to her,sharing all that God has done for her and her family while she slept.

This is one Christmas I shall never forget. So much to be thankful for this year-JESUS.

If you don't know Him as SAVIOR. Will you talk to Him today? Will you give your heart to Him?  He gave His life for you. Oh, how He loves you and me!

Have a wonderful day, friends and brothers and sisters in Christ. I already have.

Here is a great video, which I don't know how to put on my blog, so you can see it a YouTube-by Jay Young, singing The Way He Came. It is a blessing to see.

Linda, from my country road faith

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Update on Sunday:
My husband and I went to worship service this morning, and we did just that. Let me tell you, I admit that I was very concerned about the outcome of his surgery Monday. All went well, though. He came home Friday. Now to keep him resting, eating, walking with care. He had to stay an extra day in the hospital because his liver was working too well. They pumped double bags of blood thinner and a tablet to prevent any blood clots, which can lead to a stroke. The reality of it all became real.

I found his last message: The Gift of all Gifts.
Jesus was a promised gift, an unspeakable gift, an unchanging gift, an undeserved gift, and an unclaimed gift.

Jesus is the gift.
Jesus is the gift.
Jesus is the gift.
Jesus is the gift.

However you read it, it is truth.

He gives us the gift of faith, to believe that Jesus is the Messiah.
He gives us the gift of righteousness, by His blood shed for us.
He gives us the gift of eternal life, which is waiting for us.

I cherish those gifts! Thank You Jesus for giving me the gift of salvation!

May I add, that my husband and I will be celebrating this Christmas because we received the gift of life-his on Dec. 17, mine on Dec. 21.
Also, my sister in law, Wanda, is still recovering from surgery, but is with us. She is not sedated and opens her eyes some. I am believing and asking God for a Wanda Miracle this Christmas.

Yes, we are blessed beyond measure!
Our two children were right beside me the whole time their father was being operated on. That love cannot be measured!

I pray the Lord will give you whatever gift you need/want: hope, love, peace, grace, mercy, joy, patience, gentleness, kindness.

Gotta go fix him supper. Will it be oatmeal, boiled eggs, or noodles? I doubt it will be Jello.

For a blessing, check out Ann Voskamp's website: a holy
Dec. 21 post was great.

I love you friends, and Jesus loves you!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Update:
What a week! Our God is so good.
My husband is still in the hospital, but will be sent home Saturday, if not today. We are sooooo ready.
They have increased his medicine that is a blood thinner, to prevent a stroke. Everything else is good, except our patience.
My sister inlaw, Wanda, is still on machines. They found a blood clot in her liver on Wed. Thurs. a CAT scan revealed it was either dissolved or moved on. Her oxygen level was good, but kidneys aren't functioning.
Today is a new day. We are trusting that Jesus has a plan and is working it, in His time.
Please continue the prayers
May you have a blessed Christmas, as we remember our Savior's birth.

Thank you Gaylene, Lindsay, and Steve for encouragment.

Glory to god in the Highest!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Update Wednesday:
What a week! Our God is so merciful and gracious.
Hubby, Roger came through the heart procedure fine, with 4 ablations. Hopefully, this will keep his heart beating right. We won't know until 3 months are past. It's the special diet that's killing him.

Please keep my sister inlaw Wanda in your prayers. She's had a rough recovery road from open heart surgery last Thursday. They are keeping her on dialysis all day today, hoping to rid fluid from organs. Ventilator  is still breathing for her. My family has had a stressful week.

Our routine is to stop  in to check on sil on the way to my husband's hospital, 2 towns away, only 20 minutes. And then the boys are keeping up with the farm chores feeding cows and pets.

But when I think of the families in Connecticut, this is nothin'.

Ps. 45:2 says, God Himself is blessing you forever.

Truly, our heavenly Father has blessed us beyond meassure.

May you and your family have a blessed Christmas.

Keep checking back. Plans are to resume Jude on Monday, depending on Wanda's situation.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Update

Good morning friends,
Update on my sister inlaw: she made it through 7 1/2 hrs. of surgery yesterday. They placed a ring on 1 heart valve and replaced another valve. Her heart was beating on its own last night, off machines.
We'll check on her today. Please pray for her strength renewed.

Hubby goes for CT Angio this morning as a pre-op to Monday.

Today's verse in my devotional is Luke 1:37, For nothing is impossible with God.

Everyone have a great weekend and please pray for my husband on Monday. His procedures are at 5am and 7:30 am. totallying 5 hrs.

Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name.

Special Prayer Request

Special Prayer Request

Sorry, but it is very busy around my house today and next week. I probably will not be posting any study, but check back for updates.

I have a special prayer request, dear friends:

My husband, Roger, is going to the hospital today for pre-op tests. Then, Monday, beginning at 5am, he will have a scope down his esphogus to take  pictures of his heart. If there is no pool of blood there (which would require open heart surgery and no procedure), they will proceed to do 4 heart ablations. This is an attempt to correct abnormal rapid heart thythms he has had over the past 40 years. (all meds have been exhausted) Therefore, it is planned that I will be at the hospital through Wednesday. He will be on a special diet of soft, room temp foods, and no lifting for 2 weeks, which will require my attention.

Thanks so much for your love, understanding, and faithfulness to join me on this journey through the New Testament. Can you believe we are almost to Revelation?

Isaiah 2:5 says: Let us walk in the light of the Lord.

We are trusting Jesus for His alone is Trustworthy and Faithful.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hidden Rocks

660. "Hidden Rocks"                     December 13, 2012
Jude 12,13-Part 10
These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm-shepherds who feed only themselves. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.  NIV

* Special prayer request: My sister in law, Wanda, is having 2 heart valves replaced this morning at 10am. Please pray for her. Thanks.

Friends, come in out of the cold, take your coat off, sip a cup of hot tea with me as we warm by the glowing fire studying God's Word today. I'm so glad you've come. I think I need that tea so I can relax because these last 10 verses have been so gloomy.  Let me go get some sugar or sweetener. I think we're going to need it.
Jude continues to describe the apostates, false teacher, false prophets. Where's the encouragement? Words to live by? Phrases to memorize and meditate on? Well, dear ones, we are not to be like these people he describes. Aren't we to be the opposite? Make yourself comfortable as I explain.

Various translations of the Bible use in place of spots (KJV), blemishes, hidden rocks. Spots refers to rocks in the sea, ledge or reef; of men who by their conduct, damage others morally, wreck them as it were. (Thayer's Lexicon)

Am I keeping my faith as a hidden rock?

MacArthur Bible Commentary says:
Spots can be "hidden rocks" or "reefs" or as "stains." These apostates were dirt spots, fifth on the garment of the church; or more likely, what God intended for the church as smooth sailing, they turned into a potential shipwreck through their presence. Love feasts were the regular gathering of the early church to partake of the bread and cup, plus share a common meal.
Do you mean to say, these deceivers had the nerve to eat with believers of the church? Yeap. (I see we are both shaking our heads in dismay.)

So how is Jude describing these guys' character now in our verses?
  1. deceptively and fearlessly  attending dinners as hidden reefs; (potential for shipwreck)
  2. disappointing as rainless clouds; (hope of rain, but delivers dryness and death)
  3. dead as fruitless and uprooted trees; (barren trees without fruit due to being uprooted)
  4. destructive as raging waves; (promise powerful ministry, wreak havoc, worthless workers) 
  5. doomed as falling stars (a brilliant meteor or shooting star that fades away into nothing).
Resources: New Testament Postcards, a Bible study guide by Charles Swindoll, MacArthur Bible Commentary.


As I considered that my life should be the opposite of those apostates, here's what I came up with:
  • Let my faith be as solid as a rock and exposed as a reef. (From a plane, a reef is green colored surrounded by a blue ocean.
  • Allow the Holy Spirit to reign in my life, bringing refreshing hope and love to others.
  • Bare fruit of the Spirit as a tree planted by a river, grounded with deep roots in Jesus.
  • Be a calm gentle wave in a stormy sea of life.
  • Be a shining star as Jesus lives through me.

Let go of fear, hopelessness, selfishness, raging anger, dull life.

Surrender to Jesus, allowing Him to be the star of my life.

Bare spiritual fruit.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


659.  "Animals"        December 12, 2012
Jude 10,11-Part 9
Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals-these are the very things that destroy them. Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion. NIV


Previously, Jude was exhorting us to contend for the faith, yet he continues to give us some bold reminders concerning apostates, false teachers, and false prophets.

Charles Swindoll, in his study guide New Testament Postcards, described the apostates this way:
  • Their doom is certain, like Sodom and Gomorrah.
  • Their tongues are blasphemous, speak evil, and are irreverent toward things that are sacred and holy.
  • they verbally revile things they don't understand.
  • Their religion is empty.
  • They rejected authority, like the fallen angels.
Their way of life is to allow the instincts they share with "unreasoning animals" to run wild in the streets-unleashed and unrestrained. This lifestyle is governed by animal instincts, and withers and disfigures character:"by these things they are destroyed(corrupted)". Ephesians 4:22

I recall visiting a couple of towns in the Dominican Republic last month. I saw cows running down the paved street and another time a man riding on a horse. Pigs, chickens, and dogs were inside fences. I thought of these animals when I read this.


Apostasy is nothing new; it's as old as the human race, isn't it? Jude makes three references to Old Testament strayers:
  • The way of Cain, on the broad way that led to destruction. He tried to gain acceptance with God through the fruit of his works rather than the blood of a substitionary sacrifice. (Genesis 4)
  • The error of Balaam, who was a prophet greedy for gold. (Numbers 22-25)
  • The rebellion of Korah, a Levite, which he led against Moses and Aaron, that resulted in Korah swollowed up by an earthquake. (Numbers 16) 
With this warning, we can conclude:
*there is a way of Cain instead of a way of Christ,
*there is the error of Balaam instead of the truth of Christ,
*there is the death of Korah instead of the life of Christ.

We can choose our ways following Christ, His truth, and life, or rebell and follow death. It's our choice. God's gift of grace is available for us to take, just for the asking. 


Be grateful for God's gift of grace.

Watch out for wild animals, false teachers.

Stay in the Word.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Encountered Angels

658.  "Encountered Angels"     December 11, 2012
Jude 9-Part 8
Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. KJV


I believe in guardian angels, don't you? Several times they have rescued my family from harm. Do you know the times angels appeared to people? Elisabeth, Zacharias, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds encountered angels. Have you? Here is an angel that is named-Michael.

Who is Michael?
  • Michael means "who is like God?" It is the name of an archangel, who was supposed to be the guardian angel of the Israelites. (Thayer's Lexicon)
  • Michael is the messenger of God who came to Daniel, and is called by him prince of the people of Israel. (Young's Concordiance)
  • He is an archangel. Archangel refers to one of the princes and leaders of the angels. (Thayer's Lexicon)
  • He leads the holy angels. (MacArthur)
  • He contended, disputed with the devil about the body of Moses. This is the only mention in Scripture about the struggle over the body of Moses. Michael had to fight with Satan to do God's bidding.
  • Michael did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him (the devil) but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" NIV
  • He is also mentioned by name in Daniel 10, Daniel 12, and Revelation 12. Every time Michael appears, it is in the context of battle or readiness to fight. (Guzik)
  • Why the dispute over Moses' body? Commentators suggest that the devil wanted to tempt the Israelites into idolatry, worshiping Moses' body instead of God. Perhaps the devil knew a purpose God had for Moses' body at the appearing on the Mount of Transfiguration with Elijah and Jesus, so the devil wanted to defeat that plan. (Matt. 17:1-3)
I am glad there are angels around us. I am also glad that God is all-powerful and in charge. They were quite busy during the Bible times. Many Scriptures tell us. Look up "angel" and see how many references there are.


There are invisible, angelic beings all around us. Ministering spirits are sent by God to assist us and there are demonic spirits who want to defeat us.

It's not the why but the how, the manner of Michael's fighting that is important. It is a model for spiritual warfare. Michael battles with the Lord's authority. (Michael is not Jesus in the verse.) Michael doesn't rebuke the devil in his own authority, but in the authority of Jesus. (Bauckham)

We all need to be aware of demons who want to corrupt, defile Christians who want to walk in purity and freedom. Let's be time bombs to the devil, ready to wreck his work.
We work in Jesus' name and with the Holy Spirit's power.

Who knows, maybe today you or I will encounter an angel unaware. Don't forget to entertain strangers, it just might be an angel. (Hebrews 13:2)


Turn from the world. Turn to Jesus.

Remember that we have angels to help us in this spiritual battle.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Day Dreaming

657.  "Day Dreaming     December 10, 2012
Jude 8-Part 7
Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. KJV


Day dreaming. When bored with lecturing teachers, I would let my mind wonder somewhere else. We must be careful about what our mind dwells on, what thoughts we let wonder in. Before we know it, we can be in La-la land entertaining impure thoughts-places we would never go in the physical realm.

Jude is warning about dreamers, these apostates, false teachers, false prophets.
The Thayer's Lexicon defines dreamers as to be beguiled with sensual images and carried away to an impious course of conduct. Webster's Dictionary defines impious as lacking reverence for God; profane.

So these kind of dreamers were those which Jude compared to in previous verses, with the unbelieving Israelites, fallen angels, and homosexuals of Sodom.

These dreamers:
  • defiled the flesh-polluted their own bodies;
  • despised dominion-rejected authority
  • spoke evil of dignities-slandered celestial beings.
(phrases were from the New International Version of the Bible)

Clarke's Commentary on the Bible says:
He (Jude) means to say that these false teachers and their followers were as unbelieving and disobedient as the Israelites in the wilderness, as rebellious against the authority of God as the fallen angels, and as impure and unholy as the Sodomites; and that consequently they must expect similar punishment.
I need to guard my thoughts and not daydream. The devil can throw me some curve balls and tempt me to strike when I normally would not do so.


Luke 6:45 says, The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on the things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, excellent, and praiseworthy.

Proverbs 23:7 says, For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.

Am I protecting my heart? Is it washed with the Blood of the Lamb?
I want to be a good person who brings good things out of the good stored up in my heart. Also, my mouth speaks from the overflow of my heart. Therefore, if my heart is filled with the love of Jesus, then it will be shown in my actions and my words.


Turn away impure thoughts.

Rebuke the devil.

Think on pure thoughts, on things above, not on the earth.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Den of Sin

656.  "Den of Sin"       December 7, 2012
Jude 7-Part 6
In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.  NIV


When someone says my name after I have died, I want my life to be a good example of following Jesus. Also, I want my church and town to be known as a place where Jesus dwelled, not a den of sin.
Jude uses two cities as examples of a den of sin. What were they?

The destruction of these cities ar the southeast corner of the Dead Sea is used over twenty times in Scripture as an illustration of God's judgment during the days of Abraham and Lot. Their apostasy occured about 450 years after the flood and only 100 years after Noah's death. People would have known about the message of righteousness and judgment from God which Noah preached, and which they rejected. (MacArthur Bible Commentary)

The terrible sin of these cities is homosexuality, for which God destroyed the whole area. The point in this passage is that the people of God were lured away from the true worship of God by the homosexual cities (Gen. 18-19) and they were therefore destroyed. In the Bible, the most serious sins are those which draw others away from the true worship of God or hinder others from believing in Christ (Deut. 13:1-11, Mark 9:42).  (Liberty Bible Commentary)

I think the warning from Jude is for us to not give ourselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. Teach our children what God says are the right and pure ways to live, then be the example ourselves.


The latter part of verse 7 tells me to allow S & G to be an example of God's fire of earthly judgment, which was a preview of fire that can't be quenched in eternal hell.

Other Scriptures to read on this include: Matt. 3:12, 18:8, 25:41; Mark 9:43-44, 46-48; Luke 3:17; Rev. 19:20, 20:14-15, 21:8.

Resource: MacArthur Bible Commentary 

Other commentaries call homosexuality a detestable and unnatural sin, to which I agree.

Am I standing up for the Bible and earnestly contending for the faith? Or am I passive and not speaking out against this sin?


Stay committed to Jesus and His teachings of purity.

Warn others of judgment for homosexuals.

Help my town and church to have a good reputation (Christianity)for future generations.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


655.  "Angels"        December 6, 2012
Jude 6-Part 5
And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home-these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. NIV


As I think about angels, there were several active around Jesus' birth-Mary before conception, Joseph in a dream, Zacharias before John was born. Angels are messengers of God. Our key verse mentions angels, but not in a good way. Let's look further.

In this verse, we read of the second example of apostasy to which Jude refers. It is  the apostasy of fallen angels that is described in Genesis 6:1-3.
These angels broke rank and stepped lustfully beyond their prescribed abode to cohabit with human women. (Swindoll)

2 Peter 2:4 says, For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.

The false teachers who are exploiting Peter's Christian readers will certainly be punished in the day of judgment by our Righteous God. (Falwell)

God punished me who sinned and angels who, before defecting, once sang His praises.

If I am not careful, I can be deep in sin within a moment.


What is verse 6 warning me?
  • First, I should stand firm, keeping my position next to Christ.
  • Fight this spiritual battle with God's armor found in Ephesians 6-helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, belt of truth, shoes of peace, sword of the Word, shield of faith, all of which are provided by Him.
  • Don't abandon my home. Stay where God put me and leave only whenever He directs. Stay in the church, in the family, in the neighborhood where He wants His light to shine through me.
  • Continue in the light of Jesus.
  • Be free from the chain of sin by confessing.

Beware of false teachings and teachers.

Stay in the Word of God.

Remain where God has put me. Be His light shining wherever I go.

Thank Jesus for coming into the world, suffering so much, in order to provide my salvation.

Sing His praises!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Modern Miracle

654.  "A Modern Miracle"    December 5, 2012
Jude 5-Part 4
I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. KJV


Are there any miracles that God has done in your life? There is one in particular for me. On December 21, 2001, after surgery, I stopped breathing, turning blue. My husband saw this and called for help. My doctors happened to still be close and gave me the right medicine to override the morphene. I say that I am living my extended life that God has given me. So I will celebrate 11 years of life soon. How grateful I am for a second chance to serve Him!
Jude wants his readers to remember an occurance back in Old Testament times. What was it?

God delivered His people the Israelites out of 400 years of slavery in Egypt. Through His servant Moses, God showed miraculous signs as He brought on the ten plagues upon Egypt. I think the day they walked toward the wilderness was a day of singing praises to God. Such joyful hearts! No more being a slave to the Egyptians. No more hard work. Freedom. The Red Sea crossing was an experience they never stopped talking about. Or did they?

Do I remember the miracles God has done in my life?
  • He created me. (My brother is 7 years older than I, so I was unexpected.)
  • He saved me.
  • He delivered me out of my bondage to sin.
  • He gave me breath again and extended my life.
  • He provides all I need.
It is always good to remember. How about you? Any miracles in your life?


They Hebrews traveled across the desert. When they came to the borders of the Promised Land.
Then 12 men were sent to spy it out. Only two (Caleb and Joshua) had faith that they could conquer it, bringing back a good report. After seeing all the lucious fruit, and experiencing miracles, the ten men focused on the giants instead of how powerful  God is and what He could do. They did not look with excitement to see Him take the land for them. What happened? The people sided with the ten instead of the two. As a result, those 20 years and older all died in the the wilderness, except those two.
The wilderness was a graveyard that Paul (1 Cor. 10:5-11) and the writer of Hebrews (3:18-4:2) and Jude (verse 5) wrote about. It was the unbelief that displeased God (Heb. 3:19).

Luke 1:37 says, For with God nothing shall be impossible.

It was impossible for man, but not impossible for God-immpregnate a virgin by the Holy Spirit (Mary) and an old woman (Elisabeth) beyond childbearing years. By faith I believe this happened and history records John the Baptist and Jesus were real human beings.

How strong is my faith? When I face giants, do I believe and trust God to eliminate them? Do they keep me from experiencing the Promised Land that God wants me to live in now? Will I let Jesus conquer my fears and doubts? How about you?


Remember all that God has done for me.

Thank Him daily for creating me, saving me, and extending my life.

Trust God for more miracles.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


653.  "Pretzels"     December 4, 2012
Jude 4-Part 3
For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.  (NAS)


I like to eat pretzels. I eat them instead of chips with my sandwich, as a crunchy snack, whenever I want something salty. I don't like the stick ones, but the 3 clover ones. You know, the twisted ones.
In this verse, Jude is warning of ungodly people who twist the grace of God.

Who are the people that have crept into the church unnoticed? They were false teachers, the apostates, who opposed the mainstream teaching of the Christian faith. They didn't harbor doubts in their minds but full-sailed defiance in their hearts. Everywhere these defiant men went, division and dissension followed. Their effect was lethal, striking at the very core of Christian truth.

Jude describes these ungodly persons:
  1. They turn the grace of our God into licentiousness.
  2. They deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
These people twisted and turned the grace of God into an opportunity to satisfy their own sensual appetities. Turn means to transpose or change the place of. It is used to describe the altering of a concllusion, or the changing of a person's name, mind, or loyaltes. (Swindoll's New Testament Postcard)

They are godless men, who change the grace of God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. (NIV)

Like a pretzel is twisted into shape, these false teachers were twisting God's grace. No wonder Jude was writing to warn his readers.

I sure don't want to be guilty of twisting God's Words, nor using it to justify immorality.


Here we have a reason to "contend earnestly for the faith."
Apostasy is a falling-away from the faith. In Greek literature it was used of rebels who defect from a cause. It was also used in the phrase "bill of divorce," where the word divorce is a translation of the Greek word apostasia.

Contend means to fight or to struggle intensely.

Am I always aware of false teachings or teachers? I must learn the Word in order to be able to spot them.
Do I fight for the truth? I must know the difference between false and true doctrine and words.


Stand up for my faith in Jesus and His Word.

Recognize the difference between false and true teachings.

Beware of twisted words.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Do we Have Anything in Common?

652.  "Do we Have Anything in Common? "
December 3, 2012
Jude 3
Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. NAS


I was a stranger is a strange land.
My mission trip to the Dominican Republic  made such a lasting impression on my life. Did I have anything in common with these people? Our language, lifestyle, and worship were very different. Even though I could only understand a few Spanish words, I felt like I had a lot in common with the Christians in the churches where we attended worship services and fellowships. It was the love of our Savior and the Holy spirit that bound us together as brothers and sisters in the faith. Perhaps Jude felt the same way.

What did Jude and his readers have in common?
  • salvation
  • faith
  • sainthood as believers in Jesus Christ.
Do I allow the love of Jesus to be a common bond with others? Do you and I have anything in common?


What is Jude wanting his readers to do?
He wants them to (earnestly in KJV) contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

What does that long sentence mean?
In his study guide, New Testament Postcards, Charles Swindoll says:
The theme of this letter is found in the admonition to "contend earnestly for the faith." The Greek word for "contend" is epagonizesthai. It means "to fight" or "to struggle" intensely. We get our word agonize from it. the picture is one of a wrestling match with a formidable opponent in an ancient gymnasium, thick and humid with the smell of sweat.
Furthermore, Swindoll says for us to not let someone take away the nucleus of our faith without a struggle. It's worth fighting for, so don't be afraid to get on the canvas and wrestle for it.
If my focus is on comfortable pews and thermostat settings, am I really going to want to break into a sweat and "contend earnestly for the faith?"

"The faith" is the body of truth contained in the Scriptures, which effects our lifestyle. It is firmly structured around the good news delivered once at the cross-and for all. The faith is not delivered to a privileged few on God's list, but is given to the "saints."

Jude wrote this urgent imperative for Christians to wage war against error in all forms and to fight strenuously for the truth, like a soldier who has been entrusted with a sacred task of guarding a holy treasure. Scripture is complete, sufficient, and finished; therefore it is fixed for all time. Nothing is to be added to the body of the inspired Word because nothing else is needed.  (MacArthur Bible Commentary)

 The word all jumped out at me today. Earlier, my attention was brought to 2 Corinthians 9:8, And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (NIV)

What word is used four times in that one verse? All is used.
God's grace is all grace for me, in all things, at all times, so I have all that I need to share with others.

Now, that's the kind of grace I want. How about you? Am I contending, fighting for the faith?


Let love, faith, and salvation be a common bond with fellow Christians.

Allow God's grace to be all-sufficient for me.

Stand up for Jesus.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I'm Back!

Hello dear friends,
I have missed ya'll very much. November was such a busy and exciting month for me. First, I spent a week on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. We know of 22 that were saved, not counting any high school students to whom we witnessed.

We were home on Friday and flew out Tuesday, just enough time to change summer clothes into winter ones. We spent a week with our daughter and her family, celebrating her birthday and Thanksgiving together, plus spoiling the grandchildren. Then my husband and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary.

I caught a bug somewhere and have been sick the rest of the week, so I am sorry for not posting earlier. God's grace is good and I am back. Please join me Monday in the book of Jude.

I'll be sharing some experiences where this country road led me as I served God.

Have a great weekend, friends, and see ya Monday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Time Off for Spoiling Grandchildren

Time Off for Spoiling Grandchildren
November 21-26, 2012

Keep walking in the faith, dear ones.
In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God.

Life should be back to normal by Nov. 27, so check back with me. Be sure to read Jude. we will pick up in verse 3.

I wish you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving. I am spending it with our daughter and her family in Rhode Island. Thank you for allowing me this time off. Laundry between the two trips has not allowed me time to read and write.

See you then.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012


651.  "Serving"            November 20, 2012
Introduction to Jude
Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ: May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you.  Jude 1-2, NAS


Our mission team of 8 people stayed in two homes while we were in the D.R. One was a widow of a retired pastor and the other was a couple who had served in the same capacity. Since we were in and out of each home for 3 days visiting in 7 communities of 6 churches, there were servant ladies who came to cook our meals. How graciously they kept our glasses filled and bowls of food supplied. There was always a table full of a variety of food native to their land. I could tell that their service was from a heart of love. As I read what Jude wrote, I have the feeling that he had the same love for his readers of this small letter. Shall we begin our study?

Who was Jude? He explains in the first verse:
  • the author of this letter;
  • a servant of Jesus Christ;
  • a brother of James, who wrote the Book bearing his name;
  • probably the half brother of Jesus and the son of Mary and Joseph (Matt. 13:55, Mark 6:3);
Jude regards himself as having only one distinction in life-to be forever at the disposal of Jesus, his Master. (Swindoll)

Servant, in this verse, means "one who gives himself up wholly to another's will;" those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men: of other preachers and teachers of the gospel. (Thayer's Lexicon)

Jude preferred not to mention the family relationship to Jesus directly; perhaps the mention of James, who was a leading figure in the church in Jerusalem, was enough to give weight to his identity. His boast, like Peter and Paul, was that he was a "slave" of Jesus Christ.  (Falwell)

To whom was Jude writing? Perhaps they are in the Palestine area, since they know James. However, it is unknown who the audience with whom Jude was corresponding. So I am thinking, what does Jude have to say to me? to you? to our churches? What does God have to say to us through Jude?


The MacArthur Bible Commentary says this:

Jude lived at a time when Christianity was under severe political attack from Rome and aggressive spiritual infiltration from gnostic-like apostates and libertines who sowed abundant seed for a gigantic harvest of doctrinal error. Except for John, who lived at the close of the century, all of the other apostles had been martyred and Christianity was thought to be extremely vulnerable. Thus, Jude called the church to fight for the truth in the midst of intense spiritual warfare.
The date must then lie somewhere between about A.D. 65 and 80, perhaps A.D. 67-68. Whether before or after 2 Peter, Jude is at least in the same general period. The place of writing is not indicated but quite likely is Jerusalem.  (Liberty Bible Commentary)

Here is what we know about the readers found in King James Version:
  • They are sanctified by God the Father.
  • They are preserved in Jesus Christ.
  • They are called.
The New American Standard Bible says they are the called, beloved, and kept.
The call of God is a call to be loved and kept securely in the love of Jesus Christ (see Rom. 8:30-39).

New Living Translation says: I am writing to all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ.


Verse 2 says, Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.

Where law and works prevail, there is failure and death. Where grace prevails, there is mercy
 (Eph. 2:4, Heb. 4:16), peace (Rom. 5:1), and love (Rom. 5:5) in abundance. (MacArthur)

This is what I want for you and me today-mercy, peace, and love multiplied from God.


Thank the Lord Jesus that He keeps me safe in His care.

Share the mercy, peace, and love of God with others today.

Be a servant of Jesus Christ today.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Giving Thanks Early

650.  "Giving Thanks Early" 
November 19, 2012

With Thanksgiving coming Thursday, I ponder on what I am thankful for:

*a loving husband who has stayed faithful to me and with me for almost 40 years. Nov. 25 we
  will celebrate that anniversary! He is also faithful in serving God.

*a sweet daughter, who has given me 4 grandchildren and is carrying the 5th. She is teaching
  them the ways of God.

*a wonderful son, who is always looking out for me; allows me to spend time with his
  daughter; loves God.

* the greatest son inlaw who loves God, his family, and others.

*the most wonderful daughter inlaw who is growing in faith in Jesus, loves her family, and
  puts up with me.

*my extended families and their support.

*friends who share the love of Jesus around the world and here at home.

*our church family which loves God, His Word, and others.

*Most of all, I am thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, who created me 58 years ago, saved me 42
  years ago, and has never left me; for His love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace that are everlasting.

* for a free country in which I can read the Bible, worship my God, and serve Him.

* for you, who reads what I write.

I hope we don't wait until Thanksgiving Day to give thanks, but we do it everyday of our lives.
Psalm 100 is a favorite of mine. What is yours?

Well, friends, as you read this, I am leaving tomorrow to spoil my grandchildren, which I haven't seen in 1 1/2 years. So if I don't post the rest of the week, you will understand why, I am sure.(I am studying Jude, our next Book in the Bible.)
Read about our mission trip on the previous post. Tomorrow we begin Jude, so will you join me?

May Jesus bless you and your family.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mission Trip

649.  "Mission Trip"   November 17, 2012
Then the disciples went back to their homes. John 20:10

If you read the rest of the chapter, you will see that Mary stayed at Jesus' tomb, alone, and got to see the Savior and talk to Him. The disciples didn't at that time. They left and went home.
I don't want to be too quick to go home and miss out on experiencing Jesus. Do you?

I sure missed you friends. Each morning I wanted to dig into the word and type a lesson, but God had other things for me to do.

Wow! What a week of experiences! God's arm of mercy, grace, and love is not too short that it does not reach around the world. I thought I'd give a summation of last week. Sorry I did not post any, but there was no internet service until the last few days.

Our mission team preached, taught, and shared the Gospel in 6 churches and 7 communities in the northwest part of the Dominican Republic. There were 22 known saved as a result. I met so many beautiful brothers and sisters in Christ.

On Sunday morning, I taught a children's Sunday school class of 53 about Zacheus. (I love short people, since I am one.) Just as Jesus bid Zac to come to Him, 16 children came to Jesus and found Him as Savior. Glory to God!

We traveled around 500 miles to various towns. God has opened the door for us to return in June to do a VBS, ESL classes, and other activites in a new town for us. We are excited about the prospects of that.

Then on Tuesday and Wednesday we went into a high school where 3 of us shared our testimonies. We had freedom to share the Gospel, but do not know how many prayed to receive Jesus. That is in His hands. Thank you for all the prayers for me. It was the first time I had shared particular things of my childhood, which was very difficult. God gave me strength.

We saw first hand the effects  Hurricane Sandy had upon this island, only 2 weeks earlier. Tall waves washed away some of the dirt supporting a bridge, making it unsafe to travel over in a van, so we walked across it. Floods like never before were experienced in the northern area. They don't know what to do. In spite of such difficulty, Christians continue to praise and worship our God and Savior. It was such humbling  circumstances for me.

We made so many new friends and felt the love of Jesus there.
Please continue to pray for the Christians, churches, and pastors. Truly the harvest is white, but the laborers are few.

I was always amazed at the palm, banana, and coconut trees and gorgeous flowers everywhere. They were  down the middle of the streets and in yards. I am very grateful for hot water and electricity in my home upon returning. Sometimes we had electricity, but hot water was not in the homes where we stayed, only cold.

Last, we went to the bridge where the Haitians crossed over into the country to go to market, if they had money to buy or products to sell. What a sight! Such poverty and suffering! Oh my, but we Americans are so blessed!!! I shall never forget the sight.

No sacrifice is too great when one is serving Jesus. I learned to follow Him and He provides what is needed.

Well, I must go do laundry and take a hot shower. If you listen, you might hear me singing praises to Jesus for His blessings and gifts to me.

I wonder where this country road of faith will lead me next. Only God knows. I am just following Jesus by faith where He leads.
We will get started in Jude on Monday, so be sure to join me. I'll share a cup of tea with you, because I sure missed it last week.
 (Can you believe there are only 2 books left in the New Testament for us to study together?)

In His Love,

Monday, November 12, 2012

Summary and Postcards

648.  "Summary and Postcards"
November 12, 2012
Summary of 3 John-Part 6   


Here we are at the end of John's writings of the three short letters, postcards, full of love, faith, hospitality, and warnings. I couldn't leave until next week, but I had to wrap it up. John spoke of three characters in this third letter: 
  1. Gaius was faithful and hospitable.
  2. Diotrephes was rebuked for being prideful, disruptive, inhospitable, and coercive. 
  3. Demetrius was praised for his good testimony. 
I wonder which one I am most like. How about you?


Maybe I can send you a postcard from the Dominican Republic. If we have internet service where we are going, I can post updates.  There is a team of eight that are going to preach, teach, and witness for our Lord Jesus, sharing the gospel in remote areas of the D.R.
I covet your prayers.  Especially, on Tuesday and Wednesday, the team will be giving testimonies in a high school.

Thank you so much for your faithfulness, friends. We return on the 16th, so check back off and on this week. Have a wonderful week!

Sharing the love, mercy, and grace of Jesus throughout the world.


Friday, November 9, 2012


647.  "Testimony"  November 9, 2012
3 John-Part 5    (verses 12-14)
Demetrius hat good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record, and ye know that our record is true. 3 John 1:12 


Yesterday, I went to the local library to turn in some books I had checked out. To my surprise, one of our church members was volunteering at the desk. I visited a few minutes with her and the other lady I had known for years. While I was walking down the isle toward the back door, I could hear the two
ladies talking. I supposed they were talking about me, since one said I was her pastor's wife. I wish I could have been a little library mouse that day and heard their discussion. I wonder what kind of testimony I had.
John is talking about the testimony of a man named Demetrius. This is the only place in the Bible that he is mentioned. He probably delivered this short letter to Gaius.

What do we know about Demetrius' testimony?
  1. He received a good testimony universally from everyone, a good report. Good report, martyreo in Greek, is the same word that is used for preaching, or testifying to the truth of the gospel.
  2. He received a good testimony from the truth itself. His life lined up with its teaching and practice.
  3. He received a good testimony from the apostle and his close circle of friends-and we also bear witness. John gives his word, report, concerning the genuine Christian character of Demetrius.
[Resource: New Testament Postcards, a Bible Study Guide by Charles Swindoll, Liberty Bible Commentary]

Do people know that I am a Christian by my speech and actions? Is my life lined up with the Word of God? Am I practicing what I teach? Do others see my faith and feel my love?

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:35)

* I am flying to the Dominican Republic today, along with 7 others on a mission trip. Please pray for us as we witness, preach, and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ in remote areas. Sunday, I will be teaching about Zacheus to a children's Sunday School class at a church. Monday's post gives more details of the plans. Keep checking back with me. If possible, I will update on the Lord's workings.


In the final two verses, what do I hear?
  • John is eager to visit these believers to whom he is writing.
  • He wishes them peace.
  • He sent greetings from other friends.
I am sad to come to the close of John's writings of these three small letters. However, there is one more book which he did write, left for us to study-Revelation. We are studying it on Wednesday nights in my church. so stay tuned, friends.


In her devotional book Jesus Calling, Sarah Young writes as if Jesus were speaking:
Worship Me in the beauty of holiness. All true beauty reflects some of who I AM. I am working My ways in you: the divine Artist creating loveliness with your being. My main work is to clear out debris and clutter, making room for My Spirit to take full possession. Collaborate with Me in this effort by being willing to let go of anything I choose to take away. I know what you need, and I have promised to provide all of that-abundantly!
I am training you to depend on Me alone. Learn to release and receive.
I will close with Sarah's use of scriptures. Am I willing to let go of anything?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Follow the Leader

646.  "Follow the Leader"
November 8, 2012
3 John-Part 4    (Verses 11)
Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. he that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.  3 John 11


As a child, I used to play Follow the Leader with my friends. We would walk behind the leader and imitate what she did. We copied her mannerisms as well as where she went.If she waved her hands like a flying bird, we all did the same. After a while, another girl would be the leader and we mimiced her.
John gives similiar instructions. I am to follow that which is good.
Follow means to imitate, according to Thayer's Lexicon. Imitate means to copy in manner or action; mimic, according to Webster's Dictionary.

So far, in this letter, John has spoken about a good example, Gaius, and a bad example, Diotrephes. What a contrast-Gaius was faithful and hospitable while Diotrephes was prideful and inhospitable. Gaius was a joy maker for others, but Diotrephes was a trouble maker. Gaius had a servant's heart, however, Diotrephes wanted to be served.

Am I imitating that which is good? Although Jesus was the only one who was good, we can still do as others do when they are a follower of God.
What can I do?
  • Give a blessing.
  • Do acts of kindness and beneficence.
  • Be merciful and gracious.
  • Show love in Jesus' name.
  • Minister to the saints.
  • Encourage others to be faithful to Jesus.
  • Confess my sins. 

To contrast, what should I not do?
  • Put me first instead of others.
  • Have a hard heart.
  • Be prideful.
  • Show inhospitality to the saints.
  • Maintain evil thoughts.
  • Don't give mercy and grace.
  • Live in sin.
Sounds like some do's and don'ts, doesn't it? Which character do I want to follow?


Leave the me mentality, and serve others.

Show grace and mercy.

Stay in the Truth.

Practice goodness.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Rotten Tators

645.  "Rotten Tators"
November 7, 2012
3 John-Part 3         (verses 9-
I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.  3 John 9


Have you ever gone to the cabinet and pulled out a rotten tator (potato)from the bag of potatoes? I have. It is mushy, yucky, stinky, and turned bad. Sometimes it had worms crawling on it, too. I noticed there usually wasn't just one rotten tator, but several were in the bag. Often, few could be kept, thus the whole bag had to be thrown away, usually. Does this happen in churches, I wonder. Can one rebellious person bring down others into their bag of sin?

Today's study seems to focus on a rotten tator, so to speak, known as Diotrephes. John is warning this church about him. In verse 9, John starts out saying that he had written to this church previously.

Exactly what was written, we have no way of knowing, since the letter must have been destroyed by Diotrephes or otherwise lost. Diotrephes measures up as a false teacher, an impostor, (John must have been some kind of supervisor of the churches and local bishops.) (Liberty Bible Commentary)

John publicly and in the eternal Word of God, rebukes a man named Diotrephes by name. the apostle of love isn't acting outside of love. He's following the clear command of the scriptures (Rom. 16:17) and the example of other apostles (2Tim. 4:14-15). Any such public rebuke must be made only when necessary, and we must be careful to not judge a brother against any standard that we ourselves would not be judged. (Matt. 7:1-2)  (Guzik)

Do I stay alert as to a bad influence around me? am I turning to Jesus for discernment?


What was Diotrephes' problem?
  • Pride was the main sin in this man. He loved to be first, which is what preeminence means(KJV uses). He wouldn't receive the words of the apostles and John. Pride was Satan's problem when he got kicked out of heaven (Is. 14:14). He wanted to be like God. This is the opposite nature of Jesus, who came in the form of a servant. (Boice)
  • Gossiping, scoffing, mocking, criticising, were things this man did. Prating (KJV uses) means to talk nonsense. Diotrephes showed what kind of man he really was.
  • Discontentment is another characteristic of this man. He refused to receive, welcome, and care for the missionaries himself, and prevented other of doing so. He wasn't happy in what he was doing.
  • He kicked out those that would not support his ways from the church.
What a bad example! What a rotten leader! Am I taking notes on this so I won't be like him?


Watch out for pride. Throw it out when it comes to the door of my heart.

Stay in the Word of God and surrendered to the Holy Spirit.

Be alert to deceivers.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


644.  "Missionaries"                   November 6, 2012
3 John-Part 2
Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you. 3 John 5


Since I am missions director at my church, I have many ways that I support our denominational missionaries. I pray, give money, lead others to give, educate others about their work and needs, and volunteer as a missionary sharing Jesus at home and abroad. Several missionaries have come to my church sharing about their work for Jesus.

Gaius, the one to whom John wrote this letter, was an indirect missionary. Verse 5 says he was faithful in what he was doing. I am reminded of Colossians 3:23, and whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men.
In Matthew 25:40b, Jesus said, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Our works do not go unnoticed by God.

[Be sure to vote today, friends.]


Gaius was a good example to other believers by:
  • faithfully showing hospitality to brethren and strangers (verse 5); missionaries were sent out without support nor places to stay and he provided for them;
  • loving, a proof of genuine Christianity (verse 6);
  • supporting God's representatives on their journey (verse 6);
  • supplying food, supplies, and money for the missionaries, being a fellow-helper (verse 8).
I will be leaving Friday, November 9 with a missions team to the Dominican Republic and will return on the 16. We covet your prayers. We will be teaching and preaching in territory which is not served by a missionary in my denomination. A door has opened for us to give testimonies in a high school. We are praying for all these people to receive the truth of Jesus Christ.


Be a missionary wherever I am, sharing the gospel of Jesus.

Support missionaries who give of themselves.

Monday, November 5, 2012


643.  "Encouragment"           November 5, 2012
3 John-Part 1
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.  3 John 2


Encouragment-who doesn't need a little now and then?
This week I went to the wrong nail place to get my eyebrows trimmed. They wouldn't honor my gift certificate, so I had to pay for it. My car got backed into at a local store. (only scratches) My suitcase is busted and now we have an unexpected expense to purchase one. Pigeons are pooping on my porch. This morning I was eating my homemade biscuit with blackberry jelly (last jar), which stuck to the napkin, causing the purple jellied biscuit to fall down the front of my gray sweats, as I was taking the jar to the frig. An email I sent didn't get there, so I have to retype my lesson for my mission trip. It took 2 hours to write. (No Word on laptop since it costs over $100.) And then there is my right ey, which keeps making tears due to allergies.Well, it is a bright, sunny day today.

Yes, I could use a cup of encouragment about now. How about you? (I should be thankful that I have a dry, warm, watered and well lit house, which some northeasterners don't have.)
John seems to have some encouragment for us. Ready?

3 John is written to a guy named Gaius, a leader of the church to whom John wrote his second letter. We don't know any background on this guy, but John says Gaius:
  • is a dear friend (well-beloved); (verse 1)
  • is  one whom John loves in truth; (verse 1)
  • may prosper, get along well; (verse 2)
  • may be in health, in as good health physically as he is spiritually; (verse 2)
  • had a good witness by brethren of being in the truth; (verse 3)
  • walks in the truth, lives according to the apostles' message; (verse 3)
  • gives John joy. (verse 4)
Am I a dear friend? What do others say about me? Am I walking in the truth, applying God's Word in my life? Give others joy?


How is Gaius a good example for us to follow?
  • walking in truth
  • exhibits hospitality to God's children (Heb. 13:1-2)
  • was a good friend of John's who prays for him in verses 1-4.

Stay in the Truth.

Love others.

Show hospitality to believers.

Encourage others.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Post Cards

642.  "Post Cards"               November 2, 2012
2 John Summary
And this is love, that we walk after his commandments.  2 John 6a


Post cards are fun to get, don't you think? Usually, I receive one whenever our kids are on vacation and they let us know they are fine and having fun. A picture of where they are is usually on the front. A postcard is brief and to the point of what a person wants to say. John is sending a postcard to a church as he wrote 2 John. He was brief and to the point. Shall we reveiw what he said to them?

  • John was walking in truth and love. (verse 3
  • He was sending grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Jesus the Son. (verse 3)
  • The church was walking in truth (verse 4)
  • John reminds them to love one another. (verse 5)
  • He bids them to walk in God's commandments. (verse 6)
  • He warns the church about deceivers in the world who don't confess Jesus. (verse 7)
  • John tells these believers to abide in the doctrine of Christ. (verse 9)
  • Don't allow deceivers, false teachers, into their house, nor bid them God speed. (verse 10)
  • John had other things to say to them, but would do so when they were face to face. (verse 12)
  • He wants their joy to be made full. (verse 12)
  • He sent greetings from other believers in a sister church. (verse 13)
Is God telling me to walk in truth and love balancing them?
Do I know enough truth to recognize error when I hear it?
Do I stand against error?


In his study guide, New Testament Post Cards, Charles Swindoll says:
The following fundamentals form a good checklist with which to examine the teachers that knowk on your door or come into your home through the television or radio:

-Inerrancy of Scripture (2Tim.3:16, 2Peter 1:21)

-Virgin birth and deity of Christ (Isa. 7:14,Matt. 1:18-25, John 1:1,14, 8:53-58)

-Sinless nature and life of Christ (Heb. 4:15)

-Substitutionary death of the Savior (Rom. 5:6-8, 2 Cor. 5:21)

-Effectiveness of Christ's blood to cleanse sin (Acts 20:28, Heb. 9:22, 1John 1:7)

-Bodily resurrection of Christ from the grave (1Cor.15:1-11)

-Ascension of Christ and His present ministry to the believer (Eph. 4:7-10, 1Thess. 4:13-18)

-Literal, future return of Christ to the earth (John 14:1-3, 1Thess. 4:13-18)
I think I will copy this list and carry it in my Bible. Jesus is our faoundation for our beliefs, the corner stone. (Eph. 2:20)

Here are some questions Swindoll challenges us to ask ourselves:

How would you rate your consistency in telling the truth?
How about your ability to  demonstrate love?
How about your use of discernment and discretion?


Don't misplace hospitality.

Keep a balance of truth and love; walk in in truth and love.

Maintain discernment and discretion; watch out for wolves.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Face to Face

641.  "Face to Face"               November 1, 2012
2 John-Part 4   (verses 12-13)
Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.  2 John 12 KJV


Happy birthday, Jen. She's the most wonderful daughter inlaw I could ever have!
I am so blessed! I get to see my son, his wife, and daughter several times a week.

You know, there's nothing like speaking to a family member or friend in person, close-up, personal, face-to-face. It's been almost 16 months since I have hugged my four grandchildren, daughter, and son inlaw. We have Skyped once,talk on the phone often, but that isn't the same as being there in person. My how the children grown in a year's time. It's 19 days and counting down unto that day comes again. Yipee! We are headin' north this month! My joy will be full, as John put it in our key verse.

I can hear the warmth and love in John's heart as he concludes this second letter. it was a brief one. he wanted to speak with his fellow believers face to face.

God spoke to a man face to face. Do you know who it was? Moses. (Numbers 12:8)

God spoke to Moses "mouth to mouth."
John wanted to speak to this church in the same way, to restore them to spiritual life in Christ. (Falwell)

Face to face is a figure of speech, telling of great and unhindered intimacy. The form of the Lord is what Moses had actually seen with his physical eyes, because he couldn't see the Lord and live. (Guzik)

A heart full of love pours itself out more freely face to face than by a letter. (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown)

Pen and ink were a means of strengthening and comforting others. (Matthew Henry)

How do I speak to a holy God? Does His Spirit speak to me often? Am I listening whenever He does?


That our joy may be full.

The blessing of hospitality is full joy. John uses this same wording in 1 John 1:4. When believers uphold the biblical standards for fellowship, the result is genuine joy among believers because the truths of the Word are maintained.  (MacArthur Bible Commentary)

How is my Christian hospitality? Is it shown with love, unity, truth? Am I filled with joy each Sunday and Wednesday as my church meets for worship and Bible study together? Am I glad to see these brothers and sisters in between those times? Do I share joy with them?


Forgive and let go of hurts so my joy may be full when I see my brothers and sisters in the faith, in my church, other believers.

Show the love of Christ when I speak face to face with others.

I'm praying for our eastern friends since Sandy arrived.

Gaylene, sweet friend, keep us informed of your situation.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

640.   "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing"
October 31, 2012
2 John-Part 3   (verses 7-11)
Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.  2 John 8 KJV


Not all things are as they seem. This has become a philosophy, a saying, of mine. Something or someone may appear to be kind, loving, concerned, right, but in their heart they are not, or it is evil in disguise. They are wolves in sheep's clothing. They can turn on you to devour you. Turn on a dime is the saying. So I need to always be watching what I say and do, inspecting fruit, too. John is still warning us in this small book of only 13 verses.

Liberty Bible Commentary says:
John is giving us a warning in regard to false teachers. It should probably read "Watch out! That you do not lose what we have accomplished." It is the apostles who have preached and thus fulfilled the Commisssion and made great gain (salvation) possible for the believers; the apostles will not lose anything themselves, but the believers stand to lose all the blessings of Chrisitianity if they listen to the false teachers. It is the believers also who will receive the reward, which is not a reward for something done, but the gift of salvation by grace.
A false prophet may have pulled the wool over the lady's (church's) eyes.

John is giving us biblical guidelines for Christian hospitality in this letter:
  • its basis (1-3)
  • its behavior (4-6
  • its bounds (7-11)
  • its blessings (12-13) (MacArthur Bible Commentary)
Do I watch who I take under my roof and let sit at my table? Do I let anyone holding a black book into my house? If I do, then I am participating in his evil deeds, according to verse 11.

Love is the hinge on which hospitality turns to open its door. But just as a door has hinges, it also has a lock. And love never opens a locked door to a wolf-even if it is dressed in sheep's clothing.
(Swindoll's New Testament Postcards, a Bible Study Guide)


Deceivers are misleading, leading into error, a corrupter. (Thayer's Lexicon)

Satan comes as an angel of light (2Cor.11:13-15), believers musst be on guard against error by having an intimate acquaintance with the truth. Deceivers deny the deity and humanity of Christ. False religions, heresies, and cults deny the true nature of Jesus Christ. (MacArthur)

Deceivers are not faithful to the fundamental, sound doctrines of the faith, which shows they have never been born again.

Don't show hospitality or even greet these deceivers. If we help them spread their heresy, then we are sharing in their evil deeds.

Am I loyal to God and His Word alone?

Verse 9 uses the word transgresseth, proago in Greek, should be translated "Whoever goes too far and refuses to live by the teaching." The standard by which the false teachers are to be tested is called the "teaching."  (Liberty Bible Commentary)

On the other hand, if we do abaide in the doctrine of Christ, we have the Father and the Son. (verse 9)


Inspect the wool.

Let these wolves pass me by.

Know what I believe and believe the truth in the Bible.

Don't be hospitable to deceivers.

Lift up Jesus as Savior and the Word of God as Truth.