Archive for the ‘Daily Devotional’ Category

Sermon for Saturday

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

And He took bread and gave thanks and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is My body which is given for you; this do in remembrance of Me. Luke 22:19

Our entire nation pauses today to remember. Our brave solders who have died in various wars and conflicts over the years, including those recently fallen in Afghanistan, are well worth our while remembering. We gather today in the comfort and safety that was purchased for us by the blood of those valiant men and women. They won many battles, and eventually, won the wars.

But our attendance at the Remembrance Day ceremonies at cenotaphs today must call to mind a much greater Remembrance Day that is upon us every week. The fallen soldiers died to save us from a lifetime of tyranny and terrorism, but our Saviour died to save us from an eternity of suffering and separation from God. The soldiers died to save us from evil oppressors and cruelty, but Jesus died to save us from our own sins. Let us ever remember and never minimize the sacrifice of the brave solders who paid in their own life blood for the freedom and peace we enjoy today. However, their sacrifice was temporary and, sadly, the price they paid was but of temporary benefit to us. But Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself is of eternal consequence and everlasting blessing.

The names of great Canadian battles and victories are carved on many monuments and many are well known to us: Queenston Heights, Vimy Ridge, Ypres, Passchendaele, Dieppe, Normandy. But these all fade into insignificance when we consider the greatest battle in all of earth’s history: Golgotha. In deepest respect for the suffering and carnage borne by our military, we must bow low in solemn tribute today to the infinite shame, agony, and anguish of the cross. What Jesus Christ bore there for us transcends all of the sufferings of humanity for all time, wars included.

For one day, we will pause and remember our valiant war dead. But we will remember Jesus today and to all eternity! -Jim MacIntosh

Food for Friday

Friday, November 10th, 2017

Then were there brought unto Him little children, that He should put His hands on them, and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. Matthew 19:13

Mothers whose children become noisy to the point of disrupting a worship meeting will take those children outside of the place where the meeting is held. This is proper and considerate. But those same mothers should, as soon as the children are quiet again, return to the meeting, so that the children will learn that the meeting is a place to be, not a place to escape from. Some little children learn early that by making a disturbance, they will be taken to a room where they can play with toys or be entertained. This might produce quiet during the meeting but does the child no good. Such parents are making the same mistake as the disciples did in today’s text.

Let’s not fault the disciples too much. After all, they were concerned about having the Lord Jesus see the most people, and the most urgent people. They were thinking about efficiency, good practical thinking about keeping order and maintaining discipline. After all, those children would be running about, getting in the way, laughing and talking too loud, and asking silly questions. We can’t have that! Is that the right attitude? Do children really have no place among worshiping saints? Are parents who want to have their little children in the Lord’s presence to be rebuked for being inconsiderate?

Yes, noisy children are a distraction. Parents are to be commended for their valiant efforts to keep them subdued. But there is only one place where children can learn to be quiet during a meeting, and that is in the meeting itself. Yes, it takes time, and patience can wear pretty thin while waiting for the children to get the message. But the same Saviour who delighted to see the children gather about himself on the shores of Galilee must surely appreciate them still. If we properly understand the significance of the Lord’s presence in our meetings, we will want the children there, just as the Children of Israel would not go out into the wilderness to worship and leave their children behind in Egypt.

Let us try to see the little children as the Lord Jesus sees them. Let us never rebuke those whose desire for their children is for them to be in His presence and to get to know Him. -Jim MacIntosh

Thought for Thursday

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. Matthew 9:29

There is an old story about a man who read this verse and took from it that if he had enough faith, God would provide whatever he asked. So he prayed, telling God that he had faith that God would give him a thousand dollars. He even placed a bowl on the table, declaring to his family that he had faith that God would fill the bowl with the money he asked for. Before he went to bed, he prayed again, telling God he had faith that the money would be in the bowl in the morning. At first light, he was up, down the stairs, and into the dining room to check the bowl. Finding it as empty as it was the evening before, he declared, ‘Just as I thought!’ So much for his faith. He was like most of us, we don’t ask God in expectant faith, we tell God our wish list.

The two men to whom Jesus is speaking in today’s text were blind. They had nothing to lose by coming to Jesus. They were encouraged to hear about the dead girl who had been restored to life. Surely a Healer who could raise the dead could give sight to them! Jesus tested them. First, He asked if they really believed that He could heal them. Oh, yes, they did! We’ll see about that. Jesus told them, as he touched their eyes, that what they received would be determined by their faith. They passed the test. Would you? Would I?

Maybe if we had the same urgency as those two blind men, we would find faith a little easier to come by. What do we ask God for? Our unsaved family members? Of course, we pray for them. We hope God will save them. We pray for ourselves, that God will preserve and help us. We hope He will. We pray for many things, hoping that God will respond in direct answer. But before we pray, we should remember Jesus question to the two blind men, whether they believed He could answer their prayers. Maybe some of the prayers God has not yet answered are because we don’t believe He can. We don’t know for sure. But if He could tell those men that they would receive based on their faith, He can tell us the same.

Knowing Who the Lord Jesus is is important. Knowing His ability to answer prayers is critical. Knowing His will to respond to our prayers is essential. According to your faith, may God bless you today. -Jim MacIntosh

Word for Wednesday

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto His disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? Matthew 9:11

Good question! Anyway you look at it, this was an intriguing question. And note carefully, Scripture does not record an answer to the Pharisees’ question. From the Pharisees’ standpoint, they couldn’t understand how One who claimed to be from God could stand to be in the midst of such wicked and low characters. The Pharisees were deeply religious, and extremely particular about who they ate with or even talked with. They would never lower themselves to sit in a company that included tax collectors and immoral people. They simply couldn’t understand why Jesus would do so. It made no sense to them. Well, sometimes it makes no sense to us either, but not for the same reason the Pharisees were puzzled.

Remember the story of Mephibosheth? Remember how when David made him a member of the royal household, and Mephibosheth could ask David why he would look on such a dead dog as himself? That’s how we who belong to the Lord look at this question the Pharisees asked. Consider those publicans and immoral people who were eating a meal with the Lord Jesus. We can wonder why He would allow them to be there. They had no right. But they had his open invitation. And it is the same with us. We have been brought into the royal household of Heaven, and have been seated at Jesus magnificent table, and will enjoy His company forever. Why are we so blessed? In ourselves, we have no right. But we do have an invitation, just as does the entire world.

Consider the One to whose table we have been invited. He is the very One who held the highest office in Glory. But He laid aside that glory for a time, that He might come to earth and personally invite us to be with Him. He made the invitation possible by the offering of Himself on the cross. He purchased our forgiveness in drops of His own most precious blood. And He has brought us into His banqueting house.

Yes, we are amazed that Jesus would company with us. Amazed, but delighted, and thankful. And let us pass on the invitation to others. -Jim MacIntosh

Tidings for Tuesday

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison. Revelation 20:7

It sounds scary to have Satan loosed out of his prison, set loose on a world that will have been free of his evil presence for a thousand years. After all, he is the most evil being in all of creation, the father of lies and all liars, the moving power behind every crime committed, the epitome of hatred , malice, revenge, and brutality. This loosing occurs after a wonderful millennium in which the world will know what a righteous and true government is like. The world will know peace and prosperity, perfect conditions will finally be realized on this planet. But then Satan will be loosed.

What we need to realize, is that Satan is loose today. His all-out campaign against God is being waged with incredible effectiveness all around us. You are not free from his influence today, in fact, Satan is being very effective against you. As a Christian, your primary goal is to bring glory to God. But Satan has you so busy with so many things that you do not have time to be in your Bible or be in prayer nearly as much as you should. He has you so occupied with the affairs of this world that you have little thought to spare on spiritual truths and realities. The devil has you singing his songs, instead of the praises of the Lord Jesus. Yes, Satan is loose today and you are one of his victims. So am I.

We need to be aware of Satan’s purpose to deprive God of the glory that is His due. We need to be aware of why the Christians are so sluggish in their testimony and so worldly in their outlook, why the Gospel is having such little impact on our world. We know that the devil’s ultimate victims are the unsaved. But we are his victims too, although only temporarily.

It will be terrible when Satan is loosed from his prison. But it is terrible today as he operates among us. Pray for power and wisdom to resist him today. -Jim MacIntosh

Meditation for Monday

Monday, November 6th, 2017

And He saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. Matthew 8:26

I read a news report some time ago about the large numbers of people who throw things at their television set when they see something that angers or disturbs them. Many more people shout and verbally rail at their television when, for example, their favourite sports team is scored upon or does badly. What good does that do? There is nothing inside those machines that can feel, or hear, any of the abuse that goes their way. They are inanimate objects, incapable of responding to you and me. I sometimes shout in anger at the wind when it blows my hat off. But it makes no difference, the wind can’t hear me. But it can hear the Lord Jesus.

This was a dramatic scene as a small boat, probably not much bigger than a fishing dory, was caught in a raging storm on Galilee. Some of the boat’s occupants were seasoned fishermen, accustomed to the sea’s violence, but this storm had them terrified. They came to the Lord Jesus to plead for Him to save their lives. He was asleep. He knew the storm could not harm them, He knew all would be well. But he did perform a miracle, and caused a great calm. Why did He rebuke the wind and the waves? Undoubtedly, this was a manifestation of Satan’s opposition. So Jesus challenged the devil’s power and the enemy became powerless.

Do life’s storms catch you in a fright sometimes? Do you feel the only way out is to cry to the Lord Jesus for help. For sure He is the right One to turn to. Only He has control over all the storms the devil would send your way to frighten and discourage you. He can bring about a great calm. But He can also do something better. Did you notice how He chided His disciples for their lack of faith? They should have known the storm would not overcome them. He had told them often how His mission was to go to Jerusalem and be put to death. He had told them He must be the Lamb of God who would bear our judgment on the cross. They should have realized all this, and simply hung on during the storm. Sometimes, God wants us to go through the storm, too. Sometimes we can learn more and accomplish more if we encounter and go through the trials and problems.

Perhaps the Lord is calling you today to endure a great trial rather than to be delivered from it. He is teaching you how to hang on and trust Him. He is seeking to increase your faith. Trust Him today. -Jim MacIntosh

Lesson for the Lord’s Day

Sunday, November 5th, 2017

And He said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day. Luke 24:46

As He met with his disciples after His resurrection, the Lord sought to comfort and restore them. He also spoke of the Scriptures that he had discussed with them earlier. At this time, he ‘opened their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures’. What a wonderful revelation they received that day! All of the Old Testament was revealed to them in a way that they had never grasped before. Just as He did with the folks on the Emmaus road, He spoke to them of all those things in the Scriptures concerning Himself.

When we gather to remember Him, let us keep in mind that we are celebrating the culmination of all of the prophecies, the reality of all of the types, the fulfillment of all of the offerings and ordinances. We are not told, of course, what Scriptures specifically He referred to. But we thrill to know that throughout the Old Testament times, the Word of God was providing revelations of Christ.

We know that He did not suffer just to fulfill Scripture. But we also know that He could not have failed to fulfill Scripture.

Let us draw near today to appreciate His suffering and resurrection, and to also appreciate how the Word of God provides for us the details, in both the Old and New Testaments, of His suffering. -Jim MacIntosh

Sermon for Saturday

Saturday, November 4th, 2017

And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must abide at thy house. Luke 19:5

Just pretend for a few seconds, that as you are getting things ready for the day, that the doorbell rings. You go to the door and find, standing on your doorstep, the Lord Jesus. He smiles and informs you that he has come to spend a few quiet hours visiting with you. What do you do? How do you approach this situation? Do you start wondering if your house is acceptable for your honoured Guest? Do you start wondering whatever will you serve Him for lunch, what He takes in His coffee, whether He will find things in your house that He does not approve of? Maybe you would realize that this is a major interruption in what what you had planned for the day. All sorts of thoughts and questions arise, and you would, for a few moments anyway, be entirely flustered and at a loss for words. In actuality, the Lord Jesus is visiting your house today, just as surely as He visited Zacchaeus’ house that day in Jericho.

We are told in the next verse that Zacchaeus received the Lord Jesus joyfully. He was fairly jumping up and down with delight that Jesus was coming to his house. It didn’t matter whether the beds were made or the dusting done; it didn’t matter what was on the menu for lunch or how full the larder was; it didn’t matter if the record books that showed his shady financial dealings was in plain sight on the kitchen table. The Lord Jesus was going to be with him for the day and that was all that mattered. It should be all that matters to us.

Nothing should be more important in our homes today than that the Lord Jesus is here, that His Word is at hand to be read and enjoyed, that His ear is open to hear our prayers and praises, that He knows all about everything we have and do and loves us anyway.

Zacchaeus’ house was different that day. He would forever remember that joyous occasion when Jesus spent the day with Him. Open your heart and life today to enjoy the presence of the Lord Jesus with you. What a wonderful day you will have! -Jim MacIntosh

Food for Friday

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

Hear, O Israel, thou are to pass over Jordan this day, to go in and possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to Heaven. Deuteronomy 9:1

This was quite a challenge that Moses was presenting to the Israelites. They were to cross Jordan to tackle superior enemies. They were to be aware of the challenge, and know that they must rely on God to give them the victories that it would require if they were to claim their promised land.

What Israel was about to do only once, God calls upon us to do every day. As we face each day, we are going into a world that is full of enemies who are stronger and greater than we are. We face walls of opposition, prejudice, and evil that are far higher than we can scale. We can look back and see how God gave us the victory yesterday. That will give us courage to cross our daily Jordan today. Or we can consider those who have been given great victories in the past. We can read accounts of the great heroes of the faith, men and women of God who rose to the challenge, crossed their Jordans, and won their battles and wars, setting for us wonderful examples.

When you climbed out of bed this morning, you crossed your daily Jordan. The enemies you face are bigger than you, and more powerful. But ‘Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4)’. You do not need to venture forth today, or any day for that matter, on your own strength. If God be for us, who can be against us. The greatest enemies we can have are as nothing before the might of the Almighty!

Venture forth today in His power, resting confidently on His provision and protection. Possess territory, in His Name. -Jim MacIntosh

Thought for Thursday

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

And when He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it. Luke 19:41

Other than onions or a whiff of ammonia gas, what makes you cry? We all get a little emotional about some things. An injured child or animal will make some people openly sob. Others get teary-eyed at sad stories of all kinds. Of course, we shed tears when a loved one dies. Mothers are noted for crying at weddings, and little children cry about bumps and scrapes and candy that falls in the dirt. But the Lord Jesus had the greatest reason of all for weeping: the sad and hopeless condition of lost souls. How much do we know of such sorrow?

We know that hell and the lake of fire are more than just black and red blotches on the Two Roads and Two Destinies chart that is often displayed during Gospel meetings. We know that our Salvation has delivered us from the possibility of ever landing in eternal damnation. But as we look around us during the day, most of the people we see know nothing about such deliverance. They do not even realize they are lost. And yet, unless they receive the second birth, they will arrive in the everlasting abode of torments. Do we ever thing about that? Does it ever grip our souls that those who laugh and chatter about us will all too soon be wailing out their woes in flames and darkness? Can we see them plunging into the horrible abyss?

We see Gospel preachers display their passion for lost souls, as they deliver their messages of warning and as they strive to get across to the unsaved the great price paid by the Saviour for their redemption. We appreciate such compassion and zeal on the part of the preachers. But do we find the same burden for the lost within our own souls? Do we really care that those about us are perishing.

The Lord Jesus knew what it was to weep over the poor hell-bound residents of Jerusalem. He really cared. He was deeply grieved to know so many of them were going to suffer for their sins forever. We would no doubt see more souls saved if we would mingle our tears with those of our Lord and Saviour, if we really cared that they perish. -Jim MacIntosh