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The BIBLE VIEW #894 — God

In This Issue:
One  
God for All
Valued More Than Any
More Careful Than Mother
The Sailor’s Confidence
God’s Uniqueness

Volume: 894     January 30, 2023
Theme: God

Start your day with some good news from the Bible!  Sign-up at https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/a26cc9M to receive the DAILY VIEW devotion.  The daily e-mail includes a KJV chapter, a brief commentary on the chapter’s teachings, and more spiritual food for the hungry soul.  

View 16+ years of printable, free BIBLE VIEWS at https://openthoumineeyes.com/newsletters.html.  Make as many copies as you need and use them in your church, nursing homes (large print version available), Sunday school, deaf ministry, bus ministry, and as a church bulletin insert. 


One
Bill Brinkworth

Society is concerned about the thoughts and actions of the masses.  They are often devoted to doing what everyone else is doing, dressing how the multitudes dress, keeping up with the “Jones,” and thinking and living the popular way.

God, however, is not.  His Word has quite a lot to say about “one.”  Since He is the only God, He only needs Himself to accomplish what He wants to be done.  Man cannot grasp that because his abilities are finite, and he cannot function or think like God.

Despite how the world hates His dogmatism, God is more interested in individuals and His one way rather than the world’s constantly changing philosophies. 

Man’s thinking, however, rarely lines up with God’s desires.  This brief study on “one” shows us more about God and how He thinks:  

  • There is one God, not multiple “gods,” as Hinduism and other religions teach.  Many religions, even “Christian” cults, may only have one god, but it is not the One described in the Word of God.
    “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Ex. 20:3
  • Only One should be prayed to, and that is Jesus, not the dead.
    “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” I Tim.  2:5   Also: Mat.  23:9.
  • God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are One!
    “I and my Father are one.” John 10:30
  • Mankind was started by one man God created: Adam.  He did not evolve from lesser creatures.  “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Gen. 1:27   Also: Gen. 2:21.
  • Sin came from one man’s iniquity and was passed down to all of us!
    “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Rom. 5:12
  • We are all sinners!  Not one of us is even close to perfect!
    “They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Psalm 14:3   Also: Rom.  3:10, 12.
  • There is only one Saviour, Jesus.  He died for all our sins!
    “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;” Heb. 10:12  Also: John 11:50.
  • There is only one way to Heaven!  There are not “many roads” to get there.
    “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6
  • Each one is important to God.
    “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” Luke 15:10
  • Each one has to give an account of himself before God.
    “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Rom. 14:12
  • None can straddle God’s way and the ungodly way simultaneously.  God has only one way of doing things!
    “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.  Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Mat.  6:24   Also: Mat.  23:10, Luke 16:13.
  • When a man and woman marry, they become one.  “You” and “I” should become “we.”
    “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Gen. 2:24  Also: Mat.  19:5-6, Mark 10:8.
  • God often uses only one to lead His people in His direction, as He did with Moses, Ezekiel, Joshua, Jesus, John the Baptist, and the pastor of a local church.  Also: Luke 3:4, John 1:23.
  • In groups, even Christian assemblies, there is often at least one that is against the things of God.
    “Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?” John 6:70   Also: John 13:21.
  • Those who trust in Christ’s payment for their sins are members of His one church.
    “But now are they many members, yet but one body.” I Cor. 12:20  Also: Eph.  4:4.
  • Each one in the body of Christ should get along with the other.
    “Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Philippians 2:2   Also: I Peter 3:8.

God cannot be understood, nor can His ways, with humanity’s faithless understanding.  The Creator’s ways are often not logical to man’s comprehension because man’s thinking is limited.  Despite what man teaches, God has only one way, and that is His way. 

“God wants full custody, not just weekend visits.” — Author Unknown


God for All
John Bate

No one claims propriety to the oceans to the exclusion of others.  The massive waters are for all nations and people to use for their interests.  Oceans roll their waves against every shore and send their tides into every land, inviting the inhabitants to her riches and facilities.  The oceans show they are the property of all.

So with the living God.  No man can claim Him to the shutting out of others.  He is the God of all for their knowledge, love, and obedience.  Every intelligent being on Earth can draw from His treasury of good to the endless satisfaction of His nature.

To convince all that He is their God, He gives to all life, breath, and all things.  He fans them with His influence, draws them by His love, and sends hosts of holy agents to bring them to Himself.  By ten thousand attractions of love and mercy, He invites the world to plunge into His fullness and be satisfied.

“When God changes things, He usually begins with changing us.”  
— Author Unknown

Valued More Than Any
Author Unknown

When Antigonus was ready to engage in a sea fight with Ptolemy’s armada, the pilot cried out, “How many are there more than we?”

The courageous king replied, “’Tis true, if you count their numbers, they surpass us, but for how many do you value me?”

When our enemies come upon us like a flood, threatening to devour us with rage and fury, let us remember though we are few and they are many, our God is the God of salvation.  He must be counted for more than all that are against us.


More Careful Than Mother
C. H. Spurgeon

Look at the mother and how careful she is.  If her child has a little cough, she notices it.  The slightest weakness in the child will be observed. 

The mother has watched all the child’s motions anxiously to see whether it walked right, if all its limbs were sound, and whether it had the use of all its powers in perfection.  However, she has never thought of numbering the hairs on her child’s head.  The absence of one or two of the child’s strands would give her no great concern.

Our God is more careful towards us than a mother with her child.  He is so concerned about us He numbers the hairs of our heads.  How safe we are beneath the hand of God!
“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Mat.  10:30


The Sailor’s Confidence
Author Unknown

When asked why he remained so calm in a fearful storm, the sailor gave an answer revealing his faith and trust.  He was unsure he could swim, but the man replied, “Though I sink, I shall only drop into the hollow of my Father’s hand, for He owns all these waters.”

“When God measures a man, He puts the tape around his heart, not his head.”


God’s Uniqueness
Author Unknown

Take a straight stick and put it into the water; it will appear crooked.  Why?  Because we look upon it through two mediums: air and water.  That is why we cannot discern it correctly.

Thus, the proceedings of God and His justice, which in themselves are straight, with the least obliquity, seem unto us crooked.  It appears that wicked men are prospering, and good men are afflicted.  It seems that the dishonest are succeeding, and the truthful suffer hardships.  It seems the hard-working servants should ride horses, and the rich should do the walking.  

These are some things that make many Christians stagger in their judgments.  Why?  Because they look upon God’s proceedings through a double medium: flesh and Spirit.

God’s proceedings with His justice are not discerned clearly by man.  The eyes of man alone are not competent judges of God’s actions.

The BIBLE VIEW #893 — Wages of Sin

In This Issue:

When God’s Hand of Blessing Was Removed
Wrath of God
God’s Restraint
Curse of Sin
A Free Pardon

Volume: 893     January 16, 2023
Theme: Wages of Sin

Start your day with some good news from the Bible!  Sign-up at https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/a26cc9M to receive the DAILY VIEW devotion.  The daily e-mail includes a KJV chapter, a brief commentary of something taught in that chapter, and more spiritual food for the hungry soul.  

View 16+ years of printable, free BIBLE VIEWS at https://openthoumineeyes.com/newsletters.html.  Make as many copies as you need and use them in your church, nursing homes (large print version available), Sunday school, deaf ministry, bus ministry, and as a church bulletin insert. 


When God’s Hand of Blessing Was Removed
Bill Brinkworth

The Bible has recorded that when people disobeyed or disregarded God’s commandments, their sin would cost them much.  It is clear, by the countless examples in the Word of God, that no person or country gets away with iniquity. 

Here are a few biblical examples of what a people did to lose God’s blessing and to be cursed by the Almighty:

  • God cursed Adam and Eve, all their future generations, and the earth (Genesis3:14-19) because of Adam’s and Eve’s disobedience.
  • God cursed Canaan with slavery (Gen. 9:25) because of Ham’s sexual sin (Gen. 9:22).
  • God destroyed Sodom, Gomorrah, and two other cities (Deut. 29:23) because of their wickedness (Gen. 13:13).
  • God removed qualified, honorable, experienced God-approved leadership (Isaiah 3:1-3).  He then allowed inexperienced, youthful men (Isaiah 3:4-5) and those whose leadership would harm their country (Isa. 3:12) to rule.
  • God allowed foreigners to invade Israel (Judges 6:1-6) and to take away Israel’s freedoms, belongings, and peace.
  • God allowed Israel’s place of worship, Jerusalem, to be destroyed (Nehemiah 1:3) because the people did not keep God’s commandments (Neh. 1:7).  God also allowed the people to be scattered from the land He had given them because of their sin (Neh. 1:8).

God also promised, usually to His people, that He would allow them to learn from the consequences of their sin when they violated His laws.  Here are some other reasons God promised to curse people and nations when they broke His commandments:

  • God promised to curse those that cursed the offspring of Abram (Israel): Gen. 12:3.
  • God will curse those that curse their parents: Proverb 20:20.
  • God will curse those that do not obey the Lord’s commandments, including going “after other gods”: Deut. 11:28, Jer. 44:8.
  • God will curse the wicked: Pro.  3:33.
  • God will allow a people to go through wars, captivity, famines, pestilences, and to be disliked by other countries because they did not obey God’s words: Jer. 29:1-19.
  • God would allow His people to face wars and famines if they insisted on returning to the world from which Lord delivered them: Jer. 44:12.
  • God will curse those that do not give glory to His name: Mal. 2:2.
  • God cursed those that would not give Him their tithes (at least 10% of what God allowed them to earn): Mal. 3:9.

Many consequences of sin to earlier people are also occurring today.  Since God never changes (Mal. 3:6, Heb. 13:8), sins He would not tolerate then will not be put up with today.

No one gets away with evilness.  The people of Israel did not get away with iniquity, and neither will we!

Many say that if we do not turn from our current wicked sins, we may suffer the curse of God.  According to the biblical examples, we are already facing the after-effects of God’s curse on a rebellious people.  His hand, which often blessed this nation, may have been removed, and we may be suffering the same “lessons” that earlier people faced.

The curse of God is always intended to halt the violations against Him.  God intends that the hardships He allowed to happen will stop iniquity, and people will turn to Him.

There is always hope for those that turn from their wickedness.  When people face hard times, they usually realize they cannot handle them without God and turn toward Him in obedience.

It is possible to be blessed by God because of obedience to His commandments rather than be cursed.  Hopefully, people, and eventually as a nation, will see their wickedness and turn from it.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and  will heal their land.” II Chron.  7:14  

“The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.” Prov. 3:33

 Wrath of God
Jonathan Edwards

The wrath of God is like great waters that are dammed for the present.  The waters increase and rise higher and higher until an outlet is given.   The greater the waters rise, the more rapid and destructive its course will be when the waters are loosed. 

If God should withdraw His hand from the floodgate, it would immediately fly open.  The floods of the fierceness and wrath of God would rush forth with inconceivable fury and come upon you with omnipotent power.  If your strength were ten thousand times greater than it is, yea, ten thousand times greater than the strength of the stoutest, sturdiest devil in Hell, it would be nothing to withstand or endure it. 

“No one gets away with any sin!”

God’s Restraint 
Jonathan Edwards

The bow of God’s wrath is bent, and the arrow is ready on the string.  His justice aims the arrow at your heart and strains His bow.  It is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, and that of an angry God, without any promise or obligation that keeps the arrow one moment from being made drunk with your blood.

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”  Proverbs 28:13  

Curse of Sin 
Dr. J. Parker

Oh, sin!  How hast thou curst us!  Thou hast thrown up a barrier between ourselves and God; with thy chilling breath, thou hast extinguished the light of our household joys.  Thou hast unstrung our harp and filled the air with discordant cries.  Thou hast unsheathed the sword and bathed it in human blood.  Thou hast dug every grave in the Earth’s bosom, but for thee, we should not have known the name of widow or orphan, tear and sigh, and sorrow and death, but for thee our hearts would not have known pain.

A Free Pardon
C. H. Spurgeon

A prisoner was taken out to die, and as he rode along in the death cart, his heart was heavy at the thought of his demise. None would cheer him from the watching throng.  The gallows tree was in sight and blotted out the sun for him.  But lo, his prince came riding up in hot haste, bearing a free pardon.

Then the man opened his eyes, and he returned to happy consciousness as if he had risen from the dead.  The sight of his prince had chased all gloom away.  He declared that he had never seen a fairer countenance in all his days.  When he read his pardon, he vowed that no poetry should ever be dearer to his heart than those few lines of sovereign grace.

Friends, I remember well when I was in that death cart, and Jesus came to me with a pardon.  Death and Hell were before me, but I rejoiced exceedingly when I saw the nail prints in his hands, feet, and the wound in his side.

When he said, “Thy sins, which are many, are all forgiven thee,” I thought I never saw such loveliness before and never heard such music in all my days.  Eternity itself shall never disclose anything sweeter.  My pardoning Lord hath no peer nor rival.  Oh, what a Christ is He who appeared to me, a guilty, condemned sinner, and on the way to Hell!  Blessed be His name.  Jesus bore my curse, shame, and death, and I am free!

“Life has taught me to forgive much and to seek forgiveness still more.”
Bismarck

The BIBLE VIEW #892 — Watching Over Us

In This Issue:
Thank You for Slowing Me Down
Ouch!  It’s Prickly!
Follow the Detour

Volume: 892     January 16, 2023
Theme: Watching over Us

Sign-up at https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/a26cc9M to receive the DAILY VIEW devotion.  The daily e-mail includes a KJV chapter, a short devotion of something taught in that chapter, and more spiritual food for the hungry soul.  Start your day with some good news from the Bible!

View 16+ years of printable, free BIBLE VIEWS at https://openthoumineeyes.com/newsletters.html.  Make as many copies as you need and use them in your ministry, nursing homes (large print version available), Sunday school, deaf ministry, bus ministry, and as a church bulletin insert. 


Thank You for Slowing Me Down
Bill Brinkworth

After several days of rain, water dripped off leaves, trees, and rocks.  Soon, small ribbons of water trickled down the mountainside.  Meandering driblets eventually joined others, and quickly rivulets grew in size and sped down the mountain.

A closer observation revealed that the speeding waters did not head toward the valley in a straight line.   Natural obstacles detoured the flow in unnatural directions.  The rushing waters wandered left, right, down into a washout the waters created, blocked by a rock, over the natural dam, left and again to the right.  Seemingly haphazardly, the flow wandered down to the lower ground.

Because of God’s design, even the water flow and how it was diverted caused little washout.  If the gushing waters had their way, they would have eroded much of the hillside, uprooted trees, caused mudslides, and ravished havoc on the area.  Thank you, Lord, for even watching over the water flow.

The difficult hazards we face may also preserve us more than we realize.  Left to follow our lusts and desires, without stopping or deterring us from wrong behavior and decisions, we would race to destruction, ruining our lives and those of others. 

A grade failure, car breakdown, lost job, illness, or a broken relationship may be more of a help than a hindrance, especially if a person affected is God-controlled.  Only He knows what could have happened to us if obstacles did not change our self-destroying directions.

We may not like the “roadblocks” or deterrents keeping us from the way we thought was best.  However, it may be a God-directed obstacle diverting us to His better direction rather than our destructive one.

The obstacles we encounter may not be as bad as we believe.  They may keep us from a more tumultuous life and an early grave.

We certainly should not want our lives to be a “washout.”  Thank you, Lord, for loving and protecting us.  You keep us safe even when we do not have the sense to know that our will and way may not be the right and best direction for us.

“O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.”  Psalm 25:20


Ouch!  It’s Prickly!
Bill Brinkworth

Many natural things are “prickly.”  Thorns are the natural defense of many roses, orange trees, and weeds.  Grabbing hold of a prickly stem results in one letting it go and coming up with another plan.  

God uses the “pricks” of uncomfortable moments to change our direction.  He did this in Saul’s life as the unsaved but religious man traveled on the road to Damascus.
“And he said, Who art thou, Lord?  And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” Acts 9:5

Saul had spent much of his life trying to serve God his way.  Unfortunately, he did not detect nor heed the “pricks” God sent in His life to put him in the right direction.

Pricks that Saul, later renamed Paul, ignored:
Pricked ears
 – When Saul heard the preachers of the Gospel, he did all he could to stifle their preaching.  Instead of pricking his conscience so he could change his wrong path, it angered him and encouraged him to do more to silence Christians.  

Young Saul (Paul) even held the coats of those that stoned the preacher, Stephen.  While Saul stood there, he probably heard the Word of God as at other times when he was around Christians.  Still, he held to his religion, even when the people of God preached and warned against it.

Pricked eyes – Undoubtedly, Saul saw Christianity in action.  He saw families split, people die, and heartache inflicted.  In all the trouble he instigated against Christians, he saw they had a peace that he surely did not have or understand.  He was like his name-sake, King Saul, who persecuted righteous David.

Pricks that others ignore:
Pricked by circumstances:
 Hard times, sickness, failures, testings, aggravating situations, disasters, etc., are often meant to draw us closer to God and make us trust Him more.  Instead, folks often grow farther from the source of strength they need.

Pricked ears: Perhaps, God sent a godly mother, grandmother, neighbor, friend, Sunday school teacher, or let us hear a preacher on TV, but still, His invitation was ignored.

Pricked eyes: Many have seen bits of the Word of God in tracts and good Christian testimonies, yet their example has been ignored.  

Too often, God’s “pricks” to our hearts and lives are ignored.  What does God have to do to you to get your attention and obedience?

“The greater thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are going.”    — Oliver Wendell Holmes



Follow the Detour
Bill Brinkworth

“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:6

No one likes the aggravation of being slowed down to going to his destination by a road detour.  One has to change direction another way.  We are not in control and must follow someone else’s plan to get us to where we want to go.

“Who do those construction people think they are?  Making me go this long way.  I just want to go a little way down the road.” However, we obey the signs and the flagman and get there safely.  We may not have been able to say that if we did not heed those diverting our direction.

Too many ignore the “flagman” God has put in our path to move them in another direction — His way.  Maybe that test you failed, even though you “studied your brains out,” was a “flagman” to get you to know and later witness to a tutor or to get you to study more efficiently.  If you cheated and passed, you would not have gone down the road God had planned for you.

Maybe the family split, although not God’s first plan, has something you could learn.  Sticking it out and praying through the problem may have helped you, so divorce never happens to you, or you can minister to others in that situation.  Running away from that situation would be going through the “detour,” and you would not have learned what God intended for you to get out of the experience.

Use your imagination to see how God could use the “bad” things in your life for His glory and your good.  He is aware of the “roadblock” you experienced or are experiencing.  God may have allowed it in your life, so you would spiritually grow or be strengthened.

A Christian should be sensitive to the leading as well as the halting of the Lord.  Give Him credit for all that happens in your life.  Let him direct you!

“Life with God is not immunity from difficulties, but peace in the difficulties.”  — C. S. Lewis

The BIBLE VIEW #891 —Love

In This Issue:
Love Is…
When Love Is Missing
Family Love

Volume: 891     January 9, 2023
Theme: Love

Sign-up at https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/a26cc9M to receive the DAILY VIEW devotion.  The daily e-mail includes a KJV chapter, a short devotion of something taught in that chapter, and more spiritual food for the hungry soul.  Start your day with some good news from the Bible!

View 16+ years of printable, free BIBLE VIEWS at https://openthoumineeyes.com/newsletters.html.  Make as many copies as you need and use them in your ministry, nursing homes (large print version available), Sunday school, deaf ministry, bus ministry, and as a church bulletin insert. 


Love Is…
Bill Brinkworth

The apostle Paul saw how essential it was to have a love for others.  This love is not the lust or the emotion the unsaved understand.  It is a love and concern that only a Christian can truly understand and have.

The indwelling Spirit of God can make it possible for one to love others in a way that is impossible without God’s help.  Here is what God, through Paul’s writings, said genuine love is (I Corinthians 13:4-8):

A Christian’s love for others should be long-lasting and allow one to see and handle life differently.  Seeing people and this world through the eyes of love will change one’s life completely.

“People don’t care how much you know until they first know how much you care.”
 — Author Unknown


When Love Is Missing
Bill Brinkworth

Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,” II Timothy 3:3

One of the 19 sins Paul said (II Timothy 3) would occur in these last days may be the root of many terrible occurrences we commonly see today.  That loveless iniquity is “without natural affection.”

It is natural for a mother to love her children.  Yet, many mothers today allow their unborn babies to be killed inside them rather than being inconvenienced by the upbringing of their offspring.  Too many fathers have also abandoned their children and wives for selfish desires.

Most should naturally love and honor parents, yet many have opposed their mothers, fathers, and siblings in courts of law.  Newspaper articles too frequently report how an angry child even murdered their parent or family member.

Perhaps, because of the desensitization created by heartlessly allowing unborn babes to be butchered, life is not respected and honored as it should.  It may also be the reason for increased murders and suicides.

The sin of not naturally loving people may also explain why parents do not live up to their responsibility of raising their children.  Not naturally loving others may also be the culprit iniquity behind divorces and broken relationships.

Because of the lack of natural affection, some government leaders have more concern for their gain, power, and agendas than they do about the welfare of citizens.  Many teachers have swayed their charges to their political and social thinking rather than what is best, practical, and moral for the young minds they selfishly control.  A natural love for others is sadly missing in our society.

It should be natural to love ourselves and others.  That act has been why so many civilizations have grown and socially prospered.  Those that did not nurture the innate ability to love and care for life have floundered and failed.

Without love, people will not have peace and joy.  Hatred will be a nagging canker filling voids in lives and society.

Love yourself and others, as God in Heaven has loved you.
“Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Matthew 19:19
 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” Luke 10:27

“Love is the doorway through which the human soul passes from selfishness to service and from solitude to kinship with all mankind.”  — Author Unknown


Through Thick and Thin
Deb McCoy

Mom, throughout my life, you taught me by example every step of the way,
Though many times I stumbled and knew you continued to love me as I began to stray.
I remember your bravery when dad took his life,
I became angry and rebellious as it pierced through me like a knife.

Our lives changed forever at that moment in time,
But your choice was to keep going onward no matter how steep the climb.
I promised to take care of you the rest of your days,
Though it was your unconditional love for me that always paved the way.

No obstacle was insurmountable regardless of how hard,
Each one had a lesson though we struggled and were left scarred.
We poured out our hearts to one another during our time of grief,
Unanswered questions of why a husband and father could take his life and leave us in disbelief.

Mom, it was during those times that I saw the depths of your love,
Your inspiring example to set my sights up above.
Brokenness was upon us as a missing link in a chain,
But tragedy led to triumph through all the suffering and the pain.

I was miserable and in need of peace as everywhere I did search,
Then you asked me to consider my first ever visit to church.
It was then that God did tug at my heart,
Born again, I became salvation to impart.

It wasn’t long after that we did learn of your cancer,
Looking to God in prayer for a miracle to answer.
Mom, your strength and courage throughout your life left a godly legacy,
You taught me that dying to your own desires and pouring your life into someone else is how to live most blessedly.

It is through selflessness that we become truly fulfilled,
How blessed I was to care for you because helping others is the message you instilled.
My heart was broken to see you suffer in torment and anguish,
Seeing you deteriorate how I felt hopeless and did languish.

Though a burden you did not wish to be,
Love is deeper than any encumbrance you see.
You never complained and you fought to the end,
I miss you so much and each day together we did spend.

Mom, your inspiration will guide me all the days of my life on Earth.  I cannot wait to see you again.  I’m so thankful for Christ’s death on the cross, for saving me, and giving me the new birth.

How I wish you could have a glimpse into my heart as I have written this in dedication to you.  Thank you for everything, Mom.

“Love isn’t like a reservoir.  You’ll never drain it dry.  It’s much more like a natural spring.  The longer and the farther it flows, the stronger, deeper, and the clearer it becomes.”Cantor

No Greater Love
Bill Brinkworth

Jesus’ death was very important for every person who has ever lived. As the only Son of God, His death was the only payment that God will accept for our sins. Essential and planned as it was, it was not an easy death for Jesus. His malefactors were very cruel to Him.

Although the other Gospel’s accounts of His death give more details of what occurred at Jesus’ demise, this chapter tells some of what happened. Here in John 19, we read that:

  • Jesus was mocked (John 19:3, 5).
  • Jesus was beaten (John 19:3).
  • Jesus had to drag His heavy cross to Golgotha (John 19:17).
  • Jesus was crucified between two criminals (John 19:18).
  • Jesus’ clothing was thought more precious than His life by some and was gambled for (John 19: 23-24).
  • Jesus’ mistreatments were displayed in front of His mother (John 19:25).
  • Jesus was pierced in His side after His death (John 19:34).

God’s son took all these abuses, and more, so that He could be the means of payment for all our sins. It was such a sacrifice that Jesus was willing to undergo for us. His sacrifice for what we have done wrong (sin) caused Him to endure so much brutality. To make His death even more meaningful, Jesus knew all that He would face ahead of time; yet, He tolerated it all for us. What a matchless love Jesus has for us.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
John 15:13  

The BIBLE VIEW #890 — Christian Example

In This Issue:
It Could Have Been Me
A Child of God Should Be…
I Am A Soldier

Volume: 890     January 1, 20239
Theme: Christian Example

Sign-up at https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/a26cc9M to receive the DAILY VIEW devotion.  The daily e-mail includes a KJV chapter, a short devotion of something taught in that chapter, and more spiritual food for the hungry soul.  Start your day with some good news from the Bible!

View 16+ years of printable, free BIBLE VIEWS at https://openthoumineeyes.com/newsletters.html.  Make as many copies as you need and use them in your ministry, nursing homes (large print version available), Sunday school, deaf ministry, bus ministry, and church bulletin insert. 


It Could Have Been Me
Bill Brinkworth

Thank you, Lord.  I am grateful for your mercy, love, and all the “second, third… hundredth…” chances you have given me.

  • I was saved.  So many had the opportunity, did not trust Christ as their Saviour, and sooner than they expected, they died.  As far as anyone knows, they are in Hell!  It could be me that died lost!
  • I did many terrible things, and many horrible events happened to me, but I did not die.  It could have been me that perished because of my foolishness!  God protected me so that I could get saved and serve Him.  So many did fewer dumb things than I did and perished.
  • I am glad after I got saved that I took my salvation seriously.  I studied the Bible, attended church, did my best to obey what God showed me to do, and served Him with all my heart.  So many also got saved, did nothing for the Lord, died, and now they must surely be regretting their mistakes.
  • I am overwhelmed that God gave me opportunities and used me to do His will.  There are many more intelligent, talented people that could have done so much for Him but did not.  They wasted much of their life when they could have done great things for the Lord and society.  It could have been me that was useless to the cause of Christ.
  • I am so appreciative that I learned proper biblical doctrines.  God allowed me to have excellent Bible preachers, teachers, and friends.  So many, brighter than I, believed unbiblical teachings, followed the wrong doctrines and did not please the Lord.   Because of their ignorance of His truths, they were, often unknowingly, disobedient to His Word.  It could have been me that followed the wrong Spirit and false teachings.

My realizations are not meant as boastings.  I recall that God even used a donkey to do His bidding by talking to a man of God (Number 22:28).  So, if He can use a donkey, He can certainly use me.  We both were willing, and you?

“He that turneth from the road to rescue another, turneth toward his goal; he shall arrive by the footpath of mercy; God will be his guide.” — Henry VanDyke


A Child of God Should Be…
Bill Brinkworth

Christians are often the only source the unsaved see that glorifies our God, His will, and His way.  Godly men and women should represent Him by living differently than those not born again.

Here, in this study on the “man of God,” men, and in most cases women, can see how their lifestyle should be.  A saved person should be:

A Christ-like example.
“But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.  12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”  I Timothy 6:11
“That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” II Timothy 3:17

A blessing to others, as was Moses.
“And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death.” Deuteronomy 33:1

A praying person and a leader, as was Moses.
“A Prayer of Moses the man of God.  Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.”  Psalm 90:1
“Pray without ceasing.” I Thessalonians 5:17

Honorable, knows the mind of God, is known from afar, and someone to go to when there’s a problem, as was Samuel.
“And he said unto him, Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honourable man; all that he saith cometh surely to pass: now let us go thither; peradventure he can shew us our way that we should go.” I Samuel 9:6

Able to “hear” and be obedient to God, as was a man of God during Jeroboam’s day.
“And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.” I King 13:1
“The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD.” I King 13:5

Speaks and knows the truth, as did Elijah.
“And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth.” I Kings 17:24

Speaks for God.
“And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD.” I Kings 20:28

Trusts God, as did Elijah.
“And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty.  And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty… 14 Behold, there came fire down from heaven, and burnt up the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties: therefore let my life now be precious in thy sight….” II Kings 1:10-14

Obeys God’s commandments (“law”), as did Solomon.
“And he appointed, according to the order of David his father, the courses of the priests to their service, and the Levites to their charges, to praise and minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required: the porters also by their courses at every gate: for so had David the man of God commanded.” II Chronicles 8:14

Able to discern what to do in many situations.
“But there came a man of God to him, saying, O king, let not the army of Israel go with thee; for the LORD is not with Israel, to wit, with all the children of Ephraim.” II Chronicles 25:7

Chastised by the Lord when necessary.
“And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the LORD: therefore the LORD hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake unto him.” I Kings 13:26

“If you want your neighbor to see what the Christ spirit will do for him, let him see what it has done for you.”  — H. Beecher


I Am A Soldier
Author Unknown

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” II Timothy 2:3

I am a soldier in the army of my God.  The Lord Jesus Christ is my commanding officer.  The Holy Bible is my code of conduct.  Faith, prayer, and God’s Word are my weapons of warfare.  I have been taught by the Holy Spirit, trained by experience, tried by adversity, and tested by fire.

I am a volunteer in His army, and I have enlisted for eternity.  I will either retire at the rapture or die in His army, but I will not get out, sell out, be talked out, or be pushed out.  I am faithful, reliable, capable, and dependable.  If my God needs me, I am there.  If He needs me in the Sunday school to teach the children or work with the youth, if He needs me to work with the adults, He can use me because I am there.

I am a soldier!  I am not a baby.  I do not need to be pampered, petted, primed up, pumped up, picked up, or pepped up.  I am a soldier!

No one has to call me, remind me, write me, visit me, entice me, or lure me.  I am a soldier!  I’m not a wimp.  I am in place, saluting my King, obeying His orders, praising His name, and building His kingdom.  No one has to send me flowers, gifts, food, cards, candy, or give me handouts.  I do not need to be cuddled, coddled, cradled, cared for, or be catered to.  I am committed.  I cannot have my feelings hurt bad enough to turn me around, and I cannot be discouraged enough to cause me to quit.

When Jesus called me into this army, I had nothing.  If I end up with nothing, I will still come out ahead.  If I win, my God is the reason, and He will continue to supply all my needs.

I am more than a conqueror.  I will always triumph.   I can do all things through Christ.  The devil cannot defeat me.  People cannot disillusion me.  Weather cannot weary me.  Sickness cannot stop me.  Battles cannot beat me.  Money cannot buy me.  Governments cannot silence me, and Hell cannot handle me.  I am a soldier!  Even death cannot destroy me.

When my commander calls me from His battlefield, He will promote me to captain and then allow me to rule with Him.  I am a soldier in His army, and I am marching and claiming the victory.  I will not give up.  I will not turn around.  I am a soldier marching Heaven bound.  Here I stand!  Will you stand with me?

“Loyalty that will do anything, that will endure anything, that will make the whole being consecrate to Him, is what Christ wants.  Anything else is not worthy of Him. — Burdett Hart

The BIBLE VIEW#889 — Christian Examples

In This Issue:
Wet Wood
The Keeper’s Light
Gone and Missed
Bad Choice
Start Doing

Volume: 889     December 19, 2022
Theme: Christian Example

Sign-up at https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/a26cc9M to receive the DAILY VIEW devotion.  The daily e-mail includes a KJV chapter, a short devotion of something taught in that chapter, and more spiritual food for the hungry soul.  Start your day with some good news from the Bible!

View 16+ years of printable, free BIBLE VIEWS at https://openthoumineeyes.com/newsletters.htmlMake as many copies as you need and use them in your ministry, nursing homes (large print version available), Sunday school, deaf ministry, bus ministry, and church bulletin insert. 


Wet Wood
Bill Brinkworth

Like many, we try to avoid using the house furnace to heat our house in the winter and try to heat it as much as possible with our wood stove. 

Every summer, I cut, split, and stack wood for winter’s use.  In the cold months, I use the oak that was split back in July.  It burns hot, starts quickly, and does a wonderful job of heating the house.  It seems, however, that I never split enough.

In early fall, I continue to split more, but it has not dried enough when I use it in December or January.  Yes, it burns, but the heat is half as much as seasoned wood produces.  It needs more attention, or it will go out.  As it burns, it is not hard to hear the water still in the wood, bubbling and sizzling.

As I was burning the wetter wood at the end of this season, I thought about how much it was like many Christians.  Because of their involvement in sin, lack of spiritual growth, or decisions to not give their utmost to the Highest, they never totally achieve God’s full potential for them. 

Yes, they had gotten saved, but that is about where it ends.  Unfaithfully, they attend church or start reading their Bible, but soon their attempts fizzle out.  If someone visits them, they may go to church that one time. 

It seems they are high-maintenance Christians.  They require a lot of attention to keep living the way they should.  They’re like the wet wood; they do not burn hot for the Lord.  They constantly need “stoking.”

Like the sap-soaked green wood, it will not be long until their little light flickers out.  They will not lose their salvation, but it will not be long until their church pew is empty, or they will be one of the countless that are saved but not doing anything with their salvation.

What a waste of a precious, spiritual life they are.  God had such grand plans for them.  It is a shame their light is close to flickering out; if they would only “dry out.”  No one can do it for them.  They have to do it for themselves. 

They must decide on whom they will serve and how fervently.  It is they that have to obey the commands God has already laid on their hearts through reading Scripture or convictions laid there from a Sunday sermon.  The choice must be theirs.  This world desperately needs seasoned, mature Christians to warm this dying, cold world with fervent, godly heat!

“To walk on water, you first have to get out of the boat!.” — Author Unknown


The Keeper’s Light
Author Unknown

A traveler once, visiting the lighthouse at Calais, said to the keeper, “What if one of your lights should go out at night?”

“Never.  Impossible!” the lighthouse keeper cried.  “Sir, yonder are ships sailing to all parts of the world.  If tonight one of my burners were out, in six months, I will hear from America, or India, saying that on such a night the lights at Calais lighthouse gave no warning, and some vessel had been wrecked.  Ah, sir!  Sometimes I feel, when I look upon my lights, as if the eyes of the entire world were fixed upon me.  Go out!  Burn dim!  Never!  Impossible!”

What a lesson to the Christian!  It is not just good intentions that make the Christian a spiritual lighthouse for the world.  Let then his example be full, bright, and clear.  The moment he neglects it, and leaves his “lamps” untrimmed, some poor soul, struggling amid the waves of temptation, will be dashed upon the rocks of destruction for lack of a good, Christian testimony to draw them to safety.

“If you want your neighbor to see what the Christ spirit will do for him, let him see what it has done for you.”  — H. Beecher


Gone and Missed
T. Cuyler – edited

We missed him when he was gone.  When he went home to Glory, he left something more than a tomb behind him.  He left a goodly heritage of holy deeds.  There is a fragrant perfume yet lingering about his precious memory; a trail of light that followed his luminous pathway has not yet died away from his saddened disappearance from this earth.

He was a legible Christian.  There was no mistaking him.  He never stood upon debatable ground.  He never required one to search the church records to see if he was only a professor of “religion.”   We felt and saw his “religion.”

You might have followed him by the fragrance of his Christ-like deeds of well-doing.  You might enter the house of sorrow and see that he had been there by the weeping eyes once more dried and the broken hearts he encouraged.  You might enter an abode of poverty and know that he had been there by the plentiful stores he had left behind.  If you saw a group of children gathered by the way­side, you might have conjectured that he was there already giving out packages of little booklets and New Testaments.  We all felt him in every good enterprise: in the prayer circle, Sunday school, and church.  His mark was left pretty much everywhere.

But now there is a great blank in our meetings and gatherings.  We wait in vain for his beseeching, tremulous voice that well we knew had the ear and heart of God.  The teachers’ prayer meeting is not the same now that he is gone.  The little Bible class that met at Widow Mear’s house is now without a shepherd. 

It was a little time since a long procession wound its way, with many weeping eyes out of the village churchyard.  That grave, beside which you may sometimes see an aged woman in black bending over it, had a stone with a touching date engraved on it.  It reads, “aged twenty-four years.”  His slight form and boyish expression made him look younger than that, but his testimony and work for the Lord surpassed most of those that were older than 60 years.

When it is our time to go to Glory, will we leave such a testimony behind?

“The path may lead, but examples draw.”   — H. G. Bohn


Bad Choice
F. W. Robertson- edited

Lot chose wisely by the world’s standards.  Well, if this world be all, he got rich soil, became a prince, and had kings for neighbors.  It was nothing to Lot that “the men of the land were sinners before the Lord exceedingly.”  It was more important to him that the land was well-watered everywhere. 

But his wife became addicted to her city’s glitter and enticements, and his children were tainted with ineradicable corruption.  Warnings from God finally got him and his family to leave.  All they gained for their time in that community was left behind.  It was a wasted time for Lot and his family.

Lot’s wife looked back with lingering regret upon their splendid home and was turned into encrusting salt.  His children carried with them into a new life the plague-spot of sin they “caught” from their exposure while living in the city devoted to wicked living.  All that he had built in their life in Sodom was buried by the wrath of God.  The remainder of his life was spent in shame.  He did not make a good choice of friends and lifestyle after all.

“Where one man reads the Bible, a hundred read you and me.”   — D. L. Moody


Start Doing
Harry Todd

He that goes forth weeping,
Bearing precious seed.
Shall doubtless come rejoicing,
Bringing sheaves, indeed.

But too many Christians
Are standing idle today,
Telling others to take it easy
Instead of telling them “The Way.”

Christ commands us, “Go,”
And the rich man in Hell
Still echoes, “I have five brethren,
Won’t someone go and tell!”

James said to be not only hearers,
But be ye doers too,
You’ve heard many times,
When are you going to do?

We are saved to serve;
There is a job to do,
A few are serving Christ,
What excuse have you?

Christ is coming soon,
To catch His bride away.
Now it is the time to work,
Christians, start today!

The BIBLE VIEW #888 — Faith

In This Issue:
Faith
Examples of Biblical Faith
Christ, Our Guide

Volume: 888     December 12, 2022
Theme: Faith

Sign-up at https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/a26cc9M to receive the DAILY VIEW devotion.  The daily e-mail includes a KJV chapter, a short devotion of something taught in that chapter, and more spiritual food for the hungry soul.  Start your day with some good news from the Bible!

View 16+ years of printable, free BIBLE VIEWS at https://openthoumineeyes.com/newsletters.htmlMake as many copies as you need and use them in your ministry, nursing homes (large print version available), Sunday school, deaf ministry, bus ministry, and church bulletin insert. 


Faith
Bill Brinkworth

What Is Faith?  Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language defines faith as ”…the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting on His authority ad veracity… the assent of the mind or understanding to the truth of what God has revealed.  Simple belief of the scriptures….”
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Hebrews 11:1

Have faith in God.  He is reliable and trustworthy!  Reliance on His help and commandments is essential in letting Him lead and guide one’s life.
“And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.” Mark 11:22
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Heb. 11:6

Have faith in God’s son, Jesus.
“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb. 12:2   
Also: Rom. 3:22.

Faith in Christ can have one’s sins forgiven.
“And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.” Luke 5:20

Faith is essential for salvation!
“And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” I Cor. 15:14
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” Ephesians 2:8 
Also: Romans 3:28, I Corinthians 15:17, I John 5:4.

Not having faith is a sin!
“And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Romans 14:23

Some have a replacement for living by faith.  They trust in themselves.  That “trust” is a “work,” and working one’s way to Heaven is an impossibility and is a sin!
“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” I Timothy  6:10

Since faith in Christ’s work on the cross saves us, not having faith we can have salvation, or we can lose the “gift” is sin!
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20  Also: I Timothy 4:1.

One proof of our salvation is our change in our faith and the spiritual fruit it produces!
“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” James 2:17 
“But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” James 2:20
   Also: Gal 2:20, 5:22.

We are to live by faith during this “church age.”  We are not to live by sight as in the Old Testament.  That is where the cults, relying on seeing miraculous proofs of their salvation, are wrong!
“(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” II Corinthians 5:7
“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17
“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” II Timothy 2:22
:  Also: Gal 2:20, 3:11, Eph.  6:16, I Thessalonians 5:8, I Tim.  6:12, II Tim. 4:7, Hebrews 10:38.

Have faith that God will meet your needs.
“Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” Mat.  6:30

A blessing from living by faith is that God will give one an understanding of His plans and workings.  His will shall be revealed to those who trust Him.
“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17
“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Heb. 11:3

“If you have no joy, there has to be a leak in your faith somewhere.” H. Beecher


Examples of Biblical Faith
Bill Brinkworth

A centurion had faith that the words of Christ were sufficient to heal.
“When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” Mat.  8:10

Disease with an issue of blood.  A woman had faith that if she could touch the hem of Jesus’ garment, she would be healed.  She did touch it and was healed!
“But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.  And the woman was made whole from that hour.” Mat.  9:22

Equipped with only faith, a woman came to Jesus to remove a possessing devil from her daughter.  Because of her reliance and trust on Him, her daughter was made whole.
“Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.  And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” Mat.  15:28

Disciples let fear control them and did not believe God would protect them from harm.  If they had faith, they  could have asked God to deliver them from their dilemma, as we can when we face “storms.”
“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.” Mat.  8:26

The “faith chapter” in Hebrews 11 reminds readers of Old Testament saints that had faith:
Abel: Hebrews 11:4
Enoch: Heb. 11:5
Noah: Heb. 11:7
Abraham: Heb. 11:8-9, 17
Sarah: Heb. 11:11
Isaac: Heb. 11:20
Jacob: Heb. 11:21
Joseph: Heb. 11:22
Moses: Heb. 11:23-24, 27, 28
Israel: Heb. 11:29-30
Rahab: Heb. 11:31

Those  Old Testament saints and many more overcame challenges and impossibilities by faith in their great God.  They stepped out blindly trusting Him, and He did the “impossible.” Will you also step out by faith and trust God when you face tragedies, terrors, and temptations? 

“Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees
And looks to God alone,
Laughs at impossibilities
And cries, ‘It shall be done!’”
— Charles Wesley


Christ, Our Guide
C. H. Spurgeon

When Mr. Andrew Fuller was going to preach one day, he rode to the meeting on his horse.  There had been a lot of rain, and the rivers were very swollen.  He got to one river, which he had to cross.  He looked at it and feared the strong current as he did not know its depth.

A farmer, who happened to be standing by, said, “It is all right, Mr. Fuller.  You will get through it all right, sir.  The horse will keep its feet.”

Mr. Fuller went in, and the water got up to the girth and then up to the saddle.  The preacher began to get uncomfortably wet.  Mr. Fuller thought he had better turn around, and he was going to do so when the same farmer shouted, “Go on, Mr. Fuller.  Go on.  I know it is all right.”

Mr. Fuller replied, “Then I will go on.  I will go by faith.”

Now, sinner, it is like that with you.  You think that your sins are too deep and that Christ will never be able to carry you over them.  However, I say to you, “It is all right, sinner.  Trust Jesus, and he will carry you through Hell itself if it were needful and possible.  If you had all the sins of all the men that have ever lived, and they were all yours, if you trusted him, Jesus Christ would carry you through the current of all that sin.  It is alright, man!  Only trust Christ.  The river may be deep, but Christ’s love is deeper still.  It is all right, man!  

Do not let the devil make you doubt my Lord and Master. Satan is a liar from the beginning and the father of lies, but my Master is faithful and true.  Rest on him, and it is alright.  Herein lies the supreme consolation of this earthly life.”

When a train goes through a dark tunnel, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off.  You sit still and trust the engineer to get you through safely.  Trust God today, no matter how dark your situation.  God says, ‘You are coming out’!” — C. H. Spurgeon

The BIBLE VIEW #887 — Christmas

In This Issue:
Was Jesus Born on December 25?
An Opportune Time
Jesus Came Anyway
The First and Last Time He Comes

Volume: 887     December 5, 2022
Theme: Christmas

Sign-up at https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/a26cc9M to receive the DAILY VIEW devotion.  The daily e-mail includes a KJV chapter, a short devotion of something taught in that chapter, and more spiritual food for the hungry soul.  Start your day with some good news from the Bible!

View 16+ years of printable, free BIBLE VIEWS at https://openthoumineeyes.com/newsletters.htmlMake as many copies as you need and use them in your ministry, nursing homes (large print version available), Sunday school, deaf ministry, bus ministry, and church bulletin insert. 


Was Jesus Born on December 25?
Rev. Alexander Hislop

Many Christian holidays have their true meanings, and even the time they occurred altered by false religion’s influence.  Christmas, unfortunately, is one of those days.  Although Christ was definitely born on this Earth, and all the Bible says about Him is true, false religions and their effort to get people to accept their false teachings successfully merged their doctrines with those of Christianity.

Here is some of the history behind how December 25th was adopted to be the day of Christ’s birth, according to Rev. Alexander Hislop’s The Two Babylons:

“ … The festivals of [Catholic] Rome are innumerable, but five of the most important may be singled out for elucidation: Christmas day, Lady day, Easter, the Nativity of St. John, and the Feast of the Assumption.  Each and all of these can be proved to be Babylonian.  And first, as to the festival in honour of the birth of Christ, or Christmas.

“… How comes it that the festival was connected with the 25th of December?  There is not a word in the Scriptures about the precise day of His birth or the time of the year when He was born.  What is recorded there implies that at what time His birth took place, it couldnot have been on the 25th of December.

“… At the time that the angel announced His birth to the shepherds of Bethlehem, they were feeding their flocks by night in the open fields.  Now, no doubt, the climate of Palestine is not so severe as the climate of this country; but even there, though the heat of the day be considerable, the cold of the night, from December to February, is very piercing and it was not the custom for the shepherds of Judea to watch their flocks in the open fields laterthan about the end of October.  It is in the last degree incredible that the birth of Christ could have taken place at the end of December.

“… the celebrated Joseph Mede pronounces a very decisive opinion to the same effect. … At the birth of Christ, every woman and child was to go to be taxed at the city whereto they belonged, whither some had long journeys, but the middle of winter was not fitting for such a business, especially for women with child, and children to travel in.  Therefore, Christ could not be born in the depth of winter.  Again, at the time of Christ’s birth, the shepherds lay abroad watching with their flocks in the nighttime; but this was not likely to be in the middle of winter.  And if any shall think the winter wind was not so extreme in these parts, let him remember the words of Christ in the Gospel, ‘… pray ye that your flight be not in the winter … (Mat. 24:20)’.  If the winter was so bad a time to flee in, it seems no fit time for shepherds to lie in the fields, and women and children to travel in.”

 “… Indeed, it is admitted by the most learned and candid writers of all parties that the day of our Lord’s birth cannot be determined and that within the Christian churchno such festival as Christmas was ever heard of till the third century, and that not until the fourth century did it gain much observance.

“… How did the Romish Church fix December the 25th as Christmas day?  Why, thus:

Long before the fourth century, and long before the Christian era itself, a festival was celebrated among the heathen, at that precise time of the year, in honour of the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen of heaven; and it may fairly be presumed that, in order to conciliate the heathen, and to swell the number of the nominal adherents of Christianity, the same festival was adopted by the Roman Church, giving it only the name of Christ.  This tendency on the part of Christians to meet paganism halfway was very early developed, and we find Tertullian, even in his day, about the year 230 AD, bitterly lamenting the inconsistency of the disciples of Christ in this respect and contrasting it with the strict fidelity of the pagans to their own superstition.

“… Upright men strive to stem the tide, but in spite of all their efforts, the apostasy went on, until the church, with the exception of a small remnant, was submerged under pagan superstition.  That Christmas was originally a pagan festival is beyond all doubt.  The time of the year, and the ceremonies with which it is still celebrated, prove its origin.

“Also, in Egypt, the son of Isis was born at this very time, ‘about the time of the winter solstice.  The very name by which Christmas is popularly known among ourselves — Yule-day — proves at once its pagan and Babylonian origin.  ‘Yule’ is the Chaldean name for an ‘infant’ or ‘little child’;  and as the 25th of December was called by pagan Anglo-Saxons, ‘Yule-day’, or the ‘Child’s day.’  The night that preceded it became known as ‘Mother-night,’ long before (380–362 BC) they came in contact with Christianity.  This sufficiently proves the real reason December 25 was selected.”

“Christmas is a time for ‘giving up’ sin, bad habits, and selfish pleasures.  Christmas is a time for ‘giving in,’ surrendering to Christ and accepting Him as King.  Christmas is a time for ‘giving out,’ real giving and not swapping.”
Author Unknown

An Opportune Time
Oliver B. Greene

Christmas is a depressing time for many people.  An article written by a director of the California Department of Mental Hygiene warned, “The Christmas season is marked by greater emotional stress and more acts of violence than at any other time of the year.”

Christmas is an excuse to get drunk, have a party, get something, give a little, leave work, get out of school, spend money, overeat, and all other excesses.  But, for the real church, Christmas is an excuse for us to exalt Jesus Christ in the face of a world that is at least tuned into His name.

The message of Christmas is that the visible material world is bound to the invisible, spiritual world.” — Author Unknown


Jesus Came Anyway
Oliver B. Greene

Sherwood Wirt captured the mood of that first Christmas in this description, which he wrote in a Christmas card: “The people of that time were being heavily taxed and faced every prospect of a sharp increase to cover expanding military expenses.  The threat of world domination by a cruel, ungodly, power-intoxicated band of men was ever just below the threshold of consciousness.  Moral deterioration had corrupted the upper levels of society and was moving rapidly into the broad base of the populace.  Intense nationalistic feeling was clashing openly with new and sinister forms of imperialism.  Conformity was the spirit of the age.  Government handouts were being used with increasing lavishness to keep the population from rising up and throwing out the leaders.  Interest rates were spiraling upward in the midst of an inflated economy.  External religious observances were considered a political asset, and abnormal emphasis was placed on sports and athletic competition.  Racial tensions were at the breaking point.”

In such a time, and amid such a people, a child was born to a couple who had just signed up for a fresh round of taxation and were soon to become political exiles.  The child born was called, among other things, Immanuel, God with us.

Selfishness makes Christmas a burden; love makes it a delight.”


The First and Last Time He Comes
Oliver B. Greene

The Lord Jesus Christ, whom we exalt especially at Christmas, is not just a baby in a manger.  He is not a character in a children’s story.  He is far more.

  • The first time He came, He came veiled in the form of a child.  The next time He comes, and we believe it will be soon, He will come unveiled, and it will be abundantly and immediately clear to all the world just who He is.
  • The first time He came, a star marked His arrival.  The next time He comes, the whole heavens will roll up like a scroll, and all the stars will fall out of the sky, and He will light it.
  • The first time He came, wise men and shepherds brought Him gifts.  The next time He comes, He will bring rewards for His own.
  • The first time He came, there was no room for Him.  The next time He comes, the whole world will not be able to contain His glory.
  • The first time He came, only a few attended His arrival — some.  The next time He comes, every eye shall see Him.
  • The first time He came as a baby.  Soon He will come as Sovereign King and Lord.

“The hinge of history is on the door of a Bethlehem stable.” 
— Ralph W. Stockman

The BIBLE VIEW #886 — Friends

In This Issue:
Friends   Dear Liberal Friend
Friendly Advice
A Friend
The Unfailing Friend

Volume: 886     November 28, 2022
Theme: Friends

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Friends
Bill Brinkworth

The right friend will build you up.  A wrong friend may destroy you.

Many will have their plans and lives changed because they picked the wrong friend or gave a friend the wrong priority in their lives!  Some do not even know what a true friend is.

Here is a short study on what the Bible says about a true friend:

Friendly all the time!  A true friend loves us during the hard times and the good.
Proverbs 17:17-18 “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.  A man void of understanding striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend.”
Proverbs 27:10 “Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother’s house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.”

Friendly first!  A true friend is friendly first, rather than waiting for others to approach him.  Proverbs 18:24 “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

Friendly giving!  True friendship is given and not bought.  You cannot buy true friendship.

Give, and you may get a person you can trust and like.  Do not be friendly to earn friendship, though.  You cannot make someone your friend.
Proverbs 19:6 “Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts.” — but not true friends!

Friendly honest advice!  A true friend tells what they believe is best for us because they care about what happens in our life.
Proverbs 22:6 “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”
Proverbs 27:10 “Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.”

False friends are like vermin that abandon a sinking vessel or like the swallows that depart at the approach of winter.
True friends are like ivy that adheres to the tree in its decay.  They are also like the light of phosphorus: brightest in the dark.”  — Unknown


Dear Liberal Friend
Bill Brinkworth

I am so sorry about how our friendship has turned out.  I was excited when I learned you were a “Christian.” Fellowship and friendship with another of like faith are important to me.  However, I quickly realized that your definition and my definition of being a “Christian” were completely different.

When one says they are a “Christian,” I assume their thinking and lifestyle would be aligned with the Bible.  Your “Christianity” is not what is described in my Bible.  Most of the time, you did not even want to discuss God’s Word.

When the conversation led to spiritual things, you quickly went on the defense and accused me of judging or else argued the doctrine.  We have spent more time discussing “what the Bible really means,” as you keep saying, rather than agreeing on the things of God.

My other friendships with Christians have never been this strained.  It has always been easy and perfectly natural for my other friends and me to talk about the things of God because we are interested in them.  You, obviously, are not.

I may not have been saved as long as you have been, but I know that the Bible teaches that a Christian should live differently than the unsaved.  You seem to be very comfortable dressing like the world, talking like the world, acting like the world, doing things the world does, and going to places where the unsaved go.

Your philosophies are often identical to what the ungodly world thinks.  It’s hard to tell any difference between you and the lost.  I am not comfortable doing many of those things, and I believe some of them are against what God teaches in His Book.

The consequences of worldliness and its sin are some things from which I was saved.  The world is losing and not heading for Heaven but is going to Hell.  I have no interest in thinking and looking like the losing side.

Before I was saved, I did not have the joy or peace I do now by obeying the Lord.  Being more like Christ is far safer, peaceful, and biblical.

Clearly, the Bible tells us to talk to others about Christ so they can be saved and have the promise of Heaven.  Proverbs 11:30 says you are wise if you do this.

You have ridiculed and tried to stop me from witnessing to others.  No, I don’t think it “is pushing God’s Word down their throat” by telling them.  If someone didn’t tell me how to be saved, I would not be.  I would feel very selfish if I didn’t share salvation with others and would be disobedient to God’s biblical commandments if I did not.

When I do witness to others, I often hear the word “hypocrite.” The unsaved world knows how Christians should live.  They have seen many call themselves Christians, and people see they do not live the way they should.

After seeing more living the wrong way, they quickly assume that all Christians are hypocrites and living the wrong lifestyle.  I certainly am not perfect and am still growing spiritually, but the people they are referring to are not people like me, but are people like you.

I love being saved.  It is exciting to know that Christ died for all my sins and paid the price for them so I could go to Heaven.  I owe Him so much.  My desire now is to live for and serve Him.

Your liberal theology and lifestyle are doing much to harm and weaken the cause of Christ.  It is giving those trying to serve and live for God a bad name.  Your lifestyle is hurting the testimonies of those trying to live right.

Sadly, I think it is time to part as friends.  No, I don’t believe myself “holier than thou.”  I know what I was and can fall back into my old ways.  I am concerned that your disobedience may rub off on me.  Association with your unchristian lifestyle will also hurt my Christian testimony.  I desire to be more like Christ and have that reputation, so our fellowship will have to stop until your lifestyle becomes more Christ-like.

Regretfully,
Bill

Insomuch as anyone pushes you nearer to God, he or she is your friend.” 
— Unknown

Friendly Advice
Bill Brinkworth

  • WAIT on the right friend.  Do not settle for the first acquaintance that comes around just because you are lonely.
  • Pick a friend you look up to, not down to, or the relationship may hurt your walk with Christ.
  • Pray about the friendship.  Ask God how you can be a better friend, not just how that person can meet your needs.
  • Be honest with your friend.  If they dislike the real you, or the truth, they are not the right friend for you.
  • Friendship is not popularity!  Acquaintances are not necessarily friends.
  • Stick up for a friend.
  • Never put a friend down in front of others!
  • Be a friend to someone that you feel needs one!  They are often the most grateful and the most loyal!
  • Obey your parents’ discernment about friends.  If they say to stay away from a certain person, obey them!
  • Marry a friend!

A true friend never gets in your way except when you are on the way down.”— Unknown


A Friend
Author Unknown

When troubles come, your soul to try
You love a friend who just stands by.
Perhaps there’s nothing he can do,
The thing is strictly up to you.
For there are troubles all your own,
And paths the soul must tread alone,
Times when love can’t smooth the road,
Nor friendship lift the heavy load.
But, just to feel you have a friend,
Who will stand by until the end,
Whose sympathy through all endures,
Whose warm handclasp is always yours,
It helps somehow to pull you through.
Although there’s nothing he can do.
And so, with fervent heart we say,
“God bless the friend who just stands by.”

They who have loved together have been drawn close; they who have struggled together are forever linked, but they who have suffered together have known the most sacred bond of all.” — Author Unknown

The Unfailing Friend
Author Unknown

The friendship of Jesus is lasting.  Other friends may grow old and cold.  It is not so with the company of our Saviour. 

Other friends may misunderstand us.  Jesus never. 

His love is the same in our youth as in old age.  The friendship will instead grow stronger as we get older.

If you have lost what to you seemed everything, if you find yourself friendless and alone, despised and forsaken, seek to get acquainted with this most lovely, dear and precious Friend — Jesus.

The BIBLE VIEW #885 — Thanksgiving

In This Issue:
First Thanksgiving Proclamation
1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation
In Everything, Give Thanks!
Mother of Thanksgiving 

Volume: 885     November 21, 2022
Theme: Thanksgiving

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View 16+ years of printable, free BIBLE VIEWS at https://openthoumineeyes.com/newsletters.htmlMake as many copies as you need and use them in your ministry, nursing homes (large print version available), Sunday school, deaf ministry, bus ministry, and church bulletin insert. 


First Thanksgiving Proclamation
William Bradford, Governor of the First American Colony, 1623

Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as he has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us the freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.

Now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.

William Bradford
Ye Governor of Ye Colony

Thanksgiving is a time when the world gets to see just how blessed and how workable the Christian system is.  The emphasis is not on giving or buying, but on being thankful and expressing that appreciation to God and to one another.  — John Clayton  


1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation

WHEREAS, It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor;

WHEREAS, Both the houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

George Washington – October 3, 1789

“The worship most acceptable to God comes from a thankful and cheerful heart.  — Plutarch 


In Everything, Give Thanks!
Author Unknown

‘Mid sunshine, cloud, or stormy days,
When hope abounds, or care dismays,
When trials press and toils increase
Let not thy faith in God decrease —
“In everything, give thanks.”


All things we know shall work for good,
Nor would we change them if we could;
‘Tis well if only He command;
His promise will ever stand —
“In everything, give thanks.”


He satisfies the longing heart,
He thwarts the tempter’s cruel dart,
With goodness fills the hungry soul,
And helps us sing when billows roll.
“In everything, give thanks.”

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” — I Thessalonians 5:18


Mother of Thanksgiving
Author Unknown

President George Washington proclaimed the national observance of Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, November 26, 1789.  After a few years, presidential proclamations lapsed.  Although most New England communities continued the observance faithfully, they did not always celebrate at the same time.  In other parts of the country, the holiday was frequently overlooked altogether.  Nobody appeared to care very much whether the day was observed except a woman named Sarah Josepha Buell Hale.

Mrs. Hale was a widow with a will.  When her husband died, leaving her with five children, she went to work.  This took several varieties of courage, for Mrs. Hale was a great lady of an old New England family of important ladies and gentlemen.  Several of her peers did not approve of a lady working beyond her home.  Others were especially outraged at the nature of their kinswoman’s job.  Mrs. Hale became editor of the periodical “The Ladies’ Magazine.” 

Mrs. Hale had a rare editorial writing gift.  She began an editorial campaign for a national set observance of Thanksgiving Day.  For twenty years, she wrote scores of editorials on the subject.  Men, as well as women, read them.

One man who read them was Abraham Lincoln.  In 1864, he declared that thereafter, by annual presidential proclamation, the last Thursday in November should be a national Thanksgiving Day.  Since then, every president has followed his suggestion.

After President Lincoln acted, Mrs. Hale was called “Mother of Thanksgiving,” a title by which she deserves to be remembered.

“Count your blessings, not your problems.— B. B.


“You Should Be Thankful.”
Author Unknown

A train was crowded, and many were standing in the aisles and on the platforms.  They took that opportunity to express themselves by complaining to the railway company.  Some moaned they had been standing for three hours.

At a station, others came aboard, one of whom was an invalid and had to be carried on.  As the passengers made room for him, one repeated his complaint, “Yes, we’ve been standing here for three hours.”

The invalid looked at him and quietly said, “You are fortunate.”

They were tired, but the invalid’s rebuke changed hearts.  The complaining stopped, and many silently counted their blessings.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done…”
Words from the hymn “Count Your Blessings, by Johnson Oatman