Exodus 17:15And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi.

One of the major titles used in the Old Testament for God is “Jehovah.” Jehovah means ‘the Eternal, Unchangeable One, He who was, and is, and is to come.’

In Exodus 17, Moses offered an expanded title for God – “Jehovah-nissi.” This means ‘the Lord is our banner.’ Given at a time of great battle, it speaks of God’s promise of help in the Christian’s struggle with sin and Satan.

Immediately after the Israelites received the water at Rephidim, they were attacked by Amalek.

Amalek was the grandson of Esau, whose descendants all hated Israel. The Israelites, the people redeemed out of Egypt, faced their first enemy of their wilderness journey.

Amalek is a Biblical picture type of the old nature, the flesh and all of its works.

For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would”(Ga5:17).

Victory over Amalek depended upon the intercession of Moses and the bravery of Joshua. Joshua was chosen as the leader of Israel’s army against Amalek. While Joshua was down on the battlefield, Moses, along with Aaron and Hur, was up on the top of the hill.

While Moses held up his hands in intercession for Israel, their army would win. But when Moses’ arms became weak and fell, Amalek would win. Finally, Aaron and Hur held up Moses hands until the sun went down, and Joshua and his army won the battle.

We have been given two helpers in our conflict with the old nature.

The Holy Spirit, pictured by Joshua, has been sent down from heaven to help us battle the enemy. He indwells us to comfort, and guide, and to assist us.

Jesus Christ is up above, like Moses was. Jesus is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. And “He ever liveth to make intercession for us”(Hb7:25).

We can be certain of victory because Jesus lives at the right hand of God, and because He has sent the Holy Spirit to give us spiritual power to overcome and conquer the enemy.

With Moses above and Joshua below, Jehovah’s banner waved over the triumphant host of Israel. Moses built an altar and called it ‘Jehovah-nissi’ – ‘the Lord is our banner.’

The hands of our Intercessor are always steady. He knows our needs as we face any conflict. He will continue His work for us “until the going down of the sun”(Ex17:12). What an encouragement!!

In our battle with the flesh, we must allow the Holy Spirit to use the sword of God’s Word to overcome the enemy. This is our secret to daily victory – dependence on our Intercessor Jesus Christ and obedience to God’s Word as revealed by the Holy Spirit, our Comforter.

When we claim them as our source of victory, we can march under the triumphant banner of our Lord Jehovah-nissi, for He is our banner!

The Wise Man and The Foolish Man

Ecclesiastes 3:1;11aTo every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…He hath made every thing beautiful in his time.

Picture two men coming to Jesus in His carpenter days, each asking help in building his house. One selects a spot far away from the rocks where it is hard to dig, but near the sandy riverbed that is dry most of the year.

Jesus warned, “Build on a rocky foundation, even though it takes time. When the storms come and the river swells, you will be sorry if you take the fast way and build on the sand.”

But the first man disregarded Jesus’ advice.

The second man resisted the shortcut approach and build on the rock foundation, demanding more struggle, energy, and time. Jesus ended His Sermon on the Mount with the story of these two men.

A foolish man…built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it”(Mt7:26-27).

When the rains came, the first builder’s house was destroyed. And he learned that fast is slow!

A wise man…built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock”(Mt7:24-25).

When the second house stood firm, that builder learned the truth that slow is fast!

God does not govern our world by remote control. God is continually involved in the sustaining of the universe so that every change of the weather, every movement of the stars, and every activity of the minutest creature is directed by His all-wise providence.

Even the thwarting of our plans is in God’s hands. In the hour of delay and desperation we fret, “Lord, how long?”!

The ‘stops’ as well as the ‘starts’ of a good man are ordered by the Lord.

So often in the Bible, in history, and even in our own personal experience God has proven Himself to always be ‘on time’ in fulfilling plans, in answering our prayers, in solving problems, and in supplying preparation and guidance for the future.

I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning”(Ps130:5-6).

Taking time for God and for spiritual blessing by reading God’s Word and praying will make every day go better. Accomplishing things in the power of the Holy Spirit requires waiting for God and not rushing ahead of Him. Waiting on the Lord is simply part of walking in the Spirit.

God may slow us down. He may stop us. God may even chose to put us in reverse! But He will get us where He wants us in His time!

The real secret to peace with God is to discover, accept, and appreciate God’s perfect timing!!

God’s Word

Psalm 119:9-11Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

The writer of Psalm 119 was determined to keep the law of the Lord.

He began by asking a question: “How do any of us cleanse our way, our life? How can we be holy?”

He then answered: meditate on God’s Word, delight in God’s Word and do not forget it!

But the psalmist knew all too well that it is easier to state these truths than it is to keep them.

1)         We need a heart that seeks God.

We must all learn that the indwelling Holy Spirit enables us to fulfill God’s righteousness in our daily lives. We must live according to God’s Word, which means cultivating a heart for God.

We need a heart that is seeking for God. If our heart is seeking for God, our feet will not stray from God.

Such a heart will see God in all of life. As we ‘see’ God, we learn more about God. Our fellowship with God increases. We learn to glorify Him in all that is said and done.

Again, the Holy Spirit enables us to do this as we yield to Him. But we must also spend time in God’s Word and treasure it in our hearts. It is not our promises to God but His promises to us that give us victory over sin!

2)         We need a teachable spirit to learn from God’s Word. “Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes”(Ps 119:12).

Unless the truth of God’s Word moves from our head into our heart, written there by the Holy Spirit, and then to our will, we have not really learned God’s Word. And until that happens, we will not change. And without that heart change, we will never be fully blessed.

The blessing comes, not in just the hearing, but in the doing – living!!

I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy states: I will not forget thy word”(Ps119:15-16).

What delights us will capture our focus and our attention. We will think about it. And we will meditate on it. This is true of God’s Word.

Delighting in God’s Word, and loving God’s Word, and meditating on God’s Word are found together, intertwined and interwoven. And they ought to be found together in our hearts and lives.

Circumstances change. But God and His Word are ever the same.

Thank you, Lord, for the magnificent Word of God!!

Let There Be Joy!

Zephaniah 3:17 –  The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy, he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

Think about it!  God rejoices over us with joy. God sings with joy over us. Our joy in the Holy Spirit is simply a reflection of God’s divine joy.

Now how can we know this joy? The Holy Spirit ministers in us to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ.

We share in Jesus’ love, His compassion, His redemption, and especially in His joy. There might be times of happiness without Jesus. But we can never have true joy without Him.

The gospel was announced by the angel to the shepherds as “good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people“(Lk2:9).

Through the gospel, we know of God’s provision for our salvation. We trust Jesus to save us. We are cleansed from our sins. And we become the children of God.

The Holy Spirit then takes up permanent residence in us as a new believer to reveal Jesus to us and to conform us to the image of God’s Son. As we yield to His ministry, we know more and more the joy that is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Christians are commanded to be filled with joy – “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice”(Ph4:4).

It seems strange, actually it is really amazing! that a man in prison would be telling a church to be joyful. But Paul’s attitude serves to teach us an important lesson.

Our inner attitudes do not have to reflect our outward circumstances. Even in prison, Paul was full of joy because he knew that no matter what happened to him, Jesus was with him.

As believers, our real joy is found in our unchanging, everlasting relationship with God that is ours through personal, saving faith in Jesus Christ. And when we know Jesus we can “Rejoice evermore”(1Th5:16).

Our joy does not fluctuate with our circumstances or with our feelings. Obeying God enables us to see people, problems, and everything else in our lives in a new perspective.  When we do God’s will, we will be joyful.

God intended for our worship to be joyful. The Psalmist said: “I will offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord“(Ps27:6).

We are called to “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing…Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name”(Ps100:1-2,4).

Remember God’s goodness. And His faithfulness. And then worship Him with thanksgiving and joy!!

A Friend In Jesus

Proverbs 18:24A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Since the creation of man, God has sought to fellowship with man. Throughout the pages of the Old Testament we read about men who knew God and enjoyed fellowship with God.

Three times the Bible tells us that Abraham was a friend of God. They walked together. They talked together. And God could trust Abraham to the point that Abraham was called the friend of God.

During His early ministry, Jesus was called “a friend of publicans and sinners”(Mt11:19). Jesus told His disciples that He considered them His friends.

The apostle Paul shared more about God’s desire for friends when he explained that Jesus’ death at Calvary was that a world at enmity with God would respond to God’s love in salvation and become His friends.

1)         We become a friend of God by faith.

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”(Hb11:6).

This kind of faith is more than just an intellectual acceptance of the existence of God. Even the demons believe that much about God.

God will not settle for our mere acknowledgement of His existence. He wants a personal, dynamic, life-transforming relationship with every one of us! This involves us trusting Jesus for our eternal salvation.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”(Ro5:8).

When Jesus died on the cross and then arose from the dead on the third day, He proved to all His power to save any person who would come to Him. When we personally trust Jesus Christ alone to save us, we become a friend of God.

2)         We strengthen our friendship with God by obedience.

Admitting our sin and believing in Jesus brings us salvation. Active obedience demonstrates that our belief is genuine – that it is real!

Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you”(Jo15:14).

It is our responsibility as Christians to obey Jesus completely. Total obedience is our duty!

It is important for a Christian to be baptized and become a part of a Bible believing church. A Christian should be a faithful steward of all that God has given him. A Christian should do his best to win others to Christ.

All these things are a matter of obedience to the commands of Christ. They strengthen our friendship with God.

The greatest opportunity afforded to any man is to be a friend of God.

There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” And that friend is Jesus!!


Psalm 96:8-9Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.

 The psalmist was overwhelmed with the goodness and the glory of the Lord.

Recognizing that his very life and breath, his health and wealth all were tied to the Lord and his blessings, the psalmist also recognized the need for worship.

He proclaimed, “Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great king above all gods”(Ps96:2).

Always and in every way God is to be worshipped and praised by those who wear the name Christian. After all, as Paul stated “In him we live, and move, and have our being”(Ac17:28).

What a privilege and a pleasure it is to come to the house of God to join the people of God to worship Him in spirit and in truth.


Psalm 126:6He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

This verse offers a simple, yet profound, tremendous outline for witnessing!

1)         “He that goeth forth.” There is no better plan for evangelism. We must be ever looking for those who we can witness too.

The command is never for the lost to go find a church and hear the gospel. The command is always for the saved to tell them the good news of salvation. Opportunities pass quickly. We must commit ourselves to go.

2)         “And weepeth.” How concerned are we for those who do not know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior? We need to ask God to place a real burden in our hearts that will lead to compassion for the condition of those without Jesus living all around us!

3)         “Bearing precious seed.”  The “precious seed” is none other than the Word of God.

Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”(Ro10:17). “(We are) born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever”(1Pt1:23).

As we witness, the Word of God is the “precious seed” that we share.

4)         “Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Here is God’s promise of blessing for all who invest time in this business.

Who in our circle of family and friends is in need of the life changing salvation that comes through knowing Jesus Christ?! All of us know of someone! Probably several someones.

Think of what a blessing is in store for them, and for us! if we will witness to them and win them to Christ.

The clear truth of the Bible is that Jesus Christ will save completely, forever, any and all who will place their faith in Him.

The gospel of salvation has not reached its final destination if someone in our family, or at our workplace or school, or in our neighborhood has not been saved. Never forget that witnessing is not showing what we can do for God, but rather sharing and telling what God has done for us.

We have a story to tell!!

“His Story”

Zechariah 1:5-6Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever? But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? And they returned and said, Like as the Lord of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us.


History is “His story.” It is the record of how God has dealt with people of various nations and generations.

History is an excellent record of how God will also deal with us. It teaches us very clearly that God rewards right and punishes wrong in each nation and in each generation.

A thing is right because it agrees with the nature and purpose of God. And a thing is wrong because it disagrees with the person and nature of God. God does not change. So the standards of right and wrong do not change either!

Memorial Day is a time for remembering. We pause to remember those brave men and women who gave their lives that America might be free today.

As we remember, we should also recall both the positive and the negative things that the past generation lived. We must follow principles of holy living. There is no other way to receive God’s approval once we are trusting Jesus Christ.

The words God had spoken through His prophets a century earlier before the captivity, still applied to Zechariah’s generation. And they are still relevant for us today!

God’s Word endures. God is faithful to perform both His promises and His warnings.

In 1 Kings, we have recorded Solomon’s prayer of dedication of the temple.  “Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant”(1Kg8:56). God is faithful!

The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure”(Ps111:7).

The word “verity” means true. Throughout Scripture, God certifies His faithfulness.

For I am the Lord: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord God”(Ez12:25).

We must trust the Word of God because we can trust the God of the Word! God has no reason to speak anything untrue. In fact, it would be a contradiction to His own nature of truth if God did.

The God who promised is faithful. We can count on His promises as if they were already done. God’s Word is true in each generation. The message is still and for ever the same!


Proverbs 31:26-28She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call he blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

Have you ever wondered how Mother’s Day began? A day honoring mothers was observed in the early 1800’s in England. It was called Mothering Sunday and came in mid-lent. Julia Ward Howe made the first known suggestion for a Mother’s Day in the United States in 1862. Ann Jarvis of West Virginia began a campaign for nationwide observance of Mother’s Day. She chose the second Sunday in May and began the custom of wearing a carnation in 1907. In 1915 President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day as an annual national observance.

What a precious treasure to God and to this troubled old world is a praying, Christian mother! What a consolation and a comfort to a family is a mother who prevails at the throne of grace in a time of trial or sorrow!

Consider these copied truths:

“When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator and I immediately wanted to paint another.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick and I learned what it means to serve one another in brotherly love.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I heard you pray over me and kiss me goodnight and I felt loved and safe.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw how you handled your responsibilities even when you didn’t feel good and I learned what it means to glorify God in all things.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you give of your time and money to the church and people in need and I learned that God loves a cheerful giver.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw tears come to your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it is all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw that you cared and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you praying and reading God’s Word and I learned to depend on and trust in Him too.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I looked at you and I wanted to say, ‘Thanks for all the things I saw…when you thought I wasn’t looking.’”


Hosea 3:4-5For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days.


After the birth of a third child, Gomer left Hosea to pursue other lovers, a vivid and painful object lesson of the way Israel had treated the Lord. Hosea bought Gomer back from the slave market for fifteen pieces of silver, a very low price because she had cheapened herself by her sins. May we never forget that God has purchased us at the tremendous cost of the precious blood of His Son Jesus Christ!!

Israel today, though purchased by her Messiah, has not yet returned to the Lord.

Israel today is “without a king” because she rejected her King and therefore has no kingdom.

Israel is “without a prince” because there is no reigning dynasty in Israel. All the records were destroyed when the Romans captured Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Nobody can prove to which tribe he or she belongs!

Israel is “without a sacrifice” because they have no temple, or altar, or priesthood. They have no high priest. The only High Priest God will acknowledge is the interceding Son of God seated at His right hand in heaven!

But there is an “afterward!” Israel will not stay “without.” She will see her Messiah, repent of her sins, and say, “You are my God!” They will enter into that blessed relationship in which the Lord says, “You are My people!”

The key word is “return,” a word that is used twenty-two times in Hosea’s prophecy.

When Israel returns to the Lord, then the Lord will return to bless Israel.

This is Hosea’s message: “O Israel, return to the Lord thy God. Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, ‘Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously’”(Ho14:1-2).

The people could return to God by asking Him to take away their sins. The same is true of us: We can pray Hosea’s prayer and know that our sins are forgiven because Jesus died for them on the cross.

Forgiveness begins when we see the destruction of sin and the futility of life without God. Then we must admit that we cannot save ourselves. Our only hope is in God.

God is love! He promises to forgive and restore all who repent and return to Him. He promises to bless all who trust Him.

This is truly the most beautiful and amazing love story ever told!!