Daily Devotionals

The Pastor of the church provides a daily devotional entitled Think Upon These Things hoping it will be a source of inspiration, encouragement, and strengthening of your faith. It is not intended to take the place of other devotional materials (Our Daily Bread, Open Windows, etc.) but to supplement those devotionals. Contact the church office if you wish to receive Think Upon These Things via email, or subscribe to the church's website and it will be sent to you automatically. We pray it will be an encouragement to you.

March 12, 2022

Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!" Jesus said to him, "The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean. (John 13:9-10).

Washing the feet of the disciples was more than a gracious and hygienic courtesy of the host. Just as the Passover was more than a commemoration of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt, but a symbol of the power of God to deliver His people from slavery to sin and death, so washing the feet of the disciples was a symbol of cleansing and purification. Again, Peter missed the point and jumped to the opposite extreme of requesting his entire body be washed.

March 11, 2022

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, do you wash my feet?" Jesus answered him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand." Peter said to him, "You shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no share with me." Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!" Jesus said to him, "The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you." For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, "Not all of you are clean" (John 13:6-11).

March 10, 2022

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God . . . . (John 13:3).

March 8, 2022

And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God (John 13:2-3).

March 7, 2022

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end (John 13:1).

March 6, 2022

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end  (John 13:1).

March 5, 2022

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end (John 13:1).

We have departed from a strict adherence to the Gospel of Matthew and have instead followed the chronology of events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus as recorded in a Harmony of the Gospels entitled, “The Story of Jesus.” This will give us a more complete account of the last hours of our Lord here on earth.

March 4, 2022

A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves. You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Luke 22:24-30).

March 3, 2022

When it was evening, and the hour came, he reclined at table with the twelve apostles. And he said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God" (Matthew 26:20; Mark 14:17; Luke 22:14-16).

March 2, 2022

And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.”’” So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover (Matthew 26:18-19).

The entire drama of the Passover event had been orchestrated by the foreknowledge and plan of Jesus. It is unlikely the disciples knew the ‘certain’ man they were to talk to in securing a place for the Seder. But Jesus knew ahead of time who the man was and that he would be carrying a water pot (Mark 14:13; Luke 22:10). The man was most certainly a servant in the house where the Passover was to be observed, for it is highly unlikely that the master of the household would undertake such a menial task.

March 1, 2022

Now on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, "Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?" (Matthew 26:17)

As Jesus and the disciples moved closer to the Passover festival and the time of His crucifixion, there were preparations that had to be made. The Passover lamb had already been selected by the families who gathered in Jerusalem for the celebration. The lamb would be killed by a priest at the Temple between 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm. The families also had to buy unleavened bread, wine, bitter herbs, and the sauce all used in the Passover meal (Seder). Each element in the meal symbolized an aspect of the Jews exodus from Egypt centuries earlier.

February 28, 2022

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD. On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it. For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it (Leviticus 23:33-36).

February 27, 2022

And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God. For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people. And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

February 26, 2022

And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God. For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people. And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

February 25, 2022

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD’” (Leviticus 23:23-25).

On the first day of the seventh month (Tishri) Israel was to observe a sacred assembly with a special sacrifice (Leviticus 23:23-25; Numbers 29:1-6). Numbers 29:1 reads that it was to be a day of blowing the trumpets. Numbers 10:1-10, however, states that blowing the trumpets signaled the new moon. 

February 24, 2022

“And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD. You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the LORD. And you shall offer with the bread seven lambs of the first year, without blemish, one young bull, and two rams. They shall be as a burnt offering to the LORD, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma to the LORD.

February 23, 2022

And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the LORD. Its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to the LORD, for a sweet aroma; and its drink offering shall be of wine, one-fourth of a hin.

February 22, 2022

Now on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, "Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?" (Matthew 26:17).

The Feast of Passover is a reminder of how God delivered the Jews from slavery in Egypt. More importantly, it is a memorial of God’s power to redeem His people from sin. (Leviticus 23:4-5) These are the feasts of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the LORD's Passover.

February 21, 2022

Now on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, "Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?" (Matthew 26:17)

February 20, 2022

And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts’” (Leviticus 23:1-2).

The Sabbath day was established by the Lord as a day of rest. He set the example. (Genesis 2:1-3) Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. Why was this necessary?

February 19, 2022

And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts’” (Leviticus 23:1-2).

February 17, 2022

Now on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, "Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?" (Matthew 26:17)

February 16, 2022

Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, "What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?" And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him (Matthew 26:14-16).

Who was Judas Iscariot? His father’s name was Simon (John 13:26). Judas is the Greek version of the Hebrew ‘Judah’ which means ‘Praise’ or ‘God Be Praised’. The origin of ‘Iscariot’ is unclear. It is widely held that the Greek word iskariotes comes from Hebrew ishq'riyoth, meaning ‘Man of Kerioth’, a city or region in southern Palestine. So, Judas Iscariot would be similar to calling someone ‘Bob from Bakersfield’ or ‘Judy the New Yorker’.

February 15, 2022

Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, "What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?" And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him (Matthew 26:14-16).

Many books have been written on Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus Christ. Authors have analyzed it from the psychological, practical, political, emotional, spiritual, and religious points of view. But Jesus knew Judas would betray Him from the very beginning (John 6:64).

February 14, 2022

But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor." But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her" (Matthew 26:8-13).

February 13, 2022

But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor." But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her" (Matthew 26:8-13).

February 12, 2022

But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor" (Matthew 26:8-9).

The word ‘waste’ means ‘a dead loss’. Is anything we do for the Lord Jesus Christ a ‘waste’, a ‘dead loss’? What a shocking statement to make to a woman whose sole intent was to honor the Lord with a gift given in preparation for His death and burial. What a shocking statement to make to the Lord who received this gift graciously from one whose heart sought only to honor Him. What a shocking statement to make by these men who had been called by Jesus to be His disciples and to serve in His Kingdom. Why was this fragrant oil wasted? (Mark 14:4).

February 11, 2022

But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor." But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her" (Matthew 26:8-13).

February 10, 2022

And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor." But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her" (Matthew 26:6-13).

February 9, 2022

Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him. But they said, "Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people" (Matthew 26:3-5).

The Chief Priests were the upper crust (wealthy and more prominent) of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Many believe them to be the 70 members of the Sanhedrin, the ‘supreme court’ of Judaism in the days of Jesus. All priests were from the tribe of Levi, but not all Levites were priests. Only members of the household of Aaron (Moses’ brother) could serve as priests.

February 8, 2022

Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples, "You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified" (Matthew 26:1-2).

February 7, 2022

Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.' "Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life (Matthew 25:41-46).

February 6, 2022

Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?

February 5, 2022

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left (Matthew 25:31-33).

The rational Christian mind believes there must be degrees of punishment in hell for those who have rejected faith in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Hell is hell, and the torment and terror of it is beyond our ability to understand. But surely an unsaved person who lived a good, responsible, caring, and benevolent life will not suffer like a Hitler or Stalin, a Dahmer or Bundy, right?

February 4, 2022

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left (Matthew 25:31-33).

February 3, 2022

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left (Matthew 25:31-33).

February 2, 2022

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left (Matthew 25:31-33).

There is some confusion in the minds of people as to the eternal destinies of the human soul after death. Various terms are used in the Bible, both Old and New Testament, that refer to the eternal state of those who die. We will briefly explore the subject of hell today.

February 1, 2022

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left (Matthew 25:31-33).

January 31, 2022

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left (Matthew 25:31-33).

January 30, 2022

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left (Matthew 25:31-33).

There are 4 judgments of God mentioned in Scripture: (1) temporal judgment, (2) the bema judgment, (3) the judgment at the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ, and (4) the Great White Throne judgment. We looked at God’s temporal judgment and the bema judgment of Christ yesterday. Today we will consider the judgment at the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ and the Great White Throne judgment.

January 29, 2022

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left (Matthew 25:31-33).

January 28, 2022

So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 'For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth' (Matthew 25:28-30).

January 27, 2022

Then he who had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.' "But his lord answered and said to him, 'You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 'For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.

January 26, 2022

For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey (Matthew 25:14-15).

Mrs. Harry Coghill wrote these words to an old hymn I use to sing as a boy:
“Work for the night is coming,
Work through the sunny noon;
Fill brightest hours with labor:
Rest comes sure and soon.
Give every flying minute
Something to keep in store;
Work, for the night is coming,
When man works no more.”

January 25, 2022

For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey (Matthew 25:14-15).

January 24, 2022

For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord's money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

January 23, 2022

Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!' Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.

January 22, 2022

Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing (Matthew 24:45-46).

January 21, 2022

There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 24:51).

In the analogy that Jesus used to encourage us to be faithful in serving Him in His Kingdom on earth (the church), He spoke about the faithful servant and the unfaithful servant. The faithful servant is rewarded, the unfaithful servant is condemned, cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. This analogy is in reference to the judgment Jesus Christ will carry out when He returns in the 2nd coming. It is in the context of our service, or lack thereof, on earth until the Lord returns.

January 20, 2022

Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying his coming,' and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 24:45-51).

January 19, 2022

But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect (Matthew 24:43-44).

To many people this section of Matthew 24 seems redundant. How many times and how many ways can Jesus say the same thing? As many as it takes to get us to understand what’s going to take place in the future. Quite often in Scripture the same thing is repeated for emphasis. It’s God’s way of saying “PAY ATTENTION!”

January 18, 2022

Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming (Matthew 24:42).

The word ‘watch’ is a present imperative word in the original Greek text. The present tense indicates continual action. The imperative mood indicates a command. The word itself means to stay alert, stay away, keep watching. Putting all of this together, Jesus told His disciples to continually stay alert expecting the Lord’s return based on the signs He has given.

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