Is There A Specific PLAN God Has For My Life, Or, Is This All There Is?

Is There A Specific PLAN God Has For My Life, Or, Is This All There Is?

Scripture Study:  Luke 1:68-79


LUKE 1:76 (ESV):

[76] “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,”

Have you ever wondered why you are doing what you’re doing in life–in your job, in your retirement, in your ministry?  I often thought to myself, “LORD, is what I’m doing right now, really your plan for my life, or is it my plan?”  How can I know and be assured what my “lot” in life really is?  Great questions, but what are the answers.  Can the Book of Life, God’s Word, the Bible, give the answers?

God had a PLAN or the son of Zachariah and Elizabeth, an older couple” in the church.  

Zachariah was a priest of the division of Abijah (one of the 24 sections of priests) and Elizabeth was of the lineage of Aaron.  Both were “righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless”  (Luke 1:6).

All should know that God always has a PLAN by which He works.  That PLAN isn’t on the same timetable as ours.  God puts His PLAN into action when it’s the right time.

During your lifetime, I’m sure you can recall the times you asked God to help you get that promotion or that particular job or position.  How about the time you wanted to buy that certain home and the deal didn’t go through–“Yes, Yes, and Yes!”  Maybe you remember your high school days when you had your eye on a certain young man or young lady, but a relationship never developed and you couldn’t understand why.

God has a SPECIFIC PLAN in life for you and a SPECIFIC PLAN for my life.

NOW HERE IT IS:  We can accept His PLAN or, we can by-pass it and do what we want.  The PROBLEM with doing our ‘own thing’ is we’ll suffer the consequences.

If we are impatient and choose to leave God out of our lives, we’re headed for a disaster.

On the other hand, if we consult God concerning our issues; our doubts, our uneasiness in making the right decisions…asking Him to guide us, listening closely to His response, and then patiently waiting for His PLAN to unfold, we’ll be in for a VICTORY.

Zachariah and Elizabeth were a devoted couple and a good example for us tom exemplify.

zacharias-elisabeth-praying-mann_1163845_inlThey were dedicated to each other and by the same token, dedicated to God.  

They followed all the rules, regulations, and commandments of the Lord.  The words they expressed to other people in normal everyday communication were words they lived by.  They didn’t live one way and then live their personal lives another way.  People could tell just by looking at them, they were “blameless.”  There was nothing in the world that indicated dishonesty or deliberate sin in their lives.  Their names would never appear in tabloid news.

Zachariah was truly devoted to carrying on the priestly duties assigned to him.  Scripture tells us:  “As was the custom of the priesthood, it fell to him by lot to enter [the sanctuary of] the temple of the Lord and burn incense” (Luke 1:9 AMP).

I had to look up the meaning of the word “LOT”.  According to “The American Heritage Dictionary”, the word “lot” means “An object used in making a determination or choice by chance.”

We might think of making a CHOICE by rolling dice, pulling the short straw, or even flipping a coin.  In the days of Zechariah, priestly duties were assigned by “lot.”  Each of the priests were required to spend a week in the Temple two times a year.  Keeping the incense burning on the altar of the Most Holy Place was a top honor for the priests for a Temple Priest could offer incense only once in his lifetime.  What a great honor that must have been.  Someone said, a modern comparison of a priest burning incense in the Temple is like the local pastor today filling in for Billy Graham.

As Zachariah was praying and burning incense at the altar, God’s PLAN kicked in.

Zachariah and Elizabeth were going to have a baby.  This was the beginning of God’s PLAN for their parenthood.

The angel Gabriel said to Zechariah,  “Do not be afraid, Zachariah, because your petition was heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you must call his name John [God is favorable]”  (Luke 1:13).

Gabriel went on to say in VERSE 14:

“And you shall have joy and exultant delight, and many will rejoice over his birth”

Look at what Zechariah and Elizabeth will have–not only a son, but they will have JOY, EXULTANT DELIGHT and people will observe their rejoicing hearts.

This is a WIN/WIN situation here.  Don’t you think it’s wonderful how God works through His PLANS, fulfilling them at the right time?

Now this PREGNANCY didn’t exactly happen at the time Zechariah and Elizabeth would have liked it to.  It didn’t occur at their requested timing, because it wasn’t in the PLAN God had in mind.  What Zechariah and Elizabeth seemed to forget is the same thing you and I forget.  

If we really want our PRAYERS answered, we must keep our minds open and remember, that our God is an expert in bringing the impossible to light.

GABRIEL not only told the elderly couple [verse 7: “both were far advanced in years”; John Wycliffe, The Wycliffe Bible] they would bring forth a son and his name would be John, but…“he will be filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit even in and from his mother’s womb” (verse 15).


God’s wonderful PLAN was unveiled to Zechariah and Elizabeth; that they were living God’s PLAN for their lives, and John would follow through to announce the coming of the Messiah.

All of this was a bit difficult for Zechariah to take in and believe, so he questioned how this could be.  There is a difference between asking God a question about His plans, and “questioning” His plans.

Because of DISBELIEF, his “questioning,” Zechariah wasn’t permitted to speak until the baby was ready to be named.

I can remember my wife and I having nightly discussions after dinner, discussing names for our first-born.  Since technology hadn’t come into play regarding sonograms–knowing if it was a girl or boy, we devised two lists:  BOYS – GIRLS.

TV Series, KAREN

The “how about’s” started with names from our favorite television shows.  Then family names we liked from both families, to suggestions from friends and parents, and the list went on, and on, and on.  We finally decided after choosing AMY for almost 9 months, if our first child is a girl, we liked the 1964 television series, KAREN, played by the actress Debbie Watson.  I don’t know whether everyone we knew agreed with the how we chose the name, but we were sure!

So our first daughter was named KAREN MARIE, with the same middle name as my wife’s.

And that’s my story.  I’m sure you have your own story.

Zechariah and Elizabeth’s gathered friends and family wanted to end the disagreements going on about name choices for the new bay, so they decided to ask Zechariah what the baby’s name should be.  Now that’s “no duh” decision.

Since Zechariah was “mute”, they made signs to him concerning what the child’s name should be and he asked for a tablet to write on.

He wrote without hesitation, “His name shall be John.”  At that very moment his tongue was loosed so he could talk.

God’s PLAN was in action and moving right along as scheduled.

God opened the mouth and lips of Zechariah and he began praising God.

Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit, divinely inspired, and began to prophesy.

Have you ever had moments in your life, like this one?

God had forgiven Zechariah’s failure to believe and the little bit of distrust he held in his heart.

When we start LIVING GOD’S PLAN for our lives–believe His Word, placing our trust in Him.   We’ll end up praising God, as Zechariah did.


The FIRST 8 verses deal with SALVATION and will appear in the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

The SECOND part of the SONG (verses 76-79) refers to the ministry of John, the forerunner of Christ Jesus.

God had a PLAN for John and John lived that PLAN.

God’s PLAN was to use John to PREPARE the people of the day to recognize and accept the Messiah when He appeared on the scene.  John preached God’s message!

You and I are players in God’s PLAN, as well.  We were in God’s PLAN from the time of conception.  

We may not realize it, the situations we face, the struggles we encounter, the detours we come upon, but all are part of God’s PLAN for our lives.  We perhaps haven’t recognized it as of yet, but God’s PLAN is there!

We are LIVING God’s PLAN when we witness for Christ, when we love others, feed the hungry, visit the shut ins.  When we step out in FAITH, God will work in our lives revealing His plans for each one of us who trust in Him.

Paul said, “He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you”  (Philippians 1:6).

John lived the PLAN God had for his life–he PREACHED a message of CONFESSION of SIN; REPENTANCE of SIN, and SALVATION through Christ Jesus, the Messiah.

We too, need to follow God’s PLAN for our lives of confession, repentance, and acceptance of Jesus as our Lord and Savior.


And NO, we don’t have to wear John’s clothing of camel’s-hair, wear a leather girdle about our waist, live on a diet of locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:4).  That was John living out God’s specific PLAN for John.  

God’s PLAN for us is specifically designed for only us to live out.

Then, and only then, will God’s PLAN for us be complete, because we will be able to spend eternity in His Kingdom!



Photos chosen:  From Google IMAGE Search.

Bible Translations:  Amplified Bible (AMP), except where noted in text (ESV – English Standard Version).


Don’t Forget The Gravy!

GRAVY makes everything taste better!  

“Chicken fried steak without the gravy is a slab of old beef going through a mid-life crisis” (by Michael Park).


I never really thought about why I started liking gravy so much.  I think it began when I was a child during the holiday feasts at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  One of the benefits of the unforgetful feasts, for me, was the GRAVY.  I wasn’t much of a fan of turkey, so I needed plenty of gravy to make the meat palatable to my liking.  But as long as the GRAVY bowl was in my hand…pouring it on the cornbread dressing, the mashed potatoes, was an added benefit.

So before my mother would seat herself at the dinner table, she would shout from the kitchen “Is there anything else we need?”  And either my dad, my brother or myself would shout back to mom, “Don’t Forget The Gravy!”; as she entered the dinning room smiling…with the GRAVY bowl already in her hand.

The word “GRAVY” used in a slang manner refers to something extra–an extra bonus.


[1] BLESS  (AFFECTIONATELY, gratefully praise)  the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name!  [2] Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits.

In other words, VERSE 2 could say,  “Praise God and don’t forget about His good gravy.”

The Bible tells us about ALL the EXTRAS that come along with following God.

Many people accept JESUS as their Savior because they’d rather not face the alternative to heaven.  Some call it “fire insurance.”

Someone will get SAVED just because they don’t want to go to hell and, that’s not a bad thing.  But in the process, they’ll continue living out their life without knowing about the added BENEFITS.  Sure, they’ll go to heaven when they die, but their life may be a living hell!

God wants us to experience heaven when we die, but He also wants us to have an abundant life here on earth, to the full, till it overflows! (John 10:10 AMP)

And that is one of the reasons you get the GRAVY!

PSALM 103:2-6 (NIV bible)

[2] Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.  [3] He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases;  [4] He redeems my life from the pit and crowns me with love and compassion.  [5] He satisfies my desires with good things, so that my youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  [6] The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.


HERE’S THE GRAVY.  In addition to getting to go to HEAVEN when you die, God does a number of extra things for you.

He FORGIVES ALL your sins!

We’ve ALL sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23).  And when I have sinned, I feel GUILTY–I feel messed up.

Well, how do you feel when you’ve been FORGIVEN?  You most likely feel much better.  The passage here not only says that God will forgive our SINS, but later on in the Psalm, He blots out your transgressions (sins) as far as the east is from the west, meaning that He chooses not to remember your SINS.

Isaiah 43:25 reminds us,  “I, even I, am He Who blots out and cancels your transgressions, for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”

You see, if you did me wrong, I’d most likely be able to forgive you, but it would be very hard for me to forget it ever happened.  And every time you’d see me, it would have the potential to make you think about the very thing you did and you’d have all those feelings of GUILT all over again.

BUT God forgives AND forgets!  

The enemy may try to remind you of your SIN, but rest assured, once you CONFESS, God has forgiven and He has forgotten.

He HEALS [each one] ALL your diseases.

PSALM 103:3
PSALM 103:3

I hate being sick and in pain.  Well, God hates it when you’re sick and in pain, too!

He hates it so much, that He’ll take it away.  He’d rather you be healthy and whole than suffering through some sickness.

One of the EXTRAS included in Salvation is healing.  God wants you to feel good! He wants your body in good shape!

Isaiah 53:4-5:  [4] Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God.  [5] But He was wounded for our transgressions,  He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needed to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.

Have you ever laid out of school (played ‘hooky’) of school because you were ‘too sick to go’?  Yep, I have have too.

Have you ever faked being sick?  You know, put the thermometer under the lamp next to the bed when mom walks out of the room; then she comes back in and your temperature is 105!!  I tried that once and when mom read the thermometer…she knew:  “You’re not sick, you’re dead!”  She knew I’d been faking it.

Well, if you’ve been sick before, stayed home from school or work because of it, you didn’t know about this GRAVY.  Because if you knew that God HEALS ALL (not “some”) of your diseases, you would pray for yourself and go!  Now that’s stepping out in FAITH!

God is the God who HEALS ALL your diseases–don’t forget it!


“What PIT?”  “When did I fall and how deep is it?”

The “PIT”, referred to in verse 4, is symbolic of destruction or corruption; anything that’s going to bring you down.

So when you are SAVED, you don’t have to worry about the “PIT.”  You’re REDEEMED from it, meaning that if you find yourself in a pit, you’ll quickly be ble to get right out.

“Why then, do I feel stuck sometimes?”

Well, maybe you don’t know about this BENEFIT, or you forgot about it.  Because if you knew that God REDEEMS you from THE PIT…you’d find the way out of it.


Have you ever been so tired that all you want to do is just collapse somewhere, anywhere and catch 40 winks?  Boy, I sure have!


You’ve been up since 6 AM, getting kids out of bed in preparation for school, off to work yourself.  Then, after coming home, a meal to get on the table for everyone, a 7 PM meeting at church, choir practices, youth group gatherings, etc., etc..  I’m worn out just thinking about those times.

You need some strength!  God will hook you up!

Isaiah 40:31 (AMP):

[31] Those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.

Not only is this talking about physical strength, but strength in other areas too.

You may feel that you’re at a point in life where you just don’t feel like trying. Everything you’ve tried hasn’t worked out so far, so you think, “What’s the use?”

Well, you need some strength to press on until you overcome obstacles holding you back.  And God will help you run the race of life without giving out, giving in or giving up!

He’s given you the VICTORY and the STRENGTH that makes victory come to pass.

Psalm 103:6 (MSG):  “God makes everything come out right; he puts victims back on their feet.”

Has anyone ever done you wrong?


Many years ago, while living in Southern California–I’d been married six years, with three children–five and three year old daughters and three month old son.  I had received an exciting offer for a new job, which I accepted, so my wife and I decided this was the time to make an offer on our first home.  I informed my new employer of our decision, letting him know of the financial impact and the security of the job.  While the house was in escrow, we moved what little furniture we had accumulated into our new home.

My new job was part of the  same industry I had been a part of for some time, so all I needed was acclimate myself; get to know the people.  In fact, the president of the company’s secretary I knew from previous employer.

One late afternoon, Sally (not her real name) pulled a chair next to my desk,  asking if she could get my opinion on a dilemma she was facing on the job.  Although surprised,  it was almost time to go home,  so I said sure.

Her story was the president of the company wanted her to attend a business related dinner and late evening with important customers that evening and she didn’t want to go.

“So, don’t go” I told her.

“I can’t tell him ‘no'” she replied.  I was somewhat baffled by her answer and the sad expression on her face.

“So, why can’t you say no Sally?”

“Well,” there was a long pause,  “because I’ve become the company prostitute”, her chin now lay shamefully on her chest.

“Sally, you need to learn to say NO!  There’s no job on earth that’s worth you giving up your reputation and body for.  NONE!”

“I’ve have already lost my reputation and I need this job.  What can I do?” as she began to weep.

“Sally, you need to tell him the way you feel.  Let him know that you love your job and you will always be a loyal employee, but not in the manner they’re using you. If your words fall on deaf ears…as hard as this might be…  QUIT!”

As she slowly got up and went back to her desk, she thanked me for listening. But I had a gut feeling, my words went on deaf ears.  She wasn’t going to say “NO.”

The next morning at 7 AM, the office manager walked up to me and said, “Clear out your desk.”  I thought he was kidding.  But he wasn’t. “Clear it out, NOW!   After two months on the job, I was fired.  And the new house?  We lost the house, and what I thought was a great opportunity…had vanished.

I phoned the CEO of the company the next day, trying to get down to the reasons of why I was fired.  His answer was short, but he promised that his son (the president), would call me and explain.  That never happened.  I was filled with every emotion–mad, sad, and…vengeful!  This wasn’t fair to me or to my young family.

But it didn’t end here.

Two years later, I learned that Sally and our conversation had been heard by the company executives.  They weren’t going to fire Sally, so the obvious was left.  I had to go!  How dare I mess up their exclusive customer benefits.

And a side note to the story, the president, the son of the CEO, the man who hired me and fired me, had been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon against his own father, and was spending the next 14 months in a jail cell

“God puts victims on their feet”

I learned from this experience that I don’t have to try and devise some sort of revengeful plan.  I just know that God’s going to deal with it.

I’m not saying God’s going to strike somebody with lightning because they stabbed you in the back.  But I am saying that God will work on your behalf and make sure you get double for your trouble and everything will work out for your good.

So, Come Get the Gravy!



Photos:  Google Image Search.

Bible Translations:  Amplified Bible (AMP), unless noted in the text.



Has GOD Become A By-Product In Our Conversations?

SCRIPTURE:  JEREMIAH CHAPTERS 11-13 (you will need your bible!)


JEREMIAH’S CIRCUMSTANCES has gone from his own shelter to the town square; from the square to the SANCTUARY; from the sanctuary to the streets to proclaim God’s message to Israel.

Jeremiah lived in a day where there was no LOVE for God, no LOYALTY to God and, therefore, no light from God.  God had become a by-product in their conversation, a burden on their conduct and a curse in their community.  It was a day of SENSUALITY, SENSATIONALISM and SIN.

Listen to God speaking through the prophet’s lips, Jeremiah 7:24:

[24]  They would not listen to and obey Me or bend their ear, but followed the counsels and the stubborn promptings of their own evil hearts and minds, and they turned their backs and went in reverse instead of forward.

It was to this people Jeremiah was sent to be God’s prophetic voice, pleading God to a prodigal people.

Luke 15 tells a story we are all familiar with, of The Prodigal Son–a son who disowned his father and lived life on his own terms.  The word “prodigal” means, extravagantly wasteful because of “loose living” i.e. a debauched, profligate lifestyle  [Strong Concordance, Ref. #811.  (asotos) ].

MY STUDY in Jeremiah 11-13 is not a picture of a single son gone amok, but of a great number of prodigal people.

Chapter 11:1-17 – Broken Commitments

People are prodigal because of their broken commitment…or better stated perhaps, no commitment at all!

When reading through the verses here, pay close attention to the word “COVENANT” ( vss. 2, 3, 6, 8, and 10).  Covenant is a word that means AGREEMENT, or pact or alliance.  This isn’t a new covenant but the same one made with the forefathers of yesterday (Exodus 19:3; 24:3).

God’s COVENANT is both relational and conditional.

God had never failed to keep His end of the bargain, but the people had.

That brings us to our own commitment.  Look at the words in Scripture “Hear”, “Listen to”, “Tell”, “Proclaim”, and “Follow”.  It means to HONOR it!

F.B. Havergal wrote,  “Faithfulness to principle is only proved by faithfulness in detail.”

A professor in class one day stated, “You can either take this class seriously, or, you can take it over.”

Many in Jeremiah’s day, like many people today, never want to take COMMITMENT seriously.

And, a lack of COMMITMENT manifests itself in several ways:

  •  THE PRAYER CLOSET [King James Version] – MATTHEW 6:6 (AMP):  “But hqdefaultwhen you pray, go into your [most] private room, and close the door, pray to your Father,  Who is in secret; and your Father,  Who sees in secret, will reward you in the open.”

A “PRAYER CLOSET”, “private room” might be a daily commute, a bench in the backyard, a walk in the neighborhood, or the kitchen table.  The point is, that the “closet” is free from interruption, and listening ears.

“One concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying.  He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion.  He laughs at our toil, mocks our wisdom, but trembles when we PRAY” ~ Samuel Chadwick.

  • THE BIBLE – Jesus tells us to “Search the scriptures…”  (John 5:39)


What would you say of a doctor that never read a medical book, a lawyer who never read a law-book?  Then what about a Christian who never reads the Bible?

Charles Spurgeon said, “There is dust enough on some if your Bibles to write “damnation” with your fingers.”

THE CHURCH-HOUSE – The Scriptures say “Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the Day approaching”  (Hebrews 10:25).


Something is drastically wrong on Sunday mornings when we have to beg our crowd to come to church to hear about the Good-News.  

I’ve noticed over the years, when they do come in the Fall/Winter months, the local teams jersey’s are faithfully worn and the smart phones apps have live feeds of the big game for a quick check of the score.  It got to be such a Football Celebration rather than a Christ Celebration on Sunday mornings, a local pastor has now placed signs in the lobby reading “SPORTS FREE ZONE.”

THE OFFERING BASKET – “The basic question is not how much of our money we should give to God, but how much of God’s money we should keep ourselves.”  J. Oswald Sanders

JEREMIAH 11:9-14 – Severe Correction.

As to COMMITMENT, when we aren’t reminded constantly and don’t take it seriously, we will be severely corrected.  I think my folks said the same when growing up at home.

VERSE 11:  “I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape.  Although they cry out to me, I will not listen,”  (NIV)

See the word “DISASTER”.  For the LOST that means Hell and for the BELIEVER it means that you lose your influence.

The Great Commission doesn’t say “teach” but “teach them to observe”  (Matthew 28:20).

JEREMIAH 11:18-23 – A Bloodthirsty Crowd on the Scene.

Tell people about misplaced trust, misguided theology and misleading teachers, people get hot under the collar  (See Proverbs 9:7).

Often, they resent criticism, will leave the assembly, or…react in revenge!

I noted 3 things in this passage of Scripture:

Their Place (11:21, 23; 12:6):  Family & friends of Jeremiah.

PREACHING, TEACHING the TRUTH doesn’t always make you popular with your audience.

Their Plot (11:18-19):  Jeremiah was a bit naive.

He quickly found out how cold, ruthless and inhuman some people can be.

Their Punishment (11:22-23):  It is obvious that Jeremiah is human.

He didn’t deny his anger or desire for justice, neither did he take matters in his own hands.  Jeremiah cast himself on God’s MERCY,

We need to understand the contrast between Jeremiah and Jesus.  How do we handle a PLOT?  We do what Jeremiah did and carry it to God.

JEREMIAH 13:1-7 – Defiant Contempt.

In studying this chapter note:

The Parable (13:1-7):  It’s self-explainable after reading it several times.  The BELT became ruined, rotted and contaminated.  It was fully useless.

It is a picture of the condition of God’s people.  How did they get that way?

Their Pride (13:8-11):  They had lifted up themselves and left out the Savior.

PRIDE is what got Satan expelled from Heaven and the people exiled from the land.

PRIDE lead to their idolatry, immorality and irreverence.

PRIDE has been called the vice of fools and the ruin of nations.  Hello, America!

Their Pain (13:14, 21-22, 26-27) – [READ]

BLINDED & CONFUSED (Chapter 12):

The Anguish (12_1-4):  JEREMIAH was coming close to concluding that God’s not fair. He seems to think that maybe God has been hoodwinked by these people.  They talked of God alright, but were never influenced in their decisions.

Jeremiah 12:2 b. :  “You are near in their mouths but far from their hearts.”

The Answer (12:5):  I thought it was interesting that God didn’t console or answer Jeremiah.  His answer was “You think it’s bad now, what will you do when it really gets serious? ”  Cheer up Jeremiah,  “the worst is yet to come!”

That’s what you have tom put up with when it come to “prodigal people”.


Calling the prodigal.

Come without delay.

Hear, O hear Him calling,

Calling now today.



Photos:  Google Image Search.

Bible Translations:  Amplified Bible (AMP), except where noted.

Bible Dictionary:  VINE’S Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words – W.E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, William White Jr.

Commentary:  Halley’s Bible Handbook New Revised Edition.









The SELF-Designated ‘Tripadvisor’

The SELF-Designated ‘Tripadvisor’

SCRIPTURE PASSAGE:  Jeremiah 10:23-24


This next week, my wife and I our taking a trip to Lake Chelan, Washington to celebrate our 52nd wedding anniversary.  

We have never visited Lake Chelan, so this year, we decided to take the 4+ hour trip as an exciting romantic adventure.  And as always, when planning vacation trips, I appointed myself as the designated ‘trip advisor.’  

You know, the person who plans the car stops for photos, picnics, coffee breaks, hotels, lunches and dinner venues, etc.  Of course, I always inform my wife of my [our] plans, and mostly she agrees.

In my studying this week of the passage of Scripture, I came upon this joke a couple relating their vacation experiences to a friend:

“It sounds as if you had a great trip in Texas,”  he observed.  “But didn’t you tell me you were planning a trip to Colorado?”

“Well,: the husband said, “we changed our plans because, uh…”  His wife cut in, Oh, tell the truth, Fred!”

Fred was completely silent.  After a long pause, the wife continued,  “You know, it’s just ridiculous!  Fred simply will not ask for directions!”

I think my wife can show empathy with Fred’s wife.


Proverbs 14:12 puts it another way:  “There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, BUT at the end of it is the way of death.”

This is so critically important to drink in, in our journey through life.  And at the age of 74, I  can tell you that it is a definite journey!

Mathew 7:13-14 also tells us of the broad way and a narrow way to take on the journey:

[13] “Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it.”

[14] “But the gate is narrow and the way is straightened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.” 

The BROAD WAY is in yourself–depending on your own efforts to direct your life. The way is considered “broad” because of man’s EGO makes room for it and many walk on this same road.

BUT the Bible tells us that man’s way leads to destruction because we have a disease called SIN.  Notice the middle letter in the word SIN is “I”.

SIN is a mighty opponent because it deceives and distorts our view of direction on the roadway of life.  It makes us think we know where we;re going when we are really LOST!

The Bible gives some great examples of men–Being the Self-designatedTripAdvisors.” while trying to find the way on their own:

Samson found he couldn’t out muscle SIN to find his way.  Solomon found he couldn’t outwit SIN to find his way.  Jonah found he couldn’t out run SIN to find his way.  David found he couldn’t out maneuver SIN to find his way and Saul of Tarsus found he couldn’t out pious SIN to find his way.

But here’s some GOOD NEWS for the Directionally Impaired, who are willing to acknowledge their need for direction concerning the way of life.

The psalmist says:  “He leads the humble in what is right,  and the humble He teaches His way”  (Psalm 25:19).

The prophet Jeremiah knew his condition of directional impairment as he prayerfully understood and acknowledged his need before the LORD and confessed.

JEREMIAH says in VERSE 23:  “O LORD, I know” – the Hebrew word is “yada”.

The same word is used in Jeremiah 1:5:  “Before I formed you in the womb I KNEW [and] approved of you…”  It’s deeper than intellectual knowledge–it’s a personal commitment and intimate experience, a UNION–it’s the same word used in Genesis 4:1: “And Adam knew Eve as his wife…”

JESUS speaks of a similar union in John 15:16 (NIV):  “You did not choose me, but I chose you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last…”

The focus on FRUIT BEARING seems to me an important emphasis in Scripture.

Notice Jeremiah’s FEAR in VERSE 24:  “O LORD, correct, instruct, and chastise me, but with judgment and in just measure–not in Your anger, lest You diminish me and bring me to nothing.”

The FEAR displayed could be rendered fruitless as I meditated on the verse and thought about the impact on my own journey’s end.  Wouldn’t it be horrifying to come to the end of your life and finding you been on the wrong road–that your life had taken a wrong turn and you’re heading in the wrong direction, from God’s perspective?  Would you have the same look on your face demonstrated in this movie clip:  PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES?

Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Jeremiah understood without the LORD in and directing his life, that he could do nothing–that he would be brought to the end of his days with nothing to show from his union–that he would face a DEAD END SIGN and be fruitless.

dead-end-signJESUS also reminded His followers in John 15:5 (AMP):  “I AM the vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.”

GIVE PRAISE TO GOD, that Jeremiah believed this truth and acted in FAITH upon it!

He recognized man’s need and acknowledged and understood a life of OBEDIENCE; to a way which was outside of himself or his life would be brought to nothing!

On a deeper level, SUBMISSIVENESS to God’s will mean I acknowledge I’m Directionally Impaired (a sinner) and I need the Lord’s CORRECTION with on-going direction in my life to be FRUIT PRODUCING.

The word “Correct” in VERSE 24 MEANS, “to set right, penalize, discipline, admonish, instruct (The New Roget’s Thesaurus In Dictionary Form) — “but with judgment” or “with justice.” — which implies that which is proper, fitting, measure to mold and shape your life to be a fruit producer.

To me it’s significant JEREMIAH, perhaps the most religious person of his day, asks the LORD first…for CORRECTION.

Upon realizing and understanding his condition, Jeremiah’s first request is  “O Lord, correct, instruct, and chastise me,” NOT correct the other person, NOT change the circumstance I’m in right now, BUT “Correct me, O Lord.”  

This is up close and personal.  Are you up close and personal with the Lord today? Or, are you just playing games; just going through the motions or living on past accomplishments?  I asked myself the same questions several years ago, so I know your answers.

Are you then willing to SUBMIT to the Lord’s chastening, discipline, instructions, and admonishment as He determines it to be proper and fitting, or…are you overriding His direction?

Global Positioning System (GPS) – For a few hundred dollars, you can purchase a device that allows the directionally impaired to cover up or hide their need to be shown the way.  Even when we have a GPS, we often override the directions from that annoying voice because… we think there’s a better way, ignoring the “recalculating” cry of the device getting you back on the right path.

So do you have God’s GPS device?  It’s called “Christ in you, the hope of Glory!”

If you do have Christ in you, are you submissive to His directions–His will?  Are you experiencing CONFIDENCE in the present and do you have PEACE for the future?

If not, the Lord says to you,  “Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do extinguish and recognize; have knowledge of and understand)”  [Jeremiah 33:3 AMP].

The wisest thing is to take ALL MATTERS to the LORD and ask Him to direct you.  

The Scripture says it best:




PHOTOS:  Google Image Search.

Bible Translations:  New International Version (NIV); Amplified Bible (AMP), except where noted in the text.

Your Association to the Greatest Nation

Your Association to the Greatest Nation


I was glued to my TV this Summer watching the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro. I couldn’t help form  rooting for and cheering on the athletes from the United States while listening to the chants “USA, USA, USA!”

121 medals were handed out to America’s athletes, more than any other country in the world!  The results seemed obvious: “WE ARE THE GREATEST”!

Those four words have been used and recognized by another athlete, whose slogan was “I AM THE the-greatest-coverGREATEST.”

In a recent Newsweek article, it was said that “Muhammad Ali was not only a boxing champion, he was a championship talker.”

The following are some quotations from Ali who died this year, at the age of 74:

  • “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
  • “It’s just a job.  Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand.  I beat up people.”
  • “At home I am a nice guy but I don’t want the world to know.  Humble people, I’ve found, don’t get very far.”   [Footnote [i] ]

So are we really the “Greatest” nation, is your country the “Greatest,” or are we like Ali, just talkers?


“The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.”  (NIV Bible)

What NATION then, do you consider to be the greatest IN YOUR LIFE today?

You may say USA or Israel or even China.  Whatever your answer, I would say that you’re mistaken.  Why?  Because there are “nations” that have a much greater effect on our everyday lives.

ProcrastiNATION – defines the Noun as “the act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention.”procrastination-doitnow-570x350

This is dangerous ground!  How many victories have been lost…due to dangerous DELAYS.

I think it’s ironic that we wouldn’t think twice missing our own graduation, our wedding, a banquet in our honor, a meeting where we are to get a promotion. BUT so many keep questioning the idea of getting SAVED!

I’m not talking about a temporary thrill, one fleeting moment, or a highlight in life.  I’m talking about a CHANGE in our ETERNAL destination.

We are creatures of habit–whether for good or bad.  Too many times, our HABIT is to keep putting off things until it’s too late–leading to lost opportunities.


  • Hebrews 12:15-17 – Esau sought repentance too late!
  • Matthew 25:10 – The Foolish Virgins waited too late to acquire the oil!
  • Matthew 26:40-46 – The Disciples missed the prayer meeting in Gethsemane because of sleepiness and unconcern!
  • John 20:19, 24 – Thomas doubted all the more because he didn’t make it to the meeting to personally see the resurrected Christ.

Then there’s the story of, good ol’e Felix.  Felix is an example of one who procrastinated too long.  

Acts 24:25 (Amplified Bible):

But as he [Paul] continued to argue about uprightness, purity of life (the control of passions), and the judgment to come,  FELIX became alarmed and terrified and said, “Go away for the present; when I have a convenient opportunity, I will send for you.”

As far as we know, Felix never found that place of REPENTANCE, and most likely, resides in the pits of hell to this day because of one lost opportunity.

The next nation to look at, is ImagiNATION –


I love the way the New American Standard and the King James Version of the Bible reads in 2 Corinthians 10:5: 

[5] “Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

The English Standard Version (ESV) says, “lofty opinions” and the New English Translation (NET). “arrogant obstacles.”  In either caseI think you get the idea.

Our IMAGINATIONS can run wild at times, so much so, that some people lose touch with reality.

Mark 7:21 puts it this way:  For from within, [that is] out of the hearts of men, come base and wicked thoughts, sexual immorality, stealing, murder, adultery.”

The devil wants you to live in a make believe world where he can control you, causing you to believe things that are not always true.

Schools of higher learning in many nations are the centers for spiritual warfare: theory of evolution, secular humanism, existentialism, false religions that capture young men and women’s thoughts and imagiNATIONS.

And here’s another “nation” to think about: DetermiNATION –

Here is a “nation” we should all want to visit, the stand up and root for kind!

Life can throw us a lot of curve balls and a lot of hardballs.  I played a lot of organized baseball growing up, so I had to use the metaphor.

Sometimes, we just want to throw in the towel and give up when things get tough. We feel that it is too hard and we are too weak to carry on.

So many times over the years I have faced those “tough” times.  Most of my working years were spent in the construction industry.  When things were “booming”, employment was a surety.  When Union Strikes came into play…unemployment usually followed.

I remember the first year of marriage and my wife and I saying to each other,  “You know, I don’t understand why people say the first year of marriage can be so tough financially. We’ve got plenty!” Although at the time, I was working nights at a large grocery chain and didn’t have a clue that a “hardball” was about to hit me between the eyes.  Six months after the wedding ceremony and with a baby on the way, we found ourselves UNEMPLOYED.

In the 60’s, being unemployed meant standing in line to get your unemployment check every week.  I felt ashamed, embarrassed, disheartened, that I was in this situation.  The head of the household responsibility was almost more than I could handle.


So many times it just requires hanging in there a little longer or trying just a little harder.  When I found myself without a job…finding employment became my new job!

Matthew 10:22 (MSG):

“…But don’t quit. Don’t cave in. It is all well worth it in the end.  It’s not success you are after in such times but survival.  Be survivors!”

Although the verse in Matthew pertains to the persecution for being a Christian, the principle still applies when life situations get tough.

James 1:12 (AMP):

[12] Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor’s] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.”

Many a WAR has been won due to the ties with this country.  We must be DETERMINED to make HEAVEN our home.



MONK (TV Series) was an American comedy-drama detective mystery television series that ran from 2002-2009.  It’s lead character, was an eponymous character by the name of Adrian Monk.  [ footnote [ii] ]

The theme song, “It’s A Jungle Out There,” I and my wife would sing along with every week.  It was written by Randy Newman and the lyrics started out with…

“It’s a jungle out there

Disorder and confusion everywhere

No one seems to care


There are real enemies out there in the “jungle” that want to rob you of your SALVATION, but 90 percent of the battle is in that DETERMINATION!!

In my viewpoint, procrastiNATION, imagiNATION, and determiNATION, these three are the Greatest ‘NATIONS” that exist in our lives today.  Being able to deal with each of them will determine our Spiritual Victory.


Footnotes & Credits –

Footnote [i]:  “I am the greatest”: Muhammad Ali in his own words by Reuters on 6/4/16 at 10:31 AM.

Footnote [ii] :  MONK- Wikipedia.

PHOTOS:  Google Image Search.

Bible Translations:  Amplified Bible (AMP), except where noted in the text.


You Better Turn Your Radio On!


I’m old enough to remember the “Good old days,” when the radio at our house was always on.  From listening to radio serials every night at specific times: Tom Mix, Captain Midnight, Gabriel Heatter and the News (my parents’ choice), just to mention a few.  And of course, there was the music.  I grew up listening to my parents love of music: Guy Lombardo on New Year’s Eve, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, the Big Band sounds.

In my teenage years, the radio continued to influence my taste.  Although the styles had changed, my desire to listen had not: Rock & Roll, Folk music, Surfer music, Motown.  Whatever was popular in the music world, I had turned the radio on to listen where ever I was–in the car, at home, or at the beach.

And remembering how the RADIO effected my life growing up, coincidentally, I was watching a documentary on TV recently, regarding air traffic over our country today.  It pointed out in detail, that if there wasn’t an Emergency FREQUENCY (also known as GUARD) available to pilots and air traffic controllers, it would be a disaster waiting to happen.  By turning on the TRANSPONDER to 7700–locator frequency, the device automatically receives the radio signal.

GUARD is a frequency used on the aircraft band that is reserved for EMERGENCY communications for aircraft in distress or an emergency, and in addition used by air traffic control to warn aircraft flying into restricted or prohibited airspace.  The frequency is 121.5 MHz for civilian aircraft  [*See Footnote [i] ].

As Christians, we have access to the emergency frequency that responds to our concerns in PRAYER.  Being not tuned in may lead you into an unplanned nosedive in your circumstance–a crash landing, so to speak.

Turn Your RADIO on!

The prophet Jeremiah shows us that God gives incredible directions when we call upon Him.


JEREMIAH 33:1-3 (Amplified Bible):

[1]  MOREOVER, THE word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the second time, while he was still shut up in the court of the guard, saying,

[2]  Thus says the Lord Who made [the earth], the Lord Who formed it to establish it–the Lord is His name:

[3]  Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).

Jeremiah wrote these words as a prisoner (v. 1).  So much wickedness in the land existed among the people and God said, destruction was on the horizon!

Neither Jeremiah nor the kingdom of Judah could stop the Babylonian army.  Yet God says to call Him, and He will answer and do incredible things.  It was His PROMISE in the middle of their trouble and despair.

The Bible is full with PROMISES of prayer:

Psalm 50:15 – “And call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall honor and glorify Me.”

Matthew 21:22 – “And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive.”

John 16:24 – “Up to this time you have not asked a [single] thing in My Name [as representing all that I AM]; but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy (gladness, delight) may be full and complete.”

So why have so many given up on asking in PRAYING?

“Oh, I haven’t really given up on prayer. I just don’t pray unless someone ask me to pray for them or somebody else.  You know, like at church.”

Just maybe, we need a better understanding on how we can use the emergency FREQUENCY on our radios before we give up on PRAYER.

If you don’t know how to dial in the FREQUENCY, nothing will happen!


If you don’t push the POWER button on your car radio, nothing will happen!

Jeremiah 33:3 provides us with a KNEEBOARD (pilot’s accessory) synopsis of PRAYER:

  • CALL to Him.
  • He will answer
  • He will tell us of things we do not know.

“CALL” to the Lord sounds easy enough.

The Hebrew root word for “CALL” means to call out after you encounter someone.  Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words says,  “Calling” in this sense constitutes a PRAYER prompted by recognize need and directed to One who is able and willing to respond (Psalm 145:18; Isaiah 55:6).”

When using 121.5 MHz on the radio,the pilot is expected to state the nature of the problem.  The pilot will also be asked if he wants to declare an emergency.  The declaration ranges from stating you have a “problem”, not to serious, to “mayday-mayday-mayday”, life threatening.

The Lord wants us to CALL, regardless of how serious the need.

  • When lacking something–CALL on Jehovah-Jireh; the LORD provides (Gen. 22:13).
  • When hurting–CALL on Jehovah-Rapha; the LORD our healer (Exodus 15:26).
  • When in the valley of the shadow of death–CALL on Jehovah-Rohi; the LORD is our Shepherd (Psalm 23:1).
  • When troubled or distressed–CALL on Jehovah-Shalom; the LORD is peace (Judges 6:24).

Did you know, Jesus’ disciples never asked Him to teach them to SING, to PREACH, or how to WITNESS.  Rather, they asked Him:  “Lord, teach us to PRAY” (Luke 11:1).

When we CALL, we must be sincere in our requests–not as hypocrites.  We can’t pray “Hallowed be Thy Name”–then cuss at our neighbor.

Nor can we say piously, “Thy will be done”–then continue to live as we please.

“Give us daily bread”–cannot be followed by hoarding & selfish gain.

“Forgive our sins”–will not work if we then carry grudges to bed at night.

The hypocrite prays “Lead us not into temptation”–but not until the party is over.

Don’t CALL on God’s EMERGENCY frequency on your radio UNLESS…you EXPECT an answer!

Let me give you an ILLUSTRATION:

A tavern owner was being built in a previously dry town (No alcohol here!).  Christians began an all-night prayer vigil, asking God to intervene.  A bolt of lightning suddenly struck the tavern, burning it to the ground.  The owner of the Bar sued the local church for destruction of his establishment.  So, the church lawyered up and claimed they were not responsible.  The judge said, “It appears the tavern owner believes in prayer & Christians do not.”

Praying with EXPECTATION–God does indeed “ANSWER” Prayer.

Could it possibly be, that when we think that God doesn’t answer OUR prayers, we aren’t praying with EXPECTATION?

How often I’ve heard when people pray, “If it be your will. God.”  Do we sometimes need an escape clause when we our praying, especially in group prayer, perhaps covering our EXPECTATION that God probably won’t answer?  At least, with an answer that meets our expectation.


Yet, what we ask for is often not as reasonable as we think.

A young school boy was saying his nightly prayer:  “Please make Lynden (where I reside) the capital of Washington State.”

His mother asked,  “Why did you ask for that?”

The boy replied,  “Because that’s what I put down on my test today at school.”

When we ask & then don’t receive, perhaps we’ve asked with the wrong motives.  Proverbs 15:29 (AMP):

“The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the [consistently] righteous (the upright, in right standing with Him).”

There is faulty logic to conclude when the Lord hears our prayers that it means He will answer to OUR EXPECTATIONS!  We don’t make request, petitions, because we are righteous. but because of the Lord’s MERCY!!


We can be assured that GOD answers EVERY PRAYER in a merciful manner.

ANSWERS can come in 4-Ways:  No, Slow, Grow, Go.

Say your daughter asks you if she can have some CANDY.  You might say “No” because there’s a reason for not giving her the candy.

I have two daughters that contracted Type I, Diabetes when they were quite young. Many times when other children were receiving candy, they would ask my wife and I for just one piece, not knowing the consequences of their requests.

A “Slow” may be the response if you say, just “one piece.”  A “Grow” answer is allowing a piece of candy AFTER she cleans her bedroom.  The “Go” reply means help yourself, you’re READY to eat the candy!

Greedy girl with pile of sweets laying on the table and with troubled expression on the face
Greedy girl with pile of sweets laying on the table and with troubled expression on the face

In the Gospel of John, Jesus’ tells us,  “Ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your JOY (gladness, delight) may be full and complete”  

JOY then, can come when we see God’s hand in the ANSWER; when we realize how breathtaking His ANSWER really is!

And not only will God “ANSWER” us, He will answer us of the things we do not know or can imagine (Jeremiah 33:3).

Philip, a disciple, asked Jesus if 8 months wages (about $40) would feed 5000 folks (Mark 6:37).  The only answer the disciples saw was 3 barley loaves and 2 small fish.  Then Jesus showed them a great and unsearchable thing:  5,000 were fed!

In 1973, a young couple accepted Christ as their Savior a year earlier when they were confronted with a dilemma presented by their pastor’s message one Sunday morning:  “To Tithe or Not to Tithe”.  With three children, a car payment, a mortgage, and barely getting by financially, there was no way they could take 10% out of the budget and give it to the Lord.  “PRAY about it,” they were told.  “How do we do that?” the husband asked.  “Just simply ask the LORD for help in making the decision, then trust Him in His answer.”  Well, the decision was made, or so they thought.  “We just can do this right now.”  But several months later, a “spiritual light bulb” came on.  “We can do this!”  And with their faithfulness and trust, they’ve been BLESSED ever since with “things they did not know or could imagine.”  

That young family was my family, over 43 years ago, and God is still answering our PRAYERS!

The Lord can answer in bigger and better ways than you can pray.  But, you need to turn your radio to the EMERGENCY frequency in times of spiritual failure.

If you need direction and purpose in your life–He will answer you.  After all, Jesus says “I came that they [you] may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance to the full, till it overflows”  (John 10:10 AMP).

If you’re feeling more burdens than you can bear–let Him tell you the answer.  Our awesome, omnipotent, loving God will ANSWER Prayers, if you CALL!


Credit & Sources –

Footnote [1]:  Wikipedia – Aircraft emergency frequency.

Commentary:  Sermon Notes on Jeremiah 33:3 by Tom Doubt. Baptist/Minister.

Photo Credits:  Photo Pin/Shutterstock; Google Image Search.

Bible Translations:  Amplified Bible (AMP); King James Bible (KJV).

“Poor Johnny One-Note”

Singing Church

SINGING has been a part of my make-up since I was a young boy in elementary school choirs, back in the early *#’s (never mind).  I’ve been involved in music, of some sort, ever since: Church Praise Teams, Adult Choirs, Musical Ensembles, a men’s gospel trio, etc.  However today, I find myself SINGING–but in a different way.  Not as an “up-fronter”,  but accepting my role by raising my voice as a congregational singer on Sunday mornings.

But has congregational singing become just a “filler” until the pastor begins his message?  Or is there more to it than that?

“But I can’t sing!”

Most reading this blog probably never heard the song, “Poor Johnny One Note”.  Originally, it was a 1937 show tune from 1937 Rodgers and Hart musical, Babe in Arms.  You can listen to the tune by several different artists on YouTube–everyone from Carol Burnett to Barbra Streisand.  The most notable recordings were by Ella Fitzgerald and Judy Garland.  The lyrics went something like this:

Johnny could only sing one note

And the note he sang was this:


Poor Johnny one-note sang out with “gusto”

And just overloaded the place.

A few years ago, I was attending a small church in a nearby community.  Every Sunday morning, during Praise and Worship singing, a young man (I’ll just call him “Johnny”), sang out with “gusto”, and it was but one note–and believe me, it wasn’t “Ah!”  

Now maybe you are reading this and thinking, I can identify with Johnny.  I sing terribly, and you’re not going to get me to sing.”

So, why do we sing at all, especially in a group atmosphere at church?  “What if I can’t carry a tune in a wet paper sack and sing like “Poor Johnny one-note”?”

Did you know that SINGING isn’t an option in the Bible?  It’S A COMMAND!


God’s people are more than just invited to SING–we are commanded to sing. And when we SING, we’re doing what God asks.

One of my hobbies, is GARDENING.  Every year, as I prepare the garden beds for planting, the deeper I dig in the soil, the deeper the plant’s roots will grow and flourish.

When we SING, the same efforts apply as you dig deep roots in the Word.

Colossians 3:16 (MSG):

Let the WORD of Christ–the Message–have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God.

The Apostle Paul lays out this encouragement; to let God’s WORD dwell in us richly, and then he tells us to live out that command.

The FIRST of course, is TEACHING. But the SECOND, is SINGING.

SINGING is one of the ways that the Word of God, richly living on the inside of us, can be released.

God’s command for us to sing comes with a PROMISE–we are promised that the Word of Christ will dwell inside of us–which is what we should crave as believers.

C. J. Mahoney calls church singing “Take Home Theology,” because the best songs we sing together end up serving you with a 3 minute, easily memorable, deeply biblical summary of important truths found in Scripture.  At least they should be!

Here’s what I’m getting at in example:


There, in a memorable form, you’ve got a thorough theology of the Cross of Jesus with clear and practical applications that you can use for your life this week.

And when we SING, we build up others around us.

Ephesians 5:19 (NIV):

[19]  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs…

In obedience to SING out, doing what the Bible says about singing together as a church family, we are hearing confessions of FAITH all around us.  We are hearing hundreds joining in with song, saying “In Christ alone, my HOPE is found…”

Also, try to remember as you SING, you are helping unbelievers.  In Psalm 105:1-2, the Lord is calling the Israelites to be a LIGHT to the nations, and to do this He tells them (us too!)…

[1]  O GIVE thanks unto the Lord, call upon His name, make known His doings among the peoples!

[2]  SING to Him, sing praises to Him; meditate on and talk of all His marvelous deeds and devoutly praise them.

I once attended a church where the senior pastor would stand up on the platform with the Praise Team, and begin singing the words to a Psalm.  The singers and instruments would follow his lead and God’s Spirit was felt among all the attendees.  Maybe today’s Worship and Song leaders need to try this on Sunday mornings in lieu of the favorite spiritual songs of Praise Radio–“Sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs…”

Think of the impact on someone who doesn’t know Jesus, hearing hundreds giving testimony with confessions of FAITH while singing together.

When you SING, you are SPIRITUALLY STRENGTHENED for trials.

I love singing a favorite recording on the car’s CD player on the way to church every week.  For one, it clears the ‘cobwebs’ from my throat, strengthening my voice, and at the same time, it gives me an attitude of JOY!

Often times, we think only of singing when we’re happy and when times are good. But SINGING bringing strength for trials we’re going through, comes really out in the bible in the Book of Acts.

Paul and Silas are unjustly beaten and imprisoned for the sake of the Gospel.  I don’t know about you, but if I was in their sandals, I would be moaning, complaining about how unfair and mistreated I was.  Look at what they did.

Acts 16:25 (AMP):

[25]  But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and SINGING hymns of praise to God, and the [other] prisoners were listening to them.

SINGING strengthens you and helps you persevere when facing trials.

When you SING, a God-designed path of JOY opens up before you.

Here are but a few examples I found in the Psalms concerning our SINGING.

  • PSALMS 5:11:  “Let all those who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice; let them ever sing and shout for joy, because You make a covering over them and defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You and be in high spirits.”
  • PSALM 9:2:  “I will rejoice in You and be in high spirits; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High!”
  • PSALM 51:14:  Deliver me from bloodguiltiness and death, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.”
  • PSALM 59:16:  “But I will sing of Your mighty strength and power; yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy and loving kindness in the morning; for You have been to me a defense and a refuge in the day of my distress.”

I love Donnie McClurkin’s song and lyrics to I Will Sing.  It’s been in our car CD player of late as we drive to church on Sunday mornings.  It really fits with Psalm 59:16.

Sing His praises in the morning

Brand new mercy every dawning

Melody, harmony


If you are still not convinced about your singing on Sunday mornings, or anywhere else, for that matter, here’s a Scriptural clincher:

“If anyone among you afflicted (ill-treated, suffering evil)? He should pray.  Is anyone glad at heart?  He should SING PRAISE to God”  (James 5:13 AMP).

While studying Scripture on this point, I noticed that sometimes JOY (“glad at heart”) gives birth to SINGING.

But persistently in the Bible, JOY & SINGING are bound together.  You can’t study one of those two biblical themes without running into the other.

When you SING, you glorify God.

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, defines “GLORIFY”,  “to magnify, extol, praise; ascribing honor to Him, acknowledging Him as to Him being, attributes and acts.”

Each believer’s chief goal and chief purpose in life, should be to GLORIFY GOD! No pretending in this folks.  No excuses!  In our obedience, deep roots in the Word, building up others, making war against Satan and sin, persevering, ALL OF THESE THINGS in bring GLORY to His name.

In Revelation 7:9-10, the Apostle John describes a glimpse of eternity with a great multitude of people from every tribe, peoples, and languages SINGING before the Lamb.

“Our salvation is due to our God Who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

Eternity waits.


Will you on that day be one of the great multitude singing the song of the Lamb and singing His praises?

SINGING matters.  Even for “Johnny one-notes”.  And it matters that we do it together.



Credit to: – Seven Biblical Reasons Why Singing Matters.

Bible translations:  Amplified Bible (AMP), except where noted.

 Photo Credits:  Google Image search.