Author Archives: dmbaldwin

About dmbaldwin

I'm the husband of Louise, the father of Erin, Eric, Mandy & Sarah and the grandfather of David, Aubrey Simeon & Demaris. I am the President & Owner of Furnace Hills Coffee Company -- www.furnacehillscoffee.com I am an avid NY Giants and Newcastle United fan. I enjoy making "frequent" trips to Ukraine. I work with and teach in seminaries and Bible colleges in Ukraine. I enjoy blogging about coffee & leadership.

1 Chronicles 14-16; 1 Corinthians 16; Psalm 132, 106

8 Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
9 Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
10 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!
11 Seek the LORD and his strength;
seek his presence continually!
12 Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
his miracles and the judgments he uttered,
13 O offspring of Israel his servant,
children of Jacob, his chosen ones!

14 He is the LORD our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
15 Remember his covenant forever,
the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,
16 the covenant that he made with Abraham,
his sworn promise to Isaac,
17 which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute,
to Israel as an everlasting covenant,
18 saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan,
as your portion for an inheritance.”

19 When you were few in number,
of little account, and sojourners in it,
20 wandering from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another people,
21 he allowed no one to oppress them;
he rebuked kings on their account,
22 saying, “Touch not my anointed ones,
do my prophets no harm!”

23 Sing to the LORD, all the earth!
Tell of his salvation from day to day.
24 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
25 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised,
and he is to be feared above all gods.
26 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the LORD made the heavens.
27 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and joy are in his place.

28 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!
29 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come before him!
Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness;b
30 tremble before him, all the earth;
yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice,
and let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!”
32 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it!
33 Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy
before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.
34 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!

35 Say also:

“Save us, O God of our salvation,
and gather and deliver us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
and glory in your praise.
36 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting!”

Then all the people said, “Amen!” and praised the LORD (1 Chronicles 16:8-36 [ESV]).

These three chapters, 1 Chronicles 14-16, are a beautiful testimony to David’s heart and love for God. Although he had messed up the first time with the Ark of the Covenant he didn’t give up. He stayed at it to honor the God he loved so dearly. The verses above show David’s zeal and love for God. After the Ark was settled in Jerusalem David begins this awesome praise song to God!

This was not an easy thing to do. In fact in Psalm 132:1 we read, “Lord, remember David and all the hardships he endured…” The hardships David endured refer to his longing to bring the ark to Jerusalem and his anguish over the incident with Uzzah (2 Samuel 6:6-8). And yet his love for God drove him to persevere.

He was moved to the point of dancing before the Lord. In our church we have a family who has a daughter who loves to dance in the isles. She’s young — six perhaps — and has a beautiful way about her. The parents will go and pick her up at the end of the service so she can dance during the final worship song. She’s a blessing to us all. Oh that we would have that heart for the Lord that we would dance before him.

There’s lots we could have found in today’s passages to discuss, but these chapters caught my attention. Where is your heart with the Lord today? I’m challenged anew with David’s example. I want to love the Lord and live for Him like David did. Let’s rekindle that love for Him today and at some point in the next week spend a few moments in worship and dance before Him.

Have a GREAT day!

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1 Samuel 9-11 & Galatians 6

Galatians 6:9&10, 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (NIV)

There is much we can gain from reading today’s sections. Saul was a man who is in juxtaposition to what Paul writes to the believers in Galatia. Saul was not the kind of man that did good to all men and he did not reap a harvest  of good in the end. And it may be counter intuitive (like much of biblical wisdom is) to think of doing good to all people. All people! To those of different ethnic backgrounds? Those that are in the country illegally? People who have a different religious point of view? I believe they fall in the “all” category. What about your alcoholic next door neighbor? On a lighter note (and so much perhaps) in other parts of the world a different team’s soccer fan? Yes all these, we are to reap a harvest of righteousness when we stand before God at the judgment seat of Christ.

And one of the ways that the world will know that we are all about love is if you love those in the household of faith first and foremost. Are our places of worship full of love? Are our small groups full of love? Are our homes full of love? Perhaps the ones closest to us are the ones hardest to love.

Whose the hardest for your to love? Make a plan to love one of those individuals today. Let me know how it goes.

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Deuteronomy 27-31; Mark 2

Once again there is so much we could focus on in these chapters of God’s Word. Today I want us to look at a part of Mark 2. It’s a passage we may glance over without really thinking it through. Here it is:

13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him. 15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mar2:13-17 [NIV]

Levi (Matthew) was a tax collector. One of the most dishonest professions of the day. They would extort extra funds from those they were collecting taxes from. Not only does Jesus call Levi to be one of His disciples, but when Levi has a party Jesus attends with even more tax collectors and sinners as Mark puts it. It was over a meal. They were eating together where Jesus meets these people. Many times I think we overlook the power of hospitality and eating together in spreading the gospel. Jesus came eating and drinking we read elsewhere in Scripture. His ministry happened many times over a meal. And at the last supper many things were spoken and remembered.

What role does eating and drinking play in your witnessing plan? Perhaps when you have individuals over for dinner who don’t know the Lord and you say a blessing over the meal it may get them thinking about eternal values. Especially when you thank God for your friendship.

Think about it. Who can you invite for dinner? What powerful things can you say, pray and ask that will draw your guests closer to God?

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Genesis 44-47; Luke 14

Scripture:

14:25-33, Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.28For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’31Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

Observation:

Jesus is gathering a strong following. I believe he knew that many were following him for the wrong reasons. They wanted their stomachs full, they wanted to be healed and they enjoyed his teaching from a purely intellectual point of view. However, many did not understand that part of the way of Christ is one of suffering and hardship. Now Jesus wasn’t stating here that if you didn’t count the cost first you couldn’t follow him. He was stating that a wise person would do that. Salvation is always by faith alone, but it’s wise to count the cost before committing to something. I was listening to a dialogue between Bill Hybels and Dallas Willard and the topic of the lions came up. When a person in the first century was presented the claims of Christ, did they also have to know about the lions? You know, those animals that ate Christians in the Colosseum in Rome! Or did you let them find out about it afterwards? Dallas stated that they already knew about the lions. Christians were counting the cost and dying for their faith. Others contemplating Christianity knew that was a part of the deal. Jesus was telling the crowds it was time to count the cost. Many left him over that little talk.

Application:

It’s too late for many of us. We are already in. We have trusted Christ alone for our salvation. So we didn’t count the cost before joining God’s family. However, I need to count the cost every morning when I awake. I need to remember there are responsibilities that come along with my position in Christ. It’s not always easy and I need to realize that and plan my days accordingly. John Maxwell was quoted over the weekend as saying the closer we walk with God, the more he requires of us and the more friends we tend to lose because of the path he has us on. That very well could be true. Some reading this have lost relationships with family or close friends because of your faith. Others have been passed over for promotions and the resulting better life-style that brings because of your faith. We are counting the cost. There are brothers and sisters that are suffering greatly around the world today for their faith. That makes me feel less than adequate knowing my cost for following Christ is minuscule compared to them.

Prayer:

Father God thank you for saving me. Thank you for giving me eternal life. I pray that every morning I would count the cost of following you and that I would not shy away from paying that price. Help me to be true to you and follow strong after your Son Jesus. I pray for my brothers and sisters around the world today who are suffering beyond comprehension. Please be their portion. I pray these things in Jesus Name Amen.

Dave (dmbaldwin)

From the archives. Originally published on 66 Books in a Year on October 27, 2009.

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Job 40-42; Psalm 150; Revelation 22

And so we end the year with three important passages of Scripture. Whether your year has been hard or easy, challenging or a breeze, we can always spend our days praising God. Psalm 150 gives us that basis:

1 Praise the Lord!Praise God in his sanctuary!Praise him in the sky, which testifies to his strength! 2 Praise him for his mighty acts!Praise him for his surpassing greatness! 3 Praise him with the blast of the horn!Praise him with the lyre and the harp! 4 Praise him with the tambourine and with dancing!Praise him with stringed instruments and the flute! 5 Praise him with loud cymbals!Praise him with clanging cymbals! 6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!Praise the Lord! (NET)

We are given many ways we can praise God and everything that does have breath should praise God. And here’s a great reason why. Because of how the whole story ends, how this time on earth comes to an end and we read that in Revelation 22.

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen. (NIV)

Jesus is coming soon. Are you ready? Are you living each day and each year like you’re ready. Let’s start 2019 with that attitude and lifestyle. Come Lord Jesus. Come.

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Job 24-27; Revelation 17

So it is Christmas Eve. We celebrate the coming of Jesus the Messiah into the world. This event is but a chain of events that end in the total victory of the Messiah — the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world — against the powers of darkness in this universe. So it is fitting that we read Revelation 17 today. The verses that strike me are as follows:

14 They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.” 15 Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages (Revelation 17:14&15 [NIV]).

Today we celebrate a link in the chain that brings total victory for God. An eternal Kingdom that will be established and God’s reign will be established for all eternity.

Part of celebrating this first advent is also preparing for the second advent, when Christ returns and this prophecy begins to be fulfilled. What are you doing this Christmas 2018 to prepare for the coming second advent of Jesus? Think and pray about that because what we read in Revelation 17 will some day become reality.

Merry Christmas!

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Nehemiah 7-9; Psalm 140; Revelation 7

Lately I’ve been quoting Revelation 7:9 a lot to individuals when talking about two things:

  • When will the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19&20) be completed?
  • What does God say about culture?

Here’s the verse:

9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands… (Revelation 7:9 [ESV]).

The first question may be answered by stating it could happen in our lifetime. There are approximately 7,000 unreached people groups in the world. The Apostle John states that he sees people from every tongue, tribe, and nation. We have a long way to go. And if this is going to be a reality in the future — which I believe it will be — then even the return of Christ depends on these peoples being reached. The question for you this morning is, “What are you doing in your life to see these peoples reached with the gospel?” There’s a lot to yet be done before the Lord returns. In a sense we are on a war footing. How are you helping to win this war?

The second question is a really cool one. I believe God thinks very highly of ethnicity and culture. Did you catch the wording here? The Apostle John saw people from every tongue, tribe, and nation. He saw! I believe we take our ethnicity into heaven with us. If you are white now — you’ll be white in heaven. If you are black now — you will be black in heaven… For what purpose I don’t know, but let’s celebrate our cultural diversity as Christians around the world and look forward to a great time together in heaven.

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