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.

Leviticus 8-11; Psalm 110; Hebrews 4

So this is a morning where I need to be reminded of God’s great gift in Jesus. You see I forgot about my needing to post a devotional. How does that happen? I don’t really know. Perhaps too busy. So I take great refuge in Hebrews 4 this morning.

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16 [ESV]).

Where have you struggled this past week where you could have or did rely on the priestly office of Jesus helping you. What weakness (forgetfulness?) have you struggled with where Jesus can help you? What besetting sin do you struggle with that Jesus can give you hope in? 

With this knowledge working in me, hopefully I won’t forget next Monday. Thank you for reading our daily thoughts on God’s Word.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Exodus 32-34; Philippians 3

The Apostle Paul puts forth the most compelling truths in all of Scripture. Salvation has nothing to do with anything but faith in Jesus Christ. He writes:

‘But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— ‘

Philippians 3:7-9 (ESV)

Without Jesus and Him alone we are lost for all eternity. Graham Kendrick’s song of some years ago is based on this passage of Scripture:

All I once held dear, built my life upon
All this world reveres, and wars to own
All I once thought gain I have counted loss
Spent and worthless now, compared to this

Knowing you, Jesus
Knowing you, there is no greater thing
You’re my all, you’re the best
You’re my joy, my righteousness
And I love you, Lord

Now my heart’s desire is to know you more
To be found in you and known as yours
To possess by faith what I could not earn
All-surpassing gift of righteousness

Oh, to know the power of your risen life
And to know You in Your sufferings
To become like you in your death, my Lord
So with you to live and never die

Graham Kendrick
Copyright © 1993 Make Way Music,
http://www.grahamkendrick.co.uk

I’m also reminded of those awesome words of Jim Elliot, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he can never lose.”

Have you put your faith in Jesus alone for your salvation? It is not too late. Do it today. Stop holding on to things that will not save and trust Him only for your salvation!

Leave a comment

Filed under Exodus, Philippians, Uncategorized

Genesis 16-18; Ephesians 4

Two very interesting passages of Scripture this morning, especially Genesis 18 and Ephesians 4. Both approach organization in different ways, but appropriate for the age in which these admonitions were given.

Jethro saw his son-in-law working way to hard to govern the people of Israel so gave Moses a plan by which the people would be well cared for and Moses would keep his sanity. Jethro states in chapter 18,

I will give you advice, and God be with you! You shall represent the people before God and bring their cases to God, 20 and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. 21 Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 22 And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you (Genesis 18:19b-22 [ESV]).

Jethro gave Moses a plan that worked in that time and that situation. In a different age Paul gives the church in Ephesus and us all a way to organize the work of the church. He shares this,

11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes (Ephesians 4:11-14 [ESV]).

Our leaders in the church have been given to us to equip us to carry out her work. We are all given tasks to do and ministries to lead and serve in. The Holy Spirit in this age gives us all Gifts that we can use in the service of the body. If you have crossed the line of faith you have at least one of those gifts, perhaps one in the list above.

God has also laid a passion on your heart. An unmet need that He wants to see met and he has placed that burden on you. Then he comes along through His Holy Spirit and equips you with a gift to see that unmet need met.

Do you know what your spiritual gift(s) would be? Are you using them to meet those unmet needs that are on God’s heart today. 

That’s how we are organized for fruitful service in this age.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ephesians, Genesis, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

Exodus 1-3; Galatians 5

We come to two juxtaposed passages of Scripture this morning. We have Moses not acting out of love or having a close relationship with God and then the Apostle Paul giving us the fruit of a loving relationship with the God of the universe. Paul writes:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:22-24 [ESV])

God has a plan that reaches across the ages and we don’t fully understand it all, but what if Moses instead of being a person who tried in his own strength to free God’s people was a person of love and peace? Perhaps the Jewish Nation would have been relieved of their suffering 40 years earlier.

The fruit of the Spirit that Paul lists are not something we strive for, but what we bear because of our loving relationship with the Father.

What kind of fruit are you producing? Is this fruit coming from a loving relationship with God? Just think of the things God can do through you and the people you can affect  through the overflow of your relationship with the Father.

What does your fruit look like this morning? How can you grow closer to God so that you can produce more of it in changing your life and those around you?

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Galatians, Genesis, New Testament, Uncategorized

Genesis 41&42; Mark 16

37 This proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his servants. 38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?” 39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. 40 You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.” (Genesis 42:37-40) ESV

We recall all the things that Joseph experience. He was betrayed by his brothers, then by his owner’s wife and then by a fellow jail mate. He spent years (for some of us not that long [he was 30 here]) but still years marking time at least or worst suffering along the way with no hope or deliverance in sight. Then comes this great picture of him standing before Pharaoh and interpreting a dream that will deliver millions of people. And Pharaoh’s observation? Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God? In the midst of suffering and hopelessness there was no leaving the God he loved. He was full of the Holy Spirit to the point that even Pharaoh saw it.

How many times do we let the circumstances we face, the disappointments in life, trial and sickness pull us away from God. We focus on us and not on the God who can deliver and want a growing relationship with us. In the midst of all these trials Joseph grew closer to God. How bout if today we welcome those negative events and circumstances into our lives as a way of pushing us closer and growing our relationship with the Holy Spirit? What difference will that make? Let’s see!

Father God help me today to look at the negative things that come my way as a means to growing my relationship with You and Your Holy Spirit. Grow me in you today God! I pray these things in Jesus Name, Amen!

1 Comment

Filed under 66 Books, Genesis, Mark, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

Prophecy fulfilled: Daniel 9, Zechariah 9, and the triumphal entry (Mark 11) (Genesis 28&29)

Many times we read through these prophecies and stories without realizing their significance nor connectedness. Here is a remarkable connection Daniel 9, Zechariah 9 and the book of Nehemiah all point to this event of Jesus coming into Jerusalem as king. When the rebuilt wall was finished in Nehemiah’s day a clock started ticking (Daniel 9) that predicts that cosmic event of Jesus riding into the city on a donkey (Zechariah 9). And the prophecy is fulfilled down to the very day. That makes the hair (what I have left of it) on the back of my head stand up straight and gives me chills. Hundreds of years prophecy fulfilled down to the very day.

This is a devotional site, not an in depth Bible study one, so not enough time her to pick these passages apart, but suffice it to say that the passage we read today is a culmination in prophecies there were made hundreds of years in advance.

How does that tie into the Genesis (28&29)? God predicts what will happen to Jacob’s lineage. Little did Jacob know that night that every word that came from God would be fulfilled down to the very last jot and tittle. That’s why we are reading this great book aren’t we? Because we know this book has the true words of life and it is steadfast and trustworthy. Let’s thank God for this grand truth today!

Father God, we firmly put our trust in You knowing that your wisdom and plans are true and trustworthy. We look forward with a blessed hope to the culmination of all prophecy and find ourselves in your presence for evermore. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen!

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Genesis, Mark, Uncategorized

Genesis 16-18; Mark 6

In my first blog post for the new year I mentioned I would be looking for the subject of prayer as we read through the Bible together. Well in Genesis 18 we find a very interesting example of prayer. Abraham is talking face-to-face with God over the plight of Sodom and Gomorrah. He is standing eye-to-eye with the pre-incarnate Jesus. Read how this prayer time goes below:

22. So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 23. Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24. Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25. Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26. And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27.  Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28. Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29. Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” 30. Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” 31. He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” 32. Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” 33. And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.

Just a few observations here:

  • I think it’s okay to bargain with God. Abraham did here. He went back and forth with Him. I believe that some times we think this is being unspiritual when we do it, but I don’t think it is. Think about it.
  • Abraham’s prayer was not a selfish one. He was bargaining for the lives of his loved ones.
  • Although he was bargaining with God he was respectful. He wasn’t being abusive or curt in his prayers.
  • It was obvious that Abraham loved God and His Kingdom.

And then surprise surprise Mark 6 has an episode where in the midst of busyness and ministry Jesus gets alone to pray. Sometimes we think we are too busy to pray and that may be just the time when we need it the most.

45 Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray (ESV)

Do you have something we can all benefit from prayer that you could share with the rest of us?

Father God I pray that we would all put the priority of prayer high on our list of things to do and experience each day. May we never grow tired of talk with You. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen!

Dave (dmbaldwin)

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Genesis, Mark