The First Burning Bush Devotionals

June 8, 2018 marks 20 years since the first Burning Bush Devotionals were sent by email. June of this year also marks 28 years since I preached my first sermons at a little country church at the late age of 40.  

In celebration of those 20 years I am resending in this email the first week of those short devotionals.   

The Primary Rule for Life – June 8, 1998  

Our Lord says, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” 

This verse must be a primary rule of life for those who would overcome, for those who would be super conquerors. If we seek after holiness then we will see that the other things such as joy, happiness, satisfaction, and yes, sometimes even the material will be taken care of for us. However, if we seek after happiness, and the things of this world we will never really obtain enough and never be satisfied. Only in seeking after the things of God will we find the flowing waters of life that quench the spiritual thirst. 

(This is the first Burning Bush Devotional sent by email. Other devotionals had been written and published prior to this in the Burning Bush Newsletter sent to prisons across the United States and Canada.) 

Our Focus – June 9, 1998  

Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men so that you do not grow weary and lose heart. – Hebrews 12:3. 

So many times when things begin to go wrong in our lives the temptation is to focus on what is wrong. It may be the lack of money, a relationship problem, a physical illness, an addiction, or you may be facing something even worse. As we focus in on those bad things our attention is taken away from our Lord and the things of God. As a result we begin to feel worse and worse about our situation, about our life.

The Bible tells us the solution in Hebrews 12:3. If we don’t want to grow weary and lose heart. If we don’t want to give up and grovel in defeat. If we grow tired of having a pity party all the time, then the solution is before us. The solution is to put our focus upon Jesus and the things of God. Intentionally shift our focus from the bad to the good. As we do so we will find the strength to continue on even in the worst storms that life sends our way.  

Crowns of Life – June 10, 1998  

James 1:12, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” 

Most of the time when we think of the crowns that we will receive from God for faithfulness we look to that time when we are in Heaven. However, I believe that every time we are obedient to our Lord we receive a crown of life. With each step of obedience, each step of holiness we become more alive, crowned with more and more life. With each step of obedience the next step becomes easier. The more life we have the more power we have to take that next step toward becoming transformed into the image of our Lord.

How long during each day are you truly alive, awake to life? We can live more, we can be more alive, as we live our lives with each step of obedience, each step of faithfulness that we take. Why not allow God to crown your life with LIFE today?  

Selah! – June 11, 1998  

Are you in the midst of problems? Troubles? Uncertainty? Without hope? Whatever it is God says, “Selah!” Psalm 46 is where many through the ages have turned to find hope. It is where Martin Luther found the inspiration to write the hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God….”  

“Selah,” is a musical term to the extent that it is understood. It means to take a break, or pause. In Psalm 46 after verse 3 there is the word, “Selah” and also after verse 7. Then, comes verse 10 with, “Be Still!”  

In the midst of our problems and troubles and modern world of constant activity, God says, “Be still, and know that I am God….” He is still God. He can still give you peace which is beyond human understanding. He can still make all things work to the good. Verse 11 says, “The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge, SELAH.”  

Allow God to be your fortress today, SELAH!

Happiness – June 12, 1998  

God’s definition of a happy person: “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2) 

God says the result of that kind of happiness is, “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:3)

Let us delight ourselves in the Law of the LORD and plant our lives by the river of life. Then we will see our lives bring forth fruit and our lives will prosper as our roots sink deeper and deeper into the Law of the LORD.  

There is a God – June 13, 1998  

The Psalmist says in Psalm 90:2, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth, and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.”

There is a God and according to the Psalmist our days are numbered before we meet Him face to face. In verse 10 of Psalm 90 the Psalmist says, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is there strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”

In verse 12 the Psalmist says, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” The point is that there is a God, there will be an end to our physical life, and so we should make each day count. We should make each day count for God. How will you make this day count for God?

How Thirsty Are You? – June 14, 1998  

Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”

In South Africa during droughts I have heard that you can sometimes see an amazing sight; deer defying lions in order to drink at the river. Their thirst will not be denied. They must have water or die.

Spiritually as Christians we are either moving forward or moving backwards. There is no status quo for the child of God. In our own lives there will be spiritual starvation unless we have a continual intake of the spiritual, such as: the Word of God; prayer; and, fellowship with other Christians.

The question we should ask ourselves is how thirsty are we? Are we thirsty enough to defy that old lion, the devil, who is going to and fro across this world seeking whom he may desire? Are we thirsty enough to go to church this Sunday? Are we thirsty enough to wake up each day and spend some time reading God’s Word and praying? Are we thirsty enough to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him?

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