Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry


Daily Devotions

Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Everyone Should Desire a Crown of Glory

by Mark Clements

Wednesday, July 24

Everyone Should Desire a Crown of Glory

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

“I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway,” 1 Corinthians 9:26, 27.

The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and one of the most difficult to enter. It is such a popular race that, due to limits on the size of the field, runners must race a certain qualifying time just to apply. After applications are received, only the fastest runners in each division are invited to run the race. Needless to say, qualifying for and running the Boston Marathon is the major goal of most distance runners, including me. Over the five years I have been running, I have logged more than seventy-five hundred miles in order to qualify, apply and race, the Boston Marathon. I have followed specific training plans, run five marathons, and I even have a picture of the Boston Marathon finish line as the background on my phone to remind myself of my running goal. As of this writing, however, I have not yet accomplished the goal. I still have a lot of work to do in building cardiovascular fitness as well as mental and physical stamina if I am going to cross that finish line.

In today’s text, Paul likened the pursuit of God’s glory in Heaven to running a race. In order to run the most efficient race possible for the glory of God, it is necessary to run with certainty, keeping the heavenly goal at the forefront of our minds. It is also necessary to discipline our bodies and minds, maintaining focus on obedience to God’s will, and not our own.

JUST A THOUGHT: Let Heaven be the prize that guides our days.

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Prayer Is the Duty of God’s Preachers.

by Robert Brock

Prayer Is the Duty of God’s Preachers

Acts 6:1-4

“It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word,” Acts 6:2, 4.

People have an odd idea that preachers have a red telephone to the throne room of God. However, Luke 23:45 says, “The veil of the temple was rent in the midst.” God invites believers to come to His throne and seek mercy. Strangely, some think the preacher can bargain with God to do what he wants. Jesus, the greatest preacher to walk the earth, prayed to His father concerning everything, even going to the cross. He always followed the leadership of His Father as we should. Each prayer He ended by surrendering to God’s will. Mediation is all about God and His will regardless of which preacher pleads our case.

We cannot force God to obey us by getting more clout on our side, forcing Him to change the laws of nature and perform a miracle to make our pain go away. However, Paul made it clear in several letters that he wanted all the churches praying for each other and for God’s will in his ministry. His objective was to get them involved in the ministry of the church and to seek God’s will. “If we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us” (1 John 5:14). Like Jesus, our objective in prayer should be for God’s glory, not necessarily our relief.

THOUGHT: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous 
man availeth much” (James 5:16). Make sure your 
preacher is a righteous man who is willing to submit to 
God’s will. If God does not perform a miracle for us, it does not mean the preacher doesn’t have enough clout before the throne.

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-The Goals of Jesus

by Robert Brock

The Goals of Jesus

John 17:24-26

“Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory,” John 17:24.

Psychiatrists say goals are necessary for mental health. All that really means is, if one has a project organized in one’s mind, he can go about it in smaller steps with a mindset aimed at the final product. The different steps necessary to reach from point A to point B are not a room full of bumper cars in his head causing confusion. Colossians 1:16, 17, “By him were all things created…and he is before all things, and by him, all things consist.” Everything that is now visible was once a plan or goal in the Father’s mind for the ultimate goal of His Son’s glory. The myriads of angels were created in the spirit realm to glorify the Son, the Lord of Hosts (Hebrews 1:6). Then all things physical in the universe, including earth, were created to glorify the Son. The creation of mankind to be God’s children was the crowning glory—the final goal of the plan. Man was created to reflect God’s image back to Himself.

The Father and the Son are definitely goal oriented. “My meat [food] is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. He said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost” (John 4:34; 17:4; 19:30).

THOUGHT: Jesus‘ goals are the driving force of the Christian experience. “Let not your heart be troubled:…I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a 
place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto 
myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:1-3).

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-One God and One Mediator

by Beverly Barnett

One God and One Mediator

1 Timothy 2:1-6

“For there is one God, and one mediator between 
God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” 1 Timothy 2:5.

One way that Satan wins battles is by keeping people from reading their Bibles, thus keeping them oblivious to the good news found in God’s Word. As a result, many fall for false teaching and believe that they cannot pray directly to God. Instead, they must have an earthy person or priest to pass their prayer requests on to God for them. The Bible clearly contradicts such teaching and these verses are a great example.

However, it is true, that we need a high priest to present our requests to the throne of Heaven but not an earthly, sensual, sinful, fleshly priest. Our high priest is Jesus Christ. “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself” (Hebrews 7:25-27). Jesus is the perfect High Priest, and that makes Him the One and only God-man Mediator necessary.

Thank You, Jesus, because even when we do not know what to pray for, You take our unspoken prayers directly to the heart of God. He understands and answers our prayers according to what is best for us.

REFLECTION: “And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:27).

Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Brotherly Love Will Extend to Others

by Beverly Barnett

Brotherly Love Will Extend to Others

Hebrews 13:1-3

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby 
some have entertained angels unawares,” Hebrews 13:2.

One evening, as I was cooking supper for my husband and two young children, a car pulled in the driveway. It was a young preacher friend of ours. As I recognized the familiar face, my husband gasped and said, “I forgot to tell you that I invited him for supper tonight.” Was he an angel? He was surely not a stranger, but he was a messenger of God. So, I added a few more vegetables to the supper meal and made a bigger pan of cornbread.

Sometimes, strangers do cross our paths, and I do believe it is intentional. It is a God-given opportunity to show kindness, grace and the love of our Savior. It is a time for the light of Christ to shine into a troubled soul. Every time the doorbell rings, it should not be thought of as an inconvenience but as an opportunity.

REFLECTION: “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as 
being yourselves also in the body” (Hebrews 13:3).

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Brotherly Love Is Taught of God

by Beverly Barnett

Brotherly Love Is Taught of God

1 Thessalonians 4:9-12

“But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another,” 1 Thessalonians 4:9.

Have you ever attended one of those church business meetings where you wondered if the discussions were based on hate or love? When personal feelings guide the atmosphere, most likely there will be hurt feelings. What we should strive to do is to put our feelings aside, do the Lord’s business with enlarging the kingdom in mind and uplift our brothers in Christ higher than ourselves.

We all need to be reminded from time to time that the Lord’s churches are fellowships of believers. Our common goal should be to promote the Lord’s work as a coveted group of believers. To do that, we must often put aside our feelings, hold our tongues and love believers for Jesus sake because He said, “To love one another.”

REFLECTION: “And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more” (1 Thessalonians 4:10).

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Identifying With Other People

by Beverly Barnett

Identifying with Other People

1 Corinthians 9:19-22

“To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some,” 1 Corinthians 9:22.

When Jesus began His ministry, there was nothing about His physical appearance or His appetite that stood out from His disciples. He lived modestly, ate what they ate, walked where they walked, and slept where they slept. He did not have to have a special ride, clothes or food. He did not even own a home. In other words, the crowds of followers could identify with Jesus, and He could identify with them.

How sad it is that today’s television preachers live far and above their supporters. They own multiple opulent homes, have their own private jets, are chauffeured around in limousines and preach a prosperity gospel which translates into their own prosperity. They cannot identify with their oftentimes poor supporters who sacrifice buying needed medication to send money to these lascivious ministers. They are far from the example of Jesus Christ, and His true ministers.

We are not called to strive for riches and fame; we are called to be like Jesus to the community around us. When we are the light of Jesus, He will shine and not the earthly things that one day will rust and decay.

REFLECTION: To identify with others does not mean that we stick our foot in the bucket of sin with them; it means 
that we show them a better way either by word or example.

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Humility In Dealing With Weaker Brethren

by Beverly Barnett

Humility in Dealing with Weaker Brethren

Romans 15:1-6

“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities 
of the weak, and not to please ourselves,” Romans 15:1.

It is easy to become frustrated with new believers, especially when they forget to search the Scriptures for the answers to today’s social problems. We must point them to the Scriptures to find the correct answers to today’s issues, and perhaps, correct these weaker believers’ misguided thinking.

For instance, in today’s society, God’s love is often associated with tolerance of willful sin. Yes, God does love people, but He does not love their sin. He does not love sin because it drives a wedge between God and mankind. Furthermore, new believers and weaker brothers and sisters in Christ must learn that even though God is love, His love does not tolerate willful sin. We never want to become frustrated with these new babes in Christ. We want to teach them with love and compassion that Christ would have us to exhibit.

REFLECTION: How can we be used to help our weaker brothers and sisters? Be a friend, invite them to a new believers‘ Sunday School class, host fellowships with their age group and be available to answer questions
without making them feel intimidated.

Bogard Press Daily Devotional

Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Humility In Our Interactions

by Beverly Barnett

Humility in Our Interactions

Romans 12:9-16

“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly 
love; in honour preferring one another,” Romans 12:10.

“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).

Peter and Paul were miles apart in their personalities; yet, God used both of these men to teach and write to us about humility and submission to one another. Jesus also gave us the perfect example of submission to each other. He washed His disciple’s feet in an exhibition of humility. In churches where there should be no big I and little you, many churches are failing to practice humility.

On the other hand, there are churches that are lifting one another up, and even reaching out into their communities of nonbelievers to share the love of Christ. When we lift others up with the love that Jesus taught us to share, we are lifting up Jesus.

REFLECTION: How can we show humility to others? “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” C. S. Lewis

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