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S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Lamentations 5:15 Joy has gone from our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning. O-bservation: Under the direction of King Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonians laid a siege on Jerusalem because of Judah’s unrelenting worship of idols and a complete rejection of the living God who loved the people. Then the Babylonians entered the city and burned Solomon’s temple to the ground. A temple that had stood for 400 years. Afterward, they killed and pillaged the people and ransacked the city. God lifted His hand of mercy from the people and left them. Truly the people of God could say, “Ain’t No Sunshine When He’s Gone!” A-pplication: It was Nehemiah, the repairer of the walls of Jerusalem, who made the statement long after this event had taken place, “The joy of the Lord is your strength!” That’s right. After he led the people to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem, he reminded the people that the JOY of the Lord is where our strength comes from. Sometimes we accept the enemy’s lie and believe that it’s more money and things and applause from people that we need. That is not true. We need the Lord and His smile upon us....

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Obadiah 15 The day of the Lord is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head. O-bservation: When the prophet Obadiah wrote, he spoke almost exclusively to the nation of the Edomites, today’s people of Jordon. They had descended from Esau, Jacob’s older twin brother, whom God had rejected for selling his birthright for a bowl of soup. The Edomites were a tough, high-minded people. But God said, “What you’ve done to other nations will be done to you.” A-pplication: Here’s “Another Look At The Harvest.” I can’t count the times I’ve mentioned and taught on the “Law of the Harvest” in these daily posts. But today, instead of talking about the Edomites, why not talk about you and me? I know that I have reaped things that were a direct result of poor sowing on my part in my lifetime. However, when I fully gave my life to Jesus, I began sowing better. That’s right! I’m not just talking about money here; I’m talking about the Fruits of the Spirit and the way I treat people. For years now, the harvest for...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Psalm 48:14 For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end. O-bservation: The Psalmist tells us that God is willing to guide us, not just daily but moment-by-moment as well. He will do this until our lives are over if we let Him. A-pplication: I think the key line here is, “If we let Him!” That’s always the case when following Jesus. Will we go His way or our way?  Job said, “He (speaking of Jesus) knows the way that I take!” I’m sure you’ve heard it said before, “Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life!” That is true, but once again, who gets to steer the wheel? Who gets to really lead you? When I’ve taken over the steering wheel of my life, my selfish desires have steered me into the ditch on more than one occasion. I’m not saying that when you’re following Jesus, you won’t have trouble, but He knows how to get you through the trouble. If you’re like me and have been around the block more than once, you’ve probably already learned what I’m going to say. But I’ll...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 2 Kings 25:12 But the commander left behind some of the poorest people of the land to work the vineyards and fields. O-bservation: This, of course, is the story of what Nebuchadnezzar’s eventual takeover and destruction of Jerusalem looked like. The prophets had prophesied it was on the way, and it happened. After Jerusalem was destroyed, including the burning of Solomon’s temple and the destruction of the walls surrounding the city, they left the poorest of the Israelites to work the vineyards. They slaughtered or carried the rest away to Babylon. A-pplication: When one reads the first chapter of Daniel, one quickly sees that the brightest and most brilliant of the Israeli folks were taken to be used as assistants to Nebuchadnezzar himself. But this passage specifically mentions the POOR being left behind to do the backbreaking, manual labor in the vineyards. As if they were slaves on their own property. In this case, this group of POOR folks had children, and it was those same children and their children who many years later helped Nehemiah rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. That’s right, Nebuchadnezzar had died, and his grandson had gone off the rails, and a new...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Ezekiel 29:2 Son of man, set your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt and prophesy against him and against all Egypt. O-bservation: This Pharaoh is not the Pharaoh you automatically think of when you hear the title. No! This is a much different time in history. The people of Judah were being punished for their sins against God, and Nebuchadnezzar was the ruler of almost everything. Yet for some 25 years, this Pharaoh, known as Hophra, had so elevated himself as though he were a god that God said to Ezekiel, “Tell everyone I’m going to bring him down.” And that’s exactly what happened. Pharaoh tried to intervene as being the answer to Israel’s woes, and Nebuchadnezzar killed him. A-pplication: When I read this story, I’m always made aware of the fact that “There’s Nobody Bigger Than Our God.” The second thing I hear the Lord say is, “Rich, never try to be someone else’s hero!” In other words, my God is always the answer to anyone’s situation. He’s always the miracle worker. He’s always the way when there seems to be no way. He’s always the hub in the middle of the wheel. He’s always the...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Ezekiel 25:7 Therefore I will stretch out my hand against you and give you as plunder to the nations. I will wipe you out from among the nations and exterminate you from the countries. I will destroy you, and you will know that I am the Lord. O-bservation: The Ammonites are the people of the nation known as Jordon today. God decided to wipe them out for rejoicing at the destruction of Judah and Israel, which was forthcoming. And for about as long as Israel wandered for thousands of years across the planet, Jordon was nothing more than a place for shepherds to graze their sheep. With the return of Israel today, Jordon is once again flourishing and is one of Israel’s closest allies in the Middle East. Yet, at this time in history, the Ammonites (Jordanians) found themselves rejoicing over Israel’s demise. A-pplication: I wanted you to know a little history of this region so you could also realize that God’s plans are not like our plans. He sees thousands of years into the future, and He decided to punish the Ammonites for their jubilant reaction to their neighbor’s downfall. Even when we are up against...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Ezekiel 7:17 Every hand will go limp; every leg will be wet with urine. O-bservation: Few of us in this modern age have ever experienced the wrath of God as the people of Judah did during the takeover by Nebuchadnezzar. Ezekiel, the prophet of God, describes the terror those people would experience when it all happened, and it did. This prophecy was made in the sixth year of King Zedekiah’s reign. In the ninth year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar laid a siege on Jerusalem, and in the eleventh year, he took it over. Those who escaped were like fugitives fleeing to the mountains (vs. 16) and, in fact, peed their pants. A-pplication: To start a morning bible devotional with the title “The Day God’s People Peed Their Pants” must make the reader think, “Well, Rich has finally lost his mind.” Yet all of these things happened historically and are recorded in God’s word. We may want to gloss over them, but it’s right there! What would bring God’s anger to such a boiling point that His punishment on His own people would cause such terror? I think it can all be summed up in two words: DISOBEDIENCE...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Revelation 2:20a Nevertheless, I have this against you: you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. O-bservation: While on the Isle of Patmos, John the beloved had a REVELATION. He wrote it down, and it’s now the last book of the Bible. Here, he saw Jesus prophesying over the seven churches of Asia Minor. The Lord is prophesying over the Church at Thyatira. He loved what they’ve done. Listen to Jesus’ words in verse 19, “I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.” But then he said, “But you TOLERATE that woman Jezebel who calls herself a prophet!” A-pplication: No one really knows who the woman JEZEBEL is in the context in which John is writing. We certainly know Jezebel, as in the wife of Ahab, the wicked Israeli king in the Old Testament. But the woman here is probably more of a spirit of sensuality, couched in spirituality to deceive the church. That spirit was being TOLERATED in this church at Thyatira. Either way, the church was TOLERATING something that hadn’t been dealt with biblically, and it was...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Psalm 143:3 The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in the darkness like those long dead. O-bservation: These are the words of King David. He was perhaps the greatest king who ever lived. He was God’s man and a man after God’s own heart. But here David is on the run. Theologians have grappled about whether he was running from Saul or his own son, Absalom. No doubt he is in a really bad place. I tend to believe this happened much later in David’s life and that he was running from his son. I say this because of verse 5, where David says. “I remember the days of long ago.” That doesn’t sound like the words of a young would-be king. That said, here are my thoughts on what to do “When You’re On The Run.” A-pplication: #1- Cry to God for help. David did this in verses 1, 2, and 7. #2- Remind God what He’s brought you through in the past. Verse 5 #3- Keep Hoping. Verse 8 #4- Humble Yourself. Verses 9 and 10. #5- Reaffirm your allegiance to the Lord. Verse 12 I encourage you to do this drill with the Lord,...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 3 John 2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. O-bservation: John is writing to a man named Gaius. There are four different Gaius’ mentioned in the New Testament. Gaius in that day was like John Smith or another common name in our day. So we know John is writing to someone, but he is, in fact, writing to us all. His prayer was one of victory. He wanted his friend to have good health and physical prosperity, and he was sure his friend was already prospering emotionally. A-pplication: I want to be known for “Praying Victorious Prayers” for others. Anyone can pray a general prayer or a prayer for God’s will or a prayer that generalizes what a person may be going through. But here, the Apostle prays a victorious prayer that includes continued GOOD HEALTH over this man’s life. He also asks God to give the man real PHYSICAL WELL BEING similar to what he was already experiencing EMOTIONALLY. John could have said, “I pray that you would bless him,” and that would have been a...