In 1621 America celebrated the harvest and other blessings of the past year. The holiday was believed to be modeled by the English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth and the Wampanoag people. It wasn’t until 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln and then later presidents supported the event. In 1941 Congress made it an official National holiday.

I can remember when the children in school would dress up as Pilgrims and Indians having a play to celebrate Thanksgiving. Have you ever helped your children make the turkey drawing using their hands as the pattern? Those were such fun filled day for the children in our schools. Some might call them the “good old days.”

Long before America decided to declare to be thankful on a certain National Holiday, the God of the universe stated over 70 times in the KJ version of the Bible to give thanks. Our Lord knew that having a thankful heart was the key to having a contented life. I am afraid that we have forgotten this truth as we are so tuned into this world and all the problems that we have forgotten to give thanks in “all” things.1 Thes.5:18

Colossians 3:17… And whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

1 Chronicles 16:34… Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is good for His steadfast love endures forever.

Psalms 118:24…This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Colossians 3:15… Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly.

Psalms 107:1…Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.

Just a few verses to remind us that no matter how bad things are in this world, in Jesus Christ our Lord we have been blessed beyond measure.




“By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish…for time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms…and others were tortured…They were stoned, they were sawn in two…they went about…being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated…wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. Hebrews 11:31-40

We live in stressful times. Some would say, historically stressful! One major source of stress is unfulfilled expectations. Often, for a Christian the major cause of stress is unbiblical expectations! Should a Christian always win? Be rich? Be healthy? Be successful? Hebrews 11 reveals some interesting case studies that vary dramatically!

Some had sensational deliverances. After all, Jesus is our Deliverer (Psalm 18:2)! There is a list of well-known Old Testament ‘heroes’ in verses 31-32, and an interesting thing about each one is that each one (for example, David) had a flawed testimony, which only emphasizes God’s grace and mercy! At the same time, others are described anonymously who led in military victories, performed acts of righteousness and carried out miraculous works in vv32-35a. It becomes abundantly clear that the author of the letter of Hebrews in chapter 11 is emphasizing that nothing is outside of the scope of God’s power in the life and ministry of one living by faith in Christ!

Yet, equal emphasis by the author of the letter is that sometimes those who live by faith experience spectacular difficulties in verses 35b-38. Clearly, the lesson to be learned is that faith is not some kind of earthly insurance that always delivers us out of difficulties, but when we operate by faith we can be delivered in our difficulties! Some deliberately choose the unseen realities of eternity than the seen rewards of the earthly (see verse 35b; also verses 24-25). Other instances of affliction and abuse are clearly devilishly concocted (verses 36-38). Whatever the case it often takes greater faith to embrace than it does to escape!

Perhaps the most important lesson to be earned from this chapter is that whatever the Christian faces in life is brought about by supernatural design! The Believer is not at the mercy of whim, or happenstance, but lives his or her life in faith that their steps are ordered by the Lord (see Psalm 37:23). Missionaries were expelled from Ethiopia prior to, and during World War II. Twenty years later Christian missionaries were allowed back in, only to discover that after twenty years of abuse and opposition, the Christians were greater in number and spiritually stronger than before!

1-The prophet Jeremiah was delivered from the hand of the wicked King Jehoiakim. Uriah the prophet was put to death by the same king. By faith one lived, and by faith one died, both to the glory of God!

2-Blessed be the name of the Lord!


Jon Moore

A Life of Joy

A character in the Li’l Abner comic strip several years ago named Joe Btfsplk always had a dark cloud hanging perpetually over his head. Doom and gloom. Yet in Psalm 87:7 the Bible says, “All my springs and resources of joy are in You, city of God.” Meaning God’s Spirit dwells in us if we are born again Christ followers, in other words, joy comes from the Lord, while doom and gloom come from people, circumstances, things, etc. I think Paul was a great example of how we can live in joy and victory as we read the book of Philippians. He experienced beatings, flogging, and imprisoned on several occasions. In fact, he was in a Roman prison when he wrote the book called the joy book! Some 16 times he uses the words rejoice, or joy. Philippians 4:11 Paul states, “In all things I have learned to be content.” Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens me.”

How can someone experience and even encourage us to have joy or rejoice when things all around us are upside down and painful?

Paul challenges us to remember and rehearse the enormous privilege and surpassing value in knowing Christ personally. He reminds us of being heaven bound. We are so blessed with the power of Christ living in us and through us to do the Father’s will and good pleasure. He says because we have the power of Christ living in us that we don’t have to grumble, complain, and be filled with anxiety. Our Father in heaven says, “I’ve got this.”

What is the Bible’s answer to the challenges of today in this century in which we live.

1. BELIEVE…Philippians 1:6, “He Who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ developing, perfecting and bringing to full completion in you.”

2. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you that My joy might remain in you and that your joy might be full.” John 15:11

3. Jesus said, “The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that you might have Life (God’s Life) and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

4. “All things work together for good to those that have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

A man tells a story that in a town that he visited, there is a well located in the middle of the town. People would flock to that well and drink fresh water. While visiting one day he noticed an older man drinking from the well. He asked him, “has the well ever run dry?” No, the older man said that they had tried to pump it dry. They even got the fire engines to try to pump it dry. Then, to their amazement they found there was an underground river flowing right through the town. God says, that His well of salvation and grace will NEVER run dry. It flows from the “river of God.” WOW what a Savior!






“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” Hebrews 12:1

The Hebrews in the Old Testament that were converted out of Judaism through faith in Jesus Christ were persecuted to the point of utter discouragement, and discouragement continues to be a challenge today for believers in Christ! The enduring challenge in the Christian life, as well as Christian ministry remains “growing weary in heart” (v 3b)! The author of the letter to converted jews continues to speak to Believers today about both how to recover from discouragement and how to prevent it!

The instruction is written in an athletic context, and our life and ministry are seen as a race to be run! The witnesses are to be seen as examples for and to us, not so much as their witnessing of us. In light of their examples, we should put away any distractions, or defilements that distract us from running the race and run with endurance the race that is set before us (v 1b).

Just as these men and women did before us, we should fix our eyes on Jesus (v 2a, 3a), the One Who was and is the Author (Forerunner) and the Perfector (Finisher) of our faith, despite the fact the race is characterized by a difficult and painful racetrack! Just as the Union soldiers testified that marching from Manchester to Gettysburg to make a victorious difference. They called it, “the hardest experience of the long war experience!” Yet, because Jesus purchased our redemption, we can persevere in the race!

What should be our expectation for running the race that our Lord has set before us? First of all completing our Heavenly Father’s will, “Let us” (v 1a)! Keep foremost in your heart and mind that in finishing His race, Jesus suffered for our sins, then He “sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (v 2b)! Keep in mind, there was no chair in the temple in the old testament, because the work of the priesthood was never finished! But Jesus “sat down” after his finished work! This speaks of a certain Hope Believers now have. This makes the Cross we bear the preamble to a victorious and celebrated victory in heaven!

The book of Hebrews emphasizes the crucial importance of Hope, not uncertain hope, but the sure Hope we are given in Christ! Trusting Christ in the midst of the challenges of our race releases His power enabling us to endure!

Jon Moore


Mathew 11:28-30 “Come unto Me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you REST. I will ease and refresh your soul. Take My YOKE upon you and learn of Me for I am gentle, (meek) and humble and you will find REST for your souls. For my YOKE is wholesome, good, and not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but is comfortable, gracious, and pleasant. My burden is light and easy to be borne.”

I have heard many say that life has become so crazy and seemingly out of control. Everything is turned upside down with so many burdens. How can we have REST in all this?

Bible REST is by definition when one ceases to be agitated or disturbed but finds peace and a place of quietness. The Bible speaks of REST some 71 times. Jesus says, “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you REST.” We seem to think we can find rest in drugs, alcohol, self-help books and just about everything but Jesus. In the eyes of our heavenly Father, resting is an imperative, not now and then, but on a regular basis. We must learn that rest is simply taking God at His Word. If this is not so, why would He put it in the Bible so many times. Everything that the Father commands, the Holy Spirit is there to provide the power.

Matthew also speaks of being “yoked” in this verse with Jesus. “My yoke is easy.”

When a farmer would put oxen in a yoke, a younger ox was always fitted in one side with an older wiser one on the other side. The older, wiser would teach the younger by helping guide him in the right direction. Matthew is saying that we are to be yoked with Jesus, the One Who teaches and guides, pulling in the same direction and helping to carry the load. We no longer have to be agitated and disturbed over things.

I heard a song Rest For The Soul this morning by Austin French that speaks so well of this verse. These are the words in part:

Are you tired and troubled? Weighed down with a heavy load? Praying for change, searching for faith. Waiting for a miracle. Are you drowning in questions? Can’t believe where the road has led. There is One who knows, the heavy load and He says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy burdened. All who are hurting, come to Me. I’ll be your shelter. My yoke is easy, my load is light, and you will find Rest for your soul. Rest for your soul.”

You were never meant to carry that weight alone. You were never meant to carry it on your own. Come to the cross, lay it at the feet of Jesus, lay it at the feet of Jesus. There is One who knows the heavy load, and He says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy burdened. All who are hurting, come to Me. I’ll be your shelter. My yoke is easy, my load is light, and you will find rest for your soul. Rest for your soul.”



“Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When he saw that he had not prevailed against him (Jacob), he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him.” Genesis 32:24,25

Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that the Lord often uses crises to prepare us for His purposes! If one is a follower of Christ, if you are not going though a crisis presently, one will be along presently! And most would add, they have learned more in times of affliction than they have in times of affluence.

That will be the testimony of Jacob (v 30) as the Lord maneuvers him into a one-on-one encounter. That is the Lord’s goal for each of us, to get us alone with Him! After running from his brother, Esau (Gen. 27:42-45), then running from his father-in-law, Laban (Gen. 31:20,21), he finally ran back to the Lord (Gen. 35:1-3). But two key things had happened to him before he returned to the Lord: He was crippled, and his name was changed! For the rest of his life Jacob was limited in what he could accomplish. It was a daily reminder of his limitations, but also a reminder of the supreme sufficiency of the Lord. The change was so dramatic his name was changed from Jacob, which means “supplanter” to Israel, which means “succeeds with God!”

And not only was his name changed, the change was apparent in a new life! He named the place “Peniel” which means “The face of God!” Yet, even seeing God face-to-face, his life was “preserved” meaning “not snatched away!” And not only did he have a new life, but a new light as well…“the sun rose upon him as he passed over.” And not only a new life and a new light, but a new limp. “He was limping on his thigh!” It was a daily reminder for the rest of his earthly life, that he could no longer depend on himself, but he would operate in the presence and power of the Lord he knew, loved and served!

Verse 32 is not addressed in the Mosaic Law, or anywhere in the Old Testament! Yet, orthodox Jews did this to commemorate Jacob’s discovery that self-sufficiency is not compatible with, or needed for the work of God! The first step in deliverance from constant defeat is this disabling touch of God that prepares us for His purposes.

Jon Moore

Crossing Over

As I was reading my devotional the other day, I was struck by what the Lord said to Moses in Deuteronomy 32:51-52, ´Although from a distance you will view the land that I am giving the Israelites, you will not go there, because you trespassed against Me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah Kedesh, in the wilderness of Zin, because you did not hallow me in the midst of the children of Israel.”

Moses was the man that God raised up to lead the people out of bondage in Egypt (Exodus 3). The man that used the rod of God to part the waters of the Red Sea (Exodus 14). The man that God spoke face to face as a man speaks to a friend (Exodus 33:11). The man that God gave the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20). The man that prayed to God for mercy for the people even when they rebelled against his leadership (Exodus 33).

Do we get the picture of how the Lord used Moses in these few of many verses that I have listed? YET, one of the saddest verses is the one in Deuteronomy 32:52. “you did not hallow Me in the midst of the children.”

Just think of how many times we as His children have trespassed (sinned) against the Lord when He was very clear about something that we needed to do or stop doing. We just rebel and don’t obey. What a challenge to be vigilant by the power of the Holy Spirit to obey quickly and completely when the Lord speaks. Moses was so close to crossing over but was having to look from a distance. Are we just looking from a distance, but not crossing over into the power filled promises of the Lord. We may be saying, “it is just one small thing, and it doesn’t really matter.” It does to God!




“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God!”

John 3:3

Through the centuries many have tried to establish standards for entrance into heaven. In John chapter three we are introduced to a man named Nicodemus. He was someone seemingly well qualified by his religion (he closely practiced Judaism), by his race (Jewish by birth), by his reputation (Jesus referred to him as ‘the teacher’ of Israel) and by his recognition (a member of the Sanhedrin, the highest political office of the day)! Yet, Jesus laid down one requirement Nicodemus had never met! Suppose you had to answer today why the Lord should allow you to enter the Kingdom of Heaven! Would you answer be regarding your religion, your race, your reputation or your recognition by others? I challenge you to examine how you would answer that question today. Let us look honestly at what the King of the Kingdom of heaven said about entering His Kingdom!

First of all, Jesus demands two births-(v3). Note that the Lord made this known to a well-respected man, emphasizing there are no exceptions! When a preacher preached from the same Bible text night after night he was asked, “With the whole Bible before you, why do you preach night after night from the same passage of Scripture?” His response was, “Because, except a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God!” This is not a recommendation; this is a divine requirement! Find a quiet place! Get alone with God! Ask Him if you are qualified for entrance into His Kingdom! Have you been born again?

Then, in (vv 4-5) the Lord describes the two births. One is a birth of water. The second is a birth of Spirit! The first is a natural birth, and the second is a spiritual birth. Most are aware that prior to birth a child is encased in the mother’s womb in a membrane filled with water, and when that membrane “breaks” the time for birth is at hand! This is a reference to natural birth. The second birth is a spiritual birth, a birth “from above.” Just as no one has ever lived physically without first being born physically, the same is true spiritually! Are you qualified for entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven? Have you been born again?

Finally, Jesus defines the two lives that result from the two different births. A physical birth results in a physical life-(v6a), and a spiritual birth results in a spiritual life-(v6b). He then uses an analogy from nature-(v8). The word “wind” can be translated wind, breath or spirit depending on the context of how it is used. Only a life spiritual in its origin can be spiritual in its operation! Life that results from a spiritual birth (again, from above) is forever under new (from above) management! You hear the sound of the wind and notice the resulting difference it makes, yet it is different! So is everyone who is born of the Spirit! Only God determines the qualification for entrance into the Kingdom of heaven! Have you been born again?

How one is born again is defined in v16, by believing in Jesus Christ. The word believe in the original language means more than intellectual agreement. It is defined “to trust in; to cling to; to rely on.” Have you trusted in trusted in Christ alone? Are you clinging only to Him? Are you relying daily on Him?” Have you been born again?

Jon Moore



“CONFIDENCE” A trusting or reliance; an assurance of mind or firm belief in the integrity, stability, or veracity of another, in the truth or reality of a fact. 1828 Websters Dictionary

One day a week I help our daughter take care of her granddaughters, A 2+ years old and a 9 months old. On occasion I see the oldest ask her grandaddy to throw her up in the air. When he does that, she laughs and laughs, “Do it again, Popa, do it again,” It never enters her mind that he wouldn’t catch her and hold her tight. She has such confidence and trust in her Popa’s ability to care for her. Oh, the beautiful faith of a child. Some qualities of a child are, humility, wonder, trust (confidence) and hope. How much more can we have confidence in our heavenly Father’s strong arms. God has our best in His mind for His children. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Psalm 27:10” Even if my father and mother abandon me, THE LORD WILL HOLD ME CLOSE.”

Isaiah 41:10 “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I WILL HOLD YOU UP WITH MY VICTORIOUS RIGHT HAND.”

Isaiah 46:4 “I will be your God throughout your lifetime, until your hair is white. I MADE YOU AND WILL CARE FOR YOU.”

Troubles, hurts, sadness, sickness, and things we don’t understand will come, but we can have confidence in the strong and safe arms of our heavenly Father, Who loves us.




“Do not get drunk with wine for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit!”

Ephesians 5:18

“When He, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth…He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify me, for He will take of Mine and disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.” John 16:13-15

“When the Helper comes…He will testify about Me.”

John 15:26


In part one (Aug, 2021) and part two (Oct, 2021) of this series we pointed out there is a great deal of misunderstanding about the ministry of the Holy Spirit that has led to some questionable teaching on the subject. Instead of criticizing false teachers/teachings, I have chosen to spend our time on what the Bible does say about the command to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). As the Lord anticipated the closing of His earthly ministry, He spent less time with the crowds and more time with his disciples. John chapters 14, 15 and 16 record His preparing His followers for the coming presence/ministry of the Spirit!

In John 16:13-15 Jesus uses the term “disclose” three time. In the original language the term means “to tell back”. The Holy Spirit “tells back” to the Believer what Jesus has said, and by doing so, He quickens, or makes alive Christ to the Believer, in the Believer and through the Believer! In the same manner that the Son came to “disclose” the Father (16:15). So, He says in John 15:26, The Holy Spirit came to “disclose” the Son. Note also that the author of Hebrews describes Jesus thusly, as “the radiance of the Father’s glory, and the exact representation of His nature! (1:3a) To expose the meaning only the Believer filled with the Holy Spirit can be used to “disclose” the Life of Jesus Christ!

The Lord promised Abram and Sari a son, but before the promise was fulfilled, an H was added to each of their names. The letter in the Hebrew alphabet that corresponds to the H in our English alphabet is formed in the lower throat. It is a “breathy” sound. The same word in the Hebrew that is translated “breath” can also be translated “wind”, or “spirit”! It is only as we are emptied of self and filled with the Holy Spirit that the life of Jesus Christ can be made real to us, and ultimately through us to others!

So, why should each believer be filled with the Holy Spirit? Because we are commanded to in Ephesians 5:18, an opportunity to demonstrate our love for Christ by obedience. In addition He indwells (John 14:16a), instructs (John 14:26a) and endows us (John 16:14)! So, what does it mean to be filled? It means “To make full; to be filled to the full.” We cannot be filled with the Spirit until we are emptied of self (Matt. 16:24)! Then, who needs to be filled with the Spirit? Anyone lacking any portion of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22,23, or the power promised in Acts 1:8! As the believer denies the ‘self-life’ and crowns Jesus Lord of their life, that one is promised to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Jon Moore