March 14, 2018

wholeheartedInstead of the usual “Verse of the Day,” from time to time I will post the “Word or the Phrase of the Day.” On March 14, 2018 we are going to take a closer look at the word “wholeheartedness.” As a noun, the word refers to the quality or state of being wholehearted, that is completely and sincerely devoted, determined, or enthusiastic. A wholehearted person is said to be marked by complete, earnest commitment: free from all reserve or hesitation. Synonyms for the noun include eagerness, enthusiasm, intense devotion and dedication, zeal, or passion.

Throughout the Scriptures we note the Lord God’s concern that His people honor and serve Him with their whole hearts. In Matthew 22:37-38 Jesus makes this declaration:

37 Jesus said unto him, you shalt love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

1 Chronicles 28:9 (NLT) offers words of wisdom to Solomon:

“And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancest1ors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.

Note God’s response when His people seek and serve Him with their whole heart:

2 Chronicles 15:15 (AMP)

All Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and had sought Him with their whole heart, and He let them find Him. So the Lord gave them rest on every side.

Note what the Psalmist has to say:

Psalm 119:2 (American Standard Version)

Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, that seek him with the whole heart.

Finally, Jeremiah 24:7 (American Standard Version) makes known God’s desire for His people:

And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am Jehovah: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God; for they shall return unto me with their whole heart

The expression also brings to mind a life-changing teaching entitled “Wholeheartedness” heard a number of years ago. The teaching was part of a series of messages based on the Love of God, emphasizing that as believers we are to love God wholeheartedly. One of the principal scriptures quoted came from Deuteronomy 6:5, used in the introduction to the following poem also inspired by the teaching:

With Our Whole Heart

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,

with all your soul, and with all your strength.

Deuteronomy 6:5


“When you have a heart for something,

you prepare for it.”

Pastor Michael T. Bivens


We will never be satisfied until we love You,

Not with half nor the greater part, but with our whole heart,

Where we have reserved a space for You alone to dwell,

That only You might fill each crevice with Your presence.

As a faithful friend, may You always choose to linger,

To abide in this place set apart for Your comfort

And to confide with the most gentle reassurance,

Never being disturbed by any occurrence.

Lord, may we never settle for mediocrity

But ever seek to excel and love You wholeheartedly,

Serving You with our whole heart and soul and mind and strength,

To soar beyond any height or depth or breadth or length.

As the bride listens to hear the voice of the bridegroom,

So we watch and wait in our heart prepared as Your throne room.

The teaching also brought to mind this song “With All My Heart,” composed by Babbie Mason and sung by Into the Light:






All things work together for good

March 13, 2018

The Verse of the Day for March 13, 2018, has become especially meaningful for me over the years, and I have designated this scripture as my “Life Verse.” According to the Middletown Christian Church, “Life Verses are those words from Scripture that anchor our faith and become touchstones that illuminate, assure, uplift and energize us to live out our faith.” Here are three of my favorite translations of my favorite verse:

Romans 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. [KJV]

We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. [Amplified Bible]

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. [NIV]

Romans 8:28, my favorite verse in the Bible, offers this reminder that because God is good, “We know that all things work together for the good, to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.” So no matter how bad any situation may appear to be, we know that it will work together for our good.

The Verse of the Day also brings to mind another passage of scripture that has become especially meaningful to me at this time in my life:

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV):

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

The Amplified Bible puts it this way:

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.
12 Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you.
13 Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Although the words of Jeremiah were specifically addressed to Israel concerning their release from Babylonian captivity after seventy years, we recognize the truth expressed in

Romans 15:4:

Whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope.

The prophetic word from Jeremiah can certainly have personal application, in that the plans that God has for each of His children are no less grand than those He has for the Children of Israel.

As we ask God for guidance and direction, He will lead us and teach us all along the path that unfolds as a shining light that shines more and more unto the perfect day (Proverbs 4:18). Romans 8:28 and Jeremiah 29:11-13 also intersect to inform us of God’s concern for our future or “final outcome”, so that we need have no fear for our future because God is good.

Romans 8:28, one of the most often quoted verses, at least for me, is the inspiration for this Don Moen’s classic song of praise: “All things Work Together”:

Very great and precious promises

March 12, 2018

The Verse of the Day for March 12, 2018 reveals exactly what God, our magnanimous Father, has given to each of us as believers and what we have as a result of his generosity:

2 Peter 1:4 (NIV):

Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

No matter how you phrase it, the promises given to us are rare and extraordinary expressions of love: The American Standard Version speaks of “precious and exceeding great promises,” while the Amplified Bible says they are “precious and magnificent promises [of inexpressible value].” According to the Message Bible, these “absolutely terrific promises” are “of great worth and no amount of money can buy them,” says the New Living Version.

One of the distinguishing attributes of God is that He not only makes promises whose value is beyond calculating, but He keeps every promise that He makes. A recent blog entry described God in this way:

Promise Keeper

God Almighty, creator of the heavens and the Earth, is faithful and true, the original “Promise Keeper” who cannot lie. The Word of God declares God has given us exceeding great and precious promises that shall all be fulfilled:

His will is to fulfill every promise He has spoken.
We know no word of the Lord can ever be broken.
Each promise fulfilled is but a foretaste, a token.

The Verse of the Day also brings to mind this passage from 2 Corinthians 1:19-20 (New Living Translation)

19 For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” He is the one whom Silas, Timothy, and I preached to you, and as God’s ultimate “Yes,” he always does what he says.
20 For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.

As believers we recognize that the Word of God is energetic and life-giving, for each word in the Word of Life is an expression of power. Luke 1:37 in the King James Version says, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” The American Standard Version offers this translation: “For no word from God shall be void of power.” Indeed, there is life-changing power in a single word from the Word. Think about the expression used to describe all the promises of God: “Yes!” Used to show agreement or endorsement, “yes” often indicates an affirmative reply. Certainly we are aware of that the word as an interjection or strong expression of joy, pleasure, or approval. When a player scores the winning shot in an overtime game, often excited fans respond with a vigorous “Yes! Way to go!”

In discussing the essence of God’s promises I thought of this poetic response:

“Tomorrow Is Today’s Promise”

For you have need of patience, that,
after you have done the will of God,
you might receive the promise.

Hebrews 10:36

We work in faith, labor in love and wait in hope,
Patient in all our trials that test and refine.
Despite the times, we perceive His divine design
And see with new eyes far beyond our narrow scope.
After doing all God’s will, we receive the promise.
We come through intense fires as a precious gem.
Rewards await those who endure to receive them,
As time swiftly passes with each sunset and sunrise.
Yesterday was the promise of the day before.
Today is yesterday’s tomorrow as it unfolds:
A gift full of potential and all that it holds.
Tomorrow is today’s promise waiting in store.
Past, present and future all merge in Christ, the Lord,
Who upholds all things by the power of His Word.

Matt Redman offers “Yes and Amen,” the perfect expression in song regarding the promises of God.


To know God

March 11, 2018

Deuteronomy 7--9

Revised and re-posted is the Verse of the Day for March 11, 2018 found in Deuteronomy 7:9:

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.

The verb “to know” in this instance is translated from the Hebrew word yada , which according to Strong’s Concordance means: to  know, to learn, to perceive, to discern, to experience, to confess, to consider, to know people relationally, to know how, to be skillful, to be made known, to make oneself known, to make to know.

The same verb occurs in Deuteronomy 4:35 in the Amplified Bible:

To you it was shown, that you might realize and have personal knowledge that the Lord is God; there is no other besides Him.

This kind of knowing corresponds to the Greek word ginosko, translated “to know” in the New Testament.  Biblical scholar E.W. Bullinger translates the verb:

To perceive, observe, obtain knowledge of or insight into.  It denotes a personal and true relationship between the person knowing and the object known, i.e. to be influenced by one’s knowledge of the object, to suffer one’s self to be determined thereby.

Once a person knows God on such an intimate, experiential level, that person “knows for himself or herself,” and such an individual is forever changed.

God desires that we know him, as He expresses His deep desire for intimacy on a very personal level. We come to know God through the Word of God. As we establish and maintain our relationship with him, we also experience his love. I recall the popular love song of the 1950s recorded by the Teddy Bears expresses a profound truth when connected to God: “To know him is to love him.’

Not only can we know God, but we can know that we know Him, as 1 John 2:3 makes known:

And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

As we continue to draw even closer to God, we also come to know Him at even deeper levels of intimacy, as God expresses His desire that we might be filled with the knowledge of His will revealed by the spirit of wisdom and revelation of the knowledge of Him. This desire is expressed in the prayer found in Ephesians 1, which serves as an introduction to this response:

The Spirit of Knowledge

  That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,

  the Father of glory, may give to you

  the spirit of wisdom and revelation

  in the knowledge of him;

  Ephesians 1:17


To excel in mighty works that demonstrate God’s power,

Far above the knowledge of any human mind,

Beyond the confines of any exalted tower,

We pursue knowledge and seek that we might find,

To know the exceeding greatness of that power,

Surpassing natural intellect of the mind;

That we may be filled with the knowledge of His will.

Such knowledge begins with the fear of the Lord,

Knowing that every promise our God will fulfill,

We receive the spirit of knowledge, not just a word.

We have been bought with a price, we are not our own.

Assured that God keeps His covenant we stand still.

The fullness of that knowledge shall someday be shown:

When Christ returns, then shall we know as we are known.

Our desire to know God to an even greater degree is to know His Son, Jesus Christ, so beautifully expressed in the worship song “Knowing You Jesus”:

Reasons for hope

March 10, 2018

Verse of the Day for March 10, 2018 comes from 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV):

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

The Amplified Bible puts it this way:

But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord. Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect.

The Verse of the Day brings to mind comments from Pastor Greg Laurie who said that if you’re a Christian, you have a testimony, and you should always be ready to share your testimony. The Word of God declares that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Indeed, until we accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, we were all “dead in trespasses and sin, without God and without hope.” But God in His love reached out to us and forgave us of our sin, and we responded to that love. When God saved us, as the lyrics to the old gospel song tell us, “It took a miracle of love and grace.”

Pastor Laurie goes on to tell us our testimony is worth sharing! Some believers are hesitant to share their life’s story of how they came to know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, thinking that they were not in a a seemingly horrific situation. They were not hooked on crack or alcohol or some other addictive substance. They were not gang members who experienced a life-changing conversion that mystified others who witnessed the dramatic change. Perhaps they grew up in the Church with a loving, supportive family and accepted Christ at a young age. Many may think that their testimony does not really matter, but remember this: “Your story could be the key that can unlock someone else’s prison.”

Other scriptures reveal that we can encourage each other by sharing testimonies.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us this:

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

Hebrews 10:24-25 also exhorts us:

And let us continue to consider how to motivate one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another even more as you see the day of the Lord coming nearer.

Sharing our story of deliverance can “cheer up those who are discouraged, and help those who are weak.” (1 Thessalonians 5:14).

Reflecting on the Verse of the Day and other related scriptures inspired this response:

Reasons for Hope

1 Peter 3:15

To change or remain the same is always a choice:
Each day as new creations in Christ, not conformed
But ever ready, willing, able to share the Word.
To rise to another level demands a price:
To follow in the footsteps of Jesus, our Lord,
We must renew our minds and a make a sacrifice
As we mature in Christ, we walk forth in wisdom.
Knowing our faith, hope, and love will thrive and abound.
With our words and deeds we influence God’s Kingdom,
Bringing forth fruit one hundredfold sown on good ground.
We share reasons for hope with meekness and respect,
Confident that our God will provide and protect.

Matt Weeks offers a brief reminder based on 1 Peter 3:15-16:

The call of God

March 9, 2018

2 Timothy 1--9

Touching upon the topic of God’s calling to the ministry, the Verse of the Day for March 9, 2018 comes from 2 Timothy 1:9 (NIV):

He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,

The Amplified Bible offers a more robust rendering:

for He delivered us and saved us and called us with a holy calling [a calling that leads to a consecrated life—a life set apart—a life of purpose], not because of our works [or because of any personal merit—we could do nothing to earn this], but because of His own purpose and grace [His amazing, undeserved favor] which was granted to us in Christ Jesus before the world began [eternal ages ago],

Paul, in the first personal epistle addressed to Timothy, his spiritual son, his true son in the faith, makes reference to those ordained of God, those with “a holy calling,” having a consecrated life, being set apart by grace to fulfill God’s purpose.

Although there may or may not be a public ordination ceremony that acknowledges an individual’s response to the call of God upon his or her life, the hand of God touches those called, chosen, and ordained of God, even before that person is born. As the Psalmist declares:

Psalm 71:6 (AMP):

Upon You have I relied and been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb and You have been my benefactor from that day. My praise is continually of You.

Note what the Word of God says about Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you [and approved of you as My chosen instrument], And before you were born I consecrated you [to Myself as My own]; I have appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

The Verse of the Day and related verses also bring to mind a most memorable event occurring more than 40 years ago when I was first ordained to the Christian ministry.  In reflecting upon my ordination ceremony, I recall a prayer of consecration, the laying on of hands, and a word of prophecy, all of which have been touchstones of inspiration and direction over the years. During that time I was inspired to write a poem which I have revised and would like to share:

The Call of God     

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,

beseech you to walk worthy of the calling

with which you were called,

Ephesians 4:1


The call of God resounds like a repeated name

From the lips of a beloved friend who knows us.

We wait and clearly hear our name and see the flame,

Lighting the path to fulfill God’s divine purpose,

As we choose to embrace a higher destiny.

This holy calling only God can verify.

We know our ears cannot hear; our eyes cannot see;

Yet from the depths of our heart we cannot deny

That we have truly heard and seen what few will know.

We must, therefore, arise and strive to reach the place

Where the mighty rivers of understanding flow,

And we must never doubt God’s purpose and His grace.

We stand in the endless line of those ordained of God,

For we have heard and walk forth to heed the call of God.


We close with Joe Medrek, who reminds us “God is calling”

God of all comfort

March 8, 2018

The Verse of the Day for March 8, 2018 provides another magnificent illustration of who God is and what He provides for His people:

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV):

[Praise to the God of All Comfort] Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Throughout the Scriptures we see that God is a source of comfort.
Isaiah 49:13 (NIV) makes this clear:

Shout for joy, you heavens;
rejoice, you earth;
burst into song, you mountains
For the LORD comforts his people
and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.

Isaiah 51:12 (NIV) reinforces the message

“I, even I, am he who comforts you.
Who are you that you fear mere mortals,
human beings who are but grass

Isaiah 66:13 (NIV) speaks comfort to Israel

As a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you;
and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”

The Verse of the Day also brings to mind Ephesians 1:3 to show us that “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Indeed, we are complete in Christ, blessed in that we have received everything that we need to live fruitful and meaningful lives spiritually. Paul asks, “What do you have that you have not received?” We recognize that before we can share anything with others we must have received what we desire to share. So it is with comfort, as the Verse of the Day reminds of the principle of receiving and giving and giving and receiving, We have received great comfort from God so that we are in a position to give great comfort to others.

In addition, we discover that God is source of all comfort for those who look to Him to find comfort and strength, particularly in times of distress and trouble. We receive comfort in knowing that we not only have hope, but we have a living hope

1 Peter 1:3 reminds us all our gracious Father has given us:

[Praise to God for a Living Hope]
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

As believers we first of all receive “comfort from God” particularly during times of trouble. We are then able to give comfort to others in the same way that we have been comforted by the God of all comfort, thus we follow this exhortation:

Therefore comfort one another

Therefore encourage and comfort one another
and build up one another, just as you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore comfort one another, as the Father tells us to.

May our words always be seasoned with salt, though they may be few.

Just as the Lord strengthens and encourages with words of hope,

So the love we share lightens the load, helping others to cope.

May the love of God abound in all we say and do.


God is faithful to keep His promises, for His Word is true.

Each day offers another chance, for the Father makes all things new.

Take comfort in knowing that we have a living hope;

Therefore comfort one another.


To walk in God’s love is the more excellent way we pursue.

Though we share in Christ’s afflictions, we share in his comfort too.

The comfort we give comes back in a far greater measure of hope,

For to see life from God’s viewpoint offers an even grander scope.

Though troubled on every hand, God’s great comfort will see us through;

Therefore comfort one another.

We close with a musical tribute to the “God of all Comfort.”

God searches

March 7, 2018

Described as an invitation for “a soul-searching probe from the Lord,” Psalm 139 opens with a declaration that God knows all about His creation.

Psalm 139:1-5:

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.

The Verse of the Day for March 7, 2018 brings closure to this heartfelt invitation:

Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV):

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

The entire psalm centers on the verb “search” which has been translated “ to search into, to inquire, to inspect carefully;  to examine with effort and care and accuracy in order to make a full and clear discovery or complete and exact calculation; to track, to trace, to investigate by exploring; to search minutely by uncovering.”

We find a similar reference to the Lord in Chronicles 28:9 (NIV):

“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.

Likewise, Jeremiah 17:10 (NIV) also declares:

“I the Lord search the heart
and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
according to what their deeds deserve.”

Romans 8:27-28 also directs our attention to the searching of the human heart:

27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

The Verse of the Day and related verses remind us who God is and what He does:

God Searches:

Romans 8:27-28


God searches the depths of each soul and probes each heart,

To uncover each motive and extract the pure,

Discarding dross, thus perfecting the refiner’s art.

The word of prophecy stands as even more sure,

The touchstone to measure the essence of all life.

All else shall fail but the Word shall ever inspire.

This two-edged sword, sharper than a finely honed knife–

Living, powerful, piercing each thought and desire,

Penetrating soul and spirit, joints and marrow–

Probing deepest emotions, dispelling the dark.

Life-giving and powerful, swift as an arrow

That finds its target and that always hits its mark

Reaching its own perfection, to its fullest extent,

The Word of God prospers wherever it is sent.

Hillsong offers a moving rendition of “Search Me O God,” a most appropriate musical accompaniment to close today’s blog entry:

Power of encouragement

March 5, 2018

Quite providentially, the Verse of the Day for March 5 seems to follow-up perfectly the word of exhortation that was posted yesterday on the only day of the year that is a command: March 4th. Today the words spoken to Joshua also resonate within the lives of individual believers today:

Joshua 1:9 (NIV):

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

From a blog entry posted a year ago today comes the following excerpt:

In the midst of perilous times, circumstances that are said “difficult to deal with,” we often become intimidated. The pressures of life and the challenges that confront us try to make us timid and fearful. Many times the adversary of our souls seeks to make us feel inferior or not up to the task, assignment or purpose that God has inspired us to pursue.

The Verse of the Day from Joshua 1:9 is a great source of encouragement in midst of circumstances whereby we could be discouraged. Just as Joshua felt discouraged when he was confronted with the task of leading the Children of Israel into the Promised Land after the death of Moses, we also have similar concerns, as we move in transition into the next phase of our destiny in God.

Another related passage reminds believers to have no fear:

Isaiah 41:10, 13

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand,
Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’

These particular verses remind us that as believers we are not to fear. The comforting exhortation to “fear not” or “do not fear” occurs 365 times in the Bible, indicating a daily memo from God that we are to have no fear.

When we encounter similarly stressful situations that cause us to respond in fear, we are to be encouraged to seek the strength to overcome any obstacle that attempts to block our path to success.

We counter those attempts that seek to generate fear with reminders from the Word of God that instead of becoming more fearful and afraid, we are to be “fearless”: we should be bold, brave, composed, confident, unafraid, valiant, and courageous.

The Verse of the Day and related verses also bring to mind 1 Thessalonians 5:11,  inspiration for these words:


Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
. .
Don’t stop now—keep on pursuing
Keep seeking His face
Don’t get weary in well doing
You must keep the pace
Seek and you shall find
The strength to be transformed–
Renewed in the spirit of your mind
Encourage yourself
And encourage one another
Build each other up
Every sister and brother
Speaking the truth, we grow up
Therefore, encourage one another

We close our discussion with “Encourage one another,” a compilation from 1 Thessalonians 5:11 and other scriptures and words of encouragement from Kimberly Culpen. May we all be strengthened and encouraged today.

March Forth on National Grammar Day–March 4th

March 4, 2018

The fourth day of March is the only day of the year expressed as an imperative sentence given as a command: March Forth! Created by Deborah Shouse, noted writer, speaker and creativity coach, this unofficial holiday invites individuals to march forth into their lives, take on new experiences, and celebrate their accomplishments. In addition, National Grammar Day is also celebrated on March 4.

Sponsored by the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, this annual event points out that “On National Grammar Day, we honor our language and its rules, which help us communicate clearly with each other. In turn, clear communication helps us understand each other—a critical component of peaceful relations.”

Mignon Fogarty, of “Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing” fame, comments:
“Language is something to celebrate, and March 4 is the perfect day to do it. It’s not only a date, it’s an imperative: March forth on March 4 to speak well, write well, and help others do the same!”

Most providentially, Dr. J will begin teaching an English Grammar course at Carolina College of Biblical Research in Fayetteville, NC on Tuesday of this week. As students of the Bible, we find an exhortation to “march forth” in the Amplified Bible in Psalm 68:7:

O God, when You went forth before Your people, when You marched through the wilderness—Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!—

Psalm 45:4 also uses another similar expression:

In your majesty ride forth victoriously in the cause of truth, humility and justice; let your right hand achieve awesome deeds.

Today is a day that speaks a command—March Forth—on Sunday, March 4th we will follow the command of the Lord and march forth into victory . . . today.

Now thanks be unto God who always causes us to triumph in Christ and makes manifest the sweet savor of His knowledge by us in every place. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

In the military we hear the command “Forward March. “Forward “is the preparatory command whereby the individual shifts weight to the right foot before stepping out smartly on the left foot with on the command “march.”

A previous blog post points out that as believers we find that we can follow the command to “Forward March” in four areas: Family Life, Finances, Favor, and Faith:

Forward March in Family Life, as we recognize that God sets the solitary and places them in families, and we pray the prayer of Ephesians 3:14-21:

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

In addition, we “Forward March in Finances”:

God’s desire for His people is health and well-being:

3 John 2:

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

The blessings of the Lord makes us rich and adds no sorrow with it. We are blessed that we might be a blessing.

Moreover, we also Forward March in Favor

Where sin did abound, grace (favor) did much more abound.—We are blessed and highly favored in the Lord.

2 Corinthians 9:8 tells us:

And God is able to make all grace (favor) abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

Finally, we Forward March in Faith, as we move from—Faith to Faith—Victory to Victory.
We follow in the footsteps of faithful Abraham, our Father, the father of Faith
Like Abraham, we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Romans 4:20-21 describes the “Father of Faith” in this way:

20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

And so we march forth on March 4, 2018, as we “Forward March” in four areas: Family Life, Finances, Favor, Faith.

A most appropriate song to close out this blog entry is “Moving Forward” by Israel Houghton: