Friday, November 30, 2012

Hey, Are You Busy?

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals  

II Thessalonians 3:10-11  "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies."



Is there a difference between "work" and "busy"?  In reality, this question of working and being busy is only a concern in our world.  In the animal kingdom, there is no such thing as a lazy squirrel.  Lazy squirrels are dead squirrels!  On the other hand, have you ever seen a squirrel that was busy scampering back and forth in your lane of the highway?  He just needs to make up his mind and get out of the way!  He is plenty busy but is only accelerating the trauma he will meet when your tires roll around.


In II Thessalonians, some people were not working with their hands, but they were busy.  Paul called them "busybodies."  You can be very busy inserting yourself into someone else's business, but it is another point altogether to be industrious.  "Busy" speaks of energy; "work" ("industry") speaks to an end.


You should focus your day on what you accomplish, not on how busy you are.  If you only focused on filling time instead of accomplishing things that will make a difference, you will be busy but not industrious.  Work is virtuous.  Hard work is virtuous.  But work is not virtuous apart from what it accomplishes.


Make your day count for something.  Be more concerned with the end than with busyness.  The benchmark for today is not how busy you are but how much good you accomplish.  So, are you busy today?





Prayer Requests:

1. Conference on Marriage & the Home continuing today and tomorrow

2. Services this weekend in Winona Lake, IN



Read more devotionals, listen to sermon audio, and read thought-provoking articles on our website!




Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Did He Really Die?

Did He Really Die?
The Institute for Creation Research

Click here to see the web version of this Days of

Did He Really Die?
"And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph." (Mark 15:44-45)
The absolute and total physical death of Christ is essential to the gospel. Certain liberals and detractors have for years tried to obscure or deny this vital teaching, claiming that Christ merely "swooned" on the cross and later revived in the tomb, then appeared to His followers who falsely claimed His resurrection.
But to the Christian, the death of Christ is not an option. The Bible teaches that sin had separated each man from God, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God," being declared righteous only "through faith in his blood" (Romans 3:23, 25) which was shed on the cross. "Without shedding of blood is no remission" of sin (Hebrews 9:22). There can be no Christianity without the real death of the real, sinless Son of God.
It seems that the gospel writers, in recounting the events of the crucifixion, go to great lengths to make sure no one misunderstands. In Mark 15, for example, nearly 20 people are mentioned who no doubt would testify to His death. Consider the likely testimony of the Roman guards who had tortured Him to the point of death (vv. 15-23), nailed Him on the cross (v. 24), and watched Him die. The executioner (v. 25) and the centurion (vv. 39, 44-45) were trained in killing. They knew how to recognize death. The thieves (v. 27), the mocking passers-by (v. 29), the chief priests and scribes (v. 31), the grave keepers (v. 46), all would have had no doubt. Pilate was convinced (vv. 44-45), as were His many friends who watched (vv. 40-41, 47).
There can be no doubt Christ surely died, and He died "to give his life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45). JDM

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012


DANIEL 8                                                      

Pastor Rick Jackson


The book of Daniel was written in 2 languages. 1:1-2:3 were written in Hebrew, the language of the Jews. 2:4-7:28 were written in Aramaic, the language of the Babylonians. 8:1-12:13 were written in Hebrew.




1. The Medes & the Persians [v. 3-4, 20]

The smaller horn represents Darius the Mede, the Higher horn pictures Cyrus the Persian.

2. The Greeks Under Alexander [v. 5-7, 21]

3. The Greeks Under Alexander’s Four Generals [v. 8, 22]




1. Fanatical

2. Satanic

3. Prophetic

Put an idol of Zeus in the Temple area around 168 BC, offered swine on the altar which was eventually cleansed by Judas Maccabeus


III. DANIEL’S VISION OF THE FUTURE [v. 1-2, 15-19, 26-27]


1. Shows the Omniscience of God [He not only knows what will happen, He understands it]

2. Shows the Grace of God in giving His Revelation

3. Shows the Omnipotence of God

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What if the "Two Men" in Luke 24 are the same as the Two Witnesses in Revelation?

Never really thought about it- always had been taught the 2 "men" at the resurrection and ascension were angels- but there is another good possibility presented by Brother DeYoung here. - Rick


Prophecy Today Devotions  
November 27, 2012  

Jimmy DeYoung
Thank you for reading my Prophetic Daily Devotionals! 

 Please visit my website to learn more Bible prophecies being fulfilled in these last days. 



Luke 24:6


He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee.


For further study - Luke 24:1-12


This portion of Luke 24 that I have selected for today's devotional reading is a record of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, as recorded by Dr. Luke. This event in history is the cornerstone of our faith due to the fact that Jesus Christ had to raise from the dead to prove He was who He said He was.


His resurrection is also proof that He can do what He said He would do, at this time in history and in the future. Jesus Christ died to take away our sin and rose from the dead to prove He was the one qualified to do that.


I could write a lot about the resurrection from this passage but I want to point you to several verses and share with you what may be some new thoughts for you to consider. Verses 4 to 6are the portion of the text that I'm referring to for your consideration.


When the "Mary's" arrived at the grave sight, verses 1-3, they found the "stone rolled away from the sepulcher". They even entered the burial sight and did not see the body of Jesus. The body was gone.


These ladies, also saw "two men in shining garments" standing near the burial sight. As the women stood there "perplexed" the two men spoke to them saying, "He is not here, but is risen", verse 6.


These two "men" had witnessed the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the only "eye witnesses" to the resurrection. They then gave testimony of what had happened to these ladies that had come to minister at the grave sight of Jesus.


It is interesting to me that there were also "two men" watching Jesus ascend into heaven, as recorded in another book that Dr Luke wrote to reveal the activities of Jesus. The book of Acts records the events of that day when Jesus went to heaven as His disciples watched Him go to "His Father's house".


Notice that in the account of the Lord's return to heaven, after His resurrection, Acts 1:9-11, there were also "two men" standing by watching, verse 10. These men told those gathered there on the Mount of Olives that as He had gone to heaven, He would return to Earth someday.


I bring these two events, with "two men" in attendance at both, to your attention to have you consider that these "two men" are most likely the "Two Witnesses" of Revelation 11 who will have a three and one half year ministry from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.


Remember, a "witness" gives testimony of what he saw. During the Tribulation Period to come the "two witnesses" will be preaching and there will be many people that come to salvation through Jesus Christ, a result of His resurrection.


The message of the Two Witnesses during the Tribulation, at least the first of the seven years, will be that Jesus resurrected from the dead and He is coming again. That's the "gospel of the kingdom" that will be preached to the whole world, Matthew 24:14, before Jesus comes back to Earth.


One of those witnesses will be Elijah, Malachi 4:5. I rejoice every time they sing at church the song, "We are living in the days of Elijah". I do believe that we are living in "those days". These "days" will be those that will follow the Rapture of the Church.


Remember, before the Tribulation, the time period of the ministry of the "Two Witnesses", Jesus will shout for us to join Him in the heavens and that day could be keep looking up.



PRAYER THOT: Dear Lord help me to realize that we are living in the "days of Elijah" and live, expecting Jesus to call us up to heaven at any moment.

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Monday, November 26, 2012


2 SAMUEL 8-9                                             


Pastor Rick Jackson




1. The Kingdom Expanded [8:1-6]


2. The Coffers Enlarged [8:7-8]


3. The Reputation Exalted [8:9-14]




1.  His Reign [8:15]


2. His Cabinet [8:16-17]


3.  His Rulers [8:18]




1. The Seeker [9:1-4, Luke 19:10]


2. The Supplier [9:5-8]


3. The Securer [9:9-13]

Sunday, November 25, 2012


ISAIAH 55                           


Pastor Rick Jackson




1. Thirst- the unmet desire [v. 1, John 4:13-15, 7:37, Rev. 22:17]


2. Come- the untried road [Matthew 11:28, 19:14]


3. Eat- the uneaten nourishment [v. 1, John 6:30-58]




1.  Salvation is Obtaining the Unobtainable [v. 1, 1 Peter 1:18-19]


2. Salvation is Not Settling for the Unsatisfying [v. 2, Ezekiel 7:19]


3.  Salvation is Delighting in the Soul’s Delight [v. 2, 58:14, Psalm 37:4, 11]




1. When You Accept God [v. 3-6, John 1:12]


2. When God Accepts You [v. 7]


3. When the Acceptance is God’s Way [v. 8-13]

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Question of the Week: How does carbon-14 confirm a young earth?

Answers Weekly - Answers in Genesis


Answers Weekly | newsletter archives | contact us
November 24, 2012

a weekly look at

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Q: How does carbon-14 confirm a young earth?

A: Carbon-14 (or radiocarbon) is a radioactive form of carbon that scientists use to date fossils. But it decays so quickly—with a half-life of only 5,730 years—that none is expected to remain in fossils after only a few hundred thousand years. Yet carbon-14 has been detected in "ancient" fossils—supposedly up to hundreds of millions of years old—ever since the earliest days of radiocarbon dating.
Even if every atom in the whole earth were carbon-14, they would decay so quickly that no carbon-14 would be left on earth after only 1 million years. Contrary to expectations, between 1984 and 1998 alone, the scientific literature reported carbon-14 in 70 samples that came from fossils, coal, oil, natural gas, and marble representing the fossil-bearing portion of the geologic record, supposedly spanning more than 500 million years. All contained radiocarbon.
Read more to see how these radiocarbon findings line up with the biblical account.

Get Equipped

Get EquippedAnswers Magazine: 10 Best Evidences That Confirm a Young Earth
In the recent controversy over Sen. Marco Rubio's comments about the age of the earth, you need to read our current issue of Answers magazine. It presents the ten best scientific evidences that confirm the Bible's teaching that the earth is young.

News to Note Quick Look

Ancestral grazing: Did "human ancestors" come down from the trees to graze?
Age of the earth?: Untestable age of the earth becomes contestable political litmus test.
Bug type: Bowel bug type tied to common ape-like ancestry.
Ancient weaponry: Common ancestor of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens said to have made spears.
Fruit fly psychology: Larval adversity affects genetically-mediated behavior in adult fruit flies.

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Our Hope

Days of
Our Hope
November 23, 2012
"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope." (1 Timothy 1:1)
Paul, in his opening salutation to Timothy, makes it clear that the Christian's hope is not just in Christ, but is Christ! In the New Testament, the term "hope" does not refer to some vague wish, but to a confident expectation of something (or someone) sure to come. It focuses especially on the promised return of Christ to complete His great work of redemption.
It is specifically called the blessed hope: "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13). It is also a living hope, for God the Father "hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3).
Furthermore, since Christ is our hope, it is a saving hope. "For we are saved by hope" (Romans 8:24). It is a glorious and joyful hope. It recognizes the present truth of "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27), so that we "rejoice in hope of the glory of God" (Romans 5:2).
It is not a blind hope but a reasonable hope, one founded on solid evidence, and every believer must "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15)
Finally, this hope of the imminent coming of Christ, when at last "we shall be like Him," is a purifying hope, for "every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure" (1 John 3:2-3). It also is a stabilizing hope, "Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast" (Hebrews 6:19). In every way, God "hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace" (2 Thessalonians 2:16). HMM
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

What to Give First

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals  
II Corinthians 8:5  "And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God."
What to Give First
The other day, I heard a story about a father who took his young son to a fast-food restaurant and ordered the boy a large order of French fries.  As they sat down to enjoy their time together, the dad reached over to grab a couple of fries that he had just purchased for his son.  The son put his hand on the father's and said, "Those are mine!"
The ingratitude is shocking, isn't it?  Don't you wonder how na├»ve a child can be to try to clutch onto a couple of fries when his dad is the only reason he had fries to begin with?  In reality, the dad owned the fries and was steward of his son.
Often it is easy for children to forget who owns and provides what they have, but we have a Father in heaven Whom we can treat the same way!  People often have this question: "How much of my money should I give God?"  That is the wrong question!  It is not how much of your money should you give God; it is how much of God's money should you keep for yourself.
The believers in II Corinthians 8 "first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us. . . ."  Before they gave a penny, they gave themselves.  A person who has given himself has nothing more to withhold.  The reason we have a hard time giving money or time is because we haven't given ourselves.
A person who realized that they belong to the Lord Jesus will have no trouble being generous with what He has entrusted to him.  A person who has given himself has nothing more to withhold and nothing greater to give.

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Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128