VIDEO Peace, Hope, Rats!

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

Anna Scott, a missionary to China in the 1900s, wrote: “I slept in a little side room of the chapel…. Though there were two or three cats in the chapel the rats scampered over my bed and through the little room all night. Had it not been for my mosquito net I think they would have made personal attacks upon me. One of our young lady missionaries was careless and put her foot outside of the net and a rat gnawed her big toe!”

Despite such conditions, God gave Anna such a joy and peace that, when her retirement came, she returned home and told her supporters, “I am sixty-nine years old, it is true, but I am strong and vigorous and I fully believe I can do a good work for at least another term of six and one-half years.”[1]

And she did!

There are a lot of rats running around—disagreements, divisions, trials—that could nibble away at our peace. But the Lord gives a zestful peace the world cannot understand and which the world can never remove!

I shall never lose life’s zest, because the last turn in the road will be the best. Anna Kay Scott

Catch a Better Life – Daily Devotional and Fishing Tip October 7th

Birds of the Air

Do not worry about your life. Matthew 6:25

The summer sun was rising and my smiling neighbor, seeing me in my front yard, whispered for me to come look. “What?” I whispered back, intrigued. She pointed to a wind chime on her front porch, where a tiny teacup of straw rested atop a metal rung. “A hummingbird’s nest,” she whispered. “See the babies?” The two beaks, tiny as pinpricks, were barely visible as they pointed upward. “They’re waiting for the mother.” We stood there, marveling. I raised my cell phone to snap a picture. “Not too close,” my neighbor said. “Don’t want to scare away the mother.” And with that, we adopted—from afar—a family of hummingbirds.

But not for long. In another week, mother bird and babies were gone—as quietly as they had arrived. But who would care for them?

The Bible gives a glorious but familiar answer. It’s so familiar that we may forget all that it promises: “Do not worry about your life,” said Jesus (Matthew 6:25). A simple but beautiful instruction. “Look at the birds of the air,” He added. “They do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them” (v. 26).

Just as God cares for tiny birds, He cares for us—nurturing us in mind, body, soul, and spirit. It’s a magnificent promise. May we look to Him daily—without worry—and soar.

By:  Patricia Raybon

Reflect & Pray

What’s the difference between worry and planning—or worry and concern? As you look at your life, how is God daily providing?

Loving God, it’s humbling to know that You care for the needs of my life. Please help me to honor Your promise to provide by trusting You more each day.

Claiming a Promise of God

Which of God’s promises are yours? Hebrews 10:19-25

Today’s passage says God is faithful to fulfill His promises. But if you’re like most Christians, you have probably felt as if He’s let you down at some point. Perhaps you found a promise in Scripture and believed the Lord would do it, but He hasn’t. The problem isn’t God’s faithfulness; more than likely, there’s a misunderstanding of His promises. So, when evaluating whether a passage applies to you, ask these questions: 

  • Is it limited or does it pertain to all believers? Certain scriptural promises were given to a particular individual, while others were for the whole nation of Israel. And sometimes a promise concerned a specific event or circumstance. But God’s Word contains many that are intended for all of His followers throughout history. Always check the context. 
  • Is there a condition to the promise? If so, we must meet that requirement. Otherwise, it won’t apply to us.   
  • Am I asking for a need or a desire? God assures us He’ll provide whatever He considers necessary to complete His work in our life (2 Peter 1:3). But that doesn’t include everything we want. 

These guidelines will help us discern which promises are ours. But we should remember that some might be fulfilled only in eternity. When that’s the case, we can look to the saints of Hebrews 11 as role models. They took God at His word—even if they didn’t see His promises fulfilled in their lifetime. 

A Credible Lifestyle

“And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey.” (Mark 1:6)

At times we tend to think of John the Baptist as a wild man, one who would have been either an offense or a laughingstock to those he was trying to reach, but in reality quite the opposite was true. He was greatly respected and believed; some even wondered if he should have been worshiped as “that prophet” (i.e., the Messiah) or revered as Elijah (John 1:21). His “preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (Luke 3:3) was so effective that not only the common people (v. 10) but also the publicans (v. 12), soldiers (v. 14), priests, and Levites (John 1:19), as well as the Pharisees and the Sadducees (Matthew 3:7), came to hear his teaching. Many repented and were baptized.

Far from lacking credibility, John’s style was what was expected of a prophet. Indeed, his ministry and message were in fulfillment of those of Elijah (Malachi 4:5), who himself “was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins” (2 Kings 1:8). Even false prophets mimicked this style to gain credibility (Zechariah 13:4).

The point is, we should strive to package our timeless message of the gospel of Christ in such a way as to gain the greatest hearing and the most true converts. This is not to say that we should dress as John or Elijah did, for that would be bizarre in today’s world. Nor should we flaunt riches, for both styles detract from the message and induce ridicule and blasphemy.

Perhaps the principle is to dress and act as the hearers would expect a credible, sober conveyer of truth to behave. Let us be careful to “adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things” (Titus 2:10). JDM

A Switch in Pleasure Source

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and…they loved not their lives unto the death.Revelation 12:11

The way [faith] works in experience is something like this: The believing man is overwhelmed suddenly by a powerful feeling that only God matters; soon this works itself out into his mental life and conditions all his judgments and all his values.

Now he finds himself free from slavery to man’s opinions. Soon he learns to love above all else the assurance that he is well-pleasing to the Father in heaven.

It is this complete switch in their pleasure source that has made believing men invincible. So could saints and martyrs stand alone, deserted by every earthly friend, and die for Christ under the universal displeasure of mankind….

[T]he gospel has power to deliver men from the tyranny of social approval and make them free to do the will of God. POM030

Nothing is too dear to give to Christ, nothing too great to be cheerfully sacrificed to the promotion of His glory. Such is the disposition of good men, that they place their happiness in the glory of God and the prosperity of His kingdom. DTC143

A Command to Be Obeyed

And don’t get drunk with wine … but be filled by the Spirit.—Ephesians 5:18

In The Amplified Bible this text reads: “And do not get drunk with wine … but ever be filled and stimulated with the (Holy) Spirit.”

However we may view the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, or whatever experience we may have had of Him in the past, if we do not enjoy an ever-present flow of His power in our lives, then we are living below the New Testament standard. This text, as many commentators have pointed out, is a command to be obeyed. If we are not experiencing what the Bible commands, then our lives are not in harmony with God’s purposes.

I meet many Christians who are sighing over lost ecstasies, mourning over lost victories, and who are downcast because they have lost touch with God. It is largely because they are living not “the life of the Spirit,” but the life of following an ideal with their own resources, stirred by emotion through a special sermon or something they read in a book. They grow tired and are on the point of giving up.

A translator in India, working on an early edition of Every Day Light on the Holy Spirit, wrote: “I’d like another subject. I’m tired of working on the Holy Spirit.” A lot of Christians have that problem; they grow tired of working on the Holy Spirit, instead of letting the Holy Spirit work on them. Let’s stop working on the Spirit, and allow Him to work on us!


Blessed Holy Spirit, help me as I thread my way through the maze of thoughts and attitudes about You. Help me to come out with Your thoughts and attitudes. I want to be filled with the Spirit—today and always. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Further Study

Rm 8:1-17; Ezk 36:27; Jn 14:17; Heb 10:15-16

What is the result of “the Spirit’s law of life”?

What is Paul teaching about the Holy Spirit?

Questioning God

Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind. He said:

Who is this who obscures [My] counsel

with ignorant words?

Get ready to answer Me like a man;

when I question you, you will inform Me.—Job 38:1–3

Job was a righteous man who, from a human perspective, did not deserve to suffer. He lived a blameless life and followed God’s laws to the letter. As he was experiencing great tribulation, Job cried out in frustration and questioned why God was allowing him to suffer. God came to Job in the form of a whirlwind with His answer. As soon as God spoke, Job recognized that he should not have challenged God’s wisdom. God turned to Job and asked him several sobering questions: “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Where were you when I set the oceans in their place? Where were you when I put the constellations of stars in position?” God’s questions humbled Job and reminded him that his own wisdom did not begin to compare with God’s.

When God finished asking His questions, Job replied, “I have uttered what I did not understand, / Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know” (Job 42:3). In a moment of despair and frustration, Job had challenged God’s wisdom. God had firmly reminded Job that He was still sovereign and that this truth was enough for Job. Whether Job ever knew that his life had been the focus of a cosmic struggle is unclear. Perhaps Job never realized that his experience brought glory to God in the face of Satan’s challenge (Job 1:8–12). But Job was satisfied to know that God’s wisdom was flawless.

At times you may not understand why a loving Father would allow you to suffer as you are. You may question the wisdom of God’s direction for your life. Learn from Job. Review the awesome power and wisdom of almighty God (Job 38–41). Have confidence that this same God is directing your path.