Proclaiming Jesus, Preaching the Bible, Providing Hope!
The Pastor's Pocket
by Pastor Bruce Freeman
Practical, personal, powerful truths from God's Word with fresh and relevant content for today's generation, The Pastors' Pocket is a series of devotions written by Pastor Bruce Freeman with the intent of enriching your walk with the Lord during your quiet time.
2 Kings 5:1, “Now
Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his
master, and honourable, because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria:
he was also a mighty man of valour, but he was a leper.”
Naaman had it all. A position of power and
prestige as the captain of the Syrian forces, a large military armed with soldiers
at his command. A great man by all accounts with favor from his superior. He
had the reputation of being a fine soldier himself. Through his leadership many
victories in battle went his way which led to an accumulation of great wealth.
Here was a man with pretty much everything except for just one thing. He was a
leper, and that was raining on his parade, spoiling his life in many ways.
Naaman obeyed the instructions from a man of God, Elisha, the prophet in
Israel. He experienced a miracle and was healed from that one thing.
Naaman’s physical condition pictures humanity’s spiritual
condition. A sin nature, an empty spot in life, a whole in the soul. A
spiritually lost condition, far from God. Regardless of where that person
lives, whether rich or poor, no matter their ethnicity, “all have sinned and
come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
You can be healed from sin. Follow the
instructions in the Bible to, “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 16:31).
A simple act of faith and you are forgiven, cleansed spiritually, and your sins
washed away through the precious blood of Jesus, the Great Physician.
My friend, don’t allow just one thing to ruin an
otherwise good life. There is only one cure, it’s not in a bottle or a pill, it’s
in a name, JESUS.
When was the last time you made a move toward God?
My thoughts today are about the woman with the issue of blood. The narrative is
found in Mark 5:24-34. Jesus is on His way to minister to a little girl on her
death bed. There was a throng of people around Him. At this point in His
ministry, there was a crowd everywhere He went. On this day, a certain woman
who had a real problem moves through the crowd to get to Jesus. She believes if
she can just touch the hem of his garment, she will be healed of her serious
illness. She has suffered twelve long years, had seen many doctors, but was
still sick. She is desperate.
When the woman heard that Jesus was passing by,
she made her move toward him. Because of her faith, she was healed, and saved.
He called her “Daughter”. God always honors our reach in faith.
I’ve been preaching the Word of God for over 40
years now. I’ve preached the gospel a lot of places, to a lot of people. Thousands
have heard the good news from my mouth and yet so many have missed their opportunity
to reach out, in faith, and receive Jesus as their Savior. He was passing their
way and they failed to make a move toward God.
Friend, if you have a serious condition; spiritual,
emotional, physical, whatever your condition, make your move toward the God
today. Only He can fix what’s wrong in your life.
I was staying at a hotel recently with the window
open. Several crows were up in the trees doing what crows do, “crowing” to each
other. It made me wonder, what are they saying? I’m sure they understood each
other. Will we someday, in the future, understand the language of the birds and
All creatures have quite a sophisticated language
by which they communicate with each other. Whales, elephants, lions, cows, and
birds make distinct noises. We humans may not grasp what they are saying, but
they are “talking”.
The Bible says that one day God will bring ALL
things together in Christ. ALL things will be under His Lordship. He will
gather as one universe, heaven and earth, and all of its creatures. In that
grand scenario, why would we not understand each other?
You remember that the serpent spoke in such a way
that Eve understood (Genesis 3:1). In Numbers 22, we are told that Balaam’s
donkey spoke to him when the Lord opened its mouth (verse 28), then Balaam
spoke to the donkey (verse 29), and the donkey spoke to Balaam (verse 30). That
was an actual conversation between man and beast.
If God did that once or twice before, He could
surely do it again. Maybe someday I will understand “crow” talk. What do you
God knows every detail
of our life. He knows what we’re capable of and He knows what would destroy us.
Whatever we encounter, whatever we go through, He knows about it. Remember this
principle; if you can’t handle it, God won’t allow it.
In the first chapter of Job,
we’re told of all that Job encountered. God knew the character of this man and
he knew he could survive the test. He said to Satan, “have
you considered my servant Job?” (Job 1:8).
Life can seem hopeless
at times. Many situations can bring on that sense of hopelessness. Satan is the
master of robbing people of hope. Hope of -improvement, hope for change, hope
for a better day, hope for a solution to the problem. The devil wants to get us
down and keep us down. He will if we let him. When we are in despair, we must
change our focus and look to God for strength. Change your focus, and you
change your feelings.
In Psalm 42, the
psalmist said that he would hope in God, praise Him, and he would remember all
the times God was his source of strength.
God can instantly change
the situation we’re facing. He can change our hurt into healing, our weeping
into joy and laughter, our poverty into prosperity, our despair into hope.
Trust God with your present trial. He will come through for you.
Have you ever surrendered your mouth to the
Lordship of Jesus Christ? Most believers understand the concept of Lordship –
meaning we are to be totally surrendered to Jesus. But few think of Lordship in
regards to their mouth.
If we examine the scriptures we find many verses
that admonish us to use wisdom and discipline with regards to what we say.Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupt communication
proceed out of your mouth”. Ephesians 5:4, “neither filthiness, nor foolish
talking, nor jesting”. Jesting means coarse, or harsh jabs at someone. Matthew
5:37, “let your communication be, yea, yea; nay, nay: for whatsoever is more
than these cometh of evil.” Colossians 3:9, “Lie not to one another, seeing
that ye have put off the old man with his deeds.” I Corinthians 10:10, “Neither
murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.”
I Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
The average person thinks about 3000 thoughts per day. I’m convinced that some people say about 3000
things per day. You don’t have to say everything you think. It requires mental
and spiritual discipline to guard your mouth and to use discretion in what you
say. James 1:19 says, “Wherefore, my
beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to
Most of us would do well to heed these scriptures
and to bring our mouth under the Lordship of Christ. Let’s work at using kind words. Let’s refrain
from saying everything we think. This
world will be a kinder place to live if each of us will do a better job at managing
In Galatians 6:14, the
Apostle Paul wrote, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of
our Lord Jesus Christ,” Let’s pay close attention to what he said next, “by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I
unto the world.” I see two crucifixions here: one in which the world was dead
to Paul in his generation. Secondly, Paul was dead to the world.
the first century meant death. There was no other outcome for those who were
crucified. Paul uses crucifixion to indicate a death, a separation, and it was
inevitable. As Paul preached the cross of Christ, His death and resurrection,
the world wanted nothing to do with Paul. They made that clear many times.
But you know what?
Paul was dead to the world. He cared nothing for its attractions, his only
focus was to preach Christ to all who would listen. We as believers have divine
instruction to not love the world and the things that are in the world (I John
2:15). As Christians, this world holds nothing for us. We are citizens of
another country. We should be dead to this world’s pleasures and attractions.
We will be
leaving soon. This old world will be happy we are gone and we will be happy to
leave it behind.
We could all use some
courage in these trying days we live in. Joshua was given the assignment of
leading the Israelites across the Jordan River and into the land of promise after
Moses had been their leader all those years in the wilderness. In Joshua 1:6, God
said to Joshua, “Be strong and of good courage”. Verse 7, “Only be thou strong
and very courageous”. Verse 9, “Have I not commanded the? Be strong and of good
courage, be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed for the Lord thy God is with
thee withersoever thou goest.”
Knowing that Joshua
would need some courage after serving under Moses in the wilderness, the Lord
commanded him to be strong and full of courage. In chapter three of Joshua, we
read of how this bold and fearless leader, full of courage, led the people
across the Jordan River, into the land of Canaan, the land full of milk and honey,
yet filled with many unknowns and many challenges.
We too have big
challenges ahead as we prepare for the coming of the Lord. Our world is
changing so much, with every passing day. However, this is not the time to
tremble with fear. God’s people need a huge dose of courage. We need to be
strong and courageous, knowing that the Lord is with us.
Will you join me in
prayer, that the Church in these last days would be strong, bold, and full of
courage? Then ask the Lord to fill you with courage to face whatever is in front
of you. That is a prayer He is sure to answer.
We must consistently
pursue the power of a pure heart out of which comes an effective prayer life (2
Timothy 2:22, Matthew 5:8).
Let’s face reality;
sinful attitudes and activities are way too abundant in today’s church.Yet the Christian is called to resist
temptation and to go further. We are to hate sin, to reject it, and to love
righteousness. If the church of today is to experience revival and to witness
an outpouring of God’s glory and power, we must develop a heart for God.We must want to live for God and to
shun evil and iniquity.The Lord will
hear our prayers when we shun evil and wage war on iniquity in our lives.
The key to spiritual power is maintaining a pure heart. Remember, Jesus has a bride, He doesn’t want girlfriends. Our heart must not be divided. We cannot love Jesus and love the things of
this world too (Matthew 12:25, 15:8).
I love the words to the
song “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”. “Turn
your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth
will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace”. There is the secret. If we stay focused on Him, sin temptation and ungodly
attractions grow dim to our eyes and ears.
Sin is not attractive to us when our heart is engulfed in Jesus.
Let’s stay in the
Word. Stay in church. Stay near the power
of His presence. Keep your heart warm
and in tune with the Lord. Then, He will hear us when we pray.
Are you ready to take your prayer life to the next level my friend?
We will only linger around something we love. Think
about it. If we love the Lord, lingering in His presence should be our delight,
our joy. Waiting upon the Lord has tremendous benefits if we are patient enough
to linger in His presence.
Waiting is hurry’s enemy. Satan wants us to rush,
rush and hurry through life, bypassing the joy that comes from enjoying the
present moment we have with the Lord. Patience brings power, vision,
motivation, and perseverance. True change occurs in the presence of God.
If we learn to linger long enough and wait upon the
Lord, anger will subside, confusion will disappear, and the fear of man will
die. While we are waiting, we can hear
His voice, hope can be birthed, our countenance will change, wounds can be
healed, true joy will return, mistakes can be exposed, instruction and
direction are given, a fresh anointing is imparted, love is reignited, and God
gives renewed strength for tomorrow’s challenges.
All of this and more is available to those who
linger and wait upon the Lord. The next time you spend time with the Lord,
whether at church, in your quiet time, or whenever you are alone with Him,
don’t rush it. Don’t get in a hurry.
Linger in His presence for awhile. You will be glad you did.
the prayer of Jesus to His Father, He said, “Sanctify them through thy truth:
thy word is truth.” John 17:17. Jesus is praying for His disciples, for their
growth. How are they to grow and be sanctified? Through the truth, the Word of
all of us, the truth is found in the Bible, the written revelation from God to
man. What a blessing it is to have the Bible. Some of us have more than one, perhaps
even many. The Bible is divine truth, absolute truth which makes it one of the
most valuable gifts God could have given the world outside of Jesus, God’s Son.
no wonder the Bible has been assaulted, de-valued and dismissed throughout the
ages. It’s no wonder the devil battles the preacher who is committed to
preaching it. It’s no wonder we face resistance when we determine to read it,
to study it. The Bible is life-changing! The Bible is a blessing from God!
was the last time you picked up your Bible or downloaded a Bible app and
determined to apply some divine truth to your soul? Remember this my friend;
the more you get into the Word, the more the Word will get into you!