Standing Orders

Some things are done without questioning; they are a way of life for the team. 

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 – Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.  Let all your things be done with charity.


If you work for a particular company, I am sure there are certain things that are expected of you as a norm for operations, and that without question.  Those are standing orders, or standard operational procedures.  It you are part of competitive sport, a member of the military, or a leader in a local church, the same is true.  There are certain behaviors that are required in different arenas of life, and failure to perform at that level could cost one his job, or at the very least, his reputation or witness.  That is the case with our Text for Today

Each day that you rise, it would serve you well to recognize a set of “standing orders” that are automatically in place for you to which all your words and actions are tied, and from which directions for each element should flow.  They are set forth here so very well.

  1. watch ye – Jesus asked His disciples if they could not watch with Him for one hour; we are each called by the Lord as watchmen over a certain element of His kingdom;  we must be faithful, keeping our eyes open, being circumspect as to what is happening all about us
  2. stand fast in the faith – without faith one cannot please God; we must feed our faith on the Word of God; to stand strong on our most holy faith, we must pray in the Spirit
  3. quit he like men – men don’t quit work half done; they finish the job; they complete their assignment; they don’t make excuses; they do what is expected of them by their master/employer, and more
  4. be strong – this is not a suggestion for the child of God; this is a commandment; and the method by which our strength will continue is given to us; put on the whole armor of God that you can stand in the evil day

If you will accomplish anything for the kingdom of God that lasts, these standing orders we are examining must be a consistent part of your living.  Success and victory in the kingdom of God is a matter of faith working by love.  Success and victory don’t just happen.  There is a direct cause and effect.  That phrase, “cause and effect,” means that any true deliberate effect has a direct cause, and for victory in faith, that cause is found in your “standing orders.”  Remember, “watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit ye like men, be strong.”  They are set before you.  Determine to comply with them in your service to the Lord and His kingdom.  The rewards far outweigh any sacrifice.

Manna for Today – 1 Corinthians 16:12-18; Ezekiel 33:6-7; Ephesians 5:15; Hebrews 11:6; Jude 20; Romans 10:17; Ephesians 6:10-18

God and Hate

We’ve always heard about the God kind of love.  How about the God kind of hate?

Proverbs 6:16-19 – These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.


From the earliest memories I have comes the remembrance of being told about the love of God.  John 3:16 & 17 are among the first verses of Scripture I learned by heart.  I heard about the love of God from the pulpit, in my Sunday school classes, at home from my parents, in my community from our neighbors, and even as school from our teachers and principle.  Yes, I heard about the love of God from everywhere.  I can NEVER say that I was not taught about the love of God.

But in all those years, no one ever taught me about the hate of God.  Even when I ultimately read about in the Scriptures, there was no one who seemed desirous, or even willing, to teach me about the hate of God.  Yet, upon reading it for the first time as a young adult in early ministry, there it was, clearly printed on the pages of God’s Word.  Take a moment to read our Text for Today once again.  “Thesedoth the Lord hateyeasevenan abomination unto Him.”  Allow those words to sink in for a time.  If you find yourself being shaken by these words, don’t think it strange.  They shook me when I first read them for what they say.  And I know from many conversations that they shook others the first time they really gave heed to them.  And I can likewise tell you that they still shake me.  Let’s consider them with an understanding mind.

  1. a proud look – God despises arrogance in appearance and attitude
  2. a lying tongue – God despises anything less than truth giving instruction
  3. hands that shed innocent blood – God despises anything that steals life (the life of the flesh is in the blood)
  4. a heart that devises wicked imaginations – a heart that does not control thoughts allows twisted thinking that corrupts, deceives, and distracts through uncontrolled thinking
  5. feet that are swift in running to mischief – that which is excited, even inspired by trouble and misery to move quickly to evil
  6. a false witness that speaks lies – this is speaking lies that destroy the good testimony and smear the witness of others

These six things, the Lord hates.  But there is a seventh.  The six we’ve already listed are things.  But the seventh and final element in this listing is NOT a thing, but a person.  Look closely, dear reader, and allow this truth to settle deeply in your heart.  The seventh is “he that soweth discord among brethren.”  God so hates strife that it positions Him to hate the sower of strife.  Keep yourself safe.

Manna for Today –  Proverbs 6; 1 John 5:3; John 14:15-17; John 3:16-17; 1 John 4:8-16;                        2 Timothy 2:24-26

Protective Order

God has established a divine order.  There is supernatural blessing in following it.


Matthew 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.


Take a moment and read our Text for Today once again, this time very slowly and thoughtfully.  It is likely a very familiar passage to you.  There is an expression of startling truth that is in harmony with Scripture.  That old adage is, “Familiarity breeds contempt.”  Jesus said, “A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.”  In this case, the old adage is truly confirmed by the Scriptures. (It should never be viewed the other way.  Scriptures need no outside confirmation.  God’s Word is forever settled in heaven.)

In our Text for Today, we see elements of divine order.  The topic of this order has to do with basic needs of life; food, clothes, shelter.  Everyone needs these things, but how many people on our planet at this moment are lacking in one or all of these elements.  How many people today are hungry, even starving, inadequately clothed, without shelter?  The numbers would be astounding, saddening, and even frightening.  Knowing that, I ask you, do you believe the Bible?  If you do, the answer to each of those elements of lack in human life are set before you in our Text for Today.  “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”  I did not write this, and I will not apologize for it.  It says what it says, it means what it means.  Once again, I ask, do you believe God’s Word?

My friend, if only we would fully embrace the truth of God’s Word, bow completely to its truth and authority, and commit to willing and complete obedience to it, we would find the atmosphere about us wonderfully endowed with the supernatural presence of the Lord.  We see it all through Scripture; supernatural provision of every kind, including health and healing, great abundance in provision, and protection from every device and weapon formed against any person walking in Jehovah’s covenant.  There is, without any doubt, a level of divine protection from God that flows only as one walks in the divine order of the Lord.  It would be of enormous and eternal value to any child of God to go back to the Scriptures and begin to study them in order to find, understand, and obey the divine order set forth by the Lord.  When the Lord says that something is to be “first,” then it is to be first, not second or third; FIRST.  When the Lord sets forth an order of steps or procedures to follow, they are to be followed.  When the Lord says, “finally,” He means finally.  There is reason for His divine order.  Read, study, and learn His order, follow it, and walk in the blessings.

Manna for Today – Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 4:4-9; 1 Peter 5:1-11; Mark 6:4

High Priorities (10)

Now abideth faith, hope, and charity (agape).  The greatest of these is charity (agape).


1 Peter 1:14-16 – As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.


(faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity [agape])

While this current series of Second Milers is in no way intended to be exhaustive, it is intended for us to see that Father does have certain priorities He has established of which we should be very aware.  And being aware of them, it behooves us to diligently work to establish them in our lives as they are revealed to us.  Beyond these about which I’ve written, which are needful in every Christian life, there are others, and they may not be the same for every Christian.  There will be some variation of prioritization based on the talents, anointings, and giftings the Lord has put in our lives, but they are still present and need our attention. 

In our final installment of this series, we look at “charity (agape).”  This kind of love is the highest level of love that exists.  It is “the love of God.”  It is, in fact, what Father calls Himself.  “God is love.”  That is a statement of absolute truth.  Therefore, since God never changes, then “agape” never changes.  This kind of love does not grow.  It is forever fixed.  This kind of love cannot diminish, for “God is love,” and He “changes not.”  This is the love that is shed abroad in the heart of every person who is ever born again.  It may evoke emotional feelings, but there is nothing emotional about “agape.”  “Agape” is a person, and that person is God.  That love is shed abroad in our hearts at the moment of the new birth.  From that point onward, that love, “agape,” is a choice for the believer.  It is an act of obedience to God’s Word.  It is the force of the Spirit by which our faith that is necessary to please Father works.

If you will walk in love that pleases Father, you must be a student of the Word of God, reading it, studying it, meditating upon it, learning it, memorizing it, and walking in obedience to it.  Never forget, if God said it, that settles it!  His Word is settled forever in heaven, will never change, will never fail, and it is His Word that was manifest in the flesh as Jesus, the Messiah and Christ.  The choice is your own.  No one else can make it for you.  If you don’t know the Word of God, you will never know if you’re making right choices in your life.  Put the Word of God first place in your life.  Obey the Word at all costs.  Do so willingly and joyfully.  Father is waiting to manifest His power in your life beyond your wildest imagination.

Manna for Today – 1 Peter 1:3-25; 2 Peter 1:3-15; 1 Corinthians 13; John 14:15-17; 1 John 4:8 & 16;         1 John 5:3; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8; Galatians 5:6

High Priorities (9)

There are different kinds of love; not all have the same qualities; we need to know the difference.


1 Peter 1:14-16 – As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.


(faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity [agape])

Have you ever heard of the city of Philadelphia?  It is also known as the “city of brotherly love.”  The term “brotherly kindness” found in 2 Peter 1 is the Greek word “philadelphia,” and it also means “fraternal affection.”  This is an outward expression of kindness and affection that is based on the kind of relationship that is familial.  That can be between blood (birth) siblings in the natural sense, or between two people who are committed to one another at a familial level.  Such might be found in what we would call fraternal organizations such as military, law enforcement, fire fighters, or some other deeply committed team level.  This is NOT “charity,” or “agape” love.  While “agape” is directly from God or a born-again spirit, “brotherly kindness” would be more akin to the deep kind of love demonstrated at an emotional level.  This identification is in no way intended to diminish its value or impact on human life, but to simply mark it for the value the Lord puts on it.

What we would call “phileo” love is a truly valuable, quality form of love for people with whom we have developed, and continue to develop a strong abiding relationship.  As much as a mother loves her child when it is born, in this arena of love, she will see that love grow over years.  It is in family relationships that this love is most often seen at its highest levels.  I believe the only love higher than “phileo” is “agape.”  While “agape” love is the “love of God,” and is based solely on the character of the lover, “phileo” is based on the growing relationship between two people.  You see, God loved the vilest of human beings, and has given Jesus for them.  “Agape” love, or “the love of God” does not require reciprocity in order to be expressed, though the rejection of “agape” love carries an eternal cost factor.  On the other hand, “phileo” love CAN BE damaged by ill treatment of one person in the relationship towards others. 

God understands the need for people to build kind relationships with other people, and that the absence of such relationships can be devastating to the human spirit and mind.  Therefore, He emphasizes the high priority of “brotherly kindness” towards one another.  It is not good for Christians to isolate themselves from one another, to be hermit-like in their interactions.  Sadly, however, when “brotherly kindness” is mission from human relationships, the ties that bind us together in life can become frayed, and even broken, greatly damaging those human relationships.  Relationships built in “brotherly kindness” require work, commitment, steadfastness, and persistence.  Make them strong through faith.

Manna for Today – 1 Peter 1:3-25; 2 Peter 1:3-15

High Priorities (8)

How would God deal with whatever you face.  That is godliness demonstrated.  Imitate it.


1 Peter 1:14-16 – As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.


(faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity [agape])

If you want to inject a potential conversation-stopping word into the room, try “godliness.”  Even if it doesn’t completely stop the conversation, it will surely slow it down, likely silence some voices, and certainly create some tension for the discussion.  While this should not be the case, sadly it still is.  The word “godliness” means piety and holiness (possibly two more conversation-shakers).  It has its origin in two words that have come to its present form in one.  The two words to which I refer are “God” and “likeness.”  It does not mean that a human being is God, nor should it.  Rather it DOES mean that a human being is like God in his example of pious living and holiness, especially in the scheme of living according to the Gospel, or the Word. 

Living according to the Word is a choice one must make.  It doesn’t just happen because you become a Christian, but if you’re not a Christian, it is an impossible choice.  However, if, as a Christian, you make such a determined choice, prepare yourself for criticism, persecution, and spiritual attacks of almost every kind.  Living such a life is, without a doubt, a powerful example to observers of Whom you serve, Whom you place first in your life, and Whom you trust in every situation of life.  It is a life of faith demonstrated in every step of your life.  Godliness is not a life, however, of being beat up and suffering.  It is, rather, a life of living in victory, demonstrating faith in God at every interval of life, and regardless of circumstances, coming out “without the smell of smoke” on you. 

Once again, you WILL be criticized, you WILL be persecuted, you WILL be attacked in so many ways, but you WILL ALSO BE victorious.  You see, to live a life of godliness, you live a life modeled after love, and love NEVER fails.  A life of godliness is a life modeled after Jesus.  It is a life of imitation, as the Scriptures command, “Be ye followers (imitators) of God as dear children.”  When you imitate God through faith, you will also achieve the same results that Father would achieve were He facing precisely the same issue(s) that you face.  For me, dear friend, that is one of the most comforting truths that help me keep my heart and mind settled on Jesus, regardless of circumstances.  And in this present hour, that comfort is probably more needed than at any time in our lives.  Our world is in turmoil.  There will come a time when it will get worse.  But, regardless of that, godliness is a safe haven into which I can turn daily in this present world.  Turn in with me, and let’s fellowship.

Manna for Today – 1 Peter 1:3-25; 2 Peter 1:3-15; 1 Timothy 6:1-19

High Priorities (7)

In Father’s eyes, perfection IS attainable.  See it as He does, and pursue it with all your might.


1 Peter 1:14-16 – As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.


(faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity [agape])

Patience” is from the Greek word that means “cheerful endurance; constancy; persistent consistency.”  It is this characteristic in Jehovah God, our Heavenly Father Who calls Himself LOVE, that keeps Him in His unchanging state towards us, even when we fall short of His glory.  Even though He will chasten His children at times, He loves us in the process.  In short, all that God does toward His children in love manifest.  It would greatly benefit every believer to realize that “patience” is the power-twin of “faith.”  It is “faith” that receives from Father that which is the object of petition, and it is “patience” that holds fast the profession of faith without wavering until the object of petition is fully manifest.  As it states in Romans 5, “Tribulation (the trying of your faith) works patience, and patience experience, and experience hope.”  They are all tied inextricably together, and in that connection, produce truly supernatural results in the life of a believer.

The same power, the Word of God, that feeds, builds, and empowers “faith” also works in the production, development, and growth of “patience.”  When “faith” is strong, it produces such a concrete evidence in the realm of the Spirit that “patience” is supernaturally empowered to hold to what “faith” has received, and that without wavering.  And when “faith” and “patience” stand together, unshakable and unwavering, the believer will find himself “perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”  And that, my good friend, is a great way to live; pleasing Father, fully supplied, and living with every need and desire met.

Do not allow yourself to think for one moment that such is not a high priority with Father.  He has provided all these things to us, “all things that pertain to life and godliness,” so we can live with “all grace abounding to us, so that we, always having all sufficiency in all things man abound to every good work.”  My friends, these are not the words of a wishful thinker or a blurry-eyed daydreamer.  These are the words of Jehovah God, the Word of the living God, immutable, unchangeable, unalterable, and unwavering that shall never pass away.  These words are the will of God for all His people, NOT just some of them.  So, I urge you today.  Feed your faith on the abundant life of God’s Word, and “let patience have her perfect work” in your life, so you can live “perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” 

Manna for Today – 1 Peter 1:3-25; 2 Peter 1:3-15; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8; James 1:4; James 3:1-12; Hebrews 12:6; Romans 5:1-5; Hebrews 11:6; 2 Corinthians 9:8

High Priorities (6)

The best steel is well-tempered steel.  Do you sharpen others?


1 Peter 1:14-16 – As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.


(faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity [agape])

In the 18th century, the word “temperance” was used almost synonymously with the word “abstinence.”  What the word actually means is moderation, or self-control.  And since the word is much older than the 18th century, it would stand to reason that with the word we are examining actually arising from a Greek word having to do with mastery of a thing, and that includes personal appetite, should be considered in the more ancient of its forms that could date back as far as the times of Jesus.

One of the finest examples of the use of the word “temperance” is its use in the making of steel, and that would especially apply to the use of steel in the making of fine swords, or cutlery.  The steel that is used in fine cutlery, and especially in swords used in warfare, are tempered in a very special way.  My writing today is not to discuss the various means of tempering, such as that which may have been used by the Japanese in the making of fine katanas, but I will speak of the artistry and utilitarian function of well-tempered swords as it relates to the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and its connection to the temperance that should be produced as part of the fruit of the spirit in the life of a believer.  The fruit of temperance is directly connected to how a believer can walk in the arena of the Spirit, being always sharpened for the task at hand, and hardened or softened by a master sword maker so as not to be too flexible (easily bent or misshapen), nor to be too brittle and so easily broken by things that may oppose it.

When steel is made for a fine sword, there MUST be the proper blend of iron ore, carbon, fire, temperature, the forging of the hammer, the application of water (and in some cases, certain oils) for cooling, and timing for the proper curvature of the blade and its ability to hold an extremely sharp edge.  For the believer, that means a Holy Spirit-master blend of the Word of God, binding and tempering agents, the timely and properly applied fire of Holy Spirit, the use of the Master’s hand with the forging hammer in shaping, the application of the Word and Spirit together for the proper shaping and cooling of a life, and the leadership of Holy Ghost so that the elements of making a master-blade are done in proper order, placement, and blending.  This can only happen as an obedient vessel of God is truly yielded to the work, way, and wisdom of Holy Ghost.  Be that sword, my friend, tempered by the Master.

Manna for Today –  1 Peter 1:3-25; 2 Peter 1:3-15; Proverbs 27:17; Ephesians 6:10-18;             Galatians 5:22-25

High Priorities (5)

When the Word of God sets forth a prescribed order, it behooves us to follow it.


1 Peter 1:14-16 – As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.


Based upon the prescribed order of the Lord set forth in 2 Peter 1, we see that “virtue” follows “faith.”  But then, what follows “virtue?”  The answer is clearly given.  Following “virtue” is “knowledge.”  In the Greek language, the word for “knowledge” is “gnōsis,” meaning knowledge, being aware, being sure, to perceive, being able to speak in a knowing manner. 

I find it intriguing that so many Christians seem to think that any knowledge they have will simply flow from the Lord.  Such thinking, however, is erroneous.  I am fully aware that certain elements of knowledge, especially what we call revelation, must truly flow from Father, and comes to us by Holy Spirit.  But in our present study, the 2 Peter 1 passage clearly indicates that there are certain things Father expects us to pursue for ourselves.  These things are not automatically given to us.  They must be sought after by the believer, and it is clearly our own responsibility to go after them, study them, develop them, and maintain them.  Each of these is clearly a priority in God’s eyes.  I urge you to take the time to read 2 Peter 1:3-15, see it for yourself, settle it in your heart, and if you have not already done so, begin the work of pursuing these immediately: faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity (agape).

Today’s emphasis is on “knowledge.”  Yes, there are elements of God’s knowledge He desires us to possess that can only come from Him alone.  But there is a vast volume of God’s knowledge that He commands and expects us to pursue on our own through reading, study, meditation, and obedience.  These will NOT simply be given to you.  They must be mined from the Word of God.  And then there is knowledge that one gains from life experiences that are bourn out as we expose our natural learning to the authority of God’s Word.  Such would be elements of true science, of learning the basics of communication in speaking and writing.  We may not all be professionally trained speakers or writers, but we should all be able to clearly communicate the things we know to be truth, and that is especially relevant of our knowledge of God’s Word.  My friend, the ability to talk, and even the desire to do so, does not mean one has the ability to speak clearly and well about their subjects of discussion.  That comes through the knowledge on gains through sound education, proper application of learning disciplines, and exposure to quality models of such in our lives.  Such knowledge requires commitment and dedication on our part.  Just as we study to show ourselves approved unto God, let us seek to represent our God at the highest possible level of excellence through the knowledge we demonstrate in day-to-day living.

Manna for Today – 1 Peter 1:3-25; 2 Peter 1:3-15

High Priorities (4)

It would do us good to study the etymology of many words, often truly unknown to us.


1 Peter 1:14-16 – As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.


In Mark 5, we read the story of the woman with the issue of blood who was healed when she touched the hem of Jesus’s garment.  The Scriptures tell us that when she touched Him, He perceived that “virtue” had flowed from His body.  In that case the Greek word for “virtue” is “dunamis.”  We often speak of “dunamis” power being “force, miraculous power, mighty work” of Holy Ghost.  It is the same power of which Jesus spoke when He said you would receive power when Holy Ghost was come upon you. 

However, the “virtue” of which I write today is a different word.  It is found in 2 Peter 1:3-15, and is mentioned twice in that passage in verses 3 and 5.  In that passage, the word “virtue” comes from the Greek word “aretē.”  That word means “manliness, valor, excellence, praise.”  And while it should be fully expected  that it does indeed require “dunamis” to produce “aretē,” they are two completely different terms defining two distinctly different things.  In the case of 2 Peter, we are speaking of “manliness, valor, excellence, praise.”  While there should be no doubt of how highly Father prioritizes Holy Ghost baptism and the subsequent boldness, the priorities about which we are presently writing are those that we should be producing from our own spirit as the result of the presence of Holy Ghost, and “virtue,” or “aretē,” is certainly one of those priorities.  I would urge you to take the time to look closely at the 2 Peter 1:3-15 passage, and allow the order of unfolding priorities the Lord has set before us.

In this hour of church history, the question I ask here must be set to the church.  By and large, something is missing in the 21st century church, and “virtue,” or “aretē,” is one of those missing elements.  When I write of “manliness,” I am not referring to the masculine sense of the human male, but of the upright, strong, bold aspect of the church as we examine ourselves as members of the body of Christ, Who is male in His authority.  Where is the “virtue” of the body of Christ in manifestation today?  Sadly, in most cases, it is missing.  Proverbs 28:1 says, “The wicked flee when to man pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”  It is that boldness of the male lion to defend its pride (family) and its territory of which I write today.  COVID 19, government, social unrest, and politicians have all but silenced the roar of the church.  All these distractions and false lions roar while the church seems silent.  It’s time for the true lions to roar.  Roar, Church, roar!

Manna for Today – 1 Peter 1:3-25; 2 Peter 1:3-15; Mark 5:30; Philippians 4:8; Acts 1:8