Biblegateway Verse of the Day

We Hope For Better Things (Book Review)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          Erin Bartels has written a lovely book that spans the space of what would appear to be about one hundred fifty years in the life of a family intertwined with the underground railroad during the Civil War era in the States. We Hope For Better Things, in my honest review here, reminds me a bit of Lee Harper's To Kill a Mockingbird, but without making anyone feel uncomfortable in reading this book. Bartels takes a look at how things like faith, hope, and love, can transcend times and places to bring people together.

Simple Discipleship (Book Review)


By Benjamin H. Liles

         Dana Allin's look at what discipleship is and how we do it through the Church that Christ put into place is made thoroughly clear in his book Simple Discipleship. While he takes us down a walk of what it means to be discipled to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind" (Matthew 22:37, Berean Study), he makes the point this is at the core of being discipled. Allin breaks it down for ministers of the faith, of which I am not, to rightly and effectively make disciples of Christ Jesus.

Why God Resides in the Temple (Ezekiel 43)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          Tonight, as it's still Christmas in America I feel as though God desires me to do something a bit different in studying Ezekiel. But before I do I want to show and share why God desires a temple among us, His people, not just with Israel (the apple of His eye), with all people of the earth. He doesn't want to simply dwell with us, not just to some or even with others but you, He wants to be with us--to be ever near us. Here it is in this simplest form on this issue: "He has made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ" (Ephesians 1:9, Berean Study).

What the Birth of Christ Truly Means


By Benjamin H. Liles

I know there are tons of verses about the birth of Christ; Isaiah has the most of them, I think. But there's this one I just found, "The Lord says, 'The time is coming when I will choose as king a righteous descendant of David. That king will rule wisely and do what is right and just throughout the land'" (Jeremiah 23:5).

Clothed in Christ (Ezekiel 42)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          I was reading and looking into Ezekiel 42 and this one thing caught my eye: "The north chambers and the south chambers, which are opposite the separating courtyard, are the holy chambers where the priests who approach the Lord shall eat the most holy offerings. There they shall lay the most holy offerings—the grain offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering—for the place is holy. When the priests enter them, they shall not go out of the holy chamber into the outer court; but there they shall leave their garments in which they minister, for they are holy. They shall put on other garments; then they may approach that which is for the people" (Ezekiel 42:13-14, New King James).

A Bound Heart (Book Review)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          Lately, I feel as if I have stumbled on some truly great fictional books. From Laura Frantz's The Lacemaker to Lynn Blackburn's In Too Deep. Yet Laura Frantz's latest book A Bound Heart is simply a classic in my overall opinion. What makes the story all the more riveting is the fact she uses an ancestor of hers who did was exiled from Scotland for his part in the 1715 Jacobite Rebellion, settling in Virginia, and teaching George Washington surveying between the years 1748-1750: George Hume.

Staying Just (Ezekiel 41)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          There is one glaring thing that stands out to me in Ezekiel 41 and here it is: the idea of being humble and just. Why do I say that? Throughout Ezekiel 41 he is showing us through the vision God gives him that we must align ourselves to God's word as well as being holy, with holiness meaning being humble and just. I know holiness has it's own meaning, "dedicated or consecrated to God or a religious purpose; sacred." The idea here is that for us we ought to allow God the right to both humble us and to justify us.

True You (Book Review)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          Michelle DeRusha has a new book coming out on Amazon here soon published by Baker Books titled True You. I have done my best in reading it to give it as much a thorough reading and fair review. For me it comes down to saying I believe she's getting at the fact we need to move past ourselves and allow God the right to mold us into the people He desires us to be. I can't put words in her mouth as much as I can even change the word of God.

New Jerusalem and Temple (Ezekiel 40)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          We're getting closer and closer to the end of Ezekiel and what it is God desires from us as His people. Throughout this book we have seen and understood God and His holiness. His take on sin is that it has no place with Him for His holiness cannot bear the presence of filth and mire. And that's the key to this part as well. As we see here a new Jerusalem and a new Temple coming from Heaven (Ezekiel 40:2-5).

The New You (Book Review)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          Recently I received a couple of new books to review this month and one of them is titled The New You by Nelson Searcy and Jennifer Dykes Henson. For me, even though I'm doing all I can to be better in both a healthy sense as well as living a healthier life, overall, I find this book to be more of a reward than simply something worth reviewing. Yes, reviewing books can be profitable. On one hand you're looking for errors: grammar, typos, and so on. At the same time you ask yourself, "What is it I'm looking for in this book I'm reading?"

Destruction of Unholy Alliance (Ezekiel 39)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          After various small nations and tribes mentioned within Ezekiel 38 being within a central mass of land I'm sitting here and wondering to myself, "Is it possible Gog is a title of a leader, a ruler over 'Magog--Rosh, Meshech, Tubal, Gomer and Togarmah?'" Considering I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and His Father is the God of the known universe I'm leaning towards the fact of the way He phrased it to Ezekiel: "Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog" (Ezekiel 38:2, New King James).

Books


Nations Against Israel (Ezekiel 38)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          As we get nearer the end of the study of Ezekiel and the prophecies we see God getting more active on Israel's behalf. It goes back to where in Ezekiel 27 we read, about a prophecy God levels on Tyre, "Those from Persia, Lydia, and Libya were in your army as men of war; they hung shield and helmet in you; they gave splendor to you...Tarshish was your merchant because of your many luxury goods. They gave you silver, iron, tin, and lead for your goods. Javan, Tubal, and Meshech were your traders. They bartered human lives and vessels of bronze for your merchandise. Those from the house of  Togarmah traded for your wares with horses, steeds, and mules. The men of Dedan were your traders; many isles were the market of your hand. They brought you ivory tusks and ebony as payment" (Ezekiel 27:10, 12-15, New King James).

Israel the Nation Born: Re-born by God (Ezekiel 37)



By Benjamin H. Liles

          When I say what I do here it's from reports I've heard from before I was born. In 1948 two nations were responsible for the people of Jacob to have a homeland named for them: Israel became a nation! It's not that they were never a nation to begin with, for God says so.

God's Blessing and Renewal (Ezekiel 36)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          It's an interesting thing to me as I look at Ezekiel 36. I had just read where God said to the enemy of our souls, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?" (Job 1:8, New King James). What does this have to do with the nation of Israel in Ezekiel 36? More likely the statement God makes to Satan is that Jesus is perfect and blameless, as He says of Job.

Understanding the Signs and the Times


By Benjamin H. Liles

          The possibility of prophecy actually, and quite literally, being fulfilled at this moment are truly ripe. Here's the thing, my wife and I believe in the Jewish Messiah, and we both descend from gentile families. Now, don't misunderstand me here because where I'm going with this isn't just about how gentile believers in the Jewish Messiah as well as those within the Jewish populace who also believe in Messiah coming is that this man is fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth.

Judgment of Mount Seir (Ezekiel 35)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          As I start off in figuring out how to approach Ezekiel 35 I came across this today and it shows me I'm on the right track: "Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to dayDeclare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples" (Psalm 96:1-3, bold for emphasis). I often take breaks from teaching from Ezekiel as there is a great deal we are told, both by God to him, as well as from Ezekiel himself. 

Works of Deceivers


By Benjamin H. Liles

          I'm sitting here this early afternoon and I'm puzzled why so many people claim that God cannot possibly exist. I mean I just saw this post from someone just a bit ago and it left me scratching my head: "Why don't you try actually asking an atheist your questions instead of making up lies about them? We don't hate God. We don't believe your God exists, the same way we don't believe unicorns exist or leprechauns or any other mythical creatures. Your God is just as likely to exist as Zeus or Poseidon or Krishna. To me this likelihood is not at all."

Behavior Matching God


By Benjamin H. Liles

          I know I have gone over this verse a few times before on this website, but I feel it bears going over it again. I admit I also have a problem with my behavior. While I know I belong to Christ Jesus, there are times I question my behavior. How do I live better within Him? To show His love His grace and mercy? and also, how am I to show His glory and honor to those who so desperately need Him?

Always in God's Hands (Book Review)


By Benjamin H. Liles

           When we think of Jonathan Edwards we don't naturally think, "Oh, a devotional with a man who loved and worshiped the Creator!" No. What we think when we hear Jonathan Edwards's name is his fiery and passionate sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. Owen Strachan with this book Always in God's Hands: Day by Day in the Company of Jonathan Edwards gives us a man who didn't just love God or pen the mightiest sermon ever.

In Too Deep (Book Review)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          Lynn Blackburn's latest book, In Too Deep, has plenty of twists and turns as best as I can tell. To be completely frank here I absolutely loved it. What I love about this book, is even though I have read countless fictional crime novels, this one takes it to a different level. With characters as well-developed and with amazing dialogue i couldn't put this book down. In fact, I was re-reading it to see if I missed anything.

The True Shepherd (Ezekiel 34)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          It's an interesting thing to see how scripture lines up with other scripture to me. I always find that fascinating. In today's article I'm addressing how Jesus is the true Shepherd. Here in Ezekiel 34 we read, "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?...Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them" (Ezekiel 34:1-10).

Redseigned


By Benjamin H. Liles

          I've been doing my best to figure out how to make this site more appealing so as to attract and to keep my current readership. I believe I've figured out the best way to do that. So, when you go through this site, take a look at certain things, and certain features.

What the Watchman Does (Ezekiel 33)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          I know I've been over this probably a few times before, yet I believe it bears repeating seen as Ezekiel reports on this as well. James writes in his letter to the church, "My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger...But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves...Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world" (James 1:19-27, Holman Christian Standard, italics for emphasis).

When God Calls Out


By Benjamin H. Liles

          My wife, Tanya, and I were having a good discussion about being self-sacrificing. To me it's an interesting topic. Paul wrote to the believers in Rome, "Love must be sincere. Detest what is evil; cling to what is good" (Romans 12:9, Berean Study). So, you may be wondering (I'm guesssing), "What do you mean by 'when God calls out' when you speak about being self-sacrificing?

Four Reasons to God's Loving-kindness (Ezekiel 32)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          While in the last chapter of Ezekiel I was sating that God rather exalts people, He truly doesn't like the pride of those who stand against Him. Pride, in His eyes, is clearly a sin as it removes him off the throne of mankind's heart. He wants us humble, and seeking Him as He wants His name, His glory known.

Once We Were Strangers (Book Review)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          Defeated. Humbled. I sit here tonight having finished this book from Shawn Smucker and I can't help but feel a sense of regret. One of the last books I reviewed, not fully recently, was a book of his, The Edge of Over There. At this point I feel not only as though I gave him injustice, but as Shawn says in this latest book (but in my view based on past experience), I was "unfair" (Once We Were Strangers, pgs. 165-166).

Sign of the Times


By Benjamin H. Liles

          Tonight, I just want to speak about what's on my heart. Lately, while being sick I've been wondering about the state of things: the state of my State, the state of my Country, and the state of this world. It reminds me of what Jesus Christ said to the disciples when He was asked, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" (Matthew 24:3, New King James).

Allowing God to Exalt (Ezekiel 31)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          I'm going through Ezekiel 31 quickly and a sense of pride seems to be mentioned quite a bit as it concerns Egypt. I count eight times overall that God mentions Egypt being "at its height," that it is like a tree "exalted," and it goes on and on.

Forgive Our Sins


By Benjamin H. Liles

          What I'm sharing with you tonight is something so very extraordinary. It's liberating, thought-provoking and so very out there you may end up scratching your head. I'm sharing a video a guy made out of Windsor, Colorado.

The End Times Survival Guide (Book Review)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          I believe Mark Hitchcock provides definitive and clear help showing how we can survive the end times, when we get there. He helps us understand what those times look like, but at the same time lets us know, as scripture tells us, "Do not lose heart" (2 Corinthians 4:16, Berean Study).

Living Honestly


By Benjamin H. Liles

          I recall years ago how my dad would often tell me, "Benny, an honest man never has to remember anything he's said." I have more than often than not thought on his words. While my dad is still in my life, i still, at times, think on things he's tried to teach me.

The Light Before Day (Book Review)


By Benjamin H. Liles

           This latest book by Suzanne Woods Fisher is both heart-warming, endearing, has a ton of twists and turns, and is still as timeless as the history and story-telling as she is so apt to render. The Light Before Day is practically a continuation of the previous book Minding the Light, but with Hitty and Henry grown up. Their father, and their mother's sister, Daphne, are now married...and, you simply have to read this book!

God's Faithfulness


By Benjamin H. Liles

          I keep close to you even when you think I am not with you. I have made a covenant towards you, and my steadfast love are with you when you remain in Me and My word.

On Earth as in Heaven


By Benjamin H. Liles

          Lately, I have been going through the Lord's Prayer showing how Jesus intended us to pray to Him as well as to the Father. While it is the "model" prayer of the believer found and following Christ, the basics are within the structure of this prayer Jesus teaches the disciples to continue on in doing.

Your Kingdom Come


By Benjamin H. Liles

          Two things stand out to me when I hear the words, "Your kingdom come," being used in the Lord's Prayer. One is that when I was younger I thought it meant God would come back to judge and render His justice among all--nations, peoples, tribes, and tongues.

Happily (Book Review)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          While I have read this book and agree with most of what Kevin Thompson says, I have one condition I find missing: joy. And if I missed that part, I stand corrected. We are marked and called as believers within the body of Christ Jesus to put our hope and joy in His person.

Your Holy Name


By Benjamin H. Liles

          There once was a man who traveled down a dirt road. As he came to an intersection he couldn't help but notice that the two roads seemed complete opposites. One road was hugely overgrown, untended to, and seemed horribly narrow; too narrow for anyone to seemingly enter it. The other path was far more enticing, for it was beautifully kept. The trees were trimmed back, the hedges were trimmed neatly having a "boxy" feel to them, and signs pointed to a town just out of sight. Which way should this traveler choose?

God Judges Nations, Part 1 (Ezekiel 30)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          Being as devout as I am as a follower of Christ, doing all I can to honor Him above all, getting further into His word isn't always easy or pleasant, especially when it comes to what God says about who will receive rewards and those who receive His punishment. With that said, there are some verses and chapters within Ezekiel that are hard and harsh, but God has the divine right to deal with those who dealt harshly towards His people of Israel.

Father, in Heaven...


"To the One who carved out the Oceans
and painted the stars in the sky, you are His
prized creation; the apple of His eye. 

~ Treasure of You, Heaven in the Real World, 1994, 
Steven Curtis Chapman

By Benjamin H. Liles

          I was listening to a song in my head by Steven Curtis Chapman that is off his album, Heaven in the Real World (1994). Part of the song, that has been rolling around in my head reads, "You are a treasure worth more than anything under the sun or the moon."

They have Joy in the Salvation of the Lord


By Benjamin H. Liles

          "The king shall have joy in Your strength, O LORD; and in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! You have given him his hearts's desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips...Therefore You will make them turn their back; You will make ready Your arrows on Your string toward their faces. Be exalted, O LORD, in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power" (Psalm 21:1-13, New King James).

Loving Touch


By Benjamin H. Liles

          I think it can be clearly seen I've fallen hard for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Ever since my health scare and the fact my gallbladder HAD to come out, I've never been so razor sharp focused in all my life.

God's Judgment on Pride (Ezekiel 29)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          "In the tenth year, in the tenth months, on the twelfth day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'Son of man, set your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt...I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from Migdol to Syene, as far as the border of Ethiopia" (Ezekiel 29:1-10, New King James).

God's Righteousness, Our Reward


By Benjamin H. Liles

          I'm reading this morning and I read these words, "Let the heavens rejoice...For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with His truth" (Psalm 96:11-13).

Be a Guest Writer!


By Benjamin H. Liles

          Have you ever wanted to share your passion of Jesus Christ with others? Have you wanted to lift Christ up, longing to run for the prize that is set before you? Now you can! You can do this, dear one. I am making it available to be a guest writer for my site to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ: the right way, which is His way. So come on in, the water's fine! There's no need to be afraid or ashamed. If you want to remain anonymous just fill out that form on the Contact page.

Discipleship: What it is and How to do it


By Benjamin H. Liles

          I believe, first off, we need to define who a Christian disciple is. A Christian disciple is a person who accepts and assists in the spreading of the good news of Jesus. Knowing this, because of what I've attempted to do over these past couple of years within this website is to be a valid testimony of Jesus Christ and what He has done. While my focus hasn't always been razor sharp focus until recent events, I can say I'm more a Christian disciple now than I was say a week ago.

Falling Away: Part 2 (Ezekiel 28)


By Benjamin H. Liles

          When we start looking at what Ezekiel is saying concerning Sidon, we see God is against Sidon. We read, "Behold, I am against you, O Sidon; I will be glorified in your midst; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I execute judgments in her and am hallowed (made holy) in her. For I will send pestilence upon her, and blood in her streets; the wounded shall be judged in her midst, by the sword against her on every side; then they shall know that I am the Lord" (Ezekiel 28:22-23, New King James).

My Firsthand Experience of both God's Justice and Grace


By Benjamin H. Liles

          I know so far that I have recounted how my infected gall bladder was about to go septic as of yesterday. But the truth of the matter is while I have been teaching God's word and explaining it to you as best as I could, within its proper context, I wasn't living my life out in faith.

          You most likely will say, "Okay, what are you saying here?" My point: I was literally, on October 9, 2018 about to die. I wasn't going to go to Heaven at all. Yes, I do believe Jesus Christ is real. But I wasn't acting out on that faith. What was happening is that God was showing me Tuesday night, late, that I was at "Death's Door."

Choices We Make


By Benjamin H. Liles

Realizing how important God's true act of love, mercy, and justice is important to understand; if you don't treat others with the respect you want back, and showing others they matter to you, you just won't understand the honor it means to enjoy this life. It truly is fleeting.

Sick and Gall Bladder Out


By Benjamin H. Liles

          From the outset of this I never meant this to be so long, so bear with me. This is a long article. If you're not interested in reading it, skip it, but it's very honest, truthful, eye-opening, and shocking. This is based on recent events of my life, what happened, and what I've learned mostly about myself. So bear with the length if you do read it. And by the way, notice the beginning words of Isaiah 55:6, "Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near."