Daily Devotional for Sportsmen...
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Tuesday, April 29, 2014
April 29, 2014
Today's Photograph . . . . Ensure That They Can Enjoy Them For A Lifetime (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
And you shall not profane my holy name, that I may be sanctified among the people of Israel. I am the Lord who sanctifies you. (ESV)
Thoughts One of the most important things that we learn as sportsmen is safety. No matter what type of sport we are participating in, there is usually an element of safety involved. Some of it is common-sense stuff, but most of the time there are safety components that should be learned. Someone taught you about safety in your particular sport.
As a child, my dad taught me about gun safety:
Always treat a gun as if it were loaded;
Never point a gun at somebody;
Always be aware of what is beyond your intended target;
Never climb a stand with a loaded gun.
The list goes on and on . . . .
My education from my Dad went beyond sporting safety. He also took time to teach me spiritually. One of the things that he and my mother taught me was to never take the Lord's name in vain. It seems that we live in an age of ignorance when it comes to this principle.
We, of course, have the normal secular culprits of television, radio, movies and other media that freely take the Lord's name in vain. But it seems we have a lot of "Christians" who freely throw God's name around without respect to its holiness.
Action Point It should bother us when we hear God's Holy Name used in vain. Take time to educate your children about the holiness of God's name, and be bothered when you hear someone belittle it. There are a lot of other words that can go in place of His name as a common exclamation. Find one you like and use it instead.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day As you educate your youth in the sporting hobbies that you enjoy, pass on the safety tips that you have learned and practiced yourself. Ensure that they can enjoy them for a lifetime.
Today's Photograph . . . . It Is Up To Us To Plant The Seed and Then Watch How God Will Grow It (Dave M)
Bible Study Verses
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (NIV)
Thoughts Imagine the trauma, stress and uncertainty that all the disciples felt when Jesus was crucified. Then three days afterward hearing He had risen and been seen! It must have been like being on a roller coaster that hadn't been invented yet..
Then they meet Him on the mountain where He told them to go and then He commissioned them in the above mentioned scripture. It was now up to them. Now it is up to each of us to pass on what we believe to be true:
Believing in our hearts that He was the Son of the one true God.
Believing He, Christ, died for each of us.
Ask Him to forgive us and wash our sins with His precious blood and accept Him as our Lord and Savior.
Believe we will live with Him in eternity away from all this stress, grief, death and corruption.
Do our best to become like Him through daily studying and applying His Word, the Bible.
It will truly be Heaven!
Action Point We do not need to convince people that our God is real. We need to show them why we believe in the Lord by how we act, who we are and by our deeds.
God will move their heart. It is up to us to plant the seed and then watch how God will grow it.
Sportsman's Tip of the Day Canadian fishing trips have always been some of my best adventures. Plan early for them by attending sport shows in the winter months and doing internet research. But I promise you, if you are even thinking about a trip to Canada, I have been going for over 35 years and every trip has been a different adventure. You want to see God paint the sky, watch a Canadian sunset.
When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty. (NIV)
Thoughts One day, one of my mentors asked me about my favorite meal. I began to share with him how much I enjoy a juicy steak at camp, hot wings and cheese enchiladas. He could see how excited I was getting just thinking about these meals and how I was going to have one of them for lunch that day. I even told him how far out of the way I will drive for that perfect steak and my favorite wings joint.
He then proceeded to ask how far out of the way I go to eat up God's Word; how excited do I get to spend time with the Creator? Ouch!!!!
He threw me a curve ball. I have never forgotten that moment in my life and wanted to pass it along to you today.
Action Point Is God and His Word my joy and heart's delight? I am reminded that I bear the name of the Lord. How much more important is this than some meal that will only satisfy for a short period of time and then the urge to eat comes right back in a few hours.
Rest today in Him and His Word; and find joy and delight in bearing the name of the Lord God Almighty!
Today's Photograph . . . . Second Fastest Land Mammal In The World (Cliff S)
Bible Study Verse
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (NIV)
When I think of running, I think about pronghorn antelope. Now, they can run. As the second-fastest land mammal in the world, they can hit speeds of more than 60mph, only bested by the African cheetah.
I have known a few unethical hunters that thought a Chevy 350 could outrun them. One in particular was gaining on a herd of antelope just before he hit the prairie dog mound that put an end to the chase. After several hundred dollars of repairs and a fine for harassing wildlife, he learned that stalking was a much better method for hunting antelope.
God gave the antelope great speed and eyesight to avoid predators. God has given us the Holy Spirit, and spiritual gifts, and He does not want us to be ignorant of those gifts. I Corinthians 12:1 reminds us, "Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed," (NIV).
By keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus and staying in God's Word, we can avoid those things that entangle us and prevent us from crossing the finish line of the race He has marked out for us.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Antelope are very curious animals. If you have a chance to archery hunt antelope, you can get them into range by using a decoy. You can buy a decoy at most hunting stores, or make your own decoy by using ¼" plywood, cutting out a silhouette of an antelope, and painting it the correct colors.
Today's Photograph . . . . So That You Don't Become Dehydrated Spiritually (USDA GOV)
Bible Study Verses
He sends forth springs in the valleys; they flow between the mountains; they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. (NASB)
Thoughts Thinking about basic provisions: If you go for a long journey into the Grand Canyon mid-summer without an adequate water supply, you are going to wish you had brought some.
God knows that every beast of the field needs water, and He provides accordingly. God also knows that every human needs Living Water and He supplies that in ready supply as well.
The trick is to drink plenty of water before you become dehydrated.
Action Point Drink plenty of Living Water so that you don't become dehydrated spiritually. Drink of God's Word just as you drink water each day.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day I was just reading a REI catalog. They have a little device called a SteriPEN that actually zaps bacteria to purify river or pond water. This small gadget might be a great thing to have in your backpack.
Today's Photograph . . . . This could be your wake-up call . . . If you have drifted off . . . If you have never really known Him (Ron T)
Bible Study Verse
We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. (NIV)
Thoughts The way I see it there are two schools of thought when it comes to paddlefish snagging:
Snagging from the shoreline.
Snagging from a boat.
I have only done method two myself, but it didn't take long to figure out that the two schools didn't really appreciate each other very much.
From the boat in the middle of the river my son hooked a pretty nice fish, he fought it hard, but between the large fish, the current of the river and the excitement of the whole deal I had lost track of our position and ended up way to close to shore.
My wake-up call was the zinging sound of 8 ounce lead weights and razor sharp treble hooks passing over head and splashing next to the boat. Oh yes, and there was that look of disgust on the faces of the shore fishermen too.
We apologized for our lack of judgment and maneuvered the boat out to open water still battling the behemoth of a fish. (Ron T)
Action Point Are you drifting out of position right now? Does it seem like you just looked up and you found yourself in a bad place and you're not real sure how you got there?
This could be your wake-up call. God is calling you right now, can you hear Him? Are you listening for "His voice? He is waiting for you to come to Him. If you have drifted off, just apologize and get back to where you belong. If you have never really known Him, it's time to get to know Him. "God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will," Hebrews 2:4 (NIV).
Listen to Him, He is speaking to you through His word. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us," John 1:1-2,14a (NIV).
He is talking to us; we just need to pay attention!!!
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day It's poison ivy season, carry some soap and water with you on your hikes and fishing trips. If you think you may have had contact with the plant you have about 10 minutes to wash the oils off before you get infected.
Today's Photograph . . . . May We Be Focused, Single-minded Men and Women, Like Hezekiah (Fred B)
Bible Study Verse
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." (NKJV)
Jesus was addressing an age-old heart problem:
James 1:8 reminds us, "He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways," (NKJV).
In modern terms, we call it syncretism. Merriam-Webster defines it as "the combination of different forms of belief or practice; the fusion of two or more originally different inflectional forms." Some South American countries have religious groups that merge Catholicism with voodooism, practicing parts of both.
Back in II Kings 17:33-34, the writer says that things were so bad at the beginning of the Assyrian captivity, that "They feared the Lord, yet served their own gods-according to the rituals of the nations from among whom they were carried away. To this day they continue practicing the former rituals; they do not fear the Lord, nor do they follow their statutes or their ordinances, or the law and commandment which the Lord had commanded the children of Jacob, whom He named Israel. (NKJV). "So these nations feared the Lord, yet served their carved images; also their children and their children's children have continued doing as their fathers did, even to this day," II Kings 17:41(NKJV).
Pictured above is a tiny hut resembling an old hunting cabin, home to 8 to 10 Filipino squatters who farm the nearby fields. They displayed fetishes, hung alongside the symbol of the cross, maybe to cover all their bases?
Just like the pickup truck that I saw parked at a restaurant, with one window decal WWJD? (What would Jesus do?) and another with profanity beside it. I left a note on his windshield. It read, "Make your choice--scrape off one of the decals! You can't have it both ways!" (Signed my name).
King Hezekiah was a man who served one Master. "And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done. He removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the wooden image and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan. He trusted in the Lord God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him. For he held fast to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses," II Kings 18:3-6 (NKJV).
May we be focused, single-minded men and women, like Hezekiah.
Sportsmen's Tip Of The Day
When using binoculars with glasses, like I always have to do, the following will improve your singular focus:
Roll back the rubber eyecups.
Focus the eyepiece that has an adjustment dial.
Then focus both with the middle focus dial.
In heavy brush, adjust the focus and it will give you a clear view beyond the brush.
Today's Photograph . . . . When The Road Gets A Little Rough, There's Probably Something He Wants You To Learn (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it." (NIV)
Thoughts Recently, I was driving a road in the back country on which I'd never been, something I dearly enjoy. I came upon a sign that said, "PRIMITIVE ROAD, Caution, use at your own risk. This surface in not regularly maintained." What was really comical about the sign is that it was at the end of a road, placed there for you to see as you turn around and drive OUT from where you've just come.
Sometimes in our journey through life, God will allow rough roads. There may be speed bumps, potholes, or large rocks to negotiate, maybe even a washout or two. But, thank goodness that God will make our ways straight and that He'll smooth the road for us. Maybe not in this life, not always, but sooner or later, forever!
Action Point Trust God; when the road gets a little rough, there's probably something He wants you to learn. Look around and see what that might be. Remember, someday we'll walk on streets of gold if we have put our faith in Him and trusted Him for our salvation.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day Always have emergency equipment and tools in your vehicle. Sometimes a shovel, jack, and chain are priceless.
Today's Photograph . . . . Left From Here, Kept His Word - Returned (Fred B)
Bible Study Verses
"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (NKJV)
In the upper room, while eating the Last Passover Seder with His disciples, Jesus made a very special promise to them. His words were puzzling, since He spoke the same words that a Jewish man said to his fiancee, as part of their engagement.
Right before leaving for his father's house for their time of waiting, the man promised to build her a bridal chamber, and then to return for her. Jesus made that same promise to them, and to us!
My picture above, taken in February, shows the exact spot of General Douglas MacArthur's departure from the island of Corregidor, Philippines, on March 11th, 1942.
Similarities between MacArthur's and Jesus' departures:
He made the same promise as Jesus - "I shall return." And he kept that promise on October 20, 1944
Jesus will keep His promise someday.
Differences between the two:
The MacArthur returned to a different island (Leyte), and announced, "People of the Philippines, I have returned - I'm a little late, but we finally came!"
Jesus will return to the place of His departure (Mount of Olives), and "every eye shall see Him," Rev. 1:7. No announcement needed. And He will be exactly on time. May we say to Him, as our Ukrainian friends always said to us, "We await your return."
Sportsmen's Tip Of The Day
If your gobbler gets distracted from you and led away by a nearby flock of hens, don't get discouraged. Just hang tight. Let him finish his AM activities. After an hour or so, purr and cluck lightly. Big Tom may return, like General MacArthur did! He may announce his return, or not. If he is silent, listen closely for a spitting sound, and watch for a head! Rustle leaves with a small stick, and get ready!
Today's Photograph . . . . God Doesn't Condemn Us, We Do That To Ourselves By The Choice Of Unbelief (Raymond R)
Once we're born, we live eternally. We even get to choose where our eternity will be. Choose wisely. Eternity is forever. May your heart and your day be filled with the joy of Easter. HE'S ALIVE!!!
Bible Study Verses
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene) and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from Heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, Who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him.' Now I have told you." (NIV)
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (NIV)
Thoughts It's Easter--the truest evidence of God's love for us that ever was or could be. I can hardly imagine the scene: a violent earthquake, an angel appearing, the stone being rolled away, being told to not be afraid. Don't be afraid...Yeah, uh huh...right. I would have been afraid.
Look at the tough guy Roman guards (the Delta Force of their day) - they became like dead men! But, amazingly, these two women don't faint or collapse in fear, as do the guards. They listened to the first post-crucifixion testimony given of Jesus' resurrection. They were told to go tell the disciples. The disciples were told to go tell the world.
We've been told to share the good news. Jesus has risen; Jesus has risen indeed! Praise God, He has risen! Because Jesus rose from the grave, we can have the hope of rising from the "grave" of our sins. We can have eternal life, and we can know that we will spend that eternity in Heaven with Jesus. Only believe!
Now, how many times have you heard someone say that they don't believe that a loving God would condemn anyone to an eternity in hell? Well, guess what; they're right! God doesn't condemn us, we do that to ourselves by the choice of unbelief.
Through Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection, God has provided the way for us to avoid hell. Just as we would do anything to prevent our own children from experiencing pain, God went so far to prevent our winding up in hell as to send His only Son to die for us.
Would I ask my son to die for me? No! Would I send my son to die for you? I don't think so! But God didn't hold anything back - He gave the ultimate sacrifice of His only Son so that we could be saved and be with Him forever.
He truly is a loving God! He offered us both forgiveness and hope on the first Easter morning. But, as Jesus was given a choice to be obedient unto death, He has given us the choice to believe or not. Choose to believe. Thank you, Father!
Believe in Jesus-today. Accept His gift of salvation. Pray and ask Jesus to come into your heart and to forgive you of your sins. Be assured of His gift of eternal life!
If you prayed that prayer today, seek out other believers and find a Bible-teaching church where you can grow in your faith and in God's love. And, let us know here at Sportsmen's Devotional so that we can rejoice with you and pray for you.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day Listen and learn from experienced hunters and fishermen. There may come a day when you encounter a situation where someone else's experience or suggestion may keep you out of a tough situation.
Today's Photograph . . . . Sunday Is On Its Way . . . .
Bible Study Verse
Then Jesus told them, "This very night you will all fall away on account of Me, for it is written:
"'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'" (NIV)
Thoughts It's the forgotten day, the day between Good Friday and Easter. Lost time, time that we don't know much about. Jesus was dead. Jesus was buried, and in a sealed tomb, no less.
The disciples were scattered just as Jesus had predicted, just like a covey of quail on a wild covey rise. I wonder:
Where they went.
What they did.
What they thought.
Did they go home? Did they hide? Did they go fishing? Did they say to themselves: "Well, that was sure a waste of our time to follow this guy around for the last three years?"
We do know that they were scared - one of the few comments we have in scripture is that they had locked themselves in their homes for fear of reprisal. I'll tell you, I would have:
Would have run.
Would have hid.
Probably would have gone to the mountain - that's where I go to escape.
I would love to have known what thoughts were going through the disciples' heads that day. They had to be thinking about all that Jesus had said. Probably, whenever they were back together, I think that they would have been sharing those thoughts with each other:
Hey, Peter, didn't Jesus talk about this - going to Jerusalem, being accused, tortured, led as a lamb to slaughter?
And John, didn't He tell us about being condemned to death and being flogged and crucified?
But wait, Thomas, didn't He also say something about being raised from the dead, something about living again?
No, no, no, that simply can't happen. It's not possible, it's not logical, it's nonsensical.
But there's more guys--don't you remember what Jesus said to us: "But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee." What does that mean, "after I have risen?" Could it be true? Could Jesus be raised from the dead? Could He live again? Could He walk with us again? How could this be?
Then came Sunday. . . (Cliff S)
Action Point Satan throws everything that he has at us in order to make us doubt:
Doubt our faith.
Doubt Jesus' words.
Doubt our salvation.
But remember, we know what happened on Sunday. Jesus won. Satan lost.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When you're following your compass or GPS in the mountains, trust what it's telling you. It's probably right.
Today's Photograph . . . . By Sitting Silently and Still In The Woods (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
When He was accused by the chief priests and the elders, He gave no answer. Then Pilate asked Him, "Don't you hear the testimony they are bringing against You?" But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge-to the great amazement of the governor. (NIV)
It's Good Friday. My thoughts have gone back to a day a little over two-thousand years ago when Jesus was asked that question: Don't you hear what they're saying about you? Don't you have anything to say in your defense? Jesus amazes them when He makes no reply. I stand in awe when I think of that scene. If I were in the field and a game warden was asking me questions, I would answer them, wouldn't you? If that had been me instead of Jesus, I would have said something. I would have been throwing everything I could back at the accusers. I would have had my attorney there blasting the accusers, quoting laws and legal precedents.
But Jesus made no reply. He stood in silence. Silence. Why? Because a decision had been made. It was made the night before in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus prayed, "He went away a second time and prayed, 'My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done,'" Matthew 26:42 (NIV).
Jesus knew the need, and Jesus knew the consequences for all mankind if He refused the Cross. There in the garden, He had a choice; and by being obedient to the Father, He chose to love us, to die for us, and to take the burden of all of our sins on Himself. Jesus made this choice in spite of knowing all of the suffering that awaited Him in the next few hours.
Hebrews 5:8 says that Jesus was made perfect through His suffering. Because of His perfection, we can have eternal life with Him. Jesus made a commitment. He kept it, and He suffered during that horrible night, and later on the cross. Because of His suffering, we have this day, Good Friday; and three days later, we have Easter - triumph over sin and death. Praise God for Jesus' obedience, even to death on the Cross!
As you go through your day, be aware that you are God's witness to the world around you. Be prepared to answer those who ask you why you are a follower of Jesus. Tell your world about the love and forgiveness that you have found in Jesus, and that they can have the same.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Sit silent in the woods. If you're moving, the animals see you; if you're still, you'll see them.
Today's Photograph . . . . We Should Be Learning God's Word So We Will Be Ready For Him Without The Risk Of Deception (Mike T)
Please join us in prayer for the Jews in Ukraine threatened to register and pay a registration fee.
Bible Study Verse
Watch! Be alert! For you don't know when the time is coming. (HCSB)
Thoughts Anyone who is a seasoned hunter knows to always be alert, watching for your quarry. We learn a skill like this through our mistakes.
On one particular archery elk hunt, I thought I was doing my best--moving slowly and watching intently for movement or the shape or color of an elk through the trees. But, what I didn't do was to notice the huge bull elk bedded down behind a log just 20 yards in front of me. Of course, he spooked and I never even got an arrow knocked for a shot.
Jesus instructs us to be watching for signs of His return, well-grounded in our relationship with Him, and knowing what His Word says about the end times. I pray that you and I will be alert and ready with anticipation for the day He comes again! Maybe Today!
Action Point Just as we put in time to learn our hunting spots and the behavior of the animals that we hunt, we should be learning God's word so we will be ready for Him, without the risk of deception.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day Purchase a set of topographical maps of the area you are going to hunt. Learn how to use them and learn the lay of the land. This will help familiarize yourself well with the area and will add to your success and safety during your hunt.
Today's Photograph . . . . Will Anyone Be In Heaven Because Of You (NPS)
Bible Study Verses
"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of Him Who sent me and to finish His work. Don't you have a saying, 'It's still four months until harvest?' I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest." (NIV)
Thoughts The first year that I hunted elk, I had a lot to learn. I'm glad my friend, Larry, had the patience to teach me a few things.
On my first day hunting with Larry, he asked me where I was going in such a hurry. He said, "You're not on your way to your deer stand, we're hunting. Slow down, stop occasionally, and LOOK around. Elk can show up at any time in any place. They can cover a lot of ground in a short period of time.
He was right! Eight bulls showed up out of nowhere about 200 yards in front of us. Unfortunately, I only had a cow tag. After that encounter, I understood what Larry meant about hunting elk.
God also want us to be looking--that is, looking for the lost. He doesn't want us in a hurry, focused on the ground (world) in front of us. He tells us to "open our eyes" and look because the harvest is ripe.
Action Point My pastor's question hit me between the eyes: "Will anyone be in Heaven because of you?"
I think we miss too many opportunities that are right in front of us. Pray daily for the Holy Spirit's leading. Let us not wait for the harvest. The harvest is ripe right now!
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day A good range finder is critical when hunting in the mountains. It is hard to judge distances when the topography has so much relief.