Jan. 25. Jesus Arrives in Galilee

Mt. 4:13-17; Mk. 1:14, 15; Lk. 4;14, 15; Jn. 4:43-45

At the end of the two days, Jesus left Samaria and continued to Galilee. Before this time, His base of operations had been at Nazareth, but He moved to Capernaum, which was about forty miles northeast of Nazareth and near the Sea of Galilee.


Follow Jesus to death

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life. Romans 6.4

Paul paints so clearly here in Romans what happens when we are baptized. First of all we are buried. Immersed. We are covered over with water. Also, one normally is not buried until the person has died. To what have I died? I have died to the sinful life where I followed mindlessly after my own passions and desires. In John 12.25 Jesus tells the crowd that was around him that the one who loves his life destroys it, and the one who hates his life in this world guards it for eternal life. If we want to serve Jesus we have to follow him to death. I have to be willing to put him first and die to myself. Baptism is where it happens. Just as Christ was raised from the dead, I, too, am raised from the dead. Just as Christ was raised through the glory of the Father to live in the heavenly realm with a new body, I arise from the watery grave a new creature and through the glory of the Father I live a new life. A life that is not dictated by my passions and desires that so often lead to conflict and strife. A life that is lived to glorify the Father in all that I do. That relieves many a burden. That brings joy!

#risingjoy #Romans #life

Don’t dwell on the past

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

Don’t remember these earlier events; don’t recall these former events. Look, I am about to do something new. Now it begins to happen! Do you not recognize it? Yes, I will make a road in the desert and paths in the wilderness. Isaiah 43.18,19

Don’t recall these former events. The NIV says do not dwell on the past. Jesus said something similar in Luke 9.62. We are to continue looking forward and not look back. A few verses before, Isaiah makes reference to the destruction of the Egyptian army that had pursued the Israelites as they were leaving Egypt under the leadership of Moses. Then he writes what the Lord has said. I am about to do something new. When we become a Christian, we should not dwell on the past, our past. God is about to change my life if I will only cooperate and receive what he wants to give. God can change my life in such a way that it is not even recognizable when compared to my past. He gives me a new direction! He puts me on the path that leads to eternal life and heaven! Don’t look back!

#risingjoy #Isaiah #past

Jan. 24. Jesus at Jacob’s Well at Sychar

Jn. 4:5-42

Even though the Jews and Samaritans did not have anything to do with each other, Jesus started on the short route across Samaria. At noon, He was tired and sat down on a well while the disciples went into town to get some food.

As a Samaritan woman approached the well to draw water, Jesus asked her for a drink. He was thirsty, but He also wanted to teach her a lesson about living water or eternal life. Jesus made quite an impression on the woman because He revealed some personal facts about her that a stranger just would not know.

Perceiving that Jesus was a prophet, the woman asked Him about worship. He informed her that true worship is in spirit and truth—that, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Not according to man’s ideas and traditions, but with faithful obedience to God’s commands.

After the disciples returned with lunch, the woman returned to the city to tell the men, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” When the men saw Jesus, many of them believed and they persuaded Him to stay two days and as He taught them, many more believed in Him.


Jan. 23. Jesus Leaves Jordan for Galilee

Mt. 4:12; Mk. 1:14; Lk. 3:19, 20; Jn. 4:1-4

When Jesus heard about John being in prison, He left Judea and started toward Galilee to continue John’s work. There were two routes to Galilee. One went east across the Jordan River and through Perea. This took seven days to reach Galilee. The second route was much shorter, taking only three days. Jews usually did not take this shorter route because it went directly through hated Samaria.


Shame those leaders

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV)

Будем внимательны друг ко другу, поощряя к любви и добрым делам. Не будем оставлять собрания своего, как есть у некоторых обычай; но будем увещевать друг друга, и тем более, чем более усматриваете приближение дня оного. (К Евреям 10:24-25 Russian)

Our Father who is in Heaven – may the brightness of your glory shine brighter than the Sun as more people consider your ingenious creation. Bless leaders in the Church with sufficient wisdom to encourage love and good works by participating in all assemblies of the brothers and sisters. Strengthen our resolve to live each day by faith in Christ while we anticipate the Day of his appearing. Shame those leaders who minimize the importance of the regularly scheduled meetings of the church. Help them to repent by becoming good examples of personal commitment to our Lord. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church


Jan. 22. John’s Second Testimony

Jn. 3:22-36

Jesus continued to teach for a few months in the land of Judea, which included the Jerusalem area. John the Baptist was also teaching in this area, but Jesus and His disciples were teaching and baptizing more people than he. John explained that this was the way it should be. “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

John’s preaching got him into trouble with Herod the tetrarch because he had condemned him for his evil life and for taking his brother Philip’s wife.


Joyful songs in our heart

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27-28 ESV)

И как человекам положено однажды умереть, а потом суд, так и Христос, однажды принеся Себя в жертву, чтобы подъять грехи многих, во второй раз явится не для очищения греха, а для ожидающих Его во спасение. (К Евреям 9:27-28 Russian)

Most glorious and holy God, our dear heavenly Father ~ we come into your presence with joyful songs in our heart because of the wonder of our salvation through your beloved Son. Stir up our conscience on days when we think about the way human life disappears like steam from a tea kettle. Help us Lord, as we think about the volume of our sins that are so offensive that the only possible antidote is the human blood that Christ shed as he suffered excruciating pain for each sinner. Open the eyes of those lost in darkness so that they will hastily run to the cross and accept the grace that is offered for those who believe, repent and are baptized. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church


Hugh’s News & Views (The Day Approaching)


“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another so as to stir up to love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:23-25, NKJV). (Note: Neither the KJV, the ASV, nor the NASB capitalize the word “day” in this passage, though the NIV, the RSV, and the NEB do capitalize it). To what does “the day approaching” in this text refer? Continue reading

#hebrews, #hughfulford

Jan. 21. Jesus Talks to Nicodemus

Jn. 3:1-21

One of the main sects of the Jews was the Pharisees. They were strict in their beliefs, but their traditions meant more to them than did obeying the Scriptures. The Pharisees believed that the soul was immortal and would be rewarded or punished in the future life.

Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews was a prominent Pharisee. Since Jesus had become controversial, Nicodemus came to Him at night so perhaps no one would see him. He understood that Jesus had come from God because of the things He had done.

Jesus recognized a need that Nicodemus had and taught him an important lesson about the new birth. Nicodemus could not understand how an old man could be born again. He was thinking about a physical birth, but Jesus was referring to a spiritual birth. Based on the teachings of Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-14; Titus 3:4-7, we know that we experience the new birth through baptism, which adds us to the family of God, the church.

As Jesus explained to Nicodemus His purpose for coming to earth, He reminded him of the story of the fiery serpents in Numbers 21:4-9. Even He must be lifted up to save mankind. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Verse 16 should be considered within its context in Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus. He tells Nicodemus AND us how we may qualify for the promise of eternal life.

God loves us enough to send His Son to die for us, but salvation is not automatic. Also, believing cannot save us without a new birth. Some use the term “born again Christians” as if there are other kinds of Christians. If one is a Christian, he is by definition, born again.

As we continue our study, we shall learn how the Old Testament prepares us for the New Testament to teach us how one may be born again to become a true child of God.


We are still waiting

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

But, according to his promise, we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness truly resides. Therefore, dear friends, since you are waiting for these things, strive to be found at peace, without spot or blemish when you come into his presence. 2 Peter 3.13,14

We are waiting. This is something that most of us I daresay do not do well. We want things to happen quickly. We want things to be right as of now or better yet, yesterday. Peter tells us in the context of this verse that God is being patient. He does not want anyone to perish but wants all to be saved. We need to be prepared on a daily basis for Jesus to return. When he does come, it will take many by surprise. The old will be destroyed and he has promised new heavens and a new earth. New. Where things are just and right. Hard to wait for something that sounds so wonderful. Like a child who can hardly wait for Christmas to arrive, we share the hard task of waiting. Peter tells us that as we wait, we should strive to be at peace, spotless and free of blemishes. Strive to be at peace. That implies that it is not easy. We have to work toward it. We need to maintain a firm grasp on the truth. Because we are still waiting. Oh! But it is so worth it!

#risingjoy #2-Peter #waiting

Stir up a love

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. (Hebrews 1:1-4 ESV)

Бог, многократно и многообразно говоривший издревле отцам в пророках, в последние дни сии говорил нам в Сыне, Которого поставил наследником всего, чрез Которого и веки сотворил. Сей, будучи сияние славы и образ ипостаси Его и держа все словом силы Своей, совершив Собою очищение грехов наших, воссел одесную престола величия на высоте, будучи столько превосходнее Ангелов, сколько славнейшее пред ними наследовал имя. (Евреям 1:1-4 Russian)

Almighty God, our dear Heavenly Father ~ thank you Lord, for the fullness of your grace that is offered to all people who now live. Stir up a love of the Holy Scriptures in the hearts of preachers along those who train them, and churches that send out workers, so that more work will be done to turn the hearts of all people to the Lord Jesus Christ as the one and only Savior and Lord over all. Stagnate the efforts of false teachers who try to turn the hearts of seekers of eternal life, to listen to a fable about the teaching of angels. In the precious name of Jesus we bow, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church


Jan. 20. Jesus Cleanses Temple at First Passover of Ministry

Jn. 2:13-25

Many years earlier, God, through Moses had attempted to get King Pharaoh to release His people from Egyptian slavery. God had sent nine plagues against the Egyptians and each had failed to win their freedom. The tenth plague against Pharaoh and the Egyptians was the death of the firstborn.

In order to save the Israelites from this plague, God required them to place the blood of a lamb on the doorposts and lintels of their houses. That night, when He passed over the houses sprinkled with blood, He spared their firstborn. God established the Passover as an annual feast to commemorate their deliverance from Egypt.

When Jesus arrived at the temple to observe the Passover, He was most unhappy with what was taking place in the house of God.

Since many of the people had to travel a great distance to Jerusalem, it was not easy to bring their Passover sacrifices with them. As a convenience, traders had located in various parts of town to supply those needs and make change for the temple tax. Unfortunately, some had taken over the outer court of the temple for their markets, defiling the house of God. Using a whip, Jesus drove them out and overturned the tables of the moneychangers.

The Jews were angry with Jesus and asked Him for a sign or reason for His actions. He made a prophetic statement regarding His death and resurrection: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” These words were used against Him three years later.


Indelible ink of the Spirit

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Jeremiah 31:33 ESV)

Но вот завет, который Я заключу с домом Израилевым после тех дней, говорит Господь: вложу закон Мой во внутренность их и на сердцах их напишу его, и буду им Богом, а они будут Моим народом. (Иеремия 31:33 Russian)

O LORD my God, thank you Father, for granting us the joyful experience of lifting up our hearts in praise to you on this new Lord’s Day. Bless Christians around the world who love to faithfully sing praises that express our undying trust in Christ as Lord. Thank you for the Holy Spirit who lives in us as we remain in step with your holy Scriptures. Write your law in our hearts with the indelible ink of the Spirit. Destroy the deceitful efforts of those dogs who love to raise doubt in the hearts of believers in your Holy Scriptures. We pray fervently in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church


Jan. 19. Jesus’ First Miracle

Jn. 2:1-12

Shortly after meeting Philip and Nathanael, Jesus and His mother were guests at a wedding in Cana. Since Cana was about ten miles north of His home in Nazareth and Mary was also invited, those being married were probably close friends of His family. A very embarrassing moment happened at the wedding party. They ran out of wine!

Knowing the divine nature of Jesus, Mary probably felt that He could save the day. She informed Him of the situation and He rebuked her for trying to get Him involved in something that wasn’t His problem. However, Mary told the servants to do whatever He told them to do. This is excellent advice for us today

After commanding the servants to fill six stone water pots with water, Jesus told them to take some of it to the master of the feast. The master did not know where the wine had come from, but he was amazed that it tasted better than the first. There is some question about the alcoholic content of this wine. Since there are many admonitions in the Bible against drinking alcohol, and Jesus did no sin, one can conclude that this wine was non-alcoholic.

Jesus, His mother, brothers and disciples left Cana and went to Capernaum and stayed a few days until time to return to Jerusalem for the annual Feast of the Passover.