Monday, April 24, 2017


 The Lord’s timing may be different from ours. When we choose to walk with Him in control, we may wonder when we’ll reach the place He wants us to be. But we can rejoice in His promise to guide us unerringly to that place.

Eternal Perspectives              by Sally Bair

Where Are We? 

My four-year-old granddaughter, Kayde, was excited about our trip to Alaska. Though we kept a map handy and pointed out our planned route, she asked questions. "When will we get there, Dad?" "How long will we stay?" "Are we going to a motel tonight, or another RV park?" Her most frequent question was "Where are we now?"Kayde’s most frequent question was “Where are we now?” Her young mind could not grasp the where and when of long-distance travel.

We all made a special effort to include her in every aspect of the trip, so in spite of her questions, she remained cheerful and content along the endless miles we traveled.

When we finally arrived at our rented cabin, Kayde threw her arms wide, and shouted, "I love it here!" Relieved, we heartily agreed.
The Lord once told Abraham to take a trip. "Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land I will show you …." (Genesis 12:1)

Abraham had lived in Haran for years and now, except for his wife and nephew, had to leave his family for an unknown place. Day after day they traveled. Perhaps Abraham, too, asked God, "Where are we?" Or, "Are we there yet?" Not grasping the where and what and how of the trip, he still knew that his heavenly Father would direct his path. So he remained content.

Knowing that our Lord is directing our path, we don’t have to be concerned about the where and what and how of our spiritual walk. When we follow God's will, we too can be content wherever we are, even if in unfamiliar territory.

Lord, thank You for directing our paths even through unfamiliar territory. Thank You for Your peace and contentment. In Jesus’ name, amen.

(Reprinted from The Nature of God: Daily Devotionals Celebrating Summer by Sally Bair. Available at or

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Jesus is the firstfruits of all who believe in Him.

Eternal Perspectives          by Sally Bair


We northerners harvest most of our produce in the summer and fall. People in warmer climates gather their harvests at other times of the year. In fact, in the Holy Land the Jewish feast of firstfruits is held in early spring when the grain is harvested. The Israelites waved a sheaf of grain during their joyful celebration to commemorate God’s provision of deliverance from slavery in Egypt.

The word firstfruits explains itself. It means sacrificing the first portion of a larger harvest. It means giving God our very first and best of whatever we have—our money, time, talents and gifts.

Firstfruits also is a symbol of God’s harvest of souls. The early Christians were set apart for the Lord to gather other people into His kingdom. We too, as followers of Christ, have been set apart for His purposes. “But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly.” (Psalm 5:3) In other words, God identifies the godly, those devoted to Him and His ways, by caring for them and listening to their prayers.

We often find ourselves withholding the best from God. We may be tempted to give away our rejects and leftovers and keep the best for ourselves. That’s not to say we shouldn’t recycle our used items for use by someone in need. It is to say, however, that God doesn’t want us to be stingy or greedy. After all, our Father gave His best for us.

But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man [Jesus] also came the resurrection of the dead.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-21) This verse refers to the Old Testament feast of firstfruits . Jesus is the firstfruits of those to be resurrected. God “harvested” His only Son—His very best—that we might be delivered from the slavery of sin and live with Him forever. And our celebration of Easter can continue into the Day of Pentecost—the day God sent His Spirit to us for power and strength, conviction and encouragement. It is not by coincidence that Pentecost coincides with the last day of the celebration of Firstfruits.

Lord, thank You for sending us Jesus, our firstfruits,Your very best, on our behalf. Use us for Your purpose of harvesting souls by filling us with Your fruit of love, joy and peace. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Monday, April 10, 2017


May you be free from “sin’s dark prison” from this moment forward.

Eternal Perspectives              by Sally Bair

Sorrow turned into joy

We probably all have experienced the sorrow of a loved one leaving home for school, a new job or marriage. We miss them. We worry about them. We count the days until they return, knowing our joy will also return.

Before Jesus died on the cross, He told His disciples, “… you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.” (John 16:20) Jesus compared their anguish to that of a woman whose painful labor turns to joy when her child is born. The disciples’ sorrow would vanish but their joy would remain after Jesus’ resurrection.

When we think about the suffering Jesus endured for our sake, we too may find it easy to weep and lament. Compared to the real event some two thousand years ago, today’s dramas portraying His death are but foggy mirrors. Yet they are cause enough for weeping because we can’t help but feel deep sorrow over His sacrifice.

The good news—the best news ever—is His death was not the end of the story. Because of Jesus’ miraculous, bodily resurrection, we can rejoice knowing that because He lives, we too shall live. The crosses we carry and wear around our necks are now reminders of His amazing love for us. The spring flowers that adorn our churches and are bursting open in nature just as Jesus burst His three-days’ prison.

A nineteenth-century writer, Cecil F. Alexander, penned a song entitled “He is Risen”, which reminds us we can be freed from sorrow and experience the joy of knowing the hope of eternal life with our Savior.

            “Said the angel, ‘He is risen!’ Tell it out with joyful voice:
            He had burst His three days’ prison; let the whole wide earth rejoice:
            Death is conquered, we are free, Christ has won the victory.
            Come, ye sad and fearful hearted, with glad smile and radiant brow!
            Death’s long shadows have departed; all our woes are over now,
Due to passion that He bore sin and pain can vex no more.  
Come, with high and holy hymning, chant our Lord’s triumphant day;
Not one darksome cloud is dimming yonder glorious morning ran,
Breaking over the purple east: brighter far our Easter feast.
            He is risen, He is risen! He has opened heaven’s gate:
            We are free from sin’s dark prison, risen to a holier state.”

Lord, thank You for the joy in knowing we will conquer death for everlasting life as You did for us. We sing praise and glorify You in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, April 3, 2017


Are you directionally challenged? Let it never be said you are so challenged spiritually. As believers, we can count on God keeping in step with us until the day we can look upwards—forever.


East and west

Maps have interested me from the time I could read. Unlike GPSs that direct us to turn right or left, maps tell us to turn north or south, east or west. When it comes to directions, the ultimate goal is the destination.

Our spiritual goals reflect a destination, too. Followers of Christ know their final destination is heaven, a place of perfection and peace with God, a place not on the map. The path to our final destination points to certain directions, too.

According to Old Testament laws, God placed great emphasis on directions (see Leviticus 16). The tabernacle and its successor, the great temple in Jerusalem, faced east. God’s law required that blood sacrifices had to be paid for the forgiveness of sin. The Altar of Sacrifice, which was the first part of the ritual, sat at the east end while the Holy of Holies, where the final act of sacrifice was performed, was at the west end.

Once a year the High Priest offered up the sin sacrifice in the east and then walked across the temple floor to sprinkle the animal’s blood on the Ark of the Covenant, situated at the west end. His ritual symbolized the sins of the people being removed from east to west.

Consider the opposite directions—north and south. Each has a “pole” where it ends. When we go north, we end up at the North Pole. A southerly trip takes us to the South Pole. Their distances are limited. East and west, however, have no poles. They go on forever.

Since the truths in the Old Testament shadow the New, perhaps when Jesus hung on the cross at Calvary, He faced either east or west. At any rate, it shows us that He died for our sins. “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:10-12)

The next time the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, we can remember God’s ultimate sacrifice for us and His promise that if we fear Him, He will remove our sins forevermore.

Lord, thank You for Your eternal mercy. As we travel life’s road, may we never forget that You created our world perfectly directional in order to show us Your mercy and grace. In Jesus’ name, amen.