Tag Archives: devotions

Just Preach | Bible Gleanings – May 14-15, 2022

He’s there, but you can’t see Him with the naked eye. He is moving, but you cannot track His steps with a magnifying glass to the ground. He is convicting, but you won’t find Him doing so in a courtroom. He is the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, who pricks and persuades sinners of their need for Christ, often in the very hour they hear the gospel from your lips. The Scripture says: “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word” (Acts‬ ‭10:44‬, ‭KJV‬‬).

The Spirit of God punches His timecard when you proclaim the full gospel to the lost. The Spirit engages in CPR, reviving a once-dead heart when you engage in evangelism (Eph. 2:1). He shines gospel light in darkened hearts when the blazing gospel torch is carried to those in darkness (2 Cor. 4:6). The Spirit opens blinded eyes when you call the unregenerate to look away from themselves to Christ (2 Cor. 4:4). He leads sinners in the everlasting way, reveals the truth, and gives life when you declare that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

The very first thing He does is convict, according to Jesus. He said, “And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8). The Spirit puts a person’s conscience on trial when the gospel is published. And He says to them, “You are in serious trouble with God, and you are in serious need of salvation. Wake up! You need Jesus!” Furthermore, the Spirit converts a sinner’s soul: “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5).

This does not mean that every person who hears the gospel will be saved. Sometimes your gospel preaching falls on deaf ears. Unsaved sinners still resist grace (cf. Acts 7:51). What it does mean is that the Spirit can penetrate the hardest heart, loosen the stiffest neck, and overcome anyone’s resistance to His call when He wills (John 6:37-40; Acts 16:4; Romans 8:29-30).

It means that you can faithfully present the gospel and walk away with a full heart, knowing that the Spirit leads a person to Christ. You don’t have to worry about whether your presentation of the gospel was eloquent or sophisticated enough to convince someone to believe. You don’t have to use gimmicks, tactics, bouncy-houses, potlucks, or concerts to win a person to Christ. And it means that no amount of therapy, theories, or prescriptions make a person a better candidate for salvation. The Spirit of God alone convicts and converts lost souls—and He doesn’t need any help. Just preach the gospel (cf. Romans 10:14-17).

Bible Gleanings is a weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. In the event that the column is not posted online, it is be posted for reading here.

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

Front Page News | Bible Gleanings – April 30-May 1, 2022

The chilling news froze me in my tracks. The blackness of gloom enveloped my heart when I read the big black headline on the front page of The New York Times: “The Toll: America Approaches Half a Million COVID Deaths.” The death toll has soared to nearly a million since then, but I remember burning with zeal to do everything I could to prevent the coronavirus from spreading. I am not sure whether mask-wearing and social distancing made a difference—only the Lord knows. But I wanted to do everything in my power to slow the death count when the reality of death was in my face. 

The last time a gust of grief struck me like that was when I read Jesus’ words in Matthew 7, where He warned, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (vv. 13-14). According to Jesus, hordes and heaps of lost souls are driving down the wide open highway to hell, while only a fragment of humanity trudges on the hard road to heaven. Millions are afflicted by the crippling disease of sin, and they will discover too late that they were sick (Matt. 7:21-23). The “second death” toll is infinitely high, and it rises every day (Rev. 21:8). And the sharp twinge of heartbreak ought to pierce the heart of every believer when confronted with this sobering reality (cf. Romans 9:1-3).

Only 31% of the world’s population profess to be Christian, which means that the remaining 69% are hellbound (and that is if all 31% are true believers). According to the World Population Review, 166,279 people die daily. That means that at least 144,733 souls enter the gates of hell every day, and one million do every week. Jesus was right when He said that “many” would hear these terrifying words: “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matt. 7:23).

The good news is that there is plenty of room in heaven, and its door is open to all who would enter by faith in Jesus Christ. The Lord promised, “In my Father’s house are many rooms” (John 14:2a). Therefore, those heavenbound ought to take the life-saving gospel with unquenchable zeal to those who have never heard. The miserable reality of hell for the lost and the marvelous reassurance of heaven for the saved ought to be on the front page of every Christian’s mind. As John Wesley stated, “I desire to have both heaven and hell ever in my eye, while I stand on this isthmus of life, between two boundless oceans.”

Bible Gleanings is a weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. In the event that the column is not posted online, it is be posted for reading here.

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

His Flaming Fury | Bible Gleanings – April 23-24, 2022

The clanging of coins could be heard outside the doors. The fluttering of pigeon wings echoed through the halls. The wooden tables creaked and crackled as they crashed to the floor. And a thundering voice was heard that seized the bustling multitudes: “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

The blazing indignation of the Lord Jesus was ignited. The One called “meek and lowly” boiled with righteous wrath (Matt. 11:29). His Father’s house had been defiled by filthy lucre, and He was determined to clean it up (Mark 11:15). Jesus flipped tables that day in Jerusalem, and He will flip the world upside down by His glorious appearance when He comes again. He will drive out all evildoers from His Father’s world with the whip of judgment, and He will clean house fully and finally.

The apostle John described it like this:

“The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Revelation 6:14-17)

Wails of despair will pierce the air because there will be no place to hide from the dreadful storm of holy retribution. Every haven and hideaway will be incinerated by the flaming fury of the Lord Jesus so that no one may escape divine justice. “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief,” wrote Peter, “and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed” (2 Peter 3:10). The earth and vainglory of worldly things will be smashed to smithereens with one swing of Christ’s gavel of judgment. And everyone with an unpaid sin debt will pay their dues. 

Running to His open arms of grace is the only way to prevent falling into His hands of wrath (Heb. 10:31). Therefore, hide your soul in the Cleft of the Rock, or you will vainly call out to the rocks to hide you. Kneel before Christ in faith, or you will kneel before Him in fear (Phil. 2:9-11). Embrace Him now or face Him later—the choice is yours: “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 2:12).

Bible Gleanings is a weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. In the event that the column is not posted online, it is be posted for reading here.

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

Honor the Name | Bible Gleanings – April 2-3, 2022

Younger me could tell you all about the best roads for bike riding, the deepest water holes for fishing, and the perfect crevices and crannies for hiding from irate neighbors. The one-horse town of Bandana, Kentucky, had it all. The friendly folks of Bandana knew it all, too. As I burned rubber on the block and waged stick-gun wars with neighborhood kids, people would say to me, “You’re a Bramlett, ain’t ya boy? Yeah—Greg and Connie’s son!” They knew who I was simply because of my last name.

Growing up in a close-knit town, I learned that my name mattered, and how I honored (or dishonored) that name mattered even more. I had to keep an eye on myself because everyone else had their eye on me. Unfortunately, I was frequently first in line for shenanigans and the trail of mischief often led to “that kid on Allen Street.” But, I always knew that I had a name to uphold. What I did mattered because of the family I belonged to.

Likewise, all who claim the name Christian have an obligation to honor the exalted and hallowed name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The choices you make and the words you speak are immensely consequential if you belong to the family of God. “We are ambassadors for Christ,” said Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:20. We are His official representatives in a foreign world that is not our home (John 15:19; 1 John 2:15-17). Therefore, we must watch ourselves closely because the world is watching us (cf. 1 Thess. 4:12).

The world is continuously forming a judgment about Christ and the gospel based on whatever they see in you. They aren’t reading the Bible to discover who Jesus is; they are reading you. They aren’t studying theology to understand Christianity; they are studying you. As the evangelist Billy Graham once preached, “We are the Bibles the world is reading; we are the creeds the world is needing; we are the sermons the world is heeding.”

You may preach the gospel a thousand times to those around you—and you should. But your life-witness preaches a thousand times louder. Your life is a visible sermon about the One whose name you claim to represent. Lamentably, we often preach the wrong message. It’s no surprise, then, that we often hear reproof like Mahatma Gandhi’s famous remark, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”[1]

That is why Jesus commanded, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). Shine the light and honor the Father’s glorious name by your character, conduct, and conversation. And when you do, the Lord will honor you: “If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him” (John 12:26b).


[1] Obviously, as an Indian lawyer and anti-colonialist politician, Gandhi was no expert on Christianity. Nevertheless, his rebuke is unfortunately true.

Bible Gleanings is a weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. In the event that the column is not posted online, it is be posted for reading here.

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

Heart Transplant | Bible Gleanings – March 19-20, 2022

I am a walking miracle. I should not be alive today. Most people with my condition never pull through. Fortunately, I am one of the few people jerked away from death’s door thanks to a heart transplant that occurred at just the right time.

Impairments and limitations have plagued my life since the day I was born—all because of a bad heart. I couldn’t see or think clearly. My steps were always crooked. My diseased heart wrecked everything about me—and a new heart was what I needed above all.

The life-saving procedure happened in August of 2009, when I was just fifteen years-old. But it wasn’t in an operating room, and the operation was not performed by a surgeon. It was behind the shabby shed in my parents’ backyard, and the Savior of sinners executed the procedure. After hearing the gospel preached, I suddenly realized that my desperately wicked heart required conversion only Jesus Christ could provide. Kneeling in the dirt and in my soul, I turned to Christ in repentance and faith. “I have been wrong about everything,” I prayed. “Lord, forgive me. Please forgive me. I give my life to You.” And God’s promise came to pass: “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).

Every sinner needs a spiritual heart transplant. The Lord must take His scalpel of grace to remove your old heart and implant a new one that loves Him (Jeremiah 24:7). Why? Because the heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart. It is utterly infected by evil: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). The heart is responsible for all of your spiritual health problems. As Jesus said, “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person” (Mark 7:21-23).

This soul-saving spiritual surgery is what God performs for every sinner saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). Every Christian has a heart transplant story. Every believer in Christ is a walking miracle. Every follower of Jesus sings the words of Myron LeFevre’s hymn in their heart:

“Without Him, I could be dying,

Without Him, I’d be enslaved;

Without Him, life would be hopeless,

But with Jesus, thank God, I’m saved.”

Bible Gleanings is a weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. In the event that the column is not posted online, it is be posted for reading here.

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

Hold the Fort | Bible Gleanings – March 5-6, 2022

The frightening thunder of artillery fire rattled slumbering Union soldiers at daybreak on October 5, 1864. The march of Confederate soldiers shook the ground as they rallied to seize the Union supply depot at Allatoona Pass. General Samuel G. French ordered his men to pound the Union fort with a hailstorm of shells and a merciless spray of gunfire while he moved north to enclose the garrison. Convinced he had the upper hand, French sent a note to John M. Corse, the Union general commanding the sought-after fort: “To avoid a needless effusion of blood, I call on you to surrender your forces at once and unconditionally. Five minutes will be allowed you to decide.” And before the clock ran out, Corse gave his answer: “Bring it on.”

French moved in to tighten the noose and unleash hell. Bullets smacked the dirt and Union soldiers knelt for cover. The crack of rifles grew louder as Confederate soldiers drew nearer.  And as pressure to surrender mounted, Union General William T. Sherman sent a message to Corse that read, “Hold the fort; for I am coming!” French withdrew by four o’clock, unable to break the stouthearted resolve of the Union soldiers and the fortitude of Sherman’s reinforcements.[1] This left the Union in possession of the rations and ammunition the Confederates desperately needed to tip the scales of the Civil War in their favor.

The Commander of heaven’s armies, the Lord Jesus Christ, sends the same message to all of His beleaguered and faithful saints: “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown” (Rev. 3:11). The devil’s bombardments may cause us to flee for cover (Eph. 6:16). The increasing number of those abandoning the Lord’s faithful army may cause us to feel outnumbered (1 Tim. 4:1). Trials and tribulations may hedge us in, causing us to despair for victory and relief (Psalm 13:1-2). But Jesus calls us to “hold the fort,” because He is coming soon to bring reinforcements.

Stay on the battlefield, for Jesus is coming to vanquish Satan and the kingdom of darkness (Rev. 20:10). Wield the sword of Scripture against false teaching, for the Truth is coming to send the “father of lies” scurrying in hopeless retreat (John 8:44; 14:6; Rev. 19:11). Stand firm in this hostile world, for the King is coming to subdue His enemies by the mere appearance of His glorious presence (2 Thess. 2:8). Fight for faith in your trials, for Christ is coming to trample pain, tears, and death once and for all (Rev. 21:4).

It is no wonder that Phillip P. Bliss wrote in 1870:

“Ho, my comrades, see the signal, waving in the sky!

Reinforcements now appearing, victory is nigh.

“Hold the fort, for I am coming,” Jesus signals still;

Wave the answer back to heaven, “By thy grace we will.”[2]



[1] Historians disagree on the timing of General Sherman’s reinforcements, but agree that Union victory at Allatoona would likely have been impossible without them—no matter when they arrived.

[2] Hymn-writer Phillip P. Bliss composed this chorus in the hymn Hold the Fort, which was inspired by the events that transpired at the Battle of Allatoona Pass during the Civil War.

Bible Gleanings is a weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. In the event that the column is not posted online, it is be posted for reading here.

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

Wake From Sleep | Bible Gleanings – Feb 19-20, 2022

The German theologian and reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546) once told a sobering legend about what makes the devil happy:

“The devil once held a great anniversary,” he explained, “at which his emissaries were convened to report the results of their several missions.”

One minion remarked, “I let loose the wild beasts on a caravan of Christians, and their bones are now bleaching on the sands.”

“What of that?” the devil scolded. “Their souls were all saved!”

“I drove the east wind against a ship freighted with Christians,” said another, “and they were all drowned.”

“What of that? Their souls were all saved!” the devil chastised once more.

But said another, “For ten years I tried to get a single Christian asleep, and I succeded and left him so.”

“Then the devil shouted, and the night stars of hell sang for joy,” Luther concluded.

Luther was correct: nothing delights the devil more than a sleeping Christian. If you are a believer, Satan isn’t gratified by your death. But he exults and makes merry when you slumber on the bed of apathy and lukewarm spirituality. Those who snooze on the couch of indifference pose no threat to the savage kingdom of darkness (Eph. 2:2; Col. 1:13; 1 John 5:19). Those who catnap on the recliner of spiritual lethargy are unsuspecting prey to the roaring lion’s ferocious attacks (1 Pet. 5:8).

The Lord calls you to keep your eyes peeled for spiritual danger like a soldier on nightwatch, no matter how tempting it may be to catch a wink. That is why Paul wrote, “So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation” (1 Thess. 5:6-8). Don’t doze off. Remain vigilant. You can’t afford to sleep when you are fighting a deadly war (Eph. 6:10-20; 1 Pet. 2:11).

One dependable way to stay awake is to remain active in the Lord’s service. You are less likely to drift into the coma of moral carelessness and laxity when you are engaged in activity that is pleasing to the Lord. Idleness, on the other hand, will quickly lull you to sleep. Stay awake, and you’ll stay alive: “Give your eyes no sleep and your eyelids no slumber; save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the hand of the fowler” (Prov. 6:4-5). Wake from sleep, dear Christian, and rob the devil of his delight!

Bible Gleanings is a weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. In the event that the column is not posted online, it is be posted for reading here.

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

A Free Offer | Bible Gleanings – Feb 12-13, 2022

In addition to receiving monthly bills in the mail, I also get a half-pound bundle of useless vouchers and coupons I never redeem. Limited-time cable and internet bargains, special fast-food discounts, and a membership form for AARP are all included in the colorful paper clump. The real prize lies buried within: a slew of slips emblazoned with the words, “FREE OFFER INSIDE.” And the offers are absolutely irresistible: a $100,000 life insurance policy for only $3 a month, a $200 gift card for a cable service that goes out when a raindrop hits the roof, and a free tank of gas when you purchase a truck with the low price tag of $50,000! 

However, if you read the fine print, you’ll find that the “free” offers aren’t actually free. There are always caveats and strings attached. And besides, none of the offers truly deliver on their claims. Fortunately, there is one free offer that is truly free. It always delivers on its promises, and it is clear of any belying fine print. It is not found in the mailboxes of every street, but it is offered to the heart of every sinner. And I found it, not when I opened a discount mailer, but when I opened my Bible, which says:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).

God’s offer of everlasting life is free for all. You cannot buy it with an offering and you cannot earn it through good works (cf. Acts 8:20). Jesus purchased it in full by His atoning death, so you don’t have to (Eph. 1:7). That is why Paul declared, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).

Furthermore, there is no small print excluding anyone from the offer of forgiveness and eternal life. Salvation is for every tongue, class, and culture. God doesn’t pass you by because of how you look or where you come from. Every person of every race stands condemned before the bench of His righteousness, and every person is invited and commanded to be made righteous through faith in Jesus Christ alone (Romans 3:22-23; 10:12-13).

Friend, this is an offer you can’t refuse. Reach out your hands and accept it by repenting of your sins and trusting wholly in Christ for your salvation (Acts 17:30; Gal. 2:16). And do so now while the offer still stands: “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near” (Isaiah 55:6).

Bible Gleanings is a weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. In the event that the column is not posted online, it is be posted for reading here.

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

The Book That Cleans | Bible Gleanings – Feb 5-6, 2022

Several years ago, Time Magazine published a segment titled The 25 Best Inventions of 2015, in which they listed a bevy of innovative inventions and cutting-edge gadgets that make the world a better place. Each gizmo and doodad enhances the quality of everyday life, but one invention stands above the rest: the Drinkable Book. Created by Theresa Dankovich, a researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, the Drinkable Book contains silver-infused pages that can be used to filter contaminated water. Just one page filters up to 100 liters of water, providing a cost-effective solution for impoverished communities who do not have access to clean drinking water. The book’s purifying pages ensure survival for people who would otherwise perish from bacterial infections and other deadly waterborne diseases—the book is literally life-saving.

There is another kind of Book that cleanses—one that may be found on the nightstand, the pulpit, or the pew: the word of the living God, the Bible. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Scripture contains sanitizing pages that filter the bacteria of evil from our lives. Each passage in God’s word is infused with sin-killing, iniquity-cleansing, wickedness-purifying truth that sanctifies us from sin unto God. That is why Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17). Without its disinfecting truth, we will suffer from sin-infections contracted from worldly corruption, heart-borne evils, and false teaching.

The human heart flows with the “springs of life” as Solomon wrote, but because the heart is also “desperately wicked,” it spews tainted water that toxically contaminates all of existence (Proverbs 4:23; Jeremiah 17:9). Therefore, we need the truth of Scripture to pierce our innermost being and expunge us of evil (Hebrews 4:12). It is only by His “precious and very great promises” that we are cleansed of defilement (2 Peter 1:4). Nothing but the “whole counsel of God” can flush the mind of the muck of error (Acts 20:27; cf. 2 Timothy 3:16). As the psalmist aptly confessed, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word” (Psalm 119:9).

Filter your heart’s fountain with God’s word. Sift all ideas and teachings through the pages of Scripture before you drink them in. Clean off the dust from your Bible so God may use it to clean you. “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you” (John 15:3, KJV).

Bible Gleanings is a weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. In the event that the column is not posted online, it is be posted for reading here.

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).

The Greatness of Weakness | Bible Gleanings – Jan 22-23, 2022

It wasn’t the hottest sermon I had ever preached, but it was certainly the hottest building I had ever preached in. I was scheduled to preach to a group of eager youngsters at a youth summer camp, but I had no idea that obstacles were also on the schedule. In the middle of the week, the air conditioning kicked off in the chapel, elevating the indoor temperature to about 90°. When it was my time to preach, I couldn’t concentrate. I was saturated in perspiration, and the students were straining to stay cool. To make matters worse, not one student came to the altar at the end of the service.

Later that evening, a student named Alex remarked, “Brother Brandon, I’m gonna be honest with you—and no offense—but I didn’t hear a single word you said.” Jeez! Talk about adding insult to injury! However, Alex repented of his sins in that very hour, and explained to me that God was speaking so loudly to him during my sermon that he couldn’t hear me at all! To this day, that was the best post-sermon compliment I have ever received.

Paul the apostle was right—the power to save souls rests not in the messenger, but in the message:

“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).

God will use you despite your imperfections and inadequacies. Preach to the unsaved even when you are nervous or uncertain. Disciple the hungry souls under your care even when your efforts appear fruitless. Encourage the despondent even when you feel that your words won’t make a difference. Pray for the wayward even when it feels like your prayers go no higher than the ceiling.

Do not rely on your skills or speaking abilities; instead, rely on God’s strength and His promise to speak through you (Matthew 10:20). Do not confide in your own intelligence or wisdom; rather, trust in the Lord’s incomprehensible power to convert souls (Romans 1:16). Do not give up if you see no success when doing the work of the Lord—depend on the sufficiency of God’s grace (2 Corinthians 9:8).

Don’t forsake doing good if you think you’re not any good at doing good! D.L. Moody once said, “If you don’t go to work for the Lord because you’re afraid of making mistakes, you will probably make the greatest mistake of your life—that of doing nothing.”

Bible Gleanings is a weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky. In the event that the column is not posted online, it is be posted for reading here.

Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).