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Todays Sportsmens Devotional

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**Robert E. Lee IV **

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tikkabuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 June 2017 at 02:02


Bible Study Verses


Joshua 1:6-9



Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. "Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips;meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (NIV)



Joshua 1:18

"Whoever rebels against your word and does not obey it, whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous!" (NIV)




Thoughts
I know what it means to be afraid; you see, I'm afraid of the dark. Yep, the Arizona outdoorsman doesn't like being in the forest alone after dark. The desert? Now that's okay; but I don't like those trees - too claustrophobic! So, I accept my limitation, and plan my hunts accordingly.



Joshua also faced a lot of "darkness," a lot of the unknown. Notice in these verses that God told Joshua four times to be strong and courageous. Why? Well, for one thing, God wanted to assure Joshua that He would be with him, step by step, stride for stride.




Okay, that's good, but let's go a little deeper. Why did God give Joshua this admonition so many times? Because God knew that Joshua and the Israelite warriors were going to be in fearful situations. God was telling them that they were going to be in fights that looked absolutely hopeless, except for the hand of God fighting the battles for them.

(Cliff S)

Action Point
Got some battles that you're facing in your life - financial troubles, marital problems, moral issues, temptations - so strong that you don't know how you're going to walk away?




Remember that God, His Holy Spirit, is with us. He is going before us and is there to fight the battles. God always gives us a way out of temptation (I Corinthians 10:13). It's up to us to make the commitment to choose God's way, and to rely on His strength when the battle gets fierce. Be strong and courageous. Put your trust in Him. He'll see you through!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Know your limitations! Always plan your hunt with them in mind. Avoid putting yourself in situations where fear and panic may occur.





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tikkabuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 July 2017 at 06:37


Bible Study Verses


Exodus 9:16-17


But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth. As yet you exalt yourself against My people in that you will not let them go. (NKJV)




Thoughts
Do we really live out each day to God's purpose? In this scripture, God is referring to the Egyptian pharaoh who would not let God's people leave Egypt with Moses. Unfortunately, Pharaoh was fighting against God; and ultimately, God showed His awesome power over all nature - Pharaoh lost.

As God used pharaoh in His plan for the people He loved, God has a purpose for everyone-- each friendship, co-worker, and hunting buddy - in His plan for us. Yes, even the inexperienced neighbor who may really look up to you and just love to be included on your next trip out. Can you think of someone who might benefit from your experience and knowledge of the outdoors? What might happen if you invited them on your next camping, fishing, or hunting trip? Perhaps you are worried that the hunt would be ruined? From eternity's perspective, what truly is most important?

Remember Pharaoh: God ended up sending frogs, lice, and locusts (to name a few of His judgments) upon Pharaoh's kingdom in order to deliver His people from slavery. God doesn't go out to get people. He is a God of love and He wants to give you the desires of your heart. He's more likely to send the trophy your way; although the inexperienced hunter may get that one, and you'll just look like an awesome guide!

(Rebecca L)

Action Point
There was a outdoorsman who went hunting with his friend of many years. Sitting by their campfire resting after hiking all day, he felt impressed to talk to his friend about knowing Jesus personally. He chose not to say anything because he didn't want to offend this life-long buddy. Not long after this great trip, his buddy died protecting his wife in a burglary. The sorrow and unrest of not knowing where his friend was for eternity never left him as long as he lived. Stop and seek God's purpose for your day now!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If you have a late hunt in the year, you may awaken to snow. Don't forget to protect your eyes. Many a sportsman has experienced snow blindness. Snow reflects 85 percent of the ultraviolet rays from the sun. Many symptoms will not appear until 12 hours later (or on your next hunt). Always keep sunglasses in your camping trailer or hunting gear. You can keep them on a leash around your neck so you don't lose them when you look through your binoculars or take that shot at the big one.




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Bible Study Verse


Leviticus 17:11


For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life. (NIV)




Thoughts
A friend of mine was processing his deer at home with his kids watching. Left from the field dressing, some blood ran out of the body cavity. His daughter squealed, "Ewwhh! Blood!"



His observant three year old son replied, "The blood provides forgiveness for our sins."



My friend was presented with a perfect teaching opportunity. He told his two children how the deer's blood had to be shed so they could use the deer for food. He was able to explain that the blood of Jesus was shed on the cross that we might have our sins forgiven and our guilt washed away. (Jack M)


Action Point
Blood trailing is an important tool for the hunter. Many can tell where the animal has been hit by the blood's appearance:
•Bright red blood is usually from an arterial source, which is usually an indication of a solid hit.
•Bright red blood, with bubbles in it, signifies a lung shot.
•Dark red blood can show a hit in a vein or the liver. This is usually not a good sign for the hunter.

How amazing that a three year old was so understanding of such an important truth! It reminds us to train up these little ones in the things of the Lord; they can understand. It also lets us know that our sins deserve death, but Jesus' blood secures life for all who will by faith receive Him as their own Savior and Lord.




Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Always search diligently for evidence of a hit anytime you release an arrow or shoot at a game animal. Look for blood, for hair, or for any sign of a hit. Throw your hat down or hang it up as a center mark and make ever increasing circles to locate any sign. Follow that sign until you find the quarry or lose the sign.




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Bible Study Verse


Philippians 4:11-13, 19


Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.





Philippians 4:19


And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.


(NKJV)




Thoughts

Sometimes the testing is a name brand, a new pattern [my wife asks, How much camo do you need?], or even a great deal. Not every great deal is God's deal. Back to her word need, a word that keeps coming up when I have a garage sale - Why did I think that I needed this?



The One who knows what I need, will supply it to me, in His time.



Warm hunting boots were needed. My feet froze last winter on the deer stand. However, I got ahead of God and ordered three times - great deals - 50% off regular price, name brands. But, none of them fit, though they were all my size! In frustration, I gave up and waited on the Supplier, content to get none.



A few days later, He gave me the boots above, for $7 - well worth the wait!


(Fred B)




Action Point

It's encouraging to me what Paul said, I have learned:

1.He learned to be content, which means to have settled peace. How did he learn contentment? Through need, being abased, abounding, being hungry.
2.He learned that he could do all things through Christ.
3.He told them that now God would supply [cram the net, give excess] all their need, according to His [full] riches in glory.

I am still learning this contentment thing. I know - the promise is that He will supply all of my needs. My job is to wait on the Supplier.







Sportsmen's Tip of the Day

Post online customer comments on the quality and characteristics, performance of gear that you buy. It'll help the next guy like you, who is trying to spend wisely. Read as many customer reviews as possible to make your own best choice. Then, ask the Supplier.
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Bible Study Verse


Psalm 42:1


As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. (NLT)





Thoughts
Set your heart to seek the Lord. Stir up your soul to focus on Him and His goodness. Invest time seeking Him through Bible reading, meditation, and prayer. Desiring God does not come naturally - it is supernatural! God's Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us at conversion and He gives us the desire and the dynamic power to do God's will. (Philippians 2:13) But we must do our part to cooperate with Him by investing our time, talent and treasure; and by dedicating the temple of our bodies to Him. May our desire for God grow to the point that we pant for Him, desiring our daily experience with God in the Word and in prayer! We were created to know Him and enjoy Him. True peace, joy and blessing are found in Him alone.

(Jack M)

Action Point
Discipline is necessary for success in life. Set a time each day to be in the Word and in prayer, fellowshipping with the Lord. Don't be legalistic, but do be consistent. As we read and pray, our desire for God will grow. We will be rewarded with His peace and power.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Take advantage of the dry times in the field. Set your blind or your stand near water sources, or the trails between bedding areas and these sources. These are often productive in the late date, especially in hotter and dryer weather. The game will come for the water, and may well present you with the opportunity to harvest a trophy!
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Bible Study Verses


Luke 10:36-37



"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise." (NIV)



Thoughts
Tonight, I had a "Good Samaritan" opportunity and almost blew it.


I had gone for a walk - not an unusual thing for me to do, usually after dark, to keep in shape and make those mountains a little smaller. As I was walking, I noticed a homeless man dragging a handcart and carrying his things in a paper bag. He presented a typical sight: disheveled, tired, and looking for a safe place to spend the night. I was on my way to the grounds of a nearby church where I attend services.



There is an area for prayer in the back, a small hill and a cross, a good place to pray and listen to God. I slowly overtook the homeless man; and as I walked by, I spoke to him and he to me. I kept going, but was compelled to turn around and go back to him. We spoke again and I walked with him for the next few blocks. He was from the area, spoke very eloquently, and had a firm handshake.



When we drew near the church, he began to tell me the history of its structure, and that it's known as the "Frank Lloyd Wright" church, after its designer. We talked about the church, the community, and Jesus. He knew the church and asked me why the annual Christmas pageant had not been held the previous year.



As we parted, I assured him that I would pray for him; and he asked me to pray for healing for his wrist which had been injured in a fall. We stood in the street, I held his hand and prayed. It was a privilege. It was a blessing. We then parted, I to my house and he to his lonely spot on the street. As we went our separate ways, he thanked me for walking and talking with him.



I cannot remember the last time I had been so blessed, and I had almost walked on by.

(Cliff S)

Action Point
Be a neighbor whenever and to whomever God leads you.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
It's not a bad idea to have extra food, water, and some tools in your vehicle when going to the country. You never know; you just might meet someone who needs help--perhaps with a flat tire but without a jack, maybe with some other problem that you might help solve, or one just having a bad day and needs a "Good Samaritan" to listen to their story.
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Bible Study Verse

Matthew 25:13

"Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming." (NKJV)




Thoughts

In just a few weeks, hunting season opens. I am already seeing seasoned hunters out, watching their favorite spots and probably wondering, "Is the game still there this year?"




Watching is an important part of the hunt if we want to find a trophy. Jesus tells us to watch for His return--be mindful of His return and be ready! He is our Trophy!!!

(Byron S)




Action Point

Watching is not passive; it involves our interaction with the Word of God. We need to understand the times in which we live by keeping ourselves immersed in God's Word, the Bible. Use your knowledge to encourage your family and friends to also be watching for His return.


Sportsmen's Tip of the Day

Sitting on a high overlook, glassing with a steady pair of binoculars, is a great way to find out where the game is hanging out. Try securing your binoculars on a tripod. It is amazing how much more you can see with a steady hand.




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Bible Study Verse


James 1:12



Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (NIV)



Thoughts
Scripture says that God doesn't tempt us; but this passage shows that He does want us to build strength through staying the course. Just like we use our compass or GPS in the outdoors to keep us on course to our destination.



God accepts and loves us as we are. And, like the good Father He is, wants us to be prepared for what life may throw at us.

(Brent B)

Action Point
God gives us a promise and His word to help us persevere. Be encouraged and stay steady on your way.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day

One of the hardest things for me to do is stay with a hunt plan when it isn't producing game. I have a hard time sitting still long enough for undisturbed game to pass my way. If you've made good preparation and scouting, staying with your plan is the best bet. The exception is when clear evidence indicates your prey is moving elsewhere.
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Bible Study Verses


Romans 6:13


And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. (NKJV)




Thoughts
Tools and gadgets are part of outdoor fun. We all have a bag, a vest, a tackle box, or maybe even a garage full of them! They make outdoor times more productive and enjoyable.



Going through catalogs helps get us through times of "cabin fever" between seasons. We all know that there are specialty tools with a specific purpose and function. If we need a certain job done, we must have that particular tool to do it.



Outdoor shows feature myriad varieties of such tools; and part of the enjoyment in attending these shows is to learn about the new ones, and to purchase what we need.

(Jack M)

Action Point
Our bodies are tools. We choose if they are tools for good or tools for sinning. Certainly these influences - good or bad - may be upon ourselves or others.




God has specific functions for each of us. We are intentionally constructed for His purposes. He invites us to join Him in His work here in this world to accomplish unique things for His glory.



He rewards and disciplines us for what we do, whether we choose to do good or to use our bodies for evil. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad," II Corinthians 5:10 (NKJV). But His intent is for us to use our bodies as tools to accomplish good as He defines it.



I choose to use my body for good and for His glory. Which purpose will you choose? Will you choose to use your body as a tool for good or for sinning?

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Carry the right tools when afield. A knife, a saw, fire making equipment, signaling devices, first aid kits, and other implements are needed at different times. Folding style multi-tools are made by many reliable companies. They may be carried in a sheath on a belt or in a pack. The many tasks that these tools may perform might just save a hunt or a life.
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Bible Study Verse

Isaiah 1:16


"Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil." (NKJV)





Thoughts
I laugh when I watch professional fishermen on TV. They dress in khaki shorts, nice pull-over shirts, flip-flops or sneakers. Their hair is combed or they at least have on a nice hat. They look sharp. They're able to cast while talking to the camera. They have it together. I don't laugh at them, really, but at how much of a contrast they are when I compare them to myself.

I, on the other hand, tend to look and smell like someone that just lost a mud wrestling match to a herd of skunks when I go fishing. Somehow I always manage to end up muddy, itching, smelling like stale fish slime, and I've never had a good hair day. If I were to try to cast and look at the camera at the same time, I would probably be climbing a tree to retrieve my lure or I would be extracting it from the back of my head.

My wife picked up right where my mother left off. I have to strip at the back door and go straight to the showers. I have to clean up!

(Brian H.)

Action Point
My thoughts above are intended to be funny. So start laughing. Thanks.

Honestly though, sometimes we get dirty spiritually speaking and then we just "hand it to Jesus" and "leave it to Him." Those are both very good things, but that's only one side of the equation. There are things that God says He will handle and then there are things that He expects us to do. For example, salvation is completely up to Him. We cannot save ourselves. Period. But on the other hand, we are told here in Isaiah to "wash ourselves" and to "make ourselves clean." God's not talking about salvation here. He's talking about us putting away bad habits and habitual sins in our lives.

How do we do that?

The Bible talks about not giving a toe-hold to Satan. So, in this context, "washing ourselves" means taking deliberate action to obey God and taking away toe-holds. Example, if you have struggled with watching inappropriate things on T.V. then maybe you vow to only watch TV with a spouse or some other accountability partner.

There's more to dealing with our filth than just giving it over to God. That is the first and biggest step for sure but there are expectations that God has for us and He will empower us to fulfill those expectations if we will ask and then act.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
The boys at the office are beginning to catch Stripers (Striped Bass) in deep water on the points by jigging a spoon. Time to take a day off and try that out!
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Bible Study Verse


Number 32:23


But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out. (NKJV)





Thoughts
There is a universal sound among most outdoorsmen. All one needs to do is hear the sound and you know what it means. I call it Rack-Rack. Most of you have heard it; and when used in game warden work, it's a warning sound.




During night patrols, we employ it when we find the night-time poacher and we know he is armed. Rack-Rack is the sound of an 870 police shotgun loading 00 buckshot into the chamber. Usually it's employed just at the right time - when the poacher is stopped and the flashing lights and spotlight are shining into his rear window - he knows he's been had. It also says, "This is a warning; do as you're told; time to stop."



Action Point


I believe it is often the same with God as He make us aware . . . when we hear or sense His words, the sound of His voice. We may hear it in something someone said during a small part of a conversation which makes the sound, rack-rack. It's time to stop, to quit, or time to pay attention - a warning, a Rack-Rack of grace before the trigger is pulled and our sin finds us out.


I have been there, and so, probably, have you. Maybe you hear it now. Stop and make a U-turn; come back to your First Love and put an end to whatever the issue is. It's always more painful when your sin finds you out, and it always does. It's just a matter of time. Rack-Rack.



Our God is the God of second chances; and there is almost always the rack-rack before sin finds us out. Time to stop.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Use only a small amount of oil on shotgun slides. Too much attracts dirt.
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A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian SportsmenJanuary 8, 2015   

Today's Photograph . . . . What Consequences Do We Endure Because Of Our Disobedience And Dishonesty  (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
I Samuel 15:13-14 

When Samuel reached him, Saul said, "The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord's instructions." But Samuel said, "What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?" (NIV)

 

Thoughts
During my own hunter education class, years ago, the silver-haired instructor related this story:

He was hunting mule deer in southern Arizona, and had hiked a few hours into the back country when he located his prize. The largest mule deer he had ever seen in his decades of hunting was standing broadside on a hillside a few hundred yards away. With great care, he made his shot and knew immediately that it was well placed. The deer staggered and went up and over the hill. He waited awhile to allow the deer to settle before tracking it. He was on in years, his tracking slower due to his bad knees; and even more so because of the rough terrain. By the time he had reached his prize a few hours later, another hunter had found the deer and tagged it. The young hunter knew he had tagged someone else's deer, but claimed it was his. The old man simply congratulated the young hunter and walked back to his truck. 

(Brett M)

Action Point
When Samuel approached King Saul, the king said that he had carried out the Lord's instructions - to attack the Amalekites and destroy them and all their livestock, sparing nothing. But when Samuel asked why there was the sound of sheep and cattle, King Saul knew he had been caught in a lie. Saul may have thought that keeping the best sheep and cattle for a sacrifice was all right, but he was deceiving himself. The young hunter who had taken another person's harvest was also deceiving himself.

Disobedience usually leads to dishonesty as we begin to rationalize our behavior to ourselves, our family and ultimately to God. We must strive to be obedient to God and honest with ourselves. King Saul lost his kingdom because of his disobedience and lying. 

 

What consequences do we endure because of our disobedience and dishonesty?

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Strive to tag your downed game as soon as possible. But if another hunter claims your harvest, simply congratulate him and move on. No game is worth an altercation, especially one in which both parties are armed. 

 

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A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian SportsmenAugust 15, 2017   

Today's Photograph . . . . God Always Answered Our Prayer In A Very Specific and Obvious Way  (Dave M) 
Bible Study Verse
Matthew 25:35
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. (NIV)
 
Thoughts
When our kids were young and we were headed out on a camping/backpacking trip somewhere, we always started our trip out in our driveway simply praying that God would guide and direct our trip, protect us, and use us in some way along our journey - wherever we were going. 

Our little prayer that just organically started in our driveway turned into a tradition for us as a family. The cool thing about the prayer is that over the course of various trips, God always seemed to answer our prayer in a very specific and obvious way. I'll mention only a few to illustrate: 
  • Our camper had a brake problem in Vermont, which revealed itself just as we were going down a ravine into our campground. As it turned out, the campground owner offered to help us out and had the knowledge to help us fix the brakes. Along the way, we had a couple of great God conversations with him in trying to fix the brakes. 
  • In Montana, our camper tire had a blowout on a section of a 2 lane highway. A fella with a truck camper pulled up behind us, offered to help, and parked out into the road behind us while I changed my tire right on the edge of the road. He did this to make the traffic behind us go out and away from me while I worked. In a crazy Dukes of Hazzard moment and me lying there fixing a tire . . . 5 vehicles in total criss-crossed each other's paths right where I was on the edge of the3 "2 lane" highway. Had this gentleman not been behind me, I would have gotten run over by these other careless drivers who were trying to pass each other. 
  • In Pukaskwa Provincial Park in northern Ontario, we were almost out of food because of getting stuck in a bay with bad weather for a few days. A group of kayakers who were out on Lake Superior kayaking had arrived in the same bay just after us and were also stuck there until the storm ended. We got to know each other, and they had extra food that they offered for us to use to get us through. Part of these folks were believers from Australia who "just happened" to be there to help us out. We had great fellowship with them stuck in a remote bay on Lake Superior until the storm ended.
(Dave M)

Action Point
I believe that God has allowed us these very specific divine appointments for a multitude of reasons. On these adventures our family takes, we now look forward to how God is going to work on "this trip," because we have seen Him do it over and over again. 
 
We look for how He is going to move, we anticipate it, and enjoy the moments when they are happening because it's a part of our focus. I don't believe that these specific moments always happen on a day-to-day basis, but I often wonder how many we miss because our focus isn't on how God is moving in our life. 
 
It is very easy to get wrapped up in schedules, work, household jobs, running the kids to various places . . . Make it a priority to keep the right focus with God in your busyness. He doesn't want your scraps. If you are too busy for God, then maybe you need to make some changes to what you are doing.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Maps are still a valuable part of planning family trips. Many of us now rely on a Tomtom or a Gar to help us navigate our trips. If you haven't figured this out yet, they'll get you to where you want to go most of the time. But, they are not always the most direct route. Pull out a map and check it out for yourself
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A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian SportsmenAugust 13, 2017   

Today's Photograph . . . . Mountain Lion Stalking (Ruben C)
Bible Study Verses
Psalm 34:8-10
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge  in him. Fear the Lord,  you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. (NIV)

Thoughts
Outdoors people observe the goodness, majesty and providential care of God. We see that God provides shelter and food for the wild animals. We witness His power in a storm. His power and majesty are displayed in the sky. The natural world is a revelation of God! 

These verses invite us to personally experience the sufficiency of God and teach us to depend upon Him. He is all we need! He alone can protect us. God alone can satisfy the void created by the disappointments of life. 

We must reverence Him with fearful respect and submit to His will and ways. A saint is one who has been declared righteous by the Judge of the earth. This happens when we believe in His Son, Jesus, personally and commit our souls to Him for eternal safe keeping. 

English Bible translations spell the Old Testament names of God differently so that we can understand the significance of each name. "LORD" in capital letters is the Hebrew name of God, Jehovah. LORD is God's personal name, His Covenant name. He is the personal, Covenant keeping God. This name summarizes His entire character. His saints are secure because the LORD is their protector. This name implies a personal relationship. As the wild animals find refuge, run to Him to find all you need. 
(Jack M)

Action Point
Involve yourself with God. Experience His goodness as you enjoy the outdoors. He alone can truly satisfy the longing of your inner being. God provides for the animals, but they cannot know Him personally as humans can. Involve Him in everything you do.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Carry along some basic snacks and trail food for energy. This can be a life saver if you are stranded, injured, or lost. You may be able to share these with another who needs help. Such food is enjoyable and makes the hunt more attractive for young hunters!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tikkabuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 August 2017 at 08:40
Bible Study Verses
Matthew 17:15-21

"Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic  and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him."  Then Jesus answered and said, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me." And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.  Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?"  So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting." (NKJV)

 

Thoughts
I've got this bad habit of keeping records. For example, I'm getting ready for crappie fishing during the spring turkey hunt here in Missouri. The timing is perfect: hunt in the morning and fish in the afternoon. 

 

So I go to my "fishing" record book to see when I recorded the last line change, the type of line, and even how many cranks to wind the line on the reel. It just makes changing line so much easier and less mysterious. In minutes, I can choose my rig, change my line, and off I go. So yes, record-keeping is a habit, but maybe not so bad after all!
 

There's no record of Jesus having prayed immediately before rebuking the demon in the scripture passage above. In fact, there's no record of Jesus even praying while casting out the thing. He just commanded it to go and it came out of the boy right then and there. So what did Jesus mean when He said, "This kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting"?

(Don H)

Action Point
Simply this: Jesus was ALREADY prayed up and fully prepared to take on any ungodly situation - in an instant or at any time, from deadly demons to faith-challenged followers. You can't rattle that kind of discipline, as the dark side knows very well.
 

It's is a great example for believers to be prayed up and prepared, too, as we face our own menacing things of the world.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Many name brand fishing lines have a four digit date code stamped on the supply spool. The 1st digit (or letter) is the month, the 2nd digit is the day, the 3rd digit is the year, and the 4th digit is the shift. For example, a date code of D-05-13-2 signifies April 5, 2013, during the 2nd shift. If the last digit is two numbers, it means an overlap of shifts. At any rate, test your line before heading out on any fishing trip. 

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A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian SportsmenAugust 22, 2017   

Today's Photograph . . . . God Often Builds A Fitting Punishment Into The Sin Itself (NPS)
Bible Study Verse
Romans 6:16
Don't you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. (NLT)

Thoughts
The coyote thought dinner was in the bag! He came in because he smelled the lure. In fact, there were more than one trap! These had been carefully set by the trapper so that the prey might be caught and held more securely. As he approached the bait, he stepped in the carefully placed trap, and it caught his right front foot. As he reacted to this danger, he jumped, and upon landing, a hind leg was caught! Now the predator was the prey. 
This all happened because he was fooled and led to the trap by the aroma of lunch! 

Sin is a trap. Sin will always take you farther than you wanted to go, keep you longer than you wanted to stay, and cost you more than you wanted to pay. Its lure has deadly consequences. 

Men, especially, seem to be led to the sweet aroma of sexual sin. As the book of Proverbs says, they do not realize that the enticement of sin has tragic results. These consequences may be spiritual at the outset, but they can endanger our bodies, our families, and our souls. 
(Jack M)

Action Point
Listen carefully to God's warnings against sin. Agree with God when He tells us something is wrong. His ways lead to life. Sin leads to death. 

God often builds a fitting punishment into the sin itself. But, He blesses right choices. He rewards those who do what is right in His eyes.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Use the proper lures for the quarry you seek to trap. Each species has favorites in its diet that will entice the animals to come to the place where the traps are set. These lures are available commercially; but many home-made lures are as, or more, effective.

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A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian SportsmenAugust 27, 2017   

Today's Photograph . . . . Stalking His Prey (Wayne M)
Bible Study Verse
Genesis 4:7
"If you do well, will you not be accepted?  And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door.  Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it." (ESV)

Thoughts
Often I have watched cats preparing to rush their prey. Growing up we milked cows by hand in our barn. Cats were around most of the time. They paid for the little milk we gave them by keeping the rodents in control. They would observe a rat or mouse, crouch down and slowly move toward it. Then they would rush their prey and most of the time they would catch it. Their reward was a meal of fresh meat. Doesn't sound good to me, but they enjoyed it.
(Jack M)

Action Point
Sin is a part of our nature. Those who have not received Christ are still in their old nature or self. They have sin that seeks to control them, and to possess them.

Even those who are new creations in Christ still have this old sin nature. We have to keep it in control. This is possible with the help of the Holy Spirit who comes to live in us at the new birth. We must cooperate with Him, say yes to the good and godly motivations. He gives us these good inclinations and desires as we walk with Him and in Him.

But, we must always remember the old man, the sin nature, is present in us. It will enslave us, defeat us, and destroy our testimony, relationships and bring mayhem to our lives.

What to do? 
  1. Feed the new nature. Read the Word of God daily. (A good starting place is to read the Sportsmen's Devotional daily.) Find a church that honors and proclaims the Bible and become active there. Find others who will help you walk in Christ.
  2. Stay away from places where we are tempted to sin. Don't go there. Don't be around those who invite and encourage you to sin.
If we don't, the sin that is crouching to attack and desires to take us prey will be successful.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
A portable ground blind is a great way to help you "disappear" in the field. Some are made just the right height to shoot over effectively, yet long enough to wrap around and cover you to about a 270 degree angle. They fold up and roll up so they are easily portable. You may move your legs, adjust your aim, and just relieve that little cramp or pain that sometimes develops while in the field without being seen. Use them whenever you are able.
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A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian SportsmenAugust 30, 2017   

Today's Photograph . . . . Not Wild Wolves In The Night  (EWS)
Please join us in praying for those who have lost their homes that they will not lose hope. Also pray for those who are first responders and neighbors for wisdom and strength. in rescues.  God bless Texas and Louisiana. So proud of Americans helping other Americans in need. God bless America!!!
 
Bible Study Verse
Psalms 91: 5
Fear nothing-not wild wolves in the night, not flying arrows in the day. (Message)
 
Thoughts 
My dad use to tell us kids the story when he tried to ride his bicycle to Uncle Dick's farm way up in the north woods of Minnesota. It was further than he had expected and it was getting dark when the wolves started to howl on his left, then on his right. He peddled faster and the howling got closer. His legs were like rubber from fatigue, but he was sure the wolves were trying to cut him off from reaching the safety of the old farm house. 
 
He would of course only tell the story at night around the campfire and as kids it would provoke great fear and suspense. We could feel the fire in his lungs and legs. 
 
As the old farm house came into view, the wolves were starting to come out on the old logging road, closing in. He was standing up peddling now, praying someone would be home to meet him at the door with a really, really big gun.
(Wes W)

Action Point 
I love that the Bible relates directly to me personally and that within every story there is a promise to me personally. "Fear Nothing, not even wild wolves in the night." 
 
God has my back, my future and promises to rescue, shield, protect, fend off, be my shield, be my refuge and be my fortress. As light takes the fear out of darkness, God takes the fear out of life.

It's a choice to let our minds conjure up all kinds of fears or take the promises of God and believe them personally.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When in bear country I always know exactly where my flashlight and bear maze is when turning out the lights. One is in one boot and the other in the other boot, right by my sleeping bag for quick easy access in a moment's notice. I never lose any sleep.
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A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian SportsmenAugust 31, 2017   

Today's Photograph . . . . Quiet Water (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Psalm 46:10
He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted  among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." (NIV)

Thoughts
We hunters have a common disease, embellishment! Yes, those tall tales just get taller with each telling--the forked horn muley buck becomes a mighty four-pointer; the 200- point whitetail somehow gains an extra hundred pounds.

God, too, tells a story. He's telling it in the magnificence of every mountain and every animal He has made. And, there's no need for embellishment. Just be still and observe the magnificence of the creation around you, and you'll see Him everywhere you look. He's in the majesty of the mountains and the beauty of a deer. Romans 1:20 says that he has revealed Himself to us through His creation and that we are without excuse for not believing in Him.

Yes, God is exalted among the nations, and it's no tall tale! 
(Cliff S)

Action Point
When you go to the mountains, plan some quiet time alone to reflect on God's creation. It's magnificent! Abraham Lincoln once said, "I never behold them (the heavens filled with stars) that I do not feel I am looking in the face of God. I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens and say there is no God."

I think Mr. Lincoln had it right!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When you're hunting, spend more time sitting still, watching, and less time moving about. You're likely to see more game, and they're less likely to see you if you're still and well camouflaged.
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nature
A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian SportsmenSeptember 4, 2017   

Today's Photograph . . . . Get Out Of The Rat Race (Ron H)
Labor   Day   2017
Bible Study Verse
John 21:6
He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. (NIV)

Thoughts
If you want to catch fish, go with Jesus as your guide. When you go out to those good fishing areas that have always produced big and plentiful fish, there are times when you are plain out-right skunked! 

Jesus knew His crew of expert fishermen would be skunked that night. His words so simple yet powerful filled the early morning mist. You know the rest of the story. The net was filled to more than it could normally hold, yet it didn't tear! 
(Tom H)

Action Point
Pray:
  • Lord, fill me with more of an awareness of Your will for my life. 
  • Fill me with more than a human could normally contain without being torn apart by the greatness of all that You are and all that You can do!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Get out of your "rat race" routine on a nice early morning and enjoy the break of dawn. Make a campfire along the stream or lake where you are fishing and enjoy some quality quiet time with the Lord.
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