Devotional Thought for Today – 11/30/21

Top 180 John Owen Quotes (2021 Update) - Quotefancy

JOHN 3

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. – John 3:16

CONTEXT: Most folks only concern themselves (as we will today with the first 21 verses of Chapter 3, however the second half is equally rich with theological gems. Matthew Henry breaks it down as follows: In this chapter we have, I. Christ’s discourse with Nicodemus, a Pharisee, concerning the great mysteries of the gospel, in which he here privately instructs him (v. 1-21). II. John Baptist’s discourse with his disciples concerning Christ, upon occasion of his coming into the neighbourhood where John was (v. 22-36), in which he fairly and faithfully resigns all his honour and interest to him.

I have rarely written or spoken about John 3:16 as a stand alone verse, mainly because I feel it has been so abused in modern evangelical and so-called “christian” circles. Themes like God loves you and that is all you need abound and truly that is unbiblical.

I must confess however that in reading Owens quote this morning, I could not think of a more appropriate verse of scripture. Of course I will not ever let scripture stand alone, as we must take in the Whole Counsel of God. The other scripture that I was drawn to this morning was 2 Corinthians 9:15, Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. There are two major schools of thought concerning whom Paul was referring to here. God the Father and His overriding goodness, or Christ who for certain is the “unspeakable {indescribable} gift of God.” In either case we have before us a verse that confirms God’s LOVE for His chosen people.

Alexander McLaren in his commentary writes:

I. The gift comes from unspeakable love.

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. The love is the cause of the gift: the gift is the expression of the love. John’s Gospel says that the Son which is in the bosom of the Father has declared Him. Paul here uses a related word for unspeakable which might be rendered ‘that which cannot be fully declared.’ The declaration of the Father partly consists in this, that He is declared to be undeclarable, the proclamation of His name consists partly in this that it is proclaimed to be a name that cannot be proclaimed. Language fails when it is applied to the expression of human emotion; no tongue can ever fully serve the heart. Whether there be any thoughts too great for words or no, there are emotions too great. Language is ever ‘weaker than our grief’ and not seldom weaker than our love. It is but the surface water that can be run off through the narrow channel of speech: the central deep remains. If it be so with human affection, how much more must it be so with God’s love? With lowly condescension He uses all sweet images drawn from earthly relationships, to help us in understanding His. Every dear name is pressed into the service — father, mother, husband, wife, brother, friend, and after all are exhausted, the love which clothed itself in them all in turn, and used them all to give some faint hint of its own perfection, remains unspoken. We know human love, its limitations, its changes, its extravagances, its shortcomings, and cannot but feel how unworthy it is to mirror for us that perfection in God which we venture to name by a name so soiled. The analogies between what we call love in man and love in God must be supplemented by the differences between them, if we are ever to approach a worthy conception of the unspeakable love that underlies the unspeakable gift.

Likewise Spurgeon in his sermon on this verse Praise for the Gift of Gifts says:

I. We begin with the thought that SALVATION IS ALTOGETHER THE GIFT OF GOD. Paul said, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” Over and over and over again, have we to proclaim that salvation is wholly of grace: not of works nor of wages, but it is the gift of God’s great bounty to undeserving men. Often as we have preached this truth, we shall have to keep on doing so as long as there are men in the world who are self-righteous, and as long as there are minds in the world so slow to grasp the meaning of the word “grace”, that is, “free favour”, and as long as there are memories that find it difficult to retain the idea of salvation being God’s free gift.

Let us say simply and plainly, that salvation must come to us as a gift from God, for salvation comes to us by the Lord Jesus, and what else could Jesus be? The essence of salvation is the gift of God’s Only-begotten Son to die for us, that we might live through him. I think you will agree with me that it is inconceivable that men should ever have merited that God should give his Only-begotten Son to the,. To give Christ to us, in any sense, must have been an act of divine charity; but to give him up to die on yonder cruel and bloody tree, to yield him up as a sacrifice for sin, must be a free favour, passing the limits of thought. It is not supposable that any man could deserve such love. It is plain that if man’s sins needed a sacrifice, he did not deserve that a sacrifice should be found for him. The fact that his need proves his demerit and his guiltiness. He deserves to die; he may be rescued by Another dying for him; but he certainly cannot claim that the eternal God should take from his bosom his Only-begotten and Well-beloved Son, and put him to death. The more you look that thought in the face, the more you will reject the idea that, by any possible sorrow, or by any possible labour, or by any possible promise, a man could put himself into the position of deserving to have Christ to die for him. If Christ is to come to save sinners, it must be as a gift, a free gift of God. The argument, to my mind, is conclusive.

In his work, Unspeakable Love, Thomas Manton builds on these themes. He says: FIRST, THE RISE AND BEGINNING OF ALL IS GOD’S INCONCEIVABLE LOVE:“God so loved the world.” Where observe, 1. The object: the world; 2. The act: loved; 3. The degree: so loved…Observe from the words that the beginning and first cause of our salvation is the mere love of God. The outward occasion was our misery; the inward moving cause was God’s love.

One thing to note, is that Christ speaks of God’s Love as preeminent, not God’s wrath. Even though we are all sinners and deserving of God’s wrath it is out of Love not the appeasement of that wrath that Calvary was brought forth.

God’s Unspeakable Love – John 3:16

Thomas Manton (1620-1677)

PRO-LIFE NEWS – VARIOUS SOURCES – 11/30/21

Nothing this week in the Pro-Life battle takes priority over the Supreme Court and their hearing of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Case.

Dobbs v. Jackson: Be informed, and let others know what is at stake.

Supreme Court set to take up all-or-nothing abortion fight

Update: Pro-life Organizations and Leaders to Hold Major News Conference and Candlelight Vigil at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, November 30 for the Dobbs v. Jackson Case

A Rare Chance to Correct Roe v. Wade

Mississippi Abortion Case a Long Awaited One for Clarence Thomas


Study Claims, But Fails to Show “Self-Managed” Chemical Abortions “Highly Effective and Safe”

Seven reasons to question the safety of the abortion pill

Texas Heartbeat Law saving babies’ lives

Abortion Numbers from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Show a Steady Decline in Overall Numbers Since 2009

Pro-lifers love them both, and pregnancy resource centers prove it

Brief argues there is no right to tax-payer funding of abortion

“There are no unwanted children, only unfound parents”

Biden’s State Department Slips Abortion Into Human Rights Report

100 Lawmakers Blast Biden for Trying to Force Christian Doctors and Nurses to Do Abortions

Abortion Doesn’t Promote Equality for Women

More pregnant women are turning to marijuana

MADE IN AMERICA

I grew up at the end of the era when just about everything except maybe toys were American made. Beginning in the 60’s and 70’s we saw greed drive companies out of America, looking for low wage employees in foreign countries. Today about 50% of all “products” are made in the U.S. but that number is deceiving because it includes all consumable food, beverage, and tobacco products which account for 79% of the total and automobiles that account for 48%. without those the number is more like 10%?

Here is a site that lists all Made in America products:


Made in America Co.

Discover 800+ Made in USA companies! Shop Made in America Homewares, Kitchen Item, Clothes, Apparel, Jeans, Denim, Footwear, Shoes, Food, Tools, Pet Items & much more. Proudly dedicated to American Made since 2013.

*We are not a verification organization. Please verify the item(s) you intend to purchase are Made in USA before placing any order.

THE AMERICAN LIST

The Glory of the Church

Ministry is not easy. It can discourage and distract. At times, it’s uncomfortable, precarious, and lonely. For most pastors, it requires years of labor in obscurity, shepherding small congregations and having no platform for broader influence. With all the challenges of ministry, why would anyone want the job? Why is pastoral ministry worth it? Pastors in the thick of the struggle will not endure unless they remember the glory of the church…

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The Evangelical Fracture

Recently in the Atlantic, Peter Wehner argued that the evangelical church is breaking apart. He references the politicization of Covid, the challenge of two contentious elections, and the fact that America is in a bitter partisan divide. Additionally, in June, Mere Orthodoxy columnist Michael Graham suggested that evangelicalism in America is undergoing a Six-way fracturing.”

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Devotional Thought for Today – 11/29/21

160 See, Hear & Speak No Evil ideas in 2021 | evil, wise monkeys, three  wise monkeys

Ezekiel 12

Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.

CONTEXT: Once again I turn to Matthew Henry’s commentary for an overview of the chapter:

Though the vision of God’s glory had gone up from the prophet, yet his word comes to him still, and is by him sent to the people, and to the same purport with that which was discovered to him in the vision, namely, to set forth the terrible judgments that were coming upon Jerusalem, by which the city and temple should be entirely laid waste. In this chapter, I. The prophet, by removing his stuff, and quitting his lodgings, must be a sign to set forth Zedekiah’s flight out of Jerusalem in the utmost confusion when the Chaldeans took the city (v. 1-16). II. The prophet, by eating his meat with trembling, must be a sign to set forth the famine in the city during the siege, and the consternation that the inhabitants should be in (v. 17-20). III. A message is sent from God to the people, to assure them that all these predictions should have their accomplishment very shortly, and not be deferred, as they flattered themselves they would be (v. 21-28).

The picture above might seem silly to some but it is actually quite appropriate for the way Israel (and many modern Christians) acted. The book of Ezekiel is primarily about the final days of Jerusalem in the 6th Century B.C. Ezekiel had finished his vision in chapter 11 and here in Chapter 12 God gives him final instructions. Our main text clearly states the problem at hand Israel refuses to see or hear the problem(s) (read sinfulness) ongoing around them.

A few things to note here:

Israel has a history of being rebellious against the Law of God

Israel continually refused to Hear the words of the Prophets God sent to warn them

Israel continually refused to See the depravity (sinfulness) ongong around them

Israel’s leaders, continually refused to Speak up about this sinfulness

Sounds a lot like modern day American to me.

God tells Ezekiel in v.3 to Therefore, thou son of man, prepare thee stuff for removing, and remove by day in their sight; and thou shalt remove from thy place to another place in their sight: in other words pack up all your belongings and get yourself off to exile. Oh and make a big deal of it so that those around you do not miss a thing. They may claim ignorance but not after this specticle.

Today many evangelicals are like ancient Israel, they give lip service to the Lord knowing God demands more. God says, John 14:15 (AMP) If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments. Also in Luke 6:46 we find, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not practice what I tell you?

God expects us to not only be obedient but to be about the work of advancing His kingdom. James 1:20, But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth]. I personally believe from a Biblical standpoint, that there is not greater work than building up the local church and planting new ones.

Finally God does not accept excuses, and one day we will all stand before his judgement 2 Corinthians 5:10 , For we [believers will be called to account and] must all appear before the [a]judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be repaid for what has been done in the body, whether good or [b]bad [that is, each will be held responsible for his actions, purposes, goals, motives—the use or misuse of his time, opportunities and abilities].

Are you a see no, hear no, speak no, and do no kind of believer? Or are you an unabashed Christian, obedient and ready to defend and advance the Kingdom for God’s glory.

C.S. Lewis – “The safest road to Hell is the gradual one–without signposts”

I have only read a few of of C.S. Lewis’s classic’s The Chronicles of Narnia, initially to see what all the hubbub was about, then Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters. I can recommend all three.


American Minute with Bill Federer

His death went unnoticed, as he died the same day John F. Kennedy was shot. His books are some of the most widely read in English literature, with over 200 million sold worldwide.

Nearly 50 years after his death, his books continue to sell a million copies a year.His name was Clive Staples Lewis, born NOVEMBER 29, 1898.

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The Wisdom of John Adams: on Liberty, Tyranny, and the Need for Christian Virtue

American Minute with Bill Federer

John Adams wrote A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1765:

“The desire of dominion … when … restraints are taken off … becomes an encroaching, grasping, restless, and ungovernable power … contrived by the great for the gratification of this passion…

…originally formed … for the necessary defense … against … invasions … yet … tyranny, cruelty, and lust … was soon adopted by almost all the princes of Europe …The people were held in ignorance … till God in his benign providence raised up the champions who began and conducted the Reformation. From the time of the Reformation to the first settlement of America, knowledge gradually spread in Europe, but especially in England; and in proportion as that increased and spread among the people … tyranny … lost … strength.”

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