Devotional Thought for Today – 05/15/2021

Logos.com

1 Peter 2

As I have been riding across the US I see signs of COVID restrictions lifting in some areas and not so much in others. Mainly I am speaking of wearing a mask, some fuel stops and store have signs that say “Mask Required” other have none. The other thing I found interesting was the level of folks so willing to ignore these business owner’s practices yet demand to be served.

On at least two occasions when clerks asked someone to “please mask up” because it was local policy” they were met with a flurry of curse words. One such individual had a little fish symbol on the back of their truck as they sped away.

Christian behavior, I think not, I personally HATE these mask mandates, I think they are stupid and science does not support them. That being said, nothing that these local stores are doing goes against the Word of God, and as our text above notes, my job is quite simple. Follow the rules or go somewhere else.

Submission to authority is a hard pill for many “Christians” to swallow these days, but it one that the Bible is quite clear we must until it violates the law of God.

So how do we express our displeasure with the current mask mandates and other seemingly totalitarian government rules? John MacArthur’s Devotional for today has an answer:


The world doesn’t need another opinion—it needs God’s absolute and authoritative Word!

Speaking the Truth in Love (John)

The twelve apostles included “John” (Matt. 10:2).

Seek to maintain a proper balance between truth and love

Some people picture John as overly sentimental and egotistical, lying with his head on Jesus’ shoulder and constantly referring to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved. But that’s not an accurate characterization of one of the “Son of thunder”! He loved Jesus deeply and was amazed that Jesus loved him—especially after he wanted to burn up the Samaritans and then secure a prominent place for himself in Christ’s kingdom. Calling himself “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (e.g., John 21:20) was simply his way of marvelling over God’s grace in his life.

As much as he loved Jesus, John never allowed his love to deteriorate into mere sentimentalism. In fact, the proper balance between truth and love is the hallmark of his ministry. In his writings we find the word love more than eighty times and witness nearly seventy times. His profound love for Christ compelled him to be a teacher of love and a witness to the truth. To him, obedience to the truth was the highest expression of love. As 1 John 2:5 says, “Whoever keeps [God’s] word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected.”

John’s greatest joy was to know that his spiritual children were walking in the truth (3 John 4). He firmly denounced anyone who attempted to divert them from that goal by denying or distorting God’s Word.

Today, media talk shows and other influences have blurred the lines between opinion and truth. One man’s opinion is purported to be as good as the next, and there’s little talk about what’s right or wrong.

Truth suffers even within the church because many Christians are willing to compromise it to avoid upsetting people. They forget that true love flourishes only in the atmosphere of biblical truth (Phil. 1:9).

Amid such confusion, God calls you to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). The world doesn’t need another opinion—it needs God’s absolute and authoritative Word!

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God for the gift of His love and the power of His truth. Ask Him to make you a person of ever-increasing biblical integrity.

For Further Study

Read Revelation 2:1-7.

  • What strengths did the church at Ephesus have?
  • What did it lack?
  • What did Jesus require of it?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.

Devotional Thought for Today – 05/13/2021

30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:30

Proverbs 31:30

I am on the road again, today I left my wife who has had a chronic cough for 6 weeks, and headed west towards California. I have the honor to be asked to serve as Chaplain and Medic for the Heartland Hero’s Tour (Motorcycle).

We are a group of Grateful Americans traveling Via Motorcycles to pay our respects to our Nations Heroes and their families along the way.

Join us in California on May 19, 2021, and journey with us Across Our Nation’s Heartland until our arrival at the Middle East Conflicts Wall in Marseilles IL. We will be paying respects at Memorials and Monuments along the way.

Form Facebook

I asked my wife repeatedly over the last week if she was certain she wanted me to go and she repeatedly said yes, this is what you are called to do. My friends that is a woman who; fears the Lord [reverently worshiping, obeying, serving, and trusting Him with awe-filled respect], she shall be praised (AMP). I still have a hard time figuring out how I have been so blessed.

So, over the next 17 days, I will likely not be posting much of anything my itinerary is pretty full. I leave here (Abilene) for Santa Teresa, NM, then Arizona City, AZ, to Mesa AZ, to Ontario, CA then the Tour begins on May 19th

As always we covet your prayers for safe travels.

Devotional Thought for Today – 05/12/2021

Logos.com

Titus 2

Titus 2 along with the epistles of 1st and 2nd Timothy are letters to church pastors. Written by the Apostle Paul about local church leadership.

Here in Titus 2, we have three (3) basic divisions according to Matthew Henry: The duties which become sound doctrine (here meaning set policy). (1-8) Believing servants must be obedient. (9,10) All is enforced from the holy design of the gospel, which concerns all believers. (11-15).

One of my favorite verses of scripture comes from Paul’s 1st discourse to the church at Corinth 15th Chapter v.19; If we who are [abiding] in Christ have hoped only in this life [and this is all there is], then we are of all people most miserable and to be pitied (AMP). Here too, In my opinion, Paul was reminding us what Christ Jesus had first said in Matthew 6:18-21 that our treasure (hope) is not in this world but in the eternal world to come.

There is something comforting to me, knowing that my future, my HOPE is not dependent upon mankind and its inherent faults. The world today says it is all about me, selfishness rules, (just drive on the highway and look at the folks distracted with cell phones) and getting whatever you want by whatever means is okay.

It is truly a BLESSED HOPE all true believers share awaiting the GLORIOUS appearance of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. His triumphant second coming will make the beginning of the eternal kingdom and the true glorification of all his chosen saints.


John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible- Titus 2:13, Titus 2:14

Father God,

Thank You for that Blessed Hope that we have in Jesus. I pray that I may be ever looking to Him in the knowledge that He has promised to come to take me to be with Himself in the heavenly realm. In Jesus’ name, I pray that in Your way and in Your time, He will return for His Church and that I would be ready.

Thank You that I have been redeemed with the precious blood of Christ. Thank You that I have been imputed with His prefect righteousness and His abundant life. Thank You that I have been redeemed from sin and lawlessness and been baptised into the body of Christ, so that together we may become a people for His own possession – eager to be used by You …until it is not I that live in this body but Christ Who lives in me, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.

Modified from: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/Titus/2/13/Titus/2/14

Devotional Thought for Today – 05/11/2021

Matthew 28:18-20

In its simplest terms, evangelism means to announce or proclaim the “Good News.” Evangelism is NOT about:

  • Your personal testimony
  • Inviting someone to church
  • It is not social gatherings or entertainment
  • It is not apologetics or defending Biblical truths

Evangelism is all about Christ and what He did on Calvary for the redemption of sinners.

  • It is about communicating the Gospel
  • It is about relying on the work of the Holy Spirit to convict people
  • It is not about asking God, it about accepting God’s free invitation of Grace
  • It is not about people it is always about God and His Glory

In my study this morning I found there are books describing up to eight (8) types and methods of evangelism. Seriously, folks, the Bible gives us all we need in one method/type, it says share Christ and Him crucified. All this movement towards what is current in the world is the WRONG direction for the church. We are told NOWHERE in the Bible to bring the world into the church, we are however told to go forth into the world.


Leading Others to Christ (Andrew)

The twelve apostles included “Andrew” (Matt. 10:2).

Leading others to Christ should be a top priority in your life.

Andrew was Peter’s brother and a native of Bethsaida of Galilee. From the very start we see him leading people to Christ—beginning with his own brother.

The gospel of John records his first encounter with Jesus: “John [the Baptist] was standing with two of his disciples (Andrew and John), and he looked upon Jesus as He walked, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God!’ And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. . . . One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He found first his own brother Simon, and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which translated means Christ). He brought him to Jesus” (John 1:35-37, 40-42). Later Jesus called both Andrew and Peter to become His disciples, and they immediately left their fishing nets to follow Him (Matt. 4:20).

Our next glimpse of Andrew is in John 6:8-9. It was late in the day and thousands of people who were following Jesus were beginning to get hungry, but there wasn’t enough food to feed them. Then Andrew brought to Jesus a young boy with five barley loaves and two fish. From that small lunch Jesus created enough food to feed the entire crowd!

Andrew also appears in John 12:20-22, which tells of some Greeks who were traveling to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover feast. They came to Philip and requested to see Jesus. Philip took them to Andrew, who apparently took them to Jesus.

Andrew didn’t always know how Jesus would deal with a particular person or situation, but he kept right on bringing them to Him anyway. That’s a characteristic every believer should have. Your spiritual gifts might differ from others, but your common goal is to make disciples (Matt. 28:19-20), and that begins with leading sinners to Christ. Make that your priority today!

Suggestions for Prayer

When was the last time you told an unbeliever about Jesus? Pray for an opportunity to do so soon.

For Further Study

Do you know how to present the gospel clearly and accurately? As a review read Romans 3:19-28, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, Ephesians 2:8-10, and Titus 3:4-7.

Why did Biden Nix God in Prayer Address?

NEW YORK, May 7, 2021 /Christian Newswire/ — Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on President Joe Biden’s National Day of Prayer address:

President Biden raised more than eyebrows when he omitted any mention of God in his National Day of Prayer proclamation. What he did was unprecedented: No previous president has failed to mention God since the day it was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of Congress and signed into law by President Harry Truman…

Source: Why did Biden Nix God in Prayer Address?

Also see: Biden Omits God and Prayer from National Day of Prayer

Devotional Thought for Today – 05/10/2021

Exodus 20:4 and Deuteronomy 5:8

I recently saw a post from a good friend that went something like this; ‘Holy Spirt you are so dear to me, I can not live a day without you…’ The point of the post was to say the Holy Spirit was the focus of his faith but is that Biblically correct?

First, before I get accused of something I am not saying, although NOWHERE in the Bible is worshipping the Holy Spirit explicitly written it is most definitely implicitly proclaimed. The London Baptist Confession of 1689, Chapter 22 (among many great historical documents) makes this clear):

Religious worship is to be given to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and to him alone;4 not to angels, saints, or any other creatures;5 and since the fall, not without a mediator,6 nor in the mediation of any other but Christ alone.7

4 Matt. 4:9–10John 6:23Matt. 28:19
5 Rom. 1:25Col. 2:18Rev. 19:10
6 John 14:6
7 1 Tim. 2:5

The Triune God is worthy of worship, but only as the Bible allows, it is through by Grace alone, through Faith alone in Christ alone that one comes to be redeemed by the Father. It was Christ that paid the penalty for all our sin at Calvary, it is in Christ’s name we pray, it was Christ who promised us a guide in the indwelling Holy Spirit. Christ is the head of the church (not the Holy Spirit) and we the saints His bride. We can not elevate the Holy Spirit above the Only Begotten Son nor should we neglect or relegate the third person of the Trinity to some second fiddle position.

1Marcus Johnson’s words form a fitting conclusion to this post:

We are united to Christ by the Holy Spirit. . . . To say that our union with Christ occurs by the power of the Spirit means that the Holy Spirit is himself the bond that united us to the living Christ. . . . The heart of the Spirit’s ministry is to join us to the incarnate, crucified, resurrected, ascended, and living Lord Jesus Christ. J. I. Packer writes that “the distinctive, constant, basic ministry of the Holy Spirit in the New Covenant is . . . to mediate Christ’s presence to believers.” Therefore, describing union with Christ as a “spiritual” union can mean only that it is a union with Christ that takes place through the power of the Holy Spirit—it is a Spiritual union.71


1The Most Important Work of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit’s Work in Worship: Extraordinary Experience or Disciplined Formation? PDF by Scott Aniol

What is the true meaning of the second commandment?

Should we worship the Holy Spirit?

LBCF 1689 God and the Trinity

LBCF 1689 Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day

God-centered Worship

Of the Object of Worship PDF by John Gill – Note this is a 465 page book, excellent read

Sunday Sermon Series – Motherhood

Other Resources — Northfield Community Church

Honoring the Biblical Call of Motherhood
A Tribute to Ruth Piper

Resource by John Piper Scripture: 2 Timothy 3:10–17    Topic: Wives & Mothers

2 Timothy 3:10-17

You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra – which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

My aim in this sermon is to honor motherhood and in this way glorify Jesus Christ who designed it, created it, and blessed it by his incarnation in Mary’s womb and by his words from the cross to John, in one of the most beautiful acts of final care for Mary: “[John], Behold your mother” (John 19:27)…

SOURCE: Honoring the Biblical Call of Motherhood by John Piper

Daily Devotional for Today – 05/08/2021

GENERAL PATTON: LEAD OR FOLLOW" METAL SIGN - Pin-Ups For Vets Store
https://images.app.goo.gl/pP7qi1sxZTNM1gpw9

This may seem a bit of a strange way to start a devotional but it struck me this morning as I was reading my daily devotionals that God’s Army is much like the Army I (and Gen. Patton) served in. There were leaders, followers, some who stood by the wayside (out of the way) watching the world pass them by and I will add a 4th category, those who collaborate with the enemy who loves the world so much they will turn on their neighbors.

Like all good Armies, God’s Army needs leaders too. The first of such was Peter. John MacArthur’s devotional does an excellent job of making this point:

Building a Leader: The Right Experiences (Peter)

The twelve apostles included “Simon, who is called Peter” (Matt. 10:2).

Your present experiences contribute to your future leadership ability.

Stan Carder is a dear brother in Christ and one of the pastors on our church staff. Before coming to Grace Church he pastored a church in Montana. While there, he was riding one night in a truck that was involved in a very serious accident. Stan suffered a broken neck and other major injuries. As a result he underwent months of arduous and painful therapy.

That was one of the most difficult periods in Stan’s life, yet God used it for a specific purpose. Today, as pastor of our special-ministries department, Stan ministers to more than 500 physically and mentally handicapped people. God needed a man with unique qualifications to show love to a group of very special people. He chose Stan and allowed him the necessary experiences to fit him for the task.

God doesn’t always permit such serious situations, but He does lead each of us into life-changing experiences that heighten our effectiveness in ministry.

Peter had many such experiences. In Matthew 16:15-16, for example, God gave him a special revelation about the deity of Christ. In Acts 10 God sent him to preach the gospel to Gentiles—something unheard of at the time because Jewish people resisted any interaction with Gentiles. Perhaps the most tragic experience of Peter’s life was his denial of Christ. But even that only increased his love for Christ and his appreciation of God’s grace. After His resurrection, Christ forgave him and restored him to ministry (John 21:15-19).

Peter’s many experiences helped prepare him for the key role he was to play in the early church. Similarly, your experiences help prepare you for future ministry. So seek to discern God’s hand in your circumstances and rejoice at the prospect of becoming a more effective Christian.

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God for both the good and bad experiences you have, knowing that each of them is important to your spiritual growth (cf. James 1:2-4).

For Further Study

Read Acts 10, noting what Peter learned from his experience.

  • What vision did Peter have?
  • What was the point of the vision?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.

Is it true that everything happens for a reason?

Question: “Is it true that everything happens for a reason?”

Answer: Does everything happen for a reason? The short answer is “yes”; because God is sovereign, there are no random, out-of-control happenings. God’s purposes may be hidden from us, but we can be assured that every event has a reason behind it…

Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/everything-happens-for-reason.html

Devotional Thought for Today – 05/07/2021

Nahum 1:7 - KJV - Bible verse of the day - DailyVerses.net
https://images.app.goo.gl/zi875EdYYeYknZQ26

NAHUM 1

Y’all may have noticed that we have not posted for a few days. well, a Tornado ripped through greater Jackson, MS on Tuesday, May 4th.

Thankfully the worst of the storm missed us but our house and neighborhood were not without damage. We lost power Tuesday afternoon and just got it back last night. Our roof was a mess a branch penetrated a corner of the garage, and many shingles were torn off. Three neighbors have or had trees on their homes and many across streets.

Some of the debris from yard
Big oak tree from neighbors yard
Back of our garage where tree went through

I do not show these pictures to garner sympathy, but to demonstrate the grace of God. We all experience God’s Providence, Protection, and Promise in those moments. Everyone in our neighborhood is okay. No one was hurt and other than the inconvenience of being without power for nearly 3 days we all are doing well.

Nahum is a prophet tasked with delivering the final judgment of God against Nineveh. The same Nineveh that had repented some 150 years earlier with Jonah’s message.

Our text today is the Good News, that God promises His people He will be their strength and stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows [He recognizes, cares for, and understands fully] those who take refuge and trust in Him. (AMP)

You do not have to experience a tornado to have that same promise, it is available to all God’s people. All one has to do is understand that we are incapable of living a moral and just life by ourselves. That Jesus Christ lived that perfect sinless life and paid the sacrificial cost of those sins. If we sincerely acknowledge the need for forgiveness for our transgressions and Christ and Lord of our lives, God is faithful to welcome us as His children, adopted into the kingdom of God.

Praying through Nahum 1:7
Heavenly Father, thank You for Who You are and what the Lord Jesus has done for us. Thank You for being our good and gracious God. Thank You that You are my stronghold in the day of trouble and the Comforter to Whom I can fly for refuge. How I praise You for Your never-failing faithfulness to Your people Israel and grace towards the Church. Thank You that You are not only a God of love but a God of justice and that a day is coming when You will avenge all those that have suffered at the hands of Your enemies. I pray for those who have not yet trusted in You and remain dead in their sin and ask that they may be convicted of sin and come to faith in Christ. This I ask in Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/Nahum/1/7