Devotional Thought for Today – 12/05/2020

Psalm 50


The God of contemporary Christianity!

(A.W. Tozer)

“These things you have done, and I kept silent. You thought that I was altogether like you! But I will rebuke you and accuse you to your face!” Psalm 50:21

The God of contemporary Christianity is only slightly superior to the pagan gods of ancient Greece and Rome–if indeed He is not actually inferior to them, in that He is weak and helpless–while they at least had some imagined power.

Among the sins to which the human heart is prone, hardly any other is more hateful to God than idolatry; for idolatry is at bottom a libel on His character. The idolatrous heart assumes that God is other than He is–in itself a monstrous sin–and substitutes for the true God, one made after its own likeness. Always this god will conform to the image of the one who created it–and will be base or pure, cruel or kind, according to the moral state of the mind from which it emerges.

The essence of idolatry, is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him. Wrong ideas about God are not only the fountain from which the polluted waters of idolatry flow–they are themselves idolatrous. The idolater simply imagines things about God–and acts as if they were true.

If we insist upon trying to imagine Him–we end with an idol, made not with hands but with thoughts. And an idol of the mind, is as offensive to God as an idol of the hand!

Before a Christian Church goes into a decline, there must first be a corrupting of her Scriptural thoughts of God. She simply gives a wrong answer to the question, “What is God like?”–and goes downhill from there. Though she may continue to cling to a sound nominal creed–her practical working creed has become false. The masses of her adherents come to believe that God is different from what He actually is–and that is heresy of the most insidious and deadly kind!

The heaviest obligation lying upon the Christian Church today is to purify and elevate her concept of God, until it is once more worthy of Him–and of her!

COVID and CHURCHES Update

I have posted quite a lot on this subject, as my followers know when COVID first hit and the Federal Government asked for a 15 day stay home from gatherings (including church) I supported their efforts as both constitutional and since nothing was known of the virus practical and wise. 

Since then of course time and again the federal and state government has let us down on a pretty consistent manner.  Whether it is the mask controversy or  unconstitutional restrictions on churches but not businesses . Here are two article on some of the latest. 

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The COVID Bait and Snitch

In the middle of a global pandemic, you’d think health officials would have better things to do than mask checks at empty churches. Well, think again, says Rev. Dr. Dennis Jackman. It didn’t matter that he was working in his office alone. The last time he answered the door of the church without his face covered, it almost cost him $5,000. Do it again, the government told him, and they’d shut down his church — indefinitely

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Christian NIH director urges churches to close amid the COVID-19 crisis: Do ‘altruistic’ thing and say ‘I’m going to protect people from me’

Photo by Bill Tompkins/Getty Images

National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins — an outspoken Church ClosingChristian — is asking churches across America to do the “altruistic, loving thing” and close — or stay closed — amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to NPR

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Here’s How COVID-19 Restrictions Curb Religious Freedom

Here’s How COVID-19 Restrictions Curb Religious Freedom

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What happened when the Supreme Court last week blocked New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s limits on religious gatherings? Heritage Foundation’s Zach Smith explains…

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The Case for Accepting Refugees

 

BreakPoint Daily

The Case for Accepting Refugees

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Among the commitments made for his administration’s first 100 days in office, Joe Biden has promised to reverse Trump-era policies on the admission of refugees into the United States. Specifically, Biden has promised to raise the number of refugees admitted into the U.S. during his first year in office to 125 thousand, a significant increase from the current levels of around 25 thousand per year.

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Devotional Thought for Today – 12/03/2020

The God of My Satisfaction, Psalm 63 – Emmanuel Free Church

PSALM 63


CONTEXT: In Ps 63:1-8 verses the writer expresses his holy desires after God, and his confidence in him, and then in Ps 63:9-11 remaining three verses he prophesies the overthrow of all his enemies. This Psalm is peculiarly suitable for the bed of sickness, or in any constrained absence from public worship. – C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David

What is it that satisfies you? That first sip of coffee in the morning, the way you spouse looks at you in that special way, a hot shower after a hard days work? There are a lot of things in the world that bring temporary satisfaction to us and most of them are harmless in and of themselves as long as we remember a few principle found in this Psalm of David: 

v.1 O God, You are my God; with deepest longing I will seek You;  David makes it clear that the “thing” he longs for most, is God, for nothing else no “worldly” item can compare. 

v.5 My [b]soul [my life, my very self] is satisfied as with marrow and fatness,  David will be satisfied with what God provides.  Here the inference is to Spiritual not materialistic things David is says I will be happy with the Spiritual over the material. 

v.8 My [c]soul [my life, my very self] clings to You; David will no matter the circumstance cling, that is hold fast in Faith to God. We are to walk as one with God. 

See the final verse; it poses todays question Where are you seeking your Satisfaction? 

v.11 Everyone who swears by Him [honoring the true God, acknowledging His authority and majesty] will glory, For the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped.   C.H. Spurgeon comments: But the king shall rejoice in God. Usurpers shall fade, but he shall flourish; and his prosperity shall be publicly acknowledged as the gift of God. The Lord’s anointed shall not fail to offer his joyful thanksgiving: his well established throne shall own the superior lordship of the King of kings; his rejoicing shall be alone in God. When his subjects sing, “Io triumphe, “he will bid them chant, “Te Deum.” Every one that sweareth by him shall glory. His faithful followers shall have occasion for triumph; they shall never need to blush for the oath of their allegiance. Or, “swearing by him, “may signify adherence to God, and worship paid to him. The heathen swore by their gods, and the Israelite called Jehovah to witness to his asseveration; those, therefore, who owned the Lord as their God should have reason to glory when he proved himself the defender of the king’s righteous cause, and the destroyer of traitors. But the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped. And the sooner the better. If shame will not do it, nor fear, nor reason, then let them be stopped with the sexton’s shovelful of earth; for a liar is a human devil, he is the curse of men, and accursed of God, who has comprehensively said, “all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.” See the difference between the mouth that praises God, and the mouth that forges lies: the first shall never be stopped, but shall sing on for ever; the second shall be made speechless at the bar of God. O Lord, we seek thee and thy truth; deliver us from all malice and slander, and reveal to us thine own self, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Identity Hermeneutics: The Obsession with Personal Identity and the Distortion of the Truth

 

Identity Hermeneutics: The Obsession with Personal Identity and the Distortion of the Truth

Identity politics dominate today’s political landscape. Few would disagree that the single issue of 2020 that will have the greatest impact in the coming years is not Covid-19, but the great social reset political leaders are promising along the lines of ethnic, economic, gender, and …

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We Can’t Control COVID (Or Much of Anything Else)

BreakPoint Daily

person-tired-of-working-in-uniform-to-protect-agai-32WAVAB

We Can’t Control COVID (Or Much of Anything Else)

In early March, the University of California San Francisco held a panel discussion of infectious disease specialists on a new virus that had, at that point, killed 41 Americans. These experts not only estimated that 60 to 70 percent of America’s population would eventually contract the virus, but that our best attempts to contain it, either through lockdowns or contact tracing, would be, in their words, “basically futile.”…

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Devotional Thought for Today – 12/02/2020

John Newton quote: Although my memory's fading, I remember two things very  clearly...

Something different today, last night in a meeting my cellphone went off (I know bad boy) my ring tone is bagpipes playing Amazing Grace and that reminded me of it’s author John Newton.

Newton story is an amazing one he truly was a great sinner saved by an even Greater Savior. Here are a couple other of my favorite quotes of his: 

“But that we are so totally depraved, is a truth which no one ever truly learned by being only told it.”

“From the time we know the Lord, and are bound to him by the cords of love and gratitude — the two chief points we should have in our view, I apprehend, are, to maintain communion with him in our own souls, and to glorify him in the sight of men.”

“This is faith: a renouncing of everything we are apt to call our own and relying wholly upon the blood, righteousness and intercession of Jesus.”

Here is a link I hope you will enjoy:

“Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound …” – John Newton, William Wilberforce, & the fight to end slavery in the British Empire

Devotional Thought for Today – 12/01/2020

Praying Psalm 65 | Upward Ever...

AMP and RVR 1960

The Way to Approach God


CONTEXT: This thanksgiving psalm, which is specifically described as a song, praises God for blessing the land with fertility. Israelites probably used it in a time of harvest. It may also have been a prayer asking for and anticipating God’s blessing. The psalmist begins by praising God’s presence and protection (vv. 1–4). He then praises God’s awesome strength and sovereignty over creation (vv. 5–8), and concludes by thanking God for His provision and blessing on the land (vv. 9–13). – Faithlife Study Bible

Have you ever considered the what it must have been like for Abraham, Moses or Paul to meet the living God? While is is most doubtful any of in this life will have an opportunity to walk and talk with God, we all the same need to approach Him on a regular (hopefully daily basis). For some that is just as intimidating, but should it be?

Most commentaries think this to be a Psalm to commemorate a remarkable harvest. David begins the Psalm with a lesson on how to approach God v.1-4 let us break it down:

To You belongs silence [the submissive wonder of reverence], and [it bursts into] praise in Zion, O God;  David is says he and the chosen of Israel are just can not wait to burst into praise and adoration for the coming harvest. This is the heart of man that is required entering into prayer. One that has pre-determined that it will praise and adore God no matter the outcome. 

O You who hear prayer,  David acknowledges that God hears and answers prayers of the faithful

Wickedness and guilt prevail against me; Yet as for our transgressions,
You forgive them [removing them from Your sight].  David says even with all the evil encompassed about me my trust is paced in you. For you alone are the sovereign God above all.

Blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near. To dwell in Your courts.  David acknowledges that he will be greatly blessed by being chosen of God and God’s will being applied to his life. 

As David understood approaching the Throne of Grace understood, it is all about having the right attitude of humility and submissive response to His authority;  Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment]. –Hebrews 4:16

Are you prepared today?


Dr. Steven Lawson, Rightly Approaching God’s Presence 

Devotional Thought for Today – 11/30/2020

Unshakeable | Clean Your Inner House - With Dr. Mary

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT: In this psalm of confidence (expressing faith in God), the psalmist trusts that God will preserve him in a time of distress. He begins by expressing his confidence in God, who he describes as his rock and salvation (vv. 1–2). He then addresses his enemies and describes their wickedness (vv. 3–4) before reiterating his trust in God (vv. 5–7). He encourages the congregation to put their trust in God as well (v. 8), warning them not to trust in people or in riches (vv. 9–10). The psalmist concludes by showing his confidence in God by noting God’s promises (vv. 11–12).   – FaithLife Study Bible 

v.6 He only is my rock and my salvation; My fortress and my defense, I will not be shaken or discouraged.  is basically a repeat of v.2. If you remember anything from school anytime a teacher repeated themselves it was usually important (and on a test). While this may not be testable in that sense it is very important. for David is making the declaration that there is only one true God and he has and will continue to put all his trust and confidence in Him alone. 

He only is my rock and my salvation. Alone, and without other help, God is the foundation and completion of my safety. We cannot too often hear the toll of that great bell only; let it ring the death knell of all carnal reliances, and lead us to cast ourselves on the bare arm of God. He is my defence. Not my defender only, but my actual protection. I am secure, because he is faithful. I shall not be moved –not even in the least degree. See how his confidence grows. In the second verse an adverb qualified his quiet; here, however, it is absolute; he altogether defies the rage of his adversaries, he will not stir an inch, nor be made to fear even in the smallest degree. A living faith grows; experience develops the spiritual muscles of the saint, and gives a manly force which our religious childhood has not yet reached. – C.H. Spurgeon

Reader, do not fail to remark how quickly the soul of the faithful returns again to the God of his confidence. We may spare a moment to admonish the ungodly, but our own joy must not be long broken in upon; we are to hold fast, and, like the dove of Noah, return back to the ark, even Christ Jesus, the sole joy of our salvation. And, Reader, do observe further, how the expressions of this holy confidence are repeated, and with every pleasing variety, that may denote the comfort of the heart. Pause, and ask yourself, Are such views of Christ, your views of him? Do you know him in those covenant characters? Is Jesus your rock, your salvation, your defense? – Hawker’s Poor Man’s Commentary Psalms 62 v.5-7