Devotional Thought for Today – 03/05/2021

Logos.com

Ezra 9 

Chapter nine can be divided into two sections. In v.1-4  Ezra cries out for the sins of the Jews. In v.5-14 he confesses their sins against the most Holy God. This brings us to our text for today v.15, Ezra’s final plea is amazing in its simplicity and truth. It is also so appropriate for today.

I know some of you are thinking, how can the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the sinful remnant there applicable to those in the world (especially the U.S.) today.  What was Israel’s great sin?  It was their continual rebellion against God (to be expected in natural man)  and the failure of the chosen to act. 

Yesterday I had the privilege of praying outside a Waffle House in Peral, MS with my good friend Gary “Shepard” Burd.  We played God Bless America,  read 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, Prayed for America, and sang Amazing Grace there in the parking lot.

It was our way of acknowledging  (as Ezra) the sins of America, and as Ezra, our way of declaring the remnant is here Lord, we understand we are so unworthy because of the sins of our nation, but please hear our prayers.

We chose to act. How about you? 

TODAY’S PRAYER

Lord God, Sovereign ruler of all the heavens and earth, we declare that we have sinned so greatly against you that we are completely without excuse and undeserving of any mercy. Your remnant is here to serve you, Lord, to Act, on your behalf, send your Spirit to guide our path that we do what you have called us to do and may honor and glorify you in our duties. – Amen


 

Hawker’s Poor Man’s Commentary – Ezra 9:15

Persecution and Failed States Go Hand in Hand

BreakPoint Daily

Persecution and Failed States Go Hand in Hand

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In just the last few weeks, two mass kidnappings took place, both at schools in northwestern Nigeria. In the first, “unidentified gunmen” attacked a boarding school in Niger state, killing one student and kidnapping 42 others — 38 of the abducted were rescued a week later, presumably by government forces. The day before that rescue, “unknown gunmen” in neighboring Zamfara state kidnapped over 300 girls from a boarding school. On Tuesday, the AP reported the release of 270.

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Devotional thought for Today – 03/04/2021

Logos.com

1 Thessalonians 5:12-28

This portion of 1 Thessalonians 5 can be divided into two sections; v.12-22 and v.23-28. The first is a series of exhortations or final instructions on how to live as faithful believers pending the return of Christ.  The latter is Pauls’s final salutation and blessing to the church. 

The two are fully and indelibly connected. Paul’s benediction v.23-28 depending on your translation begins with either (most common) And the…, Now may…,  both of these signify that all that proceeded (v.12-22) is being wrapped up here. 

Our main text for today,  v.24, is Paul’s second sentence in the benediction, a reminder to all that our God is Able.  Some of the more common translations are: 

ESV: “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”

KJV: “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”

NASB: “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will do it.”

NLT: “God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.”

CSB: “He who calls you is faithful; he will do it.”

So the obvious is God is Able but able to do what? remember I said that v.12-22 were the key and that they were all about living as faithful believers? So it is God (and God alone) who is able to complete our holiness, make us mature believers, enable us to live faithfully for Christ.  I really like the AMP version of v.24

Faithful and absolutely trustworthy is He who is calling you [to Himself for your salvation], and He will do it [He will fulfill His call by making you holy, guarding you, watching over you, and protecting you as His own].

When God saved us, he called us to be sanctified set apart from the world for the kingdom and His glory.  Paul is reminding the Church at Thessalonica and us of this and that we can not go it alone. 

TODAY’S PRAYER

Thank You Father that You are the one that is going to bring me to spiritual maturity – not in my own strength, but as I yield to the chastening and refining work of Your Holy Spirit within my heart. Have Your way in my life I pray, until I reach a spiritual maturity that measures up to the full and complete standard of Christ – Christ in me the hope of glory – praise Your holy name, AMEN.

Source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/1-Thessalonians/5

Top Christian Conservative Social Media Account Reaching Millions Per Week Shutdown by Instagram

I am not Catholic nor do we at FSM endorse many of their beliefs. Yet anytime free speech (we are not talking about anarchy) is stifled just because you disagree with their view is wrong. Especially considering the hypocrisy of what these media giants do consider “acceptable.”

 

NEWS PROVIDED BY/Catholic Connect LLC/March 4, 2021

Top Christian Conservative Social Media Account Reaching Millions Per Week Shutdown by Instagram

HOUSTON, March 4, 2021 /Christian Newswire/ — Instagram shutdown the top Christian conservative social media account in the United States, reaching over five million people per week. Catholic Connect LLC received a copyright infringement notification from Instagram and their account was immediately disabled. Within 48 hours, the Catholic Connect team appealed the Instagram ban showing proof that Catholic Connect does have the rights to use the video that got their account shut down. Instagram has not responded to the Catholic Connect team’s Appeal. The company that licensed the video to Catholic Connect LLC has also reached out to Instagram to retract the copyright infringement and await a response.

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News from the PERSECUTED CHURCH

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven Matthew 5:10


Ministry Spotlight: Open Doors - Faith Radio Faith Radio

Kidnap ‘two girls a day’: The shocking agenda of Islamic extremists

13 days of darkness with Islamic terrorists

CLICK HERE for a list or an interactive MAP of countries where persecution is taking place today. 

You can also download the 2021 World Watch List report free

 


Court of Appeal Rules against Christian Public Servant

Melbourne, Australia Pastor Arrested for Incitement

Trinity Bible Chapel of Woolwich Township, Ontario Elders Fined $38K for Contempt of Court Ruling, Must Pay $45K in Court Fees


Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

News updates on the persecuted Church

The following stories and more can regularly be found updated at barnabusfund.org/news

New Armenian Genocide Campaign Video

Boko Haram Death-Threat Ultimatum to Kidnapped Nigerian Pastor

Dutch Parliament Passes Motion Calling on Government to Recognize Armenian Genocide

Iranian Convert Released From Prison But Charges Against Him Remain

Pakistani Christian Couple’s Appeal Hearing Against “Blasphemy” Death Sentences Postponed Again

DAILY PRAYER LINK

MARCH PRAYER FOCUS UPDATE 

MARCH/APRIL PRAYER DIARY

Praying for the Persecuted Church review of 40 countries and 7 other areas to pray for


The Voice of the Martyrs

Imprisoned for Christ Virtual Event

There is still time to take part in The Voice of the Martyrs’ FREE virtual event on March 5, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. CST. More than 75,000 Christians around the world have already registered to hear these inspiring testimonies of God’s faithfulness.

Register Now

The Book with All the Answers

Man Accused of Blasphemy Faces Death

Rejected Son Now Leading Others

Imran Released After Decade-Long Imprisonment

Christians Arrested in Somalia

Syrian Refugee Growing in Faith

CHRISTIANS FACING PERSECUTION, their first request is for prayer. ADOPT A WORKER FOR PRAYER

Get a Free 2021 Prayer Guide

IN GOD WE TRUST – National Motto

American Minute with Bill Federer

IN GOD WE TRUST National Motto: Francis Scott Key’s anthem & his fight to free slaves 

In 1820, a U.S. revenue cutter captured the slave ship Antelope off the coast of Florida with nearly 300 African slaves.

 

 

 

Francis Scott Key was the defense counsel for the Africans, many of whom were just young teenagers.
Key had come from a wealthy slave-holding family in Maryland, but as with many leaders after the Revolution, his views evolved to advocating for an end of slavery.Key fought to free the slaves of the Antelope, spending his own time and money in an expensive legal battle that dragged on for seven years.

Arguing their case before the Supreme Court in 1825, Francis Scott Key, as recorded by Henry S. Foote: “… greatly surpassed the expectations of his most admiring friends … Key closed with … an electrifying picture of the horrors connected with the African slave trade.”

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Related Posts 

Miracles in American History Series: In God We Trust

In God We Trust

Devotional Thought for Today – 01/19/2021

What led to the Emancipation Proclamation & the 13th Amendment?

“Does the Bible condone slavery?”

Devotional Thought for Today – 30/03/2021

Isaiah 55:8 - “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither...

Isaiah 55

Isaiah 55 can be divided into two sections:

Verses 1-7: God’s free gift of salvation is offered to all who will receive it. Those who are spiritually hungry and thirsty may come to eat and drink “without money” (or freely). He promises an “everlasting covenant” to the Gentiles like the one He established with Israel. His invitation to all men is clearly stated by the appeal, “Seek ye the Lord” and “call ye upon him.”

Verses 8-13: God’s sovereignty and omniscience are extolled by the statement that His “thoughts” (i.e., purposes and intentions), and “ways” (derakim, or “directions”), are “higher” than ours.  –https://bible-studys.org/index.html

Our text for today comes from the latter, v.8-9, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LordFor as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

A few years ago an interesting press release hit my inbox, citing a recent survey by the Barna Research Group. It seems most folks do not know that some of their favorite biblical quotes aren’t actually from the Bible. See how much you know—which of these famous phrases is found nowhere in scripture:

“To thine own self be true.”

“God helps those who help themselves.”

“The truth will set you free.”

“God works in mysterious ways.”

The only phrase above that is in the Bible is “the truth will set you free,” in the Gospel of John. According to Barna’s poll, only 24% of adults knew that.

So what does that have to do with today’s devotional?  How many times have you heard folks say the last one? Hundreds, maybe more, so unbiblical.  Let us look at a few points:

God’s ways are different and better Proverbs 14:12

His knowledge is boundless and ours limited Psalm 147:5 

The mystery is to those outside the faith 1 Corinthians 2:6-16

The great mystery is revealed to the saints Colossians 1:26, 2 Timothy 2:15

When we say or agree with someone saying “God works in mysterious ways” we are acknowledging that God’s will can not be known for our lives.  That the God of the bible is unpersonable, unrelatable, and by proxy uncaring. I don’t know about y’all but that is definitely not the God I read about in my collection of Bible’s no matter the translation. 

TODAY’S PRAYER

Lord God, I come to you today denying that you are a God that can not be known, that all your works are mysteries and we are but puppets in this life.  You promise to instruct me (Ps 32:8) in your ways and watch over me to ensure my walk, I pray your Holy Spirit will guide my path daily.  Grant me the ability to serve in your will daily, with understanding and compassion. – AMEN


What is the mystery of God referred to in the Bible?

‘Ground-Breaking’ Child Safety Standards

I know nothing about The Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention (ECAP), but their findings and recommendations are worth reading and possibly utilizing in your church or ministry operation. As the following picture shows abuse is a serious problem in America. 


 

‘Ground-Breaking’ Child Safety Standards Offered for Public Review by Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 3, 2021 /Christian Newswire/ —

The Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention (ECAP) has released “ground-breaking” standards for child safety and opened them for public review, March 1. The standards are offered to assist ministries of all kinds as they work to protect children in their care.

The ECAP standards were developed by a team of experts and ministry practitioners, reviewed by a team of attorneys, and approved for public review by the ECAP board of directors. A full list of persons who helped develop the standards is available on the ECAP website. ECAP seeks to bring support, resources, and sustainability to the realm of child safety, especially within the evangelical world, which has witnessed abuse within its ranks and the surrounding culture.

“Our aim is to honor the name of Christ by equipping and educating ministry leaders to protect the vulnerable in their care,” said Jeff Dalrymple, Executive Director of ECAP. “This is a matter of biblical stewardship, and we want to see Christian schools, churches, and ministries become safe places for our little ones to hear the gospel, grow as disciples of Christ, and be protected from harm.”

The ECAP standards address issues of organizational governance, volunteer and employee screening and training, how to respond to a variety of circumstances, and more, with numerous suggestions for best practices. ECAP has made these standards available for public review from March 1 through April 30, seeking feedback, especially from frontline ministry workers and leaders.

“ECAP’s standards and the rest of its work is ground-breaking and extremely important for churches and other ministries seeking to protect children and uphold high standards,” said Sally Wagenmaker, an attorney serving as the organization’s general counsel. “I can’t wait to see ministries using ECAP’s valuable accreditation standards and related tools — for improved child safety, better risk management, and the glory of God in all they do.”

The standards will serve as the basis for an accreditation program, which has been developed in partnership with the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). The standards and accreditation program will give Christian organizations resources that protect them from making false assumptions in regard to child abuse. The ECAP standards will help prevent abuse and inform an appropriate response when an incident occurs.

To review the standards, visit the ECAP site at www.ecap.net/standards, where feedback can be offered online.

 

Personal Prerequisites for Bible Study

While reading this excellent article, two things came to mind Pharisees and Revelation 22:18-19. The only "first and foremost for a "Christian" is God and his unfeigned Word. 

Personal Prerequisites for Bible Study

All the talk today is about personal identity. A growing number of people are convinced that what qualifies or disqualifies a person to lead a corporation, to teach second graders, or to hold public office is not ability, achievement, or expertise but one’s ethnic, social, or sexual identity. This obsession was vividly illustrated by White House press secretary Jen Psaki’s answer to a question submitted to a February 16 online forum. Suffering from the government’s Covid-19 restrictions, a business owner asked, “What is President Biden doing for my small business?” Psaki responded, “First and foremost, he nominated a woman to lead the Small Business Administration.” While Psaki did attempt to provide other details in the rest of her answer, her “first and foremost” comment is indicative of the transformation taking place in our culture. The greatest causes of and solutions to society’s problems are believed to be located in ethnic, social, or sexual identities…

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Devotional Thought for Today – 03/02/2021

Logos.com

Philippians 1

Chapter 1 includes a brief introduction (Philippians 1:1–2) followed by three key sections. First, Paul gives thanks and prayer on behalf of the Philippian Christians (Philippians 1:3–11). Second, he focuses on the expansion of the gospel (Philippians 1:12–18). Third, he emphasizes that, for the believer, to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:19–30). Along the way, Paul explains that how the Christian life is a reflection of what they set their mind on. He stresses the importance of rejoicing and joy and connects the faith to concepts such as glory.¹

Our text for today comes from the last section. Prior paul speaks about suffering for Christ. In one of the most quoted verses, v.21, Paul says For to me, to live is Christ [He is my source of joy, my reason to live] and to die is gain [for I will be with Him in eternity].  Paul seems to be saying here I have much to do for the Kingdom on earth but yearn to leave this suffering behind. 

This leads to his emphasis on our text. The keywords are “STRIVE TOGETHER.”  Interestingly these words Greek, Sunathleo, soon-ath-leh’-o, are used only by Paul and only here and Philippians 4:3Both infer living a life worthy of Christ and the Gospel but even more, the meaning invokes a  fighting spirit of togetherness for the advancement of those goals. 

What are you doing to fight the fight today?

TODAY’S PRAYER

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word of truth and the Foundation upon Whom we stand – the gospel of Christ crucified. I pray that I may keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace and conduct myself in a manner that is worthy of the gospel of Christ. I pray for all my brothers and sisters in Christ and ask that together we may stand firm in one spirit, with one mind – striving together for the faith of the gospel. I pray I will always be in remembrance of those who fight the good fight of faith praying diligently for them and for those who oppose us.  – to Your praise and glory, in Jesus name, I pray, AMEN

 Adapted from Source:

 

 

 


¹ https://www.bibleref.com/Philippians/1/Philippians-chapter-1.html