Devotional Thought for Today – 09/01/21

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Joel 2

CONTEXT: The book of Joel was the telling of God’s judgment upon His chosen people (Israel), the pagan nations that surrounded them, and the eventual outpouring of the Holy Spirit (restoration of God’s people) Acts 2. Matthew Henry breaks chapter 2 down as follows: God’s judgments. (1-14) Exhortations to fasting and prayer; blessings promised. (15-27) A promise of the Holy Spirit, and of future mercies. (28-32)

I want to look at just v.1 this morning because I think they are applicable to all of us today.

Blow the trumpet in Zion [warning of impending judgment], Sound an alarm on My holy mountain [Zion]! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble and shudder in fear, For the [judgment] day of the Lord is coming; It is close at hand,(AMP)

Judgment by way of the Day of the Lordis the predominant theme of the book of Joel. Israel (1:15; 2:1–2) and all the nations (3:2–3) are subject to this judgment. While most associate the “Day of the Lord” with wrath and judgments it can also be a day of salvation and restoration.

Here in chapter 2 v.1, the context is definitely judgment and wrath that Joel is warning against. Israel had become complacent AGAIN, it had fallen back into the sins of its surrounding neighbors and Joel sires out a warning Blow the trumpet in Zion, (any temple, pulpit, or corner will do) Sound an alarm on My holy mountain, we too must be able, ready and willing at every moment to speak out against the anti-Christ. For the [judgment] day of the Lord is coming, God cannot abide sin, nor sinners. The old saying God Loves the Sinner But Hates the Sin? is far from true and He must and will pass judgment on everyone.

Of course, no one knows when the final judgment “day of the Lord” will come but we must (All True Believers) act like it is today. Spiritual Complacency has plagued the “church” for far too long in America. Oh, we are good at giving, missions, and feeding the poor. We respond well to national disasters and the like but do not ask us to get involved in the BIG PICTURE, the moral issues of today.

It is time we, All True Believers, Shout is from the Blogs, Corners, and Pulpits; that we demand that the core values America was founded upon, the Judeo-Christian principles be returned before the Wrath of God, the final judgment, the “day of the Lord” is poured out upon this nation and people.


PRAYER

Pray for the Moral Decency and Civility of your Nation

Pray for the Nations of the World and for Your Own Nation

PrayUSA: Government Leaders Calling the Nation to Prayer Initiative

Transmitting Truth in a Modern Pagan World

We share the world with modern pagans who worship the sun—or idolize an imagined primordial Big Bang—so we need to be truth witnesses unto a world drowning in deception and delusion…

Source: Transmitting Truth in a Modern Pagan World

Devotional Thought for Today – 01 July 2021

Logos.com

Revelation 3

CONTEXT: Part of the message to the Seven (7) churches in Asia Minor, here in this chapter we have the final three churches Sardis (v.1-6), Philadelphia (v.7-13), and Laodicea (v.14-22). Of the seven churches, both Smyrna and Philadelphia receive no rebuke from Jesus. Laodicea however is the only church to receive no positive comment at all. They are spiritually useless (lukewarm) and Jesus says they need to stop walking the fence.

Our text often used as an alter call or another offer of salvation to individuals is in actuality Jesus’s invitation to the church. Think about that for a minute, the Bridegroom, the Head of the Church having to stand outside and ask for admittance. That should cause every Elder, Pastor, Preacher, whatever y’all may be called, and everyone in the pews to shudder and ask, “is Christ here in our church?” Is Christ the Bridegroom, the high and mighty ruler of this church? Or is He standing outside and asking and waiting for entry?

So in context, we understand that Jesus is explicitly speaking to the church, but that is not to say we can not make a practical application of this to man in general. Man apart from God, has a closed heart, that is because of the fall of man it is deceitful and evil, inclined toward sin. We also know from scripture that the Holy Spirit convicts people of sin. So metaphorically speaking Jesus is knocking on the hearts of man through the Spirit’s convictions. The question is will you answer the knock?


OTHER RESOURCES:

What did Jesus mean when He said, “I stand at the door and knock” (Revelation 3:20)?

On Whose Door Is Christ Knocking?

An Earnest Warning about Lukewarmness

Christ’s Loving Earnestness

Devotional Thought for Today – 06/30/2021

Vessels of God (Ephesians 3:20) - Your Daily Bible Verse - April 30 - Your  Daily Bible Verse

Ephesians 3

CONTEXT: 1 The first three chapters of Ephesians are doctrinal, the last three are practical. Chapter 3 begins the transition from a Christian understanding of salvation, grace, and the power of Christ into a practical guide for Christian living. To make the transition, in this chapter, Paul refers to his own calling by God and prays for the spiritual strength of the Ephesian church. Chapter 3 speaks about the mystery of Christ revealed (Ephesians 3:1–13). The second part of this chapter emphasizes Paul’s prayer for spiritual strength and ends the first half of his letter (Ephesians 3:14–21).

Many of you know I love the old Puritan pastors and theologians. There is something about the simplicity of their writings (yes the old language can be a difficult read at first) that makes it relevant today. Thomas Brooks is one such person and his quote:

Now, Christians, the more great and glorious things you expect from God, as the downfall of antichrist, the conversion of the Jews, the conquest of the nations to Christ, the breaking of all yokes, the new Jerusalem’s coming down from above, the extraordinary pouring out of the Spirit, and a more general union among all saints, the more holy, yea, the more eminently holy in all your ways and actings it becomes you to be. –

Thomas Brooks, The Crown and Glory of Christianity, 1662, CompleteWorks, 1867, p. 444

has always struck me as very compelling. What is it we expect from God or maybe better put what is it we should expect from God?

Many modern theologies claim that we can expect or even demand of God our hearts desires, quoting Ps 37:4 and running with it. Of course, as someone who is a stickler for CONTEXT, this is a false and dangerous doctrine. Others in the same vain claim if only you have enough faith that God will grant all your petitions. Again they use John 16:23 grossly out of context to draw their absurd conclusion and false doctrine.

First, it is right to have expectations of God, Psalm 65:5 because all who live in the fear of the Lord (are His chosen) He has made promises to Prov 23:18. Secondly, anything and everything we expect of God must be BIBLICAL. I have never found an admonition in the Bible against praying BIG or having the expectation that God can answer BIG prayers. Praying for the healing of a loved one from Cancer for example does happen. Praying for a new Caddilac but only being able to afford a Chevy, on the other hand, does not mean you lack faith, it means you lack finances.

The greatest expectation of all can be found in Romans 8:19-21 (AMP) For [even the whole] creation [all nature] waits eagerly for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration and futility, not willingly [because of some intentional fault on its part], but by the will of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will also be freed from its bondage to decay [and gain entrance] into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

As I noted yesterday, I had outpatient back surgery in an attempt to relieve some of this ongoing back pain. We pray for BIG results and accept what God gives. There is a team of folks from Mission M25 doing a 4CPR 4 Corners Prayer Ride riding motorcycles touching the 4 corners of the US Praying for our Nation (BIG Thing).

There are so many more BIG things, as Thomas Manton mentioned that Christians need be in prayer for especially, ‘the downfall of antichrist(s), the conversion of the Jews, the conquest of the nations to Christ, and a pouring out of the Spirit in America, and a more general union among all saints.’


1 Source: https://www.bibleref.com/Ephesians/3/Ephesians-3-20.html

Evangelism, The Church, and Early Christian Ethics

CAME ACROSS THIS TODAY AND FOUND IT TO BE AN OUTSTANDING ARTICLE!

In his book, The Patient Ferment of the Early Church, Alan Kreider makes the case that the substantial growth of Christianity from the resurrection of Christ through the 300’s was tied to the church’s emphasis on the patient ethical formation of believers. According to Kreider, there was no grand strategy of cultural influence nor any attempt to accommodate the worship service of the church to make outsiders feel more comfortable. Instead, the primary focus of church leadership was to see the habitus (habitual behavior) of Christ-followers formed so they were noticeably distinct in their moods, affections, and actions from their neighbors…

SOURCE: Evangelism, The Church, and Early Christian Ethics

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FOR TODAY – 06/22/2021

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God  sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful f… | Read bible, Spiritual  deliverance, God

Romans 8

CONTEXT: Some have called this the greatest chapter in the Bible. It is hard to argue considering the opening verse. Paul sets up this after having spent all of Chapter 7 reminding everyone of his personal issues with sin and the law. Then he drops the promise of promises on all true believers v.1, Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit (AMP).

Matthew Henry breaks down the chapter as follows: The freedom of believers from condemnation. (1-9) Their privileges as being the children of God. (10-17) Their hopeful prospects under tribulations. (18-25) Their assistance from the Spirit in prayer. (26,27) Their interest in the love of God. (28-31) Their final triumph, through Christ. (32-39)

In verse 2, Paul says (further promises) under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit that we are free from the law of sin and of death. Does this mean we, true believers, are free from all punishment? Of course not, V.8 makes this clear that no one living a carnal or sinful life can please God.

John Calvin Quote - God's Law Is Engraved On The Believers' Heart

Our text for today continues the message that the Law, (here the Mosaic Law) is not capable of saving mankind and was meant as a means of showing man thier sinful nature and the need for a redeemer.

God did what the law could not provide a means of eternal salvation. He, God the Father, sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to earth in the form of a human, sinless, (Philippians 2:5-8, Hebrews 4:15) the perfect sacrifice for the sins of those who live not by the flesh but by the Spirit.

Maybe you are reading this today and thinking, I am a good person. I have never been to jail, I have never done anything really wrong. The bad news is mankind’s standard of good is woefully short of God’s and you will never measure up. Of course, God does not leave us hanging there. He has a counter-proposal to the Bad News and offers us The Good News, or the Gospel. As we have just read this Good news message is that we do not have to live under the Law that we can never achieve. We have a Savior who has paid the penalty for our sins. Simply put, the gospel is the good news concerning Christ and the way of salvation.

There is no magic potion, no facing or scripted prayer words needed to obtain this Good News. The Bible is clear, no one is saved by works, but ALL who sincerely …acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognizing His power, authority, and majesty as God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 AMP)

Devotional Thought for Today – 06/19/2021

John 3:16-18

You have heard me say (or seen me write here) many times my old Army saying that the maximum effective range of an excuse is zero meters. The Bible confirms this in Romans 1:20.

Today especially with the advent of all the online resources mankind (for the most part) really has no excuse of any kind not to be highly educated concerning Biblical matters. It is easy to download an App and compare the original Hebrew or Greek text against quality English translations.

Are there still some parts of the Bible where we scratch our head and say “why did God do that,” of course. But that level of understanding God’s personal thoughts or actions and clear Biblical Doctrine are two completely different things.

Understanding and applying the instructions God left us (the Bible in one sense is an instructions manual) rightly is not some great mystery, only a little hard work.

Romans 14:10–12, says that all will stand before the judgment seat of Christ. The question today is will you be without excuse?


Is Christianity a religion or a relationship?

Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/Christianity-religion-relationship.html

Devotional Thought for Today – 06/12/2021

ITCHY EARS

What Does 2 Timothy 4:3 Mean?

2 Timothy 4

CONTEXT: In the final chapter of 2 Timothy, Paul writes about two major themes. The first is quite obvious the importance of preaching the Word of God (2 Timothy 4:1–8). The second section offers personal concerns and thoughts to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:9–22).

In order to understand our text, we need to understand the previous verse, the Command or Charge (v.2) from Paul to Timothy to Preach the Word! He must be ready when it is convenient (in season) and inconvenient or troublesome to preach (out of season). He, Timothy must be ready to JUDGE those in error and point out their errors (reprove and rebuke). Finally, Timothy is to encourage, support, aid, and comfort the church (exhort) by using sound Biblical teaching (doctrine) and patient leadership (longsuffering).

Now our Text for Today (v.3) makes more sense, especially in today’s churches. Far too many folks have itchy ears and want whatever they can get out of a “worship” service. Somehow their Theology and Doctrine (these are almost 4 letter words in some evangelical circles) are all screwed up. They have placed themselves and their needs above God. 😥

He is the best preacher, not that tickles the ear, but that breaks the  heart.

Paul makes it clear to Timothy and it should be clear to everyone who stands behind a pulpit (or wherever they stand or sit today) The object of Worship, the Object of Preaching is Christ and Him crucified, not the folks in the pew. Churches are not places to bring the world into they are the House of God, Holy Sanctuaries, and should be treated as such. It is far too easy today to walk into many churches and be confused thinking it is an amusement park.

” If a teacher fascinates with his doctrine, his teaching never came from God. The teacher sent from God is the one who clears the way to Jesus and keeps it clear; souls forget altogether about him because the vision of Jesus is the only abiding result. When people are attracted to Jesus Christ through you, see always that you stay on God all the time, and their hearts and affections will never stop at you.”

Oswald Chambers 


Other Resources:

What does 2 Timothy 4:3 mean by itching ears?

Devotional Thought for Today – 03/08/2021, Beware False Teachers

Seduced With Flattery

What makes a room or building a sanctuary?

The masses demand that which will soothe them in their sins and amuse them while they journey down the Broad Road!

If I Only Had One Sermon To Preach”

Sunday Sermon Series – Prayer for Realization of God

Ephesians 3:14-21 | Prayer for studying, God loves you, Memory verse

Ephesians 3

I must admit I had never heard of our featured preacher before this morning but I thoroughly enjoyed this sermon and hope you do too.

“THROUGH THE YEARS I HAVE LISTENED TO THE PREACHING OF S. LEWIS JOHNSON FAR MORE THAN ANY OTHER PREACHER”

DR. JOHN MACARTHUR


SERMON

Prayer for Realization of God

Ephesians 3: 14-21

Dr. S. Lewis Johnson expounds on Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians that they know God.

LISTEN HERE:

DOWNLOAD OR PRINT HERE:


Dr. S. Lewis Johnson’s whole series on Ephesians can be found here:

https://sljinstitute.net/category/pauls-epistles/ephesians/