Devotional Thought for Today – 05/12/2021

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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.

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

Devotional Thought for Today – 05/04/2021

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

2 Chronicles 7

As always context is here is so important. The immediate context of v.14 tells us that King Solomon has finished the Temple and the fact that God will send judgment upon the land in the form of drought, locusts, or pestilence for their disobedience. God hears Solomon’s prayer but gives him this dire warning of the consequences of continued rebellion, v.12-14.

God’s promise of restoration v.14, is offset with ongoing warnings in verses 19-22 for abandoning the law, seeking and worshipping false idols. The consequences of which are so grave, that not only will the temple be forsaken but the people of Israel will be ridiculed among the nations; I will cast this house, which I have consecrated for My Name, out of My sight, and will make it a proverb and an object of scorn among all nations (AMP).

So the question becomes can this text be rightly applied to America today?

My answer is yes, under certain very specific parameters:

  • If my people,NO, we are not as a nation God’s chosen people, No, we were not founded as a Christian Nation (I would be happy to discuss this), Yes, we were however clearly founded upon Judeo- Christian principles, that we as a nation have forsaken.
  • which are called by my name, – God does not call all citizens of America His children as were the those of the Nation of Israel. However, Pew Research as of 2019 shows 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians. That is 213.2 million Americans.
  • shall humble themselves, The first requirement for Israel back in the time of Solomen and for America today is proclaiming for Christians must humble themselves all other actions fall short.
  • and pray, and seek my face, – Next, Christians need to be in an attitude and altitude of prayer. Just as God told Solomon here, the only way one can hope to forestall the Lord’s righteous judgment is to earnestly seek Him in prayer.
  • and turn from their wicked ways; – Finally, we must Repent, obviously for our own sins of commission and omission, but also for the sins of the nation as a whole.
  • then will I hear from heaven, – God promises to hear the prayers of the righteous.
  • and will forgive their sin, – God promises to forgive the sins of the truly repentant.
  • and will heal their land. – God promised to heal the land of Israel, but as we know from history they were overrun many times and still to this day live in turmoil. Here in America are praying for revival, for the end to abortion, for the destruction of anti-Christian enemies, etc. I pray more “Christians” would Humble, Seek, Pray and Repent before the Sovereign God of all creation. Imagine if all 213.2 Million had the same goal to Make America MORAL Again.

Are We Praying?

Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Bible

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Repentance According to the Scriptures: 2 Chronicles 7:14 …

The Pilgrim’s Progress with Dr. Derek Thomas

Most folks know I am a huge fan of The Pilgrim’s Progress, the second most published book to the Bible, and have posted on it in the past, John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Today in Church History, On This Date In Church History and A Picture of a True Minister (from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress). I also had the honor of hearing Dr. Thomas speak on the subject in the past so it is a pleasure to offer this post here.


Reformation Bible College

Reformation Bible College

The Christian life is one of conflict against the world, the flesh, and the devil. And that fact serves as a palpable reminder that we cannot trek through it without the One who has already overcome the world.

Watch The Pilgrim’s Progress, a special online streaming message from Dr. Derek Thomas. In this message, Dr. Thomas will speak on the life of John Bunyan and his classic book The Pilgrim’s Progress. Tune in to gain a closer look at Bunyan’s life, discovering how his writings may equip you not just for now, or for next week, or for next year, but for the entire journey that lies ahead of us as Christians.

This message is part of the Rare Book Room Series, a series of academic lectures from distinguished speakers. Each lecture highlights a featured book from the Rare Book Room on the Reformation Bible College campus.

**NOTE LECTURE STARTS AT THE 9:43 MARK

Devotional Thought for Today – 05/02/2021

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Daniel 2

Matthew Henry breaks this Chapter down as follows: Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. (1-13) It is revealed to Daniel. (14-23) He obtains admission to the king. (24-30) The dream and the interpretation. (31-45) Honours to Daniel and his friends. (46-49). Some modern bibles have headings that are even more detailed in their division. The AMplified Bible for example has eight (8) divisions our text for today is found in the one containing v.44-45, The Divine Kingdom.

Some days seem so overwhelming and we need a pick me up. I am not referring to the kind found in a bottle or a pill, of course, I and referring to the kind found in scripture.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of listening to Pastor Mark Chanski preach at our church, as he was visiting the area. In his sermon, he spoke of seeing pictures of glory in God’s word. I can think of no better picture than today’s text.

In the days of the final 10 kingdoms (toes in v.42), Christ will triumphantly set up His final kingdom. Not like the kingdoms before it, this one will not be based upon man’s failings and pride.

Indeed Christ’s earthly kingdom (Christianity) has been in motion since His birth and continues until this day. Yet His Final Kingdom, the one which happens with His second coming, will be no secret or quiet event, Christ’s return will be announced by the archangel and with the [blast of the] trumpet of God…

This Final Kingdom can never be destroyed, Christ’s earthly kingdom has already outlived all other earthly kingdoms and will prevail in eternity. Yet we know as Paul wrote to the church in Corinth that Christ must rule over all things.

The final thing I find in this text is the kingdom shall not be left to another people, I find this to have a two-fold meaning. First, in context, it refers to the succession of empires that had plagued the known world. Babylonian to the Medes and Persians; to the Greeks; to the Romans and so forth. Secondly, it means that upon Christ’s return His Final Kingdom is reserved for those in Christ.

As Pastor Chanski said paint a picture in your mind, look at the glory of the Second Coming of Christ and the Final Kingdom. Suddenly the care and worries of this world do not seem so troublesome when we have promises like that.


Dear Lord,

We pray that all those in Christ will find comfort in your Holy Word. That we will read and study scripture painting pictures in our minds so as to realize the abundance of your Mercy and Grace. We also pray that those who know not Christ will succumb to the urging of the Holy Spirit and repent today that they may be partakers of the Final Kingdom too. AMEN

Sunday Sermon Series – PRAYING AND WAITING

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. 1 John 5:14-15

1 John 5

Chapter 5, begins by reminding true believers that they can overcome the turmoil of this world v.1-5 through the power of Christ. in v.6-12, John also reminds us that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, and life begins with Him. Finally in John wraps up the Chapter and Book with v.13-21, reassuring true believers that they can know they have eternal life.

Our text for today comes from the latter and expresses perfectly John’s and the Holy Spirit’s meaning:

  • We (true believers) can have confidence in Christ
  • We can ask anything of Him according to His will, NOT OURS
  • He hears all those petitions
  • Because those petitions are in God’s will we have no fear of them not being heard, not being granted, for we put our Faith, our Trust in the Sovereignty of God.

SERMON

1 John 5:13-15 – Praying and Waiting by C H Spurgeon


Additional Resources/Sermons

Devotional Thought for Today – 04/28/2021

https://twitter.com/randyalcor…

Zephaniah 3

Some context is (as always) need here to grasp the full meaning of this verse. First is the book itself being a pronouncement of God’s judgment over the whole earth. Of course in typical Biblical fashion Judah, Israel, and the surrounding nations are used as examples.

Here in Chapter three v.1-7, should be pretty obvious even to the non-biblical or casual reader, Woe (judgment is coming) to her who is… this is all about rebuking the nation of Israel (and any such nation today) for her ongoing sin. In v.8, we see God has decided to gather all the nations, so He can purposely pour out His wrath, even all my fierce anger… upon them.

But that is so cruel, and not like a “loving God?” I have heard that so many times, like it, is all upon God’s to do things and man has NO RESPONSIBILITY in this at all. Folks, God gave up far more than we ever could or would. He is the sovereign creator of the universe and as such His righteous judgment reigns.

This brings us to our text for today, having revealed the judgment the nations deserve God also reveals HOPE! Here is how:

  • Everyone will speak the same – I am not going to argue here whether this is all one language or not as some declare. What is apparent from the text and original Hebrew is that everyone will be speaking in the same manner, which is with a Godly reverence in Spirit and truth.
  • Everyone will call upon the Lord in one accord – All will be worshiping the Lord without the distractions of denominations differences, political, regional, or other boundaries.
  • Everyone will serve the Lord in one accord – The Puritan Catechism and others declare the Chief end of man to be Man’s chief end are to glorify God (1 Cor. 10:31) and to enjoy Him forever (Ps. 73:25-26). In Revelation 22:3, we find that in eternity man will do much the same glorify God (Worship) and enjoy (serve) Him forever.

Zephaniah is for certain a prophetic book, but this verse can be applied to God’s people today. There is no reason we can not and should not all “Speak” the same language in Spirit and Truth. Put aside our petty denominational (I am not suggesting we fellowship with cults and obvious violators of God’s Word) differences and Call Upon the Lord, especially in prayer for the nation. Finally, we can and should all ensure Man’s chief end are to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.

Devotional Thought for Today – 04/24/2021

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1 John 3:12

1 John appears to be my favorite book in the Bible. I have written, preached, and taught more out of it than any other. There is something about their simplicity of the theme, Love and Fellowship with God (and like-minded believers) that just appeals to me.

Our text for today (along with v.1) is about midway in the portion of the message John has for saints about overcomers of those opposed to Christ (Antichrist’s) by professing the Son (2:18–3:10). A couple of key points:

  • Beloved: dear cherished members of the Body of Christ
  • we are God’s children now: all who have truly repented and called upon Christ as Lord and Savior
  • what we will be has not appeared: the bible makes it clear we will get a new glorified body incorruptible and suited for heaven. What that looks like we do not yet know, BUT it is going to be GREAT!
  • know that when He appears…: Do you know when Christ will return? John certainly did not know when but He did know with certainty that He would. It is with this confidence that he writes “…we will be like Him…”

This verse is a great encouragement to all those who suffer life’s aches and pains. No more ailments in a glorified body, no more tears or sorrow. Just, Love and Fellowship with God, AMEN.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your incredible grace and inestimable love – that I should be called Your child. Thank You for the wonderful revelation of Yourself in the Word of God and thank You that You came to earth and identified with my filthiness and sin so that I might be clothed in Your purity and righteousness; positioned in Christ; in-dwelled by the Spirit and accepted in the Beloved. Thank You for the promise of a glorified body, the end of all our earthly suffering and pain. We look forward to the day of Love and Fellowship with You. To You be all praise and glory for You alone are worthy – in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.

Modified from: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/1-John/3

Sunday Sermon Series – The Man of Sorrows and Grief

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Isaiah 53

The Suffering Messiah or Servant is the Major theme of Chapter three. Matthew Henry divides it this way: The person. (1-3) sufferings. (4-9) humiliation, and exaltation of Christ, are minutely described; with the blessings to mankind from his death. (10-12)

In keeping with our ongoing Comfort for the Grieving, Hurting, and Dying Series, the above artwork was in my inbox this morning and of course, just begged to be today’s feature sermon.

Last Sunday, we returned to Lakeshore Baptist Church, Pastor Don Elborne preached a sermon from 1 Peter 2:24 & Galatians 2:20, entitled;  “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?”. In it, he reminded us of the old Black spiritual of the same name. If you have never heard it, here is the 1899 version (v.1-4), the oldest known written copy as passed down and likely the closest to the original.

1 Were you there when they crucified my Lord? (were you there?)
Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Oh!
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

2 Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree? (to the tree?) Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree? Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

3 Were you there when they pierced Him in the side? (in the side?) Were you there when they pierced Him in the side? Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they pierced Him in the side?

4 Were you there when the sun refused to shine? (were you there?) Were you there when the sun refused to shine? Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when the sun refused to shine?

5 Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb? Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb? Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb? * Added around 1907

6 Were you there when he rose from out the tomb? Were you there when he rose from out the tomb? O–sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;
Were you there when he rose from out the tomb? * Added around 1950s

No one suffered or grieved on earth more than Christ Jesus. Man cannot even begin to comprehend the weight of all sins bearing down upon him. The inability to grasp this should not deter in fact it should sour us to think about it frequently.


Sermon

The Man of Sorrows

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, March 1, 1873,

Scripture: Isaiah 53:3

From: Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Volume 19


Other Resources:

Surely He Has Borne Our Griefs, John Piper

“Acquainted With Grief”, Oswald Chambers

Why is Jesus referred to as a man of sorrows in Isaiah 53:3

Made Righteous In HIM!