Devotional Thought for Today – 02/26/2021

What do the following have in common?  Egypt, Great Britain, Greece,  Iraq, Italy, and the US? 

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PSALM 10

C.H. Spurgeon in his commentary  divides the Psalm as follows: 

The first verse, in an exclamation of surprise, explains the intent of the Psalm, viz., to invoke the interposition of God for the deliverance of his poor and persecuted people. From verses 2 to 11, the character of the oppressor is described in powerful language. In verse 12, the cry of the first verse bursts forth again, but with a clearer utterance. In the next place (verses 13-15), God’s eye is clearly beheld as regarding all the cruel deeds of the wicked; and as a consequence of divine omniscience, the ultimate judgment of the oppressed is joyously anticipated (verses 16-18). To the Church of God during times of persecution, and to individual saints who are smarting under the hand of the proud sinner, this Psalm furnishes suitable language both for prayer and praise.

It is this final section that our main text v.16, is taken from today. As I was contemplating it this morning I could not help but think back on world  history and those ‘nations that have perished from the land.’  I like the way the NLT puts it, The Lord is king forever and ever! The godless nations will vanish from the land. 

It infers that all nations who have turned their backs on the one true living God will perish. So back to my opening question, What do the following have in common?  Egypt, Great Britain, Greece, Iraq, Italy, and the US?  All are former GREAT empires (Iraq was home to Babylonian the rest should be obvious)  that turned their backs on God and their greatness perished. Some have completely vanished from the earth (which I believe will be the fate of all). 

Why include the USA,  you may ask, are we not still a great nation? I some ways, yes, but we have for the most part forsaken the biblical principles upon which this great country was founded and our Consitution was written. We have turned our backs on God and His response throughout History has been the same, destruction for that nation.  why because the land and all that occupy it belongs to the LORD. 

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible – Unabridged

The LORD is King forever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land.

The third part and third strophe.

The Lord is King forever and ever. Sense had suggested the thought, that because of the prevailing might and impunity of oppressors, the Lord has ceased to reign on His high throne as righteous Governor, Judge, and King over the earth, especially in relation to His people (Deuteronomy 33:5Numbers 23:21). Faith now shows David how impotent are the rebels’ efforts to set up in opposition a kingdom of unrighteousness. Yahweh is, and ever will abide, “King” alone.

The pagan are perished – all who, whether nominally of the elect nation or not, are paganish in heart and life (Ezekiel 16:3Jeremiah 9:25Psalms 9:19). What was a prayer in Psalms 9:19“Let the pagan be judged,” is here taken as an accomplished fact in the confidence of faith, “the pagan have perished.”

Out of his land – implying why the pagan are perished out of the land (first, Canaan; then, ultimately, the whole earth) – namely, because the land is not theirs, but YAHWEH’S!

TODAY’ PRAYER

A Prayer For Our Country

Lord God and Heavenly King, You alone are the Lord of the earth and King of the universe, and You alone can revive and restore the United States Of America and bring us back under Your own Sovereign rule.

Give our President, together with his advisors and the whole of his administration, the wisdom, and grace to turn from the ungodly path that they are following, and may they set this nation back on the path of trusting in God.

Motivate all our congressmen to strive for integrity and wisdom in all the choices and decisions they make, and may those that are entrusted as judges and lawmakers, likewise act in righteousness, impartiality and integrity as they work for the benefit of all people, and to the honor of Your holy name.

Heavenly King, we place our nation at your feet and pray that we may once again serve You as a nation. May Your will be done in the once greatest nation of the world, the United States of America.

Amen.

Source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/1-Timothy/2/2

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 02/25/2021

So this morning as I am reading through my many emails I came across one from a while ago that I had failed to delete or act on. It was from a friend and had a link with the following graph:

Shortly after I opened the following daily scripture verse and yes my brain made the connection, I wonder if our coastlines will ever be Glad in the Lord AGAIN


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Psalm 97

The psalm divides itself into four portions, each containing three verses. The coming of the Lord is described (Ps 97:1-3); its effect upon the earth is declared (Ps 97:4-6), and then its influence upon the heathen and the people of God (Ps 97:7-9). The last part contains both exhortation and encouragement, urging to holiness and inculcating happiness (Ps 97:10-12). – C.H. Spurgeon

Our text today v.1, illustrates the great divide we have in this country just as in ancient times there was the divide between Jew and Gentile. We have those who would stand up and honor the biblical pricicples this country was founded upon and then there are those who adamantly oppose any such action.

Oh, Christian what worry have you in this matter?  Concern yes, a need to speak out against unbiblical practices, yes. But worry or anxiety never. As Augustine said:

The LORD reigneth. He who stood before the judge, he who received the blows, he who was scourged, he who was spit upon, he who was crowned with thorns, he who was struck with fists, he who hung upon the cross, he who as he hung upon the wood was mocked, he who died upon the cross, he who was pierced with the spear, he who was buried, himself arose from the dead. “The Lord reigneth.” Let kingdoms rage as much as they can; what can they do to the King of kingdoms, the Lord of all kings, the Creator of all worlds?

God’s sovereignty is what we can rest our assurance upon. Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary is what our Hope for eternity is grounded in. What can mere man do against such greatness. 

TODAY’S PRAYER

Lord God, we praise and honor you for your reign over all the earth.  We acknowledge your sovereignty and righteousness. We pray for your providence upon all nations, forget not your remnant. We especially ask that you would touch the souls of those in America who so vehemently oppose all Christian precepts. We confess the need for the Holy Spirit to guide us daily so we wander no as we are so prone to do. We rejoice in you Lord and give thanks to your holy name. Amen.

Devotional Thought for Today – 02/24/2021

Are You “Struggling” With Sin?

Hebrews 12

Having just finished reading Chapter 11, often called the heroes of the faith chapter, in its simplest terms, Hebrews 12 is a strong admonition to be consistent and persistent in our Faith, like one of those heroes. 

There are five (5) areas that we can break Chapter 12 into:

v.1-3 – Trust in God and His purpose 

v.5-13 – Accept discipline

v.14-17 – Those who reject discipline

v.18-29 – Superiority of the New Covenant 

Yes, I said five areas, and I purposely left out v.4, because it is our main text for today: Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

At least monthly we post an article called News from the PERSECUTED CHURCHThis morning it reminded me that any complaints I could possibly have here in the US about “church restrictions” are a far cry less than those whose homes and lives are being actually threatened and destroyed around the world. 

That is what the writer of Hebrews point is, YES, Christian you will suffer for your Faith, if you do not you are a “Couch Potato Christian”, but that is another issue; yet have you suffered to the point of being asked to forfeit your life for Christ? 

The same applies to our struggles with Sin Some will try and claim 2 Corinthians 5:17out of context for sure, and saying that all true born-again believers never sin? Of course, that means that John had no reason to write 1 John 1:9 or that Paul was a liar or worse unconverted by Jesus himself when He says he still struggles with sin.

No the writer of Hebrews is asking a BIGGER question.  What have we done to change our habits, what have we forfeited? What are we willing to forfeit? 

TODAY’S PRAYER

Father God, I pray You will cleanse me so You can fill me to overflowing with more of Your Holy Spirit. I desire to be living out Your will. I also know that means You disciplining me. I will embrace Your discipline so I can grow from it. Help me to be an overcomer of all the sinfulness left in me. Help me to break the chains that bind me to my old ways. 

Lord, may more people embrace Your discipline so they can grow in a relationship with You.  Would You keep my focus on You so I can be a beacon of light throughout this day? Father, I pray You will prepare the hearts of whomever I may meet to be open to You. Thank You Jesus Amen.

Adapted From


The Struggle Against Sin

The Christian’s Struggle Against Sin (mp3 Download Set)

Your Fight Against Sin Is Normal

 

Devotional Thougt for Today – 02/23/2021

Divisive: used to describe something that causes great and sometimes unfriendly disagreement within a group of people:

22 Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.  Proverbs 14:22

PROVERBS 14

When one reads Proverbs 14, we quickly realize it is a series of contrasts with an overarching theme of wisdom vs. foolishness.  There are many sub-topics or other contrasting points but the (in my opinion) all relate to being wise or foolish.

Our text for today must be taken in CONTEXT! Like most verses of Proverbs our text could stand on its own, but here, read along with v.21 and 23 we get a better picture of god’s revealed Word. 

‘He who despises his neighbor sins…But [blessed] is he who is gracious and merciful to the poor.’

Do they not go astray who devise {against their neighbors}evil and wander from the way of righteousness? But kindness and truth will be to those who devise good.

In all labor {divising good} there is profit, But mere talk leads only to poverty.

So God’s revealed Word is pretty clear.  The proverb makes a few key points: 

      • Dispising your neighbor even in your heart is a sin
      • Those that cheerfully help others are happy and blessed
      • Those that seek division, to disrupt the kingdom and the church labor in vain
      • Any deviation from God’s precepts is Sin and leads to evil
      • Not being divisive does not mean compromising the Word of God EVER
      • Those that seek to do righteous acts will profit
      • God expects His elect to be active in the World

TODAY’S PRAYER:

Father God, I know my nature is corrupt from the womb but by your Grace and the sacrifice of my Lord and Savior at Calvary I am a new creature. Yet as the apostle Paul said, still prone to do what I know is wrong. Help me Lord, to never be divisive,  to be gracious and merciful, to always use kindness and truth, and to labor faithfully and steadfast for your kingdom and glory. – Amen 

Devotional Thought for Today – 02/22/2021

Christian, let God’s distinguishing love to you be a motive to you to fear Him greatly. He has put His fear in your heart, and may not have given that blessing to your neighbor, perhaps not to your husband, your wife, your child, or your parent. Oh, what an obligation should this thought lay upon your heart to greatly fear the Lord! Remember also that this fear of the Lord is His treasure, a choice jewel, given only to favorites, and to those who are greatly beloved. —John Bunyan

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love 1 John 4:18

1 John 4

Some of you who have followed my posts for a while may remember me saying the 1 John is my favorite book of the bible.  That is because of 1 John 1:3-4 One of the key verses (at least for me) in understanding fellowship with God and other believers. You can read a little about it in Part V of my series called Biblical Contentment.

Today, however, John is speaking on one main theme with two applications. The theme is LOVE, and he says to apply it by testing all the spirits v.1-6, that is be sure of all who claim to speak in Christ’s name for they may act all-loving and such but can be the devil in lamb’s clothing. Secondly, v.7-21, God is Love so we are to Love as God loves us.

Our text found towards the end of this part in the meat of the application v.11-19,  Beloved if God so loved us…because he first loved us. John in v.17 mentions that this Love is made perfect in us through the union with Christ. That this union makes our eternal status secure. 

Thus our text, There is no fear in love; a perfect union with Christ leaves no room for fear of our eternal state because but perfect love casteth out fear: Why because fear hath torment yet a TRUE BELIEVER has been fully and completely forgiven of their sins, and has nothing to fear. It is only the fake, the lukewarm, the Laodicean who wants to live in both worlds that have to fear because He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 

Is your relationship with God complete, or maybe better put mature today? Do you still have doubts or fears about your eternal state? We can daily FEAR GOD, that is as Bunyan said,  fear of the Lord is His treasure be in awe of His majesty, to have reverence for His mercy and thankfulness for His Grace. All the while not Fearing God’s judgment or wrath. 

TODAY’S PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I pray that I would let the words of truth found in 1 John 4:18 settle in my heart. There are times in my life when I am very fearful. I know that when I am fearing things in life, I am not exhibiting trust in You. I pray that You would surround me in Your perfect love, where fear has no room and must be forced out of my mind and spirit. As I ponder Your love, I pray that I would experience the peace the passes understanding, whatever situation of life I am in help me to seek you first. And as I come to a deeper realization of the depth of Your amazing love for me, may I be used by You to love as I am loved. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Adapted from:  https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/1-John/4/18

 


“What is the eternal state of the believer?”

“How can I know for sure that I will go to heaven when I die?”

Sunday Sermon Series – Confession of Sin

Image result for "I Have Sinned" Exodus 9:27

Exodus 9:27, Numbers 22:34, 1 Samuel 15:24, Joshua 7:20, Matthew 27:4, Job 6:20, Luke 15:18

My sermon this morning will have seven texts, and yet I pledge myself that there shall be but three different words in the whole of them; for it so happens that the seven texts are all alike, occurring in seven different portions of God’s holy Word. I shall require, however, to use the whole of them to exemplify different cases; and I must request those of you who have brought your Bibles with you to refer to the texts as I shall mention them…

Confession of Sin – A Sermon with Seven Texts

 

Charles Haddon Spurgeon / January 18, 1857

Scripture: Exodus 9:27/Numbers 22:34/1 Samuel 15:24/ Joshua 7:20/Matthew 27:4/ Job 6:20/ Luke 15:18

From: New Park Street Pulpit Volume 3

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 02/20/2021

Image result for Rock Cleft

Exodus 33

I doubt there are very few folks in the “civilized” world who have never heard the hymn Rock of Ages Cleft for Me. Many biblical references apply to this Hymn, but none greater than that found in our main text for today Exodus 33:21-23.

¹As the young minister traveled through the rugged country near England’s Cheddar Gorge, the clouds burst and torrential sheets of rain pummeled the earth. The weary traveler was able to find shelter standing under a rocky overhang. There, protected from the buffeting wind and rain, Augustus Toplady conceived one of the most popular hymns ever written, “Rock of Ages, Cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee.”

In Chapter 33 Moses has had to once again intercede on behalf of the Jewish people. While conversing with God (think on that for a moment) he asks to see God. God grants his request with conditions that Moses cannot look upon God’s face, His full Glory, or Moses would die. The solution is God will put Moses in a protected spot (Cleft of the Rock) and ensure his safety. 

This is applicable today in two ways, First EVERY believer is hidden in the Cleft of the Rock, that is Christ.  He alone bore and hides all our sins and keeps us safe from the righteous wrath of God. Second, EVERY time a believer goes to God in prayer God, just like he did for Augustus Toplady provides shelter from the storm.  It may not be a physical shelter or even the type we expect but it is always shelter that God designs (He is sovereign) for our best interest and His Glory. 

Today instead of prayer, I offer another great Hymn, this one from Fanny Crosby for Contemplation and Worship:

 

¹ Source

Devotional Thought for Today – 02/19/2021

"Infinity applied to space is omnipresence."- Herman Bavinck, The Doctrine of God

Image result for Psalm 139:7

Psalm 139

One of the most notable of the sacred hymns. It sings the omniscience and omnipresence of God, inferring from these the overthrow of the powers of wickedness since he who sees and hears the abominable deeds and words of the rebellious will surely deal with them according to his justice. The brightness of this Psalm is like unto a sapphire stone, or Ezekiel’s “terrible crystal”; it flames out with such flashes of light as to turn night into day. – C.H. Spurgeon 

This Psalm is one of the most sublime compositions in the world. How came a shepherd boy to conceive so sublime a theme, and to write in so sublime a strain? Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. What themes are more sublime than the Divine attributes? And which of these attributes is more sublime than Omnipresence? Omniscience, spirituality, infinity, immutability, and eternity are necessarily included in it. —George Rogers.

Our text today v.7-10 speaks directly to the omnipresence of God.  ¹  “Neither the noun “omnipresence” nor adjective “omnipresent” occurs in Scripture, but the idea that God is everywhere present is throughout presupposed and sometimes explicitly formulated. God’s omnipresence is closely related to His omnipotence and omniscience: that He is everywhere enables Him to act everywhere and to know all things, and, conversely, through omnipotent action and omniscient knowledge, He has access to all places and all secrets (compare Psalms 139). 

 David makes the following points in these verses: 

Just because God is a Spirit and we can not see him it would be foolish for us to think He can’t see us. 

God is everywhere and we can hide nothing from Him.

Nor could any effort we make to escape His presence end in success. 

God is everywhere so He will always be available to lead and comfort us

Today’s Prayer²

Lord God, Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting thou art God; Psalm 90:2(KJV) the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8(KJV)

Of old hast, thou laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of thy hands: they shall perish, but thou shalt endure; yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment, as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. Psalm 102:25-27(KJV)

I cannot go anywhere from your presence or flee from your Spirit: If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, in the depths of the earth, behold you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me, Psalm 139:7-10(ESV) for I can never outrun you.


¹ Source

² Source 

What does it mean that God is omnipresent?

Devotional Thought for Today – 02/18/2021

They who love anything better than Christ are not worthy of him.

Covenanter field Minister James Renwick, on the day of his martyrdom

MATTHEW 10:24-39

 

Some try and say that this section of scripture is counterintuitive to the teachings of Christ.  After all, didn’t Christ tell us that Love was the foundation of the two Greatest Commandments This also flies in the face against everything society teaches, that it is all about me and only me.

EXACTLY!!! Note that Matthew does not record this (Greatest Commandments) until 12 chapters later but here is Jesus making the same point now. Here is what Jesus is saying and NOT saying:

Jesus says, to Love God above all others (Greatest Commandment)

Jesus Never says, Do Not Love your family or Neighbors (2nd Greatest Commandment) 

Jesus Says, believers will have conflicts with pagan (unbelieving) family members and must choose to love Him (God) above them

Jesus says, it is a burden (Cross baring) to love and follow Him exclusively, one that all true believers willing do

Let us look at some examples of those who failed this test:

Adam loved Eve more and listened to her

Solomon loved his pagan wives more than God 

King Ahab Jezebel, more than God

There are others of course but you get the idea. Anytime we put anything or anyone above God we are in fact committing a grievous SIN. Folks I have said it hundreds of times over the years “it’s never about us it’s always about Christ.” 

Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible

Matthew 10:37.He who loveth father or mother As it is exceedingly harsh, and is contrary to natural feelings, to make enemies of those who ought to have been in closest alliance with us, so Christ now says that we cannot be his disciples on any other condition. He does not indeed enjoin us to lay aside human affections, or forbid us to discharge the duties of relationship, but only desires that all the mutual love which exists among men should be so regulated as to assign the highest rank to piety. Let the husband then love his wife, the father his son, and, on the other hand, let the son love his father, provided that the reverence which is due to Christ be not overpowered by human affection. For if even among men, in proportion to the closeness of the tie that mutually binds us, some have stronger claims than others, it is shameful that all should not be deemed inferior to Christ alone. And certainly we do not consider sufficiently, or with due gratitude, what it is to be a disciple of Christ, if the excellence of this rank be not sufficient to subdue all the affections of the flesh. The phrase employed by Luke is more harsh, if any man doth not hate his father and mother, but the meaning is the same, “If the love of ourselves hinder us from following Christ, we must resist it, courageously:” as Paul says, what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, (Philippians 3:7.)

Today’s Prayer¹

Oh, gracious and merciful Father, may I never boast in my deeds, but always look to the cross as my source of righteousness. Through your cleansing and empowering Spirit, please help me to surrender my life, my heart, my sin, and my dreams to you.  Help me to daily take up my cross, love you above all else, and my neighbor even more than myself.  In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

¹ edited from Heartlight

 

Devotional thought for Today – 02/17/2021

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LUKE 24

Here in the final chapter of the Gospel of Luke, we find three main subjects:

The Resurrection of Christ v.1-12

The appearances of Christ v.13-49

The Ascension of Christ v.50-53

Our text today comes from the final section. Contained herein are also three (3) topics or subjects I would like to looks at this morning. They are Worshipped, Joy and Blessing

Matthew Poole comments on this section as follows: 

Ver. 52,53. We never before read of any act of adoration which the disciples performed to Christ. Their faith was now come to the highest pitch. They did no longer look upon him only as one sent of God, a great Prophet, nor only as the Son of David, the promised Messiah; in the mean time not rightly taking the notion of the Messiah, but looking upon him as one who should be a temporal saviour, and deliverer of his people; they now believe him to be the eternal Son of God, being so manifested by his resurrection from the dead, and ascension into heaven before their eyes. According to his commandment, they return to Jerusalem, full of joy:

What is it that these (the chosen disciples) who had just been blessed v.50 the risen Savior come away with?  I think the best word I can use to describe it is zeal.  Matthew Poole said  it was Their faith was now come to the highest pitch.  Here they are with a fresh infusion of life from Christ’s blessing and off they go Worshipping Christ,  full of Joy and praising and Blessing. They were excited, pumped up, and ready to conquer the world. 

I often wonder how often we forget that great day of our infusion, the day of our blessing from Christ when He made us whole? Redeemed us from eternal damnation and made us more than conquerors in him. How much of that initial Zeal has gone from us? 

Today’s Prayer¹

Father, it is my lifelong desire to love You without hesitation, to never be lacking in zeal, and to keep my spiritual fervor as I serve You.  My desire is to fully devote myself to You and to always do what is good and right in Your sight bringing Glory to your name.  Help me to always be obedient to your commandments. Otherwise, my hearts will grow proud and we will forget my first love. Keep me your chosen path all the days of my life, keeping my spiritual zeal as I serve You. – Amen. 

¹ adapted from