Devotional thought for Today – 03/04/2021

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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

Devotional Thought for Today – 02/16/2021

Image result for Mercy Seat

Romans 3

 

The Mercy Seat of God really is more like a lid topping the Ark of the Covenant than an actual Chair or seat that we would relate to today.  Yet we must remember this in CONTEXT of where the Jewish nation was when God instructed them to build it Exodus 25:17-22   (also see Heb 3:3-5) They were in their desert wandering days and God was leading them as a Cloud and Fire so the “seat” is symbolic.  Here God was supposed to be seated, and from this place He was supposed to dispense mercy to man when the blood of the atonement was sprinkled there.¹

I have heard some modern-day believers say so what this no longer applies to “us.”  Let me tell you MERCY applies to everyone. Yes, we (Jews and Christians) no longer make blood sacrifices to God for atonement but we still need a blood sacrifice for atonement.  

In Romans Chap 3 Paul carefully lays out the case for  ALL MANKIND being totally entrenched in sin v.1-8 and their need for atonement to be seen or presented as righteous before God. That no one can save themselves from such sin and be justified (atoned) before God v.9-20. Only the free Grace of God and faith in the redeeming Savior Christ can set us free, yet the LAW still remains v.21-31.

This brings us to our text for today Romans 3:21-26. Here again, Paul is clear and concise:

God’s righteousness is separate from the law

God’s righteousness is revealed by the law and prophets

All of mankind is separated from God’s righteousness because of sin

God’s righteousness comes to us by faith in Christ Jesus

Christ Jesus paid the atonement for our sins by His blood at Calvary

It is Christ’s blood upon the Mercy Seat that allows you and I to be freed from the bondage of sin and justified before God. 

Today’s Prayer

Thank You Father – thank You for my salvation. Thank You that His death that gave me life and reconciled me to You forever. Thank You that He took my sin and clothed me in His righteousness. Thank You that He is the propitiation for my sins and took Your wrath upon Himself so that I might have peace with You and receive the peace that passes understanding forever and ever into my life, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.  Source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/Romans/3


 

What is the mercy seat?¹

What is the Mercy Seat?

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 02/15/2021

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Genesis 2

Genesis 2 is what I call the detailed report of those things in Chapter 1 God knew we would have questions about. It starts with God finishing creation and resting on Day 7. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary breaks it down this way, with our text comes from the last part of the Chapter:

The first sabbath. (1-3) Particulars about the creation. (4-7) The planting of the garden of Eden. (8-14) Man is placed in it. (15) God’s command. (16,17) The animals named, The making of woman, The Divine institution of marriage. (18-25)

The concept here, the direct intervention from God is plain for all to see;  “It is not good (beneficial) for the man to be alone;”  and since we are talking about the beginning of creation, some 6000 years ago  God had to intervene and create a woman just as He had a man.  The interesting thing here is the HOW. God could have used the same dust formula but chose instead to use v.21, the rib the Greek word here is Telsa’ and can only mean a rib, so God makes a woman from a man so that they would be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  

 Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, and here in America at least it is a B I G deal.  Everyone spends like crazy trying to prove their “Love” for one another with some token or extravagant gift.  According to the National Retailers Association, the following chart shows Americans spent less this year but still a staggering $21.8 BILLION on Valentine’s Day gifts. 

 

While I get the importance of telling your wife you love her, I think we should never forget that some trivial or even some extravagant gift can never replace true biblical love. 

I offer the following for your edification:

 

What does it mean that husbands are to love their wives?

Geoff Thomas Sermon Archive Logo

 

 Sermon Ephesians 5:25-30 – Husbands love your wives

The Basics of Expository Preaching

Google Expository Preaching and you will find an exhaustive list of responses to the topic. Among them are many varying books and “helps” on the topic of what Expository Preaching is all about.  Most churches that practice “Expositional” preaching that I have been to think this means going through a book verse by verse and explaining it. But does it? Alistair Begg of https://www.truthforlife.org/ shares this easy to understand two-part study on the subject. 

 

— Here on Truth For Life, you’ve likely heard us talk about the importance of expository Bible teaching. But what exactly does that phrase mean? Why does it matter? Get the answers when you listen to Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.

 — Tragically, in many churches today, you’re more likely to hear the pastor’s opinions preached rather than God’s Word. So how do we identify solid Bible teaching? What does it mean to preach directly from Scripture? Discover the answer when you listen to Truth For Life with Alistair Begg!

Devotional Thought for Today – 02/12/2021

6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 1 Corinthians 13: 6-7

1 Corinthians 13

One of the best known and most quoted and preached Chapters in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13 is often referred to as the “Love Chapter.”  Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit strategically places it immediately following all the teachings on Spiritual Gifts. 

I for one am convinced this is purposeful, for I have met many a “Christian” claiming to have mighty gifts yet definitely lack that key attribute of Godly love. 

Paul uses the following to explain this:

v.1-3 – The gift of tongues while useful to communicate is a waste without Godly love

v.4-7 – No matter the turmoil Godly love endures

v. 8-13 – Godly love is eternal 

In our text today v.6-7, Paul makes six (6) points:

      • Godly love never finds joy in doing wrong (iniquity)
      • Godly love DOES find joy no matter how difficult in truth
      • Godly love has no limit (beareth all) 
      • Godly love believes all. Christians are not to be gullible but to compare all things against GOd’s Holy Word.
      • Godly love hopes for all things that are the promises made by God to His elect. 
      • Godly love can endure all things that are burdensome, tempting, and otherwise contrary to the flesh.  John Gill says of this: that are disagreeable to the flesh; all afflictions, tribulations, temptations, persecutions, and death itself, for the elect’s sake, for the sake of the Gospel, and especially for the sake of Christ Jesus.

Are you using your gifts today with Godly Love?

Today’s Prayer:

Father God, I pray today that you will help me to put selfishness away and always seek to do all things with the Agape love that the Apostle Paul speaks about in First Corinthians 13.  Help me daily to be the servant in your Army that can do your will for your Glory. – AMEN 

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 02/10/2021

Image result for Rom. 13:8

Romans 13

As you have seen me write for years CONTEXT is everything and our text for today is no exception.  Romans 13 begins with Paul telling the reader that all civil authority is appointed by God and to resist them is to resist God v.1-2.

 We should submit to human government because they are God-appointed and it is the right thing to do. We must honor them with their due (respect, taxes, etc.) v.3-7. Note Paul does not, and neither will I here,  address something he encountered and many if not all of us have faced in our own lives, corrupt or at least un-Godly governments. 

What I wish to address today is the misapplication of v.8.  Some have built an entire doctrine around this one phrase, Owe no man anything…  If in context Paul had gone on to say do not be indebted to man for anything, or do not take out loans or something but NOWHERE is that even suggested in the bible.  Folks, maybe you are just better or richer than me but I have loans. My goal the biblical mandate is to be a Faithful Steward of all God has given. 

What Paul is saying is do not forfeit any debt, that any and all debts should be paid on time and the greatest debt we owe is to love one another just as Jesus loved us. In doing so we fulfill the law for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 

Today’s Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for all which you have created and entrusted to our care as stewards. In our personal finances, Lord, give us the wisdom to manage money wisely as Faithful Stewards and to practice heartfelt generosity. As we live each day, help us to love one another as you command thereby fulfilling your law through Christ Jesus our Lord. – Amen

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 02/09/2021

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Deuteronomy 6

This chapter can be divided into two sections v.1-9 where Moses lays down the commandments or laws which God has given him and v.10-25 where the people are encouraged or exhorted to obey the laws. 

In the verse preceding our main text God tells Moses to bring a warning;  Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, ... bondage.  We too would be wise to heed this warning daily, for has not Christ brought us from the bondage to sin and the damnation of eternal death? Does not society today do all it can to persuade you to forget Christ and all His teaching? 

Our text today has three keywords:

Fear: Not a fear of fright or that of a slave to master (although quite appropriate) but with reverence and awe, an endearment for He who has rescued you from damnation. 

Serve:  Because we have such an affection for God, because of all He has done for us we serve Him, willingly with zeal in worship in public and in private. 

Swear:  Anytime a “Christian” makes an oath, he represents God. His oath, therefore, is as swearing or attesting in the name of God. There is no higher form of accountability than before the one true and living God.  In reality, anytime a believer takes actions of any kind it is his testimony, his mark, his oath of whom he is and therefore he is swearing, his oath to God. 

Today’s Prayer:

Father God, 

I know I fall short daily to live up to the potential you have for me help me each day to remember and never forget your great work in rescuing a sinner like me.  Give me the understanding and grace to fear and serve you with a humble heart and always represent you in a manner worthy of your oath. – AMEN

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 02/02/2021

4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:
5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Deuteronomy 6:4-5

Deuteronomy 6

I have had some argue that these verses do not apply to “New Testament” Christians, how foolish and wrong can one be? Jesus himself in Matthew 5:17-20 says Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil…

While we can or at least all should agree we are not under the old covenant law (no one except Jesus could live up to its standard) we should still follow the moral precepts laid out by the LAW including that of our text. 

In context Chapter 6 is all about obedience to God.  In v.1-3, Moses declares that the people must be attentive and follow the laws of God. 

Then he gives the why in v.4. Because The Lord our God is one Lord: (KJV)  a better or easier way to reads this would be because the Lord you God is the only TRUE God.  John Gill in his commentary says the one self and all-sufficient, and perfect Being.

What is our response to such a God, the creator of the heavens and the earth? Moses says in v.5, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and with all your soul and with all your strength [your entire being] (AMP).  Sound familiar? It should to all those who read the New Testament too, Jesus is asked in Matthew 22:36-40 what is the Greatest Commandment and replies with something very similar. Does God, the one true God, omnipotent, omniscience, and omnipresent Triune God deserve anything less? 

Are you fully committed to loving God today?  Pray with me…

Dear Lord, 

Help me daily to LOVE You with all my heart, soul, mind, and might that I may honor and glorify You in all I do. AMEN

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 02/01/2021

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Romans 6:15-23

Even mentioning the word “slave” or “slavery” in America today can get you branded as a racist or white supremacist. 

Yet the Bible makes it VERY clear if you are a “TRUE CHRISTAIN” you are a slave to God.  Here in context, Paul writes about the choice we have as believers to be slaves to the old self, sin, and the law or as “true believers” to Christ and Holiness. 

While no one likes to think of themselves as “slaves” Paul says here and in other passages of scripture Colossians 1:7, 2 Timothy 2:24, 1 Peter 2:16, 2 Peter 1:1  the slave, bond-servant is the acceptable role for Christians. We are indebted to Christ for Calvary v.22 But now since you have been set free from sin and should become [willing] slaves to God…

Why become slaves to Christ? A slave MUST obey his master’s orders in this case the benefit for obedience is GREAT;  you have your benefit, resulting in sanctification [being made holy and set apart for God’s purpose], and the outcome [of this] is eternal life.

Are you a committed Slave to Christ and Holiness or still serving the Law and Sin? 

Father, we thank You for the Word. It is such a joy to our hearts and such a treasure to our souls. We pray, Lord, that as we think about these things, we might rejoice in the fact that before the world began, before the foundation of the world, You determined to set Your love upon us, make us Your slaves, and raise us to be sons who would share Your eternal throne. What a privilege; we thank You for this privilege and make us to be faithful and one day to hear, “Well done, good and faithful slave.” Amen. – John MacArthur


What does it mean to be a servant of Christ?

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 01/28/2021

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Revelation 3:7-13

I will not attempt to get into a  LONG discussion as to why this is NOT about an escape plan (rapture) Standard for Churchesfor Christians. Suffice it to say most modern renderings and interpretations do not do the original Greek or context justice (See Below).

What is important is the fact that the Lord singles out the Church at Philadelphia for their endurance (KJV= Word of Patience, NASB = Perseverance). There is no negativity imposed upon this church, only praise and the promise of reward(s). 

My question today is simple, would your church meet the standard of the church of Philadelphia? Would you? 

Pray with me that God would preserve us till the day he calls us home to Glory or He returns:

Lord, deliver me from every evil work and preserve me to thy heavenly kingdom, 2 Timothy 4:18(KJV) being kept from falling, that I may be presented faultless at the coming of thy glory, with exceeding joy. Jude 1:24(KJV)

Lord, make me to increase and abound in love, towards your people and towards all men, that my heart may be established unblameable in holiness before God, even my Father, at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13(KJV)

If Satan desires to have me that he may sift me as wheat, yet let Christ’s intercession prevail for me, that my faith fail not. Luke 22:31-32(KJV)

Till I am taken out of the world, let me be kept from the evil, John 17:15(KJV) and sanctified through thy truth: thy word is truth. John 17:17(KJV)

Build me up, I pray thee, in my most holy faith, and keep me in the love of God, looking for the mercy of my Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Jude 1:20-21(KJV)

Grant that I may continue to call upon thee as long as I live, Psalm 116:2(KJV) and till I die may I never remove my integrity from me; and that my righteousness I may hold fast, and never let it go, and my heart may not reproach me so long as I live. Job 27:5-6(KJV)

OTHER RESOURCES:

Does Revelation 3:10 Teach an “Any Moment” Rapture?

John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible