Daily Devotional – I AM GOD

11 I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.
12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God. Isaiah 43:11-12

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT

Here in Chapter 43 of Isaiah we find God proclaiming Israel’s redemption v.1-7, then about Israel being witnesses to God’s redeeming salvation v.8-13.

Verse 10 sets up our text today: You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord,
“And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me
And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. Israel (like all who come to Christ) are God’s chosen witnesses to Him being the great I AM 


BREAKDOWN

11 I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour. –   Again God repeat the affirmation that He is the great I AM of Exodus 3:15; then adds as a reminder that He is the (only) source of their salvation Exodus 6:6-7 , Exodus 14:13-14 

 12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God. – 

God in past times (thing Abraham, Moses, Etc.) declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, that no other (strange) god’s help in my efforts to save Israel; 

Because of this (therefore) I call upon you to be witnesses to my greatness and glory to the ends of the earth declaring; that I am God.


APPLICATION: 

Many folks are AFRAID to share God’s word to be Witnesses for the Kingdom.  The Jesus, the Apostle Paul and Peter all  make it clear we should never be ashamed of sharing the Good News. 

As we noted yesterday Daily Devotional – A Lightthis does not mean shoving our faith down someone’s throat but being ever ready to answer questions and share the pure Gospel as opportunities present themselves. 

If you are an Evangelist you openly and continually share the Gospel, that is what you have been called by God to do.  Most of us are not called to be Evangelists, but we are all called to be a witness  (Matthew 28-18-20) for the kingdom. 

So another simple question for today; are you prepared to Witness, to answer questions and share the pure Gospel as opportunities present themselves? 


Resources:

Evangelism vs. Witnessing
The Great I AM
What did Jesus mean when He said ‘I AM’?

Over 4 in 10 American Christians say Bible is ‘ambiguous’ on abortion

Many “Christians” claim there is little need for seminaries and proper studying of the Word of God. This is the result of such foolishness; a generation that has no clue what that Word really says.  – Mike

A pro-abortion activist yells at pro-life supporters (not pictured) in front of the Supreme Court during the National March for Life rally in Washington January 22, 2016. The rally marks the 43rd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 abortion ruling in Roe v. Wade. | Reuters/Gary Cameron

Over four in 10 American Christians believe the Bible is “ambiguous” on abortion, according to the Cultural Research Center of Arizona Christian University.

The findings, released Tuesday, are part of the CRC’s American Worldview Inventory 2020 survey.

Conducted by CRC Director of Research George Barna, a noted evangelical pollster, the report found that 44% of respondents said they believe the Bible “is ambiguous in its teaching about abortion,” while 34% said “abortion is morally acceptable if it spares the mother from financial or emotional discomfort or hardship.”

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Daily Devotional – Perspectives

Isaiah 26:10-11 – Linda's Bible Study

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

The 26th Chapter of Isaiah is a Song of Praise. Many bible headings have different interpretations of what the “theme” or subject of the Song is, I tend to agree with some of the old scholars in that it is a Song dedicated to the well being and prosperity of the church along with the ruining of its enemies

The church, Israel, God’s chosen, are represented by a strong city v.1,  it is said to have strong (impenetrable) gates which are open to all who are righteous v.2. Here in they (we) can find perfect peace v.3, by trusting in the Lord v.4. 

If anyone thinks himself lofty and more sovereign than God, He will surely bring them down v.5-6 For the path of the chosen is one of righteousness and God judges those travels v.7.  In fact your people have waited and prayed for you oh Lord to make straight our path of righteousness that we may follow you v.8-9.  


BREAKDOWN: 

Let favour be shewed to the wicked, –  Various Bibles translate this differently and I think it changes the meaning (to those who do not thoroughly study) for example: 

AMP: Though the wicked is shown compassion and favor,

ESV: If favor is shown to the wicked

NKJV: Let grace be shown to the wicked

How often is the case that the wicked unrepentant we see in life seem to have it all while we struggle?  What do we do about it? Curse them, that is wish ill upon their favor or pray for their good fortune and repentance. I hope the later.  Isaiah would seem to have us ask for favor to be shown upon our enemies (context) how often do we ask for that? 

yet will he not learn righteousness: –  Isaiah points out that no matter how much of God’s Grace some folks get, their hearts are to harden to accept the free gift of God’s Love that goes along with it.  This does not mean we stop trying to share the Good News or pray for them. 

in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, –  These unrighteous men (and women) will continue to deal unrighteously for a time here on earth. Those who are openly rebellious against God’s word need our intervention (prayer) more than ever. 

and will not behold the majesty of the Lord. –  Do not get discouraged in our efforts some folks no matter how hard we try,  will continue to deny what is clearly before their eyes, the majesty of the Lord. 


APPLICATION:

Isiah is clearly writing about two different Perspectives on Life.

One from the standpoint of God’s chosen people, His elect born again  whom will spend eternity in Heaven. These see reason even during life’s troubling times to Praise Him and Glorify His name forever.

The other from those who are blinded by their own self (pride). They deny what is easy to see in front of them and make up every excuse to not seek the truth. 

The question(s) for today are what Perspective on Life do you have?  Do you see the MAJESTY of God before you today? 

Romans 1:18-20

Thanks to LP, Jr. for the idea behind today's devotional

Grace to You Series – Why Evil Flourishes

This 3 part series, first published in January of 2017, answers many of the common questions—asked today by believers and unbelievers alike—about why evil flourishes in this world while God remains sovereign over it. -ed.

The Problem of Evil

The Truth About Evil

For His Glory and Our Good

 

Saturday’s Military Devotional – FEAR

Isaiah 43:1 Fear Not I Have Redeemed You (brown)

CSB and RVR 1960 


CONTEXT:

Fear strikes everyone, those who deny it are either LIARS or so full of themselves they are just plain to STUPID to recognize the truth. 

Today many in America and around the world are “afraid” of the COVID-19 virus. While there was at the beginning reason for concern, I would argue the Biblically fear should not have been and certainly should not continue trouble the hearts and minds of majority of people. 

The following is from a good friend LP, Jr. it’s point is simple we have been force fed FEAR via the media over the past 20 years and the results have always been the same. 

Even with lists like this, I would argue that the following personnel have more to “fear” daily that most Americans do in a lifetime:

Members of the Armed Forces

Law Enforcement 

Fire Fighters

EMT’s

Infectious Disease Health Care Workers 

Yet the daily doom and gloom of today’s news and the hardships of these occupations is still no reason to let fear control your life. 

Isaiah begins Chapter 43 with one of the Bibles famous, Now this… rendered But now… in the KJV and many others. This signifies that all that proceeded, so let us look back at the end of Chapter 42 for a moment. The God; through Isaiah in short says Israel you have been deaf dumb and blind to all I have done for you. Is there not any among you (a remnant) who hears? Beware the (Fear) wrath of God. 


BREAKDOWN:

But now – Forgetting the past, this small phrase which connects us to the previous Chapter also delineates the break in God’s wrath and the renewal of His Grace and Mercy 

thus saith the Lord –  So there can be no doubt whom is speaking Isaiah uses a much used and common biblical phrase

that created thee, O Jacob, – God reminds the Jewish peoples that He alone is the Creator King

and he that formed thee, O Israel, – I am convinced (like many others) that this is a reference to Gentiles

Fear not: – What is there to FEAR? God’s wrath, for their (Jewish Nations) constant disobedience. True Fear is not whatever harm can come to this temporal body but whatever punishment could befall it in eternity. Matthew 10:27-29

for I have redeemed thee, –  First God gave them the reason, He formed them, now the promise He has redeemed thee (them) from the fear of eternal punishment. No matter the circumstance, (Jerusalem being destroyed, COVID-19, War Zone, Riots) Christ has won the victory and is the antidote for Fear. 

I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. –  John Gill comments on this as follows: 

I have called thee by thy name; with an effectual calling, which is of particular persons, and those by name, even the same that are redeemed by Christ; for whom he has redeemed by his precious blood, they are called by the grace of God to special blessings of grace, with a high, holy, and heavenly calling; and have no reason to fear anything, since they are the chosen of God; have a right to all spiritual blessings; all things work together for their good; they shall persevere to the end, and at last be brought to glory, to which they are called:

thou art mine; such as are redeemed by Christ, and called by his grace, they are his Father’s gift, and his own purchase; they voluntarily give up themselves to him, under the influence of his Spirit and grace; they are his by profession and possession; they are his portion, people, sheep, and spouse; and his interest in them, and theirs in him, serve to prevent fear; such need not fear wanting anything, nor any enemy, nor perishing, or miscarrying of heaven and happiness, to which fears they are subject.


APPLICATION:

In the military during the chaos of combat operation there are usually three kinds of responses; 

FEARFUL here we have the person who just can not handle the complete and utter chaos and carnage that happens. Whether its the noise, the swiftness of operations, the shooting something triggers them to shut down. 

RAMBUL You do do not see a lot of these folks, but every once in a while some huckster gets all worked up on their first operation and thinks they are Rambo, the result is not usually healthy.  

HELPFUL This is g the soldier that lets their training kick in, follows orders and gets the job done. Are the scared, yeah, combat is no joke, but they are not going to let their battle buddies down. 

We have a choice, we can let FEAR paralyze us. We can let it play games with our minds and convince ourselves that we have much to fear when the only true fear is our eternal state. Can you identify your fears? If so what is you chief fear? Do you know where you will spend eternity?  Isaiah 41:10 says: 

Do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.

What is there to fear when God has us in His palm?  


Today’s Questions:

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on FEAR

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I start living it out today?

 

Daily Devotional – Approved Workman

Church PowerPoint Template: A Workman Approved - SermonCentral.com

2 Timothy 2:14-16

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

This is Paul’s Second Epistle to Timothy and most agree it is written near his death. It is both a letter of encouragement for a job well done and a warning to always be on guard. 

Chapter 2 begins with Paul telling Timothy to be strong, continuously empowered by God’s grace. To focus on Christ and Him risen from the dead as King of Kings. For the eternity is what we seek not temporal things. (v.1-13)

That brings us to our main text. Here the theme(s) are apparent from the start:

Never Be ashamed of the Gospel

Study God’s Word

God approves His chosen Workers

Avoid unnecessary (unwise and useless) speech


BREAKDOWN:

v.15Never Ashamed, Approved Workman

Study to shew thyself –  In yesterday’s Devotional Who’s Approval, we asked the question who were you seeking the approval of for your actions? God or Man. Here again Paul instructs Timothy to in the same manner; he is to Study literally Greek, Spoudazo, to exert one’s self, endeavour, give diligence.  In other words Timothy is to make every effort humanly possible to be…

approved unto God, –  acceptable or pleasing unto God

a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, – Timothy is charged with being a worker, a servant of Christ, the work is Sharing the Good News of Christ the Gospel. He must be an approved worker, never ashamed of the work or his doings to spread it. 

rightly dividing – cutting straight to the core or marrow, to hold to the truth and teach it without wavering no matter the consequences. 

the word of truth. – What is taught by God, nothing more nothing less, not man’s interpretation, but God’s. 


APPLICATION:

I have said it what seems like a million times “It is never about me (us) it is always about God.”  It is the Gospel of Christ plainly written in the bible, not watered down to some feel good message for man, but the one God wrote through man. 

To be an Approved Workman, we can never compromise the written Word of God in any manner! We do not get to pick and choose what verse we will preach and teach or skip over, which ones we will ignore and which ones we will change to our liking. God is abundantly clear on this matter from the beginning Deuteronomy 4:2 to the end Revelation 22:18-19 man is warned not to mess with God’s Word. Yet, there are hundreds, no thousands of unapproved workman out there sharing their version of the gospel. 

That is why I continue to encourage everyone to be a Berean, do not believe or trust a single think I write, your Pastor says, and certainly not those TV or Radio “Evangelists.”  Do your own due diligence and be your own Approved Workman, verifying the things we preach, teach and write. 

Daily Devotional – Known Fruit

Is Judging Always Wrong? - FaithGateway

AMP and RVR 1960 


CONTEXT:

The other day I was watching some political commentary on TV about the upcoming election. There were two participants in the discussion (plus the host) one a syndicated conservative commentator himself and the other a former chief aid to Chuck Shumer. 

Somehow the subject matter got around to abortion and the conservative made a remark something to the effect ‘VP Biden calls himself a Catholic but supports Abortion on demand’ to which the former Schumer aid responded; ‘How dare you question Mr. Biden’s Faith.’

I had two immediate observations: 1) He (the Schumer aid, sidestepped answering the question and 2) He (a non-believer I think) immediately imposed Matthew 7:1-5 upon the the other guy. 

Since I have Previously posted on Matthew 7:1-5, Is Judgment Always Forbidden?,The Most Popular Bible Verse Among Unbelievers, The Whole Counsel of God;  suffice it to say that Biblical Judgement (Discernment) is warranted  at all times and Mr. Schumer’s former aid should know better than to try and deflect answers. 

I will concentrate today instead on a much neglected (my opinion) aspect of our faith, that is How can we tell if someone is saved or not?

Most Bibles are sectioned off somewhat around Matthew 7:15-20 with a Heading of A Tree and Its Fruit. Here the theme is knowing the difference between TRUE FOLLOWERS and FALSE PROPHETS, we will know both by the fruit or works of God they bear. 


BREAKDOWN:

Ye shall – In v.15 Jesus said theses False Prophets would disguise themselves as gentle, innocent sheep. But YOU can see through their camouflage and distractions. 

know them by their fruits. – All false prophets lack Good Fruit. Oh they got fruit, it is just rotten to the core. It goes against the very Word of God. 

Do men gather – When you are hungry Physically or Spiritually, mankind will gather almost anything to eat. 

grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? – But even the most suborn and foolish should know enough that while Grapes and Figs are Good to eat, the little berries found on thorn and thistle bushes are not. Yet false prophets will lead men to these time and again. 


APPLICATION:

Thistles and Thorns can never never produce fruit, it is not in their nature. The same is true for those who claim to be children of God but are just great pretenders or as Jesus said Wolves in Cheeps Clothing. 

Is our “Judging” others Faith Biblical and Important? In a word YES! James dedicates most of Chapter 2:14-26 to the subject. Someone can claim to be whatever they want, in my example above Joe Biden claims to be a practicing Catholic but is pro-abortion, but if their lives (Fruits) do not bare witness to that claim they are Liars and False Prophets.  

The Apostle John in his 1st Epistle 2:3-6 makes the same point only this time with an inward focus. Are we really children of God that we claim? Are we working for the Kingdom or our own Glory? 

As always we need to take in the Whole Counsel of God and no go off half Cocked and start accusing and aggressively pointing fingers at everyone claiming they are False Prophets. Matthew 7 is part of the Sermon on the Mount and earlier in that Sermon Jesus said  “Blessed [inwardly peaceful, spiritually secure, worthy of respect] are the [b]gentle [the kind-hearted, the sweet-spirited, the self-controlled], for they will inherit the earth. 

The Bible clearly teaches we need to be bold and point out the false prophets but doing so with a gentle spirit of humility that shows Christ in us. We need only the Word of God to be our weapon of choice and we need only use it in a manner that mortally wounds the sin while bringing peace to man. 

What type of Fruit are you known by?

 

Saturday’s Military Devotional – Strongholds

Why Did Castles Have Moats? | Wonderopolis

 

Psalm 9:9

AMP and RVR 1960

 


CONTEXT:

Whenever I think of a stronghold, the image of a medieval castle seems to pop up. These fortresses were designed to withstand long sieges by an enemy while providing protection for King or Nobleman’s and troops, as well as refuge for the neighboring villagers. 

The structures were intentionally built with many features to be as defensible and impenetrable as possible. With thick walls, narrow windows and firing slits, tall towers and even moats they were designed to withstand months (3-6) long sieges. 

Of course as technology evolved the defensibly of these structures became less and less for their original intent. However one can never underestimate, even in the modern battlefield, the need for a good Stronghold that provides Refuge from incoming enemy attack.  


BREAKDOWN:  

The Lord also will be a refuge –  The Hebrew word translated by the KJV and many others as refuge is Misgab, mis-gawb’,  It has the sense of a secure (high) place, retreat, refuge, or Stronghold. 

Note the object of the Stronghold is God Himself. All other strongholds will eventually crumble at the hands of technology or man’s own unregenerate heart. Only God Almighty can provide that impenetrable Stronghold

for the oppressed, – Whom does God provide this Stronghold for? The oppressed, that is the weak, the lowly, those without self and power.  The high and mighty, arrogant and egotistical need not apply. 

a refuge in times of trouble. – When evil surrounds God’s children, He is there to provide that Refuge from incoming enemy fire. Whether is be the fiery darts of Satan or the raging insults, injustices or persecutions from our neighbors; God provides the only true impenetrable Stronghold.


APPLICATION: 

Everyone builds Forts? Since I was a little kid my friends and I were always finding a way to build a “Fort” in the nearby woods, or empty lot. It was our Stronghold and we would defend it against any dragoon or girl that happened upon it. 

In the Army the strongholds were sometimes as simple as a foxhole and many times much more elaborate as FOB’s (Forward Operating Bases). The principle was the same, build something defensible and maintain the defense. 

For Christians the same applies. Sometimes life just plain sucks. Even for true Christians, we will go through periods of turmoil and turbulence that can be very unsettling. That is why God tells us we do not need to build our own StrongholdYou see He already prepared one for us. All we need to do is enter into that covenant that gains us entry into the only true impenetrable Stronghold. 

 


Today’s Questions:

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on Strongholds

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I start living it out today?

Take up your cross and follow Me?

Question:
“What did Jesus mean when He said, “Take up your cross and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23)?”

Answer:

 Let’s begin with what Jesus didn’t mean. Many people interpret “cross” as some burden they must carry in their lives: a strained relationship, a thankless job, a physical illness. With self-pitying pride, they say, “That’s my cross I have to carry.” Such an interpretation is not what Jesus meant when He said, “Take up your cross and follow Me.”…

READ MORE

 

Daily Devotional – Right Attitude

No alternative text description for this image

Philippians 2:13

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

Hudson Taylor was a missionary to China from the mid 1800’s until his death in 1905. His personal commitment to the mission was great, (some say too much so) as many of his family dies as a result. One thing Hudson new was nothing he did or accomplished was of his own doing, it was God working through him.  

Many folks today want to skip over this verse and make the claim that; Philippians 4:13 “I (They) can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”.  In many circles this has become a rallying cry for health and prosperity, but does it really mean that? 

The answer is an emphatic NO! (See Can We Really Do All Things Through Christ?) Those who would and are teaching such are either ignorant or heretics. Either way it is dangerous to toil with the Holy Word of God. 

As always neglecting to take in the Whole Counsel of God is poor bible exegesis and why eisegesis is such a danger to true interpretation and right explanation of scripture. Consider the examples here from Philippians; one would think anyone really interested in getting to the truth of God’s Word, would at least read the context of the Chapter. If you read Chapter 4 It starts with “Therefore”  meaning we need to go back to Chapter 3, which starts with “Finally”  begging the question finally what? So we are headed to Chapter 2, and on it goes, the Whole Counsel at a minimum of what Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit intended.


BREAKDOWN:

For it is God – It is God, all about God always about God and NEVER ABOUT US, 

which worketh – He alone does the work, we are powerless to do good apart from Christ

in you – He just uses us as the instrument to accomplish He works; Our strength (Phil 4:13) is insufficient to do anything 

both to will – Any and all good we do is because of God’s will, that is He works in us to desire to serve Him righteously

and to do of his good pleasure. – and for His good pleasure, that is obediently serving His will for our lives and submitting as a bondservant to His working through us


 

APPLICATION:

The Forerunner Commentary has the following on this verse: But we should understand that He gives us the desire and power to accomplish His will, not our pleasures. 

Hudson Taylor understood the servants relationship with God. He gave up asking for help or asking if he could help finally getting the Right Attitude by submitting and asking God to work through him.

Today we all face the same questions. We may not be Hudson Taylor’s serving on foreign mission fields but we all have our own personal mission field, whether its at home, work, school it does not matter. The questions are simple:

Are you asking God to work through you today? 

Are you asking God for the desire and power to accomplish His will, not our pleasures.