SUNDAY SERMON SERIES – “NOW”

8 Bible verses about A Time Of Salvation

2 Corinthians 6

¹Second Corinthians 6 is set up by the message of God’s grace for sinners as spelled it out in the previous chapter. Paul begs the Corinthians not to receive it in vain v.1-2. He declares that he and his team have done nothing to keep them from believing in Christ v.3-10. Parallel to this, he commands the Corinthians not to be harnessed to unbelievers v.11-18. This leads to a passionate discussion of affliction and comfort in chapter 7.

Today’s sermon(s) are from verse 2

SERMON

Now

Charles Haddon Spurgeon / December 4, 1864 / Scripture: 2 Corinthians 6:2 From: Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Volume 10


 

Other Resources and Sermons:

The Day of Salvation / Charles Haddon Spurgeon / January 13, 1878 / Scripture: 2 Corinthians 6:2

¹ Adapted from BibleRef.Com

 

Praying with Fervency

Today instead of my writing a devotional I thought I would share this one from the teaching of John MacArthurDrawing Near was published back in the 1990s and is definitely a great read. 

Praying with Fervency

“I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes” (Dan. 9:3).
The more you understand God’s holiness, the more you’ll recognize your own sinfulness.

People view prayer differently. For some it is a last resort after all human options have been exhausted: “All I can do now is pray for you!” Others liken it to a spiritual spare tire—something used only in the event of an emergency. Many who should thrive on prayer have been lulled into complacency by an affluent and godless society.

Daniel, however, saw prayer as an opportunity to express the passion and fervency of his heart to the God he loved and served. In Daniel 9:3 he says, “I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him.” That implies he set apart a specific time to devote to thoughtful, earnest, and fervent prayer. That is further supported by the way he prepared himself through fasting and donning sackcloth and ashes—symbols of humility and deep contrition over sin.

It might seem unusual for a man of Daniel’s spiritual stature to be overwhelmed by his sense of sin, but the closer one draws to God, the more aware he is of his sinfulness. We see that in Paul, who called himself the foremost of all sinners (1 Tim. 1:15). That might seem like a ridiculous statement to us but Paul saw sin for what it was. So did Daniel.

The title “Lord God” in verse 3 emphasizes God’s sovereign rule over all things. Daniel knew that God had permitted the Babylonian Captivity and that He alone could deliver His people from it. Consequently, Daniel gave the Lord his undivided attention as he prayed and sought mercy for himself and his people.

Daniel’s fervency is a rebuke to much of the flippancy we hear in prayer today. It was profound because it was generated by God’s Word and grounded in His will.

James 5:16 says, “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (KJV). Be like Daniel—a righteous person who prays fervently with great effect.

Suggestions for Prayer

      • Ask God to give you a greater sense of fervency in prayer.
      • Be sensitive to any sin that might be hindering your prayers.

For Further Study

Read Luke 11:5-13

      • What parable did Jesus tell to illustrate the benefits of humble, persistent prayer?
      • How did Jesus contrast earthly fathers with their heavenly Father?

 

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.

 

 

 

One in Six Gen Z-ers “Identify” as LGBT

Let us be real this is SIN, that being said it is not smart or morally correct for “Christians” to take an in-your-face approach to condemn this sin. In the end, as the authors said: Reality eventually wins. This means that Christians have actual good news to offer a culture helplessly obsessed with but thoroughly confused about sex. Let us be there as Paul said in Ephesians: But speaking the truth in love [in all things—both our speech and our lives expressing His truth], let us grow up in all things into Him [following His example] who is the Head—Christ.

 

BreakPoint Daily

One in Six Gen Z-ers “Identify” as LGBT

sad-lonely-depressed-asian-woman-on-sofa-at-home-FBS6CNV

If the last two Presidential elections, the last midterm elections, and every exit poll ever conducted can teach us anything, it’s to not put too much faith in polling. Still, a new Gallup poll released last month deserves a serious look. In a remarkable jump from prior years, one in six adult members of Gen Z (that is, ages 18 to 24) self-identify as LGBT.

READ MORE > > 

 

Victims, Inc

American Greatness logo

Victims, Inc.

On both a personal and societal level, victimhood is truly deadly. Nonetheless, our culture celebrates it.

Victim chic has taken over the culture and the political narrative.

All we seem to hear day in and day out are excuses as to why someone or some group can’t make it in America. We are told why they are held back; impeded or deprived of their rights and deserve compensation, government handouts, special treatment, or even reparations for events that happened hundreds of years ago…

READ MORE > >

 

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 03/05/2021

Logos.com

Ezra 9 

Chapter nine can be divided into two sections. In v.1-4  Ezra cries out for the sins of the Jews. In v.5-14 he confesses their sins against the most Holy God. This brings us to our text for today v.15, Ezra’s final plea is amazing in its simplicity and truth. It is also so appropriate for today.

I know some of you are thinking, how can the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the sinful remnant there applicable to those in the world (especially the U.S.) today.  What was Israel’s great sin?  It was their continual rebellion against God (to be expected in natural man)  and the failure of the chosen to act. 

Yesterday I had the privilege of praying outside a Waffle House in Peral, MS with my good friend Gary “Shepard” Burd.  We played God Bless America,  read 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, Prayed for America, and sang Amazing Grace there in the parking lot.

It was our way of acknowledging  (as Ezra) the sins of America, and as Ezra, our way of declaring the remnant is here Lord, we understand we are so unworthy because of the sins of our nation, but please hear our prayers.

We chose to act. How about you? 

TODAY’S PRAYER

Lord God, Sovereign ruler of all the heavens and earth, we declare that we have sinned so greatly against you that we are completely without excuse and undeserving of any mercy. Your remnant is here to serve you, Lord, to Act, on your behalf, send your Spirit to guide our path that we do what you have called us to do and may honor and glorify you in our duties. – Amen


 

Hawker’s Poor Man’s Commentary – Ezra 9:15

Devotional thought for Today – 03/04/2021

Logos.com

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 – 30/03/2021

Isaiah 55:8 - “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither...

Isaiah 55

Isaiah 55 can be divided into two sections:

Verses 1-7: God’s free gift of salvation is offered to all who will receive it. Those who are spiritually hungry and thirsty may come to eat and drink “without money” (or freely). He promises an “everlasting covenant” to the Gentiles like the one He established with Israel. His invitation to all men is clearly stated by the appeal, “Seek ye the Lord” and “call ye upon him.”

Verses 8-13: God’s sovereignty and omniscience are extolled by the statement that His “thoughts” (i.e., purposes and intentions), and “ways” (derakim, or “directions”), are “higher” than ours.  –https://bible-studys.org/index.html

Our text for today comes from the latter, v.8-9, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LordFor as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

A few years ago an interesting press release hit my inbox, citing a recent survey by the Barna Research Group. It seems most folks do not know that some of their favorite biblical quotes aren’t actually from the Bible. See how much you know—which of these famous phrases is found nowhere in scripture:

“To thine own self be true.”

“God helps those who help themselves.”

“The truth will set you free.”

“God works in mysterious ways.”

The only phrase above that is in the Bible is “the truth will set you free,” in the Gospel of John. According to Barna’s poll, only 24% of adults knew that.

So what does that have to do with today’s devotional?  How many times have you heard folks say the last one? Hundreds, maybe more, so unbiblical.  Let us look at a few points:

God’s ways are different and better Proverbs 14:12

His knowledge is boundless and ours limited Psalm 147:5 

The mystery is to those outside the faith 1 Corinthians 2:6-16

The great mystery is revealed to the saints Colossians 1:26, 2 Timothy 2:15

When we say or agree with someone saying “God works in mysterious ways” we are acknowledging that God’s will can not be known for our lives.  That the God of the bible is unpersonable, unrelatable, and by proxy uncaring. I don’t know about y’all but that is definitely not the God I read about in my collection of Bible’s no matter the translation. 

TODAY’S PRAYER

Lord God, I come to you today denying that you are a God that can not be known, that all your works are mysteries and we are but puppets in this life.  You promise to instruct me (Ps 32:8) in your ways and watch over me to ensure my walk, I pray your Holy Spirit will guide my path daily.  Grant me the ability to serve in your will daily, with understanding and compassion. – AMEN


What is the mystery of God referred to in the Bible?

Devotional Thought for Today – 03/02/2021

Logos.com

Philippians 1

Chapter 1 includes a brief introduction (Philippians 1:1–2) followed by three key sections. First, Paul gives thanks and prayer on behalf of the Philippian Christians (Philippians 1:3–11). Second, he focuses on the expansion of the gospel (Philippians 1:12–18). Third, he emphasizes that, for the believer, to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:19–30). Along the way, Paul explains that how the Christian life is a reflection of what they set their mind on. He stresses the importance of rejoicing and joy and connects the faith to concepts such as glory.¹

Our text for today comes from the last section. Prior paul speaks about suffering for Christ. In one of the most quoted verses, v.21, Paul says For to me, to live is Christ [He is my source of joy, my reason to live] and to die is gain [for I will be with Him in eternity].  Paul seems to be saying here I have much to do for the Kingdom on earth but yearn to leave this suffering behind. 

This leads to his emphasis on our text. The keywords are “STRIVE TOGETHER.”  Interestingly these words Greek, Sunathleo, soon-ath-leh’-o, are used only by Paul and only here and Philippians 4:3Both infer living a life worthy of Christ and the Gospel but even more, the meaning invokes a  fighting spirit of togetherness for the advancement of those goals. 

What are you doing to fight the fight today?

TODAY’S PRAYER

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word of truth and the Foundation upon Whom we stand – the gospel of Christ crucified. I pray that I may keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace and conduct myself in a manner that is worthy of the gospel of Christ. I pray for all my brothers and sisters in Christ and ask that together we may stand firm in one spirit, with one mind – striving together for the faith of the gospel. I pray I will always be in remembrance of those who fight the good fight of faith praying diligently for them and for those who oppose us.  – to Your praise and glory, in Jesus name, I pray, AMEN

 Adapted from Source:

 

 

 


¹ https://www.bibleref.com/Philippians/1/Philippians-chapter-1.html

Devotional Thought for Today – 03/01/2021

25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. 26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. Psalm 73:25-26

PSALM 73

 Curiously enough this Seventy-third Psalm corresponds in subject with the Thirty-seventh: it will help the memory of the young to notice the reversed figures. The theme is that ancient stumbling block of good men, which Job’s friends could not get over; viz. –the present prosperity of wicked men and the sorrows of the godly. Heathen philosophers have puzzled themselves about this, while to believers it has too often been a temptation. – C.H. Spurgeon

In studying our main text today v.26,  it is helpful to also read v.25; Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. 26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.

You will note that I emphasized the word “heart” if you follow this blog you will note that yesterday’s Sunday Sermon Series was entitled The Heart of the Matter.   Regardless of what society and all the self-help gurus would have us believe, it is every man’s heart that will always let him down.  Conversely, it is God and God alone that can and will always revive man’s heart. 

 Samuel Blackerby the Puritan preacher of the 17th Century comments are some of the best I have ever read on this verse: 

My flesh and my heart faileth; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. In which words we may take notice of five things.

1. The order inverted. When he mentions his malady he begins with the failing of the flesh, and then of the heart, but when he reports the relief he begins with that of the heart. From hence observe that when God works a cure in man (out of love) he begins with the heart–he cures that first. And there may be these reasons for it.

a. Because the sin of the heart is often the procuring cause of the malady of body and soul.

b. The body ever fares the better for the soul, but not the soul for the body.

c. The cure of the soul is the principal cure.

2. The suitableness of the remedy to the malady. Strength of heart for failing of heart, and a blessed portion for the failing of the flesh. Observe, that there is a proportionate remedy and relief in God for all maladies and afflictions whatsoever, both within and without. If your hearts fail you, God is strength; if your flesh fails you, or comforts fail you, God is a portion.

3. The prophet’s interest; he calls God his portion. Observe, that true Israelites have an undoubted interest in God: –He is theirs.

4. The prophet’s experience in the worst time. He finds this to be true, that when communicated strength fails, there is a never-failing strength in God. Observe, that Christians’ experiences of God’s all-sufficiency are then fullest and highest when created comforts fail them.

5. There is the prophet’s improvement of his experience for support and comfort against future trials and temptations. Observe, that a saint’s consideration of his experience of God’s all-sufficiency in times of exigency, is enough to bear up and to fortify his spirit against all trials and temptations for the time to come.

Thus you may improve the text by way of observation, but there are two principal doctrines to be insisted on. First, that God is the rock of a saint’s heart, his strength, and his portion forever. Secondly, that divine influence and relief passeth from God to his people when they stand in most need thereof.

First. God is the rock of a saint’s heart, strength, and a portion forever. Here are two members or branches in this doctrine.

1. That God is the rock of a saint’s heart, strength.

2. That God is the portion of a saint. Branch 1. God is the rock of a saint’s heart, strength. He is not only strength and the strength of their hearts, but the rock of their strength; so Isa 17:10. Ps 62:7, rwu, the same word that is used in the text, from hence comes our English word “sure.” Explication. God is the rock of our strength, both in respect of our naturals and also of our spirituals: he is the strength of nature and of grace (Ps 27:1); the strength of my life natural and spiritual. God is the strength of thy natural faculties–of reason and understanding, of wisdom and prudence, of will and affections. He is the strength of all thy graces, faith, patience, meekness, temperance, hope, and charity; both as to their being and exercise. He is the strength of all thy comfort and courage, peace and happiness, salvation and glory. Ps 140:7. “O God, the rock of my salvation.” In three respects. First. He is the author and giver of all strength. Ps 18:32: “It is God that girdeth me with strength.” Ps 24:11: “He will give strength to his people.” Ps 138:3 68:35. Secondly. He is the increaser and perfecter of a saint’s strength; it is God that makes a saint strong and mighty both to do and suffer, to bear and forbear, to believe and to hope to the end; so Heb 11:34: “Out of weakness they were made strong; “so 1Jo 2:14. And therefore is that prayer of Peter, 1Pe 5:10. Thirdly. He is the preserver of your strength; your life is laid up in God. Col 3:3. Your strength is kept by the strength of God; so Ps 91:1. God doth overshadow the strength of saints, that no breach can be made upon it. Ps 63:7. “In the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.”

TODAY’S PRAYER

Oh Lord our God, we declare our weakness of the heart unto you oh God and understand that it is only through our weakness that we can be made strong in Christ.  We ask that your Holy Spirit who indwells all true believers will guide us and mold us daily to be our strength and portion that we may repent of our failings and walk worthy of your Amazing Grace. – Amen

 

SUNDAY SERMON SERIES – The Heart of the Matter

New Day Church Network | Discovering Discipleship (Part 9)

Mark 7

I have written extensively about the “heart” of the man and how messed up it can be, you can search in the box to the right to see the other posts. 

Mark Chapter 7 begins with most modern translations having a heading something similar to;  That which defiles, The Traditions of the Elders, Traditions and Commandments, or my two favorites; Jesus Teaches about Inner Purity (NLT) and Lo que contamina al hombre (What pollutes man) RVR 1960.

Today’s main text comes from Mark 7:14-23, depending on your translation you may have another heading the AMP for example begins the Chapter with Followers of Traditions and adds The Heart of Man.

The world would have us believe that man is essentially good yet the bible and mankind’s everyday actions throughout history would completely contradict that belief. 

Here is Pastor Alistair Begg explaining why:

SERMON

“The Heart of the Matter”

LISTEN or WATCH HERE

 


Other Resources and Sermons:

Mark 7:20-23 – Hideous DiscoveryPDF Sermon by C H Spurgeon

Mark 7:14-23 – All These Evils Come From InsidePDF  Sermon by Kim Riddlebarger

Mark: Clean on the Inside Sermon Derek Thomas

Heart-Surgery Web Page by Samuel Bolton

On the Deceitfulness of the HeartWeb Page by John Newton