Devotional Thought for Today – 05/15/2021

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1 Peter 2

As I have been riding across the US I see signs of COVID restrictions lifting in some areas and not so much in others. Mainly I am speaking of wearing a mask, some fuel stops and store have signs that say “Mask Required” other have none. The other thing I found interesting was the level of folks so willing to ignore these business owner’s practices yet demand to be served.

On at least two occasions when clerks asked someone to “please mask up” because it was local policy” they were met with a flurry of curse words. One such individual had a little fish symbol on the back of their truck as they sped away.

Christian behavior, I think not, I personally HATE these mask mandates, I think they are stupid and science does not support them. That being said, nothing that these local stores are doing goes against the Word of God, and as our text above notes, my job is quite simple. Follow the rules or go somewhere else.

Submission to authority is a hard pill for many “Christians” to swallow these days, but it one that the Bible is quite clear we must until it violates the law of God.

So how do we express our displeasure with the current mask mandates and other seemingly totalitarian government rules? John MacArthur’s Devotional for today has an answer:


The world doesn’t need another opinion—it needs God’s absolute and authoritative Word!

Speaking the Truth in Love (John)

The twelve apostles included “John” (Matt. 10:2).

Seek to maintain a proper balance between truth and love

Some people picture John as overly sentimental and egotistical, lying with his head on Jesus’ shoulder and constantly referring to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved. But that’s not an accurate characterization of one of the “Son of thunder”! He loved Jesus deeply and was amazed that Jesus loved him—especially after he wanted to burn up the Samaritans and then secure a prominent place for himself in Christ’s kingdom. Calling himself “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (e.g., John 21:20) was simply his way of marvelling over God’s grace in his life.

As much as he loved Jesus, John never allowed his love to deteriorate into mere sentimentalism. In fact, the proper balance between truth and love is the hallmark of his ministry. In his writings we find the word love more than eighty times and witness nearly seventy times. His profound love for Christ compelled him to be a teacher of love and a witness to the truth. To him, obedience to the truth was the highest expression of love. As 1 John 2:5 says, “Whoever keeps [God’s] word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected.”

John’s greatest joy was to know that his spiritual children were walking in the truth (3 John 4). He firmly denounced anyone who attempted to divert them from that goal by denying or distorting God’s Word.

Today, media talk shows and other influences have blurred the lines between opinion and truth. One man’s opinion is purported to be as good as the next, and there’s little talk about what’s right or wrong.

Truth suffers even within the church because many Christians are willing to compromise it to avoid upsetting people. They forget that true love flourishes only in the atmosphere of biblical truth (Phil. 1:9).

Amid such confusion, God calls you to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). The world doesn’t need another opinion—it needs God’s absolute and authoritative Word!

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God for the gift of His love and the power of His truth. Ask Him to make you a person of ever-increasing biblical integrity.

For Further Study

Read Revelation 2:1-7.

  • What strengths did the church at Ephesus have?
  • What did it lack?
  • What did Jesus require of it?

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.

Devotional Thought for Today – 05/12/2021

Logos.com

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 – 05/07/2021

Nahum 1:7 - KJV - Bible verse of the day - DailyVerses.net
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NAHUM 1

Y’all may have noticed that we have not posted for a few days. well, a Tornado ripped through greater Jackson, MS on Tuesday, May 4th.

Thankfully the worst of the storm missed us but our house and neighborhood were not without damage. We lost power Tuesday afternoon and just got it back last night. Our roof was a mess a branch penetrated a corner of the garage, and many shingles were torn off. Three neighbors have or had trees on their homes and many across streets.

Some of the debris from yard
Big oak tree from neighbors yard
Back of our garage where tree went through

I do not show these pictures to garner sympathy, but to demonstrate the grace of God. We all experience God’s Providence, Protection, and Promise in those moments. Everyone in our neighborhood is okay. No one was hurt and other than the inconvenience of being without power for nearly 3 days we all are doing well.

Nahum is a prophet tasked with delivering the final judgment of God against Nineveh. The same Nineveh that had repented some 150 years earlier with Jonah’s message.

Our text today is the Good News, that God promises His people He will be their strength and stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows [He recognizes, cares for, and understands fully] those who take refuge and trust in Him. (AMP)

You do not have to experience a tornado to have that same promise, it is available to all God’s people. All one has to do is understand that we are incapable of living a moral and just life by ourselves. That Jesus Christ lived that perfect sinless life and paid the sacrificial cost of those sins. If we sincerely acknowledge the need for forgiveness for our transgressions and Christ and Lord of our lives, God is faithful to welcome us as His children, adopted into the kingdom of God.

Praying through Nahum 1:7
Heavenly Father, thank You for Who You are and what the Lord Jesus has done for us. Thank You for being our good and gracious God. Thank You that You are my stronghold in the day of trouble and the Comforter to Whom I can fly for refuge. How I praise You for Your never-failing faithfulness to Your people Israel and grace towards the Church. Thank You that You are not only a God of love but a God of justice and that a day is coming when You will avenge all those that have suffered at the hands of Your enemies. I pray for those who have not yet trusted in You and remain dead in their sin and ask that they may be convicted of sin and come to faith in Christ. This I ask in Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/Nahum/1/7

Is Christian Cohabitation the New Norm?

BreakPoint Daily

Recently, researchers at State University of New York determined that descendants of immigrants to the United States typically lost the ability to speak their mother tongue by the third generation. Something similar, but far more serious, seems to be happening with Christians in an increasingly post-Christian culture. Each successive generation is losing the understanding of, not to mention the will to live by, Christian sexual morality…

SOURCE: Is Christian Cohabitation the New Norm?

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

Robert Woodson on Conservatism and Race: A Positive Path Forward

Hillsdale College Releases K-12 Video Series for At-Home Learning

On April 23, the great Robert Woodson delivered the inaugural lecture in Hillsdale’s Christ Chapel Drummond Lecture Series. His topic was “Conservatism and Race: A Positive Path Forward.”

A veteran of the civil rights movement, Woodson embraces what he calls “radical pragmatism” as the best way to improve the lives of “the least of God’s children.” His work at the Woodson Center seeks to ennoble and inspire the downtrodden rather than condescend to and coddle them. As my colleague, David Whalen noted, “for decades, while public figures pose and wrangle about the poor and racial injustice, Robert Woodson has transformed the lives of many thousands. He does so because he understands responsibility, authentic human dignity, and the freedom through which people actually flourish. Where others just talk, Woodson has achieved near miracles.”

In recognition of his long and good service for America, Woodson was awarded Hillsdale’s Freedom Leadership Award.

We invite you to view this important lecture here:

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

Loving Our Neighbors by Refusing to Lie

BreakPoint Daily

When John McCain was running for President in 2008, Saturday Night Live ran a recurring skit about his running-mate, then-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Tina Fey, playing Gov. Palin in her trademark red suit, delivered the memorable line, “I can see Russia from my house!”

It was pretty funny. It also wasn’t real. Sarah Palin never said she could see Russia from her house. Today, however, a surprising number of people believe she did. This is a testimony to the power of lies…

Source: Loving Our Neighbors by Refusing to Lie

Devotional Thought for Today – 04/29/2021

I woke up this morning and MHM of Prayer below was in my inbox. It led to this devotional, this one verse, in my opinion, is sufficient evidence to refute anyone who says we do not need the Old Testament. Here the Lord Himself says those Scriptures directly point the way to Him, and that is reason enough to study them.

1. The Big Picture - Jesus
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JOHN 5

In chapters 1-4 of John’s Gospel Jesus was sort of low key avoiding any public display or controversy. Here however He starts off v.1-17 with a bang (Miracle) by healing an invalid near the Bethesda pool, on the Sabbath.

If that was not enough to upset the apple cart (ruling class Jews), when they challenge Jesus under what authority He has to heal someone on the Sabbath His response is even more controversial. Instead of a simple answer, Jesus says all His authority has been given to Him by God the Father and He is equal with God the Father v.18-24.

Jesus then lays out four (4) reasons why HE has this authority, v.25-32 the coming resurrection, v.33-35, the testimony of John the Baptist, v.36, the testimony of His works, v.37-38, the testimony of the Father, and finally v.39-47, the testimony of Scripture.

Look at v.38, Jesus says to the local religious leaders, you have God’s word in front of you but not in you. He then goes on to our text for today, [h]You search and keep on searching and examining the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and yet it is those [very Scriptures] that testify about Me; (AMP).

It may sound funny but all I kept thinking or hearing in my head was that old country song Looking for love in all the wrong places. Just like the fool who can’t find his true love because he won’t look in the right place, these religious leaders search scripture looking for a King and Leader but not the Messiah before them.

In Jesus’ day, there was more “proof” of His deity than we have today in the sense that Jesus was physically there performing miracles and still He was denied and crucified. That is the problem, then and today as folks want individual proof, just because 2+2=4 does not mean I have to believe it, you have to prove it to me personally.

NO! God does not have to prove anything. He owes us nothing and we owe him everything. It’s abDevotional Thought for Today – 04/29/2021out Jesus, not us. We need to read the scripture from that point of view, we need to worship in church with that mindset, and not the want can I get out of it. Focus on Christ and the Holy Spirit will handle the rest.


Praying through John 5:39
Heavenly Father, thank You for the inspired scriptures, which point us to Christ. May we read them with understanding and be guided into all truth by Your Holy Spirit. Keep me from seeking to add to Your finished work of Calvary, through my own works of the flesh.. knowing that eternal life is only to be found by faith in Christ alone and that I am only accepted by You because I am ‘in Christ,’ and not because of anything that I could do. Praise His holy name and draw me closer to Jesus day by day – in Whose name I pray, AMEN.

Source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/John/5/39


Matthew Henry's Method for Prayer

Thank God for the Scriptures

For the writing of the Scriptures and the preserving of them pure and entire to this day.

We thank you that we have the Scriptures to search, and that in them we have eternal life, for it is they that bear witness about Christ; John 5:39(ESV) and that all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16(ESV)

That whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope; Romans 15:4(ESV) and that we have this sure prophetic word, as a lamp shining in a dark place. 2 Peter 1:19(ESV)

That the vision has not become to us like the words of a book that is sealed, Isaiah 29:11(ESV) but that we hear in our own tongue the mighty works of God. Acts 2:11(ESV)

We thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that the things which you have hidden from the wise and understanding and which many prophets and kings desired to see but did not, 1 Peter 1:10(ESV) are revealed to us little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. Luke 10:21(ESV)

Devotional Thought for Today – 04/28/2021

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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.