Devotional Thought for Today – 09/01/21

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Joel 2

CONTEXT: The book of Joel was the telling of God’s judgment upon His chosen people (Israel), the pagan nations that surrounded them, and the eventual outpouring of the Holy Spirit (restoration of God’s people) Acts 2. Matthew Henry breaks chapter 2 down as follows: God’s judgments. (1-14) Exhortations to fasting and prayer; blessings promised. (15-27) A promise of the Holy Spirit, and of future mercies. (28-32)

I want to look at just v.1 this morning because I think they are applicable to all of us today.

Blow the trumpet in Zion [warning of impending judgment], Sound an alarm on My holy mountain [Zion]! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble and shudder in fear, For the [judgment] day of the Lord is coming; It is close at hand,(AMP)

Judgment by way of the Day of the Lordis the predominant theme of the book of Joel. Israel (1:15; 2:1–2) and all the nations (3:2–3) are subject to this judgment. While most associate the “Day of the Lord” with wrath and judgments it can also be a day of salvation and restoration.

Here in chapter 2 v.1, the context is definitely judgment and wrath that Joel is warning against. Israel had become complacent AGAIN, it had fallen back into the sins of its surrounding neighbors and Joel sires out a warning Blow the trumpet in Zion, (any temple, pulpit, or corner will do) Sound an alarm on My holy mountain, we too must be able, ready and willing at every moment to speak out against the anti-Christ. For the [judgment] day of the Lord is coming, God cannot abide sin, nor sinners. The old saying God Loves the Sinner But Hates the Sin? is far from true and He must and will pass judgment on everyone.

Of course, no one knows when the final judgment “day of the Lord” will come but we must (All True Believers) act like it is today. Spiritual Complacency has plagued the “church” for far too long in America. Oh, we are good at giving, missions, and feeding the poor. We respond well to national disasters and the like but do not ask us to get involved in the BIG PICTURE, the moral issues of today.

It is time we, All True Believers, Shout is from the Blogs, Corners, and Pulpits; that we demand that the core values America was founded upon, the Judeo-Christian principles be returned before the Wrath of God, the final judgment, the “day of the Lord” is poured out upon this nation and people.


PRAYER

Pray for the Moral Decency and Civility of your Nation

Pray for the Nations of the World and for Your Own Nation

PrayUSA: Government Leaders Calling the Nation to Prayer Initiative

Presbyterian, Baptist Churches Join New Coalition of Churches to Promote Killing Babies in Abortions

The title is extremely misleading (it should read one Baptist and a few Presbyterian Churchs... Nevertheless, these churches all are participating in unbiblical practices, and their so-called leaders need to be warned James 3:1.

…So far, the new Reproductive Freedom Congregations project has 25 churches signed up — mostly Unitarian along with a few Presbyterian churches and one Baptist congregation, the University Baptist Church in Austin, according to the report.

To participate, the churches must go through a training program that teaches pastors how to advocate for “reproductive health care,” including abortion on demand, and speak about it in their sermons, the report continued…

SOURCE: Presbyterian, Baptist Churches Join New Coalition of Churches to Promote Killing Babies in Abortions

Devotional Thought for Today – 08/27/21

Deuteronomy 32:28 For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there  any understanding in them.

Deuteronomy 32

CONTEXT: Most Bibles have a heading that says something like “Song of Moses” at the beginning of this Chapter. That is simple to understand as the first two verses are a direct appeal by Mosses to heaven. Matthew Henry breaks down the Chapter in this way: The song of Moses. (1,2) The character of God, The character of Israel. (3-6) The great things God had done for Israel. (7-14) The wickedness of Israel. (19-25) The judgments which would come upon them for their sins. (15-18) Deserved vengeance withheld. (26-38) God’s deliverance for his people. (39-43) The exhortation with which the song was delivered. (44-47) Moses to go up mount Nebo to die. (48-52)

We recently had another Great Grandchild and as usual, it got me thinking about what kind of nation and world we would be leaving him to grow up in. I was saddened by the thought of how messed up things are in America today compared to when I was a child.

In our text Mosses is speaking about the nation of Israel and its rebellion against the Laws and precepts upon which it was founded can easily be applied to America today. As I have repeated many times unlike Israel which was a Theocracy, America is NOT a Theocracy or “Christian Nation” but was CLEARLY founded upon Judeo-Christian principles.

So as Moses prayed, pleaded, and WARNED,

 O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!

v.29

we too, that is all who identify as Christians in America, need to take up the fight and do the same to reclaim the Judeo-Christian principles that made America great. I am speaking about America’s Core Values; common courtesy, decency, and morals we can all agree are sorely lacking.

I think history shows what the later end for any nation has been that abandons all morality. Ultimate and total destruction, is this to be America’s fate?

Call Afghanistan What It Is… Also Pray for Afghanistan

As many as 80,000 desperate people still need to be evacuated from behind enemy lines—thousands of U.S. citizens and tens of thousands of Afghans who risked their lives for years to help U.S. troops.

Call Afghanistan What It Is: The Worst Hostage Crisis in American History

On Nov. 4, 1979, militants seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking more than 60 American hostages. It was hell for the captured Americans, and Jimmy Carter’s inability to extricate them helped doom him to a one-term presidency.

The way things are shaping up in Kabul, that national humiliation is being recreated on a far, far bigger scale—it is no hyperbole to say that it is starting to look like America’s worst hostage crisis…

SOURCE: Call Afghanistan What It Is: The Worst Hostage Crisis in American History


Praying for Afghanistan – Family Research Council

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Today, as we write this, our hearts are heavy. The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan is producing untold human tragedies. Desperate scenes at the Kabul airport — and the violence erupting across Afghanistan that Western media does not see — portray an international tragedy of immense proportion.

And for some 10,000 to 12,000 Afghan Christians, whose numbers have grown as they’ve worshipped in small, underground groups, this is a life-and-death emergency. They are being specifically and openly targeted by the Taliban.

These troubling events are a call to prayer. Family Research Council has been tracking the situation in Afghanistan, and we ask you to join us as we intercede for our endangered sisters and brothers there. For more on what’s happening and how you can pray, please see the following resources:

The sobering religious freedom lesson of Afghanistan by Tony Perkins and Travis Weber

Afghan Christians Are Facing a Taliban Reign of Terror by Lela Gilbert

Explainer: What the Taliban Takeover Means for Afghan Believers by Arielle Del Turco and Tyler Watt

“They Need a Miracle”: Pray for the People of Afghanistan by Arielle Del Turco

5 Ways to Pray for the People of Afghanistan by Arielle Del Turco

General Jerry Boykin Discusses the Fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban

Devotional Thought for Today – 08/26/21

Help: The Battle Is Not Yours: 2 Chronicles 20:1-29 | Edge Church

2 Chronicles 20

CONTEXT: Most folks I know can quote or at least paraphrase v.15 from this Chapter ‘the battle belongs to the Lord.’ While this makes a good theme it is not the central theme of this Chapter, by context Faith is the main theme. The Chapter can be divided as follows: The Enemy advances v.1-4; Jehoshaphat Prayers v.5-13; God answers prayer v.14-19; War and Victory v.20-29; End of Jehoshaphat’s reign v.30-37.

I say Faith is the main theme because of the facts we know from the text. The nation of Judah (Israel) was about to be invaded so what does Jehoshaphat do? Does he run, does he hide, does he wine and whimper, of course not he takes action. What kind of action, PRAYER v.3; And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord,… A wise ruler always seeks wise counsel in times of trouble. Jehoshaphat had 3 Armies coming against him I think this was a good time for seeking HELP!

Note that Jehoshaphat does not go it alone, v.4 And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord:… It is always wise to seek the support of like-minded individuals and those who may be experiencing similar issues to pray alongside you. Read v.5-13 Jehoshaphat’s Prayer (pleading with God) and you can see the heartfelt sincerety in it. Jehoshaphat confessed Judah’s (and his) inability to deal with the coming threat. That is the FAITH I was speaking about. Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah called upon the Lord to HELP, fully expecting His assistance.

I suppose I would be remiss if I failed to mention v.15 in context. Does ‘the battle always belong to the Lord’? One of the popular evangelical catchphrases that irks me to no end is “Let Go and let God.” While it may seem harmless it really is not very Biblical. In our text today (and throughout the Bible) God responds to prayer. I call this God’s Providential Grace. Unless God chose someone for a specific task, Jonah, for example, the application of this Grace is applied in every other example as a response to prayer. Yes, ‘the battle belongs to the Lord‘ it always has and always will, but we can not just give up the fight sit back in our lazy-boy recliner and expect God to do the work. We need, as individuals, churches, and a nation to be more like Jehoshaphat prayer warriors willing to fight the good fight.

Devotional Thought for Today – 08/19/2021

Bible Verse of the Day - day 231 - image 42335 (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

Ecclesiastes 12

CONTEXT: Chapter 12 has tow clear divisions, v.1-7 speak about remembering our youth as we grow older and physical and mental affirmatives come upon us. Then in v.8-14 we are reminded of the wise teacher/preacher and all his instructions. The overarching theme being a repeat of Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.

Our main text, v.13, for today is the key to life, or as Solomon says, Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. NOTHING written before this or after matter more than what Solomon is about to write.

What is that key? Simple; fear God, and keep his commandments, that is what man was put on the earth to do. Fear God here meaning to stand in awe and reverence of Him at all times. To willingly (never grudgingly) keep His commandments. The Puritan Catechism similarly says: Q1: What is the chief end of man? A1: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, ( 1 Corinthians 10:31 ) and to enjoy him for ever. ( Psalms 73:25-26 )

Why is this [is] the whole [duty] of man? In the Hebrew this could be rendered as This is the whole man, read that way the implication is clear, without fearing God and keeping His commandments man is not whole, not complete as a man.

If that was not enough “incentive” to bring man instep with God, one would think v.14 would certainly do so;  For God will bring every act to judgment, every hidden and secret thing, whether it is good or evil. God sees all hears all and will judge all.


Pray for Grace to Assist you that you may be Diligent in your Duty

Lord, quicken us to work the works of him who sent us while it is day, because night is coming, wherein no one can work; John 9:4(ESV) and what good our hands find to do, enable us to do it with all our might, for there is no work or knowledge in Sheol, to which we are going. Ecclesiastes 9:10(ESV)

Lord, grant that we may never be slothful in zeal, but fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; Romans 12:11(ESV) steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord our labor is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58(ESV)

Lord, make us zealously affected in every good work; Galatians 4:18(KJV) and in whatever we do, enable us to work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. Colossians 3:23(ESV)

Lord, enable us to do the work of every day in its day, as each day requires, Ezra 3:4(ESV) making the best use of the time, because the days are evil; Ephesians 5:16(ESV) that when our Master comes, he may find us so doing. Luke 12:43(ESV)

Devotional Thought for Today – 08/17/2021

In yesterday’s devotional, we noted that  Love is a commandment of God. Here in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul describes how utterly useless even the most gifted “Christian” is without love.

Our main text from Chapter 13 will be verse 4 which describes the true characteristics of Charity or Godly Love:

Charity suffereth long, – Godly Love is patient and waits long on others, remembering always the fallen state we too were once in

and is kind; – Godly Love always acts towards the kindness, not just politemness, of others never is a manner harmful to them. Not this does not mean we are pushovers or passavists, but do not actively seek harm to others.

envieth not; Goldy Love does not envy the abilities, accomplishments, or accumilations of others. Goldly love is satisfied with the provisions provided by a sovereign God.

charity vaunteth, not itself, Godly Love is never boastful or prideful. Godly Love seeks to build up others and glorify God above all else.

is not puffed up, Godly Love is not arrogant. There is a BIG difference between being confident or self arrured and arrogant, Godly Love always displays itself as the former.

Godly Love never finds humor, joy or anything good in the misfortunes of others. Whather that is a simple slip and fall or a fall from Grace. Godly Love always hopes and prays for others full redemption.

Devotional Thought for Today – 08/12/21

Daily Bible Verse | Grace | James 4:6

JAMES 4:6

CONTEXT: Chapter 4 continues where 3 leaves off, reminding the reader that seeking after self, worldly gains, and wisdom will only lead to conflict within the church and their personal lives. Matthew Henry divides it as follows: Here are cautions against corrupt affections, and love of this world, which is enmity to God. (1-10) Exhortations to undertake no affairs of life, without constant regard to the will and providence of God. (11-17)

Before we briefly look at the specifics of our main verse, let me caution the reader that the text is not implying that humility equals being a pushover, a do-nothing, or someone who never speaks up. As always I implore you to read the Whole Counsel of God, Christ Jesus was anything but one of those things, yet He carried out His assigned duties on earth with great Humility.

But he giveth more grace. That is God will always provide more Grace to both believer and non-believer (Common Grace) but especially the effectual Grace needed for Salvation and a lasting relationship with the Triune God.

Wherefore he saith, God declares

God resisteth the proud, those who are so self-absorbed that they scoff at the notion of God. Psalm 1:1, Romans 1:18

but giveth grace unto the humble. those who will admit that apart from Christ they love the Darkside. John 3:17-21. It can be hard to “Back down” from our self-righteous, self-imposed throne, but that is exactly what God expects of His Children. To humble themselves as obedient children like Christ did Philippians 2:5-7.

Matthew Henry's Method for Prayer

Pray for the Grace of Self-Denial and Humility

We must pray for the grace of self-denial.

Lord, give us grace to deny ourselves, to take up our cross daily, and to follow Christ; Matthew 16:24(ESV) to discipline our bodies and keep them under control. 1 Corinthians 9:27(ESV)

Lord, keep us from being lovers of ourselves, 2 Timothy 3:2(ESV) from being wise in our own eyes and leaning to our own understanding. Proverbs 3:5-7(ESV)

Lord, give us to seek, not our own good only, but also the good of our neighbor. 1 Corinthians 10:24(ESV)

And grant that we may not live to ourselves or die to ourselves, but whether we live or die, we may be the Lord’s, and may live and die to him. Romans 14:7-8(ESV)

We must pray for humility and meekness.

Lord, give us to learn from Christ to be gentle and lowly in heart, that we may find rest for our souls; Matthew 11:29(ESV) and that herein the same mind may be in us that was also in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5(ESV)

Lord, conceal pride from us, Job 33:17(ESV) and clothe us with humility; 1 Peter 5:5(ESV) and put upon us the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in your sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:4-5(ESV)

Lord, give us grace to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:1-2(ESV)

Let anger never lodge in our bosoms, Ecclesiastes 7:9(ESV) nor the sun ever go down on our anger; Ephesians 4:26(ESV) but enable us to show perfect courtesy toward all people, because we ourselves were once foolish and disobedient. Titus 3:2-3(ESV)

Let us be clothed as becomes the elect children of God, holy and beloved, with compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, Colossians 3:12(ESV) that being merciful, even as our heavenly Father is merciful, Luke 6:36(ESV) we may be perfect as he is perfect. Matthew 5:48(ESV)