Devotional thought for Today – 10/31/2020

God is my Fortress – God Adventures

Psalm 18 

PRAISE AND REST


Most Bibles have a heading for this Psalm with a title something like; To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who spoke the words of this song to the Lord on the day when the Lord rescued him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. And he said:….   This Psalm is in stark contrast to Psalm 11 we posted a few days ago when David was running for his life. Then he was seeking refuge and rest, now that he has it he is praising God for it.

It can be broken down this way:

v.1-3 blessing God for all he has done

v.4-19 declares the mercies God has shown

v.20-24 declares God’s righteousness

v.25-29 declares his joy in knowing the Lord helps the righteous

v.31–36  describes the defeat of his enemies

v. 37–42 describes his rising up over them

v. 43–45 Praises God for rescuing and exalting him

v. 46–50  and ends the psalm by proclaiming God’s faithfulness to the Davidic royal line

When those “difficult times” in life have past what is the first thing you do? I hope we can all be like David and find rest AFTER we Praise the Lord for v.32 equipping me with strength and made my way blameless.

 

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 10/30/2020

The Character of the Godly - Psalm 15 :: YouVersion Event

PSALM 15


As the heading above suggests this Psalm of David was used when a worshipper would enter into the temple.  There are a series of 12 Characteristics posed as questions that describe acceptable moral conditions for worship:

      1. walks with integrity
      2. strength of character,
      3. works righteousness,
      4. speaks and holds truth in his heart
      5. does not slander with his tongue,
      6. Nor does evil to his neighbor, (this includes wishing ill will) Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
      7. In his eyes an evil person is despised,
      8. But he honors those who fear the Lord [and obediently worship Him with awe-inspired reverence and submissive wonder].
      9. He keeps his word even to his own disadvantage and does not change it [for his own benefit];
      10. He does not put out his money at interest [to a fellow Israelite],
      11. And does not take a bribe against the innocent.
      12. will never be shaken (is steadfast/dependable) 

This list was intended to be asked if one’s heart was in the proper place for worship,  now I do not know about you but I can’t picture my Pastor standing at the door each Sunday and asking each member these questions.  But think about it a moment MAYBE we should be asking them of ourselves these each day. This seems to be a pretty good list of moral characteristics anyone (especially a child of God) should be living by. 

 

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 10/29/2020

Margin notes: Psalm 11 | ResponsiveReiding

PSALM 11

FINDING HOPE IN HOPELESS TIMES


According to Theodoret, and other early church Fathers this Psalm was written when David was being persecuted by Saul, and was was told to get out, escape for his own safety. 

We have all been in situations when things seem desperate maybe even hopeless but how we react is what really matters. Do we go to God with our problems, seek His wise counsel find our refuge and Hope in His promises our drown our sorrows in worldly affairs (alcohol, drugs, etc.) of hopelessness. 

David’s response is worth copying: 

v.1 Face with persecution David responds that The Lord is his refuge, how can you (his counselors) even suggest he run anywhere but to the Lord. 

v.2 To emphasize the gravity of the situation David says, bows are locked and cocked against him and aimed at his heart.

v.3 But if I (David) forget the basic tenets of my faith (foundations) in times of trouble how much of a pretender am I?

v.4 Contrasting the temple and heaven David appears to show strength gained from the knowledge God is watching and testing all men. 

v.5-7  David makes his closing argument for putting his trust in God here. First the righteous will be tested and approved of God so David’s hope is secure. Second the wicked, David’s enemies fate is not so pleasant but just as assured and David can take solace in that. Finally he notes how much God loves those that are upright (do virtue, moral, and just deeds) they are approved workers of God. 

We always have a choice when facing difficult situations. We can trust God and allow our faith in him to quell and comfort our feelings of hopelessness. We can pray and ask Him for guidance and courage. Or we can run and try and do it on our own, hiding panic-stricken that life is over taking us. The choice is ours to make. 

Lord help me to always trust in you when difficulties arise. Let me find shelter and comfort in your promises and strength and wisdom in your Spirit. Amen. 

Devotional Thought for Today – 10/28/2020

August 2018 VOD - First Baptist Church of North Conway

Luke 22:24-30


PRIDEFUL DISPUTE

Jesus sits down at His final meal with His disciples and a argument breaks out. They have just learned of Jesus’ betrayal and of course no one is going own up to that so the next “logical” thing to “discuss” is who is the greatest among them. 

Most folks in their core want some varying level of acknowledgement for a job well done. There is nothing wrong with hoping to get words of encouragement or praise for doing well. It is when we go out of our way to seek these things “a job well done if I do say so myself”  where pride raises its ugly head. Here is a perfect example of that. Jesus has in the three preceding verses Luke 22:21-23, dropped a bombshell announcement and they quickly dismiss it for selfish interests. 

Of course Jesus being whom He is appears to let them go at it a moment and then quells the storm that is brewing by simply reminding them who is truly the greatest, v.27;  For who is the greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves. 

Who is greater the master (diner) or servant. Jesus reminds them He is a servant and they recognize Him as greater than all.  So the next time Pride roars its ugly head remember our Servant Saviour Jesus Christ, who willingly humbled Himself for you and me. 

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 10/27/2020

Faith is just about trusting God isn't it? | Articles | Bible Reflections

PSALM 7 

CONFIDENCE 


Psalm 7 is all about Confidence or Faith in God. It is not dumb or blind faith (as the picture above depicts) but one based upon a solid relationship with the creator God. 

David is under attack from Cush the Benjamite and sings this song of lament to the Lord praying for justice and refuge all the while having confidence in the Lord’s provision. 

One can break it down this way: 

v.1-2 David’s plea for help  – he goes directly to God for his refuge and justice, knowing man can not solve his problems. 

v.3-5 David’s plea of innocence – before the one judge that really matters David says I am innocent of all Cush is pursuing me for. Note verse 5 where David says if it is not so let my enemies overtake me.  How many of us would pray that?

v.6-7 David’s plea for God’s  intervention  – God help me, please

v.8-10 David’s defends himself – by imploring God’s own justice (righteousness) 

v.11-13 David’s confidence in God’s judgement – David uses the common analogy of weapons of war to describe the judgement of God

v.14-17 David describes man’s wickedness – From the beginning (conceived at birth)  man is evil 

v. 17 David praises God – The outcome is not declared but David’s confidence in God (Yahweh used here meaning the most high, supreme ruler) giving a positive response is based upon  God’s righteousness. 

We all come under attack at different times in our lives. Sometimes it is our own fault due to sin, many times it is just a lack of spiritual activity that opens the door to worldly influences. 

Whenever or whatever the  trouble comes from, the one constant is God. He is immutable a constant source of justice, strength, shelter and confidence for all His people.

If you are experiencing “life’s problems”  and what to know more about how you too can be like David, finding consolation and peace even in these times I encourage you to reach out to a Bible Based Church in your area.  If you need help finding one contact us here we would be glad to help. 

 

Devotional thought for Today – 10/26/2020

 

Jesus, Friend of Sinners: But How?

Luke 19:1-10

Sinners at the Table

Think of the most untrustworthy people in today’s society, and you have the image of  Zacchaeus, back in Jesus time. He was a chief tax collector,  was rich and that made him the most unliked of individuals. 

Jesus had no issue with sinners like Zacchaeus, in fact as v.10 points out it was His very reason for coming to earth. Yet so many evangelicals today from upon or look down upon those wrapped up in sin.  Here let us look at one group. 

When I was a kid we used to joke that used car salesmen were the most unreliable folks around, you NEVER trusted them. Today I would say it’s politicians. As crazy as that seems considering they are ELECTED representatives, they are also disliked and distrusted by the majority of folks. 

 So what can you an average citizen do? Be active, first and foremost vote, they are elected after all.  Second get involved be more like Jesus and go to meet and greets, or invite them to your local neighborhood gatherings to break bread. Get to know them and let them get to know you and how you feel about issues.  

Many need to be educated (nicely) about on the matters that mean so much to us as Christians.  Certainly we want to be a light, by not gossiping and spreading rumors, by pointing out and encouraging them to do their jobs in a biblical manner.

This is our duty, as Jesus points out in v.10 –  For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. A remarkable expression-not ‘them,’ but ‘that’ which was lost [ to (Greek #3588) apoloolos (Greek #622)]; that is, the mass of lost sinners. Zaccheus was simply one such; and in saving him, Jesus says He was not going out of His way, but just doing His proper work. He even explains why He waited not for Zaccheus to apply to Him; because, says He, ‘My business is to seek as well as save such.’ Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible – Unabridged

Devotional Thought for Today – 10/20/2020

Sermon / Sept 11, 2016 / Luke 15:1-10 / Lost & Found / Pastor Terry Defoe

LUKE 15

In Luke 15 we find three different parables where Jesus is teaching the Pharisees and Scribes a life lesson. That lesson is simply that God cares about all people. 

He begins with v.3–7 the first parable concerning a stray sheep. Think of the effort put into looking for one lost sheep from the large flock that is still before a shepard. 

The second parable v.8-10 concerns a lost coin. For some today we think loose change, but in context this could be a months or more wages. So the women diligently searches until it is found. 

The final parable v.11-32 is one of the most famous in the Bible.  Commonly entitled The Prodigal Son this one tells not so much of a lost in the sense of the other two, but a wayward son who comes back to his family. 

What is the common thread among each parable, rejoicing, at each occasion of finding the lost, sheep, coin, son; the person rejoices at their gain. So too as Jesus says in verse 10; Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

Is God through His Holy Spirit tugging at your heart today. Have you heard the Good News, the TRUE GOSPEL message, unfeigned (not watered down) of eternal life in Christ but need more. If this is you, I encourage you to seek a Biblical based pastor, Chaplain or reach out to us here at FSM with your questions. 

 

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 10/19/2020

1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 Pg 1048 In Church Bibles. - ppt video online download

In context of course Paul is speaking about comforting one another (like-minded believers) about the return of Christ 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18.

Yet is it not the “Christian” duty to comfort one another whenever possible? Not just here as Paul describes  Christ’s return but in all things.  Here are some of my favorite verses on the subject:

Romans 15:5 – Working to build up our neighbors

1 Thessalonians 5:11 – Building each other up through comfort and encouragement

Hebrews 10:23-25 – Encouraging one another to to love and to do good deeds

We all have busy lives, often too busy for those around us, but make an effort to see those in need, say a kind word and share the Love of Christ today. 

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 10/17/2020

I lay down this maxime of Divinity; Tyranny being a work of Satan, is not from God, because sin either habitul or actual, is not from God; the power that is, must be from God; the Magistrate as Magistrate, is good, in nature of office, and the intrinsically end of his office, Rom. 13:4. for he is the Minister of God for thy good; and therefore a power ethical, politic, or moral, to oppress, is not from God, and is not a power, but a licentious deviation of a power, and is no more from God, but from sinful nature, and the old serpent, then a license to sinne. Samuel Rutherford, Lex, Rex, or the Law and the Prince (1644), emphases added. Lex, Rex, or the Law and the Prince is available on the Puritan Hard Drive.

Governments have long oppressed religious freedoms.  The USA was supposed to be a safe haven for all religions (with the caveat that they did not break the laws of the land, human sacrifice and the like) but many have been oppressed.  So how can a “Christian” support the government? 

Jesus had an answer: 

Does not Christ confirm the lawful authority of the beast of Rome when He says, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” (Mt. 22:21)? 

Answer: This question was proposed by the enemies of Christ (the Pharisees and the Herodians) in order to “entangle him” (Mt. 22:15). If Christ were to answer, “Render the tribute to Caesar”, the Pharisees (who strongly opposed Roman complicity) would have slandered Christ as a Roman sympathizer. However, if Christ were to answer, “Render not the tribute to Caesar”, the Herodians (who strongly supported Roman alliances) would have slandered him as being an avowed enemy to Caesar. But the Lord Jesus “perceived their wickedness” and essentially gave them a non-answer to their question. Since it was not an honest question, Christ did not play into their trap by answering their question. In fact, “they could not take hold of his words before the people” (Lk. 20:26). Even they could not clearly understand what He had said about the issue of paying tribute to Caesar. Thus, if the enemies of Christ couldn’t pin Him to an answer one way or the other (though they would have loved to), neither can any one living today conclude whether Christ condemned paying tribute to Caesar or commended it from His answer. Such evasion to entrapment was used by Christ on other occasions as well (cf. Mk. 11:27-33; Jn. 8:1-11). Even if Christ did endorse the paying of tribute to Caesar, that is not an oath of allegiance paid to Caesar, nor a declaration concerning the lawfulness of Caesar’s authority. For tribute exacted by an unlawful government is simply extortion required by a thief who threatens to take all your property if you don’t pay him part of your property. Furthermore, even foreigners and aliens pay taxes to nations in which they work without declaring any allegiance to the civil government of that nation. Thus, the payment of taxes is not an oath of allegiance.

– Greg Price, Biblical Civil Government Versus the Beast and the Basis for Christian Resistance (emphases added).


 Jesus makes it clear that our duty is to God, but we also have a responsibility to the government God has appointed over us. Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God [granted by His permission and sanction], and those which exist have been put in place by God. Romans 13:1

I encourage you to read our Sunday’s Sermon Series – Civil Government by using the search box. 


Other Resources:

The things that are God’s

What did Jesus mean when He said, “Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s”?

Devotional Thought for Today – 10/16/2020

The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 2 Peter 2:9 (KJV) 

Good Vs Evil Painting - St. Michael Killing the Dragon  by Josse Lieferinxe
St. Michael killing the Dragon is a famous oil painting, originally by Belgian artist Josse Lieferinxe in 1505, with the style of early netherlandish.

There is so much controversy surrounding the 2020 US Elections. Both sides calling each others liars and for the most part social media sharing FALSE RUMORS and innuendo making themself look stupid.  

Here in Chapter 2 the Apostle Peter has dedicated an entire section of his second epistle to this subject, False Prophets and Teachers.  I am not going to venture down the end times road that many demand Peter is directly implying here. What I believe is MOST significant is the CLEAR WARNING against fellowship with those who preach, teach or otherwise share a false Gospel.  If the bible does not clearly spell it out as in favor seek wise counsel and deep prayer. If the bible is against it so must you be. If you are listening to MAN you are wrong. 

Finally in the end when you encounter these fancy talking folks, that seem to be saying all the right things I also believe is implied is the duty of all “Christians” not to listen and share the what these false teachers say. We are not to be swayed, v.2, by their eloquent tongues. Instead as in Acts 17:11 be a Berean and be a fact checker. For in the end God will deal justly with them.

“Without faith it is impossible to please God.”–Heb. xi. 6. In order to prevent the possibility of being led into paths of error, faith is directed, not to a Christ of the imagination, but to “the Christ in the garments of the Sacred Scripture,” as Calvin expresses it. And therefore we must discriminate between (1) faith as a faculty implanted in the soul without our knowledge; (2) faith as a power whereby this implanted faculty begins to act; and (3) faith as a result,–since with this faith (1)…  Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit