DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FOR TODAY – 06/22/2021

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God  sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful f… | Read bible, Spiritual  deliverance, God

Romans 8

CONTEXT: Some have called this the greatest chapter in the Bible. It is hard to argue considering the opening verse. Paul sets up this after having spent all of Chapter 7 reminding everyone of his personal issues with sin and the law. Then he drops the promise of promises on all true believers v.1, Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit (AMP).

Matthew Henry breaks down the chapter as follows: The freedom of believers from condemnation. (1-9) Their privileges as being the children of God. (10-17) Their hopeful prospects under tribulations. (18-25) Their assistance from the Spirit in prayer. (26,27) Their interest in the love of God. (28-31) Their final triumph, through Christ. (32-39)

In verse 2, Paul says (further promises) under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit that we are free from the law of sin and of death. Does this mean we, true believers, are free from all punishment? Of course not, V.8 makes this clear that no one living a carnal or sinful life can please God.

John Calvin Quote - God's Law Is Engraved On The Believers' Heart

Our text for today continues the message that the Law, (here the Mosaic Law) is not capable of saving mankind and was meant as a means of showing man thier sinful nature and the need for a redeemer.

God did what the law could not provide a means of eternal salvation. He, God the Father, sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to earth in the form of a human, sinless, (Philippians 2:5-8, Hebrews 4:15) the perfect sacrifice for the sins of those who live not by the flesh but by the Spirit.

Maybe you are reading this today and thinking, I am a good person. I have never been to jail, I have never done anything really wrong. The bad news is mankind’s standard of good is woefully short of God’s and you will never measure up. Of course, God does not leave us hanging there. He has a counter-proposal to the Bad News and offers us The Good News, or the Gospel. As we have just read this Good news message is that we do not have to live under the Law that we can never achieve. We have a Savior who has paid the penalty for our sins. Simply put, the gospel is the good news concerning Christ and the way of salvation.

There is no magic potion, no facing or scripted prayer words needed to obtain this Good News. The Bible is clear, no one is saved by works, but ALL who sincerely …acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognizing His power, authority, and majesty as God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 AMP)

Devotional Thought for Today – 06/21/2021

What Does 1 Timothy 4:13 Mean?

1 Timothy 4

CONTEXT: This chapter can be divided into three sections (v.1-5) deals with apostasy teachings entering into the church at Ephesus, (v.6-10) Paul’s instruction to Timothy on dealing with these false teachers (v.11-16) Paul’s encouragement to Timothy to persevere in the ministry.

Our main text is the key (my opinion) verse in the later section of this chapter. Paul instructs and encourages Timothy in his personal conduct of the ministry, v.11-16. Here he says the best way to ensure you do not mess up is to ALWAYS devote himself to three areas:

  • The Reading of Scripture Daily
  • The Exhorting of Others, that is preaching of the Word
  • The teaching of the Word of God

It is this first area I wish to expound upon today. The vast majority of commentaries and all modern translations I read on this verse suggest that this means the Public Reading of Scripture as in church services. I believe the commentarors and translations render it so because the Greek word here, Anagnosis, an-ag’-no-sis, in the only other two uses refers to Old Testement readings.

I on the other hand agree with John Gill that Paul is encouraging Timothy to study scripture (read) in private that he might be more proficient in his exhortation and teaching:

And this is to be understood, not of the reading of the Scriptures in public, for the advantage of others, a custom which obtained in the Jewish synagogues; see ( Acts 13:15 ) ( 15:21 ) but in private, for his own use and service, that he might be more perfect, and more thoroughly furnished to the work and office to which he was called; for the Scriptures are the fund of spiritual knowledge, as well as the test and standard of doctrine, out of which all must be fetched, and by which it must be tried; and if Timothy, who had known the Scriptures from a child, had been trained up in them, and was always conversant with them, had need to give diligent attention to the reading of them, then much more others: as also to exhortation, to doctrine; as he was privately to read the Scriptures, for his own benefit, he was publicly to expound them, or preach from them, to the advantage of others; for these two, exhortation and doctrine, are branches of the ministerial work, which reading furnishes and qualifies for.

Reading of the Word of God is for everyone, and not just the Bible (especially many loose modern translations) for it can be easily misread and misapplied. It is important to have other reliable resources and utilize them as well.

As the apostle says to Timothy, so also he says to everyone, ‘Give yourself to reading.’ … He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains proves that he has no brains of his own… You need to read. Renounce as much as you will all light literature, but study as much as possible sound theological works, especially the Puritanic writers, and expositions of the Bible… the best way for you to spend your leisure is to be either reading or praying. –

Charles Spurgeon

What are you reading today?

Devotional Thought for Today – 06/18/2021

Staff Favorites - Creekmoor PTA

For those of us old enough to remember Julie Andrews singing My Favorite Things in the Sound of Music both the song and the thought of all those things brought a smile to our faces (still does 😉)

Everyone has things they like and dislike, some of our likes become favorites. When we are talking about food, tools, cars, or things that bring us comfort in storms favorites are one thing, but when we are talking about how we practice our FAITH, the bible, James 2:1, is very clear favoritism is a bad thing.


Today’s Drawing Near devotional

Friday, June 18, 2021

Looking Beyond Externals

My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism” (James 2:1).

Your true worth is based on the value of your soul, not on external considerations.

Jesus is “our glorious Lord” (James 2:1)—the Sovereign One who rules over all His creation, and the One in whom the fullness of God’s glory is revealed. John said, “The Word [Jesus] became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Paul said, “In Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Col. 2:9).

As God, Jesus shares the impartiality of the Father. He knows that a person’s worth is based on the value of his soul, not on external considerations. That’s why He always looks on the heart and never judges on externals alone.

That was evident in the way Jesus dealt with sinners when He was still on earth. He never hesitated to confront them—whether they were influential Jewish religious leaders or common folks. Even His enemies acknowledged His impartiality when they said, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any” (Matt. 22:16).

Like the Father, Jesus also extended the offer of salvation to men and women of every race, social class, and moral standing. That’s illustrated by the parable He told in Matthew 22:1-14 about the marriage of a king’s son (an illustration of Himself). The invited guests (Israel) didn’t show up, so the king commanded his servants to go out and gather everyone they could find to furnish the wedding with guests. As a result, people of every station in life attended the wedding, just as people of every station in life are called to salvation.

As you have opportunities to minister to others today, don’t be influenced by externals such as looks, clothing, or economic level. Do as Jesus did: treat them with compassion and speak the truth without compromise.

Suggestions for Prayer

Praise the Lord for His impartiality, and ask Him for special grace as you reach out to others today.

For Further Study

Read Matthew 20:1-16. How does that parable illustrate the impartiality of God?

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 – 06/14/2021

20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20
Logos.com

Philippians 3

This has never happened in the 23+ years I have been reading or writing daily devotionals, where two had the same bible verse. So I had to comment on this today.

CONTEXT: There are two major themes in Chapter 3, first Paul discusses Faith vs. Works in v.1-11, and then in v.12-21 he discusses the believer’s goal of following and being like Christ.

In order to peel back the layers of our text fully, we need to start at v.18, For there are many, of whom I have often told you, and now tell you even with tears, who live as enemies of the cross of Christ [rejecting and opposing His way of salvation], (AMP). Paul’s warning is there are enemies about those who will do anything and everything to oppose the cross.

He goes on in v.19, whose fate is destruction, whose god is their belly [their worldly appetite, their sensuality, their vanity], and whose glory is in their shame—who focus their mind on earthly and temporal things. These enemies care about nothing except their own sinful desires even if it means their own destruction. They are COMPLETLY focused on earthly and temporal things and will destroy anything that opposes them.

Before digging deep into v.20, I wish to comment on the word Conversation (KJV) and Citizenship (just about every modern translation). The Greek word is Politeuma, pol-it’-yoo-mah, used only this time in all scripture and means:

  1. the administration of civil affairs or of a commonwealth
  2. the constitution of a commonwealth, form of government and the laws by which it is administered
  3. a state, commonwealth
    1. the commonwealth of citizens

While I am not going to pretend to understand the minds of the writers of the KJV, the manuscripts available showing their reasonings for certain uses and the context of the language of the day suggests that Conversation is a proper and better translation. Our “conversation” is our actions as citizens, not just the fact that we are citizens. The Old English term conversation meant your daily walk in life deeds as much as words.

So with that in mind, v.20, But [we are different because] our citizenship is in heaven. And from there we eagerly await [the coming of] the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; Instead of earthly and temporal things the truly converted redeemed child of God will focus their Conversation and Citizenship on the Kingdom of God and the return of Christ.

How are your Conversation (daily walk) and Citizenship (eternal security)?

Devotional Thought for Today – 06/12/2021

ITCHY EARS

What Does 2 Timothy 4:3 Mean?

2 Timothy 4

CONTEXT: In the final chapter of 2 Timothy, Paul writes about two major themes. The first is quite obvious the importance of preaching the Word of God (2 Timothy 4:1–8). The second section offers personal concerns and thoughts to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:9–22).

In order to understand our text, we need to understand the previous verse, the Command or Charge (v.2) from Paul to Timothy to Preach the Word! He must be ready when it is convenient (in season) and inconvenient or troublesome to preach (out of season). He, Timothy must be ready to JUDGE those in error and point out their errors (reprove and rebuke). Finally, Timothy is to encourage, support, aid, and comfort the church (exhort) by using sound Biblical teaching (doctrine) and patient leadership (longsuffering).

Now our Text for Today (v.3) makes more sense, especially in today’s churches. Far too many folks have itchy ears and want whatever they can get out of a “worship” service. Somehow their Theology and Doctrine (these are almost 4 letter words in some evangelical circles) are all screwed up. They have placed themselves and their needs above God. 😥

He is the best preacher, not that tickles the ear, but that breaks the  heart.

Paul makes it clear to Timothy and it should be clear to everyone who stands behind a pulpit (or wherever they stand or sit today) The object of Worship, the Object of Preaching is Christ and Him crucified, not the folks in the pew. Churches are not places to bring the world into they are the House of God, Holy Sanctuaries, and should be treated as such. It is far too easy today to walk into many churches and be confused thinking it is an amusement park.

” If a teacher fascinates with his doctrine, his teaching never came from God. The teacher sent from God is the one who clears the way to Jesus and keeps it clear; souls forget altogether about him because the vision of Jesus is the only abiding result. When people are attracted to Jesus Christ through you, see always that you stay on God all the time, and their hearts and affections will never stop at you.”

Oswald Chambers 


Other Resources:

What does 2 Timothy 4:3 mean by itching ears?

Devotional Thought for Today – 03/08/2021, Beware False Teachers

Seduced With Flattery

What makes a room or building a sanctuary?

The masses demand that which will soothe them in their sins and amuse them while they journey down the Broad Road!

If I Only Had One Sermon To Preach”

Devotional Thought for Today – 06/10/2021

James 2:13 | Insights From Tom

JAMES 2

CONTEXT: Matthew Henry comments: All professions of faith are vain, if not producing love and justice to others. (1-13) The necessity of good works to prove the sincerity of faith, which otherwise will be of no more advantage than the faith of devils. (14-26)

Our text for today comes at the end of the first theme of James Chapter 2. We find the stage set if you will in v.1 show no favoritism, no prejudice, no snobbery] the chapter then goes on v.2-7 to describe situations that may arise when one might be tempted to discriminate. James then goes on in v.8-12 to note other areas where believers might fail.

Understanding our text requires two key points first it does not mean that those who do not show mercy are condemned to hell. Romans 8:1 and other similar verses settled that issue forever.

What it does mean is those FULLY committed to Christ will show mercy just like Christ. If you have been indwelled by the Holy Spirit it is pretty difficult to resist that call to be merciful. We (believers) are going to be surrounded by sin daily; our own, fellow Christians, and for certain non-believers. What kind of testimony would we have if we went around condemning everyone?

Let me be clear about this, we should be discerning (judgmental) as to the sin of others and ourselves. We need to be protective of our property and families while at the same time as Paul emphasized to the Church in Colossae C.3; 12 So, as God’s own chosen people, who are holy [set apart, sanctified for His purpose] and well-beloved [by God Himself], put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience [which has the power to endure whatever injustice or unpleasantness comes, with good temper]; 13 bearing graciously with one another, and willingly forgiving each other if one has a cause for complaint against another; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so should you forgive.

The following Devotional may be of help:

Commended or Condemned?

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (Matt. 5:7).

God commends merciful people but condemns the merciless.

Scripture shows that those whom God blessed most abundantly were abundantly merciful to others. Abraham, for example, helped rescue his nephew Lot even after Lot had wronged him. Joseph was merciful to his brothers after they sold him into slavery. Twice David spared Saul’s life after Saul tried to kill him.

But just as sure as God’s commendation is upon those who show mercy, His condemnation is upon those who are merciless. Psalm 109:14-16 says, “Let the iniquity of [the merciless person’s] fathers be remembered before the Lord, and do not let the sin of his mother be blotted out . . . because he did not remember to show [mercy].”

When judgment comes, the Lord will tell such people, “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me” (Matt. 25:41-43). They will respond, “Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?” (v. 44). He will reply that when they withheld mercy from those who represented Him, they were withholding it from Him (v. 45).

Our society encourages us to grab everything we can for ourselves, but God wants us to reach out and give everything we can to others. If someone wrongs you, fails to repay a debt, or doesn’t return something he has borrowed from you, be merciful to him. That doesn’t mean you excuse sin, but you respond to people with a heart of compassion. That’s what Christ did for you—can you do any less for others?

Suggestions for Prayer

If there is someone who has wronged you, pray for that person, asking God to give you a heart of compassion for him or her. Make every effort to reconcile as soon as possible.

For Further Study

Read Romans 1:29-31. How did Paul characterize the ungodly?

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- 06/09/2021

Philippians 1
https://images.app.goo.gl/nVaDf6qJKAKSUrsQ9

Philippians 1

CONTEXT: 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.

Our text today would seem to be a verse that all peoples could get behind, but we would of course be wrong in our postmodern world. Think of it who would object to someone loving more, by using knowledge and discernment.

It is not until we apply the last word that folks take issue. You see they want you to love everyone (especially them), they want you to think you are smart (even if they think you are dumb and treat you as such) but apply discernment and you have crossed the line.

Discernment according to Webster’s 1828 dictionary is The act of discerning; also, the power or faculty of the mind, by which it distinguishes one thing from another, as truth from falsehood, virtue from vice; acuteness of judgment; the power of perceiving differences of things or ideas, and their relations and tendencies. The errors of youth often proceed from the want of discernment.

Everyone applies this to their daily lives. We make judgments on what to buy, what is safe, who our kids should or should not hang out with, etc. These JUDGEMENTS are part of our normal routine and no one complains, until…

… once you start using your “smarts” and applying discernment, especially in a Biblical manner, then you are a Bigot, Racist, or some newfangled term I can’t keep up with. If you speak out against Abortion, any LGBTQ issue or anything the Bible says we are to stand up for you are labeled a troublemaker and accused of being judgemental.

Or maybe we are just dedicated Christians and believers in the Constitution, no matter the label.

Us Constitution Bible Flag And Gavel Stock Photo - Download Image Now -  iStock

Devotional Thought for Today – 06/08/2021

James 1:22 (ESV) - James 1:22 ESV - But be doers of the word,… | Biblia

James 1

I have written or posted about this verse more than once over the years (see below) primarily because I believe the Bible is true and as such 1 Peter 4:10 demands I take action.

Of course, as always context is critical, this past Saturday’s Devotional has the chapter breakdown from Matthew Henry’s commentary. One thing to point out is v.21, James through the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit writes, So get rid of all uncleanness and [e]all that remains of wickedness, and with a humble spirit receive the word [of God] which is implanted [actually rooted in your heart], which is able to save your souls. (AMP)

God has plans for and expects the humble of heart to be the doers of His Word, what about you?


OTHER RESOURCES:

Sunday Sermon Series – Hearers

Daily Devotional – Couch Potato Christian

Failing to Do It!

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Being a Doer of the Word

“Prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (James 1:22).

A doer of the Word obeys what Scripture says.

Effective Bible study is built on three key questions: What does the Bible say? What does it mean? How does it apply to my life? Each of those questions is important, but applying the Word must always be the highest goal. Knowledge without application is useless.

Both the Old and New Testaments emphasize the importance of applying Scripture. For example, just prior to leading the Israelites into the Promised Land, Joshua received this message from God: “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success” (Josh. 1:8). That’s a command to be a doer of the Word—one who receives, studies, and understands Scripture, then applies it to every aspect of his or her life. That was the key to Joshua’s amazing success.

James 1:22 is a New Testament counterpart to Joshua 1:8 and is directed to every believer: “Prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” It’s not enough to hear the Word; you must also do what it says.

The phrase “doer of the word” doesn’t refer to the person who obeys periodically, but the one who habitually and characteristically obeys. It’s one thing to run in a race; it’s something else to be a runner. It’s one thing to teach a class; it’s something else to be a teacher. Runners are known for running; teachers are known for teaching—it’s characteristic of their lives. Similarly, doers of the Word are known for their obedience to biblical truth.

Never be content to be a hearer of the Word only, but prove yourself a doer in the Christian life. Your claim to love Christ will mean something only if you obey what He says.

Suggestions for Prayer

Memorize Joshua 1:8 and pray regularly that God will make you a faithful doer of the Word.

For Further Study

Read Psalm 1.

  • What are the benefits of delighting in God’s law?
  • How does the psalmist characterize those who reject righteousness?

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 – 06/07/2021

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) - Jeremiah 29:11 ESV - For I know the plans I… | Biblia

Jeremiah 29

CONTEXT: Mathew Henry breaks this into two major themes; Two letters to the captives in Babylon; In the first, they are recommended to be patient and composed. (1-19) In the second, judgments are denounced against the false prophets who deceived them. (20-32)

I can not count the number of times our verse for today has been posted, plastered, or said out of context to me over the years. Biblical Hermeneutics, in short trying to understand what the bible says, is usually done in one of two manners.  Exegesis is carefully reading the text and drawing out meaning from it, Eisegesis is reading the meaning into the text.

In our text today it is easy to say God is talking about all His chosen people (you) and that He has only positive plans for our welfare and no evil will befall us. Except it is NOT TRUE! Generally speaking, we can apply this to all God’s chosen people but unless you live in fantasy land, you know folks, who are solid Christians who get sick, get robbed, or have other calamities happen to them no what?

No context demands this in not some catchall, name it and claim it verse (like Psalm 37:4) those cults are so fond of using. Read v.8-10, God warned the Jews not to listen to false teachers (prophets) and that same warning applies to us.

Finally the last phrase, to give you a future and hope, in context is referring to the restoration of the Jews after the captivity. Can it be generally applied to today, yes, in the sense that God gives a future and hope to all His redeemed in the form of Eternal Life in Christ.


PRAYER:

Father, no matter the circumstances I acknowledge your sovereignty in all things. I ask that you give me the strength and wisdom to trust in you no matter the season no matter the environment. I pray for the protection of your chosen peoples and my loved ones that we may one day all share in the future hope. AMEN.


OTHER RESOURCES:

How to Read the Bible Well: An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics

Daily Devotion – Bad Exegesis

What is the difference between exegesis and eisegesis?

What is the meaning of Jeremiah 29:11?

Devotional Thought for Today 06/04/2021

Paul in the second chapter of his First Epistle to Timothy makes two clear points here. One is one prayer and the other how believers ought to conduct themselves in and out of the church.

I exhort therefore, Paul knew there were two primary parts to worship,  ministering of the Word and prayer. Here he exhorts or beseeched, entreat, prayed for (Greek parakaleō) Timothy and the local church(s) to pray.

first of all, Before all other things, not after a bunch of music to get you all excited about God (you should already be) or enough caffeine to keep you awake for days.  At the very beginning of worship and at every opportunity to meet. 

supplications, These are petitions or requests for ourselves or on behalf of others.

prayers, Differ from supplication in that these are directed for and towards God. Usually for things that God can do to influence something. 

intercessions,  Complaints, and or prayers directed towards a specific person’s injustice or good. 

and giving of thanks,  To God for the abundance of His Grace, Mercy, and Providence. 

be made for all men.  These intercession, prayers, and supplications are to made known to God FOR ALL MEN, not just our family and friends. 


Pray for the Rich and the Poor; your Enemies and your Friends

    • For those who are rich and prosperous in the world, some of whom perhaps need prayers as much as those who request them.
    • For those who are poor and in affliction, for such, we have always with us.
    • For our enemies and those who hate us.
    • For our friends and those who love us.

READ ONLINE