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. 

Prayers for Governing Authorities

Prayers for Governing Authorities

Prayers for Governing Authorities

In 1 Timothy 2:1-4, the Apostle Paul wrote:

“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.”

Christians are called to pray for kings and all who are in authority. Are you so praying? If not, you should. If you are praying, what are you praying for? Is it about the economy, foreign policy, class warfare, defense, the culture, etc.? Or is it more important things?

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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. 

 

10 Reasons Christians Should Vote Biblically

THE AMERICAN PASTORS NETWORK GIVES 10 REASONS CHRISTIANS SHOULD VOTE BIBLICALLY

by PA Pastors Network Executive Director Dr. Gary Dull

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On November 3, Americans will head to the polls to vote for a Presidential candidate and various state and local officials.  The American Pastors Network  is encouraging Christians to vote biblically and with their faith convictions at heart.

“There is no doubt that voting is a very significant aspect of the Christian witness for truth that the Word of God calls us to portray,” said PA Pastors Network Executive Director Gary Dull. “Biblically minded Christians will be biblically minded voters for biblically correct issues, ultimately electing candidates God will use to glorify His name.”

Dull further expanded on these 10 reasons why Christians should vote:

1. To support candidates and issues that are biblically based. When Christians vote, they have the opportunity to support biblical truth by voting in favor of the issues and the candidates that are in agreement with scripture. Doing so has the potential to bring principles of righteousness into the public square that will exalt a nation, according to Proverbs 14:34.

2. To practice civil obedience. Americans have been given the opportunity by the Constitution to vote according to the 15th, 19th and 26th Amendments. Because the “law of the land” provides the right for the citizens to vote, and because Romans 13:1-2 teaches that Christian citizens should be “subject to the higher power,” voting becomes a matter of civil obedience. Thus, when Christians vote, they obey God; when they do not, they disobey God.

3. To uphold biblical values. When Christians vote, they have the opportunity to promote and uphold biblical values that the world knows nothing about. Philippians 2:13-16 tells Christians to “shine as lights in the world” and “hold forth the word of life.” Philippians 4:8 gives a list of things to carefully reflect upon that, when translated into guidelines for voting, will contribute to righteousness in the land.

4. To stand against evil in the nation. St. Augustine said, “Those who are citizens of God’s Kingdom are best equipped to be citizens of the kingdom of man.” Why? Because Christians understand the difference between good and evil. When Christians vote from a biblical perspective, they have the opportunity to “put the evil away from among” the nation as Deuteronomy 17:7 and other portions of Scripture teach.

5. To promote that which is morally good in the country. When Christians vote, they take the opportunity to promote that which is morally upright by supporting candidates and issues that are biblically correct.

6. To function as Christ’s ambassadors. When Christians vote, they fulfill the honor and responsibility of being Christ’s ambassadors, as taught in 2 Corinthians 5:20. It is a privilege to represent the Lord in society, and with each biblically sound vote they cast, Christians actively do so.

7. To be involved in government. Titus 3:1 encourages pastors to teach their congregations to be “ready to every good work,” which is in the context of functioning in government. Voting is simply one way to be involved in the good work of government by expressing biblical values at the polls.

8. To put our prayers into action. The Bible teaches Christians to pray for those in authority so they may “lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty,” according to 1 Timothy 2:1-2. When Christians vote, they take the opportunity to vote for those they have been praying for, who will promote biblical truth in the culture.

9. To maintain our freedoms. There are candidates who, given the chance, would remove the freedoms Americans hold dear. Attacks on the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Bible, all which stand for freedom and liberty, occur daily. Christian voters biblically support the blessings of “the perfect law of liberty” (James 1:25), which will further guarantee the freedoms upon which the American civilization was established.

10. To function as “salt and light.” When Christians vote, they act in obedience to Matthew 5:13-16, in serving as the preservative conscience of the nation and shedding the light of the truth of the Scripture regarding the issues of life. The American Pastors Network is also partnering with iVoter Guide to inform Christians of the issues in their regions. The comprehensive, data-driven guide provides voters with side-by-side comparisons of candidates for the upcoming primary elections, allowing them to identify those who most closely share their values and who has the voting record to back up campaign promises.

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

Sunday Sermon Series – Proverbs 14

Mark Conner's Space: Proverbs 14

PROVERBS 14 

The book of Proverbs was designed to help us in “attaining wisdom and discipline; in understanding words of insight; in acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; in giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young.” On Track Devotions 

Proverbs 14 is no exception, made up of 35 separate sayings or insights is is a wealth of knowledge for those who open their hearts and minds to the Holy Spirit. 

Some of my favorite are: 

v.7 Leave the presence of a [shortsighted] fool, For you will not find knowledge or hear godly wisdom from his lips. 

Do not have fellowship (close or deep relationships) with fools who mock sin. Nothing beneficial for your spiritual maturity can come from it.

v.14 The backslider in heart will have his fill with his own [rotten] ways, But a good man will be satisfied with his ways [the godly thought and action which his heart pursues and in which he delights].

Those who claim or have claimed to know Christ but fail to act like it are living Burger King Theology.  They want God their way, while True Christians  find satisfaction in following God.  

v.31 He who oppresses the poor taunts and insults his Maker, But he who is kind and merciful and gracious to the needy honors Him.

If we oppress or ignore the poor in our midst we insult God. Now a word of caution this is not referring to the “Social Gospel” that has become so popular. This is referring to taking care of the needy within our household first, congregation next and then our neighbors as was the custom in O.T. times and as the first century church in Act continued. 

v.34 Righteousness [moral and spiritual integrity and virtuous character] exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people.

Righteousness on both ends of the nation, that is its Government (elected representatives and the people. But where sin, immorality unethical acts etc. abound the nation is a disgrace before God. 


SERMON

How a Man’s Conduct Comes Home to Him

Charles Haddon Spurgeon,  May 16, 1875 

Scripture: Proverbs 14:14

From: Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Volume 21


Other Resources

Christian Charity Enforced – by Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

Includes reference to Proverbs 14:31

 

 

How Chuck Colson Thought Abortion Would Ultimately End

BreakPoint Daily

Today’s BreakPoint: How Chuck Colson Thought Abortion Would Ultimately End

image001 (9)

…“This,” Chuck concluded, “is the way the abortion war will ultimately be won: through Jesus Christ changing hearts, one by one. No amount of political force, no government, no laws, no army of Planned Parenthood workers, can ever stop that. It is the one thing absolutely invincible…

Read From Beginning 

Devotional Thought for Today – 10/23/2020

angry emoji - Bing images | Angry emoji, Cool emoji, Funny emoji

PSALM 4 

Anger is a natural outpouring if the unregenerate man. Here in Psalm 4 David begins by with a prayer, begging God to deal with his enemies v.1-3.  When we get to v.4 David instructs his enemies to turn (repent) from their anger Be angry,2 and do not sin; (ESV); turning to God v.5.  David concludes v.6-8 by praises and expressing his trust in God. 

In the New Testament Paul writes to the church at Ephesus the about the same subject Ephesians 4:26-31, making it clear that righteous anger (we should be angry with abortions, LBGT, Suppression of Christianity, ETC.) yet in our anger we must;  do no sin; do not let your anger [cause you shame, nor allow it to] last until the sun goes down. In other words our anger must be biblically based. Does the object of our anger go against the expressed word of God?  

Oh there will be occasions when the neighbor blasts their music to load, or has a messy yard or some other such thing that will upset you.  Maybe you come home after a long hard day at work and the washer overflows. Reasons to be upset maybe reasons to lash out (anger must be biblically based) not at all. 

Yet in the end our human nature may take over and Anger would seem to be unavoidable. It is how we act in our anger that makes all the difference.  Will people, (family, feinds, co-workers) see us as just another fake Christian or will they see us a a reflection of the Light of Christ? 

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 10/22/2020

Jesus and the Ten Lepers – Parables of Jesus – Abundant Life GP

Luke 17:11-19


Developing an Attitude of Gratitude 

Some context here, Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem and come upon a group of 10 Lepers. Think for a moment how in is this time period Leprosy (any skin abnormality like psoriasis  included) meant you were cast out of the cities to live isolated either alone or with others with skin diseases. Here comes Jesus and they seize upon an opportunity to cry out Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 

Jesus tells them to go shew themselves to the chief priest at the temple (a required verification to be deemed clean and therefore a member of society) and as they went away they were cleansed. 

Remember these men had been society’s outcasts and now are healed what should there reaction be? The bible tells us only one had an Attitude of Gratitude and he was as the bible points out a Samaritan.  

This story tells us of a problem that many modern day Christians can have complacency. We expect God to do certain things in our lives so we “forget” to be grateful when they are accomplished.  I will leave you today with a quote: 

“Edwards [Jonathan Edwards] calls the deeper, primary form of thankfulness ‘gracious gratitude.’ It gives thanks not for goods received, but for who God is: for His character — His goodness, love, power, excellencies — regardless of favors received. And it’s real evidence of the Holy Spirit working in a person’s life.” –Chuck Colson