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

Devotional Thought for Today – 08/28/21

Psalms 11:5 KJV Desktop Wallpaper - The LORD trieth the righteous: but the  wicked and

Once again I was having a discussion (online) with someone, who claimed to be a “Christian” but in my opinion, has a very narrow view of Christianity and the Bible in general.

Their whole Doctrinal belief is based upon, Matthew 22:36-40, God is and we should LOVE and that is it. Anything beyond that is simply minutia.

Well as you know and I repeatedly say we MUST have the Whole Counsel of God, in order to even begin to have any sense of a proper theology or doctrinal belief. In this case, let us look at one aspect that seems to be overlooked here, God hates and so should we!

I will leave you with a few Biblical examples to look over, to understand the importance of ALWAYS seeking the Whole Counsel of God before we determine a doctrine or even a course of action for our lives.

Does God hate?

God Hates Wicked People

The Hatred of God in the Psalms of David

Sunday Sermon Series – Righteous Hatred

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

60% of adults under 40 say Jesus isn’t the only way to salvation

If ever folks doubted the Bible’s accuracy, they need only read 2 Timothy 4:3 and know for a fact we are living in those times Paul wrote about.


60% of adults under 40 say Jesus isn’t only way to salvation; equal to Buddha, Muhammad

Survey shows pluralistic worldview expanding rapidly among American Christians

More than 60% of born again Christians in America between the ages of 18 and 39 believe that Buddha, Muhammad, and Jesus are all valid paths to salvation and over 30% say they either believe that Jesus sinned just like other people when He lived on Earth or aren’t sure, according to a new study.

There’s a “striking decline” in evangelical religious beliefs and practices over the last 10 years, as the number of self-proclaimed believers to hold these beliefs has increased by nearly 25%, says Probe Ministries in a statement announcing the results of its Religious Views & Practices Survey…

SOURCE: https://www.christianpost.com/news/60-of-young-adults-say-jesus-isnt-the-only-way-to-salvation.html

Devotional Thought for Today – 08/21/2021

James 4:8 (ESV) - James 4:8 ESV - Draw near to God, and he will… | Biblia

JAMES 4

CONTEXT: The overall theme of the chapter is the differences between worldly and Godly wisdom. In v.1-10 we find James cautioning the reader against worldly corruptions (sins) and in v.11-17 to never begin life’s work (business) without the consent and guidance of God.

Our text for today calls for all those trying to serve both man and God, (two masters) which is not easy for man’s human nature. We are reluctant to give up self, to surrender all to give up our earthly masters.

One of the Puritan theologians from the 1600’s said it best, it is far easier to commit sin than confess it…

Many blush to confess their faults, who never blush to commit them.

William Secker

Are your hands clean today?

GOT Question of the Week

Question: “What is repentance and is it necessary for salvation?”

Answer: 
Many understand the term repentance to mean “a turning from sin.” Regretting sin and turning from it is related to repentance, but it is not the precise meaning of the word. In the Bible, the word repent means…

SOURCE: https://www.gotquestions.org/repentance.html

Question: “If Jesus paid the price for our sin, why do we still suffer the consequences of our sin?”

Question: “If Jesus paid the price for our sin, why do we still suffer the consequences of our sin?”

Answer: The Bible gives the good news that Jesus paid the price for our sin (Ephesians 1:7), yet in many ways we still suffer the consequences of our sins…

Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/sin-consequences.html.html

Devotional Thought for Today – 08/13/21

Logos.com

Zechariah 3

CONTEXT: From Dr. John Gills Commentary:

INTRODUCTION TO ZECHARIAH 3

In this chapter, under the type of Joshua the high priest, is showed the state and condition of the priesthood, and of the church of God, in his times; and in it are various promises concerning the true High Priest, Christ, and of the efficacy and permanency of his priesthood. The vision of Joshua is in the form of a judicial process: Joshua is the person accused, and is described by his situation, standing before the Angel of the Lord; and by the filthy garments he had on, which were the ground of the charge against him, Zechariah 3:1 The accuser of him is Satan, who stood at his right hand; and his Judge is the Angel of the Lord, before whom he was, Zechariah 3:1. The sentence given against his accuser is by way of rebuke, enforced by the Lord's choice of Jerusalem, and merciful deliverance of this person; and, as given in his favour, is an order to take his filthy garments from him, and clothe him with change of raiment, and to put a fair mitre on his head; which were accordingly done, Zechariah 3:2 and a promise is made him, by way of protestation, that if he would walk in his ways, and keep his charge, he should judge his house, and keep his courts, and should have a walking place among those that stood by, Zechariah 3:6 and next Joshua, and those that were with him, are addressed as men wondered at; and are called upon to hearken to a promise of the Messiah, under the character of the Branch, Zechariah 3:8 and under that of a stone with seven eyes on it, and engravings in it, by whom the iniquity of God's people is removed, Zechariah 3:9 and the chapter is closed with an account of the prosperity, peace, and safety of the saints under the Gospel dispensation, Zechariah 3:10.

Our text for today makes it clear who is in charge of the situation, And the angel can only refer a member of the Godhead for only they could silence Satan the accuser. While it is clear from the Hebrew text that the intent was to prophesize the revival of the Jewish nation after its long Babylonian exile, we can look at it with a modern and personal application.

Joshua represents us, the believer, constantly being accused before our High Priest, Christ Jesus. It is important to note where Joshua is, directly standing before the angel of the Lord. The is the position that every TRUE believer needs to be in. Not some lollygagger hiding in the shadows, no business standing before the idols of this world but directly in front of the one and only true High Priest, Hebrews 4:14-16.

It is only Christ the redeemer who can transform our filthy rags (sin nature) into clothes as white as snow. He and He alone paid the price at Calvary for all mankind’s sin.

Are your clothes as clean as new-fallen snow today?

Devotional Thought for Today – 07/05/2021

John Owen quote: Let no man think to kill sin with few, easy...

Romans 8:12-13

CHAPTER CONTEXT: Matthew Henrey Comments: 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)

Our text for today comes in the second section or theme of this chapter. It begins with the declaration that if the Spirit is in us so is Christ. The opposite is also true if sin reigns and the Spirit of God can not be found in us neither can we (or should) claim to be Christians.

Yet as we know, the whole reason for the New Covenant, Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary, was man’s inability to forgo sinning. We are by nature sinners and even believers, sin. So does this mean that there are no true Christians? Absolutely not! That is the point John Owen and our text are making it is a constant struggle.

The KJV says it this way:  but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body while the AMP states it you are habitually putting to death the sinful deeds of the body. The emphasis is clear, we must continually take action against the sins of the flesh and mortify or put to death those deeds that are sinful.

This understanding obviously begins with each individual, but it must extend immediately to the home. Fathers and mothers have a responsibility to raise their children in a Godly manner and as such giving them the right understanding of sin and the means to combat it, is a must.


This very lengthy prayer, although intended for the Lord’s Sabbath day this could easily be modified and prayed in parts during the week. – Mike

A Family Prayer for the Lord’s Day Evening

O eternal and forever blessed and glorious Lord God! Thou art God over all, and rich in mercy to all that call upon thee, most wise and powerful, holy, just, and good; the King of kings, and Lord of lords; our Lord and our God.

Thou art happy without us and hast no need of our services, neither can our goodness extend unto thee, but we are miserable without thee; we have need of thy favours and are undone, forever undone, if thy goodness extend not unto us, and therefore, Lord, we entreat thy favour with our whole hearts; O let thy favour be towards us in Jesus Christ, for our happiness is bound up in it, and it is to us better than life. We confess we have forfeited thy favour, we have rendered ourselves utterly unworthy of it; yet we are humbly bold to pray for it in the name of Jesus Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us.

We bewail it before thee, that by the corruption of our natures we are become odious to thine holiness and utterly unfit to inherit the kingdom of God, and that by our many actual transgressions we are become obnoxious to thy justice and liable to thy wrath and curse. Being by nature children of disobedience, we are children of wrath and have reason both to blush and tremble in all our approaches to the holy and righteous God. Even the iniquity of our holy things would be our ruin, if God should deal with us according to the desert of them.

But with thee, O God, there is mercy and plenteous redemption: Thou hast graciously provided for all those that repent and believe the gospel, that the guilt of their sin shall be removed through the merit of Christ’s death, and the power of their sins broken by his Spirit and grace; and he is both ways able to save to the uttermost all those that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives making intercession for us.

Lord, we come to thee as a Father, by Jesus Christ the Mediator, and earnestly desire by repentance and faith to turn from the world and the flesh to God in Jesus Christ, as our ruler and portion. We are sorry that we have offended thee, we are ashamed to think of our treacherous and ungrateful carriage towards thee. We desire that we may have no more to do with sin, and pray as earnestly that the power of sin may be broken in us, as that the guilt of sin may be removed from us: And we rely only upon the righteousness of Jesus Christ and upon the merit of his death for the procuring of thy favour. O look upon us in him, and for his sake receive us graciously; heal our backslidings and love us freely and let not our iniquity be our ruin.

We beg, that being justified by faith, we may have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation for sin, that he may be just and the justifier of them which believe in Jesus. Through him who was made sin for us, though he knew no sin, let us who know no righteousness of our own, be accepted as righteous.

And the God of peace sanctify us wholly, begin and carry on that good work in our souls, renew us in the spirit of our minds, and make us in every thing such as thou wouldest have us to be. Set up thy throne in our hearts, write thy law there, plant thy fear there, and fill us with all the graces of thy Spirit that we may be fruitful in the fruits of righteousness, to the glory and the praise of God,

Mortify our pride and clothe us with humility; mortify our passions and put upon us the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God a great price. Save us from the power of a vain mind, and let thy grace be mighty in us to make us serious and sober-minded. Let the flesh be crucified in us, with all its affections and lusts; and give us grace to keep under our body, and to bring it into subjection to the laws of religion and right reason, and always to possess our vessel in sanctification and honour.

Let the love of the world be rooted out of us, and that covetousness which is idolatry; and let the love of God in Christ be rooted in us. Shed abroad that love in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, and give us to love thee the Lord our God with all our heart, and soul, and mind, and might; and to do all we do in religion from a principle of love to thee.

Mortify in us all envy, hatred, malice, and uncharitableness; pluck up these roots of bitterness out of our minds and give us grace to love one another with a pure heart, fervently, as becomes the followers of the Lord Jesus, who has given us this as his new commandment. O that brotherly love may continue among us, love without dissimulation!

We pray thee, rectify all our mistakes; if in any thing we be in an error, discover it to us, and let the Spirit of truth lead us into all truth, the truth as it is in Jesus, the truth which is according to godliness; and give us that good understanding which they have that do thy commandments; and let our love and all good affections abound in us yet more and more, in knowledge and in all judgment.

Convince us, we pray thee, of the vanity of this world and its utter insufficiency to make us happy, that we may never set our hearts upon it, nor raise our expectations from it; and convince us of the vileness of sin, and its certain tendency to make us miserable, that we may hate it and dread it and every thing that looks like it or leads to it.

Convince us, we pray thee, of the worth of our own souls and the weight of eternity, and the awfulness of that everlasting state which we are standing upon the brink of; and make us diligent and serious in our preparation for it, labouring less for the meat that perisheth and more for that which endures to eternal life, as those who have set their affections on things above and not on things that are on earth, which are trifling and transitory.

O that time and the things of time may be as nothing to us in comparison with eternity and the things of eternity; that eternity may be much upon our heart and ever in our eye; that we may be governed by that faith which is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen; looking continually at the things that are not seen, that are eternal.

Give us grace, we pray thee, to look up to the other world with such a holy concern, as that we may look down upon this world with a holy contempt and indifferency, as those that must be here but a very little while, and must be somewhere forever; that we may rejoice as though we rejoiced not, and weep as though we wept not, and buy as though we possessed not, and may use this world as not abusing it; because the fashion of this world passeth away, and we are passing away with it.

O let thy grace be mighty in us and sufficient for us, to prepare us for the great change which will come certainly and shortly, and may come very suddenly; which will remove us from a world of sense to a world of spirits, from our state of trial and probation to that of recompense and retribution; and to make us meet for the inheritance of the saints in light; that when we fail, we may be received into everlasting habitations.

Prepare us, we beseech thee, for whatever we may meet with betwixt us and the grave: We know not what is before us, and therefore know not what particular provision to make; but thou dost, and therefore we beg of thee to fit us by thy grace for all the services and all the sufferings which thou shalt at any time call us out to; and arm us against every temptation which we may at any time be assaulted with, that we may at all times and in all conditions glorify God, keep a good conscience, and be found in the way of our duty, and may keep up our hope and joy in Christ, and a believing prospect of eternal life; and then welcome the holy will of God.

Give us grace, we pray thee, to live a life of communion with thee both in ordinances and providences, to set thee always before us, and to have our eyes ever upon thee, and to live a life of dependence upon thee, upon thy power, providence, and promise, trusting in thee at all times and pouring out our hearts before thee; and to live a life of devotedness to thee and to thine honour and glory, as our highest end. And that we may make our religion not only our business, but our pleasure, we beseech thee, enable us to live a life of complacency in thee, to rejoice in thee always; that making God our heart’s delight, so may we have our heart’s desire: And this is our heart’s desire, to know and love and live to God, to please him and to be pleased in him.

We beseech thee, preserve us in our integrity to our dying day and grant that we may never forsake thee or turn from following after thee, but that with purpose of heart we may cleave unto the Lord and may not count life itself so dear to us, so we may but finish our course with joy and true honour.

Let thy good providence order all the circumstances of our dying, so as may best befriend our comfortable removal to a better world; and let thy grace be sufficient for us then to enable us to finish well; and let us then have an abundant entrance ministered to us into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

And while we are here, make us wiser and better every day than others; more weaned from the world, and more willing to leave it: More holy, heavenly, and spiritual; that the longer we live in this world, the fitter we may be for another, and our last days may be our best days, our last works our best works, and our last comforts our sweetest comforts.

We humbly pray thee, accomplish all that which thou hast promised concerning thy church in the latter days; let the earth be filled with thy glory. Let the fulness of the Gentiles be brought in, and let all Israel be saved.

Let the mountain of the Lord’s house be established upon the top of the mountains and exalted above the hills, and let all nations flow unto it.

Propagate the gospel in the plantations, and let the enlargement of trade and commerce contribute to the enlargement of thy church. Let the kingdom of Christ be set up in all places upon the ruins of the devil’s kingdom.

Hasten the downfall of the man of sin, and let primitive Christianity, even pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father, be revived and be made to flourish in all places; and let the power of godliness prevail and get ground among all that have the form of it.

Let the wars of the nations end in the peace of the church, the shakings of the nations end in the establishment of the church, and the convulsions and revolutions of states and kingdoms in the settlement and advancement of the kingdom of God among men, that kingdom which cannot be moved.

Let Great Britain and Ireland (Add your homeland here _____________) flourish in all their public interests. Let thine everlasting gospel be always the glory in the midst of us, and let thy providence be a wall of fire round about us. Destroy us not, but let a blessing be among us, even a meat-offering and a drink-offering to the Lord our God.

Be very gracious to our sovereign lord the king, protect his person, preserve his health, prolong his days, guide his councils, let his reign be prosperous, and crown all his undertakings for the public good.

Bless the privy counsellors, the nobility, the judges, and magistrates in our several counties and corporations, and make them in all their places faithful and serviceable to the interest of the nation, and every way public blessings.

Bless all the ministers of thy holy word and sacraments; make them burning and shining lights, and faithful to Christ and to the souls of men. Unite all thy ministers and people together in the truth and in true love one to another; pour out a healing spirit upon them, a spirit of love and charity, mutual forbearance and condescension, that with one shoulder and with one consent all may study to promote the common interests of our great Master and the common salvation of precious souls.

We pray thee, prosper the trade of the nation and our coasts, disappoint the devices of our enemies against us, preserve the public peace, and keep all the people of these lands in quietness among themselves and due subjection to the authority God hath set over us; and let the Lord delight to dwell among us and to do us good.

Bless the fruits of the earth, continue our plenty, abundantly bless our provision, and satisfy even our poor with bread.

We bless thee for all the mercies of this thine own holy day; we have reason to say that a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! Bless the word we have heard this day to us and to all that heard it; hear our prayers, accept our praises, and forgive what thy pure eye hath seen amiss in us and our performances.

Take us under thy protection this night, and enable us to close the day with thee, that we may lie down, and our sleep may be sweet. Be with us the week following in all our ways; forgive us that we brought so much of the week with us into the sabbath, and enable us to bring a great deal of the sabbath with us into the week, that we may be the fitter for the next sabbath, if we should live to see it.

Make us meet for the everlasting sabbath, which we hope to keep within the veil, when time and days shall be no more; and let this day bring us a sabbath-day’s journey nearer heaven, and make us a sabbath-day’s work fitter for it.

As we began this Lord’s Day with the joyful memorials of Christ’s resurrection, so we desire to conclude it with the joyful expectations of Christ’s second coming and of our own resurrection, then to a blessed immortality, triumphing in hopes of the glory of God.

Bless the Lord, love the Lord, O our souls, and let all that is within us love and bless his holy name, for he is good and his mercy endures for ever. In praising God, we desire to spend as much of our time as may be, that we may begin our heaven now, for in this good work we hope to be spending a happy eternity.

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, and our God, in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, be honour and glory, dominion and praise, henceforth and for ever. Amen.

Keeping the Faith

Here is a 13 part series, first published in June 2018, from John MacArthur’s Grace to You Ministries entitled Keeping the Faith. Note some of the words used in the titles Judge, Discrimination, Humility, Discern are those likely on the hit list of “bad” words for the woke culture of today. Yet the bible says true believers are not of this world and we are to do those things living as such.

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

The Value of Discrimination

Judge Everything

Cling to What Is Good

Shun What Is Evil

Our Duty to Discern

Discernment Demands Humility

The Source and Supply of All Discernment

The Deadly Dangers of Passive Discernment

Following the Faithful

Spirit-Powered Discernment

Growing in discernment

The Deadly Dangers of Passive Discernment