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? 

 

Living the New Life in Christ

32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

CONTEXT: 

In this 4th chapter of his Epistle to the church at Ephesus, Paul begins v.1-16 with an exhortation to Christian Unity. In v.17-24 we find his opening of today’s theme Living the New Life in Christ where Paul emphasizes putting away the old life and adopting the new life wrapped in the likeness of God. 

In order to get to pour main text above I need to again put it in context of the whole with which it was written v.25-32:

25 Therefore, putting away lying, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor,[j] because we are members of one another. 26 Be angry and do not sin.[k] Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and don’t give the devil an opportunity.28 Let the thief no longer steal. Instead, he is to do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need29 No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need,[l]so that it gives grace to those who hear.30 And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by him[m] for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice. 32 And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you[n] in Christ (CSB)

Efesios 4:25-32 Reina-Valera 1960 (RVR1960)

If we just take v.32 it sounds goo, in fact I am sure many of us have heard if said by non-believers accusingly something like; ‘I thought you Christians were supposed to be king and caring full of forgiveness.’  

So how is it “we Christians” can answer those accusations? Paul tells us in the text: 

Always speak the truth to our neighbors.

If you get angry (natural for all men) do not let it cause you to sin.

Do not give the devil a toe hold in your life. If you are angry at someone deal with it Matthew 18:15 (note while this addresses Christian brothers it is applicable to all)

Work hard and share with those in need. Haters will always be out there, but it is hard to argue with hard work and caring. (Matthew 25:40)

We (God’s Chosen Elect) Christians are indwelled by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9) the Third person of the Triune Godhead. As such He cannot abide with sin Psalm 5:4 says For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil cannot dwell with you. By putting away sin that is making every effort not to sin and when we do to quickly confess our sins, we avoid Grieving the Holy Spirit 

Finally whatever comes out of our mouths must be Graceful to the hearers. You do not want folks hearing you trash talk others, curse and carry on. In all our speech Glorify God.

APPLICATION

We cannot on our own do any of this. That is (in my opinion) why Paul reminds the Church at Ephesus to Unify in fellowship and as individuals to put on the new life in Christ. Our strength to defeat our old ways and the devils temptations comes not from self but from God and fellowship with like minded brethren.

Tempted

When we think of being tempted we think of doing things wrong that is sinning against God. Of course that is true, and we need to Armor Up daily to fight off the willy temptations of the devil what other types of temptations are running about especially with the COVID-19 situation? How about:

Anger – maybe you have been to that store 3 times for TP and they are out every time

Anxiety – some folks get panic attack for many different reasons a world wide pandemic is probably one to set them off

Depression – as more and more areas have issued “Shelter in Place” orders those not used to being “locked up” will become susceptible to depression

Slothfulness or Laziness – as more Americans are laid off laziness is often the by product

Resentment – my neighbor still has a job why not me I have bills to pay too

12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. James 1:12

The “GOOD NEWS” is that there is a cure for all these temptations and the cure is Christ. Trust in HIM and HIM alone as not only your Savior equally important LORD of your Life. Christ is able to sustain us through all life’s trials and temptations Psalm 55:22

If you are feeling any of these emotions and want to talk, vent or otherwise express yourself PLEASE feel free to email me and I will gladly send you IM info.

 

 

Christian Reflections on Anger

This article reminded me that many people including “Christians” deal with anger issues every day. Some, like mine are brought on by past military duties, some by abuse, and some for other unnamed reasons. We must first recognize that anger is real an issue, that we can not fix it alone, and having anger issues does not mean someone is a “bad” person. It just means they are a person in need of help or maybe a person in need of Christ. – Mike

Christian Reflections on Anger

by 

Recently, I preached a sermon on anger (Matthew 5:21-26). As a result, I’ve been thinking more about this emotion. I want to share some of my imperfect reflections. This list is not exhaustive, but are just some things that came to mind. You can find them below.

In no particular order:

1. There’s a difference between righteous anger and unrighteous anger.

Is anger always a sin? No. The Bible never says, “Thou shall not get angry.” In fact, the Apostle Paul says, “Be angry, and do not sin. . . ” (Eph. 4:26). So anger can be bad, but it is not always bad. That means we must differentiate between righteous anger and unrighteous anger.

Righteous anger is when you get angry toward sin, injustice, and oppression in the world. Take, for example, something like high school bullying or sex trafficking. The thought of these two makes me angry. I don’t think my anger here is sinful because my anger is aligned with the heart of God who himself hates sin, injustice, and oppression.

Unrighteous anger is all other forms of anger. The context of Matthew 5:21-24 is personal anger toward your brother or sister in Christ. Getting angry at petty offenses and slight snubs are not valid forms of anger. We must seek to steward our emotions and channel our anger toward injustice in the world. The heart of the Christian is to pray, “Lord, help me to love what you love, and hate what you hate.”

Continued at link above

Am I More Righteous than God?

Image result for Jonah 4:2 Amplified Bible

I am guessing everyone has some basic knowledge of the story of Jonah. In the lead up to Chapter 4 God has asked Jonah to God to Nineveh and warn the people there to repent. Jonah of course does everything he can to avoid this task against his sworn enemies but eventually ends up there with God’s intervening hand. Of course the people of Nineveh repent and Jonah is rippin mad at God!

Before we go further please stop a moment and think on the title of this devotion, Am I More Righteous than God? As we will see in the verses that is exactly what Jonah’s anger and pity party amount to. He decided he knew better than God. The same applies TODAY, anytime we take the inerrant, infallible Word of God and twist it to our own liking we are saying I More Righteous than God? I do not know about you but in the day when every knee shall bow do you really want to be the one standing there saying ‘you ain’t all that’?

But it greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, is this not what I said when I was still in my country? That is why I ran to Tarshish, because I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and great in lovingkindness, and [when sinners turn to You] You revoke the [sentence of] disaster [against them]Therefore now, O Lord, just take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” Then the Lord said, “Do you have a good reason to be angry?”

Then Jonah went out of the city and sat east of it. There he made himself a shelter and sat under its shade so that he could see what would happen in the city. So the Lord God prepared a [a]plant and it grew up over Jonah, to be a shade over his head to spare him from discomfort. And Jonah was extremely happy about [the protection of] the plant. But God prepared a worm when morning dawned the next day, and it attacked the plant and it withered. When the sun came up God prepared a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah’s head so that he fainted and he wished to die, and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.”

Then God said to Jonah, “Do you have a good reason to be angry about [the loss of] the plant?” And he said, “I have a [very] good reason to be angry, angry enough to die!” 10 Then the Lord said, “You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight. 11 Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 [innocent] persons, who do not know the difference between their right and left hand [and are not yet accountable for sin], as well as many [blameless] animals?” Jonah 4:1-11 (AMP)

For context I have included the whole discourse between Jonah and God but I will only concentrate on the first four verses this morning. 

v.1 But it greatly displeased Jonah- God send you on a task, he gives you purpose in life and your response is to be displeased and worse he became angry. Jonah was not angry at himself he was angry at God.  

1. angry–literally, “hot,” probably, with grief or vexation, rather than anger [FAIRBAIRN]. How sad the contrast between God’s feeling on the repentance of Nineveh towards Him, and Jonah’s feeling on the repentance of God towards Nineveh. Strange in one who was himself a monument of mercy on his repentance! We all, like him, need the lesson taught in the parable of the unforgiving, though forgiven, debtor ( Matthew 18:23-35 ). Jonah was grieved because Nineveh’s preservation, after his denunciation, made him seem a false prophet [CALVIN]. But it would make Jonah a demon, not a man, to have preferred the destruction of six hundred thousand men rather than that his prophecy should be set aside through God’s mercy triumphing over judgment. And God in that case would have severely chastised, whereas he only expostulates mildly with him, and by a mode of dealing, at once gentle and condescending, tries to show him his error. Moreover, Jonah himself, in apologizing for his vexation, does not mention the failure of his prediction as the cause: but solely the thought of God’s slowness to anger. This was what led him to flee to Tarshish at his first commission; not the likelihood then of his prediction being falsified; for in fact his commission then was not to foretell Nineveh’s downfall, but simply to “cry against” Nineveh’s “wickedness” as having “come up before God.” Jonah could hardly have been so vexed for the letter of his prediction failing, when the end of his commission had virtually been gained in leading Nineveh to repentance. This then cannot have been regarded by Jonah as the ultimate end of his commission. If Nineveh had been the prominent object with him, he would have rejoiced at the result of his mission. But Israel was the prominent aim of Jonah, as a prophet of the elect people. Probably then he regarded the destruction of Nineveh as fitted to be an example of God’s judgment at last suspending His long forbearance so as to startle Israel from its desperate degeneracy, heightened by its new prosperity under Jeroboam II at that very time, in a way that all other means had failed to do. Jonah, despairing of anything effectual being done for God in Israel, unless there were first given a striking example of severity, thought when he proclaimed the downfall of Nineveh in forty days, that now at last God is about to give such an example; so when this means of awakening Israel was set aside by God’s mercy on Nineveh’s repentance, he was bitterly disappointed, not from pride or mercilessness, but from hopelessness as to anything being possible for the reformation of Israel, now that his cherished hope is baffled. But GOD’S plan was to teach Israel, by the example of Nineveh, how inexcusable is their own impenitence, and how inevitable their ruin if they persevere. Repenting Nineveh has proved herself more worthy of God’s favor than apostate Israel; the children of the covenant have not only fallen down to, but actually below, the level of a heathen people; Israel, therefore, must go down, and the heathen rise above her. Jonah did not know the important lessons of hope to the penitent, and condemnation to those amidst outward privileges impenitent, which Nineveh’s preservation on repentance was to have for aftertimes, and to all ages. He could not foresee that Messiah Himself was thus to apply that history. A lesson to us that if we could in any particular alter the plan of Providence, it would not be for the better, but for the worse [FAIRBAIRN].¹

v.2- You are a gracious and compassionate God- Yes folks this is the very best reason one can have to be mad at God, the fact that He is slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. All because Jonah knows God forgives the sins of those who repent of their evil ways. Obviously Jonah had never sinned in his life, yeah right!!

my saying what I said–my thought, or feeling.
fled before I ranI anticipated by fleeing, the disappointment of my design through Thy long-suffering mercy.
gracious . . . and merciful, &c.–Jonah here has before his mind Exodus 34:6 ; as Joel ( Joel 2:13) in his turn quotes from Jonah. ¹

v.3 – take my life from me- Jonah throws the ultimate pity party and asks God to kill him. Why because he is suffering greatly from some incurable disease or maybe he is like Job and has lost everything in his life? No Jonah has only delivered a message of hope to the enemies of Israel and they have turned from their evil ways. One would think his reaction would be to rejoice. 

Jonah’s impatience of life under disappointed hopes of Israel’s reformation through the destruction of Nineveh, is like that of Elijah at his plan for reforming Israel ( 1 Kings 18:1-46 ) failing through Jezebel ( 1 Kings 19:4 ). ¹

v.4 – Do you have a good reason to be angry? God asks Jonah what reason do you have to be angry? Can there be any justification for your anger? Is it righteous anger? For those of us who deal with anger issues these are all questions we need to be asking every time that monster rears its ugly head. One thing is for certain Anger against a  gracious and compassionate God, (who is) slow to anger and (shows) great  lovingkindness is never justified. 

 Doest thou well to be angry?–or grieved; rather as the Margin, “Art thou much angry,” or “grieved?” [FAIRBAIRN with the Septuagint and Syriac]. But English Version suits the spirit of the passage, and is quite tenable in the Hebrew [GESENIUS]. ¹

The application or lesson here is that God is God, He decides whom to send, whom to save, and what the circumstances for each will be. In other words God is all powerful (omnipotent) secondly and most importantly (in my opinion) God is sovereign that is He is in control of all things and His plan and ways are better than ours. If for example Jonah had considered this and accepted it he would not have complained. He may not have “liked” having to go to the Ninevites but he would have accepted God’s will.

Anytime we superimpose our will, our desires above God’s we are making the claim that we are more righteous than God and I dare say I would be afraid to go there. 

¹ = Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Help! I Keep Losing My Temper

March 19, 2019

There are many reasons and excuses for losing one’s temper. Some are related to conditions like PTSD but as the author notes “Ultimately then, a lost temper is just anger that’s been put in charge without checks or balances.” -Mike

Losing your temper is a lot like losing your car keys—you never choose to and it always seems to happen at the worst moments. For some “losing your temper” means yelling, swearing, pounding a fist on the table. For others, lost temper is barely perceptible: a tightening of the jaw, a cold silence, but the angry feelings are still swarming, just hidden away inside.

Whatever our style, we all lose our temper sometimes. By “lose our temper,” I simply mean that you and I sometimes hand the reins of our behavior over to the feelings of anger in our soul. As your body begins to pump adrenaline, expand blood vessels, and tense muscles for a fight, your desire to feel vindicated (though all too often later reflection reveals you weren’t nearly so far up the moral high ground as you’d thought) takes over and hands you your script. Fundamentally, losing your temper means you’ve placed anger in the saddle and you are now galloping along at its command…

Continued at Source: Help! I Keep Losing My Temper

 

PURITAN QUOTE(S) FOR TODAY – 16 May

WORDS AND WISHES

They did chide him sharply – Judges 8:1

Pleasant words are as a honeycomb –  Proverbs 16:24

They wished for the day – Acts 27:29

Words are wind; ay, but they are that wind that blows up this fire [anger] to a mighty heat. – Jeremiah Burroughs

Five words cost Zachariah forty weeks silence. – Thomas Fuller

Man cannot come to his journey’s end with wishing. – Richard Sibbes

Taken from: The Puritans Day by Day © The Banner of Truth Trust 2016

Check out our Faithful Steward Ministry Facebook page and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones excellent, “Walking with God”, daily devotional. Today topic
GOD’S JUDGMENT

PURITAN QUOTE(S) FOR TODAY – 17 February

p-day-byJUST ANGER

 Be angry, and sin not – Ephesians 4:26

 He… looked round about on them with anger – Mark 3:5

 I was very angry – Nehemiah 5:6

 He that will be angry and not sin, must not be angry but for sin. – John Trapp

 It is not a sin to be angry, but hard not to sin when we are angry. – John Trapp

 Anger may rush into a wise man’s bosom, but should not rest there. John Trapp

 Taken from: The Puritans Day by Day © The Banner of Truth Trust 2016

Check out our Faithful Steward Ministry Facebook page and

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones excellent “Walking with God” daily devotional.

Overcoming 5 Types of Anger

The solution to all types of anger is nothing less than the gospel of Jesus Christ. We want changed hearts, not behavior modification…

Source: Overcoming 5 Types of Anger

**My note the author intentionally does not mention righteous anger, instead his focus is what I have in the past described as toxic anger.

 

Dealing with Anger? Meditating on Bible Verses from Proverbs

For many ex-mates and ex-military (me included) this is an ongoing battle, one that can be overcome in Christ. I pray y’all find this helpful.

Do you have a problem with anger? I hope this is practical and helpful for everybody.  If you are involved with Christian apologetics (a big topic on our blog) you would no doubt encounter people…

Source: Dealing with Anger? Meditating on Bible Verses from Proverbs