Devotional thought for Today – 03/04/2021

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1 Thessalonians 5:12-28

This portion of 1 Thessalonians 5 can be divided into two sections; v.12-22 and v.23-28. The first is a series of exhortations or final instructions on how to live as faithful believers pending the return of Christ.  The latter is Pauls’s final salutation and blessing to the church. 

The two are fully and indelibly connected. Paul’s benediction v.23-28 depending on your translation begins with either (most common) And the…, Now may…,  both of these signify that all that proceeded (v.12-22) is being wrapped up here. 

Our main text for today,  v.24, is Paul’s second sentence in the benediction, a reminder to all that our God is Able.  Some of the more common translations are: 

ESV: “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”

KJV: “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”

NASB: “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will do it.”

NLT: “God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.”

CSB: “He who calls you is faithful; he will do it.”

So the obvious is God is Able but able to do what? remember I said that v.12-22 were the key and that they were all about living as faithful believers? So it is God (and God alone) who is able to complete our holiness, make us mature believers, enable us to live faithfully for Christ.  I really like the AMP version of v.24

Faithful and absolutely trustworthy is He who is calling you [to Himself for your salvation], and He will do it [He will fulfill His call by making you holy, guarding you, watching over you, and protecting you as His own].

When God saved us, he called us to be sanctified set apart from the world for the kingdom and His glory.  Paul is reminding the Church at Thessalonica and us of this and that we can not go it alone. 

TODAY’S PRAYER

Thank You Father that You are the one that is going to bring me to spiritual maturity – not in my own strength, but as I yield to the chastening and refining work of Your Holy Spirit within my heart. Have Your way in my life I pray, until I reach a spiritual maturity that measures up to the full and complete standard of Christ – Christ in me the hope of glory – praise Your holy name, AMEN.

Source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/1-Thessalonians/5

Devotional thought for Today – 02/17/2021

Logos.com

LUKE 24

Here in the final chapter of the Gospel of Luke, we find three main subjects:

The Resurrection of Christ v.1-12

The appearances of Christ v.13-49

The Ascension of Christ v.50-53

Our text today comes from the final section. Contained herein are also three (3) topics or subjects I would like to looks at this morning. They are Worshipped, Joy and Blessing

Matthew Poole comments on this section as follows: 

Ver. 52,53. We never before read of any act of adoration which the disciples performed to Christ. Their faith was now come to the highest pitch. They did no longer look upon him only as one sent of God, a great Prophet, nor only as the Son of David, the promised Messiah; in the mean time not rightly taking the notion of the Messiah, but looking upon him as one who should be a temporal saviour, and deliverer of his people; they now believe him to be the eternal Son of God, being so manifested by his resurrection from the dead, and ascension into heaven before their eyes. According to his commandment, they return to Jerusalem, full of joy:

What is it that these (the chosen disciples) who had just been blessed v.50 the risen Savior come away with?  I think the best word I can use to describe it is zeal.  Matthew Poole said  it was Their faith was now come to the highest pitch.  Here they are with a fresh infusion of life from Christ’s blessing and off they go Worshipping Christ,  full of Joy and praising and Blessing. They were excited, pumped up, and ready to conquer the world. 

I often wonder how often we forget that great day of our infusion, the day of our blessing from Christ when He made us whole? Redeemed us from eternal damnation and made us more than conquerors in him. How much of that initial Zeal has gone from us? 

Today’s Prayer¹

Father, it is my lifelong desire to love You without hesitation, to never be lacking in zeal, and to keep my spiritual fervor as I serve You.  My desire is to fully devote myself to You and to always do what is good and right in Your sight bringing Glory to your name.  Help me to always be obedient to your commandments. Otherwise, my hearts will grow proud and we will forget my first love. Keep me your chosen path all the days of my life, keeping my spiritual zeal as I serve You. – Amen. 

¹ adapted from

Daily Devotional – As Death Beckons

21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

Most “Christians” are familiar with this verse and have a basic understanding of its meaning. Paul is a prisoner in Rome when he writes to the church planted in Philippi. The chapter can be broken down into 3 or 4 main topics:

Paul’s Greeting to the Church v.1-2

Paul’s Thanks and Prayer for the Body of believers v.3-11

Paul’s desire to promote the Gospel v.12-20

Encouragement to Live for as Christ v.21-30


BREAKDOWN:

For to me to live is Christ, – Paul boils down the objective of his life, the goal the pinnacle, culmination, call it what you will in these few words. He in effect says ‘the very substance of my being, the reason I can get up and put one foot before the other each day is only because of Christ.’  

Another way to look at it would be, without Christ Paul would shrink up and die. Maybe not an immediate physical death but certainly a moral and spiritual death. Christ is truly Paul’s “Bread of Life”. 

and to die is gain – Death Beckons to all mankind, is is part of the cycle of life since the fall/curse. For the unrepentant it is something (or at least should be) to be feared. Yet for Paul and all true children of God, the understanding is that death brings comfort and joy, the reason Paul says he looks to death as a Plus a Gain. 


APPLICATION:

Our human nature will always surface a little bit an make the thoughts of death uneasy. For the those who refuse God’s calling upon their heart the thought of death should be more than uneasy it should be TERRIFYING

Yet for those, secure, in the fellowship of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; death brings on a Blessing Rather than a Curse. No more have to deal with the daily grind of human work, suffering, aches and pains. Only being among saints so no more chaos, despair, or violence. Forever being in a new perfected body the job of glorifying God daily. Sounds like Paradise to me. 

The question is as Death Beckons us all what will your response be when you appointed time comes?  


THE GAIN OF DEATH AND THE FEAR OF DEATH

For to me…to die is gain – Philippians 1:21

Death breaks the union between the body and the soul but perfects the union between Christ and the soul. – Thomas Watson

The wheels of death’s chariot may rattle and make a noise, but they are to carry a believer to Christ. – Thomas Watson

He will sustain you!

(J.R. Miller)

“Cast your burden upon the Lord — and He will sustain you.” Psalm 55:22

Continued at Source He will sustain you!

PRAY WITHOUT CEASING*

May 6

Psalms 55:17
Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.

Table grace was originally intended to help people turn their attention to God. The meals we share are a gift from God, and He is to be thanked, but we are also to reflect on the many other good things we are given. By praying morning and noon and night, we cover our day with a knowledge of God’s presence and abiding love. We should take every opportunity to sing praises to God for all that He has done. Take time to pray. Make time to share your life with God.

Prayer: Father, I get so busy that I sometimes forget to be as appreciative as I ought to be. Help me to be thankful and attentive to the many gifts You have given me. All through the day, I will praise you. Amen.

From: www.crosswalk.com

{* today’s devotion is a very good explanation of the oft misunderstood verse 1 Thessalonians 5:17. It should be obvious that one cannot go around verbally praying, crying out to God, every moment of the day. I can assure you that would get you a checkup from the neck up. Paul and the writer of Psalm 55 (David?) are telling us to be in a constant state of readiness for both praise and supplication. At a moment’s notice we should be able to thank God for the blessings of and petition him for the needs of life.  Mike}

 

PURITAN QUOTE(S) FOR TODAY – 14 & 15 February

p-day-byPREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE

Ye should have harkened unto me, and not set sail for Crete. and have gotten this injury and loss – Acts 27:21 (R.V.)

It is more easy to exclude sin than to expel it. – Thomas Adams

It is better to be innocent than penitent. – William Secker

 MERCY

 He delighteth in mercy – Micah 7:18

 Without faith we are not fit to desire mercy, without humility we are not fit to receive it, without affection we are not fit to value it, without sincerity we are not fit to improve it. – Stephen Charnock

 There is no reason to be given for mercy, but mercy. – Ralph Venning  

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

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

How Does a Man Know if He is Called to Pastoral Ministry?

Part 1 of a series by a friend Pastor John Divito. While directed specifically at “Pastoral Ministry” the principles (biblical or otherwise) apply.

Over the years, I have struggled to know if God was calling me to pastoral ministry. And I know that I am not alone. I have talked to many men … More

Source: How Does a Man Know if He is Called to Pastoral Ministry?