Devotional Thought for Today – 02/16/2021

Image result for Mercy Seat

Romans 3


The Mercy Seat of God really is more like a lid topping the Ark of the Covenant than an actual Chair or seat that we would relate to today.  Yet we must remember this in CONTEXT of where the Jewish nation was when God instructed them to build it Exodus 25:17-22   (also see Heb 3:3-5) They were in their desert wandering days and God was leading them as a Cloud and Fire so the “seat” is symbolic.  Here God was supposed to be seated, and from this place He was supposed to dispense mercy to man when the blood of the atonement was sprinkled there.¹

I have heard some modern-day believers say so what this no longer applies to “us.”  Let me tell you MERCY applies to everyone. Yes, we (Jews and Christians) no longer make blood sacrifices to God for atonement but we still need a blood sacrifice for atonement.  

In Romans Chap 3 Paul carefully lays out the case for  ALL MANKIND being totally entrenched in sin v.1-8 and their need for atonement to be seen or presented as righteous before God. That no one can save themselves from such sin and be justified (atoned) before God v.9-20. Only the free Grace of God and faith in the redeeming Savior Christ can set us free, yet the LAW still remains v.21-31.

This brings us to our text for today Romans 3:21-26. Here again, Paul is clear and concise:

God’s righteousness is separate from the law

God’s righteousness is revealed by the law and prophets

All of mankind is separated from God’s righteousness because of sin

God’s righteousness comes to us by faith in Christ Jesus

Christ Jesus paid the atonement for our sins by His blood at Calvary

It is Christ’s blood upon the Mercy Seat that allows you and I to be freed from the bondage of sin and justified before God. 

Today’s Prayer

Thank You Father – thank You for my salvation. Thank You that His death that gave me life and reconciled me to You forever. Thank You that He took my sin and clothed me in His righteousness. Thank You that He is the propitiation for my sins and took Your wrath upon Himself so that I might have peace with You and receive the peace that passes understanding forever and ever into my life, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.  Source:


What is the mercy seat?¹

What is the Mercy Seat?


Is God / the Bible sexist?

Question: “Is God / the Bible sexist?”

Answer: Sexism is one gender, usually male, having dominance over the other gender, usually female. The Bible contains many references to women that, to our modern mindset, sound discriminatory towards women. But we have to remember that when the Bible describes an action, it does not necessarily mean that the Bible endorses that action. The Bible describes men treating women as little more than property, but that does not mean God approves of that action. The Bible is far more focused on reforming our souls than our societies. God knows that a changed heart will result in a changed behavior…




Daily Devotional – God’s Wrath

THE REALITY OF GOD'S WRATH – Romans 1:18-20 | Mission Venture ...

AMP and RVR 1960



This may seem like an ugly devotional to start the week but sometimes life is ugly and better to be forewarned than forlorn. 

In v.1-17 Paul expounds upon the excellency of the Gospel to the church at Rome. Culminating in his final two sentences (verses) that explain the Gospel; “…is the power of God for salvation…)”

Paul having described the greatness and Glory of the “Good News” changes themes to the darker side and reminds folks the reason God had to send His only begotten Son as a sacrificial lamb, to die on a cross for everyone’s sin

There are consequences for one’s sin and unbelief. 



18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; – God is Holy and as such can not overlook sin. His wrath, His complete and utter disgust against all unrighteousness has been revealed from the beginning.  

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. –  God puts the truth in all men, even those who deny Him.

20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: – The day will come for all men to stand before their creator and at that time the maximum effective range of their excuses will be ZERO METERS! God will say I gave you plenty of opportunities and you continued to deny me. God’s attributes, His power in creation, His wisdom, goodness, mercy (the list goes on) being continually on display and available for all to see and know.



Far to often today God’s wrath is downplayed or takes a back burner so to speak in churches. But with more than 600 references in the bible one would think the opposite would be true. 

I do not often quote C.S. Lewis but this is a good one:

“God is the only comfort, He is also the supreme terror: the thing we most need and the thing we most want to hide from. He is our only possible ally, and we have made ourselves His enemies. Some talk as if meeting the gaze of absolute goodness would be fun. They need to think again. They are still only playing with religion. Goodness is either the great safety or the great danger–according the way you react to it. And we have reacted the wrong way.”

Folks seem to think that God’s wrath and anger (the second holds such a negative connotation in modern times) are similar, they are not! Anger in the modern sense usually refers to sudden uncontrolled outbursts. God’s Wrath in the biblical sense refers to the Righteous Punishment for a Crime (Sin)

Everyone (at least most everyone) has heard or read Romans 3:23 ‘all have sinned and fell short of God’s glory’ God has to deal with His Righteous Wrath towards our wayward (sinful) actions. Hence Christ’s propitiation at Calvary and the Gospel. 

Are you forewarned or forlorn? God puts before you this day the Gospel message or His wrath. 

Crying Out to God

In these difficult and perilous times I would think many are crying out to God and not necessarily getting the response they anticipated or wanted. 

Psalm 22:1-2 ESV 1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why ...

It is at times like these when we can easily be fooled (tempted) into thinking God has abandoned us, or He does not care about us individually. Of course nothing could be further from the truth for “true children of God” His chosen ones. 

There are two things to remember in times like these:

While this applies to God’s chosen people the 22nd Psalm is a Psalm of true Glory.  For the final ten verses (especially v.27-18) remind us that the Victory over all feelings of abandonment, anxiety, pain, suffering, turmoil, etc. has been won. 

Psalm 22-pg3 Digital Art by Trilby Cole

So go ahead CRY OUT TO GOD TODAYbut do so with the understanding that He loves His own and God is sovereignly in control of all things for He has already won the greatest victory at Calvary. 

Grace to You – “God is Love” Series

For your edification here is the 12 part series from John MacArthur and Grace to You ministries entitles “God is Love”. Please note they are listed here in reverse order from that which they were published. I have numbered them as such to make it easier to review them.  – Mike



The Sum of It All: God Is Love

God is love. His mercy is over all His works. He manifests His love to all. But the highest expression of His love is manifest to those who by sheer grace He lovingly draws to Himself.

No Separation


No Separation

God’s love for His people is an unstoppable force. The energy that has driven God’s plan of redemption from eternity past flows from the power of His love. He chose us and predestined us “in love” (Ephesians 1:4–5).


No Condemnation

No Condemnation

Why do bad things happen to good people? The fundamental problem with that common question is that it’s back to front. The right approach is to ask why good things happen to bad people. That question reflects an accurate reading of Scripture and an honest evaluation of ourselves.

Not Sparing His Own Son


Not Sparing His Own Son

God loves us regardless of the cost. The cross is proof of that. Consider what God’s love for us has already cost Him: He gave His own beloved Son to die in order to accomplish our salvation.

No Opposition


No Opposition

Someone has said that God plus one equals a majority. The truth is that God alone makes a majority. If every creature in the material and immaterial universe combined to oppose God together, still He would not be defeated.

Finding Security in God’s Love


Finding Security in God’s Love

God’s love for His own simply has no parallel in human experience. It is a powerful, immutable love that extends from eternity past to eternity future. It is a love that is not deterred by our race’s sinful rebellion against God.

The Ultimate Demonstration of God’s Love


The Ultimate Demonstration of God’s Love

God’s love for sinners is a well-documented historical fact. Its verification doesn’t hinge on the consensus of theologians, nor does its validation rest on something we feel. The apostle John points us to the cross as the consummate and undeniable proof of divine love: “God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him” (1 John 4:8–9).

Unmasking Unbelief


Unmasking Unbelief

Love is intrinsic to God’s character. It is also a critical arbiter for distinguishing who is—and who isn’t—one of God’s people.

The Mark of True Belief


The Mark of True Belief

Sixty-five percent of Americans readily identify themselves as Christians. But it’s a statistic that completely fails to square with reality.

The Heart of God’s Character


The Heart of God’s Character

God is love.

That statement doesn’t only reflect popular modern sentiment. It is actually a direct quote from God’s Word—1 John 4:8, to be precise. But in what sense is it true?

More than a Feeling


More than a Feeling

On a cross-country domestic airliner some time ago, I plugged in the earphones and began to listen to the music program. I was amazed at how much of the music dealt with love. At the time I was preaching through 1 John 4, so the subject of love was very much on my mind. I couldn’t help noticing how glib and shallow most of the lyrics were. “She Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah)” is a classic by worldly standards. But few people would argue that its lyrics are truly profound.

Making Sense of God’s Love


Making Sense of God’s Love

Love is the best known but least understood of all God’s attributes. Almost everyone who believes in God these days believes that He is a God of love. I have even met agnostics who are quite certain that if God exists, He must be benevolent, compassionate, and loving.


The Ultimate Sacrifice

Image result for Revelation 1:5

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, (KJV)

y de Jesucristo el testigo fiel, el primogénito de los muertos, y el soberano de los reyes de la tierra. Al que nos amó, y nos lavó de nuestros pecados con su sangre, (RVR 1960)

Yesterday we looked at Christ Jesus as the Ultimate Scapegoat today I would like to explore the need for blood specifically the blood of Christ to be apart of the Ultimate Sacrifice. 

Throughout the Bible every book points to that Ultimate Sacrifice of Christ at Calvary  We see as far back as Genesis 4:1-16 when Able’s blood sacrifice was acceptable unto the Lord and Cain’s was not. Leviticus 17:11 makes clear the Law and God’s view: For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. God says only a blood sacrifice is an acceptable offering for atonement of mans sins.

Sacrifices “An offering made to God by killing and burning some animal upon an altar, as an acknowledgment of his power and providence, or to make atonement for sin, appease his wrath or conciliate his favor, or to express thankfulness for his benefits;” are a common practice among most all nations of the world. The Apostle Paul encountered this at Mars Hill Acts 17:16–34 where the Athenians were so superstitions they even offered sacrifices to an unknown god, just in case they had upset him (or her). 

The nation of Israel had a much different, as noted by the Law of God in Leviticus, set of beliefs. Yes, we can all agree that the Jewish people of the Old Testament did not know Jesus, per se, they did know God, and did know of a planned redeemer. They knew that their was one true Triune God, one way for atonement blood sacrifice and Faith in God.  

Chapter 11 of the Book of Hebrews reminds us that the blood sacrifice of the OT was not sufficient, it was by Faith that people were counted into the family of righteousness. Eventually God in His infinite Sovereignty and Grace sent His only begotten Son, John 3:16, so that mankind could have a better way and Christ became the Ultimate Sacrifice by the shedding of His Blood, Hebrews 9:11–18: 

 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

18 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.

Without Christ’s Ultimate Sacrifice we would still be offering animal sacrifices today. (Can you imagine the outcry from PETA and others) I would hope this knowledge alone is enough to cause us to offer thanks and praise daily. 

Further Reading 

Alexander MacLaren’s Expositions of Holy Scripture Revelation 1:5

Question: “What does it mean that Jesus died for our sins?”

What does it mean that Jesus died for our sins?

Answer: Simply put, without Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins, no one would have eternal life. Jesus Himself said, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). In this statement, Jesus declares the reason for His birth, death, and resurrection—to provide the way to heaven for sinful mankind, who could never get there on their own.

When God created Adam and Eve, they were perfect in every way and lived in a virtual paradise, the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15). God created man in His image, meaning they also had the freedom to make decisions and choices of their own free will. Genesis 3 goes on to describe how Adam and Eve succumbed to Satan’s temptations and lies. In doing so, they disobeyed the will of God by eating of the tree of knowledge from which they were forbidden: “And the LORD God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die’” (Genesis 2:16-17). This was the first sin committed by man, and, as a result, all mankind is subject to both physical and eternal death by virtue of our sinful nature inherited from Adam.

God declared that all who sin will die, both physically and spiritually. This is the fate of all mankind. But God, in His grace and mercy, provided a way out of this dilemma, the shed blood of His perfect Son on the cross. God declared that “without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22), but through the shedding of blood, redemption is provided. The Law of Moses provided a way for the people to be considered “sinless” or “right” in God’s eyes—the offering of animals sacrificed for every sin they committed. These sacrifices were only temporary, though, and were really a foreshadowing of the perfect, once-for-all sacrifice of Christ on the cross (Hebrews 10:10).

This is why Jesus came and why He died, to become the ultimate and final sacrifice, the perfect (without blemish) sacrifice for our sins (Colossians 1:221 Peter 1:19). Through Him, the promise of life eternal with God becomes effective through faith to those who believe in Jesus. “So that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe” (Galatians 3:22). These two words, faith and believing, are critical to our salvation. It is through our believing in the shed blood of Christ for our sins that we receive eternal life. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9).

Additional Resources/Reads: 

The Doctrine of Christ in History


Christ—Our Substitute


Seven Things Jesus Said on the Cross, Part VII

cross of nails

list by Matt Slick / 11/02/09
  • Luke 23:34, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
  •  Luke 23:43“And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” (NASB)
  • John 19:26-27, “He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!”
  • Matt. 27:46 Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” 
  • John 19:28 “I am thirsty.” 
  • John 19:30,  He said, “It is finished!” 

7. Luke 23:46, “And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last. (NASB)

Entonces Jesús, clamando a gran voz, dijo: Padre, en tus manos encomiendo mi espíritu. Y habiendo dicho esto, expiró. (RVR 1960)

Today we look at the SEVENTH and last thing Jesus said on the cross; “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.”

There is little to no controversy surrounding this declaration by Jesus. It is understood that Jesus is surrendering His physical body and as is the case with all humans (our spirit lives on) He is turning over His spirit to the Father. 

Only Luke records these words. Luke who depended upon eye witness accounts for the writing of His Gospel in this case especially, Mary Jesus’ mother, would seem to be accurate. Yet John 19:30 was also there and only records as we saw yesterday; Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. Then we have Matthew 27:50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit and Mark 15:37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. So the Bible is wrong, right, not so fast, slow your roll different authors tell the same story differently especially to different intended audiences.  

What is consistent in 3 of the four Gospels; Matthew 27:45, Mark 15:33 and in Luke 23:44-45 (ESV) It was now about the sixth hour,[a] and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour,[b] 45 while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two is the this darkness and tearing of the temple curtain. 

So from the sixth hour (Noon) until the ninth hour (3 PM) there was darkness over the land. Okay put on our thinking caps for a moment where else in the bible have we seen this before? If you are flipping to Exodus 10:22-23  you are correct. God used darkness as a symbol of judgement against the Pharaoh in Egypt for the sins against the children of Israel. Here He does the same, blotting out the sun midday as to show the world their sins. 

The tearing of the curtain, symbolized the tearing down of our access to God. If you remember in the Old Covenant (OT) only the Levite priest(s) and then only once annually had access to the Holy of Hollies, where God dwelt. Jesus through His torn body tears down the curtain separating us from God Hebrews 10:20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh.

Jesus at the Cross, made the ultimate sacrifice, broke down all the sin barriers between us and God and proved No Greater Love exists. Our only response is to heed the Holy Spirits call to repent and call upon Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives. 

Sermon on “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.”

GEOFF THOMAS Alfred Place Baptist Church 24th March 2013

Image result for Eph. 2:18Yesterday we looked at Ephesians 4:2-3 Unity of the Spirit there I wrote “If as the Word of God says’ God (the HS) indwells us, having peace with fellow believers should be second nature.” So today I would like to backtrack to Chapter 2 and see just how it is we get to that indwelling peace.

Most simply put it is because we (true born again regenerated believers) are one in or have “unity” in Christ. Paul uses vs. 11-22 to point this out:

Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,[a] but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by[b] the Spirit.

Note that Paul has put emphasis on the Triune God, Father Son and Holy Spirit here. All three persons are involved in the process of salvation. (see my series on the order of SalvationOrdo Salutis“)

Whether you were a Jew or Gentile it does not matter, all have access in the same manner to the father, what matters is Christ. His sacrifice at Calvary paid the way for dividing wall of hostility for abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, for reconcile us both to God, for access in one Spirit to the Father for citizenship in the household of God, for being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.  Further His sacrifice at Calvary paid the way for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14).

How can we get to that place of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling peace? I have said it many times it is through Grace alone, by Faith alone, in Christ alone to the Glory of God alone.