Devotional Thought for Today – 01/15-2021

1 Corinthians 15:29–58 (NIV) - 1 Corinthians 15:29–58 NIV - Now if there  is… | Biblia

1 Corinthians 15:50-58


This text v.50-58 is certainly about the resurrection.  I am focused today on v.55-57 specifically because my wife’s mom, Fela went home to be with the Lord this morning. 

Fela loved God and was ever ready to praise the Lord. She had been very ill the past few years and was ready to be, as Paul said, absent from the body and present with the Lord. 

Two important lessons here, First, death has no real sting, we can and should morn not her passing but the loss we feel. For secondly,  she has won the Victory! No more pain, no more suffering, she is rejoicing with her Lord and Savior tonight in Glory.

So today I ask you to rejoice with me in the vicorious life that was Fela Ortiz Dones and pray for all the family and friends that will miss her infectious smile. 

Sunday Sermon Series – You are the Temple

Second Corinthians 6:16


Context

If you have read any of my posts you know my obsession with the context of scripture, so here is the link to the full chapter of our text; 2 Corinthians 6.

Chapter 5 of 2nd Corinthians is all about the Eternal versus the Temporal. It is a great lead in to the message(s) of Chapter 6:

v.1-10 Faithful workers of Gospel Ministry

v.11-18 Urging no fellowship with idolaters and unbelievers.

Our text focus can be taken from v.15-17 where Paul is basically saying;

V.15 – If God can have no concord, that is meaningful fellowship or partnership, with Belial, that is anything with no Godly intent (evil); what gives us the right to associate with persons of that character?

 V.16 – I will leave for the sermon but note Paul’s opening phrase, And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?  Ask yourself what are my idols; money, booze, material things, work, what is it that keeps you from being as Holy as God intended? 

v.17 – Wherefore come out from among them Paul make it plain and simple, whatever you are involved with that entails Spiritual Partnership or Fellowship with unbelievers you need to flee from it immediately. This is not a prohibition against being around unbelievers (as some legalist would have you think). Rather is a prohibition from you sinning and being involved with those who sin.

Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible

2 Corinthians 6:17

If we are entangled in the love of the world, or fast bound and fettered with worldly anxieties, and the spirit of the world is rife in our bosom, all our profession will be vapid, if not worthless. We may use the language of prayer, but the heart is not in earnest; we may still manage to hold our head high in a profession of the truth, but its power and blessedness are neither known nor felt.

To enjoy any measure of communion with the Lord, whether on the cross or on the throne, we must go forth from a world which is at enmity against him. We must also go forth out of SELF, for to deny it, renounce it, and go forth out of it lies at the very foundation of vital godliness. There must be “a mortifying, through the Spirit, of the deeds of the body;” a being “always delivered unto death for Jesus” sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh;” and unless there is a going forth out of self by this self-crucifixion, there is no walking in hand with Christ, no manifest union, no heavenly communion with him; for there can no more be a partnership between Christ, the soul, and self than there can be a partnership between Christ, the soul, and sin.

One more quick comment then today’s sermon. This applies equally to the church. The church is supposed to be the Body of Christ, the Holy of Holies, a place where folks go and know God is Glorified. Yet more and more today it is becoming hard to see the difference between society and churches. 😥

A good friend Pastor Gary Burd of Mission M25 Ministries posted the other day a devotional on Acts 11, wrote:

we are praying through Acts, noticing how the early church responded, there were no gimmicks, promises, neat advertising to motivate people to give. 

I responded:

So sad how modern churches have become SO worldly to attract numbers. 

He answered:

Yes, it is driven – too- far – when I was a kid, the numbers meant nothing, translated they were not as evangelistic. Today we are all about the numbers to the point that we water the Gospel down, use gimmicks and promises to some simple prayer, and think we are growing – really sad

I pray you are a member of a church that preaches and teaches only the Genuine Gospel without compromise. 


SERMON

2 Corinthians 6:16 – Christians, Temples of the Living God, by George Whitefield

 

Daily Devotional – Fragrant Prayer Part III

What Does Psalm 141:2 Mean?

PSALM 141

Praying for others


CONTEXT

David was in distress when he penned this psalm, pursued, it is most likely, by Saul, that violent man. Is any distressed? Let him pray; David did so, and had the comfort of it.

      • I. He prays for God’s favourable acceptance (v. 1- 2).
      • II. For his powerful assistance (v. 3,-4).
      • III. That others might be instrumental of good to his soul, as he hoped to be to the souls of others (v. 5- 6).
      • IV. That he and his friends being now brought to the last extremity God would graciously appear for their relief and rescue (v. 7-10).

The mercy and grace of God are as necessary to us as they were to him, and therefore we should be humbly earnest for them in singing this psalm. – Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary 

In the first installment we looked at Praying for God’s favorable acceptance. Yesterday’s  topic was petitioning for His assistance, and today we will explore Praying to God for others


Breakdown

v.5 – Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.

Of all the verses of Psalms this and the following may be one of the hardest to interpret. Let the righteous smite me… David is basically saying he would prefer to be severely reprimanded, corrected, rebuked etc.  by a righteous person than be in the company of evil. So he will pray for them. 

The righteous, etc. The minister cannot be always preaching; two or three hours, may be, in a week, he spends among his people in the pulpit, holding the glass of the gospel before their faces; but the lives of professors, these preach all the week long: if they were but holy and exemplary, they would be as a repetition of the preacher’s sermon to their families and neighbours among whom they converse, and keep the sound of his doctrine continually ringing in their ears. This would give Christians an amiable advantage in doing good to their carnal neighbours by counsel and reproof, which now is seldom done, and when done it proves to little purpose, because not backed with their own exemplary walking. “It behooves him”, saith Tertullian, “that would counsel or reprove another, to guard his speech with the authority of his own conversation, lest, wanting that, what he says puts himself to the blush.” We do not love one that hath a stinking breath to come very near us; such, therefore, had need have a sweet scented life. Reproofs are a good physic, but they have an unpleasant reception; it is hard for men not to throw them back on the face of him that gives them. Now nothing is more powerful to keep a reproof from thus coming back than the holiness of the person that reproves. “Let the righteous smite me”, saith David, “it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head.” See how well it is taken from such a hand, from the authority that holiness carries with it. None but a vile wretch will smite a righteous man with reproach for smiting him with a reproof, if softly laid on, and like oil fermented, and wrought into him, as it should, with compassion and love to his soul! Thus we see how influential the power of holiness would be unto the wicked, neither would it be less upon our brethren and fellow Christians. Holy David professed he would take it as a kindness for the righteous man to smite him; yea, as kindly as if he broke a box of precious oil upon his head, which was amongst the Jews a high expression of love. –William Gurnall.

v.6 – When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my words; for they are sweet.

Most commentators agree David is speaking about those who would oppress him. At some point all our unrighteous oppressors will come to know the truth we spoke, why? Because all our words spoken in Christ are surely words; for they are sweet. That is why a true Christian never stops sharing the Good News. 

They shall hear my words; for they are sweet. This is especially true of all the words which David spake by inspiration, or the Spirit of God spake to him; articulately in his book of Psalms; concerning the Messiah, the covenant of grace, and the blessings of it; of the rich experiences of grace he had, and the several doctrines of the gospel declared by him; which were sweet, delightful, and entertaining to those who have ears to hear such things; or whose ears are opened to hear them, so as to understand them and distinguish them, but to others not. –John Gill.


APPLICATION

No one likes to be corrected, however the correction of a righteous man is but a sweat savor to God. Respond in kind with a Fragrant Prayer of your own for both those who would persecute and profit you. Also, do not neglect the thank God for the times of discipline that drew you nearer to the cross. 

Pray The Bible: Promoting, Encouraging, and Assisting God's People in Biblical Prayer

 Supplication to God for Others

We must pray for the whole world of mankind, the lost world; and thus, we must honor everyone, 1 Peter 2:17(ESV) and, according to our capacity, do good to everyone. Galatians 6:10(ESV)

I pray, as I am taught, for all people, believing that this is good and pleasing in the sight of God my Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth and of Jesus Christ, 1 Timothy 2:3-4(ESV) who gave himself as a ransom for all. 1 Timothy 2:6(ESV)

O let your way be known on earth, Psalm 67:2(ESV) that barbarous nations may be civilized, and those who live without God in the world may be brought to the service of the living God; Ephesians 2:12(ESV) and thus, let your saving power be known among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; yes, let all the peoples praise you: O let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Psalm 67:2-4(ESV)

For Support While Being Disciplined 

Though for the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, yet later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness and proves to be for my good, that I might share your holiness. Hebrews 12:10-11(ESV)

I have had reason to say that it was good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes; Psalm 119:71(ESV) for before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. Psalm 119:67(ESV)

It has been but for a little while, and when it was necessary, that I was grieved by various trials; and I beg that all the trials of my faith may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom, though I have not seen, I love; though I do not now see him, yet I believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, and am longing to receive the outcome of my faith, the salvation of my soul. 1 Peter 1:6-9(ESV)

Daily Devotional – Fragrant Prayer Part II

What Does Psalm 141:2 Mean?

PSALM 141

Praying for His powerful assistance


CONTEXT

David was in distress when he penned this psalm, pursued, it is most likely, by Saul, that violent man. Is any distressed? Let him pray; David did so, and had the comfort of it.

      • I. He prays for God’s favourable acceptance (v. 1- 2).
      • II. For his powerful assistance (v. 3,-4).
      • III. That others might be instrumental of good to his soul, as he hoped to be to the souls of others (v. 5- 6).
      • IV. That he and his friends being now brought to the last extremity God would graciously appear for their relief and rescue (v. 7-10).

The mercy and grace of God are as necessary to us as they were to him, and therefore we should be humbly earnest for them in singing this psalm. – Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary 

In the first installment we looked at Praying for God’s favorable acceptance. Today’s topic is petitioning for His assistance.


Breakdown

Today in verses 3 and 4 the psalmist pleads with God to be kept from evil.  How often in modern evangelical circles do we hear someone pray to “put a hedge of protection around them (or someone) from all evil.”  Yet David is so much wiser that that. He knows the root of evil is not found from external sources but from within man himself (See Sunday Sermon Series) and so begins…

v.3 Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.

A truly converted man understands that the mouth is both the doorway of good and evil words. What can come from a man’s mouth can either harm or build up those around them. Here David says wisely Lord guard my mouth so that only things that Glorify you an build others up proceed from it. 

One of the best commentaries on this is W. Jay’s Sermon on “The Regulation of the Tongue.” Here is the link to Spurgeon’s condensed comments

Ps 141_3 W.Jay Comments

v.4 Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.

As we noted above the heart of natural man, is the root cause of all evil. Here David begs God to guard him against that tendency which still lives in even the most pious of men, Incline not my heart to any evil thing.

To practise wicked works with men that work iniquity. The way the heart inclines the life soon tends: evil things desired bring forth wicked things practised. Unless the fountain of life is kept pure the streams of life will soon be polluted. Alas, there is great power in company: even good men are apt to be swayed by association; hence the fear that we may practise wicked works when we are with wicked workers. We must endeavour not to be with them lest we sin with them. It is bad when the heart goes the wrong way alone, worse when the life runs in the evil road alone; but it is apt to increase unto a high degree of ungodliness when the backslider runs the downward path with a whole horde of sinners around him. Our practice will be our perdition if it be evil: it is an aggravation of sin rather than an excuse for it to say that it is our custom and our habit. It is God’s practice to punish all who make a practice of iniquity. Good men are horrified at the thought of sinning as others do; the fear of it drives them to their knees. Iniquity, which, being interpreted, is a want of equity, is a thing to be shunned as we would avoid an infectious disease. And let me not eat of their dainties. If we work with them we shall soon eat with them. They will bring out their sweet morsels, and delicate dishes, in the hope of binding us to their service by the means of our palates. The trap is baited with delicious meats that we may be captured and become meat for their malice. If we would not sin with men we had better not sit with them, and if we would not share their wickedness we must not share their wantonness. – C.H. Spurgeon


APPLICATION

Righteous in prayer is necessary for it to be an acceptable Fragrant Prayer. In other words the motive and the asking must be in line with God’s will.  Today ask, no beg for God’s abundant Grace to fill you life and grant your petitions. 

Pray The Bible: Promoting, Encouraging, and Assisting God's People in Biblical Prayer

DAILY DEVOTIONAL FOR JAN 4, 2021

Commend Yourself to the Grace of God

We may then recommend ourselves to the conduct, protection, and government of the divine grace, in the further services that lie before us and in the whole course of our life.

And now, let us be enabled to go from strength to strength, until we appear before God in Zion; and while we pass through the valley of Baca, let it be made a place of springs, and let the rain of divine grace and blessing fill the pools. Psalm 84:6-7(ESV)

Now speak, Lord, for your servants hear. 1 Samuel 3:9(ESV) What does my Lord say to his servants? Joshua 5:14(ESV) Grant that we may not turn away our ear from hearing the law, for then our prayers will be an abomination; Proverbs 28:9(ESV) but may we listen to God, that he may listen to us. Judges 9:7(ESV)

And now, the LORD our God be with us, as he was with all our fathers; may he not leave us or forsake us, that he may incline our hearts to himself, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his rules. 1 Kings 8:57-58(ESV) And let our hearts be wholly true to the LORD our God all our days, 1 Kings 8:61(ESV) and continue so till the end; that then we may rest and may stand in our allotted place, and let it be a blessed place at the end of the days. Daniel 12:13(ESV)

Christmas 2020

What Christmas is all about? 


From all of FSM and FSMWO to all of you

Merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy,  prosperous and safe New Year

Daily Verse: Isaiah 9:6 | PRAISE 106.5

“May God give you peace with yourselves; may he give you good will towards all your friends, your enemies, and your neighbors; and may he give you grace to give glory to God in the highest.” – Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Daily Devotional – Silent Night

Christmas Manger Wallpapers - Top Free Christmas Manger Backgrounds -  WallpaperAccess

Luke 2:1-20


CONTEXT

Luke here tells the story of our Savior’s birth. From the decree from Caesar Augustus v.1 that all the Roman world be taxed causing Joseph to take his very pregnant wife to Bethlehem (fulfilling the prophesy  of Micah 5:2 and Daniel 9:25).

Other notable points of the text:

      • Because everyone had to pay taxes in their own hometown all the “inns” in little Bethlehem we full
      • Joseph and Mary likely sought shelter in a stable 
      • It appears even the stable was full for Jesus was laid in a manger, a trough used to feed cattle outside the stable
      • Angles spoke to the Shepherds informing them of the birth
      • A multitude of heavenly hosts appeared praising the Lord

HYMN

Silent Night, may very well be the most widely known played and recorded Christmas hymn of all time. In addition to our text Luke 2:7-9, biblical  inspiration was drawn from Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6.

“Silent Night” is a popular Christmas carol, composed in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria. This hymn has been performed by a vast number of singers from every music genre. The version sung by Bing Crosby is the third best-selling single of all-time.

The hymn was first performed on Christmas Eve 1818 at St Nicholas church in Oberndorf, a village in the Austrian Empire on the Salzach river in present-day Austria. A youthful priest, Father Joseph Mohr, had arrived in Oberndorf the year earlier.

The melody was arranged by Franz Xaver Gruber, schoolmaster and organist in the nearby village of Arnsdorf. Before Christmas Eve, Mohr brought the words to Gruber and asked him to compose a melody and guitar accompaniment for the Christmas Eve mass. – Godtube.com 

Not to be a spoiler I often wonder just how silent the night really was?  Think about the scene, the child is born not in any comfort but next to a barn amongst the animals . Probably not the quietest or most serene conditions. Then again we are talking about the sovereign PRINCE OF PEACE here. If He could instantly bring calm to that think of what He can do for you and me?

May the same Savior that brought peace and silence to the world that eve so long ago fill your hearts and minds this Christmas and throughout the coming year.

The People Who Missed Christmas

In this 5 part series from Grace to You Blog and John MacArthur we explore those who missed Christmas.  We are not talking all the glitz and party of modern “christmas” but the true meaning of “CHRISTMAS”

Daily Devotional – First Nowell

Wise Men Still Seek Him

Matthew 2:1-12


CONTEXT 

In it’s simplest form our text for today can be broken into two(2) sections. First v.1-8, the Wise Men seek after the newborn King (Christ).  Secondly v.9-12 we see them worshipping the Christ child

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on Matthew 2:1-8

Those who live at the greatest distance from the means of grace often use most diligence, and learn to know the most of Christ and his salvation. But no curious arts, or mere human learning, can direct men unto him. We must learn of Christ by attending to the word of God, as a light that shineth in a dark place, and by seeking the teaching of the Holy Spirit. And those in whose hearts the day-star is risen, to give them any thing of the knowledge of Christ, make it their business to worship him. Though Herod was very old, and never had shown affection for his family, and was not himself likely to live till a new-born infant had grown up to manhood, he began to be troubled with the dread of a rival. He understood not the spiritual nature of the Messiah’s kingdom. Let us beware of a dead faith. A man may be persuaded of many truths, and yet may hate them, because they interfere with his ambition, or sinful indulgences. Such a belief will make him uneasy, and the more resolved to oppose the truth and the cause of God; and he may be foolish enough to hope for success therein.

MHC Commentary on Matthew 2:9-12

What joy these wise men felt upon this sight of the star, none know so well as those who, after a long and melancholy night of temptation and desertion, under the power of a spirit of bondage, at length receive the Spirit of adoption, witnessing with their spirits that they are the children of God. We may well think what a disappointment it was to them, when they found a cottage was his palace, and his own poor mother the only attendant he had. However, these wise men did not think themselves baffled; but having found the King they sought, they presented their gifts to him. The humble inquirer after Christ will not be stumbled at finding him and his disciples in obscure cottages, after having in vain sought them in palaces and populous cities. Is a soul busy, seeking after Christ? Would it worship him, and does it say, Alas! I am a foolish and poor creature, and have nothing to offer? Nothing! Hast thou not a heart, though unworthy of him, dark, hard, and foul? Give it to him as it is, and be willing that he use and dispose of it as it pleases him; he will take it, and will make it better, and thou shalt never repent having given it to him. He shall frame it to his own likeness, and will give thee himself, and be thine for ever. The gifts the wise men presented were gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Providence sent these as a seasonable relief to Joseph and Mary in their present poor condition. Thus our heavenly Father, who knows what his children need, uses some as stewards to supply the wants of others, and can provide for them, even from the ends of the earth.


HYMN 

This carol is an anonymous folk song, probably from the seventeenth century. Its text was first printed in nine stanzas by Davies Gilbert in Some Ancient Christmas Carols (1823). Most modern hymnals use six of these nine stanzas, eliminating the fifth, seventh, and ninth from Gilbert’s text. The second stanza is historically inaccurate, because it implies that the shepherds followed the star, while it was actually the wise men. Most hymnals leave this stanza intact, but a few correct the first line or omit the whole stanza to avoid this issue. Otherwise, the biggest discrepancy is in the spelling of “Noel.” The English form is “Nowell,” which is retained in about half the hymnals. The other half use the French form “Noel.” Whichever form is used, the word ultimately derives from the Latin “natalis,” meaning “birth.” 

The carol tells a story loosely based on the Gospel accounts in Luke 2 and Matthew 2 of the events surrounding Jesus’ birth, with the shepherds, the star, and the wise men. The first two lines of the final stanza calls us to action – as the wise men reverently worshiped the Christ, so we should “with one accord sing praises to our heavenly Lord.” The last two lines recall that our Lord is the Creator and the Savior of the world.– Hymary.org 

While not being 100% biblically accurate it never the less imposes upon us an important lesson. All Wiseman, even those who know not Christ as of yet as Lord and Savior should seek His truths.  Please pray for those who the bible calls “stiff-necked” and refuse to yield to the Holy Spirit’s call.  

Do you know all 9 verses of ‘The First Nowell’? | CBC Music

Daily Devotional – “O Holy Night”

Hillsong - O Holy Night - Lyrics - YouTube

Mark 12:31-33


CONTEXT

If one reads Mark Chapter 12 we find that the lessons preceding this one v.28-34, begin in verse 13 and continue through verse 30.  There are in most modern translation two headings breaking up the text v.13-17 Paying Caesar Taxes and v.18-30 The Sadducees ask about resurrection. 

In each case the Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes were trying to trap Jesus into saying something that would be against the Jewish Law, unfortunately they were including laws made by man in it. 

Our text deals what has become Universally known as The Great Commandment.


HYMN 

I still remember the first time I heard the Hymn “O Holy Night.”  It was 1960 and Nate King Cole (See Below) released his version on Columbia records which my mom bought and played on our new RCA phonograph. 

There was something about his smooth baritone and the lyrics  

Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!

As I have grown older I realize there is SO much more to this grand hymn. Today I want to concentrate on just verse three and the lyrics in our main text: 

 Truly he taught us to love one another;
His law is love and his gospel is peace.

Biblically I understand that there can never be true peace on earth unless all mankind were to renounce evil and repent of their sins declaring Christ Lord and Savior.

Yet that knowledge does should not mean we stop PRAYING for both that peace along with the morality and civility that proceeds it.

To that end I offer from the Matthew Henry’s Prayer  Devotional the following:

O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and establish the righteous – you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God. Psalm 7:9(ESV) Spirit many to rise up for you against the wicked and to stand up for you against evildoers. Psalm 94:16(ESV)

Let the Deliverer come to Zion and banish ungodliness from Jacob; Romans 11:26(ESV) and let the filth of Jerusalem be cleansed from its midst by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of burning. Isaiah 4:4(ESV)

Let all wickedness shut its mouth; Psalm 107:42(ESV) and let the infection of that plague be stayed by intervening judgment. Psalm 106:30(ESV)

Let those who are struggling against sin never grow weary or fainthearted. Hebrews 12:3-4(ESV)

Remove the spirit of uncleanness from the land, Zechariah 13:2(ESV) and change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that they may call upon the name of the LORD. Zephaniah 3:9(ESV)

Set us high above all nations in praise and in fame and in honor by making us a people holy to the LORD our God. Deuteronomy 26:19(ESV)


 

Pursuing Beauty in a Secular Age

Pursuing Beauty in a Secular Age

“Beauty will save the world,” wrote Dostoyevsky in his novel, The Idiot¹. Over the years, many theologians have played with the statement, seeking to tease from it whatever truth they can find. Certainly, when viewed through a Christian lens, Dostoyevsky’s words commend themselves to us. They are not only provocative, but instructive…

¹ = link added

READ MORE > >