Devotional Thought for Today – 05/12/2021

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Titus 2

Titus 2 along with the epistles of 1st and 2nd Timothy are letters to church pastors. Written by the Apostle Paul about local church leadership.

Here in Titus 2, we have three (3) basic divisions according to Matthew Henry: The duties which become sound doctrine (here meaning set policy). (1-8) Believing servants must be obedient. (9,10) All is enforced from the holy design of the gospel, which concerns all believers. (11-15).

One of my favorite verses of scripture comes from Paul’s 1st discourse to the church at Corinth 15th Chapter v.19; If we who are [abiding] in Christ have hoped only in this life [and this is all there is], then we are of all people most miserable and to be pitied (AMP). Here too, In my opinion, Paul was reminding us what Christ Jesus had first said in Matthew 6:18-21 that our treasure (hope) is not in this world but in the eternal world to come.

There is something comforting to me, knowing that my future, my HOPE is not dependent upon mankind and its inherent faults. The world today says it is all about me, selfishness rules, (just drive on the highway and look at the folks distracted with cell phones) and getting whatever you want by whatever means is okay.

It is truly a BLESSED HOPE all true believers share awaiting the GLORIOUS appearance of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. His triumphant second coming will make the beginning of the eternal kingdom and the true glorification of all his chosen saints.


John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible- Titus 2:13, Titus 2:14

Father God,

Thank You for that Blessed Hope that we have in Jesus. I pray that I may be ever looking to Him in the knowledge that He has promised to come to take me to be with Himself in the heavenly realm. In Jesus’ name, I pray that in Your way and in Your time, He will return for His Church and that I would be ready.

Thank You that I have been redeemed with the precious blood of Christ. Thank You that I have been imputed with His prefect righteousness and His abundant life. Thank You that I have been redeemed from sin and lawlessness and been baptised into the body of Christ, so that together we may become a people for His own possession – eager to be used by You …until it is not I that live in this body but Christ Who lives in me, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.

Modified from: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/Titus/2/13/Titus/2/14

Daily Devotional for Today – 05/08/2021

GENERAL PATTON: LEAD OR FOLLOW" METAL SIGN - Pin-Ups For Vets Store
https://images.app.goo.gl/pP7qi1sxZTNM1gpw9

This may seem a bit of a strange way to start a devotional but it struck me this morning as I was reading my daily devotionals that God’s Army is much like the Army I (and Gen. Patton) served in. There were leaders, followers, some who stood by the wayside (out of the way) watching the world pass them by and I will add a 4th category, those who collaborate with the enemy who loves the world so much they will turn on their neighbors.

Like all good Armies, God’s Army needs leaders too. The first of such was Peter. John MacArthur’s devotional does an excellent job of making this point:

Building a Leader: The Right Experiences (Peter)

The twelve apostles included “Simon, who is called Peter” (Matt. 10:2).

Your present experiences contribute to your future leadership ability.

Stan Carder is a dear brother in Christ and one of the pastors on our church staff. Before coming to Grace Church he pastored a church in Montana. While there, he was riding one night in a truck that was involved in a very serious accident. Stan suffered a broken neck and other major injuries. As a result he underwent months of arduous and painful therapy.

That was one of the most difficult periods in Stan’s life, yet God used it for a specific purpose. Today, as pastor of our special-ministries department, Stan ministers to more than 500 physically and mentally handicapped people. God needed a man with unique qualifications to show love to a group of very special people. He chose Stan and allowed him the necessary experiences to fit him for the task.

God doesn’t always permit such serious situations, but He does lead each of us into life-changing experiences that heighten our effectiveness in ministry.

Peter had many such experiences. In Matthew 16:15-16, for example, God gave him a special revelation about the deity of Christ. In Acts 10 God sent him to preach the gospel to Gentiles—something unheard of at the time because Jewish people resisted any interaction with Gentiles. Perhaps the most tragic experience of Peter’s life was his denial of Christ. But even that only increased his love for Christ and his appreciation of God’s grace. After His resurrection, Christ forgave him and restored him to ministry (John 21:15-19).

Peter’s many experiences helped prepare him for the key role he was to play in the early church. Similarly, your experiences help prepare you for future ministry. So seek to discern God’s hand in your circumstances and rejoice at the prospect of becoming a more effective Christian.

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God for both the good and bad experiences you have, knowing that each of them is important to your spiritual growth (cf. James 1:2-4).

For Further Study

Read Acts 10, noting what Peter learned from his experience.

  • What vision did Peter have?
  • What was the point of the vision?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.

Who is Charles Spurgeon?

Prince of Preachers

One of many famous historical theologians we use for inspiration in our work is none other than the “Prince of Preachers,” Charles Spurgeon. Spurgeon is known for being one of the most influential ministers of his time, and furthering the spread of Christianity throughout England. This month, we’ll be examining his legacy and the role he played in contributing to reformed Christianity…

Read Full Blog

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Devotional Thought for Today – 05/04/2021

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

2 Chronicles 7

As always context is here is so important. The immediate context of v.14 tells us that King Solomon has finished the Temple and the fact that God will send judgment upon the land in the form of drought, locusts, or pestilence for their disobedience. God hears Solomon’s prayer but gives him this dire warning of the consequences of continued rebellion, v.12-14.

God’s promise of restoration v.14, is offset with ongoing warnings in verses 19-22 for abandoning the law, seeking and worshipping false idols. The consequences of which are so grave, that not only will the temple be forsaken but the people of Israel will be ridiculed among the nations; I will cast this house, which I have consecrated for My Name, out of My sight, and will make it a proverb and an object of scorn among all nations (AMP).

So the question becomes can this text be rightly applied to America today?

My answer is yes, under certain very specific parameters:

  • If my people,NO, we are not as a nation God’s chosen people, No, we were not founded as a Christian Nation (I would be happy to discuss this), Yes, we were however clearly founded upon Judeo- Christian principles, that we as a nation have forsaken.
  • which are called by my name, – God does not call all citizens of America His children as were the those of the Nation of Israel. However, Pew Research as of 2019 shows 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians. That is 213.2 million Americans.
  • shall humble themselves, The first requirement for Israel back in the time of Solomen and for America today is proclaiming for Christians must humble themselves all other actions fall short.
  • and pray, and seek my face, – Next, Christians need to be in an attitude and altitude of prayer. Just as God told Solomon here, the only way one can hope to forestall the Lord’s righteous judgment is to earnestly seek Him in prayer.
  • and turn from their wicked ways; – Finally, we must Repent, obviously for our own sins of commission and omission, but also for the sins of the nation as a whole.
  • then will I hear from heaven, – God promises to hear the prayers of the righteous.
  • and will forgive their sin, – God promises to forgive the sins of the truly repentant.
  • and will heal their land. – God promised to heal the land of Israel, but as we know from history they were overrun many times and still to this day live in turmoil. Here in America are praying for revival, for the end to abortion, for the destruction of anti-Christian enemies, etc. I pray more “Christians” would Humble, Seek, Pray and Repent before the Sovereign God of all creation. Imagine if all 213.2 Million had the same goal to Make America MORAL Again.

Are We Praying?

Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Bible

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Repentance According to the Scriptures: 2 Chronicles 7:14 …

The Pilgrim’s Progress with Dr. Derek Thomas

Most folks know I am a huge fan of The Pilgrim’s Progress, the second most published book to the Bible, and have posted on it in the past, John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Today in Church History, On This Date In Church History and A Picture of a True Minister (from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress). I also had the honor of hearing Dr. Thomas speak on the subject in the past so it is a pleasure to offer this post here.


Reformation Bible College

Reformation Bible College

The Christian life is one of conflict against the world, the flesh, and the devil. And that fact serves as a palpable reminder that we cannot trek through it without the One who has already overcome the world.

Watch The Pilgrim’s Progress, a special online streaming message from Dr. Derek Thomas. In this message, Dr. Thomas will speak on the life of John Bunyan and his classic book The Pilgrim’s Progress. Tune in to gain a closer look at Bunyan’s life, discovering how his writings may equip you not just for now, or for next week, or for next year, but for the entire journey that lies ahead of us as Christians.

This message is part of the Rare Book Room Series, a series of academic lectures from distinguished speakers. Each lecture highlights a featured book from the Rare Book Room on the Reformation Bible College campus.

**NOTE LECTURE STARTS AT THE 9:43 MARK

Sunday Sermon Series – PRAYING AND WAITING

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. 1 John 5:14-15

1 John 5

Chapter 5, begins by reminding true believers that they can overcome the turmoil of this world v.1-5 through the power of Christ. in v.6-12, John also reminds us that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, and life begins with Him. Finally in John wraps up the Chapter and Book with v.13-21, reassuring true believers that they can know they have eternal life.

Our text for today comes from the latter and expresses perfectly John’s and the Holy Spirit’s meaning:

  • We (true believers) can have confidence in Christ
  • We can ask anything of Him according to His will, NOT OURS
  • He hears all those petitions
  • Because those petitions are in God’s will we have no fear of them not being heard, not being granted, for we put our Faith, our Trust in the Sovereignty of God.

SERMON

1 John 5:13-15 – Praying and Waiting by C H Spurgeon


Additional Resources/Sermons

Devotional Thought for today – 04/30/2021

Logos.com

Isaiah 55

As I read this in my inbox this morning it struck me that there are two types of men described in the bible who “return to the Lord.” I will get to that more in a moment but first as always some context. Previously I have posted on Isaiah 55:8-9, in which you will find a good overview of the beginning of the chapter. Then I also posted on seeking God, Isaiah 55:6 with a detailed breakdown of that verse. So that leaves v.7:

  • Let the wicked forsake his way – Those guilty of sinning against God
  • and the unrighteous man his thoughts – wicked, idolatrous thoughts
  • and let him return unto the Lord – Hebrew word Shuwb, meaning to turn back, repent, restore, make afresh, renew…
  • and he will have mercy upon him – compassion and love on those who end their evil ways
  • and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon; – God here is the Hebrew ‘elohiym, plural meaning the triune God
  • The Lord does abundantly pardon – this indicates God’s mercy, His desire to pardon nows no boundaries

I am not a Biblical Scholar (no fancy Ph.D.) so I read about a dozen commentaries this morning referencing V.7, and most agree that the wicked forsaking their ways means everyone. I disagree, and here is why.

  1. Isaiah is writing to the nation of Israel, Jews, who knew the God of the bible.
  2. To forsake something (sin) you need to understand your guilty of it unbelievers have no knowledge of their guilt
  3. To repent, be restored, renewed, etc. you first had to be in covenant with someone
  4. God’s covenant was with the Jews (and now all peoples)
  5. God’s promise to abundantly pardon was only for those who repented and returned to the flock

Remember in the beginning I said two types of men described in the bible who “return to the Lord.” One we are all familiar with that of the Prodigal Son, the wayward child who eventually comes to his senses and repents, and begs forgiveness of his father. The other is one you may not recognize, Jonah. This is the story of those called by God, who think they know better and God puts them in a place where they eventually surrender all.

What do these men and our text have in common, both knew God but thought their ways were better than God’s. It took severe hardship to turn them from their evil rebellious ways and get God’s unmerited merciful pardon and love.

Maybe you too, have been running from God’s call or something as simple as just sitting on the pew and letting the world go by. It is time to answer the Holy Spirits’ urging and repent of our own ways and get on board with God’s plan.

Lord God, your ways are made clear to us, yet we rebel and desire our own ways. We ignore the chosen path for one that seems right in our own eyes. We ignore all the helps you send our way as our hardened hearts desire self. Lord, we beg you to soften that heart, that we might repent of our rebellious ways, and renew a righteous Spirit in all areas of our lives. I ask that we seek your guidance and will daily, for we know that our ways are never better. All this we pray in Christ’s Name. AMEN

Does Trevor Lawrence Have Too Much Character to be the NFL’s #1 Pick?

FYI, I have not watched a game of Pro-(US) Football since the Kaepernick incident. In fact, I have pretty much given up on all pro sports since their wokeism has taken center stage. Here is a story of one young man who seems to be above the hoopla.

BreakPoint Daily

Most people (at least those paying attention) expect quarterback Trevor Lawrence to be the first player selected in this year’s NFL Draft. Frankly, his draft stock has been a foregone conclusion since his heralded arrival at Clemson in 2018, and it was only strengthened after he led the Tigers to the National Championship as only a freshman. He’s a team leader who can read a defense and flat-out throw the ball.

In fact, the only doubts that exist about Lawrence’s potential in the NFL have nothing to do with talent or poise but concern his character. That is, some pundits worry Lawrence has too much character.

SOURCE: https://breakpoint.org/does-trevor-lawrence-have-too-much-character-to-be-the-nfls-1-pick/?

Devotional Thought for Today – 04/29/2021

I woke up this morning and MHM of Prayer below was in my inbox. It led to this devotional, this one verse, in my opinion, is sufficient evidence to refute anyone who says we do not need the Old Testament. Here the Lord Himself says those Scriptures directly point the way to Him, and that is reason enough to study them.

1. The Big Picture - Jesus
https://images.app.goo.gl/ULQQ1hcaboSTUMhx9

JOHN 5

In chapters 1-4 of John’s Gospel Jesus was sort of low key avoiding any public display or controversy. Here however He starts off v.1-17 with a bang (Miracle) by healing an invalid near the Bethesda pool, on the Sabbath.

If that was not enough to upset the apple cart (ruling class Jews), when they challenge Jesus under what authority He has to heal someone on the Sabbath His response is even more controversial. Instead of a simple answer, Jesus says all His authority has been given to Him by God the Father and He is equal with God the Father v.18-24.

Jesus then lays out four (4) reasons why HE has this authority, v.25-32 the coming resurrection, v.33-35, the testimony of John the Baptist, v.36, the testimony of His works, v.37-38, the testimony of the Father, and finally v.39-47, the testimony of Scripture.

Look at v.38, Jesus says to the local religious leaders, you have God’s word in front of you but not in you. He then goes on to our text for today, [h]You search and keep on searching and examining the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and yet it is those [very Scriptures] that testify about Me; (AMP).

It may sound funny but all I kept thinking or hearing in my head was that old country song Looking for love in all the wrong places. Just like the fool who can’t find his true love because he won’t look in the right place, these religious leaders search scripture looking for a King and Leader but not the Messiah before them.

In Jesus’ day, there was more “proof” of His deity than we have today in the sense that Jesus was physically there performing miracles and still He was denied and crucified. That is the problem, then and today as folks want individual proof, just because 2+2=4 does not mean I have to believe it, you have to prove it to me personally.

NO! God does not have to prove anything. He owes us nothing and we owe him everything. It’s abDevotional Thought for Today – 04/29/2021out Jesus, not us. We need to read the scripture from that point of view, we need to worship in church with that mindset, and not the want can I get out of it. Focus on Christ and the Holy Spirit will handle the rest.


Praying through John 5:39
Heavenly Father, thank You for the inspired scriptures, which point us to Christ. May we read them with understanding and be guided into all truth by Your Holy Spirit. Keep me from seeking to add to Your finished work of Calvary, through my own works of the flesh.. knowing that eternal life is only to be found by faith in Christ alone and that I am only accepted by You because I am ‘in Christ,’ and not because of anything that I could do. Praise His holy name and draw me closer to Jesus day by day – in Whose name I pray, AMEN.

Source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/John/5/39


Matthew Henry's Method for Prayer

Thank God for the Scriptures

For the writing of the Scriptures and the preserving of them pure and entire to this day.

We thank you that we have the Scriptures to search, and that in them we have eternal life, for it is they that bear witness about Christ; John 5:39(ESV) and that all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16(ESV)

That whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope; Romans 15:4(ESV) and that we have this sure prophetic word, as a lamp shining in a dark place. 2 Peter 1:19(ESV)

That the vision has not become to us like the words of a book that is sealed, Isaiah 29:11(ESV) but that we hear in our own tongue the mighty works of God. Acts 2:11(ESV)

We thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that the things which you have hidden from the wise and understanding and which many prophets and kings desired to see but did not, 1 Peter 1:10(ESV) are revealed to us little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. Luke 10:21(ESV)

What Every Christian Needs to Know

What we often miss, as Christians today can be thought of in three broad categories: the past, the present, and the future. Or, to put it another way, what waswhat is, and what is to come.

BreakPoint Daily

Scripture says woe to those who say that good is evil and that evil is good. That’s a culture-wide feature of our world. Each day, it seems, brings new and audacious ideas aimed at unraveling and misordering God’s very good creation…

SOURCE: https://breakpoint.org/what-every-christian-needs-to-know/?