Daily Devotional – God’s Called

The saying below has become very popular on Social Media and among evangelicals in general but is it Biblical? Today we will briefly look at God’s Called.

21 Best But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to ...

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

As always we must take into consideration the Whole Counsel of God. Failure to do so even in this instance could lead to false or heretical teachings as you will see. 

So first let us look at the saying does God call unqualified folks. If we are speaking in the terms of Salvation, YES, of course our text will prove that.

On the other hand if we are speaking of ministry the answer is SORT OF. A careful reading of other bible text lists pre-qualifications for; Pastors, Deacons, Evangelists, etc. 1 Tim. 3:1-13, Tit. 1:5-9 then God further qualifies these chosen men through their study 2 Timothy 2:15 of scripture. To call someone to Pastor a church ignoring these qualifications is the same as saying God’s Word does not apply to our church and that is false teaching and HERESY, a term I never use lightly. 

Our text this morning,  1 Corinthians 1:26-31, comes from Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth. This is a church divided by two factions one I will call the Arrogant and Well Off, the other the Humble and Poor

A breakdown of 1st Corinthians 1 is as follows: 

In v.1-3 Greetings and Salutations to the church

In v.4-9 He thanks God for Christ and the fellowship therein

In v.10-17 He makes a plea for unity amongst the body of believers 

In v.18-25 He describes the Power and Wisdom of Christ

In v.26-31 He closes by reminding the Corinthians of their lowly state before Christ


BREAKDOWN:

25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.Paul begins to closes chapter one, by insulting the church at Corinth. Seriously there is no other way I can read this, he is not pulling punches to lovingly sugar coating anything. WARNING; do not read into the text; Paul is not implying God is foolish or weak; he is implying that the those who think God is such a Greek, Moron, for sacrificing His only begotten son are the truly week and follish.

26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: – Look at your own calling to Salvation, and those around you in the church, how many are of the high and mighty the intellectual elite (prior to conversion did they have that distinction?). Paul points out it is the rare rich noble that believes in Christ.

27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; – Instead of Mr. or Mrs. Fancy Pants, God chooses those that the world looks upon as foolish and weak to confuse the world and their so called mightiness. 

28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: – The Greek word here translated in the KJV as base things, is the word Nothing.  Paul says God calls the nothings of the world (modern word would be insignificant) to Christ. He uses the nobodies to shame the somebodies. 

29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. – WHY? The answer is simple so no one can brag about themselves in God’s presence. As stupid as that sounds I am convinced there are those who try when they day comes when we all stand before God on judgement day.

30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: –  Not only do true believers not boast in themselves they understand that God is the source of our Life in Christ. 

31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. – Paul is quoting Jeremiah 9:23-24 here, and makes it clear if you need boast boast in the Lord. 


APPLICATION:

Paul makes clear in his writing to the church at Corinth that God is please to Call the foolish and weak, that truly believe the Gospel of Christ and Him Crucified. God purposely chose the base or insignificant as far as “the world” was concerned just to prove to who in the end is really foolish and weak.  

The Question is are you to High and Mighty to heed God’s Call? 

 

Daily Devotional – Don’t Rock the Boat

You are probably wondering what in the world an early 70’s soul/disco song has to do with a Godly Wod, plenty let me explain. Don’t Rock the Boat is and idiom meaning do not do do say anything that could otherwise change a good or stable situation. 

For some, actually far to many, “Christians”, have taken this to be their mantra of sorts. This question is, is it biblical? 


Romans 12:18 | joshtinpowers | Flickr

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

First let me be clear I am not advocating anything here that is anti-biblical or no-peaceful. You can check my previous posts including Great Peace,and Daily Devotional – The Beatitudes by Thomas Watson Part LXIII to list just a couple. 

What I am advocating is not being a Don’t Rock the Boat Christian! You know the type; ‘We have always done it this way, it won’t affect me so why get involved, I don’t want to offend anyone’ etc. etc. etc!

They are afraid to speak out on concerns and issues because they have been convinced by false teachings and flat out lies that Jesus would never offend anyone. HELLO, read the book Jesus offended an entire country and they crucified Him. 

Again I am not advocating extreme revolution or any craziness here (including illegal activities) but I am saying, if our example is Christ (and the Apostles, READ Acts) they spoke out on issues and were not afraid to Rock the Boat.

That is what Paul is saying here in Chapter 12, it is all about dedicated service to God interacting in the world and how sometimes there will be trials and persecutions for that service. This is because some will not like the fact that you peacefully and lovingly point out their evil sinful ways. In other words you Rock the Boat


BREAKDOWN:

If it be possible, –  In the previous v.17  Paul says to act honorably with all people, a tall order when you deep down our human nature wants to punch someone’s lights out for treating you like garbage.

But here in our text he says, If” because he (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) understood sometimes you need to stand up and fight. 

As Christians we should always strive to live peacefully with EVERYONE!!! First and foremost with our brothers and sisters in Christ, then our family and neighbors vo-workers etc. 

as much as lieth in you, – Paul is not advocating Pacifism or Total Apathy; he makes it clear our living peacefully with others is CONDITIONAL. 

#1 If its possible: Will folks let you live peacefully, will they allow you to freely worship, provide for your family, obey God rather than man and so on. 

#2 Doing all we can: to avoid unnecessary conflict; we should never be the instigators of conflict. AGAIN, this does not mean we sit back and avoid all controversy. 

live peaceably with all men. – The goal is to live peacefully with all men (and women) but let us be realistic this is NOT POSSIBLE. So when is the appropriate time to disagree, argue or even fight it out? 

I would say there are two main ingredients to that:

    1. You have to have biblical backing for your position: it does us no good to discuss, argue or otherwise engaged anyone if we cannot back up our positions biblically 
    2. You need to be obeying God rather than man: Your argument needs to be because going against it disobeys the law of God. The bible is clear we are to obey the magistrates (Civil Authorities) GOD has appointed over us (Romans 13) to argue against, disobey or otherwise Rock the Boat means they have gone against God. 

APPLICATION:
  • We should make every attempt to live peacefully with everyone especially when pointing out errors. 
  • Jesus Rocked the Boat many times and a careful reading of scripture reveals He did so only in instances where the ruling class was breaking God’s Law. 
  • Jesus is our example, and if we call ourselves Christians we should follow His example.
  • We should not be afraid of Rocking the Boat, for matters that go against God’s word.

Daily Devotional – Above All

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

Do you want a maserati, God can provide. A new house God can provide. Better health God can provide.  Okay before y’all think I have gone over to the dark side of Name it and Claim it theology let me explain. 

Starting way back in verse 14 For this reason [grasping the greatness of this plan by which Jews and Gentiles are joined together in Christ] I bow my knees [in reverence] before the Father [of our Lord Jesus Christ], Paul begins this prayer that concludes with our text. The theme of which is no matter how boldly Hebrews 4:16 we petitions God, He is more than capable of answering all our requests. 


BREAKDOWN:

v.20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, – Paul is clear, above all elseGod is capable of more than we can even imagine. Does God always answer YES! The answer however may not be YES. Sometimes God says no, sometimes He remains aloof teaching us patience and wanting to make us more dependent upon Him (the Holy Spirit indwelling every true believer). 

Note the type of things “Christians” should be asking God for v.16 to be strengthened and spiritually energized with power through His Spirit, no cars, houses or health there. Do not get me wrong if you need transportation, housing are ill pray for those needs humbly. But if you have a house why pray for a mansion when we are to be good stewards of all God provides?

v. 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.  Verse 20-21 are a short DoxologyGlory is given to God for all His perfect attributes. These are to be celebrated in the church with Christ as the head. Not for a short period of time but forever. Christ was, is and will always be the Groom and the Church His Bride Ephesians 5:22-25, consecrated to Glorify God. 


APPLICATION:

Above all else I think there are two main takeaways from today’s devotional: 

We can boldly but humbly petition God for our needs in His will

Christians are meant to fellowship and Glorify God together in the Church

Are you a lone wolf not attending church? Are your petitions and supplications aligned with the will of God? Remember to pray daily as Paul, to be strengthened and spiritually energized with power through His Spirit.

 

News from the PERSECUTED CHURCH

The Voice of the Martyrs

Taking the Gospel to Drug Runners and Rebels

David and Gloria praying with family

David and Gloria met while attending a training school for missionaries in Colombia. After learning about indigenous people groups who hadn’t yet heard of Jesus, the couple felt compelled to take the gospel to the jungle, even though they knew their area was one of the most dangerous in Colombia. The dense rainforest, broad rivers and lack of Colombian security forces make it an appealing area for drug traffickers transporting cocaine.

David received a surprising offer one day when about 60 guerrilla soldiers appeared at the couple’s house. The rebel commander told David he would triple his salary and allow him to continue his pastoral work if he would join their group.

“I won’t work with you,” David replied. “You kill people. The only person who should have power over life is God.”

The rebel leader didn’t appreciate David’s boldness. “You are lucky it’s me and not some other guerrillas, as they would have shot you in the head already,” he said. “We will talk tomorrow.”

What Happened Next?

 


Barnabas Fund

Prayer Focus Update July 2020

Prayer Focus Update is a monthly information bulletin with up-to-date news on the persecuted Church to help Christians pray for their suffering brothers and sisters. You can use this for prayer groups, your own information and for inclusion in church magazines.

It is available in various formats on the Barnabas Aid website or can be sent through the post free of charge. Please contact your national Barnabas Aid office if you would like to receive this in the mail.

  • Pakistan – Discovery of 1,000-year-old cross points to ancient Christian presence in Himalayas

  • Turkey – Church leaders call government to lift “entry ban” on serving pastors from overseas

  • China – Persecution concerns mount as surveillance state genetically maps entire male population and pastor compares second raid on church to “violence of Mao’s Cultural Revolution”

  • DRC – Militant extremists kill 57 villagers in attacks on mainly- Christian north-east

  • Mali – Heavily-armed jihadists murder 27 people in attacks on Christian villages

FULL PRINT VERSION 

 

Daily Devotional – Lamenting

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Sourced from Facebook

Lamentations 2:17 (AMP and RVR 1960) 


CONTEXT:

Chapter 2 begins v.1-9 with God at odds with His church (in this case Israel) for their disobedience and worship of idols. Note that God seems to have a hand in the troubles befalling Israel but is not their enemy though angry with them. He does this to bring to their attention and cause their turning from sin. 

The second half of Chapter 2;  v.10-22 sees the people lamenting their woes, and calls for repentance issued. 


 

BREAKDOWN: 

The Lord hath done that which he had devised; – Once again we see God is in control of all, sovereign over the events of mankind, here in the Chaldean occupation of Judea, today can we not see His hand in all things restraining the Chaos from unleashing in earnest. 

he hath fulfilled his word that he had commanded in the days of old: – God has long promised rewards to those who are faithful and woes to those who are not

he hath thrown down, and hath not pitied: – God is all powerful and here it is demonstrated in the tearing down of walls of Jerusalem, and specifically the Temple of God. 

and he hath caused thine enemy to rejoice over thee, – Our enemies rejoice in apparent victory thinking themselves great, but it is He who is greater and will have the final say

he hath set up the horn of thine adversaries. –  God has swelled their self-worth, puffed them up and for His purpose (to remind us (Israel) of our place) and set them up for a hard fall in the end


 

APPLICATION:

There are clear parallels to Israel and the US found here. Both claim to be established upon Godly principles and laws. Both peoples claim to desire to follow a moral code established by God. Yet both readily and easily turn their backs upon that very same God.  

As with Israel, America needs a time of lamenting (a passionate expression of grief or sorrow) and repentance. 

Here is a 5 day devotional from CROSSWAY to help in that endeavor:

Learning to Lament

OTHER RESOURCES:

Dare to Hope in God How to Lament Well

What is a lament in the Bible?

The Way of Lament

Strong Churches Speak the Language of Lament

 

News of the Persecuted Church

Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

Our Faith in Today’s World

News updates on the persecuted Church

Militant extremists kill 57 villagers in attacks on mainly-Christian north-east DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) Read full article

Fourteen-year-old Indian Christian boy brutally murdered by extremists in Orissa (India)  Read full article

Widowed Chinese Christian told “stop believing in God” or lose welfare support Read full article

Chinese pastor compares second raid on church to “violence of Mao’s Cultural Revolution” Read full article

More news and information


Pray for the persecuted Church

We encourage you to pray as you feel led for the people and situations you read about in Christian Newsline. There are many resources available from Barnabas Aid to assist you in your prayers. Where you can sign up to receive Barnabas Prayer Focus, a monthly resource containing news from the persecuted Church together with associated praise and prayer points. You can sign up to receive these updates direct by email here.

 

 

Hatred on Display Again

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.

Proverbs 10:12 ESV 

Attackers Burn Church to the Ground After It Defies Lockdown, “I Bet You Stay Home Now Hypokrits”

A Mississippi church that is suing to stay open during the coronavirus shutdowns was destroyed by arson Wednesday, according to local officials…
CONTINUED AT SOURCE

 

Regathering the Disassembled Church

 

Regathering the Disassembled Church

he Q & A audio clips below highlight a discussion between
Stand in the Gap Today radio hosts and guests, Dr. Gary Dull, Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Altoona, PA, and Pastor Mike Frazier, Senior Pastor of Canton Baptist Temple in Canton, Ohio. They explore how, when, and why it’s important to begin the process of regathering the church together again.

Why are we calling this a ‘regathering of the church’ instead of a reopening? Listen Here (3:16)>>

What have the weeks been like for Pastors during this COVID-19 crisis? Listen Here (2:01) >>

How are church members feeling about regathering? Listen Here (2:30)>>

How have various churches functioned during the quarantine? Listen Here (1:30)>>

Why is it important to meet in person as a congregation instead of online? Listen Here (3:58)>>

How should churches respond to threats from the civil authority? Listen Here (4:35)>>

LISTEN to the entire program HERE!
READ the transcript!

After weeks of being closed due to the Coronavirus, Liberty Counsel and it’s ReOpenChurch.org campaign, has called on the churches to open and believers to start meeting again. Here are some of its resources.

RESOURCES:

Rights of Churches to Meet for Religious Services – Memo detailing church rights

Church Coronavirus Safety Measures – Suggested worship options and safety precautions

Free COVID-19 Resources for Children – Helpful information and activities for kids

The Real Chronological Facts Leading Up to the Arrest of the Florida Pastor

Resources and Benefits for Churches – Join Liberty Counsel as a Cooperative Church


 

Watch this conference call with Pennsylvania Pastors and Mat Staver (Liberty Counsel) discussing the biblical and legal foundations for regathering the churches.

Double Click on the Icon Link

From our Church Newsletter

C h r i s t i a n s ,
before you criticize the government putting the church into non- essential business, ask yourself first did you do the same as a Christian?
Did you treat the church as non-essential in your life?
Did you skip services? Did you come 10 minutes late or perhaps 30 minutes late?
Did you put church after your dream job, your big client meeting, your family road trip?
Did you treat the worship service nothing more than a music concert or entertainment?
Did you listen to sermons no different than self-help psychology?
Don’t be silly, we as Christians have long treated church as non- essential, that’s why the world sees through our hypocrisy.
No need to win a debate, win your souls.

RICHARD BAXTER ON CHURCHES MEETING WHEN FORBIDDEN

Okay so y’all know I love reading these old dead guys called the Puritans. Why because they (for the most part) got it, the very essence of what the bible was saying without the modern trappings of political correctness, self interpretation any other issue hanging on them. 

Here in a posts from a guy Andrew  J. Spencer I never hear of before, we find that same thing Richard Baxter wrote this nearly 400 years before the current pandemic  applies today. 

RICHARD BAXTER ON CHURCHES MEETING WHEN FORBIDDEN

The following is an excerpt from The Practical Works of Richard Baxter, the fifth volume, in his Christian Ecclesiastics, where he details answers to nearly 200 questions dealing with Christians and matters of conscience.

Richard Baxter

Richard Baxter

Baxter, an English Puritan, was obviously writing in a different day under a different set of laws, but I think that his response to these two questions is pertinent and helpful at this present time. I disagree with a few of the particulars (e.g., that it might be ok for the government to restrict meetings smaller than ten), but the general intent is, I think, well-considered and generally helpful as we process living under temporary restrictions driven by COVID-19.

Of particular value, I think, is the explanation Baxter offers regarding ceasing to hold services under orders of the magistrate due to “a time of pestilence.” He writes, “If the magistrate for a greater good, (as the common safety,) forbid church assemblies in a time of pestilence, assault of enemies, or fire, or the like necessity, it is a duty to obey him.”

As I understand it presently, that is the condition we are under. I do not like the requirement, but I think that, as long as there is a universal ban against large assemblies, we will do well to honor the orders to forebear meeting. This is not a change in position from my earlier post, which called for grace and prudence as congregations decide whether to meet or not, but a reflection of the changed circumstances. The earlier post was written when bans were not in effect and congregations were making decisions based on prudential data.

BAXTER ON MEETING WHEN FORBIDDEN BY THE GOVERNMENT

Question 109: May we omit church assemblies on the Lord’s day if the magistrate forbid them?

Answer 1. It is one thing to forbid them for a time upon some special cause as infection by pestilence fire war &c and another to forbid them statedly or profanely.

2. It is one thing to omit them for a time, and another to do it ordinarily.

3. It is one thing to omit them in formal obedience to the law; and another thing to omit them in prudence, or for necessity, because we cannot keep them.

4. The assembly and the circumstances of the assembly must be distinguished:

(1.) If the magistrate for a greater good, (as the common safety,) forbid church assemblies in a time of pestilence, assault of enemies, or fire, or the like necessity, it is a duty to obey him. 1. Because positive duties give place to those great natural duties which are their end: so Christ justified himself and his disciples violation of the external rest of the sabbath. “For the sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath.” 2. Because affirmatives bind not ‘ad semper,’ and out-of-season duties become sins. 3. Because one Lord’s day or assembly is not to be preferred before many, which by the omission of that one are like to be obtained.

(2.) If princes profanely forbid holy assemblies and public worship, either statedly, or as a renunciation of Christ and our religion; it is not lawful formally to obey them.

(3.) But it is lawful prudently to do that secretly for the present necessity, which we cannot do publicly, and to do that with smaller numbers, which we cannot do with greater assemblies, yea, and to omit some assemblies for a time, that we may thereby have opportunity for more: which is not formal but only material obedience.

(4.) But if it be only some circumstances of assembling that are forbidden us, that is the next case to be resolved.

Question 110: Must we obey the magistrate if he only forbid us worshipping God in such a place or country or in such numbers or the like?

Answer: We must distinguish between such a determination of circumstances, modes, or accidents, as plainly destroy the worship or the end, and such as do not.

For instance,  1. He that saith, You shall never assemble but once a year, or never but at midnight; or never above six or seven minutes at once, &c. doth but determine the circumstance of time: but he doth it so as to destroy the worship, which cannot so be done, in consistency with its ends. But he that shall say, You shall not meet till nine o’clock nor stay in the night, &c. doth no such thing.

So 2. He that saith, You shall not assemble but at forty miles distance one from another; or you shall meet only in a room that will hold but the twentieth part of the church; or you shall never preach in any city or populous place, but in a wilderness far from the inhabitants, &c. doth but determine the circumstance of place. But he so doth it as tends to destroy or frustrate the work which God commandeth us. But so doth not he that only boundeth churches by parish bounds, or forbiddeth inconvenient places.

3. So he that saith, You shall never meet under a hundred thousand together, or never above five or six, doth but determine the accident of number. But he so doth it as to destroy the work and end. For the first will be impossible and in the second way they must keep church-assemblies without ministers, when there is not so many as for every such little number to have one. But so doth not he that only saith, You shall not meet above ten thousand, nor under ten.

4. So he that saith, You shall not hear a Trinitarian, but an Arian; or you shall hear only one that cannot preach the essentials of religion, or that cries down godliness itself; or you shall hear none but such as were ordained at Jerusalem or Rome, or none but such as subscribe the council of Trent, &c. doth but determine what person we shall hear. But he so doth it as to destroy the work and end. But so doth not he that only saith, You shall hear only this able minister, rather than that.

I need not stand on the application. In the latter case we owe formal obedience. In the former we must suffer, and not obey.

For if it be meet so to obey, it is meet in obedience to give over God’s worship. Christ said, “When they persecute you in one city, flee to another:” but he never said, “If they forbid you preaching in any city, or populous place, obey them. He that said, “Preach the Gospel to every creature, and to all nations, and all the world,” and that “would have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,” doth not allow us to forsake the souls of all that dwell in cities and populous places, and preach only to some few cottagers elsewhere: no more than he will allow us to love, pity, and relieve the bodies only of those few, and take none for our neighbours that dwell in cities, but with priest and Levite to pass them by.