Daily Devotional – Firm Foundations

8 I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Psalm 16:8

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

Psalm 16 is an expression of Faith in God as put forth by David King of Israel. Like all men David was not perfect, yet He was chosen by God to be the seed by which Christ Jesus the redeemer of mankind would be born. 


BREAKDOWN: 

I have set the Lord always before me: – Note that David says always not occasionally, or when I am in trouble, or indiscriminately, but always. 

Thomas Brooks Comments on this: 

I have set the Lord always before me. David did not by fits and starts set the Lord before him; but he “always” set the Lord before him in his course; he had his eye upon the Lord, and so much the Hebrew word imports: I have equally set the Lord before me; that is the force of the original word, that is, I have set the Lord before me, at one time as well as another, without any irregular affections or passions, etc. In every place, in every condition, in every company, in every employment, and in every enjoyment, I have set the Lord equally before me; and this raised him, and this will raise any Christian, by degrees, to a very great height of holiness.

because he is at my right hand, – Two things about being at my right hand first being on the right signifies a guarded position, one most protected. Second it is the position of honor, in a Kings court the most trusted of advisors always sits to the right, here David says God is always there as his most trusted advisor and protector. 

I shall not be moved. –  David says I am grounded firmly in the precepts, the teachings, laws of God and will not be moved off of them. 

Robert Crawdray comments on this: 

Even as a column or pillar is sometimes on thy right hand, and sometimes on thy left hand, because thou dost change thy standing, sitting or walking, for it is unmovable and keepeth one place; so God is sometimes favourable and bountiful unto thee, and sometimes seemeth to be wroth and angry with thee, because thou dost fall from virtue to vice, from obedience and humility to pride and presumption; for in the Lord there is no change, no, not so much as any shadow of change. He is immutable, always one and everlasting. If thou wilt bend thyself to obedience, and to a virtuous and godly life, thou shalt ever have him a strong rock, whereupon you may boldly build a castle and tower of defence. He will be unto thee a mighty pillar, bearing up heaven and earth, whereto you may lean and not be deceived, wherein you may trust and not be disappointed. He will ever be at thy right hand, that thou shalt not fall. He will take thy part, and will mightily defend thee against all enemies of thy body and of thy soul; but if thou wilt shake hands with virtue, and bid it adieu and farewell, and, forsaking the ways of God, wilt live as thou list, and follow thy own corruption, and make no conscience of aught thou doest, defiling and blemishing thyself with all manner of sin and iniquity, then be sure the Lord will appear unto thee in his fury and indignation. From his justice and judgments none shall ever be able to deliver thee.


APPLICATION:

We have two ministries, this one FSM and FSMWO which deals primarily with Issues of Incarceration, Ex-Mates, Military/Veterans, and Right to Life issues. The Other Faith Builders Ministries we build churches and do disaster relief work wherever God calls us. 

One of the keys in any smart building project is a Good Foundation, something that can not be moved about in the slightest of storms. I live in Mid Mississippi right smack in Tornado Alley and Hurricane Corridor plus we have this stuff called Yazoo Clay. To the un-educated all that means build a poorly designed foundations and the first bad storm, the wind will tear off the roof and lift the build off the foundation. Or maybe it just rains 8 inches in a day or two with no winds so to speak and you think I am good, not so fast that bad foundation just lifted 12″ because the clay couldn’t absorb the water and now its running into your home from under your slab. 

So I hope you see the point, as David made that a firm foundation based upon the biblical teachings of God are necessary for our every day stability in life. In this life we are tossed about just as in a storm here in Mississippi, yet with a solid firm foundation in scripture we can be as Paul said in Romans more than conquerors

It is my prayer your foundation is as firm as any saint that has ever lived.  


OTHER RESOURCES:

Sunday’s Sermon Series – Crumbling Foundations 

Daily Devotional – Foundations

Christian Foundations for a New Believer

 

Daily Devotional – Daily Delights

I've Taken This for Granted – Heather C. King – Room to Breathe

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

What is it you delight in? Something simple like that first sip of coffee each morning? The warm embrace of you child, wife or other loved ones. Maybe it is more complicated like accomplishing something you thought you could not do. 

With all of these, the bible in no way suggests there is anything wrong with taking delight in them. If you are married and do not delight in the companionship of your wife, you have a real BIG issue. Yet God’s Word make something else abundantly clear, there is one thing greater than all else in our lives to delight in…


BREAKDOWN:

In the way – Note the Psalmist does not say ‘In your testimonies’ for many “like” certain rules but do not always follow them. Here the Psalmist makes clear the expression of God’s laws brings delight unto him and all who adhere.

of your testimonies – God’s testimonies are His; Laws, precepts, statues, commandments, and Word all terms used to describe the same thing here in Psalm 119. In the Old Testament God’s Laws could be broken down into 3 areas Ceremonial, Civil and Moral. 

I delight – Rules (or laws) are meant to put unnecessary restrictions on people. One has to look no further than the current COVID-19 fiasco in America to understand that. BUT are all rules (laws) the same. The Psalmist here makes it clear ABSOLUTELY NOT! God’s Rules (law’s) are a delight, (many translation use rejoice in) to those who believe. 

as much as in all riches. – Remember that sip of coffee or your wife’s sweet embrace, God’s Word, His Statutes are better than that. In fact they are more delightful more satisfying than all the riches found in the world. 


APPLICATION:

How do you view God’s Word, His Laws in your Life? Are they a burden or Delight? Are you getting your Daily Delight, by reading God’s word and actively pursuing God’s chosen path for you each day? 

God’s laws should never seem difficult or harsh, they should always be a burden lifter not adding to our baggage. If the reverse is true we need to be in prayer and ask God to reveal to us what is truly dragging us down, ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to delight in God’s Law daily. 

 

Proverbs 6:23

Logos.com

Porque el mandamiento es lámpara, y la enseñanza es luz, Y camino de vida las reprensiones que te instruyen, (RVR 1960)


John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible

For the commandment is a lamp,…. The law of God is a lamp or candle to see to work by and to walk by; it enlightens the eyes and directs the feet, and makes working more pleasant, and walking more comfortable; and indeed wit, bout it a man knows not rightly what to do or where he should walk, or where he is walking; see Psalm 119:105;

and the law is light; it makes things clear and manifest, what is right and what is wrong; it enlightens the eyes of the understanding, whereby persons come to see both their sin and their duty; and it directs them to avoid the one and do the other; see Psalm 19:8;

and reproofs of instruction are the way life; kind reproofs given by parents agreeable to the word of God, which instruct what should be shunned and what should be performed, when attended to, put men in the way of an honourable and useful life; and are the means of preserving them from a scandalous and useless one.

Daily Devotional – The Holy Spirit Part IV

Image result for John 14"

John 14:16-24 (ESV)

John 14:16-24 (RVR 1960)

CONTEXT: Yesterday we concluded that the Promise of the Holy Spirit is not for everyone. It is reserved for God’s Elect.  Today we end our series on the Promise fo the Holy Spirit with v.23-24 so let’s break it down:

v.23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 

Jesus answered him, that is Judas and all those in listening (as well as you and I) by reiterating (see v.21) the the conditions: “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him,  and the Promise we will come to him and make our home with him. 

Jesus must depart to fulfill the Promise(s) (both that of complete redemption and the coming Holy Spirit) are The Godhead will make and does make their home (habitat) in the temple of God. Not church buildings but the Holy temple, the bodies of living saints, filled with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

v.24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. 

As a final reminder (or warning?) Jesus again says in a sort of double negative way, only those who keep my words really love me. Proof of our love for Christ is our obedience to His words (doctrines). 

This is not some scheme dreamed up by a guy passing through time. No these words come from a much higher authority than the man Jesus the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. Although fully God incarnate, Jesus the man wanted everyone to know the authority with which He spoke came directly from God the Farther. That to go against it was to sin contrary to a mere man but God Himself. 

That ends the series on the Promise of the Holy Spirit, next week will begin to look at the Roles (or Work) of the Holy Spirit.

Daily Devotional – The Holy Spirit Part III

Image result for John 14"

John 14:16-24 (ESV)

John 14:16-24 (RVR 1960)

CONTEXT:

In Tuesday’s devotional we looked at verses 18-20 and discussed how Jesus was concerned about leaving the Apostles and disciples because of their spiritual immaturity. Of course Jesus (as part of the Godhead) had a plan all ready in place to send a helper/comforter in the Holy Spirit. Today we look at verses 21 and 22, so let us break it down:

v.21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 

Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, have you ever know someone who could spout scripture like no tomorrow but could not walk the walk the spoke of in the least? That is what Jesus starts verse 21 with here. It is one thing to know the commandments (even Satan himself knows them) it is another thing altogether to keep them daily.

Why do we need to both talk the talk and walk the walk? It demonstrates to the world  he it is who loves me. Listen Jesus already knows everything He does not need outside confirmation, but the world that is a different story. 

And he who loves me will be loved by my Father; we who were lost are reconciled to the Father only through Christ Jesus the Son. (Romans 5:10

and I will love him and manifest myself to him, For all those “seeker sensitive” types here is your answer, you want to know Jesus {have His} commandments and keeps them. Jesus makes it real plain and simple He will reveal Himself, [I will make Myself real to him] (AMP); to those who know and obey the commandments. (see v.22 #2 below)

v.22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 

What an astute question. Judas asks how can it be that you will manifest, (Greek Emphanizo; 1. to manifest, exhibit to view 2. to show one’s self, come to view, appear, be manifest 3. to indicate, disclose, declare, make known) yourself to us and not the whole world? A very logical question considering what we read back in verse 19; Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live, they are waiting or better hoping for the answer. 

There is a twofold answer here that need be explained: 

    1. The followers of Jesus that are His chosen, those that the Father have given Him, John 6:37-39 are the ones that will {have His} commandments and keep them. Those in the world will always do worldly things. Oh they may occasionally do something “good” but it is never biblically Good because it is never for the glory of God.  
    2. This also speaks of the exclusivity of the Promise of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus after the resurrection and Pentecost will only manifest himself to true repentant believers. You can’t fake it to make it in Christ’s Army. There will always be those who know scripture and the commandments (v.21) but can not walk the walk of Faith. There is no evidence of God’s redeeming Grace in them at all. 

In conclusion, the Promise of the Holy Spirit, is not for everyone. Jesus reserves it for those who are redeemed by Grace alone, through His Blood alone to God’s Glory alone. It is those that will have, keep and cherish His Commandments. 

The Love of God

Image result for I JOHN 5:3

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:1-5, ESV)

Today’s devotion verse found me back in probably my favorite book in the bible, (New Testament at least). Verse three seems simple enough but as always we must take things in context and invite the Whole Counsel of God’s Word. 

One of the ways I breakdown text is to ask some simple questions about the verse: 

Who: Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God” John is speaking to the Body of Christ, the universal church. Everyone who believes, not some superficial belief by the kind of Faith that comes only from saving Grace and a true conversion.

What: we love the children of God, when we love God” various bibles have different headings above these verses denoting the theme. The NLT says “Faith in the Son of God” the ESV says “Overcoming the World” for me the theme (or the what) here has to be Love. John uses the word 4 times in the first three verses. 

When: When is it we are expressing our love for God and fellow believers? Every time we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome”. As, believers saved by Grace, we should not feel like God’s Commandments (Exodus 20:1-20 and Matthew 22:37-39 ) are in anyway a burden or somehow oppressive to our lives. In fact the opposite we should be looking upon them as a gift to guide our daily walk.

How: So how are we to keep His commandments in such a sinful world? It can not be done on our own, we would fail miserably. This may seem a daunting task, after all we fallen creatures by nature and can never keep all the commandments that is why we needed a Savior.  God overcomes the world…”We can do it because we have a Savor in Christ Jesus that overcame the world and won the victory over evil for us  ( Romans 6:6-11 )

Why: For this is the love of God”. Why is it that we should obey these commandments? To express our Love for God. Again we can not dismiss the fact that for true believers this is not a burden but a way of life. We owe God a debt we can never repay (Calvary), we call Him Abba, Father, this should be a natural outpouring of our Faith and Love for Him ( 1 John 4:19 ).

Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

Verses 1-5: True love for the people of God, may be distinguished from natural kindness or party attachments, by its being united with the love of God, and obedience to his commands. The same Holy Spirit that taught the love, will have taught obedience also; and that man cannot truly love the children of God, who, by habit, commits sin or neglects known duty. As God’s commands are holy, just, and good rules of liberty and happiness, so those who are born of God and love him, do not count them grievous, but lament that they cannot serve him more perfectly. Self-denial is required, but true Christians have a principle which carries them above all hinderances. Though the conflict often is sharp, and the regenerate may be cast down, yet he will rise up and renew his combat with resolution. But all, except believers in Christ, are enslaved in some respect or other, to the customs, opinions, or interests of the world. Faith is the cause of victory, the means, the instrument, the spiritual armour by which we overcome. In and by faith we cleave to Christ, in contempt of, and in opposition to the world. Faith sanctifies the heart, and purifies it from those sensual lusts by which the world obtains sway and dominion over souls. It has the indwelling Spirit of grace, which is greater than he who dwells in the world. The real Christian overcomes the world by faith; he sees, in and by the life and conduct of the Lord Jesus on earth, that this world is to be renounced and overcome. He cannot be satisfied with this world, but looks beyond it, and is still tending, striving, and pressing toward heaven. We must all, after Christ’s example, overcome the world, or it will overcome us to our ruin.

 

 

 

The Greatest Commandments

Matthew 22:34–40 

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. … You shall love your neighbor as yourself” – (vv. 37–39)

 …The commandment to love is an order to do something; thus, we are to love others, serving them even if we do not feel like it. Furthermore, if love for God and neighbor are the commandments upon which the Law and Prophets hang, we cannot somehow separate love from these stipulations and define love in a way that ignores God’s law. Any act the Bible forbids is not love; rather, the Law shows us how to express true love. Paul can say, “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom. 13:10) and also expect Christians to live out the basic ethical code of the Old Testament (v. 9). Above all, John Calvin comments, Jesus says that “love is the first and great thing that God demands from us, and therefore the first and great thing that we should devote to him.”

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

“We learn from this, that God does not rest satisfied with the outward appearance of works, but chiefly demands the inward feelings, that from a good root good fruits may grow” (John Calvin). Love is not primarily a feeling, but Jesus certainly wants feeling and action to agree. We must act in a loving way even if the feeling is not present, but to feel love while acting is even better. Pray that your actions would always be a result of the love you possess.

For further study: Deut. 5:6–721

EXTRACT FROM: INTO the WORD daily Bible studies from TableTalk Magazine, Matthew Studies. Copyright © 2008 by Ligonier Ministries.