Devotional Thought for Today – 09/18/21

3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Philippians 2:3-4

Philippians 2

CONTEXT: This chapter is an example of Christology teachings in the Bible. Paul uses Christ as the example (be, live, etc. like Christ) to the church at Ephesus. Matthew Henry breaks down the chapter as follows: Exhortations to a kind, humble spirit and behaviour. (1-4) The example of Christ. (5-11) Diligence in the affairs of salvation, and to be examples to the world. (12-18) The apostle’s purpose of visiting Philippi. (19-30)

Our text for today is at the forefront of this chapter in that it proceeds one of the best known text in scripture:

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

While Paul was not (and neither should we) de-emphasize Christ, he was rightly emphasizing the need (Christology) for us to live humbly like Christ. I want to make clear this does not mean being a punching bag, a pushover, etc. for Jesus certainly was not that. Yet He was humbly obedient to the Father and never showed arrogance or self-righteous.

Spurgeon Comments on these verses as follows: 3 This would be a good motto for those who are intending to build new places of worship. Let them not be built through strife, because of a squabble among the people of God, but make sure that all concerned are actuated by right motives, and seeking only the glory of God. Then, sometimes, if one gives a guinea, another feels that he must give two so as to excel him; this is giving out of vainglory. Let nothing be done in this way, but as unto the Lord, and as in his sight, let us do all our works, and give all our gifts. 3-4 Consider how you can help others, and in what way you can prosper them both in temporal things and in spiritual. You are members of a body, so one member is not to think for itself alone, the unity of the whole body requires that every separate and distinct part of it should be in harmony with the whole.

Devotional Thought for Today – 08/31/21

Today I thought I would do something a little different. I came across this quote from Puritan Stephen Charnock, and it caused me to pause and think, how true. If God is not eternal, why would we bother shedding our praise, worship, and love upon Him?

So today I am just listing (a Bible drill of sorts), no comments, Bible verses to contemplate, meditate and reflect upon the Eternal God and His worthiness to be Loved.

Stephen Charnock Puritan Quote - God Eternal Is Fully Worthy Of Our Love

ETERNAL GOD

Genesis 2:17 – But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Psalms 72:17 – His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.

Psalms 90:2 – Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

Psalms 102:25-27 – Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.   (Read More…)

Psalms 119:127 – Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 – He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

Isaiah 57:15 – For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

Jeremiah 10:10 – But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.

Jeremiah 32:27 – Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

Matthew 25:46 – And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Mark 9:43-48 – And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:   (Read More…)

John 1:12 – But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 5:24 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

John 6:50-71 – This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.   (Read More…)

John 14:2-3 – In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.   (Read More…)

John 17:3 – And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Galatians 6:8 – For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Philippians 1:23 – For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

2 Thessalonians 1:9 – Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

Hebrews 9:27 – And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Jude 1:6 – And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

WORTHY OF LOVE

Deuteronomy 6:5 – And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Deuteronomy 7:9 – Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

Psalms 16:11 – Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Isaiah 1:1-31 – The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.   (Read More…)

Matthew 6:24 – No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Matthew 22:34-40 – But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.   (Read More…)

Mark 12:29-31 – And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:   (Read More…)

Luke 10:27 – And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

John 14:15 – If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:21 – He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

John 14:23-24 – Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.   (Read More…)

John 14:23 – Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

John 15:12-14 – This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.   (Read More…)

John 17:24-26 – Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.   (Read More…)

1 John 2:4-6 – He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.   (Read More…)

1 John 4:19 – We love him, because he first loved us.

1 John 5:3 – For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.


The Existence and Attributes of God
by Stephen Charnock

Devotional Thought for Today – 06/29/2021

8 The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands. Psalm 138:8

Psalm 138

CONTEXT: Most modern Bibles have some heading that gives us a theme for this Psalm. All agree it is a Psalm of David and most have a heading something like “A Grateful Heart”. Spurgeon’s general comments as follows: In full confidence, David is prepared to own his God before the gods of the heathen, or before angels or rulers (Ps 138:1-3); he declares that he will instruct and convert kings and nations, till on very highway men shall sing the praises of the Lord (Ps 138:4-5). Our text for today comes at the end Having thus spoken, he utters his personal confidence in Jehovah, who will help his lowly servant, and preserve him from all the malice of wrathful foes.

I am going in this morning and having nerves lasered in my back in an attempt to get some relief from the ongoing back pain. How grateful I am for the Lord’s perfecting mercy. Some additional translations:

English Standard Version The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

New Living Translation The LORD will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.

The LORD will perfect, etc. God’s work is perfect, man’s is clumsy and incomplete. God does not leave off till he has finished. When he rests, it is because, looking on his work, he sees it all “very good.” His Sabbath is the Sabbath of an achieved purpose, of a fulfilled counsel. The palaces which we build are ever like that in the story, where one window remains dark and without jewels, while the rest blaze in beauty. But when God builds none can say, “He was not able to finish.” In his great palace he makes her “windows of agates”, and all her “borders of pleasant stones.” I suppose that if the medieval dream had ever come true, and an alchemist had ever turned a grain of lead into gold, he could have turned all the lead in the world, in time, and with crucibles and furnaces enough. The first step is all the difficulty, and if you and I have been changed from enemies into sons, and had one spark of love to God kindled in our hearts, that is a mightier change than any that yet remains to be effected in order to make us perfect. One grain has been changed, the whole mass will be in due time.

Alexander Maclaren, Sermon in “Wesleyan Methodist Magazine,” 1879.

Forsake not the works of thine own hands. Behold in me thy work,Grateful Heart not mine: for mine, if thou seest, thou condemnest; thine, if thou seest, thou crownest. For whatever good works there be of mine, from thee are they to me; and so they are more thine than mine. For I hear from thine apostle, “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus”: Eph 2:8-10.

Augustine.

Devotional Thought for Today – 03/24/2021

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23

Romans 6

Just about a year ago, I used this same verse in a devotional entitled Wages of Sin. My focus then was God’s call to salvation. Today however as I read this verse, something completely different bothered me, the actual phrase the wages of sin is death. 

Everyone likes getting “paid” for their work.  Even volunteers get paid in the sense they see the results of their efforts. For those with a job that has a monetary wage, that paycheck is their reward, their payoff for hard work. That is their WAGE, their RECOMPENSE, or REWARD.

I think for the first time I put it all together that “we” work hard for our final payment of death.  In other words, the payoff for all our hard work of living a sinful life, our reward,  is eternal death. Culture tells us to just live life to the fullest and damn the consequences.  The Bible makes clear the consequences. In the end,  there is no one else to blame, no one to turn to except ourselves, we are without excuse.  Maybe it is just me but I can think of far better rewards, can’t you?

As I noted in last year’s devotional; Is the Holy Spirit tugging on your heartstrings? Answer God’s call Repent of your sins and make Christ not only the savior of your life but Lord of your life today. 

Today’s Prayer

Heavenly Father, I am a sinner and deserving of eternal death and the lake of fire, I am not worthy to set my foot in Your heavenly home, but I believe that the Lord Jesus paid the price for my sins through His death on Calvary and I heed Your call, Your free gift of salvation and eternal life IN HIM. I ask that Christ be Lord of my life, let the Holy Spirit guide my paths that I may do Your will.  In Jesus’ name, I pray, AMEN.

Modified from Source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/Romans/6/23

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 03/22/2021

Logos.com

2 Corinthians 9 

In short, this Chapter is a reminder to the church in Corinth to fulfill their promise to help the church in Jerusalem.  Paul reminds them that gift-giving should be done willingly and cheerfully, that God blesses those who do so and closes with our ext v.15.

Paul uses v.15, as a reminder that they, the members of the church in Corinth had already received a very special gift.  The CSB, NASB, and NIV all render it “his indescribable gift!”  The ESV is depicted above the KJV uses “unspeakable and the NLT renders it “this gift too wonderful for words!”

What is this gift?  It is interesting (to me at least) here Paul does not clearly spell it out, one has to dig a little, I think he understood the church at Corinth should know and so should all true believers. A clue is given in the previous Chapter 8:9 (AMP)For you are recognizing [more clearly] the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [His astonishing kindness, His generosity, His gracious favor], that though He was rich, yet for your sake, He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich (abundantly blessed).  The Gift that goes beyond measure is none other than Christ.

Hawker’s Poor Man’s Commentary – Read the whole commentary here

REFLECTIONS

It will be a blessed improvement from this Chapter, Under the Lord’s teaching, to learn, while Paul is speaking of alms-deeds, and liberality to the poor; how pure that source of real charity is, which runs from God, and leads to God. What an astonishment would it induce in the minds of some men, if they were told, that as no alms-giving whatever is real charity, unless it ariseth, as a stream doth from a fountain, from the love of God; the numberless public charities as they are called, which have not this origin for their birth, cease to be real charities; and will be found more the effect of pride, and ostentation, than either intended for divine glory, or human happiness. If all the actions of men on the score of charity, were ascertained by this standard, what a draw-back would be found, in the calculations of self-righteous Pharisees, of their real state before God? Reader! do attend to the Apostle’s character of the love of the heart, in that which comes from God, and leads to God. God loveth a cheerful giver. Not simply self-delight, in the deed; for this is often the choicest fruit the self-righteous character gathers, from his charity, in the offering made to the shrine of his vanity: but a cheerful giver to the Lord, of his own bounty, as the Lord’s Almoner. Cheerful in seeing the Lord’s poor, fed from the Lord’s gifts; in which self hath no gratification of pride, but feels humility. Here it is, the cup of cold water becomes a precious gift. And the hundreds of the affluent, given without it, hath no value in the sight of God.

But, Reader! if things be so, think what a gift was, and is, that which flowed, and will forever be flowing, from the free, pure, disinterested love of God, in the gift of his dear Son? Think, what a sovereign, unlooked-for, boundless, bottomless mercy, in the gift of God the Spirit! Oh! for grace to have a right apprehension, of this unspeakable gift!

Today’s Prayer

Loving heavenly Father – thank You for the unspeakably precious gift of Your dear Son, Jesus Christ – Who has been freely given to me and to all who will sill simply believe in His name. Father the gift of Your only begotten Son is beyond all expression, beyond all measure, and beyond all bounds. I fall on my face and worship You for Your unspeakably precious gift to me – in JESUS’s name I pray, AMEN.

Source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/2-Corinthians/9/15

Devotional Thought for Today – 03/20/2021

God is the one who dishes out justice, let Him handle it! - Psalm 37:8-9 eCard - Free Facebook Greeting Cards Online

PSALM 37

SUBJECT. The great riddle of the prosperity of the wicked and the affliction of the righteous, which has perplexed so many, is here dealt with in the light of the future; and fretfulness and repining are most impressively forbidden. It is a Psalm in which the Lord hushes most sweetly the too common repinings of his people and calms their minds as to his present dealings with his own chosen flock, and the wolves by whom they are surrounded. It contains eight great precepts, is twice illustrated by autobiographical statements, and abounds in remarkable contrasts.

DIVISION. The Psalm can scarcely be divided into considerable sections. It resembles a chapter of the book of Proverbs, most of the verses being complete in themselves. It is an alphabetical Psalm: in somewhat broken order, the first letters of the verses follow the Hebrew alphabet. This may have been not only a poetical invention but a help to memory. The reader is requested to read the Psalm through without comment before he turns to our exposition… C.H. Spurgeon

Our text today v.8-9 imparts an important principle for all believers. Worthless or unrighteous anger, and how to deal with it.

Before I continue I want to make sure we understand that righteous anger is not forbidden in the bible. We should be angry at abortion, same-sex unions, LBGTQ stuff, the lack of Christian fighting the good fight, etc. 

Here v.8, the psalmist is saying stop being so angry at these rich evil men or at God for allowing them to be in power. Remember pent-up anger can turn to wrath and that can lead to ungodly acts of rage. In v.9, we find a twofold promise. Those who do evil will be cut off from the eternal kingdom and those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.

They shall inherit the earth. He means that they shall live in such a manner as that the blessing of God shall follow them, even to the grave. John Calvin.

The “Christian” that says I never get angry or it’s a sin to do so, is either not living or never read the book. Most “stuff” in the world today really makes me mad, and Jesus certainly got mad more than 0nce. Yet the Bible is clear Ephesians 4:26–27 says, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil” (ESV). We are to be angry at the immorality, the unethical behaviors around us without sinning. 

Today’s Prayer

Lord, whenever I see injustice and unbiblical acts I can easily become angry.  Far too often, I keep this anger within, this affects me and those around me.  It prevents me from serving and glorifying you. Help me Lord, to have this righteous anger yet never sin.  To understand your promises concerning those who do evil and to pray for their souls. Teach me to respond to others with graciousness and love.  In the name of Jesus I pray – Amen. 


“What does it mean to not let the sun go down on your anger?”

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 03/18/2021

Thomas Fuller.jpg

Riches are . . .

  long in getting — with much pains,
  hard in keeping — with much care,
  quick in losing — with more sorrow. (Thomas Fuller)

Fuller was of course speaking of earthly riches or treasures, Matthew 6:19-21, Matthew 6:33, Matthew 16:26, that society pushes folks to concentrate on. He was warning us that focusing on them brings nothing but pain, hardship, and sorrow. 

What are you building for future generations?

Devotional Thought for Today – 03/17/2021

Call of Abram

Logos.com

Genesis 12

Summary: God calls Abram, and blesses him with a promise of Christ. (1-3) Abram departs from Haran. (4-5) He journeys through Canaan and worships God in that land. (6-9) Abram is driven by a famine into Egypt, He feigns his wife to be his sister. (10-20) – MHCC

Our text today is from the first part of the chapter.  There are a few things that strike me as pretty amazing;

      • There is no apparent previous relationship (interaction) between God and Abram (See Previous Chapters)
      • God calls Abram to abandon all he knows (v.1)
      • God makes great promises to Abram (v.2-3)
      • Abram at age 75 obeys unhesitantly (v.4)

Today’s question is simple if you are a child of God, what has God called you to do for the Kingdom that you are not willing to abandon all for? 

Today’s Prayer

Lord God, I pray today for faith like Abram, to be ready and willing to surrender all you have given me in order to go and serve you for the needs of the kingdom and your Glory. I count your promises to watch over and protect me send your Holy Spirit to guide my path. AMEN