Devotional Thought for Today – 10/23/2020

angry emoji - Bing images | Angry emoji, Cool emoji, Funny emoji

PSALM 4 

Anger is a natural outpouring if the unregenerate man. Here in Psalm 4 David begins by with a prayer, begging God to deal with his enemies v.1-3.  When we get to v.4 David instructs his enemies to turn (repent) from their anger Be angry,2 and do not sin; (ESV); turning to God v.5.  David concludes v.6-8 by praises and expressing his trust in God. 

In the New Testament Paul writes to the church at Ephesus the about the same subject Ephesians 4:26-31, making it clear that righteous anger (we should be angry with abortions, LBGT, Suppression of Christianity, ETC.) yet in our anger we must;  do no sin; do not let your anger [cause you shame, nor allow it to] last until the sun goes down. In other words our anger must be biblically based. Does the object of our anger go against the expressed word of God?  

Oh there will be occasions when the neighbor blasts their music to load, or has a messy yard or some other such thing that will upset you.  Maybe you come home after a long hard day at work and the washer overflows. Reasons to be upset maybe reasons to lash out (anger must be biblically based) not at all. 

Yet in the end our human nature may take over and Anger would seem to be unavoidable. It is how we act in our anger that makes all the difference.  Will people, (family, feinds, co-workers) see us as just another fake Christian or will they see us a a reflection of the Light of Christ? 

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 10/22/2020

Jesus and the Ten Lepers – Parables of Jesus – Abundant Life GP

Luke 17:11-19


Developing an Attitude of Gratitude 

Some context here, Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem and come upon a group of 10 Lepers. Think for a moment how in is this time period Leprosy (any skin abnormality like psoriasis  included) meant you were cast out of the cities to live isolated either alone or with others with skin diseases. Here comes Jesus and they seize upon an opportunity to cry out Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 

Jesus tells them to go shew themselves to the chief priest at the temple (a required verification to be deemed clean and therefore a member of society) and as they went away they were cleansed. 

Remember these men had been society’s outcasts and now are healed what should there reaction be? The bible tells us only one had an Attitude of Gratitude and he was as the bible points out a Samaritan.  

This story tells us of a problem that many modern day Christians can have complacency. We expect God to do certain things in our lives so we “forget” to be grateful when they are accomplished.  I will leave you today with a quote: 

“Edwards [Jonathan Edwards] calls the deeper, primary form of thankfulness ‘gracious gratitude.’ It gives thanks not for goods received, but for who God is: for His character — His goodness, love, power, excellencies — regardless of favors received. And it’s real evidence of the Holy Spirit working in a person’s life.” –Chuck Colson

 

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 10/19/2020

1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 Pg 1048 In Church Bibles. - ppt video online download

In context of course Paul is speaking about comforting one another (like-minded believers) about the return of Christ 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18.

Yet is it not the “Christian” duty to comfort one another whenever possible? Not just here as Paul describes  Christ’s return but in all things.  Here are some of my favorite verses on the subject:

Romans 15:5 – Working to build up our neighbors

1 Thessalonians 5:11 – Building each other up through comfort and encouragement

Hebrews 10:23-25 – Encouraging one another to to love and to do good deeds

We all have busy lives, often too busy for those around us, but make an effort to see those in need, say a kind word and share the Love of Christ today. 

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 10/16/2020

The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 2 Peter 2:9 (KJV) 

Good Vs Evil Painting - St. Michael Killing the Dragon  by Josse Lieferinxe
St. Michael killing the Dragon is a famous oil painting, originally by Belgian artist Josse Lieferinxe in 1505, with the style of early netherlandish.

There is so much controversy surrounding the 2020 US Elections. Both sides calling each others liars and for the most part social media sharing FALSE RUMORS and innuendo making themself look stupid.  

Here in Chapter 2 the Apostle Peter has dedicated an entire section of his second epistle to this subject, False Prophets and Teachers.  I am not going to venture down the end times road that many demand Peter is directly implying here. What I believe is MOST significant is the CLEAR WARNING against fellowship with those who preach, teach or otherwise share a false Gospel.  If the bible does not clearly spell it out as in favor seek wise counsel and deep prayer. If the bible is against it so must you be. If you are listening to MAN you are wrong. 

Finally in the end when you encounter these fancy talking folks, that seem to be saying all the right things I also believe is implied is the duty of all “Christians” not to listen and share the what these false teachers say. We are not to be swayed, v.2, by their eloquent tongues. Instead as in Acts 17:11 be a Berean and be a fact checker. For in the end God will deal justly with them.

“Without faith it is impossible to please God.”–Heb. xi. 6. In order to prevent the possibility of being led into paths of error, faith is directed, not to a Christ of the imagination, but to “the Christ in the garments of the Sacred Scripture,” as Calvin expresses it. And therefore we must discriminate between (1) faith as a faculty implanted in the soul without our knowledge; (2) faith as a power whereby this implanted faculty begins to act; and (3) faith as a result,–since with this faith (1)…  Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Devotional Thought – 10-13-2020

Logos.com

AMP and RVR 1960


There are three types of “Christians” in the world. You are probably thinking I have gone off my rocker but hear me out. If we take this one verse in context 2 Corinthians 6:14-18  I believe we can see them all. Paul tells us that Light (God and His chosen) can have no fellowship (union) with Darkness (Satan, sin and unbelief). 

The pretenders: Those who remain unequally bound together with unbelievers they try and live in both worlds and as Christ relates to John will be spit out Revelation 3:14-16 in the end. 

The Legalist: You know these folks they seperate from all things (except maybe nice cloths, cars, homes etc.) They do not smoke, drink, go to movies, dance, even their music is “appropriate” and are quick to condemn anyone who does not comply. They believe what they believe and everyone else be damned.

The Pilgrim: Those who understand that all are sinners saved by Grace. That all “worldly” things are bad for us, and even those that we can participate in should never be done in excess. We are pilgrims or sojourners and exiles (1 Peter 2:11) and as such our focus must always be on the eternal not the temporal. 

One last note you can not evangelize if you stay locked in your church, home etc. you have to go out into the world, that is the nature of the Great Commission.  Nowhere does God tell us to bring the world into the church, He calls us to go into the world. We must do so with caution and being well prepared. 

Daily Devotional – Repentance and Rest

What Does Isaiah 30:15 Mean?

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

Most bibles have a heading for Chapter 30  that reads something like “Warning; danger if y’all head on over to Egypt”.  Without trying to sound to offensive (we would of done the same things) when we read about the nation of Israel in the Old Testament they seem rather dumb. I mean how many times does God have to tell them follow me and I will provide?

Yet they like us want to depend upon things of the world, here the power and wealth of Egypt to sustain them, instead of the promises of God.  Of course that comes with consequences v.12-13. How much more so to us today who have God’s complete Word before us and are truly without excuse?


BREAKDOWN:

For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; –  There can be no doubt who is speaking, Isaiah makes it clear this message is not from His but from God Almighty Himself. 

In returning and rest  – As noted above I think the NASB and others really get the translation right; In repentance,  this is what God demands of a rebellious person or nation. Not mere returning to Him with church attendance and lip service but true repentance.

shall ye be saved; – I want to make clear here this is not talking about eternal salvation as some have thought. One (a lost Lamb of God) cannot return to the fold having lost their salvation only their fellowship. Here specifically God through Isaiah is speaking of the turmoils of life. Rest and salvation, I think of Psalm 62:1-6 knowing God is my “safe place.”

in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: –  When we return to true fellowship with the Triune God; while in quite submission to His will all the cares and concerns of the World that drove us away in the first place seem to quietly disappear.  

and ye would not. – Sadly like the nation of Ancient Israel,  far to many of us know these truths and do them not. 


APPLICATION: 

I have yet to meet anyone in my life time that has said to me I prefer chaos and turmoil over peace and tranquility. Yet many live their lives in such a manner that one would think that is exactly what they prefer. 

Like ancient Israel God has put before us a choice of sorts, thought the work of His Holy Spirit¹ men’s hearts are touched in a manner that should be undeniable.  Yet that is exactly what man does just like Israel he refuses to listen to the call of the Holy Spirit and continues to live in chaos instead of Repentance and Rest. 


¹ See our 14 part series beginning here: Daily Devotional – The Holy Spirit Part I

Thanks once again to LP Jr., for suggesting this Verse. 

Daily Devotional – Known Fruit

Is Judging Always Wrong? - FaithGateway

AMP and RVR 1960 


CONTEXT:

The other day I was watching some political commentary on TV about the upcoming election. There were two participants in the discussion (plus the host) one a syndicated conservative commentator himself and the other a former chief aid to Chuck Shumer. 

Somehow the subject matter got around to abortion and the conservative made a remark something to the effect ‘VP Biden calls himself a Catholic but supports Abortion on demand’ to which the former Schumer aid responded; ‘How dare you question Mr. Biden’s Faith.’

I had two immediate observations: 1) He (the Schumer aid, sidestepped answering the question and 2) He (a non-believer I think) immediately imposed Matthew 7:1-5 upon the the other guy. 

Since I have Previously posted on Matthew 7:1-5, Is Judgment Always Forbidden?,The Most Popular Bible Verse Among Unbelievers, The Whole Counsel of God;  suffice it to say that Biblical Judgement (Discernment) is warranted  at all times and Mr. Schumer’s former aid should know better than to try and deflect answers. 

I will concentrate today instead on a much neglected (my opinion) aspect of our faith, that is How can we tell if someone is saved or not?

Most Bibles are sectioned off somewhat around Matthew 7:15-20 with a Heading of A Tree and Its Fruit. Here the theme is knowing the difference between TRUE FOLLOWERS and FALSE PROPHETS, we will know both by the fruit or works of God they bear. 


BREAKDOWN:

Ye shall – In v.15 Jesus said theses False Prophets would disguise themselves as gentle, innocent sheep. But YOU can see through their camouflage and distractions. 

know them by their fruits. – All false prophets lack Good Fruit. Oh they got fruit, it is just rotten to the core. It goes against the very Word of God. 

Do men gather – When you are hungry Physically or Spiritually, mankind will gather almost anything to eat. 

grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? – But even the most suborn and foolish should know enough that while Grapes and Figs are Good to eat, the little berries found on thorn and thistle bushes are not. Yet false prophets will lead men to these time and again. 


APPLICATION:

Thistles and Thorns can never never produce fruit, it is not in their nature. The same is true for those who claim to be children of God but are just great pretenders or as Jesus said Wolves in Cheeps Clothing. 

Is our “Judging” others Faith Biblical and Important? In a word YES! James dedicates most of Chapter 2:14-26 to the subject. Someone can claim to be whatever they want, in my example above Joe Biden claims to be a practicing Catholic but is pro-abortion, but if their lives (Fruits) do not bare witness to that claim they are Liars and False Prophets.  

The Apostle John in his 1st Epistle 2:3-6 makes the same point only this time with an inward focus. Are we really children of God that we claim? Are we working for the Kingdom or our own Glory? 

As always we need to take in the Whole Counsel of God and no go off half Cocked and start accusing and aggressively pointing fingers at everyone claiming they are False Prophets. Matthew 7 is part of the Sermon on the Mount and earlier in that Sermon Jesus said  “Blessed [inwardly peaceful, spiritually secure, worthy of respect] are the [b]gentle [the kind-hearted, the sweet-spirited, the self-controlled], for they will inherit the earth. 

The Bible clearly teaches we need to be bold and point out the false prophets but doing so with a gentle spirit of humility that shows Christ in us. We need only the Word of God to be our weapon of choice and we need only use it in a manner that mortally wounds the sin while bringing peace to man. 

What type of Fruit are you known by?

 

Daily Devotional – Heart of Stone

I seem to be on a path of Devotionals with either a Heart or Peace theme of some sort. Maybe it is because at his core man (apart from Christ) craves peace while being incapable of doing anything but evil. Maybe it is just God’s way of telling me this is what needs to be said. Whatever the reason I hope they are edifying to you and Glorying to Him. 


 

Logos.com

AMP and RVR 1960 


CONTEXT:

Ezekiel is a captive in Babylon, approx 900 km or 560 miles from Jerusalem. Yet this entire Chapter concerns Jerusalem and the goings on there. It is of course Prophesy but more than that it is a testament to the Power of God and the Obedience of one man to God’s will. 

v.1-4    Prophesy against the princes of the people.

v.5-10  Reason for Judgement upon Jerusalem

v.11-13 God’s Judgement Executed  

v.14-16 God’s promise to sustain the Remnant (Faithful)

v.17-21 God’s promise of restoration materially (land) and Spiritually to the remnant


BREAKDOWN:

And I will give them one heart, – One heart not individual hearts (individualism divides a congregation) but a heart of oneness, uprightness, unified in Spirit. Note in V.18 God says they (we) must first “remove from it all [traces of] its detestable things and all its repulsive things (remnants of paganism)”  You can not be holding on to the old and expect the new. 

and I will put a new spirit within you; – This should be the desire of all who God has touched and called to be His own. It is the promise given to all who repent of their evil ways.

and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, – We can look at many example in the Bible of a hardened Heart; Pharaoh in Genesis, Balaam while riding the Mule in Numbers, Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 to name a few. Nowhere is the bible more clear than in John Chapter 3Jesus first tells Nicodemus that the ONLY way to Heaven is with a new (unhardened born-again) heart. Later in v.19 Jesus makes it clear man has only himself to blame for all his personal woes. 

and will give them an heart of flesh: – As opposed to a Hard STONY Heart God instills in us a Fleshly (malleable, soft workable) heart capable of receiving and understanding His Word.


APPLICATION:

Evil deeds are the fruit of an evil heart. They are not an aberration from our true self but a revelation of it. — Sinclair B. Ferguson

But length of days with an evil heart is only length of misery and already she begins to know it. All get what they want; they do not always like it. – C.S. Lewis 

But evil is wrought by want of thought, As well as want of heart.  – Thomas Hood

It should be trapper from these non-biblical quotes than man even apart from the bible recognizes the EVIL within our our Hearts. That evil is like a slow gnawing cancer, left unchecked, eating away at its victim, until one day it explodes into terminal stage 4, or biblical terms complete and full rejection of God. 

Fortunately many forms of Cancer today are treatable, and patients recover to live a “normal” life. With God’s Heart transplant procedure, our Heart of Stone is removed and a new Heart of Flesh replaces it. God is 100% successful at this, never rejecting a transplanted heart

As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn saidThe battleline between good and evil runs through the heart of every man.”  God is calling to us as individuals and as a Nation, to change (Transplant) our Hearts. It is time we reject the clear immoral evil we see going on daily and repent before God. Just as He puts before Israel on notice He is also putting us on notice Deuteronomy 11:26-28

26 “Behold, today I am setting before you a blessing and a curse— 27 the blessing, if you listen to and obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today; 28 and the curse, if you do not listen to and obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following (acknowledging, worshiping) other gods which you have not known…

 

Daily Devotional – ANTS

Proverbs 13:4 Illustrated: "The sluggard craves and gets nothing ...

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

Mi suegra (mother-in-law) calls me her “conejito energizante” (energizer bunny) because I am always working. While I love her biblically she would be better off comparing me to the ants we can find in the sand pile in her back yard. 

The bible makes a clear comparison to those that work and provide (Ants) for their families, ( I would include immediate, church and the least of these in  need) to those that are lazy (Sluggards) and expect government handouts. Proverbs 6:6-8

All of Proverb 13, is a contrast of how a righteous person conducts their life vs. the unrighteous. The first few verses set up the 4th:

v.1 A wise son (remember Proverbs 6) accepts and does the instruction of the Father – while the one who laughs at instructions is doomed to errors

v.2 Wise and righteous words bring about much good fruit – while veil and evil words bring about violence and destruction 

v.3 A person who guards their mouth, thinks before they speak, is blessed – while and unguarded mouth leads to ruin 


BREAKDOWN:

The soul – While a few modern translation try and DUMB this down for readers I think they do it a GREAT disservice. It is the very soul, of a man that is in question here. The Hebrew word is Nephesh: (Strong’s 05315)

Definition
  1. soul, self, life, creature, person, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, passion
    1. that which breathes, the breathing substance or being, soul, the inner being of man
    2. living being
    3. living being (with life in the blood)
    4. the man himself, self, person or individual
    5. seat of the appetites
    6. seat of emotions and passions
    7. activity of mind
      1. dubious
    8. activity of the will
      1. dubious
    9. activity of the character
      1. dubious

of the sluggard desireth, – The desireth, some render it craving, appetite or wanting; the point is the lack of ambition (idleness) overcomes the  desire or need for work 

and hath nothing: – If y’all can’t see this you are more than physically blind, If you work at nothing you gain nothing. Zero (work) + Zero (effort) = Zero (Product). At least biblically that is the way it should be. The Apostle Paul wrote in his Second Letter to the Church at Thessalonica 3:9-11, if a man capable man will not work neither shall he eat. 

but the soul of the diligent – Same soul as the sluggard above, but this one infused by God’s Grace and motivated to do diligence in life, that is someone who has a willingness and desire to work and not only provide for their families, but at the same time please God. 

shall be made fat. – You have to love the KJV, in today’s society being “FAT” is taboo, unless of course you understand that it is the Hebrew word “Dashen” meaning to become prosperous and anointed.  


APPLICATION:

America as a whole has become a nation of entitlement, those who think they are entitled to something just because they live here. They have neither earned, payed into or worked for that entitlement but they demand it anyway. Unfortunately some so called “Christians” have bought into this mentality. One that is completely UNBIBLICAL.

God expects, no demands that capable men work and provide for their families. Young men of age have NO EXCUSE (I have heard them all from my degree won’t get me a job to I keep emailing in resumes, to they only offered me $__,000 )  to be sitting idly by playing video games all day. 

Ants are known as hard and industrious always working to get the job done. The bible warns us that we are to be as ants, and not as lazy “Couch Potato Christians”.

The question is simple, are you a worker or a sluggard? 

OTHER RESOURCES:

Is “idle hands are the devil’s workshop” a biblical statement?

The U.S. is one of the world’s laziest countries — and it’s making us fat

Daily Devotional – Ordered in all Things

byjukuttan on Twitter: "… "

NKJV and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

Chapter 23 almost universally begins with Now these are the last words of David or something very similar. 

C.H. Spurgeon preached a sermon on April 15, 1855, on this text entitled “David’s Dying Song”. His opening remarks are worthy of relating here: 

These be the last words of David; so we read at the commencement of the chapter. Many have been the precious sentences which have fallen front his inspired lips; seraphic has been the music which has dropped from his fingers when they flew along the strings of his harp; but now that sweet voice is to be hushed in death, and now the son of Jesse is to sleep with his fathers. Surely it were well to press around his bed, to hear the dying monarch’s last testimony; yea, we can conceive that angels themselves would for an instant check their rapid flight, that they might visit the chamber of the dying mighty one, and listen to his last death song. It is always blessed to hear the words of departing saints. How many choice thoughts have we gained in the bedchamber of the righteous, beloved? I remember one sweet idea, which I once won from a death-bed. A dying man desired to have one of the Psalms read to him, and the 17th being chosen, he stopped at the 6th verse, “Incline thine ear unto me and hear my speech,” and faintly whispering, said, “Ah, Lord, I cannot speak, my voice fails me; incline thine ear, put it against my mouth, that thou mayest hear me.” None but a weak and dying man, whose life was ebbing fast, could have conceived such a thought. It is well to hear saints’ words when they are near heaven—when they stand upon the banks of Jordan. But here is a special case, for these be the last words of David. They are something more than human utterances; for we are told that the Spirit of the Lord spake by him, and his word was in his tongue. These were his closing accents. Ah! methinks, lisping these words he rose from earth to join the chorus of the skies. He commenced the sentence upon earth, and he finished it in heaven. He began, “Although my house be not so with God;” and as he winged his flight to heaven, he still sang, “yet hast thou made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: “and now before the throne he constantly hymns the same strain—”yet hast thou made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure.” I hope, my friends, there are many of us who can join in this verse this morning, and who hope to close our earthly pilgrimage with this upon our tongue.


BREAKDOWN: 

“Although my house is not so with God, – While the Bible is very explicit about Solomon following David, there is not great detail about all his sons. We do know that David himself did not always live a upright life and many of his sons followed suit. Further David’s rule as a King left much to be desired. 

** It should be noted that many modern translations wrongly have this as “If my house were not right with God” or some such implying all was perfectly well which was not true. 

Yet He has made with me an everlasting covenant, – Yet He, GRACE on display, even though David’s house was not completely in order God’s held firm to His covenant with David.  David understood that covenant was not based upon David’s accomplishments but God’s promise. 

Ordered in all things and secure. – God is not the author of confusion 1 Corinthians 14:33-40 and that includes this and any covenant or promise He makes. David uses a sort of technical jargon here as one who would drawn up a binding legal contract between parties to insure no loopholes, providing for all possibilities and leaving no room for misunderstandings. 

 For this is all my salvation and all my desire; – David’s greatest desire is for God’s promise His covenant to be fulfilled. David does not want riches for his sons or fame for them, he desires God’s Will Be Done.  

Will He not make it increase? –  This is a simple statement of a confident dying man, will God not make it so? 


APPLICATION:

I do not know where you are reading this today, but wherever it may be, I am relatively sure there is some sort of turmoil going on. Whether it is COVID-19 restrictions, Riots in major cities across the U.S., Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Famine or something else we live in a world full of chaos.  

Chaos can be defined as without due form or order, which is the exact opposite of what David says the Lord God brings, Ordered in all things and secure(ity). We have many choices before us today in this crazy chaotic world, we can turn to “self-help” books, written by the same humans causing all the chaos. Many turn to drugs, alcohol and other forms of escape. Or we can turn the True Convant Maker, the one who was powerful enough and brought order to the great void. If you are going to rely on someone to bring order in the midst of chaos whom would you rather depend on man or God?