Daily Devotional – The Beatitudes by Thomas Watson Part XXX

Image result for Beatitudes
Image Depicting Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount

The Beatitudes

by Thomas Watson

An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12 

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

Christian Meekness (Continued) 
Remembering the overall theme is meek people are blessed people.

Meekness towards MAN; Continued:

I shall lay down several MOTIVES or arguments to meeken the spirits of men.

1. Let me propound EXAMPLES of meekness.

[1] The example of Jesus Christ. ‘Your king comes unto you meek’ (Matthew 21:5). Christ was the exemplar and pattern of meekness. ‘When he was reviled, he reviled not again’ (1 Peter 2:23). His enemies’ words were more bitter than the gall they gave him—but Christ’s words were smoother than oil. He prayed and wept for his enemies. He calls us to learn of him: ‘Learn of me, for I am meek’ (Matthew 11:29). Christ does not bid us (says Augustine) learn of him to work miracles, to open the eyes of the blind, to raise the dead—but he would have us learn of him to be meek. If we do not imitate his life—we cannot be saved by his death!

[2] Let us set before our eyes the examples of some of the saints who have shined in this grace. Moses was a man of unparalleled meekness. ‘Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men who were upon the face of the earth’ (Numbers 12:3). How many injuries did he put up? When the people of Israel murmured against him, instead of falling into a rage, he falls to prayer for them (Exodus 15:24, 25). The text says, they murmured at the waters of Marah. Sure the waters were not so bitter as the spirits of the people—but they could not provoke him to anger—but to petition. Another time when they lacked water, they fell arguing with Moses. ‘Why have brought us up out of Egypt—to kill us and our children with thirst?’ (Exodus 17:3). As if they had said, If we die we will lay our death to your charge. Would not this exasperate Moses? Surely it would have required the meekness of an angel to bear this—but behold Moses, meekness. He did not give them a harsh word! Though they were in a storm—he was in a calm. They lambaste him—but he prays. Oh that as the spirit of Elijah rested upon Elisha, so may some of the spirit of Moses, this meek man (or rather earthly angel), rest upon us!

Another eminent pattern of meekness was David. When Shimei cursed David, and Abishai, one of David’s lifeguard, would have beheaded Shimei. ‘No!’ says king David, ‘Let him alone, and let him curse’ (2 Samuel 16:11). And when Saul had wronged and abused David and it was in David’s power to have killed Saul while he was asleep, (1 Samuel 26:7, 12)—yet he would not touch Saul—but called God to be umpire (verse 23). Here was a miracle of meekness.

[3] The examples of meek heathen. Though their meekness could not properly be called grace, because it did not grow upon the right stock of faith—yet it was very beautiful in its kind. When one reviled Pericles and followed him home to his gate at night, railing upon him, he answered not a word—but commanded one of his servants to light a torch, and bring the railer home to his own house. Frederick, Duke of Saxony, when he was angry, would shut himself up in his closet and let none come near him, until he had mastered his passion. Plutarch reports of the Pythagoreans, if they argued in the day, they would embrace and be friends before sunset. Cicero, in one of his Orations, reports of Pompey the Great, that he was a man of a meek disposition. He admitted all to come to him so freely, and heard the complaints of those who were wronged so mildly, that he excelled all the princes before him. He was of that sweet temper that it was hard to say whether his enemies more feared his valor, or his subjects loved his meekness. Julius Caesar not only forgave Brutus and Cassius, his enemies—but advanced them. He thought himself most honored by acts of mercy and meekness. Did the spring-head of nature rise so high, and shall not grace rise higher? Shall we debase faith below reason? Let us write according to these fair copies.

Be Who You Are to Me, God

The Master's Seminary

Be Who You Are to Me, God

Abner Chou | 

When reading the psalms, it is easy to read quickly over a word like “rock” and think little of it. We might think that this is just the common language of the day. But the psalmists were theologians, especially David. And packed into this little word is a mountain of theology that travels all the way back to Moses.

Moses was the first to speak about God like this. He was searching for a way to say that God is solid, that He wouldn’t collapse under pressure, that He would always remain the same, that He is stable and reliable—and so Moses called God his rock. He writes in Deuteronomy, “Ascribe greatness to our God! The Rock!” (32:3-4)

The word rock is the word used for the face of a mountain. Mountains don’t move. They are strength itself. There is no fear of collapse. They will always hold you up. And Moses said, That’s my God. He will hold us up. He will never break under the pressure. He won’t move.

David read Moses and said, That’s the perfect word for my relationship with God.

We often assume that every psalm-writer refers to God as my rock, but if you actually study the psalter, this is David’s personal name for God. No other person in the Psalter uses “Rock” as a title for God. Why?


Because David learned what it meant for God to be his rock


Here is what it meant to David for God to be his rock:

God’s faithfulness is powerful.

David writes in Psalm 18:2, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Then David proceeds to illustrate this truth. He says that the whole earth shakes when God wants to intervene for His people. What David details in this psalm is the might of God in creation and in the exodus. David says to the Lord, I know you are that faithful. You are powerfully faithful.

Sometimes we talk about God’s faithfulness in imprecise terms. What we too often mean when we speak of God’s faithfulness is that He’s nice. The problem is that niceness doesn’t help anybody. The faithfulness of God has power. It is backed with omnipotence. It is backed with the reality that if a situation demands it, God will move heaven and earth. He will in no way restrict Himself. If His promises are in jeopardy, God will act. God’s faithfulness has substance to it.

CONTINUED AT: SOURCE

Biblical Contentment, Part II

Image result for "Restore the Joy of Your Salvation"

Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit. (ESV)

Restitúyeme el gozo de tu salvación,
y sostenme con un espíritu de poder[a](LBLA)

Yesterday we looked at what Biblical Contentment was, the facts that most Americans are not content, the biblical reasons for this and the fact that all true Christians should be content. 

One of the other things pointed out yesterday was the fact that not all “Christians” are content. So today I thought we would take a quick look at how as a Christian to renew that contentment in us. 

Let us look at out main text for today: Restore to me the joy of your salvation, do you remember the unbridled enthusiasm you felt as a new young believer? The was a joy a happiness that is really indescribable to the outside world. Our sin burden has been lift away and we for the first time in our lives feel free. 

I have seen this many time in the confines of a prison when a truly (there are lots of fakers and shakers out there) repents and declares Christ as Lord and Savior he is really set free. The walls, barbed wire, guards all mean nothing they are just part of the background noise as it were for he is now living for Christ. He is perfectly biblically content where he is because  Christ is uphold{ing} me {him} with a willing spirit.

That my friends is the key getting back to basics. Sounds simple, well it is, Christianity is simple, One God, One Savior, One Surrender All, One Salvation, it’s humanity that complicates it. 

Let us as always look at some context here. Psalm 51 is (although some modern scholars try to deny it) a Psalm of David. Most bibles have some heading like (ESV)  “To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.”  David had sinned and was very convicted of that sin (the mark of a believer) so he writes this Psalm crying out to God for forgiveness and renewal. A note before I move on To the choirmaster” may seem insignificant but it is not. It tells us this was a public declaration of the Psalm not something David kept just between him and God.

I will skip the first 9 verses where David declares his sinful ways and get to verses 10-11: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right[b] spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.  David was not content with what he had so he went after something more than was rightfully his. David understood that the only way to change his sinful ways, to be content again was to renew the right (righteous) spirit in him. He is telling God I need to get back to basics please help me.

Here are the 7 things the Bible teaches us are key basics for everyday Christian life: 

Prayer: Proverbs 16:3 

Study: Psalm 119:11

Fellowship: Hebrews 10:25

Stewardship: 1 Peter 4:10

Worship: 1 Chronicles 16:29

Sharing: 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

Walking: 1 John 2:6

Starting Monday we will take a closer look at each. 

 

 

 

 

Born to Sin

People it seems will always try and find an excuse for everything. They will blame their social status, the environment, oppression of the rich etc., etc., etc. Those that that have been around me for any length of time know one of my adages is “The maximum effective range of an excuse is zero meters.” The bible tells us the reason for our failures in life is internal, we are born sinful and unless we change that nature that way of thinking we have no desire to change the other ways  around us. -Mike

Related imageImage Source
Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Concise)

Verses 1-6 David, being convinced of his sin, poured out his soul to God in prayer for mercy and grace. Whither should backsliding children return, but to the Lord their God, who alone can heal them? he drew up, by Divine teaching, an account of the workings of his heart toward God. Those that truly repent of their sins, will not be ashamed to own their repentance. Also, he instructs others what to do, and what to say. David had not only done much, but suffered much in the cause of God; yet he flees to God’s infinite mercy, and depends upon that alone for pardon and peace. He begs the pardon of sin. The blood of Christ, sprinkled upon the conscience, blots out the transgression, and, having reconciled us to God, reconciles us to ourselves. The believer longs to have the whole debt of his sins blotted out, and every stain cleansed; he would be thoroughly washed from all his sins; but the hypocrite always has some secret reserve, and would have some favorite lust spared. David had such a deep sense of his sin, that he was continually thinking of it, with sorrow and shame. His sin was committed against God, whose truth we deny by wilful sin; with him we deal deceitfully. And the truly penitent will ever trace back the streams of actual sin to the fountain of original depravity. He confesses his original corruption. This is that foolishness which is bound in the heart of a child, that proneness to evil, and that backwardness to good, which is the burden of the regenerate, and the ruin of the unregenerate. He is encouraged, in his repentance, to hope that God would graciously accept him. Thou desirest truth in the inward part; to this God looks, in a returning sinner. Where there is truth, God will give wisdom. Those who sincerely endeavour to do their duty shall be taught their duty; but they will expect good only from Divine grace overcoming their corrupt nature.

Arise and Work

Image result for 1 Chronicles 22:16SOURCE

Arise and work! The Lord be with you!”  1Chronicles 22:16b (ESV)

I have heard this charge used to rally folks to the fields of mission work, disaster relief, and other ministries. While I understand the intent I have also seen and heard the neglect of the whole picture being painted for us in scripture here. 

David is putting forth the final charge to Solomon his son to build the great House of Lord (v.11) and He like all wise men begins with prayer:

11 “Now, my son, the Lord be with you, so that you may succeed in building the house of the Lord your God, as he has spoken concerning you. 12 Only, may the Lord grant you discretion and understanding, that when he gives you charge over Israel you may keep the law of the Lord your God. 13 Then you will prosper if you are careful to observe the statutes and the rules that the Lord commanded Moses for Israel.

Note the following:

•v.11 David prays  “Now, my son, the Lord be with you, so that you may succeed…” In my entire life I have yet to meet anyone who did not want to be successful. I have met many who were not and (myself included at times) I believe there can be a direct correlation to ones prayers. If you are going to set out to do any type of ministry work pray about it first, then pray some more and pray even more. 

•v.12 not only does David pray for success but he prays for “discretion and understanding” while doing so. How easy would it be for Solomon to get caught up in a power trip or to loose touch with the people assigned to work with and for him. Today we are to Godly example to our co-workers no matter if we are the owner or the person scrubbing toilets. In ministry the same holds true we can get so wrapped up in the work we forget to acknowledge it is God doing the work and not us. The other trap is not bothering God with the small things like He is to busy for them. 

•v.13 It is only when Solomon is obedient to the Law of God that success will follow. Does anyone think God has somehow changed and anything is different today? Obedience in all things not the ones we pick and choose (1John 5:3).

David concludes his charge with verse 16, The Lord be with you! That is my prayer for you today.