Saturday’s Military Devotional – Hungry and Thirsty

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AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

AT first glance this may not seem the most logical verse for a “Military” devotional but bear with me through the next two sections and I hope I can convince you otherwise.

We have here a verse from the great text known by two distinct names. First it is part of the “Sermon on the Mount” , Matthew 5-7, which Jesus preached from a mountaintop for the first time educating the larger audience and not just his immediate disciples. 

It is also part of the sermon know as the “Beatitudes” , Matthew 5:3-11,  as each verse begins with “B”lessed. 


BREAKDOWN:

Blessed are they – I keep looking for them, but have yet to find that person who says “yes sir I get up every morning and pray I will be cursed.” That would be nuts, folks want to be BLESSED, and here in these Beatitudes Jesus tells us how we can be. 

which do hunger and thirst –  I dare say that all of us have been there done that. I mean at some point in our lives we have been hungry or thirsty. Whether it was self imposed or forced upon us in some manner we have all experienced it.  So you understand the craving the deep desire to fill the need for food and drink that Jesus is referring to here. 

after righteousness: – Yet Jesus is not speaking of the physical needs of man, that would be too simple to accomplish. (Do not lecture me on the staving of the world, if society as a whole was not depraved and corrupt, we could fix that quickly). Jesus was speaking of eternal hunger and thirst

for they shall be filled. –  This life and the nourishment thereof is only temporary, eventually we all die and then eternity in Heaven or Hell kicks in. Jesus is says which is more filling the stuff of the world or God?  

 


APPLICATION:

We all need physical nourishment to survive. When I was on active duty, back in the day MRE’s had like 3000+ calories or some crazy thing. The thought was if a soldier only got one a day they were good to go. Well anyone who serves(d) knows first most MRE’s suck, and “one a day” is a vitamin not a daily meal count. We need more to survive and be combat ready and efficient. 

The same holds true for God and or future.  Here in this verse Jesus is saying what nourishment for your eternal future are you eating daily? Are you reading His Word? Are You fellowshiping with like-minded believers? Are you propagating the kingdom by sharing the Gospel message? In others words are you Filling your Spiritual Bellies

 


Today’s Questions:

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on being HUNGRY and THIRSTY?  

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I start living it out today?


OTHER RESOURCES:

Check out the series on our website: Daily Devotional – The Beatitudes by Thomas Watson Part by typing in the search box. 

 

Saturday’s Military Devotional – Diligence

Hebrews 4:11 So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we ...

HEBREWS 4:11 NKJV and RVR 1960 


CONTEXT: 

The book of Hebrews is like a service manual for new recruits/believers. It reminds them Chapter 2:1-3 not to be foolish and careless remembering all they have learned.

Chapter 3 relates how those who fail to follow their lessons, commands and training will eventually die.


BREAKDOWN: 

 Let us therefore be diligent – Being diligent, is translated make every effort (AMP), strive (ESV), and labor (KJV). Some other lesser know/used translations include do our best (NLT),take pains (Arabic Bible in Plain English),Let us hasten (Douay-Rheims Bible), and Let it then be our earnest endeavour (Weymouth New Testament). See the link below to the KJV definition of diligence for further study, but it is clear all these terms are similar in scope, we are going after something with purposeful determination.  

What does this mean to believers and can it apply to soldiers?  Yes on both accounts, first True Christians can not “lose their salvation” but they can lose their rewards in Heaven, so they constantly strive or labor to do the things they are commanded by God to do.

A soldier similarly cannot loose being a soldier (unless they do something very grievous) and they are daily diligent is carrying out the orders set before them. Some of you are old enough to remember the Army campaign slogan “Be all You Can Be in The Army” and the commercial that said ‘We do more by 9 am that most people do all day’ these pushed that theme of diligent hard working never give up soldiers. 

to enter that rest, When I found the picture above I had to use it. As any soldier (or service member) knows times like that are few and far in between. The same goes for the believers we do not sit back and wait for God to give us rest, in fact His promised rest is in the life to come. 

What God promises today is Christ who can carry our heavy burdens Matthew 11:29-30. But God also says when a brother is down we are to help him up by carrying his burden, Galatians 6:1-5 for a service member this is SOP, Standard Operating Procedure.

lest anyone fall – What is so important about being diligent, following orders, SOP’s etc. Here believers are being warned about sins of unbelief, falling away from God and going after false God’s. For a soldier the repercussions of disobeying an order, especially in the heat of battle can be devastating. 

according to the same example of disobedience. –  The consequences of disobedience noted here is the Jewish nation that refused to obey God wandering in the wilderness for 40 years and never finding rest.  You can easily imagine the consequences of a soldier who refuses a lawful, ethical, moral and legal order. The safety, morale, and lives of their fellow soldiers are at risk.


CONCLUSION:

The bible makes it clear the only true rest we can ever find is in Christ. Once found that does not mean we can become lazy and recline in an easy chair. We must be diligent so that the sin of the world our old self’s will not overtake us once again and those around us will not suffer the consequences.


Today’s Questions:

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on Diligence?

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I start living it out today?


OTHER RESOURCES: 

What does the Bible say about diligence?

Diligence KJV Dictionary

The Duty of Diligence, Tim Challies

Dread vs. Desire

Your Choice – Dreams or Nightmares Come True – Lift Up Your Eyes!

Lo que el impío teme, eso le vendrá;
Pero a los justos les será dado lo que desean. (RVR 1960)

CONTEXT: 

Unlike most books and chapters of the bible putting this one in context is hard because Chapter 10 is a collection of wise sayings of Solomon. Yet it does help to look at the preceding and following verse when we break it down:


v.23 To do evil is like sport to a fool, But a man of understanding has wisdom.

To do evil, that is to willfully commit sin. For anyone to do so shows the wickedness of their heart, their complete and utter depravity and their true desires. 

a man of understanding, is described in Job’s discourse on the matter 28:20-28 he closes with ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.’  In other words to avoid evil (sin), and not to do it, that is true wisdom.

v.24 The fear of the wicked will come upon him, And the desire of the righteous will be granted.

The fear of the wicked, what is it that the wicked can fear (many translation render this Dread) ? Although most sinners (wicked people as applied here) those doing evil against the Holy God, think they are all good, deep down their conscience betrays them in the end. Their greatest fear is the evil they have bestowed being brought down on them even more so. They fear they will be brought down from their roost, their places of self imposed power. 

the desire of the righteous, this is not some fanciful desire, some worldly desire that modern day, name it and claim it or prosperity gospel charlatans expound. Instead of claiming they are blessed a righteous man cries out for God’s blessings daily. This is the desire of a man of understanding who has wisdom. A desire born from a man who delights themselves in reverential fear of Yahweh, the God of the Holy Bible. You cannot be righteous if you desire anything above God.

v.25 When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more, But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.

When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more, a whirlwind or twister passes by quickly and with great power, destroying most everything in its path. (I know I live in a prime tornado alley areas of the South) As fast as a evil sinner rises to power and mischief the quicker and usually harder their fall. Their greatest fears realized.

the righteous has an everlasting foundation. As many of you know one of my ministries if Church Building so I know the foundation of any building project is key to its success. It needs to be built upon solid ground. Jesus used the example of building upon solid rock Matthew 7:24-25. That foundation is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. It is the foundation of Salvation and Eternal Life that we read in Paul’s First letter to the Corinthians in which he writes For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (3:11). 

CONCLUSION: 

Apart from a solid foundation in Christ man will always do evil by resorting to his fallen sinful nature. Sinful man will always Fear or Dread the consequences of his actions because he lives without hope or righteous desire. A righteous man, one who has understanding and wisdom will always Desire the will of God in for their lives and shun evil at every turn. 

The question is are you living a life of Dread or Desire?

 

Saturday’s Military Devotional – Sacrifice for Others

For years I have seen the following all over social media: Only 2 defining forces have ever offered to die for you ...As someone retired from the US Army I fully understand the meaning behind this, and while the sacrifice made by members of the Armed Forces for our Freedom can never and should never ever be minimized, that of Christ far exceeds it. 6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8


CONTEXT: 
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. ROMANS 5:6-8 
Porque Cristo, cuando aún éramos débiles, a su tiempo murió por los impíos. Ciertamente, apenas morirá alguno por un justo; con todo, pudiera ser que alguno osara morir por el bueno. Mas Dios muestra su amor para con nosotros, en que siendo aún pecadores, Cristo murió por nosotros. (RVR 1960) 

Why do I say Christ’s sacrifice far exceeds that of any service member, let me break it down.  

v.6 Is saying that while we were totally incapable of making a right(eous) decision. An analogy would be, like being wounded on the battlefield and unable to self extract from the fields of fire, scary crap to say the least. In other words we are POWERLESS. 

v.7 – It maybe easy to understand or see yourself running to the aid of someone you know to be a “good” person in need. Yet how many of us would or know someone who would run to a person of questionable character in need? Would we hesitate to die for a person we didn’t like or thought was morally lacking or beneath us? Note as an Army Medic we didn’t have this choice. 

v.8 – 

But God,  sometimes little words in the bible have so much meaning, here is and example, it forces us to think and comprehend that God took action that was contrary to Human Nature. 

Commendeth his love toward us, what was that action, God loved us, now that on the surface is no big deal, but God did it 

while we were yet sinners, that is while we hated God, it was not that He  thought we were morally lacking, He knew it and still He loved us. We ( all mankind) deserves a wrathful judgement for our sinful and immoral nature. God chose LOVE. Would you have? Doubtful! 

Christ died for us, Christ while  we were morally corrupt and powerless died for our soul. Our eternal (forever) life. His sacrifice was sufficient for all mankind those who on the surface act in a “good” manner and those who are morally corrupt. 


I encourage you to read one of these devotionals daily for the next week. 

 

 

 

Assured by Love

God’s Display of His Love

A Condition for Forgiveness

Justified by His Blood

God’s Love for the World

Encourage One Another


Today’s Questions

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on Sacrifice for Others?

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I start living it out today?

He Loved Us

It is Sunday “The Lord’s Day” and here is something to contemplate throughout the day. This verse has two key components; God’s Love and Christ’s Mission in Relation to God’s Love. 

Note this verse makes it clear true love (Biblical) is can ever anything we attempt to do on our own. God must Love us before we can consider Love. I offer John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible on this for further consideration and reading.  

Secondly Christ’s propitiation, the Amplified Bible adds “[that is, the atoning sacrifice, and the satisfying offering]” was sent for our sins, yes, but equally so to prove and satisfy God’s love for His chosen children. I offer Alexander MacLaren’s Expositions of Holy Scripture for your consideration and reading.

I pray your day is blessed and God is Glorified.  

10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10

En esto consiste el amor: no en que nosotros hayamos amado a Dios, sino en que él nos amó a nosotros, y envió a su Hijo en propiciación por nuestros pecados. (RVR 1960)

 

Saturday’s Military Devotional – God’s Love

CONTEXT:

Being part of the military REQUIRES us to to be part of something bigger than ourselves, it means having a battle buddy, being part of team, an organization, in short being in some sense; loved.

For this weeks devotional I want to try something a little different. Below is an article written a number of years ago on GOD’ LOVE.  Read it over and answer the questions as usual. May it greatly bless you and glorify God.

Is God’s Love Unconditional?

FROM  Sep 26, 2012

It has become fashionable in evangelical circles to speak somewhat glibly of the unconditional love of God. It is certainly a pleasing message for people to hear and conforms to a certain kind of political correctness. In our desire to communicate to people the sweetness of the gospel, the readiness of God to cover our sins with forgiveness, and the incredible depth of His love displayed on the cross, we indulge in a hyperbolic expression of the scope and extent of His love.

Where in Scripture do we find this notion of the unconditional love of God? If God’s love is absolutely unconditional, why do we tell people that they have to repent and have faith in order to be saved? God sets forth clear conditions for a person to be saved. It may be true that in some sense God loves even those who fail to meet the conditions of salvation, but that subtlety is often missed by the hearer when the preacher declares the unconditional love of God. People hear that God will continue to love them and accept them, no matter what they do or how they live. We might as well declare an unabashed universalism as to declare the unconditional love of God without a clear and careful qualification of what that means.

An interesting contrast can be seen by comparing the preaching of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century evangelists with modern evangelists. The stress in earlier centuries was on the wrath of God directed toward impenitent sinners. Indeed, Jonathan Edwards’s preaching has been described as evangelistic preaching that employed a “scare theology.” That approach has given way to a more positive emphasis on God’s love. Of course, Edwards also declared the love of God, but not without reminding sinners that as long as they remained impenitent, they were exposed to the wrath of God and were in fact heaping up wrath against the day of wrath (Rom. 2:5).

Edwards warned his people that they were more repugnant to God in their sin than rebellious subjects were to their princes. This was part and parcel of proclaiming the gospel of reconciliation. There can be no talk of reconciliation without first establishing that there is some prior alienation or estrangement. Parties who are not estranged do not need reconciliation. The biblical concept of reconciliation presupposes a condition of estrangement between God and man.

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THE BIBLICAL CONCEPT OF RECONCILIATION PRESUPPOSES A CONDITION OF ESTRANGEMENT BETWEEN GOD AND MAN. —R.C. SPROUL

Much is said of man’s hostility toward God. The Bible says we are God’s enemies by nature. This enmity is expressed in our sinful rebellion against Him. The common contemporary view of this is that we are estranged from God, but He is not estranged from us. The enmity is all one sided. The picture we get is that God goes on loving us with an unconditional love while we remain hateful toward Him.

The cross belies this picture. Yes, the cross occurred because God loves us. His love stands behind His plan of salvation. However, Christ was not sacrificed on the cross to placate us or to serve as a propitiation to us. His sacrifice was not designed to satisfy our unjust enmity toward God but to satisfy God’s just wrath toward us. The Father was the object of the Son’s act of propitiation. The effect of the cross was to remove the divine estrangement from us, not our estrangement from Him. If we deny God’s estrangement from us, the cross is reduced to a pathetic and anemic moral influence with no substitutionary satisfaction of God.

In Christ, the obstacle of estrangement is overcome, and we are reconciled to God. But that reconciliation extends only to believers. Those who reject Christ remain at enmity with God, estranged from God, and objects both of His wrath and of His abhorrence. Whatever kind of love God has for the impenitent, it does not exclude His just hatred and abhorrence of them, which stands in stark contrast to His redeeming love.


Excerpt from God’s Love by R.C. Sproul. Available now from the Ligonier Store.

Today’s Questions

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on God’s love?

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I apply it to me today?


RELATED:

Is It Biblical to Say “God Loves the Sinner, but Hates the Sin?”

God’s Love and God’s Hatred

No Separation from God’s Love