Devotional Thought for Today – 01/28/2021

Logos.com

Revelation 3:7-13

I will not attempt to get into a  LONG discussion as to why this is NOT about an escape plan (rapture) Standard for Churchesfor Christians. Suffice it to say most modern renderings and interpretations do not do the original Greek or context justice (See Below).

What is important is the fact that the Lord singles out the Church at Philadelphia for their endurance (KJV= Word of Patience, NASB = Perseverance). There is no negativity imposed upon this church, only praise and the promise of reward(s). 

My question today is simple, would your church meet the standard of the church of Philadelphia? Would you? 

Pray with me that God would preserve us till the day he calls us home to Glory or He returns:

Lord, deliver me from every evil work and preserve me to thy heavenly kingdom, 2 Timothy 4:18(KJV) being kept from falling, that I may be presented faultless at the coming of thy glory, with exceeding joy. Jude 1:24(KJV)

Lord, make me to increase and abound in love, towards your people and towards all men, that my heart may be established unblameable in holiness before God, even my Father, at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13(KJV)

If Satan desires to have me that he may sift me as wheat, yet let Christ’s intercession prevail for me, that my faith fail not. Luke 22:31-32(KJV)

Till I am taken out of the world, let me be kept from the evil, John 17:15(KJV) and sanctified through thy truth: thy word is truth. John 17:17(KJV)

Build me up, I pray thee, in my most holy faith, and keep me in the love of God, looking for the mercy of my Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Jude 1:20-21(KJV)

Grant that I may continue to call upon thee as long as I live, Psalm 116:2(KJV) and till I die may I never remove my integrity from me; and that my righteousness I may hold fast, and never let it go, and my heart may not reproach me so long as I live. Job 27:5-6(KJV)

OTHER RESOURCES:

Does Revelation 3:10 Teach an “Any Moment” Rapture?

John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible

 

Anticipation and Determination

I have an early morning job today so no expository devotional just two verses to meditate upon: 

U R Lovable — Revelation 22:12-16 KJV And, behold, I come...

Revelation 22:12-16 (AMP and RVR 1960)

Behold, I come quickly hold that fast which thou hast, tha… | Flickr

Revelation 3:11 (AMP and RVR 1960)


Christ says His return when it happens (no one not even He knows Matthew 24:36 the exact time) will be quick and we must be prepared. Holding fast or tightly to the crown of faith we have been given. That is in these troubling times (I fear they are to only get much worse) we are to never betray our Faith in Christ as LORD and Savior.  I pray for endurance and Grace to finish the race strong. 

 

 

A Call to Endurance

The 12th Chapter of Hebrews begins with the following verse: 

 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

let us run with patience the race is clearly a metaphor for a call to “endurance” but even so much more than that; note what is said: 

  1. We have a goal set before us 
  2. This aim, goal, calling is known and defined
  3. God appointed it and the path we shall run towards it
  4. There are many witnesses some fellow believers to encourage us and some non-believers to mock and discourage us on our journey
  5. We are to make steady (patient) progress in our race
  6. Out efforts will be encumbered or weighed down with sin and worldly issues making the race very hard

So how is one to actually finish strong or endure until the end of the race? How can we proclaim like the Apostle Paul I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: (2 Tim 4:7). That is the answer FAITH, Sola Fide, Faith ALone  in Christ Jesus, Sola Christus, in Christ alone. 

2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

Where are you in life’s race today? 


MacLaren Expositions Of Holy Scripture

 

Sunday’s Sermon Series

Image result for Hosea 14:5-9"

Hosea 14:5-9

I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily;

he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon;

 6  his shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive,

and his fragrance like Lebanon.

 7  They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow;

they shall flourish like the grain; they shall blossom like the vine;

their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

 8  O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols?

It is I who answer and look after you.

I am like an evergreen cypress; from me comes your fruit.

 9  Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;

whoever is discerning, let him know them;

for the ways of the Lord are right, and the upright walk in them,

but transgressors stumble in them. (ESV) 

Yo seré a Israel como rocío; él florecerá como lirio, y extenderá sus raíces como el Líbano.

Se extenderán sus ramas, y será su gloria como la del olivo, y perfumará como el Líbano.

Volverán y se sentarán bajo su sombra; serán vivificados como trigo, y florecerán como la vid; su olor será como de vino del Líbano.

Efraín dirá: ¿Qué más tendré ya con los ídolos? Yo lo oiré, y miraré; yo seré a él como la haya verde; de mí será hallado tu fruto.

¿Quién es sabio para que entienda esto, y prudente para que lo sepa? Porque los caminos de Jehová son rectos, y los justos andarán por ellos; mas los rebeldes caerán en ellos. (RVR 1960)

This morning one of my devotionals had verse 9b as a reading for the ways of the Lord are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them, as I thought about the meaning of this, I came to the conclusion I have reached many times before when reading scripture; God’s ways are always righteous and correct only those living out God’s ways in their daily lives are upright (righteous) in God’s eyes. Those who are opposed to God those living in and loving the ways of the world stumble over (find the ways of God) a stumbling block to their lifestyle. – Mike


I found this series by Joel Beeke on Backsliding that I hope you will enjoy: 

Runners Recovering by Grace

(1) Reviving grace; (2) Sovereign grace; (3) Applied grace. 

Text Hosea 14:5-9 –  Sermon #4 in Series

Others in Series: 

Recognizing Injured Runners Text Hosea 11:7a Sermon #1 in Series 

Runners Returning by Faith Text Hosea 14:1-3 Sermon #2 in Series 

Runners Receiving God’s Medicines Text Hosea 14:4 Sermon #3 in Series 

Runners Enduring in the Race Text Hebrews 12:1-2 Sermon #5 in Series 

Adding To God’s Tool Box Part II

Image result for 2 Peter 1:6 ESV

knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness (CSB)

 

A few weeks ago I published an article I entitled God’s Tool Box  based upon one of my favorite verses 2 Peter 1:3. I made the statement In my opinion this should be a verse every new believer learns early on because it is packed with reassurance that we can live the “Christian” life no matter how hard it gets.

I followed it up last Saturday with a Series I have called “Adding to God’s Tool Box” Today I want to look at verse 6 or Part II of what goes into the tool box.

So far in the tool box of Righteousness we have Faith, the precious hope of eternal life with God in eternal bliss. We have Virtue, the ability to be good, act morally at all times showing kindness and reflecting the example Christ left for us. Finally we have Knowledge, this is the Godly knowledge, the knowledge found in God’s Holy Word that helps us to be more than conquerors

Today we begin by adding self-control: self-kon-trol’ (egkrateia/ Greek): Rendered in the King James Version “temperance” (compare Latin temperario and continentia), but more accurately “self-control,” as in the Revised Version (British and American) (Acts 24:25Galatians 5:232 Peter 1:6); adjective of same, egkrates, “self-controlled” (Titus 1:8 the Revised Version (British and American)); compare verb forms in 1 Corinthians 7:9, “have …. continency”; 9:25, the athlete “exerciseth self-control.” Self-control is therefore repeatedly set forth in the New Testament as among the important Christian virtues. Temperance is moderation in thought, word, or action. Those who practice temperance are self-controlled and show restraint in their passions and behaviors.¹

This can be a challenge in the world we live in, surrounded by so many stupid people. Yes you read that correctly, I said STUPID, I define them as those who refuse to use knowledge gained or refuse to attempt to gain knowledge available. Those who insist on texting and driving cut you off and then curse and flip you off, those who have no common decency in a restaurant and play their cell phone music load, Those who mimic the talking heads in the media, classrooms and PULPITS across America and do not take the time to be Bereans and check out the truth for themselves. 

It is very easy to just want to go off on these folks, and as my sending Pastor remarked before sending us off to the mission field “You are a hard man Mike, a hard man.” He is 100% correct and I am hardest upon myself for I realize the world is not SAVE BY GRACE, and in their sinful nature they can be expected to act Stupid. I do not think it is being a “bad Christian” to point out these errors, rather how you do it. Is it with moderation in thought, word, or action?

The next tool is endurance, we are in this for the long haul. No matter how long our life shall last (and we have no way of knowing when the master will call us home) we must endure (be persistent, never give up, persevere, have stamina,) till the end. every time I think of this two bible references come to mind, Job who endured the highest highs and lowest lows of any man ever and never turned from God. Then there is the Apostle Paul when he speaks on the reason for his enduring all in 2 Timothy 2:8-13 Paul makes it simple he says if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us; v.12 
Paul endures because his eye is on the prize eternal bliss in Heaven with his Lord and Savior. 

The final tool today is godliness, do not be confused as some would have you believe, (Copland, Myers and others) that you too can be a god.  what is being spoken of here is adding more than mere moral or human goodness to your arsenal of tools. This is the moral or Spiritual goodness that reflects the nature of our Triune God Himself. 

John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible

 

Today in Church History

Fear nothing that you are about to suffer. Be aware that the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested [in your faith], and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful to the point of death [if you must die for your faith], and I will give you the crown[consisting] of life.

Revelation 2:10 (Amp)

Old Bishop Polycarp

DAN GRAVES, MSL

Old Bishop Polycarp

   Towards the end of the first century, or perhaps even at the beginning of the second century A.D., the apostle John died after years of ministry to the churches of Asia Minor, the region now occupied by modern Turkey. John was the last of the original apostles, but the truths of Christianity did not die with him. His spiritual children continued to stand firm in the faith in Christ as the Son of God that John had heard, seen, and even touched (as John tells us in 1 John 1:1-2).

   One of John’s spiritual sons, Polycarp, was born about 69 A.D. He lived in Smyrna and learned much by listening to John. Polycarp became a leader of the church at Smyrna, and in many ways his character reflected that of his teacher. He had the same noble Christian spirit, full of gentleness, yet inflexible in speaking out against error.

   The Church at Smyrna, of which Polycarp was the bishop, was one of those addressed by Christ in the Revelation. Christ told them that persecution was about to come upon them and promised a crown of life to those who were faithful unto death. The promise was undoubtedly repeated by Polycarp to many in his flock to encourage them as the Romans hauled them off to face wild beasts or death by fire.

   When the authorities searched for Polycarp, friends persuaded him to leave the city and hide in a farm-house. There he spent his time in prayer. A letter written by the Church of Smyrna told that: “while praying he fell into a trance three days before his capture; and he saw his pillow burning with fire. And he turned and said to those that were with him, ‘it must be that I shall be burned alive’

   “When his pursuers were on his track he went to another farm-house. Finding him gone they put two slave boys to the torture, and one of them betrayed his place of concealment. Herod, head of the police, sent a body of men to arrest him on Friday evening. Escape was still possible, but the old man refused to flee, saying, “the will of God be done”. He came down to meet his pursuers, conversed affably with them, and ordered food to be set before them. While they were eating he prayed, ‘remembering all, high and low, who at any time had come in his way, and the Catholic Church throughout the world.’ Then he was led away.”

   The proconsul (an important magistrate) ordered Polycarp to renounce Christ and give obedience to Caesar as Lord. Polycarp answered: “Eighty and six years have I served Christ, nor has He ever done me any harm. How, then, could I blaspheme my King who saved me? You threaten the fire that burns for an hour and then is quenched; but you know not of the fire of the judgment to come, and the fire of eternal punishment. Bring what you will.”

   Polycarp, the last one of those personally taught by the apostles, was burned at the stake on this day, February 23, 155. As the Lord required, Polycarp was faithful unto death; he did so in expectation that he would receive a crown of life from Christ.

Bibliography:
  1. Adapted from an earlier Christian History Story.
  2. Aland, Kurt. Saints and Sinners; men and ideas in the early church.Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1970.
  3. Bacchus, F. J. “Polycarp.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton, 1914.
  4. Hoole, Charles H., translator. “The Martyrdom of Polycarp.” earlychristianwritings.com
Last updated June, 2007
From: christianity.com

Originally published April 28, 2010.