Three Antidotes to the Fears that Rule the World

Three Antidotes to the Fears that Rule the World

If I had to choose a single word to describe the past twelve months, it would be fear. It’s run roughshod over people’s lives since early 2020, showing up in toilet-paper shortages, stay-at-home orders, murder hornets, and violent protests. People are terrified. But of what? I think there are two answers.

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Devotional Thought for Today – 01/22/2021

Who is the restrainer in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7? | NeverThirsty

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

In this portion of scripture, Paul is describing the Man of Lawlessness and the coming “Day of the Lord.”

Our text in the picture above combined makes a clear and convincing argument that God is not sitting on the sidelines while the world is running amuck in chaos. Despite what the naysayers and poorly read theologians think, God and God alone restrains evil. 

Today I offer an article/sermon from John Macarthur and Grace to You ministries on the subject. May it bless you greatly. 


“Why Does Evil Dominate the World?”

Devotional Thought for Today – 01/19/2021

Expository Sermon from Luke 18:9-14 | In Whom Do You Trust?

Psalm 146

 One of my friends Laszlo sent me this Psalm the other day with the third verse highlighted; Do not trust in princes, In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation (help). (AMP).  The last dozen-plus years in our political climate and especially the past election cycle have been a clear reminder of this. 

Maybe it is because I am old enough to remember the days of civility and reason in the houses of congress. When bi-partisanship, for “The Good of the People” and “In God We Trust” really meant something.  

Some thought Obama was the coming savior and his legacy was that of failure after scandal. President Trump’s unpolitical style and lack of decorum caused both sides of the aisle to dislike him.  Both men of great power and yet in them both was found no hope or lasting help. Joe Bidden will be the same or worse. 

The psalmist makes it clear that the only true help, the only one we can truly trust in count on day after day is God, v.5; How blessed and graciously favored is he whose help is the God of Jacob (Israel), Whose hope is in the Lord his God,

Today’s question is simple, have you surrender to the call of the Holy Spirit? Have you placed your trust in the one and only who will never disappoint?  The time is now and Christ is waiting. 

Short Prayers For Trusting God

We Can Have Confidence

We Can Have Confidence

New Post by Stephen Nichols

Throughout biblical history and throughout church history, God’s people have faced difficult circumstances—giants of enemies. Some have faced literal armies. Today, we get discouraged by all that we see around us. It is easy to despair as evil seems to prosper, and it is easy to become overwhelmed. But, we can learn from those who have gone before us to have a proper perspective.

“Isaiah, Augustine, and many others teach us not to cower in the face of our circumstances, but to stand tall in confidence in God.”

We can have confidence today because we know that God is surpassingly great and glorious, mighty, eternal, infinite, resplendent in transcendent majesty. We know that God’s Word will not return void. We know that God’s church will not be thwarted. We know that God’s kingdom—and it alone—will have no end. How can we not have confidence?

For a limited time, you can also download the free ebook edition of A Time for Confidence by Stephen Nichols to remember that though the world may shake around us, God’s kingdom is unshakable.

SUNDAY SERMON SERIES – The World, the Flesh, and the Devil

Thurs Night Alive" Ephesians 2: 1-10 The Walking Dead - YouTube

Ephesians 2:1-10


COMMENTS 

There is a popular show on TV called The Walking Dead. Although I have never seen an actual episode, the commercial made it clear it is all about the aftermath of an apocalypse and zombies. 

While the bible does not specifically refer to the unsaved as “zombies” but when we really think about it that is exactly what we were. Those apart from Christ are walking about the earth with no hope, children of wrath, just waiting for the day of eternal judgment. 


SERMON

Today’s sermon comes from Voddie Bauchman, who at the time was Pastoring a church in Houston, TX but now is Dean of Theology at African Christian University in Zambia. 

Voddie Baucham: The World, the Flesh, and the Devil

To become a Christian is to be enlisted in a war, one that is fought on three main fronts. In this session, Rev. Voddie Baucham will remind us how the world, the flesh, and the devil work against the kingdom of God. He will explain why battle, struggle, and hardship should not surprise us as Christians. 

This message is from our (Ligonier) 2014 National Conference, Overcoming the World: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=...

Devotional Thought for Today – 01/15-2021

1 Corinthians 15:29–58 (NIV) - 1 Corinthians 15:29–58 NIV - Now if there  is… | Biblia

1 Corinthians 15:50-58


This text v.50-58 is certainly about the resurrection.  I am focused today on v.55-57 specifically because my wife’s mom, Fela went home to be with the Lord this morning. 

Fela loved God and was ever ready to praise the Lord. She had been very ill the past few years and was ready to be, as Paul said, absent from the body and present with the Lord. 

Two important lessons here, First, death has no real sting, we can and should morn not her passing but the loss we feel. For secondly,  she has won the Victory! No more pain, no more suffering, she is rejoicing with her Lord and Savior tonight in Glory.

So today I ask you to rejoice with me in the vicorious life that was Fela Ortiz Dones and pray for all the family and friends that will miss her infectious smile. 

Navigating the News in 2021 from a Christian Worldview

BreakPoint Daily

Navigating the News in 2021 from a Christian Worldview

BP2101072

A recent headline that isn’t exactly news announced the findings of a recent Gallup study: “Americans Remain Distrustful of Mass Media.” Six out of ten Americans trust the media either “not very much” or “not at all” when it comes to reporting the news fairly and accurately. 

Truth be told, I’m among those six. I’m tired of bias, of opinion pieces masquerading as reporting, of buried leads, and hysterical fearmongering. Apparently, many Americans are tired of these things, too. Last year, a major news network flashed this caption, “Fiery but mostly peaceful protests after police shooting,” as its reporter stood in front of buildings that were burning to the ground. Last week, America’s paper of record ran a glowing piece on freedom in China, where people may not have freedom of religion, speech, or assembly but enjoy going to nightclubs thanks to their dictator’s handling of COVID. And don’t get even get me started on the news coverage of the events this week…

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** NOTE; FSM and FSMWO are not by posting this article endorsing or recommending you subscribe to World magazine or any other products associated with BreakPoint. We are however Highly recommending that you continually, as the article suggests, read and stay informed with news that is at least conservative and biblical leaning if not Biblical or Christian Worldview based. 

OTHER RESOURCES:

FRC’s The Biblical Worldview Series

“Why do so Many Christians not have a Consistently Biblical Worldview?”

Daily Devotional – Fragrant Prayer Part III

What Does Psalm 141:2 Mean?

PSALM 141

Praying for others


CONTEXT

David was in distress when he penned this psalm, pursued, it is most likely, by Saul, that violent man. Is any distressed? Let him pray; David did so, and had the comfort of it.

      • I. He prays for God’s favourable acceptance (v. 1- 2).
      • II. For his powerful assistance (v. 3,-4).
      • III. That others might be instrumental of good to his soul, as he hoped to be to the souls of others (v. 5- 6).
      • IV. That he and his friends being now brought to the last extremity God would graciously appear for their relief and rescue (v. 7-10).

The mercy and grace of God are as necessary to us as they were to him, and therefore we should be humbly earnest for them in singing this psalm. – Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary 

In the first installment we looked at Praying for God’s favorable acceptance. Yesterday’s  topic was petitioning for His assistance, and today we will explore Praying to God for others


Breakdown

v.5 – Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.

Of all the verses of Psalms this and the following may be one of the hardest to interpret. Let the righteous smite me… David is basically saying he would prefer to be severely reprimanded, corrected, rebuked etc.  by a righteous person than be in the company of evil. So he will pray for them. 

The righteous, etc. The minister cannot be always preaching; two or three hours, may be, in a week, he spends among his people in the pulpit, holding the glass of the gospel before their faces; but the lives of professors, these preach all the week long: if they were but holy and exemplary, they would be as a repetition of the preacher’s sermon to their families and neighbours among whom they converse, and keep the sound of his doctrine continually ringing in their ears. This would give Christians an amiable advantage in doing good to their carnal neighbours by counsel and reproof, which now is seldom done, and when done it proves to little purpose, because not backed with their own exemplary walking. “It behooves him”, saith Tertullian, “that would counsel or reprove another, to guard his speech with the authority of his own conversation, lest, wanting that, what he says puts himself to the blush.” We do not love one that hath a stinking breath to come very near us; such, therefore, had need have a sweet scented life. Reproofs are a good physic, but they have an unpleasant reception; it is hard for men not to throw them back on the face of him that gives them. Now nothing is more powerful to keep a reproof from thus coming back than the holiness of the person that reproves. “Let the righteous smite me”, saith David, “it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head.” See how well it is taken from such a hand, from the authority that holiness carries with it. None but a vile wretch will smite a righteous man with reproach for smiting him with a reproof, if softly laid on, and like oil fermented, and wrought into him, as it should, with compassion and love to his soul! Thus we see how influential the power of holiness would be unto the wicked, neither would it be less upon our brethren and fellow Christians. Holy David professed he would take it as a kindness for the righteous man to smite him; yea, as kindly as if he broke a box of precious oil upon his head, which was amongst the Jews a high expression of love. –William Gurnall.

v.6 – When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my words; for they are sweet.

Most commentators agree David is speaking about those who would oppress him. At some point all our unrighteous oppressors will come to know the truth we spoke, why? Because all our words spoken in Christ are surely words; for they are sweet. That is why a true Christian never stops sharing the Good News. 

They shall hear my words; for they are sweet. This is especially true of all the words which David spake by inspiration, or the Spirit of God spake to him; articulately in his book of Psalms; concerning the Messiah, the covenant of grace, and the blessings of it; of the rich experiences of grace he had, and the several doctrines of the gospel declared by him; which were sweet, delightful, and entertaining to those who have ears to hear such things; or whose ears are opened to hear them, so as to understand them and distinguish them, but to others not. –John Gill.


APPLICATION

No one likes to be corrected, however the correction of a righteous man is but a sweat savor to God. Respond in kind with a Fragrant Prayer of your own for both those who would persecute and profit you. Also, do not neglect the thank God for the times of discipline that drew you nearer to the cross. 

Pray The Bible: Promoting, Encouraging, and Assisting God's People in Biblical Prayer

 Supplication to God for Others

We must pray for the whole world of mankind, the lost world; and thus, we must honor everyone, 1 Peter 2:17(ESV) and, according to our capacity, do good to everyone. Galatians 6:10(ESV)

I pray, as I am taught, for all people, believing that this is good and pleasing in the sight of God my Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth and of Jesus Christ, 1 Timothy 2:3-4(ESV) who gave himself as a ransom for all. 1 Timothy 2:6(ESV)

O let your way be known on earth, Psalm 67:2(ESV) that barbarous nations may be civilized, and those who live without God in the world may be brought to the service of the living God; Ephesians 2:12(ESV) and thus, let your saving power be known among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; yes, let all the peoples praise you: O let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Psalm 67:2-4(ESV)

For Support While Being Disciplined 

Though for the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, yet later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness and proves to be for my good, that I might share your holiness. Hebrews 12:10-11(ESV)

I have had reason to say that it was good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes; Psalm 119:71(ESV) for before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. Psalm 119:67(ESV)

It has been but for a little while, and when it was necessary, that I was grieved by various trials; and I beg that all the trials of my faith may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom, though I have not seen, I love; though I do not now see him, yet I believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, and am longing to receive the outcome of my faith, the salvation of my soul. 1 Peter 1:6-9(ESV)

Daily Devotional – Fragrant Prayer Part II

What Does Psalm 141:2 Mean?

PSALM 141

Praying for His powerful assistance


CONTEXT

David was in distress when he penned this psalm, pursued, it is most likely, by Saul, that violent man. Is any distressed? Let him pray; David did so, and had the comfort of it.

      • I. He prays for God’s favourable acceptance (v. 1- 2).
      • II. For his powerful assistance (v. 3,-4).
      • III. That others might be instrumental of good to his soul, as he hoped to be to the souls of others (v. 5- 6).
      • IV. That he and his friends being now brought to the last extremity God would graciously appear for their relief and rescue (v. 7-10).

The mercy and grace of God are as necessary to us as they were to him, and therefore we should be humbly earnest for them in singing this psalm. – Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary 

In the first installment we looked at Praying for God’s favorable acceptance. Today’s topic is petitioning for His assistance.


Breakdown

Today in verses 3 and 4 the psalmist pleads with God to be kept from evil.  How often in modern evangelical circles do we hear someone pray to “put a hedge of protection around them (or someone) from all evil.”  Yet David is so much wiser that that. He knows the root of evil is not found from external sources but from within man himself (See Sunday Sermon Series) and so begins…

v.3 Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.

A truly converted man understands that the mouth is both the doorway of good and evil words. What can come from a man’s mouth can either harm or build up those around them. Here David says wisely Lord guard my mouth so that only things that Glorify you an build others up proceed from it. 

One of the best commentaries on this is W. Jay’s Sermon on “The Regulation of the Tongue.” Here is the link to Spurgeon’s condensed comments

Ps 141_3 W.Jay Comments

v.4 Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.

As we noted above the heart of natural man, is the root cause of all evil. Here David begs God to guard him against that tendency which still lives in even the most pious of men, Incline not my heart to any evil thing.

To practise wicked works with men that work iniquity. The way the heart inclines the life soon tends: evil things desired bring forth wicked things practised. Unless the fountain of life is kept pure the streams of life will soon be polluted. Alas, there is great power in company: even good men are apt to be swayed by association; hence the fear that we may practise wicked works when we are with wicked workers. We must endeavour not to be with them lest we sin with them. It is bad when the heart goes the wrong way alone, worse when the life runs in the evil road alone; but it is apt to increase unto a high degree of ungodliness when the backslider runs the downward path with a whole horde of sinners around him. Our practice will be our perdition if it be evil: it is an aggravation of sin rather than an excuse for it to say that it is our custom and our habit. It is God’s practice to punish all who make a practice of iniquity. Good men are horrified at the thought of sinning as others do; the fear of it drives them to their knees. Iniquity, which, being interpreted, is a want of equity, is a thing to be shunned as we would avoid an infectious disease. And let me not eat of their dainties. If we work with them we shall soon eat with them. They will bring out their sweet morsels, and delicate dishes, in the hope of binding us to their service by the means of our palates. The trap is baited with delicious meats that we may be captured and become meat for their malice. If we would not sin with men we had better not sit with them, and if we would not share their wickedness we must not share their wantonness. – C.H. Spurgeon


APPLICATION

Righteous in prayer is necessary for it to be an acceptable Fragrant Prayer. In other words the motive and the asking must be in line with God’s will.  Today ask, no beg for God’s abundant Grace to fill you life and grant your petitions. 

Pray The Bible: Promoting, Encouraging, and Assisting God's People in Biblical Prayer

DAILY DEVOTIONAL FOR JAN 4, 2021

Commend Yourself to the Grace of God

We may then recommend ourselves to the conduct, protection, and government of the divine grace, in the further services that lie before us and in the whole course of our life.

And now, let us be enabled to go from strength to strength, until we appear before God in Zion; and while we pass through the valley of Baca, let it be made a place of springs, and let the rain of divine grace and blessing fill the pools. Psalm 84:6-7(ESV)

Now speak, Lord, for your servants hear. 1 Samuel 3:9(ESV) What does my Lord say to his servants? Joshua 5:14(ESV) Grant that we may not turn away our ear from hearing the law, for then our prayers will be an abomination; Proverbs 28:9(ESV) but may we listen to God, that he may listen to us. Judges 9:7(ESV)

And now, the LORD our God be with us, as he was with all our fathers; may he not leave us or forsake us, that he may incline our hearts to himself, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his rules. 1 Kings 8:57-58(ESV) And let our hearts be wholly true to the LORD our God all our days, 1 Kings 8:61(ESV) and continue so till the end; that then we may rest and may stand in our allotted place, and let it be a blessed place at the end of the days. Daniel 12:13(ESV)

Daily Devotional – Silent Night

Christmas Manger Wallpapers - Top Free Christmas Manger Backgrounds -  WallpaperAccess

Luke 2:1-20


CONTEXT

Luke here tells the story of our Savior’s birth. From the decree from Caesar Augustus v.1 that all the Roman world be taxed causing Joseph to take his very pregnant wife to Bethlehem (fulfilling the prophesy  of Micah 5:2 and Daniel 9:25).

Other notable points of the text:

      • Because everyone had to pay taxes in their own hometown all the “inns” in little Bethlehem we full
      • Joseph and Mary likely sought shelter in a stable 
      • It appears even the stable was full for Jesus was laid in a manger, a trough used to feed cattle outside the stable
      • Angles spoke to the Shepherds informing them of the birth
      • A multitude of heavenly hosts appeared praising the Lord

HYMN

Silent Night, may very well be the most widely known played and recorded Christmas hymn of all time. In addition to our text Luke 2:7-9, biblical  inspiration was drawn from Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6.

“Silent Night” is a popular Christmas carol, composed in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria. This hymn has been performed by a vast number of singers from every music genre. The version sung by Bing Crosby is the third best-selling single of all-time.

The hymn was first performed on Christmas Eve 1818 at St Nicholas church in Oberndorf, a village in the Austrian Empire on the Salzach river in present-day Austria. A youthful priest, Father Joseph Mohr, had arrived in Oberndorf the year earlier.

The melody was arranged by Franz Xaver Gruber, schoolmaster and organist in the nearby village of Arnsdorf. Before Christmas Eve, Mohr brought the words to Gruber and asked him to compose a melody and guitar accompaniment for the Christmas Eve mass. – Godtube.com 

Not to be a spoiler I often wonder just how silent the night really was?  Think about the scene, the child is born not in any comfort but next to a barn amongst the animals . Probably not the quietest or most serene conditions. Then again we are talking about the sovereign PRINCE OF PEACE here. If He could instantly bring calm to that think of what He can do for you and me?

May the same Savior that brought peace and silence to the world that eve so long ago fill your hearts and minds this Christmas and throughout the coming year.