Devotional Thought for Today – 08/30/21

As hurricane Ida made landfall (and heads towards us in mid Mississippi) I had the thought of how powerful God is. I for one am convinced that God is Sovereign over all things including hurricanes, even if I don’t understand the why. What I do know is we can count on His omnipotent Grace to see us through these events.


EPHESIANS 1

Chapter CONTEXT: Matthew Henry says of this Chapter: A salutation, and an account of saving blessings, as prepared in God’s eternal election, as purchased by Christ’s blood. (1-8) And as conveyed in effectual calling: this is applied to the believing Jews, and to the believing Gentiles. (9-14) The apostle thanks God for their faith and love, and prays for the continuance of their knowledge and hope, with respect to the heavenly inheritance, and to God’s powerful working in them. (15-23)

Our text for today is one extolling God’s omnipotence. A google search or that of some Biblical software will lead one to find a list with many variations of verses. The consistent theme however is that God is all-powerful and man is not.

Here are some of the things God has power over:

  • Creation
  • Salvation
  • Understanding
  • Resurection
  • Justice
  • Nations
  • ________?
Samuel Rutherford Quote - Faith and God's Omnipotence

The above quote sums it up pretty well if God is not the omnipotent ruler of the universe what peace can a believer have. What assurance can we have, what joy? I do not know about you but I take great comfort in the fact that He hath made the earth by his power and ruleth by his power forever.

Praying for everyone in Ida’s path and recovery for those displaced by her wrath.

Devotional Thought for Today – 08/26/21

Help: The Battle Is Not Yours: 2 Chronicles 20:1-29 | Edge Church

2 Chronicles 20

CONTEXT: Most folks I know can quote or at least paraphrase v.15 from this Chapter ‘the battle belongs to the Lord.’ While this makes a good theme it is not the central theme of this Chapter, by context Faith is the main theme. The Chapter can be divided as follows: The Enemy advances v.1-4; Jehoshaphat Prayers v.5-13; God answers prayer v.14-19; War and Victory v.20-29; End of Jehoshaphat’s reign v.30-37.

I say Faith is the main theme because of the facts we know from the text. The nation of Judah (Israel) was about to be invaded so what does Jehoshaphat do? Does he run, does he hide, does he wine and whimper, of course not he takes action. What kind of action, PRAYER v.3; And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord,… A wise ruler always seeks wise counsel in times of trouble. Jehoshaphat had 3 Armies coming against him I think this was a good time for seeking HELP!

Note that Jehoshaphat does not go it alone, v.4 And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord:… It is always wise to seek the support of like-minded individuals and those who may be experiencing similar issues to pray alongside you. Read v.5-13 Jehoshaphat’s Prayer (pleading with God) and you can see the heartfelt sincerety in it. Jehoshaphat confessed Judah’s (and his) inability to deal with the coming threat. That is the FAITH I was speaking about. Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah called upon the Lord to HELP, fully expecting His assistance.

I suppose I would be remiss if I failed to mention v.15 in context. Does ‘the battle always belong to the Lord’? One of the popular evangelical catchphrases that irks me to no end is “Let Go and let God.” While it may seem harmless it really is not very Biblical. In our text today (and throughout the Bible) God responds to prayer. I call this God’s Providential Grace. Unless God chose someone for a specific task, Jonah, for example, the application of this Grace is applied in every other example as a response to prayer. Yes, ‘the battle belongs to the Lord‘ it always has and always will, but we can not just give up the fight sit back in our lazy-boy recliner and expect God to do the work. We need, as individuals, churches, and a nation to be more like Jehoshaphat prayer warriors willing to fight the good fight.

Sunday Sermon Series – Walking

Do we think walking with God can do us any hurt? Did we ever hear any cry out on their deathbed that they have been too holy, that they have prayed too much, or walked with God too much? No, that which has cut them to the heart has been this, that they have not walked more closely with God; they have wrung their hand and torn their hair to think that they have been so bewitched with the pleasures of the world. Close walking with God will make our enemy (death) be at peace with us.

Thomas Watson

SERMON

Walking With God


by George Whitefield (1714-1770)

Genesis 5:24 –  “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”


RELATED RESOURCES:

THE CHILD OF LIGHT WALKING IN LIGHT – C.H. Spurgeon

THE LIFE WALK AND TRIUMPH OF FAITH – C.H. Spurgeon

LIFE AND WALK OF FAITH – C.H. Spurgeon

Walk in Love: 32 Sermons on Ephesians 5 – Thomas Manton

Devotional Thought for Today – 08/16/2021

Logos.com

1 John 5

CONTEXT: Matthew Henry says: Brotherly love is the effect of the new birth, which makes obedience to all God’s commandments pleasant. (1-5) Reference to witnesses agreeing to prove that Jesus, the Son of God, is the true Messiah. (6-8) The satisfaction the believer has about Christ, and eternal life through him. (9-12) The assurance of God’s hearing and answering prayer. (13-17) The happy condition of true believers, and a charge to renounce all idolatry. (18-21)

Our text for today is in the first section v.1-5 and there are two themes or ideas in it. First is the content of Love is a commandment of God and a required act of all true believers. Secondly that those who have True Faith are able to overcome the temptations of the world.

There are two serious implications to our text:

  • Only those BORN [again] OF GOD can overcome the temptations (sins) of the world
  • Those NOT Born [again] of God are doomed to failure and damnation

The question is what about you? Are you a Born Again child of God, an OVERCOMER by Faith? I pray it is so.

Keeping the Faith

Here is a 13 part series, first published in June 2018, from John MacArthur’s Grace to You Ministries entitled Keeping the Faith. Note some of the words used in the titles Judge, Discrimination, Humility, Discern are those likely on the hit list of “bad” words for the woke culture of today. Yet the bible says true believers are not of this world and we are to do those things living as such.

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

The Value of Discrimination

Judge Everything

Cling to What Is Good

Shun What Is Evil

Our Duty to Discern

Discernment Demands Humility

The Source and Supply of All Discernment

The Deadly Dangers of Passive Discernment

Following the Faithful

Spirit-Powered Discernment

Growing in discernment

The Deadly Dangers of Passive Discernment

Devotional Thought for Today – 06/30/2021

Vessels of God (Ephesians 3:20) - Your Daily Bible Verse - April 30 - Your  Daily Bible Verse

Ephesians 3

CONTEXT: 1 The first three chapters of Ephesians are doctrinal, the last three are practical. Chapter 3 begins the transition from a Christian understanding of salvation, grace, and the power of Christ into a practical guide for Christian living. To make the transition, in this chapter, Paul refers to his own calling by God and prays for the spiritual strength of the Ephesian church. Chapter 3 speaks about the mystery of Christ revealed (Ephesians 3:1–13). The second part of this chapter emphasizes Paul’s prayer for spiritual strength and ends the first half of his letter (Ephesians 3:14–21).

Many of you know I love the old Puritan pastors and theologians. There is something about the simplicity of their writings (yes the old language can be a difficult read at first) that makes it relevant today. Thomas Brooks is one such person and his quote:

Now, Christians, the more great and glorious things you expect from God, as the downfall of antichrist, the conversion of the Jews, the conquest of the nations to Christ, the breaking of all yokes, the new Jerusalem’s coming down from above, the extraordinary pouring out of the Spirit, and a more general union among all saints, the more holy, yea, the more eminently holy in all your ways and actings it becomes you to be. –

Thomas Brooks, The Crown and Glory of Christianity, 1662, CompleteWorks, 1867, p. 444

has always struck me as very compelling. What is it we expect from God or maybe better put what is it we should expect from God?

Many modern theologies claim that we can expect or even demand of God our hearts desires, quoting Ps 37:4 and running with it. Of course, as someone who is a stickler for CONTEXT, this is a false and dangerous doctrine. Others in the same vain claim if only you have enough faith that God will grant all your petitions. Again they use John 16:23 grossly out of context to draw their absurd conclusion and false doctrine.

First, it is right to have expectations of God, Psalm 65:5 because all who live in the fear of the Lord (are His chosen) He has made promises to Prov 23:18. Secondly, anything and everything we expect of God must be BIBLICAL. I have never found an admonition in the Bible against praying BIG or having the expectation that God can answer BIG prayers. Praying for the healing of a loved one from Cancer for example does happen. Praying for a new Caddilac but only being able to afford a Chevy, on the other hand, does not mean you lack faith, it means you lack finances.

The greatest expectation of all can be found in Romans 8:19-21 (AMP) For [even the whole] creation [all nature] waits eagerly for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration and futility, not willingly [because of some intentional fault on its part], but by the will of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will also be freed from its bondage to decay [and gain entrance] into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

As I noted yesterday, I had outpatient back surgery in an attempt to relieve some of this ongoing back pain. We pray for BIG results and accept what God gives. There is a team of folks from Mission M25 doing a 4CPR 4 Corners Prayer Ride riding motorcycles touching the 4 corners of the US Praying for our Nation (BIG Thing).

There are so many more BIG things, as Thomas Manton mentioned that Christians need be in prayer for especially, ‘the downfall of antichrist(s), the conversion of the Jews, the conquest of the nations to Christ, and a pouring out of the Spirit in America, and a more general union among all saints.’


1 Source: https://www.bibleref.com/Ephesians/3/Ephesians-3-20.html

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FOR TODAY – 06/22/2021

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God  sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful f… | Read bible, Spiritual  deliverance, God

Romans 8

CONTEXT: Some have called this the greatest chapter in the Bible. It is hard to argue considering the opening verse. Paul sets up this after having spent all of Chapter 7 reminding everyone of his personal issues with sin and the law. Then he drops the promise of promises on all true believers v.1, Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit (AMP).

Matthew Henry breaks down the chapter as follows: The freedom of believers from condemnation. (1-9) Their privileges as being the children of God. (10-17) Their hopeful prospects under tribulations. (18-25) Their assistance from the Spirit in prayer. (26,27) Their interest in the love of God. (28-31) Their final triumph, through Christ. (32-39)

In verse 2, Paul says (further promises) under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit that we are free from the law of sin and of death. Does this mean we, true believers, are free from all punishment? Of course not, V.8 makes this clear that no one living a carnal or sinful life can please God.

John Calvin Quote - God's Law Is Engraved On The Believers' Heart

Our text for today continues the message that the Law, (here the Mosaic Law) is not capable of saving mankind and was meant as a means of showing man thier sinful nature and the need for a redeemer.

God did what the law could not provide a means of eternal salvation. He, God the Father, sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to earth in the form of a human, sinless, (Philippians 2:5-8, Hebrews 4:15) the perfect sacrifice for the sins of those who live not by the flesh but by the Spirit.

Maybe you are reading this today and thinking, I am a good person. I have never been to jail, I have never done anything really wrong. The bad news is mankind’s standard of good is woefully short of God’s and you will never measure up. Of course, God does not leave us hanging there. He has a counter-proposal to the Bad News and offers us The Good News, or the Gospel. As we have just read this Good news message is that we do not have to live under the Law that we can never achieve. We have a Savior who has paid the penalty for our sins. Simply put, the gospel is the good news concerning Christ and the way of salvation.

There is no magic potion, no facing or scripted prayer words needed to obtain this Good News. The Bible is clear, no one is saved by works, but ALL who sincerely …acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognizing His power, authority, and majesty as God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 AMP)

Is Christianity a religion or a relationship?

Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/Christianity-religion-relationship.html

Devotional Thought for Today – 06/18/2021

Staff Favorites - Creekmoor PTA

For those of us old enough to remember Julie Andrews singing My Favorite Things in the Sound of Music both the song and the thought of all those things brought a smile to our faces (still does 😉)

Everyone has things they like and dislike, some of our likes become favorites. When we are talking about food, tools, cars, or things that bring us comfort in storms favorites are one thing, but when we are talking about how we practice our FAITH, the bible, James 2:1, is very clear favoritism is a bad thing.


Today’s Drawing Near devotional

Friday, June 18, 2021

Looking Beyond Externals

My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism” (James 2:1).

Your true worth is based on the value of your soul, not on external considerations.

Jesus is “our glorious Lord” (James 2:1)—the Sovereign One who rules over all His creation, and the One in whom the fullness of God’s glory is revealed. John said, “The Word [Jesus] became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Paul said, “In Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Col. 2:9).

As God, Jesus shares the impartiality of the Father. He knows that a person’s worth is based on the value of his soul, not on external considerations. That’s why He always looks on the heart and never judges on externals alone.

That was evident in the way Jesus dealt with sinners when He was still on earth. He never hesitated to confront them—whether they were influential Jewish religious leaders or common folks. Even His enemies acknowledged His impartiality when they said, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any” (Matt. 22:16).

Like the Father, Jesus also extended the offer of salvation to men and women of every race, social class, and moral standing. That’s illustrated by the parable He told in Matthew 22:1-14 about the marriage of a king’s son (an illustration of Himself). The invited guests (Israel) didn’t show up, so the king commanded his servants to go out and gather everyone they could find to furnish the wedding with guests. As a result, people of every station in life attended the wedding, just as people of every station in life are called to salvation.

As you have opportunities to minister to others today, don’t be influenced by externals such as looks, clothing, or economic level. Do as Jesus did: treat them with compassion and speak the truth without compromise.

Suggestions for Prayer

Praise the Lord for His impartiality, and ask Him for special grace as you reach out to others today.

For Further Study

Read Matthew 20:1-16. How does that parable illustrate the impartiality of God?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.

Rest in God’s Faithfulness, Not Yours

If we are faithless, He remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.2 Timothy 2:13

He Is Trustworthy

This verse pictures a radically different way of living, one not natural to most of us. Most human beings buy into a view of life characterized by the “life is on your shoulders,” “you make or break your life,” “pay your money and take your choice,” or “ you have no one to look to or blame but yourself” outlook…

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