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.
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…
American Minute with Bill Federer
FYI This is my go too online dictionary
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary: “The Christian religion is … one of the first things in which all children … ought to be instructed”
Noah Webster had served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War. In 1781, Webster received his Master’s Degree from Yale, with his dissertation: “On the universal diffuse of literature as introductory to the universal diffusion of Christianity.”
In 1783, Webster published his Blue-Backed Speller, which eventually sold over 100 million copies...
Just about a year ago, I used this same verse in a devotional entitled Wages of Sin. My focus then was God’s call to salvation. Today however as I read this verse, something completely different bothered me, the actual phrase the wages of sin is death.
Everyone likes getting “paid” for their work. Even volunteers get paid in the sense they see the results of their efforts. For those with a job that has a monetary wage, that paycheck is their reward, their payoff for hard work. That is their WAGE, their RECOMPENSE, or REWARD.
I think for the first time I put it all together that “we” work hard for our final payment of death. In other words, the payoff for all our hard work of living a sinful life, our reward, is eternal death. Culture tells us to just live life to the fullest and damn the consequences. The Bible makes clear the consequences. In the end, there is no one else to blame, no one to turn to except ourselves, we are without excuse. Maybe it is just me but I can think of far better rewards, can’t you?
As I noted in last year’s devotional; Is the Holy Spirit tugging on your heartstrings? Answer God’s call Repent of your sins and make Christ not only the savior of your life but Lord of your life today.
Heavenly Father, I am a sinner and deserving of eternal death and the lake of fire, I am not worthy to set my foot in Your heavenly home, but I believe that the Lord Jesus paid the price for my sins through His death on Calvary and I heed Your call, Your free gift of salvation and eternal life IN HIM. I ask that Christ be Lord of my life, let the Holy Spirit guide my paths that I may do Your will. In Jesus’ name, I pray, AMEN.
Modified from Source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/Romans/6/23
SUBJECT. The great riddle of the prosperity of the wicked and the affliction of the righteous, which has perplexed so many, is here dealt with in the light of the future; and fretfulness and repining are most impressively forbidden. It is a Psalm in which the Lord hushes most sweetly the too common repinings of his people and calms their minds as to his present dealings with his own chosen flock, and the wolves by whom they are surrounded. It contains eight great precepts, is twice illustrated by autobiographical statements, and abounds in remarkable contrasts.
DIVISION. The Psalm can scarcely be divided into considerable sections. It resembles a chapter of the book of Proverbs, most of the verses being complete in themselves. It is an alphabetical Psalm: in somewhat broken order, the first letters of the verses follow the Hebrew alphabet. This may have been not only a poetical invention but a help to memory. The reader is requested to read the Psalm through without comment before he turns to our exposition… C.H. Spurgeon
Our text today v.8-9 imparts an important principle for all believers. Worthless or unrighteous anger, and how to deal with it.
Before I continue I want to make sure we understand that righteous anger is not forbidden in the bible. We should be angry at abortion, same-sex unions, LBGTQ stuff, the lack of Christian fighting the good fight, etc.
Here v.8, the psalmist is saying stop being so angry at these rich evil men or at God for allowing them to be in power. Remember pent-up anger can turn to wrath and that can lead to ungodly acts of rage. In v.9, we find a twofold promise. Those who do evil will be cut off from the eternal kingdom and those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.
They shall inherit the earth. He means that they shall live in such a manner as that the blessing of God shall follow them, even to the grave. John Calvin.
The “Christian” that says I never get angry or it’s a sin to do so, is either not living or never read the book. Most “stuff” in the world today really makes me mad, and Jesus certainly got mad more than 0nce. Yet the Bible is clear Ephesians 4:26–27 says, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil” (ESV). We are to be angry at the immorality, the unethical behaviors around us without sinning.
Lord, whenever I see injustice and unbiblical acts I can easily become angry. Far too often, I keep this anger within, this affects me and those around me. It prevents me from serving and glorifying you. Help me Lord, to have this righteous anger yet never sin. To understand your promises concerning those who do evil and to pray for their souls. Teach me to respond to others with graciousness and love. In the name of Jesus I pray – Amen.
Call of Abram
Summary: God calls Abram, and blesses him with a promise of Christ. (1-3) Abram departs from Haran. (4-5) He journeys through Canaan and worships God in that land. (6-9) Abram is driven by a famine into Egypt, He feigns his wife to be his sister. (10-20) – MHCC
Our text today is from the first part of the chapter. There are a few things that strike me as pretty amazing;
- There is no apparent previous relationship (interaction) between God and Abram (See Previous Chapters)
- God calls Abram to abandon all he knows (v.1)
- God makes great promises to Abram (v.2-3)
- Abram at age 75 obeys unhesitantly (v.4)
Today’s question is simple if you are a child of God, what has God called you to do for the Kingdom that you are not willing to abandon all for?
Lord God, I pray today for faith like Abram, to be ready and willing to surrender all you have given me in order to go and serve you for the needs of the kingdom and your Glory. I count your promises to watch over and protect me send your Holy Spirit to guide my path. AMEN
There is nothing more basic in Christianity than the understanding that Christ and Christ alone is the propitiation (substitute payment) for our sins. In this series of six (6) short studies Grace to You Ministries studies that Great Exchange.
Every once in a while it is good to share something besides my writing and thoughts.
Today’s devotional is from John MacArthur’s book Drawing Near and is based upon the text, “Hallowed be Thy name” (Matt. 6:9).
God is holy and deserves your highest respect and your humble obedience.
Here, I. Peter and John are taken up, upon a warrant from the priests, and committed to jail, Acts 4:1-4. II. They are examined by a committee of the great Sanhedrin, Acts 4:5-7. III. They bravely avow what they have done, and preach Christ to their persecutors, Acts 4:8-12. IV. Their persecutors, being unable to answer them, enjoin them silence, threatening them if they go on to preach the gospel, and so dismiss them, Acts 4:13-22. V. They apply to God by prayer, for the further operations of that grace which they had already experienced, Acts 4:23-30. VI. God owns them, both outwardly and inwardly, by manifest tokens of his presence with them, Acts 4:31-33. VII. The believers had their hearts knit together in holy love and enlarged their charity to the poor, and the church flourished more than ever, to the glory of Christ, Acts 4:33-37. – Matthew Henry
Christianity is the largest religious group in the world, and in 2020 there were about 2.6 billion adherents globally. What defines a “Christain” [or how one becomes one] these days man be within some of those denominations up for question, but the bible as our main text proclaims is very clear.
Salvation is through faith alone in Christ alone. Christianity is dogmatic, it is a narrow way, for God’s chosen, His elect only and here in Acts Luke is relating Peter saying …there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among people by which we must be saved [for God has provided the world no alternative for salvation].” (AMP)
In the end, I do not care if you are part of any of these or their various offshoots:
- Eastern Orthodoxy
- Oriental Orthodoxy
- Non-trinitarian Restorationism
- Eastern Protestant Christianity
- Church of the East
Without the saving power of Christ and Christ alone, you are not a Christian!
I thank You, Father, for Jesus my Saviour. Thank You for Your gift of salvation that has been given to me through Christ alone. Thank You that salvation is so simple, that even a little child can understand it. Give me the strength and wisdom to speak out daily sharing the Good News. I pray Lord for your Holy Spirit to touch the hearts of my friends, family, and those who read this that know you not, that they too may rest eternally in Christ. In Jesus’ name, I pray, AMEN.
Modified from source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/Acts/4/12