Devotional Thought for Today – 08/19/2021

Bible Verse of the Day - day 231 - image 42335 (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

Ecclesiastes 12

CONTEXT: Chapter 12 has tow clear divisions, v.1-7 speak about remembering our youth as we grow older and physical and mental affirmatives come upon us. Then in v.8-14 we are reminded of the wise teacher/preacher and all his instructions. The overarching theme being a repeat of Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.

Our main text, v.13, for today is the key to life, or as Solomon says, Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. NOTHING written before this or after matter more than what Solomon is about to write.

What is that key? Simple; fear God, and keep his commandments, that is what man was put on the earth to do. Fear God here meaning to stand in awe and reverence of Him at all times. To willingly (never grudgingly) keep His commandments. The Puritan Catechism similarly says: Q1: What is the chief end of man? A1: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, ( 1 Corinthians 10:31 ) and to enjoy him for ever. ( Psalms 73:25-26 )

Why is this [is] the whole [duty] of man? In the Hebrew this could be rendered as This is the whole man, read that way the implication is clear, without fearing God and keeping His commandments man is not whole, not complete as a man.

If that was not enough “incentive” to bring man instep with God, one would think v.14 would certainly do so;  For God will bring every act to judgment, every hidden and secret thing, whether it is good or evil. God sees all hears all and will judge all.


Pray for Grace to Assist you that you may be Diligent in your Duty

Lord, quicken us to work the works of him who sent us while it is day, because night is coming, wherein no one can work; John 9:4(ESV) and what good our hands find to do, enable us to do it with all our might, for there is no work or knowledge in Sheol, to which we are going. Ecclesiastes 9:10(ESV)

Lord, grant that we may never be slothful in zeal, but fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; Romans 12:11(ESV) steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord our labor is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58(ESV)

Lord, make us zealously affected in every good work; Galatians 4:18(KJV) and in whatever we do, enable us to work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. Colossians 3:23(ESV)

Lord, enable us to do the work of every day in its day, as each day requires, Ezra 3:4(ESV) making the best use of the time, because the days are evil; Ephesians 5:16(ESV) that when our Master comes, he may find us so doing. Luke 12:43(ESV)

Can the United States Still be Redeemed?

Can the United States still be Redeemed?

By Glenn Meldrum

I fear the United States is hastening towards judgment. Where that line of no return is I do not know, but the nation’s rapid moral and spiritual decline is hurtling us towards that terrifying line at breakneck speed. Only divine intervention can turn us from our self-destructive course. We have forsaken the God which gave us a country immersed in a strong Christian heritage; we have abandoned the ancient paths to becoming a modern barbaric culture (Jeremiah 6:16).

Just prior to my ministering at an urban church the youth pastor taught his unsaved, street-level youth group that homosexuality is a sin and those practicing it will spend an eternity in hell. One 14-year-old girl replied, “Then everyone in my school is going to hell.” This same young woman responded to an altar call I gave while preaching to that youth group. While my wife was ministering to her she asked a serious question: “How can I be a Christian when all my friends are lesbians and my mother is a drug addict?” Bob Just was right when he stated: “Today’s culture is a child molester.”

How can the Lord hold back his just wrath when we are destroying our nation, beginning with our youth? Law Professor Kelly Howard stated, “According to sworn testimony before the U.S. Senate, experts reveal that by the time a female in this country is 18 years old, 38 percent have been sexually molested. One in eight women will be raped. Fifty percent of women will be sexually harassed on their jobs during their lifetimes. In fact, sexual dysfunction is on such a rampant rise that experts are calling it a sexual holocaust.”

Crossing the Point-of-No-Return

There are cultures and nations that are simply not redeemable. This means that they have collectively crossed a line in the practice of evil where they refuse to turn from their sin and are therefore left to God’s wrath. Because a culture becomes unredeemable does not indicate that individuals within that culture cannot be saved. It just signifies that the culture has become so immersed in wickedness that the only thing left for it is destruction. This happens in part because the nature of evil is not understood to be exceedingly wicked and offensive to a holy God, so the practice of evil becomes culturally acceptable.

The fact that cultures can become unredeemable does not imply that the doctrine of limited atonement is true. The Lord gave mankind an authentic free will and desires every person to be saved. That is why He declared, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11; quoted in 2 Peter 3:9). Though salvation is available to everyone, only those who repent will be saved.

Cultures are made up of individuals who make the conscience moral choices that define the character of the nation or people group. Some cultures become so immersed in the evil that they harden themselves against God. Since they reject God’s salvation, He turns them over to their own self-destructive ways (Romans 1:18-32). In essence, they cross a line in their practice of sin where evil is so ingrained into the culture that the only thing left to them is divine wrath.

Tweet This: “…the nature of evil is not understood to be exceedingly wicked and offensive to a holy God, so the practice of evil becomes culturally acceptable.”

Examples of unredeemable cultures are abundant in Scripture. The Lord destroyed the world with a flood in Noah’s day. He hailed fire and brimstone down on Sodom. Israel could not conquer the promised land until the evil practices of the Amorites were at their worst (Genesis 15:13-16). King Saul was commanded by God to fully destroy the Amalekites because they had plummeted to the depths of evil in their pursuit of wickedness (1 Samuel 15).

The only safe way we can say that culture was unredeemable is by looking at Scripture. Otherwise, we are left to subjective claims that are based upon our small-minded opinions and highfalutin paradigms. Only God knows the hearts of men, therefore, He alone is able to justly judge men and their cultures.

To label people or cultures as unredeemable is also counterproductive to Christ’s command to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. We must always believe that grace is available to everyone and faithfully strive to present them with the Gospel. Ours is not to decide who is to be saved but to reach out to everyone no matter their lifestyle or sin.

The Church’s Role in America

If all this is true then what is the value of understanding that cultures can become unredeemable? So that we seek God’s face for a national awakening and prepare the way for Him to come to us. In the end, we are either going to experience revival or judgment. Yet even if we had a revival where five million people were genuinely converted, would that deliver the nation from the vile explosion of homosexuality? Would it rescue us from the evils of fornication (which includes people living together outside of marriage)? Do you think that the porn and prostitution trades would cease their practices? Would our state governments and Indian reservations abandon the decadent, yet lucrative business of gambling? Would Hollywood cease propagating the moral and spiritual filth it relentlessly vomits out of its studios?

My fear is that we are nearing the line of no return. Nevertheless, we must remember that all things are possible with God and the story of Nineveh is the perfect example of mercy being shown to an evil culture. The Lord decreed the judgment of Nineveh “because its wickedness has come up before me” (Jonah 1:2). After Jonah preached, the people repented, so the Lord granted mercy. If the Savior was “concerned about that great city” of 120,000 souls (Jonah 4:11), will He not be concerned about America’s millions?

There are two ways we can respond to our nation’s aggressive pursuit of evil. The first is to run away from our responsibility as Jonah did at first. This is what the majority of professing believers are doing today. The second is to follow Jonah’s example and repent. Here lies the only hope—that a deeply repentant church would become a catalyst for an authentic awakening that would transform secular society.

Tweet This: “…we seek God’s face for a national awakening and prepare the way for Him to come to us.”

The First Great Awakening in America began in the 1730’s. There were approximately 340,000 people in the country, with roughly 100,000 being alcoholics. At the end of the awakening, 50,000 people were saved. An equivalent awakening today would produce 50 million authentic conversions.

Jesus warned that prior to His second coming the world would be like it was in the days of Noah and Sodom (Luke 17:26-30). Those that gather to fight against God at Armageddon will suffer a fate similar to Sodom’s. Finally, mankind’s practice of evil will reach a depth unequaled in history. The Lord will destroy all of creation and then make a new heaven and earth “wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13).

People, cultures, and nations that cross the line in the practice of evil have something worse to fear than the destruction of their culture or of creation itself, and that’s the Great White Throne Judgment. Here the Lord will judge the people as individuals who made their own conscious choices. All who refused to own Jesus as Lord while on earth will suffer an eternity without Him in the Lake of Fire. Even the eternal fires of hell will not purge them of their love of evil. In the Lake of Fire, they will truly be unredeemable.


Glenn Meldrum has been a national evangelist since 1997. Prior to his calling as an evangelist he pastored for 15 years. He is ordained and holds an M.A. in theology and church history from Ashland Theological Seminary. Visit http://www.ihpministry.com for articles, sermons, books, and information on Glenn Meldrum and In His Presence Ministries.

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Devotional Thought for Today – 11/27/2020

Psalms 60:4 – “a banner to those who fear You” | In His Word

PSALM 60 

BANNERS


CONTEXT

In this corporate lament psalm (used for group settings), the psalmist laments a recent military defeat and prays that God will accompany His people in their next battle. He describes how he feels God has rejected them (v. 1–3), but shows confidence in God’s deliverance (v. 4–5). After God speaks (v. 6–8), the psalmist asks for His help in battle (v. 9–11). He is confident that, with God, they will be victorious (v. 12). The second half of the psalm (v. 5–12) is repeated nearly verbatim in 108:6–13.  Faithlife Study Bible


Today when one thinks of Banners we often think of big and bold signage that points someone to an event or attraction of some kind. Many are inflatable and frankly just plain ugly. 

The practice of having a Banner or Standard  is one of practicality and goes back to the times of Mosses and the Exodus, Numbers 1:52 Why these banners, standards or flags flying over the camp? Imagine if you will some 600,000 men plus women and children it is not unconceivable to think a total population in the 1.5 to 2 million range. Oh and add animals in the mix and think of the area needed to camp each night.  That would be a city on the scale of modern day Hiroshima, Japan; Brussels, Belgium; or Perth Australia. 

It would be easy to get confused if one wandered to far from home in such a large encampment so these banners were essential. Yet here in v.4 You have set up a banner for those who fear You [with awe-inspired reverence and submissive wonder—a banner to shield them from attack], A banner that may be displayed because of the truth. Selah,  we appear to have a different use of banner. 

A banner, which is a sign or instrument:

1. Of union. This people, who were lately divided and under several banners, thou hast now gathered together and united under one banner; to wit, under my {God’s}  government.

2. Of battle. Thou hast given us an army and power to oppose our enemies. We had our banner to set against theirs.

3. Of triumph. We have not lost our banner but gained theirs, and brought it away in triumph. Compare Ps 20:5.  – Matthew Poole.

o them that fear thee; who have the grace of fear put into their hearts; who fear the Lord and his goodness, and serve him with reverence and godly fear; who worship him both inwardly and outwardly, in spirit and in truth, whether among Jews or Gentiles, though the former may be chiefly intended; such as old Simeon, Anna the prophetess, and others, to whom Christ was made known; and especially the apostles of Christ, and those to whom their ministry became useful; whose business it was to display this banner, set up this ensign, and hold out this flag; as it follows:

that it may be displayed because of the truth; … because of his own truth and faithfulness in the performance of his promises made concerning the displaying of this banner; or the sending of his son into the world, and the preaching of his Gospel in it; seeRomans 15:8 ) . – John Gill 

Here David makes clear God sets His Banner before the households of the faithful. All other banners are insignificant by comparison and fall short of the glory and victory found in God’s Standard.  Today’s question is a simple one whose Banner is flying outside your door?