Devotional Thought for Today – 02/22/2021

Christian, let God’s distinguishing love to you be a motive to you to fear Him greatly. He has put His fear in your heart, and may not have given that blessing to your neighbor, perhaps not to your husband, your wife, your child, or your parent. Oh, what an obligation should this thought lay upon your heart to greatly fear the Lord! Remember also that this fear of the Lord is His treasure, a choice jewel, given only to favorites, and to those who are greatly beloved. —John Bunyan

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love 1 John 4:18

1 John 4

Some of you who have followed my posts for a while may remember me saying the 1 John is my favorite book of the bible.  That is because of 1 John 1:3-4 One of the key verses (at least for me) in understanding fellowship with God and other believers. You can read a little about it in Part V of my series called Biblical Contentment.

Today, however, John is speaking on one main theme with two applications. The theme is LOVE, and he says to apply it by testing all the spirits v.1-6, that is be sure of all who claim to speak in Christ’s name for they may act all-loving and such but can be the devil in lamb’s clothing. Secondly, v.7-21, God is Love so we are to Love as God loves us.

Our text found towards the end of this part in the meat of the application v.11-19,  Beloved if God so loved us…because he first loved us. John in v.17 mentions that this Love is made perfect in us through the union with Christ. That this union makes our eternal status secure. 

Thus our text, There is no fear in love; a perfect union with Christ leaves no room for fear of our eternal state because but perfect love casteth out fear: Why because fear hath torment yet a TRUE BELIEVER has been fully and completely forgiven of their sins, and has nothing to fear. It is only the fake, the lukewarm, the Laodicean who wants to live in both worlds that have to fear because He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 

Is your relationship with God complete, or maybe better put mature today? Do you still have doubts or fears about your eternal state? We can daily FEAR GOD, that is as Bunyan said,  fear of the Lord is His treasure be in awe of His majesty, to have reverence for His mercy and thankfulness for His Grace. All the while not Fearing God’s judgment or wrath. 

TODAY’S PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I pray that I would let the words of truth found in 1 John 4:18 settle in my heart. There are times in my life when I am very fearful. I know that when I am fearing things in life, I am not exhibiting trust in You. I pray that You would surround me in Your perfect love, where fear has no room and must be forced out of my mind and spirit. As I ponder Your love, I pray that I would experience the peace the passes understanding, whatever situation of life I am in help me to seek you first. And as I come to a deeper realization of the depth of Your amazing love for me, may I be used by You to love as I am loved. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Adapted from:  https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/1-John/4/18

 


“What is the eternal state of the believer?”

“How can I know for sure that I will go to heaven when I die?”

Sunday Sermon Series – You are the Temple

Second Corinthians 6:16


Context

If you have read any of my posts you know my obsession with the context of scripture, so here is the link to the full chapter of our text; 2 Corinthians 6.

Chapter 5 of 2nd Corinthians is all about the Eternal versus the Temporal. It is a great lead in to the message(s) of Chapter 6:

v.1-10 Faithful workers of Gospel Ministry

v.11-18 Urging no fellowship with idolaters and unbelievers.

Our text focus can be taken from v.15-17 where Paul is basically saying;

V.15 – If God can have no concord, that is meaningful fellowship or partnership, with Belial, that is anything with no Godly intent (evil); what gives us the right to associate with persons of that character?

 V.16 – I will leave for the sermon but note Paul’s opening phrase, And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?  Ask yourself what are my idols; money, booze, material things, work, what is it that keeps you from being as Holy as God intended? 

v.17 – Wherefore come out from among them Paul make it plain and simple, whatever you are involved with that entails Spiritual Partnership or Fellowship with unbelievers you need to flee from it immediately. This is not a prohibition against being around unbelievers (as some legalist would have you think). Rather is a prohibition from you sinning and being involved with those who sin.

Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible

2 Corinthians 6:17

If we are entangled in the love of the world, or fast bound and fettered with worldly anxieties, and the spirit of the world is rife in our bosom, all our profession will be vapid, if not worthless. We may use the language of prayer, but the heart is not in earnest; we may still manage to hold our head high in a profession of the truth, but its power and blessedness are neither known nor felt.

To enjoy any measure of communion with the Lord, whether on the cross or on the throne, we must go forth from a world which is at enmity against him. We must also go forth out of SELF, for to deny it, renounce it, and go forth out of it lies at the very foundation of vital godliness. There must be “a mortifying, through the Spirit, of the deeds of the body;” a being “always delivered unto death for Jesus” sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh;” and unless there is a going forth out of self by this self-crucifixion, there is no walking in hand with Christ, no manifest union, no heavenly communion with him; for there can no more be a partnership between Christ, the soul, and self than there can be a partnership between Christ, the soul, and sin.

One more quick comment then today’s sermon. This applies equally to the church. The church is supposed to be the Body of Christ, the Holy of Holies, a place where folks go and know God is Glorified. Yet more and more today it is becoming hard to see the difference between society and churches. 😥

A good friend Pastor Gary Burd of Mission M25 Ministries posted the other day a devotional on Acts 11, wrote:

we are praying through Acts, noticing how the early church responded, there were no gimmicks, promises, neat advertising to motivate people to give. 

I responded:

So sad how modern churches have become SO worldly to attract numbers. 

He answered:

Yes, it is driven – too- far – when I was a kid, the numbers meant nothing, translated they were not as evangelistic. Today we are all about the numbers to the point that we water the Gospel down, use gimmicks and promises to some simple prayer, and think we are growing – really sad

I pray you are a member of a church that preaches and teaches only the Genuine Gospel without compromise. 


SERMON

2 Corinthians 6:16 – Christians, Temples of the Living God, by George Whitefield

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 11/05/2020

One Thing (Psalm 27:4-6) - YouTube

PSALM 27

I do not thing God wants us to settle for “one thing” in our lives spiritually. I believe He expects us to reach a goal and then set a new one continually maturing and growing.  Yet the point of David’s prayer here in these verses is that his undivided focus will be on achieving the goal of, dwell[ing] in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, for it is  the very foundation of his faith.  David is not and neither should we be settling for one thing but focusing on on the one thing that matters most, God.

The Psalm as a whole can be broken down into 4 parts;

The poet first sounds forth his sure confidence in his God, Ps 27:1-3, and his love of communion with him, Ps 27:4-6. He then betakes himself to prayer, Ps 27:7-12, and concludes with an acknowledgment of the sustaining power of faith in his own case, and an exhortation to others to follow his example. Charles H. Spurgeon’s Treasury of David

I offer a few of the comments from Spurgeon’s Commentary for your edification: 

v.1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? Alice Driver, martyr, at her examination, put all the doctors to silence, so that they had not a word to say, but one looked upon another; then she said, “Have you no more to say? God be honoured, you be not able to resist the Spirit of God, in me, a poor woman. I was an honest poor man’s daughter, never brought up at the University as you have seen; but I have driven the plough many a time before my father, I thank God; yet, notwithstanding, in the defence of God’s truth, and in the cause of my Master, Christ, by his grace I will set my foot against the foot of any of you all, in the maintenance and defence of the same; and if I had a thousand lives they should go for the payment thereof.” So the Chancellor condemned her, and she returned to the prison joyful. Charles Bradbury.

v.4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, etc. Seeing David would make but one request to God, why would he not make a greater? for, alas! what a poor request is this–to desire todwell in God’s house? and what to do? but only to see? and to see what? but only a beauty, a fading thing, at most but toenquire; and what is enquiring? but only to hear news; a vain fancy. And what cause in any of these why David should make it his request to God? But mark, O my soul, what goes with it! Take altogether —to behold the beauty of the Lord and to enquire in histemple. And now tell me, if there be, if there can be, any greater request to be made? any greater cause to be earnest about it? For though worldly beauty be a fading thing, yet “the beauty of theLord, “shall continue when the world shall fade away; and though enquiring after news be a vain fancy, yet to enquire in God’sTemple is the way to learn there is no new thing under the sun, and there it was that Solomon learned that “all is vanity.” Indeed, this “one thing, “that David desires, is in effect that unumnecessarium that Christ speaks of in the gospel; which Mary makes choice of there, as David doth here. Sir Richard Baker.

The house of the Lord. It (the tabernacle, the sanctuary), is called the house of God because he is present there, as a man delights to be present in his house. It is the place where God will be met withal. As a man will be found in his house, and there he will have suitors come to him, where he reveals his secrets. A man rests, he lies, and lodgeth in his house. Where is a man so familiar as in his house? and what other place hath he such care to protect and provide for as his house? and he lays up his treasures and his jewels in his house. So God lays up all the treasures of grace and comfort in the visible church. In the church he is to be spoken with as a man in his house. There he gives us sweet meetings; there are mutual, spiritual kisses. “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth.” So 1:2. A man’s house is his castle, as we say, that he will protect and provide for. God will be sure to protect and provide for his church. Therefore he calls the church of God, that is, the tabernacle (that was the church at that time), the house of God. If we apply it to our times, that answers the tabernacle now is particular visible churches under particular pastors, where the means of salvation are set up. Particular visible churches now are God’s tabernacle. The church of the Jews was a national church. There was but one church, but one place, and one tabernacle; but now God hath erected particular tabernacles. Every particular church and congregation under one pastor, their meeting is the church of God, a several church independent. Richard Sibbes.

I pray today you have that focus fellowship with God that David so enjoyed.

Daily Devotional – Christian Walk

7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 1 John 1:7

AMP and RVR 1960

 


CONTEXT:

1 John begins with the confirmation (nothing new here) that Man is supposed to have communion (fellowship) with God and like minded believers (v.1-4).

John then goes on to explain v.5-6 how God is light (Holy and unblemished) and we are to walk in that light. In fact verse 6 makes it clear we MUST walk in the light to have fellowship with God.

 


BREAKDOWN:

But if we walk in the light, – Note the “if” not all “christians” walk in the light. They are believers in name only. 

as he is in the light, – If the light of Christ that is the Fruit of the Spirit is not shining through you are not walking in the light.

we have fellowship one with another, – The only way to have fellowship with one another is to be in the light. 

and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. The only way to be in the light is to be truly and FULLY redeemed by the Blood of Christ.

 


APPLICATION:

Listen, you cannot walk with God or fellowship with like minded believers if you do not know God. Think about it a minute; we are to be intimate with God, telling Him our most guarded secrets and our deepest desires. Would you do that to another human whom you knew nothing about, a stranger? 

If we call ourselves born again, believer, Christian, child of God whatever label you prefer you must get to know your Father in heaven to Walk in His Light.

I offer the following link for your edification:

Online books on the Attributes of God 

Take time today to get to intimately know God and enjoy true fellowship and joy with the Triune God and fellow believers. 

 

 

 

Daily Devotional – Above All

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

Do you want a maserati, God can provide. A new house God can provide. Better health God can provide.  Okay before y’all think I have gone over to the dark side of Name it and Claim it theology let me explain. 

Starting way back in verse 14 For this reason [grasping the greatness of this plan by which Jews and Gentiles are joined together in Christ] I bow my knees [in reverence] before the Father [of our Lord Jesus Christ], Paul begins this prayer that concludes with our text. The theme of which is no matter how boldly Hebrews 4:16 we petitions God, He is more than capable of answering all our requests. 


BREAKDOWN:

v.20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, – Paul is clear, above all elseGod is capable of more than we can even imagine. Does God always answer YES! The answer however may not be YES. Sometimes God says no, sometimes He remains aloof teaching us patience and wanting to make us more dependent upon Him (the Holy Spirit indwelling every true believer). 

Note the type of things “Christians” should be asking God for v.16 to be strengthened and spiritually energized with power through His Spirit, no cars, houses or health there. Do not get me wrong if you need transportation, housing are ill pray for those needs humbly. But if you have a house why pray for a mansion when we are to be good stewards of all God provides?

v. 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.  Verse 20-21 are a short DoxologyGlory is given to God for all His perfect attributes. These are to be celebrated in the church with Christ as the head. Not for a short period of time but forever. Christ was, is and will always be the Groom and the Church His Bride Ephesians 5:22-25, consecrated to Glorify God. 


APPLICATION:

Above all else I think there are two main takeaways from today’s devotional: 

We can boldly but humbly petition God for our needs in His will

Christians are meant to fellowship and Glorify God together in the Church

Are you a lone wolf not attending church? Are your petitions and supplications aligned with the will of God? Remember to pray daily as Paul, to be strengthened and spiritually energized with power through His Spirit.

 

Living the New Life in Christ

32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

CONTEXT: 

In this 4th chapter of his Epistle to the church at Ephesus, Paul begins v.1-16 with an exhortation to Christian Unity. In v.17-24 we find his opening of today’s theme Living the New Life in Christ where Paul emphasizes putting away the old life and adopting the new life wrapped in the likeness of God. 

In order to get to pour main text above I need to again put it in context of the whole with which it was written v.25-32:

25 Therefore, putting away lying, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor,[j] because we are members of one another. 26 Be angry and do not sin.[k] Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and don’t give the devil an opportunity.28 Let the thief no longer steal. Instead, he is to do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need29 No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need,[l]so that it gives grace to those who hear.30 And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by him[m] for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice. 32 And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you[n] in Christ (CSB)

Efesios 4:25-32 Reina-Valera 1960 (RVR1960)

If we just take v.32 it sounds goo, in fact I am sure many of us have heard if said by non-believers accusingly something like; ‘I thought you Christians were supposed to be king and caring full of forgiveness.’  

So how is it “we Christians” can answer those accusations? Paul tells us in the text: 

Always speak the truth to our neighbors.

If you get angry (natural for all men) do not let it cause you to sin.

Do not give the devil a toe hold in your life. If you are angry at someone deal with it Matthew 18:15 (note while this addresses Christian brothers it is applicable to all)

Work hard and share with those in need. Haters will always be out there, but it is hard to argue with hard work and caring. (Matthew 25:40)

We (God’s Chosen Elect) Christians are indwelled by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9) the Third person of the Triune Godhead. As such He cannot abide with sin Psalm 5:4 says For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil cannot dwell with you. By putting away sin that is making every effort not to sin and when we do to quickly confess our sins, we avoid Grieving the Holy Spirit 

Finally whatever comes out of our mouths must be Graceful to the hearers. You do not want folks hearing you trash talk others, curse and carry on. In all our speech Glorify God.

APPLICATION

We cannot on our own do any of this. That is (in my opinion) why Paul reminds the Church at Ephesus to Unify in fellowship and as individuals to put on the new life in Christ. Our strength to defeat our old ways and the devils temptations comes not from self but from God and fellowship with like minded brethren.

Daily Devotional – God is Faithful

Image result for God is Faithful

I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. 14 It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; 15 and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.” Genesis 9:13-17 (NKJV) 
Mi arco he puesto en las nubes, el cual será por señal del pacto entre mí y la tierra. 14 Y sucederá que cuando haga venir nubes sobre la tierra, se dejará ver entonces mi arco en las nubes. 15 Y me acordaré del pacto mío, que hay entre mí y vosotros y todo ser viviente de toda carne; y no habrá más diluvio de aguas para destruir toda carne. 16 Estará el arco en las nubes, y lo veré, y me acordaré del pacto perpetuo entre Dios y todo ser viviente, con toda carne que hay sobre la tierra. 17 Dijo, pues, Dios a Noé: Esta es la señal del pacto que he establecido entre mí y toda carne que está sobre la tierra. (RVR 1960)

The rainbow is GOD’S symbol though many have tried to appropriate it as their own, God, as the above verse shows, has the copyright as it were to it. It is God’s promise to mankind never to destroy him (even though we deserve it) for our sinful actions and disobedience against God. It is a symbol of God’s faithfulness.

Today I would like to list and briefly comment on some other verses that tell of God’s faithfulness.

1 Cor 1:9 (KJV) God is faithful [He is reliable, trustworthy and ever true to His promise—He can be depended on], and through Him you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Note here the implication is that God is faithful to persevere the saints that is those who are blessed to be called into fellowship 1 John 1:3 with Christ. 

Deuteronomy 7:9 – Therefore know [without any doubt] and understand that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who is keeping His covenant and His [steadfast] lovingkindness to a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;  There is a condition for God’s faithfulness, before anyone freaks out and thinks I have gone heretical, let me finish; that condition is our own faithfulness. He is God, the faithful God, who is keeping His covenant…with those who love Him and keep His commandments. I do not care what language you read this in but I encourage you to get a Hebrew Lexicon and a English bible and compare side by side, it is clearly saying God is faithful to those who are faithful in loving Him and keeping His commandments. Here is the catch though, as Dr. Gill in his commentary points out “which are not the causes or conditions of his covenant and mercy, nor of his keeping them, but descriptive of the persons that enjoy the benefit thereof.”

Joshua 1:8 – This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall read [and meditate on] it day and night, so that you may be careful to do [everything] in accordance with all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will be [a]successful.  This is one of my favorite scriptures, I once preached it at a very conservative church. I opened with “God wants everyone to be successful and I can prove it in Scripture”. They thought I had joined the name it and claim it crowd. But I quoted this text and demonstrated that God is faithful to us, in that spiritual success comes to those who diligently study, apply and keep God’s commandments on a daily basis. No small task, which is why success is so elusive.

Psalm 36:5 – Your lovingkindness and graciousness, O Lord, extend to the skies, Your faithfulness [reaches] to the clouds. I remember as a kid laying on my back looking up at the sky and pretending I could touch the clouds, (Little did I know then I would one day jump {skydive} through one) they seemed unreachable. Yet God’s love, grace and faithfulness knows no boundaries. 

Psalm 119:90 – Your faithfulness continues from generation to generation;
You have established the earth, and it stands [securely].  I think we have all heard the so called “climate” expert doomsayers pontificating their wares to anyone in the media that will listen. Yet the bible makes it clear God created all, He is sovereign over all and faithfully secures all until He determines differently. 

Proverbs 20:6 – Many a man proclaims his own loyalty and goodness,
But who can find a faithful and trustworthy man?
  I live in Jackson, MS the local starting wage for most jobs is 8.00/hr (Fast foods etc.) for kids in HS. WalMart is having such a hard time finding faithful and trustworthy employees that they are starting HS students as cashiers part time at 11.00/hr. We can always count on God but our fellow man (even our “Christian” friends) should never be put on the same pedestal. Yet all should strive for the title A faithful and trustworthy man!

2 Timothy 2:13 – If we are faithless, He remains faithful [true to His word and His righteous character], for He cannot deny Himself. How many of you know a perfect Christian one that never has a harsh word, never complains, is always helpful. If you answered I do, there is a problem, for only Christ was perfect and we are flawed at times faithless but God remains faithful no matter our faults. 

1 John 1:9 – If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose].  Well speaking of our faults (sins), is it not again amazing that God is so willing to forgive and forget those sins forgive our sins and cleanse us continually. All we have to do is sincerely repent [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins to Him. 

Well I could go on for there are many more but I think you get the drift. We serve a faithful God who expects our faithfulness (obedience) in return but understands we are sinners saved by Grace and will need to repent of our sins regularly. 

 

 

 

 

PURITAN QUOTE(S) FOR TODAY – 23 April

UNION WITH CHRIST

I in them – John 17:26

Abide in me and I in you – John 15:4

Take away union and there can be no communion. – John Flavel

Adam’s sin profits none but those that are in him, and Christ’s blood profits none but those that are in him. – John Flavel

Union with Christ entitles us to all that is his. – Elisha Coles

Taken from: The Puritans Day by Day © The Banner of Truth Trust 2016

See our Faithful Steward Ministry Facebook page and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’s excellent, “Walking with God”, daily devotional. Today’s topic: THE CROSS AND PEACE

PURITAN QUOTE(S) FOR TODAY – 06 & 07 April

APPEARANCES MAY DECEIVE

Man looketh on the outward appearance – 1 Samuel 16:7

Judge not according to the appearance – John 7:24

A man may wear Christ’s livery {special uniform worn by a servant or official} and do the devil’s drudgery {work}. – George Swinnock

Heralds account the plainest coats the most ancient, better than those of the   later edition, which are so full of filling that they are empty of honor. – Thomas Watson

 COMMUNION

Enoch walked with God – Genesis 5:22

Noah walked with God – Genesis 6:9

Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you – James 4:8

       Next to communion with God is communion with saints {fellow believers}. – John Favel

God breaks not with us until we break with him. – Stephen Charnock

Taken from: The Puritans Day by Day © The Banner of Truth Trust 2016

Check out our Faithful Steward Ministry Facebook page and

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones excellent “Walking with God” daily devotional

wisdom-frrom-the-psalms

Psalms 23:5
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anoitest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Some people never find satisfaction in the things they do have, but spend their entire lives wishing for things they don’t have. They are never happy with where their lives are going, they feel empty in their relationships, and therefore they find it impossible to give thanks for the many blessings they have been given.

As Christians, we are people of praise. Every prayer we offer unto God should acknowledge the many wonderful things that He has done for us. Only a blind person can deny the beauty and splendor of this world. God gives good things to His children, and we should be thankful for all that we have.

Prayer: Lord, I cannot believe how much I have been given. Help open my eyes to the many blessings that have been bestowed upon me. Make me thankful, Lord. Amen.

As found on crosswalk.com