Devotioinal Thought for Today – 03/15/2021

10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:10-12

ACTS 4

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.[5] 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:

      • Catholicism 
      • Protestantism 
      • 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!

Today’s Prayer

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

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 03/02/2021

Logos.com

Philippians 1

Chapter 1 includes a brief introduction (Philippians 1:1–2) followed by three key sections. First, Paul gives thanks and prayer on behalf of the Philippian Christians (Philippians 1:3–11). Second, he focuses on the expansion of the gospel (Philippians 1:12–18). Third, he emphasizes that, for the believer, to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:19–30). Along the way, Paul explains that how the Christian life is a reflection of what they set their mind on. He stresses the importance of rejoicing and joy and connects the faith to concepts such as glory.¹

Our text for today comes from the last section. Prior paul speaks about suffering for Christ. In one of the most quoted verses, v.21, Paul says For to me, to live is Christ [He is my source of joy, my reason to live] and to die is gain [for I will be with Him in eternity].  Paul seems to be saying here I have much to do for the Kingdom on earth but yearn to leave this suffering behind. 

This leads to his emphasis on our text. The keywords are “STRIVE TOGETHER.”  Interestingly these words Greek, Sunathleo, soon-ath-leh’-o, are used only by Paul and only here and Philippians 4:3Both infer living a life worthy of Christ and the Gospel but even more, the meaning invokes a  fighting spirit of togetherness for the advancement of those goals. 

What are you doing to fight the fight today?

TODAY’S PRAYER

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word of truth and the Foundation upon Whom we stand – the gospel of Christ crucified. I pray that I may keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace and conduct myself in a manner that is worthy of the gospel of Christ. I pray for all my brothers and sisters in Christ and ask that together we may stand firm in one spirit, with one mind – striving together for the faith of the gospel. I pray I will always be in remembrance of those who fight the good fight of faith praying diligently for them and for those who oppose us.  – to Your praise and glory, in Jesus name, I pray, AMEN

 Adapted from Source:

 

 

 


¹ https://www.bibleref.com/Philippians/1/Philippians-chapter-1.html

The Basics of Expository Preaching

Google Expository Preaching and you will find an exhaustive list of responses to the topic. Among them are many varying books and “helps” on the topic of what Expository Preaching is all about.  Most churches that practice “Expositional” preaching that I have been to think this means going through a book verse by verse and explaining it. But does it? Alistair Begg of https://www.truthforlife.org/ shares this easy to understand two-part study on the subject. 

 

— Here on Truth For Life, you’ve likely heard us talk about the importance of expository Bible teaching. But what exactly does that phrase mean? Why does it matter? Get the answers when you listen to Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.

 — Tragically, in many churches today, you’re more likely to hear the pastor’s opinions preached rather than God’s Word. So how do we identify solid Bible teaching? What does it mean to preach directly from Scripture? Discover the answer when you listen to Truth For Life with Alistair Begg!

Daily Devotional – I AM GOD

11 I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.
12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God. Isaiah 43:11-12

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT

Here in Chapter 43 of Isaiah we find God proclaiming Israel’s redemption v.1-7, then about Israel being witnesses to God’s redeeming salvation v.8-13.

Verse 10 sets up our text today: You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord,
“And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me
And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. Israel (like all who come to Christ) are God’s chosen witnesses to Him being the great I AM 


BREAKDOWN

11 I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour. –   Again God repeat the affirmation that He is the great I AM of Exodus 3:15; then adds as a reminder that He is the (only) source of their salvation Exodus 6:6-7 , Exodus 14:13-14 

 12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God. – 

God in past times (thing Abraham, Moses, Etc.) declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, that no other (strange) god’s help in my efforts to save Israel; 

Because of this (therefore) I call upon you to be witnesses to my greatness and glory to the ends of the earth declaring; that I am God.


APPLICATION: 

Many folks are AFRAID to share God’s word to be Witnesses for the Kingdom.  The Jesus, the Apostle Paul and Peter all  make it clear we should never be ashamed of sharing the Good News. 

As we noted yesterday Daily Devotional – A Lightthis does not mean shoving our faith down someone’s throat but being ever ready to answer questions and share the pure Gospel as opportunities present themselves. 

If you are an Evangelist you openly and continually share the Gospel, that is what you have been called by God to do.  Most of us are not called to be Evangelists, but we are all called to be a witness  (Matthew 28-18-20) for the kingdom. 

So another simple question for today; are you prepared to Witness, to answer questions and share the pure Gospel as opportunities present themselves? 


Resources:

Evangelism vs. Witnessing
The Great I AM
What did Jesus mean when He said ‘I AM’?

“What then is the spirit of liberty?”-Judge Learned Hand

“I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes.

Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it …

And what is this liberty which must lie in the hearts of men and women?

It is not the ruthless, the unbridled will; it is not freedom to do as one likes. That is the denial of liberty, and leads straight to its overthrow.” 

 

American Minute with Bill Federer

 

Judge Learned Hand “What then is the spirit of liberty?”

 

“A conservative among liberals, and a liberal among conservatives,”

he was not consistently conservative enough for Republican President Warren G. Harding and he was not consistently liberal enough for Democrat President Franklin Roosevelt.

As a result, he was passed over several times to be a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court…

READ MORE 

Daily Devotional – Firm Foundations

8 I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Psalm 16:8

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

Psalm 16 is an expression of Faith in God as put forth by David King of Israel. Like all men David was not perfect, yet He was chosen by God to be the seed by which Christ Jesus the redeemer of mankind would be born. 


BREAKDOWN: 

I have set the Lord always before me: – Note that David says always not occasionally, or when I am in trouble, or indiscriminately, but always. 

Thomas Brooks Comments on this: 

I have set the Lord always before me. David did not by fits and starts set the Lord before him; but he “always” set the Lord before him in his course; he had his eye upon the Lord, and so much the Hebrew word imports: I have equally set the Lord before me; that is the force of the original word, that is, I have set the Lord before me, at one time as well as another, without any irregular affections or passions, etc. In every place, in every condition, in every company, in every employment, and in every enjoyment, I have set the Lord equally before me; and this raised him, and this will raise any Christian, by degrees, to a very great height of holiness.

because he is at my right hand, – Two things about being at my right hand first being on the right signifies a guarded position, one most protected. Second it is the position of honor, in a Kings court the most trusted of advisors always sits to the right, here David says God is always there as his most trusted advisor and protector. 

I shall not be moved. –  David says I am grounded firmly in the precepts, the teachings, laws of God and will not be moved off of them. 

Robert Crawdray comments on this: 

Even as a column or pillar is sometimes on thy right hand, and sometimes on thy left hand, because thou dost change thy standing, sitting or walking, for it is unmovable and keepeth one place; so God is sometimes favourable and bountiful unto thee, and sometimes seemeth to be wroth and angry with thee, because thou dost fall from virtue to vice, from obedience and humility to pride and presumption; for in the Lord there is no change, no, not so much as any shadow of change. He is immutable, always one and everlasting. If thou wilt bend thyself to obedience, and to a virtuous and godly life, thou shalt ever have him a strong rock, whereupon you may boldly build a castle and tower of defence. He will be unto thee a mighty pillar, bearing up heaven and earth, whereto you may lean and not be deceived, wherein you may trust and not be disappointed. He will ever be at thy right hand, that thou shalt not fall. He will take thy part, and will mightily defend thee against all enemies of thy body and of thy soul; but if thou wilt shake hands with virtue, and bid it adieu and farewell, and, forsaking the ways of God, wilt live as thou list, and follow thy own corruption, and make no conscience of aught thou doest, defiling and blemishing thyself with all manner of sin and iniquity, then be sure the Lord will appear unto thee in his fury and indignation. From his justice and judgments none shall ever be able to deliver thee.


APPLICATION:

We have two ministries, this one FSM and FSMWO which deals primarily with Issues of Incarceration, Ex-Mates, Military/Veterans, and Right to Life issues. The Other Faith Builders Ministries we build churches and do disaster relief work wherever God calls us. 

One of the keys in any smart building project is a Good Foundation, something that can not be moved about in the slightest of storms. I live in Mid Mississippi right smack in Tornado Alley and Hurricane Corridor plus we have this stuff called Yazoo Clay. To the un-educated all that means build a poorly designed foundations and the first bad storm, the wind will tear off the roof and lift the build off the foundation. Or maybe it just rains 8 inches in a day or two with no winds so to speak and you think I am good, not so fast that bad foundation just lifted 12″ because the clay couldn’t absorb the water and now its running into your home from under your slab. 

So I hope you see the point, as David made that a firm foundation based upon the biblical teachings of God are necessary for our every day stability in life. In this life we are tossed about just as in a storm here in Mississippi, yet with a solid firm foundation in scripture we can be as Paul said in Romans more than conquerors

It is my prayer your foundation is as firm as any saint that has ever lived.  


OTHER RESOURCES:

Sunday’s Sermon Series – Crumbling Foundations 

Daily Devotional – Foundations

Christian Foundations for a New Believer

 

Wake Up America!

In my opinion as if we needed any other daily dose of reality, Tucker Carlson’s opening monologue from the other night should be a eye opening reality check for all those living in the LA-LA land if the progressive left. 

 

 

Tucker: Elected Democrats have tacitly endorsed violence in our streets

 

 

 

Sunday’s Sermon Series – Belief or Rejection

Why I Trust the Bible

1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

Why is it some folks (especially our loved ones) we know hear the Word of God and it has no effect? Paul points this out in his First letter to the church at Thessalonica 2:13, acknowledging they heard the Word and accepted it not as ordinary human but as divine. 

Here in 1st Corinthians Paul begins the dichotomy or contrast between Belief or Rejection with our text. In order to not take away from the sermon I will try and just introduce some themes for context:

CHAPTER 1

v.18 –  How the elect and the reject see the Cross at Calvary

v.19-21 – Wisdom Godly vs. Worldly

v.22-25 – No matter how foolish God’s wisdom seems, it is far wiser than man’s 

v.26-29 – God’s elect are among the most foolish and He chose us (never about us always about God)

v.30-31 – True wisdom is only found in God and only available to the believing 

CHAPTER 2

v.1-4 –Paul relies on God for wisdom in speaking (preaching) 

v.5 – Why rely on God vs. man’s wisdom 

v.6-9 – God’s wisdom is Hidden from many

v.10-13 – God’s wisdom comes from the indwelling Holy Spirit

v.14-16 – Spiritual (Believing) Man vs. Worldly (Rejection) Man  

I hope this helps in seeing the B I G picture. That is the overarching theme that man will always either act upon (Believe In) the Holy Spirit’s prompting in God’s Word or deem it foolishness (Reject it) and continue to live Worldly lives.  


SERMON:

Why We Believe While Others Reject

by John MacArthur, Sep 10, 2006 – Linked to Video, Audio and Text

 


OTHER RESOURCES:

Why should I trust the Bible? GotQuestions.Org

Is the Bible true?

Is the Bible accurate?

You Can Trust the Bible by John MacArthur

Why Trust the Bible? – by Greg Gilbert

One of the Most Overlooked Reasons Why We Should Trust the Bible  Web Page by Michael J Kruger

God-Breathed: The Undeniable Power and Reliability of Scripture, by Josh McDowell

 

Saturday’s Military Devotional – Medic for the Soul

U.S. Army Medical Corps, regimental colours (flag)

The Motto Experientia Et Progressus means; “TO CONSERVE FIGHTING STRENGTH”

Military Medical personnel (especially Army Combat Medics and Navy Corpsman Serving in Marine Units)  are often called upon to save lives in very difficult situations.

 

 

Romans 10:13 Token | Etsy

 

There is one however who can be called upon in any situation, whose medicine heals all wounds and brings life to the dead. 

 

AMP and RVR 1960

 

 


CONTEXT:

One of the honors joys of my life was and is serving as a medic first in the Army and now every opportunity I get as Chaplain/Medic for our long distance motorcycle rides. There is a great satisfaction in helping people doing something that makes a difference. 

Of course in our text we are speaking here of eternal Salvation, that of our Soul. While some scoff at the idea, it is no laughing matter. The bible makes it clear there is a Heaven and a Hell , in fact Paul reminded the church earlier in Romans 2:6-8.

Here in our text, Paul writing to the church at Rome and quotes from the Prophet Joel. This is intended to show that Christ is Lord of both Jew and Gentile Old and New Testament. 

So does this mean that all one has to do is say “Jesus Christ” and you are saved? As Paul proclaims elsewhere “God forbid” for that name is taken vainly every minute of everyday by those who have no knowledge or desire to know Jesus. 

As always we need the Whole Counsel of God and here Chapters 9-11 are best looked at as a unit. Paul asks two key questions 9:30 and 11:1, concerning Gentiles and Jews with the answer culminating in our text. To be fair one needs to read v.9-17 to get the fuller context of out text.  


BREAKDOWN:

For whosoever – Again I want to make it clear the whosoever means “everyone” but only in the sense of righteousness. That is those who do so with righteous intent. 

shall call upon –  HOLD ON,  are we not justified (Saved) by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone! Is Paul adding conditions to Salvation? Is he making it works based? Not in the least, read back to v.9-10 above, Paul says we are to confess, that is to call upon, call out to shout out to, tell all our woes and in this case evil doings to.  

the name of the Lord –  Why the Lord, whom else died for the sins of mankind?  Whom else is worthy of all glory, honor and praise? You or me or someone whose bones have long sense turned back to dust?  No only He who has risen from the dead and lives triumphantly healing all those from eternal death that…

shall be saved. – As we noted twice already only those whom the Holy Spirit has pricked the heart strings of and changed their internal attitude to change their altitude of humility will be saved. In other words, the proud, the self seekers need not apply. 


APPLICATION:

Like a Medic for the Soul the Lord Christ is listening for those to call upon Him. Those who understand that their lives are not right(eous) and are lacking that which would fulfill them need only to confess their sinful ways and pray Christ be Lord and Savior of their lives. 


Today’s Questions:

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on Calling Upon The Lord?      

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I start living it out today?


OTHER RESOURCES:

May we suggest typing in the following words in our search box in the upper right: 

“Salvation”

 

 

How Could a Sovereign, Good God Allow Suffering?

Another perspective on an age old question. 

The Master's Seminary Blog

How Could a Sovereign, Good God Allow Suffering?

by Jerod Gilcher | May 19, 2020

The sovereignty of God is a challenging truth to grasp. It is difficult to accept the reality that God has ordained and arranged every moment of our lives, including those filled with pain and suffering. When we think of the sovereignty of God, our tendency is to remove all responsibility and obligation from man, but the Bible doesn’t allow for such thinking (Rom. 9:19–20). How does this work? The Bible is clear: God does not passively allow things to happen, but instead actively ordains them for His own sovereign purposes.[1]

This is a conversation that has often brought into question the goodness of God. It raises uncomfortable questions. Yet it is helpful to ask these questions not just of each other, but of our faithful brothers and sisters throughout church history. One Puritan, in particular, can help us here. Puritan Thomas Watson looks to Romans 8:28 to help. He sees this verse as a window into the workings of God—that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28)

CONTINUED AT: SOURCE