One of many famous historical theologians we use for inspiration in our work is none other than the “Prince of Preachers,” Charles Spurgeon. Spurgeon is known for being one of the most influential ministers of his time, and furthering the spread of Christianity throughout England. This month, we’ll be examining his legacy and the role he played in contributing to reformed Christianity…
Matthew Henry breaks this Chapter down as follows: Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. (1-13) It is revealed to Daniel. (14-23) He obtains admission to the king. (24-30) The dream and the interpretation. (31-45) Honours to Daniel and his friends. (46-49). Some modern bibles have headings that are even more detailed in their division. The AMplified Bible for example has eight (8) divisions our text for today is found in the one containing v.44-45, The Divine Kingdom.
Some days seem so overwhelming and we need a pick me up. I am not referring to the kind found in a bottle or a pill, of course, I and referring to the kind found in scripture.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of listening to Pastor Mark Chanskipreach at our church, as he was visiting the area. In his sermon, he spoke of seeing pictures of glory in God’s word. I can think of no better picture than today’s text.
In the days of the final 10 kingdoms (toes in v.42), Christ will triumphantly set up His final kingdom. Not like the kingdoms before it, this one will not be based upon man’s failings and pride.
Indeed Christ’s earthly kingdom (Christianity) has been in motion since His birth and continues until this day. Yet His Final Kingdom, the one which happens with His second coming, will be no secret or quiet event, Christ’s return will be announced by the archangel and with the [blast of the] trumpet of God…
This Final Kingdom can never be destroyed, Christ’s earthly kingdom has already outlived all other earthly kingdoms and will prevail in eternity. Yet we know as Paul wrote to the church in Corinth that Christ must rule over all things.
The final thing I find in this text is the kingdom shall not be left to another people, I find this to have a two-fold meaning. First, in context, it refers to the succession of empires that had plagued the known world. Babylonian to the Medes and Persians; to the Greeks; to the Romans and so forth. Secondly, it means that upon Christ’s return His Final Kingdom is reserved for those in Christ.
As Pastor Chanski said paint a picture in your mind, look at the glory of the Second Coming of Christ and the Final Kingdom. Suddenly the care and worries of this world do not seem so troublesome when we have promises like that.
We pray that all those in Christ will find comfort in your Holy Word. That we will read and study scripture painting pictures in our minds so as to realize the abundance of your Mercy and Grace. We also pray that those who know not Christ will succumb to the urging of the Holy Spirit and repent today that they may be partakers of the Final Kingdom too. AMEN
“The names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-gatherer; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him” (Matt. 10:2-4).
We live in a qualification-conscious society. Almost everything you do requires you to meet someone else’s standards. You must qualify to purchase a home, buy a car, get a credit card, or attend college. In the job market, the most difficult jobs require people with the highest possible qualifications.
Ironically, God uses unqualified people to accomplish the world’s most important task: advancing the kingdom of God. It has always been that way: Adam and Eve plunged the human race into sin. Lot got drunk and committed incest with his own daughters. Abraham doubted God and committed adultery. Jacob deceived his father. Moses was a murderer. David was too, as well as an adulterer. Jonah got upset when God showed mercy to Nineveh. Elijah withstood 850 false priests and prophets, yet fled in terror from one woman—Jezebel. Paul murdered Christians. And the list goes on and on.
The fact is, no one is fully qualified to do God’s work. That’s why He uses unqualified people. Perhaps that truth is most clearly illustrated in the twelve disciples, who had numerous human frailties, different temperaments, different skills, and diverse backgrounds, yet Christ used them to change the world.
This month you will meet the disciples one by one. As you do, I want you to see that they were common men with a very uncommon calling. I also want you to observe the training process Jesus put them through, because it serves as a pattern for our discipleship as well.
I pray you will be challenged by their strengths and encouraged by the way God used them despite their weaknesses and failures. He will use you too as you continue yielding your life to Him.
Suggestions for Prayer
Memorize Luke 6:40. Ask God to make you more like Christ.
For Further Study
Read 2 Timothy 1:3-5, noting the weaknesses Timothy may have struggled with, and how Paul encouraged him. How might Paul’s words apply to you?
As I read this in my inbox this morning it struck me that there are two types of men described in the bible who “return to the Lord.” I will get to that more in a moment but first as always some context. Previously I have posted on Isaiah 55:8-9, in which you will find a good overview of the beginning of the chapter. Then I also posted on seeking God, Isaiah 55:6 with a detailed breakdown of that verse. So that leaves v.7:
Let the wicked forsake his way – Those guilty of sinning against God
and the unrighteous man his thoughts – wicked, idolatrous thoughts
and let him return unto the Lord – Hebrew word Shuwb, meaning to turn back, repent, restore, make afresh, renew…
and he will have mercy upon him – compassion and love on those who end their evil ways
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon; – God here is the Hebrew ‘elohiym, plural meaning the triune God
The Lord does abundantly pardon – this indicates God’s mercy, His desire to pardon nows no boundaries
I am not a Biblical Scholar (no fancy Ph.D.) so I read about a dozen commentaries this morning referencing V.7, and most agree that the wicked forsaking their ways means everyone. I disagree, and here is why.
Isaiah is writing to the nation of Israel, Jews, who knew the God of the bible.
To forsake something (sin) you need to understand your guilty of it unbelievers have no knowledge of their guilt
To repent, be restored, renewed, etc. you first had to be in covenant with someone
God’s covenant was with the Jews (and now all peoples)
God’s promise to abundantly pardon was only for those who repented and returned to the flock
Remember in the beginning I said two types of men described in the bible who “return to the Lord.” One we are all familiar with that of theProdigal Son, the wayward child who eventually comes to his senses and repents, and begs forgiveness of his father. The other is one you may not recognize, Jonah. This is the story of those called by God, who think they know better and God puts them in a place where they eventually surrender all.
What do these men and our text have in common, both knew God but thought their ways were better than God’s. It took severe hardship to turn them from their evil rebellious ways and get God’s unmerited merciful pardon and love.
Maybe you too, have been running from God’s call or something as simple as just sitting on the pew and letting the world go by. It is time to answer the Holy Spirits’ urging and repent of our own ways and get on board with God’s plan.
Lord God, your ways are made clear to us, yet we rebel and desire our own ways. We ignore the chosen path for one that seems right in our own eyes. We ignore all the helps you send our way as our hardened hearts desire self. Lord, we beg you to soften that heart, that we might repent of our rebellious ways, and renew a righteous Spirit in all areas of our lives. I ask that we seek your guidance and will daily, for we know that our ways are never better. All this we pray in Christ’s Name. AMEN
I woke up this morning and MHM of Prayer below was in my inbox. It led to this devotional, this one verse, in my opinion, is sufficient evidence to refute anyone who says we do not need the Old Testament. Here the Lord Himself says those Scriptures directly point the way to Him, and that is reason enough to study them.
In chapters 1-4 of John’s Gospel Jesus was sort of low key avoiding any public display or controversy. Here however He starts off v.1-17 with a bang (Miracle) by healing an invalid near the Bethesda pool, on the Sabbath.
If that was not enough to upset the apple cart (ruling class Jews), when they challenge Jesus under what authority He has to heal someone on the Sabbath His response is even more controversial. Instead of a simple answer, Jesus says all His authority has been given to Him by God the Father and He is equal with God the Father v.18-24.
Jesus then lays out four (4) reasons why HE has this authority, v.25-32 the coming resurrection, v.33-35, the testimony of John the Baptist, v.36, the testimony of His works, v.37-38, the testimony of the Father, and finally v.39-47, the testimony of Scripture.
Look at v.38, Jesus says to the local religious leaders, you have God’s word in front of you but not in you. He then goes on to our text for today, [h]You search and keep on searching and examining the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and yet it is those [very Scriptures] that testify about Me; (AMP).
It may sound funny but all I kept thinking or hearing in my head was that old country song Looking for love in all the wrong places. Just like the fool who can’t find his true love because he won’t look in the right place, these religious leaders search scripture looking for a King and Leader but not the Messiah before them.
In Jesus’ day, there was more “proof” of His deity than we have today in the sense that Jesus was physically there performing miracles and still He was denied and crucified. That is the problem, then and today as folks want individual proof, just because 2+2=4 does not mean I have to believe it, you have to prove it to me personally.
NO! God does not have to prove anything. He owes us nothing and we owe him everything. It’s abDevotional Thought for Today – 04/29/2021out Jesus, not us. We need to read the scripture from that point of view, we need to worship in church with that mindset, and not the want can I get out of it. Focus on Christ and the Holy Spirit will handle the rest.
Praying through John 5:39 Heavenly Father, thank You for the inspired scriptures, which point us to Christ. May we read them with understanding and be guided into all truth by Your Holy Spirit. Keep me from seeking to add to Your finished work of Calvary, through my own works of the flesh.. knowing that eternal life is only to be found by faith in Christ alone and that I am only accepted by You because I am ‘in Christ,’ and not because of anything that I could do. Praise His holy name and draw me closer to Jesus day by day – in Whose name I pray, AMEN.
For the writing of the Scriptures and the preserving of them pure and entire to this day.
We thank you that we have the Scriptures to search, and that in them we have eternal life, for it is they that bear witness about Christ; John 5:39(ESV) and that all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16(ESV)
That whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope; Romans 15:4(ESV) and that we have this sure prophetic word, as a lamp shining in a dark place. 2 Peter 1:19(ESV)
That the vision has not become to us like the words of a book that is sealed, Isaiah 29:11(ESV) but that we hear in our own tongue the mighty works of God. Acts 2:11(ESV)
We thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that the things which you have hidden from the wise and understanding and which many prophets and kings desired to see but did not, 1 Peter 1:10(ESV) are revealed to us little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. Luke 10:21(ESV)
Some context is (as always) need here to grasp the full meaning of this verse. First is the book itself being a pronouncement of God’s judgment over the whole earth. Of course in typical Biblical fashion Judah, Israel, and the surrounding nations are used as examples.
Here in Chapter three v.1-7, should be pretty obvious even to the non-biblical or casual reader, Woe (judgment is coming) to her who is… this is all about rebuking the nation of Israel (and any such nation today) for her ongoing sin. In v.8, we see God has decided to gather all the nations, so He can purposely pour out His wrath, even all my fierce anger… upon them.
But that is so cruel, and not like a “loving God?” I have heard that so many times, like it, is all upon God’s to do things and man has NO RESPONSIBILITY in this at all. Folks, God gave up far more than we ever could or would. He is the sovereign creator of the universe and as such His righteous judgment reigns.
This brings us to our text for today, having revealed the judgment the nations deserve God also reveals HOPE! Here is how:
Everyone will speak the same – I am not going to argue here whether this is all one language or not as some declare. What is apparent from the text and original Hebrew is that everyone will be speaking in the same manner, which is with a Godly reverence in Spirit and truth.
Everyone will call upon the Lord in one accord – All will be worshiping the Lord without the distractions of denominations differences, political, regional, or other boundaries.
Everyone will serve the Lord in one accord – The Puritan Catechism and others declare the Chief end of man to be Man’s chief end are to glorify God (1 Cor. 10:31) and to enjoy Him forever (Ps. 73:25-26). In Revelation 22:3, we find that in eternity man will do much the same glorify God (Worship) and enjoy (serve) Him forever.
Zephaniah is for certain a prophetic book, but this verse can be applied to God’s people today. There is no reason we can not and should not all “Speak” the same language in Spirit and Truth. Put aside our petty denominational (I am not suggesting we fellowship with cults and obvious violators of God’s Word) differences and Call Upon the Lord, especially in prayer for the nation. Finally, we can and should all ensure Man’s chief end are to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.
It has been a while so here it is, CONTEXT, Colossians 1:24–29 is a sort of summarization of Paul’s ministry work. He says he, rejoices in suffering for them, He is a minister by God’s appointment, called to preach the mystery of the Gospel to the Gentiles, warning everyone with wisdom in order that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus, often doing so to the pint of exhaustion but depending solely upon the power of God to accomplish all.
Oh that men would stand in the pulpit today and preach like Paul, Christ Alone through Grace Alone. We need not facing surroundings bright lights, loud music to get the “right experience” we need the WORD OF GOD preached in an uncompromising manner.
What makes false teachers dangerous? It is the fact that they turn people away from Christ Jesus. In this sermon from Colossians 1:28, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones warned us on the dangers of false teachers and the need for the true Gospel. There were those in the early Church who taught dangerous things, such as the need for other beings to stand as mediators between men and God. But the apostle Paul denounces them and proclaims the truth that Christ alone can save from sin. The Gospel is found in Christ’s ability to save sinners, and He is able to save to the fullest. Those who have trusted in Jesus do not need any other Savior, nor do they need another priest to lead them to God. What is the Gospel message that false teachers deny? It is the message that all men are fallen and in sin. Because of this, they are under the judgment of God. But Christ died for sinners in order that all who believe in Him are saved from the righteous judgment of God. There is no other message of salvation; Jesus is the only way to God. Do you believe this message of salvation in Jesus Christ? As Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains, there is no more important message than the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
There’s a section in John Calvin’s two-volume edition of his Institutes of the Christian Religion called “John Calvin to the Reader.” In just four short pages, Calvin provides many insights and takeaways on success. Here are five of those takeaways. 1. We should not presume
Matthew Henry’s Commentary reads: David seems to have been in a great strait when he penned this psalm, and, upon some account or other, very uneasy; for it is with some difficulty that he conquers his passion, and composes his spirit himself to take that good counsel which he had given to others (Ps. 37) to rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him, without fretting; for it is easier to give the good advice than to give a good example of quietness under affliction. What was the particular trouble which gave occasion for the conflict David was now in does not appear. Perhaps it was the death of some dear friend or relation that was the trial of his patience, and that suggested to him these meditations of morality; and at the same time, it should seem too, he himself was weak and ill, and under some prevailing distemper. His enemies likewise were seeking advantages against him, and watched for his halting, that they might have something to reproach him for. Thus aggrieved,
I. He relates the struggle that was in his breast between grace and corruption, between passion and patience (v. 1-3).
II. He meditates upon the doctrine of man’s frailty and mortality and prays to God to instruct him in it (v. 4-6).
III. He applies to God for the pardon of his sins, the removal of his afflictions, and the lengthening out of his life till he was ready for death (v. 7-13).
I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it. This had been far clearer if it had been rendered, “I am silenced, I will not open my mouth.” Here we have a nobler silence, purged of all sullenness, and sweetened with submission. Nature failed to muzzle the mouth, but grace achieved the work in the worthiest manner. How like in appearance may two very different things appear! silence is ever silence, but it may be sinful in one case and saintly in another. What a reason for hushing every murmuring thought is the reflection, “because thou didst it.”! It is his right to do as he wills, and he always wills to do that which is wisest and kindest; why should I then arraign his dealings? Nay, if it be indeed the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good.
I often wonder at how my mind works. I was reading some of the daily devotionals that come in my email this morning, Romans 10:9-10, and that got me thinking about how sometimes even true believers feel like they have been abandoned by God. Maybe it is because of the devotional series on Comfort for the Grieving, Hurting, and Dying that I have been writing?
This Psalm exemplifies that struggle (at least to me) knowing in our heart that God is sovereign, controlling all for our good, yet our minds saying He has forsaken us. The following from Thomas Brooks is a classic on the subject. I pray it edifies you greatly.
“Mute Christian under the Smarting Rod” or, “The Silent Soul with Sovereign Antidotes”
Objection 8. Oh! But God has deserted me! He has forsaken me! He who should comfort my soul—stands afar off! How can I be silent? The Lord has hid his face away from me; clouds are gathered around me; God has turned his back upon me! How can I be silent?
Supposing that the desertion is real, and not in appearance only, as sometimes it falls out—I answer…
Like all the wisdom books; Ecclesiastes, Job, Psalms, and, Song of Songs, the end goal of the Book of Proverbs is to demonstrate God knows best. His course of action(s) is always far superior to men.
Proverbs however goes about it a little differently, Job for example shows us wisdom based on the experience of suffering and injustice, while Ecclesiastes represents wisdom based on observation and experience. Proverbs gives us short simple comparisons or contrasts usually between good and evil.
Our text for today, v.3, is a little different, it is a clear and definitive statement regarding the Sovereignty of God.
God sees,eyes of the Lord, therefore, knows everything – omniscient – Hebrews 4:13
God stands guard over all creation, keeping watch on the evil and the good – Omnipotent – Jeremiah 23:24
Man can try an fool himself into thinking he knows best, but it is nothing more than lying to ones self. God and God alone is the true judge of “good and evil” He has set forth His moral law and all those who refuse to follow it, (Think Abortion, LBGTQ, Evolution, Etc.) will one day answer to Him.
The “Good News” is that all who repent and have Christ as Lord of their lives reap the reward of eternal life in the kingdom glory.
Lord, help me to walk in Your light, understanding that most of mankind will refuse Your grace and mercy. Help me to always show them that self same grace and mercy. Help me to trust in Your Sovereignty, and no my ways, knowing Yours are always better. I pray for wisdom and knowledge to be a warrior for Your Kingdom and its glory. – Amen