Devotional thought for Today – 01/18/2021

14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. Philippians 2:14-16

Philippians 2:12-18

This morning among my devotionals and bible verse reads was this gem. It got me thinking about all the grumblings or murmurings  I have done this past year. Not intentionally mind you but I am sure some of my posts related to my frustration with the current political climate in America came across as grumbling and murmurings. 

It is human nature to complain. I do not think it is biblically wrong to complain, I but I strongly believe it is biblically wrong to grumble and murmur,  v.14.

In context, Paul here v.12-18 is explaining how we as Christians ought to live. The emphasis is, look at what Christ has done for us, and you are complaining about a little difficulty in life? 

Again even applying outside the Spiritual, we can point out the issues of the world without seeming like just another angry complainer.  Of course, God through Paul does not leave us on our own, v.15  prove yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish in the midst of a [morally] crooked and [spiritually] perverted generation, among whom you are seen as bright lights [beacons shining out clearly] in the world [of darkness]. 

In other words, if you are going to open your mouth do so in such a manner that Glorifies God and edifies the body of Christ (the church).

SUNDAY SERMON SERIES – The World, the Flesh, and the Devil

Thurs Night Alive" Ephesians 2: 1-10 The Walking Dead - YouTube

Ephesians 2:1-10


COMMENTS 

There is a popular show on TV called The Walking Dead. Although I have never seen an actual episode, the commercial made it clear it is all about the aftermath of an apocalypse and zombies. 

While the bible does not specifically refer to the unsaved as “zombies” but when we really think about it that is exactly what we were. Those apart from Christ are walking about the earth with no hope, children of wrath, just waiting for the day of eternal judgment. 


SERMON

Today’s sermon comes from Voddie Bauchman, who at the time was Pastoring a church in Houston, TX but now is Dean of Theology at African Christian University in Zambia. 

Voddie Baucham: The World, the Flesh, and the Devil

To become a Christian is to be enlisted in a war, one that is fought on three main fronts. In this session, Rev. Voddie Baucham will remind us how the world, the flesh, and the devil work against the kingdom of God. He will explain why battle, struggle, and hardship should not surprise us as Christians. 

This message is from our (Ligonier) 2014 National Conference, Overcoming the World: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=...

Daily Devitonal – Before the Foundaton

Logos.com

JOHN 17


CONTEXT 

As many of you know our other ministry Faith Builders deals in foundations work quite a bit. So today’s bible verse was especially of interest to me. 

This is the last of Jesus’s prayers before he sets off for Gestenime. It is often addressed as the High Priestly Prayer.  The prayer can be broken down as  follows:

Christ begins by praying for Himself – v.1-6

Jesus prays for His followers –  v.6-19

Jesus expands His prayer to include all who will come to faith in Him – v.20-26

It is the final part v.20-26, which we will look at today, as it is most applicable to us today. 


BREAKDOWN

20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;  Jesus extends His prayer to not only those who have heard Him directly but those who will hear Him through the teachings of the Apostles and the Preaching of the Word of God. 

21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.  Christ prays for Unity of Faith,  so that those not yet saved may not be discouraged by disunity.

22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:  Glory here has been misused to be said that Christ gave diety (even a smaller version) but that is falsely interpreting the Greek here.  Christ instead is saying the strength, the honor the ability to relay the Good News Gospel Message,  the Father gave me, I have passed on to them. 

23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.  Christ and His TRUE followers are one, this gives them the advantage that the world can never have. 

24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. The doctrine of God’s Eternal Nature is clearly seen here as well as a glimpse of the doctrine of election.  God’s Grace has been extended to us from eternity past. Just when that was, can not be said the bible only refers to it in the manner above. 

25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.  Jesus makes it clear those of the “world” know not God, but He does and the Apostles (and by context those that follow) know Him, His only begotten Son.

26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. Love, John later writes in 1 John 4:8, that God is Love. It is that Agape love, unconditional Love of a Father to Son, that Jesus declares will indwell His followers setting them apart from all mankind. 


APPLICATION

Prayer is always a good thing. Prayer should not always be about asking for something for yourself or others. Sometimes it should just be about acknowledging God’s Greatness:

Acknowledge God’s Eternality 

 

Particularly in my adorations, I must acknowledge:

That he is an eternal God, immutable, without beginning of days or end of life or change of time.

You are the King of ages, immortal, invisible. 1 Timothy 1:17(ESV)

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are GodPsalm 90:2(ESV) the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8(ESV)

Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away; but you are the same, and your years have no end. Psalm 102:25-27(ESV)

You are God and do not change; therefore I am not consumedMalachi 3:6(ESV)

Are you not from everlasting, O LORD my God, my Holy One? Habakkuk 1:12(ESV) You are the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth, who does not faint or grow weary, whose understanding is unsearchable. Isaiah 40:28(ESV)

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

 

Daily Devotional – Fragrant Prayer Part III

What Does Psalm 141:2 Mean?

PSALM 141

Praying for others


CONTEXT

David was in distress when he penned this psalm, pursued, it is most likely, by Saul, that violent man. Is any distressed? Let him pray; David did so, and had the comfort of it.

      • I. He prays for God’s favourable acceptance (v. 1- 2).
      • II. For his powerful assistance (v. 3,-4).
      • III. That others might be instrumental of good to his soul, as he hoped to be to the souls of others (v. 5- 6).
      • IV. That he and his friends being now brought to the last extremity God would graciously appear for their relief and rescue (v. 7-10).

The mercy and grace of God are as necessary to us as they were to him, and therefore we should be humbly earnest for them in singing this psalm. – Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary 

In the first installment we looked at Praying for God’s favorable acceptance. Yesterday’s  topic was petitioning for His assistance, and today we will explore Praying to God for others


Breakdown

v.5 – Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.

Of all the verses of Psalms this and the following may be one of the hardest to interpret. Let the righteous smite me… David is basically saying he would prefer to be severely reprimanded, corrected, rebuked etc.  by a righteous person than be in the company of evil. So he will pray for them. 

The righteous, etc. The minister cannot be always preaching; two or three hours, may be, in a week, he spends among his people in the pulpit, holding the glass of the gospel before their faces; but the lives of professors, these preach all the week long: if they were but holy and exemplary, they would be as a repetition of the preacher’s sermon to their families and neighbours among whom they converse, and keep the sound of his doctrine continually ringing in their ears. This would give Christians an amiable advantage in doing good to their carnal neighbours by counsel and reproof, which now is seldom done, and when done it proves to little purpose, because not backed with their own exemplary walking. “It behooves him”, saith Tertullian, “that would counsel or reprove another, to guard his speech with the authority of his own conversation, lest, wanting that, what he says puts himself to the blush.” We do not love one that hath a stinking breath to come very near us; such, therefore, had need have a sweet scented life. Reproofs are a good physic, but they have an unpleasant reception; it is hard for men not to throw them back on the face of him that gives them. Now nothing is more powerful to keep a reproof from thus coming back than the holiness of the person that reproves. “Let the righteous smite me”, saith David, “it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head.” See how well it is taken from such a hand, from the authority that holiness carries with it. None but a vile wretch will smite a righteous man with reproach for smiting him with a reproof, if softly laid on, and like oil fermented, and wrought into him, as it should, with compassion and love to his soul! Thus we see how influential the power of holiness would be unto the wicked, neither would it be less upon our brethren and fellow Christians. Holy David professed he would take it as a kindness for the righteous man to smite him; yea, as kindly as if he broke a box of precious oil upon his head, which was amongst the Jews a high expression of love. –William Gurnall.

v.6 – When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my words; for they are sweet.

Most commentators agree David is speaking about those who would oppress him. At some point all our unrighteous oppressors will come to know the truth we spoke, why? Because all our words spoken in Christ are surely words; for they are sweet. That is why a true Christian never stops sharing the Good News. 

They shall hear my words; for they are sweet. This is especially true of all the words which David spake by inspiration, or the Spirit of God spake to him; articulately in his book of Psalms; concerning the Messiah, the covenant of grace, and the blessings of it; of the rich experiences of grace he had, and the several doctrines of the gospel declared by him; which were sweet, delightful, and entertaining to those who have ears to hear such things; or whose ears are opened to hear them, so as to understand them and distinguish them, but to others not. –John Gill.


APPLICATION

No one likes to be corrected, however the correction of a righteous man is but a sweat savor to God. Respond in kind with a Fragrant Prayer of your own for both those who would persecute and profit you. Also, do not neglect the thank God for the times of discipline that drew you nearer to the cross. 

Pray The Bible: Promoting, Encouraging, and Assisting God's People in Biblical Prayer

 Supplication to God for Others

We must pray for the whole world of mankind, the lost world; and thus, we must honor everyone, 1 Peter 2:17(ESV) and, according to our capacity, do good to everyone. Galatians 6:10(ESV)

I pray, as I am taught, for all people, believing that this is good and pleasing in the sight of God my Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth and of Jesus Christ, 1 Timothy 2:3-4(ESV) who gave himself as a ransom for all. 1 Timothy 2:6(ESV)

O let your way be known on earth, Psalm 67:2(ESV) that barbarous nations may be civilized, and those who live without God in the world may be brought to the service of the living God; Ephesians 2:12(ESV) and thus, let your saving power be known among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; yes, let all the peoples praise you: O let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Psalm 67:2-4(ESV)

For Support While Being Disciplined 

Though for the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, yet later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness and proves to be for my good, that I might share your holiness. Hebrews 12:10-11(ESV)

I have had reason to say that it was good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes; Psalm 119:71(ESV) for before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. Psalm 119:67(ESV)

It has been but for a little while, and when it was necessary, that I was grieved by various trials; and I beg that all the trials of my faith may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom, though I have not seen, I love; though I do not now see him, yet I believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, and am longing to receive the outcome of my faith, the salvation of my soul. 1 Peter 1:6-9(ESV)

Daily Devotional – Fragrant Prayer Part II

What Does Psalm 141:2 Mean?

PSALM 141

Praying for His powerful assistance


CONTEXT

David was in distress when he penned this psalm, pursued, it is most likely, by Saul, that violent man. Is any distressed? Let him pray; David did so, and had the comfort of it.

      • I. He prays for God’s favourable acceptance (v. 1- 2).
      • II. For his powerful assistance (v. 3,-4).
      • III. That others might be instrumental of good to his soul, as he hoped to be to the souls of others (v. 5- 6).
      • IV. That he and his friends being now brought to the last extremity God would graciously appear for their relief and rescue (v. 7-10).

The mercy and grace of God are as necessary to us as they were to him, and therefore we should be humbly earnest for them in singing this psalm. – Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary 

In the first installment we looked at Praying for God’s favorable acceptance. Today’s topic is petitioning for His assistance.


Breakdown

Today in verses 3 and 4 the psalmist pleads with God to be kept from evil.  How often in modern evangelical circles do we hear someone pray to “put a hedge of protection around them (or someone) from all evil.”  Yet David is so much wiser that that. He knows the root of evil is not found from external sources but from within man himself (See Sunday Sermon Series) and so begins…

v.3 Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.

A truly converted man understands that the mouth is both the doorway of good and evil words. What can come from a man’s mouth can either harm or build up those around them. Here David says wisely Lord guard my mouth so that only things that Glorify you an build others up proceed from it. 

One of the best commentaries on this is W. Jay’s Sermon on “The Regulation of the Tongue.” Here is the link to Spurgeon’s condensed comments

Ps 141_3 W.Jay Comments

v.4 Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.

As we noted above the heart of natural man, is the root cause of all evil. Here David begs God to guard him against that tendency which still lives in even the most pious of men, Incline not my heart to any evil thing.

To practise wicked works with men that work iniquity. The way the heart inclines the life soon tends: evil things desired bring forth wicked things practised. Unless the fountain of life is kept pure the streams of life will soon be polluted. Alas, there is great power in company: even good men are apt to be swayed by association; hence the fear that we may practise wicked works when we are with wicked workers. We must endeavour not to be with them lest we sin with them. It is bad when the heart goes the wrong way alone, worse when the life runs in the evil road alone; but it is apt to increase unto a high degree of ungodliness when the backslider runs the downward path with a whole horde of sinners around him. Our practice will be our perdition if it be evil: it is an aggravation of sin rather than an excuse for it to say that it is our custom and our habit. It is God’s practice to punish all who make a practice of iniquity. Good men are horrified at the thought of sinning as others do; the fear of it drives them to their knees. Iniquity, which, being interpreted, is a want of equity, is a thing to be shunned as we would avoid an infectious disease. And let me not eat of their dainties. If we work with them we shall soon eat with them. They will bring out their sweet morsels, and delicate dishes, in the hope of binding us to their service by the means of our palates. The trap is baited with delicious meats that we may be captured and become meat for their malice. If we would not sin with men we had better not sit with them, and if we would not share their wickedness we must not share their wantonness. – C.H. Spurgeon


APPLICATION

Righteous in prayer is necessary for it to be an acceptable Fragrant Prayer. In other words the motive and the asking must be in line with God’s will.  Today ask, no beg for God’s abundant Grace to fill you life and grant your petitions. 

Pray The Bible: Promoting, Encouraging, and Assisting God's People in Biblical Prayer

DAILY DEVOTIONAL FOR JAN 4, 2021

Commend Yourself to the Grace of God

We may then recommend ourselves to the conduct, protection, and government of the divine grace, in the further services that lie before us and in the whole course of our life.

And now, let us be enabled to go from strength to strength, until we appear before God in Zion; and while we pass through the valley of Baca, let it be made a place of springs, and let the rain of divine grace and blessing fill the pools. Psalm 84:6-7(ESV)

Now speak, Lord, for your servants hear. 1 Samuel 3:9(ESV) What does my Lord say to his servants? Joshua 5:14(ESV) Grant that we may not turn away our ear from hearing the law, for then our prayers will be an abomination; Proverbs 28:9(ESV) but may we listen to God, that he may listen to us. Judges 9:7(ESV)

And now, the LORD our God be with us, as he was with all our fathers; may he not leave us or forsake us, that he may incline our hearts to himself, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his rules. 1 Kings 8:57-58(ESV) And let our hearts be wholly true to the LORD our God all our days, 1 Kings 8:61(ESV) and continue so till the end; that then we may rest and may stand in our allotted place, and let it be a blessed place at the end of the days. Daniel 12:13(ESV)

Daily Devotional – Pray for Education and Citizens

I am working the next couple of days so y’all get the short form again. I thought I would share from my reading of Matthew Henry’s Devotional on prayer.

Unless you have been locked in a cave for the past 25 or so years, you should understand the TERRIBLE state of education in America. Form liberal ideology to lack of standards the system overall is a wreck. It is the common man the deplorables of this country that suffer from this the most. Those who love America, are deeply saddened by what they see going on but do not know how to fix her. Join me in PRAYER for both.- Mike

Pray The Bible: Promoting, Encouraging, and Assisting God's People in Biblical Prayer

DAILY DEVOTIONAL FOR DEC 29, 2020

Pray for the Educational Institutions and Common Citizens of your Nation

For all the universities, schools, and nurseries of learning.

Let the schools of the prophets be replenished with every good gift and every perfect gift from above, from the Father of lights. James 1:17(ESV)

Throw salt into these fountains and heal its waters, 2 Kings 2:21(ESV) so that from them may issue streams that shall make glad the city of our God, the holy habitation of the Most High. Psalm 46:4(ESV)

For the common people of the land.

Give grace to all the subjects of this land, that they may, under the government God has set over us, lead peaceful and quiet lives, godly and dignified in every way, 1 Timothy 2:2(ESV) dwelling together in unity, that the Lord may command a blessing upon us, even life forevermore. Psalm 133:1-3(ESV)

Let everyone of every denomination who fears God and works righteousness, be acceptable to him; Acts 10:35(ESV) yes, let such as love your salvation say continually, “Great is the LORD, who delights in the welfare of his servants.” Psalm 35:27(ESV)

Abiding in Christ in Bleak Days

 

The Masters Seminary Blog

Abiding in Christ in Bleak Days

To say that 2020 has been chaotic and disappointing would be an understatement. Both nationally and globally, unbelievable challenges and disappointments have abounded again and again … and again. And these challenges have revealed the true nature of the human heart. Despite the culture’s insistence that people are essentially good, the truth of the matter is, 2020 has revealed again what Scripture long ago taught: this is a fallen world…

READ MORE > > 

Grace to You Blog Posts

 

This World is not our Home Series

Morality Damns

The Hopelessness of Hope and Change

Don’t Love What God Hates

A Heavenly Worldview

No Place Like Home

When Eternity Is More Important

Hearts in Heaven

In the World, But Not of It Series

The Friction of Faith

The Campaign of Persecution

Inviting Persecution

The Gospel in a Hostile World

Separation, Purity, and Thanksgiving

John MacArthur on Loving One Another in the Midst of Persecution

Separation and Purity

Separation, Purity, and Christmas

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Kicking at God’s Restraints

The Pathology of a Doomed Culture

The Futility of Political Change

How to Live in a Pagan Culture

This World Is Not Our Home

The Impotence of the False Church

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 12/02/2020

John Newton quote: Although my memory's fading, I remember two things very  clearly...

Something different today, last night in a meeting my cellphone went off (I know bad boy) my ring tone is bagpipes playing Amazing Grace and that reminded me of it’s author John Newton.

Newton story is an amazing one he truly was a great sinner saved by an even Greater Savior. Here are a couple other of my favorite quotes of his: 

“But that we are so totally depraved, is a truth which no one ever truly learned by being only told it.”

“From the time we know the Lord, and are bound to him by the cords of love and gratitude — the two chief points we should have in our view, I apprehend, are, to maintain communion with him in our own souls, and to glorify him in the sight of men.”

“This is faith: a renouncing of everything we are apt to call our own and relying wholly upon the blood, righteousness and intercession of Jesus.”

Here is a link I hope you will enjoy:

“Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound …” – John Newton, William Wilberforce, & the fight to end slavery in the British Empire