Daily Devotional – Ways to Heaven

There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death

(Proverbs 16:25)

I hear it far to often, all “religions” are the same they all lead to heaven.  Yet the bible is very clear man’s “way to heaven” is but foolishness for natural man, that is those unrepentant and unconverted by the blood of Christ can not see the kingdom of Heaven.  

 

14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

In this his first letter to the church at Corinth, the Apostle Paul, here in Chapter 2  writes about his need for and dependence upon the Holy Spirit.  Paul knew that Christ had left the Holy Spirit for some very specific promises and roles (See series beginning here ) that included Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, and Strengthener. 

Here it is made very clear that true believers are to rely upon the Holy Spirits’ guidance while the unbeliever can not phantom the  truths that He brings. 


BREAKDOWN:

But the natural man – The unbelieving unconverted unregenerate man. 

receiveth not – will not accept, thinks them lies, 

the things of the Spirit of God:  – the teachings and wisdom of the Holy Spirit

for they are foolishness unto him: – the Holy Spirits’ wisdom is but gibberish to natural man making no sense at all to him who remains in sin

neither can he know them, – Only the born again, sanctified in the Blood of Christ can accept and understand things of God 

because they are spiritually discerned. – A  worldly man can not judge Spiritual matters he has no knowledge of such things


APPLICATION:

First to my Christians friends; every time I hear someone say ‘I do not understand how someone could do such a thing’ I want to shout “READ THE BOOK!” Our text makes it clear those who are apart from Christ are going to live in darkness because they do not want to live in the light Isaiah 9:2, John 3:19.  Our job is not to condemn, point out the error of their ways with Grace yes, but pray for conversion, pray for the Holy Spirit to act upon their harden hearts. After all we we want them in Heaven Glorifying God forever too!

To the unbeliever; The phraseknowledge is power is often attributed to Francis Bacon, from his Meditationes Sacrae (1597). It was a favorite quote of Thomas Jefferson used at least 4 times.  One question that everyman asks in some form or another is ‘this all there is’ or ‘where will I spend eternity.’

There are many books claiming to have answers but only one has been published more than any other.  If I was an unbeliever and I knew that the most widely published book in the history of man was available for free to read I would be wondering what all the fuss was about. Then knowing that I was incapable of understanding it on my own accord (see our main Text) I would ask the Holy Spirt to enlighten me with the truth. Unless of course the truth is unimportant to you?  

 

Devotional Thought for Today

Isaiah 40:31 - KJV - Bible verse of the day - DailyVerses.net

AMP and RVR 1960

A while back in our Daily devotional series we published this same verse seen here Waiting. The theme then and now was They that wait upon the Lord… are His chosen who would seek His guidance and will in all things. 

BUT! those that Wait cannot get comfortable in inaction, they must be doers. I have said it before God is not looking for Couch Potato Christians. He is looking for soldiers for His Army (we are at WAR) so get in the fight.   

Forty Scripture Directions

First I have to admit I “borrowed” this from my friend Steve Rubus who had posted them daily. So please check out his site, “The Whole Armor of God” for some really good stuff. 

Second I am posting this because although written in the 18th century the wisdom of the list is timeless.


 

God s Word Logo

Forty Scripture Directions

John Willison, 1680-1750

1. Never let the world come into God’s place. (1 John 2:15)

2. Keep up the same opinion now of things of the world, that you will have when you come to die. (Matthew 16:26)

3. Be not strangers to yourselves, but often commune with your own hearts. (Psalm 4:4)

4. Begin early in the service of God, and give Him the days of your youth. (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

5. Shun the company that shuns God, and keep the company that God keeps. (Psalm 119:63)

READ MORE

Daily Devotional – As Death Beckons

21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

Most “Christians” are familiar with this verse and have a basic understanding of its meaning. Paul is a prisoner in Rome when he writes to the church planted in Philippi. The chapter can be broken down into 3 or 4 main topics:

Paul’s Greeting to the Church v.1-2

Paul’s Thanks and Prayer for the Body of believers v.3-11

Paul’s desire to promote the Gospel v.12-20

Encouragement to Live for as Christ v.21-30


BREAKDOWN:

For to me to live is Christ, – Paul boils down the objective of his life, the goal the pinnacle, culmination, call it what you will in these few words. He in effect says ‘the very substance of my being, the reason I can get up and put one foot before the other each day is only because of Christ.’  

Another way to look at it would be, without Christ Paul would shrink up and die. Maybe not an immediate physical death but certainly a moral and spiritual death. Christ is truly Paul’s “Bread of Life”. 

and to die is gain – Death Beckons to all mankind, is is part of the cycle of life since the fall/curse. For the unrepentant it is something (or at least should be) to be feared. Yet for Paul and all true children of God, the understanding is that death brings comfort and joy, the reason Paul says he looks to death as a Plus a Gain. 


APPLICATION:

Our human nature will always surface a little bit an make the thoughts of death uneasy. For the those who refuse God’s calling upon their heart the thought of death should be more than uneasy it should be TERRIFYING

Yet for those, secure, in the fellowship of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; death brings on a Blessing Rather than a Curse. No more have to deal with the daily grind of human work, suffering, aches and pains. Only being among saints so no more chaos, despair, or violence. Forever being in a new perfected body the job of glorifying God daily. Sounds like Paradise to me. 

The question is as Death Beckons us all what will your response be when you appointed time comes?  


THE GAIN OF DEATH AND THE FEAR OF DEATH

For to me…to die is gain – Philippians 1:21

Death breaks the union between the body and the soul but perfects the union between Christ and the soul. – Thomas Watson

The wheels of death’s chariot may rattle and make a noise, but they are to carry a believer to Christ. – Thomas Watson

Grace to You Series – The Truth About Man

First, the Bad News

The following 10 articles are from G2Y “Truth About Man” series; I hope they are a blessing to you. 

First, the Bad News

The Universal Guilty Verdict

Man’s Enduring Guilt

The Arraignment of Mankind

The Indictment of Mankind

Sin’s Corruption of Our Character

Why No Man Seeks After God

Sin’s Corruption of Our Conversation

Sin’s Corruption of Our Conduct

Sin’s Corruption of Our Conversation

 

Daily Devotional – Frailty of Man

Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days,That we may present to ...

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

The ESV says: So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom, most folks just sort of shorted it to Life is short so live wisely.’  

Unfortunately that does not really take into context the whole Psalm.  First it is a Psalm of Moses, and more than just life is short (v.2,3,4,10,12,14) it has two other themes of note: God’s Eternal Greatness (v.1-17) and Mans Frailty (v.3,5,7,11,).


 

BREAKDOWN: 

So teach us – Who do you rely upon for wisdom? Is it your friends, family, Pastor? While the Bible certainly encourages us to seek wise counsel, it also makes it abundantly clear that the best advice comes directly from God.

to number our days, – One plus one equals, Math is not really what Moses or God is speaking of here. Neither is the subject matter just an accounting of all we accomplish on a daily basis or plan to accomplish (we know not when God will call us home). 

Moses under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is saying count each day as your last, (our days are certainly numbers v.3) make each worthy, make it count for something towards the Kingdom of God and His Glory.

that we may apply – The bible says Jeremiah 17:9 (ESV)The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?  Man cannot on his own apply the things of God to himself.  Man is weak and Frail in his natural state and only with God’s help can he apply…

our hearts unto wisdom. –  As John Gills commentary says:

“to seek the way of salvation by Christ – to seek to Christ, the wisdom of God, (for it to fear the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom) and to walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise…For unless a man is taught of God, and by his Spirit convinced of sin, righteousness, and judgment, he will never be concerned, in good earnest, about a future state. Nor inquire the way of salvation, nor heartily apply to Christ for it: he may number his days, and consider the shortness of them, and apply his heart to folly, and not wisdom.”


APPLICATION:

Having survived over 6 decades now I am realizing that there are advantages and disadvantages to prolonged life.  The older I get the more knowledge I am able to gain; I love to study especially God’s word. At the same time the older I get the more forgetful and absent minded I get especially it seems with remembering Bible verses. 

Also unlike some, I came to saving Grace later in life and I find that my momentary lapses, frailty of human nature surfacing, are usually caused by my failure to prepare each day by asking God to ‘teach me to number this day and apply His wisdom to my heart.’

How are you beginning each day as a frail loner or entrenched with the Wisdom of God in your heart?

 

Daily Devotional – Daily Delights

I've Taken This for Granted – Heather C. King – Room to Breathe

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

What is it you delight in? Something simple like that first sip of coffee each morning? The warm embrace of you child, wife or other loved ones. Maybe it is more complicated like accomplishing something you thought you could not do. 

With all of these, the bible in no way suggests there is anything wrong with taking delight in them. If you are married and do not delight in the companionship of your wife, you have a real BIG issue. Yet God’s Word make something else abundantly clear, there is one thing greater than all else in our lives to delight in…


BREAKDOWN:

In the way – Note the Psalmist does not say ‘In your testimonies’ for many “like” certain rules but do not always follow them. Here the Psalmist makes clear the expression of God’s laws brings delight unto him and all who adhere.

of your testimonies – God’s testimonies are His; Laws, precepts, statues, commandments, and Word all terms used to describe the same thing here in Psalm 119. In the Old Testament God’s Laws could be broken down into 3 areas Ceremonial, Civil and Moral. 

I delight – Rules (or laws) are meant to put unnecessary restrictions on people. One has to look no further than the current COVID-19 fiasco in America to understand that. BUT are all rules (laws) the same. The Psalmist here makes it clear ABSOLUTELY NOT! God’s Rules (law’s) are a delight, (many translation use rejoice in) to those who believe. 

as much as in all riches. – Remember that sip of coffee or your wife’s sweet embrace, God’s Word, His Statutes are better than that. In fact they are more delightful more satisfying than all the riches found in the world. 


APPLICATION:

How do you view God’s Word, His Laws in your Life? Are they a burden or Delight? Are you getting your Daily Delight, by reading God’s word and actively pursuing God’s chosen path for you each day? 

God’s laws should never seem difficult or harsh, they should always be a burden lifter not adding to our baggage. If the reverse is true we need to be in prayer and ask God to reveal to us what is truly dragging us down, ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to delight in God’s Law daily. 

 

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

 

Daily Devotional – Couch Potato Christian

There are two types of “Christians” in the world, one hears God’s Word and says that’s nice let me sleep on it, the other says that’s great let me take action because of it. 

Are you a DHaggiaoer or Couch Potato Christian (CPC)  

Aberdeen tops Scottish couch potato league table | HeraldScotland


CONTEXT:

First I must admit I was a little surprised at the amount of content I found when I googled “Couch Potato Christian.”  There are many articles and even a few books on the subject. 

So today instead of focusing on one text I am going to use two to explain what I mean by “Couch Potato Christian” and why God does not look favorably upon said people. 

Wednesday's Word ~ Haggai 1 – Michelle Lesley

AMP and RVR 1960

Haggai begins with the Lord speaking to Haggai and asking a simple question; how is it you people live so comfortably yet my temple is in ruins? ‘ The chapter goes on to say that the Israelites have lived a life of excesses but have nothing to show for it. They are lazy and indulgent. 

Compare them to what James says a true believer should be: 

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22

AMP and RVR 1960

James makes it clear a true hearer of God’s Word, consistently and actively proves his love and obedience by actively pursuing or doing what they have heard. They go about having God work through them for His glory.  In other words, no CPC’s here, they, no matter their limitations (Physical, mental, financial, etc.) will be about God’s work.


COMPARISON: 

Spiritual Couch Potato Christian’s (SCPC’s) will always take the easy way out:

They will be silent on important issues: Abortion, LGBT, Religious Freedom, to name a few yielding to the popular (worldly) thought of the day 

Play the Swiss Card (Neutrality) trying to claim Jesus never took sides: Of course they have not read the Bible, or skipped the GOSPELS when Jesus cleanses the temple, curses (Woe unto you) the Pharisees and Scribes, and so on. 

They are Unwilling to fight the “Good Fight” Somewhere online I saw the term Spiritual Pacifists and it makes sense, those unwilling to Armor Up daily and get in the fight, are just that pacifist and pretty much useless in God’s Army. 

The Doer Christian: Can never be silenced: 

Refuses to be silent on important issues: Will always Obey God rather than man. 

Follows Jesus example of Good Works no matter the consequence: We were saved to with a Holy calling not to sit idly by and let the world happen around us. 

Shares the Good News: Man’s first duty is to Love God and Glorify Him forever. Inherent in that is obedience to God’s commands none of which is more important than the spreading of the Gospel this is never a burden for a true Christian. 


APPLICATION:

We are not calling into question here anyone’s “salvation” although the bible certainly does say we will know you by your fruit. Granted it is specifically speaking of false teachers and the like, but bearing fruit is applicable to all “Christians.”

So the question remains what type of Christian are you? 

ᐈ Funny couch potato stock pictures, Royalty Free couch potato ...

 

 

One who cheers from the comfort of your comfortable couch? 

 

Pray James 1:26-27 | Pray Scripture.org

 

 

 

Or an Fruit Bearing “Christian” not afraid to put your Faith in Action

 

 


Related Posts:

DO IT!

Failing to Do It!

 

Daily Devotional – Right Attitude

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Philippians 2:13

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

Hudson Taylor was a missionary to China from the mid 1800’s until his death in 1905. His personal commitment to the mission was great, (some say too much so) as many of his family dies as a result. One thing Hudson new was nothing he did or accomplished was of his own doing, it was God working through him.  

Many folks today want to skip over this verse and make the claim that; Philippians 4:13 “I (They) can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”.  In many circles this has become a rallying cry for health and prosperity, but does it really mean that? 

The answer is an emphatic NO! (See Can We Really Do All Things Through Christ?) Those who would and are teaching such are either ignorant or heretics. Either way it is dangerous to toil with the Holy Word of God. 

As always neglecting to take in the Whole Counsel of God is poor bible exegesis and why eisegesis is such a danger to true interpretation and right explanation of scripture. Consider the examples here from Philippians; one would think anyone really interested in getting to the truth of God’s Word, would at least read the context of the Chapter. If you read Chapter 4 It starts with “Therefore”  meaning we need to go back to Chapter 3, which starts with “Finally”  begging the question finally what? So we are headed to Chapter 2, and on it goes, the Whole Counsel at a minimum of what Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit intended.


BREAKDOWN:

For it is God – It is God, all about God always about God and NEVER ABOUT US, 

which worketh – He alone does the work, we are powerless to do good apart from Christ

in you – He just uses us as the instrument to accomplish He works; Our strength (Phil 4:13) is insufficient to do anything 

both to will – Any and all good we do is because of God’s will, that is He works in us to desire to serve Him righteously

and to do of his good pleasure. – and for His good pleasure, that is obediently serving His will for our lives and submitting as a bondservant to His working through us


 

APPLICATION:

The Forerunner Commentary has the following on this verse: But we should understand that He gives us the desire and power to accomplish His will, not our pleasures. 

Hudson Taylor understood the servants relationship with God. He gave up asking for help or asking if he could help finally getting the Right Attitude by submitting and asking God to work through him.

Today we all face the same questions. We may not be Hudson Taylor’s serving on foreign mission fields but we all have our own personal mission field, whether its at home, work, school it does not matter. The questions are simple:

Are you asking God to work through you today? 

Are you asking God for the desire and power to accomplish His will, not our pleasures.