Sunday Sermon Series – Revival of Holiness

Northwest Baptist Church: Oklahoma City, OK > Pastors' Roundtable

Ezra 9-10


CONTEXT

Ezra being informed, by some of the princes who complained unto him, of the marriages of many of the Israelites with the people of the land, the Canaanites and others, was greatly grieved and distressed, Ezra 9:1-5, upon which he made a confession of their sins to God, with great shame, sorrow, and contrition, and deprecated the evils which they deserved, Ezra 9:6-15.

Upon Ezra’s prayer and confession, it was proposed by Shechaniah, that those who had married strange wives should put them away with their children, which they swore to do, Ezra 10:1-5, and proclamation was made throughout the land for all to meet at Jerusalem in three days’ time, and accordingly they did, Ezra 10:6-9 when, at the exhortation of Ezra, all agreed to it, and persons were appointed to see it done, and the work was finished in the space of three months, Ezra 10:10-17 and a list of the names of those is given who had married such wives, and now put them away; of the priests, Ezra 10:18-22, of the Levites, Ezra 10:23,24, of the other Israelites, Ezra 10:24-44.  – John Gill’s Commentary


SERMON

A Revival of Holiness – Ezra 9 &10

Other Resources

If you enjoy Pastor Sills sermon, here is a link to the rest of his series on Ezra. https://christchurchfareham.co.uk/our-sermons/sermon-series-ezra-spiritual-restoration-in-jerusalem-and-fareham/

 

Geoff Thomas Sermon on Ezra 9 man of Prayer

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 11/20/2020

Hope For The Downcast Soul (Psalm 42) | Park Church

AMP and RVR 1960

“Hope thou in God”

As always let us begin with some context: This is the first of the Psalms in the 2nd book of 5 books of Psalms.  Most scholars agree that originally Psalm 42 and Psalm 43  were one and when the Hebrew script was translated into Greek (Septuagint) about 200 B.C. they were separated. 

This Psalm can be broken down into two part, v.1-5 the deep desire for God and v.6-11 crying out to God with hope.  Today we will look at two verses 5 and 11 which are nearly identical:

v.5 Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become restless and disturbed within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence.

The author is being rhetorical here speaking to himself, asking the question after making the proclamations of desiring God in verses 1-4, ‘Why is it I am so troubled and sad?’  He quickly answers himself with the one thing that can silence all despair, Hope in God!

v. 11 Why are you in despair, O my soul? Why have you become restless and disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, The [b]help of my countenance and my God.

Again in the closing verse the author repeats these words, reminding himself and us, that no matter the trouble or burden there is  nothing to big (or to small) that God cannot handle. We need only place our Hope in God.  

The psalmist closes each verse with the thought that for I shall again or yet praise Him,  meaning that even though times are rough and he may be questioning God, why am I going though this? His faith is secure in the knowledge that God is in control and he has hope in God. The questions today is Hope thou in God? 

Devotional Thought for Today – 11/10/2020

 

The Journey: Psalm 35 - Another Prayer for Victory

AMP and RVR 1960

FACING ENEMIES

Some context is need here. All commentaries seem to agree that this is a Psalm of David and that it was written when he was on the run from Saul. There are three distinct divisions within the Psalm:

v. 1-10 David prays for Safety – In the opening verse David prays that God would Contend and fight against those who would harm him. Note he closes this section, and each with words of Praise my soul shall rejoice in the Lord… “Lord, who is like You

v. 11- 16 David complains of his enemies – This is not to be misconstrued as whining but a righteous prayer for salvation from his enemies. Malicious witnesses rise up…They repay me evil for good, I think we have all faced challenging times when it seems like evil abounds around us. The good news is that God hears our pleas and if it be His will, will answer our prayers. 

v. 17- 28 David calls upon God for help and support – When desperation seems to set in DO NOT call 800-Phone a Friend. Your real hotline for help is God and David knew that. v.17 Lord, how long will You look on [without action]? Rescue my life from their destructions…  

The key if you will to this Psalm is found at the end of each section, Praise for God. Again, while most commentators agree the general theme has to do with facing enemies, opposition, or something of that sort. Yet one cannot hope to do that apart from in the case of David God, or in our case Christ. 

“My tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.” See now I have made a discourse something longer; ye are wearied. Who endureth to praise God all the day long? I will suggest a remedy whereby thou mayest praise God all the day long if thou wilt. Whatever thou dost, do well, and thou hast praised God. When thou singest a hymn, thou praisest God, but what doth thy tongue, unless thy heart also praise him? Hast thou ceased from singing hymns, and departed that thou mayest refresh thyself? Be not drunken, and thou hast praised God. Dost thou go away to sleep? Rise not to do evil, and thou hast praised God. Dost thou transact business? Do no wrong, and thou hast praised God. Dost thou till thy field? Raise not strife, and thou hast praised God. In the innocency of thy works prepare thyself to praise God all the day long.Augustine.

Hope in a Cynical Age

Hope in a Cynical Age

 

by Nathan Williams | Nov 03, 2020

According to 1 Corinthians 13:13, there are three great spiritual virtues: faith, hope, and love. And of these three, Paul says that the greatest is love. Paul makes it clear that love drives our spiritual lives, and without it, we are as worthless as a rhythm-less drummer. In addition to love, as good Protestants, we understand the importance of faith. Faith alone saves. In addition, without faith, it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). Paul spends large chunks of his letters making sure we understand the role of faith in our spiritual lives. But hope? Hope can easily get lost in the shuffle like a middle child in a minivan. It’s easy to think of hope as a nice addition to our spiritual lives if we happen to have it, but not necessarily something to be purposefully cultivated and intentionally pursued.

READ MORE 

Devotional Thought for Today – 10/29/2020

Margin notes: Psalm 11 | ResponsiveReiding

PSALM 11

FINDING HOPE IN HOPELESS TIMES


According to Theodoret, and other early church Fathers this Psalm was written when David was being persecuted by Saul, and was was told to get out, escape for his own safety. 

We have all been in situations when things seem desperate maybe even hopeless but how we react is what really matters. Do we go to God with our problems, seek His wise counsel find our refuge and Hope in His promises our drown our sorrows in worldly affairs (alcohol, drugs, etc.) of hopelessness. 

David’s response is worth copying: 

v.1 Face with persecution David responds that The Lord is his refuge, how can you (his counselors) even suggest he run anywhere but to the Lord. 

v.2 To emphasize the gravity of the situation David says, bows are locked and cocked against him and aimed at his heart.

v.3 But if I (David) forget the basic tenets of my faith (foundations) in times of trouble how much of a pretender am I?

v.4 Contrasting the temple and heaven David appears to show strength gained from the knowledge God is watching and testing all men. 

v.5-7  David makes his closing argument for putting his trust in God here. First the righteous will be tested and approved of God so David’s hope is secure. Second the wicked, David’s enemies fate is not so pleasant but just as assured and David can take solace in that. Finally he notes how much God loves those that are upright (do virtue, moral, and just deeds) they are approved workers of God. 

We always have a choice when facing difficult situations. We can trust God and allow our faith in him to quell and comfort our feelings of hopelessness. We can pray and ask Him for guidance and courage. Or we can run and try and do it on our own, hiding panic-stricken that life is over taking us. The choice is ours to make. 

Lord help me to always trust in you when difficulties arise. Let me find shelter and comfort in your promises and strength and wisdom in your Spirit. Amen. 

Hope As We Leave Quarantine

The Master's Seminary Blog

Hope As We Leave Quarantine

James Street | 

After months of quarantine, the world finally seems to be getting back to normal. Masks are no longer required in certain places, non-essential business are opening their doors, and churches are starting to meet again. But the Coronavirus isn’t gone; it’s still here. Just because we hid ourselves from the virus doesn’t mean the virus will now start hiding itself from us. Now that people are beginning to gather in public places again, some may get sick with COVID-19—some may even die. That’s a scary thought. Many are uneasy about returning to normal life, and that includes Christians. Church leaders must now make difficult decisions about how to hold their services. Congregants must now decide whether they should even go to church right now or not. There is a healthy fear in all of us and it drives us to look to the Bible for answers. What hope does God give us at such a delicate time like this? For many evangelicals, Psalm 91 has been the answer. Its message is attractive, because it sounds like the pandemic we’re facing today:

For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. (Ps. 91:3)

You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not approach you. (Ps. 91:5–7)

For you have made the LORD, my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place. No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent. (Ps. 91:9–10)

CONTINUED AT: SOURCE

Regathering the Disassembled Church

 

Regathering the Disassembled Church

he Q & A audio clips below highlight a discussion between
Stand in the Gap Today radio hosts and guests, Dr. Gary Dull, Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Altoona, PA, and Pastor Mike Frazier, Senior Pastor of Canton Baptist Temple in Canton, Ohio. They explore how, when, and why it’s important to begin the process of regathering the church together again.

Why are we calling this a ‘regathering of the church’ instead of a reopening? Listen Here (3:16)>>

What have the weeks been like for Pastors during this COVID-19 crisis? Listen Here (2:01) >>

How are church members feeling about regathering? Listen Here (2:30)>>

How have various churches functioned during the quarantine? Listen Here (1:30)>>

Why is it important to meet in person as a congregation instead of online? Listen Here (3:58)>>

How should churches respond to threats from the civil authority? Listen Here (4:35)>>

LISTEN to the entire program HERE!
READ the transcript!

After weeks of being closed due to the Coronavirus, Liberty Counsel and it’s ReOpenChurch.org campaign, has called on the churches to open and believers to start meeting again. Here are some of its resources.

RESOURCES:

Rights of Churches to Meet for Religious Services – Memo detailing church rights

Church Coronavirus Safety Measures – Suggested worship options and safety precautions

Free COVID-19 Resources for Children – Helpful information and activities for kids

The Real Chronological Facts Leading Up to the Arrest of the Florida Pastor

Resources and Benefits for Churches – Join Liberty Counsel as a Cooperative Church


 

Watch this conference call with Pennsylvania Pastors and Mat Staver (Liberty Counsel) discussing the biblical and legal foundations for regathering the churches.

Double Click on the Icon Link

Death vs. Life

1 Corinthians 15:22 In Adam All Die In Christ All Made Alive (brown)

CONTEXT:

Yesterday in our devotional Blame Game we can trace the history of blaming others back to Adam and Eve (Gen 3:12-13). But the consequences of their actions were far greater than that, instead of peace and good health with eternal life in the Garden of Eden they brought about sin, disease, and DEATH. Genesis 3:16-19.

Here in 1st Corinthians Chapter 15 the Apostle Paul begins by laying out the facts of Christ’s resurrection: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11. He then proceeds to make the argument that if Christ has resurrected so too shall there be a resurrection of the dead 1 Corinthians 15:12-34. It is in the middle of this I wish to pull our text for today and explore God’s Holy word. 


1 Corinthians 15:19-22 

If in Christ we have hope[a] in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. (ESV)

Si en esta vida solamente esperamos en Cristo, somos los más dignos de conmiseración de todos los hombres. 20 Mas ahora Cristo ha resucitado de los muertos; primicias de los que durmieron es hecho. 21 Porque por cuanto la muerte entró por un hombre, también por un hombre la resurrección de los muertos. 22 Porque así como en Adán todos mueren, también en Cristo todos serán vivificados. (RVR 1960)


v.19 If in Christ we have hope[a] in this life only, 

There was and still are cults that claim to be “christian” or claim some level of christian faith but deny the full deity and resurrection of Christ. Their desire or better put reason for being associated with Christ is worldly gain. 

The second category and the one Paul is more likely writing about is all those who claim to be Christians, suffer for being so (remember Paul’s hardships) yet have no hope of eternal life.

we are of all people most to be pitied.

If either case is true of man what is left of them but to pity them? In the first man will live out his days and gain nothing for the Kingdom Matthew 6:19–21. In Paul’s case he would have willingly suffered for no reason at all for his hope was a lie. The original Greek here, eleeinoteroi, meaning pitiful or miserable combined with The whole of every kind of man.

v.20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead,

Okay, here are the facts, Christ has risen from the dead Matthew 28:6 so our hope is not in vain not to be pitied.

the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 

Firstfruits were the first of the harvest offered to God by the Jewish people. By using this term Paul insures the reader understand that Christ is the first of many believers to follow in God’s harvest of His chosen.

v.21  For as by a man came death, 

Remember it was Adam who brought sin and death into the world for all mankind. For anyone out there who is a naysayer claiming that’s not fair, why should I pay for something or be held accountable for something some guy did 6000+ years ago? If you look deeply at your true nature (apart from Christ) you know you would have done the same thing. 

by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead

Jesus is the ONLY way, there is no other to eternal life.

v.22  For as in Adam all die,

Adam brought death, despair and helplessness into the world. A man of sorrows to be pitied

so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

Jesus brought comfort, hope and Life to all who believe upon him as Lord and Savior.

CONCLUSION:

Are you to be pitied, is your hope in this life only today? Or are you to be counted among the saints born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven(1 Peter 1:3-4 ESV). 

 

Pandemic, Meet The Resurrection

Pandemic, Meet The Resurrection

He is risen. That is the Christian confession. We worship the triune God. We do so in Spirit and in truth. We do so in resurrection hope. For our God and Father “make[s] springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills; they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches. From [the Almighty’s] lofty abode [He] water[s] the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of [His] work” (Psalm 104:10-13).

Christians are people of the resurrection. And our resurrection lifestyle shines all the more brightly when everyone around us fears pandemic, tyranny, and death. Why don’t we fear? Because our Father feeds cedar trees with rivers. He gives blue jays a place to nest. He molds the high mountains for the wild goats. He makes the dark so the mice can creep about the forest floor. And He gives resurrection for us, His children.

CONTINUE READING

 

Saturday’s On Track Military Devotional

While scholars will argue whether the last verses of Mark are original or not, no rational person can argue the fact of the Resurrection of Christ Jesus and His command to Go Forth and Make Disciples of Nations. Today’s devotional looks at two little words, “and Peter”, often overlooked in Mark 16:7. – Mike

The “Strange” Ending of the Gospel of Mark and Why It Makes All the Difference. Mark 16:9-20

Mark 16:1-8

Overcoming Failure

What instructions did the angel give to Mary in today’s reading? Why do you think he added the phrase, “and Peter?” It would seem that when God sent the message, he especially wanted to comfort and encourage Peter after his specific failure to take a stand for Christ. How thrilling it must have been, after what Peter had done, how he had failed the Lord, to know that the angel wanted Mary to specifically tell Peter. Could it be that God wanted Peter to know that his failure had been forgiven and that He still loved him? Could God have added that small but significant phrase in this chapter to communicate to us as well that, no matter how badly we fail the Lord, He still loves us and wants us to know that He wants to use us? God had not given up on Peter. Christ knew that Peter was hurting because of his denial. He wanted him to know that he was not forgotten, but was still useful to God. What past failure have you allowed to hinder you from being used by God? Underline the phrase to remind you that no matter what you have done, God still loves you and still desires to use you when you seek His forgiveness.


Today’s Questions

Say What?

Observation: What do I see?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean?

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do?


MilitaryDevotional.com
OnTrack Devotions
570.504.1463
militarydevos@gmail.com


An additional Resource for you to enjoy

Mark 16:1-8 – Jesus’ Resurrection Brings Hope (Teaching Outline)