Devotional Thought for Today – 01 July 2021

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Revelation 3

CONTEXT: Part of the message to the Seven (7) churches in Asia Minor, here in this chapter we have the final three churches Sardis (v.1-6), Philadelphia (v.7-13), and Laodicea (v.14-22). Of the seven churches, both Smyrna and Philadelphia receive no rebuke from Jesus. Laodicea however is the only church to receive no positive comment at all. They are spiritually useless (lukewarm) and Jesus says they need to stop walking the fence.

Our text often used as an alter call or another offer of salvation to individuals is in actuality Jesus’s invitation to the church. Think about that for a minute, the Bridegroom, the Head of the Church having to stand outside and ask for admittance. That should cause every Elder, Pastor, Preacher, whatever y’all may be called, and everyone in the pews to shudder and ask, “is Christ here in our church?” Is Christ the Bridegroom, the high and mighty ruler of this church? Or is He standing outside and asking and waiting for entry?

So in context, we understand that Jesus is explicitly speaking to the church, but that is not to say we can not make a practical application of this to man in general. Man apart from God, has a closed heart, that is because of the fall of man it is deceitful and evil, inclined toward sin. We also know from scripture that the Holy Spirit convicts people of sin. So metaphorically speaking Jesus is knocking on the hearts of man through the Spirit’s convictions. The question is will you answer the knock?


OTHER RESOURCES:

What did Jesus mean when He said, “I stand at the door and knock” (Revelation 3:20)?

On Whose Door Is Christ Knocking?

An Earnest Warning about Lukewarmness

Christ’s Loving Earnestness

Devotional Thought for Today – 05/17/2021

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John 17

This 17th chapter of the Gospel of John begins with When Jesus had spoken these things, He raised His eyes to heaven [in prayer] and said, “Father, the [a]hour has come. Glorify Your Son, so that Your Son may glorify You. (AMP)

Some takeaways from today’s text:

  • Jesus is speaking directly to God the Father, just as He taught us to pray to Him in the Model Prayer
  • Jesus knew the time had come for His earthly ministry to be finished
  • Christ Jesus ALONE, has authority over all flesh
  • Christ Jesus ALONE has the power to give eternal life
  • Eternal Life is given ONLY to those the Father gives the Son
  • Only by knowing Christ as Lord and Saviour can one know the Father
  • Only those who acknowledge the divinity of the Triune God (here spoken of as Father and Son) man receive eternal life

The Bible is a stumbling block to those living in the darkness of evil, but really quite simple to those living in the light. Let me ask you would you rather stumble around in the dark or walk freely in the light?

Sunday Sermon Series – Faith and Repentance

Believe in the Gospel then repent: Jesus in Mark 1:15 - YouTube
https://images.app.goo.gl/uJ1NXQgMyhTbPVzr7

MARK 1

Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary (concise) breaks down the first chapter of Mark this way:

  • The office of John the Baptist. (1-8)
  • The baptism and temptation of Christ. (9-13)
  • Christ preaches and calls disciples. (14-22)
  • He casts out an unclean spirit. (23-28)
  • He heals many diseases. (29-39)
  • He heals a leper. (40-45)

Here in our text, Jesus is in Galilee, preaching the good news of [the kingdom of] God. He then calls His first disciples, Peter, Andrew, James, and John. What set these men apart was they had not seen the miraculous things Jesus could do, only heard His voice and heed His call. The crowds had a different agenda.

If chapter one teaches us anything, the masses followed Jesus for His wondrous acts, not His great teaching and deity. How true is that today in modern churches where emotional “worship” is the rule and Biblical-based reverent worship is considered archaic? Folks back then and today are focused on what is in it for me and not on the Holy One Himself.

That is not the true Gospel, it is not true Faith and likely did not begin with true repentance.


SERMON

Faith and Repentance Inseparable

OUR Lord Jesus Christ commences his ministry by announcing its leading commands. He cometh up from the wilderness newly anointed, like the bridegroom from his chamber; his love notes are repentance and faith. He cometh forth fully prepared for his office, having been in the desert, “tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin;” his loins are girded like a strong man to run a race. He preacheth with all the earnestness of a new zeal, combined with all the wisdom of a long preparation; in the beauty of holiness from the womb of the morning he glittereth with the dew of his youth. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, for Messias speaketh in the greatness of his strength. He crieth unto the sons of men, “Repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Let us give our ears to these words which, like their author, are full of grace and truth. Before us we have the sum and substance of Jesus Christ’s whole teaching— the Alpha and Omega of his entire ministry; and coming from the lips of such an one, at such a time, with such peculiar power, let us give the most earnest heed, and may God help us to obey them from our inmost hearts...

Charles Haddon Spurgeon / July 13, 1862

Scripture: Mark 1:15

From: Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Volume 8

Devotional Thought for Today – 04/29/2021

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.

1. The Big Picture - Jesus
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JOHN 5

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.

Source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/John/5/39


Matthew Henry's Method for Prayer

Thank God for the Scriptures

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)

Sunday Sermon Series – Righteous Hatred

10 Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. Psalm 97:10

PSALM 97


CONTEXT

The following is from the Treasury of David by C.H. Spurgeon

SUBJECT. As the fast Psalm sung the praises of the Lord in connection with the proclamation of the gospel among the Gentiles, so this appears to foreshadow the mighty working of the Holy Ghost in subduing the colossal systems of error and casting down the idol gods. Across the sea to maritime regions a voice cries for rejoicing at the reign of Jesus (Ps 97:1), the sacred fire descends (Ps 97:3), like lightning the gospel flames forth (Ps 97:4), difficulties vanish (Ps 97:5), and all the nations see the glory of God (Ps 97:6). The idols are confounded (Ps 97:7), the church rejoices (Ps 98:8), the Lord is exalted (Ps 98:9). The Psalm closes with an exhortation to holy steadfastness under the persecution which would follow, and bids the saints rejoice that their path is bright, and their reward glorious and certain. Modern critics, always intent upon ascribing the psalms to anybody rather than to David, count themselves successful in dating this song further on than the captivity, because it contains passages similar to those which occur in the latter prophets, but we venture to assert theft it is quite as probable that the prophets adopted the language of David as that some unknown writer borrowed from them. One psalm in this series is said to be “in David”, and we believe that the rest are in the same place, and by the same author. The matter is not important, and we only mention it because it seems to be the pride of certain critics to set up new theories, and there are readers who imagine this to be a sure proof of prodigious learning. We do not believe that their theories are worth the paper they are written upon.

DIVISION. The psalm divides itself into four portions, each containing three verses. The coming of the Lord is described (Ps 97:1-3); its effect upon the earth is declared (Ps 97:4-6), and then its influence upon the heathen and the people of God (Ps 97:7-9). The last part contains both exhortation and encouragement, urging to holiness and inculcating happiness (Ps 97:10-12).

EXPOSITION. v.10 Ye that love the Lord, hate evil. For He hates it, his fire consumes it, his lightnings blast it, his presence shakes it out of its place, and his glory confounds all the lovers of it. We cannot love God without hating that which he hates. We are not only to avoid evil, and to refuse to countenance it, but we must be in arms against it, and bear towards it a hearty indignation. He preserveth the souls of his saints. Therefore they need not be afraid of proclaiming war with the party which favours sin. The saints are the safe ones: they have been saved and shall be saved. God keeps those who keep his law. Those who love the Lord shall see his love manifested to them in their preservation from their enemies, and as they keep far from evil so shall evil be kept far from them. He delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. It is not consistent with the glory of his name to give over to the power of his foes those whom his grace has made his friends. He may leave the bodies of his persecuted saints in the hand of the wicked, but not their souls, these are very dear to him, and he preserves them safe in his bosom. This foretells for the church a season of battling with the powers of darkness, but the Lord will preserve it and bring it forth to the light.  


EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 10. Ye that love the LORD, hate evil. It is evident that our conversion is sound when we loathe and hate sin from the heart: a man may know his hatred of evil to be true, first, if it be universal: he that hates sin truly, hates all sin. Secondly, true hatred is fixed; there is no appeasing it but by abolishing the thing hated. Thirdly, hatred is a more rooted affection than anger: anger may be appeased, but hatred remains and sets itself against the whole kind. Fourthly, if our hatred be true, we hate all evil, in ourselves first, and then in others; he that hates a toad, would hate it most in his own bosom. Many, like Judah, are severe in censuring others (Ge 38:24), but partial to themselves. Fifthly, he that hates sin truly, hates the greatest sin in the greatest measure; he hates all evil in a just proportion. Sixthly, our hatred is right if we can endure admonition and reproof for sin, and not be enraged; therefore, those that swell against reproof do not appear to hate sin.—Richard Sibbes.

Hate evil. Sin seemeth to have its name of sana, anv (the word here used) because it is most of all to be hated, as the greatest evil; as that which setteth us furthest from God the greatest good.—John Trapp.

Get mortifying graces, especially love to God, for those that love the Lord, will hate evil. And the more they love him, the more they will hate it.—David Clarkson.

God is a Spirit, and he looks to our very spirits; and what we are in our spirits, in our hearts and affections, that we are to him. Therefore, what ill we shun, let us do it from the heart, by hating it first. A man may avoid an evil action from fear, or out of other respects, but that is not sincerity. Therefore look to thy heart, see that thou hate evil, and let it come from sincere looking to God. Ye that love the LORD, hate evil, saith David: not only avoid it, but hate it; and not only hate it, but hate it out of love to God.—Richard Sibbes.


SERMON

Click here to view and/or download a PDF version of this sermon

Charles Haddon Spurgeon,  August 8, 1858

Scripture: Psalms 97:10

From: New Park Street Pulpit Volume 4

Devotional Thought for Today – 01/26/2021

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Romans 7:14-25

Some of your bibles may have a heading for this section of scripture that says something like; dealing with sin, conflicting natures, or something similar. It is clear from the context that Paul is saying the LAW of God was created for those who are Spiritual people but I in my human flesh am the opposite, a sinner. 

All of us are like Paul! Until the Holy Spirit does His work in us, convicts of our sins and we repent and make Christ Lord and Savior of our wretched lives we are but sinners incapable of practicing good.

In our text v.24-25, above Paul makes ends this portion of scripture with an important reminder:

      1. He (we) are wrenched in our natural states
      2. Only Christ can deliver us from eternal death
      3. Even then there will be a conflict
      4. Our Spiritual Minds will want to serve God
      5. While our natural flesh will still desire to serve the world

I pray today that you have yielded to the Holy Spirit’s call. That one day will rejoice together in paradise praising our Savior all day long. 

 

 

Devotrional Thought for Today – 01/23/2021

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Matthew 14:22-36

There are many great commentaries on what this passage of scripture is all about.  I am not arguing with them, I just want to emphasize one point that I see as something that likely could have been me. 

Peter in the situation plays a doubting Thomas when he recognizes Jesus’s voice but still says v.28; Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.

It is easy to understand the fear and disbelief at first. Only God can command nature and Jesus had just done so. Yet when Peter is assured by His voice there remains lingering doubt. 

Today’s question? Is there any lingering doubt in you? Or are you fully committed to Christ as you LORD and SAVIOR! 


Additional Resources:

What was the meaning of Jesus walking on water?

Expository Thoughts on the Gospels

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 01/15-2021

1 Corinthians 15:29–58 (NIV) - 1 Corinthians 15:29–58 NIV - Now if there  is… | Biblia

1 Corinthians 15:50-58


This text v.50-58 is certainly about the resurrection.  I am focused today on v.55-57 specifically because my wife’s mom, Fela went home to be with the Lord this morning. 

Fela loved God and was ever ready to praise the Lord. She had been very ill the past few years and was ready to be, as Paul said, absent from the body and present with the Lord. 

Two important lessons here, First, death has no real sting, we can and should morn not her passing but the loss we feel. For secondly,  she has won the Victory! No more pain, no more suffering, she is rejoicing with her Lord and Savior tonight in Glory.

So today I ask you to rejoice with me in the vicorious life that was Fela Ortiz Dones and pray for all the family and friends that will miss her infectious smile. 

Devotional Thought for Today – 01/13/2021

Yes, I am back at the college grind, so we are back to short versions of my devotional. 

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Matthew 6:25-34

While there is no doubt that in this portion of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is speaking on Anxiety, (You can search those in the Search Box in the upper right) but we will not be looking at that today. 

Our text v.28a says (KJV) And why take ye thought for raiment? The (AMP) And why are you worried about clothes?  The (ESV) text above And why are you Anxious about Clothing?  The obvious is the anxious worrisome theme Jesus is addressing. But I read this morning thinking how much effort we put into clothes and other material things and not into Godly things.

The context of these verses is that God has our backs if He can make the flowers bloom clothes the lilies beautifully, how much more so will He take care of the needs of His faithful servants. 

So today’s question is where do your priorities lie? In clothes and other material things, or in the treasures of the kingdom of God, Matthew 6:19-21.

 

 

Daily Devitonal – Before the Foundaton

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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)