Devotional Thought for Today – 03/26/2021

GOD ORDAINED

Logos.com

ROMANS 8

Overview of Romans 8: The freedom of believers from condemnation. (1-9) Their privileges as being the children of God. (10-17) Their hopeful prospects under tribulations. (18-25) Their assistance from the Spirit in prayer. (26,27) Their interest in the love of God. (28-31) Their final triumph, through Christ. (32-39) – Matthew Henry

Often called the “more than conquerors” chapter in obvious reference to v.37, it is our main text v.30, shown above along with v.28-29 that contains the greatest of Biblical doctrine concerning God-Ordained Salvation.

In v.28, God says; them who are the called according to his purpose.

The called of God and of Jesus Christ; not to any office, or by the external ministry of the word only, but by special grace; from darkness to light, from bondage to liberty, from the company of sinful men to fellowship with Christ, from a trust in their own righteousness to a dependence on his, to grace here, and glory hereafter; which is done according to the purpose of God: the persons called are fixed upon by God; none are called but whom God purposed to call; those who are called can assign no other reason of it than the will of God; and no other reason but that can be given why others are not called; the time when, the place where, the means whereby persons are called, are all settled and determined by the will, and according to the purpose of God. – John Gill

In v.29 God says; For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son… In other words, God predetermined whom He will save to conform them to the image of Christ.

Our main text v.30 for today tells most of the story if you will, of how we get there. When it comes to Salvation most folks think it all about them, I gave my.., or I went forward and… The fact is this and many other bible verses make it clear that it is all about God and His amazing Grace and not at all about us. God Predestined, Called, Justified, and will eventually Glorify everyone of His Elect.

Below are some posts on the subject of Salvation and the actual order in which the Bible says we are saved. 


Visual Theology – The Order of Salvation

“Ordo Salutis” The Order of Salvation, Part I

Ordo Salutis The Order of Salvation Part II

Ordo Salutis The Order of Salvation Part III

Ordo Salutis The Order of Salvation Part IV

Ordo Salutis The Order of Salvation Part V

Ordo Salutis, the Order of Salvation; Part VI

Ordo Salutis – The Order of Salvation Part VII

Ordo Salutis – The Order of Salvation Part VIII

Ordo Salutis – The Order of Salvation – Part IX

What is the Ordo Salutis / order of salvation?

The Order of Salvation

The Ordo Salutis PDF by A A Hodge
 
The Ordo Salutis by Geerhardus Vos

Devotional Thought for Today – 02/11/2021

1 Corinthians 6:12

1 Corinthians 6

Matthew Henry gives us some overall context for this chapter; Cautions against going to law in heathen courts. (v.1-8) Sins which, if lived and died in, shut out from the kingdom of God. (v.9-11) Our bodies, which are the members of Christ, and temples of the Holy Ghost, must not be defiled. (v.12-20)

In our main text for today, we find ourselves at the beginning of the last section of the Chapter. Paul here repeats a statement “All things are lawful to me”  which is not ever to be misread or misinterpreted into ‘because my salvation is secure I can sin.’ Nor is it ever to be misconstrued that all things are legal!

Paul makes an effort to point out that even though he is not under the LAW,  it is oftentimes far more expedient to be obedient to it.  John Gill says; when the doing of them destroys the peace, comfort, and edification of others; when it stumbles and grieves weak minds, and causes offense to them; see ( 1 Corinthians 10:23 )

Paul secondly points out that any attempt by “Christians” to walk in the world, that is to practice wrong ideas and actions (even though legal) and be a servant of that sin (power).  We must always ask in any activity three questions:

      • Will this activity edifying or help others?
      • Will this activity cause me to lose control and sin?
      • Will this activity Glorify God?

Today’s Prayer

Father, thank You for the liberty I have in Christ and the price he paid at Calvary for all my sin.  Thank You that I am not under any form of law but under grace and that because Christ identified with my sin, I am identified with His perfect, righteousness, and have been declared blameless through faith in Him. Keep me from sin, I pray and give me the wisdom to recognize things that are permissible, but which are not expedient. Help me to live my life in a way that Glorifies You and edifies others. Thank You that in Christ, all things are lawful unto me, but I pray that I will not cause another to stumble or backslide in my own Christian life. This I ask in Jesus’s name, AMEN.  –   Edited from Source

Devotional Thought for Today – 01/29/2021

24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:24

John 4:7-30

This is a pretty familiar passage of scripture. Jesus comes to a well and there is a Samaritan woman there and He asks her to draw water for Him to drink. This sparks a conversation since Jews and Samaritan’s never conversed. 

That alone would be interesting but this woman is special because she is an outcast among her own people, having had many failed relationships.  Jesus confronts her with her sin and the Gospel, (the only way to make converts) and she repents.

Our main verse v.24 today is where Jesus makes it clear that worshiping God is not something to be taken lightly. God is not to be defined in human terms for God is not bound by human physical characteristics.  

“God is a spirit, and not a body, or a corporeal substance: the nature and essence of God is like a spirit, simple and uncompounded, not made up of parts; nor is it divisible; nor does it admit of any change and alteration. God, as a spirit, is immaterial, immortal, invisible, and an intelligent, willing, and active being; but differs from other spirits, in that he is not created, but an immense and infinite spirit, and an eternal one, which has neither beginning nor end: he is therefore a spirit by way of eminency, as well as effectively, he being the author and former of all spirits…” John Gill 

It pleases God when we remember this and Worship in a truly spiritual mannerwhich is suitable to his nature, and agreeably to his will.” – John Gill

God does not want or require some fancy production to worship Him corporately (church) nor high and pious words in our private prayer closet. All we need is given to us in the pages of His Holy Word. Maybe it is about time we used and relied upon God alone, Soli Deo Gloria!

Today’s Prayer; from Matthew Henry’s Method of Prayer:

Lord, grant that I may not be as a child, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the slight of men, but speaking the truth in love, may I grow up into Christ in all things, who is the head. Ephesians 4:14-15(KJV)

Lord, give me so to do thy will, as that I may know of the doctrine whether it be of God; John 7:17(KJV) and so to know the truth, as that the truth may make me free, John 8:32(KJV) may make me free indeed. John 8:36(KJV)

Enable me, I pray thee, to hold fast the form of sound words, which I have heard in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus, 2 Timothy 1:13(KJV) and to continue in the things which I have learned and been assured of. 2 Timothy 3:14(KJV)

 

Daily Devotional – Seek Good

14 Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the Lord, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. 15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the Lord God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph. Amos 5:14-15

AMOS 5


CONTEXT

Here is a good brief summary of The book of Amos I found: 

Amos can see that beneath Israel’s external prosperity and power, internally the nation is corrupt to the core. The sins for which Amos chastens the people are extensive: neglect of God’s Word, idolatry, pagan worship, greed, corrupted leadership, and oppression of the poor. Amos begins by pronouncing a judgment upon all the surrounding nations, then upon his own nation of Judah, and finally, the harshest judgment is given to Israel. His visions from God reveal the same emphatic message: judgment is near. The book ends with God’s promise to Amos of future restoration of the remnant.Summary of Amos

Amos 5 can be broken down into three main areas:

      1.  v.1-6 Israel called to seek the Lord
      2.  v.7-17 Israel called to repentance
      3. v.18-27 Woes concerning judgments over idols

Today we are concerned with the middle area, mainly one specific phrase from verse 14a Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live.

I know of no one that does not want to live a full and complete life. Yes, there are some who are suffering and get to the point where they feel (wrongly) life is not worth living. Yet most of us want a quality of life that worldly affairs just cannot fulfill. 


BREAKDOWN

The theme of seeking God is repeated twice in the first 6 verses v.4&6. By contrast in the following section Israel (we) are called to Seek Goodness. I think the point is simple, one can search for God all they want but as long as they continue along a path of evil, they search in vain.

The end result pointed to in each is the same that ye may live.  Life, that goes beyond just breathing, and material wealth must begin with God.  I offer Dr. John Gills Comments on these verses as a help: 

v.4 seek ye me; seek my fear, as the Targum; fear and reverence, serve and worship, the Lord God; return unto him by repentance; seek to him by prayer and supplication; acknowledge your sins, and humble yourselves before him, and implore his pardoning grace and mercy:

v.4  and ye shall live; in your own land, and not be carried out of it; live comfortably, in great plenty of good things; and live spiritually, enjoying the favour of God, and his presence in his ordinances, and live eternally in the world to come.

v.6 Seek the Lord, and ye shall live,… This is, repeated to stir up unto it, because of their backwardness and slothfulness, and to show the importance and necessity of it. By the “Lord” may be meant the Messiah, Israel’s God that was to come, and they were to prepare to meet, Amos 4:12; and the rather, since life spiritual and eternal is only to be had from him, and he is to be sought unto for it, and all the blessings of it, peace, pardon, righteousness, rest, and salvation as well as temporal deliverance, and all outward mercies:

v.14 Seek good, and not evil,… Seek not unto, or after, evil persons and evil things; not the company and conversation of evil men, which is infectious and dangerous; nor anything that is evil, or has the appearance of it, especially the evil of evils, sin; which is hateful to God, contrary to his nature and will; is evil in its own nature, and bad in its consequences, and therefore not to be sought, but shunned and avoided; but seek that which is good, persons and things: seek the “summum bonnum”, “the chief good”, God, who is essentially, perfectly, immutably, and communicatively good, the fountain of all goodness, and the portion of his people; seek Christ the good Saviour and sacrifice, the good Shepherd, and the good Samaritan, who is good in all his relations, as a father, husband, and friend, and in whom all good things are laid up; seek the good Spirit of God, who works good things in his people, and shows good things to them, and is the Comforter of them; seek to him for assistance in prayer, and to help in the exercise of every grace, and in the discharge of every duty, and as the guide into all truth, and to eternal glory; seek the good ways of God, the way of truth, the path of faith and holiness, and especially the good way to the Father, the way of life and salvation by Christ; seek the good word of God, the Scriptures of truth, the promises contained in them, and the Gospel of them; seek the company of good men, and that good part that shall not be taken away, the true grace of God, the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; seek the glories of another world, the goodness of God laid up, the best things which are reserved to last:

that ye may live; comfortably, spiritually, and eternally, which is the consequence of all this; See Gill on Amos 5:4; See Gill on Amos 5:6

We need to diligently seek God with awe and reverence, we need to repent of our sins as individuals and as a nation in order that we might live a life enjoying the favor of God, and his presence in his ordinances, and live eternally in the world to come.

National sins bring down national judgments; and when God grows angry against the people, he makes the places of their feasting, the vineyards where grow their choicest vines, to become the places of their sorrow, so that wailing and distress are heard on all sides. Oh, that nations knew the day of their visitation, and would do justly! Then would such judgments be averted? – C.H. Spurgeon


APPLICATION

Pray for that we as believers would continually seek Him with. Pray especially that those who do not know God would feel the urging of the Holy Spirit upon their hearts and seek Him today. Pray for our Nation to turn and Repent from its evil ways. 

Address God with Reverence and Awe

Having thus engaged our hearts to approach God. Jeremiah 30:21(ESV)

We must solemnly address ourselves to that infinitely great and glorious Being with whom we have to do, as those who are possessed with a full belief of his presence and a holy awe and reverence of his Majesty, which we may do in such expressions as these:

Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come! Revelation 4:8(ESV)

O you whose name is the LORD, who alone are the Most High over all the earth. Psalm 83:18(ESV)

O God, you are our God, earnestly we seek you; Psalm 63:1(ESV) our God, and we will praise you; our fathers’ God, and we will exalt you. Exodus 15:2(ESV)

O you who are the true God, the living God, the one only living and true God, 1 Thessalonians 1:9(ESV) and the everlasting King! Jeremiah 10:10(ESV) The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Deuteronomy 6:4(ESV)

And may we thus distinguish ourselves from the worshipers of false gods.

The idols of the nations are silver and gold, they are vanity and a lie, the work of human hands; Psalm 115:4(ESV) those who make them become like them, so do all who trust in them. Psalm 115:8(ESV) But the Portion of Jacob is not like these, for he is the one who formed all things, and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance; the LORD of hosts is his name, Jeremiah 10:16(ESV) God over all, blessed forever. Romans 9:5(ESV)

Their rock is not as our Rock; our enemies are by themselves, Deuteronomy 32:31(ESV) for he is the Rock of ages; the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock: Isaiah 26:4(ESV) His name endures forever, and his renown throughout all ages, Psalm 135:13(ESV) even when the gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.

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)

Devotional Thought for Today – 11/16/2020

 

God, Our Refuge | Bethel Christian Reformed Church, DunnvillePSALM 46

CONTEXT: Some think this psalm was occasioned by the victories which David obtained over the Ammonites and Moabites, and other neighboring countries; and others are of opinion that it was penned on account of the siege of Jerusalem by Sennacherib being raised, in the times of Hezekiah: but it seems rather to be a prophecy of the church in Gospel times, and is applicable to any time of confusion and distress the nations of the world may be in through any kind of calamity, when those that trust in the Lord have no reason in the least to be afraid. Kimchi says this psalm belongs to future times; either to the gathering of the captives, or to the war of Gog and Magog; to which also R. Obadiah refers it, and Jarchi interprets it of time to come; according to the Targum it was written by the sons of Korah, when their father was hid from them, and they were delivered. John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible

Whatever the actual cause for this psalm to be penned, it has blessed countless saints for centuries. The tone is set forth in verse one:

God is our refuge and strength [mighty and impenetrable], A very present and well-proved help in trouble. – Who is it we (saints) turn to in times of trouble, Christ our Savior. Think on this a moment it only makes sense, if you are acknowledging Christ as savior of your eternal soul, would you not trust Him with lesser issues? 

Verses like Psalm 55:22, Matthew 11:28-30, Philippians 4:6-7, make it clear that God expects us to cast our burdens upon Him through prayer and supplication. He is greater and stronger than any of our problems.  Yet sometimes we get so caught up in our problems we fail to hear the Holy Spirit urging us to just slow down, calm down, and fellowship with God. to seek His peace and understanding. That is why verse 10 was written I believe: 

“Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth –   I do not know if you have ever seen a chicken with its head freshly cut off, it runs around for a minute or two in total panic mode. That is a prime example of a “Christian” who is trying to go it alone, in times of trouble without God.  Folks look at that chicken all kinds of funny without any thought but to consume it. How do you think the world looks at us when we are acting like that chicken?

What ever problem or troubles you are having today, know this God is your Refuge. All you need do is Be still and know that He is there for you. By calmly trusting in God’s providence and sovereignty you will bring Glory to God and find peace.   

Daily Devotional – Preserved From Evil

7 The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. Psalm 121:7-8

Psalm 121:7-8 (KJV and RVR 1960) 


CONTEXT:

This is another of those verses often taken greatly out of context. As I have an EARLY morning appointment, I will offer a few trusted commentaries today instead of my normal exposition. 

Suffice it to say that on the surface the phase above, taken on it own, seems to imply any true believer will be exempt from all evil befalling them. NOTHING could be further from the truth.


COMMENTARY: 

John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible

Thee Lord shall preserve them from all evil,…. The Word of the Lord, as the Targum. Not from the evil of affliction, though from that as a penal evil; or as a real one, it being made to work for good: but from the evil of sin; not from the being or commission of it; but from its dominion and damning power, or from a final and total falling away by it: and from the evil of the world; not from tribulation in it, nor from the reproach or persecution of it; but from the wickedness and lusts that are in it, and from the wicked men of it, their power, rage, and fury: and from the evil one, Satan; not from his temptations, but from sinking under them, and perishing by them; see John 17:12;

he shall preserve thy soul: he preserves the bodies of his people, oftentimes from diseases and disasters, and from death, till the appointed time comes; and then he preserves their dust in the grave, and raises it up at the last day; but more especially their souls, the redemption and salvation of which he undertook, and has effected; and which are preserved by him safe to his coming, kingdom, and glory.

JOHN CALVIN

It is of importance to mark the reason why the prophet repeats so often what he had so briefly and in one word expressed with sufficient plainness. Such repetition seems at first sight superfluous; but when we consider how difficult it is to correct our distrust, it will be easily perceived that he does not improperly dwell upon the commendation of the divine providence. How few are to be found who yield to God the honour of being a “keeper,” in order to their being thence assured of their safety, and led to call upon him in the midst of their perils! On the contrary, even when we seem to have largely experienced what this protection of God implies, we yet instantly tremble at the noise of a leaf falling from a tree, as if God had quite forgotten us. Being then entangled in so many unholy misgivings, and so much inclined to distrust, we are taught from the passage that if a sentence couched in a few words does not suffice us, we should gather together whatever may be found throughout the whole Scriptures concerning the providence of God, until this doctrine – “That God always keeps watch for us” – is deeply rooted In our hearts; so that, depending upon his guardianship alone, we may bid adieu to all the vain confidences of the world. 

TREASURY OF DAVID 

Verse 7. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil, or keep thee from all evil. It is a great pity that our admirable translation did not keep to the word keep all through the psalm, for all along it is one. God not only keeps his own in all evil times but from all evil influences and operations, yea, from evils themselves. This is a far reaching word of covering: it includes everything and excludes nothing: the wings of Jehovah amply guard Iris own from evils great and small, temporary and eternal. There is a most delightful double personality in tiffs verse: Jehovah keeps the believer, not by agents, but by himself; and the person protected is definitely pointed out by the word thee, — it is not our estate or name which is shielded, but the proper personal man. To make this even more intensely real and personal another sentence is added, “The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil:” he shall preserve thy soul, — or Jehovah will keep thy soul. Soul keeping is the soul of keeping. If the soul be kept all is kept. The preservation of the greater includes that of the less so far as it is essential to the main design: the kernel shall be preserved, and in order thereto the shell shall be preserved also. God is the sole keeper of the soul. Our soul is kept from the dominion of sin, the infection of error, the crush of despondency, the puffing up of pride; kept from the world, the flesh, and the devil; kept for holier and greater things; kept in the love of God; kept unto the eternal kingdom and glory. What can harm a soul that is kept of the Lord?

Verse 8. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. When we go out in the morning to labour, and come home at eventide to rest, Jehovah shall keep us. When we go out in youth to begin life, and come in at the end to die, we shall experience the same keeping. Our exits and our entrances are under one protection. Three times have we the phrase, “Jehovah shall keep”, as if the sacred Trinity thus sealed the word to make it sure: ought not all our fears to be slain by such a threefold flight of arrows? What anxiety can survive this triple promise? This keeping is eternal; continuing from this time forth, even for evermore. The whole church is thus assured of everlasting security: the final perseverance of the saints is thus ensured, and the glorious immortality of believers is guaranteed. Under the aegis of such a promise we may go on pilgrimage without trembling, and venture into battle without dread. None are so safe as those whom God keeps; none so much in danger as the self secure. To goings out and comings in belong peculiar dangers since every change of position turns a fresh quarter to the foe, and it is for these weak points that an especial security is provided: Jehovah will keep the door when it opens and closes, and this he will perseveringly continue to do so long as there is left a single man that trusteth in him, as long as a danger survives, and, in fact, as long as time endures. Glory be unto the Keeper of Israel, who is endeared to us under that title, since our growing sense of weakness makes us feel more deeply than ever our need of being kept. Over the reader we would breathe a benediction, couched in the verse of Keble.

“God keep thee safe from harm and sin,
Thy Spirit keep; the Lord watch o’er
Thy going out, thy coming in,
From this time, evermore.”

Saturday’s Military Devotional – The Lips

Some of us are old enough to remember being taught American History in school. Eventually we got around to the topic of World War II and the famous “Loose Lips Sink Ships” motto. 

Loose Lips Sink Ships”-WWII instruction for US service men ...

When I was a kid I didn’t think much of this mainly because WWII was in the past, the Vietnam war was going on until my senior year on HS but it was front and center on the TV so what was there to tell. 

Then a few years later I was a Sergeant in the Army and a few days before a major deployment I was off base getting haircut and this Korean barber says to me “you going with all the other GI on Thursday.” What, where had she gotten this classified info and from who’s loose lips? 


Well the bible has similar warnings many of them in the Wisdom Books of Psalms and Proverbs. Here is one I chose for today:

Logos.com

En las muchas palabras no falta pecado; Mas el que refrena sus labios es prudente. (RVR 1960)


CONTEXT:

As with yesterday’s Devotional on Proverbs 10:24 getting the proper context is not easy since we have a collection of sayings. The preceding verse v.18 speaks of  foolish slanders and hidden hatred coming from peoples lips. While v.20 contrasts the tongue of a righteous person being precious like silver and the heart of a wicked person being worthless. 

v.19 When words are many

This is actually quite simple to understand. Just as in Loose lips sink ships, an over abundance of words does little for any man.

If you are going to say something be sure and think it through ahead of time. What proceeds out of your mouth both defines and defiles (dishonors, soils, degrades) a person Matthew 15:11,18. What are the consequences, repercussions of my actions upon myself and others? 

transgression is not lacking,

I know of no one who does not like to profit from their actions. Yet so often folks speak out with abandon when only one thing comes from loose lips, (quick tongue) using unprofitable and evil words, is SIN.  

but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.

Just as we were asked to not reveal the plans for an upcoming deployment so too God asks that we keep from shooting our mouth off at the slightest provocation.   

John Gill in his commentary says this: 

but he that refraineth his lips [is] wise;
lays a restraint on his mouth, bridles his tongue; does not suffer his lips to utter anything rashly and inconsiderately; is sparing of his words and is careful of what he says, that it is true and proper to be spoken; and considers well the time when, place where, and persons to whom he speaks; and, all circumstances weighed, conducts accordingly: such a man is a wise, prudent, and understanding man; seeProverbs 17:27-28 ) .

CONCLUSION:

Man in his deprived state (that is apart from Christ) cannot hope to bridle his tongue. For many a man even with Christ, they will fight that battle regularly and it is a battle worth fighting. 

Remember the tongue and lips are but small members of of the body but with them we can do great damage to others. This is not to say we should not speak out against wrong doings. However we would be wise to adhere to the wisdom of David:


Today’s Questions

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on Loose Lips?

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I start living it out today?

Saturday’s Military Devotional

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

CONTEXT:

Paul is confined in a Roman prison while writing this letter to the church at Philippi. He begins chapter 4 with greetings to his fellow co-laborers in the work of the ministry. then he sets forth the prelude to our main text: 

Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, take pleasure in Him]; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit [your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience] be known to all people. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours]. v. 4-7 (AMP) 

Note how Paul even in very difficult circumstances begins with Rejoice in the Lord always! Next he says Do not be anxious or worried about anything this from a guy facing probable execution. Finally he invokes the peace of God. 

How can someone in his circumstances write of such things? it is simple and he lays it all out in our main text think on the things of GOD.


Today’s Questions

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What verse(s) strikes you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful verses?

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I apply it to me today?


John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible

Biblical Contentment, Part IX

Today we look at the last of the 7 things the Bible teaches us are key for everyday Christian; Walking as Christ Walked.

Image result for 1 John 2:6 Walking
Prayer: Proverbs 16:3 
Study: Psalm 119:11
Fellowship: Hebrews 10:25
Stewardship: 1 Peter 4:10
Worship: 1 Chronicles 16:29
Sharing: 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

Walking: 1 John 2:6

whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (ESV) 

El que dice que permanece en El, debe[a] andar como El anduvo. (LBLA)

The bible makes it clear (Matthew 16:24, 1 Corinthians 11:1, 1 Peter 2:20-22) that we are to follow the example set before us by Jesus. He is more than our Lord and Savior in that He was able to endure all that mankind could throw at Him with grace and dignity. 

When times get tough, when we feel discontentment closing in we need to remember verses like 1 John 2:6 

whoever says: who ever make the claim to be a Christian, a believer, a follower

he abides in him: a lasting condition of eternalness with Christ 

ought to walk: should be living their daily lives with their deeds matching their words

in the same way which he walked: copying the example of Christ Jesus set for us here on Earth.

Biblical Contentment comes from a close relationship with Christ and that comes from walking or living a Christ centered life.

John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible

He that saith he abideth in him,…. As all do that are in him; once in Christ, and always in Christ; they are set as a seal on his arm and heart, which can never be removed; they are in his arms, and can never be plucked from thence; and are members of him, and can never be disunited from him: or dwelleth in him, as in John 6:56; that is, by faith; who under a sense of sin and danger have fled to Christ, as to a strong tower and place of defence, where they dwell safely, peaceably, pleasantly, and comfortably, enjoying whatever is necessary for them. The Syriac and Ethiopic versions read, “he that saith I am in him”; loved by him, chosen in him, united to him, a member of his, and have communion with him:

ought himself also to walk even as he walked; as Christ walked, lived, and acted, so ought he; that is, to imitate him and follow him, as he has him for an example; not in his miraculous works in raising the dead, healing the sick, and walking upon the waters, &c. which were wrought as proofs of his deity and of his Messiahship, and not intended for imitation; nor in his mediatorial performances, as in his propitiatory sacrifice and advocacy; but in the exercise of grace, and duties of religion as a man, and in a private way; and may chiefly regard walking in love, as he walked, see Ephesians 5:2; and is what is in the following verses insisted on, namely, the new commandment of love to the brethren; which should be to all as his was, and, like his, constant and lasting; and, when the case requires, should be shown by laying down life for them. The “as” is not a note of equality, but of likeness; for it cannot be thought that saints should walk in that degree of perfection, in humility, patience, love, and in the exercise of every other grace, and in the discharge of duty, as Christ did; only that they should copy after him, and make his obedience and life the rule of theirs.


Christ Our Example

Christ, Our Example William Nicholson, 1862