Devotional Thought for Today – 08/12/21

Daily Bible Verse | Grace | James 4:6

JAMES 4:6

CONTEXT: Chapter 4 continues where 3 leaves off, reminding the reader that seeking after self, worldly gains, and wisdom will only lead to conflict within the church and their personal lives. Matthew Henry divides it as follows: Here are cautions against corrupt affections, and love of this world, which is enmity to God. (1-10) Exhortations to undertake no affairs of life, without constant regard to the will and providence of God. (11-17)

Before we briefly look at the specifics of our main verse, let me caution the reader that the text is not implying that humility equals being a pushover, a do-nothing, or someone who never speaks up. As always I implore you to read the Whole Counsel of God, Christ Jesus was anything but one of those things, yet He carried out His assigned duties on earth with great Humility.

But he giveth more grace. That is God will always provide more Grace to both believer and non-believer (Common Grace) but especially the effectual Grace needed for Salvation and a lasting relationship with the Triune God.

Wherefore he saith, God declares

God resisteth the proud, those who are so self-absorbed that they scoff at the notion of God. Psalm 1:1, Romans 1:18

but giveth grace unto the humble. those who will admit that apart from Christ they love the Darkside. John 3:17-21. It can be hard to “Back down” from our self-righteous, self-imposed throne, but that is exactly what God expects of His Children. To humble themselves as obedient children like Christ did Philippians 2:5-7.

Matthew Henry's Method for Prayer

Pray for the Grace of Self-Denial and Humility

We must pray for the grace of self-denial.

Lord, give us grace to deny ourselves, to take up our cross daily, and to follow Christ; Matthew 16:24(ESV) to discipline our bodies and keep them under control. 1 Corinthians 9:27(ESV)

Lord, keep us from being lovers of ourselves, 2 Timothy 3:2(ESV) from being wise in our own eyes and leaning to our own understanding. Proverbs 3:5-7(ESV)

Lord, give us to seek, not our own good only, but also the good of our neighbor. 1 Corinthians 10:24(ESV)

And grant that we may not live to ourselves or die to ourselves, but whether we live or die, we may be the Lord’s, and may live and die to him. Romans 14:7-8(ESV)

We must pray for humility and meekness.

Lord, give us to learn from Christ to be gentle and lowly in heart, that we may find rest for our souls; Matthew 11:29(ESV) and that herein the same mind may be in us that was also in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5(ESV)

Lord, conceal pride from us, Job 33:17(ESV) and clothe us with humility; 1 Peter 5:5(ESV) and put upon us the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in your sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:4-5(ESV)

Lord, give us grace to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:1-2(ESV)

Let anger never lodge in our bosoms, Ecclesiastes 7:9(ESV) nor the sun ever go down on our anger; Ephesians 4:26(ESV) but enable us to show perfect courtesy toward all people, because we ourselves were once foolish and disobedient. Titus 3:2-3(ESV)

Let us be clothed as becomes the elect children of God, holy and beloved, with compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, Colossians 3:12(ESV) that being merciful, even as our heavenly Father is merciful, Luke 6:36(ESV) we may be perfect as he is perfect. Matthew 5:48(ESV)

Devotional Thought for Today – 06/05/2021

James 1:19–20 (ESV) - James 1:19–20 ESV - Know this, my beloved… | Biblia
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James 1

CONTEXT: Matthew Henry says of this book and specifically this chapter: This epistle of James is one of the most instructive writings in the New Testament. Being chiefly directed against particular errors at that time brought in among the Jewish Christians, it does not contain the same full doctrinal statements as the other epistles, but it presents an admirable summary of the practical duties of all believers...How to apply to God under troubles, and how to behave in prosperous and in adverse circumstances. (1-11) To look upon all evil as proceeding from ourselves, and all good from God. (12-18) The duty of watching against a rash temper, and of receiving the word of God with meekness. (19-21) And of living according to thereto. (22-25) The difference between vain pretenses and real religion. (26,27)

Over the years I have written many times about anger, like many of my fellow ex-military, it is an issue I have long dealt with and writing helps remind me of the futility of angry outbursts.

Instead of more of my words here is a devotional on the matter by John MacArthur:

Be Slow to Anger

“Let everyone be . . . slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20).

If you resent God’s Word, you cannot grow in righteousness.

Have you ever started reading your Bible, thinking everything was fine between you and the Lord, only to have the Word suddenly cut deep into your soul to expose some sin you had neglected or tried to hide? That commonly happens because God seeks to purge sin in His children. The Holy Spirit uses the Word to penetrate the hidden recesses of the heart to do His convicting and purifying work. How you respond to that process is an indicator of the genuineness of your faith.

“Anger” in James 1:19-20 refers to a negative response to that process. It is a deep internal resentment accompanied by an attitude of rejection. Sometimes that resentment can be subtle. Paul described those who “will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires” (2 Tim. 4:3). They’re the people who drift from church to church in search of someone who will tell them what they want to hear—or a congregation that wants a pastor who will make them feel good about themselves instead of preaching the Word and setting a high standard of holiness.

Sometimes resentment toward the Word ceases to be subtle and turns to open hostility. That happened when the crowd Stephen confronted covered their ears, drove him out of the city, and stoned him to death (Acts 7:57-60). Countless others throughout history have felt the fatal blows of those whose resentment of God’s truth turned to hatred for His people.

Receiving the Word includes being quick to hear what it says and slow to anger when it disagrees with your opinions or confronts your sin. Is that your attitude? Do you welcome its reproof and heed its warnings, or do you secretly resent it? When a Christian brother or sister confronts a sin in your life, do you accept or reject their counsel?

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God for the power of His Word to convict you and drive you to repentance. Welcome its correction with humility and thanksgiving.

For Further Study

Read 2 Timothy 4:1-5, noting the charge Paul gave to Timothy and his reason for giving it

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.


Here are some other posts on Anger:

Christian Reflections on Anger

Overcoming 5 Types of Anger

Dealing with Anger? Meditating on Bible Verses from Proverbs

Comfort for the Grieving, Hurting, and Dying Series – Part IV

Devotional Thought for Today – 06/03/2021

https://images.app.goo.gl/3e7HNgRvvVRuSE9Y8

PSALM 8

Context: Mathew Henry says of this Psalm: God is to be glorified, for making known himself to us. (1,2) And for making even the heavenly bodies useful to man, thereby placing him (man) but little lower than the angels. (3-9)

I am old enough to remember the days before space exploration when we as kids would look to the stars and dream of reaching out and touching them. When the USSR launched Sputnik on October 4, 1957, the idea of reaching them no longer seemed so far-fetched. Then with the famous words of Neil Armstrong on 20 July 1969 of “One giant leap for mankind” even the moon seemed like just a stone’s throw away.

I was definitely not a “Christian” then, nothing more than a nominal Catholic at best, but I still gazed at the moon and stars in awe of the expanse and magnitude of their glory. I look back at those times now and see the hand of God preparing this hard head for later years of submission. The scope of the heavens reminding me of my place in the universe and the kingdom.

I still look at the heavens at night in awe, how could such a masterpiece be created? I know the answer of course but for someone who flunked stick people in art class, it is simply beyond comprehension and most comforting that in their vastness God knows my name.

Devotional Thought for Today – 05/04/2021

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

2 Chronicles 7

As always context is here is so important. The immediate context of v.14 tells us that King Solomon has finished the Temple and the fact that God will send judgment upon the land in the form of drought, locusts, or pestilence for their disobedience. God hears Solomon’s prayer but gives him this dire warning of the consequences of continued rebellion, v.12-14.

God’s promise of restoration v.14, is offset with ongoing warnings in verses 19-22 for abandoning the law, seeking and worshipping false idols. The consequences of which are so grave, that not only will the temple be forsaken but the people of Israel will be ridiculed among the nations; I will cast this house, which I have consecrated for My Name, out of My sight, and will make it a proverb and an object of scorn among all nations (AMP).

So the question becomes can this text be rightly applied to America today?

My answer is yes, under certain very specific parameters:

  • If my people,NO, we are not as a nation God’s chosen people, No, we were not founded as a Christian Nation (I would be happy to discuss this), Yes, we were however clearly founded upon Judeo- Christian principles, that we as a nation have forsaken.
  • which are called by my name, – God does not call all citizens of America His children as were the those of the Nation of Israel. However, Pew Research as of 2019 shows 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians. That is 213.2 million Americans.
  • shall humble themselves, The first requirement for Israel back in the time of Solomen and for America today is proclaiming for Christians must humble themselves all other actions fall short.
  • and pray, and seek my face, – Next, Christians need to be in an attitude and altitude of prayer. Just as God told Solomon here, the only way one can hope to forestall the Lord’s righteous judgment is to earnestly seek Him in prayer.
  • and turn from their wicked ways; – Finally, we must Repent, obviously for our own sins of commission and omission, but also for the sins of the nation as a whole.
  • then will I hear from heaven, – God promises to hear the prayers of the righteous.
  • and will forgive their sin, – God promises to forgive the sins of the truly repentant.
  • and will heal their land. – God promised to heal the land of Israel, but as we know from history they were overrun many times and still to this day live in turmoil. Here in America are praying for revival, for the end to abortion, for the destruction of anti-Christian enemies, etc. I pray more “Christians” would Humble, Seek, Pray and Repent before the Sovereign God of all creation. Imagine if all 213.2 Million had the same goal to Make America MORAL Again.

Are We Praying?

Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Bible

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Repentance According to the Scriptures: 2 Chronicles 7:14 …

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

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.

Saturday’s Military Devotional – MIGHT

CONTEXT:

When I was a kid I loved to walk along the shores of Cape Cod, or more recently along the beaches of South Mississippi. Yet every once in a while the majestic beauty of those walks would be interrupted God’s might.

While I may no longer live along the Gulf coast and have to worry about crashing waves this was yesterday’s news lead:

Jackson flooding
Note this is not our neighborhood we are not affected so far.

Jackson mayor urges residents to take flood threat seriously; Mayor issues order of evacuation for areas of Jackson

It is for me a reminder that he is sovereign and in charge of all things.

 

Read the Verse Link below and Review the Commentaries on Psalm 93 and answer the questions below. I pray you are blessed and God is Glorified.


Image result for PSALM 93:3

Psalm 93 (AMP) 

Salmos 93 (RVR 1960)


Psalm 93 Bible Commentary’s

Charles H. Spurgeon’s Treasury of David

Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary (concise)

Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown

 


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 God’s Might?

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

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