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
https://images.app.goo.gl/ULQQ1hcaboSTUMhx9

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)

5 Myths about Hell

5 Myths about Hell

Mark Jones

We need to convince people that hell is not people ultimately getting “what they wanted” as if there were some victory for the wicked.

We all want happiness, and as such we should all come to the fountain of blessedness, the Lord Jesus Christ, so that he can give to us all that we really desire: joy unspeakable.

CONTINUED AT: SOURCE

Missions Work is not New

Image result for 1 Chronicles 16:24 Missions

1 Chronicles 16:24

Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonders among all peoples. (NKJV) 

Cantad entre las gentes su gloria,
    Y en todos los pueblos sus maravillas. (RVR 1960)

I just returned from the annual Reformed Baptist Network Conference in Coconut Creek Florida. It was a great time of business, edification, fellowship, Glorification and renewal. As a adviser to the missions committee I was very pleased to have the theme of this years conference “Motives for Missionary Labors”. You can find the three main evening speaker’s sermons here and I also highly recommend the final speakers (David Barcelo of Spain) presentation on “Do Not  Love The World“.  

One of the things that I was reminded of at the conference was that missions as we seem to define it today, ‘sharing the Gospel to those without it’, is not something that suddenly appears in the New Testament. 

Here in our text we have an example of just that scripture telling us that the nation of Israel was to do “Mission Work” in Declaring His glory among the nations and His wonders among all peoples.

Declare
סַפְּר֤וּ (sap·pə·rū)
Verb – Piel – Imperative – masculine plural
Strong’s Hebrew 5608To count, recount, relate

His glory
כְּבוֹד֔וֹ (kə·ḇō·w·ḏōw)
Noun – masculine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong’s Hebrew 3519: Weight, splendor, copiousness

among the nations,
בַגּוֹיִם֙ (ḇag·gō·w·yim)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun – masculine plural
Strong’s Hebrew 1471A foreign nation, a Gentile, a troop of animals, a flight of locusts

His wonders
נִפְלְאֹתָֽיו׃ (nip̄·lə·’ō·ṯāw)
Verb – Nifal – Participle – feminine plural construct | third person masculine singular
Strong’s Hebrew 6381To separate, distinguish, to be, great, difficult, wonderful

among all
בְּכָל־ (bə·ḵāl)
Preposition-b | Noun – masculine singular construct
Strong’s Hebrew 3605: The whole, all, any, every

peoples.
הָעַמִּ֖ים (hā·‘am·mîm)
Article | Noun – masculine plural
Strong’s Hebrew 5971: A people, a tribe, troops, attendants, a flock

When we break down the Hebrew like this is is hard not to recognize the missions oriented mandate here in David’s words. This becomes even more apparent when we add in v.23 Sing to the Lord, all the earth; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. David says to sing and proclaim the good news (Gospel) of Salvation. 

If we look at  Acts 13:46-47 Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”  this text in has Paul telling the Jewish leaders of the day, you were given the Mission of sharing proclaiming the good news and failed. Now God in his infinite sovereignty has called upon us to truly go to the ends of the earth. 

They, the nation of Israel were to proclaim the good news of His salvation, that is the Lord God of Heaven and Earth. We now know that true salvation, eternal reconciliation and life with God comes only through His Son Christ Jesus. Yet the Missions Work has not changed we are still to Declaring His glory among the nations and His wonders among all peoples because v.25a the Lord is great and greatly to be praised;

Are you doing your part in Missions work today? 

What We Learn About God from An Old Testament Prayer

by 

Do you treasure books of the Bible like 1 Chronicles? If you follow a Bible reading plan you’ll read through the Old Testament. But there’s a difference between having to read something and feeling like you get to read something. And for many, certain Old Testament books feel obligatory rather than delightful to read. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There is so much gold here, something I recently learned while reading through one of King David’s prayers…

Continued at Source: What We Learn About God from An Old Testament Prayer

 

Be sure and check out another of his articles Is the Old Testament Still Relevant Today? 

The Canon of Scripture

From: https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/essential-truths-of-the-christian-faith/

We usually think of the Bible as one large book. In reality, it is a small library of sixty-six individual books. Together these books comprise what we call the canon of sacred Scripture. The term canon is derived from a Greek word that means “measuring rod,” “standard,” or “norm.” Historically, the Bible has been the authoritative rule for faith and practice in the church.

With respect to the books included in the New Testament, there is complete agreement between Roman Catholics and Protestants. However, there is strong disagreement between the two groups concerning what should be included in the Old Testament. Roman Catholics consider the books of the Apocrypha as canonical, whereas historic Protestantism does not. (The books of the Apocrypha were written after the Old Testament was completed and before the New Testament was begun.) The debate concerning the Apocrypha focuses on the broader issue of what was considered canonical by the Jewish community. There is strong evidence that the Apocrypha was not included in the Palestinian canon of the Jews. On the other hand, it seems that Jews living in Egypt may have included the Apocrypha (in its Greek translation) in their Alexandrian canon. Recent evidence has surfaced, however, which casts some doubt upon that.

Some critics of the Bible argue that the church didn’t have a Bible as such until almost the beginning of the fifth century. But this is a distortion of the whole process of canonical development. The church met in council on several occasions in the early centuries to settle disputes about which books properly belong in the Canon. The first formal canon of the New Testament was created by the heretic Marcion who produced his own expurgated version of the Bible. To combat this heretic, the church found it necessary to declare the exact content of the New Testament.

Although the vast majority of books that are now included in the New Testament clearly functioned with canonical authority from the time they were written, there were a few books whose inclusion in the New Testament canon was disputed. These included Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude, and Revelation.

There were also several books vying for canonical status that were not included. The overwhelming majority of these were spurious works written by second-century Gnostic heretics. These books were never given serious consideration. (This point is missed by critics who allege that over two thousand contenders yielded a list of twenty-seven. Then they ask, “What are the odds that the correct twenty-seven were selected?”) In fact, only two or three books that were not included ever had real consideration. These were 1 Clement, The Shepherd of Hermas, and The Didache. These books were not included in the canon of Scripture because they were not written by apostles, and the writers themselves acknowledged that their authority was subordinate to the apostles.

Some Christians are bothered by the fact that there was a historical selection process at all. They are nagged by the question, how do we know that the New Testament canon includes the proper books? Traditional Roman Catholic theology answers this question by appealing to the infallibility of the church. The church is then viewed as “creating” the Canon, thereby having authority equal to Scripture itself. Classical Protestantism denies both that the church is infallible and that the church “created” the Canon. The difference between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism may be summarized as follows:

Roman Catholic view: The Canon is an infallible collection of infallible books.

Classical Protestant view: The Canon is a fallible collection of infallible books.

Liberal Critical view: The Canon is a fallible collection of fallible books.

Though Protestants believe that God gave special providential care to insure that the proper books be included, He did not thereby render the church itself infallible. Protestants also remind Roman Catholics that the church did not “create” the Canon. The church recognized, acknowledged, received, and submitted to the canon of Scripture. The term the church used in Council was recipimus, “We receive.”

By what criteria were books evaluated? The so-called marks of canonicity included the following:

  1. They must have apostolic authorship or endorsement.
  2. They must be received as authoritative by the early church.
  3. They must be in harmony with the books about which there is no doubt.

Though at one stage in his life Martin Luther questioned the canonicity of James, he later changed his mind. There is no serious reason to be the least bit doubtful that the books presently included in the New Testament canon are the proper ones.

  1. The term canon is derived from Greek, and it means “norm” or “standard.” Canon is used to describe the authoritative list of books that the church acknowledged as sacred Scripture and thus the “rule” for faith and practice.
  2. In addition to the sixty-six books of the Bible accepted by Protestants, Roman Catholics also accept the Apocrypha as authoritative Scripture.
  3. To combat heresy, the church found it necessary to declare which books had been recognized as authoritative.
  4. There were a few books in the Canon that were a matter of dispute (Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude, and Revelation) and some books that were considered for inclusion that were not admitted to the Canon, including 1 Clement, The Shepherd of Hermas, and The Didache.
  5. The church did not create the Canon but merely recognized the books that bore the marks of canonicity and were therefore authoritative within the church.
  6. The marks of canonicity included: (1) apostolic authorship or endorsement, (2) being recognized as authoritative within the early church, and (3) being in harmony with the books that were undoubtedly part of the Canon.

 

The Essential Truths of the Christian Faith devotional is excerpted from Essential Truths of the Christian Faith Copyright © 1992 by R. C.

Is The Old Testament Still Relevant Today?

Why should I read the Old Testament if I’m in New Covenant? Is the Old Testament still relevant today? Do all of those rules even matter to me? These are questions that Christians sometimes ask of the Old testament. You might read the Old Testament and feel intimidated, which makes you want to ask: Should I even read the Old Testament?

Continued at Source: Is The Old Testament Still Relevant Today?