Daily Devotional – Ephesians 4:30 Part I

Logos.com

EPHESIANS 4 

GRIEVING THE HOLY SPIRIT 


CONTEXT 

Most modern bibles have some sort of heading like Unity of the Spirit (AMP, Unity, and Diversity in the Body of Christ (CSB) or Unity in the Body of Christ (ESV) at the beginning of Chapter Four. While these can be helpful, as a general theme they are not theologically complete.  My simple break down of Ephesians 4 looks like this:

      • v.1–6  Paul urges his readers to live according to the calling they have received as believers 
      • v. 4:7–32 Paul shifts focus to the new life believers have in Christ
        • v.7-16 Using spiritual gifts and graces from God
        • v. 17-24 To live pure and holy lives
        • v. 25-32 Always being weary of worldly lies and sins

Our text today is v.30 above and we will look at only the first part of the text since it is packed with so much good theological stuff.


BREAKDOWN

v. 30a (KJV) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, 

Paul says  do not give, the Greek word is lypeite, which means to “cause grief,” or “make sorrowful.”  Why is that so important and what are its biblical and theological implications for Christians? 

First, some more CONTEXT, what is Paul speaking about when he mentions grieving the Holy Spirit. Look at v.29 and v.31, it seems reasonably clear that he is saying our words our actions done in a manner that are not edifying to ourselves and glorifying to God make the Holy Spirit Sorrowful. 

Whenever we digress and sin, whether it be by commission or omission, the Holy Spirit is grieved in accordance with His deity. He is God, the third person of the trinity, but most importantly the indwelling spirit in every true believer. Now consider the God can not dwell with evil, Psalm 5:4 and you can see the conflict and sorrow brought upon the Holy Spirit every time we sin. 

God’s Spirit is especially sensitive to sin because of His close relationship with us, those who have been saved and defined as the Lord’s holy people (1 Peter 1:13–16). The Spirit seals us “for the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30; see 1:13–14) — He dwells within us when we trust in Christ Jesus, marking us as the people of God who will be spared divine wrath on judgment day. By the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, we are increasingly conformed to our Savior’s image, and a return to a pattern of life wholly dominated by sin is impossible for all those whom the Spirit has sealed (Rom. 8:29–30). Still, even Christians may fall into significant sin, which grieves the Spirit, introducing a distance between Him and us. – Grieving the Holy Spirit 

The grieving of the Holy Spirit has four main theological ideas for me:

All men even those saved “Christians” are capable of sin – this is clearly being addressed to believers no one can or should question that

It proves God cares about us only a caring and merciful God would grieve when we do wrong

It validates our eternal life Paul never says sin and you are done for, in fact as we will discuss tomorrow the opposite

It motivates us to live a Holy life – Just because we know we are redeemed and have no fear of losing the SpiritRomans 8:37–39, this is not a license to sin, in fact, the opposite is true. ALL TRUE Christians we despise sin and want to, no more than that have a deep-rooted desire to live a Holy life. 


APPLICATION

Modern evangelicals seem to have forgotten that the Holy Spirit’s primary role is to  “convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment”  John 16:8.  Yes, He is also a helper, comforter, and guide to all believers John 14:16 but the conviction of sin in all mankind is the primary mission. 

We have shown today that all men are capable of sin and that all men grieve the Holy Spirit by that sin.  God expects us and we should if truly saved want to immediately confess our sins. So please join me in prayer:

Matthew Henry's Method for Prayer

The offense which by sin
I have given to the Holy God

I have grieved the Holy Spirit of God, by whom I was sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30(ESV)

By breaking the law I have dishonored God, Romans 2:23(ESV) and given bitter provocation Hosea 12:14(ESV) to the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 1:4(ESV) And many a thing that I have done has displeased the Lord. 2 Samuel 11:27(ESV)

God has been broken over my whoring heart and my eyes that have gone whoring after my idols. Ezekiel 6:9(ESV)

I have put him to the test, and to the proof, and grieved him in the wilderness; Psalm 95:9-10(ESV) have rebelled, and grieved his Holy SpiritIsaiah 63:10(ESV) and pressed him down with my iniquities, as a cart full of sheaves presses down. Amos 2:13(ESV)


OTHER RESOURCES

Alexander Maclaren_ Grieve the Spirit

 

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 IV

What Does Psalm 141:2 Mean?

PSALM 141

Final Plea and Praise


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. The second part of the series was entitled petitioning for His assistance, and yesterday we explored Praying to God for othersToday we close the series by looking at the final 4 verses with the theme of a Final Plea and Praise. 


Breakdown

v.7Our bones are scattered at the grave’s mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth.

We have all had moments when life seems hopeless, like we have one foot near the grave. When nothing seems to be cohesive, nothing seems to be able to go in our favor, life is like a bunch of splitters of wood  cast about haphazardly. 

v.8 But mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute. 

What to do when life seems so desperate? David’s response, Praise and  focus on God,  mine eyes are unto thee,  have faith in God,  in thee is my trust, focus on the eternal, leave not my soul destitute.  This last one to me is most significant. In times of trouble we have a tendency to focus on the present storm, when our eternal destiny is really much more important. 

Mine eyes are unto thee, O GOD the Lord. If you would keep your mind fixed in prayer, keep your eye fixed. Much vanity comes in at the eye. When the eyes wander in prayer, the heart wanders. To think to keep the heart fixed in prayer, and yet let the eyes gaze abroad, is as if one should think to keep his house sate, yet let the windows be open.—Thomas Watson.

v.9 & 10Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity.  Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape. David makes a final plea for safety from his persecutors. 

Snares, Gins, Nets. The usual method of capturing or killing the lion in Palestine was by pitfalls or nets, to both of which there are many references in the Scriptures. The mode of hunting the lion with nets was identical with that which is practised in India at the present time. The precise locality of the lion’s dwelling place having been discovered, a circular wall of net is arranged round it, or if only a few nets can be obtained, they are set in a curved form, the concave side being towards the lion. They then send dogs into the thicket, hurl stones and sticks at the den, shoot arrows into it, fling burning torches at it, and so irritate and alarm the animal that it rushes against the net, which is so made that it falls down and envelops the animal in its folds. If the nets be few, the drivers go to the opposite side of the den, and induce the lion to escape in the direction where he sees no foes, but where he is sure to run against the treacherous net. Other large and dangerous animals were also captured by the same means. Another and more common, because an easier and a cheaper method, was, by digging a deep pit, covering the mouth with a slight covering of sticks and earth, and driving the animal upon the treacherous covering. It is an easier method than the net, because after the pit is once dug, the only trouble lies in throwing the covering over its mouth. But it is not so well adapted for taking beasts alive, as they are likely to be damaged, either by the fall into the pit, or by the means used in getting them out again. Animals, therefore, that are caught in pits are generally, though not always, killed before they are taken out. The net, however, envelops the animal so perfectly, and renders it so helpless, that it can be easily bound and taken away. The hunting net is very expensive, and requires a large staff of men to work it, so that none but a rich man could use the net in hunting. Besides the net, several other modes of bird catching were used by the ancient Jews, just as is the case at the present day. Boys, for example, who catch birds for their own consumption, and not for the market, can do so by means of various traps, most of which are made on the principle of the noose, or snare. Sometimes a great number of hair nooses are set in places to which the birds are decoyed, so that in hopping about, many of them are sure to be entangled in the snares. Sometimes the noose is ingeniously suspended in a narrow passage which the birds are likely to traverse, and sometimes a simple fall trap is employed.—J. G. Wood.


APPLICATION

If you are a Truly Converted Christian and actively engaged in the biblical mandate to share the Good News you will experience difficulties in this life for like Christ the world will HATE us.    

We have choices, give up, fight on our own or like David, fight with Fragrant Prayer to the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the Conqueror of Death.

Pray The Bible: Promoting, Encouraging, and Assisting God's People in Biblical Prayer

All my bones shall say, “O LORD, who is like you!” Psalm 35:10(ESV) For you keep the bones, and not one of them is broken. Psalm 34:20(ESV)

I lay down and sleep, for you, LORD, make me to dwell in safety. Psalm 3:5(ESV)

You have commanded your angels concerning me, to guard me in all my ways; to bear me up in their hands, lest I strike my foot against a stone. Psalm 91:11-12(ESV) And they are all ministering spirits, sent out to serve for the good of those who are to inherit salvation. Hebrews 1:14(ESV)

When perhaps there has been but a step between me and death, 1 Samuel 20:3(ESV) and when I have felt that I have received the sentence of death, 2 Corinthians 1:9(ESV) and have been ready to say, “In the middle of my days I must depart; I am consigned to the gates of Sheol for the rest of my years”; Isaiah 38:10(ESV) yet in love you have delivered my life from the pit of destruction and cast all my sins behind your back. Isaiah 38:17(ESV)

When the snares of death have encompassed me and the pangs of Sheol have laid hold on me, I have called on the name of the LORD and have found that gracious is the LORD, and righteous, yes, my God is merciful; I have been brought low, and he has saved me, Psalm 116:3-6(ESV) and has delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling. I will therefore walk before the LORD in the land of the living. Psalm 116:8-9(ESV)

Daily Devotional – Rich, Poor, Enemies or Friends

The book of Provers is a contrast between Wisdom and Folly.  The same can be said for someone who only prays for those they love, their own needs, or  never those around them. 

Pray The Bible: Promoting, Encouraging, and Assisting God's People in Biblical Prayer

DAILY DEVOTIONAL FOR DEC 31, 2020

Pray for the Rich and the Poor; your Enemies and your Friends

For those who are rich and prosperous in the world, some of whom perhaps need prayers as much as those who request them.

Lord, keep those who are rich in this present age from being haughty and setting their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, and give them to trust in God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy: That they may do good and be rich in good works, generous and ready to share; that they may store up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future. 1 Timothy 6:17-19(ESV)

Though it is hard for those who are rich to enter into the kingdom of heaven, yet with you this is possible. Matthew 19:24-26(ESV)

For those who are poor and in affliction, for such we have always with us.

Lord, make those who are poor in the world rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, James 2:5(ESV) and give to them to receive the gospel.

O that the poor of the flock may wait upon you and may know the word of the LORD. Zechariah 11:11(ESV)

Many are the afflictions of the righteous; good Lord, deliver them out of them all. Psalm 34:19(ESV) And though for the moment all affliction seems painful rather than pleasant; nevertheless, later let it yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11(ESV)

Pray for the least of these Matthew 25:31-46 (added by me) 

For our enemies and those who hate us.

Lord, give us to love our enemies, to bless those who curse us, and to pray for those who despitefully use us and persecute us. Matthew 5:44(ESV)

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do; Luke 23:34(ESV) and do not hold their malice against them; Acts 7:60(ESV) and work in us a disposition to bear with others and forgive in love, Colossians 3:13(ESV) as you require we should whenever we pray. Mark 11:25(ESV)

And grant that our ways may so please the LORD, that even our enemies may be at peace with us. Proverbs 16:7(ESV)

Let the wolf dwell with the lamb, Isaiah 11:6(ESV) and let there be none to hurt or destroy in all your holy mountain; Isaiah 11:9(ESV) let Ephraim not be jealous of Judah, nor Judah harass Ephraim. Isaiah 11:13(ESV)

For our friends and those who love us.

And we wish for all those whom we love in truth, that all may go well with them and that they may be in good health; we especially pray that it may go well with their souls. 2 John 1:2(ESV)

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with their spirits. Philemon 1:25(ESV)

Daily Devotional – Young and Old

Youth think they know EVRYTHING and do not care to hear advise from anyone. The OLDER I get the less I seem to remember and of course no one seems to want any of the wisdom I do have. What a paradox of age. What a need for prayer. – Mike

Pray The Bible: Promoting, Encouraging, and Assisting God's People in Biblical Prayer

DAILY DEVOTIONAL FOR DEC 30, 2020

Pray for the Young and the Old

For the several ages and conditions of men, as they stand in need of mercy and grace.

For those who are young and setting out in the world.

Lord, give to those who are young to remember their Creator in the days of their youth; Ecclesiastes 12:1(ESV) that thereby they may be kept from the vanity which childhood and youth are subject to, and may be restrained from walking in the way of their heart and in the sight of their eyes, by considering that for all these things God will bring them into judgment. Ecclesiastes 11:9(ESV)

Lord, make young people self-controlled; Titus 2:6(ESV) and let the word of God abide in them, that they may be strong and may overcome the evil one.1 John 2:14(ESV)

From the womb of the morning let Christ have the dew of your youth; Psalm 110:3(ESV) and let him be formed in the hearts of those who are young.Galatians 4:19(ESV)

Keep those who are setting out in the world from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire2 Peter 1:4(ESV) and give to those who have been well-educated, to hold fast the pattern of sound words, 2 Timothy 1:13(ESV) and to continue in what they have learned. 2 Timothy 3:14(ESV)

For those who are old and of long standing in profession.

There are some who are old disciples of Jesus Christ; Acts 21:16(KJV) Lord, give them still to bear fruit in old age, to declare that the LORD is upright, that he is their Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. Psalm 92:14-15(ESV)

Now the evil days have come and the years of which they say, “I have no pleasure in them”; Ecclesiastes 12:1(ESV) let your consolations cheer their souls. Psalm 94:19(ESV)

You have said, “Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you.” You have made them, Lord; we beg you, bear, yes, do carry and save them. Isaiah 46:4(ESV)

Those whom you have taught from their youth up and to whom you still proclaim your wondrous deeds, now, also, when they are old and gray headed, Psalm 71:17-18(ESV) forsake them not; cast them not off in the time of old age; forsake them not when their strength is spent. Psalm 71:9(ESV)

Let every gray head be a crown of glory to those who have it, being gained in a righteous life, Proverbs 16:31(ESV) and give them to know whom they have believed. 2 Timothy 1:12(ESV)

 

Daily Devotional – Pray for Ministers

I am working the next couple of days so y’all get the short form again. I thought I would share from my reading of Matthew Henry’s Devotional on prayer. While this devotional is directed specifically at those in the Pulpit it is applicable to all who minister the true uncompromising Holy Word of God and as such we should pray for them too. – Mike

Pray The Bible: Promoting, Encouraging, and Assisting God's People in Biblical Prayer

Pray for the Ministers of God’s Holy Word and Sacraments

Teach your ministers how they ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, 1 Timothy 3:15(ESV) that they may not preach themselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, 2 Corinthians 4:5(ESV) and may do their best to present themselves approved to God, workmen who have no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15(ESV)

Make them competent in the Scriptures, Acts 18:24(ESV) that from them they may be equipped for every good work, 2 Timothy 3:17(ESV) in teaching showing integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned. Titus 2:7-8(ESV)

Enable them to give attendance to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching; to practice these things; 1 Timothy 4:13-15(ESV) to devote themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word; Acts 6:4(ESV) to immerse themselves in them and to persist in them, that they may save both themselves and their hearers. 1 Timothy 4:15-16(ESV)

Let words be given to them in opening their mouths boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, that they may speak as they ought to speak, Ephesians 6:19-20(ESV) as competent ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; 2 Corinthians 3:6(ESV) and let them by the Lord’s mercy be trustworthy. 1 Corinthians 7:25(ESV)

Let the arms of their hands be made agile by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob; Genesis 49:24(ESV) and let them be full of power by the Spirit of the Lord of hosts, Micah 3:8(ESV) to show your people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. Isaiah 58:1(ESV)

Make them sound in the faith, Titus 1:13(ESV) and enable them always to teach what accords with sound doctrine, Titus 2:1(ESV) correcting their opponents with gentleness; and let not the Lord’s servants be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach. 2 Timothy 2:24-25(ESV)

Make them good examples to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity; 1 Timothy 4:12(ESV) and let them purify themselves who bear the vessels of the Lord, Isaiah 52:11(ESV) and let HOLY TO THE LORD be written upon their foreheads. Exodus 28:36(ESV)

Lord, grant that they may not labor in vain or spend their strength for nothing and vanity, Isaiah 49:4(ESV) but let the hand of the Lord be with them, that many may believe and turn to the Lord. Acts 11:21(ESV)

 

Daily Devotional – “O Holy Night”

Hillsong - O Holy Night - Lyrics - YouTube

Mark 12:31-33


CONTEXT

If one reads Mark Chapter 12 we find that the lessons preceding this one v.28-34, begin in verse 13 and continue through verse 30.  There are in most modern translation two headings breaking up the text v.13-17 Paying Caesar Taxes and v.18-30 The Sadducees ask about resurrection. 

In each case the Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes were trying to trap Jesus into saying something that would be against the Jewish Law, unfortunately they were including laws made by man in it. 

Our text deals what has become Universally known as The Great Commandment.


HYMN 

I still remember the first time I heard the Hymn “O Holy Night.”  It was 1960 and Nate King Cole (See Below) released his version on Columbia records which my mom bought and played on our new RCA phonograph. 

There was something about his smooth baritone and the lyrics  

Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!

As I have grown older I realize there is SO much more to this grand hymn. Today I want to concentrate on just verse three and the lyrics in our main text: 

 Truly he taught us to love one another;
His law is love and his gospel is peace.

Biblically I understand that there can never be true peace on earth unless all mankind were to renounce evil and repent of their sins declaring Christ Lord and Savior.

Yet that knowledge does should not mean we stop PRAYING for both that peace along with the morality and civility that proceeds it.

To that end I offer from the Matthew Henry’s Prayer  Devotional the following:

O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and establish the righteous – you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God. Psalm 7:9(ESV) Spirit many to rise up for you against the wicked and to stand up for you against evildoers. Psalm 94:16(ESV)

Let the Deliverer come to Zion and banish ungodliness from Jacob; Romans 11:26(ESV) and let the filth of Jerusalem be cleansed from its midst by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of burning. Isaiah 4:4(ESV)

Let all wickedness shut its mouth; Psalm 107:42(ESV) and let the infection of that plague be stayed by intervening judgment. Psalm 106:30(ESV)

Let those who are struggling against sin never grow weary or fainthearted. Hebrews 12:3-4(ESV)

Remove the spirit of uncleanness from the land, Zechariah 13:2(ESV) and change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that they may call upon the name of the LORD. Zephaniah 3:9(ESV)

Set us high above all nations in praise and in fame and in honor by making us a people holy to the LORD our God. Deuteronomy 26:19(ESV)


 

Sunday Sermon Series – Man’s Natural Blindness

When we appreciate grace, we show it to others! - ppt download

PSALM 94


 I was reading this Psalm this morning and I thought of our nation,  how far we have fallen, how miserable we have become as a “people.” There was a time when we were a God fearing nation, that is to say for the most part folks honored the law of the land, respected others and had common curtesy  towards each other. Sadly that has, for much of the land, gone by the wayside.

After four years of massive growth (financial stability and wealth)  for all Americans, one need only look to the daily news to see riots, media bias, fraud on a scale unprecedented in history and a massive movement to rewrite our history to realize we have become a nation of senseless people. 

I urge everyone to PRAY, pray for God’s Chastisement, pray for His Mercy,  Pray for America for I fear the America I new and defended proudly is doomed. 


SERMON

Man’s Natural Blindness in Things of Religion 

 Jonathan Edwards
 (1703-1758)

Dated February 1739/1740.

“Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the ear, shall he not hear?
he that formed the eye, shall he not see? He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge,
shall not he know? The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.” — 
Psalm 94:8-11

Subject: There is an extreme and brutish blindness in things of religion that naturally possesses the hearts of mankind.

Hurricane Laura

An all to familiar scene in the wake of Hurricane Laura can be seen in this early morning video of St Charles, LA. 

PLEASE PRAY for all those effected by the storm, those in the storms path (She is not done) and all those responding to the storm damage (First responders and Volunteers alike) 

Daily Devotional – No Peace

165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Psalm 119:165

 

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

Psalm 119 is certainly all about God’s Word; His commandments, laws, precepts,  call or define them as we may they are the ethical, moral and in some cases legal rules by which God says man should live. Note I said man should live, not must live, for we know man is INCAPABLE of living out these rules on his own accord. Man (apart from Christ) will always turn to his internal unethical, immoral and illegal sin nature and never be at Peace

The bible has a lot to say about Peace. Most of the time for “Christians at least we hear or read verses that are encouraging and uplifting, promising peace to us who are faithful. 

The word Peace in various forms can be found in the KJV of the Bible some 400+ times. In Dictionaries – Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology we find the following: 

The Meaning of Peace. In English, the word “peace” conjures up a passive picture, one showing an absence of civil disturbance or hostilities, or a personality free from internal and external strife. The biblical concept of peace is larger than that and rests heavily on the Hebrew root slm, which means “to be complete” or “to be sound.” The verb conveys both a dynamic and a static meaning” to be complete or whole” or “to live well.” The noun had many nuances, but can be grouped into four categories: (1) salom [l’v] as wholeness of life or body (i.e., health); (2) salom [l’v] as right relationship or harmony between two parties or people, often established by a covenant (see “covenant of peace” in Num 25:12-13 ; Isa 54:10 ; Ezek 34:25-26 ) and, when related to Yahweh, the covenant was renewed or maintained with a “peace offering”; (3) salom [l’v] as prosperity, success, or fulfillment (see Lev 26:3-9 ); and (4) salom [l’v] as victory over one’s enemies or absence of war. Salom [l’v] was used in both greetings and farewells. It was meant to act as a blessing on the one to whom it was spoken: “May your life be filled with health, prosperity, and victory.” As an adjective, it expressed completeness and safety. In the New Testament, the Greek word eirene [eijrhvnh] is the word most often translated by the word “peace.” Although there is some overlap in their meanings, the Hebrew word salom [l’v] is broader in its usage, and, in fact, has greatly influenced the New Testament’s use of eirene [eijrhvnh].


BREAKDOWN:

Great peace – The Hebrew Word Shalowm  translated Great peace almost does not do it justice. It would be hard to put an English word here for the Hebrew means fullness, without need or want. Some translations (Bereans, CSB, NASB) translate it Abundant Peace, even that leave us with an expectation of possibly more. 

Maybe the best way I could describe it would be Complete Peace, one so full you need no thought of anything else. 

have they which love thy law: – Note the Psalmist (and scripture backs them up) makes it clear that this type of fulfilling peace only comes to them that Love the Law of God. You can’t be a Burger King Theologian, taking only the laws and commands of the Bible you like and having God your way.

and nothing shall offend them – Again this is another of those KJV words I love not so much because is makes perfect sense but because it made me research it true meaning. I had to think why would God’s laws offend me. Well the Hebrew word here is  Mikshowl, and means more like something that would cause us to stumble or fall from faith or in this case Peace (fellowship) with God


APPLICATION:

If following God’s laws is the recipe for Complete Peace, disregarding  or ignoring God’s laws is the recipe for No Peace

All one has to do is to look at the chaos, riots and unrest in the street across America today to realize that true peace has evaded the hearts of those people. 

So what are we, that is those who are at Peace with God to do? PRAY, pray not for peace which may seem like a strange thing to say but peace can not come as long as the heart and soul of man is corrupt. No PRAY, for revival, PRAY for another Great Awakening, PRAY for the very Souls of those who hate the Laws of God.