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. 

 

Daily Devotional – Self Exam

2 Cor. 13 - Test Yourself

2 Corinthians 13:5

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

I know very few people who are big fans of going to the doctors or dentist. Something about being examined having someone invade your body with probes and mind numbing questions just does not excite me or most folks I know.

Our text comes after Paul’s “Thorn in the Flesh” story in Chapter 12 and seems to be in response to the Corinthians being quite willing to point out errors in others but not necessarily in themselves (v.1-4). 


BREAKDOWN:

Examine yourselves, – No medical specialist needed here, we are to do a self-evaluation.

whether ye be in the faith; – to determine our right standing with God. That is are we really in the Faith and living the Faith. 

prove your own selves. – Do are lives prove to ourselves (and those around us) that we are committed to the Kingdom of Christ? Or are you a CPC, Couch Potato Christian?

Know ye not your own selves, – Do you recognize the traits (Fruits of the Spirit) of a Christian in yourself?

how that Jesus Christ is in you, – Do you see Christ in you? 

except ye be reprobates? – Or have you failed the test; a fake and counterfeit Christian in name only?


 APPLICATION: 

There are two key takeaways here; one is needing to look inward (self examination) and the second is Know ye not your own selves, actioning your faith. Paul is reminding us as James later does that Faith without works is dead or using Paul’s analogy No Fruit no Real Faith.  

 

In U.S., smaller share of adults identify as Christians, while religious 'nones' have grown

While on a continuing decline over the past 12 years, the number of U.S. adults who describe themselves as “CHRISTIAN” is still at 65% as of 2019. 

The question I have continually posed is simple: If this number were true why has this overwhelming majority not examined themselves and spoken out on issues of today?

I believe that answer is simple the number is false, far to many calling them self “Christian” are in fact reprobates and the minority who are true believers are shamefully to scared to speak out. 

We need to pray

Pray that all “Christians” will examine themselves, that they will get involved in issues like Abortion, LGBT, Religious Liberty, 1st Amendment and other issues being used to suppress Christianity and the Church today. 

 


OTHER RESOURCES:
Assurance of Salvation
Joel Beeke
Paul commands us, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Cor. 13:5). It is a responsibility of great importance for the people of God to be assured that there is a true and saving work of grace in them, so as to distinguish them from hypocrites. There are certain signs of grace by which a man may discern what he is. In this series, Joel Beeke discusses assurance by utilizing Anthony Burgess’ (d. 1664) masterpiece, Spiritual Refining: Or a Treatise of Grace and Assurance. Read more of part one at Meet the Puritans on reformation21.org.

Daily Devotional – Lives Matter

Unless you do not listen, or watch any news of any kind, you the know rhetoric being taunted about regarding BLM. First do black lives, that is those whose skin color is black lives matter; duh! The problem is biblically they do not matter anymore than white, red, yellow brown, or pink polka dotted. 

Those few peaceful protesters interviewed seem to want just that; goodness and fairness for everyone. Yet the prevailing sentiment we see on the news, being pushed by the mainstream media and far to many elected government representatives is violent mob rules. 


 

Logos.com

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

One of my favorite expressions for when things get tough is suck it up buttercup” I have been saying it since my Army days. Maybe it is that Army mentality drilled into me since I was 17 or my type A personality, but I have little compassion (working on it) for folks who throw pity parties and just cry “oh woe is me.”

Yet that is not really what the bible tells us to do here in Chapter 6 of Galatians. Chapter 6 is all about bearing or carrying one another’s burdens. It is worth noting that Paul says (again I cannot emphasise enough that his hand was under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) v.5 For every person will have to bear [with patience] his own burden [of faults and shortcomings for which he alone is responsible]. So while we are responsible for our actions (bearing the burden) we can still share them that is confess and have fellowship with others to lesson the impact and restore ourselves James 5:16.


BREAKDOWN:

So then, as we have opportunity,-  Opportunity and Ability go hand in hand here. Sometimes opportunities arise for us to do good; mission trips, special donations, etc. but we physically or financially cannot. I will say that we ALWAYS have the ability to pray.

let us do good to everyone, – ALL means just that ALL. Not just the folks we know; family friends, co-workers, church folks, etc. but all mankind. NEVER should a time come when you decide based upon skin color, creed or any factor not to render assistance to someone in need¹

and especially to those who are of the household of faith. –  Paul makes it clear our first duty is to the family of God. The government has indoctrinated folks with this false notion that it is their job to care for the widows and orphans, the bible says otherwise. 


APPLICATION:

To some he recent violent chaos in the news was cheered and lauded as righteous indignation against and unrighteous nation. They seemed to upset about things that happen long before any of them were born balming folks who have been long dead. I think maybe they should have read the idiom: You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegarYou can win people to your side more easily by gentle persuasion and flattery than by hostile confrontation. To others it is just a shocking reminder of how sinful man really is. We watch the violence and destructive protests while innocent children are murdered on city streets and everyone remains silent, while babies are aborted as unwanted trash yet no one cries for justice, or who mourns the 161 police and firefighters killed so as of 01 July this year? 

The answer or response from Christians should be to condemn or maybe better choice of words to rebuke strongly their actions and do good to everyone involved  which likely means unless you personally know someone, pray for them. I would encourage you to pray for them daily, pray for our elected representatives that seem to think the constitution is no longer applicable, and pray God gives you opportunities to serve the least of these Matthew 25:40-45


¹ = There is a H U G E difference here between the biblical teaching of someone in need and what has become the norm in America’s social welfare state. But that is for another posting. 

Daily Devotional – Discerning Good and Bad

Right & Wrong 1 Kings 3:9. Definition of Terms What is wrong? 1 ...

1 Kings 3:9 (AMP and RVR 1960)


CONTEXT:

Chapter 3 of 1st Kings is all about King Solomon, in v.1-4 he is shoring up his rule. In v.5-8, the LORD appeared to Solomon and makes a most remarkable request of him: “Ask [Me] what I shall give you.”

Solomon could have been the typical human and asked for riches, fame, etc. but instead he asks for concludes his conversation with the LORD with our text for today. Let us break it down:


BREAKDOWN:

Give therefore thy servant  – Solomon makes his request to God, humbly, a position we all need to take. Although as born again, sanctified by the Blood of Christ, believers we can boldly approach the throne (Hebrews 4:16we must still do so with an attitude of humility. 

an understanding heart – Solomon asks for WISDOM, maybe the greatest gift/attribute a man can have in troubling times is wisdom and Solomon request this. 

to judge thy people, – Wisdom not for personal gain either, as most would want, but to rule wisely. 

that I may discern between good and bad: –  To rule in such a manner so that he may discern that is be able to distinguish what is good (beneficial) and what is evil (destructive) to the kingdom of Israel.  

for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? –  This is a profound statement, Solomon says in effect;  ‘how else can a man possibly rule so great a people?  


APPLICATION:

You may be thinking this is a great narrative but what does Solomon’s story have to do with me today?  Glad you asked, here is how I believe we can apply it today:

    • First if your in charge, always pray before making decisions affecting others
      • Fathers, Job Leaders, Elected Officials, Pastors, Etc.
    • Pray and ask the LORD for wisdom
    • Always pray with humility
    • Constantly Pray for for those in charge; Fathers, Job Leaders, Elected Officials, Pastors, Etc.

In these troubling times we do not have to be Solomon, that is a great King, to be like Solomon, that is desire wisdom in our everyday lives. 

Riots and the Need a Heart Transplant

With all the riots going on across this land I thought it prudent to visit an old friend, our heart’s. 

153 Best John Owen images | John owen, Christian quotes, Owen

There are a few ways we can look at what is happening in America at the moment one being surprise the other with understanding or maybe a combination of both. Here is what I mean. 

Many seem to be amazed at the extent of the riots. I for one am not at all. In fact if anything I am slightly surprised they are not worse or more wide-spread. Why, here are some of my reasons: 

With more and more of our major cities being managed by very liberal, don’t upset the apple cart, politicians, who denounce Judaeo-Christian values it is no wonder folks act like animals. Yes, act like animals if you have been watching the news that is exactly what these law-breaking thugs have been doing, acting like wolves, hyena, or other predators.

As tragic as the George Flyod killing was, many of these so-called protesters are just fed up with being cooped up from COVID-19, but instead of peacefully acting out they willfully acted with a depraved heart. Then you have the riot-tourists, those who just have to see what is going on, those who want to see something really bad happen to fill their sick desires.

How can I say those things, with understanding because the bible makes it real plain; Jeremiah 17:9-10 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”  Nothing good is coming from these rioters, Luke 6:45 nothing at all because their hearts are evil. 

These are acts predicated on man’s natural nature; here are some of the biblical examples describing man’s heart condition: 

Genesis 8:21: “. . . every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood.

Psalm 14:3:All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.

Isaiah 1:5–6: “Your whole head is injured, your whole heart is afflicted. From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness.

Matthew 15:19: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

The Blame Game is sure to start up in full swing. We have already seem evidence of some mayors and other officials blaming President Trump (seriously like he organized this). Yet the bible makes it clear that even sinful and unrighteous man is without excuse for in his soul he knows Romans 1:19-20; 2:14-16 enough to distinguish basic right and wrong. 

So do we really need to blame anyone; or would it be more profitable to just identify the core issue(s) and attack them head on. What has changed in America since the days of the Greatest Generation and In God We Trust? 

Think on this for a moment although declining in numbers the majority of Americans still claim to be “Christian.” If the majority actually stood tall and did the right thing (biblically) think of the difference we could make. The issue is even so called “Christians” fail the test far to often, just as the Jews did repeatedly in the Old Testament, thinking of them selves righteous more than God Almighty creator and Savior of Souls.

America needs a heart transplant ASAP. Of course I do not mean a physical, but a spiritual change of heart or I am personally convinced our nation (as we now know it) is doomed. We cannot continue on the path of self idolatry, socialism and big government all of which the Founding Fathers are turning over in their graves against. 

The Great reformer Martian Luther understood mans condition more than any of his time: 

Luther said he feared his own heart, more than Pope or Cardinal. The heart is the fomenter of sin. It mints evil thoughts-and blows up the coals of fiery passions. It is the Trojan horse out of which comes a whole army of lusts! Shall we not fight the good fight, and discharge with the fire of zeal against this bosom traitor, the flesh! The primitive Christians chose rather to be destroyed by lions without-than by lusts within! – Thomas Watson

Luther’s answer and our’s must be; Prayer, Prayer and More Prayer. We (The true Christian Remnant) need to pray daily for this nation, pray for God’s divine intervention, pray for the Holy Spirit to awake the rioters.

We need to pray for God to preform Heart Transplants among the masses for only he can change the sin nature of man. Ezekiel 36:26-27; John 15:5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zero Tolerance for Divisions

10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 1 Corinthians 1:10

Os ruego, pues, hermanos, por el nombre de nuestro Señor Jesucristo, que habléis todos una misma cosa, y que no haya entre vosotros divisiones, sino que estéis perfectamente unidos en una misma mente y en un mismo parecer. (RVR 1960)


CONTEXT:

With Protestant Christianity making up the bulk of different denominations, counting 9,000 mainstream and 22,000 independent for a total of 31,000¹ it is no wonder there are disagreements among evangelicals. 

Disagreements are one thing, and we should be willing to discuss² by detail examination, biblical doctrine and topics of different denominations. This includes pointing out errors in false (not biblically grounded) teachings.

In yesterday’s devotional, I noted that Paul began this Chapter depending on your version of the Bible with the following:

The CSB and ESV for example divide Chapter 1 as follows:

v.1-3 –    Greeting – From Paul a servant of Christ to the called out ones (Saints) at Corinth

v.4-9 –    Thanksgiving – Paul thanks God for the gifts and knowledge they have of Christ.

But then he cautions them with out text.


Let us break it down:

Now I beseech you,  Paul is communication this with prayer and supplication. This is not a passing comment like “hey by the way” this is written with a real sense of urgency and almost begging or more modern twisting someones arm.

brethren, It is not done to be mean, it is not done to be boastful, it is done with brotherly love, Paul called then brethren that is fellow saints, God’s children true believers in Christ. This leaves little doubt Paul was assured this was a church full of Christians. 

by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, for the 10th time in ten verses (depending on your version) Paul invokes Christ name. He is reminding the church at Corinth that they are first and foremost grounded in Christ. In v.9  …ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Not only as individuals but as a whole body of believers.

that ye all speak the same thing, The church and it’s body MUST be on the same page in order for it to survive. Paul reminds them of this. It is one thing to have differing denominations in the U.S. or around the World but impossible to have in your local church. 

and that there be no divisions among you; That is a hefty order and command to follow. ZERO Tolerance is to be allowed for divisions in the local church. Far to many churches today fail at this, they do not practice or teach church discipline. 

but that ye be perfectly joined together Why so critical, the church is the Bride of Christ as we know all to well, with marriages failing regularly, decisiveness or divisions in a marriage or in a local church just do not work. The almost always end up in a split. 

in the same mind and in the same judgment. Disagreement does not have to mean division, but in the end the body as a whole must be (AMP) “…perfectly united in your way of thinking and in your judgment [about matters of the faith].”


APPLICATION: 

We can be in disagreement about the smaller theological issues and still be unified under the banner of Christ. 

I hate using myself as an example but it is all I got at the moment so here goes. I am an Associate Member of the Reformed Baptist Network (RBNet), and serve on their Missions Committee as an advisor. At the same time I am a member of Mission M25 Ministries, serving as Chaplain/Medic on the Run for the Wall and am involved in other aspects of the organization. Their parent church is the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC).

Doctrinally speaking our two denominations are VERY different. Accationally we have some lively discussions (I am one of only 2 or 3 members not associated with IPHC). Yet the brothers and sisters I’ve worked with have a common united front when it comes to serving God in our fields. Whether it’s serving Veterans, campaigning against Abortion, helping Native Americans, standing up for Israel or collecting Diapers for a women’s home, we put away all the minutia, and get down to the business of being joined together in the fellowship of Christ for the Glory of God and the betterment of His Kingdom. 

That is what Paul is calling all “TRUE CHRISTIANS” to do. If your church is not unified, first look inward are you the problem? Seek wise counsel of elders. If necessary pray God lead you to a new church. 


 

¹ https://thecompletepilgrim.com/many-churches-denominations-america-world/

² Webster’s Dictionary 1913;  “4. To examine in detail or by disputation; to reason upon by presenting favorable and adverse considerations; to debate; to sift; to investigate; to ventilate.”

Pray Without Ceasing

Pray without ceasing: parables | friarmusings

On Wednesday the Mayor of Jackson, MS and the Governor of MS both issued  “shelter in place” or “stay at home” orders. One of the things both men emphasized during their respective press conferences was the fact that Grocery Stores and the ability to shop for Food and Medicine would not be effected. 

Of course the first thing local residents did was panic and go on an all out hording spree buying whatever the could at all the local Kroger’s and Walmart’s. 

Listen I get it this COVID-19 is scary stuff, but if you call yourself a “Christian” there are plenty more things to be scared about Matthew 10:28, than dying and going to be with Jesus in paradise Luke 23:43, (just saying). 

In this time of crisis remember the following,

1) We are One Nation Under God

2) Folks at all levels are going to make mistakes, we are in uncharted territory here

3) PRAY, for everyone from Trump on down to do the right thing thing

4) PRAY that God will return His hand of divine providence and supernaturally intervene to slow or stop this disease 

5) PRAY for our health care workers, the unemployed, 

6) PRAY, for our family, friend and neighbors here and around the world 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always and delight in your faith; 17 be unceasing and persistent in prayer; 18 in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. (AMP)
Estad siempre gozosos. 17 Orad sin cesar. 18 Dad gracias en todo, porque esta es la voluntad de Dios para con vosotros en Cristo Jesús. (RVR 1960)

 

 

News updates on the persecuted Church

Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

Our Faith in Today’s World


“Lord, forgive our persecutors” say Rohingya Christians brutally attacked in Muslim Rohingya backlash 

One Rohingya Christian is missing and twelve were seriously injured, including several children, in multiple attacks by Rohingya Muslim mobs on the isolated Rohingya Christian community in Cox’s Bazar refugee camp, Bangladesh.

Read full articlebas


“Full scale jihad” unfolds in Nigeria as Fulani kill thirteen Christians amid ceaseless Boko Haram bloodshed

Thirteen young Christian men were killed and nine others injured as they tried to protect their community and stop their cattle from being stolen by raiding Fulani militants on January 11.

Read full article


Fifteen Christians killed after Fulani gunmen open fire in Plateau State, Nigeria

Fifteen Nigerian Christians were killed when Fulani extremist gunmen opened fire in a bar in Kwatas, Plateau State, on Sunday, January 26.

Read full article


 

Christians flee in terror as Hindu extremists hurl objects at church in India

Christians gathered for a church prayer meeting fled in terror after a mob of Hindu nationalist extremists pelted a church in West Bengal with objects.

Read full article


Indian church leaders raise alarm over Christian girls targeted in Islamist “love jihad”

An announcement from leaders of the largest Christian denomination in Kerala, India, raised serious concerns that young Christian women are being targeted in a “love jihad” campaign and lured into an Islamic State (IS) trap.

Read full article


Christians living near Wuhan in China contact Barnabas calling for worldwide prayer

A Barnabas contact, who has relatives living near Wuhan city, has affirmed the seriousness of the Coronavirus outbreak in China and called on Christians throughout China and worldwide to pray for the situation:

Read full article


Pray for the persecuted Church

We encourage you to pray as you feel led for the people and situations you read about in Christian Newsline. There are many resources available from Barnabas Aid to assist you in your prayers.

If you are receiving Christian Newsline you will also receive Barnabas Prayer Focus, a monthly resource containing news from the persecuted Church together with associated praise and prayer points. You can sign up to receive this by email here.

Our bi-monthly prayer diary, Barnabas Prayer, helps you lift up in prayer the needs of our suffering brothers and sisters each day. A printed copy of the Barnabas Prayer diary is included as an insert in our free bi-monthly Barnabas Aid magazine, which you can sign up to receive here.

The Barnabas Fund Daily Prayer can be viewed on your smart phone or tablet device by visiting our Twitter and/or Facebook pages. The Barnabas Fund Daily Prayer is also available on the PrayerMate app.

Daily Devotional – New Year

There are many things that folks will be praying (even non-believers will be praying they can actually follow through even if they deny the act) for the New Year starting tomorrow. It is the annual New Years resolution campaign to reform some part of their life, quite smoking, drinking gambling, etc. Unfortunately most will miss the mark on the most important thing to pray for; Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior .

We at FSM and FSMWO wish everyone a Happy and prosperous 2020 -Mike 

33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Estas cosas os he hablado para que en mí tengáis paz. En el mundo tendréis aflicción; pero confiad, yo he vencido al mundo. (RVR 1960)
CONTEXT JOHN 16 

This coming year I urge every believer to pray daily:

In general for the lost: 1 Timothy 2:1-6

Specifically for a friend or family member: Romans 10:1 

Pray that you will willingly yield to the Holy Spirit John 14:15-17

Pray that each day you may grow more acceptable to God Romans 12:1-2

I am sure you can think of others? 

Other Resources: 

QOTW – Special Edition: New Year’s Resolutions