Devotional Thought for Today – 01/19/2021

Expository Sermon from Luke 18:9-14 | In Whom Do You Trust?

Psalm 146

 One of my friends Laszlo sent me this Psalm the other day with the third verse highlighted; Do not trust in princes, In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation (help). (AMP).  The last dozen-plus years in our political climate and especially the past election cycle have been a clear reminder of this. 

Maybe it is because I am old enough to remember the days of civility and reason in the houses of congress. When bi-partisanship, for “The Good of the People” and “In God We Trust” really meant something.  

Some thought Obama was the coming savior and his legacy was that of failure after scandal. President Trump’s unpolitical style and lack of decorum caused both sides of the aisle to dislike him.  Both men of great power and yet in them both was found no hope or lasting help. Joe Bidden will be the same or worse. 

The psalmist makes it clear that the only true help, the only one we can truly trust in count on day after day is God, v.5; How blessed and graciously favored is he whose help is the God of Jacob (Israel), Whose hope is in the Lord his God,

Today’s question is simple, have you surrender to the call of the Holy Spirit? Have you placed your trust in the one and only who will never disappoint?  The time is now and Christ is waiting. 

Short Prayers For Trusting God

Devotional Thought for Today – 01/14-2021

Job: Chapter 29 - Faithlife Sermons

KJV, AMP, RVR 1960


Sometimes I think God can be quite the trickster. I mean that in no disrespectful way as He does everything for our own good, it’s just sometimes I have to laugh at the approach. 

Today’s devotional is a prime example. I have had a song by the Judds, called “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days)” running in my head for days and could not figure out why or get it to stop.  Then this morning one of my daily reads was from Job 29, and it all made sense. 

We all should be familiar with the Book of Job, this rich guy that has it made, and then Satan says to God he is not really faithful. To prove His point God allows Satan to tempt Job and make his life miserable. Stripping Job of all his wealth, family, and comforts. 

Here in Chapter 29 specifically in v.1-6 Job talks about those ‘Good old days’ when he had former prosperity when God preserved or watched over him. 

Today’s question is what at you longing for that has passed? Is it the same zeal you had when you were first saved?  Maybe it is a better prayer life, or a closer relationship with a spouse, family member, friend, neighbor, or co-worker. 

The solution of course is trusting is God for like Job. Even in the toughest of times, we can have a heart like Job and say with him “Though He slay me, I will trust in Him”? May God grant us that strength always. 

Matthew Henrey’s Method for Prayer

It has been but for a season and when there was need, that I have been in heaviness, through manifold temptations; and I beg that all the trials of my faith may be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen, I love, in whom, though I now see him not, yet believing, I rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, and am longing to receive the end of my faith, even the salvation of my soul1 Peter 1:6-9(KJV)

News from the PERSECUTED CHURCH

The Voice of the Martyrs

People raising their hands

As India fights to become a purely Hindu nation, our brothers and sisters in Christ there continue to suffer and die. Your prayers are needed as they continue to stand for Jesus in the land of countless false idols and gods.

Family Blessed By Christmas Care Pack

Next Door to the Enemy

Authorities Try to Force Church from Home

On the Run as Converts to Christianity

Permission to Follow Christ Denied

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Christian Newsline

News updates on the persecuted Church

The following stories and more can regularly be found updated atbarnabusfund.org/news

At least 13 people killed in suicide bomb attack in Cameroon

Pakistani Christian girl raped by Muslim robbers selflessly saves younger sister from assault

Pressure increases on Indian Christian community as prayer meetings come under police scrutiny

A daily prayer request from Barnabas Prayer is available from the “View Daily Prayer” link below. The prayer is also available on Facebook, Twitter, and as an insert in our free bi-monthly Barnabas Aid magazine.

Today: Wednesday 13 January 2021

An evangelical missionary from Switzerland was murdered in Mali by Islamic militants in September 2020. Beatrice Stöckli (59) had been kidnapped and held captive for over four years by a group called Jammat Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM). Three other European hostages and a Malian politician were released by JNIM about a month later, reportedly in exchange for over 100 jihadists who had been captured by the Malian authorities. Beatrice had had an earlier experience of kidnapping in 2012 when she was held for nine days and tortured. On her release, the terrorists warned her not to come back to Mali. Despite this, she decided that she would return to her ministry in Timbuktu. Pray that her many years of work in Mali will bear much fruit in this country where Christians are about 2% of the population.

DAILY PRAYER LINK

Barnabas Prayer January/February 2021

 

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 – Ezra’s Prayer

5. Confession and Repentance (Ezra 7-10). Rebuild & Renew: The Post-Exilic  Books, by Ralph F. Wilson. JesusWalk Bible Study Series.
Gustav Dore, detail from ‘Ezra in Prayer’ (1866), engraving, from La Grande Bible de Tours.

EZRA 9 


CONTEXT 

There are two books in the Bible dedicated to Israel’s return from Babylonian captivity to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. Ezra is the first with Nehemiah by the decree of Artaxerxes, quickly following. 

Ezra covers a period of approximately 100 years beginning around 538 B.C. The book’s primary purpose is to record the rebuilding of the Temple but it also includes many birth records apparently to establishing the priesthood lineage of Arron.  Ezra can be divided as follows:

Chapters 1-6—Return and Building of the Second Temple.

Chapters 7-10—The Ministry of Ezra. 

Today’s devotional is from Chapter 9 and has this as it’s the theme: 

Believers today can be encouraged to be as zealous for the upbuilding of the church as Ezra and Nehemiah were for the rebuilding of the temple and wall. – KATHLEEN NIELSON

 


DEVOTION

 

READ THE BIBLE From the Gospel Coalition 

It may be difficult for some Christians, immersed in the heritage of individualism and influenced by postmodern relativism, to find much sympathy for Ezra and his prayer (Ezra 9). A hundred or so of the returned Israelites, out of a population that by this time would have been at least fifty or sixty thousand, have married pagan women from the surrounding tribes. Ezra treats this as an unmitigated disaster and weeps before the Lord as if really grievous harm has been done. Has religion descended to the level where it tells its adherents whom they may marry? Moreover, the aftermath of this prayer (on which we shall reflect tomorrow) is pretty heartless, isn’t it?

In reality, Ezra’s prayer discloses a man who has thought long and hard about Israel’s history.

First, he understands what brought about the exile, the formal destruction of the nation, the scattering of the people. It was nothing other than the sins of the people—and terribly often these sins had been fostered by links, not least marital links, between the people of the covenant and the surrounding tribes. “Because of our sins, we and our kings and our priests have been subjected to the sword and captivity, to pillage and humiliation at the hand of foreign kings, as it is today” (Ezra 9:7).

Second, he understands that if this community has been permitted to return to Judah, it is because “for a brief moment, the LORD our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage” (Ezra 9:8).

Third, he understands that in the light of the first two points, and in the light of Scripture’s explicit prohibition against intermarriage, what has taken place is not only singular ingratitude but concrete defiance of the God who has come to Israel’s relief not only in the Exodus but also in the exile.

Fourth, he understands the complex, corrosive, corporate nature of sin. Like Isaiah before him (Isa. 6:5), Ezra aligns himself with the people in their sin (Ezra 9:6). He grasps the stubborn fact that these are not individual failures and nothing more; these are means by which raw paganism, and finally the relativizing of Almighty God, are smuggled into the entire community through the back door. How could such marriages, even among some priests, have been arranged unless many, many others had given their approval, or at least winked at the exercise? Above all, Ezra understands that the sins of the people of God are far worse than the punishment they have received (Ezra 9:13–15).

How should these lines of thought shape our thinking about the sins of the people of God today?


APPLICATION / PRAYER

In reading today’s devotional I realized I have not been an Ezra or Nehemiah (one of my favorite OT characters) as of late when it comes to me and my local church. Oh, I have lots of excuses, illness, and such but really how much weight do those excuses hold. 

Join me today in praying for the local church, that it may be strong, uninfluenced by worldly affairs, and edifying to all the saints it ministers to. 

 

Lord, let your Spirit be poured out upon your churches from on high, and then the wilderness shall become a fruitful field; Isaiah 32:15(ESV) then justice shall return to the righteous, and all the upright in heart will follow it. Psalm 94:15(ESV)

Let what remains be put into order, Titus 1:5(ESV), and let every plant that is not of my heavenly Father’s planting be rooted up. Matthew 15:13(ESV)

Let the Lord whom I seek come to his temple like a refiner’s fire and fullers’ soap, and let him purify the sons of Levi and all the seed of Israel, and refine them like gold and silver, that they may bring offerings of righteousness to the LORD, pleasing offerings to the LORD as in the days of old, as in former years. Malachi 3:2-4(ESV)

Let religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, flourish and prevail everywhere: James 1:27(ESV) that kingdom of God among men, which is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17(ESV) O revive this work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make it known; Habakkuk 3:2(ESV) and let these times be times of reformation. Hebrews 9:10(ESV)

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 – Adoration and Praise

5. The Triumphant Lamb We Worship (Revelation 5:1-14)
“Adoration of the Lamb,” by Jan van Eyck (1432), oil on wood, Ghent altarpiece, Cathedral of St. Bavo, Ghent.

Revelation 5


Adoration and Praise

Before we delve into Chapter 5 we need to address the issue of why God is worthy of Adoration and Praise, as well as what the differences between the tow are.

The bible is full of references to God’s worthiness to be Worshiped and Praised, Psalm 145:3, being just one example. When we consider as a whole the Love, Mercy, Sacrifice (Calvary) and Promises of God no other god is more worthy or even in the same conversation. God’s divine attributes and accomplishments, His ongoing providence for His elect warrant an esteemed response (Adoration and Praise) with solemn purpose. 

The Life of true holiness is rooted in the soil of awed adoration -J. I. Packer

A child of God should be a visible beatitude for joy and happiness, and a living doxology for gratitude and adoration. – C.H. Spurgeon 

People only have true understanding when they look at everything from God’s perspective. Authentic wisdom begins when we understand that God is to be the object of our devotion, our adoration, and our reverence. – R.C. Sproul

Adoration is; The act of paying honors to a divine being; the worship paid to God; the act of addressing as a God While Praise is, The expression of gratitude for personal favors conferred; a glorifying or extolling.

The differences are subtle, Adoration infers a intense reverence while Praise is an expression of approval.  Some of you are questioning Praise teams and such at this moment. Adoration and Worship are closely linked while the two are different from Praise.

 Confused yet 🤷‍♂️. Praise is the joyful recounting of all God has done for us. It is closely intertwined with thanksgiving as we offer back to God appreciation for His mighty works on our behalf. Worship, however, comes from a different place within our spirits. Worship should be reserved for God alone (Luke 4:8). Worship is the art of losing self in the adoration of another. The following article may help in understanding: “What is the difference between praise and worship?”


CONTEXT

Okay, all that to get to Rev Chapter 5 and our actual text for today v.11-13. If we needed further evidence that God was worthy of Adoration and Praise the bible tells clearly the day is coming when all creation will do just that.

v.11 – And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

v.12 – Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

v.13 – And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

The fours beast and 24 elders v.8 fall down before the lamb of God (Christ) and begin singing a new song of adoration and praises to Christ Jesus proclaiming His worthiness to execute righteous judgement v.9.

Verse 11, begins the response of the unfathomable number of angels to the song by the beasts and elders. They cry out in unison v.12 Worthy and deserving is the Lamb that was sacrificed to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” (AMP).  Soon they are join by all creation, And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them,

It is matter of joy to all the world, to see that God deals with men in grace and mercy through the Redeemer. He governs the world, not merely as a Creator, but as our Saviour. The harps were instruments of praise; the vials were full of odours, or incense, which signify the prayers of the saints: prayer and praise should always go together. Christ has redeemed his people from the bondage of sin, guilt, and Satan. He has not only purchased liberty for them, but the highest honour and preferment; he made them kings and priests; kings, to rule over their own spirits, and to overcome the world, and the evil one; and he makes them priests; giving them access to himself, and liberty to offer up spiritual sacrifices. What words can more fully declare that Christ is, and ought to be worshipped, equally with the Father, by all creatures, to all eternity! Happy those who shall adore and praise in heaven, and who shall for ever bless the Lamb, who delivered and set them apart for himself by his blood. How worthy art thou, O God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, of our highest praises! All creatures should proclaim thy greatness, and adore thy majesty. – Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary 


APPLICATION

There are many ways in which we can daily show Adoration and Praise to God> Here are just a few: 

Our Actions: Do all to the Glory of Christ,  Colossians 3:23

Get Involved: Help the least of these in your community, Matthew 25:31-46

Share the Gospel:  The uncompromised Gospel, not your testimony the Gospel, Matthew 28:18-20

Study: to show yourself approved and worthy of being a servant of the Lord, 2 Timothy 2:14-19

Pray: Be in the mindset to rejoice and pray in every circumstance, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  especially when it comes to the Adoration of God: 

Introduction to Adoration

Of the First Part of Prayer, which is Address to God, Adoration of Him, with Suitable Acknowledgements, Professions, and Preparatory Requests

My spirit being composed into a very reverent and serious frame, my thoughts gathered in, and all that is within me charged in the name of the great God carefully to attend the solemn and awful service that lies before me and to keep close to it, I must, with a fixed attention and application of mind and an active lively faith, set the Lord before me, see his eye upon me, and set myself in his special presence, presenting myself to him as a living sacrifice, which I desire may be holy and acceptable to God and a spiritual service; Romans 12:1(ESV) and then bind this festal sacrifice with cords up to the horns of the altar, Psalm 118:27(ESV) in such thoughts as these:

Let me now lift up my heart, with my eyes and hands, to God in heaven. Lamentations 3:41(ESV)

Let me rouse myself to take hold of God, Isaiah 64:7(ESV) to seek his face, Psalm 27:8(ESV) and to ascribe to him the glory due his name. Psalm 29:2(ESV)

Unto you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. Psalm 25:1(ESV)

Let me now with confidence enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for me through the curtain, that is, through his flesh. Hebrews 10:19-20(ESV)

Let me now attend to the Lord with undivided devotion, 1 Corinthians 7:35(ESV) and let not my heart be far from him when I draw near to him with my mouth and honor him with my lips. Isaiah 29:13(ESV)

Let me now worship God, who is spirit, in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. John 4:23-24(ESV)

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)

News from the PERSECUTED CHURCH

Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

News updates on the persecuted Church

The following stories and more can regularly be found updated atbarnabusfund.org/news

Nigerian Christians Murdered as a “Christmas Present” in Terror Attacks on Christmas Eve

Exiles Witness Collusion Between North Korea and China Over Persecution of Christians

Egypt Approves Registration of 62 Churches and Church Buildings

Egyptian Prosecutor Looks to Challenge Acquittal of Muslim Men Charged With Stripping Elderly Christian Woman

PRAYER FOCUS UPDATE DECEMBER 2020


The Voice of the Martyrs

People praying

5 Ways to Pray for Your Persecuted Brothers and Sisters in Christ

With the arrival of the new year, resolve now to pray regularly for persecuted Christians in 2021. Here are five specific ways you can pray:

      • Pray that persecuted believers will be filled with joy and peace that results in overflowing hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
      • Thank God for their faithful testimony as it inspires Christians around the world to boldness and faithfulness. (Romans 1:8–10)
      • Pray that God will comfort believers who are experiencing troubles so the comfort of Christ will overflow into the lives of others. (2 Corinthians 1:3–7)
      • Pray that God will strengthen their hearts, causing their love for one another and for their persecutors to increase and overflow. (1 Thessalonians 3:9–13)
      • Pray that those who are enemies of the gospel and persecutors of God’s people will experience Christ’s love and be reconciled to God. (Romans 5:10)

Get a Free 2021 Prayer Guide

More Prayer Tools

Have you resolved to pray more in 2021? The Voice of the Martyrs offers a variety of resources to help you pray daily for persecuted Christians. Consider these tools that will help you pray specifically for your persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the year:

      • 2021 Global Prayer Guide — Provides background information on hostile areas and restricted nations where VOM is working, along with the current situation for Christians in each country.
      • VOM Global Prayer Journal — Features country information from the 2021 Global Prayer Guide, along with ruled pages on which you can write out prayers or note others’ prayer needs.
      • iCommitToPray.com — Sign up to receive weekly emails with new, updated prayer requests. Also includes a feature that enables you to share your prayers online with other Christians, including your brothers and sisters living in hostile areas and restricted nations!

Be Equipped to Pray

 

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)