Devotional thought for Today – 10/31/2020

God is my Fortress – God Adventures

Psalm 18 

PRAISE AND REST


Most Bibles have a heading for this Psalm with a title something like; To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who spoke the words of this song to the Lord on the day when the Lord rescued him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. And he said:….   This Psalm is in stark contrast to Psalm 11 we posted a few days ago when David was running for his life. Then he was seeking refuge and rest, now that he has it he is praising God for it.

It can be broken down this way:

v.1-3 blessing God for all he has done

v.4-19 declares the mercies God has shown

v.20-24 declares God’s righteousness

v.25-29 declares his joy in knowing the Lord helps the righteous

v.31–36  describes the defeat of his enemies

v. 37–42 describes his rising up over them

v. 43–45 Praises God for rescuing and exalting him

v. 46–50  and ends the psalm by proclaiming God’s faithfulness to the Davidic royal line

When those “difficult times” in life have past what is the first thing you do? I hope we can all be like David and find rest AFTER we Praise the Lord for v.32 equipping me with strength and made my way blameless.

 

 

Daily Devotional – Darkness Rather than Light

Edwards-Quote-Calvinism-You-Contribute-Nothing-To-Your-Salvation

INTRO:

As many of you know one of my life verses is John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

I had finished reading a few weeks before Jonathan Edwards classic Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.  It had shaken me to my core for I was just beginning to understand the true sovereignty of God.  My current studies had me in John Chapter 3 and at the about the same time I reached  v.16 a friend gave me a copy of John MacArthur’s book  Why One Way. These three writings forever changed my theology on man and God. I understood from from that time forward that the only thing natural man has to offer God is sin. 


20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. John 3:20-21

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

It is hard not to include v.16-18 as the set the pretext for our main text today.  Of course everyone, even most unbelievers know about John 3:16, God’s Love for the world and the Apostle Jon insures we understand just how much God loved us in v.17 and the requirements if you will to receive the free gift of that love in v.18.  All is good here folks love to speak about this “Good News”, God’s Love, the Joyful Union of God’s children. 

Then we get to the ugly stuff. In v.19 John makes it plain that man’s  sinful ways condemn him before a Holy God; for God did indeed send His only begotten Son (light) to save mankind but mankind prefers darkness and evil. 


BREAKDOWN:

20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. –  No One likes to be called out for their wrongdoings whether those were intentional or accidental mistakes.  How much more so those who deny the Christ, who purposely do evil always try and hide from others but there is no hiding from God.

21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. – The exact opposite is true for those who practice righteousness. Their deeds are always open for public scrutiny because they are done for and with God’s help. 


APPLICATION: 

In my studies back in day, of these verses v19-21 I found that the  Greek word translated as “evil,” is phaula, which also means “worthless,” “base,” or “no good.”  Now I am not sure about you but the last thing I want to be called or even considered is a worthless no good person.  Yet that is exactly how God looks upon those who refuse His free gift of Grace, eternal Life through Christ Jesus. Their works, even if mankind looks upon them as ‘good” are worthless and no good in the kingdom of God. 

Unlike some who may not be converted, (saved) I was convinced I already was, this caused me as noted above, to reconsider my relationship with God. Was it all about me and satisfying my needs using God or as (I later learned) and the Westminster Shorter Catechism says :

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

a. Ps. 86:9. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. Isa. 60:21. Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. Rom. 11:36. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. 1 Cor. 6:20. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Cor. 10:31. Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Rev. 4:11. Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

b. Ps. 16:5–11. The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Ps. 144:15. Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD. Isa. 12:2. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Luke 2:10. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. Phil. 4:4. Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Rev. 21:3–4. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

putting God first and not me. 

For those who are not believers, who think “Christianity” is a hoax may I suggest reading any one (or more of the following books: The 10 Best Books for Skeptics of Christianity. I have read #1,4,6 and 8 but all of them lead the reader to draw the own conclusions. Numbers 4 and 6 especially; were written by two men who set out to disprove the bible and “Christianity” as  basically nothing more than a crutch. What they found was so much more. 

 

 

Daily Devotional – God’s Called

The saying below has become very popular on Social Media and among evangelicals in general but is it Biblical? Today we will briefly look at God’s Called.

21 Best But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to ...

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

As always we must take into consideration the Whole Counsel of God. Failure to do so even in this instance could lead to false or heretical teachings as you will see. 

So first let us look at the saying does God call unqualified folks. If we are speaking in the terms of Salvation, YES, of course our text will prove that.

On the other hand if we are speaking of ministry the answer is SORT OF. A careful reading of other bible text lists pre-qualifications for; Pastors, Deacons, Evangelists, etc. 1 Tim. 3:1-13, Tit. 1:5-9 then God further qualifies these chosen men through their study 2 Timothy 2:15 of scripture. To call someone to Pastor a church ignoring these qualifications is the same as saying God’s Word does not apply to our church and that is false teaching and HERESY, a term I never use lightly. 

Our text this morning,  1 Corinthians 1:26-31, comes from Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth. This is a church divided by two factions one I will call the Arrogant and Well Off, the other the Humble and Poor

A breakdown of 1st Corinthians 1 is as follows: 

In v.1-3 Greetings and Salutations to the church

In v.4-9 He thanks God for Christ and the fellowship therein

In v.10-17 He makes a plea for unity amongst the body of believers 

In v.18-25 He describes the Power and Wisdom of Christ

In v.26-31 He closes by reminding the Corinthians of their lowly state before Christ


BREAKDOWN:

25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.Paul begins to closes chapter one, by insulting the church at Corinth. Seriously there is no other way I can read this, he is not pulling punches to lovingly sugar coating anything. WARNING; do not read into the text; Paul is not implying God is foolish or weak; he is implying that the those who think God is such a Greek, Moron, for sacrificing His only begotten son are the truly week and follish.

26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: – Look at your own calling to Salvation, and those around you in the church, how many are of the high and mighty the intellectual elite (prior to conversion did they have that distinction?). Paul points out it is the rare rich noble that believes in Christ.

27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; – Instead of Mr. or Mrs. Fancy Pants, God chooses those that the world looks upon as foolish and weak to confuse the world and their so called mightiness. 

28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: – The Greek word here translated in the KJV as base things, is the word Nothing.  Paul says God calls the nothings of the world (modern word would be insignificant) to Christ. He uses the nobodies to shame the somebodies. 

29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. – WHY? The answer is simple so no one can brag about themselves in God’s presence. As stupid as that sounds I am convinced there are those who try when they day comes when we all stand before God on judgement day.

30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: –  Not only do true believers not boast in themselves they understand that God is the source of our Life in Christ. 

31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. – Paul is quoting Jeremiah 9:23-24 here, and makes it clear if you need boast boast in the Lord. 


APPLICATION:

Paul makes clear in his writing to the church at Corinth that God is please to Call the foolish and weak, that truly believe the Gospel of Christ and Him Crucified. God purposely chose the base or insignificant as far as “the world” was concerned just to prove to who in the end is really foolish and weak.  

The Question is are you to High and Mighty to heed God’s Call? 

 

Saturday’s Military Devotional – Medic for the Soul

U.S. Army Medical Corps, regimental colours (flag)

The Motto Experientia Et Progressus means; “TO CONSERVE FIGHTING STRENGTH”

Military Medical personnel (especially Army Combat Medics and Navy Corpsman Serving in Marine Units)  are often called upon to save lives in very difficult situations.

 

 

Romans 10:13 Token | Etsy

 

There is one however who can be called upon in any situation, whose medicine heals all wounds and brings life to the dead. 

 

AMP and RVR 1960

 

 


CONTEXT:

One of the honors joys of my life was and is serving as a medic first in the Army and now every opportunity I get as Chaplain/Medic for our long distance motorcycle rides. There is a great satisfaction in helping people doing something that makes a difference. 

Of course in our text we are speaking here of eternal Salvation, that of our Soul. While some scoff at the idea, it is no laughing matter. The bible makes it clear there is a Heaven and a Hell , in fact Paul reminded the church earlier in Romans 2:6-8.

Here in our text, Paul writing to the church at Rome and quotes from the Prophet Joel. This is intended to show that Christ is Lord of both Jew and Gentile Old and New Testament. 

So does this mean that all one has to do is say “Jesus Christ” and you are saved? As Paul proclaims elsewhere “God forbid” for that name is taken vainly every minute of everyday by those who have no knowledge or desire to know Jesus. 

As always we need the Whole Counsel of God and here Chapters 9-11 are best looked at as a unit. Paul asks two key questions 9:30 and 11:1, concerning Gentiles and Jews with the answer culminating in our text. To be fair one needs to read v.9-17 to get the fuller context of out text.  


BREAKDOWN:

For whosoever – Again I want to make it clear the whosoever means “everyone” but only in the sense of righteousness. That is those who do so with righteous intent. 

shall call upon –  HOLD ON,  are we not justified (Saved) by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone! Is Paul adding conditions to Salvation? Is he making it works based? Not in the least, read back to v.9-10 above, Paul says we are to confess, that is to call upon, call out to shout out to, tell all our woes and in this case evil doings to.  

the name of the Lord –  Why the Lord, whom else died for the sins of mankind?  Whom else is worthy of all glory, honor and praise? You or me or someone whose bones have long sense turned back to dust?  No only He who has risen from the dead and lives triumphantly healing all those from eternal death that…

shall be saved. – As we noted twice already only those whom the Holy Spirit has pricked the heart strings of and changed their internal attitude to change their altitude of humility will be saved. In other words, the proud, the self seekers need not apply. 


APPLICATION:

Like a Medic for the Soul the Lord Christ is listening for those to call upon Him. Those who understand that their lives are not right(eous) and are lacking that which would fulfill them need only to confess their sinful ways and pray Christ be Lord and Savior of their lives. 


Today’s Questions:

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on Calling Upon The Lord?      

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I start living it out today?


OTHER RESOURCES:

May we suggest typing in the following words in our search box in the upper right: 

“Salvation”

 

 

How should a Christian deal with feelings of guilt regarding past sins?

 

Question: “How should a Christian deal with feelings of guilt regarding past sins, whether pre- or post-salvation?”

Answer: Everyone has sinned, and one of the results of sin is guilt. We can be thankful for guilty feelings because they drive us to seek forgiveness. The moment a person turns from sin to Jesus Christ in faith, his sin is forgiven. Repentance is part of the faith that leads to salvation (Matthew 3:2; 4:17; Acts 3:19).

READ MORE

Daily Devotional – Couch Potato Christian

There are two types of “Christians” in the world, one hears God’s Word and says that’s nice let me sleep on it, the other says that’s great let me take action because of it. 

Are you a DHaggiaoer or Couch Potato Christian (CPC)  

Aberdeen tops Scottish couch potato league table | HeraldScotland


CONTEXT:

First I must admit I was a little surprised at the amount of content I found when I googled “Couch Potato Christian.”  There are many articles and even a few books on the subject. 

So today instead of focusing on one text I am going to use two to explain what I mean by “Couch Potato Christian” and why God does not look favorably upon said people. 

Wednesday's Word ~ Haggai 1 – Michelle Lesley

AMP and RVR 1960

Haggai begins with the Lord speaking to Haggai and asking a simple question; how is it you people live so comfortably yet my temple is in ruins? ‘ The chapter goes on to say that the Israelites have lived a life of excesses but have nothing to show for it. They are lazy and indulgent. 

Compare them to what James says a true believer should be: 

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22

AMP and RVR 1960

James makes it clear a true hearer of God’s Word, consistently and actively proves his love and obedience by actively pursuing or doing what they have heard. They go about having God work through them for His glory.  In other words, no CPC’s here, they, no matter their limitations (Physical, mental, financial, etc.) will be about God’s work.


COMPARISON: 

Spiritual Couch Potato Christian’s (SCPC’s) will always take the easy way out:

They will be silent on important issues: Abortion, LGBT, Religious Freedom, to name a few yielding to the popular (worldly) thought of the day 

Play the Swiss Card (Neutrality) trying to claim Jesus never took sides: Of course they have not read the Bible, or skipped the GOSPELS when Jesus cleanses the temple, curses (Woe unto you) the Pharisees and Scribes, and so on. 

They are Unwilling to fight the “Good Fight” Somewhere online I saw the term Spiritual Pacifists and it makes sense, those unwilling to Armor Up daily and get in the fight, are just that pacifist and pretty much useless in God’s Army. 

The Doer Christian: Can never be silenced: 

Refuses to be silent on important issues: Will always Obey God rather than man. 

Follows Jesus example of Good Works no matter the consequence: We were saved to with a Holy calling not to sit idly by and let the world happen around us. 

Shares the Good News: Man’s first duty is to Love God and Glorify Him forever. Inherent in that is obedience to God’s commands none of which is more important than the spreading of the Gospel this is never a burden for a true Christian. 


APPLICATION:

We are not calling into question here anyone’s “salvation” although the bible certainly does say we will know you by your fruit. Granted it is specifically speaking of false teachers and the like, but bearing fruit is applicable to all “Christians.”

So the question remains what type of Christian are you? 

ᐈ Funny couch potato stock pictures, Royalty Free couch potato ...

 

 

One who cheers from the comfort of your comfortable couch? 

 

Pray James 1:26-27 | Pray Scripture.org

 

 

 

Or an Fruit Bearing “Christian” not afraid to put your Faith in Action

 

 


Related Posts:

DO IT!

Failing to Do It!

 

Foolish Preaching

18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

Porque la palabra de la cruz es locura a los que se pierden; pero a los que se salvan, esto es, a nosotros, es poder de Dios. (RVR 1960)


CONTEXT:

Again depending upon which modern translation or version of the bible you use it may have headings that separate sections with themes. The CSB and ESV for example divide Chapter 1 as follows:

v.1-3 –    Greeting

v.4-9 –    Thanksgiving

v.10-17 – Divisions at Corinth

v.18-25 – Christ the Power and Wisdom of God (ESV goes v.18-31)

v.26-31 – Boasting only in the Lord (CSB only)

In v.10-16 Paul speaks about the infighting among the immature church at Corinth. Urging them to unify in the name of Christ and not Apollos, Cephas or himself. 

The defining statement of this section (v.10-17) can be found in the last verse 17:

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

In setting up verse 18, Paul makes 4 points here in verse 17 that can not be ignored:

1. God did not send him to baptize: Some pastors/churches feel the more folks they baptize the more bodies the add to the roles the more they are doing their job. They place a priority on this over all else. But does this agree with the bible? While the Great Commission  does call for Baptism of Truly converted believers, there is a process many skip over before that.  

2. God did send him to preach: In this specific case Paul is arguing from Ephesians 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; No where does it say and some He gave baptizers :).  Paul understood his duty was to preach and teach the undefiled Gospel Message. The Holy Word of God without error or reservation.

About 2 months before COVID-19 broke, spoke with a Pastor who related how they had about a dozen folks come forward on an alter call this past Sunday and they planned on having a BIG baptismal  ceremony the following Sunday. I remember thinking, seriously what happened to the command to “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:” you are telling me they got that all figured out already? I have been a diligently studying the bible daily for well over 20 years and do not nearly have it. 

3. His preaching was not of his own wisdom: Paul was not to EVER preach in his own wisdom. I can’t recall the number of times I have heard something like ‘I do not need to study, or I do not need any training I will let the Holy Spirit guide me.’  HOGWASH, Paul who wrote most 2/3 of the New Testament, was an Old Testament scholar prior to becoming a Christian and then went and studied for three more years 34 A.D. Travels to Arabia and remains there (Gal 1:17) to 37 A.D. Returns to Damascus then exits the city for safety (Gal 1:17; Acts 9:20-25; 2 Cor 11:32-33)  Goes up to Jerusalem (Acts 9:26-29; Gal 1:18). 

4. So that the Cross of Christ would be glorified: While Paul certainly had to “take up His cross daily” Luke 9:23his preaching was NEVER about himself, it was always Christ centered and Christ glorifying. 


BREAKDOWN: 

For the preaching of the cross: Again it is Christ’s Cross that must be preach, boldly and without error. Note from v.17 above that God does not demand fancy “wisdom words” the AMP version uses “clever and eloquent speech” what is important is that a CLEAR, and FULL doctrine of Salvation The Complete Gospel Message is preached and taught

is to them that perish foolishness; it is to be taught knowing that some will reject it. In fact the Greek word here used for fool has its root where we get our English word MORON. Someone who is completely mindless and incapable of making a right decision. To them those who preach and teach the “True authentic” Gospel look like idiots.  

One of the biggest oppositions to covenant theology heard is that God has ordain who will be saved so why bother evangelizing and preach at all? Because the bible makes it clear man, apart from Christ is a fool and no man even in Christ and distinguish whom God will effectually call to His kingdom with His amazing Grace. 

but unto us which are saved it is the power of God: To those being saved the Cross is truly powerful for it changes ones life forever 2 Corinthians 5:17

To those of us who are saved, the preaching [and teaching] of the Gospel, has a similar effect. We are driven by Paul’s words in Romans 10 

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

To us the Good News of Christ’s Blood Atonement at Calvary, His life, death, resurrection is power. Again we are like Paul from Romans 1:15-16 AMP So, for my part, I am ready and eager to preach the gospel… 16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation [from His wrath and punishment] to everyone who believes [in Christ as Savior], to the Jew first and also to the Greek.


APPLICATION:

Not matter what others think of us we like Paul should never be ashamed of the Good News of Christ. We should take every opportunity to share the Gospel message, but also like Paul being able to do so not in our own wisdom but through careful and diligent study 2 Timothy 2:15 AMP  Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth.

 

 

“I’m A Good Person”

I have over the last 20+ years of ministry heard every excuse imaginable for someone not liking the “Christian” faith or wanting to be associated with the Christian faith. I am sure you have heard them too, things like: 

“Christianity (or any religion) is just a crutch” comes from those who think they got it all together and do not need any ones help.

“My past makes me unworthy” while not as common as others this one has deep rooted guilt for past transgressions and can be very hard to overcome

“I’m not ready to change yet” Oh pity those who use this, for they are truly without excuse. They have an understanding of their sinful nature but love the dark side so much they are unwilling to give it up to soon.

“They are all a bunch of hypocrites” maybe the second most used; stemming from seeing them in bars on Saturday and church pews on Sunday. Or for many young folks that grew up in church it maybe they see any act of weakness on the part of church leaders (human nature) as hypocrisy instead of what it really is sin. Also under this category I hear things like ‘I don’t get a “religion” where you can just go sin and ask for forgiveness and all is okay’ referring to 1 John 1:9.

“I’m A Good Person” I have never killed or …. you have heard the list. Unfortunately they are comparing their standard of good to themselves and not that of the Creator of the Universe.


INTRODUCTION:

MAN IS NOT GOOD – Romans 3:23 all mankind has sinned, Romans 6:23 the righteous punishment for man’s sin is death

WITHOUT EXCUSERomans 1:20 (AMP)  For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship [all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made], so that they [who fail to believe and trust in Him] are without excuse and without defense. Man can come up with any excuse he wishes but none hold water before a righteous God. 

GOD PROVIDES THE ANSWER – Romans 5:8 God sent His only begotten Son to save mankind. 

Luke 19 10 | The son of man, Cool words, 10 things

Porque el Hijo del Hombre vino a buscar y a salvar lo que se había perdido. (RVR 1960)
CONTEXT:

Here we have the very essence of the Gospel. Jesus’s work at Calvary was for a specified purpose to save sinners, not every sinner as some believe (universalism), but as our text says the lost.

So who are these lost? In this story Luke 19:1-10 Jesus has an encounter with a rich Tax Collector named Zacchaeus. There are some things that need be pointed out here:

v.1-4 Zacchaeus first seeks after Jesus. Like so many we he sought in futility to get close to Jesus but failed.

v.5 Jesus tells Zacchaeus to stop seeking, stop trying on your own to save yourself, I must do the work.

v.6 There will always be naysayers, those with excuses to hate you and and Christ. Here the crowd grumbled at Jesus’s choice to associate with Zacchaeus. They thought him beneath them and so Jesus should ignore him.

v.7-10 Jesus rebukes them not so much in words (at first) but in actions. By going to Zacchaeus house Jesus makes it clear that He did not come to associate with the High and Mighty Holy Rollers, the Pious crowd of the  Pharisees and Sadducees. Remember Jesus’s 7 woes (warnings) to the Scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23.

No Jesus makes it clear, Zacchaeus and folks like him, the truly LOST are the reason I came to earth. Because man on his own is not Good enough to save himself from eternal damnation.

APPLICATION: 

I have used this many times, an old Army expression of mine “The maximum effective range of an excuse is zero meters”  I jokingly say I have heard them all, but God truly has heard the hearts Psalm 44:21 of all mankind. While you may think you are a good person, you will never be good enough to get to heaven on your own

Are you like Zacchaeus today? Making excuses feeling you can seek Jesus on your own terms? The time for excuses is over, the Holy Spirit is pricking at your heart strings and calling upon you to as Paul writes in Romans 10:9-13 (AMP)

… acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognizing His power, authority, and majesty as God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart a person believes [in Christ as Savior] resulting in his justification [that is, being made righteous—being freed of the guilt of sin and made acceptable to God]; and with the mouth he acknowledges and confesses [his faith openly], resulting in and confirming [his] salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him [whoever adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] will not be disappointed [in his expectations].” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile; for the same Lord is Lord over all [of us], and [He is] abounding in riches (blessings) for all who call on Him [in faith and prayer]. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord [in prayer] will be saved.”

 

Dread vs. Desire

Your Choice – Dreams or Nightmares Come True – Lift Up Your Eyes!

Lo que el impío teme, eso le vendrá;
Pero a los justos les será dado lo que desean. (RVR 1960)

CONTEXT: 

Unlike most books and chapters of the bible putting this one in context is hard because Chapter 10 is a collection of wise sayings of Solomon. Yet it does help to look at the preceding and following verse when we break it down:


v.23 To do evil is like sport to a fool, But a man of understanding has wisdom.

To do evil, that is to willfully commit sin. For anyone to do so shows the wickedness of their heart, their complete and utter depravity and their true desires. 

a man of understanding, is described in Job’s discourse on the matter 28:20-28 he closes with ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.’  In other words to avoid evil (sin), and not to do it, that is true wisdom.

v.24 The fear of the wicked will come upon him, And the desire of the righteous will be granted.

The fear of the wicked, what is it that the wicked can fear (many translation render this Dread) ? Although most sinners (wicked people as applied here) those doing evil against the Holy God, think they are all good, deep down their conscience betrays them in the end. Their greatest fear is the evil they have bestowed being brought down on them even more so. They fear they will be brought down from their roost, their places of self imposed power. 

the desire of the righteous, this is not some fanciful desire, some worldly desire that modern day, name it and claim it or prosperity gospel charlatans expound. Instead of claiming they are blessed a righteous man cries out for God’s blessings daily. This is the desire of a man of understanding who has wisdom. A desire born from a man who delights themselves in reverential fear of Yahweh, the God of the Holy Bible. You cannot be righteous if you desire anything above God.

v.25 When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more, But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.

When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more, a whirlwind or twister passes by quickly and with great power, destroying most everything in its path. (I know I live in a prime tornado alley areas of the South) As fast as a evil sinner rises to power and mischief the quicker and usually harder their fall. Their greatest fears realized.

the righteous has an everlasting foundation. As many of you know one of my ministries if Church Building so I know the foundation of any building project is key to its success. It needs to be built upon solid ground. Jesus used the example of building upon solid rock Matthew 7:24-25. That foundation is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. It is the foundation of Salvation and Eternal Life that we read in Paul’s First letter to the Corinthians in which he writes For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (3:11). 

CONCLUSION: 

Apart from a solid foundation in Christ man will always do evil by resorting to his fallen sinful nature. Sinful man will always Fear or Dread the consequences of his actions because he lives without hope or righteous desire. A righteous man, one who has understanding and wisdom will always Desire the will of God in for their lives and shun evil at every turn. 

The question is are you living a life of Dread or Desire?