Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, makes a simple plea; think, focus on, the blessings of life.
In today’s world, it is so easy for everyone, “Christians” included to get caught up in the day to day bitterness, evil, and sadness around us. We have a choice go with the flow, as they say, and be like those of the world, or as Paul says inColossians 3:2 we are to set our minds on kingdom things, not on earthly stuff. This is not some self-help guru book this is straight from the WORD of GOD. No greater source, no greater help can be given.
Today I encourage everyone to focus on Christ, on the things that are true, honorable, and worthy of respect, pure and wholesome, lovely and brings peace, admirable and of good repute, anything worthy of praise, On these things think continually.
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
Adorationis; 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?”
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.12Worthy 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
There are many ways in which we can daily show Adoration and Praise to God> Here are just a few:
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:
v.5 –Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.
Of all the verses of Psalms this and the following may be one of the hardest to interpret. Let the righteous smite me… David is basically saying he would prefer to be severely reprimanded, corrected, rebuked etc. by a righteous person than be in the company of evil. So he will pray for them.
The righteous, etc.The minister cannot be always preaching; two or three hours, may be, in a week, he spends among his people in the pulpit, holding the glass of the gospel before their faces; but the lives of professors, these preach all the week long: if they were but holy and exemplary, they would be as a repetition of the preacher’s sermon to their families and neighbours among whom they converse, and keep the sound of his doctrine continually ringing in their ears. This would give Christians an amiable advantage in doing good to their carnal neighbours by counsel and reproof, which now is seldom done, and when done it proves to little purpose, because not backed with their own exemplary walking. “It behooves him”, saith Tertullian, “that would counsel or reprove another, to guard his speech with the authority of his own conversation, lest, wanting that, what he says puts himself to the blush.” We do not love one that hath a stinking breath to come very near us; such, therefore, had need have a sweet scented life. Reproofs are a good physic, but they have an unpleasant reception; it is hard for men not to throw them back on the face of him that gives them. Now nothing is more powerful to keep a reproof from thus coming back than the holiness of the person that reproves. “Let the righteous smite me”, saith David, “it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head.” See how well it is taken from such a hand, from the authority that holiness carries with it. None but a vile wretch will smite a righteous man with reproach for smiting him with a reproof, if softly laid on, and like oil fermented, and wrought into him, as it should, with compassion and love to his soul! Thus we see how influential the power of holiness would be unto the wicked, neither would it be less upon our brethren and fellow Christians. Holy David professed he would take it as a kindness for the righteous man to smite him; yea, as kindly as if he broke a box of precious oil upon his head, which was amongst the Jews a high expression of love. –William Gurnall.
v.6 – When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my words; for they are sweet.
Most commentators agree David is speaking about those who would oppress him. At some point all our unrighteous oppressors will come to know the truth we spoke, why? Because all our words spoken in Christ are surelywords; for they are sweet. That is why a true Christian never stops sharing the Good News.
They shall hear my words; for they are sweet.This is especially true of all the words which David spake by inspiration, or the Spirit of God spake to him; articulately in his book of Psalms; concerning the Messiah, the covenant of grace, and the blessings of it; of the rich experiences of grace he had, and the several doctrines of the gospel declared by him; which were sweet, delightful, and entertaining to those who have ears to hear such things; or whose ears are opened to hear them, so as to understand them and distinguish them, but to others not. –John Gill.
No one likes to be corrected, however the correction of a righteous man is but a sweat savor to God. Respond in kind with a Fragrant Prayer of your own for both those who would persecute and profit you. Also, do not neglect the thank God for the times of discipline that drew you nearer to the cross.
Supplication to God for Others
We must pray for the whole world of mankind, the lost world; and thus, we must honor everyone, 1 Peter 2:17(ESV) and, according to our capacity, do good to everyone. Galatians 6:10(ESV)
I pray, as I am taught, for all people, believing that this is good and pleasing in the sight of God my Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth and of Jesus Christ, 1 Timothy 2:3-4(ESV) who gave himself as a ransom for all. 1 Timothy 2:6(ESV)
O let your way be known on earth, Psalm 67:2(ESV) that barbarous nations may be civilized, and those who live without God in the world may be brought to the service of the living God; Ephesians 2:12(ESV) and thus, let your saving power be known among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; yes, let all the peoples praise you: O let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Psalm 67:2-4(ESV)
For Support While Being Disciplined
Though for the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, yet later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness and proves to be for my good, that I might share your holiness. Hebrews 12:10-11(ESV)
I have had reason to say that it was good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes; Psalm 119:71(ESV) for before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. Psalm 119:67(ESV)
It has been but for a little while, and when it was necessary, that I was grieved by various trials; and I beg that all the trials of my faith may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom, though I have not seen, I love; though I do not now see him, yet I believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, and am longing to receive the outcome of my faith, the salvation of my soul. 1 Peter 1:6-9(ESV)
Today in verses 3 and 4 the psalmist pleads with God to be kept from evil. How often in modern evangelical circles do we hear someone pray to “put a hedge of protection around them (or someone) from all evil.” Yet David is so much wiser that that. He knows the root of evil is not found from external sources but from within man himself (See Sunday Sermon Series) and so begins…
v.3Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
A truly converted man understands that the mouth is both the doorway of good and evil words. What can come from a man’s mouth can either harm or build up those around them. Here David says wisely Lord guard my mouth so that only things that Glorify you an build others up proceed from it.
One of the best commentaries on this is W. Jay’s Sermon on “The Regulation of the Tongue.” Here is the link to Spurgeon’s condensed comments
v.4Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.
As we noted above the heart of natural man, is the root cause of all evil. Here David begs God to guard him against that tendency which still lives in even the most pious of men, Incline not my heart to any evil thing.
To practise wicked works with men that work iniquity.The way the heart inclines the life soon tends: evil things desired bring forth wicked things practised. Unless the fountain of life is kept pure the streams of life will soon be polluted. Alas, there is great power in company: even good men are apt to be swayed by association; hence the fear that we may practise wicked works when we are with wicked workers. We must endeavour not to be with them lest we sin with them. It is bad when the heart goes the wrong way alone, worse when the life runs in the evil road alone; but it is apt to increase unto a high degree of ungodliness when the backslider runs the downward path with a whole horde of sinners around him. Our practice will be our perdition if it be evil: it is an aggravation of sin rather than an excuse for it to say that it is our custom and our habit. It is God’s practice to punish all who make a practice of iniquity. Good men are horrified at the thought of sinning as others do; the fear of it drives them to their knees. Iniquity, which, being interpreted, is a want of equity, is a thing to be shunned as we would avoid an infectious disease. And let me not eat of their dainties. If we work with them we shall soon eat with them. They will bring out their sweet morsels, and delicate dishes, in the hope of binding us to their service by the means of our palates. The trap is baited with delicious meats that we may be captured and become meat for their malice. If we would not sin with men we had better not sit with them, and if we would not share their wickedness we must not share their wantonness. – C.H. Spurgeon
Righteous in prayer is necessary for it to be an acceptable Fragrant Prayer. In other words the motive and the asking must be in line with God’s will. Today ask, no beg for God’s abundant Grace to fill you life and grant your petitions.
We may then recommend ourselves to the conduct, protection, and government of the divine grace, in the further services that lie before us and in the whole course of our life.
And now, let us be enabled to go from strength to strength, until we appear before God in Zion; and while we pass through the valley of Baca, let it be made a place of springs, and let the rain of divine grace and blessing fill the pools. Psalm 84:6-7(ESV)
And now, the LORD our God be with us, as he was with all our fathers; may he not leave us or forsake us, that he may incline our hearts to himself, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his rules.1 Kings 8:57-58(ESV) And let our hearts be wholly true to the LORD our God all our days,1 Kings 8:61(ESV) and continue so till the end; that then we may rest and may stand in our allotted place, and let it be a blessed place at the end of the days. Daniel 12:13(ESV)
There are three types of “Christians” in the world. You are probably thinking I have gone off my rocker but hear me out. If we take this one verse in context 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 I believe we can see them all. Paul tells us that Light (God and His chosen) can have no fellowship (union) with Darkness (Satan, sin and unbelief).
The pretenders:Those who remain unequally bound together with unbelievers they try and live in both worlds and as Christ relates to John will be spit out Revelation 3:14-16in the end.
The Legalist:You know these folks they seperate from all things (except maybe nice cloths, cars, homes etc.) They do not smoke, drink, go to movies, dance, even their music is “appropriate” and are quick to condemn anyone who does not comply. They believe what they believe and everyone else be damned.
The Pilgrim:Those who understand that all are sinners saved by Grace. That all “worldly” things are bad for us, and even those that we can participate in should never be done in excess. We are pilgrims or sojourners and exiles (1 Peter 2:11) and as such our focus must always be on the eternal not the temporal.
One last note you can not evangelize if you stay locked in your church, home etc. you have to go out into the world, that is the nature of the Great Commission. Nowhere does God tell us to bring the world into the church, He calls us to go into the world. We must do so with caution and being well prepared.
The ESV says: So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom,most folks just sort of shorted it to ‘Life is short so live wisely.’
Unfortunately that does not really take into context the whole Psalm. First it is a Psalm of Moses, and more than just life is short (v.2,3,4,10,12,14) it has two other themes of note: God’s Eternal Greatness (v.1-17) and Mans Frailty (v.3,5,7,11,).
So teach us – Who do you rely upon for wisdom? Is it your friends, family, Pastor? While the Bible certainly encourages us to seek wise counsel, it also makes it abundantly clear that the best advice comes directly from God.
to number our days, – One plus one equals, Math is not really what Moses or God is speaking of here. Neither is the subject matter just an accounting of all we accomplish on a daily basis or plan to accomplish (we know not when God will call us home).
Moses under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is saying count each day as your last, (our days are certainly numbers v.3) make each worthy, make it count for something towards the Kingdom of God and His Glory.
that we may apply – The bible says Jeremiah 17:9 (ESV)The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Man cannot on his own apply the things of God to himself. Man is weak and Frail in his natural state and only with God’s help can he apply…
our hearts unto wisdom. – As John Gills commentary says:
“to seek the way of salvation by Christ – to seek to Christ, the wisdom of God, (for it to fear the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom) and to walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise…For unless a man is taught of God, and by his Spirit convinced of sin, righteousness, and judgment, he will never be concerned, in good earnest, about a future state. Nor inquire the way of salvation, nor heartily apply to Christ for it: he may number his days, and consider the shortness of them, and apply his heart to folly, and not wisdom.”
Having survived over 6 decades now I am realizing that there are advantages and disadvantages to prolonged life. The older I get the more knowledge I am able to gain; I love to study especially God’s word. At the same time the older I get the more forgetful and absent minded I get especially it seems with remembering Bible verses.
Also unlike some, I came to saving Grace later in life and I find that my momentary lapses, frailty of human nature surfacing, are usually caused by my failure to prepare each day by asking God to ‘teach me to number this day and apply His wisdom to my heart.’
How are you beginning each day as a frail loner or entrenched with the Wisdom of God in your heart?
This is the Parable of the 10 Virgins or Bridesmaids as some modern versions have it. If your Bible is a Red Letter edition you will not the words are in Red denoting that Christ Jesus Himself is speaking.
Jesus compares the Kingdom of Heaven to that of a Grand Wedding and the key participants (virgins or bridesmaids) need to be ready for the event (also see Revelation 19:7). Some are ready and on watch for the groom to arrive others are lazy and figure they have plenty of time to deal with things.
Of course the later are caught off Guard and try and rush at the last minute only to be shut out of the feast.
…The passage of Scripture before our eyes, is one that deserves the close attention of all professing Christians. We ought to read it again and again, until we are thoroughly familiar with every sentence that it contains. It is a passage that concerns us all, whether ministers or people, rich or poor, learned or unlearned, old or young. It is a passage that can never be known too well.
These thirteen verses make up one of the most solemn parables that our Lord Christ ever spoke; partly because of the time at which it was spoken, partly because of the matter which it contains.
As to the time — it was but a few days before our Lord’s crucifixion. It was spoken within view of Gethsemane and Calvary, of the cross and the grave.
As to the matter — it stands as a beacon to the Church of Christ in all ages. It is a witness against carelessness and slothfulness — against apathy and indifference about religion — and a witness of no uncertain sound. It cries to thoughtless sinners, “Awake!” It cries to true servants of Christ, “Watch!”…
What is it you delight in? Something simple like that first sip of coffee each morning? The warm embrace of you child, wife or other loved ones. Maybe it is more complicated like accomplishing something you thought you could not do.
With all of these, the bible in no way suggests there is anything wrong with taking delight in them. If you are married and do not delight in the companionship of your wife, you have a real BIG issue. Yet God’s Word make something else abundantly clear, there is one thing greater than all else in our lives to delight in…
In the way – Note the Psalmist does not say ‘In your testimonies’ for many “like” certain rules but do not always follow them. Here the Psalmist makes clear the expression of God’s laws brings delight unto him and all who adhere.
of your testimonies – God’s testimonies are His; Laws, precepts, statues, commandments, and Word all terms used to describe the same thing here in Psalm 119. In the Old Testament God’s Laws could be broken down into 3 areas Ceremonial, Civil and Moral.
I delight – Rules (or laws) are meant to put unnecessary restrictions on people. One has to look no further than the current COVID-19 fiasco in America to understand that. BUT are all rules (laws) the same. The Psalmist here makes it clear ABSOLUTELY NOT! God’s Rules (law’s) are a delight, (many translation use rejoice in) to those who believe.
as much as in all riches. – Remember that sip of coffee or your wife’s sweet embrace, God’s Word, His Statutes are better than that. In fact they are more delightful more satisfying than all the riches found in the world.
How do you view God’s Word, His Laws in your Life? Are they a burden or Delight? Are you getting your Daily Delight, by reading God’s word and actively pursuing God’s chosen path for you each day?
God’s laws should never seem difficult or harsh, they should always be a burden lifter not adding to our baggage. If the reverse is true we need to be in prayer and ask God to reveal to us what is truly dragging us down, ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to delight in God’s Law daily.
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).
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:
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.
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 Worksno 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 Gospelthis is never a burden for a true Christian.
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?
One who cheers from the comfort of your comfortable couch?
Or an Fruit Bearing “Christian” not afraid to put your Faith in Action