Devotioinal Thought for Today – 03/15/2021

10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:10-12

ACTS 4

Here, I. Peter and John are taken up, upon a warrant from the priests, and committed to jail, Acts 4:1-4. II. They are examined by a committee of the great Sanhedrin, Acts 4:5-7. III. They bravely avow what they have done, and preach Christ to their persecutors, Acts 4:8-12. IV. Their persecutors, being unable to answer them, enjoin them silence, threatening them if they go on to preach the gospel, and so dismiss them, Acts 4:13-22. V. They apply to God by prayer, for the further operations of that grace which they had already experienced, Acts 4:23-30. VI. God owns them, both outwardly and inwardly, by manifest tokens of his presence with them, Acts 4:31-33. VII. The believers had their hearts knit together in holy love and enlarged their charity to the poor, and the church flourished more than ever, to the glory of Christ, Acts 4:33-37. – Matthew Henry 

Christianity is the largest religious group in the world, and in 2020 there were about 2.6 billion adherents globally.[5] What defines a “Christain” [or how one becomes one]  these days man be within some of those denominations up for question, but the bible as our main text proclaims is very clear. 

Salvation is through faith alone in Christ alone. Christianity is dogmatic, it is a narrow way, for God’s chosen, His elect only and here in Acts Luke is relating Peter saying  …there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among people by which we must be saved [for God has provided the world no alternative for salvation].” (AMP)  

In the end, I do not care if you are part of any of these or their various offshoots:

      • Catholicism 
      • Protestantism 
      • Eastern Orthodoxy 
      • Oriental Orthodoxy 
      • Non-trinitarian Restorationism 
      • Eastern Protestant Christianity 
      • Church of the East 

Without the saving power of Christ and Christ alone, you are not a Christian!

Today’s Prayer

I thank You, Father, for Jesus my Saviour. Thank You for Your gift of salvation that has been given to me through Christ alone. Thank You that salvation is so simple, that even a little child can understand it. Give me the strength and wisdom to speak out daily sharing the Good News.  I pray Lord for your Holy Spirit to touch the hearts of my friends, family, and those who read this that know you not, that they too may rest eternally in Christ.  In Jesus’ name, I pray, AMEN.

Modified from source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/Acts/4/12

 

Sunday Sermon Series – The Indwelling Word

Logos.com

COLOSSIANS 3

The book of Colossians describes Christ as superior to all other teachers, faiths, and philosophies. In this letter, written from prison, Paul once again tackles false teachings. Among these errors claim that Christians need to give up all physical enjoyments, that they should worship angels, and that they need to rely on the wisdom of an elite few. These problems are consistent with an ancient heresy known as Gnosticism. In response, Paul explains that Christ is supreme and sufficient for our salvation.¹

There are two major themes in Chapter 3, Holy Living v.1-17 and Family Relations v.18 -4:1.  Our text comes from the first part. Paul used some strong words (depending on your translation)  put off v.1-4, put to death v.5-7, remove all v.8-9, put on v.9-10, to remind the church at Colossae and us that we are no longer bound to the world and live the life v.11-17 in Christ. 

SERMON

CHRIST’S INDWELLING WORD

DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON
ON LORD’S-DAY EVENING, APRIL 10, 1881


Other Resources

The Incomparable Christ: Exposition of Colossians: Sing As Though Your Life Depended On ItSermon by Derek Thomas on June 10, 2007

¹ Source

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 03/12/2021

4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:4

2 PETER 1

The first chapter of Peter’s second epistle can be broken down as follows:

v.1-2 – Peter Introduces himself as an Apostle and bondservant of Christ  

v.3-4  – The theme or Thesis of the Book, God has called and equipped His saints 

v.5-11 – The means for Growth in Christ

v. 12-21 –  The need for consistent spiritual truth

Our text comes from the section containing the Theme of the Book, verses 3 and 4.  They are linked in such a way the reading them separately leaves one wondering for more.  An example look at the picture above, most folks emphasize “Divine Nature” in the sermons I reviewed but look at Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might…  The only way to know what the “these” are is to read v.3

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

“These” or those things are the knowledge of things (in or through Christ alone) that we need to live a godly life. That is the theme the message Peter is relaying to the early church and to us. Sola Christus not only can we be saved by no other means but we can not grow on faith or holiness by any other. 

I can not speak for everyone today, but I would think most folks would want to partake of this great promise so as v.4 (AMP) says:  by them, you may escape from the immoral freedom that is in the world because of disreputable desire, and become sharers of the divine nature. 

Today’s Prayer

Heavenly Father, How I praise and thank You that I have been called out of darkness into Your glorious light. Thank You that in Christ I have been given all that I need to live a godly life that is pleasing to the Father. Thank You that by Your divine power I have been called, chosen, redeemed, accepted, and equipped by You, to live the godly life. that You desire of me. Thank You that I have been imputed with Christ’s righteousness, in-dwelt by Christ’s Holy Spirit, identified with all His goodness and grace and accepted by the Father, in the Beloved – by grace through faith in Him. Thank You that I have become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and that through a knowledge of Him I have been granted everything that pertains to life and godliness. I pray that I may come to a fuller knowledge of Him, Who called me to be His child, by His own glory and excellence. You alone are worthy of all my honor and praise – a world without end, AMEN.

Modified from Source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/2-Peter/1

Devotional thought for Today – 03/04/2021

Logos.com

1 Thessalonians 5:12-28

This portion of 1 Thessalonians 5 can be divided into two sections; v.12-22 and v.23-28. The first is a series of exhortations or final instructions on how to live as faithful believers pending the return of Christ.  The latter is Pauls’s final salutation and blessing to the church. 

The two are fully and indelibly connected. Paul’s benediction v.23-28 depending on your translation begins with either (most common) And the…, Now may…,  both of these signify that all that proceeded (v.12-22) is being wrapped up here. 

Our main text for today,  v.24, is Paul’s second sentence in the benediction, a reminder to all that our God is Able.  Some of the more common translations are: 

ESV: “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”

KJV: “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”

NASB: “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will do it.”

NLT: “God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.”

CSB: “He who calls you is faithful; he will do it.”

So the obvious is God is Able but able to do what? remember I said that v.12-22 were the key and that they were all about living as faithful believers? So it is God (and God alone) who is able to complete our holiness, make us mature believers, enable us to live faithfully for Christ.  I really like the AMP version of v.24

Faithful and absolutely trustworthy is He who is calling you [to Himself for your salvation], and He will do it [He will fulfill His call by making you holy, guarding you, watching over you, and protecting you as His own].

When God saved us, he called us to be sanctified set apart from the world for the kingdom and His glory.  Paul is reminding the Church at Thessalonica and us of this and that we can not go it alone. 

TODAY’S PRAYER

Thank You Father that You are the one that is going to bring me to spiritual maturity – not in my own strength, but as I yield to the chastening and refining work of Your Holy Spirit within my heart. Have Your way in my life I pray, until I reach a spiritual maturity that measures up to the full and complete standard of Christ – Christ in me the hope of glory – praise Your holy name, AMEN.

Source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/1-Thessalonians/5

When God Says No To Earnest Prayers

Why did you not answer my prayer, Lord? Why are you not easing my pain? Why are you not taking away my sorrow? I’ve asked with tears. I’ve asked with hope. I’ve asked in faith. I know You have the power to grant my request. I know You love me. So, why have You not moved?

When God Says No To Earnest Prayers, Pt.1

When God Says No To Earnest Prayers, Pt. 2

10 Key Bible Verses on Wisdom and Discernment

Yup, “I just got up this morning and decided to be DUMB all day” is something we hear every day from friends, family, and neighbors, right?  Of course not, we rise each day hoping to act smarter than the day before. 

TRUE Wisdom is, first and foremost, from the Lord. When you desire wisdom, go to him and his word in prayer, and be encouraged with these verses and commentary adapted from the ESV Study Bible.

10 Key Bible Verses on Wisdom and Discernment

Be Not Wise in Your Own Eyes

 READ MORE > > 

Devotional Thought for Today – 02/01/2021

Logos.com

Romans 6:15-23

Even mentioning the word “slave” or “slavery” in America today can get you branded as a racist or white supremacist. 

Yet the Bible makes it VERY clear if you are a “TRUE CHRISTAIN” you are a slave to God.  Here in context, Paul writes about the choice we have as believers to be slaves to the old self, sin, and the law or as “true believers” to Christ and Holiness. 

While no one likes to think of themselves as “slaves” Paul says here and in other passages of scripture Colossians 1:7, 2 Timothy 2:24, 1 Peter 2:16, 2 Peter 1:1  the slave, bond-servant is the acceptable role for Christians. We are indebted to Christ for Calvary v.22 But now since you have been set free from sin and should become [willing] slaves to God…

Why become slaves to Christ? A slave MUST obey his master’s orders in this case the benefit for obedience is GREAT;  you have your benefit, resulting in sanctification [being made holy and set apart for God’s purpose], and the outcome [of this] is eternal life.

Are you a committed Slave to Christ and Holiness or still serving the Law and Sin? 

Father, we thank You for the Word. It is such a joy to our hearts and such a treasure to our souls. We pray, Lord, that as we think about these things, we might rejoice in the fact that before the world began, before the foundation of the world, You determined to set Your love upon us, make us Your slaves, and raise us to be sons who would share Your eternal throne. What a privilege; we thank You for this privilege and make us to be faithful and one day to hear, “Well done, good and faithful slave.” Amen. – John MacArthur


What does it mean to be a servant of Christ?

 

 

 ...we live in a day of “Mere Christianity,” when believers want to know the bare minimum required to believe in order to be saved. Easy believism is all most professing Christians seek... 

The Masters Seminary Blog

Why Every Believer Needs Systematic Theology

The Puritan William Ames said that theology is the doctrine of living unto God. Wilhelmus à Brakel added to this that theology was the Christian’s reasonable service. These men simply reiterated the age-old truth that believers need to live lives of worship unto God, and humans require theology to worship rightly. For God cannot be worshipped if He is not known…

READ MORE > > 

Devotional Thought for Today – 01/25/2021

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

Philippians 4:1-8

Thinking Marvelously 

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 in Colossians 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.

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)