Saturday’s Military Devotional – Sacrifice for Others

For years I have seen the following all over social media: Only 2 defining forces have ever offered to die for you ...As someone retired from the US Army I fully understand the meaning behind this, and while the sacrifice made by members of the Armed Forces for our Freedom can never and should never ever be minimized, that of Christ far exceeds it. 6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8


CONTEXT: 
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. ROMANS 5:6-8 
Porque Cristo, cuando aún éramos débiles, a su tiempo murió por los impíos. Ciertamente, apenas morirá alguno por un justo; con todo, pudiera ser que alguno osara morir por el bueno. Mas Dios muestra su amor para con nosotros, en que siendo aún pecadores, Cristo murió por nosotros. (RVR 1960) 

Why do I say Christ’s sacrifice far exceeds that of any service member, let me break it down.  

v.6 Is saying that while we were totally incapable of making a right(eous) decision. An analogy would be, like being wounded on the battlefield and unable to self extract from the fields of fire, scary crap to say the least. In other words we are POWERLESS. 

v.7 – It maybe easy to understand or see yourself running to the aid of someone you know to be a “good” person in need. Yet how many of us would or know someone who would run to a person of questionable character in need? Would we hesitate to die for a person we didn’t like or thought was morally lacking or beneath us? Note as an Army Medic we didn’t have this choice. 

v.8 – 

But God,  sometimes little words in the bible have so much meaning, here is and example, it forces us to think and comprehend that God took action that was contrary to Human Nature. 

Commendeth his love toward us, what was that action, God loved us, now that on the surface is no big deal, but God did it 

while we were yet sinners, that is while we hated God, it was not that He  thought we were morally lacking, He knew it and still He loved us. We ( all mankind) deserves a wrathful judgement for our sinful and immoral nature. God chose LOVE. Would you have? Doubtful! 

Christ died for us, Christ while  we were morally corrupt and powerless died for our soul. Our eternal (forever) life. His sacrifice was sufficient for all mankind those who on the surface act in a “good” manner and those who are morally corrupt. 


I encourage you to read one of these devotionals daily for the next week. 

 

 

 

Assured by Love

God’s Display of His Love

A Condition for Forgiveness

Justified by His Blood

God’s Love for the World

Encourage One Another


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 Sacrifice for Others?

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

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

Saturday’s Military Devotional – Men of God

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
Porque no nos ha dado Dios espíritu de cobardía, sino de poder, de amor y de dominio propio (RVR 1960)

CONTEXT: 

Paul is writing to Timothy, and it is Timothy’s first experience as a leader on his own. He had previously been Paul’s partner in the ministry but now he was in charge of the operation and naturally had some trepidation (fear) of screwing up.

As service members it is easy to relate to Timothy, the first time we are assigned roles as (usually) E-4 Corporals, Petty Officer 3rd or Sr. Airman the pressure is on to preform and there is a natural fear of failure.  As the chart below shows with an increase in rank the duties and responsibility do not get any easier. In fact the bigger the insignia the more there is for you to do.

Yet Paul reminds Timothy, it is God who intimately places us in positions of authority and His authority is supreme. We can be empowered by His Holy Spirit when we call upon His strength and power and not our own.

Read the commentary and answer this weeks questions. As always may you be edified and God glorified. – Mike

Image result for Enlisted Ranks


Commentary 

Alexander MacLaren’s Expositions of Holy Scripture


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 Men of God?

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

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

Saturday’s Military Devotional – God’s Love

CONTEXT:

Being part of the military REQUIRES us to to be part of something bigger than ourselves, it means having a battle buddy, being part of team, an organization, in short being in some sense; loved.

For this weeks devotional I want to try something a little different. Below is an article written a number of years ago on GOD’ LOVE.  Read it over and answer the questions as usual. May it greatly bless you and glorify God.

Is God’s Love Unconditional?

FROM  Sep 26, 2012

It has become fashionable in evangelical circles to speak somewhat glibly of the unconditional love of God. It is certainly a pleasing message for people to hear and conforms to a certain kind of political correctness. In our desire to communicate to people the sweetness of the gospel, the readiness of God to cover our sins with forgiveness, and the incredible depth of His love displayed on the cross, we indulge in a hyperbolic expression of the scope and extent of His love.

Where in Scripture do we find this notion of the unconditional love of God? If God’s love is absolutely unconditional, why do we tell people that they have to repent and have faith in order to be saved? God sets forth clear conditions for a person to be saved. It may be true that in some sense God loves even those who fail to meet the conditions of salvation, but that subtlety is often missed by the hearer when the preacher declares the unconditional love of God. People hear that God will continue to love them and accept them, no matter what they do or how they live. We might as well declare an unabashed universalism as to declare the unconditional love of God without a clear and careful qualification of what that means.

An interesting contrast can be seen by comparing the preaching of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century evangelists with modern evangelists. The stress in earlier centuries was on the wrath of God directed toward impenitent sinners. Indeed, Jonathan Edwards’s preaching has been described as evangelistic preaching that employed a “scare theology.” That approach has given way to a more positive emphasis on God’s love. Of course, Edwards also declared the love of God, but not without reminding sinners that as long as they remained impenitent, they were exposed to the wrath of God and were in fact heaping up wrath against the day of wrath (Rom. 2:5).

Edwards warned his people that they were more repugnant to God in their sin than rebellious subjects were to their princes. This was part and parcel of proclaiming the gospel of reconciliation. There can be no talk of reconciliation without first establishing that there is some prior alienation or estrangement. Parties who are not estranged do not need reconciliation. The biblical concept of reconciliation presupposes a condition of estrangement between God and man.

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THE BIBLICAL CONCEPT OF RECONCILIATION PRESUPPOSES A CONDITION OF ESTRANGEMENT BETWEEN GOD AND MAN. —R.C. SPROUL

Much is said of man’s hostility toward God. The Bible says we are God’s enemies by nature. This enmity is expressed in our sinful rebellion against Him. The common contemporary view of this is that we are estranged from God, but He is not estranged from us. The enmity is all one sided. The picture we get is that God goes on loving us with an unconditional love while we remain hateful toward Him.

The cross belies this picture. Yes, the cross occurred because God loves us. His love stands behind His plan of salvation. However, Christ was not sacrificed on the cross to placate us or to serve as a propitiation to us. His sacrifice was not designed to satisfy our unjust enmity toward God but to satisfy God’s just wrath toward us. The Father was the object of the Son’s act of propitiation. The effect of the cross was to remove the divine estrangement from us, not our estrangement from Him. If we deny God’s estrangement from us, the cross is reduced to a pathetic and anemic moral influence with no substitutionary satisfaction of God.

In Christ, the obstacle of estrangement is overcome, and we are reconciled to God. But that reconciliation extends only to believers. Those who reject Christ remain at enmity with God, estranged from God, and objects both of His wrath and of His abhorrence. Whatever kind of love God has for the impenitent, it does not exclude His just hatred and abhorrence of them, which stands in stark contrast to His redeeming love.


Excerpt from God’s Love by R.C. Sproul. Available now from the Ligonier Store.

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 God’s love?

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I apply it to me today?


RELATED:

Is It Biblical to Say “God Loves the Sinner, but Hates the Sin?”

God’s Love and God’s Hatred

No Separation from God’s Love

 

Saturday’s Military Devotional

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

CONTEXT:

Paul is confined in a Roman prison while writing this letter to the church at Philippi. He begins chapter 4 with greetings to his fellow co-laborers in the work of the ministry. then he sets forth the prelude to our main text: 

Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, take pleasure in Him]; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit [your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience] be known to all people. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours]. v. 4-7 (AMP) 

Note how Paul even in very difficult circumstances begins with Rejoice in the Lord always! Next he says Do not be anxious or worried about anything this from a guy facing probable execution. Finally he invokes the peace of God. 

How can someone in his circumstances write of such things? it is simple and he lays it all out in our main text think on the things of GOD.


Today’s Questions

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What verse(s) strikes you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful verses?

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I apply it to me today?


John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible

Saturday’s Military Devotional

Logos.com

We all deal with pride, sometimes it is an okay thing like being a proud papa. There is nothing wrong with feeling a since of pride in accomplishing a job, especially a difficult mission. But where does pride cross the line and bring one low as our text says? 

The following from QotQuestions.org helps to answer this:

Answer: There is a difference between the kind of pride that God hates (Proverbs 8:13) and the kind of pride we can feel about a job well done (Galatians 6:4) or the kind of pride we express over the accomplishment of loved ones (2 Corinthians 7:4). The kind of pride that stems from self-righteousness or conceit is sin, however, and God hates it because it is a hindrance to seeking Him.

Psalm 10:4 explains that the proud are so consumed with themselves that their thoughts are far from God: “In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” This kind of haughty pride is the opposite of the spirit of humility that God seeks: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). The “poor in spirit” are those who recognize their utter spiritual bankruptcy and their inability to come to God aside from His divine grace. The proud, on the other hand, are so blinded by their pride that they think they have no need of God or, worse, that God should accept them as they are because they deserve His acceptance.

Throughout Scripture we are told about the consequences of pride. Proverbs 16:18-19 tells us that “pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.” Satan was cast out of heaven because of pride (Isaiah 14:12-15). He had the selfish audacity to attempt to replace God Himself as the rightful ruler of the universe. But Satan will be cast down to hell in the final judgment of God. For those who rise up in defiance against God, there is nothing ahead but disaster (Isaiah 14:22).

Pride has kept many people from accepting Jesus Christ as Savior. Admitting sin and acknowledging that in our own strength we can do nothing to inherit eternal life is a constant stumbling block for prideful people. We are not to boast about ourselves; if we want to boast, then we are to proclaim the glories of God. What we say about ourselves means nothing in God’s work. It is what God says about us that makes the difference (2 Corinthians 10:18).

Why is pride so sinful? Pride is giving ourselves the credit for something that God has Sinful Prideaccomplished. Pride is taking the glory that belongs to God alone and keeping it for ourselves. Pride is essentially self-worship. Anything we accomplish in this world would not have been possible were it not for God enabling and sustaining us. “What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). That is why we give God the glory—He alone deserves it.


 

Read over this of verses dealing with PRIDE

Today’s Questions

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What verse(s) strikes you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful verses?

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I apply it to me today?


Additional Resources:

What Does the Bible Say about Pride?

Saturday’s Military Devotional

The OTD series is not being published at the moment so I am utilizing their format to bring this to you:

Image result for Psalm 103

Today’s Reading

Psalm 103

A psalm of David in Praise for the Lord’s Mercies

We all need mercies, that is leniency or clemency for some offense intended or not; compassion and grace from those around us, charity (love) and forgiveness both given and received, forbearance (Self control), humanity, mildness, soft or tender-heartedness, kindness, sympathy or more so apathy, and tolerance to the point of being non-condemning but biblically sound at all times. 

David understood that all of these attributes are not found in natural man for he is steep in sin and worldly ways. So he praises God for all the mercies and grace bestowed. 

This psalm calls more for devotion than exposition; it is a most excellent psalm of praise, and of general use. The psalmist, I. Stirs up himself and his own soul to praise God (v. 1v. 2) for his favour to him in particular (v. 3-5), to the church in general, and to all good men, to whom he is, and will be, just, and kind, and constant (v. 6-18), and for his government of the world (v. 19). II. He desires the assistance of the holy angels, and all the works of God, in praising him (v. 20-22). In singing this psalm we must in a special manner get our hearts affected with the goodness of God and enlarged in love and thankfulness.¹


 

Today’s Questions

Say What?

Observation: What do I see? What verse(s) strike you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful verses?

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I apply it to me today?

¹ = Matthew Henry’s Commentary

Other Resources: 
Charles H. Spurgeon’s Treasury of David