Devotional Thought for Today – 07/10/2021

Logos.com

Malachi 3

Chapter Context: Malachi is the last of the prophets sent to Israel prior to 400 years of silence. Matthew Henry breaks the chapter down as follows: The coming of Christ. (1-6) The Jews were reproved for their corruptions. (7-12) God’s care of his people; The distinction between the righteous and the wicked. (13-18)

Our text for today comes at the end of the first section of chapter three, it closes the promise of the coming savior. With in this verse, there are two key components, the first being God’s immutability and the second God’s ongoing promise to His chosen.

It is this first component I wish to look at briefly today. God’s immutability in simple terms means that God does not change, For I am the Lord, I change not;. He is not indecisive, wavering in His feelings, plans, or thoughts in any manner. He is the same God today that created the Heavens and Earth Genesis 1 and all that lies between them.

Why is this so important? This is where the second component of our text for today comes into importance, God’s ongoing promise to His chosen, therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. God chose the nation of Israel through Abraham to be His chosen people and because of Christ gentiles are engrafted into that promise Deuteronomy 7:6–8, 1 Peter 2:9.

Let us stop and think (clearly and without emotions) for a minute reading the Old Covenant did Israel deserve to be consumed (destroyed)? What about modern man and their undeniable immorality? The answers are Yes and Amen!

Yet it is God’s immutability, that prevents this wholesale inhalation. Yes God is merciful, Yes God is forgiving, but God is above all IMMUTABLE. If He was not if He was as wishy-washy as every human on the planet why would you worship Him?


OTHER RESOURCES:

Divine Immutability and the Doctrines of Grace – 5 Part series by John MacArthur

The Immutability of God – BY HERMAN BAVINCK

The Immutability of God by A W Pink

The Immutability of God by Thomas Watson

God Unchanging Ligonier Ministries

Daily Devotional – Seek Good

14 Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the Lord, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. 15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the Lord God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph. Amos 5:14-15

AMOS 5


CONTEXT

Here is a good brief summary of The book of Amos I found: 

Amos can see that beneath Israel’s external prosperity and power, internally the nation is corrupt to the core. The sins for which Amos chastens the people are extensive: neglect of God’s Word, idolatry, pagan worship, greed, corrupted leadership, and oppression of the poor. Amos begins by pronouncing a judgment upon all the surrounding nations, then upon his own nation of Judah, and finally, the harshest judgment is given to Israel. His visions from God reveal the same emphatic message: judgment is near. The book ends with God’s promise to Amos of future restoration of the remnant.Summary of Amos

Amos 5 can be broken down into three main areas:

      1.  v.1-6 Israel called to seek the Lord
      2.  v.7-17 Israel called to repentance
      3. v.18-27 Woes concerning judgments over idols

Today we are concerned with the middle area, mainly one specific phrase from verse 14a Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live.

I know of no one that does not want to live a full and complete life. Yes, there are some who are suffering and get to the point where they feel (wrongly) life is not worth living. Yet most of us want a quality of life that worldly affairs just cannot fulfill. 


BREAKDOWN

The theme of seeking God is repeated twice in the first 6 verses v.4&6. By contrast in the following section Israel (we) are called to Seek Goodness. I think the point is simple, one can search for God all they want but as long as they continue along a path of evil, they search in vain.

The end result pointed to in each is the same that ye may live.  Life, that goes beyond just breathing, and material wealth must begin with God.  I offer Dr. John Gills Comments on these verses as a help: 

v.4 seek ye me; seek my fear, as the Targum; fear and reverence, serve and worship, the Lord God; return unto him by repentance; seek to him by prayer and supplication; acknowledge your sins, and humble yourselves before him, and implore his pardoning grace and mercy:

v.4  and ye shall live; in your own land, and not be carried out of it; live comfortably, in great plenty of good things; and live spiritually, enjoying the favour of God, and his presence in his ordinances, and live eternally in the world to come.

v.6 Seek the Lord, and ye shall live,… This is, repeated to stir up unto it, because of their backwardness and slothfulness, and to show the importance and necessity of it. By the “Lord” may be meant the Messiah, Israel’s God that was to come, and they were to prepare to meet, Amos 4:12; and the rather, since life spiritual and eternal is only to be had from him, and he is to be sought unto for it, and all the blessings of it, peace, pardon, righteousness, rest, and salvation as well as temporal deliverance, and all outward mercies:

v.14 Seek good, and not evil,… Seek not unto, or after, evil persons and evil things; not the company and conversation of evil men, which is infectious and dangerous; nor anything that is evil, or has the appearance of it, especially the evil of evils, sin; which is hateful to God, contrary to his nature and will; is evil in its own nature, and bad in its consequences, and therefore not to be sought, but shunned and avoided; but seek that which is good, persons and things: seek the “summum bonnum”, “the chief good”, God, who is essentially, perfectly, immutably, and communicatively good, the fountain of all goodness, and the portion of his people; seek Christ the good Saviour and sacrifice, the good Shepherd, and the good Samaritan, who is good in all his relations, as a father, husband, and friend, and in whom all good things are laid up; seek the good Spirit of God, who works good things in his people, and shows good things to them, and is the Comforter of them; seek to him for assistance in prayer, and to help in the exercise of every grace, and in the discharge of every duty, and as the guide into all truth, and to eternal glory; seek the good ways of God, the way of truth, the path of faith and holiness, and especially the good way to the Father, the way of life and salvation by Christ; seek the good word of God, the Scriptures of truth, the promises contained in them, and the Gospel of them; seek the company of good men, and that good part that shall not be taken away, the true grace of God, the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; seek the glories of another world, the goodness of God laid up, the best things which are reserved to last:

that ye may live; comfortably, spiritually, and eternally, which is the consequence of all this; See Gill on Amos 5:4; See Gill on Amos 5:6

We need to diligently seek God with awe and reverence, we need to repent of our sins as individuals and as a nation in order that we might live a life enjoying the favor of God, and his presence in his ordinances, and live eternally in the world to come.

National sins bring down national judgments; and when God grows angry against the people, he makes the places of their feasting, the vineyards where grow their choicest vines, to become the places of their sorrow, so that wailing and distress are heard on all sides. Oh, that nations knew the day of their visitation, and would do justly! Then would such judgments be averted? – C.H. Spurgeon


APPLICATION

Pray for that we as believers would continually seek Him with. Pray especially that those who do not know God would feel the urging of the Holy Spirit upon their hearts and seek Him today. Pray for our Nation to turn and Repent from its evil ways. 

Address God with Reverence and Awe

Having thus engaged our hearts to approach God. Jeremiah 30:21(ESV)

We must solemnly address ourselves to that infinitely great and glorious Being with whom we have to do, as those who are possessed with a full belief of his presence and a holy awe and reverence of his Majesty, which we may do in such expressions as these:

Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come! Revelation 4:8(ESV)

O you whose name is the LORD, who alone are the Most High over all the earth. Psalm 83:18(ESV)

O God, you are our God, earnestly we seek you; Psalm 63:1(ESV) our God, and we will praise you; our fathers’ God, and we will exalt you. Exodus 15:2(ESV)

O you who are the true God, the living God, the one only living and true God, 1 Thessalonians 1:9(ESV) and the everlasting King! Jeremiah 10:10(ESV) The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Deuteronomy 6:4(ESV)

And may we thus distinguish ourselves from the worshipers of false gods.

The idols of the nations are silver and gold, they are vanity and a lie, the work of human hands; Psalm 115:4(ESV) those who make them become like them, so do all who trust in them. Psalm 115:8(ESV) But the Portion of Jacob is not like these, for he is the one who formed all things, and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance; the LORD of hosts is his name, Jeremiah 10:16(ESV) God over all, blessed forever. Romans 9:5(ESV)

Their rock is not as our Rock; our enemies are by themselves, Deuteronomy 32:31(ESV) for he is the Rock of ages; the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock: Isaiah 26:4(ESV) His name endures forever, and his renown throughout all ages, Psalm 135:13(ESV) even when the gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.

Devotional Thought for Today – 12/05/2020

Psalm 50


The God of contemporary Christianity!

(A.W. Tozer)

“These things you have done, and I kept silent. You thought that I was altogether like you! But I will rebuke you and accuse you to your face!” Psalm 50:21

The God of contemporary Christianity is only slightly superior to the pagan gods of ancient Greece and Rome–if indeed He is not actually inferior to them, in that He is weak and helpless–while they at least had some imagined power.

Among the sins to which the human heart is prone, hardly any other is more hateful to God than idolatry; for idolatry is at bottom a libel on His character. The idolatrous heart assumes that God is other than He is–in itself a monstrous sin–and substitutes for the true God, one made after its own likeness. Always this god will conform to the image of the one who created it–and will be base or pure, cruel or kind, according to the moral state of the mind from which it emerges.

The essence of idolatry, is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him. Wrong ideas about God are not only the fountain from which the polluted waters of idolatry flow–they are themselves idolatrous. The idolater simply imagines things about God–and acts as if they were true.

If we insist upon trying to imagine Him–we end with an idol, made not with hands but with thoughts. And an idol of the mind, is as offensive to God as an idol of the hand!

Before a Christian Church goes into a decline, there must first be a corrupting of her Scriptural thoughts of God. She simply gives a wrong answer to the question, “What is God like?”–and goes downhill from there. Though she may continue to cling to a sound nominal creed–her practical working creed has become false. The masses of her adherents come to believe that God is different from what He actually is–and that is heresy of the most insidious and deadly kind!

The heaviest obligation lying upon the Christian Church today is to purify and elevate her concept of God, until it is once more worthy of Him–and of her!

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

Folly

   Maybe you have seen this on Facebook or other social media somewhere 

You Cant Fix Stupid You Can Vote Out Buttons - CafePress

We all know, have been or see that person do that thing that leaves scratching our heads and thinking there is not a lick of sense in them (us). 

   Biblically speaking folks are just the same, they think they can fool God. God who is omniscient, that is He knows EVERYTHING!

“Listen to this, Job; Stand still and consider the wonders of God. 15 
“Do you know how God establishes and commands them, And makes the lightning of His [storm] cloud shine? 16 “Do you know about the layers of thick clouds [and how they are balanced and poised in the heavens], The wonderful works of Him who is perfect in knowledge, Job 37:14-16 (AMP)

whenever our heart convicts us [in guilt]; for God is greater than our heart and He knows all things [nothing is hidden from Him because we are in His hands]. 1 John 3:20

Maybe it is time, like David, instead of trying to hide our transgressions from God we cry out to Him. We cry out with an attitude of humble submission and acknowledgment of His Omniscience, Omnipresence and Omnipotence.

Logos.com

 

 

Daily Devotional – Don’t Be Defined by Your Past

Image result for Psalm 51:4"

Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just [a]when You speak,
And blameless when You judge. (NKJV) 

Contra ti, contra ti solo he pecado, Y he hecho lo malo delante de tus ojos;
Para que seas reconocido justo en tu palabra, Y tenido por puro en tu juicio. (RVR 1960)

Some folks refuse to accept God’s gracious invitation of eternal life through Christ because they “feel” they are unworthy, their past “sins” are too great.  Yet here is King David calling out the the Lord in probably the greatest recorded confession and repentance letter (Psalm) ever, acknowledging his sins, pleading with God for forgiveness. 

David understood that above all else we sin against the Holy God of all creation. He also understood that a Holy God is a merciful God and Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins [a]and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

No matter your past (Adulterer, Arsonist, Murderer or even Rapist) if you are a truly converted and redeemed child of God (producing fruits of the Spirit for all to seethen it is time for you to move on from your past offending behaviors. You must resist Satan’s attempts to keep your mind behind Isaiah 43:18 “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old” and look to the future. 

That does not mean that you completely forget or ignore your past mistakes. How stupid would that be? In Philippians 3:13-14 Paul makes the following statement: Brethren, I do not count myself to have [a]apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” He is not dwelling on the past (Paul was a mass murderer of Christians) in order that he may carry on the work of Christ Jesus. 

In conclusion the next time you are tempted by Satan or his minions (that is anyone doing his bidding telling you you’re unworthy) to Be Defined by Your Past I want you to remember these verses:

You are a new person in ChristGalatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”  

Satan and his minions future is setMatthew 25:41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:”

 

 

Question: “What does it mean that Jesus died for our sins?”

What does it mean that Jesus died for our sins?

Answer: Simply put, without Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins, no one would have eternal life. Jesus Himself said, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). In this statement, Jesus declares the reason for His birth, death, and resurrection—to provide the way to heaven for sinful mankind, who could never get there on their own.

When God created Adam and Eve, they were perfect in every way and lived in a virtual paradise, the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15). God created man in His image, meaning they also had the freedom to make decisions and choices of their own free will. Genesis 3 goes on to describe how Adam and Eve succumbed to Satan’s temptations and lies. In doing so, they disobeyed the will of God by eating of the tree of knowledge from which they were forbidden: “And the LORD God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die’” (Genesis 2:16-17). This was the first sin committed by man, and, as a result, all mankind is subject to both physical and eternal death by virtue of our sinful nature inherited from Adam.

God declared that all who sin will die, both physically and spiritually. This is the fate of all mankind. But God, in His grace and mercy, provided a way out of this dilemma, the shed blood of His perfect Son on the cross. God declared that “without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22), but through the shedding of blood, redemption is provided. The Law of Moses provided a way for the people to be considered “sinless” or “right” in God’s eyes—the offering of animals sacrificed for every sin they committed. These sacrifices were only temporary, though, and were really a foreshadowing of the perfect, once-for-all sacrifice of Christ on the cross (Hebrews 10:10).

This is why Jesus came and why He died, to become the ultimate and final sacrifice, the perfect (without blemish) sacrifice for our sins (Colossians 1:221 Peter 1:19). Through Him, the promise of life eternal with God becomes effective through faith to those who believe in Jesus. “So that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe” (Galatians 3:22). These two words, faith and believing, are critical to our salvation. It is through our believing in the shed blood of Christ for our sins that we receive eternal life. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9).

Additional Resources/Reads: 

The Doctrine of Christ in History

Calvary

Christ—Our Substitute

 

Obedience or Rebellion

Image result for Isaiah 1:18-20

Image Source

Many years ago the Lord put me in a place where he had my undivided attention. I opened a bible the Chaplain had tossed me and I landed on Deuteronomy 11:26-28  “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse…” Yes sir that for sure got my attention. One of the sections of scripture I read soon after was the following, God’s way of reinforcing His earlier message to me. I am by no means perfect, I still fail daily, the difference is I strive to be obedient and ask for forgiveness when I fail. – Mike

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
    they shall become like wool.
19If you are willing and obedient,
    you shall eat the good of the land;
20but if you refuse and rebel,
    you shall be eaten by the sword;
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Isaiah 1:18-20 (ESV)

Jamieson, Fasset & Brown Commentary

Verse 18 – God deigns to argue the case with us, that all may see the just, nay, loving principle of His dealings with men (Isaiah 43:26).

scarlet — the color of Jesus Christ‘s robe when bearing our “sins” (Matthew 27:28). So Rahab‘s thread (Joshua 2:18; compare Leviticus 14:4). The rabbins say that when the lot used to be taken, a scarlet fillet was bound on the scapegoat‘s head, and after the high priest had confessed his and the people‘s sins over it, the fillet became white: the miracle ceased, according to them, forty years before the destruction of Jerusalem, that is, exactly when Jesus Christ was crucified; a remarkable admission of adversaries. Hebrew for “scarlet” radically means double-dyed; so the deep-fixed permanency of sin in the heart, which no mere tears can wash away.

snow — (Psalm 51:7). Repentance is presupposed, before sin can be made white as snow (Isaiah 1:19, Isaiah 1:20); it too is God‘s gift (Jeremiah 31:18, end; Lamentations 5:21; Acts 5:31).

red — refers to “blood” (Isaiah 1:15).

as wool — restored to its original undyed whiteness. This verse shows that the old fathers did not look only for transitory promises (Article VII, Book of Common Prayer). For sins of ignorance, and such like, alone had trespass offerings appointed for them; greater guilt therefore needed a greater sacrifice, for, “without shedding of blood there was no remission”; but none such was appointed, and yet forgiveness was promised and expected; therefore spiritual Jews must have looked for the One Mediator of both Old Testament and New Testament, though dimly understood.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

Verses 16-20 – Not only feel sorrow for the sin committed, but break off the practice. We must be doing, not stand idle. We must be doing the good the Lord our God requires. It is plain that the sacrifices of the law could not atone, even for outward national crimes. But, blessed be God, there is a Fountain opened, in which sinners of every age and rank may be cleansed. Though our sins have been as scarlet and crimson, a deep dye, a double dye, first in the wool of original corruption, and afterwards in the many threads of actual transgression; though we have often dipped into sin, by many backslidings; yet pardoning mercy will take out the stain, Psalm 51:7. They should have all the happiness and comfort they could desire. Life and death, good and evil, are set before us. O Lord, incline all of us to live to thy glory.

 

The masses demand that which will soothe them in their sins and amuse them while they journey down the Broad Road!

The masses demand that which will soothe them in their sins and amuse them while they journey down the Broad Road! (Arthur W. Pink, 1886-1952)

“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths!” 2 Timothy 4:1-4

That time has arrived! Church-goers today will not endure sound doctrine. Those who . . .

preach the total depravity of man, insist upon the imperative necessity of the new birth, set forth the inflexible righteousness and holiness of God, and warn against the eternal and conscious torment awaiting every rejecter of Christ,find it almost impossible to obtain a hearing. Such preachers are regarded as puritanic pessimists, and are not wanted.

In these degenerate times, the masses demand that which will soothe them in their sins and amuse them while they journey down the Broad Road! The multitude is affected with itching ears which crave novelty and that which is sensational. They have ears which wish to be tickled, ears which eagerly drink in the songs of professional and unsaved soloists and choristers, ears which are well pleased with the vulgar slang of our modern evangelists!

The things which are now done in so many churches — the socials, the fund-raisers, the bazaars, the concerts, the moving picture shows and other forms of entertainment — what are these but idolatrous commercialization of these houses of prayer! No wonder that such places are devoid of spirituality and strangers to the power of God. The Lord will not tolerate an unholy mixture of worldly things with spiritual.

“Get these things out of here! Stop turning My Father’s house into a marketplace!” John 2:16

PURITAN QUOTE(S) FOR TODAY – 22 April

REPENTANCE AND PARDON

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. – Isaiah 55:7

All gospel mourning flows from believing. – Thomas Brooks

That sin which is not too great to be forsaken, is not too great to be forgiven. – Thomas Horton

God will not pardon for repentance, nor yet without it. – Thomas Watson

Taken from: The Puritans Day by Day © The Banner of Truth Trust 2016

Check out our Faithful Steward Ministry Facebook page and

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones excellent “Walking with God” daily devotional.

%d bloggers like this: