Devotional Thought for Today – 01/22/2021

Who is the restrainer in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7? | NeverThirsty

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

In this portion of scripture, Paul is describing the Man of Lawlessness and the coming “Day of the Lord.”

Our text in the picture above combined makes a clear and convincing argument that God is not sitting on the sidelines while the world is running amuck in chaos. Despite what the naysayers and poorly read theologians think, God and God alone restrains evil. 

Today I offer an article/sermon from John Macarthur and Grace to You ministries on the subject. May it bless you greatly. 


“Why Does Evil Dominate the World?”

Devotioanl Thought for Today – 01/20/2021

1 Corinthians 10:13 - No temptation has overtaken you except what is ...

1 Corinthians 10

This chapter is all about a reminder to remember how the nation of Israel continually disobeyed God, and for the Corinthians not to make the same mistakes. 

Probably the most recognized and most wrongly quoted verse is v.13,  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (KJV)

Folks consistently use this to say, the “Devil Made me do it”,  the old Flip Wilson theology. But Paul is NOT saying that.   He in context is saying your insistence on sin (idolatry in any form) can be overcome if you only trust God.  It is not Satan making you do anything, it is our own sinful heart.

Everyone wants someone to blame, they need to play the Blame Game, but God says the fault lies within. We need to trust in Him for the solution. Are you trusting in Christ today? 

SUNDAY SERMON SERIES – The World, the Flesh, and the Devil

Thurs Night Alive" Ephesians 2: 1-10 The Walking Dead - YouTube

Ephesians 2:1-10


COMMENTS 

There is a popular show on TV called The Walking Dead. Although I have never seen an actual episode, the commercial made it clear it is all about the aftermath of an apocalypse and zombies. 

While the bible does not specifically refer to the unsaved as “zombies” but when we really think about it that is exactly what we were. Those apart from Christ are walking about the earth with no hope, children of wrath, just waiting for the day of eternal judgment. 


SERMON

Today’s sermon comes from Voddie Bauchman, who at the time was Pastoring a church in Houston, TX but now is Dean of Theology at African Christian University in Zambia. 

Voddie Baucham: The World, the Flesh, and the Devil

To become a Christian is to be enlisted in a war, one that is fought on three main fronts. In this session, Rev. Voddie Baucham will remind us how the world, the flesh, and the devil work against the kingdom of God. He will explain why battle, struggle, and hardship should not surprise us as Christians. 

This message is from our (Ligonier) 2014 National Conference, Overcoming the World: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=...

Devotional Thought for Today – 01/15-2021

1 Corinthians 15:29–58 (NIV) - 1 Corinthians 15:29–58 NIV - Now if there  is… | Biblia

1 Corinthians 15:50-58


This text v.50-58 is certainly about the resurrection.  I am focused today on v.55-57 specifically because my wife’s mom, Fela went home to be with the Lord this morning. 

Fela loved God and was ever ready to praise the Lord. She had been very ill the past few years and was ready to be, as Paul said, absent from the body and present with the Lord. 

Two important lessons here, First, death has no real sting, we can and should morn not her passing but the loss we feel. For secondly,  she has won the Victory! No more pain, no more suffering, she is rejoicing with her Lord and Savior tonight in Glory.

So today I ask you to rejoice with me in the vicorious life that was Fela Ortiz Dones and pray for all the family and friends that will miss her infectious smile. 

All that is necessary for evil to triumph

American Minute with Bill Federer

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing” –Edmund Burke, on the French Revolution

 Edmund Burke is considered the most influential orator in the British House of Commons in the 18th century.

Born January 12, 1729, one of his first notable writings was an anonymous publication A Vindication of Natural Society, 1756, which was a satirical criticism of the deism promoted by Lord Bolingbroke:

“Seeing every mode of religion attacked in a lively manner, and the foundation of every virtue, and of all government, sapped with great art and much ingenuity …  the same engines which were employed for the destruction of religion, might be employed with equal success for the subversion of government.”

Burke criticized how a deist “every day invents some new artificial rule.” 

He described the “unalterable relations which Providence has ordained that everything should bear to every other. These relations, which are truth itself, the foundation of virtue, and consequently, the only measures of happiness.”

READ MORE > > 

Sunday Sermon Series – You are the Temple

Second Corinthians 6:16


Context

If you have read any of my posts you know my obsession with the context of scripture, so here is the link to the full chapter of our text; 2 Corinthians 6.

Chapter 5 of 2nd Corinthians is all about the Eternal versus the Temporal. It is a great lead in to the message(s) of Chapter 6:

v.1-10 Faithful workers of Gospel Ministry

v.11-18 Urging no fellowship with idolaters and unbelievers.

Our text focus can be taken from v.15-17 where Paul is basically saying;

V.15 – If God can have no concord, that is meaningful fellowship or partnership, with Belial, that is anything with no Godly intent (evil); what gives us the right to associate with persons of that character?

 V.16 – I will leave for the sermon but note Paul’s opening phrase, And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?  Ask yourself what are my idols; money, booze, material things, work, what is it that keeps you from being as Holy as God intended? 

v.17 – Wherefore come out from among them Paul make it plain and simple, whatever you are involved with that entails Spiritual Partnership or Fellowship with unbelievers you need to flee from it immediately. This is not a prohibition against being around unbelievers (as some legalist would have you think). Rather is a prohibition from you sinning and being involved with those who sin.

Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible

2 Corinthians 6:17

If we are entangled in the love of the world, or fast bound and fettered with worldly anxieties, and the spirit of the world is rife in our bosom, all our profession will be vapid, if not worthless. We may use the language of prayer, but the heart is not in earnest; we may still manage to hold our head high in a profession of the truth, but its power and blessedness are neither known nor felt.

To enjoy any measure of communion with the Lord, whether on the cross or on the throne, we must go forth from a world which is at enmity against him. We must also go forth out of SELF, for to deny it, renounce it, and go forth out of it lies at the very foundation of vital godliness. There must be “a mortifying, through the Spirit, of the deeds of the body;” a being “always delivered unto death for Jesus” sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh;” and unless there is a going forth out of self by this self-crucifixion, there is no walking in hand with Christ, no manifest union, no heavenly communion with him; for there can no more be a partnership between Christ, the soul, and self than there can be a partnership between Christ, the soul, and sin.

One more quick comment then today’s sermon. This applies equally to the church. The church is supposed to be the Body of Christ, the Holy of Holies, a place where folks go and know God is Glorified. Yet more and more today it is becoming hard to see the difference between society and churches. 😥

A good friend Pastor Gary Burd of Mission M25 Ministries posted the other day a devotional on Acts 11, wrote:

we are praying through Acts, noticing how the early church responded, there were no gimmicks, promises, neat advertising to motivate people to give. 

I responded:

So sad how modern churches have become SO worldly to attract numbers. 

He answered:

Yes, it is driven – too- far – when I was a kid, the numbers meant nothing, translated they were not as evangelistic. Today we are all about the numbers to the point that we water the Gospel down, use gimmicks and promises to some simple prayer, and think we are growing – really sad

I pray you are a member of a church that preaches and teaches only the Genuine Gospel without compromise. 


SERMON

2 Corinthians 6:16 – Christians, Temples of the Living God, by George Whitefield

 

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.

Daily Devotional – Fragrant Prayer Part III

What Does Psalm 141:2 Mean?

PSALM 141

Praying for others


CONTEXT

David was in distress when he penned this psalm, pursued, it is most likely, by Saul, that violent man. Is any distressed? Let him pray; David did so, and had the comfort of it.

      • I. He prays for God’s favourable acceptance (v. 1- 2).
      • II. For his powerful assistance (v. 3,-4).
      • III. That others might be instrumental of good to his soul, as he hoped to be to the souls of others (v. 5- 6).
      • IV. That he and his friends being now brought to the last extremity God would graciously appear for their relief and rescue (v. 7-10).

The mercy and grace of God are as necessary to us as they were to him, and therefore we should be humbly earnest for them in singing this psalm. – Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary 

In the first installment we looked at Praying for God’s favorable acceptance. Yesterday’s  topic was petitioning for His assistance, and today we will explore Praying to God for others


Breakdown

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 surely words; 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.


APPLICATION

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. 

Pray The Bible: Promoting, Encouraging, and Assisting God's People in Biblical Prayer

 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)

Daily Devotional – Fragrant Prayer Part II

What Does Psalm 141:2 Mean?

PSALM 141

Praying for His powerful assistance


CONTEXT

David was in distress when he penned this psalm, pursued, it is most likely, by Saul, that violent man. Is any distressed? Let him pray; David did so, and had the comfort of it.

      • I. He prays for God’s favourable acceptance (v. 1- 2).
      • II. For his powerful assistance (v. 3,-4).
      • III. That others might be instrumental of good to his soul, as he hoped to be to the souls of others (v. 5- 6).
      • IV. That he and his friends being now brought to the last extremity God would graciously appear for their relief and rescue (v. 7-10).

The mercy and grace of God are as necessary to us as they were to him, and therefore we should be humbly earnest for them in singing this psalm. – Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary 

In the first installment we looked at Praying for God’s favorable acceptance. Today’s topic is petitioning for His assistance.


Breakdown

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.3 Set 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

Ps 141_3 W.Jay Comments

v.4 Incline 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


APPLICATION

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. 

Pray The Bible: Promoting, Encouraging, and Assisting God's People in Biblical Prayer

DAILY DEVOTIONAL FOR JAN 4, 2021

Commend Yourself to the Grace of God

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)

Now speak, Lord, for your servants hear. 1 Samuel 3:9(ESV) What does my Lord say to his servants? Joshua 5:14(ESV) Grant that we may not turn away our ear from hearing the law, for then our prayers will be an abomination; Proverbs 28:9(ESV) but may we listen to God, that he may listen to us. Judges 9:7(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)

C. S. Lewis and the Coronavirus

BreakPoint Daily

A LOOK BACK AT A COUPLE TOP STORIES FROM 2020

C. S. Lewis and the Coronavirus

thumbnail_BP_03_07_12_CS-Lewis


What Do We Do with Critical Theory?

BP-6-17-2020